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Posts Tagged ‘Review’

  gone girl promo

Merry Christmas everyone!  I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful Christmas.

A friend recommended I check out Gone Girl.  He had read the book and watched the movie and was very pleased with both.  I had only heard about this movie, saw it in some previews like Entertainment Weekly (but still didn’t read the articles), David Fincher and saw that it had Ben Affleck in it.  If I’m being honest, I didn’t really care for what Ben Affleck was doing before he would debut as the Bat in 2016.

And that’s another case of my dumb ignorance.

Gone Girl, as supported by the hype and reviews, was an incredible movie.  It was stylish, beautifully and magnetically acted, and the story was so damn entertaining.  Here’s a relatively spoiler free review.

If you are uninitiated with the premise, please watch the movie first before reading this review.  Going into it dry is honestly the best way to go about it.  This review will be try to be spoiler free, but I’ll probably bring things up that might stay with you as you watch the movie.  Reading this will probably be raising your suspicions when you finally decide to watch it.

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edge of tomorrow tom and emily

Edge of Tomorrow may be one of my favorite surprise good movies I’ve had the pleasure of seeing this year.  Edge of Tomorrow has comedy, action, a thought provoking story, incredible visuals, and a damn charming Tom Cruise.  Based on the novel, All You Need is Kill, the story follows military propaganda specialist Cage (Cruise).  When Cage resists a direct order being of joining the battle, he’s put on the front line where he dies almost instantly.  But something happens to Cage where he wakes up after death only to relive the same battle over and over again.  With the help of the army’s most badass marine, Rita (Emily Blunt), Cage uses this ability to his advantage to turn the tide of the war.  Basically this movie is Groundhog Day with space marines and Tom Cruise.

Minimal spoilers below.

All images owned by Warner Bros.

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37. plants-vs-zombie-lane-post-grit

Some Plants Vs. Zombies Fan Art

View higher resolution and more art at:

http://fig-tv.com/

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joel and ellie
All images are owned by Naughty Dog

If you follow video games at all, you must have heard about Naughty Dog’s most recent title, The Last of Us, which is shattering records in both the critical acclaim and sales aspects.  The Last of Us is a hyper realistic survival game set in an post-apocalyptic world, following an unlikely pair, Joel, an old and grizzled man, and Ellie, a young girl.  Together they go on a journey across country trying to find the key to humanity, or at least survive it.

This game is definitely one of the top contenders for the title, ‘Game of the Year’.  As ambiguous and generic as giving that title to any game may seem, The Last of Us had it all.  Great story, compelling action, beautiful graphics, and emotional depth.  We’re not going to go into story too much here as a matter of fact, we’re not going to talk much about any spoilers at all.  This is simply a review of the amazing things that happen in the game and some of the not so great [but kinda negligible] things worth commenting on.

I haven’t tried the multiplayer yet, so if you have any comments on that, let me know in the comments below in addition to any other comments you might have about the game in general.

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veronica mars camera

When you come across ‘best tv shows ever’ lists, you’ll see a hodgepodge of obvious award winning television shows like The Wire, Breaking Bad, The Sopranos, etc.  Every once in a while, you’ll come across a little known UPN/CW show called Veronica Mars.  Back then, I would scoff and say how weird this Dawson’s Creek/Gillmore Gills look-a-like made this list?  I mean a show about the dramas of little ‘ol highschoolers?  How is this ABC Familiy-esque TV show getting such high praise?  So I threw it in the back of my head and judged the judgements of others and claimed that it must have been some sort of fluke.

And then that Kickstarter happened.  Creator Rob Thomas launched a Kickstarter asking loyal Veronica Mars fans to help make their dream come true by asking the unreal sum of $2,000,000.  Twenty four hours later, the goal was broken and the final sum of the Kickstarter ended past $5,000,000.  So I had it.  That was it.  I had to see what the big deal was about.  Who was this Veronica Mars and why was she so special?  What could compel fans enough to throw $5,000,000 at the promise of a movie about some non-premium cable TV show?  How does a such a rabid fan base exist that I’m not a part of yet?  I investigated all these by finally catching up on the three seasons of Veronica Mars in preparation for the movie.  And now I just wish I was a fan earlier, so I could too help support this much needed cause.

