DVD of the Day: The Wild Bunch (1969)





The Wild Bunch

We’re not gonna get rid of anybody! We’re gonna stick together, just like it used to be! When you side with a man, you stay with him! And if you can’t do that, you’re like some animal, you’re finished! *We’re* finished! All of us!



The Stats

The Director:  Sam Peckinpah

The Cast:  William Holden, Ernest Borgnine, Robert Ryan, Edmund O’Brien

Release Date:  1969



The Plot

An aging band of outlaws look for one last big score, but when one of their own gets captured by a corrupt Mexican general, they have to decide what’s more important: money or loyalty.


The Lowdown:

Don’t let the fact that this is an “old” western fool you.  This movie is fucking awesome.  You want violence?  This movie pushed the limits of what you could show in movies.  In 1969, the “R” rating was practically a brand new way of rating movies, and brother, did this film take advantage of it.


Violence.  Hookers. Gun fights. Swearing.  It’s got it all.


If you’re a fan of John Woo movies, you owe it to yourself to watch The Wild Bunch.  Woo was heavily inspired by Sam Peckinpah, and you can tell easily with this film… especially the action sequences.  Peckinpah has a way of shooting violence as if it’s a symphony.  There’s a kind of poetry to blood squirting out of a Mexican’s chest.


Yeah, it’s a western. But it ain’t your daddy’s western.  The Wild Bunch, quite frankly, are a band of degenerate outlaws.  They booze it up, whore it up and shoot it up.  When a big score goes bad, they decide on one final big score.  There’s a catch though when one of their gets captured by General Mapache over a personal vendetta.  The four gunslingers can just take their money and walk away.  But instead, loyalty trumps all.  The shot of these four bad asses marching into town to get their friend back sends chills up your spine.  You just KNOW that some serious shit is about to go down.  And boy does it ever as the Wild Bunch damn near take out half of Mexico.


Hell, this film is worth watching for the last 10 minutes alone.  The gunfight between the Wild Bunch and the Mexican army is one of the most violent and kick ass action sequences ever filmed… especially when you consider that it’s 40 years old at this point.


Watch this movie.




Video – The 2010 Wake Up Show Anthem w/ Kam Moye, Crooked I, Rza, Ras Kass, B-Real & More…



I meant to post this about a month ago or so when I saw it, but maaaaaaaaaaaan is it dope. There’s no question Kam Moye completely kills this shit. This is such a posse joint. Enjoy.





Final Fantasy XIII review

Final Fantasy XIII logo

Final Fantasy XIII
Published and Developed by Square Enix
Platforms: PlayStation 3; Xbox 360


Final Fantasy XIII is the latest in the storied Final Fantasy series of Japanese Role-Playing Games. If you’re a gamer, or know someone who is a gamer, chances are you’ve heard of Final Fantasy. I played this latest installment on the PlayStation 3. Does this game live up to the epic pedigree?

GRAPHICS: Starting with the seventh game, the Final Fantasy series has been all about flashy visuals. Sometimes I wonder if Square Enix places a higher standard on graphics nowadays than anything else. Needless to say, Final Fantasy XIII looks beautiful. That is, once you get beyond the claustrophobic corridors. Other than the lush, open areas later in the game, there isn’t a whole lot to see. You walk around in various metal environments, which look nice in their own right, but aren’t spectacular. The areas covered in crystal, however, look great. And once you get into the more natural environments, the beauty of the game starts to shine.

Enough about the environment. The characters look good, as is typical in Square Enix games. There are some pre-rendered cinemas, and while you can generally tell when they start, the in-game models are almost as good. Maybe when Final Fantasy XV comes along, Square Enix can finally retire the pre-rendered cinema. Though I don’t see that happening, honestly.

The user interface is decent. It does its job and doesn’t get in the way much. The battle effects are nice, but you might not notice them a lot. Finally, at several points in the game I found myself utterly clueless as to what was happening in a cut-scene. The camera shakes wildly all over the place, they cut between angles frequently, and I often have no idea what I’m seeing. More often than not I had to consult the Datalog to know exactly what I just witnessed.

Pretty environments, nice characters, but far too much shaky cam in the cut-scenes. 8/10

SOUND: It’s pretty good for a Final Fantasy game. But where the hell is my victory fanfare? The one I’ve heard since the series began? Instead I get this super lame jingle to let me know I won. What the fuck? Now I haven’t played Final Fantasy XII, so I don’t know if that’s the game that murdered the victory fanfare, but that’s just pathetic. That was one of the staples of the Final Fantasy series. Hearing that fanfare brings back fond memories of the series. Replacing it after such a long time is just ridiculous.

The voice acting is good, I guess. The sound effects are good. Pretty much everything else is okay. I just didn’t pay much attention to the quality of everything else because I was too busy raging over the victory fanfare.

