Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood|Review

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Assassin’s Creed is one of those games that you go into not expecting to spend much time. Unfortunately, you get dragged into the the side missions and scavenging that you start to forget how much time you’re spending.  The game starts off slow but the later levels starts to really pick up. When you do get to those later levels it’s some really satisfying game-play which force you to use several stealth mechanics. The game’s shining improvement is it’s implementation of a Assassin’s Guild which is a surprisingly deep system. In this system, you can recruit and train assassins to fight for you anywhere and send them on contracts around the globe to gain experience. The more territory in Rome you acquire the more assassins you are allowed to recruit.

Though the main missions of the game had many fillers it was still interesting enough to keep me going. I found that scavenging for lost glyphs and listening to the audio recording on them equally engrossing. Finding out information about the Illuminati-like organization known as Abstergo offers some thought provoking commentary on capitalist governments, consumerism, and privacy. Sadly, a lot of the material seems chillingly familiar to U.S policies. One gripe I had with the game is that there isn’t any option to change difficulty. This is a big gripe for me because I usually play my games on hard difficulty and this game seemed too easy at some points especially when you have assassin’s that can do most of the fighting for you. After beating the game, Brotherhood will still have plenty replay value. You will most likely have plenty of guild missions to keep you occupied for several hours and there is also an extra romance mission to wrap things up for Ezio.

If you haven’t played it yet, I would recommend you to pick this thing out of a bargain bin. It’s well worth it. It should be dirt cheap at this point. I bought mine for 8 bucks at Gamestop.

Transformers: Age of Extinction| Review

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With the exit of Shia LaBeouf from the franchise, many people, including me, have mixed opinions about this recent addition to transformers. I suppose it helps that they cast Mark Wahlberg to try and fill in that gap of stardom. His role in the movie wasn’t as big as I thought it would be. There wasn’t much character development for most of the main characters of the film. This is what made the first transformers movie so good. I found it hard to feel any sympathy for the humans. Why should I? It felt like these characters were just pushed on the audience. The robots got more face-time than most of the actors. I wonder how much of this film was shot in a green room. It must have been exhausting for the actors.

When the actors did get face time it seemed like they were forcefully saying some cheesy pun or line that made me cringe. I remember one line in particular where the autobots were talking about Optimus Prime and one of the autobots says something along the line of “That’s a leader you follow in the dark” and another autobot replies dramatically “NO… That’s Optimus Prime”. Without thinking I say out loud “NO… that’s Gay”. My buddy and I had a good laugh. It was immature and insensitive but I didn’t care at that moment. It reminded me of that scene in Godzilla where Ken Watanabe dramatically says “ We call Heem GODZEELA”. It was that bad. The movie delivers on a lot of action and great fight scenes but ultimately falls in pacing and seems drawn out. It seemed like a big part of the movie was just watching cars speed down back roads and highways. This movie is definitely rental material for a quick thrill with little substance but if you want a little more than that, you’re better off passing this one up when it hits Blu-ray and dvd.

 

Locke: Review

Skepticism is the first feeling that rose in me upon deciding if I should watch the film Locke. A drama which follow the story of a construction worker in his car. The entirety of the film takes place in his car, with only the main character Ivan Locke ever getting any screen time. How in the world would this movie work? So many things could make this movie be a disappointment but in the end Stephen Knight did an admirable job directing this piece. What kept this movie interesting was the constant flow of dialogue and story.

You’re witnessing the movie as if it’s in real time. You aren’t bombarded with too much artsy overdone cinematography or wide shots. You’re literally being taken on a ride with Ivan. I really enjoyed Ivan’s character. Even though Tom Hardy’s character has done wrong by his wife and he has royally screwed up in his professional career, he goes over and beyond to make things right. The feelings of empathy I felt for his character actually surprised me. I know he did some things that would be very hard to be forgiven but I’d have to actually think about how I would feel if I was him. Tom Hardy really makes you want to forgive him. His actions can’t be undone but he hopes that he can redeem himself and prove to himself  and possible to his father that he  is a good man.

A pretty  good indication of acting quality can be derived from how well an actor can bring forth intense feelings without any other real actors/actresses to physically relate to. This was  a great job for  Tom Hardy and a great casting decision as well.  Just him,the camera, and raw emotion. Movies like this do wonders for actors. Of course he could do super fun and high paying jobs like being Bane in the Dark Knight but taking a role in a independent film like Locke is just as important. It’s much more challenging and rewarding. Locke actually exceeded my expectations. I found myself almost cheering for the cheating British lad and that says a lot. Or maybe it says nothing at all. Maybe I’m just brainwashed after all the film business is an industry dominated by male protaganist who can literally get away with anything. All I know is, it was really interesting to watch and I’d go as far as recommending it.

Changes Coming to MovieandTVBuff

I think the previous way I went about having this site running was a bit too strict. I focused too much on the site being an actual authentic review site and less on just writing my own opinions. The review process can be a  kind of a black hole of sorts. You waste a large portion of your time thinking of things to say that sound professional without actually saying anything at all. So from this point forward I’m going to write my reviews/thoughts in a more bloggish or casual manner. Hopefully this new way of making post on here will encourage me to write more and get less burnt out in the long run. I love all types of media so I’ll still stay focused on what I enjoy; videogames, movies, and TV shows. Starting now it will be a lot more laid back and with much less word count.I think that’s a good thing too. No one wants to read a block of text. That’s all for now guys. MovieandTVBuff.com will be back shortly.

The Counselor: Review

From the writer who brought us The Road and No Country for Old Men, comes the tale of a naive lawyer who tries his hand in the dangerous but lucrative business of drug running. This is a film that had sparks of brilliance but ultimately failed due to having a  plot that doesn’t effectively translate to the big screen.

