Wednesday, May 23, 2018

R-Rated Muppets

There aren't too any movies that pique my interest this summer. Despite my thoughts on the original being overrated, The Incredibles 2 is something that interests me. Action Point is one I have had my sights on for a few months. However, I just discovered a trailer for Happy Time Murders, a Muppet type film that has caught my eye in the last 24 hours, but has me a little concerned.

Most people would think Muppets (or puppets for that matter) as being mainly for kids. The trailer, which was uploaded a few days ago, goes for stuff that no kid should see, hence the title of this blog. So, someone is murdering every single puppet of a TV show from 30 plus years ago, it's up to a puppet and Melissa McCarthy to stop the carnage. It goes completely overboard with the R-rated material right from the get go. Not to mention this is directed by Brian Henson, the son of the late Jim Henson.

I don't know about this. It almost comes off as a gimmick film despite the complete involvement of the Henson brand. Maybe almost taboo. The only other film I can think of is the Trey Parker and Matt Stone war comedy, Team America. That one did okay in 2004, but that was fully puppets. I'm trying to wrap my head around this, but it's so mind boggling. This either has the potential to do either very well or be a complete bomb.

I can't see critics liking this. It seems too raunchy, even though I don't mind some raunchy material in an R-rated comedy. Still, this comes out this August, so I would hope it's more than just what the trailer showed. At the very least, a decent script that doesn't go overboard with using its R-rating.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Disney Afternoon Collection Review

In a time where the NES was dominating (illegally), Capcom was one of the top tier companies for the system. It held on to some big licenses, particularly Disney brand games. A number of these came from the TV shows that were airing in the late 80s and early 90s. The Disney Afternoon Collection is one that I feel doesn't get much attention despite releasing last year. It's a great set that needs to be downloaded on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

Before getting into the games, let's get into the graphics and audio. Graphically, there isn't any change to them. It's the same 8-bit games and they still look amazing for the time period. Same with the audio. Nothing was altered. No need to worry about any enhanced looks or remixes or anything. Let's get into the games.

DuckTales is the headline game as you go through five levels as Scrooge McDuck searching for treasures. He's quite nimble with his pogo jump and golf swings via his cane. There are lots of goodies to collect as well as a good amount of exploration. It doesn't go overboard and the difficulty is nice. The best of its generation and the collection.

Chip and Dale Rescue Rangers is more about throwing boxes at your adversaries. The two gumshoe chipmunks are on the case to rescue their team member Gadget from Fat Cat. It has ten levels and they make great use of the design of where you can place the two. You don't need to get through every level and it offers two player co-op. Notable issues are a few cheap areas and the hitbox on the chipmunks being a little larger. Still, a solid effort.

The weakest game of the bunch is TaleSpin. A unique shooter, but for the wrong reasons. Fly in eight levels on Baloo the Bear's plane as he delivers packages and avoids Don Karnage's group of employees. Your collectibles include money bags, fruit, and packages. Collecting all money bags and packages earn you more money. Big complaints include upgrades for the plane being too expensive and a bit of cheap areas that feel more artificially difficult. Shooting diagonally is cool, but almost tacked on and flying to the left side was interesting. There's worse games out there, but out of the six, not the best.

Darkwing Duck was more in line with Mega Man, Capcom's main franchise. Using gases and his main weapon, you got seven levels with some big supervillains in each one. Neither side of platforming and shooting has the advantage of being better than the other. Both are done very well and the game knows its limits. A little difficult, but not overly challenging. One of the better efforts from that era.

To the sequels. DuckTales is more or less rinse and repeat. You're still on the search for treasure. New are upgrades to the cane and a store to buy items along finding pieces of a map. Not as good as the first, but pretty good. Chip and Dale 2 is the same thing, but not as executed well. It comes off way too simplistic and almost a cakewalk. As far as sequels go, the former is a must play. The latter isn't, but if you want it for cheap, this is your only option unless you go the emulation route.

