Are You Ice Cold Counter Terrorist Special Agent Jack Bauer? Take The Quiz To Find Out!

As A Pool Boy, I often have to wade through pool water, when the heating is broken, or late at night to reclaim what Island Guests, have lost! As a Result I am often very cold… Ice Cold! Are You Ice Cold Counter Terrorist Special Agent Jack Bauer? Take The Quiz To Find Out!Chances are you aren’t. I had to find out that I wasn’t special agent Jack Bauer myself the hard way. The hardest way one person can find out. By playing 24: The Game.

Anyone who has ever said that life is short has never played 24: The Game. Based on the hugely successful American television program, 24 the game takes place in between the TV shows third and fourth season. Filling in plot holes, adding additional context and content for hardcore fans. That kind of thing.

For those that have never watched the show – myself included (I was well aware of the show while it was on I just didn’t have a desire to watch Keifer Sutherland bust up terrorist scum back then) the show follows special agent Jack Bauer during his work day which apparently lasts twenty four hours? Because Terrorists never clock out.

Anyways, he shoots people, interrogates and tortures them like some sort of one man Guantanamo Bay. All to save Los Angeles or the Liberty Bell or whatever. You get the idea.

24: The Game picks up between the third and fourth seasons of the show but it really doesn’t matter. It’s not rocket science. It’s pretty easy to figure out what is happening upon starting the game. It’s a third person shooter, with all sorts of puzzles, driving and interrogation mini games. The “fun” police work I guess, considering that all the mini games are much more fun then the actual missions of running around screaming at people to put their hands up and killing them anyways.

24 was Developed by SCE Studio Cambridge – later restructured as Guerilla Cambridge most known for its MediEvil series (and shut down in 2017) during 2005.

Guerilla Cambridge

It was published by 2k Games for the PlayStation 2 and released February 27th 2006. Essentially the game starts as Jack Bauer and his counter terrorism unit foils a plot to assassinate the Vice President. One thing leads to another and you learn a bit more about the man behind all of these nefarious plans and his connection to Jack Bauer in the past. I won’t really go into it because I’d hate to spoil a fifteen year old video game based on a twenty year old show for you.

And besides. That’s not why you’re here! You’re here for the quiz! The one thing that unites all internet users regardless of race, religion, gender, sexuality or political affiliation. We all want to know more about ourselves and I think that’s admirable. Even cute. Anyways the, “ARE YOU ICE COLD COUNTER TERRORIST SPECIAL AGENT JACK BAUER” quiz will be divided into three parts.

1.) The Basics. This is where a lot of expert quiz makers put basic questions. Yes, that was obnoxious sarcasm.

2.) Physical Fitness. This is the part of the quiz where we’ll gauge if you, the quiz taker, are as physically gifted as Special Agent Jack Bauer.

And finally my favorite section: THE QUOTES. On a scale from one to five we’ll access how much or how little you agree or disagree with a Jack Bauer quote (or a, ‘Bauerism’ as I like to refer to them by)

But before we begin the quiz I do have a new regular section to announce called, “PEE IN THE POOL”. Generally in theory it will consist of me choosing a subject – maybe asking a question about it to vast internet and everyone answering and all of us being amazed and blown away by how similar we really all are especially when sharing a love for something.

Which leads me to my current bone to pick with society as a whole. Twitter specifically. In the week leading up to and during writing this entry I canvassed the harsh terrains of Twitter and Instagram in the search for hardcore 24 fans. Feeling inadequate at fairly explaining the protagonist’s badassery I figured I’d hand the mic over to some true Jack Bauer fans and let them sound off and shut all the haters up for good.

But it never happened. Despite asking nicely, coercion, threats and begging no one would respond to my tweets. Some sympathy likes and retweets here and there but the response was clear. No one gives a shit about Perwinkle The Pool Boy and/or the world has moved on from Jack Bauer.

Desperation

But I can’t accept that.

It’s much more believable no one answered any of my Tweets because I was coming off like a weird lunatic. Which is true – I was. BUT what I find completely unbelievable is that the country would turn its back on a true American hero so callously. Today – Jack Bauer – tomorrow – George Washington??

The only two people who get any sort of recognition for interacting with my fever pitch tweeting looking for super fans is, Anthony Cox (@AJC2424) and Pinkie herself, who let me know quite proudly that she has over six billion plushed unicorns. So thank you, Anthony and Pinkie.

Welcome to the, Are You Ice Cold Counter Terrorist Special Agent Jack Bauer? QUIZ

Every “Yes” answer during the first section will add 5 Points each in your total score.

THE BASICS

Let’s get basic.

1.) Is your name Jack Bauer?

2.) Do you have a steely cold stare that can hesitate even the most volatile of criminals?

3.) Does your day start with a countdown clock?

4.) Are you a Federal Agent in any capacity?

5.) Has the Canadian actor, Keifer Sutherland ever portrayed you in a television series or movie?

Let’s get physical.

Part 2: Physical Fitness

Again, Every “Yes” answer during the first section will add 5 Points each in your total score.

1.) Are you Canada’s sexiest export?

