Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Thursday, December 13, 2007





Reviewed by Gokhra

Cast & Credits
Giselle: Amy Adams
Robert: Patrick Dempsey
Prince Edward: James Marsden
Nathaniel: Timothy Spall
Queen Narissa: Susan Sarandon
Nancy: Idina Menzel
Narrator: Julie Andrews

Amy Adams is simply enchanting. She carries the entire movie on her petite shoulders with her persona. She has that rare 'something' where she imbues a certain lovability in any character she plays.

The plot:
Amy Adams plays Giselle who begins the movie as a lovable animated princess in a Disney-style world. She is THE storybook princess after which Beuty, Snow White, Cinderella and such are modeled. Nothing can resist her charms. Everyone and everything is in love with her be it humans or birds, chipmunks and even cockroaches. Heck, even flowers love her as they tilt when she passes.

And like the model for princesses, she has a beautiful singing voice. She hums a tune and wits for her prince charming who appears appropriately attired atop shiny steed. Love occurs at first sight and they are destined to live happily ever after. Prince Edward (now that's a princely name) is played by James Marsden. Now happily ever after doesn't happen before some evil character puts the whammy on the proceedings. So we have the wicked Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) who messes thigns up for the smitten couple by banishing Giselle to a place that's a bit different from the fairy tale world of magic. It's called New York.

James Marsden: Facing off a beautiful evil witch is just that difficult

Heck, now that movie is so firmly placed in real life that the whole animation process becomes a live action flick. Now talk about strong magic.

The animated beginning sets the scene very well hinting at sweet Disney style story telling.

Prince Edward wouldn't be much of a prince if he didn't rush to save his lady love. He arrives in New York along with his manservant Nathaniel and a chipmunk.

Now it can't be as simple as that. So we have Robert (Patrick Dempsey), a handsome single dad, whom Giselle meets during her banishment. Robert has a daughter named Morgan who likes or rather loves Giselle on the spot.

Nancy (Idina Menzel), is not at all happy with the developments. You see, she happens to be Robert's girlfriend in the non-animated New York. She's a nice person enough. Loveable even. But can she beat the competition from a princess loved even by cockroaches? Well, maybe that last example wasn't a very suiting one. There is a scene where Giselle appoints the teeming masses of New York cockroaches and vermin to help clean Robert's messy apartment. Why, how and even how come are questions you must see to find out.

Patrick Dempsey: To woo or not to woo

The verdict:
Enchanted is a Disney-esque musical comedy that manages to be sweet without causing toothaches. The movie along with other fairy tale trappings deals with innocence but without making the story wishy-washy. Giselle and Edward are mainly spoofed but they do believe in things like "true love's kiss." Concepts such as divorce and dating are unheard of but the fairy tale couple accept the matters quite well.

It's got a lot of good musical numbers and most importantly of all it's got magic.


Trey Parker and Matt Stone have never taken themselves too seriously, as evidenced by their stunt at the 2000 Academy Awards when they ingested hallucinogens and strolled down the red carpet in designer gowns. “That was the last time I've taken acid,” Parker admits. “And we hadn't done it for a few years before that, but that seemed like the right time to do it.”

Why are they famous?
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been entertaining teens and keeping parental watch groups on red alert since 1997 when their first episode of South Park debuted on Comedy Central.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone never intended to become America's foremost satirists. “The first time I think I ever heard the word satire was somebody saying, 'Oh, you guys do satire' and I was like, 'What's that?'” Stone admits. “Since, we've discovered what it is.” Parker agrees wholeheartedly. “We've never considered ourselves satirists, but because we're on Comedy Central and because we're South Park on Comedy Central, we can do any topic we want,” he explains. “There is nothing we can't do. So it's just the fact that we're doing topics like that that other people, especially network TV, won't touch, that [makes us] satirists.” That includes controversial topics like the custody case of Elian Gonzalez, the capture of Saddam Hussein and the medical crisis of Terri Schiavo. “I think we feel like it's a whole big fertile ground that other people should be exploiting, but they just don't,” Stone says. “You guys can make fun of it too. But just no one else will. I kind of feel lucky.”

