The New Man in Charge Review August 6th, 2010

The Lost epilogue was leaked online and I was fortunate enough to see it. In it, it answered some questions that a lot of people have been asking about since the very early seasons of Lost, including the Hurley Bird, Room 23, DHARMA food drops, why women can’t give birth on the island, the polar bears, the Hurley Bird, and probably most importantly, Walt.

It starts out at the DHARMA warehouse with two DHARMA workers loading palettes to get ready to go to the island. Ben shows up and shuts them down. In a moment that reminded me of the whining fans of the show during the final season, one of the DHARMA workers tells Ben that they demand answers, to which Ben lets them ask one question each. The first question is where the food is being sent, to which Ben says an island, the second question is why are there polar bears on a tropical island, to which Ben takes out a DVD and puts in the Hydra Station Initiation video.

The video has Pierre Chang explaining that the Hurley Bird is a genetically altered bird, the polar bears would be sent to the Orchid after they pass the advanced tests, but only if they aren’t pregnant because the amount of electromagnetic energy would be disastrous to the mother and child. It then goes to Room 23 and explain that it is a mind erasing room.

After the video is done, Ben leaves and goes to the Santa Rosa Mental Health Hospital, where Walt is playing Connect 4 by himself (though this could be like an earlier scene where Hurley was playing chess with the dead Mr. Eko). Ben apologizes for kidnapping him, but he needs to go with him to help his father. Walt reluctantly agrees and he goes with Ben out to a DHARMA van. After they get in, a voice from behind tells him it’s good to see him, the voice is Hurley. The epilogue ends with Hurley telling Walt that they have work to do and it’s time to go home.

This is an awesome piece of Lost that wouldn’t fit in the final season. It’s also ambiguous enough to be the beginning of something new and could essentially lead to a whole new series, if they wanted it, but it also gives closure to the characters we have grown to love over the years. This is a 10 for all fans of Lost, and if you were disappointed by the finale for the lack of answers, this definitely won’t disappoint.

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Halo: Reach Beta Review Part 1 May 5th, 2010

The game is much like Halo 3 and Halo 2, at least that is how it feels once you select the control scheme that works best for you. Of course it isn’t going to play exactly like the previous ones, dual wielding and equipment are gone and in its place are armor abilities. In the beta there is Jetpacks), Sprint, Armor Lock, and Active Camo. Each of these you can only use for a limited amount of time though and must not be used in order for it to reload. It does add something fresh to the mix, which is nice.

So far the maps, Swordbase and Powerhouse for the most part feel like Halo 3 maps, which isn’t bad, but they don’t feel that fresh either. I know you are probably thinking, what happens when you try and leave a map with a jetpack? Simple, the game tells you to return to the battle field and if not then you simply die and respawn. I was a huge fan of Halo 2, maps like Lockout, Midship, and the rest were out there and very alien, when Halo 3 came along it shipped with mostly human maps and felt a lot like Call of Duty. I think that part of the joy that was Halo 2 was the alien maps and so far two of the four maps for Halo Reach beta I’ve played on feel very much like the Halo 3 and Call of Duty maps. Hopefully we won’t need to wait years in order to play on fan favorites like Midship, Coagulation, and Lockout.

Let’s get to the game types. Slayer is slayer, besides the new weapons and new abilities nothing much has changed. Three plot territories is back and in a big way, only this time you do not need to be in it to control the territory, simply capture it and then move to the next. Capture the flag is back as well, with two kinds. The first one is the classic CTF where one team on offense, one on defense. You can’t use your armor abilities, but it’s still pretty fun. The next variant is neutral. Instead of having one flag, you have several and need to capture as many as you can, but there’s a twist. The timer counts down and you need to wait for it to actually accept those flags, until then the opposite team can come along and steal the flags from you. A new game type so far released is Headhunter.

Headhunter was a scrapped game type from Halo 3 that made its debut in the Reach beta, basically you kill someone. When you do you get a skull. Take that skull to a moving area to collect those points. Kill someone who already has skulls and get those skulls as well. First one to 25 wins. Headhunter is a fun game, though it reminds me a lot of Griffball.

Now let’s talk about weapons. The beloved Battle Rifle that has been MIA since Halo 3 is still gone. In its place is the DRM. Also is gone are all the brute weapons, besides the gravity hammer. There are some cool new weapons however, a grenade launcher that locks on and a needle rifle that is effectively the Covenant equivalent of the DRM.

As of right now the game feels a lot like Halo 3, which is fine, but Halo 3 wasn’t Halo 2. I played a lot of Halo 2 and I think Halo 3 was missing something that made it all the more special. Hopefully more maps will come out, if not in the beta then in the final game that will make it feel more like Halo 2.

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The Spook Movie February 9th, 2010

The Spook Movie isn’t a big Hollywood blockbuster. It is an independent movie with no big name actors in it at all. It was made in Georgia and is a homage to the horror movies of the 70’s and 80’s. We see a lot of nods to the slasher films of those decades like a rendition of One, Two, Buckle My Shoe as a kid is pushed into a lake and looks like he is having trouble swimming in the opening sequence and a patient of the mental hospital named Michael Mayers.

The movie starts after a riot breaks out at a mental hospital and one of the inmates escape. The inmate returns to his favorite place, the lake, after which a series of murders start taking place. Is the inmate behind this, or is there something else going on?

The overall story is about these murders, but unlike movies like Friday the 13th and Nightmare on Elm Street, the murders aren’t just happening to one group of people, on the contrary, the victims in this movie have little to no relation to each other, other than the fact that they are all at the lake on this particular day. We get a bit of their back stories, but usually only for a few minutes, if that. This is where the movie shines, as the only characters throughout the movie that are consistent are the police and the killer.

The special effects are very amateur. The movie wouldn’t work with Hollywood effects though, this is an amateur movie and the effects add to the essence of the movie in general.

This is a very good movie and I would recommend it to anyone who likes the horror movies of the 1970’s and 80’s. For those who don’t I’d need to say that it is a movie that they could take or leave, but overall I’d give it a 7 out of 10.

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