Not Your Usual Review Site


Charles’ G.I. JOE:RISE OF COBRA review

All right, all right I can admit when I’m wrong. When the G.I Joe live action movie was announced I was excited, but then the trailer came out and it looked like a total disaster. It came up in every conversation I had with my legion of nerds (I’m trying out new things to call my cabal of friends) and we all laughed and cringed at how bad the movie looked. There was talk of seeing it just to see the car crash that we all knew was coming, I even read the awful comic book adaptation…even though I admit I skimmed through it because the story was pretty brutal. So when I settled down to watch the movie I was excited to see how bad the movie was, but surprise at the end of the movie I didn’t hate it or think it was the worst thing ever created.

I will also gladly admit that as a kid and today I LOVE action movies. As a kid I also loved G.I Joe, even more than Ninja Turtles and Transformers for a time(never Ghostbusters, I wasn’t crazy). I spent most of my time as a kid playing with my G.I Joe toys and imagining my own “epic” movies and that’s kinda what I got from the movie. Now while I say that, the movie isn’t the G.I Joe movie I dreamed of all those years ago. I got that movie in the animated one, that movie is one of the biggest influences in the way I judge and enjoy action movies.

G.I. Joe:Rise of Cobra is effectively a live action play session that I used to have as a kid, complete with amateurish story structure/dialogue/creativity. This movie’s not made for adults, simple and plain. The movie doesn’t have or play by it’s own rules. There’s a certain rule with movies or just any work of fiction, to get a good story you have to play by the rules of the world your story is in. In the movie Duke and Ripcord use battle suits, which help them run after and keep up with a hummer. That being said the movie proceeds to invalidate the need for the suits, when Snake Eyes catches the hummer…on foot. Later still Storm Shadow out runs Ripcord on foot, after being inside a car that for some reason Duke shot a rocket at and it only blew up the back of the car not igniting the gas tank that is in the half of the car that blows up. The movie constantly breaks and invalidates rules they set up through character dialogue and actions.

I also couldn’t get who’s point of view the movie was trying to show because at first I thought it was just a Duke centric movie because they shove in a old relationship with the Baroness that is pretty weak but adds more to the dynamic than just Cobra bad, Joe good. Then all of a sudden we switch, for a few seconds to a Snake eyes centric movie with more flashbacks. The other characters get kinda short changed in that we learn about them in dialogue, no flashbacks…thank god. Even there we only get to learn the bare minimum about Scarlett and Ripcord, not enough to really warrant the time they’re given. At least they get time, because the other joes, all two of them get nothing at all. For a movie about G.I. Joe it was basically about Duke and Snake Eyes who just happen to know people in Cobra.

I’m not even going to get into the awful design and execution of Cobra Commander, he used to be one of my favorite villains but they made him Dr. Mindbender for most of the movie and then gave him a mask that looked like the fake heart from CRANK 2: HIGH VOLTAGE. Zartan was also pretty crappy in every scene. I know it sounds like I hated it, but I had fun. It’s dumb, loud and the CG looks awful but the movies still better than Van Helsing and a few other action movies I’ve seen this year so far. Sometimes I need a break from heavy dramas and need some really, really dumb escapist action.


CHARLES’ E3 thoughts:What I liked

So there’s few things that get my inner nerd worked up anymore. I don’t get really excited for phones(Joe you and the Pre will be happy together) like friends, or TV shows (my cousin Alex really digs TV stuff). I get excited over comics, movies, and games. I don’t remember a time before I played video games. I still remember my first time playing the original Nintendo when I was four(1986) and it was over, I was hooked. Over the years I’ve waited in line for a Dreamcast, played Aladdin on the Sega Genesis, spent an entire Christmas morning playing Donkey Kong Country, got a head ache from sitting too close to the TV the first time I played Super Mario 64, played Spider-Man 2 for hours on XBOX, laughed while playing Crackdown Joe, and watched blu rays on my PS3. It’s been a long, storied relationship. E3 is like the prom or even better the day you get to sign up for electives next year. A lot of E3 is anticipation and wonder, this year was no different. I saw a lot and was left with a feeling that the coming couple of years will be great. As usual with me I’m going to give my unflinching opinion on things I liked and hated. It’s kinda what I do.




  • I played the first one but didn’t get to deep into it because while it was fun, I didn’t care about the story so I was done. The overall story still doesn’t interest me but after watching the play through on G4 I can’t wait to rent it. I probably still won’t buy it but can’t wait to play it.


  • I have something to admit, I’ve only played about 20 minutes of the first MASS EFFECT. I always tried to rent it when I worked at Blockbuster but I couldn’t ever give it my full attention. I felt that since I was usually at work I didn’t want to do myself and the game a disservice by just playing it to beat it. So now with a lighter work schedule I feel like I have to time to give it my full attention and plan on buying the 2nd one when it come out.