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As I finished a test on October 30th, I left the classroom defeated and broken.  In a rage of impulsiveness, I went to the closest Gamestop and purchased Assassin’s Creed 3 on the fly.  I had read a couple of reviews and I actually wasn’t expecting myself to buy this game.  At least until the Game of the Year Edition came out with all the DLC loaded.  But I was in such a foul mood after that test, I needed some immediate happiness.  So after purchasing the game and throwing possibly over 10-20 hours into it already [maybe more], it’s been quite an interesting road.

Assassin’s Creed 3 picks up where Assassin’s Creed: Revelations dropped off [which I didn’t get].  My familiarity with the franchise only extends to 2 of the four previously released: Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood.  The story is somewhat bloated between the present day  Assassin/Templar conflict and the historical setting that’s essentially simulated.  I have little care for the relation between the two and find myself loathing the present day stuff, so I’m going to focus this review on the historical setting chosen.

You play a Native American, Connor, during the peak of the American Revolution.  The colonies are in conflict and the British Royal Army continues its oppression.  Given the skills of a masterful assassin, it’s your job to turn the tides of the war making friends like Samuel Adams and George Washington along the way.

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All images owned by Gearbox Software

Since my midnight pick up of Borderlands 2, it’s an understatement saying that it’s been a tremendous trending event in my life.  I’ve had about a week with the game and I’ve thrown over 40 hours into it so far.  With other places like IGN, Gamespot, and other professional sites giving reviews of having played even more hours than I have, I decided to share some of my experiences and impressions instead.

Any Problem with the First Game? Consider it Fixed

If your beef with the first game was the dry settings, similar AI, and bland/uncompelling story, then start praising Gearbox for taking the time to listen to their audience and fix all these problems.  It’s not uncommon knowledge that the settings are way ore beautiful, the enemies are way more diversified, and the story is much more sensical and even worthwhile.  Even some smaller issues with the game like lack of personalization of your characters are attempted to be fixed.  Beforehand, ‘treasure hunting’ was the primary motivation for the vault hunters, but the game makes somewhat an effort to try and draw why these new characters are on Pandora in the first place.  And if you were confused as to why the originals are in Pandora, seeing them again certainly fills in some plot holes.

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HBO

Banana Scoop has had its break and it’s been absolutely wonderful.  Our writers were given a break and prepared some really great articles with our newfound reinvigoration.  There’s a lot of neat stuff we’ve planned and want to feature in the coming weeks, like a greater About Us section, a DMCA statement, and then some other things we’ve put on the back burner for a while.  The Scoops gonna come back harder than ever.  Buckle in and prep yourselves.

About Us is Also Live

The long awaited About Us Page is up that features a mini biography about each of our authors.  Be sure to visit that page to contact us and get to know us more.  It would be really neat to further expand this section to include a history section about the what this site franchise has been through [it’s not THAT exciting, but I’ll add a few ninjas and damsels and distress to spice things up.]

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Two more episodes until the ‘season’ finale of Breaking Bad.  I’m assuming this most recent episode is the final set up before the explosive finale.  There are a lot of loose ends to knot up before we get there, and hopefully most of them are finished up before we have to wait an entire year before we see the resolution.  This episode is primarily a quick wrap up of what happened last as what most episodes are, but this we learn a couple of interesting new things that make us guess twice about end game each character is aiming at.  Enough vagueness, read below for the spoiler filled summary and review of the episode.

All images belong to AMC.
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The most exciting episode this season I would say.  Plenty of crime, one-liners, and hair raising moments.  And then a fantastic finale to wrap up the most jaw dropping episode.  I say time and time again that this is one of the best original dramas on television and if you’re not watching, you’re seriously missing out.  I can’t keep not talking about it, so enough with the spoiler free talk, read below for my review and take on last night’s episode: Dead Freight.  As always MIGHTY spoilers ahead.

