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Archive for June, 2007

Movie: Transformers

Posted by BenSpark on June 29, 2007

Last evening I saw the new Transformers Movie 2 Times. Yes, twice in one night I saw through a movie that I have been hoping for since I first freed Wheeljack from his plastic and cardboard prison. When I first raced Optimus Prime around the floor at Grandma and Grandpa’s house. This movie has been over 4 years in the making and over 23 years in the hoping for me. And now I have seen it and all I can say is that I am still grinning like a 10 year old with his first Transformers toy.

This movie was fantastic, you will believe that cars and trucks can become massive battling robots. The movie was done so well that you will stop complaining about flames on Prime and BumbleBee is a Camaro. If you are still bitching about it after you see the movie than you just want something to complain about, move on.

I saw both movies at Providence Place Mall. The first showing was in conjunction with a huge Charity Fundraiser where $54,000.00 was raised for 4 Rhode Island Charities. This included an hors devours and open bar welcome area where Stars Racheal Taylor and Tyrese Gibson were on hand for Photos. Ryan Yzquierdo of Seibertron.com was there taking pictures. I didn’t bring my camera because I thought they weren’t allowed and that I would have to part with it, I don’t part with my camera well. But I saw and recognized Ryan and started talking to him and he ended up sitting with Me and Allison and our friends John and Chris.

After the snack and drink time we went into the theater and got a boxed lunch that included some very tasty potato salad, 3 tasty wraps, steak, chicken and I think Sun Dried Tomato. 2 Deserts and every seat had a water int he armrest. This was executed very well. So we got our seats, Ryan came up to sit with us and he had his camera taken away because he was showing us his photos of Tyrese and Racheal Taylor. He’s got them on Seibertron.com. The boxes were either a black matte finish or black glossy finish with an Autobot Symbol on them. The napkins had Autobot and Decepticon logos on them too. I snagged a couple.

The charity event started with some introductions of some major people at Hasbro as well as Tyrese and Racheal. Tyrese was very vocal and enthusiastic. He got the crowd going. I was on the edge of my seat excited as all get out for the movie to start. Much applause and many cheers went up from the crowd.

And then the movie started and I was glued to my seat for the whole 2+ hours. There are some surprises and some very awesome homages to Generation 1. Some digs too. Some tongue and cheek digs at Bay himself. I can say this, the movie will not disappoint you at all. There is so much in this movie, it is well paced and has a great plot and cast of characters. There were points where I got chills and much of that was due to the voice of Optimus Prime, Peter Cullen.

Directly after the showing we exited the way we had come and we were all given a gift bag that contained a spinning lollipop, a Legends size transformers (I got BumbleBee, Allison got Ratchet), and we all got a Mr. Potato Head Optimus Prime. These items were all part of the ticket donation price. Hasbro went all out for the event.

After the first showing I went right back and saw the second showing with the BotCon 2007 attendees. I have to say, the excitement was much higher from the people at the charity event than there was from the BotCon 2007 attendees. It really was. I flew solo for the second showing and enjoyed the heck out of the movie a second time. I was again glued to my seat, got the same chills at the same parts. It held up for a second viewing.

After the movie I hung out with the Seibertron.com crew, thanks to an invite from Ryan, and some of the IDW guys. This movie will become a huge summer blockbuster. It already sold out 8,000 tickets in 8 minutes in LA. Do yourself a favor and certainly mae sure you see this in a theater. It is loud, funny, visually amazing and the wildest ride of the summer.

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I spot The Police

Posted by BenSpark on June 27, 2007

Have you already gotten your double disc compilation CD of the Police. It came out on June fifth. It is already a great seller all over the place. I even have a great video spot form the UK for you to check out.

This Double Disc compilation has all of your favorites from The Police. I am going to have to pick up a copy for my collection as well as a gift for my sister, however I can’t imagine that she hasn’t already gotten it. I will have to find out. She is a huge fan of The Police. Me I am a fan but not as huge as her. I love the songs by The Police, each one is fantastic and brings me back to those days when they were all over the radio. Good times.

If you are looking to get your own copy of the Police CD then you should do so right away, the 2 disc compilation also includes a vintage Police poster.

One of my favorite songs is Message in a Bottle. I love hearing that song whenever it comes on the radio. Having my own copy of the best of the Police would be pretty fantastic. It will be like hearing all those songs all over for the first time again.

