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BlackPlastic's Review Directory!!!

2008-07-26 21:17:55 by BlackPlastic
Updated

Read some of my detailed non biased reviews that I have posted here. Plenty more to come! If you have any recommendations for a review drop me a PM.

Movies
The Happening
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

VideoGames
Grand Theft Auto 4
Rock Band

Music
Megadeth - United Abominations
The Sword - Gods of the Earth
Velvet Revolver - Libertad


Velvet Revolver - Libertad Review!

2008-07-24 02:14:17 by BlackPlastic
Updated

*******NOTE*******
Contraband - The name of Velvet Revolver's last album

First I'd like to say a couple things this band isn't. One, it is not "Guns N' Roses meets Stone Temple Pilots" and secondly, and most importantly, it is not two hit singles with a bunch of shit in between which I thought was the case with contraband.

Well now that we have that out of the way I'll start by saying this album is miles of ahead of contraband. As is the case most "supergroups", Velvet Revolver had a hard time establishing it's own separate identity from it's two predecessors. Though I can safely say that this band has really found itself. Scott Weiland has dropped the grunge voice, which some people may be disappointed about but I'm fine with it.

The CD has a good 13 songs to listen to and for the most part they are not noticeably similar which is a common problem for starting bands. The style of the songs vary drastically. One song they seam like an energetic partying group of people and the next you have a serious emotional song. I think that's the strongest point to the album is that the songs really do have their own personalities.

If I had to say one thing I really didn't like about the album is that it didn't really have any songs that you would say "This is no doubt the best song on the album" to. I mean it's a consistently good album but people want a song that they can tell their friends listen to or put into a video or whatever.

Though I know there will be many different opinions to which songs are the best on the album my favorite two would have to be the slow catchy The Last Fight and the epic American man which really shows that Slash has not gotten rusty in his time away from Guns N' Roses.

Which brings me to the guitar in this album. As you probably know if you're reading this, former guitarist for Guns N' Roses, Slash, is playing lead for this band. Well then the guitar must all be epic right? Eh not exactly. Don't expect anything to even come close to something as memorable as the riff from Sweet Child O' Mine or the solo from November Rain. All the riffs are pretty predictable and though there are plenty of great guitar solos hidden in this album, I think Slash's ability isn't really being emphasized as much as it should be. Maybe he just isn't as good as he used to be but either way I was unimpressed in that category.

So BlackPlastic, I love Guns N' Roses and Stone Temple Pilots, should I buy this album? Well like I said this band has really gained it's own identity, but there is a lot of strong Guns N' Roses influence in the music (there should be considering the bassist, drummer, and lead guitarist are all former members). So I actually will say you would probably like this if you a fan of Guns N' Roses. Stone Temple Pilots, not so much. I heard pretty much no striking similarities in the sound to them. Though it is their singer, he doesn't seam to sing in the same way he did in his former band, so don't get it only judging by the fact that you like Stone Temple Pilots.

Anyways if you're a fan of rock music in general, and want to listen to something with a little bit of 80s influence but still keeping an original sound, then definantly pick of this album.

8/10
~BlackPlastic


BlackPlastic's Review Directory!!!

2008-07-13 23:56:03 by BlackPlastic
Updated

Read some of my detailed non biased reviews that I have posted here. Plenty more to come! If you have any recommendations for a review drop me a PM.

Movies
The Happening
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

VideoGames
Grand Theft Auto 4
Rock Band

Music
Megadeth - United Abominations
The Sword - Gods of the Earth


The Happening Review!

2008-07-13 23:48:51 by BlackPlastic
Updated

It seams like M. Night Shyamalan was brave enough to come back and make another movie after his not too great movie "Lady In the Water". Did this break his streak of bad movies? Well I've never been to big of a fan of his movies, I've seen a few and they were either hit or miss. I can not just say this movie was either good or bad because I know that this is one of those movies that will have quite mixed reviews but I personally thought it was a good idea presented badly.

The idea behind this movie was the best part of the movie. I was proud of M. Night not just going with the cliché aliens or paranormal deals but actually making a very well thought out, and actually possible, twist. Basically what was going on was the trees in northeast America evolved to a point where they released toxins into the air that would apparently make people kill themselves in self defense from being chopped down.

