August 28, 2004

"Napolean Dynamite"

Go see this movie....GOD!!!

Funny. Original. PG. Family and adult oriented. I loved it. Friends loved it. Non-English speaking friends loved it. Non-violent. Go to the Main Page. Watch the clips. You'll get the gist. Later. End transmission.

A Video Game Blog

     Since I was a little kid I've played video games. My mom used to give me quarters to play Pac-Man, or Donkey Kong, or Tempest while she shopped. I won an Atari 2600 at my school carnival in 1st grade. Shortly after, our family bought a Colecovision (a giant step up from the Atari), and hours and days were "wasted" moving blips around on the TV screen. At least it kept me out of my parents' hair for hours on end.
     With the high expectation (and emotion in some cases) of the upcoming Halo sequel, I thought it an appropriate time to post a top twenty list of my all-time home video games. By no means have I played every game in existence, but I do have lots of experience and knowledge of hundreds of games. I do admit that I sway more towards certain types of games (action/platform), and stray a little from other types (sports) of games. Therefore, sports games do not appear on this list as often as others, a point which I'm sure many would disagree with. I also want to stress that these are HOME video games. That is why many classic greats might not appear.

code key
NES = Nintendo Entertainment System (the original Nintendo)
SNES = Super NES
N64 = Nintendo 64
PSone = Play Station 1
PS2 = uh...
SG = Sega Genesis
GC = Game Cube (Nintendo)
GB = Game Boy

20)Myst (PC)
19)Pitfall (Atari)
18)The Sims (PC)
17)Gran Turismo (PSone)
16)Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic (Xbox)
15)Ratchet & Clank: Going Commando (PS2)
13)Super Mario Kart(SNES)
12)The Legend of Zelda(NES)
11)Mike Tyson's Punch Out!(NES)
10)Bionic Commando (NES)
8)Super Mario 64(N64)
7)NHLPA '93(SG)
6)Tiger Woods 2002-2004(PS2/Xbox)
5)Metroid Prime(GC)
3)Goldeneye 007(N64)
2)Super Mario Brothers(NES)
1)Grand Theft Auto III

Honorable Mention:
Mega Man 2(NES), Kid Icarus(NES), Blaster Master(NES), Tetris(GB), Mortal Combat 2(SG), Tomb Radier(PSone), RC Pro-Am(NES), Resident Evil(PSone), Lode Runner(PC), Wings of Fury (apple IIgs), Arkanoid (NES), Missile Command(Atari 2600)

Sorry to some people who love Sonic...I hate him.

Here is a quick list of Sports games that would be on many people's list:
Madden '04 or '05
Baseball Stars
Tecmo Bowl
Virtua Tennis

Here is a quick list of games everyone loves, I see the genius in them, but for some reason I just couldn't get into:
Splinter Cell
Metal Gear Solid
Tony Hawk Pro Skater

Please, let me know what your favorite game is, or why my list sucks. Post a comment!!!

Relevant links:

Game Informer - online version of the fantastic magazine
Game Stop - pre-order and buy your new and used games here!! - Super-Duper game info, cheats, help, and more!! - more of the same...
Nintendo - official
Playstation - official
Xbox - official

August 14, 2004

Top 100 Movies

     Here it is. My top 100 movies of all time. Now, first of all, I do not necessarily consider these to be the "best" films of all time. They are simply my favorites. I may respect "Wall Street" for example, more than "Snatch," but enjoy the latter more....therefore, a higher rank (today).
     Second, putting a list like this is a near impossible task. Aside from maybe the top 20 films, the others could flip-flop on any given day, depending on my mood.
     Third, there is no disernable method to this maddness. I simply created this list from my list of films that I can remember seeing in my lifetime. By going through that list (of about 2000 films), I created a sublist of possible contenders for the all time 100 list. I came up with about 160 films, I then weeded out the extra sixty films (which included "Sixth Sense," "E.T.," "Blade Runner," "Magnolia," "Blazing Saddles," "The Pianist" and many others), and proceeded to rank the remaining 100, which is the list you see here.
     Lastly, realize that this my favorites of all time; therefore, there may be some films that are included this list because of my childhood.
     Lastly lastly, this list does not include the Star Wars saga; which is automatic, as the greatest story ever put to film. And no, I did not forget The Godfather, I just son't see the greatness in it; or Taxi Driver for that matter.

So, without any further ado....I give you...Andrew's favorite 100 films...see them all!!!!