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Video Game: Transformers The Game, Wii

Posted by BenSpark on June 27, 2007

Yesterday I picked up my pre-ordered copy of Transformers The Game for the Nintendo Wii. The pre-order process with in store pick up from Best Buy was not exactly smooth. I kept getting conflicting e-mails about the status of my order. One day it said that the order would be available on the 27th another day it said the 26th and then I got a confirmation for the 26th and printed it out, only to receive another e-mail on that the 27th would be the day for me to pick up the game. I even called the store yesterday but was on hold so long that I got frustrated and hung up.

So I went to the store after work hoping for the best. And I was not disappointed, I went to the In Store Pick up line and easily got my game, the official date for it to go on sale at Best Buy is today the 27th after 2:00pm. So I had a day’s hop on anyone else who was buying the game from my local Best Buy.

Learn about the game and watching the opening scenes at Transformers The Game Website

The game itself is visually amazing. You have a fully explorable world to either protect of destroy. You can play either an Autobot campaign or a Decepticon one. I started with the Autobot campaign. The first Autobot campaigns are with BumbleBee, which makes sense because he is the main character of this story.

BumbleBee is a scout so he is sent in advance of the rest of the Transformers and he needs to get to Sam before the Decepticons do. I made it through the first and second chapters of this campaign. I am now at a spot where I must race Barricade to each location where Sam and Mikaela are so I can protect them. I don’t like the fact that unless you complete all parts of this challenge you have to do the whole thing over. That is pretty tough and the second part of the campaign where I needed to prevent the Decepticons from reaching the Used Car Lot. That was hard as heck.

I then tried a Decepticon Campaign because I figured it would probably be easier since I would only have to blow stuff up and create wanton destruction. Oh but that was so not so. In the Decepticon campaign you start off as Blackout and need to destroy a military base so that reinforcements cannot arrive. However you have a time limit and must complete this mission before the time expires. It is not as easy as it looks. I think the second part of this you play as Scorponok and it is wicked hard because you have a very small time limit to chase down and destroy a bunch of transmitter trucks. They are everywhere and it is very hard to get to where they are.

Gameplay: The game takes some getting used to with the Wii. There are many controls to the game and they can get confusing at times. A pretty cool thing is the ability to transform at will. You can switch back and forth from Robot to vehicle in the blink of an eye, you can even do so while jumping or driving very fast. Sometimes when I tried to make a quick corner and the car was hard to steer I would see the intersection coming and transform, turn to the right or left and transform again.

With the Wii you use both the nunchuk and Wiimote to control your character. Movement is with the stick on the nunchuk and the gas and brake are on the numchuk too. Driving BumbleBee is like driving in uneven syrup, there are times when he hugs the road and is sticky and there are times when he slips and slides all over the place. I was using a technique of driving flat our and hitting the brake and turning to one side to make the corners however I either have to do it much sooner or drive slower. Either way driving with BumbleBee was a challenge.

The missions are pretty tough to start out, but that may be due to my getting used to the controls. Also controlling the camera and the direction that your character is facing can be challenging. I kept trying to fight but my back was to the enemy. I had an easier time controlling Blackout and used the technique of flying backwards to be able to target the helicopters and planes that were attacking me. And they just keep coming so don’t let down your guard. You can be defeated if hit with enough firepower from the humans.

Scorponok was one of the toughest to control as he travels underground. But when he hits roads he has to pop out of the sand. I still haven’t been able to get past the mission to destroy five transmission trucks.

All in all I am very happy with the game, I love that the actors from the movie are doing the voices in the game and that Frank Welker’s voice is in the game instead of Hugo Weaving, Sorry but Welker will always be Megatron. I am also not sure if I want to play much more of the game before the movie in case some movie elements appear int he game that could be spoilers for the movie. The game does not completely follow the movie but there are many elements from the movie in the game.

I am looking forward to playing with other characters in later missions. Also notice that the game is available no matter what gaming platform you are using.

If video games are not your thing but Cake is then check out this Optimus Prime Cake.

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Video: Goonies Vs Pirates

Posted by BenSpark on June 27, 2007

Now if this trailer was an actual movie it would rock so hard. I would certainly be up for seeing it. Check out Goonies Vs Pirates. A very clever re-cut of a couple of trailers.

It makes me want that Goonies sequel movie that has been hinted at come to fruition even more.

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Movie: Man of the Year

Posted by BenSpark on June 26, 2007

I keep hoping to see a great Robin Williams movie but I think those days are long gone. Gone are the days of Club Paradise, Moscow on the Hudson, Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, Mrs. Doubtfire and even Robin Williams Live at the Met. Nope, those days are long gone and what we have now is a caricature of a very funny man who is basically doing an impression of himself.

