Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Why I Will Not Be Eaten By Zombie Nazis

Or Nazi zombies for that matter. I never know how to phrase that. Nazi zombies make it sound like someone rose from the grave and then joined the Nazi party whereas zombie Nazis connotes Nazi who became zombies. Either way, I shall not die at the hand, or teeth of such undead fiends, and here's why.

This is all coming from my recent viewing of "Dead Snow" a Norwegian horror film that pits a group of monumentally stupid Norwegian people against hordes of undead Nazis. As a horror movie it was "eh". It wasn't ever all that scary, something I think is fairly important to the genre. It was more of the dumb, gory kind of horror a la "Evil Dead 2" and less of the "Sweet Jesus I just pissed myself" kind of horror as in "The Descent" or "Beaches" so as long as you know that going in to it, you'll do fine.

As a zombie film it wasn't bad. Nazis are always good villains because everyone hates them, including Nazis themselves. Turning the Nazis into zombies gives us even more reason to hate them and for those that lived during WWII, I'm sure there were times that the Germans seemed like an unstoppable force of evil, imagery always associated with zombies. At the same time, anyone who lived through WWII probably isn't spending their time watching "Dead Snow" so instead we have to just be happy with two great evils that taste great together. I will say that the movie kind of fudges a bit with the whole zombie lore. Not in a "28 Days Later" or Left 4 Dead way where the zombies are infected people but more of a "I'm not really sure these are zombies" kind of way. Clearly they looked dead but they also bled, steam came out of their mouths during the snowy bits (probably just as much due to low budget film making than an outright creative decision) and you could dispatch them without busting up Ye Olde Braine Pan. The end result was that they seemed like Nazis who just never died, rather than the undead, an unimportant distinction when being munched on by one of them but I felt it needed to be made.

Regardless, based on what I've seen in "Dead Snow", here's why I won't have undead Nazis wearing my guts for garters any time soon.

I Do Not Hang Out With White People Who Have Dreadlocks
Do you know a white person with dreadlocks? That person makes poor decisions. They are a bad decision maker and if you are in a situation that you feel will result in your safety being threatened, you can write that person off for helping you in said situation. If they feel that dreadlocks look good on them, or any white person, they are dumb. That's it. There was a white woman in the movie who had dreadlocks and the minute I saw her I thought "Oh, you're the dumb one" and she was. In fact, she was so dumb that she ended up paying for her stupidity with her life. Upon successfully escaping from the zombie Nazis she returned to the cabin where her boyfriend and his friend were fighting the undead legions. Her boyfriend was in the midst of a murderous rage, wildly hacking apart a Nazi's head with a hatchet. Rather than hanging back a safe distance and letting him finish his grim task, and then calling out his name to get his attention, she decided instead to walk up and grab his shoulder. He promptly turned around and buried the hatchet in her neck. See? Dumb. As she died he watched her pass, no doubt trying to find the words to say "You always looked stupid in those dreadlocks."

I Do Not Camp
I do not camp. Not ever. I abhor camping. This strategy would have saved the lives of multiple people in this movie. If you and I are going on a vacation and we stop the car on some remote road and then you tell me that our eventual destination is at the end of a 45 minute walk through the woods, I will punch you, take the keys and leave you to be consumed by the shambling hordes. If I have to walk 45 minutes through the woods to get where we are staying, it's a pretty safe assumption that this place doesn't have a) power, b) running water and c) cable. I am not a Neanderthal. I am not a bear. I am not a cougar or a hedgehog or a coral snake. I am a civilized human being and I will not spit on the advances made by our ancestors and shun the comforts that they worked so hard for. If the zombies attack me while I'm staying at the Holiday Inn then so be it, but I'm not about to tempt fate by staying in some remote cabin far away from a Coldstone or a Target. I mean, come on. Similarly, if I know that the mountains are haunted, I'm certainly not going to pitch a tent in said mountains. I'm not even going to pitch a tent in my own backyard. If my kids want to camp they're on their own. I hope they remember to bring shotguns.