I can honestly say I was not to fond of the idea of it making people kill themselves because like in most of his other movies, it's just an overused cliché that I'm definitely getting tired of, but hey, it's not like he could have made an interesting movie where people just dropped dead.

I also thought it was pretty weird that the trees only released the toxins for a day then abruptly stopped. Some "scientist" at the end of the movie said that it was just a warning from mother earth. Believing that trees can make us kill ourselves is out there enough and now they want us to think they have enough of a conscience to make "warnings". I know this is not supposed to be completely realistic but that's just over the top.

The acting was definitely a downside to the movie. Other then Mark Wahlberg you've probably never even heard of any of these actors, I know I haven't. The acting wasn't bad to a point where people were monotone or anything like that but they had a very hard time capturing the fear of the situation and sucking you into the story. Also there were child actors in the movie, that's all that even needs to be said. Listening to that kid try and be "tough" just made me cringe.

So should I go out and watch this movie (or buy the DVD mattering on when you're reading this)? Well like I said earlier, this movie will definitely get mixed reactions from people. If you are maybe a fan science fiction type movies or movies with an apocalypse theme then you might like this. If you are a die hard M. Night fan then you won't be disappointed. For the rest of us, you will probably think it a very average movie in every way and for those people, I would not recommend it.

5/10
~BlackPlastic


BlackPlastic's Review Directory!!!

2008-06-08 00:37:59 by BlackPlastic
Updated

Read some of my detailed non biased reviews that I have posted here. Plenty more to come! If you have any recomendations for a review drop me a PM.

Movies
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

VideoGames
Grand Theft Auto 4
Rock Band

Music
Megadeth - United Abominations
The Sword - Gods of the Earth


Rock Band Review!

2008-06-08 00:29:07 by BlackPlastic
Updated

After losing rights to the Guitar Hero Franchise to Neversoft, Harmonix is not out of the music/rhythm game scene. They have released a new take on the genre with Rock Band. It has everything the Guitar Hero franchise has and more. When I say more I mean separate careers for vocals and most importantly, drums. Also you have the ability to get with friends and create your own imaginary band as you start small and end playing in stadiums and getting a private jet to fly around in. That kind of thing is what sets this apart from Guitar hero.

Starting with the actual game play, it differs from Guitar Hero in a few ways. If you are somebody who really likes to whore starpower for the highest possible score you can get like me, then the most important change is the way starpower, or "overdrive" works. Unlike in Guitar hero you can still acquire overdrive phrases while you are already in overdrive. This means you won't have to worry about missing any phrases due to activating at the wrong time. I definitely like this system better the Guitar Hero's.

Another change that may take a little while to get used to is the shape of the buttons. Most people would probably not care in the least but for some reason the change from circle to rectangle notes are becoming a big deal to some people. If you ask me it makes more sense then circle notes because the buttons the Stratocaster are shaped like rectangles while the Les Paul's are shaped like ovals while their notes are circles. Regardless this shouldn't be a problem unless you really don't react well to change.

The controls themselves are pretty solid. The Stratocaster has it's good and bad points. The worst thing about it being how close the select button is to the strum bar. I know they probably did this to make it easier for people who want to activate overdrive that way instead of tilting the controller but all it does is cause me to accidentally activate overdrive in bad places which really gets annoying. People who activate with the button are a minority and therefore I really don't think it should have been changed.

One minor change to the controller that is quite noticeable is that the strum bar does not click whenever you move it up or down. This can really be a good or bad thing. It's all a matter of how you react to change. I thought it was for the better. I found it much easier to alt strum this way, I don't really know the exact reason but if you compare the side by side I'm sure you could see what I mean when I say that.

Another new addition are the solo button at the bottom of the fret board. Guess what, they are completely useless. What they are supposed to do is allow you to play hard parts of the song without needing to strum. Here's the problem, the "hard" parts of songs are most likely going to be hammer-ons which you don't need to strum anyways so what is the point? I do however use them to max my score on big rock endings (it's where at the end of certain songs you just button mash for bonus points). Other then that, never use them and never will.

