Weaver out of Alien Prequel and Ghostbusters 3

Sigourney Weaver has ruled out a return to the Alien film franchise, insisting she’s finished with director Ridley Scott’s sci-fi blockbusters.

Weaver’s iconic character Ellen Ripley died in the third Alien film after battling a horrific space creature in three big-budget epics. She returned for 1997’s Aliens Resurrection – but opted out of two Alien Vs Predator spin-offs.

The actress wishes Scott well but insists it wouldn’t be realistic for her to appear in a planned prequel.

She tells TVSquad.com, “I don’t think that Ripley could appear in an Alien prequel because she doesn’t have any access to the creature until the first Alien. But Ridley (Scott) is producing it and that makes me happy.”

Sigourney Weaver has pulled out of the second Ghostbusters sequel.

The actress was reported to be joining former co-stars Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd in a spooky new movie, 20 years after Ghostbusters II – but she insists she isn’t part of producers’ plans.

The actress tells TVSquad.com, “I think they’re trying to create something new completely with the Ghostbusters, although I know Bill is in it. I don’t expect to have anything to do with it, although I wish them well.”

Aykroyd has suggested the new film, in which the original Ghostbusters hand over control of their spook-chasing responsibilities to a team of hot young ladies, could start shooting before the end of the year.

The Sims 3 Interview

Recently I got the chance to ask a few questions to the creative team behind The Sims 3. I want to thank them for taking the time to answer my questions and I also want to thank Angie at EA for arranging the interview.

What is the background and setting for the game?

Sunset Valley is an open town and the lives of the resident Sims are full of surprises to discover. Like any town there are those who are meeting the challenges of getting ahead in their careers, trying to meet the love of their life, or raise a family. As you get to know the Sims in town, Sims Players may be surprised to meet some familiar names. In many ways Sunset Valley is a prequel so Players have the chance to change the lives of some very iconic Sims. A Player can jump right in and control one residents or create a Sim or family of their very own and become part of the town’s story.

Players can also download Riverview which is a town in a rural setting. There are completely different stories and Sims in Riverview. There are new places to visit and new items to experience that can’t be found in Sunset Valley. Riverview can be downloaded for free from The Sims3.com after registering your game.

How is Sim Creation handled this time out?

We wanted to deliver a level of customization like never before in Create a Sim and we also wanted to make it intuitive and easy. Do you want to create a Sim who is inherently muscular but put on some weight or someone who is lanky and rail thin? Is your Sim a rocker with purple tipped hair and red highlights? It is easy to spend hours sculpting the facial features of your Sim using sliders and customize the clothing down to the colour of the shoelaces. Beyond the way they look the Sims are smarter and have more depth with the new Personality Traits. Players can choose up to 5. Traits range from Good, or Evil, or Loves Children, or Hates the Outdoors, or Vegetarian, to Insane. These traits influence everything from your Sim’s Lifetime Wish (the long term gameplay) to how they interact with other Sims and their world. For the first time you start playing the game as you create your Sims as the Personality Trait choices you make impact your gameplay.

How was the decision to allow greater exploration arrived at, and what new options does
this bring to the series?

Given the open seamless town we wanted to prompt the Player to take their Sims out of their homes and to explore Sunset Valley. New to The Sims 3 is a collection game where you can find rare seeds, gems, and other valuables hidden in more remote areas. Beyond the collecting game, gardening and fishing also rewards Sims that venture off the beaten path. The exploration doesn’t stop at finding things. There are benefits for exploring the social life of the town. For example meeting new Sims that are Natural Cooks can lead to swapping of new recipes or in the Law Enforcement career your Sim has the opportunity to scavenge through your neighbors’’ trash and write up reports about them to advance faster.

How is aging and career and social progression handled in the game?

