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Ryan Agadoni RSS Feed (Whittier, CA USA)
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Edge
Edge
DVD

16 of 23 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars This can't be Shane Black, November 7, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Edge (Amazon Video)
I went into this really expecting to like it. First, I love Westerns. Second, Shane Black is one of my favorite writer/directors. He's so great at action/comedy. I loved Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man 3 and Lethal Weapon. But unfortunately Edge had none of what I love about either Westerns or Shane Black. It made me wonder how much Shane was actually involved, because it really didn't feel like him. The dialogue had no hook to it, no surprises. This is the same guy who wrote the brilliant Kiss Kiss Bang Bang?

From the get-go the "bad guy" characters are so flat and one note I was immediately bored. Nothing nuanced or interesting. Just guys who are smug and cruel and boringly written. You know what's going to happen as soon as the scene starts. A likeable disabled guy and his dog? Wow, bet you these mustache twirling jerks won't shoot/torture them both for some stupidly petty reason! Yawn.

And then the "hero" shows up and he's just as boring as the villains. He's a tough guy with a past who isn't above a little torture of his own, but he has ethics, you know? Again, yawn. And I like the actor playing him! I liked him in Pacific Rim. But here he is just "generic tough grim-n-gritty hero for the 90s."

Then there's the big villain, played by William Sadler. Sadler is a great actor, but this part (that seemed like a Gene Hackman character) just isn't engrossing.

I like Yvonne from Chuck, but she's given nothing to do here.

I hate to make this comparison, because it doesn't seem fair, but none of these characters had 1/100th of the depth that the characters from Deadwood had. No there were some interesting people! There were heroes, villains, people between, and they all were believable and fun to watch. I wasn't 10 minutes ahead of their actions and motivations like I was in Edge.

This is actually the same problem I had with Hell on Wheels. I never connected with any of the characters in HoW either. Predictable and boring dialogue, non-engaging characters, lame motivations.

The one part that was entertaining was the final shoot-out. I had no investment because I didn't care about the characters involved, but it was imaginatively staged. A little too unbelievable even for a scene that was intended to be over-the-top, but it was kinda fun.

As for the Western part of it, this feels like another movie made by somebody who really doesn't care about Westerns or the West. Like a hipster borrowing from other influences without knowing anything about them, it feels directed by somebody who saw a Western once and thought it was cool but really doesn't care what the actual West was like or even what makes great Western movies great. No one is wearing anything with any real thought put into it (these characters should be people who came from a place and time and their costumes should reflect that) and none of the dialogue reflects the diverse backgrounds of people in the West (not everyone should sound exactly like everyone else). Further, and this is nitpicky but it matters to me: everyone wears their bandanas wrong (triangle should be in the back, not the front), hats should not look like modern cowboy hats with curled up sides, no one should have their top shirt buttons unbuttoned in 1865, some private dude should not have access to a Gatling gun, and it was Southern (not Union) fighters who wore their hair long. Also, guns fired in the 1800s should make a lot more smoke than we saw here. The Gatling gun in particular should have left a huge cloud of smoke obscuring the whole street. Most people won't care about this stuff, but I think details matter and makes for a better escape.

The best thing I can say is at least I didn't see any 1873 Single Action Army pistols or 1873 Winchester rifles. The guns all seemed period appropriate, even if they were all cartridge converted.

If you want to see a recent Western that's pretty good and succeeds where Edge mostly fails, try Bone Tomahawk.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 11, 2015 6:05 AM PST


No Title Available

5.0 out of 5 stars BOOMco makes a good shooter, June 25, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
BOOMco is a welcome competitor in the dart gun arms race. These things live up to their video hype: they shoot far and are pretty accurate. I'm having a lot of fun shooting this and my other BOOMco blaster with my daughter.


Escape from the Lizzarks (Nnewts Book 1)
Escape from the Lizzarks (Nnewts Book 1)
Offered by Scholastic Trade Publisher
Price: $6.99

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The beginning of TenNapel's biggest story yet, January 23, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This book has been long anticipated by me. Readers should note that this is only the first in an ongoing series of Nnewts books! This is the first time Doug TenNapel has released a graphic novel with definite plans to continue the story in subsequent books. Since I have often wanted this with some of his other work (Earthboy Jacobus comes to mind), this is great news! TenNapel is very ambitious with his stories and world-building, and if he has any weakness, it is he sometimes doesn't give his big ideas enough room to breathe. With Nnewts, we're going to get to follow our hero for a lot longer than we normally do with a TenNapel story, and that is exciting.

