?

Log in

Tandem the Spoony
20 most recent entries

Date:2008-09-01 12:32
Subject:Demolition Man Review
Security:Public



The Spoony One goes corporate with this new Taco Bell-sponsored review of Demolition Man for the 3DO! It's a real future shock as we cope with tight new language decency constraints, as well as mounting insanity. What's my boggle?

Theme Song: "Break Me" by The Irresponsibles" (Used with permission)
(http://www.myspace.com/theirresponsiblesband)

5 comments | post a comment



Date:2008-08-24 03:17
Subject:Endurance Test
Security:Public

I warn you, the following video is not for the faint of heart. You may think you're hard. You may think you have a strong stomach. You might think you have a high threshold for pain, but I promise you, you have not been tested. This isn't porn, it isn't gore, and it doesn't involve grievous injury or anything explicit. But it's the most brutal endurance trial since the infamous 2 Girls, 1 Cup, and I promise you, you'll regret clicking on this play button.



I'm serious, don't do it. You won't make it.

post a comment



Date:2008-08-17 13:11
Subject:Knightmare Review
Security:Public




It's time to rediscover the old BBC show Knightmare as The Spoony One braves the deadly Dungeons of Deceit. Whether you've seen it or not, we're in for a wild ride.

Oooooh, nasty!

post a comment



Date:2008-08-08 22:31
Subject:Do not buy Steinberg Media Technologies products.
Security:Public

I refer specifically to the Cubase software made by Steinberg, but all of their software involves a heinous, and I mean truly excruciating registration and activation procedure that has taken me a full ninety minutes to complete.  You have to install the software, create a website account, respond to a confirmation e-mail, open the software, then open a separate license control software to discover your license key.  You have to type this key (which is 16 scattered alphanumeric characters into the website [i]twice[/i] to get your ACTIVATION KEY number.  Once you have the activation key number, you have to go BACK into the license control software, open the license download software, copy the e-mailed activation key (which is 32 alphanumeric characters), and then DOWNLOAD the activation files for your software.

You have no options if you're not connected to the Internet, and you must activate the software or it will stop functioning after a set number of uses.  This is truly ridiculous.  I can't believe the number of hoops I've had to jump through to use their piece-of-shit software, which I can't even transfer to other computers without repeating a similar process akin to withstanding the tender mercies of the Spanish Inquisition.  I can't even find a decent phone number to complain to on their website.  Do they really think I have nothing better to do than dick around on their website, creating accounts I'll never revisit and copying arcane license keys and activation codes for software I'll rarely use?

Suck it, Steinberg.  If I ever meet anyone with a passing interest in music, I am going to make it my [i]mission[/i] in life to tell them never to purchase your products.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-08-04 00:15
Subject:Wargames: The Dead Code (Review)
Security:Public

The original Wargames is one of my favorite movies.  It's very similar in theme to Fail Safe, but less dire in tone and a lot more fun.  It's sorely dated with its 1980s trappings of acoustic modems and monochrome monitors, and its given a War on Terror update in The Dead Code.  Now, the government is using an artificial intelligence called RIPLEY to identify, profile, locate, and eradicate terrorists.  RIPLEY has the power to automatically scramble military firepower to drop bombs on terrorist camps, but also has begun taking the initiative to track cells on domestic soil.  The administrators of the system admit this isn't strictly constitutional, but with the Patriot Act it's probably under their mandate, but don't tell anyone.

In this case, RIPLEY's latest idea is to set up an online gambling website that's hooked into a videogame (creatively called RIPLEY) wherein the player pilots a drone aircraft armed with an array of nuclear and biological weaponry over a major metropolitan city.  The goal is to cause the most human casualties in the least amount of time, and if successful, the winner is rewarded with prize money.  RIPLEY, in the meantime, adds the winner's name to its watch-list and profiles them as a domestic terrorist.  The movie's reasoning behind this is that the game requires detailed knowledge of nuclear and bioterrorism.  Naturally, your first thought is "uh, yeah, or the player is simply lucky, is cheating, or has a personal interest in sarin gas deployment systems."  Enter Will Farmer, teenage hacker who stumbles upon the RIPLEY game while fixing his neighbor's computer and unlocks the final "DEAD CODE" level.  He stupidly logs in as himself, gambles on the highest difficulty for the most prize money, and finds himself drawing RIPLEY's attention when he wins the game.

