If you don’t know what is happening on May 26th then maybe this post isn’t for you. Of course, I write of the Netflix exclusive release of Arrested Development’s fourth season. It’s been ten years since the series began and seven since it came to its broadcast end. Ever since, there has been a swell of anxious demand, unfounded rumors, and disbelief. Time after time there were announcements that the series was finally making a comeback. So much so that I didn’t believe Netflix had actually pulled it off when they announced it. Only when the cast and crew starting making reports and posting pictures of the filming did I finally believe.
I found that the most reasonable way to prepare for this was to watch the existing three seasons from beginning to end. I laughed again at all the classic lines, such as – “There’s always money in the banana stand”, “Bees?!?”, “Mr. Manager”, “Hermano”, and “I’ve made a huge mistake”. I found that I saw even more of the inside jokes, running gags and comedic foreshadowing than ever before. Apparently I was too busy laughing all the other times I watched the show to pick up on all the little nuances and I still doubt that I’ve discovered them all even now. It even sparked a conversation with a friend of how much of the series was scripted out past its run that they had to be wrapped up prematurely. I can only guess that the writers had an additional two seasons already written that they had to abandon and write what is most obviously a forced ending to the show’s original run.
If you have Netflix then you have the new season available to you all in smorgasbord format upon its release. Get ready to gorge yourself on the return of the Bluth family. But after all these years it is hard to tell if the effort will meet anybody’s expectations but any true fan should be extremely happy to see something they love comeback. My bigger concern is if Netflix’s network will be able to handle the load when the release happens. I suspect that there will be a large amount of viewer’s trying to access this show as soon as it arrives. The other test might be how many times everybody can hit refresh while waiting for Netflix to post the episodes.
I am long time Transformers fan. Back in the long ago, I had as many of the toys I could manage to get my family to buy. I waited for and watched every episode of the original cartoon series. I even had some of the comic books. I even remember seeing the animated movie at the theater when it was released.
The fact that this series of cartoons existed was not news to me but I never got to see any of it until recently when Netflix dropped the first two seasons on me. Of all the good things I heard about this particular series, I can agree with all of them. The series has its own story arc. So expect to see some familiar faces and new characters. Also, expect to see some twist and variations on established characters and even some story lines.
The story line of the series seems both well developed and written. Being a fan of the older series did cause some anxiety at points when you had to suspend your knowledge of how you’ve seen familiar situations work out. The voice casting truly compliments the writing. There were a lot of voices that you know and a few you can recognize. Peter Cullen plays Optimus Prime as well as ever but makes you wonder what will come of the role when he can no longer voice it.
My only disappointment is the fact that Netflix does not have the entire series available. Going back and seeing a new version of an old favorite left me wanting for more. Hopefully Netflix can secure the remaining episodes in the near future so I can complete my meal of this fine series.
If you are excited to see Arnold making movies again you may want to keep waiting. Bare in mind that Mr. Schwarzenegger hasn’t made a full movie since he took time out to run California for a few years. Sure he was in Expendables 2 but his performance was little more than an extended cameo.
This movie is based around a small town on the Mexican border that Arnold Schwarzenegger is the sheriff of. The rest of the movie’s story line is choppy at best. They attempt to the make the sheriff a former agent of a higher level government agency but they tried to play coy about it and not truly give all the details. This was a poor attempt to add some intrigue to the character that really had no place in the movie and did not need to be there. Trouble brews for the town as news of an escaped son of a Mexican drug lord is heading to the town to use it as his crossing into Mexico and ultimately his freedom. How prey tell will this Mexican drug lord make it through the town? He’s driving a really fast car!!! I wish that was something I was writing as a joke but that is the actual story of the movie. Apparently highway patrol and all other agencies in this part of the country are not capable of creating a road block. The movie works so badly that in one scene the Fed’s are talking over how to catch him and one of them suggests a helicopter. To which another agent states that the car is just too fast to be caught by a helicopter. This is silly enough to try to believe but it is totally ruined a few scenes later when they have a helicopter following almost right on top of the car. If that weren’t bad enough, it goes further into stupidity. Mind you it is the dark of night in the desert at this point and to evade the helicopter, the drug lord employs the most devious of tactics – he turns off the headlights!!! Seriously, I didn’t make that up. I won’t go into all the places where the plots is broken or just doesn’t work because I don’t I have that kind of time.
Movies that have a lot of big names or at least recognizable faces always cause instant concern and this movie was no different. There are plenty of actors that you know by name or have seen in other films. Apparently, this movie is just another example that aggregating talent does not make anything better. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting was right on par with what I expected. He has the same dry delivery of bad one-liners that he has and always will. The rest of the cast seemingly chose to turn their abilities down either to make his look better or they were just a confused by the plot as I was. I know Johnny Knoxville isn’t going to win many awards but I think everybody in this movie has earned a Razzie.
Every actor has made bad movies and I do mean “movies”. I hope this was one to get the cobwebs off and get back in form. If you choose to watch this movie be prepared to shake your head in both disgust and confusion, sometimes at the same time. I happen to have watched this movie at a friend’s house. He fell asleep about fifteen minutes in and I think he had the better time of it.
I regret to inform you that paying full price for this game is a mistake. I write this post several months after the launch of this game and still have a mix of satisfaction and angst. This game was a pre-order from my local GameStop for the full retail price of $60(as of 5/2/2012 it is still $49.99 according to Amazon.com).
Keep in mind that this game was a prequel to the franchise to which part of its name comes from. Do your research before you wade into the game and understand that there will be no Dom or Marcus(except for the brief cameo appearance via radio chatter). Perhaps the removal of Horde mode will be something else you want to consider. If you know and accept these things ahead of time you’ll be better prepared because you don’t want to set yourself up for any further disappointment.
Being a Gears fan and having played all of the previous games, I was exited when this game was announced and remained so through its release. The graphics in the game are very good for an Xbox game. There is a slight change to the standard button layout but given the modifications to the combat and grenades it works well once you get acquainted with it. What brought my excitement to an end, oddly enough, was the end of the game. No, the problem was not with the story’s plot or conclusion as I felt that it was very well written and paced but rather with its brevity. The main campaign can be finished in about five hours. If you include the final chapter that is unlocked, you could say six hours. I can’t include it, however, since this chapter is actually a chapter that was missing from Gear of War 3. Although this chapter may have been the best one of the game and made me reminiscent of Gears of War 3, it left me thinking – why wasn’t this chapter part of Gears of War 3 where is belonged? Why was Raam’s Shadow not part of Gears of War: Judgement instead?
My time with this game was well spent. I did not spend much time with the multi-player but that was something I expected. Horde was my favorite Gears mode and I knew it wouldn’t be there. I tried the new modes they introduced as replacements but just could not stay interested. If you wait for this game to be about $20 new or used pick it up. It’s worth that to see more of the Gears story if you are a fan.