Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Rise of Leslie Vernon Certainly Rises to the Occasion

Today I watched Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, I got it from Netflix this weekend in hope it would not be a horror movie that would disappoint me, because recently I watched Drag Me to Hell and The Descent and their endings disappointed me. So I took a game on a more indie horror film in hopes that it would not disappoint and WOW did it ever NOT disappoint. This movie was impressive. As a fan of horror and slasher flicks this movie was just what the genre needed. Its a movie that is aware of its genre. Later I will go into spoilers but for now I will just give overall impressions of the film.

The film is really enjoyable, it gets a little dull at one point in the film but picks up really quickly, the dull point almost acts like a quiet before the storm. Like Scream, it goes into the stereotypes of previous slasher films but instead of being from a victims point of view, it goes over those stereotypes from the killers perspective, something that in thought is very difficult to do on film but this film does it in a very different type of storytelling for a horror film, combing documentary look along with typical movie look, and switching between the two.

From here on out I will be discussing plot details and spoilers so this is your SPOILER ALERT. I don't completely giveaway the plot and ending, but I make reference to a few things that are better left secret until you watch the film.

The films lead actor is really great as Leslie Vernon. He seems so relatable on the surface despite the fact he is a serial killer his personality is so friendly, like someone you would go hang out with at the bar. But he still takes his job very seriously and understands his purpose. And the fact that he has a mentor who is a retired slasher killer himself is hilarious and just genius.

The half documentary half cinematic way of storytelling is executed very well in this film, when explaining it to people I can just imagine it will sound so weird but when they see they will totally understand but when telling a story that is just an giagantic homage to all the classic slasher films, it makes sense that they would choose such a non-traditional way of storytelling for a film. In a world where slasher films seem so predictable and overdone, this one takes the genre and makes it fresh by putting a new twist on things and truly telling it from the killers perspective in how we see the preparation and how a killer stays in shape and even complaining about difficult it is to stay in shape to be able to chase people all the time.

The storytelling in this movie I will admit is not perfect and even gets dull when Taylor, the female documentarian pokes her nose where it don't belong by going to the diner where Kelly, but slowly the movie picks up when Leslie's big plan is put into motion, and all heck breaks loose when it is Leslie was playing certain people a fool all along. That part is so brilliant because if it had not been for that the movie would have gotten boring real fast, but Mr. Vernon is such a clever one now isn't he?

Overall I loved this movie and it really shines in an age where most horror films are either the same ol same ol or are just out there to gross you out. In a way it refreshes and re-invents the slasher genre into something new and original that horror fans haven't really seen before. The character of Leslie Vernon is a different slasher killer that is aware of the precedent left by Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddie Krueger and knows what it takes to be up there in their ranks but can still be his own character and do his own thing. The film is an homage to horror movie fans but tries to take the slasher genre into a new age and certainly accomplishes it. I Highly Recommend checking it out.

Until Next Time...Stay Safe

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sonic oh Sonic where art thou Sonic that I once loved?

Earlier tonight I wrote an email the Sega Shiro Podcast discussing what I thought of the current state of how Sonic is received in the gaming community and what has changed, I thought it would make a good blog post for the few and probably not so proud who read my blog. So I present it in unedited form here.

Hey guys I have been listening to your podcast and wished I could get excited about Sonic 4 as much as you guys but sadly I dont own an iphone or any of the newer consoles, at least not yet, if there is a deal on a PS3 on black friday, I'll get one as I want to make the upgrade to Blu Ray. But the release of Sonic 4 has gotten me thinking about how much Sega has made Sonic so unlikeable to us old school Sega nerds who have always been that one guy in a circle friends who have defended Sega and Sonic as better than other companies and mascots and still do but deep down I know that Sega in the last decade has become a very different company in how it treats its characters and fans of those characters.

For example, back in 2003 it was announced Sega was working on a Vectorman next generation game, this got me excited at the time and the video of the gameplay looked like it was going to be a blast from the past like none other. But sadly it was later cancelled leaving me sad that one of my favorite lesser known Sega characters was going to stay that way for a while.

Now lets look at what Sega has done to Sonic in the last decade. After Sonic Adventure, which most Sonic fans agree, as I do as well, is a great Sonic game and when we all first played thought it showed promise that Sonic would be able to continue to thrive in the 3D gaming world as the gameplay was spectacular.

But then came Sonic Adventure 2 and though it wasn't as great as Sonic Adventure 1 it was enjoyable, but looking back it was the start of a dark age where Sonic games, lets just admit sucked more and more as time went on.

There have been a few fun games, like the game titled Sonic the Hedgehog but camera issues and strange story held it back from being a great game.

That's another point, why do they have to stick silly stories into these games, I don't want silly side missions and stuff, this all started when they made Sonic collect flickys in Sonic 3D Blast, which in my opinion is the worse Sonic game of the 16-bit era, partially due to this added feature.

But between the sill adventure on the Wii and the final nail in the Sonic we all knew and loved's coffin is Sonic transforming to a Werehog, that is gotta be the dumbest thing I have ever seen in a Sonic game and one of the dumbest things I have ever seen in any video game. Is this what had to happen to make Sega realize just give us a Sonic game like the good ol days,

I still think Sonic CD is the best Sonic game ever made, between the soundtrack, the massive levels, and just superb fun gameplay, it is really a shock that the only recent incarnation of this games availability is on the Sonic Gems collection on the Gamecube, and has yet to show up in any online store for digital download.

I know this email doesn't really follow any form and changes topics faster than Tiger Woods changes the women in his bed, but you see my point on how Sega has made Sonic games, not as fun as they once were, and yes it is in part due them being third party now but that is a lame excuse when they could still make them fun even if the controls are different among consoles. It's sad and as a longtime Sega fan and retro gamer I feel the Sonic games we expect to be made probably wont happen again.

Yes I haven't played it because its not on a console I own these days (I'm a PC and that is about it for current gaming) but from what I see from videos and review it seems like a last attempt to re-establish the awe that was Sonic The Hedgehog.

The Sega Shiro Podcast (which is who I sent this to) can be found at

Until next time...Stay safe