Alice: Madness Returns is a stylistic tour du force that marries an altogether visual cornucopia of wonders with solid platformer gameplay to make one of 2011’s best video game entries. Though it suffers from some overly long levels that tend to overstay their welcome far too often and a rather odd implementation of a combat lock-on mechanic the game still manages to surprise with some inspired level design and a deep mature storyline that has a remarkably dark narrative that is sure to cause some heads to turn.
Whatever one thinks of Mel Gibson nowadays there is no denying that he is a good actor and in the case of The Beaver he turns in an inherently honest portrayal of a tortured depressed man who stands at the edge of the proverbial precipice. How much of Gibson’s performance comes from his acting ability and how much comes from his real life issues is up for psychologists to debate but there’s no doubting that the movie is certainly inspired. Nevertheless, the film’s biggest problem that will stop viewers from watching is not Gibson the man but the beaver itself as the entire film hinges upon whether or not one truly believes the movie’s reason d’etre which is having a beaver hand puppet essentially become the leading actor.
I remember when I first saw Fist of Legend back in the early nineties on a terrible VHS copy and though the picture quality was abysmal and the sound regularly popped and crackled I remember being fixated on the film not only due to the superlative martial arts sequences but on the overall plot which felt wholly fresh and engaging. Fast forward to 2012 and here I am watching Fist of Legend again this time on blu-ray and though the picture and sound quality are vastly improved the entire film still feels as fresh as it did all those years ago. While Jet Li has certainly become an International star since then there is also no questioning that in looking back at his career that Fist of Legend is regarded as one of the best if not the best film he has ever made.
In Time has a wholly electrifying setup which manages to not only hook viewers but will probably make for a grand conversation topic at the family dinner table regarding how the global population seems to wilfully follow any authoritative governmental system even if they know deep in their hearts that it is woefully unfair. However, while the movie has a wonderful first act it completely botches the second and third acts by squandering its intriguing intellectual premise for the sake of cheap thrills, gunfights and violence that not only is not needed but also is shot with a next to total lack of rhythm or tension sending the film’s internal cadence into the proverbial brick wall.
Time Mysteries Inheritance is certainly a competent hidden object game yet the experience is so vanilla that one can’t help but feel a bit disappointed. The game attempts to spin a tale of time travelling adventure that spans multiple centuries yet it never truly comes together in a coherent and emotionally involving package. Instead, the game resembles a hodge-podge of different locations replete with authentic attire from differing time periods but its altogether too disjointed to make much of an impression.