2.) Can you sprint for an unlimited amount of time?

3.) Does your voice sound like old country road gravel in a glass jar of warm whiskey?

4.) Do you yell the word, “Dammit!” 80-90 times a day?

5.) Can you carry all of America on your back so it can sleep soundly safe from it’s almost infinite amount of enemies?

You missed a couple quotes… Bartlett.

On a sliding scale from 1-5 – choose the number based on how much you relate or, “feel” this quote. 5 being the most possible relation – you have possibly said this before or will soon. You feel this quote to the bone.

Quotes:

1.) “I’m federal agent Jack Bauer and this is the longest day of my life.”

2.) “I have killed two people since midnight, I haven’t slept in over 24 hours. So maybe… maybe you should be a little more afraid of me than you are right now.”

3.) “If you hurt my daughter I will kill you!”

4.) “You probably don’t think I could force this towel down your throat, but trust me I can. All the way. Except that I’d hold onto this little bit at the end. When your stomach starts to digest the towel, I pull it out. Taking your stomach lining with it. Most people probably take about a week to die. It’s very painful.”

5.) “Shut up, stupid! You just fired at a federal agent!”

6.) “I’m done talking with you, you understand me? You’ve read my file. The first thing I’m going to do is take out your right eye, and then I’m gonna move over and take out your left, and then I’m going to cut you. I’m gonna keep cutting you until you give me the information that I need. Do you understand me? So for the last time, where is the nerve gas?”

7.) “Our government has no integrity!”

8.) “By order of the President of The United States, PUT DOWN YOUR WEAPON!”

9.) “So help me God I will kill you, and you will stay dead this time.”

10.) “By the time I’m finished with you, you’re gonna wish you felt this good again.”

SCORECARD:

0-25 Jack Bauer Points: You are basically a terrorist. You don’t believe in freedom, America or the long arm of the law. You are a criminal.

25-50 Jack Bauer Points: You are a well adjusted adult. Much more well adjusted then the guy that spent a week writing a blog post about 24

50-99: You are basically a walking Kid Rock song. You drink Liberty from a fountain of kick ass. You sew American flags together to make it heavier in case you need to use them as a weapon. You are Paul Revere on steroids.

100: You are Keifer Sutherland.

Make sure to post your points in the comments below or hit me up @buffaloretro on Twitter to participate in the next mind numbingly dumb Periwinkle Pool Boy post

AND – before I go: I was going to start to list a bit of ingredients as we go on in honor of the games we’ve covered. This list of ingredients should be able to make you the perfect Periwinkle’s Low Hanging Fruit Punch.

Ingredients so far

1.) A small chunk of fur from Parka (Cold Winter)

2.) A thimble of Jack Bauer’s sweat (24: The Game)

Until next time – thank you to Pinkie and all of the other writers for letting me pollute their space – I’ve read articles by everyone else on the resort staff and they are all very talented writers. I think they just felt bad for me and let me aboard. But I’ll take the sympathy. 😘 – Perwinkle

A BIT of Nostalgia: Castlevania IV Review

Hello once again Mortals, we are drawing closer to Halloween and I am nowhere even near done with spooky games…at least for myself. However one big title should not  be missed out on during this month! A classic that I hold close to my heart!  That classic of course is Castlevania..and since most of my old consoles are already packed up.. I started with Castlevania IV on the Mini SNES!  Luckily this is my FAVOURITE Castlevania game! Hooray! Instead of being scared of the monsters this time they can be scared of me!

Belle Monde 

Castlevania IV released on Halloween 1991.. well at least in Japan! A few months later in December in America and the likes and almost a whole year later we got it in Europe!  On the 23rd of November just 6 days after my 6th birthday. It was the 6th game that bore the castlevania title! So 6-6-6!  An unholy trinity of events! Little did I know than how devilishly good this game would be. It scores about an 8.2 out of 10 on average but the only grade I can give it is 1! A number 1!  Soon after this the game would take on a more adventure style approach with Symphony of the Night and while that is oftenly the fan favourite I really prefer that genre with Metroid while I prefer the old style Castlevania. I see them as almost different series in fact so I shall not be comparing them to any of the Alucard or Soma Cruz sames.  They are great as well but this was a whole different kind of beast. 

Belle Monde means pretty world and that certainly can be said about this game. Producer Konami really went all out in giving us neat little details in the background, amazing Mode7 graphics and very recognisable monsters. Translucent ghosts, fragmenting skeletons, a hulking frankenstein.. and a 9 foot tall dracula are all in this game and they are all impressive fights of their own accord. Classics such as the Medusa heads come back to frustrate you now more than ever before.. or is it?! With the new control screen players can whip in any direction and even  wiggle their whip about all limply giving it some stringlike control which can be used to slowly tickle an enemy to death! As a result of this simple change Simon Belmonts techniques have drastically improved. On our 11 stage journey we travel through castles, swamps, caves, spinning stuff and of course clock towers. Every stage has two or three very different looking segments.