It's a weak premise, especially when you consider the government's inability to learn from its previous mistakes with the W.O.P.R. system that nearly triggered World War 3-- but I'm willing to let a lot of stupid decisions slide when it comes to the U.S. government.  Turn the entire U.S. military complex over to a computer with a sexy female voice?  Sure, why not?  Why does RIPLEY bother sending the prize money to Will when it could just send a SWAT team to kick down his door?  Why is Will, a normal high school student, so hard to track down?  Federal agents detain one of his friends on an airplane, but somehow manage to miss Will, who at this point is unaware of the plot against him, and is on the same plane.  How is it possible that they didn't catch Will at the many, many security checkpoints at an airport?
 
The second act of the movie turns into Bourne-ish chases through Philadelphia, where RIPLEY's ability to mobilize law enforcement fluctuates wildly and inconsistently.  RIPLEY can re-task major spy satellites to track cell phones and order air strikes on American cities without any form of congressional or executive oversight, but can only send a couple of guys in a black sedan to chase Will and his girlfriend?  Their escapes from pursuit are entirely implausible, and I have to repeat my frustrations that computer hacking is an inherently long, tedious, boring activity that is in no way cinematic.

The ending is an expected clusterfuck of technobabble and Star Trekkish "we need to overload the system!" hand-waving as Will tries to overload a major government supercomputer by rallying the online gaming community to over-play RIPLEY's game.  Professor Falken and W.O.P.R. from the old movie also return as old allies to help Will, although this turns into a lot. of. pausing. while. the. actors. type. stuff. into. Joshua's.  computer.  It all boils down to pitting RIPLEY against the collective gamers of the Intarwebs and the rejuvenated W.O.P.R., who has again been handed the Big Red Button to America's nuclear arsenal.  The final scenes are very reminiscent of the original movie, with a lot of watching the computers battle to infinite stalemates, but somehow it all makes a lot less sense, as I never once figured out what RIPLEY's goal was, or why it had gone berserk.  In the end, they just repeat the climax where they're forced to teach the A.I. the futility of mutually-assured destruction.

The movie is actually very competently shot, with some good special effects, although most of the cinematography and score are very derivative and prone to the Bourne-chic fad.  The younger actors look far too old to be high school students, and bringing back Dr. Falken with such a weak replacement actor was a very bad move.  More cringe-inducing decisions include RIPLEY's over-sexed "play with me, big boy," voice and her ability to read lips like 2001's HAL computer.  And you're telling me that they can't just walk into the server room with a fire axe and give RIPLEY a "reprogramming" or she'll launch missiles, but she'll stand by and happily let hackers fuck with her software all day?  With a few more script revisions, this might have turned into a much tighter story with a more credible resolution.  Instead, out of ideas, the movie just pirates the old ending.

Still, I will admit that as far as direct-to-video movies go, this is on the upper-tier in terms of sheer production value.  It's nothing spectacular, and it's not nearly as smart as it thinks it is, but as a Wargames sequel its heart is in the right place (if that makes any sense).  But it's not worth buying and not really worth renting except as a curiosity.  Its war on terror theme is forgotten almost as soon as the chase scenes begin, as it seems the movie doesn't really have anything to say on that score except that putting a supercomputer with complete autonomy in charge of the country's weaponry is a bad idea.  If you want to see a better movie with the same message, I'd try Colossus: The Forbin Project.  Or, y'know, Wargames.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-08-03 15:16
Subject:Dirty Dancing (PC) Review
Security:Public



Oh yes, believe it or not, there is an official Dirty Dancing game exclusively on the PC! It could be the worst game yet, but nobody puts Spoony in a corner! WOLVERINES!

post a comment



Date:2008-07-31 18:21
Subject:Most Awesome Thing of the Week - Black Summer
Security:Public




This week's most awesome thing is Warren Ellis' new comic series Black Summer. It's a provocative and thoughtful take on the superhero genre and the responsibilities a vigilante takes upon himself when he chooses to dedicate his life to fighting crime.

post a comment



Date:2008-07-23 20:22
Subject:Austrian Death Machine Review
Security:Public



In order to introduce myself to all of my new subscribers and the Nostalgia Critic fans at thatguywiththeglasses.com, I've made this review of The Most Awesome Thing of the Week: Austrian Death Machine's new Ahnuld-themed album, "Total Brutal!" It's a death-metal record where all the song titles and lyrics are Schwartzenegger movie quotes! Now that's hardcore!

