ROBOCOP (2014) MOVIE REVIEW

I’ll be honest. I went into this movie expecting a terrible, gimmicky, bastardized version of Robocop. I can safely say that with out a doubt, I was completely mistaken.

For starters, I love the original Robocop it’s one of my favorite movies directed by one of my favorite directors . Back in the 80’s Paul Verhoeven took a script that no one wanted and quite honestly read like a campy B-movie and made it into an ultraviolet, sci-fi crime drama. Simply put It’s a cult classic, whats not to love? Ok, maybe the sequels it spawned weren’t all that great, lol whatever lets stick to the original for now.

From the opening title (complete with signature theme music) Robocop has a serious “real world” tone to it. It deals with crazy science and technology that feels like it could become reality in the not too distant future.

 brought his own unique and refreshing flavor to the character of Alex Murphy and managed to pull off the iconic Robo-walk and the familiar overall presence of Peter Weller‘s performance. The antagonist of the film is Raymond Sellars played by , a stereo-typical megalomaniac, cooperate douche-genius a-la Steve Jobs but pulls it off surprisingly well with an over all, collective and eerie calm about him.  plays Murphy’s wife Clara Murphy and does a great job at delivering just enough drama to the story when it was needed without it getting too melodramatic plus she’s a hottie and that never hurts.

Here’s a perfect example of taking a piece of beloved pop-culture and bringing it up to date with out swearing off the original material. Robocop was a total homage to the original all while being it’s own movie. It was a perfect balance of cop drama, serious science fiction, and big budget action flick. The Acting was all spot-on, the story never dragged and watching it on the RPX screen (Regal Theaters version of IMAX) was so awesome (and so loud!).

When you go see this movie (AND YOU WILL!) don’t go in juxtaposing every detail with the original. Trust me, there’s plenty retro-love for the original Robocop sprinkled through out the film, all the way up to the end scene. Now if I were to nitpick I would say that the only thing that was missing from this version that the original 1987 film had plenty of, is Ultra-violence BUT at no point did I feel like it lacked violence, there’s plenty of deaths and gunshot wounds to keep the most jaded of action-movie goers satisfied. The film was surprisingly dramatic and gritty for its PG-13 rating. I’m glad the filmmakers didn’t take the cliche route by simply churning out another overly “dark”, big budget, anti-hero movie.

I’m totally happy with this take on Robocop, it was entertaining and because of it’s well balance approach to it subject matter, it’s suitable for a younger audience who now have a damn-good Robocop to call their own.

Director  and screenwriter Joshua Zetumer couldn’t have made a better Robocop reboot! So rest your retro-doubts and forget your pre-misconceptions of this film. Go out and see this movie you will not be disappointed!

RETRO WEEKEND: NES Super Mario Bros. Review

Mamma mia it’sa the first Retro Weekend review and what a better way to kick off this section then to start with the game that revolutionized and paved way for the gaming we all know and love today. Super Mario Bros.

Created by master mind Shigeru Miyamoto, released in 1985 and is a sequel to the arcade hit Mario Bros. which debuted in 1983. Super Mario Bros. is the first in the series released on the Nintendo Entertainment System selling over 40 million copies as of 2003 and was largely responsible for the revival of the gaming industry.

Ungrateful bastard.

Now If you don’t already know this story then you must have been living under a rock for the past 27 years! I bet by the time you get done reading this review you’ll be humming the theme song. So basically you take the role of Mario or Luigi (whoever got stuck as second player) and you go through Mushroom Kingdom fighting off goombas, koopa troopers and other crazy enemies (you probably had nightmares of as a little kid) until you made it to the castle where the evil King Bowser and Princess Peach await! Once defeating Bowser and thinking you’ve rescued Princess Peach you are pleasantly greeted by Toad with the well-known line “Thank you Mario, but our princess is in another castle!” And two middle fingers if anyone hasn’t noticed.

Being a 5-year-old kid and getting his first taste of a video game ever, I would say it pretty much blew my mind and opened up a world my tiny brain could never imagine! I was instantly hooked, I can’t tell you how many hours I spent playing this game with my eyes glued to my 13 inch television while my mother yelled at me to go eat dinner and screaming back “hold on I’m fighting Bowser!” Even till today this game still holds its fun factor that I enjoyed 22 years ago what I believe is lacking in games today. There’s no tutorials annoying you every five seconds on how to play, there’s no regenerating health bars or fancy cinematic cut screens. It’s just simple and sweet 8 bit graphics, point A to point B and sweet ass music! Even the controls are perfect, no hold Z press triangle then forward up down. It’s just simple run, jump and shoot fireballs. 