 A lot is done with motion in this game’s graphic design. We see Skeleton ornaments following the hero in the background. We see books trying to leap out of their bookcase, and  so much more allowing the background to truly come to live!  This also results in more tension! Will that thing come leap at me or is it just a simple background element? The certainty has been taken away and that is a good thing! Not only do you have to pay attention to your opponents.. you want to keep an eye on the background as well.. the game forces you to appreciate it’s beautiful world! My favourite stages for the background are stage 8 and stage 9.. while i hate stage 8 in every other sense.. the creepy paintings that might grab you, the carpet that can push you into the ceiling that is great! Stage 9 is my favourite! It’s a treasure room where colourful ghosties constantly rise up! What a great night to have a SNES mini!

Belmont

Part IV of the series does not follow up on any of the games. Part 1 was followed by it’s sequel and both dealt with the story of Simon Belmont, while Part 3 was actually a prequel and it told the story of Trevor Belmont and his companions.  Rather than follow up on the story of Trevor and Alucard among others Part IV focuses on Simon again.. but rather retells the story of the original game.. in a new way! This means we will both visit familiar and unfamiliar locations and face a slew of enemies that the oldest castlevania player will immediately recognise.. and so does everyone else for that matter because these monsters are really iconic.  We will once again face off against mummies, frankenstein, death and even the giant bat makes it return albeit in a different spot in the game and it is not really a bat.. yet it is still the good old familiar boss from the first game. The game does a good job off playing into nostalgia with the iconic themes such as vampire hunter and bloody tears being hidden deep inside the game. You will have to work for your shot of nostalgia! The game has some nice tunes but nothing near as iconic as aforementioned themes but hey it’s a konami game you know at worst you will be pretty well off in the sound department. 

Control Wise alternate timeline Simon has no equal. Even Richter from Dracula X  and later Rondo of Blood could not be a master whipper like this Simon! As a result of the tight controls I find this Castlevania relatively easy….among the linear games. The exploratory stuff is way easier.  Still I deem this game fairly “doable” in terms of difficulty. Mind you that this is my favourite Castlevania, I know some patterns by hand and some timing by muscle memory but easily up until the 8th stage I breezed through this game like it was nothing. The eight stage however has one excruciating bit of trap dodging!  I can never really get that pattern down and always end up using luck to make my way through.  Since I so often get stopped there it by far is my least favourite stage in the game. If you are new to the series and want to try a game out I do suggest you start out with this one for it’s supreme control scheme and playing the best Belmont but like Castlevania III there will be a few cheap moments. 

These moments in comparison to the third and most diverse game in the franchise however are few and far between.  You have unlimited continues at your disposal and a password system to clear the hurdles ahead. A game over will send you back to the beginning of a stage however and this includes sub areas. So if you are on stage 9-2 and game over on the boss you get 5 new lives to try again from 9-1. This is how it has always been with Castlevania and with the exception of the last stage that is rather fair you really do become a better player for it. No risking the biscuit you really need to learn and master clearing it all in one big swoop. It felt really rewarding to finally clear a stage after mastering the bosses and minibosses. Given how varied the stages are it doesn’t feel like too much of a punishment either.. except for the aforementioned stage 8 that is littered with Instakill boobytraps in it’s second coeur and with how a bat randomly flying through that trap can ruin a run and send you back over and over again… that stinks! The final stage.. Stage B,  has a four man boss rush that is quite hard and a game over.. sets you all the way back! So be prepared to get good. You really must become a true Belmont but are also very much given the proper tools to do so. 

Cool Whip

What makes this stand out most to me is the gameplay itself though!  While Castlevania III had more diverse characters and ways to traverse through a stage this one is more focussed on giving Simon a new challenge each and every stage. The first stage has you jumping between a foreground and a background stage. The second stage places you inside streams of water that hinder your control, the third stage has vertical/ceiling hazards. The third game may offer you a different set of characters, I really prefer it if you have to overcome new obstacles every time. Except for the instakills in stage 8 this game really does a much better job at that. It really feels you have to master becoming Simon! One can argue for the choose your combat style approach of the later parts but to me it feels much more satisfying to use the tools you have! You HAVE to master Simon’s whip, you HAVE to clear that one boss you can’t seem to hit with it. The game hands you just enough tools to get the job done, but doesn’t make you overly cool and competent and thing that moderen games for me oftenly have. We are handed tools for flavour rather then challenge.

There is the old Castlevania clunk, the annoying knockback, the non momentum based jumping and the occasional unfair enemies, but that in a way is part of the experience. It gives this Castlevania something “scary” Leaping to a platform you can barely see, fearing there might be a bat to knock you off towards your demise has something we don’t really see these days. There are still indie games to that, but it is weird that this lack of polish causes.. a “personality” in the game. Back in the days we would look at our cartridges or at our screens and say “Castlevania IV I am going to beat you today” .. now we usually talk about events within the confines of the game. “Come on Geralt  you got this” “Handsome Jack you are going down” which is fine as well but in the end it is also your character that conquers a game. These old games might not offer the same immersion but they offer this amazing reward of conquering and you actually feel skilled for doing it! Those weird Castlevania quirks that are present help that experience SO much.Climbing a stairs and the floor goes out of sight? Well that means if you get hit on the stair you now plummet into the abyss!  You inch forward.. not in game..but you’re busy with your controller, hitboxes, invincibility frames etcetera. You are fighting a game!

