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Archive for the ‘Movies&Games Reviews’ Category

Trust movie review

Posted by admin On September - 5 - 2012


Trust
Trust Movie is a 2010 thriller film directed by David Schwimmer, who is best known for his role in the hit 90’s show friends. It stars stars Clive Owen (Golden Globe & BAFTA winner), Catherine Keener, and Liana Liberato. The film is set in the suburbs of present day Chicago.
The film is about a teenage girl who becomes a victim of sexual abuse when she befriends a man on the Internet. 14-year-old Annie Cameron is the girl next door. She enjoys a healthy relationship with her parents. On Annie’s birthday, her parents give her a laptop. However Annie is rather naive in respect of some of the ways in which the Internet can be harmful. When she meets Charlie in an online chat room, she establishes an instant connection with him. While keeping the relationship secret from her family but confides only to her best friend. When they first come into contact, Annie discovers that Charlie is significantly older than he presented himself to be. The plot thickens as Annie’s life is turned upside down due to her relationship with Charlie.
Liana Liberato who portrays Annie gives a stellar performance; audiences can easily fall in love with her character. Laugh and cry with her through her coming to age. Liana is clearly the break out star in the film. Another note worthy character is Clive Owen who portrays Annie’s father is quite convincing with his emotions throughout the movie.
Trust is a must see film for all especially for both parents and children, so as to learn the dangers online relationships can cause. The film also depicts the importance of family and how love ultimately triumphs in the end.
By
Julie

Movie Review: TAKERS

Posted by admin On August - 31 - 2010
Moral Rating: Offensive
Movie making Quality: 3 stars
Primary Audience: Teens Adults
Genre: Action Crime Suspense Thriller Drama
Length: 1 hr. 47 min.
Year of Release: August  2010

“Everyone’s after something”

“Takers” is a fast-action, adrenalin-laden story of articulate bank robbers, automatic weapons and what can inevitably go wrong in the business of crime. While not the deepest of story lines nor the most well choreographed script, the writer certainly tried to put together a thoughtful and challenging story. Straying (slightly) from the typical overuse of skin, guns and booze, director John Luessenhop at least takes a stab at developing relationships within the crooks, weaving hidden agendas and building a somewhat shocking surprise ending.

Don’t get me wrong. There was plenty of gun fire and bar scenes, but they weren’t relied upon to totally carry the show. Viewers who are used to this genre will find it follows the typical plot of most, but might be refreshed hear fewer cuss words and see less blood as say “Gone in 60 Seconds,” “Public Enemies” or “Heat.”

There were definitely moments where I thought, I’ve been here before. But, I suppose after the 50th Hollywood bank robber movie, it’s a little difficult to find completely fresh plots and one liners. There were some areas that I thought were somewhat memorable and deserve a bit of recognition. The introductory bank robbery, while, of course, morally wrong, scary for the victims and full of brashness and fury, did not leave any casualties behind and had several cool moments of thoughtful plot twists and intriguing gotchas. Another chase scene was particularly well choreographed and left me in awe of the gymnastic capabilities of the runner. Probably a little overdone and farfetched, yet they didn’t rely on any CGI, so I have to give them a little nod.

There are all kinds of viewers that I would recommend not see this genre of movie. “Takers” is no exception. While very conservative in using the F-word (one instance), they really made heavy use of the word s**t (more than 40). They also mixed in just about every other word you can think of, although generally in a realistic manner, rather than a carefully planned vomiting of foul language (a**hole, bit**, bulls**t, hell, bast**d, b**ls, etc.) Of course, way beyond that was the use of the Lord’s name as a cuss word. Several times (G-d*mn—11, Jesus Christ—1, Jeez—1, Oh G*d—1). One wonders why that has to occur, when they could easily avoid it. But there it was, and it will ruin it for many who cannot stand to hear the Lord offended personally.

No sex scenes, to speak of, although a little kissing by one of the main characters with his only squeeze. Couple of head turners though. One was in a job shack where a contractor of some sort was sitting at his desk. Behind him were pin ups of women with really no clothes to speak of. You might miss it the first time, but they keep panning over it to make sure you don’t. The other problem was a brief and highly unnecessary swimming pool scene. The main character is seen entering a pool at night. For just a moment, you get a glimpse of his naked back side as he enters in with two females who are undoubtedly naked as well, although mostly hidden in the water. Just not necessary and takes the mind to places it would be better not to go. Several other brief issues with girls walking the streets in scanty clothing and in provocative situations. Certainly enough to offend, and yet kept fairly conservative when compared to other PG-13 types of movies with similar story lines.