  • I haven’t played a single minute of the first one, because I wasn’t working so I didn’t have a GOLD subscription anymore and everyone told me to not play it by myself. So with the new job, I plan on starting back up GOLD and putting in some time with the first one. I’m excited basically because of the stories I heard from friends about they’re game play experience alone.


  • The Call of Duty series games are the only first person shooters I really like. They just feel right in everything they do, to me.Friends of mine are still playing Modern Warfare, but while I loved it I played a ton of World at War which surprised me. I’m really excited to get back to the modern world with this one.


  • If it weren’t for the 1st game I would have not really liked a PS3 exclusive at all. It’s the only PS3 exclusive I really care about and enjoy. Although I wish the first one was longer and had more exploration but just the character animation blew me away. I wish my PS3 hadn’t bricked on me when I was close to beating it, but oh well I’ll buy it again in anticipation of the 2nd one.


  • I don’t play creepy games, it’s a rule I have. I love horror movies, but horror games are too much for me. I guess for some reason I get too into a game with a story that I’m not prepared for the scares like I am when I watch horror movies. I’ve seen so many horror movies I’m usually paying more attention to camera work and story structure than the scares, but controlling a character puts me into the story and its creepy. But watching the onstage demo made me really interested in finding out what going on with the story and that alone is the reason I want to play the game, not looking forward to being creeped out. But can’t wait. I hope they add that “PREVIOUSLY IN ALAN WAKE” bit to the game, that would be a genius way to come back after you’ve saved and turned the game off.


  • This game looks sick and I can’t wait to play it. It seems that they’re taking out all the stuff I hate about stealth games and are making it more fun and less slow. Really dig the way they put the objective prompts into the game world, great design. Kinda want someone to put that in a movie now.


  • Just the promise of it blows my mind. Really like the voice and face recognition parts, and being a fan of Minority Report I can’t wait to be able to scroll through my instant que with the wave of a hand. The future is bright.

This is insane

Charles’ ‘Terminator Salvation’ Review/ Diatribe about Franchise Idolarty

I’ll admit here and now that I wasn’t exactly excited when I heard McG was tapped to direct a fourth Terminator movie. I still remember fondly what it was like to see T2 in the theater with my dad, having not seen the 1st Terminator movie, and walking out loving the Terminator franchise. Then there was nothing for a long time, until T3 came out and just seeing the trailers made me cringe so I waited on the dvd and wanted to weep because it was so bland. Not really awful mind you, just bland and not as cool as T2. It seemed like T4 was going to do the same when I saw the first teaser trailer and I wrote it off. But when I saw the longer trailer I couldn’t believe how excited I got just because the washed out colors, I got giddy. So when May 21st rolled around I sat down for the first showing of the day and settled in for lots of explosions and gun fire, keeping myself away from story points. Once the lights came on I was glad that I made myself forget what I felt when I watched T3 and saw this movie.

Terminator Salvation does something different and finally puts the story in the fabled “future” the franchise had built it’s story around. John Conner(CHRISTIAN BALE) isn’t the official leader of the resistance, and it’s obvious at the start of the movie with Conner going on a grunt mission. I found myself really enjoying this John Conner. I instantly thought of the bits from the bible that don’t really delve into Jesus’ time before being all saintly(could be wrong, but have to admit never really delved into the bible). As a aspiring writer that part of the story is usually the most interesting to me. I want to see the hero/heroine before they’re the head honcho. John Conner is angry, stubborn and flawed and it’s great to see. This John Conner reminds me of the character in T2, and not the loser from T3. The grunts Conner is with all die and he survives a pretty kick ass fight with a terminator and does the usual thing and argues with his commanding officers, who are all too old and set in they’re ways to see that they suck. It’s the usual old vs young arguement we get in movies.  I haven’t enjoyed the character John Conner this much in a long time, be it the character in Sarah Conner Chronicles(most of the time) or in T2, this is the John Conner I want.

I’m not going to go through the whole story because I really enjoyed the experience I got from seeing the movie without any real big story points. It made it a more entertaining viewing for me. I talked to Joe today and he told me that some reviewers are calling it ‘visually entertaining’ but not up to the ‘heritage of the franchise’. Here’s where this review kinda turns into a op ed peice. So just to get it out of the way, I really enjoyed TERMINATOR SALVATION. It’s good, it’s not the best movie ever but I really enjoyed the story and visuals.