I won't summarize the story for you; you can read that above. This first book sets up the world and character of Herk. We start with him as a kid and his background is set up: his family, his village, his people, his customs, his desires, his weaknesses, and his strengths. This is how to start a grand Myth. Other reviewers have complained about the dark tonal elements, the death. Well, this is often how the hero in a great myth begins: in tragedy. See Star Wars IV. Luke's family is killed by evil forces and he is called to a great adventure, to become the hero and thwart those forces. So it is with Herk. We're just seeing the beginning, the first chapter.

This is, in fact, my only complaint about this book: I want to read the rest of the chapters now! TenNapel creates his work almost entirely on his own (everything but the color-work), so 192 pages of hand-drawn art and story takes a while to produce, so we're going to have to wait awhile before we can see this whole thing. But, think of Bone, and how long it took to get that whole story. I think our patience will be rewarded with Nnewts.

Speaking of the art, it's great. I don't know what the other reviewers were talking about regarding not being able to identify characters. I had no such problems. TenNapel is at his best when he is creating fantasy worlds: houses and villages and weapons and tools and monsters and creatures. This is his wheelhouse. Special recognition should also be given to Catherine Garner's colors, which beautifully enhance TenNapel's line-work.

I've got both the hardcover edition and the Kindle edition. The hardcover is Scholastic's usual quality. Nicely printed on good stock. I still wish for a bigger format, but this is certainly readable and enjoyable. This was my first graphic novel on the Kindle, and it actually works really well. When my kids are old enough to enjoy this it will be nice giving them a Kindle to browse a whole library of comics while on a road trip.

If you're a fan of TenNapel's other work, or of cartoon fantasy, or of newts, you will enjoy this. Highly recommended.


The Best American Comics 2013
The Best American Comics 2013
by Jeff Smith
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.87
83 used & new from $1.13

3.0 out of 5 stars Not my cup of tea, April 19, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
There are a lot of good comics out there, so the title "Best American Comics" certainly pulled me in. Unfortunately for me, the comics in this volume are not what I consider the best American comics. The stories mostly came off as your typical angsty diary-style or dark existential melodrama. Not a lot of fun or joy to be had. I was hoping for more humor.


Coast DX350 Double Lock Folding Knife 3.5-Inch Blade
Coast DX350 Double Lock Folding Knife 3.5-Inch Blade
Price: $18.69
17 used & new from $18.69

5.0 out of 5 stars Review from a non-expert, January 11, 2014
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I know there exists a large population of people who love to collect knives and know lots about them. I am not one of those guys. However, as I started pursuing a career in firefighting, I noticed that most of my classmates in EMT and other course carried some sort of medium-sized folding and locking knife. Once I began working as an EMT I started noticing the instances where it could be helpful. It's certainly not all the time, but it does come up.

So I was happy to order this knife through the Vine program. Again, not being an expert, I don't know how this compares to other modern knives in its class. But after several months of owning this knife this so far appears to be a very high quality, well-made knife. It arrived very sharp (cut myself on the serrated part of the blade with almost no effort at all -- watch out). The mechanism for opening the blade one-handed works well, though it took a little bit for me to get the hang of it. That could just be me getting used to it. Feels very solidly built, and looks to be of high-quality materials.

I'm glad I have this knife, and I would recommend it to others.


Pigtown Blues
Pigtown Blues
Price: $2.58

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More good acoustic-style music from Clutch, June 9, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Pigtown Blues (MP3 Music)
If you enjoyed Basket of Eggs, the companion CD to the re-release of Blast Tyrant, you'll love this short collection. Pigtown Blues is the only completely new song, but it is definitely worth the purchase. It's not entirely acoustic, but it shares the same stylings as the Basket of Eggs songs. The Clutch staples of bluesy rock are present in fine form, with an up-tempo beat and classic Neal Fallon vocals. The organ makes a welcome appearance in the background, and the guitar hooks and fills are very satisfying.

The second song is an acoustic version of Motherless Child, the best song from Strange Cousins from the West. I think I prefer the version from the 2009 album, but this is still a good rendition. I love what Clutch is doing with this new sound, and I hope they do more of it (while I also would welcome some harder Blast Tyrant sounds).

Easy choice if you're a Clutch fan. Pick it up.


Rocksmith
Rocksmith
Offered by Golden Findings
Price: $44.88
85 used & new from $2.95

4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very fun way to play guitar and learn a few songs, November 17, 2011
This review is from: Rocksmith (Video Game)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've had a basic electric guitar for years now, every now and then dusting it off and fooling around on it. I know basic cords, can play a few hooks from favorite songs, like making up my own lame songs, figuring things out.