There are aouple of moral issues to ponder and draw some attention to. The main police detective is obviously in the midst of struggling with a damaged relationship. We presume he and his wife are separated. His daughter is suffering through this and continues to do so throughout the movie. Even after it is revealed that this apparent damage is a result of misplaced emphasis on his work, it takes his best friend to bring it to his attention. No resolution is ever made about this neglect towards his wife and child, and so we are left with a sadness at the obvious transgression. The best friend, as well, is struggling with his own moral dilemma. It ends up making him as guilty as the bank robbers he is tracking. In the end, he lays his own life down for his family in a vain attempt at doing the right thing. Too bad he relies on himself, rather than standing empty at the foot of the cross and experiencing healing there. To me, the obvious conclusion is that “goodness” has no good in it without the example of our Savior and the salvation that solely comes from Him.

While I dredged a few thoughts of my Lord and Savior out of this movie, it is in no way intended to take us anywhere near the cross. I would caution many that this will sadden you in a negative way and will leave you with the pool scene stuck in your head and a repertoire of foul language. For those who look forward to this sort of movie (action, bank robbers), you will find it not quite as voluminous in its use of skin, booze, blood and foul language. Sort of disappointing that this makes it a “better” action movie, but somehow it does in today’s comparison.

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Moderate to Heavy / Sex/Nudity: Moderate to Heavy

Furry Vengeance

Posted by admin On May - 7 - 2010

Moral Rating:  Average

Movie making Quality: 2.5 stars
Primary Audience:Kids Family
Genre: Family Action Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 32 min.
Year of Release: 2010
USA Release: April 30, 2010

Dan (Brendan Fraser) is a real estate developer who has uprooted his family for a year to head up a project (Rocky Springs) for his boss, Lyman. The move is only temporary, but his wife Tammy (Brooke Shields) and son, Tyler (Matt Prokop) are not happy or supportive. Dan and his family are living in the first completed house in the project. It is a beautiful house sitting in the middle of a forest. Lyman bills themselves as ECO friendly and a “green” company.

As the work crews build other houses, it becomes apparent that the wildlife in the area have no plans of moving from their beautiful woodlands. When a raccoon hears of Lyman’s plans for Stage Two of the project, which includes leveling the forest, the animals plan revenge on Dan. The animals “attack,” in various ways, and Dan becomes obsessed with getting even. Tammy doesn’t believe the animals are attacking and thinks her husband is going crazy.

The language in this movie is pretty tame, with one hell, d—n, and various words such as stupid. At one point, Tammy says to Dan “I’m married to a lunatic,” and Dan says (after getting sprayed with the sprinkler) “Check out Mr. Pee-Pee Pants.” He also makes reference to a leech in his no-no zone.

The slapstick comedy in this movie is over the top. Tyler shows Dan a picture of a dead person with a rattlesnake on top of him. Dan falls on the roof onto his crotch. He chases a raccoon in only his underwear. Several times Dan is sprayed by skunks. A raccoon pees on Dan’s face, bites him, sets up a roadblock which forces Dan off the road, a gopher plays Whac-A-Mole with people, the animals set up a strategic attack plan (think “Home Alone”), etc.

Dan is forced to wear his wife’s spandex warm-up suit, which is too small and has the words YUM-YUM across the buttocks region. As Dan is walking in the suit, you can clearly see the outline of a thong. There are several times men are seen in only their underwear (all non-sexual). Dan accidentally has his wife’s bra on. A girl is shown with short running shorts. The ending scene depicts cast members as various music video stars.

There is a drug reference: Dan drinks Mushroom Sleepy-Bye Tea, and, while sleeping,s has bizarre (hallucinations) dreams. Someone is shown smoking a cigar and throwing it in the forest.

There is a reference to Indians (people from India) and someone makes some tasteless Native American comments. A teacher makes a comment about a senile teacher regarding tenure.

I truly am amazed at the “green” movement. Huge corporations put the word green in their title or redesign their logo and make it green colored, and they think they are eco friendly. Humans continue to believe we are in control. We doubt the existence of God and then wonder why people don’t take care of what God created. We think we have the power to “save” or “destroy” and leave God out of the picture. Psalm 24:1-2 states,

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for He founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.”

