November 19th, 2010

Toribash Fighting Game Review

Video Game Review
toribash online fighting game image

 Toribash is a physics-based fighting game, in which you click your “tori’s” joints, in order to make them contract, extend, raise, lower, or rotate. Doing so
with different combinations will allow your tori to do different moves, each customisable by the combination or parts you click. You can design your own moves with this. In the game, it starts a match with your tori, facing another tori, in a completely blank room in which there is only you two, and you fight. The way you fight, is there is a number of turn frames, (varying depending on the mod you are using) and you click out your moves, press space, and a certain number of turn frames go by. Then you click your next move, and so on. You can see what you are about to do by your “ghost”, which is a semi-transparent outline of you, moving into the future according to what combination of parts you click.

One of my favorite features is that you can play online with the Multiplayer feature. In order to keep things moving, you only have a certain amount of time to click out your move, before the turn frames jump ahead. If you’re fast, you can end your turn early with space. There are alot of people on multiplayer, so you always fight someone new. Some people even have “skins” or “textures”, which are basically outfits or themes you can buy for your tori via “tori credits”. Online, you are given a rank, and a belt. The more games you win with toribash multiplayer, the lower your rank goes, and the higher your belt gets. I am currently a black belt, but there are some people who have 3rd and 4th dan black belts, and so on. Everyone starts at “unranked” and with a white belt. I really like that aspect because it challenges you to break away from the stereotyping of being called a “noob” everytime someone sees your belt/rank, and you keep fighting until you win and become better.

I made a fan vid from toribash excerpts, so you can get a feel for what the action can be like:

You don’t have to fight in multiplayer mode though, you can fight against a lifeless tori, called “Uke”, in Free Play mode. You can even click Uke, and make moves for him, so you can choreograph a fight between the two, exactly how you want it. You can also save your replays in any mode. Aside from the multiplayer feature, I would have to say I’ve spent literally hours clicking away with the Mod list. You can get to this list by going to Setup>Mods. This is a list of mods that people have made, that you can fight in. Some have buildings, some have swords and knives, and some shake the game up completely and allow you to parkour or skateboard.

I think Toribash is an awesome game. Yes, you have to download it, but its 100% free. The latest version as of right now I believe, is 3.9. So heres a link to the toribash website where you can download it, and hopefully you go check it out. Honestly, the first couple weeks I was playing with it, I thought it was so hard, that I almost gave up. But once you get the hang of it I PROMISE you, you will not be able to tear away from the computer. If you like physics games, and fighting games, Toribash is the game for you.

Filed under: Video Game Reviews | Posted on November 19th, 2010 by Nick | 2 Comments »

July 22nd, 2010

48 Hour Film Project – Tampa

Filmmaking

48hfp Tampa Accounting for Loss indie film

I finally got to see Accounting for Loss on the big screen at the 48 Hour Film Project screening! It played so well in the theater with a full audience! I joined Team ‘No Sleep’ lead by Tim Moore and Joe Pelham, (the guys from Diamond View Studios). For the contest, you get 48 hours to make a film, and to make sure you don’t cheat, you get a prop, character, genre, and line of dialouge, that you have to use in the film. We drew the ‘Silent Film’ genre, and were worried at first, but then the ideas starting coming fast and furious.

Tim had contacted me to see if I wanted to be a gaffer or grip, but when I showed up, Joe suggested that I should be the lead actor, because I had “the look” for the main character, which is funny because the lead character was cuckoo-nuts. But this was my first time participating in the 48hfp, so let me tell you how it was.

It actually went alot smoother than I expected. I’ve heard alot of stories about how teams wouldn’t even start filming until sunday, 5 hours before the deadline. But only 3 hours after receiving our film assignment, we had a solid story idea. We started filming by at least 4 am, and finished around 6/7am, Saturday morning. We had all day Saturday and Sunday to edit, but used some of that to get me back in wardrobe for some extra footage of an alternate ending. We ended up getting the film in 9 seconds before the deadline. It was so nerve wracking!