There isn't too many features. You can rewind anytime in the regular mode of each one. They add in a boss rush mode and a time attack for each game. It's a nice incentive to see how quick you can get through them. All the soundtracks can be listened to, A gallery has images of certain stuff from that era such as concept art, promotions in magazines, etc. Controls can be altered.

If you can, try to download The Disney Afternoon Collection. It's better than spending hundreds of dollars for some of the actual cartridges. There was a lot of love put into this compilation and it's one that does the licenses justice like they did back in that period of 1989 through 94. One of the must have compilations.

Score: 8 out of 10.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

When's a Game System Overrated or Underrated?

Whenever you're enjoying a game system, you're focused on the games it offered and the ones that hold some sentimental value to you. Sometimes, you might share the same sentiments as others. You could also look at a few things that make them either overrated or underrated. How does it come down to that?

You can still enjoy something that is overrated, but that doesn't mean you're going to be putting it on a pedestal. One example is the Super NES. Especially if you search deep into the library, it's a good system. However, it's praised so much by fanboys, any legit criticism you have is drowned out by them. Not to mention some of the titles are put high on that pedestal and that you can't say anything negative about Mario or Final Fantasy or that type of thing. The sad thing also for that system, most fanboys can only name about 20 titles and that's it, most of it being Nintendo and role playing games. Playing games doesn't always mean only playing the ones everyone talks about.

Underrated is a different animal. Even if a system did very well, there are some that ignore the library that was offered like the Game Boy. If you can look beyond Mario, Zelda, and Pokemon, it sported a decent library of games from both Nintendo and third party games. A number of them hold a lot of playability today. Although finding games for this kind of handheld is difficult, that doesn't mean they are worthless. There are hidden ones that you might enjoy. You never know what you're going to find in something like a Game Boy.

What if they are both? You can say a system is both underrated and overrated, but you better have your reasons. Like the Sega Saturn for example. A lot of people tend to overrate it by over exaggerating the quality of it's library. It's good, but it's not that good. However, it has those titles that many ignore and don't get looked at, making it seemed more underrated than you think. I'd say the same thing with the Nintendo 64 for some of the same examples. Over exaggerating the quality of the library, but a number of them being ignored. That doesn't mean they are systems you shouldn't go after. But that doesn't mean you'll share the same thoughts of certain people.

What's your take on overrated or underrated? It can go either way in today's world of gaming.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Don't You Know, Cano?

Robinson Cano has had a career that most likely would have gotten him into the Baseball Hall of Fame. His chances now have gone downhill the last five days. Major League Baseball suspended him 80 games for PED use and his career in major jeopardy.

I don't buy much into the New York Post, but I could agree somewhat of what they said of the New York Yankees dumping Cano even with trying to give him a seven year contract back in 2013. There was a suspicion that he was using substances. It was just a matter of when, and it is right in the middle of his ten year deal with the Seattle Mariners. The team is on a decent run for the 2018 season, just half a game behind second place in the AL West. Something tells me the Yankees knew and didn't want any of it, especially considering for 2013, Alex Rodriguez's suspension and some people's stances like Ryan Dempster.

The thing that makes no sense is the stats. Nothing screams out as artificial. Cano has 2,400 hits, just over 300 home runs, over 500 doubles. I suppose 2016 could be a year that stands out because of him hitting 39 home runs, but even with that, it's just over 100 RBI's and a 298 average. How long he has used substances, I don't know. Whatever the case, it just doesn't add up.

Cano is one of the latest who has to rebuild his reputation. There's a lot he has to do repair it and be even given a fighting chance to still get in the Hall of Fame. When he does come back, I expect someone like the immature Justin Verlander to bean him with intent to injure. People won't forget this for a while.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Seinfeld 20 Years Later

This isn't a review per se, but more a quick thought looking at Seinfeld. When it picked up a permanent spot on Thursday nights in late 1992, it immediately became one of NBC's most important shows, especially when Cheers finished up its final season at that same time. Ending on top is something most sitcoms and shows don't think of typically, but Jerry Seinfeld picked the right time to do it, ending it on May 14, 1998.