I can not beat Dracula in the capacity of my person and in the end who cares about Simon beating Dracula.. it happens a million times. However me beating Castevania is unique to me. That is my feat! While I also beat Breath of the Wild and fought those two Eldritch like being in Smash Ultimate..those feel more like I played through the game. I experienced the game. I beat the final boss because I had the right tools, I feel like without too much effort I would have done it the next attempt even if I had died there. This old game .. I did not beat because I had the dash move, the big sword, the upgraded bomb or whatever. No I beat it because I learned the Pattern Patterns, I was able to distinguish the spots where my character would be safe.  I discovered a strategy to deal with those pesky  energy balls Dracula shot and I found a way to deal with those fireball enemies in the sky! It is not anything in the game that made me beat this.. it was ME! It wasn’t even that cool magical whip! … No it was me positioning a character in smart spots, me using a extra weapon cleverly! ME! ME! ME!

Vampire Killer Game

I do think that Castlevania I through III have aged a bit, the challenge is rather grueling! Mostly the second game is obnoxious with it’s puzzle element and poor translations, messed up ending screens and weird gameplay choices. I and III are difficult to a point where it isn’t as much a part of the timeset anymore. Castlevania IV does the same thing.. yet it does it perfectly. While sometimes unfair, dying feels like your fault always.. even when it’s not (Except for stage 8)  having to redo a stage feels super frustrating..but the stage has enough variety that it doesn’t feel like intense punishment. It is perfectly beatable in a short time if you are good enough but can get you trapped for hours if you can’t deduce a boss pattern! It is still your fault! It emulates perfectly on the SNES mini… BUT that is because it has a great controller for that. Should you emulate this game on PC and use a PS4 or Xbox One controller, I think you fill find yourself in a lot of trouble. You need D-Pad accuracy here, no Analogue stick can do that, lot of these controllers also have issues with double direction inputs like up and right..when using the D-Pad.. I think this would be so much harder to complete on those.. so play this on an SNES mini or on a virtual console with a proper controller.

Yet once again this also proves a point, this game wants you to use that SNES controller, it wants you to go D-Pad, it wants to be played as it used to be played. Now don’t get me wrong! I think anyone playing a 2d platformer with an analogue stick when they have the option to not use an Analogue stick should have their Gamer Card marked… not totally revoked just marked! Yet this game shows it a lot more than others. I usually prefer momentum based platformer action like Mario or Donkey Kong yet strangely this game shines because of its amount of clunk!  I can drop to my death just because I was a fair amount of pixels of my jump. I can get knocked into a ravine and be forced to start way back at the beginning just because I missed the timing of a single whiplash and there is a slight delay .. plus my hitbox is slightly larger than me so I can’t cheese it in the final moment.  In Mario when I make a mistake I can correct (somewhat)  here if I make a mistake I am dead. Yet that gives this game it’s horrorish vibes. Single mistakes can lead to a painful death, not just for Simon it will be painful for the player as well.

So in a game like Castevania its flaws become its strengths for me? Does that mean its strengths become it’s flaws? No! The stage design is still briljant and plays into that level of non immersion while still being super cool. Dracula’s castle has clear game mechanics that make no sense in the context of the world, but it is not trying. Nowadays characters notice everything so when we suddenly see barriers appear it has to be given a lore explanation through a cutscene, while the makers just wanted to give you some action. Sorcery, creatures carrying sealls or whatever.. it all becomes a challenge for the main character to overcome.  Simon doesn’t say anything about water following two  ways, he doesn’t question the spinning walls in stage 4 because they are not his challenges to overcome. They are YOURS. We are the ones that have bloody tears from frustration while trying to master the game and we are the ones that hopefully will be the vampire killers. For me Castlevania IV is one of those perfect games. Not because it is perfect.. but because it is very much a game and it keeps you feeling important all the way.

This weekend there will not be any blog posts as I am getting the key of my new flat Saturday! Which means the entire weekend and most likely the entire next week I am either without internet or doing stuff! Next week I will have a few posts scheduled ahead of time to wrap up Halloween month with a two day Pokémon post and some blog tags. If I have time I will try to visit your blogs with my phone! Otherwise I will see you all when I get back! Enjoy next weeks post and see you all soon! If you want to help with creating a pc corner for my blog check out my Kofi page!

A Rock going Ape: Rampage Review

Dear Island Guests, Welcome back to my attempt to watch all video game based movies ever made. By Arceus, I did it! I watched a video game movie that is not total shit! I mean sure it isn’t great.. but heck it is based on a button bashy game about a wolf a lizard and a ape destroying cities! How did this happen?! Have I killed to many brain cells with bollshit?! Or is this actually a fairly competent movie? Let’s find out together. Also my apologies the changing image format. I watched this on Netflix so I got the screen grabs from IMDB..who apparently takes their screens from everywhere!

