CITY BOY GEEKINESS

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LET'S CONNECT
Last year, my friend Darlin helped to inspire a series of discussions about our favourite music groups and artists while folding clothes at the store. Hey, when you're working retail hours during the holiday season and you get a couple of minutes to relax - let's face it, you'll do nothing but talk with the other Sales Associates! It's been a full year since that lonely day at the GAP but looking back at last year's post, it's got me wondering again.

In life, there are two things that can (somewhat) judge how much you've "grown" or "changed" from the previous year: fashion styles and music. (Think about it - you know I'm right!) For this post, I'm going to dust-off my iPod playlists and rank those special artists that have influenced my music (and singing) habits for 2011.

NOTE: Just like last year, some of the artists will get reasoning behind my rank choices, it will be listed from most-to-least favourite and if the same artists collaborated on a song then I may only reference it once.


1. Britney Spears
Songs: Hold It Against Me, Till The World Ends, I Wanna Go, Criminal
LYR (Last Year's Rank): #17

This has been a big year for Britney and I'm very impressed. Even though she had a low ranking last year, she still tops my list as one of my favourite artists ever. Her latest album, "Femme Fatale" dominated the charts with hit-after-hit (my favourite track is Till The World Ends), inspired countless parodies online, and helped to provide her with a fresh start. For this and many other reasons, Britney tops this list as #1.



2. David Guetta
Songs: Where Them Girls At?, Without You, Who's That Chick and a variety of other collaborations
LYR: #7

Honestly, my iPod this year was the year of Dance music. Not much has changed but it's had a lot of heavy rotation and a huge part of that is because of David Guetta. The beats are catchy, the lyrics are repetitive and the music videos are visually appealing. Who knew this one DJ could influence my song choices so much?



3. Dev/The Cataracs
Songs: In The Dark, Top Of The World, Sunrise, Club Love, Lightspeed, Breathe
LYR: #10 (Dev only)
What can I say, I absolutely love both groups! I know that I should only list one artist per spot but seriously, when you think of one you can't help but remember the other. If there was a winner, Dev definitely dominated this year with star exposure and chart hits, but The Cataracs played an important part as producers with a variety of songs that earn them both the #3 spot.


4. Ke$ha
Songs: Blow, Sleazy, Kiss N Tell, Run Devil Run, Backstabber, Animal
LYR: #11
Note: "Run Devil Run" is not an official Ke$ha track, but she did provide the base track before it was sold to Girl's Generation. If there was one artist that surprised me the most, it's Ke$ha. While I absolutely love her catchy dance hits and brash attitude now, in all honesty, I didn't start off a Ke$ha fan. She grew on me and I don't think I could see my iPod without a single song now.



5. Katy Perry
Songs: ET, The One That Got Away, Last Friday Night (T.G.I.F), Peacock
LYR: #2

She may have fallen three spots this year but that doesn't mean that she isn't amazing! This may surprise you all to know but before this year, I've never been to a stadium concert before (I don't count We Day as that had a different purpose of empowering youth for change). There were two concerts/performances I attended this year: Robyn and Katy Perry. For my first stadium concert, seeing Katy Perry live will always be something I remember!



6. Adele
Songs: Rumour Has It, Someone Like You, Rolling In The Deep, Set Fire To The Rain
LYR: NEW

That voice. The emotion. The single strange ability to make me want to cry on transit. All of it equals to an amazing performer! While many will place her at the top of the list, Adele is a powerhouse that influenced my song choices, but I couldn't bear to listen to her songs so often. Nothing can be said about the emotion that can both inspire you and cause you to sulk in public.


7. LMFAO
Songs: Party Rock Anthem, This Is My Life, Sexy And I Know It, Sorry For Party Rocking
LYR: NEW

They had one of the biggest (and catchiest) songs of the year. Everybody was playing "Party Rock Anthem" and some even dared to try the dance moves in the clubs. Embarrassing to say the least! The group has been around for a while; I remember that they had appeared in one of the seasons for the Real World. I'm not sure if the group will have a lasting success but they seem like an interesting pop act with some catchy tunes.

8. The Sounds
Songs: Something To Die For, Yeah Yeah Yeah, Better Off Dead
LYR: NEW

In most instances, I can pinpoint where I've heard of each group. Surprisingly, I was introduced to The Sounds from a track that was included in Scream 4. I loved the song and I've grown to like the band as well. Even though Metric's rankings fell this year, this is the close substitute. I wonder which group will dominate in 2012?


9. Lady Gaga
Songs: Judas, Born This Way, Marry The Night
LYR: #1

I'll start off this posting with a point: it was the year of Gaga. So much so that Gaga was EVERYWHERE! Sometimes it's nice to have an artist go away for a bit, take a breather and come back ready to take on the world. There was never any time to digest the next song or Lady Gaga appearance before the next release. In terms of the music, I wasn't a fan of songs like "Edge of Glory" and "You and I" - they didn't strike a chord with me. It wasn't that they were terrible tracks but they just weren't songs that I personally liked overall. It definitely played a part as to why Lady Gaga lost the #1 spot this year.