100) Caddyshack
99) Fatal Attraction
98) Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
97) Wall Street
96) Pink Floyd: The Wall
95) Snatch
94) Basic Instinct
93) Natural Born Killers
92) Goodfellas
91) Monty Python and the Holy Grail
90) Clue
89) Se7en
88) Romancing the Stone
87) Clerks
86) JFK
85) Big Trouble in Little China
84) American Psycho
83) G.I. Jane
82) Glory
81) The Abyss
80) The Fugitive
79) Alien: Resurrection
78) The Shawshank Redemption
77) Fantasia 2000
76) The Game
75) The Silence of the Lambs
74) The Birdcage
73) Top Gun
72) Dogma
71) Starship Troopers
70) The Firm
69) From Dusk til Dawn
68) Groundhog Day
67) Mr. Mom
66) Stand By Me
65) Go
64) Back to the Future
63) Monsters, Inc.
62) The 'burbs
61) Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
60) Batman
59) This is Spinal Tap
58) Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure
57) Eyes Wide Shut
56) Terminator 2
55) Titanic
54) A Few Good Men
53) Regarding Henry
52) Office Space
51) Braveheart
50) My Life
49) Mask (not the Jim Carrey movie)
48) Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
47) A Fish Called Wanda
46) The Breakfast Club
45) The Matrix
44) Brotherhood of the Wolf
43) Three Kings
42) Almost Famous
41) Jerry Maguire
40) Blow
39) Jurassic Park
38) Rain Man
37) Bottle Rocket
36) Reservoir Dogs
35) Dances with Wolves
34) Desperado
33) Made
32) Fight Club
31) Best in Show
30) Pitch Black
29) Apollo 13
28) Ferris Bueller's Day Off
27) The Usual Suspects
26) O Brother, Where Art Thou
25) Independence Day (ID4)
24) Rounders
23) The Shining
22) National Lampoon's Vacation
21) Tombstone
20) Forrest Gump
19) Interview with the Vampire
18) Contact
17) Traffic
16) A Christmas Story
15) National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
14) Airplane!
13) Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
12) American History X
11) Dr. Strangelove

10) Die Hard
9) Fargo
8) American Beauty
7) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
6) Leaving Las Vegas
5) Boogie Nights
4) The Big Lebowski
3) A Clockwork Orange
2) Saving Private Ryan
1) Pulp Fiction

That's it....Hooray!!

August 09, 2004

Music for the now

Just a little bit of music that I am in to right now, and everyone should check out. These are links to the Amazon sites where you can hear snipits of a bunch of songs. Groove on....

The Killers
My Morning Jacket
The Postal Service

"The Village"

     Here's a very quick review of M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village." I liked it. It was creepy, fun and consisted of a great cast. Adrien Brody plays the village idiot (he's special). The stand-out performance I believe however, is Bryce Dallas Howard in her debut role as the blind yet brave and charismatic Ivy Walker. Daughter of director/producer Ron Howard ( Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind ), Bryce has definitely made her mark in Hollywood, and will be seen and appreciated in many upcoming roles I believe.
     Although critics seem to have bashed this film. I really enjoyed the breathtaking scenery and acting, and I jumped out of seat a little more than once. The overall plot was fun and was an interesting concept, although as the story unfolds, and all is explained, there are plenty of holes in the plot. It's one of those films where I walked out of the theater asking myself "why didn't they do this or why didn't they do that?" Still, I would watch it again if it were rented for me in the future.
     According to some (including Shyamalan himself), this film is an allegorical tale of the Bush administration's patriot act, and their propagation of a culture of fear (apparently, it's no accident that the main characters' last name is Walker). I'm not going to go there. I like to watch my films for their entertainment value, not their political undertones. You can decide for yourself however, and there is a link to the Fox News article at the bottom of this review.
     Most others I have talked to that saw the film enjoyed it for the most part, and I recommend it to all. Rated PG-13, so it's okay for almost everybody. Although full of holes, there is enough light on the other side of the holes for The Village to shine.

Related links:

The Village on imdb
Official movie site
Rotten Tomatoes' review
Bush allegorical article


old news for some, but new for many...

WARNING: I do include information about characters, weapons, maps, vehicles, etc. that some people may consider spoilers. I will place red stars ***** before those items. However, if you want the game to be a complete surprise do not read any further.
...but this took forever to type, and I don't think it ruins anything, so read it you guys!

