Video Game Review: Crimsonland [PS Vita/PS4/Steam]

Eric @ The Warning SignVideo Games2 Comments

Crimsonland [PS Vita/PS4]

Crimsonland 
System: PS Vita [reviewed], PS4, Steam
Genre: Top-down shooter
Developer: 10tons Ltd.
Publisher: 10tons Ltd.
Price: $8.99 (cross buy)
Release Date: August 19, 2014 (Vita)

Crimsonland is an apt title for a game that lets you paint the landscape red with the blood of your enemies. Originally released for the PC way back in 2003, this kinda-cult classic has been remastered and released on Steam, PS4 and PS Vita. For this review, I am focusing on the Vita version.

In this top-down shooter, you play as an unnamed soldier with your goal being to kill everything in sight — including aliens, spiders, zombies and mutant lizards. These enemies flood the screen in large waves, dozens at a time. Certain levels push that number closer to 100, creating some ridiculous mayhem on screen (with no slowdown either). As you wipe out more and more enemies, the game’s backdrop begins to turn red — a fitting portrait of the chaos around you.

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Eric @ The Warning SignVideo Game Review: Crimsonland [PS Vita/PS4/Steam]

Movie Project #26: Rudy [1993]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies8 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Rudy [1993]

Rudy [1993] 
Director: David Anspaugh
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Country: USA
Genre: Biography/Drama/Sport
Starring: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
Running Time: 114 minutes

When it comes to inspirational films, Rudy has a surefire winning formula. It’s based on a true story, it involves a massive underdog, and it’s about someone who refuses to stop following his dreams. Football is at the heart of the story, but it’s the type of feel good flick that can appeal to anyone.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #26: Rudy [1993]

Movie Project #25: Sideways [2004]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies20 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Sideways [2004]

Sideways [2004] 
Director: Alexander Payne
Writers: Alexander Payne & Jim Tyler (screenplay), Rex Pickett (novel)
Country: USA
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Virginia Madsen, Sandra Oh
Running Time: 126 minutes

I’m not much of a wine drinker, so I never really had a burning desire to see Sideways, which I always thought of as “that wine movie.” Foolish me — I should know better than to doubt Alexander Payne. This is an intelligently-written and surprisingly funny film that works on multiple levels.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #25: Sideways [2004]

PS Vita Game Review: Table Top Racing

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Table Top Racing [PS Vita]

Table Top Racing 
System: PS Vita [reviewed], previously on iOS and Android
Genre: Arcade racing
Developer: Playrise Digital
Publisher: Ripstone
Price: $7.99
Release Date: August 5, 2014

The idea of bringing a free-to-play mobile game to the Playstation Vita is a risky one. Mobile ports have been done in the past with disastrous results — Dungeon Hunter Alliance and Asphalt Injection, to name a couple, were marked up considerably higher than their smartphone counterparts despite not bringing anything new to the table. Thankfully, that is not the case with Table Top Racing, the latest release from Ripstone.

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Eric @ The Warning SignPS Vita Game Review: Table Top Racing

Beer Review: “Brett the Hipman Hop” by Against the Grain Brewery

Eric @ The Warning SignBeer3 Comments

"Brett the Hipman Hop" by Against the Grain Brewery

Brett the Hipman Hop
Brewery: Against the Grain (Louisville, KY)
Style: American Sour Ale
ABV: 8.0%
IBU: 64.5

Apparently I’m a sucker for pro wrestling puns because I could not resist trying Against the Grain’s “Brett the Hipman Hop“, part of their All Funked Up Wild Series. I wasn’t aware of what I was getting myself into — all I knew was that it was a pale ale, and that it was brewed with brettanomyces. If only I knew what brettanomyces meant…

Expecting a standard pale ale of some sort, I was surprised when I saw a light yellow liquid pour out of my 22oz bomber. It did not look like a pale ale at all, at least not the type I was anticipating. It was then that I realized (thanks to Wikipedia) that brettanomyces is in fact a type of yeast used to provide sourness to a beer.

Now, I am not a huge fan of sour ales. I gained an appreciation of them while touring the legendary Cantillon Brewery in Brussels, but they are something I can only drink on rare occasions. That might have to change after trying “Brett the Hipman Hop” (is it sad that makes me crack up every time I write it?).

