Spring Breakers | Harmony Korine movie review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Sep 7, 2013 12:00:00 PM

"When the shit goes down... Spring Breakers is... miles and TIMEZONES away from Scarface and Britney."

spring-breakers-title-logo.pngTaking the turn onto Spring Breakers' back stretch, we were already taking bets on who would die. Because the movie appeared to be, quite plainly, a movie (and little more). The story's good Christian girl had already gotten out of dodge when things got too real, and our quartet of skinny young skanks was down to a trio. So, would the really bad ones get their bodies dumped in a swamp or fed to a gangster's pet hammerhead shark? Without the good girl, the movie had been let off the leash, we were free to follow these miscreants on a hell ride down Florida's dirt path. James Franco, draped in the ceremonial robes he raided from Kevin Federline's closet, will be your Virgil for this journey. You are about to see the seedier side of spring break, guys—

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Topics: Review, Movie Review

The Raid: Redemption | Movie review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 29, 2013 12:00:00 PM

The Raid is the single best movie about an expert fighting for his life in very threatening surroundings.

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Art can be commended for being thematically-focused and for authenticity. In this case, we're talking about movies. For example, praise can be heaped upon a movie because of a lead in a biopic performing flawless mimicry. It feels authentic. It might be the movie's biggest strength, perhaps it's only strength. Movies where authenticity are their main strengths can overpower other potential shortcomings, so when a movie is about a place, or when a movie is about ideology, or about traveling, about being on the run, about emotion, and fear, and love -- even if the rest of it is vacant, that one authentic trait can make it rise up because viewers will walk out of it and say, "That was a movie about [SUBJECT]. Finally, somebody made a great movie about [SUBJECT]."

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Topics: Review, Movie Review

Valkyria Chronicles | PlayStation 3 game review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Aug 21, 2013 12:00:00 PM

"If there ever can be a best game, unfortunately, about war, this is it. It's long, brutal, occasionally boring, always intense, and above all else, never really in your control."

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We can think about life faster than it actually goes by. Without meaning to, certain events and entanglements can consume years of unconscious thought, running parallel to what's actually happening right before you, sometimes outpacing your senses, sometimes overwhelming them altogether. You often are not in command of your mind, and what it will be, as those years pass. A decade from now though, it may. Life does not embolden life immediately. Experience's benefits are staggered and we cannot derive clarity at first glance because memory is not good enough -- true clarity comes from acknowledgment and confrontation, a repulsive thing to face right here in the waking present.

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Topics: Review, Game Review, PS3 Review

Pacific Rim Is One Of The Best Summer Movies Since Independence Day

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jul 16, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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At a movie theater with $6 matinée tickets, still humming the Pacific Rim theme song and picking popcorn kernels out of my teeth, a dad and his daughter, she was probably 7, came walking past me. He was walking. She was hop-scotching. Her was mouth agape, like it should be.

"It was was so awesome! So, so awesome! And so funny at the end when he cut open the monster, and he shouted, 'where is my goddamn shoe!' "

"Okay, yeah, it was pretty awesome, but let's try not to use the bad words though, okay?"

This, everybody. This right here is proof that kids have taste.

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Topics: Review, Movie Review, best summer movies

New Super Luigi U | Nintendo Wii U game review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Jun 26, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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"...it's more like Luigi's Adventures In International Waters: The Emerald Pants Mystery."

I had to be somewhere. We both had to be somewhere. There was precious little time.

I pointed at the screen and kept my eyes on my brother, and I bet him $20 that I could beat level D-4, the final level in Super Mario Lost Levels for SNES, on one try. I didn't have the money to pay if I lost. The bet was made anyway.

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Topics: Review, Wii U Review

Star Trek Into Darkness Stupid Plot Holes Explained

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 22, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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Everybody on the roller-coaster, put your hands up! That's a direct order from Commander Fun! There are jerks out there that probably went to undergrad at UCLA that are being quoted in ads for Star Trek Into Darkness for using words like, "whiz-bang!" or "fun!" or "adventure!" or "rip-snorting!" in their film reviews. We would be so blessed to have rip-snorting added into any sentence, especially one about Star Trek Into Darkness.

The movie isn't bad. It is entertaining, but if it were rip-snorting, that would actually mean there was a possibility of people getting dirty or facing some consequence. This movie, this $99.99 add-on protective casing for your iPad that your dad got you, believes that it has form, function, and maybe even some brains under that fantastic dye-job.