Now to the idea that this movie isn’t up to the heritage of the franchise…That kinda crap kinda gets on my nerves. I applaud McG for having the stones to make a Terminator movie. I applaud anyone for stepping in to direct a sequel or part of a franchise movie because it’s a kind of thankless job. No matter what you do your going to get some people who’ve already made up their mind to dislike what you do. I know from experience, when you go into a movie with that kind of mindset all it takes is something small to feul your turn on the movie. That mind set can come from all different kind of places. It can come from friends, or some odd ideal that I call the “selective fanboy memory”. The “selective fanboy memory” is the weird practice of remembering a movie from your childhood/adolescence in a insanely glossy way. It happens for most franchises: Indiana Jones, Star Wars, etc. etc. The funny thing is it usually happens for movies that have had three or more movies. When the prequel trilogy came out old school ‘Wars’ fans were out raged that it wasn’t just the same story that had come before and accused Lucas of “raping childhoods” they even had a South Park episode dealing with this idiotic mindset. I love some Star Wars and when Episode I kinda left me bland(mostly because of the Pod race and Jar Jar) but I can enoy it and the other two prequels for what they are, more stories from a franchise I loved. When Indy 4 came out people were rallying against the Atomic Bomb scene, the aliens, and the monkey swinging scene. I really like Indy 4, but I knew what I was getting before I watched it. I knew about the aliens and when the A Bomb scene happened I said, “well alright, this is what’s going on so I’m down…Let’s see how crazy this movie is going to get” and I enjoyed the rest of the movie like I would any of the pulp action stories that the series was based on. I still don’t get how people can swallow all the christian stuff in the 1st and 3rd movie but can’t just let the aliens thing go. Terminator seems to fall into this as well. I’ve rewatched the 1st one and the 3rd one last week(didn’t need to rewatch the 2nd as I’ve watched it a million times) . The 3rd one wasn’t the total abomination I made it out to be when it came out. It’s not good, but to me it’s just the story of the fact that sometimes we fail and have to make the best of it. The first one is a B movie, but it’s mostly a drama about fate and being a slave to the future(once again to me). I enjoy the Terminator franchise  a lot, but it’s basically a story about the human spirit and Salvation is all about that. Marcus Wright’s character, while being a machine, still has his heart and wants to believe he can make amends for his past and finally do something worthwhile…or human. Marcus had pretty much been a cold, heartless criminal and it took him being turned into a machine to finally touch into his humanity. John Conner’s story in SALVATION is that even during this awful war against the machines he’s trying to help the resistance keep it’s humanity. I love discussing my views on themes in movies, but at the heart of it all the Terminator movies are action movies with some drama and a few things you can delve deeper into, but it’s Machines trying to destroy the human condition. I’m not a perfect nerd, but I’m trying to stop idolizing things from my childhood, because I think it does those things a disservice by not taking the time or care to let them evolve with you. Oh and GHOSTBUSTERS is still the funniest movie ever, and nothing’s ever going to change my mind on that.

MARVEL has found THOR

Chris Hemsworth has been cast as the title character in Kenneth Branagh’s big screen adaptation of Marvel’s Thor. Hemsworth will also be playing the mythic comic book character in the Summer 2012 superhero team-up film The Avengers


You might be wondering, “Who the hell is Chris Hemsworth?” While you might not recognize his name, you saw him on the big screen last weekend in JJ Abrams’ Star Trek as George Kirk.


Sony screws European 360 and Wii Owners who want Ghostbusters

according to an article I read from DESTRUCTOID.COM Sony is going to make Ghostbusters:The Video Game a PS3 exclusive in Europe. I own a PS3 and a XBOX 360, I also plan on buying a Wii just for Ghostbusters. If this were happening here I’d be pretty pissed because I really want Ghostbusters on BLU-RAY but really, really don’t wanna HAVE to play the game on PS3. Even though Joe finally got a PS3,  he hardly ever uses it  (just like me). We’re always on our 360’s so it’ll be easier to to play multiplayer or co-op(don’t know if it’s actually in the game but you know) with a system we can easily make a party system. Sorry European countries that love Ghostbusters and don’t enjoy the PS3, your kinda boned.

I think it’s only right: USA, USA, USA, USA, USA.


Batman: Arkham Asylum Delayed

  • Eidos and Warner Bros Interactive have confirmed that the game has been pushed back. Speculation pegged the new date in the fourth quarter of 2009, and many thought that meant a definite holiday release. Eidos has now said the game will actually release at the “end of summer 2009,” which means it has to release by September 21, still (barely) in third quarter. –1UP.COM

Turtles in Time remake coming to XBOX LIVE

  • The Turtles in Time remake was unveiled at last week’s “Galabunga” event in New York City (via Ninja Pizza), which had been scheduled to debut the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Party Van. It’s still in alpha, but from the looks of it, it’s already fairly far along. Two playable stages were offered at the event.
  • Notable is that this remake does not appear to be based on the Super Nintendo port, but the original arcade game. One difference between the two is that Tokka and Rahzar (from the film Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II) were bosses on the pirate ship stage, and not Bebop and Rocksteady. That could mean certain elements are omitted, such as the battle with Rat King and the Technodrome.
  • At the moment, it’s scheduled for release on the Xbox 360. A Wii version is apparently also in the works, though it’s unclear whether it’ll be the same sort of remake. –1UP.COM
cant wait

can't wait


  • Prince would rather we put down the plastic controller and pick up the real thing.
  • “I ain’t mad at them. I hear it made, like, USD 2 billion and they came to us and offered us a very small portion of that,” the performer said on PBS’ The Tavis Smiley Show (via GameSpot).
  • “I just think it’s more important that kids learn how to actually play the guitar.” –1UP.COM