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2008-07-20 11:28
Subject:The Dark Knight - Review
Security:Public




A lot of people have asked what I thought of the new summer Blockbuster, The Dark Knight. So I stopped by Taco Bell, had a bite, and recorded my thoughts on it. Enjoy!

Oh, and what the hell was up with the mayor of Gotham City wearing eyeliner?

2 comments | post a comment



Date:2008-07-13 23:57
Subject:Alone in the Dark Review
Security:Public



I've just finished Alone in the Dark, and I'm back to give you my own objective opinion on the game that has caused major critical backlash and divided gamers amongst themselves!

post a comment



Date:2008-07-13 23:54
Subject:Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition Review
Security:Public



While I was in front of the camera, I decided to follow-up on my initial "wait and see" attitude when it came to the new edition of D&D. It's been several game sessions into my new campaign, so here are my initial observations on the topic.

Keep in mind that this is coming from someone who grew up old-school when it comes to role-playing games.

post a comment



Date:2008-07-06 15:33
Subject:Yor: Hunter From the Future Movie Review
Security:Public



I present to you the greatest fantasy epic that time forgot: Yor, the Hunter From the Future! It's got cavemen, purple people, space mutinies, people drinking dinosaur juice, and Darth Vader!

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-06-17 00:55
Subject:The balcony is closed on the Gamer's Rant
Security:Public

Jolly Blackburn just wrote me to let me know that the Gamer's Rant on the Movies will stop its run near issue #150. It ranked dead last in the recent reader surveys and drew more hate mail than any feature in the magazine's history, so KODT is going to try new things.

I'd like to thank all the people who supported the Rant and who followed me to my own website, as well as all of the thousands of fans of the movie reviews and videogame reviews. I'm in it to entertain you guys, and even though I complain a lot, I wouldn't do it if I didn't love the movies, the games, and all of my fans.

Send your complaints to mailbag@kenzerco.com! Choke their inbox with your fury!

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-06-08 22:19
Subject:FMV Hell - Make My Video
Security:Public



The deepest level of FMV Hell awaits as The Spoony One is forced to make the videos of four bands: Marky Mark & The Funky Bunch, INXS, Kriss Kross, and the C+C Music Factory. Will he be able to escape with his sanity, or will these games crush his spirit once and for all?

C'mon, c'mon! Feel it! Feel it! I've got some good vibrations about this one.

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-06-02 22:59
Subject:Farewell, old friend...
Security:Public

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-05-25 11:45
Subject:Indiana Jones...and ANOTHER thing!
Security:Public

post a comment



Date:2008-05-25 04:59
Subject:Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull - A Rant
Security:Public

1 comment | post a comment



Date:2008-05-13 18:33
Subject:FMV Hell: Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
Security:Public



Our journey into FMV Hell gets even more horrifying as The Spoony One confronts the nefarious Rita Repulsa in the Sega CD game Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers.

It's morphin' time!

post a comment



Date:2008-05-13 18:29
Subject:Ask Spoony 2
Security:Public



I sat myself down in front of a camera for 40 minutes to address some of my most common e-mails and questions from the message board. Hope you find it...illuminating.

post a comment



Date:2008-05-03 20:59
Subject:Previews make me want to go on a killing spree.
Security:Public

Starting with Mike Myers.

Movies like The Love Guru look like some of the unfunniest, most mean-spirited comedies to over be shat into the toilet of American pop culture.   Mike becoming gravely overexposed, and he risks complete rejection on the same level as Pauly Shore if he carries on with this nonsense.  But more than that, it's a movie based around a disgusting, hateful stereotype that nobody ever really believed anyway, peppered with the "kitchen sink" approach that passes for comedy nowadays.  Hey look, it's Justin Timberlake in a pornstache and package-hugging shorts for no reason.  Ha.  Hey, there's Verne Troyer.  And he's really short.  Ha.  Kill me.

This movie was almost, almost topped with the preview to Adam Sandler's latest film, Don't Mess with Zohar a movie about an Israeli counter-terrorist operative who pursues his lifelong goal of becoming a flamboyant hair stylist whose gimmick is (literally) to dance around and have sex with every woman who enters his salon.  I just can't get enough of making fun of Jews and Middle Easterners, can you?  And let's throw in some homo-humor, too, because I think there's a demographic we haven't offended yet.  And I swear, Rob Schneider would be eating stale biscuits out of the garbage cans behind a Denny's somewhere if Adam weren't around to give him walk-on roles in his shitty movies.

Where's the Tylenol?

post a comment


browse
my journal