Everyone in The Sims 3 now ages which means that the neighbors grow old and will eventually pass on. The teen Sim that may have babysat your Sim’s children will grow up and may even become a coworker. Players do have the option to turn aging off and also have control over the lifespan of their Sims. As for careers, Sims will autonomously head off to work if left alone. Players will also have the ability to decide how their Sims do at work. Sims have the option to take it easy or work hard or suck up to their boss. All the choices do have consequences such as working hard will lead to more stressed out Sims (unless they are a Workaholic). There are also Career Opportunities that Players can opt into. This could range from delivering paperwork for the band to City Hall as part of the music career or befriending someone who works at the science facilities to learn their secrets as part of the criminal career. One of the biggest changes in The Sims 3 is in the social progression. Not only does the Player get some insight into what other Sims think and their reactions, Sims are also smarter in how they socialize. If the Player has their Sim tell the same joke twice other Sims will react with boredom. Sims with complimentary Personality traits will get along better than say an Evil Sim and a Good Sim.

What sort of things will players be able to buy and create this time out?

Players will have access to design the sets and fashions of their Sims using Create a Style. Being able to select the perfect color or pattern for furniture or clothing used to be something that the average Sims player could not do. Now anyone can do it in game. We focused on allowing Players to easily customize in game and also on making it easy to share content.

We are also showcasing themed furniture and clothing on the Sims 3 store on theSims3.com. The Sims 3 Store allows us to be a little more stylized or whimsical and showcase the talents of our Artists to play with trends in fashion and home décor.

What Social options are available to Sims this time out?

There is a wealth of Social options as different Personality Types can affect which Socials options your Sims will have in the game. Good Sims have the option of making someone’s day better, Schmoozer Sims can Flatter while Childish Sims can Goof Around. One of my favorite moments about the open town is that Sims will even gossip with each other about the going ons in town. Getting to know Sims better of course unlocks new Social options and watching the interplay of different Personalities always surprises me.

What are the new features players will see this time out compared to past games in the series?

Your Sims are smarter. The gameplay is no longer about micromanaging their needs, it is about their psychology and of fulfilling their Lifetime Wish. Instead of worrying about feeding your Sims you spend time working on achieving goals. Maybe your Sims Lifetime wish is to be a Rock Star. You make choices on whether to take your Sim to the park to play the guitar for tips or maybe they should spend time chilling with their band members at work so that they advance faster in their career.

The Sims 3 is an open seamless town. You can see what the neighbors are up to from the front porch of your lot. The town has its own story. The residents of Sunset Valley fall in love, get married, have children, go to work and even grow old and die. Your Sim might meet their boss at the beach or run into new Sims at the gym and become their best friends. There is so much to explore in the open town, whether it is getting to know the Sims who live there or finding rare collectibles in the more remote areas of town.

We’ve introduced new goal oriented systems for players. Your Sims’ long term goal is their Lifetime Wish. If you help your Sims satisfy their Wishes, or keep them happy, they’ll earn Lifetime Happiness points. You can use these points to purchase Reward Traits like Steel Bladder (never have to pee again!) or even a Midlife Crisis where you can decide your Sim has had a change of heart and you get to pick a new Personality Trait. Moodlets are fantastic in that they give constant feedback on what is impacting your Sim, whether it is the thrill of a promotion or the heartbreak of getting prized possessions stolen. The game is more about managing Lifetime Wishes and your Sims’ moods and not about peeing.

What are some of the career options players will have?

Players have a choice as to how Sims will work, whether it is to take it easy or chill with coworkers or take on independent cases etc. There are also new Opportunities. Opportunities are challenges that Players can opt into whether it is submitting the best Chili for a cook off or playing the guitar and someone’s birthday party. Careers in The Sims 3 will teach you how to manage your Sims’ moodlets, how to develop skills, what opportunities are, and how to get around town. They also provide your Sims an easy way to socialize with co-workers and their bosses. Some careers will earn your Sims some handsome rewards on top of a hefty salary. There are also perks for reaching the top of different careers. As an Astronaut your Sim can sneak their dates into the Military base and impress them by giving them a tour of the space shuttle. Climb up high enough on the police force and your Sim gets a squad car with sirens.

What are the biggest obstacles you faced in creating the game and the biggest success?

We really wanted to be a cohesive experience that appeals to many different types of players. One of the biggest challenges was creating a new Sims experience that would appeal to both new players as well as Sims fans. Whether it was the open town or the creativity tools like Create a Style we wanted to make sure that it was intuitive and captivating. One of the things that constantly amaze me is how much depth and richness the game has. I’m still finding moments (like when I discovered that flirty Sims are better at writing Romance Novels) where I find myself laughing and wanting to give kudos to everyone who worked on the features. I love how interconnected everything feels.

