Suicide Squad (2016) Review!

Wonder Woman is having some great success at the box office and both fans and critics seem to love the movie. But let’s take a little trip into the past to Suicide Squad; a movie that looked really fun in the trailers but the end product just couldn’t deliver.

The idea behind Suicide Squad is nice but they just didn’t work it out properly. The Suicide Squad is mostly used to go on ‘black ops’ missions so when things go wrong there isn’t a connection with the US. In Suicide Squad they fight against Enchantress; a typical villain that could be perfectly combated with Batman, the Flash or any other member of the Justice League. It just doesn’t make sense why they would use the Suicide Squad for something like this. Besides that, Enchantress was another ‘meh’ villain; how many times are we going to see a baddie use something in the sky to destroy the world? It is getting pretty old.

Then there’s the problem of just having too many characters. It worked in The Avengers because they all (well for the most part) had solo movies which set up their character. In Suicide Squad we see a short introduction to the character and that’s where it ends for most of them. Some (like Harley Quinn and Deadshot) get a little more back-story but just not enough for you to actually care about any of them. They also put the Joker into this and I can’t figure out why; OK, he’s an essential part of Harley’s origin but they could have stopped at that. Now we get a bunch of scenes that are just unnecessary because they don’t really do anything to the plot. Jared Leto’s portrayal of the Joker was OK but it’s definitely not my favorite. Taking about acting; none of the performances really stand out. They are all OK but nothing special.

Conclusion:Combine all those things with lackluster action scenes and you have a movie that was destined to fail. It also didn’t help that they re shot a bunch of scenes to lighten to tone because it just doesn’t fit in the grand scheme of things. Suicide Squad could have been a decent film for the DCEU but it ended up being a failure.

Score: 5/10

 

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Injustice 2 Review (PS4) !

Making a good sequel is a lot harder than it may seem; you need to add new things to please old fans (and potential new customers) but you can’t change too much because you then risk to lose part of your original fan base. I think that Injustice 2 finds the perfect balance between building on the good things of the original and adding new stuff.

I’ll briefly touch upon the story of Injustice 2 just to give you guys an idea what it’s all about but I don’t want to spoil any of it. Injustice 2 takes place after the events of the first one; Superman is in jail and the regime has been shut down. But when a new powerful enemy (Brianiac) appears and the former enemies need to team up to save the world. That’s the basic rundown of the story. It isn’t as great as the first one but it still has some awesome/unexpected moments that make it worthwhile. The dialogue, for the most part, is really solid and it emerges you into the story.

When you’re done with the story mode you can enter the Multiverse; a bunch of challenges based around the idea of having different earths. These Multiverse challenges give you motherboxes (more on that later) and are just a ton of fun to play. Some of the challenges are pretty original; fighting in super speed and low gravity for example really change the way the game plays. Certain Multiverse events can only be played with one character (the Wonder Woman one is the best example; you can only play as Wonder Woman but you’ll unlock some exclusive Wonder Woman gear) but most of them are playable with the character of your choosing! The Multiverse updates daily with new challenges which makes you coming back for more.

The combat has been fine tuned but if you’ve played the first game then you’ll know exactly what you’re going to get. There are 3 basic moves; a light, medium and heavy attack that you can combine to create combo’s. Then there are the ‘meter burn’ moves; moves specific to each character that do a considerable amount of damage and last but certainly not least are the supermoves; when your meter is full you can unleash a super move that does a ton of damage to your opponent. Some might think that this is too overpowered but I think that it is perfectly balanced because of the ‘clash’ system. When a clash happens you need to decide how much of your ‘meter burn’ you want to bet; if you win you’ll do damage/regenerate health, if you lose your opponent gets the advantage. It’s basically a gamble but one that can be used to your advantage. For instance you can let your opponent use all of their meter burn to get some of their health back but then you can proceed to do your supermove because you didn’t bet any of your meter burn. The system just works and it makes some of the battles really intense. The environmental interactions are still there but now, unlike the first game, most of them can be blocked which add to balance of the game. Lastly you can still punch opponents through the map which then puts you in a new part of the stage which is just a cool thing to do.

New characters will be added with DLC.