It’s not Congo

Rampage came out in 2018 and stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as primatologist/former black ops and poacher murder Davis Okoye. He now works at the San Diego Wildlife sanctuary when unbeknownst to him stuff goes awry in space. An evil company by the name of Energy has been making a flexible DNA pathogen on a space station where one of their rats broke out. A lonely scientist trying to escape gets locked in until she retrieves the pathogen samples. She manages to retrieve three samples before fleeing back and escaping the exploding space station. However  the rat has damaged her escape pod and upon reentry in the atmosphere the little window cracks and see is burned to a crips! The pod explodes and the three samples land on several places in the United States. 

One in the Everglades where the Pathogen gets eaten by a crocodile, one lands in the forest lands of Wyoming where a wolf gets infected and one….what are the chances strikes at the San Diego Wildlife reserve. Here it infects George, an Albino Gorilla that happens to be Davis best friend. (That’s kinda sad)  But George is a good boy gorilla who can speak in sign language! …Wait a second.. a Gorilla that is a best friend, whose sign language and Albino Gorilla?! There is a lot of stuff from the movie Congo here!

As George suddenly begins to grow and more  erratic and aggressive a totally legit woman working for Energyne shows up telling she made the pathogen that made George like this. She has a cure but Davis needs to help her proof Energyne is using this pathogen for weapons. Being the evil company they are Energyne builds a radio tower to draw in these beasts so they can retrieve their pathogene.. but that doctor trying to save the world, Doctor Cate Caldwell she has to go! Can our hero use his bond with George to save Chicago?  Can he bring back George from madness. All of these questions will be answered, in a vastly illogical but fun to watch movie.  I mean there are plothoes the size of Kaiju here but hey this is a movie about a albino killer gorilla wrecking some stuff up and being almost immune to everything humans can throw it. Al becomes of some diamonds..wait no that’s not right! No diamonds! Flexible DNA pathogen that’s it.. this movie is not Congo.

A Man and his CG Gorilla

I played a lot of Gampage as a kid and George was never my favourite..but it makes sense to tell the story with him as a hero! A Gorilla that knows sign language makes a lot more sense than a wolf that follows every command or a a story about a man who trained Velociraptors that gone and mutated into something else. In fact I could argue that the interactions with The Rock and George are best thing in this movie. George is a fully CGI Gorilla obviously but there was a sense of bond I got from them still. I did not really feel the Rock was talking to nothing.. There was a legit bond between this Davis and George. Only in the action and funny moments though!

There are a few dramatic moments and here the Rock falters. He has become a pretty good physical comedy actor over the past few years. He even has some comedic timing to his lines. When he needs to be sad for a cgi gorilla though.. he isn’t always there..Still there is this very enjoyable bond between Davis and George I can’t help but like!  Even though George is way too intelligent take seriously for example, this movie really establishes it is going over the top from the first moment! It starts in space! With an evil space rat and super evil organisation shenanigans. This movie practically is a 90’s cartoon including the talking animal sidekick.. but it leans into that.. and for that reason it really works. It’s camp but if you expected anything else after the first 10 minutes or heck even from the beginning you are in the wrong movie more so than the movie being wrong. If you see this movie as a live action cartoon you might have a great time with it!

The movie uses a lot of foreshadowing. After the first scene with Davis and George I was like… oh they better end the movie like such and so or I will be upset! I got exactly the ending I wanted..but also predicted. Well there was one joke I didn’t see coming at the end that made me giggle but all in all this movie is fairly predictable. Yet in a good way. After having seen a lot of video game movies this one at least feels capably made. It isn’t a masterpiece by any means but this movie does deliver what it promises. Character traits in both George, Davis , Cate and heck even the cowboy government agent they meet somewhere along the way are fairly established.

We know why Davis does the things he does even if it is not beneficial to a situation. We understand. Sure making him a former black-ops guy feels cheap and allows him access to a set of skills that are very convenient, yet at the same time he utilizes almost ALL of those skills. So it is not a wasted plotpoint to make him more cool.. it’s a trait so insane action sequences make some semblance of sense. Plus this movie is basically a 90’s cartoon! Of course he is a black-ops!

George is even used as more than just ape, Davis actually learns from him, and while again it is very convenient to the plot it happens for a reason. Davis has a reason to care for George and the fact that George cares for him has deeper implications. Cheap but it’s there.
So every time the Rock interacts with this CGI monstrosity is when the movie really does shine! You can see George sometimes breaking out of it;s aggression because it cares about Davis as well but never so much that it becomes that much more than an animal. In a way this movie creates a symbiosis. Both need each other, and the movie also needs both. it just doesn’t really need the side characters.

A Saturday Morning Cartoon

The weakest point is definitely the villains. Brother and Sister leading Energyne, which by the way is such an generic company name it hurts, are really clearly evil incorporated. I also do not really get their plan. Their plan is basically, make a pathogen that can make Kaijus …..  …… make money!  Clearly there is a step missing there! They have no way to control the big beasties , so they make them freak out with a radio signal to draw them all to the city and let the military blow them up.. so they can take blood from their corpses. Or something?!
They also decide now.. after she got locked up for trying to break the project that Cate has to die… why not when she stole from you?!  Why when she already told the cops about you and is just hanging with a Primatologist, do you decide that now she is very dangerous.
Why would you build that radio signal on top of your own company when you know the military has to bomb these animals to death. The nervous brother and the cold sister again seems like something of a Saturday morning cartoon. They also act a bit like Pinkie and the Brain.. if Pinkie was a corporate weasel instead of an dumb dumb. They are so in your face evil you can tell they are evil by just saying hello.

