The Empire Strikes Back

empire strikes back

Hands down in my opinion Empire is my favorite sequel of all time, and thankfully the damn remaster didn’t really touch it. So after the awesome first entry, how can you really top it?

Picking up after not long after Star Wars ended, the rebels are getting there asses kicked by the Empire, bad and are laying low on the ice planet Hoth. Leia is trying to run too much by herself, Han broke her heart because shit’s getting too real for him and he wants to bail- again- and Luke is about to freeze to death or get eaten alive by a space yeti while getting cryptic messages from the ghost of Obi wan to find something on Dagobah called Yoda. Also, Vader is pissed and comes back with a vengeance. After a really epic battle on Hoth, the rebels flee and our heroes split. Han, Leia, Chewbacca, and C3PO have the Empire on there ass as they flee to Han’s friend Lando who runs Cloud City while Luke searches out Yoda, a Jedi master who once trained Obi wan to finish his training. Vader commissions a group of bounty hunters to track down Solo, but Solo isn’t his true target. He plans to try and bring Luke to the dark side with him. Luke has visions of his friends and while his training is far from complete he rushes to go save them, falling into a trap set by Vader, luring Luke into a fight and the truth of what really happened to his father…

Wow, everything pretty much improved in this. The characters not only progressed since the first, but also we learned more about them. The dialogue is great, combined with great music, great effects, and a amazing sense of tense, eerie, nuance at the very end with the Luke and Vader fight. I’m glad to say there isn’t major changes, the effects they used blend right in. Either way I give this movie a A+ easy and absolutely check it out. May the force be with you, always.

 

 

 

Star Wars

star wars

Let’s talk about a film trilogy that shaped 9 out of 10 childhoods, changed the way people look at fantasy and sci fi forever, and that came from left field and kicked major ass. It will always be Star Wars to me, such as the sequels will always be Empire, Jedi, and Awakens to me because Star Wars meant a grand epic story full of intrigue, great characters, cool settings and hope for punk ass nobodies like myself that maybe we aren’t nothing in the grand scheme of things, that everybody, no matter how small can make a difference.

I’m sure most of us know the story but for those who don’t, I’m truly sorry because I’ll get to that at the end but I’m going to rectify that a bit. Luke Skywalker is a bored teen living on the desert planet of Tatooine, farming moisture with his aunt and uncle, wishing he was off fighting the far off rebellion against the Galactic Empire. One day he finds two droids, C3PO and R2D2, who are secretly carrying a message from Princess Leia for a old Jedi master named Obi wan Kenobi to help her. Luke knows a mysterious old hermit named Ben Kenobi that is indeed Obi Wan, and tells Luke about the Jedi Knights of old days and hands Luke his father’s old lightsaber. Obi wan offers to train Luke in the ways of the force, to become a Jedi like his father, but Luke is bound to his aunt and uncle- until the Empire came looking for the droids and murdered his family. Alone with old Obi wan, it’s up to Lukeand two scoundrels, Han Solo and Chewbacca, to save Leia from the clutches of the Empire and their dark, menacing enforcer Darth Vader and destroy there humongous moon sized super weapon called the Death Star that blows up planets…

So, obviously I love the shit out of this movie but now for the original trilogy I have to do things a little differently. I’m going to give the original and “remasters” a rating from A to F to show you an idea how much it kills the experience and tarnishes these masterpieces.

Pre 97: A

Post 97: B+

So why did I drop it a grade between versions? True some of the effects are touched up, the lightsabers look better and the Death Star run at the end looks better BUT other things they added were invasive as hell to say the least. Like they add a scene wwith Jabba the Hut that adds nothing but fluff and looks off with the CGI. You can tell it was added way later. And speaking of Solo, his encounter with bounty hunter Greedo in the Cantina was altered so Greedo shot first instead of Han. This is stupid for two reasons. First, it looks half assed how they added Greedo’s first shot. And more importantly,  originally it shows Han to be more of a cool lonely badass who finds a heart through the trilogy and a cause to fight for than a already good guy that want him to be. Honestly, you can easily fast forward the Jabba scene with a click but the stuff makes you groan a little bit but doesn’t destroy the movie’s immersion. In the end, I highly recommend Star Wars if you never saw or did, it’s a great time. May the force be with you, always, my friends.

South Park Xmas specials

mr hankey

Do I enjoy Christmas- No. If you saw how Torsten makes a living, you’d understand why I hate holidays of pretty much any kind but me and the legendary Duke would get warm and snug and watch some true family friendly Xmas programming: South Park. I shit you not, pun intended, we did eat a assload of fiber one Xmas eve so we’d get visited by Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo. So I’d like to recommend a few episodes for you and you’re loved ones this holiday season, in no particular order, here we go…

5. Red Sleigh Down (s6, ep17)- Santa gets kidnapped by terrorists in the middle east and it’s Cartman’s bright idea to save him so he can win a spot on the nice list. So wrong, but so damn funny.

4. Merry Christmas Charlie Manson (s2, ep16)-  The gang travels to Nebraska to visit Cartman’s family and while there his uncle busts out of jail with none other than Charles Manson, who slowly learns the value of Christmas.

3. Mr Hankey’s Christmas Classics (s3, ep 15)- a various collection of of our favorite characters singing songs for the holiday. May I recommend “Christmas time in hell” by Satan and Hitler?