10. Chromeo
Songs: Fancy Footwork, Bonafied Lovin, Don't Turn On The Lights, Night By Night, When The Night Falls
LYR: NEW

I'm a little late to jump on the Chromeo bandwagon. Their dance hits are interesting, melodic and hot with "Fancy Footwork" being one of my favourite tracks this year. I have no idea what to expect for 2012 but we'll see if they still make it on the Top 10.


11. Jessie J
Songs: Price Tag, Who's Laughing Now, Domino
LYR: NEW

12. Cobra Starship
Songs: You Make Me Feel, 1nite
LYR: NEW 

13. Anjulie
Songs: Brand New Bitch, Boom, Rain
LYR: NEW 

14. Kelly Rowland
Songs: Down For Whatever
LYR: #12 

15. Space Cowboy
Songs: Devastated, Falling Down, Party Like Animal, I Came 2 Party
LYR: NEW 

16. Dragonette
Songs: I Get Around, Fixin To Thrill, Fire In Your New Shoes
LYR: NEW 

17. Robyn
Songs: Call Your Girlfriend, Fembot, Dancing On My Own, Cobrastyle
LYR: NEW 

18. Cee Lo Green
Songs: Forget You, Bright Lights Bigger City
LYR: NEW
 

19. Colette Carr
Songs: No I.D., (We Do It) Primo, Bitch Like Me, Back It Up
LYR: NEW 

20. Cher Lloyd
Songs: With Ur Love, Playa Boi, Swagger Jagger
LYR: NEW 

21. Deadmau5
Songs: Ghosts n Stuff, Aural Psynapse, Sofi Needs A Ladder
LYR: NEW 

22. Rihanna
Songs: Breaking Dishes, S&M, You Da One
LYR: #13 

23. Selena Gomez
Songs: Hit The Lights, Love You like A Love Song, Who Says
LYR: NEW 

24. Kylie Minogue
Songs: Put Your Hands Up
LYR: NEW 

25. Lana Del Ray
Songs: Video Games
LYR: NEW

Agree or Disagree with the list? Share your thoughts and comments below about which artists or songs influenced you for 2011!
The holidays are here and I hope it's full of merry and cheer. If not, just wait for the new year and drown all your sorrows in one epic party or at least spend it with that extra special someone.
According to my calendar, we're at the countdown point between Christmas and New Years. To celebrate the final week of the year (seriously, there's one week left!), here is the latest edition of Tuesday Tunes. I'll try to skip over the cliche of listing only holiday songs for this entry - there's only one holiday song I choose this week for your record!


The three videos that will be highlighted this week are:

1. "Domino" by Jessie J

2. "All I Want For Christmas Is You" by Mariah Carey

3. "Boom" by Anjulie




A new year offers the chance for change and growth. For some, it's making that all important resolution to better your life while for the rest, it's just waiting for those hot gadgets and swag you've been dying to get. I'm the "plan ahead" type of guy so I've already sought after the movies I'm interested in seeing next year, the clothing styles to try and just as importantly, the video games to play. Thanks to some searching and investigating on the EB Games website, there are 10 games that have peaked my interest - and maybe my system - for next year.
Note: Some have deemed me an "Xbox Fanboy" for only highlighting Microsoft games, but I've started to explore my reach to the other systems. In the new year, I'll try to create more articles for the other members of the Power Three.


Silent Hill Downpour
Konami
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Why not start with survival-horror? Silent Hill has proven to be a contender in a (somewhat) revamped and cross-bred genre of gaming. While the latest conceptions of the series have shown to be lackluster (or stale to some), the newest entry is set on revitalizing the story for a new generation. Downpour will take gamers into the role of an escaped convict lost in the fog-filled town of Silent Hill as he's being pursued by his officer. While I can pinpoint elements of the original game from the trailer alone (i.e., the cop), Silent Hill Downpour may be an interesting addition to see how Konami can finally utilize the current gaming generation system after the letdown that was Silent Hill: Homecoming



Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City
Capcom
PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Many can deem that Resident Evil is no longer a survival-horror game. The years have helped to play a part in changing it's current genre to a more action-oriented role with horror elements added to keep it's place within the genre spectrum. Resident Evil: Operation Raccoon City will bring gamers back into the heart of Raccoon City and experience the infamous viral outbreak as a member of the Umbrella Security Service. The highlight of this spin-off entry is delivering the "zombie nightmare" which hasn't been seen since the days of the Outbreak games or - more canonically - Resident Evil: Code Veronica.




