Morning Glory manages to rise above its typical genre trappings and an altogether easily telegraphed narrative because it contains some truly engaging performances anchored by a supernaturally perky Rachel McAdams and an incessantly grumpy Harrison Ford. The supporting cast such as Diane Keaton and Jeff Goldblum also shine in their limited roles showing how good acting chops can raise mundane material if given a chance.
Mystery Agency: A Vampire’s Kiss is the kind of title reviewers love to trot out whenever they are asked to give an example of an all-round awful gaming experience. I consider myself lenient in regards to my rating scale but there is just no getting around the fact that Mystery Agency: A Vampire’s Kiss is a dismal experience that fails in nearly every aspect of game design. The only redeeming factor is that the game boots and doesn’t crash but considering what the player has to go through I’m not so sure that players wouldn’t welcome a crash to the home screen merely to avoid an increasing sense of misery.
There is nothing more quintessentially American than the Western and though the genre has certainly fallen on tough times and has been supplanted by Science-Fiction there is no doubting that the allure of the “final frontier” holds infinite appeal. That said it is somewhat surprising that the Coen brothers have finally turned their sights on not only making a full-blown traditional Western but that for the most part their trademark quirkiness has taken a vacation.
Yet another iOS title now graces Microsoft’s fledgling Windows Phone 7 platform and though I can’t say that this is a top tier product it is light-hearted enough to satisfy most. With the license for the most well known science fiction franchise in hand it is somewhat dumbfounding that THQ decided to create a time management title that features not one appearance by any known character. Instead, Star Wars Cantina presents a completely new narrative that unfortunately is less convincing than the prequel movies. Okay, I can’t help but level a dig at the newest trilogy but suffice it to say story is not what will keep players entertained with this title.
Imagine if you will twenty years from now that some young hot shot director will suddenly get hit by lightning and decide to tackle a remake of Indiana Jones with all the stylistic trappings intact except for one tectonic change being that the lead character will undergo a gender swap and become female. It’s one thing to reboot or reimagine a long running series by casting younger actors to fill the iconic roles but it’s another thing entirely to drastically shake up the formula by changing the title character’s sex. How would audiences react? How would a sex change redefine the character? Whatever the result the risks are enormous.
Howard The Duck. The movie, not the comic book. What about it you ask? Simply put, it is one of those instances where I went against popular opinion and liked the film even though I knew it was full of inconsistencies, an awful narrative and a duck costume so pedestrian that my pillow could have made it himself in his spare time. Which brings us to Kalypso’s The First Templar which plays like a good old fashion hack and slash action romp with amazing graphics, engaging narrative and fluid controls. Oh wait, you mean this is 2011 not 2005?
Butterfly is one of those games that must have sounded great on paper but really flubs the execution in just about every way imaginable. The setup is certainly easy as the player controls a butterfly with their finger as they navigate the winged insect through each level trying to pollinate flowers by flying over them causing them to bloom. The game throws many different predatory obstacles along the way including Venus fly traps, sniping fish, bees or frogs. Touching any of these predators causes your butterfly to momentarily stop and blink while you lose precious time but there is no such thing as dying in this game which is probably a good thing if you don’t want your young kids bawling their eyes out.
Ever since Zack Synder hit it out of the park with the comic book adaptation 300 some have called him one of the most promising directors to look out for but up until now he’s basically chosen projects that are all adaptations from other mediums. With Sucker Punch, Synder has finally decided to film a project of his own writing and though the film is glorious to look at it also suffers from an extreme bout of schizophrenia made worse by the fact that the film is completely devoid of an emotional heart.