Contrary to popular belief, Trey Parker and Matt Stone didn't emerge out of the same womb. Although these gifted comedians sometimes seem to share the same brain, they were actually born thousands of miles apart. Randolph Severn Parker III got the ball rolling when he was born on October 19, 1969, in the snowcapped community of Conifer, Colorado. Two years and thousands of miles away later, Matthew Richard Stone joined the party when he was born on May 26, 1971, in Houston, Texas.

Stone and his family soon moved to the Denver suburb of Littleton, although he and Parker didn't meet until nearly two decades later when they were both students at the University of Colorado. The offbeat pair hit it off immediately and they began crafting a series of crude shorts and feature-length films, including The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Frosty (1992).

Although hardly mainstream fare, the film caught the attention of a FOX executive named Brian Graden who commissioned them to create an animated Christmas video card. The result was The Spirit of Christmas: Jesus vs. Santa (1995), a hilarious five-minute short that introduced the world to the characters Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Kenny McCormick, and Eric Cartman.

Parker and Stone create south park
It didn't take long for word of the short to spread throughout the industry, and within a matter of weeks Parker and Stone were given their very own development deal with Comedy Central. Drawing upon their popular characters, the pair created South Park, an animated sitcom about the comedic misadventures of four foulmouthed grade-schoolers in a dysfunctional Colorado town.

The show, which debuted on August 13, 1997, polarized audiences from the very first episode. Those who loved it, considered it to be the zenith of televised satire, while those who hated it condemned it as being excessively crude and inappropriate for viewers of any age. Luckily for Parker and Stone, the critics soon recognized the program's brilliance and South Park has since won two Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program and a CableACE Award for Best Animated Programming Special or Series.

parker and stone's bigger longer & uncut Talent
Trey Parker and Matt Stone have been called politically incorrect, insensitive and vulgar -- and that's just by their fans. Although it's easy to focus solely on the negatives, Parker insists that there is a deeper message behind their potty-mouthed humor. “For us [comedy] is the only way we can get to the corner of the truth of any issue,” he explains. “It is how we think. And a lot of people don't have a sense of humor, [so] they think that if you are joking about something you just don't care at all.” In fact, Parker claims that he and Stone care passionately about the topics and themes that they skewer. “You have to think about something pretty seriously in order to make a joke about it,” he says. “It is not like we don't care about the issues involved. It is the only way we know to examine them.”

So, what is the underlying maxim that colors all of their work? “We still believe that all people are born bad and are made good by society, rather than the opposite,” Parker says. Stone agrees. “I think that's where we're conservative,” he says.

In addition to their award-winning work on South Park, Parker and Stone have also collaborated on several high-profile projects. In 1997, they wrote, directed and starred in Orgazmo, a below-the-belt comedy about a Mormon who is recruited into the porn industry. Although the film failed to cover its costs, it did develop a cult following and it allowed the pair to create the humorously warped sports comedy BASEketball, costarring Jenny McCarthy and Yasmine Bleeth, the following year. Up next was the short-lived sitcom That's My Bush!, which premiered in 2001. The show, which focused on the antics of President Bush, proved to be too expensive for Comedy Central and it was canceled after just eight episodes. "A lot of people didn't get it,” Parker later admitted. “I didn't get it myself."

Undeterred, Parker and Stone went back to the drawing board and came up with Team America: World Police (2004), an over-the-top Bruckheimer-like musical starring marionettes. The film raked in $50 million worldwide and it was honored with an Empire Award for Best Comedy.

Ten years after South Park first hit the airwaves, Parker and Stone were still hard at work crafting new episodes. “When we started, we didn't know what we were doing,” Stone admits. “And none of the shows we've done in the last two or three seasons could have been shown on air back in 1997. If you look at the first season, they're tame.” Parker is quick to agree. “It's definitely a lot dirtier,” he says.

In addition to toiling away on South Park, the pair also worked on the 2009 family friendly film Giant Monsters Attack Japan!.

