By The Anarchist Kitten
When trailers for Bruno started appearing earlier this year, everyone started expecting an obvious step-up from Borat. The trailer promised many things and one thing appeared to be apparent, Sacha Baron Cohen had taken his experience with Borat to heart and his new character would be an improvement, he would be more zany, outrageous and hilarious. And the trailers were certainly all of that, funnier, zanier, braver, but packed into those three minutes were the best scenes of the entire movie. Maybe the high expectations results in the dissatisfaction but there is very little worth watching in the remainder of the film save the scenes used in the trailers.
No one can deny the fact that Cohen and all of his characters are funny. And this movie is certainly funny, and pushes the boundaries further. It's a scathing social commentary, exposes society's obsession with celebrities and bigotry on the part of a widespread number of people in this society. But bad acting is bad acting, a weak plot is a weak plot, and over-doing a character is over-doing it.
Cohen has always looked for comedy in breaking the boundaries of social convention, and with Ali G and Borat that was often to great comic effect. But this doesn't work so much in Bruno: cheap shock effect and trying to heap even more embarrassment on his victims appear to have been the main recipes of the film. The underlying difference between his previous works and this is he didn't expose any under-the-surface bigotry like he did in Borat. He overdid his "gayness" to such a violent extreme that he forced reactions out of people, some of whom are probably open-minded, forced into a corner left to draw up a defense, which often isn't the best under stressful circumstances. A sane-minded viewer ends up feeling sorry for these people. There were also some genuine bigots in the film, but Cohen goes to such an extreme to provoke them that by the time it gets to that point, who cares anymore?
Cohen needs to find a new angle, or step-up his game, and not by trying too hard as he comes off as doing in Bruno. His tried and tested method doesn't work, and certainly not by being taken to new unnecessarily outrageous and unfunny heights. By the time any actually funny scene starts, the viewer has already been put off by the film. There are funny moments, of course, Cohen is a funny man, but this movie lacks the bite Borat had. This was just an exercise in bad taste. The reviewer's advice- watch the trailers, and laugh at what an amazing idea it is, and how good the movie could possibly have been. Don't watch it, unless you're into that sort of thing- you know, cheap laughs and poor taste.
There's something strange, in the neighbourhood. Who you gonna call?! GHOSTBUSTERS!
There are fewer songs catchier than the Ghostbusters theme song. And hearing it incites in a person a sense of nostalgia. Though, definitely not THE greatest movie in the world, it certainly had its protonic punches, with more than a few good laughs.
When we think of video games based off movies, we go, “Ugh! Another one? When will they learn?” To illustrate an example, let's very conspicuously a names, eh? Iron Man, anyone? Or the Terminator 3 games? Or the numerous other countless ones?
Thankfully, Ghostbusters isn't really like that. First and foremostly, because it's not based on the movies themselves. Think of it more as a sequel to the two movies already present. A sequel that's 25 years due? Hey, that's a very long time! Rad.
All four of the old gang are back, along with the secretary and Slimer, too. So, which one do you control? You're a brand new recruit. More of a guinea pig to Egon's madness really as you try out his newest and latest inventions, testing out hazardous, dangerous and extremely unstable prototype equipment. I can see why Peter Venkman (Bill Murray's character) would be jealous. The 'official' title was, I believe, 'experimental equipment tester'.
As you're taken through your initiation as the latest recruit (your name is never revealed- the reason is that the team wants to keep it strictly professional, and not get too attached to recruits, lest something similar happens just like 'last time'), a PKE wave hits the city of New York resulting in more than average paranormal activity. Slimer escapes his confines, along with a few other ghosts, and off they go to Sedgewick Hotel.
To tell you the truth, that's as far as I went. Either I've lost my gaming edge, or those frikking little spider-like Candlebars are TRULY that annoying! But, as far as I'd seen, the game is pretty solid. The controls are pretty good, and mostly responsive, though the aiming mechanism could use a little work- your proton stream doesn't always seem to hit home. The graphics are pretty spiffy, and something that makes the game a little more endearing is using the likeness of the original casts of Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Bill Murray, and Ernie Hudson. Not only that, but their voice acting as well- which is as well as can be expected from those guys. Which means, it feels like you're watching a new Ghostbusters (almost)-movie.
Over-the-shoulders third-person shooter, this game carries similarity with Deadspace, in that there is no Hud except what you see on screen. The proton pack on your back shows green lights as health, and a red bar for the heating condition of your equipment. You must vent the heat frequently, otherwise pack's weapons become unusable for a bit.