The trouble is that Star Trek Into Darkness is trying to serve wine to young people when it should just serve cheese to people that like cheese. Lots of people like cheese! It's on almost every kind of sandwich imaginable. It's awesome. If I had to give up cheese or chocolate for the rest of my life, I'd give up chocolate. While trying to serve that many tastes, Star Trek Into Darkness' helmsmen had to sacrifice logic in the name of, well, creating a living homage to The Wrath of Khan. That's when the plot holes start cracking open.

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Topics: Review, storytelling analysis, Movie Review

Tomb Raider (2013 Reboot) | PlayStation 3 game review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 15, 2013 12:00:00 PM


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part i | in TOMB RAIDER, you are playing as a woman

What was the last good game I played where my character was a female? Emphasis on character. Emphasis also on female. I've played plenty of games where my avatar has been a chick. They were hardly characters or women though. Commander Shepherd in Mass Effect, my "FemShep," Lu Shepherd (named after my bro's adorkable black lab rescue), was indeed a woman -- but she was also androgynous. She was a soldier and a human before she was a woman. The Mass Effect galaxy reacts to Shepherd's good/evil tendencies more than his/her gender, which I suppose is optimistic for the future of humanity. In the future, we won't be as hung up about that. I previously mentioned how Saints Row: The Third was the biggest feminist statement in gaming in years for how your female avatar earned respect for her actions, not because she was a dude or a lady.

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Topics: Review, PS3 Review

Why "Man Of Steel" And "The Great Gatsby" Are The Two Vital Versions Of America

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: May 1, 2013 12:00:00 PM


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"What if a child dreamed of becoming something other than what society had intended? What if a child aspired to something greater?"

Truth, justice, and the American way. Strangely enough, I learned a lot about Superman from my mom, who in turn had learned it through osmosis from her brothers when she was young. Back when comic books were books, and not recognizable intellectual properties ripe for mass-marketing, they represented a kind of simple math that a kid could understand. Superman was the simplest, so much so that most people, young people especially, are untucking their shirts and sneezing directly at the idea of Man of Steel coming out in June, because while The Dark Knight Rises was a French revolution allegory, what in the blue fucking hell could boring-ass Man of Steel possibly bring to the modern discussion? These days, we have Batman, and Wolverine, and The Avengers, and Robert Downey Jr, who is a genre unto himself. Superman's a boyscout. Punch the Commies, save the cat in the tree, last son of Krypton, Moses-allegory, defend the defenseless so they can live in peace, and on and until the day is done. Superman was conceived in 1933 in a time before the term "nuclear family" had been added to the American lexicon, nevertheless, he was the hope, the aspiration that even though we aren't invincible like he is, America, and all its promises, won't burn out if we stick together and keep driving forward.

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Topics: Review, storytelling analysis, Movie Review, marketing, shared universe

Bioshock Infinite's Ending Explained

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Apr 3, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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Are you wondering just exactly how all those bits and pieces of Bioshock Infinite fit together? Wonder no more! I only found it complicated at first because it's a little contrived, with some odd character motivations at first glance. A game that requires examination is art. It looks nice and it makes you think. Anyway, without further delay, let's dig into what a floating city in the sky and a girl with some quantum physics books have to do with the Battle of Wounded Knee and alternate versions of reality.

++ SPOILERS!! ++ This is what Bioshock Infinite's ending means. ++ SPOILERS!! ++

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Topics: Review, Game Review, storytelling analysis, PS3 Review

Oz the Great and Powerful | Sam Raimi Movie Review

Written by: Alex Crumb | Follow on: Twitter, Facebook

Published: Mar 13, 2013 12:00:00 PM

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Oz the Great and Powerful is the frantic outcome of a thousand-million primary-colored Legos clicked together, discovered at dawn after showing your four year-old daughter Army of Darkness the night before.

Oz the Great and Powerful is a grilled ham sandwich served to you on a plastic Fischer Price plate at high tea-time, between the hours of 5-7pm. It's best to watch Oz the Great and Powerful with no intention of liking it, because that will set you up for some electrically-enhanced make-up sex. Oz the Great and Powerful contains an intricate adoration normally reserved for a drunken retelling of your fifth-grader's stage performance of The Wizard of Oz, if you were at a train station bar, and you were describing it to a stranger that you suspect is there to kill you, and you're stalling for time. The point the movie is trying to make is that your lies aren't nearly as convincing as you might think, and that you aren't fooling anybody, and Oz the Great and Powerful is full of characters like this, and deception and self-deception will make you real ugly, real fast.

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Topics: Review, Movie Review

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