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Christopher Churilla RSS Feed (Colorado, USA)

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SAMURAI vs ZOMBIES DEFENSE
SAMURAI vs ZOMBIES DEFENSE
Price: $0.00

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost As Good As Plants vs Zombies, January 1, 2014
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: SAMURAI vs ZOMBIES DEFENSE (App)
Obviously any game that puts you against zombies will get compared to PvZ. Unlike PvZ, this is a side scrolling game and you generate allies through Leadership points which you automatically generate. You can improve yourself and your allies by spending silver coins fallen enemies drop or gold coins which you purchase with real money. Not a bad game, but it gets very difficult after Level 20 and I don't like having to spend my own money to improve myself.


Bikini Girls on Ice
Bikini Girls on Ice
DVD ~ William Jarand
Offered by The Blue Boutique
Price: $9.00
13 used & new from $6.95

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Managed To Come In UNDER My Expectations (MAJOR SPOILERS INCLUDED), September 23, 2013
This review is from: Bikini Girls on Ice (DVD)
Some movies you just know are going to be bad, and normally I'm able to resist their siren call; but with this one, like a car wreck you have to rubberneck, I just had to watch it. I think it was the title (I admit it, I'm a movie snob, but I'm still superficial at times).

This is a by-the-numbers slasher flick, with all the usual elements: Good Girl Protagonist, Morally Corrupt Associates, The Cute Guy She Really Likes, Abandoned Setting, Warning By Kooky Local Which Goes Ignored, People Going Off Alone So They Can Be Easily Killed, Killer With Vanishing Skills That Would Make A Ninja Green With Envy, and the Indestructible Killer (did I miss any? I tend to avoid slasher movies, so I may have missed a few).

However, there were two important points the makers missed, the Killer's Backstory and the Virgin's Revenge. Now, with the Killer's Backstory, I'm sure that had there been one it would have made little difference in the overall quality of the film, but it would've been nice to have some reason why he did what he did.

My degree in Armchair Psychology tells me this guy grew up in an abusive home by a single parent (I'm not sure which). Given his penchant for cutting off his victims' bikini tops, either he watched as his father brought home women and focused on their breasts or his mother liked going around the house topless. As for his apparent sexual thrusting during his kills, he was probably caught masturbating and beaten within an inch of his life and now has severe performance anxiety.

As for the Virgin's Revenge, missing this one is practically a cardinal sin. You've seen it once, you've seen it a million times. The morally pure protagonist, having spent the first 90% of the movie trying to escape the killer, now faces him down all by herself and only by casting aside her puritanical values is she able to defeat him.

But in this, aside from throwing a knife into his neck, the protagonist keeps running around screaming and asking him why he's doing what he's doing. Only a timely arrival by the Kooky Local (now armed with a shotgun) saves her. What's more, we don't even see this final battle, instead we are treated to a close up of her eyes.

Usually, when I go into a movie with low expectations, there is always something that keeps it from being a complete waste of my time, but this one actually managed to come in under my expectations. I think I'm going to watch Scream [HD] now to see a slasher movie done right.


Dragon's Dogma - Playstation 3
Dragon's Dogma - Playstation 3
Offered by BettyFrench
Price: $12.96
188 used & new from $4.65

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Realistic and Frustrating, Yet Oddly Appealing, September 18, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
It took me two rentals before buying this game, because the first time I just didn't know what to make of it. The second time around, I discovered there is a certain appeal to this highly realistic yet highly frustrating game.

LIKES
Customization: I always like games where I have some control over the character's appearance and skill set, for me it adds a level of emotional investment in the character.

DISLIKES
One Save Slot: You only have one save slot, and this game has an autosave feature, so if you screw up and the mistake is saved, the only way to fix it is to completely restart the game.

Introduction: Whether it's your 1st time playing this game or 101st, you have to go through a short introductory adventure with the protagonist (who appearance and class have been pregenerated) which acts as like a tutorial. I could understand for the first time through, but every single one? We know the game, get us to the actual start of the adventure. The fact that this mandatory adventure also takes place right before the final battle doesn't help either, for me it ruins some of the suspense.

LIKE AND DISLIKE
Realism: This is the factor which will make you either love it or hate it. When I say "Realism", I mean a lot of factors come in to play that aren't normally present in other RPGs. These include your height and build affecting how well you do in combat, your equipment having actual weight which can affect your movement rate, cities not having automatic maps so you have to spend some time exploring them before finding shops and the inn, and a Stamina rating which determines how many times you can execute special moves (and if you run out of Stamina, your character will stop, even in combat, to catch his breath, leaving him vulnerable to attacks).

One aspect in which this realism is felt strongest is combat. Combat is in two and sometimes three dimensions, and simply holding up a shield does not automatically protect you from attacks; you have to be facing the source of the attack in order to protect yourself, otherwise you will get hit.

