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King Kong Official Movie Game

Review by Grim Reaper

Anyone, (and I don't mind saying this) not to have liked Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy doesn't have a brain developed enough to appreciate the grand excellence of the movies (except perhaps, purist, fanatically hardcore Tolkienites). A lot is expected, therefore from the upcoming flick by the same director. But, movies being Gokhra's department, this is a game review for the PS2 version of the official movie game.

No it's not a demo, as some of you may already be thinking; the game was released before the movie. It is most an ingenious publicity strategy, because for anyone who has played the game, the movie will be anticipating the movie even more. It sets the atmosphere for the classic remake perfectly.

It is an FPS during the human levels (majority) where the gamer plays through the eyes of Jack (Bristoe ?) but goes to a third person perspective when the player is Kong himself. The whole game has presentation worthy of a pat in the back. The graphics aren't exemplary, but the overall ambience more than makes up for it. It really does feel like a dense, immense jungle. The adventurous excitement is what keeps the player glued to the game. Who cares if it is unrealistic? Skull Island is supposed to have dinosaurs and monstrous beasts. The classic 20's-30's 'jungle explorer' feel is beautifully simulated, for lack of better vocabulary. It is hard to describe in words, the overly romanticized explorer/expedition theme that has been so convincingly represented, and that alone makes the game worth buying. It was the reason King Kong, and Indiana Jones, and Tarzan and Jungle Boy (books and movies alike) were so magical and memorable. It definitely multiplies the expectations for the movie.

That said; the game is also, at least initially, one of the most fun to play. The spear-throwing is an ingenious feature that really adds to the overall feel. The control is a little lacking, but one gets used to it. Turning off certain options makes the game even more realistic.

There is no reticule, and no HUD with ammo count etc. One has to use one's estimation, or the gun sights, which makes (a little exaggeratedly) slow. Also Jack (the protagonist) automatically calls out the ammo remaining every time you reload. Mind, you will be quite strained for ammo (which, unlike Tomb Raider, you don't find lying around in ancient forest/temples), so the spears almost become a necessity later on. This is one of the ramifications of the biggest flaw in the game. Any rumor you may have heard of the game being short is untrue. It may be short time-wise, but unfortunately it turns into one of those games that drag on unnecessarily, with excessive filler levels. The Kong levels are also initially good, but later become cumbersome, frustrating, and repetitive. Bash-bash-bash-[continue till fingers tired]-tap another button quickly to do finisher, repeat. The last level was also a let down. If you are expecting a Lost World-esque rampage through the city, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Ending comments; the ambience is good, gfx and sound are solid, but gameplay is only initially fun. My advice? Buy it to increase the hype (for the movie) then play till you just start getting bored, then quit. That'll probably let you enjoy the movie even more, hopefully. But then again, it's Peter Jackson.

He's been making girls drool since his Australian acting debut. When a young, hunky 20 year old heart-throb Heath Ledger first got came to the attention of the public in 1999, it was all too easy to tag him as a "pretty boy" and an actor of not much depth. He has spent the past five years trying desperately to sway this image away, but this has indeed been a double-edged sword.

The start
Heath Ledger was born on the fourth of April 1979, in Perth, Western Australia. As the story goes, in junior high it was compulsory to do one of two electives, either cooking or drama, and as Heath could honestly not see himself in a cooking class, he tried his hand at drama. Heath was talented, there was no denying that. However, the rest of the class did not acknowledge his talent, possibly out of jealousy. When he was 17, he and a friend, decided to pack up, leave school, take a car and rough it to Sydney. Heath believed Sydney to be the place where dreams are made, or at least, where actors can possibly get their big break.

His big break
Upon arriving in Sydney with a purported 69 cents to his name, Heath tried everything to get a break. His first real acting job came in a low budget movie called Blackrock (1997), a largely unimpressive cliché ridden teen angst film about one boy's struggle when he learns his best mate raped a girl. He did not have a large part in this movie, in fact, it was a very small one. The only thing of notice in his role is you get to see him get his lights punched out. After that small role, Heath auditioned for a role in a TV show called "Sweat" (1996) about a group of young Olympic hopefuls. He got offered one of two roles, one as a swimmer, another as a gay cyclist. Heath accepted the latter because he felt to really stand out as an actor one had to accept unique roles that stood out from the bunch. It got him small notice, but unfortunately the show was quickly axed, which led him to look for other roles.

He was in "Home and Away" (1988) for a very short period, in which he played a surfer who falls in love with one of the girls of Summer Bay. Then came his very brief role in Paws (1997). Paws (1922) was a film which existed solely to cash in on guitar prodigy Nathan Cavaleri's brief moment of fame, where he was the hottest thing in Australia. Heath played a student in the film, involved in a stage production of a Shakespeare play, in which he played "Oberon". A very brief role, this did nothing other than give him a small paycheck, but nothing to advance his career. Then came Two Hands (1999). He went to America trying to audition for film roles, showcasing his brief role in "Roar" (1997).

