Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, June 16, 2005




Miss Conginiality2 armed and fabulous

Review by Gokhra

The plot:
Sandra Bullock takes on her role as Gracie Hart, the previously unpolished, New York-based FBI agent, who in the 2000 original went undercover in a beauty pageant to foil a terrorist plot. What Gracie the "FBI secret beauty agent whatnot" did in the first movie made her such a celebrity that now she can no longer fight crime anonymously. The movie opens with Gracie and her FBI cohorts trying to stop a gang of felonious housewives (yes its all about women power) from knocking off a bank. By the way, she has pretty much gone back to being a not-so-polished beauty as she used to be. Unfortunately the patrons at the bank know her so well that they give her away. Heck, even the robbers know who she is. So undercover work is no longer her cup of coffee.

Her superiors don't want Gracie's fame botching future jobs, but they also recognize that her boundless female fan base represents a public-relations opportunity. We know that police aren't generally very endearing to public even in the States where they are actually pretty effective at curbing crime.

So they offer to send her around the country as the face of the FBI. Call it a countrywide PR tour if you must. Vulnerable from a recent breakup, she accepts. But then again she needs to be transformed into the swan so under the queer eyes of a queer personal stylist, Joel (Diedrich Bader), Gracie is transformed (again) into a shiny, happy celebrity. This takes a long and arduous ten months as opposed to the few hours it took I the first movie. Also why are stylists always portrayed as queers? By the way, Gracie's original makeover guru, Michael Caine, is a no-show as his character was hit by a bus.

Gracie becomes a diva sporting designer luggage and going everywhere with Joel and his beauty retinue. She appears on TV and gives off personal safety demonstrations.

But when two of her friends -- the reigning Miss United States (Heather Burns) and the pageant's emcee (William Shatner)-- are kidnapped in Las Vegas, Gracie has to spring into action, though not as an agent but as the FBI's spokeswoman. Her boss (Ernie Hudson) goes so far as to assign an antagonistic fellow agent (Regina King) to be her bodyguard and keep her in line.

Gracie is expected to give press conferences about the kidnapping while the local division, headed by a rigid Treat Williams, does all the legwork. But who ever saw a heroine in a movie actually keep to the sidelines? She digs for clues annoying Williams, and after a string of embarrassments is thrown off the case. But as with any movie about rogue agents and cops expulsion is the best thing for justice.

The verdict:
Where the first movie's comedy came from the friction between Gracie's butch demeanor and the girly-girl she was posing as, this sequel gives her the full vain beauty treatment. Director, John Pasquin things rolling, but that's about it. Much of the plot is so predictable that the whole thing seems much longer than its 117 minutes.

The stars all seem to be enjoying themselves throughout the movie. That means the laughs provided along the way are pretty good although a bit formulaic. Bullock and King fight throughout the movie but we know they'll grow to love each other (albeit platonically) by the end. In the end the film is assembly-line generic.

It's good for a few good clean laughs and you don't have to be a Sandra Bullock die hard fan to actually enjoy it.

Name any other game that let's you surf on your enemies with your guns blazing in every direction, and I'll call you a blatant liar!
A prequel to the uber cool DMC and its worthless sequel DMC 2, Devil May Cry 3 is a game that effortlessly redefines the word stylish to unheard-of proportions!
DMC 3 stars a younger Dante. But this isn't the same Dante from the sequels. This Dante is so full of in-your-face cockiness and attitude, that you can't help thinking he's the coolest game character ever! Forget his trademark one-liners from DMC; they pale in comparison to his never-ending, smart-ass banter in this game!
The gameplay in DMC 3 isn't good nor is it excellent.
The only phrase that could probably describe it is: Holy Sh*t Awesome!
The gameplay in DMC 3 is unbelievably fast and utterly smooth. You can pull off combos so over-the-top and wicked-looking that other games seem abysmally slow and boring in comparison. Without breaking a sweat, Dante can switch from using twin scimitars to tri-headed ice nunchuks to his to-be-classic (it's a prequel after all!) twin handguns and devilishly cool sword. The end result can make for some seriously brutal and satisfying chain attacks with action that moves so fast it's almost hard to believe.
The game isn't about mashing buttons or hammering block! The enemies give new meaning to the word evil. They'll launch sneak attacks, gang up on you and generally make life Hell for you. This makes DMC 3 one of the most refreshingly challenging titles of this decade which is another way of saying it can be quite hard at times. However, the fights are so brutally fast and furious that even when you're getting your butt kicked you can't help but enjoy them immensely. The enemies will keep you on the edge of your seat and will have you constantly adopt split-second strategies to adapt to their tactics. This game requires razor sharp reflexes to keep the blood spilling! Consistency is of paramount importance as is maintaining a varied and stylish fighting style, my friend wisely advised me. The boss fights are something you'll relish and present some of the tensest and exciting battles since Metal Gear Solid 3. The half-dozen bosses are the embodiment of the word devious. They'll constantly switch their battle strategy to wrong-foot you to your demise. You must constantly adapt to the bosses and with some righteous swordplay (and gun-totin'), you can finally deliver the killing blow! It may seem slightly frustrating at first, but at one point everything somehow clicks together and you'll find yourself a master of this excellent game. There five unique melee weapons to use ranging from the omnipresent demon sword to the twin scimitars, Agni and Rudhra to the uber jam-tastic guitar called Nevan. Yes you read it right, I said guitar. Find out what it does by yourself; I'd rather not ruin the experience! Six selectable play styles ranging from the zippy Trickster to the brutal Swordmaster ensure that everyone will find their own niche in this game. These styles are completely unique and have such awesome combos that it's worth playing the game multiple times to see it all! Add hyperactive devil transformations into the mix and you have a relentlessly exciting action game where the party never ends!
Capcom has also shattered the space-time equilibrium of their long-endured tradition DMC 3 actually has a story worth following! Not only it is pretty good but it's utterly amusing in the way it presents its own brand of family dysfunction!
The graphics in Devil May Cry 3 complement the action to perfection. The visuals move at a blistering 60 FPS and with a fluidity that is rarely seen elsewhere. This ensures that the action you see is a non-stop, all out bloodbath! The enemy designs are distinctly sinister and reek of a citizenship to Hell. The environs are dark, grim and moody and the whole game is drenched in a very Gothic atmosphere. Perfect for our metal-crazed rocker Dante! Then we have the cutscenes! Boasting some of the most over-the-top sequences in gaming - heck film history, each one is superbly directed and will have you playing the game repeatedly to watch them all over again! The Matrix looks as exciting as cheese mould compared to what you're about to see here!
The soundtrack is so fitting in DMC 3 that without it, the game loses more than half of its appeal! The music is generally slow and creepy orchestra until you find some enemies all of a sudden heavy guitar riffs kick in and hard rock pounds through your speakers! This really makes every encounter a head-bangin' rush of an experience as you slice and blast your enemies back to Hell! The voice acting is pretty good too (another Capcom first) and Dante sounds as every bit of the cocky, arrogant b*st*rd he acts like!
DMC 3 is a pure adrenaline rush of blazing guns, whirlwind swordplay, intense action and head banging music. Find the word style in the dictionary and chances are that there will be a picture of DMC 3 under it! DMC 3 is a return to form of one of the greatest PS2 games of all time…Welcome Back, Dante!