As we recognize our Creator, we begin to realize the value of all He created and take better care of the earth and all its inhabitants, both people and animals.

This movie is just dumb. It really isn’t funny—just cheap, slapstick humor. I would not waste my time seeing it. My 7 year old said “it was okay.” This movie definitely preaches the “save the forest and the animals” message. It is aimed at young children and depicts cute adorable animals only wanting to save their world. If you don’t think your children are ready to hear this message, avoid this movie.

Violence: Moderate Profanity: Mild / Sex/Nudity: Minor

A Nightmare on Elm Street

Posted by admin On May - 7 - 2010
Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality: 3.5 stars
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Fantasy Horror Thriller
Length: 1 hr. 35 min.
Year of Release: 2010
USA Release: April 30, 2010

Twenty five years have passed since the world was first introduced to Freddy Krueger, the psychopath who terrorized the dreams of his victims in the film “A Nightmare on Elm Street.” Horror master Wes Craven’s classic thriller brought the Boogey-man back to life as Krueger, who had fashioned a glove with knives for fingers, was able to invade the dreams of sleeping teens; if he killed them in their dreams, they died in real life. Those who saw this film in the 1980s cannot forget this character (masterfully played by Robert Englund)—his sarcasm, his wicked laugh that sent shivers down the spine, and his comedic spark—all of which made Freddy all the more scary.

In the 2010 remake, that Freddy Krueger is gone. Director Samuel Bayer takes Freddy (this time played by Jackie Earle Haley; most fans would recognize Haley from his teen years as Kelly from “The Bad News Bears”) in a decidedly nuanced direction. Aside from a few minor scenes reminiscent of the original, Bayer sets up a bit of a prequel to the original where we get the back story of how Krueger became the villain that he is.

A gardener at a local pre-school, Krueger, we learn, is a pedophile who had been abusing several children. When their parents learn about his misdeeds, they chase him into an abandoned warehouse and set fire to the building, and they make a pact never to speak of the dead man ever again, nor tell the children what he had done to them. With his power to enter their dreams, Krueger hunts down his former victims, one by one. Only Nancy (Rooney Mara) and Quentin (Kyle Gallner) realize Krueger’s plan—can they stay awake long enough not to be killed?

There is not much here for the Christian viewer. Bad language, violence and murder, pedophilia, and suggestions of rape. Surprisingly, there is no nudity (in one scene, Nancy disrobes to get into a bathtub—nothing is shown. While in the tub, Krueger’s knifed hand appears between her legs). One redeeming scene late in the movie shows Quentin hanging a cross around Nancy’s neck for protection; when she questions his religiosity, Quentin argues, “Hey, you gotta believe in something, right?”

The simple question that begs to be asked is why anyone would want to mess with such a classic film. Admittedly, the remake is much better than the sequels which were made (e.g., “Freddy vs. Jason”), but the remake is still a bit unnecessary. Remaking Craven’s work is comparable to someone trying to redo Hitchcock’s “Psycho”; it just should not be done. Wait, bad example… someone already did that and failed. How about “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”? Oops, too late! “Halloween”? “Friday the 13th”? A message to all would-be-film-remakers—“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!”

Violence: Extreme / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Death at a Funeral

Posted by admin On April - 22 - 2010

Moral Rating: Very Offensive

Moviemaking Quality: 2.5 star
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Comedy
Length: 1 hr. 30 min.
Year of Release: 2010
USA Release: April 16, 2010

Film remakes are becoming more and more popular these days. Whether it’s horror, comedy, or drama, someone out there either wants to make money off of someone else’s idea or they believe it’s a good enough story to tell again. These days remakes are usually remade from either a foreign film or a film that was made decades ago (i.e. “Nightmare on Elm Street” coming out later this month). For these reasons I was surprised when I heard there was a remake coming out of “Death at a Funeral,” the 2007 British dark comedy where everything that could go wrong does during a family funeral. While the 2007 version is British, it had an American director and some American actors. Furthermore, it came out less than three years ago which wouldn’t make it ripe for a remake. Nevertheless, they have remade it and it’s an almost identical film with a different cast but, oddly enough, the same writer (Dean Craig). Similar in almost every way, the new “Death at a Funeral” offers the same awkward laughs as the original, but also the same content.

