Blog Hiatus

Hey guys!

Just a quick update, I’ll be on hiatus for about 2 weeks so that I can cram as much as possible for the Half Yearlies. It seems that we covered a lot more content then what I originally calculated so… I’ll be quite busy.

On the bright side, I’ve already planned and decided on things to review, so those will come out as planned as soon as the tests finish. Be sure to check that out, alright?

Wish me luck & Stay Tuned!

Watching: Sharknado (2013)

Sharknado_Cover

Living in Australia, the hype and controversies of American pop culture frequently falls on deaf ears. That being said, the so-bad-it’s-good film Sharknado is one of the few things to hit our shores that had a relatively big impact. Mostly everything about it is bad – from the acting, to the plot, from the effects to the humour. Oh god, the humour.

Everyone knew it was going to be bad, but that didn’t stop the unique “attention” that people gave to it. It’s an know fact that movies aired on SyFy are generally bad, but why do they gain an overwhelming following? By all logic, films like these should have been rejected and hated by any self-identified film lover. But we don’t.

As the title would suggest, the film is about a tornado. With sharks. After this sharknado starts developing on the coast of L.A (and moves gradually inland), Fin, the lead and ‘hero’ of the group, must lead a group of friends from his pub to higher ground while finding and dealing with his estranged ex-wife and daughter. To make matters worse, the deluge from the storm and the traffic of the city make it almost impossible for the group to reach safety.

To put it bluntly, everything is cringe worthy. The sharks are all computer generated and to be frank, I’ve seen better CGI in films pre 2000. This film is total rubbish, pointless and a waste of my time… but It’s just so charming. On one hand, I sincerely hope  director Anthony C. Ferrante was completely aware the it was unbelievably stupid and an atrocity to film history. But on the other, I really hope he didn’t – it would make it just that little bit better. In the wake of terrible, scripted lines and mundane graphics and visuals, everyone eventually comes around and enjoys the film.

To be fair, the whole point of the film is to simulate the loveable feel of old B rated movies. If it was directed in any other way, I’d probably hate – but it’s that humorous mix of satire and (for lack of better word) ‘terrible-ness’ that makes it so good. Anyone would be happy watching it – but just remember, it’s meant to be laughed at. It’s begging for it.

Bry Rating: 3/5
Recommended? Yes… But don’t take it too seriously.
Country of Origin: America
Language: English

Listening To: Pitch Perfect Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Pitch_Perfect_OST_Cover

Lately I’ve been moving away from video game soundtracks and a lot more into film territory. The latest soundtrack that’s been on repeat at my household is the Pitch Perfect Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Now although all the hype over the movie has subsided, I’m still in love over the remixes of great songs. The fact that I also like the a cappella style of music helps.

It’s simply great that both the past and present in music are, well, remixed together. It’s new and exciting, seeing old hits given a complete and (Pitch) perfect make over. Songs that I haven’t heard in many years, and some I’d never think I’d hear again, were pleasantly accepted and enjoyed.

It’s no secret that the musical comedy took the world by storm. Starting in the West and gradually overcoming the worldwide music charts, many of the hits of the song just… connect. Even if you can’t understand English or don’t follow Western music, sounds and beats evoke certain emotions that are moving. And no, not in an emotional sense, but in a “move your body” sense.

I think the distinct voices of the singers make the album what it is. Obviously voices in a cappella songs are extremely important, but they are surprisingly unique, in turn creating unique renditions of classic hits. The ladies’ voices have a sense of power and strength that adds a torrent of emotion and feeling – something that audiences worldwide can appreciate. And the guys aren’t too bad either.

I have had this soundtrack saved, stored and replayed on my computer for the past month. It’s not just good – but great. The movie by itself was unforgettable and, like many others, I am looking forward to the sequel and what songs they’ll be introducing. To say the album is anything less than extraordinary is a mistake, and I’m sure that after hearing it – actually hearing it – you’ll understand what I mean. If you’re going to take the chance, be absolutely ready though – because you’re about to get pitch-slapped.