This comes with a few issues. At one point the heroes realise that Energyne is luring the monsters there into the heart of chicago by a signal on Energyne’s roof. In the middle of Chicago. They don’t care the city gets destroyed.. but your still a company.. if people are going to find out it was you who drew the monsters to Chicago even if they are blown up.. you are in trouble still.. I don’t think you can freely walk about and just take these monsters blood. Also you need to sack another multi billion dollar asset. The space station you blew up cost them 20 billion already and they just shrug it off. I am pretty sure no company can take a 40 billion dollar loss without any consequence. Their plot makes very little sense and their acting is quite poor! Funnily enough .. they end like 90’s cartoon villains. Like really..  (And no this is not a spoiler unless you think the Rock losing in a younger audience movie is actual a viable option)  this brings a charm to the movie but also a makes  it a bit of a guilty pleasure. Why was I so entertained by this?

The action is similarly over the top and delivers you some fun moments such as the Rock swinging a woman in a crashing plane to launch a forklift truck into the giant Gorilla, only to see them then do similar antics to yeet themselves and a cowboy cop out of plane grabbing Parachutes while the plane breaks up. A  battle royal between Lizzie , George and Ralph is pretty good as well and given that there is a fair amount of environmental destruction, which was what the games are all about , it is at least somewhat faithful to the source material. Not that there is a lot to be faithful to. We see the most ridiculous action scenes and they are all fun. Yet they also  recognise the  limitations of their CGI and while it does make things more believable it also makes some of the camera work very unappealing. When a mercenary company is hunting Ralph in the woods of Wisconsin for example we get very dark shots, fog is used to bloom up details and most kills happen off camera. Never do I cringe that much at the CGI but at the same time I do wish that some of these scenes could have been a bit more visceral. There is almost no blood in the movies, which makes sense given that it seems to target a younger audience.. but the actions shots.. do not justify the lack of blood.
I am talking bisections, a beheading and impalement here.. all relatively bloodless. That just seems odd.  But hey  damaged characters do get dirty and get scuff marks… kinda like… you know where this is going.

I tend to use analogies to compare the movie to somewhere around the end of a review and in this case.. the best thing I can compare Rampage to is the game Rampage. Both are just a good bit of fun, with a story that is to dump and makes so little sense to put to words.   Both have scenes that drag on and on but also some great action moments. It can keep you entertained for a good 90 minutes but after that you do not feel enriched or satisfied.. you just had 90 minutes of fun and that is it. I appreciate the movie for knowing that is is exactly that. It never oversteps that and that suits the movie.. yet at the same time that lack of ambition to ever be more is also its greatest flaw. 

It’s like as if the movie makers saw this movie as a school exam. They answered the questions they knew the answer to REALLY REALLY well and got enough points to score a passing grade.. but if they had taken a moment to try to figure out one of these other questions they just might have gotten a better grade by scoring some half points on other subjects. If you ever want a  movie to just turn your brain off with and enjoy stuff blowing up and the Rock doing Rock things.. this is a solid movie to watch! I watched it in this mindset and definitely will have to put it in my top 5 favourite video game movie adaptations. It isn’t anything special but fun can be good enough.

This movie is on the higher side of the fineapple spectrum a nice popcorn-flick that feels like a Saturday morning cartoon. As long as you don’t expect more this movie doesn’t dissapoint. If you do expect more.. you probably have not played rampage before! Did you see this movie? What did you think about it? Do you think Dwayne Johnson might be overused in movies?!
Let me know in the comments! If you want to prevent me from ever starting my own genetics lab to make evil super creatures..please consider supporting my Kofi page! Support money is better than evil super creature money! If you have no money to spare! Just follow the blog, leave a like or a nice comment! I can’t start an evil firm if I never turn evil anyway!


Pinkie’s Guilty Movie Pleasures: Big Trouble in Little China

It is not that uncommon to list a reputable movie when people ask you for their favorites.  People will tell you their favorite movie is Parasyte, Avatar, 1917, or maybe the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings series. We claim Dangerous Liasons is our favorite movie while it is actually Weekend At Bernie’s .  Pinkie’s Guilty Movie Pleasures is all about celebrating those movies like Weekend At Bernie’s. In this installment I will tell you about my traditional christmas movie since 1998. Big Trouble in Little China!

I love 80’s movie posters! I wish I could be one when I grow up!

The Story about a weird tradition

Yes I said it this movie is my traditional christmas movie. Before I start with the movie a little story on how this came to be. I grew up with catholic teachings, about two years before discovering this movie I stopped believing in god already. I still believed in a supernatural force but it felt like a balance to me. In hindsight kind of like Karma or Yin Yang or something more intangible as a person guiding us. I guess that concept came from bullying or so. Regardless , I still kept up appearances and traditions for my family’s sake.

