Supercar Challenge (2009, Racing Simulation Game, PS3 exclusive) – 8/10 review

Executive Producer: Mark Cale
Consultant Car Handling & Race: Bruno Senna
Tiff Needell:
Game Designer: Mark Cale
Game Designer: Dave Thompson
Game Designer: Gareth Wright

Supercar Challenge (2009)

8/10

The main problem with Supercar Challenge is clear; it’s the full-price charge for DLC-size additional content for Ferrari Challenge Trofeo Pirelli (two new tracks, three additional track layouts, about a dozen new cars). However, this is to overlook the improvements that have been delivered in every area (especially the sixteen-player online racing) and the sweet driving simulation experience that has been carried over intact from the previous game. The most important change gameplay-wise is the ability to choose your own car for the central Challenge mode allowing you to form a relationship with and intimate understanding of your chosen steed (because, unlike almost all other racing games, each car feels different). While the game can be a challenge at times, the driving experience is so satisfying (in a car you like) that battling around in any position is rewarding and overtaking or pressuring the AI into convincing mistakes, especially (grrr) Lorenz Gerber, is absolutely wonderful.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Links

The Idle Class (1921, Chaplin Comedy Short Movie) – 8/10 review

Charles Chaplin:
Copyright Holder: Charles Chaplin
Edna Purviance:
Composer: Charles Chaplin
Writer: Charles Chaplin
Producer: Charles Chaplin
Director: Charles Chaplin

Idle Class, The (1921)

A lonely tramp arrives in town, unaware that he is the spitting image of a rich socialite, and, while playing golf, meets the woman of his dreams.

8/10

Top drawer Chaplin effort which features frequent moments of comic brilliance that can only be classified ‘genius’. Chaplin pulls out a continuing series of totally unexpected and rather brilliant sight gags starting with hiding behind a newspaper (funnier than it sounds) and continuing with his astonishing golf swing and a couple of surprising golf ball lies, a terrific little chase sequence and a wonderful ‘not-happy’ punchline (or should that be kickline) ending.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Continue reading “The Idle Class (1921, Chaplin Comedy Short Movie) – 8/10 review”

The Emperor’s New Groove (2000, Disney Movie) – 8/10 review

Director: Mark Dindal
Producer: Randy Fullmer
Writer (Story): Chris Williams
Writer (Story): Mark Dindal
Writer (Screenplay): David Reynolds
Supervising Animator Kuzco / Kuzco Llama: Nik Ranieri
David Spade: Kuzco / Kuzco Llama
Supervising Animator Pacha: Bruce W. Smith
John Goodman: Pacha
Supervising Animator Yzma: Dale Baer
Eartha Kitt: Yzma
Supervising Animator Kronk: Tony Bancroft
Patrick Warburton: Kronk
Lead Animator Chicha: Doug Frankel

Emperor’s New Groove, The (2000)

Arrogant Aztec emperor Kuzco rules his empire with a whim of iron. But when he annoys his witch advisor Yzma one time too many, she turns him into a llama and takes over the kingdom. With Kuzco now exiled and lost in the mountains he turns to chunky peasant Pacha for assistance but the last thing the emperor did before becoming a llama was order the destruction of Pacha’s house and village to make way for the emperor’s new summer retreat…

8/10

While this is undoubtedly less technically showy than most of Disney’s immediately previous output (such as Tarzan and Dinosaur; though this is still a fantastic-looking, brilliantly-animated movie), this is a remarkably fun and funny buddy-buddy movie that is not a typical Disney formula film (no story songs) and shows that the classic animation studio is still leagues ahead of its would-be competitors. While the good character Pacha is a little clumsy, Kronk is hilarious ("squeakity-squeak") and Yzma is satisfyingly reminiscent of classic Disney villains Cruella De Vil and Madame Medusa.

Classified U by BBFC. Universal: Suitable for All.

Links

Race Pro (2009, Racing Game, 360) – 8/10 review

Creative Director: Diego Sartori
Game Designer: Diego Sartori
Technical Director: Ola Olsson
Lead Programmer: Michael Andersson

Race Pro (2009)

8/10

I hate AI that isn’t affected by grass and gravel and kerbs and camber and G-forces and momentum and variable grip and their line through corners and your car being in their way and you driving into the side of them at 100mph and, like most racing games, Race Pro is guilty of this. So why the high score? Communication. Race Pro communicates the relationship of the driver to the car and car to the track more successfully than just about any other console game. This means that every single time you crash, understeer, oversteer, slide or nail a corner oh-so-sweetly, you know exactly why. Every time. Forza Motorsport 2 and Gran Turismo 5 Prologue are more forgiving and far more polished and Ferrari Challenge: Trofeo Pirelli has more heart, but this is probably the best driving experience available on 360 or PS3 at this time.