A special shout out on realism is given to the game world itself. There seem to be no blocked off sections; that is, you can truly go anywhere you want, the only limit being the geography of the land. The catch is that some areas are populated by opponents which are way out of your league, so there will be times you will have to retreat or you will get killed.

Missions / Side Missions: Your main mission in this game is to hunt down the dragon which attacked your village, but along the way there will be side missions. The catch about side missions is that, unlike in most other RPGs, you do not have an infinite time to complete them; if you accept a mission but then go off and do other ones, you run the risk of losing your chance to complete it.

Like I said, this is one of the most realistic--and therefore frustrating--RPGs I have ever played, but like a rubbernecker at a car accident, I can't stay away from it. I must confess I am giving serious thought to getting the strategy guide for this game, but at the same time I don't want to ruin the surprise for myself the first time through, you know?


Remington MSC-140 Men's Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver, Silver
Remington MSC-140 Men's Titanium Battery Operated Foil Travel Shaver, Silver
Offered by always quality
Price: $17.52
6 used & new from $15.95

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fragile Piece of Junk, July 6, 2013
I bought this to use while out on an extended camping trip. After about 10 days of use, I noticed my face was getting nicked by it, and I discovered the screen had broken in two places, revealing the blades. You'd think something with "Titanium" in its name would last longer...


Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
Star Trek Into Darkness (Blu-ray 3D + Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy)
DVD ~ Chris Pine
Price: $22.49
40 used & new from $14.68

53 of 151 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beyond Darkness Lies...Nothing, May 19, 2013
*** SPOILERS WITHIN ***
*** SPOILERS WITHIN ***
*** SPOILERS WITHIN ***

Those who know me have heard umpteen times my saying about original ideas in the movies (they don't exist, only original ways of telling them). This is particularly true when doing a reboot/remake/sequel; you have a universe that has already been set up, now how do you give the audience something different while still playing within the limits of that universe? The Star Trek reboot I thought was one that got it right, and if that wasn't enough, they reset the universe in such a way that they could pretty much do whatever they wanted.

And what did they do with this opportunity? They lamely ripped off a previous entry in the franchise, threw in some glaring logic holes and a preachy message, while producer/director J.J. Abrams forced some hammy overacting out of the villain.

LAME RIP-OFFS

The previous entry they ripped off was "Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan", and they ripped off the ending, but only swapped the roles between Kirk and Spock, and if that wasn't enough, Spock screams Khan's name after Kirk dies, just Kirk did when Khan taunted him in the original.

LOGIC ERRORS

How does an armed ship fly up to Starfleet Headquarters and proceed to blow away a meeting of admirals? Where's security (especially since it occurred right after a "terrorist" attack)?

How does Scotty manage to fly into an enemy base by pulling the old "Let's Blend in with the Drones" trick? Where's their security?

THEME PROBLEMS

The "terrorist attack" clearly parallels the terrorist situation of today and so we're clubbed over the head with a debate on how to respond to them. I know this debate will never end, and I can see both sides of this issue, but did the writers have to be so blatant about it? This was the reason I hate "Avatar" so much, but at least this movie only hit us over the head twice.

HAMMY OVERACTING

Before this movie, I had never heard of Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor playing the villain. I then saw him in a BBC TV series "Sherlock" (an example of a reboot done right), and could see he was the right man for the job. In the trailers, he oozed menace out of the simplest lines like "Now, shall we begin?". That was clearly his best line, because the rest of his deliveries were so hammy I was waiting for some eggs to show up.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As I previously mentioned, BBC's "Sherlock", a modern-day update of the one-man CSI lab, is an example of a remake done right. Benedict owns the role, and the writers really challenged the character while still staying faithful to the spirit of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Comment Comments (16) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 4, 2013 11:50 AM PDT


Safe
Safe
DVD ~ Jason Statham

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needed A Map, April 22, 2013
This review is from: Safe (DVD)
*** SPOILERS WITHIN ***

If you've seen one Jason Statham movie, you've seen them all, and this one is no different. In this one he is a former MMA fighter and former cop who comes to the defense of a girl being hunted by the Triads, the Russian mob and a group of corrupt New York cops. It does not disappoint in its action, but it certainly does in its storytelling.

Now I don't expect much in terms of great storytelling from action movies (and frankly, who does?) but this one failed to meet my lowered standards. It starts with a confusing nonlinear set up which takes almost 30 minutes before the movie really gets started, and when the movie is only 90 minutes long, that is way too much.

Do we really need to know that he was a cop or an MMA fighter? Not really. Do we really need to know the girl's backstory? Not really. Show us him down on the rocks and just go from there, everything else could've been worked in as we went along rather than giving us all of it at once.