However that changed when in 1998 I was supposed to take my Holy Sacrement of Confirmation thing.My local minister banned my uncle from church from being gay, (we got warned not to invite him prematurely) and during an Easterlike dinner.. in my mother’s rentable party place he took from the Kid’s Menu. Which was very limited.. for each child they made a snack. They would make new ones.. but that would mean the children would have to move to last in line. The Minister did not take one but FOUR children’s snacks. When my mother said.. those are for the kids .. he basically said that him going first was gods will and thus he was allowed to take these. I heard this and along with the message about my uncle I was done with him.. and that church I was already just pretending to be a part of. I banned everything about it from my life.

So when it was Christmas eve my family would go to the late evening services and wanted me to come along but I refused to ever set foot in that man’s church again. I would listen to a man preach who thinks gay people are bad.. but he who takes stuff that is meant to make children happy .. was send by god and he deserves it more! Dad got very angry with me because he had to play the organ and he wanted me to see. Yet I kept refusing. I told dad that I love him and I would see him play anywhere but in church. He yelled at me a lot and made me very upset.  He went very mean spirited when Mom stood up for me. She told him that if I would stand up to the minister and god for not liking what I saw, I should stick with this. She said she would stay home with me and we did. Still sniffly and upset Mom told me if I wanted to watch a Christmas movie.. but I was not in the spirit… so we looked for the least xmassy thing that was on tv on Christmas eve… and now nearly each holy eve I watch Big Trouble in Little China. Mom would go back to church the next year, yet when the priest began to talk Shiitake about  me as well as slipping into a quite dogmatic approach to Catholicism one by one my family sided in my camp. 

This tradition is only kept up by me though!

Protagonist? Sidekick? Jack Burton!

Having such a victory in fighting for my own beliefs gave this movie a bit of a underlying town for me. I did not have to be so afraid to do my own thing. It was okay to be different. Funnily enough that is in a way what this movie is as well. What based on the poster and the styling should be a generic action flick is in fact one of the most unconventional once I have seen. Nowadays we do have more of this Meta-movie humor but back in 1986 .me and this movie share a birth year, it probably was quite unheard off. It was back in the time we would get a Cis-gender, white , straight male lead with an equally straight but usually less competent minority sidekick.  The white guy knows everything and the minority bumbles around. In the end the white man gets a girl and defeats the big bad and they all live happily ever after. John Carpenter wanted to make a movie for once where everything is not what it seems and than I don’t mean everyone could be an alien venus fly trap thing thing. (Yes double thing)

So he created this movie , allegedly not even caring if the movie would do well or not! He just wanted to make this. That passion can be seen in this movie. That love can be felt in nearly every scene. He wanted to make a movie where the hero.. isn’t actually the hero but the sidekick. He wanted to make a movie where everything goes against what you expect of action movies. Today this movie might not seem like that unconventional.. but this movie is still filled with some delightful anticlimactic moments, side stories that are glanced over and characters that get tossed aside. In the spotlight is one of my favorite action heroes of all time. Jack Burton! A  trucker of his beloved “Porkchop” Express , as American as he can be. Gambler, Seducer and tough guy! He dresses like John Mcclane, is witty like Indiana Jones and spouts one liners faster than Arnold and Sylvester. He is also JUST an american trucker. He doesn’t know how to fire guns, he doesn’t know martial arts, he hasn’t ever killed a man. He’s just a trucker that got in over his head.. and unlike most.. “in over their heads” type action heroes he doesn’t magically get good at this either. He lucks out, muscles his way out or even more oftenly doesn’t do anything to contribute to the plot. I love him!. Not in a romantic way.. even though he is a failure.. he is still way to manly.

The Good Mortal Kombat Movie

Now what is the plot of the movie? It is quite ridiculous as is the rest of this movie.. but with a main character like Jack you might have already figured that out. We see Jack win a bet against Wang Chi.. a gambler and denizen of Little China after he delivered some pigs there. Not good for his money Wang allows Jack to take him to the airport where he meets his fiancé who has his money. In the airport they meet Gracie Law.. a journalist trying to help another chinese girl in this country. During a scuffle these girls get mixed up and a street gang takes the wrong woman.  A chinese woman with green eyes. A evil chinese Spirit named Lo-Pan needs a chinese woman with green eyes to become flesh again.. if he can complete a ritual with her he becomes powerful and eternal and he can rule the earth.
Jack still wants his money though.. only to have his truck stolen by the same supernatural forces that now hold the chinese women with green eyes. So Jack has to save the world.. to get his truck back. What other way can he hook up with Gracie Law anyway? Oh and of course an ancient Chinese Sorcerer joins their side and gets them high somewhere around the midway point of the story.