Classified 3+ by PEGI. The game is only suitable for persons who have reached the age of 3 or over.

Reign of Fire (2002, Movie) – 8/10 review

Matthew McConaughey: Van Zan
Christian Bale: Quinn
Izabella Scorupco: Alex
Gerard Butler: Creedy
Alice Krige: Karen Abercromby
Producer: Richard D. Zanuck
Producer: Lili Fini Zanuck
Producer: Gary Barber
Producer: Roger Birnbaum
Writer (Story): Gregg Chabot
Writer (Story): Kevin Peterka
Writer (Screenplay): Gregg Chabot
Writer (Screenplay): Kevin Peterka
Writer (Screenplay): Matt Greenberg
Director: Rob Bowman

Reign of Fire (2002)

After dragons return to and devastate the earth, small pockets of survivors try to scratch a meagre existence. One such pocket, led by Quinn, is about to receive a visit, however, from an American and his troops who are on their way to London to kill the bull dragon responsible for fertilizing the planet’s entire population.

8/10

Surprisingly, for an apocalyptical movie, this is a not-depressing but thrilling adventure with some spectacular dragon effects. Also, somewhat amazingly, this is the only dragon movie ever made that is any good at all (Dragonslayer is awful outside of the dragon and people don’t like it when you mention Pete’s Dragon). For that, I think I need to give it an extra star.

This movie contains a single sexual swear word, mild swear words and strong melee violence, unpleasant scenes.

Classified 12A by BBFC. Persons under the age of 12 must be accompanied by an adult.

Lie To Me 1.12 Blinded (2009, TV) – 8/10 review

Tim Roth: Dr. Cal Lightman
Kelli Williams: Dr. Gillian Foster
Brendan Hines: Eli Loker
Monica Raymund: Ria Torres
Writer (Creator): Samuel Baum
Mekhi Phifer:
Daniel Sunjata:
Clea DuVall:
Emilio Rivera:
Consulting Producer: Elizabeth Craft
Consulting Producer: Sarah Fain
Writer: Sarah Fain
Writer: Elizabeth Craft
Director: Milan Cheylov

Lie To Me 1.12 Blinded (2009)

Lightman is asked to try and break a copycat rapist / murderer case but his opponent seems rather more adept at lie detection and manipulation than he is.

8/10

An episode about power and how to take it from someone who has it. It looks like Lightman has met his match and, although we know he’s the hero and this can’t possibly be, the villain is clearly causing Lightman to work really really hard for his goal. Despite the subject (serial rapist / murderer) this is good fun because it concentrates on the mind-games.

This Lie To Me episode contains adult dialogue and extremely unpleasant scenes, extreme melee violence.

Links

Batman Returns (1992, Movie) – 8/10 review

Michael Keaton: Batman / Bruce Wayne
Danny DeVito: Penguin
Michelle Pfeiffer: Catwoman / Selina
Christopher Walken: Max Shreck
Michael Gough: Alfred
Pat Hingle: Commissioner Gordon
Michael Murphy: Mayor
Vincent Schiavelli: Organ Grinder
Writer (Characters’ Creator) Batman: Bob Kane
Writer (Screenplay): Daniel Waters
Writer (Story): Daniel Waters
Writer (Story): Sam Hamm
Producer: Denise Di Novi
Producer: Tim Burton
Director: Tim Burton

Batman Returns (1992)

Batman is called back into action when penguin-like Oswald Cobblepot decides to run for mayor under the guidance of Gotham City’s unscrupulous business leader Max Shreck whose past efforts include pushing secretary Selina Kyle out of a very high window resulting in her psyche being scarred so as to produce the Catwoman.

8/10

Rather more outlandish than the first, director Tim Burton provides a sequel that is fun and spectacular and odd (penguins with fricking missiles on their backs, awesome). Outrageously designed and great-looking from set and character design to lighting (Bruce Wayne’s intro is a classic). Great little bits and pieces such as a the vichyssoise ("it’s supposed to be cold"), the Wayne / Batman dichotomy ("sorry, I mistook me for someone else") and the Maxquerade Ball invitation scene show that Burton and Michael Keaton had really nailed Bruce Wayne (he also has the best fire place in movie history) and it was this attention to keeping recognisable humanity in all his characters that makes the Burton Batman’s more than just fun, great-looking blockbusters.

This movie contains mild swear words and violence, unexpectedly gory scene, unpleasant scenes and mild sensuality.

Classified 15 by BBFC. Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over.