What engine is the game using and what are some of the new features it will offer gamers?

The Sims 3 uses an internally developed engine. The new engine allows us to have the entire town come to life with each character having their schedules. The new engine also allowed us to give more creative freedom for our Animators. There are more nuanced facial animations for example. And that the objects and the clothing can be customized on the fly by the Player in game is a testament to the hard work of our engineering team.

What can you tell the readers about the movie making tool please?

We love Create a Movie. All the magical moments in the game can be video captured with a click and then shared. Players can use the Create a Move tool on thesims3.com that allows them to edit their clips, add transitions, effects, captions and a soundtrack to make movies. These movies can be shared on social networking sites or emailed to friends. With The Sims 3 and an internet connection everyone can be a movie director.

The series has been a huge success. To what do you attribute this and what do you think the future holds for the series?

The Sims is inspired by real life and is a game about little people so there are so many places for the game to go. Part of the success of the series is that every one has some reference for people. There is no one “right” way to play so the game appeals to gamers, creators, storytellers, and even people who like to push the rules of the game. And ultimately the Sims does have a sense of humor and has moments of surprise. There is so much to discover and even having worked on it I still look forward to playing it.


Skewed and Reviewed the Magazine Press Release.

Guitar Hero: Smash Hits

The hits keep on coming in the highly popular Guitar Hero franchise with the latest release, Guitar Hero: Smash Hits. The 48 song collection contains all the best tracks from the previous Guitar Hero games, and allows gamers to not only play Guitar, but add vocals and drums as well.

The game is not a track pack, but a an enhanced game release that allows players not only to enjoy classic tracks in a full band setting, but adds a new level of challenge such as being able to use to bass pedals for the drums in an expert mode.

This was first introduced in the recently released Guitar Hero: Metallica and has reduced more than one aspiring skins basher to tears as they attempt to master this tricky new feature.

The game also includes a Rock Star Creator and a great music studio feature that allows gamers to create their own songs and share them online with other players.

The game also includes an online mode that allows up to 8 players to compete in a band vs. bands for all the online bragging rights.

Of course the music is the main reason to get new songs, and Smash Hits does not disappoint as remastered classics from the original artists abound on this set, and offer everything from classic to cutting edge rock and includes the following…

Guitar Hero:
Blue Öyster Cult – “Godzilla”
Boston – “More Than A Feeling”
Deep Purple – “Smoke On The Water”
Franz Ferdinand – “Take Me Out”
Helmet – “Unsung (Live)”
Incubus – “Stellar”
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – “I Love Rock N’ Roll”
Ozzy Osbourne – “Bark At The Moon”
Pantera – “Cowboys From Hell (Live)”
Queen – “Killer Queen”
Queens Of The Stone Age – “No One Knows”
The Donnas – “Take It Off”
The Exies – “Hey You”
White Zombie – “Thunder Kiss ’65”
Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock
AFI – “Miss Murder”
DragonForce – “Through The Fire And Flames”
Heart – “Barracuda”
Kiss – “Rock And Roll All Nite”
Living Colour – “Cult Of Personality”
Pat Benatar – “Hit Me With Your Best Shot”
Priestess – “Lay Down”
Slayer – “Raining Blood”
Guitar Hero: Aerosmith
Aerosmith – “Back In The Saddle
Guitar Hero II:
Alice In Chains – “Them Bones”
Avenged Sevenfold – “Beast And The Harlot”
Danzig – “Mother”
Foo Fighters – “Monkey Wrench”
Iron Maiden – “The Trooper”
Jane’s Addiction – “Stop!”
Kansas – “Carry On Wayward Son”
Lamb Of God – “Laid To Rest”
Lynyrd Skynyrd – “Free Bird”
Mötley Crüe- “Shout At The Devil”
Nirvana – “Heart-Shaped Box”
Rage Against The Machine – “Killing In The Name”
Reverend Horton Heat – “Psychobilly Freakout”
Rush – “YYZ”
Stone Temple Pilots – “Trippin’ On A Hole”
The Police – “Message In A Bottle”
The Sword – “Freya”
Warrant – “Cherry Pie”
Wolfmother – “Woman”
Guitar Hero Encore: Rocks the 80s
Anthrax – “Caught In A Mosh”
Extreme – “Play With Me”
Judas Priest – “Electric Eye”
Poison – “Nothin’ But A Good Time”
Ratt – “Round and Round”
Twisted Sister – “I Wanna Rock”