A fighting game needs a lot of characters and Injustice 2 has a pretty impressive character roster. Some of the names from the first one make a comeback but there are also a ton of new ones. My personal favorites (from the new additions) are Black Canary, Blue Beetle and Supergirl. They also added a ‘gear’ system which lets you customize each character to your liking. New gear not only changes the way your character looks but it also changes their stats; some items add health whilst others boost strength. Gear can be dropped after a match but mostly you’ll get it from opening motherboxes. You can buy these boxes with in game money that you earn from playing but you’ll also earn a lot of motherboxes by playing The Multiverse or just by completing challenges.

Conclusion: Injustice 2 took everything that made the first game good and made it even better! The graphics have improved immensely and the gameplay has been tweaked to help with the balance. The multiverse is a great concept and it gives the player a reason to comeback. Injustice 2 is the best fighting game I’ve played in a long time and I can’t recommend it enough!

Score: 9/10

Note: I didn’t talk about the online features because I don’t play fighting games online.

Batman: The Killing Joke (2016) Review !

The Killing Joke is one of the best graphic novels of all time . Turning it into an animated film is a hard task but DC has had some amazing animated features in the past. I had high hopes for it but did the film deliver?

The graphic novel is too short to fill a 70 minutes movie so they added a bunch of stuff to extend the run time. The first 30 minutes are all about the dynamic between Batgirl/Barbara Gordon and Batman. Some of these scenes are good and help establish the relationship between the two but some of them are just weird and unnecessary. After the 30 minute mark you basically get an animated version of the graphic novel.

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So yeah the new stuff is a bit hit and miss but the adaptation of the graphic novel is pretty spot on. The animations are great, the voice acting is solid so it’s not a bad movie what so ever. But I can see why some people were disappointed; the first 30 minutes just aren’t up to the level of the graphic novel which is a shame.

Conclusion; Is the Killing Joke a great animated film? Well I wouldn’t call it great but it’s definitely good.  It’s a shame that the first part can’t live up to the greatness of the rest (well the greatness of the graphic novel). It’s not the best animated film that DC has ever made (that for me is still Assault on Arkham) but it’s definitely enjoyable.

Score: 7/10

Escape Dead Island Review ! (PS3)

What would you do when you hear about a zombie outbreak? I would run as far away from the outbreak as possible. But apparently I’m boring because what you really do is go towards the outbreak to impress your dad. Well, according to Escape Dead Island that is.

In Escape Dead Island you follow Cliff Calo and his two friends, Linda and Devan. Together you try to find out what caused the zombie outbreak and you basically do this so that Cliff can impress his dad. His dad is the boss of some big broadcasting company and he thinks that his son is a loser. And to prove his dad wrong, Cliff risks the life of his friends to figure out what happened in Banoi. A son that would make any dad proud … Cliff isn’t only an idiot (the way he dresses and talks say enough) but he also suffers from hallucinations. Are they caused by heavy drug use/alcohol abuse or do they have anything to do with the main story? Who knows, I didn’t really care.

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The graphics are probably the first thing that you’ll notice when you play this game. It has a shell shaded look which looks OK at first but after a while you start noticing a lot of ugly textures and pop ups (If you sprint you can sometimes see grass grow). I like that they tried to go a different direction from the more realistic look of Dead Island but this doesn’t look great. Narapela (the island where the threesome strand) is free to explore but I don’t know why you would to that. You’ll visit the same locations over and over again even without searching for the trillion of collectibles that this game has to offer. The collectibles range from postcards to taking pictures of things. Yes, really. I think that they wanted to go for the whole Dead Rising thing (where you can take pictures of zombies to earn experience) but it just doesn’t work in this game. In Dead Rising you would get experience, here you just get a trophy when you take 86 pictures. If the game was good then this would be a nice extra but now it’s just a waste of time.