Songs to look out for:

  • Since U Been Gone
  • Cups
  • Riff-Off: Ladies of the 80’s & Songs about Sex
  • Bellas Regionals
  • Trebles Finals
  • Bellas Finals

Half Way There

Hi all!

So as I’m writing this blog post, I’m attempting to deal with the fact that the Half Yearly Exams for my last year in high school are coming up soon. And like many other thousand students in the state of NSW, I feel completely unprepared.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a bad student. I’m just nervous. I’m currently completing five subjects:

  • Standard English
  • Physics
  • Legal Studies
  • Ancient History
  • Mathematics Extension 2

And like any other person who manages their time unbelievably bad, I’m just as equally fearful of the exams. Last year, I completed Chemistry and Mathematics Extension 1 and regrettably, I slacked off throughout the year. Fortunately though, it had no lasting impacts and ended up doing generally well in the accelerated subjects. But that isn’t quite the point – the point I’m making is, if you’re going to have an exam soon, study for it.

It’s like a race – you can’t expect to succeed in something you have very little practise in. Running occasionally for the train isn’t exactly training, is it? With that somewhat lame analogy aside, today I aim to start studying 4 at the very least 4 weeks in advance. And if you’re studying in Australia, you definitely have been informed of what’s going down for the English exam.

English for me is an ‘okay’ subject, but quite upsetting. To be honest, I don’t quite understand the point of getting students to memorise multiple essays and test them on it. What are they comparing exactly? The memory of students? I just don’t get it (It would be greatly appreciated if someone did explain it to me) and frankly, until I do, I’ll participate in collective hate for the subject with the rest of my peers.

I know that the fear of the half yearly exams will eventually fade, and so will the importance of whatever mark I may get. But after that…
There’s the actual HSC.

Playing: Earthbound (SNES) (GBA) (WII U)

Earthbound_Cover

There’s no doubt in my mind that I simply love retro gaming. I do have a long list of all the best games that you all should totally play, but for today, I’d like to let you all know of the priceless antique known as Earthbound (Also known as Mother 2). I remember playing this on an emulator at a very young age and I’ve probably replayed it more than 10 times throughout my years. And I must say, this oldie never truly gets old.

The story opens with our silent protagonist, Ness (Fun Fact: Ness is an anagram of SNES), waking up after a meteorite hits a nearby hill on Onett. When the annoying kid next door urges you to follow him, he meets an alien known as Buzz Buzz who tells him he will embark on an epic quest to rid the world of evil. With the story taking place in, well, practically all four corners of the world, Ness and 3 other chosen heroes set out to defeat the evil entity known as Giygas.

Now for a game that was made in Japan, it certainly feels like a JRPG… but also doesn’t. Whilst traditional games during that era were predominantly set in the middle ages and featured wizards and swordsmen, Earthbound had kids armed with baseball bats and frying pans. It’s chock-full of references to pop culture (Like an interesting Yellow Submarine) and is, as a whole, a bright and colourful take on epic quests.

The story is certainly out there – 4 Kids against the world. Literally. The alien entity known as Giygas basically exerts his evil influence on everyday people, animals, machines, zombies, coffee cups and records to name a few. The world of the game, Eagleland, is based on the United States (With a name like that, who knew?) and gives rise to myriad of quirky comments and interesting remarks about Western and Eastern cultures. The game itself is pretty simple to play though: it has an ordinary levelling up system, a turn based battle system, status effects that affect the party in and out of battle, an ATM to store the money your dad gives you… Wait, hold on a minute.

Music is definitely an integral part of the game, and many of the 8-Bit tracks are unique in their own way. It’s definitely an engaging part and it just works so well with the visuals. The graphics evoke distinct moods in the player, evident in the happiness felt as you travel along the streets of your home town, the melancholy in leaving it, the excitement of the big city and the fear in traversing through dark dungeons. The countless sprites and objects that lay throughout the world of Earthbound are without a doubt interesting to look at and provide an interesting sense of humour. Especially when you decide to talk to it (like a black sesame seed in the middle of the desert).

