Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Monday, May 16, 2011
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; a flythrough of the Lucasfilm Archives and more
STAR WARS ARCHIVES: EPISODES IV-VI
Including: deleted, extended and alternate scenes; prop, maquette and costume turnarounds; matte paintings and concept art; supplementary interviews with cast and crew; and more
THE STAR WARS DOCUMENTARIES
Star Warriors (2007, Color, Apx. 84 Minutes) - Some Star Wars fans want to collect action figures...these fans want to be action figures! A tribute to the 501st Legion, a global organization of Star Wars costume enthusiasts, this insightful documentary shows how the super-fan club promotes interest in the films through charity and volunteer work at fundraisers and high-profile special events around the world.
A Conversation with the Masters: The Empire Strikes Back 30 Years Later (2010, Color, Apx. 25 Minutes) - George Lucas, Irvin Kershner, Lawrence Kasdan and John Williams look back on the making of The Empire Strikes Back in this in-depth retrospective from Lucasfilm created to help commemorate the 30th anniversary of the movie. The masters discuss and reminisce about one of the most beloved films of all time.
Star Wars Spoofs (2011, Color, Apx. 91 Minutes) - The farce is strong with this one! Enjoy a hilarious collection of Star Wars spoofs and parodies that have been created over the years, including outrageous clips from Family Guy, The Simpsons, How I Met Your Mother and more -- and don't miss "Weird Al" Yankovic's one-of-a-kind music video tribute to The Phantom Menace!
The Making of Star Wars (1977, Color, Apx. 49 Minutes) - Learn the incredible behind-the-scenes story of how the original Star Wars movie was brought to the big screen in this fascinating documentary hosted by C-3PO and R2-D2. Includes interviews with George Lucas and appearances by Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher.
The Empire Strikes Back: SPFX (1980, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Learn the secrets of making movies in a galaxy far, far away. Hosted by Mark Hamill, this revealing documentary offers behind-the-scenes glimpses into the amazing special effects that transformed George Lucas' vision for Star Wars and The Empire Strikes Back into reality!
Classic Creatures: Return of the Jedi (1983, Color, Apx. 48 Minutes) - Go behind the scenes -- and into the costumes -- as production footage from Return of the Jedi is interspersed with vintage monster movie clips in this in-depth exploration of the painstaking techniques utilized by George Lucas to create the classic creatures and characters seen in the film. Hosted and narrated by Carrie Fisher and Billie Dee Williams.
Anatomy of a Dewback (1997, Color, Apx. 26 Minutes) - See how some of the special effects in Star Wars became even more special two decades later! George Lucas explains and demonstrates how his team transformed the original dewback creatures from immovable rubber puppets (in the original 1977 release) to seemingly living, breathing creatures for the Star Wars 1997 Special Edition update.
Star Wars Tech (2007, Color, Apx. 46 Minutes) - Exploring the technical aspects of Star Wars vehicles, weapons and gadgetry, Star Wars Tech consults leading scientists in the fields of physics, prosthetics, lasers, engineering and astronomy to examine the plausibility of Star Wars technology based on science as we know it today.
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Fatality lives in this reboot of the classic fighting series – Mortal Kombat.
It’s been awhile since we’ve had a decent Mortal Kombat game. The first three in the series were very good but once we reached Mortal Kombat 4 the series started going downhill. Now, with this reboot we are given back a useful d-pad, characters we loved and the bloody fatalities that made the game different. Yet, does returning to the series roots save the franchise?
Let’s just get into the review, starting with the actually fighting. The game brings back 2D gameplay while sticking with 3D graphics, just like Street Fighter 4 did. This helps the game out tremendously. If you played any of the 3D Mortal Kombat games then you know it didn’t really feel as fluent as the 2D games did. I hated how you needed to side-step in the 3D environments, it might have just been me but side-stepping was annoying.
The fighting is very, very similar to older Mortal Kombat games. If you’ve played any Mortal Kombat game in the past you’ll feel right at home with this one. You’ll find it very easy to pull off special attacks and dominate with your favorite fighters.
They’ve also brought back the fatalities and babalities, which are always welcome. The fatalities return to their graphic roots, delivering some extreme gore and the babalities return to turning your opponent into a baby, not as exciting as the fatalities.
They’ve also introduced the X-Ray move, which is great. This move can be performed when you fill up your X-Ray meter (I don’t know if that’s the proper name) and it shows you breaking your opponent’s bones in gruesome ways.
Moving on, let’s talk about the Story Mode. This is a very lengthy part of the game; it spans 16 chapters and retells the stories of the first three Mortal Kombat games. The story might get campy in some areas but this is a great addition and allows new players to get to know the universe and the characters that inhabit it.
I do have some negative things to say about the story mode and the first thing is how some of the fights seem unbalanced. I’m talking about the fights where you’re going up against two opponents and you don’t have a partner to back you up. I thought, since they already had a tag team mode in the game, they should’ve used that in the Story Mode. I hated the fact they left this out and it would have been something so easy to have in.
The other thing I didn’t like about Story Mode is being unable to skip cut scenes, what the hell is up with that? I like watching cut scenes to follow the story, but if I play through the story a second time I want an option to skip over them.
Besides the Story Mode there is a wealth of other content to keep you busy. There is of course the tried and true Ladder, the new tag team Ladder, which allows you to play with two fighters against two other fighters, the challenge tower, which has 300 challenges for you to complete, test your might mode, test your sight mode, test your strike mode and test your luck, which is the most interesting.
In test your luck you have to spin a slot machine, which decides who you’ll be fighting against and how you will fight them. You might be fighting them with the screen upside down and with jump disabled or you might be fighting them without arms. It’s an interesting mode and poses some great challenges.
Now, let’s talk about the online, a part of the game I have some beef with. The biggest peeve I have with online is players who spam one attack and get a cheap victory over you. These people need to stop doing one attack and learn how to use a fighter or don’t play online at all.
The other thing that annoys me is lag. There have been matches where the lag was so bad that it wasn’t even playable. It doesn’t happen all the time but it happens often enough to make you not even want to continue to play online.
Now, when those two things aren’t dragging your online experience down, there is a lot to love about it.
One mode that I continuously play is King of the Hill. In this mode you go into a room and challenge the king. The king is the person who won the last match or last several matches. The biggest plus about this mode is being able to be a spectator on all the matches, so you can try to build up some strategy when your turn comes around. You’re also able to rate the match when it’s finished.
Online also gives you just classic fighting and tag team; all the modes are good but like I said they can be dragged down by inexperienced players and lag.
There is a lot of content in Mortal Kombat and because it embraces its roots it’s definitely worth the $60. It does have its shortcomings, but those problems aren’t enough for me to say stay away.
8 out of 10