Those who have played Guitar Hero and Guitar Hero 2 may think the game has nothing new for them as they have played the songs before on earlier releases. However, they sure did not look and sound as good as they do here.
I loved this set and had a blast rocking out to the old classics, which thanks to the ability to bring in a full band made this release a nonstop rock fest and my favorite Guitar Hero supplement released to date.
4 stars out of 5

My Sims Racing

Rev up your engines and get ready to race as EA has released My Sims Racing for the Nintendo Wiii.
Gamers get to select from a quick race options as well as multiplay and career modes that allow gamers to customize not only their characters but their cars and tracks as well.

The game allows up to four players to compete against one another and the wide variety of customizations and upgrades ensure hours of replay value.

Like most racing games, the object is simple, win, but how you do it is another matter. Players can opt for speed at the expense of handling, and may have to learn to drift in order to take on the tight curves, or they can elect to have supreme control but have to be crafty on how and when to attempt to pass a faster opponent.

The great thing about the game is that there are plenty of challenges and players can opt for plenty of tutorials in the campaign mode before roaring into action. I loved how easy it was to jump the car as I was able to get great air and hang time from a simple flick of my wheel. Also, the ability to use a well timed boost to get ahead allowed me to make up ground quickly when I found myself off the track or the victim on another racers weapons.

The game allows players to zap other drivers in a variety of ways, none very violent, which adds a new dimension to the game such as a bubble launcher and a heat seeking jack of lantern.

Graphically the game is solid for the Wii but would be lacking on a Playstation 3 or X Box 360 systems. The audio of the game was a bit odd at times as the characters used mumbled worlds, and squeaks. The game also had some quirky moments such as a female character telling me she was a female human. That being said, for family entertainment and a game that is appropriate for all ages, you will want to add this to your Wii collection as it is a must for younger gamers especially those who love to race.

4 stars out of 5

EA Sports Active

Review by Genevieve Mc Bride

EA Sports Active – Your Personal Trainer In a Box

I don’t think I can drive five miles from my house without coming across a fitness center. LA Fitness there, 24 Hr Fitness here, Curves that way. Everywhere I turn, there’s a flyer or coupon touting great deals for new members. Sure, I get tempted. Goodness knows this body needs more exercise. But in my past are countless neglected gym memberships and monthly dues that only lowered the numbers in my checking account balance, not my bathroom scale.

Oh, how did I shirk working out. Let me count the ways. I didn’t know how to use the machines properly. A personal trainer was too expensive. The wait was too long on the machines I knew how to use. I didn’t have the proper workout clothes. Classes didn’t fit my schedule. Too many beautiful people around. Didn’t want to leave the house to make that 5 mile drive. Hey, gas is expensive!

I think Nintendo heard me and created the Wii Fit. Now I had no excuse. There was no else to compare myself to, no traveling required and it was up to me to work it into my schedule. It didn’t care what I wore and it made working out fun. The Wii Fit was a wonderful step in the right direction of getting people moving. However, I honestly did not appreciate it’s brutal honesty or the “Ohh!” sound it made when I stepped on the balance board. Yes, the BMI information and physical age testing was helpful, but also a little more disconcerting than it was motivational.

Enter EA SPORTS and the latest interactive fitness product for the Nintendo Wii: EA SPORTS Active. Where Wii Fit emphasized Eastern health and wellness with balance and yoga, Active emphasizes Western fitness that gets the heart pumping and the body sweating. It is balance board compatible, but it’s not required, and it incorporates use of the nun-chuck, with a specially-designed leg band, as well as a resistance band with hand straps. Like Wii Fit, users can create a Fitness Profile to track their personal fitness progress.

