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Minimum System Requirements
System: Pentium IV 1.4 GHz or equivalent
RAM: 512 MB
Video Memory: 64 MB
Hard Drive Space: 5800 MB
Recommended System Requirements
System: Pentium IV 2.8 GHz or equivalent
Video Memory: 256 MB
Also available on XBOX 360 and PS2

Just Cause is able to justify its relative brevity and disrespect for physical law with some extremely visceral and often satisfying action. Suspension of disbelief is such a fundamental part of the video game experience that we often take it for granted. Multiple lives and first-aid kits that instantly mend whatever ails you are conventions that we accept without batting an eye, even in games that purport to have realistic settings. If you can get past the infeasibility of a man hanging onto the tail of a flying jet with one hand, you might find a lot to like in Just Cause.

Why are you hanging off the back of that helicopter? Just 'cause.
Though the broad structure of Just Cause is copped from the Grand Theft Auto series, the game also shares certain characteristics with Mercenaries and Pursuit Force. The game takes place on the fictional Caribbean island of San Esperito. You play as the black-clad Rico Rodriguez, an amused but detached character who in no small way evokes Antonio Banderas' mariachi character from Desperado. Rico comes to San Esperito to help overthrow Salvador Mendoza, a corrupt dictator in league with the Montano drug cartel. With you are Sheldon, a Hawaiian-shirt-wearing, Joe Don Baker-type who has a way of saying Spanish phrases like "El Presidente" with a pronounced twang, and Kane, a comparatively bland tough girl with a lot of sass and some vague history with Rico. With the assistance of the People's Revolutionary Army of San Esperito, as well as the rival Riojas drug cartel, your aim is to dismantle the existing regime through assassination, espionage, and plenty of mayhem.

The island of San Esperito is huge, and though there are a few urbanized areas, including a small high-rise district, several military installations, seaports, and airports, most of San Esperito is blanketed in undeveloped rainforest that is peppered with crude settlements. Its size is a little deceptive, since there's not much to be done in the huge tracts of forest, but it all feels organic, and the scope of the island is still impressive. You're given a good feel for the size of the island, as well as some of Rico's more unconventional skills, right off the bat, as you start off the game by jumping out of a plane at several thousand feet. You can control Rico's speed and direction a bit while in freefall, and you can instantly deploy a parachute at the tap of a button, which slows you down enough to make a safe landing and frees up your hands to hold any one of the weapons you might have on you. The parachute system is just one of many absurd contrivances in Just Cause. There's no limit to how often you can deploy your parachute, it doesn't seem to take up any space on your person, and it never gets snagged on obstacles like trees, buildings, or streetlamps.

In Grand Theft Auto fashion, Just Cause lets you commandeer just about any vehicle you see, including boats, planes, and helicopters, provided you can get close enough to it. Once you're behind the wheel, most vehicles have a "stunt position," which forces you to relinquish control but lets you jump onto other nearby vehicles and take control of them or deploy your parachute, which will jerk you back up into the air. After a few missions, you're given a grappling gun, which you can use to hook onto vehicles from a few hundred meters away. Grappling onto a moving vehicle will cause your parachute to automatically deploy, making it possible to parasail around the island. Perhaps most impressively, you can use the grappling hook to skyjack helicopters and planes while they're in the air.

There's also a certain amount of contempt for the laws of physics in Just Cause. Perhaps the most absurd example is the ability to hop back and forth from the cockpit of a moving helicopter to the stunt position on the helicopter's tail, passing right through the spinning blades every time. You'll also find that you can deploy your parachute just feet from the ground without any harm, and you can go directly from a terminal-velocity freefall into a stunt position on a vehicle, even going in a direction completely contrary to your momentum as long as the vehicle is close enough. The game doesn't even bother trying to justify any of this craziness, and it will no doubt annoy those expecting even a modicum of realism, but once you figure out how to effectively use these abilities to seamlessly grapple onto a car, take control of it, get into stunt position as you drive it off a cliff, deploy your parachute as you watch the car explode in the ravine below you, grapple onto an attacking helicopter and take it over, then freefall directly into the warm Caribbean waters surrounding San Esperito, it makes the action uniquely visceral and extremely satisfying.