Source: askmen.com

Minimum System Requirements
CPU: 2.0 GHz Single Core Processor
Memory: 512 GB
Video: Geforce 6200, Radeon 9600, or better
Hard drive: 8 GB free space

Recommended System Requirements
CPU: 2.4 GHz Dual Core Processor
Memory: 1 GB
Video: Geforce 7800GTX, ATI x1300, or better
Hard drive: 8 GB free space
(Honestly, I do not trust the minimum requirements. It's… too low for me to believe. If anybody with that configuration has been able to play this game comfortably, drop us a mail.)

My System
CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz
Memory: 1 GB (DDR2- 667 MHz)
Video: Geforce 8400GS
Hard drive: Adequate free space.

By Emil

The long awaited sequel to the Unreal Tournament series is finally here. Unreal Tournament 3, formerly titled Unreal Tournament 2007, comes packed with brilliant graphics, awesome music and fast paced combat with smarter AI, and it's just fun, fun and fun. Unless, you're looking for the 'story-oriented' campaign. Despite it being a really good game, the story implementation was crass and utterly stupid. Here's what's what.

The Game
Let's get the rubbish out first. The Campaign mode follows the 'story' of Reaper and co., as they sell their skills in the battlefield to the Izanagi (the mercenary gig gets them towards their goal for revenge against the Necris faster), led by former (multiple) tournaments champion Malcolm. You play through different maps till you come face-to-face with the leader of the Necris, known as Akasha.

The gameplay is pretty much the same as before, except a few changes in feel here, and some there. It's a bit hard to control at first, but once you get the feel of it, it's like you always knew how it was.

Although, the game modes are the same, their context has changed.
For example, you no longer 'hit the frag-limit' in Deathmatch. You (heh…) drain the enemy's Respawners. That's when the 'battle' in this large-scale war finishes. Duel is just head-to-head deathmatch. Mano a mano. That's all there's to it. And in CTF, instead of capturing flags, your task is now to bring enemy FlaGs to your base. FlaG is short for some sort of Generator. I know. Nonsense. Vehicle CTF is the same, except vehicles are available. In Warfare, like Onslaught of UT2004, you take out your opponent's Prime Core by connecting with it with your own through captured nodes throughout the map. Of course, this is just the campaign mode. We all know that that Deathmatch is Deathmatch and CTF is CTF. Multibillion dollar companies can be silly like that, sometimes.

By the way, you can play the campaign in co-op mode with three other persons, through LAN or internet.

The cartoony visuals of UT2004 are no more. It's all a lot more realistic, now. The maps and arenas are very beautifully designed. Unreal Engine 3 has done a brilliant job if the game really is playable at those minimum requirements. If you have enable high visual settings, sometimes you might just feel like stopping to admire the scenery instead of trying to blast your enemy into oblivion. Why mar such a beautiful landscape with so violence? The characters, too, are designed smartly. Textures are smooth and cool with little or no rough edges. Like all recent games, the lighting effects have been a real nice touch.

The sound of silence, the continuous splashing of waterfalls, the roaring of machines, it's all there- the ambiences are splendidly done and it all adds to the fun of the game. Sound effects of weapons firing are somehow pleasing to hear, too, especially when followed by the agonizing scream of the fragged.

Most of the basic weapons from UT2004 returns, except the Shield Gun, Assault Rifle and Minigun. They're replaced by the impact hammer and enforcer from the original UT, and from Unreal Championship II, the Stinger Minigun. Weapons are revamped with sleeker and deadlier appearances. (Shock Rifle, my personal favourite, is beautiful, as is the shock combo. It almost brings tears to my eyes… Not really). The Rocket Launcher can fire upto three shots in a normal straight line, a spiral, or as grenades. The Lightning Gun is no longer available, sadly, but we can hope somebody will be modding it soon enough…

I could go on and on about this game, and its features- the removal of the 'dodge-jump', the inclusion of the hoverboard, and so many things. But, I can't. Word constriction, you see. The best thing that this game offers is awesome gameplay- most particularly in the multiplayer mode. That's what Unreal Tournament is about, anyway, right? So, yeah. The requirements are low enough. Gather your buddies, and why not give it a shot? In fact, why not give it several shots? Add a shock combo on my behalf too, wouldya?


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