My Zombie Repellent is Semi-Automatic
Everyone knows that a shotgun is the best form of zombie repellent. Everyone. Shotguns have a wide spread, ensuring total cranial decimation and they have excellent stopping power. Everyone should know that your shotgun has to be semi-automatic or you might as well have a puppy in your hand for all the good it will do you. In the movie, our hapless vacationers are visited by Scary Old Dude who then tells them that there's Nazi's in them thar hills. He then proceeds to camp in them thar hills and when he hears mischief outside of his tent he grabs his shotgun, a useless double barreled manual jobbie. Well dude, I hope for your sake there's only two zombies coming after you because they're not going to wait for you to reload. When the zombie apocalypse comes, and it will come, mark my words, there's going to be two kinds of people in this world: those with semi-automatic shotguns and those that are dead. Well, and the undead so that's three. Come to think of it, kids probably shouldn't have guns so I guess that's four. Or the elderly, they probably shouldn't either. Ok, so when the zombie apocalypse comes there's going to be five kinds of people in this world: those with semi-automatic shotguns, kids, the elderly, those that are dead and those that are undead.

I Know How To Fire A Weapon
Now I'm not saying I'm Frank Castle up in this bitch but I can hit the broad side of a barn with a shotgun and I'll spray a zombie's white meat all over creation as it's running towards me as fast as you can say "Shaun of the Dead". I know that America has all sorts of gun crime and accidental gun deaths but when the zombie apocalypse comes, what country do you think will fall last? I can give you a hint: it ain't gonna be Norway. Not if the entire country shoots like these morons.

I Will Not Have Sex In An Outhouse
Yes, this is a thing that happened in this movie and there wasn't any nudity so it was nothing but ick, especially when the chick put the dude's finger in her mouth right after he had just wiped himself. In a movie where a dude climbs a mountain using a zombie's intestines as his rope, the fact that the outhouse sex scene was the most disgusting thing says a lot. I'm not saying I wouldn't have sex in a bathroom. Hell, my master bathroom is bigger than the room I lived in during my college years but a bathroom is not an outhouse. Bathrooms have nice counters and, more importantly, running water to take the poo and pee away to a happy place called Shit Meadows where the human waste can frolic in fields of filth. An outhouse is basically a shack that sits atop a shit filled hole. Maybe I've been married too long and the promise of regular sex has dulled me to what it was like to be young, in my twenties and so desperate for nookie that you're willing to have sex at any time, even when straddled over a still steaming pile of your own filth but I don't think so. True to the "first person who gets laid gets dead" rules of horror, the woman who did the deed was promptly then pulled into the poo pile by the zombies. She did manage to escape though and as she stumbled to the cabin, caked in shit and desperately trying to hold her guts in, all I could think of was "Ooooh, that's going to get infected."

I Know All About Pirate Gold
At its heart, "Dead Snow"is not a zombie movie, it's a pirate gold ghost story movie. You know the kind. Pirates get gold, they get cursed, they disappear, someone finds the gold and the pirate ghosts then terrorize everyone until they get their gold back. The same thing is going on here only instead of pirates it's Nazis. See back in the day, the Nazis occupied some Norwegian village and did bad things like steal the villagers' gold. When the tides turned against the Nazis the villagers said "Fuck that shit" or the Norwegian equivalent (fuck det der, loosely translated) and rose up and either killed the Nazis or drove them into the mountains, I don't remember. Oddly enough, they didn't get their gold back first. The dumb ass vacationers then find said gold and even though they had been told about the gold by Creepy Old And Poorly Armed Dude, and even though you could clearly make out a giant, gold SS eagle they were still all like "A-durrr, what's this? Derp, derp, derp." If some dude tells me a story about stolen Nazi gold and then I find a chest of it in the cabin I wouldn't be staying in because it's out in the fucking sticks, you best believe I'd be chucking that gold off of the nearest cliff with a quickness. Happy trails you zombie fucks, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

I Do Not Ski
The first, and only time I've ever gone skiing, I almost fell off a mountain. I have been terrified of skiing ever since. If I don't ski, I can't try and ski through the mountains to get to a cabin and meet my boyfriend there. If I'm not skiing through the mountains, I won't get attacked and eaten by undead fascists. This ain't rocket science.

