Review: Monsters Versus Aliens

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DreamWorks is an interesting studio that seems to often achieve commercial success, but only manages to inconsistently grasp at creative success with their animated films. Once a producer of both 2D and 3D features, they ditched 2D after 2003 – which is a shame as The Road To El Dorado was, as they say, the bees knees. Post Shrek 2 DreamWorks seems to be a studio more about turning celebrities into cartoon animals and making pop culture and real world references than they are about telling good stories with their animation.  Only the term “facepalm” can describe my reaction to this scene in Shrek The Third – though I would advice not watching this film if you want to maintain respect for Led Zeppelin. Which is exactly why it was so good to see that DreamWorks’ latest animated feature, Monsters Versus Aliens, has a good story to tell. Continue reading Review: Monsters Versus Aliens

Review: Watchmen

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I have to honest; Watchmen (the original graphic novel) was an incredible reading experience and try as I might, I cannot perceive this film on its own basis. So this review is primarily aimed at those people who have read Watchmen – though I will try not to isolate though who have not read Watchmen or reveal anything that would spoil the story or the experience. Continue reading Review: Watchmen

Review: Zack And Miri Make A Porno

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Zack And Miri Make A Porno is an interesting, if dubious title. It tells you what the film is about as succinctly as Snakes On A Plane, but it also instils a worrying sense of: “uh oh, how well are they going to handle this idea?” You can safely assume that in this film two characters – one called Zack and the other named Miri – are going to create a pornographic movie. It sounds about as classy and subtle as film about a 40 year old man who has never had sex. But back in 2005 there was film like that – it was called 40 Year Old Virgin. That film was so much more than just its initial concept: it was funny, the characters felt real, there so many elements you could identify with and above all it was sincere. Now Zack And Miri Make A Porno is not as brilliant as 40 Year Old Virigin – but it is funny, it is honest and it is more than its premise. Continue reading Review: Zack And Miri Make A Porno

Review: Midnight Club: Los Angeles

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Developer: Rockstar San Diego
Publisher: Rockstar Games
Available on: Xbox 360, PlayStation 3
Reviewed on: PlayStation 3

Before I get into reviewing Midnight Club: Los Angeles, I feel I should state my views on the racing genre: I’m not a big fan of it. That said, I have had some fun with a few racing titles, such as Gran Turismo 3, Need For Speed: Underground  and V8 Supercars. But the earliest racing game I can recall playing is Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge back on the Amiga. That game was released in 1990 and eighteen years later concept is still exactly the same: go around in circles really fast. The genre has evolved about as much as a Vogon and yet has an unhealthy tendency to produce endless sequels. We’re up to seven Burnout games, Gran Turismo 5 is on the horizon (ignoring all the Prologue and Concept spin-offs) and at the time of writing there are fifteen Need For Speed games. Midnight Club: Los Angeles is the fourth game in the series, not counting the “remix” edition of Midnight Club 3. Given the ad finitum nature of the genre I haven’t been excited about a racing game since Burnout 3 when I discovered what a stroke of genius it was to break up the tedium of going around in circles really fast with the ability to smash opponents and enjoy it in slow motion in all its beautiful destruction. Continue reading Review: Midnight Club: Los Angeles

Review: Wall-E

The universe we live in is remarkable. It’s beautiful, massive beyond comprehension and is filled with wonder and mysteries. The fact that life even came to be is extraordinary considering the chain of events that occurred over billions of years for things to take on their present form: humans included. Yet, we can forget this. To quote Terry Pratchett: “…in a universe so full of wonders, they (humans) have managed to invent boredom.” Pixar’s latest animated feature film, Wall-E, is here to remind us how remarkable life, the universe and everything can be.

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RIP: Don LaFontaine (1940 – 2008)

There wouldn’t be a single Space Meat reader who doesn’t not know his voice, yet few may know his name. Don “The Movie Trailer Voice” LaFontaine passed away September 1st, due to a blood clot in his lungs. He’s narrated the trailers of some of the most brilliant and some of the most inane films, but there’s no one else like him in the business. If you want to learn more about the man behind the voice this video is a good place to start.

Review: The Dark Knight

Since Batman’s creation in 1939 there have been many different takes on the character and the universe. In the medium of film alone there has been the wacky and downright silly 1966 Batman movie, then there was Tim Burton’s stylised Batman films in 1989 and 1992 followed by Joel Schumacher’s much maligned Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. Then in 2005 Christopher Nolan (Momento, The Prestige) directed Batman Begins with a vision of sinister realism.

This brings us to Nolan’s second Batman film; The Dark Knight. Aside from Schumacher’s films, I have immensely enjoyed all of the previous Batman films – all for different reasons. It used to be that I couldn’t say which Batman film stood out as being the greatest of them all. But now I can easily say that The Dark Knight is the best Batman film ever made – and arguably the best comic-to-film adaptation to date.

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Review: Haze (PS3)



Free Radical is an interesting developer for two reasons. The first point of interest is that the company was founded by several former employees of Rare. Back on the Nintendo 64, Rare redefined the first person shooter with Goldeneye and Perfect Dark. Free Radical went on to create their own first person shooter series called Time Splitters, which was praised for its fast paced multiplayer action. Free Radical also created Second Sight, a fantastic game which combined the stealth genre with psychic powers.

The other interesting thing about Free Radical is you could always tell their games apart by their signature art style with subtly caricatured characters. Free Radical has now made their foray into the next generation of consoles with Haze – another first person shooter. While Haze unfortunately lacks Free Radicals iconic art style, it still has ties to Second Sight for having a story filled with conspiracies, corruption and corporations.

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Review: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

In 1981 we were all introduced to archaeologist and hero Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Last Ark. Unless of course you lived in Czechoslovakia or Hungary – they didn’t see the film until 1985; a year after the sequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom was released everywhere else.The Temple of Doom was not released in Czechoslovakia or Hungary at all.Then in 1992 Czechoslovakia finally saw the release of the third film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – three years after its release everywhere else in the world, except once again Hungary missed out. This is a shame, because Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade was arguably the best film in the series. This was largely thanks to the wonderful mix of a grand quest to find the holy grail that was combined with the troubled relationship Indiana had with his father, played by Sean Connery.But the wait Czechoslovakia went through is nothing compared with the development of the fourth film in the series: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. After numerous scripts, going sixty million dollars over budget and wondering whether Harrison Ford would return to play the title role, at last in the year 2008 we see the results of film that’s been in the works since the early 90s. Pity it sucks.

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Review: Drillbit Taylor

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Drillbit Taylor is about three kids who hire a bodyguard to protect themselves from a high school bully…and yet, it isn’t really about bullying.

I left the cinema entertained and having lol-ed a fair bit, but as someone who had to put up with numerous jerks through primary school and high school, I couldn’t help but wish Drillbit Taylor actually had something to teach kids about how to deal with bullying. It doesn’t, which is a shame because it absolutely nails the depiction of being a victim of bullying.

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