They replaced the victory fanfare! 0/10 (yes I can be petty)

STORY: The quality of the stories in Final Fantasy, especially since number seven, is debatable. The story in FFXIII is decent, but it seems all too familiar. It doesn’t help that the story doesn’t pick up until at least ten to twenty hours in. The absolute worst part of the story is the Datalog. To fully understand what the hell is happening, you need to reference the Datalog every time something is added, simply because it will tell you things that the game doesn’t show you in a cut scene. It comes off as a crutch Square Enix uses far too often. You’ll see a cut-scene where the characters interact, and then the Datalog will give you insight on their personal motivations and what they thought about during the scene. Things that you either have to pay close attention to know or that are simply not alluded to at all.

Another annoying part about the story, which is another crutch Square Enix used, was the scene where the party members act all emo and angsty, then one of them gives a pep talk about hope (the concept, not the character) and how everything will be just fine. They repeat this scene ad nauseam. I think every character had their time to give the pep talk, but Hope (the character) gave the pep talk the most. It got really bad when every few cut-scenes featured this speech, and I just wanted the twats to shut up.

An all too familiar plot that takes a long time to get good, and the annoying twats that tell it. 6/10

GAMEPLAY: While the story can take ten to twenty hours to finally start making some sense, the tutorial takes almost as long. I know many games introduce mechanics later on in games and then offer tutorials on how to use it. But Final Fantasy XIII continuously introduces new mechanics every hour or two for the first fifteen hours. And then suddenly the tutorials stop, and that’s when things start getting good. I can understand not wanting to bog down the player with a ton of different gameplay facets, but maybe you shouldn’t have so many to start with.

Eidolons, this game’s version of Summons, are pretty much useless. Unless you’re about to die and don’t have any medics, which is virtually impossible. MP is non-existent, and all actions (magic, attack, etc.) take up portions of your Active Time Battle gauge. This means magic is free. So if you have two medics in your party, you can heal your group almost instantly and with no penalty. But only once you gain access to the Paradigm system. Before then, you’re stuck with Potions. And I need to mention that Potions, the only healing item that I ever saw in the game, become virtually useless about five hours in or whenever the Paradigm system kicks in. Sure, Potions heal everyone at once, but they heal such a tiny amount that it’s not really worth it once your HP goes above 600.

Another useless feature introduced late in the game is the ability to train any party member in any Crystarium role. This sounds great, but in practice it isn’t worth it. You’re much better off using your Crystarium Points to keep building your existing roles than trying to teach new ones. The roles that a character don’t start off with have a bare minimum amount of abilities (a fraction of what a native user gets) and cost extreme amounts of CP.

Overly complicated mechanics, some of which are useless, and a tutorial that never ends. 7/10

OVERALL: Flashy graphics, an okay soundtrack, a been-there-done-that story, and uselessly complex gameplay make for a decent Final Fantasy but far from great. 7/10

A Note about our Server Issues

My deepest apologies about the site being down for so long today. We were simply updating the servers in anticipation for tonight’s big Superfriends show so that the site will not crash due to high volume.

Superfriends WILL air tonight. If you are having trouble, please go to blogtalkradio.com/Superfriends at 10PM Eastern and we will be there.

Superfriends 066 – Kingdom Come Press Release

Hallowed Be Thy Name… Thy Kingdom Come.


You have waited long enough. The time has finally come for Order 66: the execution of the anti-vogues. For the Emperor Big D has returned to reclaim what rightfully belongs to him; the title of Undisputed King of The Internet and rid you of your seemingly uncurable boredom. The Epitome of Manliness, The Superfriends, is back on the airwaves LIVE on July 14th, 2010 – which we are calling D-Day. Your favorite spic has come to save you once again! Join us for the fun, excitement, and entertainment that ONLY Superfriends can bring; which is why nobody can touch us.


Topics To Be Discussed:


– What the hell has gone on since Season 2!?!?
– The Birth of SuperfriendsUniverse.com and plans for the future
– Prison Rape vs. Doing MORE time for killing the rapist – which would you do?
– Fleece “Booty Warrior” Johnson vs. Pastor Dr. Martin Sempa
– PLUS YOUR CALLS!!!!


New Drops! New Songs! New Adventures with the mightiest band of heroes since the GoBots – The Superfriends!



Where: www.blogtalkradio.com/Superfriends and SuperfriendsUniverse.com/Chat
When: Wed, July 14, 2010 – 10:00 PM EST


BE THERE TONIGHT!!

Spoiler Notes On TNA Hard Justice: Now an ECW PPV

According to the spoilers that leaked from Tuesday Night’s TNA Impact Tapings, the show ends with Dixie Carter agreeing to give August 8th Hard Justice PPV over to ECW and essentially making it a carbon copy of the 2005 One Night Stand with ECW in action. Dreamer did another lame promo where he cried and stated that in 2005, the story was supposed to end until 2006 when Vince McMahon ruined it. Carter agreed and said the former ECW talents would have full control of the PPV and promised the fans to make ECW what it should be, not what Vince wanted.

Can anybody tell these people its 2010? How many ECW reunion shows have there been? I can count at least 7 or 8.

NOBODY.

CARES.

Tuesday Pro Wrestling News Update: Undertaker, Tara, TNA Buyrate Fail + Spoilers, Heyman, Jim Ross, Danielson/ROH



– WWE is hoping Undertaker will be ready by Summerslam and will be giving it a go very soon.