And finally...
I Am Not Dumb
I may not be the brightest bulb in the bulbarium (you know, the place where they grow the light bulbs) but I'm not nearly as stupid as the people in this movie. Granted, that's what you expect in horror films, to see dumb people making bad decisions and getting their faces eaten off for their dumb troubles. Still, the humans in this movie are so blindingly stupid that it becomes increasingly hard to feel anything but contempt for them and, as a result, start cheering on the zombies in the same way that if you were to watch someone climb into the tiger cage at the zoo, you'd be more inclined to see how it all plays out rather than rescue the guy from his own terminal stupidity. At least I would. Well, me and Katt Williams any way. (As an aside, that bit is one of my top ten favorite bits. Katt Williams is a fucking genius and if you can't see that, then there's no hope for you.) So yeah, I may not be the paragon of intelligence, but I can tell you this: if I get to the woods and there's a sign that says "Warning: Zombie Nazis Afoot" you can best believe I won't be sticking around.

Monday, October 11, 2010

NBA 2K 11 Review

Posted this morning.

It's on the long side so Todd gets to yell at me.

Another great sports release and I am serious when I say in the review that picking a sports game of the year will not be easy. A lot of GREAT stuff in 2010.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Secretariat Film is a Pass

The Secretariat movie was beyond disappointing.

I understand poetic/creative license when doing a historical film like this.

But this movie got SO many things just plain wrong that it was distracting to anyone who knows the story of this great Thoroughbred.

They turned it into classic Disney Hollywood schlock.

They turned good people into villains for no good reason other than every story needs a bad guy.

They filmed the damn movie at Keeneland -- this would be like filming a movie about the Daytona 500 in Indianapolis, and leaving in the symbols of Indy in place. Hey guys, we have technology to erase the KEENELAND signs.

They got SO much wrong. For no reason at all. The dialogue was cookie cutter and the directing was like a made for TV movie.

They got one thing right: Secretariat was a nationwide phenomenon and won the Triple Crown in 1973.

Good job guys.

NBA 2K11 Review Monday

Review is pretty much done at this point.

So many things to like/love about this game and still so many things that need work. I think this is about as "complete" a 2K game as we have ever seen, but there are still a lot of head scratching decisions that were made by the developers.

In all, it's highly recommended but with caution: the main one being you better have some serious gamepad skills to get the most out of what this game is trying to accomplish.

It's the hardcore flight sim of sports games.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cut Scenes From Hell

I hate cut scenes in sports games.

Despise them.

NBA 2K11 loves them. With all its heart.

I am playing on full 12 min. quarters and games are taking a LONG time, because, well, I'm on 12 min quarters but also because every play stoppage, every sub, every free throw, 2K wants to show me how "TV Like" its game is.

I DO NOT CARE who the Sprite Player of whatever is, or the Gatorade whatever moment is. I do not need the Gatorade sub screen to show me who is coming in and out of the game. A quick flash of subs is all I need. I sure as hell don't need up close shots of players after a play.

Now, you are supposed to be able to turn that shit off, but in the presentation menu I only see a few options for such things and I still get to see these intermittent cut scenes far too often in this game.

GET ME TO THE ACTION. I don't give a shit if this is "just like it is on television."

This isn't television. I have shit to do. I am wearing out the A button on my controller pleading with NBA 2K11 to stop showing me stuff that has nothing to do with me playing the game.

As for the game itself, it's good, it's bad, and I hate Michael Jordan.

Seriously, it is a very challenging game when playing on the "PRO SIM" mode. I lost to the 76ers 104-101 as Boston in overtime. I didn't care to see Even Turner killing me with 3s because ...Even Turner shouldn't do that, but overall it feels pretty authentic.

I STILL think t egame is best played by gamepad gurus who can master a million different moves, and I still hate that slow PFers who get caught in rotation on Rondo can guard him like they are John Starks...but hey..

Monday, October 4, 2010

NBA 2K 11

Been playing this one a lot today -- got this too late to have a review up tomorrow -- but it's coming ASAP.