The drums I found to be pretty solid. They are a lot more like real drums then the guitar in this game is to a real guitar so if you do have drum experience, expect on getting a head start for this. There are four notes and one bass pedal in the set. Though I have not had any problems with the kick pedal(maybe because I play drums on medium) but I do know that many have and it is a serious problem. If you play on expert you should expect the pedal snapping in half sooner or later, and since the warranty only last 60 days and you needed to have kept the receipt don't expect a replacement. If it does break there are many tutorials on the internet to help fix it or buy a custom made, more durable pedal.

Online in this game is really nothing special. There is a band quickplay which is where you are automatically matched up with other band mates to play as song as a complete band. You can also get some of your friends on Xbox Live to play with you but to my disappointment, you can't do a band world tour online. All you can do is play a few songs for fun.

There are score duels which are pretty strait forward. You play against an opponent on the same song and see who gets the highest score. I like how there is a ranked mode unlike guitar hero and you can compare your rank with others on Xbox Live. The bad part about ranked matches is that you don't get to pick the songs. That means you will have to play songs from early tiers which take absolutely no skill, they are just a test of who messes up the least which is not what you want. But hey, I'd rather have ranked and unranked then just one.

Don't forget about the other online game type, Tug of War. This is possibly the stupidest idea for a ranked online game. It is the exact same thing as score duel except one person will always have a chance for a higher score. That is because you trade off parts of the song. It is the stupidest thing ever because it doesn't offer anything different from score duel. It's just a one sided score duel. Sure it may be fun as a quick thing to play with a friend but for RANKED online multiplayer it's just a horrible idea.

Rock bands strongest point is probably it's replayability. That is for many reasons. I have gotten really into getting my career score up by maxing out my scores on all the songs on the main setlist to try and get high on the leaderboards as well as beat my friends scores. The main reason for good replayability is definitely the downloadable content, or DLC. There is usually 3 to 5 new songs added to the marketplace, usually at 160 Microsoft points each, weekly. That mean in a few months you have almost another full length setlist. The selection for DLC right now is already staggeringly wide in range. You have it all from the Grateful Dead to Metallica to Sonic Youth, and it only grows bigger every week. You should definitely check out the marketplace for some songs by your preferred band because chances are, they might already have it.

When you add everything in this game together, what you get is an experience that you just can't get in any game from the Guitar Hero series. It's not all about one person, having a band is a collaborative effort that you share with you band mates. You get to experience a lot of the things a real band might face virtually. Even for people who don't have a band you have three great solo careers with an awesome setlist. If you were a fan of the Guitar Hero series you will not a doubt love this game because it has every aspect of guitar hero and more. No doubt the best game I've got since I got the next gen consoles.

10/10
~BlackPlastic


BlackPlastic's Review Directory!!!

2008-05-29 02:28:34 by BlackPlastic
Updated

Read some of my detailed non biased reviews that I have posted here. Plenty more to come! If you have any recomendations for a review drop me a PM.

Movies
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

VideoGames
Grand Theft Auto 4

Music
Megadeth - United Abominations
The Sword - Gods of the Earth


Megadeth - United Abominations Review!

2008-05-26 11:37:53 by BlackPlastic
Updated

After Megadeth was disbanded back around 2000, people never thought they would ever be as strong as they were in the Rust in Peace and Countdown to Extinction days. I'm still yet to get The System Has Failed album but I'll tell you this much, United Abominations is easily the best Megadeth album since the 90s.

This album's lyrics are heavily based on things like war, politics and religious extremism. You can really tell in every single song, this band is genuinely angry. The song Washington is Next! shows deep hatred for our executive branch and songs like United Abominations just go crazy on the United Nations. Then you have tracks like You're Dead and Pay for Blood which are just unrelatedly angry. This isn't some half assed album that you might expect from a band this old. The songs are really deep and well thought out.

Chris Poland, who was the guitarist for Megadeth for when Peace Sells came out, reunited with the band to create The System Has Failed but left shortly after the album's release. The new guitarist Glen Drover is doing just fine in the band. None of his solos really stand out but he gets the job done.

The riffs in this album are really going back to the older stuff. I was pretty disappointed after buying Risk and The World Needs a Hero because the band just seamed like they had no idea what they were doing anymore. The riffs in Gear of War and Washington is Next! are some of the best the band has to offer. If you aren't going to buy the whole album you got to check out those two songs. You will be pleasantly surprised by Megadeth's comeback.