Final Fantasy XIII - 2
Square Enix
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

This game is one of the biggest regrets that I have on the list. Not in terms of the game itself but my personal experience regarding the timeline of the story. Final Fantasy XIII-2 is a direct sequel to Final Fantasy XIII - which means that its premise is a continuation to the previous game in the franchise. I currently have XIII but have yet to complete it





Street Fighter X Tekken
Capcom
PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation Vita and Xbox 360

If there was one game on this list that I am completely unsure of, it would be this game. I absolutely love both the Street Fighter and Tekken series but there are two strikes against this entry: 1) I'm still a little upset about the release of Ultimate Street Fighter IV (especially after purchasing Street Fighter IV to have them create a new game where you couldn't purchase any of the updates as DLC) and 2) that Tekken X Street Fighter - another crossover with the same premise but different style - will be released in 2013. Chances are I will wait till Tekken 7 will be released to get another fighting game but we will see.



Grand Theft Auto V
Rockstar Games
TBC

The rumour mill is buzzing with the latest game in the Grand Theft Auto series. While current reports are stating the game is set to be released in 2012, I won't hold my breath until I see more footage and previews to confirm that it will be released next year. What I do know is that the game will take place in Los Stantos - which will return gamers to the fictional San Andreas. Gaming Fact: San Andreas was the primary setting of the GTA spinoff game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.




Halo 4
Microsoft
Xbox 360

While the storyline of Halo hasn't pulled me in like other series for the 360, the multiplayer feature is what I expect will draw users, including myself, to this purchase. The game is set in the aftermath of Halo 3 and will include the return of Master Chief. I'm not sure specifically what this entails but I expect gamers to enjoy hours of online gaming and third person shooting as the iconic character.





The Darkness II
2K Games
PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

The original Darkness was a surprise hit for gamers back in 2007. When I heard that a sequel was set to be released for next year, I was surprised as I gave up any thought of a new entry when I read that the sequel was in "development hell" years ago. The Darkness II will feature the return of Jackie as he controls the devious and tormenting power within him and fight against a secret organization that is set on wielding the power for themselves. Little is known of the true purpose and extent of their goal.





Lollipop Chainsaw
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Shocked? Confused? Curious? Trust me - I've thought this over and wondered it myself. There are a couple of games in my current collection that aren't from overly hyped titles of successful series or even well known to the diehard of gamers. Sometimes it's nice to just have a game that doesn't take itself seriously. Come on, what's more interesting than a zombie-killing cheerleader with a chainsaw? That's right - nothing!



Tomb Raider
Square Enix
PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

If there was a series that needed a serious re-imaging - it's the Tomb Raider series. Personally, I've never played a Tomb Raider game or have fully known the extent of Lara Croft's story but I'm willing to give it a try. From what I've seen in trailers and have read, a younger and inexperienced Lara Croft is embarking on her first adventure to end up trapped, badly injured and abandoned off the coast of Japan. The game will bring new elements to the Tomb Raider series and pull gamers into the thrilling introduction that started Lara on her life of exploration and adventure.




Prototype 2
Activision
PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360

Prototype 2 is going to be a complete reversal to what you'd expect a sequel to be. In the original game, gamers play as Alex Mercer, an individual who is forcibly turned into a test subject and mutated into the Prototype. The story focused on the destruction of New York due to the viral outbreak caused by the late Elizabeth Greene. The sequel will, however, bring players into the role of James Heller, a newly infected soldier who obtains the same powers and abilities as Mercer. His main goal: seek revenge and destroy Alex Mercer once and for all! 


Agree or Disagree with the list? Share your thoughts below and let us know what you think about the game or what games you're eagerly anticipating next year!

It's December and that only means one thing: the holidays are coming! Hopefully, you're all getting ready to start planning and setting up your own vacations or at least thinking about what you're going to be doing. I won't be going anywhere special this year and staying in the city with family and friends. The upside of this will be getting more time to write some entries for your pleasure.

I'm thinking about holiday-themed pieces such a shopping lists, recommendations or even just updates from my life in the city. Also, if and when the reports of Snowmageddon makes a reemergence this year.

Whatever the case may be, December will be a good month and can't wait to share it with you!
To keep this site fresh and interesting, I try to create posts for a variety of genres and topics. However, for the last couple of posts, I feel like I've only been writing about video games. Don't get me wrong, I love video games but there are other topics that I should dust-off and write again - one of them being fashion. 

This latest piece is going to bring back my features entry about showcasing an iconic and interesting fashion designer around the world. For this week's entry, I'm going to be highlighting the colour-inspiring male fashion designer: Matthew Williamson!