Honestly, it’s hard for me to choose my all-time favourite retro game – it’s always a tie between Final Fantasy V and Earthbound. But despite that little toss-up, this game will forever be a timeless classic in my heart. It really does have it all for me –  JRPG elements, an interesting plot, humour and art all in an excellent blend of retro goodness. It’s disheartening knowing that it may never get the glory it truly deserves, although the recent port into the Wii U warms me up just a little. If you’re a fan of good old games or just want to experience something hilarious and different, please give Earthbound a go. You’ll feel better than a bunch of “Fuzzy Pickles“.

Bry Rating: 5/5
Recommended? Avenge Buzz-Buzz! Play this now!
Country of Origin: Japan
Developer: Ape ; Hal Laboratory

Visual Revamp: Changing Themes

Hey guys!

I’ve recently changed my theme from the “Writr” theme to the “Superhero” theme – and sweet mackerel does it feel different. I’m more happy with this theme considering it feels more spacious and clear, where as I felt with the old one it was too enclosed. I’ve also updated past review posts with featured images (which I think work really well with this theme) and I will continue to do so.

I’m sure its bound to happen every once in a while, but I’m really digging this new look right now. It would probably take a lot to get me to change it as of right now, so I hope you all agree with it.

Or don’t, you aren’t the (Blog) fashion police.

…And with that said, that’s all I have in terms of news right now, so be sure to check the blog daily for updates. Stay Tuned!

Watching: Anastasia (1997)

Anastasia_Cover

Taking the spot as my favourite animated film of all time, Fox’s Anastasia gives the audience a unique take on the urban legend of the Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia’s survival of the execution of her family. It draws on the mystique of the infamous Rasputin and has a loveable cast, excellent musical score and an intriguing plot.

I remember when I first watched it, it didn’t really stick in the mind of my 9 year old self. The only thing that did seem to stick was the song titled “Once Upon a December” (Do yourself a favour, check it out). It was so unbelievably catchy that 5 years later, it forced me watch the movie yet again – only this time, I actually understood what I was watching and I fell in love.

Anya, an orphaned girl with no memory of her past leaves her orphanage and heads to St Petersburg to find out about her family. When she arrives, two con men, seeing her likeness to the long lost Princess Anastasia, decide to take advantage of her likeness to the long lost Princess Anastasia to receive a reward for her return. Unsure of whether or not she really is the lost Duchess, Anya and the two men, Dmitri and Vladimir, make their way to collect the reward whilst the evil Rasputin attempts to kill the girl once and for all.

Anastasia is an incredibly charming story that combines both drama, suspense, humour and innocence in a superbly balanced form. The film, which sustains an engaging plot, receives most of its praise from its animation, visual style, voice acting and (My favourite) the song sequences. Although some may see similarities between the film’s art style and that of Disney’s past movies, the film is authentic in its own right, providing viewers with an original and intriguing tale. It did, unfortunately, receive some criticism for its fairy-tale like depiction of a historical figure, but inaccuracies aside, this retelling of one of Russia’s most known figures is undeniably entertaining for kids, adults, and all those in between.

Whenever I’m asked what my favourite movie is, I can’t give a straight answer. I’ve got one for each genre, and so to narrow it down to a single film is impossible. In saying that, I immediately mention this film when asked what my favourite animated film is – every time. The plot, the visuals, the music – Oh, the music – simply make this movie an absolute delight to watch. If you are ever in need of a good movie on a rainy day or it’s one of those days you just crave for an animated children’s movie, be sure to consider Anastasia. It will, without a doubt, be worth your while.

Bry Rating: 4/5
Recommended? Yes – and you won’t regret a thing
Country of Origin: America
Language: English