Dead Island was a flawed game but the weapon building was really cool. Well, Escape Dead Island doesn’t have that. You get a selection of weapons which are divided into 3 categories: stealth, melee and ranged. But it doesn’t really matter because no matter what weapon you use the game plays horrible. Whenever you hit a zombie the game stutters a bit which is very annoying (when you execute a zombie the game goes into this weird slow motion mode which makes me sick). You’ve got two basic attacks: a normal one and a more powerful one that takes a bit longer to charge. No idea why anyone would use that more powerful attack though: just mash the buttons for the normal attack and you’ll be just fine. The stealth kills are stupid: zombies are sometimes so slow to react that you can stealth kill someone buy just running towards them. There’s not a lot of enemy variation either. You’ll mostly face normal zombies and from time to time you’ll face a special one and I really feel like they added these just to annoy you (especially the butcher zombies).

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Conclusion: Escape Dead Island had some interesting ideas but they all fall flat. The graphics don’t look great, the game play is flawed and the story is just stupid. To make matters worse the game sometimes freezes when you enter a new part of a building or the jungle .I picked this game up for €8 and I even feel like I wasted my money. Don’t buy this. Just wait for Dead Island Definitive Edition.

Score: 4/10

 

Ouija (2014) review !

Debbie is your typical teenage girl and she does what every teenager loves to do; break the rules. She decides to play with an Ouija board by herself (which is apparently against the rules) which gets her killed. Her friends then use that same board to figure out what happened to her. They unravel a mystery that is linked to Debbie’s house and they need to find a way to stop the spirit that lives in that house before it kills them all …

The plot of the movie is a huge cliche; girl does something stupid which pisses of some ghost who then goes on a rampage to kill her and her friends. It seems that the director (Stiles White) tried to put as many horror movie cliches in one movie as possible. Here’s a list of all the horror cliches that you’ll witness in this 89 minute movie:

  • Haunted house
  • Teenager does something stupid which pisses of a ghost/spirit
  • Crazy old lady (Lin Shaye does a solid job here)
  • Investigating stuff at night for no good reason
  • Extreme use of jump scares
  • Relative who is an expert on everything ghost related

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You know what could have saved this movie a bit? Cool death scenes. Did it have that? Nope! And don’t expect a good ending because Ouija doesn’t have one (what’s wrong with having a REAL conclusion instead of all these shitty open endings?)

Conclusion: Ouija could have been an interesting movie but it turned out to be your average horror flick. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table so you can just skip this one.

Score: 4/10

Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead (2015) review!

Nazi Zombies have been really popular ever since they were featured in Call of Duty World at War. So it isn’t a huge surprise that other gaming franchises/movie makers took the idea of Nazi Zombies to make their own thing. Most of the movies about Nazi Zombies are rubbish and only a few are actually worth your time (both Dead Snow movies are pretty good). Guess in which category ‘Zombie Massacre 2: Reich of the Dead’ belongs? Little hint: Uwe Boll is the producer of this movie.

The story is as basic as it gets: a bunch of American soldiers need to fight of a horde of Nazi zombies (worst thing; they are not even Nazi’s. They are concentration camp prisoners that they turned into Zombies). That’s pretty much it; not really Oscar material. The dialogue in the movie has no consistency and is only enjoyable if you like hearing bad actors mumble some poorly written lines about the war. The special effects are horrible (not in a ‘OMG IT LOOKS SCARY’ way) and the ending of the movie is a total mess (probably because they want to release a third one).

Credit for this picture go to www.xtcz.net

Conclusion: This movie isn’t worth your time or your money. It’s poorly written and the actors have no idea what the word ‘acting’ actually means. Avoid this movie at all cost.

Score: 2/10

 

Zombeavers (2014) review !

When a truck runs over a deer a canister of chemicals ends up in the river. The canister makes its way to a beaver dam which turns the beavers into killing maniacs. A couple of friends that are staying the weekend at a lake side house need to fight of the beavers in order to survive.

The story is pretty absurd but it works because the movie doesn’t take itself very seriously. The acting is over the top ,the dialogue is super cheesy ,and the special effects are very bad but again, it fits what the movie tries to do. It’s the kind of movie you need to see with friends; just laugh at how bad and ridiculous everything is. I’m not going to spoil the ending but it’s pretty funny.

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Conclusion: Zombeavers isn’t a great movie but it’s an entertaining one. Grab some beers, invite some friends and laugh at how ridiculous this movie is.

Score: 3/10 when sober, 6/10 when slightly intoxicated

Side note: the intro is probably the best part of the movie.