The other night I watched Man of the Year with Robin William, Lewis Black and Christopher Walken. It started out funny with Robin doing what he does best, totally random improv. He is fantastic with it. Then the movie takes a turn. The premise is that Williams is a man called Tom Dobbs who hosts a “Daily Show” type program and who one day decides to run for President.

Through a computer glitch he is elected President and I would have thought some very interesting stuff would have happened when he became president but it didn’t. Instead we have a young woman who discovered the glitch attempting to tell Dobbs the truth. But she is being hunted by the company that created the software so they can shut her up. She has many chances to tell Dobbs but somehow is so smitten with him that she forgets what she must tell him.

This movie had some funny parts but if you saw a trailer then you saw most of them. I was not expecting the more serious aspect of the movie and frankly didn’t like it. You can rent this at your local video rental shop but fr me this is a wait till someone else rents it type movie.

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Movie: Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Posted by BenSpark on June 25, 2007

Wait for video for this one. It was not worth seeing in the theater. Sure it was entertaining but just not as good as the first movie and that one wasn’t spectacular either.

There was some funny interaction and the way the team powers were used was interesting. However I found the movie forgettable, so much so that one day later I cannot recall many details from the movie or many parts that were good.

So my recommendation for Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer would be to save your money and rent this when it comes out on DVD.

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Get Concession Cash at Best Buy

Posted by BenSpark on June 20, 2007

Today I went to Best Buy and picked up some Transformers themed Concession Cash. The great thing about this was that I got $5.00 in concession cash for each $6.99 movie purchase. I picked up the Original Italian Job and Tomb Raider. Both were $6.99 each and I ended up with two $5.00 concession cash certificate. They came in Transformers themed DVD boxes. And you can buy as many movies as you want and for each one you get a $5.00 certificate. A great deal.

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TV: Last Comic Standing #5

Posted by BenSpark on June 20, 2007

At least I think this is the 5th season. I am behind on my posting about this and new episodes are tonight. I have followed LCS since it came on TV and there are posts about it on this blog dating back to the first season.

What I love about this new season is that they got rid of Bob Ross and that other guy, they were a pain in the neck. This time they brought in Katherine Madigan, Alonzo Boden and Ant (former contestants) to do the judging of the hopefuls, and Bill Bellamy is the host. I liked Anthony Clarke as host but I think that Bill will be a decent host.

So far no one is a stand out performer in my eyes and they are still looking for more people this week. I am glad that Gerry Dee made it to the next stage of competition. He should have made it last year but didn’t.

We are going to be watching this season as well.

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TV Show: Burn Notice

Posted by BenSpark on June 18, 2007

Michael Weston is having a bad day. He is a CIA operative that has been fired. When you are fired from being a spy you are in deep trouble. For one thing you are relieved of all your assets, you are put on every government watch list and basically you are prevented from ever working again as a spy.

So what is an ex-spy to do. On USA Network’s Burn Notice Michael Westen is that spy and he must now live his life after having his whole life jeopardized by the very people who used to employ him. On top of being being burned by his former employers, he has a hypochondriac mother who calls him every 30 minutes and a violence prone girlfriend who wants closure. The show stars Jeffrey Donovan, as Michael Westen, and Bruce Campbell, YES the Bruce Campbell!!!, as Sam, the ex-military guy who is there to keep an eye on Michael. Now Michael has all these great skills that he learned in the Black Ops. But it is not like he is going to open a Day Care with those skills, so what he does is he becomes a private investigator for people who cannot go to the police.

From what I read I would compare Michaels skills with improvising and gadgets to that of McGuyver with a harder and funnier edge to the dialog. I can truly say that on June 28th on USA at 10:00pm I will have my VCR ready to tape the first premiere episode. I think that this is a series that I am going to really enjoy. It has action and humor and once again BRUCE CAMPBELL!

I probably would not last too long as a spy as this video can attest to. But Michael has way better skills than I do.

You can find some much better videos than the one I made over at USA Network’s Burn Notice. There they have a bunch of video interviews with Jeffery Donovan and Bruce Campbell.

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TV: Rescue Me

Posted by BenSpark on June 17, 2007

Rescue Me is back on TV. And apparently it is 9 months after the end of last season. Tommy’s wife has had the baby, and it is a little boy. Lou is still with the ex-nun. The chief has been working out after his heart attack. Franco is still with the woman who has a brother with bizarre special needs. Garrity is still married to Tommy’s sister.

So this episode find Tommy defending himself against lawyers and claims adjusters about the beach house fire. And what I could not figure out was is Sheila was dead or not. I suspect that she is. There seemed to be a few hints to that.

I;m not quite sure if I am still into this show. The first season was great but the downward spiral of Tommy Gavin is just so unbelievable. I can’t see this keeping up.

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