Tuesday, April 1, 2014

April 2014 Look-Ahead

The bitter misery of winter has finally passed.  After a brutal season in which Roland Emmerich's predictions for a global warming apocalypse turned out to be adorably naive compared to the weather nightmare the Northeast suffered, the Sun has come out.  The evil snow goons have melted, mankind is victorious for another year.  And now we can bury our dead, rebuild our homes, and look forward to a glorious future of warmth and peace.

At least until it gets cold again, which since it is April, will probably be within the next thirty seconds.  Now comes the freakish weather cycle where spring, winter, and summer will do epic battle across the sky, as the climate of New Jersey flips wildly back and forth with an unpredictable madness that will most likely eradicate all life on this planet.  We know at the end that summer shall rule, leaving winter beaten and bloody for another six months.  But until then, our world will be ruined by the war of the seasonal gods.  Warm lovely days will bleed into frigid deathly winter, and then suddenly after torrential rains flood our streets, the entire landscape will be set ablaze by 10,000 degree solar flares.  What kind of a sick month makes you turn on your air conditioner one day and wear a winter jacket another?  April, that's what.  Watch your balls, because April is coming for them.  And just when you think its safe, May will come wanting revenge!

Anyway, since its the first of the month, let us do our usual recap show.  I'm thinking this time we will begin with the major video games getting released in April:


No, we're doing movies first.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (April 4th) - Captain America strikes first in the annual assault of roughly eighty superhero tentpole blockbusters.  The first "Captain America" was a hideous monstrosity... Reb Brown, 1970s mellowness, and a hilarious motorcycle helmet - it was a nightmare.  In comparison the 2011 "Captain America: The First Avenger" was merely disappointing and mediocre.  "The Winter Soldier" looks like Marvel is firing on all cylinders, creating a huge political thriller epic.  But then again, you're never quite sure what a Marvel movie is going to be until you see it.  This could be a lot of fun like "Iron Man 3" or it could be schizophrenic and miserable like "Iron Man 2".  We'll find out soon, since Captain America has conquered this entire coming weekend all for himself.
-- Chances to be Good:  70%.  Its Marvel, who knows?  I'm glad I'm not putting money down, because I always seem to guess wrong when it comes to superhero films.

Draft Day (April 11th) - Uch... How long has it been since the Broncos lost the Superbowl?  Just two months??  It feels like seven eternities!  I NEED FOOTBALL!  The wait until August might literally melt my brain.  "Draft Day" luckily is a movie about football, so it will relieve the pent-up football energy I have itching under my skin.  The casting looks pretty solid, and interestingly, it is going for the "Moneyball" route of portraying internal politics and managerial decisions.  This trailer always make laugh though - the Dallas Cowboys win a lot?  Not since 1995, darling.
-- Chances to be Good:  70%.  Kevin Costner is still a solid performer, football is football, so this movie looks like fun.

Oculus (April 11th) - Amy Pond fights a haunted mirror.  That's pretty much it.
-- Chances to be Good:  40%.  Why are we remaking "Mirrors"?

This is going to be exactly what it looks like.
Rio 2 (April 11th) - I never reviewed the first "Rio" because I thought it looked like a generic family CG cartoon.  Safe, forgettable, and proud of it.  Turns out it was slightly above average, still mostly mediocre, but it did have a cartoon lady with glasses dance half naked in the middle of Carnival.  Actually, I don't remember anything else about "Rio 1", just the half naked hot chick dancing.  I think birds were involved somehow.  The sequel goes to the jungle, there's pretty typical humor about such low-hanging fruit such as conflict with your father-in-law* and a sexy romantic rival.  Meh.  I don't think this one is worth my time, honestly.
-- Chances to be Good:  30%.  Get that nerdy chick nearly naked (or all naked) and have her dance!  No plot, no story, just seventy minutes of her dancing.

A Haunted House 2 (April 18th) - I'm not even going to dignify this with a response.
-- Chances to be Good:  0%.  No.

ADORABLE!!!!!!  ^________^
Bears (April 18th) -"Bears" looks like the cutest goddamn movie ever made.  What is it?  Its a nature documentary where you follow a Moma Bear and her cubs as they walk around and be loveable and huggable.  Easily the best movie to take on a date or with a child - but please do not take a date with a child, you will go to jail.
-- Chances to be Good:  100%.  John C. Reiley is going to narrate, the trailer itself is so charming I tear up watching it, enough said.