EA SPORTS Active is composed of easy-to-learn exercises that you can do on your own or with family and friends like in-line skating, tennis, and volleyball, along with the standard bicep curls, shoulder presses, squats and lunges. I’m not a big fan of the running but when interspersed with high-stepping and kick-backs, I can deal with it. My favorite exercise so far is the kickboxing.

There are a variety of activities to do and plenty of fun trophies for you to earn along the way. The tracking emphasis is on intensity and calories burned rather than weight and BMI. EA SPORTS Active collaborated with Bob Greene, of Oprah Winfrey fame, and top fitness professionals to give you the experience of having your own personal trainer right in your living room. You can choose between a male or female trainer. Where Wii Fit involved a lot of reading, the trainers talk you through your exercise and provides visual feedback and demonstrations. I went with a female because I thought she’d be nicer. So far she’s been kind and encouraging.

EA SPORTS Active includes many interactive tools to track your progress while you’re working out and having fun. The Journal tracks your workout progress and rewards you with a daily medal for practicing a healthy lifestyle. You also have the opportunity to record how active you’ve been outside of EA SPORTS Active.

For the truly motivated, there is the 30 Day Challenge. The 30 Day Challenge is purposefully designed with 25-30 minute workouts created from a variety of fun exercises. As you get used to the program, the intensity of the workouts gradually increase. The thought of a 30 Day Challenge may sound daunting, but don’t worry. The 30 Day Challenge incorporates specific rest days right to allow you to recover. The 30 Day Challenge has three different levels of intensity, so after you’ve completed your first 30 Day Challenge, you can try it all over again at a harder intensity level.

You can set three different goals, and they all can be tracked as long as your Fitness Profile is active. You can reset or delete your goals at any time, and EA SPORTS Active gives you feedback upon reaching them (or not). You can set your goals for how much calories you want to burn, how many total hours you want to work out, or how many total workouts you want to complete.

EA SPORTS Active doesn’t come with the balance board, but for someone like me who has trouble staying on it when running “in place” anyway, it’s not such a bad thing. Where Wii Fit would cost a person approximately 4-5 months of the introductory price for most fitness centers, you can have EA SPORTS Active for a price equal to 3 months worth of $20 dues. Studies show three months is about the average most people use of their annual gym membership anyway. However, with the EA SPORTS Active, you can still use it even long after your gym membership expires.

Katie Chonacas talks about “Streets of Blood” and Her Career.

Recently I got the chance to speak with actress Katie Chonacas about her career and her new film with Val Kilmer, “Streets of Blood”. I want to thank Katie for taking the time to answer my questions and to Jordyn for arranging the interview.

GVK: How did you become involved with Streets of Blood and what can you tell us about the film?

KATIE: I became involved with Streets of Blood through film producer Randall Emmett. I can tell you a little bit about the plot of the film, a police officer’s partner dies during Hurricane Katrina, but he later discovers that his partner may have been murdered. An investigation follows, taking the officer and his new partner into the depths of the criminal underworld. The film has real life situations that go on in everyday life and everyone should see it!

GVK: What sort of research did you do for the film?

KATIE: This was a dark role so I focused a lot on the acting methods I have studied, and I drew influences from a handful of actors that I really admire.

GVK: What drew you to movies to acting after being established as a model and did you find it hard at first to make the transition?

KATIE: My modeling agent had me start going to auditions for commercials, and all of a sudden I started booking a ton of commercials. Then, I was asked to be in a documentary called “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” I’ll never forget, Marcy from The I Group called me up and told me they wanted me on set. It was freezing and snowing out, but I fell in love with being on set and being a part of a movie. The next year I moved to Los Angeles, and started doing acting full time.

GVK: What was working with Val Kilmer, Sharon Stone, 50 Cent, and Michael Biehn?

KATIE: Working with Val and Curtis “50 CENT” Jackson was incredible. Watching Val was so cool because he did everything like a true professional, with his eyes shut, like acting is effortless. I hope one day I can be like that, a veteran in this business! Also, I have worked with Curtis on numerous projects; working with him on this film was great. He is so sweet, such a smart, nice guy. He is kind and giving, plus a great actor!

GVK: What were some of the more memorable moments from filming “Streets of Blood” and what were some of you fondest memories?