What ensued however is something that the cast and crew sometimes regret. Those who have seen it will know that Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer all go to jail for breaking a Good Samaritan law and all sorts of people they have met throughout the nine seasons talking about the bad experiences they had. From Babu to several girlfriends of Jerry and George, they lined any big guest star they had from previous episodes. It is still held in regard as one of the most negative series finales ever.

Even with that, I think Jerry made the right choice to end it despite NBC not wanting it to finish. For as much as I like the last two seasons of it, there was a kind of fatigue that wasn't there during its prime. It just seemed they were running out of ideas for all four characters and the writing was on the wall of how different it was, even if it was very funny. Had there been a tenth season, I think it would have been a disaster and its ratings wouldn't have been 75 million for a finale.

Still, Seinfeld is still remembered today for a lot of the episodes that are still in people's minds. From The Contest to Festivus, it has its enjoyment, even with how mediocre the last episode was.

Friday, May 11, 2018

Face the Music: A New Bill and Ted?

Way back in the 90s, slacker music type guys seemed to be a big thing. There was Wayne's World and Bill and Ted. The latter was one of the surprise hits of 1989 and held a decent reception. Maybe it was the goofy premise of two teenage idiots who travel through time to get Socrates, Joan of Arc, Abe Lincoln, and some other historical figures for their class project. The sequel two years later was a drastic departure and not held in high regard.

Over the years, there has been this request to have a third movie. Back then, it seemed like most movie franchises would have a trilogy, which seemed common unless you were Rocky or some horror movie franchise. There has been confirmation that there will be a new Bill and Ted and the fact that they have both Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter involved says a lot about this project. Whether companies bite on this is another story.

There has been this surge in getting 10 plus year old comedy sequels. You think about it, there's Anchorman 2, Dumb and Dumber To, Super Troopers 2. Beloved originals getting new ones. As far a new plot to Bill and Ted, it's the two trying to be musicians but not making one decent song. At least that's what some of these websites are talking about. With a script helmed by Chris Matheson and Ed Solomon, both of whom wrote the first two films, this could be back to being what the first one was. Who knows. I'd like to see this actually get to production before the rumors start of whether or not it will be made.

If there is an audience for this, that will be a huge surprise. Wayne's World still has a huge following after almost 30 years. I'm sure some still have that with Bill and Ted. If it fully comes to fruition, nothing to do than party on and totally rule the world.

YouTube Videos: May 4-10




Thursday, May 10, 2018

Seat Belts Do Save Lives

I am amazed at the stupidity of today's generation of kids. At some point, we are all immature, but nothing like this. Personally, I will not feel bad for this teenager, but I feel bad and can imagine the huge heartbreak for her parents. No one wants to bury their young flesh and blood.

Last October, there was a car accident in Texas. Four people are in the car. Three of the group survived primarily of having and keeping on their seat belts. The fourth, Kailee Mills, took hers off and was killed as a result. With what the police had to say, their conclusion was the car lost control as a result of too much speed. As far as Mills goes, she was attempting to take a selfie.

Both parents of Mills have taken action and now have launched a foundation to promote the use of seat belts. Although authorities all over the country have to spot ones without them and the use of the click it or ticket PSA, there is always the few that either forget or deliberately take it off. Selfies are a big thing, but shit like that can wait until you get to your destination, which was a Halloween party. There's more to life than putting up more photos for your Instagram and Snapchat accounts. Teenagers have a lot more ahead of them. It's not worth it. More proof that seat belts can in fact save your life.

There's not much else to say. Just having this kind of awareness and foundation can hopefully keep kids and teenagers (some adults, too) from making a fatal decision.

YouTube Videos: May 18-24