To be fair, as Matthew Williamson is a prominent women's fashion designer, I'm not familiar with his body of work. Through some digging and online research, I've come to appreciate his style of taste and the diversity of his collections. Many designers tend to focus on the glitz and the added sparkles to accentuate their pieces but Matthew's prowess is with colour. The fluidity of his pieces offers the perfect balance of colour and individuality. While many outfits embrace the splash of uniqueness to its design, it doesn't verge on the edge of disaster but offers a new take for being trendy.

What brought Matthew Williamson to my attention is his stint in Men's fashion. His collection for H&M was a nice change to see if it will be an area that he'd continue to grow in. Since I'm in Canada, there's no way for me to see his collections up-close but hopefully, if I'm ever in London or the U.S., I might check it out to see if it would be something I'd recommend to my friends. If you want to check out his collection and style for yourself, check out his website at: matthewwilliamson.com.

Here are a couple of runway images to give you an idea of his collection. The second and third image are my favourites from the line of ensembles below.



Hey Bloggers,

It`s been a while since my last post but I feel like I`ve found the perfect videos for the next edition of Tuesday Tunes. For those of you unfamiliar with this section, I will choose three videos from YouTube that showcases music as either the focus of the video or used in the background. If you have any suggestions for videos then always feel free to post your comments below and let me know what you`d like to see for the next edition.

The three videos that I`ve chosen to highlight this week are:


1. "With Ur Love" by Cher Lloyd ft. Mike Posner

2. "Who Runs The World" by Beyonce (Performance by Heather Morris on Glee)

3. "We`re All No One" by NERVO ft. Afrojack and Steve Aoki







A new game has been completed which means it's time to write another review. In actuality, I completed this game much earlier but due to a technical glitch (which will be explained further), it prolonged my actual redemption of the completed achievement. Now that I've completed the final boss, this game finally deserves an entry into my blog. The game that I will be reviewing is the zombie-sandbox apocalypse: Dead Island!



The Premise: Set on the fictional island of Banoi (located off the coast of Papua New Guinea to those who want to get technical), a strange cannibalistic virus is spreading throughout the island infecting the many inhabitants, including the travelers and guests at the island's popular hotel hotspot - the Palms Resort Hotel.


What begins as a typical night of parties and relaxation at the resort quickly becomes a zombie-filled nightmare. Played through the perspective as one of four diverse characters: the hotel receptionist Xian Mei, tough-as-nails hotel security Purna, former NFL star and alcoholic Logan and one-hit wonder rap star Sam B. When the game begins in a drunken haze (through the eyes of the main character), the user discovers that the hotel is under attack and that zombies are running wild throughout the many floors. What you soon learn to discover is that the island has been infected and the remaining survivors are scattered throughout trying to survive the outbreak.


The playable characters of Dead Island (from L to R): Purna, Sam B, Xian Mei and Logan Carter

While the story is not about saving the scattered survivors from peril, the game focuses on the adventures of the main characters trying to survive the outbreak and discover the true meaning behind this virus. From sandy beaches of the resort to the murky depths of the sewers, the player will get to explore the many iconic landmarks and areas on the island to see truly how far this virus has spread.


Where To Play: Since this is a multi-platform game, you can play Dead Island on the PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. In terms of this review, I played the game on the Xbox 360.



The Good: Early on, I came to the opinion that stayed true throughout the story: Dead Island is the most realistic zombie game ever I've played. This may be confusing to some but if you think about it (...like really think about!) then you would agree that compared to other zombie games that are currently out there (i.e., Dead Rising and Left 4 Dead), Dead Island is more grounded in "realism." While there are many outrageous and preposterous components (i.e., like the different types of zombies), the game tried to be realistic. Ammo would be scare, guns wouldn't be lying around to casually pick up, travel takes time especially when crossing an island and characters do tend to die in a zombie apocalypse.


Another positive would be the various weapons. In staying tuned to the "realistic" element, the game had many options for the player to use as a weapon that they could find anywhere on the island. The only time the weapons became outrageous was when you can upgrade to even more powerful and dangerous fire power. Just be careful when using guns as ammo is scarce early on and you won't be able to restock until the enemies start getting more powerful.


The scenery and environment in Dead Island is also a positive point of the game. In a sand-box type game like this, having an open and diverse world to explore helps to keep things fresh and interesting. While I didn't like certain areas like the sewers, I loved exploring the city and the resort to find awesome extras and interesting stories that were developing all around the main characters. I just wish that there was more access to the island instead of keeping it contained in specific areas.



The Bad: Before I had purchased Dead Island, I read an article stating that originally gamers were experiences glitches and problems when playing the game. An update was available so when I started, there weren't many problems affecting my experience; however, I still experienced some glitches at major points. Problems included being stuck behind objects, a mysterious force keeping me from climbing stairs and being attacked from enemies when I was clearly out of reach. These issues were fine but my biggest negative was that when I passed the game on co-op with a friend, the game would not let me save any of the completions (i.e., chapters and missions) and actually FROZE once I defeated the final boss. Suffice it to say that I didn't get the achievement(s) and had to play the ENTIRE fourth act again during my storymode to finally pass the game.


