Gears of War

Just finished Gears of War, and I can understand all the fuss. Beautiful graphics, fast, frenetic and fun gameplay –  what other game offers a machine gun with a chain saw bayonet?? Addicitive from start to finish. No wonder so many games are copying the “duck and cover” mechanics. This game rocks. The final boss battle was surprisinglyeasy, but that may have also been because I had a bit of help playing online co-op with my mate Jeff.

Four stars.

High Hopes for X-Men Origins: Wolverine

On one hand, I see this as an unnecesarily long name for a movie, but at the same time I can see that they’re very clearly trying to establish a brand that they can use to push lesser known X-Men characters into full fledged movies. There’s no better place to start than with Wolverine, and this trailer looks like it has sock rocking potential. I am curious to see how the involvement of Gambit works out. My skepticism for this movie has been slightly reduced courtesy of this trailer, but time will time.

Mirrors

 
A remake of a Korean horror film, Mirrors is an honest B grade horror movie that does not aspire to be anything more than what it is. It continues this trend of remaking Asian horror films, and for good reason – there is a distinct style that the Asian horrors have that is unique in Hollywood – though with the glut that have come out lately, you probably can’t really say that any more. The ending kind of resorts to typical American sledge hammer subtley, but for the most part it is a decent film. Probably more a DVD hire, though seeing it in the cinemas does help generate the immersive atmosphere that can’t be replicated at home without a very nice home cinema setup. Three stars.

Quantum of Solace

I’ve never been a James Bond fan, but there is something about the Daniel Craig Bond, probably the fact it is so “un-Bond” that I like. I always found the uber-suave, never seem to truly get into any “real” danger made him inaccessible for me to really root for 007, but with the more raw kind of coldness to Bond that Daniel Craig gives, it somehow makes for a more interesting character.

“Quantum of Solace” kind of seems a bit by the book. Set-piece action sequences are interconnected via short snappy expositions culminating in a big conclusion, victory for Bond and death to the villain. I wouldn’t expect anything less, and I’d never really expect much more. For what is was, I liked it a lot. Four stars.

Halo 3

After an insanely long delay, due to my changing life circumstances, I finally got my gaming setup just how I wanted it, with a nice hi-def 40 inch LCD and an Xbox 360 Elite and quickly got stuck in Halo 3.
After the disappointingly underwhelming “cliff-hanger” end to Halo 2, I was keen to pick things up where I’d left off and see how it all concludes.

Halo 3 is pretty much Halo in high-def. It has the usual addition of weapons and vehicles you would expect from a sequel, and being on the 360 it has the prerequisite upgrade of visuals as well, which look beautiful. It may sound underwhelming to describe Halo 3 as pretty much Halo in high-def but given the pedigree of Halo, it’s high praise indeed.

Nothing ground breaking, but everything good about it is just that much better – and I haven’t even gotten into multi-player yet. Four stars.