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Monthly Archives: August 2011

 

What’s the Story?

Hal Jordan is a fighter pilot. Wait, no, he’s like a test pilot working for the company that is going to make piloted fighters obsolete. Anyway, he’s apparently never completed anything in his life or is a loser or something.

Anyway, a purple alien lands on earth to hand over a green ring that grants its wearer the power to make whatever he imagines come real by the power of will. He is to use this power to protect earth from a planet-sized yellow creature who is powered by fear.

 

What’s the Problem?

Did you not read that plot description? That’s the least-ridiculous I can make it sound. It gets far sillier when you actually see the film.

Let’s also take as read that the script is a pile of shite.

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What’s the Story?

What, are you kidding me? It’s a Duke Nukem game! Duke is awesome, aliens invade, Duke kills them all. Because he’s awesome. I feel like I’m repeating myself.

Less facetiously, this is a direct sequel to Duke Nukem 3D, which came out… 12 years ago? So long ago that they put 3D on the box because not many games were in 3D. Specifically, you play ultra-macho Duke Nukem, who shoots his way through the alien horde until they all run back to where they came from.

At the start of this game, it’s 12 years later and the aliens have come back. They promptly blow stuff up. You (Duke) promptly kick their asses. Because you’re Duke Nukem.

Yep. This guy right here.

 

What’s the Problem?

Actually, there’s way less wrong with this game than I thought there would be (especially given some of the reviews), so long as you approach Duke Nukem with the right attitude. That attitude being, this is a game designed to poke fun at every stereotype and reference every pop culture (did I do that right?). It’s not supposed to be brilliant, multi-layered social satire, it’s supposed to be dumb fun. And it is.

Really, the main annoyances I had with it was that some sections went on a bit long and there was no sticky reticle – your gun sight didn’t stick to the baddies. On a PC, that’s fine because a mouse has much greater control than a joystick; on an Xbox, it means that the aliens are far slipprier buggers than they ought be.

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What’s the Story?

Well, you’ve seen the Princess Bride film, yeah? It’s like that, but a book.

 

What’s the Problem?

The main problem is that this book doesn’t add hugely much. If you’ve seen the film, you’ve pretty much read the book except for one thing…

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What’s the Story?

Will Rodman (James Franco) wants to cure Alzheimer’s. To help him, he’s a genetic scientist or a doctor or something; he wears a white lab coat. Anyway, they’re at the “experiment on apes” stage of testing when the ape in question goes berserk (you can see where this is going, can’t you?), smashes her way out of the cages and into the boardroom full of exectutives (here it comes…) and gets shot to death.

Yeah. Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Turns out that she had a baby, and she was getting all angry and territorial. She wasn’t power-mad or bent on enslaving humans.

Baby monkey! Baby monkey! Sleeping in a box, baby monkey!

Unable to kill the baby monkey, Will takes it home and is immediately impressed by how wicked smart it is. He realises that his gene therapy has been transferred mother-to-son, so begins some sneaky behind-the-corporation’s-back detailing of what the drug does.

In time, Ceasar (the monkey) beat’s Will’s neighbour half to death to save Will’s father and is therefore locked up by the city in the ape quarantine place. Which is run by a bunch of oppressive, cruel dickheads.

So Ceasar starts a revolution, smartifies all the other monkeys, and breaks the hell loose.

Oh, also the virus accidentally spreads to humans and starts killing them. Oops.

He grabbed my arm! I guess I shouldn't have been swinging an electric prod as a baton, huh?

 

What’s the Problem?

It takes too long to get to the monkeys-destroy-helicopters part of the movie. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, if they’d billed this as a serious film that just happens to star a CGI monkey, but the trailers make it out to be all-smashy all the time, and it ain’t.

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What’s the Story?

Steve Rogers is a short skinny wimp, but a brave short skinny wimp. He’d like to go fight Hitler, but he’s too short and skinny for that. Nonetheless, he’s selected for a secret government project to turn him into a supersoldier. It works. He then becomes the poster boy for Army recruiting (in dodgy tights and all) and, later, wears the same uniform to lead a crack squad to destroy Hydra – the Nazi’s out-of-control evil superweapons division.

 

What’s the Problem?

Actually, it’s pretty good.

The costume is pretty silly, but they acknowledge that by having its origin as part of a song-and-dance show to encourage people to buy war bonds and by the end they’ve made it look half decent (it goes through three iterations: the very crap one at the start, the better one after he’s been poster-boy a while, and the battle armour which actually looks like it might offer a smidgeon of protection).

 

Captain Dork reporting for duty.

 

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