I'm throwing this out there right now - I don't expect literary level dialogue in video games but enough where I don't laugh every time the main characters talk during the cut-scenes. Whenever Logan, Sam, Purna or Xian opened their mouths to talk, it would always be trying to throw out one-liners or saying exactly what was on their minds. The saving grace was the dialogue of the supporting characters because you dealt when them face-to-face. I liked the cut-scenes but this was a game where the dialogue didn't propel me to care about the main characters.


The final aspect that I didn't like about the game is the overall development of the story. Being a sandbox game, you could take your leisurely time to complete the main missions. However, I noticed that when I did complete important missions to develop the storyline, nothing major or important would develop. The characters would have to complete a chapter and you would find out secondhand from another individual that something developed or that a character died. While you are privy to seeing things develop, I felt that learning the mystery behind the zombie virus and experiencing the major twists wasn't as meaningful as finding the clues and developments directly through experiences.





The Results: 7.5/10!
While I really did like Dead Island as a whole, there were a couple of issues that should have been tended to before the game was launched mainstream. The weapon selection and environments brought this title to another level and the missions/sub-missions kept me interested throughout the storymode. The main characters were a tad dull and lifeless, the dialogue was simple at best and the glitching hindered my process when trying to complete significant landmarks. In terms of this review, Dead Island would have received a much higher score than it did, but I cannot excuse the fact that the game glitched and froze at a pivotal moment when I completed the game. For those of you who think this problem was console-based, it wasn't - I checked. I can forgive the issue but I can't forget, especially when I had to play the entire Act IV all over again!


Agree or Disagree with the review? Share your thoughts below and let us know what you've thought of the game.
I know it's been a month since the last post but don't fret, I'm back! Just like how I mentioned in the last message, I just needed to take a break and recharge my batteries. Now that I feel inspired to start writing for fun again - I feel like writing a review. The game that I am going to be reviewing is the futuristic action-packed final installment of the Gears of War trilogy: Gears of War 3!


The Premise: Several years after the fall of Jacinto, the remaining members of the COG elite have established their new base on a segregated island to plan a new existence; confident that the Locust threat was finished. However, a powerful new enemy – The Lambent – emerge from below and devastate the remaining troops with their lambent-fuelled attacks and explosions. Forced into deteriorating bases around the world and traveling on mobile ships for a new safe haven, will the COG forces defeat this new threat or fall into disarray like current Locust troops?
Some of the playable COG cast (L to R): Augustus Cole, Samantha Byrne, Damon Baird, Adam Phoenix, Anya Stroud and Dom Santiago.

Returning once again to the forefront as the COG team leader is Marcus Phoenix, his second-in-command Dom, foul-mouthed yet intellectual Baird and former star athlete Cole. Gears of War 3 also introduces some new faces as playable members of the team: former lieutenant and radio voice Anya, cool-player Jace, no-face Carmine, southern gentlemen Dusty, tough-as-nails Bernie and ambitious Sam. To have a true war game, there has to be a villain leading the charge and that “person”  is the queen of mean, Myrrah.


Where To Play: Similarly to the previous games in the series, you can only play the game on the Xbox 360. Once again for the basis of this review, I will be playing the game on the 360.


The Good: I have to start out the positives with my favourite point. The multiplayer for this game was a drastic improvement compared to the previous installment. No longer did I have to wait almost 10 to 15 minutes between matches to find a game to join. This time it only took less than three minutes to join a match and I got to choose which setting I'd like. Also, the map levels and weapons were a definite upgrade. The Hammer of Dawn (a satellite which emits a laser against the opposite team) was properly balanced with a limit for usage.

Since this was the last part of the trilogy (for this story), I hoped for an equally moving and developed storyline. I was pleasantly surprised because it took liberties like the second game - it added more to the storyline compared to spontaneous action. I liked how this game introduced new characters into the mix and provided female soldiers as allies. Previously, the only female characters you saw were either Strandeds, Anya's voice, Dom's dead wife or the villain queen. Nice change to provide a broader range of characters.

The Bad: There wasn't much that I didn't like about this game. The AI of characters may have been flawed at points and the dialogue was alright, but my biggest pet-peeve had to have been the conclusion. I'm one of the many Xbox gamers who have played Gears of War since the first game was released and I was hoping for a cataclysmic finale. While the storyline did suit the needs of the trilogy, once it was all completed, it felt bittersweet. The defeat of the main villain seemed a tad abrupt once the final boss battle was completed and I expected more. I'm happy for the experience but there could have been so much more.