Absentia
Absentia
DVD ~ Katie Parker
Offered by Ultimate_Discounts
Price: $7.17
23 used & new from $2.48

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Major Studio Heads Should See This, June 29, 2012
This review is from: Absentia (DVD)
I saw this based on a recommendation from my brother, who is into movies although not as much as I am; after seeing this, I am glad I listened to him. My gripe against most big "horror" movies is that they are wall-to-wall gorefests which are excuses for the special effects crew to show off while any plot and characterization go right out the window; this movie did not fall prey to that mistake.

In this movie it kept the focus on where it should be, on the characters and the story while keeping the special effects to a minimum. There were a few scary moments, but mostly the film worked on creating an atmosphere of menace, which was doubly effective given the urban setting. The major movie studios need to take note; this is how you make a scary movie.


Bunraku
Bunraku
DVD ~ Josh Hartnett
Offered by CV Trading Corp
Price: $4.04
109 used & new from $0.01

3 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Someone Needs To Call The Cliche Police, June 26, 2012
This review is from: Bunraku (DVD)
This movie has earned a place of honor in my lists of movies. It did to me what no other movie has done in over 20 years: it made me not finish it. I have seen plenty of bad movies (Avatar, Order, Practical Magic) but with those I was at least able to sit through them in their entirety (I think I deserve an award for sitting through "Avatar", but that's just me). This one I couldn't.

Set in a post-apocalyptic world where guns are banned, Drifter (is that his name or were the writers just unable to think of one?) and non-violent samurai Yoshi (yeah, wrap your head around that one, but don't worry, his vow lasts less than 5 minutes) show up in a town run by a crime boss named Nicola (Ron Perlman, looking like he wandered in from one of those Geico caveman commercials), but for what reason I don't know. As far as I can tell, Drifter is just looking for a game of cards (which is banned) and Yoshi is on a mission from his father to get...something.

The supporting cast is just as boring. There's also Woody Harrelson as The Bartender (an odd name, "The"; did his parents hate him or were they just lazy?), the one local willing to help them, although it's in the form of cryptic riddles and pop-up books. There's a girl involved as well, Nicola's beautiful but unwilling girlfriend (she joined him to save her true love's life; I have an idea who the true love is, but I didn't stick around to find out. I wonder if they get back together?). Enough, enough, ENOUGH ALREADY! I'M CALLING THE CLICHÉ POLICE!

I'm wondering if the writers purposely set out to throw every action movie cliché they could think of into this and then really REALLY hoped their paper-maiche sets would somehow distract us. Would it have killed them to give us characters who weren't as thin as the paper they used for their sets? Give me something, ANYTHING to make me care about any of the people in this, is that too much to ask? For the makers of this film, it clearly was.


Deadly Gamble: A Girl and Her Dog Cozy Mystery (Charlie Parker Mystery Book 1)
Deadly Gamble: A Girl and Her Dog Cozy Mystery (Charlie Parker Mystery Book 1)
Price: $0.00

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I Want My $0.00 Back, May 8, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I got this book for free, and unlike other free gems such as Bubba and the Dead Woman or The Vampire Shortstop, I got exactly what I paid for. There was nothing that really made Charlie stand out, other than her name and her penchant for eating out.

If the author was trying to give a more realistic portrayal of a P.I., then she succeeded. This was the most boring P.I. novel I ever read. I'm not saying I expected a fight or shootout or car chase in every chapter, but give us SOMETHING to liven them up. Here's a breakdown of almost every chapter: she wakes up, she goes to work (BTW, she's an accountant), she does some sleuthing (and learns nothing), grabs a fast-food meal, then goes home, mulls over the case (comes to no conclusions), and then goes to bed.

I take particular issue with a review that described her as "nobody's fool". I'd like to know what book they read, because in the book I got she was. Despite all of her investigating, she didn't learn anything to help her solve the case; in fact, she solved the case by accident. Charlie, no offense, but stick to your day job, because you suck as a P.I.


Heroine Addiction
Heroine Addiction

9 of 27 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hell's Bells, I HATED This Book!, April 16, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Heroine Addiction (Kindle Edition)
Hell's bells, this story's protagonist a bisexual superheroine with a dysfunctional family!

Hell's bells, she has a thing for retro clothing and music!

Hell's bells, she left the superhero business five years ago and now runs a diner in the middle of nowhere!

Hell's bells, she comes back in when her father starts acting weird (even for him)!

Hell's bells, she has both a boyfriend and an ex-girlfriend!

Hell's bells, the boyfriend is a drunk wannabe writer!

Hell's bells, the ex-girlfriend is a judgmental shrew!

Hell's bells, the protagonist uses the phrase, "Hell's bells" a lot!

Hell's bells, if she used that phrase one more time, I was going to throw my Kindle against a wall!

Hell's bells, I made it halfway through this book before quitting!

Hell's bells, I REALLY hated this book!


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