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If there was ever a way to start off a very promising blockbuster summer, The Avengers was a proper way to do it.  If there are any movie/Marvel skeptics out there, it takes a lot of stubborn ignorance to deny the marvel (Oh lulz I get it!) of what has been accomplished here.  Starting in 2008 as a vague idea that may or may not form came a movie with so much star power and ambition that it was easy to dismiss this as an action-oriented ‘Valentine’s Day’ that had so many A-listers that each one would eventually be fighting for star power and screen time.  Not only this, but there are 60 years of myth-lore and a rabid fan base that had to be dealt with for this movie to be successful.

It’s almost amazing how it all turned out.  In 4 years, Marvel meticulously planned in each of their corresponding movies how they would  set up this behemoth.  Without these previous movies, character development of these famed heroes would be lost.  So after countless infamous post-credit cut scenes in The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, and Captain America, Joss Whedon delivered what was thought to be the impossible.  A coherent, action-packed, well-written 2 and a half hour ride that perfectly balances its down to Earth heroes and deliciously evil villain despite an ambitiously star-studded cast.  Slight spoilers.

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Paul Rudd adds another goof to his resume of likable leads as he stars in Our Idiot Brother.  I’d consider this one of his more dramatic roles that holds more emotional weight than any of his others.  Overall Our Idiot Brother has a very charming and talented cast and while it succeeds as a comedic drama, it doesn’t meet the expectations I had hoped.

Ned (Rudd) is a laid back, kind-hearted, goof who sells marijuana to a police officer who’s incarcerated for his good intentions.  When he’s released from jail, he has to give up his old home, girlfriend, and dog and must resort to living with his three sisters (Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, and Elizabeth Banks) and their seemingly perfect lives.  He slowly turns their worlds upside down and is kicked out one-by-one.

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With Cars 2 pretty much out of the way for the best animated picture of the year, Dreamworks has a pretty good chance at nabbing the spot with their two blockbusters this year: Kung Fu Panda 2 and Puss in Boots.  I’ve finally gotten a chance to see Kung Fu Panda 2, the sequel to the very enjoyable original Kung Fu Panda released in 2008.  As with most sequels [once again as exemplified in Cars 2], it’s risky to come up with both an engaging and original story.  But with a strong emotional story and fleshing out its likable supporting players in balance with its lead, Kung Fu Panda 2 exceeds my expectations and is, in my opinion, the best shot of best animated picture of the year.

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My first post ever to this site was the ranking of Pixar throughout the years.  The first Cars was in last place, with the main points suggesting a lack in innovation or imagination, despite having top notch animation.  So when I watched Cars 2, the first sequel to a Pixar movie after the beloved Toy Story franchise, I was ultimately disappointed for the same general reasons.  And even though I used the word disappointment, I can’t say in itself that Cars 2 was a bad movie, because in all reality it wasn’t bad for an animated movie.  In all honesty, it quite frankly beats most other animated movies in terms of story and animation itself.  For a Pixar movie however, it lacks the magic and storytelling that usually transcends me to a new world where I never want to let go.

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Oh the romantic comedy.  Cliched, formulaic, and sappy.  It’s a staple of film to please the needs of the susceptible hearts and provides a means to fill our heads with ideas of true love and happiness.  So how is Crazy, Stupid, Love any different?  Simple answer: it isn’t.  It runs through the cliche moments, ends up exactly how I pictured it from the beginning and it’s as sappy as a maple wood tree.  But there lies the best aspects of this film.  While the film fires on all these seemingly tired cylinders, it’s charming and likable leads, a well written script, and plenty of heart transcends this the normal ‘Rom-Com’ that not only has me huddled in my sheets and pillows, but has enough twists to keep me interested as more than the traditional romantic comedy.

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Okay, I know I’m a couple of weeks late.  I actually saw this movie a week after it came out, but I’m still oozing from its excellence that I still have the need put my thoughts into words.  After a jumble of bad publicity photos and promotion, including a bad first image and a questionable first trailer, the movie still impressed.  Anchored heavily towards character development, an idea absent in ‘Last Stand’ and ‘Origins: Wolverine’, this film succeeds in reviving the interesting world of X-Men.  Any cheesiness and awkward moments observed are balanced out with strong performances by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender to make First Class a welcome edition to the X-Men franchise.

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