Aaron (played by Chris Rock) is a married man whose father has just passed away. Per his father’s request the funeral will be at their home with all the family attending. That family includes but isn’t limited to: Aaron’s younger more successful brother Ryan (Martin Lawrence), crotchety old Uncle Russell (Danny Glover), cousins Jeff and Elaine (Columbus Short and Zoe Saldana), as well as Elaine’s boyfriend Oscar (James Marsden). From this point forward nothing and I mean nothing goes right. They initially bring the wrong body to the home. Aaron’s mother is a mess, his brother shows up and doesn’t help the matter, and Uncle Russell is late to the funeral. A man arrives at the funeral claiming to have had a ‘secret’ relationship with Aaron’s father. To make matters worse, Oscar takes some medicine to calm his nerves. He thinks it’s Valum, but it’s actually an illegal hallucinogenic made by Elaine’s brother Jeff.

Within all of these scenarios lies a great deal of humor. Add the fact that it all takes place at a funeral and you have the very definition of a dark comedy. The problem is, from a filmmaking standpoint, it all feels too familiar, and that’s because it is. Having seen the original, this one plays out in identical fashion. The movie has a great cast with the likes of Rock, Lawrence, and Tracy Morgan. All of their performances are on par with their British counterparts save for James Marsden as Oscar, who earns far more laughs as the drugged boyfriend than Alan Tudyk does in the original. Actor Peter Dinklage even reprises his role from the original film and gives the same performance.

Inappropriate content is the only area where the two films differ. Both films are rated R, and while the British version had plenty of inappropriate material, the American version ups the ante. The strong language in the original is made even stronger in this update. Also, sexual dialogue appears a lot more frequently in this current version. As in the original, there is an extended scene involving Oscar naked on the roof of the house. Several shots of his bare backside are seen, and while none of this is in a sexual manner, it is still there and fairly graphic. One of the plot lines involves heavy homosexual content, and the film also has a fair amount of potty humor in it. All of this adds up to a movie that earns its R-rating.

“Death at a Funeral” does try to squeeze in a message of the importance of a loving family, but it’s clear that’s not the point of the film. While the original was very dark, it at least felt original and wasn’t quite as gratuitous in its delivery. Instead of original and restrained, we get a graphic retread, and that’s not much of a trade. “Death at a Funeral” does little to distinguish itself, even among remakes.

Violence: Moderate / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy

Clash Of The Titans

Posted by admin On April - 20 - 2010

Moral Rating: Better than Average

Moviemaking Quality:  4 Stars
Primary Audience: Kids Teens Adults
Genre: Action Adventure Fantasy Thriller 3D Drama Remake
Length: 1 hr. 58 min.
Year of Release: 2010
USA Release: April 2, 2010

“Between gods and men, the clash begins.”

“Clash of the Titans” is a revenge fable which begins with the Olympian gods’ conquest of the Titans. Zeus (Liam Neeson) apportions the seas to his brother Poseidon, the earth to his creation, Man, and the underworld he tricks Hades (Ralph Fiennes) into taking. Zeus also sleeps with a mortal queen, which makes the king angry, and, to add to the whole revenge vibe, men of Argos topple a giant statue of Zeus whose unintended consequence causes Perseus (Sam Worthington) to seek revenge on Hades (who is seeking revenge on Zeus).

If you understood that paragraph, you’re qualified to watch the movie. Of course, it isn’t a great movie, but the cast is stellar, with Ralph Fiennes turning in the best performance. The roles are so big (being a “god” and all) that a smart actor understands the plot will furnish the character’s stature, and one needn’t put so much energy into the personality. Liam Neeson could have taken a lesson from Fiennes and been more intense, without being so bombastic.

Worthington is, also, good and smolders intensely in all the right places, as does Mads Mikkelsen as Draco. The primary women’s roles are played by Gemma Arterton (Io) and Alexa Davalos (Andromeda). Both are beautiful, and director Louis Leterrier takes the high road by keeping the movie suitable for young children. The only part that is perhaps inappropriate is that of Medusa (Natalia Vodianova), but, after all, she is a monster.

The writing is not terrible, and the special effects, with the exception of the giant scorpions, are decent. The only part of the movie that struck a discordant tone is that of the two hunters, included for comedic relief. A movie like this doesn’t need comedy, as the whole thing is silly to begin with. To try and make it funny produces a ridiculous, not a humorous, effect.