The Results: 9.5/10!
For being the last of this trilogy, it was surprisingly a great end. The story tries to wrap up any lingering questions (though all questions will never answered) and provide a satisfying end to this storyline. The multiplayer alone is worth the buy and especially in this generation, having a game with an accompanying multiplayer is great add-on. If you're expecting this unbelievable ending with a conclusion that will provide you will every answer then you may be left empty. However, I recommend getting Gears of War 3 because you never know what the future holds for this series and this game will tide you over till the reports start coming in.


Agree or Disagree with the review? Share your thoughts below and let us know what you think about the game.
No, I wasn't on vacation. (I wish!)

However, the last couple of weeks with this site might have made it seem that way. I haven't been away but yet, I haven't been extremely available. Life always makes an interlude and sometimes, it's right to take some time off.

I prefer these last couple of days/weeks as taking a "breather." It was the perfect time to enjoy life and become inspired again with writing and to relax. Now that half of September is over, I'm ready to jump back in with new posts and features for Fall. 

Stay tuned for upcoming articles, lists and reviews around the corner!
Hey Bloggers,
I’m back for another review and you’ll never believe which film I’ve chosen to watch. In my defense – it was a free movie ticket and all my friends really wanted to check it out. If you want to make jokes, I totally expect them. Originally, I planned to write this as a full review since I watched this film a day after it came out but it deserves a mini review. The film review is the 3D aquatic teen horror flick: Shark Night 3D!

The Premise: Seven undergraduates spend some quality time at a lakeside island for rest and relaxation, but the situation quickly turns deadly when a pack of vicious sharks start attacking the frightened college students. Not since the days of Jaws does one movie contain an array of shark cast members in the monstrous villain role. Rounding out the cast is the terrified potential victims: Sara (Sara Paxton) , the cute and shy ingénue whom owns the summer home on the island, Nick (Dustin Milligan), the quirky male lead with an attraction for Sara, Beth (Katharine McPhee), the rebellious wild child, and Blake (Chris Zylka), the exhibitionist college party boy, to name a few.

The Results: 0.5/5!
This is the lowest score I have ever given for a review. I knew going into the movie that it wasn’t going to be academy-worthy material but even I was blown away. When you’re dealing with sharks in the water, the simplest common sense would be to not go back into the water. I guess that wasn’t enough as the kids just kept jumping back in. The characters had no depth, the plot was nonsensical (seriously, online videos?!), the suspense was paltry and the 3D effect had no increased value to the film. Once the setting became nighttime, at times it was too dark to see anything which made all that horror and 3D effects pointless. I’ll be the first to admit that I justify and sometimes give the positive benefits of a lackluster film but even I felt disappointed. My recommendation would be to skip the movie and wait till it airs on syndication. Try watching it back-to-back with Jaws then Shark Night 3D – you may be surprised about how you feel afterwards.
This next post might be surprising to some. There are certain types of movies that I write reviews about. Granted, I tend to focus on the horror, action, comedy and fantasy genres. When I take a chance on different types of films, I’m sometimes proven wrong with my preconceived notion (and I love when it happens!). Usually, I’m not a fan of time pieces set in a specific time era – though, some have been enjoyable. The next film to be reviewed is the early 60’s inspired flick: The Help!

The Premise: Set in the quaint town of Jackson, Mississippi, the film focuses on the intertwining lives of rich suburban families and the maids whom work for them. Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) plans to become a writer and journalist, but without much experience, her career isn’t really going nowhere – much to the delight of her mother and friends. Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) are maids dealing with racism and unfair treatment from their employers. Wanting to explore the thoughts and prejudices felt from Aibileen, Minny and the other maids, Skeeter plans to write a book to expose the secrets and lives of being a maid in Jackson.

The Results: 3.5/5!
The Help was surprisingly funny. There are a couple of moments throughout the film where you will be laughing hysterically, especially with scenes featuring Minny. Without spoiling the movie, at one point, there is a scene which will define the film and will offer the most memorable moment of the movie. Historical accuracy may be questioned, some accents were unbelievable and it definitely was a “tamed” piece when explaining the issue of racism. However, The Help was heartwarming, hilarious and I love Emma Stone in this role. It’s great to not just see her in the “goofy girl” role but as a lead who argues with the antagonists throughout the film.
Hey Bloggers,

It's finally Tuesday and after a long awaited break, it's time to debut the next post for Tuesday Tunes. For those of you unfamiliar with this feature, on Tuesdays, I highlight three videos I find online. These videos feature music as part of a video, performance or portrayed as the underlining theme. In the previous installments, I've picked a selection of videos ranging from parodies to music videos. Remember: if you have any suggestions for the following Tuesday Tunes, then please let me know - I love your suggestions and comments!