Each type of weapon in your pack has a primary fire, and an alternate fire for use to weaken those ghosts, and trap them. Throw a ghost trap, and use your capture beam to slam them against hard surfaces, weakening them further and finally into the trap itself.
Annoying aspects of the game include the sketchy aiming mechanism, and the fact that you have to play doctor, doctor every time you're working with your team. You'll find yourself running here and there 'reviving' your team-mates every five seconds. Doesn't leave a lot of space for Ghostbusting that. Sucks a lot about the poor AI. And of course, the most annoying aspect of the game was that I could frikking go through the SECOND LEVEL!
I really wanted to take a bite out of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man… Of course, adventure in the Ghostbuster world means that there's something life-threatening and world-ending shenanigan going on, and there's definitely gonna be something strange going down, too. So, who you gonna call?
Music for an Earthquake
By Ahsan Sajid
What with all these talks of earthquake safety and earthquake preparedness, they would have us music lovers shunned to a corner. So it was either join the fold or fade away, and since if you can't beat them, you should join them, this week we bring you an earthquake themed music article, a playlist of songs to listen to during an earthquake. So bring out that trusty mp3 player, put on those headphones, find a nice place under your bed and have yourself a quake.
1) Earthquake Weather - Beck possibly the best song off the album Guero, you will absolutely love the subtle guitar and the masterly use of Beck's unique synthesizers. A fan describes the song experience as entering another universe, as it should rightly be during an earthquake. Beck is the kind of musician that offers a little something for everyone, so enjoy this overlooked track, and start off your earthquake on the right footing.
2) Just Out Of Reach - A Place To Bury Strangers this isn't the obvious step up from Beck. And that is obviously why we're doing this, you don't want an obvious playlist. This power trio plays a heavy, atmospheric wall of sound-influenced blend of psychedelic rock, shoegaze and space rock. A Place To Bury Strangers have been affectionately lauded as New York City's “loudest band” by various indie reviewers and bloggers throughout the course of their live music career, as well as “the most ear-shatteringly loud shoegaze band you'll ever hear". They're lauded for reviving the ominous, feedback-drenched drones of the 1980s, of the Jesus And Mary Chain and My Bloody Valentine and more. And this blow-your-eardrums-the-hell-out song will blast a crater in your periphery large enough for you to better enjoy the remaining playlist in, alone and undisturbed.
3) Woman On The Screen - Boris this rapid-fire music is sure to get your heart pumping in case the thus-far-fun-quake turns ominous and you need to run for it. The first twenty seconds are, for lack of a better term, insane. This is what a sludgy, jazzy song would sound like if it was fast as hell. And there's only one word you can utter when you see the trio rocking out three double-necks. Madness...
4) Long Was The Year - Broadcast and just when your playlist is becoming like one huge song with little diversity, just when the earthquake is about to overcome your love for music, you turn to Broadcast, and everything is good again. If there's one sentiment that describes the music of Broadcast, it should be a feeling of absolute bliss; no matter what, everything is good, and will be good. The fade-in at the beginning seems to be almost masterly created to suck you in, and not let go of you. It's a shame listening to this introductory song from one of the best albums ever, The Noise Made By People, and not listening to the rest of the album, but let's do that another time. For now, the earthquake doesn't so much as matter. Because sharing the sentiment of this sudden turn in our playlist, everything will be okay.
5) Evasive Maneuvers - Sound Tribe Sector 9 this song starts with a beat that seems to repeat at you to get ready, to break free of your reverie. Earthquakes are no simple thing and you're taking it too lightly listening to music. Snap out of it. This song is all about contradiction. It's smooth. But it's rough. You cannot relax. But it's certainly soothing too. The song is simultaneously Utopian and violent. No, really, get ready to wake up.
6) The Hardest Walk - The Jesus & Mary Chain you can almost feel the credits roll while listening to this song. It was almost meant to be an ending song but somehow put in the middle of one of the most important noise rock albums of all time. Underneath the mountains of static, it's a nice lovely song. But you don't have to climb underneath the mountains to appreciate it. You'll find similarities here to Stephin Merritt's band, The Magnetic Field's latest album, Distortion here. Yes, more musicians today could do with being inspired by the 'Chain. There's not much to say about it. Listen to its magic. Wake up to it.
So one may say this is a random mash of songs disguised cleverly as earthquake songs. But the art of making a brilliant playlist is not containing the obvious choices. And even if there isn't an earthquake, it's always a good idea to climb under your bed with your headphones, and this here playlist. Have yourself an experience.