The screenplay is full of witty and intelligent dialogue. Sadly it was hard to suspend belief while watching because this attribute applied to almost  every character. Almost  every member of the cast was too smart for there own good, It was bit hard to follow the narrative when you are bombarded with long winded conversations. These extended scenes of dialogue paid off at times but on the other hand it just seems as if the characters were just going off on tangents. This really threw off the pacing of the film.

The focus on the characters of the story is trademark Ridley Scott. His direction in the film really allowed for the development of some interesting personalities. We are treated with some some impressive lighting and camera work. The dark scenes set in mexico offer a great visual and atmospheric contrast to what is happening under the surface.

The movie sports an impressive and ensemble Cast. Javier Bardem, is always an interesting guy to watch on screen. Bardem plays the role of Reiner; a drug dealer who invites the counselor in on some of the action.  He  brings a unique flare to the characters he portrays. He exudes an exotic essence of culture and his personality was one of the more memorable in the film. And he also manages to bring to the film what is becoming a signature attribute of his; his knack for having the wildest hair-dos. The most technically impressive acting which shouldn’t come as a surprise, was the performance from Michael Fassbender. He has an ability to portray some varied and powerful emotions.

Brad Pitt gives a good performance but I think he needs to work on a new accent because it seems like its been dragging on for a couple films now. One of  the biggest surprises for me though comes from the casting decision of Cameron Diaz as the antagonist. I have to give it to Diaz. She really portrayed the cold and calculating girlfriend of Reiner expertly. My blood was boiling just about every moment I saw her on the screen. She might be known for more lighter  roles but she definitely has more potential then being the usual pretty face in romcoms.

The Counselor is a clever and sexy drama but probably won’t provide enough thrills to keep the average movie-goers attention. The film has moments of suspense but it is overshadowed by some bad decisions in its pacing. With all the talent attached to this film Its surprising this film wasn’t better. The pieces just didn’t fall together. The dialogue occasionally felt like the characters were showing off. The story was convoluted and ended in a somewhat abrupt manner. The Counselor was saved by splashes of humor, violence, and some utterly superb writing for most of the dialogue. In the end, I’d say definitely pass on this one until the Blu-ray or digital release.

Score: 6/10

American Horror Story: The Replacements | Review

It’s becoming very clear why American Horror story has been getting its record ratings, since the show premiered this fall. This week’s episode has it all; incest, brutal scenes of violence, bestiality, and betrayal. Ryan Murphy is showing he isn’t afraid to tackle some controversial topics. Things are beginning to heat up in the coven as the girls are becoming more in tuned with their powers.

One of the interesting prospects of the previous episode of AHS was Cordelia’s fertility issues. Cordelia had already tried everything from natural remedies to black magic rituals. This led to Cordelia resorting to asking for help from her rival tribe. The show gave us a glimpse at the ritual she would have to perform with Tibitia- the leader the rival clan. Cinematography of the Tibitia ritual was a treat to watch.  The camera work throughout this show is unique because it is constantly changing. Overhead cameras, gold fish eyed views, close ups, slanted angles, and other dynamic camera techniques give the viewer a wide and varied perspective of whats going on.

Much like the  last season on AHS, ,  Sarah Paulson plays another troubled and struggling character. Cordelia is dealt a very bad hand and must play it out to the end. She finds herself stuck in between a feud between Tibitia and Fiona . Her goal of bearing a child is being challenged. Her performance is solid as usual. We’re looking forward to seeing more from her in the upcoming episodes.

Meanwhile, Madame Lalaurie must deal with adapting with modern day society and facing her past demons. This all offers some much needed comedic relief. Since the premiere of the show there has been a drastic role reversal for her character. We’ve seen her ability to portray a sadist and now we are seeing how she can easily meld into a more tortured character.

Kyle has more air time this week. Evan Peters manages to show some emotion playing Kyle, even though he’s a mute Frankenstein. Zoe Benson must deal with the resurrection of Kyle and his emergence back into society. This proves to be quite difficult. I hope Kyle regains his humanity because the way he is now is pretty difficult to imagine where the story will leave him. Misty Day also has an appearance which is welcoming. I always smile when I see her character. I don’t know why I like her so much. I think it because she really conveys a carefree soul, even through all the things she’s been through.

Jessica Lange, is superb as usual. Too be blunt she is this show. She really takes demand of the screen. Lange takes on her character Fiona’s flaws and strengths and transforms them into an acting spectacle. Fiona battles with her mortality and becomes a surprise mentor for the ladies of the house. The episode ends on a note which will probably upset some.

Overall, this episode was supreme…(See what I did there?)

9.5/10

What did you think?

Dishonored | Review

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Dishonored  takes many elements from the shooting genre that works well and meshes it into one solid shooter. If I had to explain Dishonored in three words, I would just say, Bioshock with Stealth. The stealth mechanics of this game are tight with several abilities that make it very interesting: From teleportation to possessing animals. You use  variety of skills to get  your objective done.

The downfall of playing the stealthy approach is that many explorative players will find themselves bored. This is  because after a while there is no reason to pick up runes to upgrade.  All the stealthy upgrades are quickly brought up. The developers of this game made it so you can save the game at anytime . So it’s basically irresistible to play the morally sound route but in all honestly is probably not the funnest way to play.

The graphics in this game are pretty solid but not really that impressive. You can’t really expect much considering the art style of the game which is cartoonish. The story of the of game is pretty straight forward and is told in the in-game engine which helps in not ruining the immersion. My biggest gripe for this game is that the ending is pretty anti-climatic considering you played the whole game stealthily in order to receive the “good ending”.

Where the game really shines is that there is so many ways to complete a mission that it gives the game a really open world and sandbox feel that is really fun.  The gameplay is definitely the saving grace of this game and solidifies my review score of …

8/10