The three videos that I've chosen to highlight this week are:

1. "Natural" by S Club 7
2. "I'm An Angry Bird" by The Key of Awesome (Parody of Adele`s Rolling in the deep)
3. "You Make Me Feel" by Cobra Starship ft. Sabi










I have two more movies to write reviews about; however, since it has been a week when these movies have been released in theatres, I will only be writing a small mini review for both of them. For the first review, I’ll be assessing the 3-D teen horror flick: Final Destination 5!

The Premise: Sam (Nicholas D'Agosto) is traveling on an overnight team-building excursion with his co-workers. After recently breaking up with his girlfriend (whom is also on the trip), Sam expects the next two days to be a living hell until he experiences a vision while waiting on a bus. His premonition shows the bridge they’re on collapsing and all of his co-workers, including himself, dying in the accident except for his ex. He quickly warns them off his vision and luckily, most of the co-workers escape the bridge before it collapses but Death doesn’t like to be cheated. One-by-one, the survivors of the bridge collapse start to mysteriously die one-by-one according to when they should have died during the accident. Will the survivors be able to cheat Death twice? Can they find a way to get off Death’s list? Can the latest sequel bring life back to this horror franchise?

The Results: 3.75/5!
Let’s face it, it’s a horror movie. I’m not expecting Oscar-worthy material but a good popcorn film that keeps me on the edge of my seat. I was somewhat let down from the previous sequel (The Final Destination) as it didn’t follow the rules that the series created but surprisingly, I liked this sequel. A highlight is that nothing was overdone. Every 3-D sequence, character and death scene was properly chosen for the film. The acting wasn’t trite or laughable; which is a plus in a horror movie. The characters were realistic and you did end up rooting for most of the survivors to live; only a couple of people could be annoying at times. My favourite thing was the twist at the end; I love a shocking twist and it left you thinking when you put the entire series in retrospect.

My problem with this series in general is the death scenes. The scenes from the later films are becoming more anti-climatic and a ploy to save time. Having 3-D objects fly out and kill someone, an item falling from a shelf or the sky onto a survivor is a lackluster end to the scene. Before, they were more shocking but now, audiences are more desensitized to the modern ability of the horror movie and filmmakers are throwing humour into the mix. In actuality, filmmakers should take the scenes more seriously to add suspense instead of shock value or “surprise” scenes to possibly incite an audience.
We all have our own favourite television shows. There are those that we follow religiously week to week and there are those we casually tune in just to get caught up on the latest drama.

I think I’m a bit of both.

You can’t live your life in front of a television screen so when I get the chance, I make the effort for certain shows to watch more often than others. Recently, I did a search to get caught up on the newest line-up for the U.S. networks and there were clearly some standouts. While I picked out 17 shows that I could possible follow or be interested in, five stood out above the others.


Revenge (ABC)
I love a show about the drama. Being captivated in the inner workings of an elite society where one person is planning to exact retribution against those who’ve wronged them. Let’s be real, it’s the modernized somewhat teen version that’s got me hooked to catch the premiere of this show. I love when they take a classic story/concept and adapt it to a more modernized setting (i.e. Cruel Intentions rings a bell for me). Hopefully this show is renewed because on top of all the drama and secrets that will be revealed, it will be nice to know if the main character gets her revenge against every single person who has helped to ruin her family.


Charlie's Angels (ABC)
Let’s not call this show remake fluff. There is going to be a wave of television remakes in the works spanning across the networks and I hope that this one will be successful. I was interested in the concept of this show based from the movies; granted, I’ve possibly only see one episode of the television series. It would be great to see how a crop of new Angels will survive with every new mission that Charlie sends their way.


The Lying Game (ABC Family)
This program is based from a new emerging book series from the same author of Pretty Little Liars. I’ve read the first contribution to the series and can I saw…wow! The idea of another big mystery where a character goes missing and their twin taking over the life to figure out who would be responsible for killing her long-lost sister is something that needs to be explored. I get it…tad redundant and soap opera-ish. However, putting it all aside and looking at it from a story perspective and character development, it’s most likely going to be a new talked about teen show; most likely falling on the heels of its predecessor as a new must-watch program for the network.





Ringer (The CW)
If The Lying Game grew up and changed almost every character involved in the mystery to adults, then it would become the Ringer. A huge factor for watching the show is that Sarah Michelle Gellar is returning to television to star in the lead role of a missing twin and the sister who takes on her life to escape her troubled past. The idea (also a tad redundant and soap opera-ish) is something I would love to see especially to find out what happened to the missing sister and see how the main character is portrayed throughout the series. The problem that the show may face is that The CW is more focused on the teen genre so it may not attract as many viewers as expected but if Nikita is doing well then the Ringer may live to see another season.