It's lucky for Just Cause that it's able to differentiate itself from other, similar games with these ridiculous abilities, since some of the other facets of the gameplay aren't nearly as inspired. In all of the console versions of Just Cause, there's a liberal autotargeting system that only asks that you be pointing in the general direction of an enemy, which makes the gunplay a bit too easy. By comparison, the PC version defaults to a mouse-and-keyboard setup, though even then the gunplay is pretty forgiving and not especially satisfying. The most unique aspect of the gunplay is the ability to detonate grenades early by shooting them in the air, though it's about as hard to do as it sounds and rarely figures too prominently into the action. Save for a few specific planes, the vehicles control well enough, but the enemy artificial intelligence can be frustratingly tenacious, with a knack for spinning out your car and stopping you dead in your tracks.

The main mission of taking down Salvador Mendoza is relatively short, and if you're focused, you can burn through it in well under five hours. Missions are usually heavy with checkpoints, which means that if you die in the middle of a mission, you'll automatically start from the most recent checkpoint rather than from scratch. As long as you're not in the middle of a mission, you can be extracted to the starting point of your next mission at the touch of a button. The nature of the missions is predictable.

Just Cause has the open-world GTA structure, but there's not a wealth of activities to take on outside of the completely linear main story. There are dozens and dozens of side missions you can take on for the guerillas and the Riojas drug cartel, which can net you new safe houses, weapons, and vehicles, but they're rarely more inventive than what's on offer in the primary missions.

But then, you can have a good deal of fun with Just Cause simply goofing around with taking in the sights of San Esperito, which really does look and feel like a choice vacation spot with its beautiful greenery, white sand beaches, and clear blue waters. The Xbox 360 version gives you additional incentive to explore San Esperito with achievement points. You'll get a fair number by playing through the different missions, but there are also achievements for killing a number of enemies, performing a number of different types of stunts, or pulling off daring feats like base jumping for 1,000 meters. There are a lot of different unique achievements, and you could soak up a lot of time trying to earn every last one.

Just Cause will evoke strong love-it-or-hate-it reactions from people for a lot of reasons. The game's amoral stance on the complicated issues surrounding US-sponsored regime changes in third-world countries will rub some people the wrong way, while others will be annoyed by its fast-and-loose approach to basic physics. Even though it doesn't get some of the particulars right, Just Cause can still be engaging simply because of the risks it's willing to take.

I wonder what I would have done if there weren't any 'friends' or 'one tree hills' to keep me hooked to my television set. Believe me, those few months that my beloved star World was taken away from me, were some of the hardest and cruelest in my life and I'm not being sarcastic. But thanks to the wonderful world of piracy, I managed to grab my favourite shows on DVD (the entire season in one!). Cheap DVDs are one of the very few luxuries that we are bestowed with, in this country.

Desperate Housewives:
Those of you who watch this show will know it is one of the most unique TV series ever to grace our TVs. For people tired of the crazy monotonic dramas of the Indian soap opera's and rowdy action flicks, Desperate Housewives comes as a breath of fresh air- mainly because no one thought a story about a random bunch of wives could be made so interesting. It embodies the perfect balance of comedy, mystery and drama all in one to enthrall viewers of all sorts, literally.

Well is it only the charms of Eva Longoria? I don't think so…
The main lure of the show is that every character has his or her own intriguing story. It goes deep into the life of each character but always maintain a backdrop of subtle humor and we keep wanting more of it.

It is set in the lovely neighbourhood of Wisteria Lane in the town of Fairview and tells the story of four housewives each leading a different life and the dark mystery which surrounds Wisteria lane.

The series begins with Mary Alice Young (Brenda Strong) committing suicide and taking away her seemingly perfect life. Why would she do that? Is it really suicide? Her four friends try to unfold this mystery as each episode passes while juggling their own relationship dramas. The best part of desperate housewives comes next when the dead Mary Alice, from her heavenly perch, narrates the events that follow and gives us her own take on the lives of her four friends which the show deals with. They are Susan Mayer (Teri Hatcher), the divorcee and single mom who will go to extraordinary lengths to find love ; Lynette Scavo (Felicity Huffman), mother of four, who quit job to take care of her kids; Bree Van De Kamp (Marcia Cross), the perfect wife and mother ( or so she thinks); and Gabrielle Solis, the ex-model with everything she's ever wanted - a rich good looking husband, a big house, but she is nonetheless, unhappy and finds solace in her affair with the young gardener John, a sixteen year old kid from high school who falls deeply in love with her. Also present is serial divorcee Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), the free spirited real estate maven whose love life has everyone buzzing.

Then there are the guys.......the oh soo hot plumber guy Mike Delfino (Jamie Denton), who leads a mysterious life and who instantly wins Susan's heart; Lynette's adorable husband, Tom (Doug Savant), then there's Carlos Solis - Gabrielle's sophisticated, selfish , possessive husband, Mary Alice's husband, Paul Young and their disturbed son Zach.