– The current plan is to have Wade Barrett involved in the Raw Money In The Bank in some capacity.


– According to Dave Meltzer from the Observer, it is highly possible that TNA’s buyrates for the past two PPVs have dropped below 10,000. This has led many people behind the scenes to believe TNA will be finished by the end of 2010. We will keep you updated.


– Yup, Tara was the woman on the bicycle. She is working you if you think otherwise.


– The plan right now is to do a multi-person match to headline Hard Justice featuring the ECW Invaders vs. TNA, mirroring what WWE did with the “Inaugural Brawl” during the WCW Invasion (and ECW Invasion #2) in 2001 (9 years ago). Russo wants to do a faction wars angle with multiple groups involved. Keep in mind, he did this in 1997 with Los Boricuas, The Nation, the DOA, etc and that worked out well, didn’t it?


– Hulk Hogan and Eric Bischoff are both under contract until October but have seemingly shown zero interest in anything TNA-related anymore. Word going around is that both Hogan and Bischoff did not appear at the tapings to send a message to Dixie about the rumors of the involvement of Paul Heyman. Mike Johnson from PWInsider has speculated that they are close to a deal but not letting on anything further. I personally disagree and am sticking to my story that Heyman is not interested.


– For those who have asked – YES – Dixie Carter DID indeed have a meeting with TNA talents telling them to “improve their work”. Hilarious. I could sit here and pick apart everything wrong with this, but then we’d have a 5 paragraph essay about how much of an utter troglodyte she is. Figure it out for yourself.


– Word has been going around about Bryan Danielson being booked in Ring of Honor. If he does come in, it will likely be for a limited set of appearances and he will likely NOT be signed to a deal. I’ll keep you posted.


– *SIGH* WWE removed Jim Ross from the WWE Opening Montage as punishment for appearing at UFC 116. What a bunch of assholes those people are. And they wonder why UFC is destroying them in everything.





Don’t forget, Superfriends Variety Show RETURNS Tomorrow right here on SuperfriendsUniverse.com!


QCW Radio, Boxing, and Pixels & Bits ADDED + Superfriends Press Release



Three new podcasts are up currently on SuperfriendsUniverse.com. QCW Radio Episode 88 is up and ready to be listened to here. It was taped last night with your usual show recaps + special main event topic. The newest World Championship Boxing is also up here. Plus, later today we will be streaming the fourth episode of Pixels & Bits and if you can’t wait, the archive is up here.


Superfriends returns this Wednesday Night. The press release will be up tomorrow morning.


Lots of content coming your way + a news update. Stay tuned.

DVD of the Day: License To Kill (1989)




License To Kill

This private vendetta of yours could easily compromise Her Majesty’s government. You have an assignment, and I expect you to carry it out objectively and professionally!

The Stats:

The Director:  John Glen

The Cast:  Timothy Dalton, Carey Lowell, Robert Davi, Talisa Soto, Benicio Del Toro

Release Date: 1989

Run Time:  133 Minutes

The Plot

When CIA operative Felix Leiter is left for dead by vicious drug kingpin, Sanchez, James Bond makes it his personal vendetta to take him down… going so far as becoming a rogue agent.

The Lowdown

All right, I know what you’re thinking.  “Timothy Dalton… really?”  Yes really.  Yes, I will admit he is definitely the weakest of the 6 men to play the ultimate male (no, not Thunderlips), James Bond.  However, License To Kill was one of the grittier entries into this series.  Sean Connery will forever and always BE Bond.  Everyone else is just playing him.  But don’t handicap this movie because Dalton isn’t Bond.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I grew up with Roger Moore as Bond.  And while I loved him as a kid, as an adult I realize that he took the franchise in kind of a silly, gimmicky direction.  Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, but I respect what Dalton did with the character.  In Licence to Kill, Bond is a little more believable, a little grittier, a little tougher and a lot more cynical.  In fact, he did what Daniel Craig is currently doing now with the character.  Granted, Craig is a lot better at it, but I digress.  License to Kill doesn’t portray Bond as guy who needs gadgets, but rather as what he’s supposed to be: a highly skilled, cunning, secret agent.  There are one or two cute little Q-Gadgets, but for the most part the movie Bond has to rely on his training and skills.  Furthermore this film features something that is lost in today’s cinema:  STUNTS.  My lord, in a day and age where EVERYTHING is CG’d to death, this film relies on stunt men doing dangerous stunts, on REAL buildings and vehicles exploding.  What a freaking concept!  It looks so much better and cooler when you know that the 18-Wheeler at the end of the film was actually blown up by a stunt coordinator and not a computer geek with a laptop.  One other thing I’d like to point out is the villain of the film, Franz Sanchez.  While Goldfinger, Dr. No, Trevelyan and Blofeld will go down as the most famous Bond villains, it’s a shame that Sanchez gets ignored.  Again, he’s a more realistic villain.  He’s not out to conquer the world or blow up a country, he’s a drug lord out to make money.  Pure and simple.

Anyway, you can hate on Dalton all you want.  Yes, he’s not the best Bond.  But Licence to Kill is a fun, ass-kicking movie with lots of explosions and sweet stunts.  And really, what more can you ask for?