The Secret Circle (The CW)
This is the second series to be directly adapted from a novel series. The Secret Circle comes from the same author as The Vampire Diaries so I have really high hopes for the series. In all honesty, I wasn’t particularly drawn towards the Vampire Diaries novels but I do like the television series. On the opposite side, I loved The Secret Circle books so I’m hoping that television show just adds upon that feeling. Hopefully it’s going to be a dark and gritty show that explores the dark side of magic and a coven. The vampire fad has become a tad worn out and tired so maybe having a new supernatural element/show in the mix will help deviate from the fandom to give people more variety on television.


These five are not the only ones that need to be highlighted. Shows like Once Upon A Time, 2 Broke Girls, and New Girl all have elements to be great programs but time will tell to see which ones will make it to the Spring/Summer line-up.


Already have your fave new shows to look out for? Share your comments below and let us know what programs you’ll be tuning in this season!
Hey Bloggers,

I know that it's been a while since the last Book Club review but I just needed a break to not write about James Bond for awhile. Sometimes it's nice to take a healthy break between features and now I'm ready to submit the latest review in the collection. Today's review will be on the diamond smuggling adventure: Diamonds Are Forever!


The Story (novel): Set months after the events of Moonraker, agent 007 James Bond is informed by M of a new smuggling ring that spans from Africa to the United States. His adventures take him deep undercover as a diamond smuggler Peter Franks to uncover the head of the conspiracy and to see how far this operation truly goes with The Spangled Mob. At Bond's side is ex-CIA operative Felix Leiter, Bond's superior M and the alluring yet witty diamond smuggler Tiffany Case.

The Story (movie): James Bond continues on his search for revenge against the nefarious Blofeld for murdering Bond's wife in the previous film. Believing Blofeld to have met his end in the opening film sequence, Bond is brought to Las Vegas to go undercover in a diamond smuggling operation. Taking the identity of smuggler Peter Franks, Bond meets his contact Tiffany Case and is soon brought into the smuggling operation but all is not what it seems. The diamonds are merely a ruse to an even more calculating plot that involves a satellite, lasers and the return of a familiar foe. Aiding Bond in his adventure in Sin City is Bond's superior M, the intellectual Q, quick-witted Moneypenny, CIA agent Felix Leiter, Sultry Plenty O'Toole and the unconventional yet sarcastic diamond smuggler Tiffany Case.


THE COMPARISON
When looking at the plotlines for both the film and the novel, they more-or-less follow the same story arc. Bond takes on a fake identity to deceive Tiffany and be brought into the fold of the smuggling ring. While the novel has a stand-alone plot with new foes that are affiliated with SMERSH, the premise is its own motivation with a different end goal. The movie, however, is still associated with the Blofeld storyline as the premise weaves itself with a conclusion relating to a Bond vs. Blofeld confrontation. They both sound good in comparison but I'll explain my thoughts on this later on in the review.

The character of Tiffany Case is one of the biggest contrasts between both pieces. In the movie, Tiffany is more confrontational and outspoken in her dialogue with Bond. She takes no prisoners and expresses her thoughts with assertion and sarcasm making her easily a fan favourite. In the novel, she still is outspoken and witty but her demeanor exudes seduction and sultriness with each retort. It all depends on your point-of-view: Tiffany is more sultry in the novel depicting a blonde bombshell but in the movie, she's sarcastic and assertive as a fiery red-head.

Another comparison is the difference in the dynamics of how the story is set up. What I mean by this is, in actuality, this story is the fourth Bond adventure to have taken place according the Fleming timeline but it's completely different in the film series. This film story is now a Blofeld addition when, in retrospect, Blofeld doesn't appear till MUCH later on in the novels so it was interesting to see how drastic the change can be by adding one character to the conception of the story.




My Favourite: The movie! (...barely)
I don't ever want to leave the final decision as a tie even if I wasn't particularly fond of either pieces. Before I had read the book, I liked the movie and there were some interesting portions such as the characters (i.e., Tiffany, Plenty O'Toole, Mr. Wint and Mr. Kidd), the action and it being a good end to Sean Connery's tenure as James Bond. My biggest problem with these two pieces is that (with the exception of the diamond smuggling aspect) I had no idea what was going on. The pages didn't come alive for me this time around and I just wanted to finish the novel. The storyline took a lot of turns to a conclusion that was anticlimactic and the same could somewhat be said for the movie as well. The diamonds I understood but the portion with the laser came from left-field as an add-on to Blofeld's tactic; the entire "villain plot" reminded me so much of Die Another Day. Without having read the novelization for that movie yet (I'll respond back to this point once I've completed that review), I think that Die Another Day used the plot device and laser better. 

Final scores:

Diamonds Are Forever (the book) - 3/10
Diamonds Are Forever (the movie) - 6/10


NEXT: The next book on the list has been regarded by fans as one of the favourite stories in the series. It's going to be the espionage-filled tale: "From Russia, With Love!" Truthfully, I have actually finished reading the story and have currently moved on to a separate book outside from the series to give people time to catch up or to give me some time to draft the next review.