Celebrity Profile:
Eva Longoria:
She's been recently named one of People's "50 Most Beautiful" and the "#1 Hottest Woman in the World" on Maxim, Eva Longoria was also voted by Variety as one of the "Ten New Faces to Watch," and Rolling Stone's "People of the Year," In addition, she just signed an exclusive worldwide contract as the newest face of L'Oreal.

The youngest of four sisters who grew up on a ranch in Corpus Christi, Texas, Eva Longoria attended Texas A&M-Kingsville, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology. After graduating from college, she entered a talent contest that brought her to Los Angeles, where she was spotted and subsequently signed by a theatrical agent. After landing roles on The Bold and the Beautiful, General Hospital and co-starring on Beverly Hills, 90210, she auditioned for and won the role of Isabella on the popular series, The Young and the Restless.

Longoria wrapped the indie film Harsh Times, starring Christian Bale. Longoria's previous television credits include the Dick Wolf series, L.A. Dragnet.

She made her theatre debut in the popular comedy farce, What the Rabbi Saw. Acknowledging her "comedic flair," Back Stage West proclaimed "Eva Longoria is sensational."

Longoria currently lives in Los Angeles. Unlike other celebrities staring into space searching for little green men (Aka Tom Cruise) or busy marrying and remarrying,she is actively involved as the national spokesperson for Padres Contra El Cancer, helping Latinos with cancer. She also works with the Special Olympics and worked with the John Kerry-John Edwards campaign, educating Latino voters about the presidential candidate. Her Pastimes include salsa dancing, cooking and reading Latino literature and history.

Ricky Bobby Will Ferrell
Cal Naughton, Jr John C. Reilly
Jean Girard Sacha Baron Cohen
Reese Bobby Gary Cole
Washington Michael Clarke Duncan
Carley Bobby Leslie Bibb
Lucy Bobby Jane Lynch
Susan Amy Adams
Gregory Andy Richter
Mrs. Dennit Molly Shannon

Nascar has been blasted in RS as being one of the top 5 most boring sports but then again it ends up being the centre plot for one fo the best comic offerings this season.

Ricky Bobby is a man and a myth. It is a cool parody of an auto-racing biopic.

One one hand you have the talented and hilarious Will Ferrell of previously Saturday Night Live fame. And tyhen you team him up with Sacha Baron Cohen who plays Ricky Bobby's gay French nemesis Jean Girard. Sacha has excellent comic timing and great mimicry that makes the way he pronounces Rocky Bobby sound funny every single time.

It's a great fable of a story. It starts off with how young Ricky Bobby was born in the back of a speeding Chevy, to his first words: "I wanna go fast." His beer-drinkin', pot-smokin' father is mostly off cruising down the highway, so he's raised by his mother.

Ricky Bobby grows up to possess a winning record, countless corporate sponsors and endorsement deals, a big house, a driveway full of cars and boats, a hot wife (Leslie Bibb, as Carley Bobby), two trash-talking young sons and the list if too exhaustive. He also has a best friend and sidekick called Cal Naughton, Jr. (the always brilliant John C. Reilly).

Cal and Ricky Bobby nickname each other "Shake" and "Bake," to emphasize their partnership (Cal positions his car to help his team's star driver slingshot to victory). That's a techniques race driver use to help wind and drag power them ahead of other cars. Too technical? Yep. I had to ask someone to get the lowdown but it is quite interesting.

All this is put in jeopardy when an intruder from Formula One, an espresso-sipping Frenchman named Jean Girard (Sacha Baron Cohen, aka hipster Ali G) challenges Ricky on his own turf. Or would that be track?

Girard is everything a red-blooded American like Ricky despises. Not only is he French, but when he's behind the wheel, he listens to opera, munches on croissants and reads Camus. And he's gay (Andy Richter plays his faithful chubby hubby, Gregory).

Ferrell and Reilly have a greta teamwork going on throughout the movie. Take for instance when they try to explain Cohen's accent and compare it to a dog with peanut butter in his mouth, you realize that's exactly what he sounds like.

"Ricky Bobby" is impeccably cast and performed, from the starring roles to small parts. Ferrell turns a character who could've been as paper-thin as anything in a "Saturday Night Live" sketch into a memorable comic creation. The racing stuff is quite convincing -- or at least as convincing as any event that involves indecipherable flashes of color streaking past the grandstands could. Even the elaborate CGI-assisted camera movements that take you from above the track down into the car, are just what you'd expect to see in a drama, and that makes them all the funnier.


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