Sunday, 20 December 2009

That's All, Folks (for 2009)

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Internet:

We here at Emotionally Fourteen would like to thank you sincerely for your continued support, but have decided that the time is right for us to take a short break for the Christmas holidays.

We'll be back on January 4th, just as awesome as always (we may even become MORE awesome if you're good)!

Thanks for the support folks, Emotionally Fourteeen WILL return!


Saturday, 19 December 2009

Gaming Reviews

The Saboteur
Electronic Arts
Available Now - Xbox 360, PS3 (Version Tested), PC
Review by Blake Harmer

It saddens me when I first find out about a game and I think 'Wow, this could be really good', only to actually play it and find it to be a big disappointment, and it is with great sadness that I must say that this applies to EA’s The Saboteur.

What originally perked my interest about the game was its setting and art design. For those of you who don’t know about the game, you play an Irishman who was in France training to be a racing driver when the Nazi’s invaded, and after your friend is horribly killed you join the French resistance as it is beginning in order to enact his revenge. I liked this because whilst there are hundreds of WW2 games out there, none of them are set with the French Resistance or are open world action games. I also loved the art design which has Nazi occupied areas made almost black and white, with only the red of the swastikas or pale yellow of lamps as any feel of colour and gives the game a look reminiscent of film adaptation of Sin City. However, when you liberate areas of France, the land returns to full bright colour, which makes completing missions that little bit satisfying.

However, the downsides to the game is that these two factors are the only original bits of content The Saboteur brings to a table filled with open world action games. Everything else the game uses has been borrowed from other games such as the ability to climb buildings, blow up buildings, do races, perform stealth kills etc etc. Also, it doesn’t even do any of these ideas as well as its competitors it originally borrowed it from. The wall climbing is unnecessarily fiddly in comparison to Assassin’s Creed or inFamous, explosions are done better in Mercenaries (which is surprising as both Mercenaries and The Saboteur are both made by Pandemic), and GTA tramples over everything else The Saboteur tries to do.

The Emotionally Fourteen Games Rating
Graphics: Nice graphics made better by excellent art design, which gives the game a great Sin Cityesque vibe in areas still not liberated from Nazi occupation.
Sound/Music: Wartime music, crowd banter from French people and Nazi’s and the usual explosions and gunfire.
Gameplay: An enjoyable open world game let down by a lack of original ideas and the fact that any part of the game has been done better its competitors.
Lasting Appeal: Short when compared to other open world games and unlikely to hold your interest as well as other games such as GTA and Assassins Creed would.
Summary: The Saboteur is a fun game with very little flaws and a few nice (if not life changing) ideas to the open world action genre. However, when there are already lots of other games like The Saboteur, and they all do everything better than it, then there is very little to recommend it unless you have nothing else to play and need something to tide yourself over to the next big game. 7/10

Return To Mysterious Island 2
Microids Entertainment
Available now - RRP £24.99
Review by Rob Wade

As many E14ies know well, I have a love for the point-and-click adventure games of yore. It was exciting, therefore, to have this game to review, as it is one of the traditional style of adventure game, as well as being from developer Microids, responsible for one of my favourite recent adventure games, Still Life.

Return To Mysterious Island 2 puts you once again in the role of Mina, the heroine from the first game. Following an escape from a helicopter (the end of the first game), Mina begins to find that a strange disease is destroying all the plants, and then starts to affect the animals on the island. It's up to her to find out what is causing the death and decay before it's too late.

I started off a little apprehensive of this game, as the first puzzle seemed unnecessarily complex for an introductory puzzle. Obviously the developers sort of take it for granted that you've played the first game, an understandable act but a frustrating one for the novice player to this franchise. However, I eventually solved it, and was optimistic that this would be a blip on an otherwise enjoyable experience.

The first chapter of the game is you playing as Mina's pet monkey.

