DVD of the Day: Inside Man (2006)

Inside Man

Fact is, all lies, all evil deeds, they stink. You can cover them up for a while, but they don’t go away.

The Stats
The Director:  Spike Lee

The Cast:  Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer
The Release Date: 2006
The Runtime: 129 Minutes

The Plot

Four masked criminals take control of a bank in the middle of New York City and it’s up to Denzel Washington to take them down. But what are they REALLY after?

The Lowdown

Spike Lee can be kind of an annoying little turd. There, I said it. Sometimes the shit that comes out of his mouth makes you want to slap him. But God damn it, he makes great movies.

Inside Man is a heist film. And we all love heist films, right? They’re a hell of a lot of fun. But this one is different. While the ultimate goal for these bank robbers is to make money, they’re also out to prove a point. What that point is, well, we’d enter into spoiler territory if I revealed that. Needless to say, this isn’t your average heist flick. In most heist flicks you see the “band” getting put together, you see the planning, and finally you see the execution. This isn’t anything like that. Spike Lee just throws you in the middle of this thing and the whole time you and Denzel are trying to figure out exactly what the balls is going on.

Which leads me to the performances. Denzel isn’t doing anything he hasn’t done before in his movies. He’s a cop with an edge, but he’s really charming and kind of a cocky douche. We’ve seen him do this multiple times. Clive Owen ain’t breaking any new ground either. Bad ass Brit with a gun that’s cool under pressure? Been there and done that. But you know what? It’s still entertaining as hell to watch them play off each other. The movie rounds things off with a good cast in Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer as well.

This film is fun as hell, and the whole time it keeps you thinking “How the hell are they going to get away with it?” And when everything is revealed at the end… brilliant.

Listen, don’t take my word for it. Go rent it.

Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man 4

It’s time for a new entry to this Mega Man retrospective. But first, I’ve been thinking about the columns on the first three games, and I don’t think I’ve done a good enough job with those. I haven’t given enough of my own personal thoughts, memories, and opinions on those entries. So before I go into Mega Man 4, let’s do a little recap.


DVD Review – YouShoot Live with Dixie Carter

It has been well documented that the bloom may be off the rose for Total Nonstop Action Wrestling in 2010. Desperate move after desperate move, from time slot changes, to management changes, to Hulk Hogan, to the acquisitions of Rob Van Dam, Jeff Hardy, and Kurt Angle, to changing the ring; it seems like TNA has tried just about everything to become successful and what do they have to show for it: reports of embarrassing buy rates and an audience that quite simply will not grow.


Classic Game Review – Poy Poy

Poy Poy box art
Poy Poy
Published and Developed by Konami
Platforms: PlayStation

Poy Poy is a somewhat obscure game from the original PlayStation library. It’s a game that is really difficult for me to describe, but I’ll do my best. It’s a 3D, arena-based, party/fighting game. That might not quite do it justice. I’ll get into a bit more detail later. It should be noted that this will lack a “Story” category as the game really doesn’t have a story. Again, more on that later.


Tonight – Superfriends 070 – Hip Hop’s Fiercest Battles

Crush Groove presents Superfriends 70 – Hip Hop’s Fiercest Battles

From Boogie Down Productions vs. The Juice Crew, to Ice Cube vs. N.W.A., to 2Pac vs. Biggie to Jay-Z vs. Nas, one of the things that has made Hip Hop so vastly different than any other music style is the competitive nature of battle rapping. Whether it be off-the-dome freestyle battling on the streets to earn a reputation, or cerebral written disses towards your enemies; poetic punchline prowess has been a staple of the culture since its roots. On this edition of the critically acclaimed Superfriends Show, The Emperor will be rejoined by Headcase, an emcee who’s belly knows no bounds, and Washington Post Icon and founder of “The Rapospective” Dayo Akinwande, to discuss Hip Hop’s Fiercest Battles. We’ll glance Case and the Emperor’s “Greatest Battles” list as well as Dayo’s “Diss Bliss” series as well.

When: Wednesday Night 8-11-10 @ 10PM EST
Where: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Superfriends AND http://www.superfriendsuniverse.com/chat

Superfriends – It’s Jive.

Classic Gaming Retrospective – Mega Man: The Wily Wars

I got a bit lazy last week and didn’t have anything to go along with the Mega Man retrospective. So to make up, I bring you…another Mega Man game? Well, this one is a little different. Before I start, though, I want to give a shout out to the Mega Man Wiki, which I’ve been using as a source for info on all the Mega Man games. That site has information about these games, even the ones I’ve played, that I never noticed or even knew about.

Mega Man: The Wily Wars box art
Mega Man: The Wily Wars was a game for the Sega Genesis. I’m using a Mega Drive box art because the game never saw a cartridge release in North America. Instead, it was released on the Sega Channel. It was, however, released on a cartridge in Japan and the PAL territories.

Wily Wars features the first three Mega Man games remade in 16-bit graphics with updated audio. For the most part, the games remain faithful to their NES counterparts (at least the Japanese versions), but there are some differences. In the first Mega Man, if you’re still invulnerable after being hit, you can’t be killed by spikes like you could in the NES original. The rate of fire was altered, and there is a slight pause after using certain weapons and items in the second and third games. Wily Wars also has a lot more lag, especially in the battle against the Yellow Devil in the first and third games and the Wily Machine from the first game.

Probably the most notable difference isn’t actually a difference at all. All sprites in the games were redrawn. Mega Man and the master robots were made taller, and given extra frames of animation. The sole exception to all of this is Proto Man. He’s the same size as his NES sprite and has no extra animation frames, but does appear to have a nicer, 16-bit color pallet. As a result, when he’s seen next to Mega Man, he sticks out like a sore thumb. A full list of differences can be found on the Mega Man Wiki.

Wily Wars also has a save feature, which is helpful. However, it should be noted that the type of save it uses is very uncommon and most Genesis emulators don’t support it. (I am in no way advocating piracy. I’m just giving the facts.) With the save feature, however, means that the password systems from Mega Man 2 and 3 are gone.

But the best part about Wily Wars, and the reason why it’s worth playing, is the Wily Tower. It’s only available after you beat the original three Mega Man games. There are only three master robots in Wily Tower, but it also has the best feature of any Mega Man game ever. You get to pick up to eight weapons and three items from the first three games. As far as I know, this is the only Mega Man game where you can mix and match weapons from multiple games however you want. And you’re able to do this before each level, including each Wily Castle level. Sadly this option only exists in Wily Tower, which is a huge bummer. It should be noted that Hyper Storm H., one of the Wily Tower master robots, is the first Mega Man boss (out of the original and all the spin-off series) to feature more than one life bar. However, hit him with his weakness, and he falls as quickly as any other boss.

If you live in North America, you may not even know this game exists. Which is a shame, as it’s actually quite good. I only recently discovered this game, myself, so I haven’t had a whole lot of time to play it. But it’s probably one of the best in the Classic series, if only for Wily Tower.