Super Mario Bros. was more than just a simple run and jump, it was a very difficult! It took me awhile to actually beat the game growing up, were talking years here okay! But as hard as it was, it was always and still is very entertaining with a very high reply value. You could lose a million times and always have the need to keep trying for the goal. It also had its fair share of hidden secrets that kept the game fresh and increased playability. You had hidden warp pipes to advance through the game quicker, hidden vines that would take you to extra coins, blocks that had hidden lives and even the elusive glitch to the minus world!

Mind Blown!

The “Minus World” arguably regarded as the most famous glitch in video game history. Is an unbeatable level in Super Mario Bros.  In level 1-2 there contains a hidden warp zone, with warp pipes that transport the player to Worlds 2, 3, and 4, accessed by running over a wall near the exit. If the player is able to pull off a bug that allows Mario to pass through the wall, then the player can enter the warp zone that transports the player to a stage called “World -1”. This stage’s map is identical to Worlds 2-2 and 7-2, but making it to the end of the stage, the player is then taken back to the start of the level, which you can pretty much say that Mario is screwed until you lose all of your lives and have to start the game all over again. Pretty mind-blowing huh?


We were so good the power wasn’t even turned on!

The game consisted of eight well designed and very challenging worlds ranging from creepy castles and sewer pipes to giant mushroom caps and perilous jumps that will keep you on your toes and your palms sweating like no tomorrow! But along the way you were given power-ups that aided you throughout your journey such as mushrooms to make Mario grow so you can take a hit, fire flowers that gave you the ability to shoot fireballs and invincibility stars that helped you pretty much wreck everything in your path! You can even collect gold coins to enhance your score and if you collected a hundred you gained an extra life, which I used to rub in my brothers face as he waited patiently to play.

So in conclusion, Super Mario Bros. will always be that timeless classic that no matter if you’re young or old you’ll just always remember it. Regardless if it’s the characters, gameplay, or even the great music. There have been countless sequels and remakes throughout the years and every sequel always improved off of the last to always keep the player entertained. The Mario franchise has never failed to amaze and spark that feeling I used to have when I was young. I highly recommend anyone who hasn’t played to go out and grab a copy off Ebay or if you own a Wii to go on the Virtual Console store and download it, you won’t be disappointed! Until then keep blowing those carts (no pun intended) and keep your eyes glued for my next great review. 

 
 For now I leave you all with this!

Source: Mario Wiki

-Alexander Gothelf
Follow me on Twitter @Gothelf_Designs

THEY’RE BACK! Cheetahmen II: "PLAY OR DIE"

For those of you who aren’t aware, Cheetahmen II is a horrid but beloved sequel to the original found on ACTION 52 for the NES. The sequel was never completed or officially released. But in 1996 roughly 1,500 cartridges were found in a warehouse (in Orlando, FL) and then released on the secondary market. The retro gaming community was never the same since…

ACTION 52 was an unlicensed Nintendo cartridge containing, said 52 games. 51 which were horrendous but out of the fire arose Cheetamen. Aries, Apollo and Hercules are the 3 half-Cheetah, half-Human characters that make up the TMNT inspired, Cheetahmen and are hell bent on stopping the evil Geneticist Dr. Morbis. Compared to the other 51 lack-luster games, Cheetahmen was quite enjoyable… but Cheetahmen II is a whole other story.

Cheetahmen II is legendary for all the wrong reasons, the game controls are stiff and virtually unplayable in every possible way. The game is absurdly difficult but keep in mind it was never fully finished but something tells me if it was… it probably wouldn’t be that much better than it is now. And the game had countless glitches, some so severe that it wouldn’t allow you to progress any further leaving you unable to beat the game.

Cheetahmen is respectfully the Troll 2 of NES games, complete with a cult following of millions world wide. You can find YouTube videos of the games theme song being remixed (I remember texting the lyrics to a Cheetahmen inspired rap song I wrote to Alex Gothelf a few years ago, it had a heavy Lil’ Wayne feel to it. I named it “Cheetahmeng“), bad ass fan art, and the AVGN has even ripped the Cheetahmen games an entertaining new asshole.

But it looks like the Cheetahmen are far from done. Greg Pabich the owner of the sole prototype of the ACTION 52 cart has gotten busy tracking down the original programmer (Mario Conzalez), locking down the trademarks and copyrights necessary and forming a team aptly named the “CULT OF CHEETAHMEN” in an attempt to finish and bring this infamous unreleased game to market… as an actual NES cartridge!

So to help him out with this endeavor, Greg has turned to crowd funding to help finish the project, which I assume will be very expensive; and has reached out to famous internet gaming personalities to help spread the word to “non believers” and fans alike as stated on their page. So if you’re a die-hard retro gamer or just a fan of games in general. Get your ass on over to their Kickstarter Page and get involved in making GAME HISTORY!

The idea of buying a newly released game cartridge for my dusty-ass NES is awesome! Ohhh yeeeaahhh!!!  🙂

-Eric Chacón
Follow me on Twitter @CaptxCrunch