Yeah, you read that correctly. In the first chapter of the game, you don't actually communicate using words in the interface, all communication of what is happening in the game is done with speech bubbles with pictures inside. Now, this would be a perfectly acceptable way of communicating things if the pictures actually explained clearly what was going on. The addition of monkey-monkey dialogue is a new feature touted on the back of the box as a gameplay innovation, and while it is something I'm not particularly familiar with in adventure games, I suspect there was a reason that it wasn't included before, namely the fact that it's really clunky and difficult.

Speaking of largely pointless additions, this game syncs with the iPhone, allowing players to download puzzles and solve them, then re-download them back into the game. A nice idea, but at the same time so ludicrously un-necessary.

That's not to say that the game is bad, by any means. Graphically it's quite impressive, with lush tropical island landscapes as far as the eye can see, and the music and sound is nice enough. True, the game would benefit greatly from a map, particularly during the early sections, but the terrain is sufficiently varied to be able to differentiate effectively between different areas.

Ultimately though, this game is a decent adventure game, but is kept from being a great game simply by the idea of doing too many things, none of which seem to really serve any purpose beyond being different for the sake of being different.

The Emotionally Fourteen Games Rating
Graphics : Some stunning landscapes and very bright and colourful visual styles.
Sound/Music : Pretty much what you'd expect.
Gameplay : Solid adventure game play, albeit with some un-necessary additions.
Lasting Appeal : As with all adventure games, there's little in the way of replay value once you've finished.
Summary : A game of decent quality, let down by a desire, it seems, to do more than the competition without bearing in mind that the competition is doing sweet fuck-all at the moment. 6/10

St Erisian's school for girls has stood for over a hundred years and survived war, plague, famine, demonic attack, strange explosions in the science block and countless attempts to get it closed by the government. However, to be fair, not all of these disasters were the fault of the girls who study there.
Hellcats and Hockeysticks is an RPG in which the PCs are among the most feared and disreputable creatures of all - schoolgirls!

Hellcats and Hockeysticks
RPG Core Rulebook
Corone Design

Available Now - $12.00 (Approx £7.50) (PDF)
Review by Brad Harmer

At St Erisian's the girls are taught to be curious, forthright, inventive and above all, what they want to be, and to give hell to anyone who tries to stop them. The game is designed to be fast paced and fun, with plenty of opportunities for chaos and destruction. Characters come from one of 9 'cliques' each with their own special ability and selection of skills.

I love originality. There are a hundred sci-fi, fantasy and horror RPGs, but it’s the ones like The Squared Circle, Cartoon Action Hour and, now, Hellcats and Hockeysticks that catch my eye. It’s attempting to emulate a genre that, at least as far as I’m aware, has never been attempted before.

The character choices, with options such as nerd, Goth, prefect, etc. all make a nice change from the standard party options, and really capture the tone of the films they’re based on - from The Belles of St Trinians to Mean Girls. The core system, based on d6 rolls, is nothing new – but its simplicity is its strength, and you can pick up on most of its applications on your first read through. With a quick, easy and surprisingly not violent combat to boot, this could make a welcome change of pace from your heavy fantasy campaign.

The magic/“weird science” rules may not see much action if your campaign is set outside of a castle in the Scottish Highlands – but it’s nice to see them here anyway.

The cleverest thing in the system is way it accurately reflects the back-stabbing and bitchiness of a clique of girls in a high school. At character creation, each player has to secretly choose another player to be their best-friend, and another that they hate – but these feelings don’t have to be reciprocated. I’m sure you can imagine that with some good role-playing, you could have some night of fun with this.

The experience system is nice, as is the adventure included, and a dice-based adventure generator.

The games main weakness lies in the very nature of its originality. With unplugged gamers, rather sadly, being a “girls...eww...” bunch, it’s rather doubtful that it will be able to find its niche. I hope it does, though, as I’m sure that anyone who gives it a go will find it a lot of fun.

Summary: A very different RPG. The style may not be for everyone, but it could be a lot of fun with the right group. 8/10

Friday, 18 December 2009

Dickass DM

A few months ago, Brad and Rob began an experiment that they referred to as The Dickass DM, in which Rob would attempt to play through the Fighting Fantasy gamebook Starship Traveller as if it were an actual table-top RPG.