Heaven Is for Real (April 18th) - As I previously have stated, Christians are banned from making religious movies for six months because of their repeated cinematic sins, so I'm not going to see this.  And I really wouldn't want to see "Heaven is for Real" anyway, because the movie is based upon a real life incident where a young boy nearly died on the operating table and then came back talking of Heaven.  I'm not going to doubt the validity of this child's revelation, if he's seen heaven, maybe he did** - but please, can we leave this poor fucking kid alone?  Three-years-old, just barely survived a terrible illness of some kind, and now exploited to the high heavens (pun intended) to fit in the Christian industry.  And it is an industry.  They shill Jesus like he's a cheap diamond brooch on the shopping network.  This whole movie creeps me out, not because of the Heaven issue (I'm a Jew, for the most part we do not care about the afterlife) but because of how this poor kid has been thrown into this machine, manipulated and used to prove a point.  Let him be, God gave him a second chance, let him have a normal life.  Instead of... whatever the fuck this is.  You monsters.
-- Chances to be Good:  -10^23%.  The people who make movies like this are going to Hell.

Johnny Depp three days after seeing "The Lone Ranger". He was never seen again.
Transcendence (April 18th) - Johnny Depp is "Lawnmower Man", that's essentially it.  "Transcendence", unfortunately does not look like a very intelligent horror movie.  It takes what are honestly fascinating scientific possibilities such as ascending beyond your physical body and turns it into a wicked boogy man to chase after the heroes in a haunted house.  "WE HAVE TRAMPLED INTO GOD'S DOMAIN!  HUMANS MUST REMAIN IGNORANT SHEEP!  SATAN IS A BIOLOGY PROFESSOR!"  Maybe the movie will try for something more intelligent, but honestly, it looks like it is going for the dumbest possible interpretation of the Singularity.
-- Chances to be Good:  50%.  It really all depends on how evil Johnny Depp's character turns out.

The Other Woman (April 25th) - Cameron Diaz discovers that her boyfriend, Jaimie Lannister, is cheating on her... with two other women.  So then all of Nikolaj Coster-Waldau's girlfriends have a big female team up, full of Girl Power, and Estrogen.  "Come ladies, let us ovulate with pride.  And then go shopping!  And bleed monthly without a man ruining our free spirits:  our vaginas are perfectly fine empty anyway.  Well... at least until we find the right man for the end of the film, but then we're empowering ourselves to fill our vaginas with exactly what we want."  Which is fine, you go girl.  I'm personally not interested because this looks like a generic romantic comedy, and I'll be busy doing... anything else.
-- Chances to be Good:  30%.  Nothing is wrong with a genre film, but this isn't my kind of genre.

The Quiet Ones (April 25th) - April definitely loves its horror films.  Why?  I don't know why.  Somebody at Hollywood looked at April and thought "beginning of spring, birds singing, flowers blooming, college girls tanning in bikinis on the lawn in front of the library, Bambi and his friends getting laid - this is definitely horror movie time".  Out of all the horror films so far, "The Quiet Ones" looks like the scariest.  Its made by Hammer Films, a classic name in horror, it has a creepy girl, there are demons or ghosts or devils, I have hopes here.
-- Chances to be Good:  66.6666666666666...%.  Horror movies are tough sells, but something about this trailer speaks to me.

And that's it for April in terms of movies.  Not all that many, but its an opulent splendor compared to the video game situation:

Kratos the Dwarf, Assassin's Creed Guy, and a Lady.
The Elder Scrolls Online (April 4th) - One of these days I'm going to have to accept the inevitability of history and play a Western RPG.  And if I were to pick a Western RPG to play, it would be from The Elder Scrolls series, seemingly the White People answer to Final Fantasy.  However, I will not be starting with "The Elder Scrolls Online", for the basic reason that I do not play MMOs.  Sorry.  Not my thing, maybe I'll try them one day, but this just doesn't look interesting enough.  The gameplay looks like a typical MMO, click and things happen (very boring), but there does look to be a great deal of love put into this project.  I hope it works, I hope people enjoy it.  But honestly, I'd rather watch "The Other Woman".
-- Chances to be Good:  Who Knows?
-- Chances I'll Play It:  0%.

Some Sports Games About Soccer and Baseball - Whatever.  The sun is out, why not just play baseball and soccer for real?