But at the premier tonight, I was so excited. We were shown second to last, which is really good because our film would be fresh in peoples heads when they vote at the end. There were some funny and well crafted films before ours, but I was optimistic and felt ours could surprise the audience. One of the films that I was worried about was made by a team called the Black Ninjas, which was lead by a good friend of mine, Andrew Gash. I used to work with the guys on that team for a while, and then when 48hfp came around, the guys from DVS contacted me first, so I joined them instead. The Black Ninjas did really well though, so any award to them is well deserved. I was so happy about our film though, because the reaction from the audience was so good.

When our film ended, everyone applauded for a good 4 seconds. It felt like the whole audience had been holding their breath for the last 3 minutes of the film, and finally could let it out. It was definitely a different experience seeing it in a full theater than on my computer at home. There’s one part in the film that really got me. It is a moment where the film gets really intense, and the music builds, and there are flashes of images on the screen, and then the music and images crescendo and there’s a good 3 seconds of just blackness and silence. The silence is pushed so much that people almost begin to wonder, “is that the end??” but then the film comes back and starts building again. Tim and Joe made terrific cuts from the 4 hours of footage we shot. I was so proud to be a part of it.

Here’s the film:

Filed under: Filmmaking | Posted on July 22nd, 2010 by Nick | 9 Comments »

July 12th, 2010

Young Filmmakers – Fox TV Interview

Filmmaking

Fox Tampa Bay’s Charlie Belcher interviewed me and some young filmmakers this morning at the Sunscreen Teen Film Camp.

By the way, Charlie is a very funny comedic actor himself, and can be seen in the film – Lakeland Love Comedy, directed by Dave DeBorde.

Filed under: Filmmaking | Posted on July 12th, 2010 by Nick | No Comments »

July 2nd, 2010

The Last Airbender 2010 Review

Movie Review

photo of Last Airbender movie poster

Rating (1-5):photo of Kid Reviewer Donut Rating

Reviewed by Nick
Official Site: www.thelastairbendermovie.com/
Film Details

Genre: Fantasy
Summary: A horrendous failure of a film.

What I liked: Some of the effects looked nice, especially water bending.

Didn’t like: The worst thing I’ve seen from M. Night since Lady In the Water. I know all you fans are sitting there going,
“Yeahhh, he completely ruined the story!”. But that’s not all. Calm down. One thing that I think was the worst, was the acting, especially the younger actors. (Dev Patel as Prince Zuko acted fine). Much of the acting was TERRIBLE, and the dialouge was too “on-the-nose”. In other words, they told you everything that happened, or was thought, or what was GOING to happen. And then 5 minutes later there will be a naration of the thoughts of a character, saying the SAME exact thing. It is a slap in the face. It breaks a key rule of filmmaking, which is “show, dont tell”. So if you watch that movie and DONT know whats going to happen, your asleep. The script writers should have been fired.

Also, you may leave the theater saying “that seemed really quick”. Thats because they had absolutely NO character development. In the cartoon, they built the relationship between Ang and his companions, as well as his pets. In the movie, Ang and his friends didnt even TALK or share a single heartfelt moment. I’m half glad about that, because of their horrible acting. All they did was fight together. Also, the reason it might seem quick is because the pacing is awful. Its hard to describe, but it just went all out of whack. One second Ang is busting out of his spherical ice coccoon, the next, they are fighting the fire nation in the finale. I was sitting there like “I just looked down to have some of my 6 dollar popcorn, and when I look up, the credits are rolling!”. Just bad. Bad bad bad.