Guitar Hero and Rock Band came out and were very fun, satisfying a desire to feel a little bit like a guy in a band. But at the end of the day, no one is all that impressed with Guitar Hero skills (save for maybe skills on the drums).

Rock Smith is a great answer to that desire to move to the next stage. By using an actual guitar, you are finally creating actual music, and it is very satisfying to actually hear the notes you're playing (when you play them correctly). I also love that the game doesn't penalize you for extra notes, so you are free to add your own flourishes and fills, or play more difficult parts of the song than the game is giving you at that moment.

The interface could be better. It was tricky finding the option to just play individual songs without editing a set list or playing through the "campaign." I liked that all songs were available from the get-go. I like that you can remove songs from the campaign set-lists that you don't like (so long, Incubus). I'd appreciate the ability to adjust the difficulty on the fly. I like that it adjusts for you as you play, but there are times when the song is far to simple and it takes too long for it to realize I can handle more difficult stuff. The technique challenges suffer from this as well, necessitating 2 play-throughs to achieve gold when it should take 1, but it starts too simply and doesn't grant enough points by the end. I'd appreciate skippable intros and lessons. Everything like that should be skippable from the get-go. I oftentimes didn't need the overly simplistic training, and while I don't mind that it's there, the game should let people bypass it.

My biggest critique is probably the loading and saving. The game loads take WAY too long (what are you loading, anyway? This isn't Skyrim!), and saves at every moment possible, even if you didn't change anything (going into options, no changes, backing out, 10-second SAVE). I hate that it takes 10 seconds just to load the interface! The graphics aren't even at Guitar Hero 1 levels, why does it take so long? The textures are really low-rez and simple, I don't get it. Speaking of graphics, I don't care about the background details in a game like this, but the crowd is laughably bad.

I've been very fortunate not to experience any lag while playing. I took the game to a friend's house, and there was a good 1/3 to 1/2 second delay when free-playing, and that would just not work. For whatever reason, my set-up has no lag, even though my PS3 is hooked up to receiver, then the TV, and my friend's was his PS3 hooked right to the TV. That said, the game does occasionally fail to register played notes correctly, most often when tuned to drop D. The tuner in the game isn't as exact as it could be, and allows the tuning to be off just enough that the game will tell you you're on the wrong fret when you're not.

I like the assortment of songs. It is 2000-heavy, which I was originally about, but it turned out that most of them are fun to play. Of course, I'd always love more classic rock.

DLC is a little expensive. I understand more work goes into creating these playable songs, but perhaps a discounted pack would be nice.

Overall, I'm very pleased, and having a great time playing. I hope it does well enough to warrant future updates, song releases, etc.


Jamba Juice Energy Drink, Crisp Apple, 8.4-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)
Jamba Juice Energy Drink, Crisp Apple, 8.4-Ounce Cans (Pack of 12)

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty good; I'd try it again, April 12, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I received one can of this through Amazon's Vine program. Now, I'm not a fan of energy drinks. I avoid them. For one thing, most of them taste awful. In addition, I don't like artificially hopping myself up on energy. I don't drink coffee for this reason. I don't want to become dependent on a substance to get through my day.

But with that said, I did enjoy this drink. It tasted good. None of that weird gross aftertaste you typically get with energy drinks. And I can't always tell if I'm feeling the effects of the energy or not, but I did stay alert and awake the rest of the day after I drank it.

So make of that what you will.


Dark Entries (Vertigo Crime)
Dark Entries (Vertigo Crime)
by Ian Rankin
Edition: Hardcover
49 used & new from $0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars An entertaining read, January 20, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I haven't read much Hellblazer or other Constantine books, so my knowledge of the character is limited to what I've picked up talking with friends. That said, this was an entertaining read. The concept of a reality TV show at first turned me off as kinda dumb, but the story got a bit more interesting as more about the situation was revealed.

The art is decent. I like the style, and it worked in black and white.

Overall, it was a good read, but I can't rank it with other stories involving John Constantine.


Remington BHT600 Body and Back Groomer, Black
Remington BHT600 Body and Back Groomer, Black
Price: $34.00
40 used & new from $34.00

4.0 out of 5 stars Good for beards, January 20, 2011
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have another set of clippers, but it's wider and so not good for precise trimming. This Remington groomer worked very well for trimming my giant beard when I had it earlier this year. The blades cut well with no pulling, and charging it was easy enough. It was also easy to adjust the trim length with the provided attachments. Supposedly this thing works in the shower, but I haven't had the need to try that yet.


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