2. Woodland Critter Christmas (s8, ep14)- ok, in high school this episode scared the shit out of me. Stan finds a lovable group of talking critters that are friggin Devil worshippers and want to birth the Antichrist. I recommend for the dark humored at heart like myself or Savior.

1. Mr Hankey the Christmas Poo (s1, ep9)- the one and only talking piece of poop that brings you presents if you’re good and have a lot of fiber in your diet. There is a lot of heart as the center of it revolves around Kyle feeling isolated because he’s Jewish on Xmas and relevance on the political correct war on Xmas. Definately my top pick of the group and a must see this holiday. Best wishes and may you all get a visit from Mr. Hankey this holiday season.

Star wars: The Clone Wars (game)

clone war game

Too many things named after Clone Wars. Not saying it was a bad game, not at all, but damn so many damn Clone Wars.

Clone wars, in this instance, is a follow up game to Attack of the Clones. It primarily focuses on Obi-wan, Anakin, and Mace Windu as they try taking down a doomsday weapon. Besides a couple of instances, the game deals around vehicular combat, being able to command tanks, gunships, and speeder bikes and wreck some droids.

This is a really underappreciated Star Wars game I wish got more credit than it did. The vehicles handled solid and never really felt cumbersome except for the droid skiff at times. My favorite was the clone gunships, those things were death machines that were fun as hell to fly. The jedi parts weren’t anything special  but were just fun little bits added in for flavor. I can’t say the game brought a really memorable story, especially given the advantage of the time span to work with. In the end, this Clone Wars experience is a real fun time if you enjoy vehicle combat and blowing stuff up. Best wishes and may the force be with you.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter

bounty hunter

So let’s pretend we cared half as much about Boba Fett’s dad as we did him and gave him a game all his own.

Star Wars: Bounty Hunter is a prequel to Attack of the Clones about Jango Fett and how he got recruited by Dooku. It’s up to us to traverse huge and many times epic landscapes, collect bounties by either taking scum alive or killing them with your famous dual pistols, wrist mounted flamethrower, snare cord, poison darts, missile equipped jetpack, and a bunch of other sweet shit.

This game is a mixed bag. For the time the environment is huge and breathtaking, especially Cloud City and Coruscant. Essentially the game boils down to platforming and run and gunning. At first, you feel pretty legit in your badassery. Around chapter 7 this game unloads a can of Grandma’s cream of whoop ass on you. You’re agility equals old school Tomb Raider, which get used to barrel rolling and flipping like a mad man. Flying is cool but the damn thing burns out quick, and it is really weird that your flamethrower runs on the same power as your jetpack. By the way, that flamethrower is freaking awesome sauce!Shooting feels kinda automated, just hold down square and let Jango do the work. You can manually aim but that requires you to stop and that usually means you’re dead meat if you do. In the end, it ain’t great but worth checking out on sale. May the force be with you and may the gaming gods bring you epic loot and glory.

Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter

jedi starfighter

So leading into the premier of Last Jedi, I’m going to cover some Star Wars, including the 7 movies leading into it, I previously covered Rogue One and here’s a link down below to check that out.

Star wars: Rogue One

So Jedi Starfighter takes place after Attack of the Clones and as the title suggests you command one of two ships, one of which is a Jedi pilot as you fight the Trade Federation forces. Adi is a jedi master in a experimental craft that allows her to use the force to augment her ship’s capabilities like slowing time, causing concentrated force lightning, creating a force shield around your ship and a shockwave attack. We also pay as Nym, a freedom fighter who’s ship does heavy damage with an array of heavy artillery.

This game is flawed but fun. You don’t get to choose which character you play as on each level and sometimes its a challenge, sometimes it’s a royal pain in the ass especially if you crank the difficulty. There isn’t much variety but it’s fun to fly around and blow shit up. I like playing Jedi because her ship is more agile and the force powers really come in handy- lightning is badass. I have to say the A.I companion commands actually work surprisingly well, set a command and they get carried out pretty well.  The graphics are great for the time and turn out pretty nice on PS4. If you want a quick retro Star Wars buzz, I recommend picking this up on a PSN sale. May the force be with you and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

san andreas

There hasn’t been a game that made my jaw drop or make me laugh like GTA: San Andreas until I played Borderlands 2.

San Andreas is the story of Carl, a young man returning to the old neighborhood after his mom dies and discovers his old crew is being wiped out by the cops and rival gangs so it’s up to Carl to get the Grove Street Gang back together and retake there hood from shit going down, but in true GTA fashion, is it ever that simple?

While not perfect, the game is pretty damn good and in a lot of ways holds up pretty up well over a decade later. Driving feels really solid and as an open world game it was seriously ground breaking at the time. I love being able to go to the gym and working out to upgrade you’re body and increase you’re stamina, sex appeal with the ladies, and get stronger or eat a bunch of crap and become a fat bastard, that was a awesome feature. The gunplay is hugely improved from the older games. The characters are some of my favorites of gaming, being memorable and also damn right funny at times. Samuel L. Jackson is awesome as Officer Tenpenny.

Overall, it’s a great classic that recommend picking up on sale. May the gaming gods bring you glory and “all you had to do was follow the damn train CJ”