When it comes to pure thrash, the best song would be either Play For Blood or Amerikhastan, both of which have over 10 trade-off solos between Mustaine and Drover. Believe me there are plenty of other songs with solos then will destroy your ears but in my oppinion, these would be the best.

I noticed one thing that just didn't seam right with this album though. They made a remake of the popular song À Tout Le Monde from the Youthanasia album. The song clearly made improvements from the original and is unarguably better but the song itself just seams out of place. It's a soft, emotional song crushed between 10 thrash songs and I just don't think should be on this album.

If you are a Megadeth fan, whether you're obsessive or just like some of their songs, you should definitely buy this album. If you are new to the band and interested in buying some of their CDs, I would still recommend the CD but you may want to first check out some of their other albums to familiarize yourself with them. Anyways it was a great album, pleasant surprise for a band so old.

9/10
~BlackPlastic


The Sword - Gods of the Earth Review!

2008-05-26 11:07:17 by BlackPlastic
Updated

*****DISCLAIMER*****
I have only heard a few songs on the Age of Winters album, not the entire thing.

Our legends tell of weapons, Wielded by kings of old
Crafted by evil wizards, Unholy to behold
We seek the fire lances, That slew the ancient race
The world where they were masters, Now lays in waste

Expect to hear a lot of lyrics like that while listening to the bands The Sword's new album Gods of the Earth. A lot of the lyrics are heavily inspired by Norse mythology, but the vocals are definitely not the main focus of this band. The sword has always been known to focus solely on intricate riffs which is a good thing but sometimes leaves songs feeling empty when the solos are only 15 seconds long or when there are only 4 verses of vocals in a song.

The album starts out with a heavy instrumental song called The Sundering. It pretty much prepares you for what the whole album is going to be with loud deep riffs and blaring snare drums. The two most powerful songs on the album are probably Maiden, Mother & Crones and Fire Lances of the Ancient Hyperzephyrians (My new favorite song name). Definitely check those songs out if you get the album.

Well we know The Sword has to be making some money considering they've made it into a Guitar Hero game and have a couple music videos (Not just some cheap music videos at that) so they must have fixed the problem with the vocals quality? Nope, the vocals in this album are just as scratchy and hard to hear as they were in Age of Winters. I'm all for trying to keep the main focus of the band on the guitars but there is nothing wrong with understandable vocals.

The guitar riffs are just as good on this album as the last. Songs like Maiden, Mother & Crone have riffs that can compare to the riff in the popular song Freya from the previous album. I find it a shame though about how short their guitar solos usually are. Instead of real guitar solos they will put in about a minute and thirty seconds of a deep improvised riff which I don't really count as a guitar solo. I know they have the ability to play good fast paced and high pitched solos judging by songs like The Frost Giant's Daughter but that is one of the few songs that have a good solo in it.

I'm not to fond of the drums in this album. I didn't notice this problem in this last but the drummer really overuses the snares. Not only that but the volume for the drums is just overall abnormally loud for this album. The snares in some songs are just constantly being hit over and over to a point where it is practically drowning out the guitar and making the vocals further impossible to hear. I know they are just trying to be "heavy" but sometimes they try a little to hard.

Overall the album was definitely pretty good. The songs are great and up to par with those from Age of Winters. It's just a shame that they decided not to focus on some of the problems with the previous album and fix them for the new album. Despite how good the album was, it was a slight disappointment for that reason. I can't say it was a perfect album, but I still loved it.

7/10
~BlackPlastic


Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Review!

2008-05-24 22:42:09 by BlackPlastic
Updated

*******DISCLAIMER*******
I have not seen any previous Indian Jones movies. Keep that in mind while reading my review.

*******SPOILER ALERT*******
If you have not already seen the movie and don't want the plot ruined, don't read the review.

The new Indiana Jones movie is finally here. This new addition to the series is full of action, chase scenes, fighting scenes, and all the other things we have all come to love about the series. The plot could be a bit crazy and unrealistic at times but sometimes you don't always want a movie to be as realistic as possible. Did the movie live up to all the hype it's getting? In my opinion no but apparently a lot of people say yes so that is for you to decide.

The movie starts out with a kidnapped Indiana Jones, once again played by Harrison Ford, being taken to the warehouse where the Pandora's Box was held. After revealing the whereabouts of the box he uses his super Indiana Jones skills to escape the soviets who captured him and ends of finding himself in a fake town where an atomic bomb was being tested >.>. Apparently he gets into a refrigerator seconds before the bomb goes off and is flung thousands of feet away from the blast and rolls out of the refrigerator completely unharmed.