Breakthrough role
He could not find any American roles but then Australian director Gregor Jordan auditioned him for the lead in Two Hands (1999), which he got. An in your face Aussie crime thriller, Two Hands (1999) was outstanding and helped him secure a role in 10 Things I Hate About You (1999). After that, it seemed Heath was being typecast as a teen hunk, which he did not like, so he accepted a role in a very serious war drama The Patriot (2000).

No typecasting for this dude
What followed was a stark inconsistency of roles, Heath accepting virtually every single character role, anything to avoid being typecast. Some met with praise, like his short role in Monster's Ball (2001), but his version of Ned Kelly (2003) was an absolute flop, which led distributors hesitant to even release it outside Australia.

The Sin Eater (1997) (TV) was absolutely terrible, and A Knight's Tale (2001) was just light entertainment. Heath has had such a wide variety of roles that he seems unsure what to do with himself next. Despite being a very talented comedic actor, he seems to only want serious roles, which has hindered his career. He is by no means one of the greatest actors out of Australia, but in his brief career to date has suggested he could become one, if only he accepts the right role.

Heath Ledger Rides Again
Recent flicks starring Heath are Lords of Dogtown, where he plays Skip Engblom, a godfather in the skateboarding world. Also there's The Brothers Grimm and Brokeback Mountain.

Heath Ledger Says...
"I only do this [act] because I'm having fun. The day I stop having fun, I'll just walk away."

"I'm the worst auditioner - really, really bad. I mean, you're being judged and I'm just so aware of it that it consumes me. I can't relax, I'm tied in knots, so the voice is very taut and tense."

By Gokhra

I wasn't at all curious when a friend plonked the DVD on my desk and told me to have a look. Penguins? Aren't they the birds in tuxedos that look like the fowl equivalent of James Bond? More like Charlie Chaplin wit their rather over sized feet. Hmm, so what's the story?

This is a documentary but not quite like what you would expect. I sat down to watch it thinking there was nothing better to do and it turns out to be a pleasant surprise.

It's a loving ode to the life-altering (and at times life-threatening) dedication and devotion of parents toward the conception and protection of their children. Created by Luc Jacquet's it is a breathtaking and surprisingly sweet documentary. What's really amazing is how the whole show highlights the similarities between the furry creatures and furless humans.

The whole thing was amazingly shot over thirteen months by Jacquet and expert cinematographers Laurent Chalet and Jérôme Maison. The few courageous (and very cold) men braved the elements to spend a year filming an astonishing and irresistible documentary set in the frozen no-man's-land of Antarctica.

The original was made for native France with humorous dialogue for the penguin protagonists. The American release that we find in Bangladesh have Morgan Freeman's warm, elegant, understated narration instead. It is reportedly a great improvement over the version that screened at Cannes in which French actors "spoke" for the penguins.

The narrative is an uncomplicated one, tracing the arduous yearlong procreation process during which hundreds of penguins travel 70-plus miles to a solid stretch of ice. Throughout this trek the penguins are led by the leader-of-the-line male emperor penguins. Once they reach their destination they engage in an amusing courtship dance to find a desirable mate, a routine that can end in romantic beak-to-beak snuggling or, in certain cases, female-on-female violence when a sneaky femme attempts to steal an already-taken man. Sounds a lot like those hindi soap operas eh? By the way penguins are seasonally faithful but don't let that form any ideas in your male human minds.

Once paired up, the couples embark on a grueling ordeal in which the males and females alternately brave the frigid winds with no shelter and little food while taking turns traveling back to their native habitat, where they can gorge on fish that will eventually nourish their kin. You see, once the females lay their single egg, the males take over the egg-sitting chores, while their mates head back to the water for a little rest and relaxation. Just goes to show how fussy the female of the species can be about their looks.

Enduring blizzards, starvation and sub-zero temperatures, the males huddle together for four months, until the girl penguins return, fat and happy as if they've been to a luxury spa. Together, the couples raise their newly born and endlessly adorable chicks.

Tending to the baby is a delicate endeavor rife with hazards, since adults must protect their precious eggs (and, later, their vulnerable babies) from touching the ice by cradling them on top of their clawed feet and against the warm flaps on their stomachs. Trust me, it is actually way more difficult than it sounds. The resulting portrait is often tender and sometimes tragic, and the filmmakers' refusal to sugarcoat the harsh, fatal realities of life. Eggs and baby chicks tumble out of their pouches and freeze to death. Predators abound, ranging from a leopard seal to a petrel swooping out of the sky. Older penguins often don't survive the winter. Surprisingly and more effectively Jaquet doesn't linger on these deaths. They are dealt with in a matter of seconds, yet the point is clearly made. Makes you wonder though why they just don't go south.

The movie thrives on the awe-inspiring sight of the animals' inherent, ritualistic ability to persevere, thrive, and love amidst severely inhospitable environs.

It's awesome. Don't walk away with your beak in the air just because it is called a documentary. Waddle over to the TV (or computer) and prepare to be freeze in excitement. And with those corny lines I bid adieu.



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