I doubt that any of this is based on any form of real chinese mythology. This belief is aided by the fact that John Carpenter said he based the character of Lo-Pan on Shang Tsung of Mortal Kombat.. which you can immediately see. His three henchmen called the Three Storms are based on Raiden.. which is SO obvious it almost hurts. Jack Burton walks almost the entire movie with a shirt with the japanese flag on it and while every character is supposed to be a Taoist in this movie, there are buddhas everywhere. Sets all feel very cartoon/comic- or even videogame-ish. Which enforces the feeling like your watching a Mortal Kombat movie.. that is actually better than the other two (though one of them definitely still is a guilty pleasure of mine) . Actors perform in a cartoony way that reminded me of my beloved saturday morning action cartoons. Overacting feels intentional and during my rewatch of this movie.. I really felt like.. darn they should make this into a cartoon.  In a good way! So not like Sindels “To bad… you….r… about.. to die” line but the same goodness from one of the better Turtle Episodes or something. (The old show kids .. not the nickoledon ones) All in all. .we got a live action , Mortal Kombat Kartoon (yes thats how you spell that) 

The art of the Anti Climax

The journey that Jack makes trough this very unique experience is quite unique on it’s own. Why?  Well because Jack has a lot of things to figure out. During one gunfight for example he doesn’t do anything at all.. because he forgot guns had a safety switch.  In yet another he wants to pull a knife from his boot (which holds near infinite knives) but he drops it, while he goes to find it his sidekick mops up everyone in the room. It’s a bit like inspector Clouseau and Cato Fong but way more in your face. We constantly see Jack struggle, like when he is shocked when he kills someone for the first time… but also when he shoots his gun in the air to be intimidating and knocks himself out by the concrete that comes down from the ceiling he shot. This movie resolves most things trough an anti climax which is so much more rewarding than it sounds. We see a new monster for three seconds when it vanishes with a litteral poof. It is set up properly though as if it is about to be something big. Like those tentacles just outside the mines of Moira or even the Balrog. But poof and it’s gone. And just when you start expecting the unexpected.. the expected happens.. just to throw you off again.

It is amazing how entertaining this movie is to me despite that almost not a single action seen leads to a satisfying end. I mean.. these ends are satisfying.. but they don’t seem to be correct.. in a narrative sense. No one liner when defeating the big bad, his generals aren’t even defeated before he goes down and even than they don’t go down by Jack being a badass.  The action is engaging enough on it’s own to justify this weird flow.. and that weird flow is funny enough that you want to see more of it. I’d nearly call this the anti-action genre but it is just shy of being that zaney.. which comes in part due to 20th century fox who did not get that Jack is not supposed to be the main hero and demanded a few extra scenes where he is at least hyped up as one. This movie delivers in not delivering what we always saw up until the late 2000’s and I adore it for that. It is really unique and so zaney.

Surprisingly Real

What gets me most about this situation though is how oddly real it still feels.  I mean I know there aren’t that many evil chinese sorcerers out there that do not realise western girls have green eyes, I doubt chinese gang wars happen in little china on a daily basis and I am pretty sure there are no real Beholder like spy creatures in this world, nor exploding thunder gods.
I even doubt there would be a Trucker who likes his Cabin that much he is willing to risk his life for it, or a reporter who would be that dumb. Yet it does seem to ask some questions when telling its story. How would a real trucker react when he would get dragged into this story. Why would that reclusive character care to know about Western Girls. Why would bad guys just let you walk out if there boss is shot?

Characters usually don’t end up going for the fancy kills, character progress can reset immediately simply because they are in so much over their head. For example when Gracie escapes a trance just to get brainwashed again. She did not know what her assailant would do to  her so she made the best of her situation. Even if it made the seen more futile. There are a few of these scenes in the movie where we are shown “dead attempts”. Not everything that happens succeeds and as such it doesn’t feel like the plot is always moving forward… which again makes it much more real to me. One liners are used to announce a killing blow .. without pay off , kill shots end up being dumb luck or a reflex and even bonds that are forged over the course of this movie are broken by the end simply because of the impracticality of it all.  This is not a realistic action movie by any means, yet at the same time it takes a quite realistic approach to the people in the story, without losing that cartooniness.

I’d say the same goes a bit for the direction. The acting feels hammy .. but it feels like it needs to be as well. It’s spot on for this type of movie. Is it Kurt Russel’s best role? No.. but he IS the best Jack Burton he could be. Is the story sharply written? No.. you could tell this story much crisper and sleaker.. yet this feel like the actual tale.. that later got made greater trough stories… like the one Egg Shenn (the chinese sorcerer)  begins to tell at the very first minute of the movie. Nothing is really wrapped up to nicely..but why finish your opponent off dramatically when you can do it practically. I can’t fully explain what I experience when I see this movie.

I see a incomprehensible mess that really doesn’t do what we expect from our movies, filled with fun but “wrong” characters that seem as if they are in the wrong position.We follow the story of luigi.. that goes to help Mario save princess peach.. but luigi is the main character..so why doesn’t he get to save his princess? Also why is the red guy so more effective? It doesn’t make sense to tell the story this way.. but when you can finally see it from that perspective it makes total sense! Along with what this movie means to me by ritual.. this just makes it something I can’t help but enjoy a little bit more.. every time I see it. If you haven’t seen it yet , I think you should see it too!