Great intro for a movie right? Well no, that kind of thing is probably the main problem I had with the movie. The acting was superb for the most part and the actors really played the roles of rugged architects from the 80s very well. The plot was just so unrealistic that things started to contradict themselves and make almost no sense. Also, as a person who doesn't know much about previous Indian Jones movies, the plot was near impossible to understand the first time around.

So Indiana Jones and this one dude going by the nickname Mutt Williams, questionably played by Shia LaBeouf from the Disney series Even Stevens, meet up and start there search for a crystal skull. Why did they want it? I honestly was not able to figure out, and believe me I was trying very hard. They find the skull in some tomb somewhere and have a bunch of Indian carcasses start attacking them. That's when I knew this movie was going to be a let down. I was expecting something at least sort of realistic. Not some weird sci fi adventure.

Well after getting the skull these KGB guys somehow were able to find him before he was able to get out. They then take him to the middle of the jungle so they can question Indiana Jones for more information about the skull. I honestly think the only reason they even went to the jungle was to put the setting for the inevitable action chase scene. Indiana Jones, Mutt Williams, and former wife Marion Ravenwood grab the skull and jack a truck/boat to start this chase scene.

The jungle chase scene was full of things that made completely no sense at all. It's starts out as the kind of chase scene you'd expect with people jumping from car to car and using swords instead of guns. At one point of the scene Mutt grabs onto a jungle vine for some odd reason and starts swinging across the vines like a monkey. Magically by the time he gets out of the forest only by swinging on vines the two trucks are conveniently right in front of him so he can dropkick the driver the KGB truck.

Once the chase scene is finally over (it was ended with the truck/boat being driven into a river) they start making their way towards their destination which is a tomb in which they need to place the skull. At this part was one of the most questionable parts of the movie. They drop down three consecutive waterfalls, each one bigger then the last, and not only were they able to survive by some twist of fate, but they did not drop the skull into the water.

They finally find the tomb they were looking for, which was in the waterfall, and end up making their way towards the room they need to place the skull. Once again, the KGB people magically find them and catch up to our heroes inside of the tomb. The ending is possibly one of the weirdest I have ever seen in my life. I'll try to explain it the best I can.

The crystal skull is placed on a matching crystal skeleton which opens a portal to another dimension which starts ripping the tomb from the inside out. Everyone starts trying to run out and end up making it out and getting to a safe distance, though they never really show you how they did it. Once not in danger they start watching a, get this, UFO pop out from underground and fly away into space. My jaw was open by the time this happened in utter confusion.

It concludes just the way you would expert it. Indiana Jones and Marion get married with Mutt as the best man. What happened with the UFO and why was it there? They didn't say. What was the entire point of finding the skull and returning it to it's resting place? They didn't say. If someone knows the answer to these questions who have seen the movie, I would be happy to hear.

It's like the writers couldn't think of a logical ending for the movie so they just said, "Lets make this ending make as little sense as we possible can." I'm sure great writers like George Lucas could think of a much better ending then that joke that they did. I was very disappointed about that.

I also got tired of seeing near death situation after near death situation the entire movie. Indiana Jones saved from quicksand in the nick of time. Mutt saved from a poison dart in the nick of time. Not to mention the word "Duck!" was used practically 10 times during the jungle chase scene to either save them from gunfire and to save the from an object decapitating them. In one case it was even saving them from another car running over them. You got tired of it after a while and the movie began to lose all it's suspense.

As you could probably tell, I was definitely not the biggest fan of the movie. The plot aside though, it was great. Superior acting and Harrison Ford still has the athleticism to be a great tough guy character like Indiana Jones. Shia LaBeouf I think seamed kind of out of place in the movie, and definitely didn't have the body of the biker type he was portraying, but his acting was good and he was able to act like the character well without looking like it.

I just can't an enjoy a movie with such an unrealistic and hard to follow plot. I'd like to understand what I'm watching and not just try to enjoy the fast paced action that is going on. I want to know why things are happening, and that is why I am giving this a lower score then most would expect.

6/10
~BlackPlastic