KATIE: Being on set with director Charles Winkler. Being able to shoot a gun for the first time, that was definitely memorable. My fondest memories would have to be just being a part of this great film, and the private lake house we had.

GVK: What future projects do you have coming up that the readers can look forward to?

KATIE: After Streets of Blood, I will be in the film A Perfect Getaway that will be in theatres on August 14. It stars Chris Hemsworth, Timothy Olyphant, Milla Jovich, and Steve Zahn. Then you can see me in the film Bad Liuetenant: Port of Call New Orleans with Nicholas Cage, Val Kilmer, Eva Mendes, and Fairuza Balk (also directed by Werner Herzog). Aside from movies, some of my paintings will be displayed at Groundwork Coffee Shop in Hollywood on Sunset Blvd so if you are in the area, make sure to stop by and check it out!

GVK: Which performers are your favorites and if you could select anyone to be your co-star, whom would it be and why?

KATIE: My favorites are Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, Johnny Depp, Ed Norton, Sean Penn, and co-star would have to be Meryl Streep of course! She is the best, her roles are so rich, they are mind blowing. Plus, I love her charm and grace. I would also love to be in a film with Evan Rachel Wood and Ellen Page they amaze me.

GVK: What can you tell the readers about your music and your charity work as between Modeling and acting you seem to have a very full schedule.

KATIE: I have worked with a charity called Team in Train, and raised money with them by running a marathon. I have also been a part of Children International for 11 years now. I have sponsored 7 kids throughout the program, which has been such a wonderful experience. My music is another one of my passions, my mom was a singer and my little sister is a singer as well Stephanie (my sister) is a classically trained pianist, and she can sing in 5 different languages. She is so good, I definitely look up to her. Once in a while I would pop into my sister’s singing lessons and sometimes take vocal training from her teacher. Then I studied with some vocal coaches in Los Angeles. Finally, I met Doc Holiday who I study with now. Doc is one of the best in the business. He started Britney Spears, The Jonas Brothers, just to name a few. It is a honor to work with him.

GVK: I see that you are moving into producing, what can you tell us about how this came about and what are some of the challenges and rewards it presents?

KATIE: I started producing with Mr. Randall Emmett – Randall has taught me everything I know in regards to making a film happen from beginning to end. There are so many challenges when making a movie, I say bring it on! I love a challenge. The first three films that we tried to produce fell through. Randall taught me so much about how to deal with situations like that, how to deal with people and they way they act and work. There are so many rewards to producing as well… you have the chance to learn, live, and explore a whole new side to the business. I think what I have found rewarding is being a part of something so huge, making something happen – and, my family is so proud of me. That is the best reward of all.

GVK: With working in both film and television, can you talk about the differences between the two and which one you prefer?

KATIE: I love them both, I can’t say I prefer one over the other. It is great to work on a comedy with all the boys from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, then hop right over to a film and be on location somewhere shooting a dramatic scene. Both are totally different vibes. Television you often work with the same people for a lengthy period of time, film you jump from place to place, new actors, new people. Both are amazing experiences.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Following up the success of “Transformers” was not easy task, and thankfully Director Michael Bay and the amazing wizards at Industrial Light and Magic are up to the challenge as “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” is the rare sequel that outdoes the original in almost every way.

The film once again stars Shia LaBeouf as Sam Witwicky who is still dating the lovely Mikaela (Megan Fox), as he prepares to head east for college.

Mikaela is unable to head east with Sam as she must stay behind to help her recently paroled father. Sam and his parents head off to his college campus and leave his transforming Camero Bumblebee at home.

At the same time, Optimus Prime (Peter Cullen), and the rest of the heroic Autobots have joined forces with the government in an effort to locate and remove any remaining Decepticon threat. The special unit has worked well for two years as they have not only managed to contain the threat, but have kept their existence on Earth a secret until a mission in Shanghai escalates and has giant robots racing through the streets creating a path of destruction.

The aftermath of the mission causes some in authority to question the need for the Autobots and despite concerns that a major offensive is in the planning, the movements of the team are curtailed.

Sam and Mikaela are soon reunited when a shard from the All Spark is stolen. Sam also starts to have visions of mysterious alien symbols making him the prime target of the recently resurrected Megatron (Hugo Weaving), and his minions.