This is a damn good beer. One might even say it is “the excellence of execution” when discussing American-made sour ales (yeah, I couldn’t resist). The smell is off the charts; very funky, very complex. The taste is all over the place. It’s definitely tart, and I noticed some hints of lemon and grapefruit. It has a dry and bitter finish, and the aftertaste bounces around on the tongue.

Once you get over the initial funkiness, it’s quite the enjoyable beer. It has a ton of flavor, it’s unique, and it would make a great gateway for someone looking to dig deeper into the world of sour/wild ales. I wouldn’t quite say it’s “the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be”, but it’s high on my list.

8/10

Eric @ The Warning SignBeer Review: “Brett the Hipman Hop” by Against the Grain Brewery

Video Game Review: The Swapper [PS Vita/PSN]

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The Swapper [PS Vita/PSN]

The Swapper
System: PS Vita [reviewed], PS3, PS4, PC, Mac, Linux, Wii U
Genre: Puzzle platformer
Developer: Facepalm Games & Curve Studios
Publisher: Curve Digital
Price: $19.99 (cross-buy on PSN)
Release Date: August 5, 2014

The Swapper is a puzzle-platformer that just oozes atmosphere. Originally released for the PC last year, this Facepalm Games adventure received overwhelming praise from critics and fans alike. This week, the ever-prolific Curve Studios is set to introduce this indie hit to a whole new set of gamers via the Playstation Network.

Set deep in space on a seemingly abandoned space station, The Swapper places you in the role of a lone explorer who is trying to make sense of the situation. The feeling of isolation here is undeniable — you are just one person alone in a massive, eerie location. Shortly upon arrival, you gain access to a mysterious new weapon, dubbed the Swapper, that gives you the ability to create clones of yourself — up to four at once. At first it appears to be a neat little tool, but soon it’s clear that it may have some unexpectedly heady consequences.

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Eric @ The Warning SignVideo Game Review: The Swapper [PS Vita/PSN]

Month In Review [July 2014]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies, Television, Video Games14 Comments

In order of viewing:
1) Boyz n the Hood [1991] - 8/10
Boyz n the Hood [1991]

2) Stand By Me [1986] - 8/10
Stand By Me [1986]

3) 30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014] - 8/10
30 for 30: Bad Boys [2014]

4) The Karate Kid [1984] - 8/10
The Karate Kid [1984]

5) Maniac [2012] - 5/10
Maniac [2012]

6) The Innkeepers [2011] - 6/10
The Innkeepers [2011]

7) Enemy [2013] - 9/10
Enemy [2013]

8) Philomena [2013] - 7/10
Philomena [2013]

9) A Skin, A Night [2008] - 5/10
A Skin, A Night [2008]

10) Mystic River [2003] - 8/10
Mystic River [2003]

11) Snowpiercer [2013] - 9/10
Snowpiercer [2013]

12) Under the Skin [2013] - 8/10
Under the Skin [2013]

13) The Incredibles [2004] - 8/10
The Incredibles [2004]

Video Games Finished:
1) The Wolf Among Us [Xbox 360] - 9/10
The Wolf Among Us

2) MouseCraft [PS Vita] - 8/10
MouseCraft

3) Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita] - 9/10
Injustice: Gods Among Us [PS Vita]

TV Shows Completed:
1) Orange Is the New Black [Season 2] - 8/10
Orange Is the New Black [Season 2]

2) Archer [Season 1] - 8/10
Archer [Season 1]

Best of the Month: Not only is Enemy my favorite movie I watched in July, it’s my early front-runner for this year’s best film. Snowpiercer is a close second right now in my book, with Under the Skin just behind that. Those three films were revitalizing after what I thought had been a fairly disappointing year to that point. I’m even more excited to see what August brings, as I hope to finally catch Boyhood and Life Itself (among others). For video games, I played the last four episodes of The Wolf Among Us back-to-back, and loved every second of it. The final episode, in particular, was riveting and was the perfect way to finish the season. Injustice for the Vita was also a pleasant surprise, and it’s definitely up there as far as my favorite fighting games go.

Worst of the Month: As much as it pains me to say it, A Skin, A Night was a bit of a bore. The National, the subjects of the documentary, are probably my favorite band working today, but this little-seen documentary tried way too hard to be artsy, and it offered little in the way of insight on the band itself. On the other hand, I’m really looking forward to finally seeing Mistaken for Strangers, a more recent documentary about the band that has been getting rave reviews. I suppose Maniac could be considered for the worst of the month as well. Despite having a startlingly effective first-person view, Maniac didn’t work so well for me because I had a hard time buying Elijah Wood as an overpowering serial killer. He was definitely creepy, but there is just no way he could have held a woman of similar size down in the water with just one hand.