As for you die-hard fans of the actual show, yes they screwed that up to. Theres alot of things they cut out that I think would have been much better to leave in. Not just because I loved the show, but it really helped with the building of the relationships, drama and tension. Also, (and this may be a spoiler of sorts) but there’s a scene where Ang is talking to a “Dragon Spirit” in a cave in the spirit world. In the show, it’s this really awesome looking centipede thing with a human face. And you weren’t supposed to show emotion because it would steal your face. Therefore, the spirit kept trying to frighten Ang and make him show emotion, while Ang was trying to get answers. Before you say “Oh your just another fan! Everything can’t be in the movie!”, Wait. They could of taken JUST as long adding a little more legs, and a human face, as it took to make a full dragon. It was like, “well, in the cartoon he ate an apple, but lets make it a pear, just for laughs!”. So I didn’t like that very much.

As for the final battle. So much about it was just bloody ridiculous. I won’t give anything away, but SO many times I was sitting there going “Do this. Do that.” And they never did. They were so stupid. The fight is just so pumped up with effects, that the characters usually don’t do what an actual human being would do. And the audience would sit there saying “Turn around you idiot!”. But in this one, is was so proposterous that it was hard to watch. At the end, I didn’t care about any of the characters, because I hadn’t seen enough development to care about them. Like in I Am Legend, (spoiler) you really cared for Will Smith and the scene where he had to kill his only friend, his dog. Because they spent so much time showing how close they were, and how important the dog was to Will. Theres nothing like that in The Last Airbender. It was just sucky all around.

Oh and that one really cool trailer we all saw, where Ang is airbending the candles in a circle, and then the camera zooms out and theres a whole bunch of fire nation ships? I kept waiting to see that but it was NEVER in the movie. Jerks.

I could rant all day, but I think I’ll just end it by saying I absolutely 100 percent do NOT recommend seeing this film. Im giving it a 1 out of 5 simply because the effects were kind of cool. But I honestly don’t see how someone could WASTE millions of dollars on a poorly crafted FLOP like this.

Prince Zuko and the Last Airbender 

Ang the Last Airbender

Recommend for: No one over 12 except die-hard fans that just have to compare. But they won’t be happy neither. Kids under 12 probably will enjoy it and not be bothered by the poor dialogue, acting, and script.

Filed under: Movie Reviews | Posted on July 2nd, 2010 by Nick | 3 Comments »

June 11th, 2010

My Top Five Movie Review Sites

Movie Review

1. Rotten Tomatoes – This one is the best in my opinion. They make it really easy to see what critics say about movies that are out, when ever you need to know. And multiple people can review it, so it gives you a mix of opinions. It’s not just one source. But the thing I like the most about them, is that they tell it straight up. They don’t care what is popular, they tear into the movie if it stinks, and give good movie reviews when worthy.

2. RogerEbert.com – There’s  only roger on this one. But it’s number two on my list, because he, like rotten tomatoes, also doesnt care about the popular vote. He is also a known and respected guy with a reputation, so people listen to his reviews. Which are good as well. One thing its hard for a single person to do, is really anylize each genre of movie. Like, for me, personally, i hate slashers, but a good critic like roger would have to put everything into consideration. It could be well made. You can’t just shoot a movie down cuz you dont like it. So thats why he’s number two.

3. One Sentence Movie Reviews – What’s not to like. You’re in a hurry, you want to get a quick opinion on a film. More than a rating, maybe a few adjectives like ‘awesome’ or ‘horrible’, to really make a quick decision. You can check out dozens of reviews in just a few minutes.

4. Moviereviews.com – Cleverly enough. It comes in 4th though, because its just plain. It gives the reviews and thats it. It may of course be what alot of people want. But I look for more of a diverse set up. With multiple reviews and such. Still good though.

5.onlygoodmovies.com – This one isn’t focused on movie reviews primarily, but it has the coolest movie lists that you’ll ever find online. Such as “20 reasons NOT to see avatar”, “Scariest Movie Rabbits”, and “Best Doomsday Scenarios”.

Filed under: Movie Reviews | Posted on June 11th, 2010 by Nick | No Comments »

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