It is learned that the life essences of the Autobots and Decepticons may have a supply located on Earth and that Megatron will stop at nothing to locate it even if it means destroying the sun and all life on earth in the process.

What follows is a spectacular and extended series of battles which range from the city, to the countryside and deserts and pyramids of Egypt.

The new film has a surprisingly good amount of humor in it, which is needed as the film has a run time of over 2.5 hours and does take its time getting started in the first 40 minutes.

While the plot may be fairly basic and a bit convoluted, the real stars of the film are the action sequences, and Michael Bay ups the ante on explosions, destruction, and robot mayhem. It is clear that a lot of money was spent on the film and it is all up there on the screen. Lavish battles between the robotic forces and the military unfold often and the finale is an extended battle sequences that is amongst the most ambitious and lavish in action film history.

LaBeouf and Fox do the best with their parts even though they are not given much to do except run, jump, and look attractive when they are not interacting with their CGI Co stars.

That being said, the film knows what its audience is as does not try to reinvent what worked so well in the previous film. Instead its focus is on giving you more of what the audience loved and in that we get much more of the robots in combat and more of Megan Fox is skimpy tops and shorts.

The lavish and amazing visuals and action carry the film and establish Transformers as a heavyweight franchise for summers to come.

3.5 stars out of 5

Indiana Jones and the Staff of Kings

The man with the Fedora hat and bullwhip is back as Dr. Indiana Jones returns in an all new adventure. In Indiana Jones and The Staff of Kings, Jones is tasked with locating the Staff of Moses and as usual the Nazis and all manner of enemies are hot on his heels and dangers abound.

The opening segments of the game on the Playstation 2 version I played deftly combined a gameplay tutorial with an exploration of a dark and foreboding underground chamber that was complete with traps, puzzles, and a valuable artifact.

Just when I thought I had matters in hand, the Nazis and a sinister rival arrive and force Indy to flee. Surrounded by a Nazi Camp, Indy is forced to battle his way to safety. It is during this segment that the game shows the myriad of combat options at your disposal which range from combo moves, using objects to hit or throw at an enemy, or the trusty whip.

I love using the whip as you can disarm your opponent, and then draw them to you to finish off with a well placed blow. You can also use the whip to topple objects down on an enemy such as a case.

The game also is not afraid to mix things up, as just when I thought it would play as a traditional adventure, game, I had to take the controls of a plane and weave my way through a canyon maze as I attempted to avoid fighter planes.

As the game unfolds, locales such as Chinatown in San Francisco, Sudan, Istanbul provide a setting for the game, which offered a fun mix of story, action and adventure.

The game is set roughly a year after the events of “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” and the Wii version of the game allows players to play a co-op version with Indiana and his father Henry.

Graphically the game is a bit dated by the standards set by the X-Box 360 and Playstation 3, but squeezes everything it can out of the Playstation 2 system and provides plenty of enjoyment and challenge.
The voice acting of the game is solid and while it will not make you forget Harrison Ford anytime soon, it does provide a passable facsimile.

The only real issues I had with the game were that at times the controls became a bit tricky due to camera angles and some clipping issues that arose, and that use of the revolver was mostly limited to a mini game style of use.

There was also the checkpoint style save system that I despise as I do not like having to play segments over in their entirety should my character succumb.

That being said, I found the game to be a pleasant surprise and despite the issues, found this to be the most fun I have had with any Indiana Jones game.

3.5 stars out of 5.

Skewed and Reviewed Podcast 1

As we get the servers set for direct casting, I took a few moments this morning to test out some software we may be using for our Podcasts. I will of course be adding music and video down the line, but we wanted to do the first one as a basic cast and add the features as we go simply to test the load and recording abilities.

For our first podcast, I cover …
Indiana Jones and the Spear of Kings from Lucasarts
Guitar Hero On Tour: Modern Hits by Activision
Prototype by Activision
Grand Slam Tennis and EA Active by EA Sports
Flower, Sun, and Rain by Marvelous Entertainment,

Morning Light By Disney Home entertainment
The Secret Life of the American Teenager Disney Home Entertainment

Movie News, Upcoming Conventions, and much, more. Just Click the link below and enjoy.

Free file hosting from File Den