Conception II: Children of the Seven Stars (April 15th) - What... what?  So this is apparently an ultra-niche JRPG that has been published by Atlus USA for the 3DS and the Vita.  It looks like an odd turn-based RPG with some anime characters rather than character models in cutscenes (always a sign of cheapness as far as I'm concerned), but then there's the plot line.  Its about wooing girls and having babies with them - seven of them - and then fighting evil with your massive family.  Or something.  I have no idea.
-- Chances to be Good:  45%.  I'm sure this is somebody's fetish.  Enjoy.  But clean up afterwards.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  0%.  Money is tight and this is really really out there.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (April 29th) - As video game budgets have ballooned into absurdity, slowly the cheap movie license game has died off.  Or well, we wish, they have just jumped ship to the cheapest and most terrible of gaming markets:  mobile gaming.  "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" is made to be a fully-fledged AAA title, an open world adventure game where you get to play as Spider-Man doing Spider-Man things.  Its not an original idea since this is more or less an evolution of the now-classic "Spider-Man 2" on the PS2.  But this game could be fun, we'll wait for reviews.  If anything, it will probably be better than the movie, which looks solidly mediocre.
-- Chances to be Good:  60%.  I don't see a blueberry Jaime Foxx anywhere, that's a step.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  25%.  Maaaaaaaaaaaybe...

Watercolor rock and roll.
Child of Light (April 30th) - Ubisoft's downloadable RPG is easily the most interesting video game of April.  Its a beautiful sidescrolling with an art style that is said to be a mixture of Yoshitaka Amano and Studio Ghibli.  Oh Ubisoft, you shameless whore!  Stop combining things I love already!  Oh, the game is partially inspired by "Final Fantasy VIII", there we go.  Now my hype is down to a reasonable level.  All of the dialog is written in rhyme, the world is a fairy tale universe, beautiful crafted, and everything about this title looks like the most exciting and loving game made for April.  Its a downloadable title too, so it should be nice and cheap.
-- Chances to be Good:  90%.  FEEL. THE. HYPE.  Surrender rational thought.
-- Chances I'll Play It:  100%.  There isn't much to pick from in April.  This is pretty much the only game that catches my eye.

* Okay, America, I think we need to have a conversation about this.  Why is it that in every single fictional... anything, there is always this running trope of needlessly protective fathers being aggressive against their daughter's lovers?  This is an expected gag, we all assume fathers need to hate any man their daughter brings home.  Why?  Do we need to play up to our Freudian desires this way by having a father protect one of "his women" from a rival mate?  No matter how gross the subtext?  Here's what I want to see - just once - a father-in-law buying his son-in-law a beer, and them having a moment of mutual respect, right off the bat.  No conflict, no sexual tension, but maturity.  I know that's not really funny, but maybe we should try a bit harder for our humor?

** I mean, his dad is a pastor... and he was three years old.  Kids that young can understand the difference between reality and fantasy, but they can still easily be coached by a parent who wants to hear a very specific narrative.


  1. Movie wise I'm not really excited for anything. Except Bears. I love bears. Even if they can kill you with one paw swipe I still think they're awesome.

    Gamewise I am looking forward to Child of Light. I'll be grabbing that when I get my Wii U. And
    I would say don't count Conception out, but yeah you kinda have to be in the "I'm totally cool with hitting on virtual 16 year olds so we can make demon fighting super babies" group to really get into it. The only thing I don't like about it is that I feel it focuses too much on the dating aspect rather then the combat. If no information comes out about Smash bros or DQVII I'll still get it.

    1. I felt creepy enough in Persona 3 when I had to juggle five girlfriends at once and then dump them after we had sex and I mastered their Arcana. In DQV I loved the idea of making a family and fighting Satan together with my children and wife. But essentially raping a whole bunch of teenaged girl in a massive polygamous Bene Gesserit breeding program? Not my style. Creepy.

    2. Understandable. I'm choosing to look at it through the DQV view and just see it as a family outing to kill monsters. Although no one can deny that the spiritual love making scene isn't awkward. Especially when the music starts to play. Oh God when the music plays, that's when everything subtle gets thrown out the window.

  2. I would be very interested to see what Ubisoft does with the Child of Light IP, assuming it's a smashing success (at least in their eyes). Couldn't be worse than the limp dead horse that Square Enix is riding on called the FF franchise.


    1. The first one isn't even out yet, we're already thinking of sequels?

    2. FF XV will change all that Sir. It will be a strong and sturdy horse. a sexy horse. dark. slick. menacing. tragic but triumphant.
      touch. caress. but beware.
      it will be the last game you EVER play.