Friday, July 3, 2015

Video Game Review: Silent Hill (PS1)

Silent Hill (PS1/PSP)
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Konami
Genre: Psychological Horror
Platform Played For Review: PSP

"If you love horror games, this is a must-play."

The plot begins with Harry driving his daughter Cheryl to Silent Hill for a vacation. Before arriving, Harry is forced to swerve and dodge a young girl on the road. Consequently, the car crashes. Harry awakens in a diner without his daughter...

Silent Hill is a psychological survival-horror video game. The plot follows Harry in Silent Hill as he attempts to find his daughter. Harry immediately finds Silent Hill is a small, fog-covered town filled with malicious, nightmarish creatures. Along the way, he'll also meet a set of peculiar characters across the town. Off the bat, he'll met police officer Cybil Bennett in the diner, nurse Lisa Garland at the hospital, and Dahlia Gillespie at a church. The farther Harry delves into Silent Hill, the closer he gets to finding Cheryl – the more creatures and horrendous events he uncovers. Silent Hill is a game with multiple endings. I won't beat around the bush, I got the bad ending during my recent play-through – I actually liked it quite a bit, too. The story can be a little confusing and convoluted, but the sense of mystery is wonderful.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Film Review: Death Warrant (1990)

Death Warrant (Review)
United States/1990
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...one of Van Damme's better films."

After gunning down a notorious killer, Detective Louis Burke (Jean-Claude Van Damme) is sent undercover into a prison to solve a string of murders...

Death Warrant follows Burke as he infiltrates this prison. The prison, of course, is filled with violent criminals, which makes Burke's job that much more difficult. Regardless, Burke finds himself with some helpful allies after pummeling some petty thugs and exchanging some cash; he also finds some help in Amanda Beckett (Cynthia Gibb), a lawyer playing Burke's wife during the operation. The further the pair delve into the mystery, the deeper they get into a system-wide conspiracy — the more Burke has to fight, too. Without spoiling much, the film leads to an epic climax; sure, it's farfetched, but it's also pretty bad ass. The ending was cheesy, but that was to be expected.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Film Review: Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (1988)

Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers (Review)
United States/1988
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"If you like entertaining b-movies and need to kill 80 minutes, this is worth a rental or stream."

At Camp Rolling Hills, counselor Angela Baker (Pamela Springsteen) kills the bad kids...

Sleepaway Camp II: Unhappy Campers is a very basic slasher. So, there's a camp — Camp Rolling Hills. There are a bunch of counselors and campers — many which we never actually meet. Then, there's Angela Baker, who, from the very beginning, kills campers and counselors she deems bad. That's everything in this plot. A camper/counselor does something rotten, Angela kills them, then subtlety jokes about the death — rinse and repeat. Fortunately, it's less than 80 minutes long, so it never feels too dull or repetitive. The ending was also decent.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Film Review: Patriot Games (1992)

Patriot Games (Review)
United States/1992
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...engaging, suspenseful, thrilling, well-balanced, and well-paced."

Retired CIA agent Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) is thrust back into action when he stops an assassination attempt on Lord Holmes of Britain.

Patriot Games follows Jack Ryan after he suddenly bolts into action and stops the assassination attempt. Of those responsible, Sean Miller (Sean Bean) is captured and Sean's brother is killed by Ryan — the others escape. So, Ryan testifies against Miller and believes it's over. However, Ryan has angered Sean, and Sean's out for blood. Concurrently, Sean's cell, which has splintered from the Irish Republican Army, set out with their goals of capturing Holmes for ransom. In order to protect his family and thwart their plans, Ryan returns to the CIA and leads a suspenseful investigation. It all leads to a very memorable and thrilling climax. The ending was also charming.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Film Review: The Fly (1958)

The Fly (Review)
United States/1958
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: Yes

"...a very effective and even disturbing science-fiction horror film."

Upon learning of his brother's death at the hands of his sister-in-law, Francois Delambre (Vincent Price) delves into the events leading to the murder...

The Fly begins with Helene Delambre (Patricia Owens) murdering Andre Delambre (Al Hedison) with a hydraulic press, which she used to crush Andre's head and arm — twice. Initially thought to be insane, Francois believes something is amiss. When he learns of Helene's search for a fly with a white head prior to Andre's death, Francois convinces Helene to tell the truth. The truth being: Andre was working on a teleportation device. Unfortunately, while testing the device, a fly got caught in the experiment, leading to a horrible mutation. The film leads to an unforgettable ending. However, there are several moments where I felt the film could've ended with perfection; instead, the potential strength of the ending dwindles as it continues with needless explanations and such.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Film Review: Vengeance of an Assassin (2014)

Vengeance of an Assassin (Review)
Thailand/2014
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...this is a film you watch solely for the action."

Aching from the death of his parents, Thee (Dan Chupong) leaves home to become an assassin while his brother, Than (Nathawut Boonrubsub), stays with their drunk uncle...

Vengeance of an Assassin follows Thee and Than. After leaving his uncle, Thee conveniently runs into another uncle who allows Thee to stay with him and teaches him how to become an assassin —  presumably. So, after a minute exercise montage, Thee becomes a professional assassin. He's soon hired to protect a princess, but finds he's been setup. From there, he agrees to protect her and eventually finds himself back with his uncle and brother. Fortunately, while Thee was away, Than mastered his combat skills by watching some home videos. So, Thee and Than defend the princess from her relentless pursuer. The film leads to an epic climax and a confusing ending.