Review By Le Chupacabra

Sites Unseen

By Niloy

Well, The PC version of San Andreas is finally out! It's hard to believe that by the time you'll be reading this, we'll all probably be playing that epic game. All the wait and anticipation has finally come to an end. I'll try to give you detailed coverage on the game. Let's see how things work out.
In other not-news, I've got my own PC juiced up and ready to handle the recent games. (All this time I had been reviewing stuff on other people's PCs.) So that means I'll be gaming more and reviewing less. There'll be occasional reviews from me, of course, but I won't be nearly as regular as I was before my exams. I'll also be completely changing my reviewing style.
I've been working on some new projects recently. And I think it's about time for me to introduce a few.
It's a site with download links to all sorts of comics. I'm harvesting links from all around the net and now the site boasts an impressive list of a few hundred links. The site gets lots of visitors and it's now something I can really recommend. Current favourites in the site are downloads of Star Wars Episode III and Sin City. And I suggest you to check out the achieves. If you're a comics fan, you'll like it.
Amader Comics
This is my project in which I'll try to archive Bangla comics, both from Bangladesh and from India. Armed with a scanner, my comics collection and - of course a seemingly endless supply of free labour, this my attempt to preserve for the next generations what we once loved and cherished. It's not that comics in Bangla are superb. In fact, they range from acceptable to mediocre. But now they are gone, and this site is like an online museum for them.
Let me clarify that I'm not too much of a comics fan. I did plan to work on a site like Amader Comics, but BDcomics turned out to be an unplanned site that worked out well. (Both the sites' name sucks. I know they do. I just couldn't find other name that sucked less.) What do you think? Do you like? Mail in comments, suggestions or anything for that matter at [niloy.me@gmail.com]
The links are available in my site [niloywrites.blogspot.com] so that you don't need type them up.
Animals in Cloths!
Worth 1000's Photoshop lunatics partying on, thusly: "The rules of this game are thus: You are going to put clothes on animals. Any clothes. Any animals. Do not simply paste an animal's head onto a human's body unless you change the exposed parts of the human to match the animal's parts." Some of these images are so cute that I burned little kittens, that's how cute they are.
Kevin Cornell's sketchbook is a peek into a year in the life of his twisted, funny, and not quite PG-13 world. It's populated by odd characters such as Foxy Mama, Sock Monkeys, Son and Dad, Monsignor Jerk, Martini Bear, Cheetos Man, the Wheeled Pig, and countless penguins (probably because he read too much Bloom County as a kid). Use the "Switch Pages" icon to flip through the book. Amusing explanations often pop up when you click on a drawing.
Unusual postcards
Some of the most delightfully twisted cards I've ever seen… so odd that it's not really possible if they are intentionally odd, or just created by insane shut-ins who paint well.
From Russia with Cars:
Forgotten Concepts
Although the car types like to think automakers' concept vehicles occupy a prominent position in pop culture, their images fade fast… not long after they're unveiled. One Russian site is protecting such forgotten concepts. It's like the encyclopaedia of automotive concept cars, Cyrillic version. Of course, I'm linking to its English-language counterpart. List of its concepts: [doiop.com/conceptlist]
Yoke 2
Hojamaka soft is a website filled with irritatingly simple and yet ridiculously addictive flash games. I kid of liked the flying one and the tossing the paper ball into the trashcan one, but I can't stop playing Yoke 2. In Yoke 2, you just use your mouse to move around a square head trying to avoid a field of little white dot and the occasional angry red dots. The longer you last without hitting one, and exploding, and the higher you score. Think of it as a little training for First Person Shooters.



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