Onward to August!

Eric @ The Warning SignMonth In Review [July 2014]

Blogathon: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

Eric @ The Warning SignFeatures, Movies18 Comments

Last month, I took part in the Ten Most Iconic Movie Characters blogathon. Now a new spin-off of this relay race is making its way through the blogosphere, this time focusing on female movie characters only. Here are the details:

A list of 10 iconic female movie characters has been made. That list will be assigned to another blogger who can then change it by removing one character (describing why they think she should not be on the list) and replacing it with another one (also with motivation) and hand over the baton to another blogger. Once assigned, that blogger will have to put his/her post up within a week. If this is not the case the blogger who assigned it has to reassign it to another blogger. After you have posted your update leave the link in the comments below and I will make sure it gets added to the overview post.

I was given the baton by Ruth from FlixChatter. Here’s the list of those who have participated so far:

Dell On Movies
My Filmviews
Time Well Spent
FlixChatter
The Warning Sign

And here’s the current list of characters:

Ellen Ripley

Ellen Ripley

Princess Leia

Princess Leia

Dorothy

Dorothy

Marge Gunderson

Marge Gunderson

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown

Sarah Connor

Sarah Connor

Holly Golighty

Holly Golighty

Scarlett O’Hara

Scarlett O’Hara

Lisbeth Salander

Lisbeth Salander

Mrs. Robinson

Mrs. Robinson

Who I’m removing:

Foxy Brown

Foxy Brown

I really hate to remove Foxy because I love both the character and the film in which she stars, but I’m not sure she is even Pam Grier’s most iconic character (Coffy gets the nod in my book). This is a tough one, but the rules call for a change to be made.

Who I’m adding:

The Bride

The Bride

All it takes is one look at The Bride’s picture to recognize who she is. With Kill Bill 1 & 2, Uma Thurman portrayed one of the most badass characters in modern cinema, playing an assassin who refuses to be stopped on her quest for revenge. Need further proof? Watch this clip. THIS is how you make an entrance:

Now I am passing the baton to Dan from Public Transportation Snob.

Eric @ The Warning SignBlogathon: The Ten Most Iconic Female Movie Characters

Movie Project #24: Mystic River [2003]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies19 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

Mystic River [2003]

Mystic River [2003] 
Director: Clint Eastwood
Writers: Brian Helgeland (screenplay), Dennis Lehane (novel)
Country: USA
Genre: Crime/Drama/Mystery
Starring: Sean Penn, Tim Robbins, Kevin Bacon, Laurence Fishburne
Running Time: 138 minutes

In Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated drama, Mystic River, the gut-wrenching feeling of guilt hangs over the head of every major character, all because of one fateful day in Boston in the summer of 1975.

Three boys, no more than ten years old each, are playing street hockey when one of them notices a fresh batch of cement on the sidewalk. Naturally, they grab a stick and take turns writing their names in it. A man driving by notices this, stops his car and scolds the three boys. He flashes a badge and demands to give one of them a ride home to tell his mother what he was doing. Unfortunately, this man is no cop, and he abducts the poor boy as his friends watch him ride away. It isn’t until days later that the boy escapes his captors, his life forever scarred.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #24: Mystic River [2003]

Movie Project #23: The Karate Kid [1984]

Eric @ The Warning SignMovies16 Comments

50 Movies Project #4: Contemporary Edition

The 50 Movies Project is an annual tradition at The Warning Sign. Every year, I select 50 movies that I feel I must see in order to continue my progression as a film lover. This year I’m focusing on contemporary films (1980 to present day) that I somehow haven’t gotten around to seeing yet.

The Karate Kid [1984]

The Karate Kid [1984] Director: John G. Avildsen
Writer: Robert Mark Kamen
Country: USA
Genre: Action/Drama/Family
Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue
Running Time: 126 minutes

The Karate Kid falls under the same category as previous project entry, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, in that I’m sure I saw at least a good chunk of the movie as a kid. Once again, I remembered a scene here or there (who can forget “wax on, wax off”?) but it was fascinating to sit down and watch it in its entirety as an adult.

While the fashion and spirit of the 1980s are running wild in the film, I’m happy to report that it still holds up quite well as a fun, inspirational movie.

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Eric @ The Warning SignMovie Project #23: The Karate Kid [1984]