Still, to be overly critical of a story like this is to take it too seriously. It’s purely a popcorn movie and should be enjoyed for its emotional ride, not for its direction or character development. It retains almost all of the features of the original, except for Perseus’ helmet and shield. There’s even a wry homage to the original.

Ironically, for a Christian audience, the “Clash of the Titans” is perhaps more interesting in its humanistic exposition than it is in its action. There are many throwaway lines that have significance, as when we learn that it is Man’s prayers which “give the gods immortality.” Zeus thrives on Man’s worship, while Hades thrives on Man’s hatred. Zeus (the “father”) says: “I wanted man to worship us again, but not at the cost of a son.” While Hades says, “Let me loose upon them, and they will pray again.” One wants Man’s love; the other wants Man’s fear.

This conflict between the good and evil principle in the gods leads men to conclude that the gods, taken as a whole, are not good for men. Rebelliousness spreads among the common people, characterized by the feeling: “A new era has begun: the era of man.” In keeping with this theme, Perseus insists on doing everything as a man, and not as a god, in order to enact his revenge. As a god-man, Perseus is very much a type of Prometheus or of Jesus, but the irony is that he cannot accomplish his mission as a mere man and must use his godly capacities to overcome the gods and demigods he encounters.

In the end, he redeems Andromeda, enables the resurrection of another character, and frees Mankind from the dual tyranny of either worshipping or fearing the gods. Ultimately, it is a devoutly humanistic conception, summed up by a human character’s statement: “We are the gods now.”

I am an imperfect judge of any given movie’s appeal, but I suspect “Clash of the Titans” is best for children 6 to 12. Youths older than 12 will find the movie less challenging than the video games they play every day, and children younger than 6 simply won’t understand it or will be frightened by it.

Christian parents can use the movie as a teachable moment to contrast the failure of Zeus as a god who is vain, lascivious, and selfish, with the Christian god who selflessly sends his son to die for mankind. Parents won’t have any problem explaining Hades as the god of fire, smoke, and demons.

Violence: Heavy to Extreme / Profanity: Minor / Sex/Nudity: Moderate

Left 4 Dead 2

Posted by admin On March - 22 - 2010

It all started way back in 2004 with the release of the Source Engine and Counter Strike: Source. From there, we have seen many excellent games from Valve, and Valve has become one of the most loved game developers of today. Their latest installment, Left 4 Dead 2, stands on its own among Valve’s repertoire of titles. Whereas Left 4 Dead reflected the atmosphere of 28 Days Later, Left 4 Dead 2 would be better suited to Zombieland or Planet Terror. It exhibits a less dire feel than its predecessor. The characters are more stereotypical, the events are sometimes almost hilarious, and the dialogue could easily have been pulled out of almost any 80s-90s zombie b-film. Fortunately, the quality of game still stands strong.

Taking place chronologically before Left 4 Dead, Left 4 Dead 2 follows the story of four different survivors in the deep South, heading to New Orleans for evacuation. The gameplay is unchanged from its predecessor. You control a single survivor and fight your way through hordes of the undead in order to reach a goal. Special infected zombies often fall into the mix, attempting to ruin your progress. Typically special infected capture survivors and prevent them from moving or fighting and another survivor is required to save the zombie-laden captive. L4D2 includes all three infected from the previous game (Smoker, Hunter, and Boomer) and three entirely new special infected. The Charger is a giant tank-like zombie with a humungous arm it uses to plow through survivors. If it happens to collide with a survivor, the charger snatches them up and carries them off until it hits a wall, at which time it will pound the survivor into the ground dealing large amounts of damage. The Jockey, denoted by its terrifying and twisted laugh, can leap onto the shoulders of a survivor and steer them in a direction of their choosing, all the while dealing damage to them. The Spitter can launch a small sac of acid at the survivors which will break upon contact with the ground. The acid deals continual damage to any survivor standing in it.

Another addition to the L4D universe is the uncommon common infected. In other words, mixed in with the typical hordes of zombies are regular zombies that have certain immunities. Hazmat zombies are invulnerable to fire, police zombies with body armor are immune to gunfire, and clowns attract other zombies with their squeaky shoes. These are just a few of the multitude of varieties of zombies the survivors face.