The first thing about Halo 2 that I have learned (which we already knew) is that Halo 2 will be an online experience via Xbox live. In order to ensure that all is working well with Halo 2 on-line in the real world, a recent test was administered on the game. This test was known as Alpha test. Alpha test was a group of about 1000 people spread out all over the country. This select group had to meet the following criteria:

Full-time Microsoft employee
Broadband equipped (at home)
Own an Xbox (of course)
They had to be in vaious places around the country (to ensure that location wasn't an issue for online play)

These alpha-testers were given an online version of Halo 2 to play at home and collect as much data as possible about eveything (performance, glitches, levels, characters, maps, split-screen, etc...) Apparently the test was mostly a success. When it was completed, the participants were required to return their copies of the game to Microsoft (** sniffle..whimper**) Max Hoberman, multiplayer lead designer:

"We gathered every piece of data you can imagine, from usage patterns, feature requests, to player performance, to automatic bug-reporting. Of the thousands of postings I read, one comment I saw often was that the game felt like a natural extension of the original- like an old friend, only with a new look, a clean haircut, and a fat wad of cash."

All right, now for the good stuff....

Here is a list of things my [highly reliable] source says are true or very very likely:

1) Double wielding. In other words, you will be able to shoot two guns at one time. Whether they must be the same gun, or 2 different guns at the same time remains to be seen.

2) Master chief will be able to peek around corners (ala Metal Gear Solid or Max Payne)

3) Environments will be interactive. You may be able to push things around or even off ledges, walls or rocks may explode or tumble when shot at.

4) More vehicles. All the old vehicles are there (including various versions of the Warthog for different users). ATV's (one-man 4-whellers) are in, and word around the campfire is that the covenant has a new tank. Plus more.

5) The setting is Earth. Apparently the covenant have invaded our own planet. Since there is a second Halo however, I have been assured that Master Chief will also be returning to space, and there WILL BE low gravity environments (cool).

6) You can play as the covenant at least in multi-player. You can play as an Elite. I wasn't told if their will be other covenant you can play as, or if there will be other human classes that you can portray.

7) The covenant has added at least 2 new types of warriors (Brutes and Prophets). The Brutes are huge gorilla-like warriors, and the Prophets are small floating "psychics." They are expected to be more like generals or overseers and not an actual soldier as they look very frail. Rumor is that there will be many other characters including a huge beast that will have the power to flip over a Warthog!

8) More multiplayer modes.

9) There is a new "boost" function on some or all of the vehicels. By holding down the L trigger, you will be able to zip through some of those bigger levels with this new function.

10) AT LEAST one new weapon: the battle rifle. Much like the assault rifle, but with more punch and a scope.

Okay. Now, my source only got to see 3 of the game's multiplayer maps. The exact number of maps is unknown though. The inclusion of some of the old maps are being considered (like Blood Gulch). Here is a quick overview of the 3 levels that were seen.


Lockout is a very small level that is tall and narrow. A large concrete structure built into a rock outcropping. Within, is a central tower with 2 sattellites attached by narrow bridges. Each area inside the structure is multi-leveled, that are traversed by ladders and ramps, **and by a new device that can only be described as an energy elevator. You step into this "elevator" and it swoops you up like a tornado might. The other cool thing about this device, is that, unlike ladders, you are not vulnerable while going up or down, you can actually shoot while riding the contraption. Not only that (TJ), but they're easier to use than ladders. Could be a cunning battle technique. My source played this level with 3 OTHER TEAMS! Red, Blue, Green, and Gold teams unleashed on each other in a total and complete frag-fest!!


A medium-sized map, Burial Mounds is a barren, desert themed map which prominently features a military base and huge, twisted pieces of metal he called "the ribs" since they look like the ribs of skeletal remains of a dead giant laying in the sand or something. Think of the dead Krayt dragon on Tattooine in Star Wars next to C-3PO (except much much bigger).


A huge level much like Blood Gulch. A large open area enclosed on all sides, with a base at each end. There are some differences however. First of all, the area is enclosed, like being inside a huge cave. The only light source is a hole at the top of the cave. The second difference is a huge alien machine-like structure in the middle. It stretches from floor to ceiling and is loaded with planty of nooks and crannies to explore and hide.

Well, that's all I know for now. Something to whet your Halo thirst for the time being though. See you all soon for some carnage and mayhem. I'm looking forward to encountering Proteus on the battle-field once again. It has been a long time. When I left you (Proteus) I was but a learner, now I am the master.

HALO 2 (coming soon)

"...some of the new maps...are manifestations of pure genius."

"The crew at Bungie is very excited and devoted to this game, and are completely aware of the feverish buzz around it."

"When dealing with such a hotly anticipated title, the public will show little mercy if it falls short in any area...this won't happen."

"Killing your buddies on-line...should feel no different than when they are sitting right next to you."

Related links:

Official site
Reserve your copy here now!