For the survivors, the most interesting addition is melee weaponry. Survivors can carry either a pistol or a melee weapon. Melee weapons are an instant kill when they strike any common infected and deal extra damage to special infected. There are nine melee weapons in total, which include cricket bats, police batons, frying pans, and even an electric guitar. The survivors can now also find defibrillators to bring back dead teammates, boomer bile bombs that attract the horde to whatever they strike, and special explosive and incendiary ammunition.

All three gameplay modes from Left 4 Dead are included. Players have the choice between playing through a campaign (consisting of several chapters) with 3 A.I. survivors, with up to 3 human players, or in versus mode in which human players take turns playing as survivors and infected while playing through a campaign. Survival mode is also still included where players must hold up in one spot as long as possible while an ever increasing horde of zombies attacks. L4D2 includes a new game mode called Scavenge in which the survivors are required to collect gas cans and pour them into some sort of tank. Other individuals playing as the infected try to prevent the survivors from successfully fueling up.

The sound and graphics are astounding with this title, as is always the case in a Valve title. Every infected has their own short theme song and sound for survivors to listen for in order to be prepared for battle. Gunfire sounds and looks realistic, dismemberment is realistic to the point of being overwhelming, and the environments are very convincing and atmospheric. Graphically, the game isn’t top notch, but it certainly looks good enough. Valve even included some new effects such as downpours and adrenalin that add to the feel of the game. The lighting and atmosphere have only improved over L4D.

Unfortunately, L4D2 falls on its face in the exact same way as its prequel: A.I. When playing any mode in which you don’t have the appropriate number of human players, gamers will be forced to suffer the Left 4 Dead horrific, computer controlled players. While they are often effective and nothing short of impressive, it is not uncommon in countless games to see them break. Some issues were as bad as an A.I. survivor leaping off ledges to their death, ignoring incapacitated survivors, and sometimes even ignoring zombies or special infected. This problem has very negative consequences for a game so focused on teamwork and keeping everyone alive. So, for those unfortunate souls with no one to play with, the game is going to be full of frustration in dealing with the occasionally block-headed A.I.

Anyone following the hype surrounding Left 4 Dead 2 will be aware of the rating issues in Australia. The game’s well deserved M rating is primarily the result of its gore. The gore in L4D2 is incredibly detailed and explicit. Bullet wounds on zombies are very realistic and generally reveal their insides and often result in realistic human organs spilling out. Striking zombies with melee weapons results in large amounts of blood spattering in the player’s eyes. Explosives, gunfire, and melee weapons can dismember and mortally wound zombies, sometimes even turning them into a red mist. Mild language also finds its way into the game as the survivors react to their situations. Typically the cursing is lost in the excitement of the game, but it is certainly still present.

Bugs aside, with all of the added material stretched out over five, intense and cinematic campaigns, Left 4 Dead 2 easily lives up to the hype. The new items, characters, and zombies give the game a new dimension while still maintaining the good old Left 4 Dead feeling. The five campaigns are all quite long and interconnected, giving more continuity to the story. The finales are explosive and exciting, the multiplayer is intense and competitive, and the atmosphere is excellent. Had it not been for the faulty A.I., Left 4 Dead 2 could have easily earned itself 5 stars and an editor’s choice award, but unfortunately, it is too glaring an issue in a game so focused on teamwork. It certainly earned its 18+ rating due to incredibly explicit and detailed gore and filthy language. Left 4 Dead 2 stands strong both as another excellent Source Engine game and as a striking addition to the weak genre of zombie video games. By the way, Valve just released the development tools for Left 4 Dead 2 just in time for Christmas, so be ready for lots of PC mods and custom content!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid Starts Strong but Weakens

Posted by admin On March - 22 - 2010

Release Date:  March 19, 2010
Rating:  PG (for some rude humor and language)
Genre: Comedy, Adaptation
Run Time: 120 min.
Director:  Thor Freudenthal

Actors:  Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Rachel Harris, Steve Zahn, Devon Bostick, Grayson Russell, Chloe Moretz

Raise your hand if you were a wimpy kid.

I was, and although a little time at the gym in recent years hasn’t changed much, I feel a lot better about my wimpiness after a good workout.

Diary of Wimpy Kid, based on the books by Jeff Kinney and directed by Thor Freudenthal (Hotel for Dogs), brought back memories of the most awkward time in my life, and in any man’s life: The beginning of middle school. The longtime friends you’ve established over the years start to grow up, look different and gravitate to new social circles. You either do the same—or get left behind.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid is aimed at all those who got left behind. It’s fitfully funny, and at times is surprisingly fresh in its take on adolescence. But the film slips into standard comedy fare a bit too often, keeping it from being the breakout comedy it threatens to be early in its running time.

Greg Heffley (Zachary Gordon) has plans to make an impression on his new classmates. His older brother (Devon Bostick) does his best to advise him on how to steer clear of any trouble in his middle-school environment: Don’t talk to anyone, keep your head down and, most of all, don’t be seen hanging out with your best friend—the chubby Rowley (Robert Capron). He’ll only hold you back.

Greg has his own plans for getting noticed, but from the beginning of class on his first days, those plans backfire repeatedly. No one will sit with him in the cafeteria—no one except the likes of the geeky Fregley (Grayson Russell) and other nerds.

Greg remains prepubescent: Girls are still nuisances rather than potential dates. He’s so wrapped up in his plot to free himself of his dorky friends that he doesn’t respond to Angie (Chloe Moretz)—a beauty whose bookwormish tendencies isolate her from most of her classmates. She refuses to engage in the gamesmanship and social competition that Greg is so eager to navigate.

The set-up is a good one, thanks to a script by veteran TV writers Jackie and Jeff Filgo that contrasts Greg’s self-conscious awareness of his stature—he’s smaller than 95 percent of the kids at his school—with a cocksure attitude that needs a serious adjustment. He believes everyone who surrounds him is a moron, and that he deserves something better. It’s only fitting when Rowley, on whom Greg looks with disdain and whom he abuses in his own efforts to shake free from “loser” status, becomes the most popular kid in their class.

For every one of the film’s creative moments—a school newspaper headline reads “CHEERLEADER GAINS POUND” and Greg’s downfall in social position is illustrated in the manner of the book on which the film is based—there’s a pedestrian element that offsets it. Urban legends about a tract of forest called “devil worshipper woods” and a curse (“the cheese touch”) involving a piece of moldy cheese on the blacktop are predictable, and a rival female classmate is annoying to viewers as she is to Greg.

Of course, urban legends and annoying classmates are part of the middle-school experience. They just happen to come across as tedious in Diary of a Wimpy Kid, which brings a freshness to other elements of its story that might have been much more routine in their execution (the recent film, How to Eat Fried Worms, while generally inoffensive, is an example of undistinguished adaptation of a popular kids’ book).

Greg’s father is slightly kooky, while his mother offers the film’s key lesson: Our choices make us who we are. Greg must decide who his true friends are. It’s not a deep story, but Diary of a Wimpy Kid goes down pretty easily. It has its share of laughs—even for adults—and reminds us that the pain of those early years subsides in time. Especially if we make the right choices.

CAUTIONS:

* Language/Profanity:  “Oh, God”; “turd bird.”
* Smoking/Drinking/Drugs:  None.
* Sex/Nudity:  Nothing sexual; shot of man in bathing suit sunbathing; shot of boy sitting on a plastic toilet, doing his business; a boy accidentally urinates on his brother.
* Violence/Crime:  Sibling teasing and torment; threats that someone will “literally kill” someone else; kid is sprayed by a host; a game involving a football and Big Wheel leads to a broken arm; boy picks his nose, extends his finger and chases after another boy; a fight breaks out during a student play.
* Religion:  Town myth dubs a wooded area “devil worshipper woods”

Mr. Googz – Redemption (Official Video)”>Mr. Googz – Redemption (Official Video)

Redemption is a story of how the old secular Mr.Googz got converted, this is vividly articulated in my first three lines of the 1st verse- ”The day dat i made that confession- i saw di light am a different creation- my life took a different turn an His life in mi life is a divine connection” – the song is a an introduction of the NEW me, every word in it is a reality in my life and a firm conviction.

Mr. Googz – Redemption

Posted by Dj priesty

Mr. Googz – Redemption

Posted by Dj priesty
Jul-18-2014

Nue Nendete Reloaded Aning’ning’ Dance-Mbuvi

Posted by Dj priesty
Jun-25-2014

Kanjii Mbugua feat. Enid Moraa – Mfalme Mkuu

Posted by Dj priesty
May-14-2014

Lingala Ya Yesu – Pitson

Posted by Dj priesty
Jan-29-2014
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