Read Part One Here
Read Part Two Here
Read Part Three Here
Read Part Four Here

Previously on Dickass DM: After solving the mystery of The Rain Lord, the crew of the Starship Traveller landed on a strange planet, that resulted in an airborne virus polluting the ship. Medical Officer Wheezy (who may or may not have appeared in the series before) is the latest casualty.

Captain Braggart: Dingle, you've got one of those Home Learning certificates for Medicine right?
Dingle: I only know pigeons, guv.
Captain Braggart: Congratulations, you've been promoted!

Brad: You give the instruction to evacuate all the air from the affected area, after instructing all the crew to wear EVA suits. The air is pumped out into space, and half an hour or so later, a fresh supply is introduced.

McSpindle: This air appears to be poison free, sir. In addition, the vacuum appears to have hoovered the carpets remarkably well.
Brad: Wheezy drifts slowly past the windshield.

Captain Braggart: Wheezy, you were a good medical officer right up until you fucked up that antidote to a basic airborne toxin.
McSpindle: How many people under your command have you killed so far, my Liege?
Captain Braggart: Me personally? None. HA! Learn to phrase your questions properly, Dick-beak.
McSpindle: ...ass.
Captain Braggart: Shouldn't you be re-ordering our Shake N' Vac? Or just generally...fucking off?
McSpindle: We have three potential destinations, sir. A large red planet, which I have named Crosby. A medium-sized blue planet, which I have named Stills. And a fast moving object showing signs of life that I have named Palmer.
Captain Braggart: Where's Young?
McSpindle: I imagine he's in a more successful sci-fi comedy series, sir.
Captain Braggart: Sci-fi what what?
McSpindle: What, sir?
Captain Braggart: We've seen a lot of red, we need a varied palette. Stills it is.

Brad: You approach the blue planet and take up an orbit position. Scanners indicate that the planet is inhabited, and that there is considerable development of the planet surface by some intelligent life-form, suggesting a well-orgainsed social structure. You try various radio frequencies and, after some time, an alien face appears on the screen. Dressed in a uniform of some kind, this creature is humanoid, but thin, with a large, bulbous head and bony fingers. He announces himself as First Officer I-Abail of the National Government of Jolsen 3.

Captain Braggart: All right?

Brad: He invites you, and only you, to beam down to his office.
Captain Braggart: ...Do you think he's gay?
McSpindle: Are you?
Captain Braggart: Well, it has been three years since I touched a woman...plus that wasn't really consensual in the "traditional" sense. I'm beaming down.
McSpindle: We'll keep the engine running, sir.
Captain Braggart: Please.

Brad: As you appear in his office, I-Abail comes forward to greet you. From his surroundings, you deduce that his society is indeed sophisticated, with a technology far more advanced than your own. The surface of his desk floats in the air, and he sits behind it, apprently on thin air.

Captain Braggart: Where do I sit? Hopefully not on your penis! *nervous laugh* Not that there's anything wrong with that sort of thing...

Brad: Cautiously you sit as he has done and some unseen force takes your weight. Around the walls are moving holograms, positioned as an Earth executive may have works of art hanging in his office. To the side of his desk is a screen which he talks into. Moments later, another alien arrives with a tray of what you assume are refreshments. I-Abail introduces this newcomer and offers you food and drink. Are you having House of Hell flashbacks?

Captain Braggart: Thanks very much. Oh, this glass is fabulous! I mean...this glass is all right. Boy, Elton John is a talented songwriter.

Brad: The offerings have a somewhat synthetic taste and texture, but are not unpleasant, and you begin to talk to the First Officer about your own world, while he tells you about Jolsen-3. A short time later, you begin to feel drowsy, which is very strange as you are not due a rest for several hours. Your eyelids get heavy and you must fight to remain concious.
Rob: What do I roll against for fighting unconsciousness? Can I shoot unconsciousness with my phaser?
Brad: Spot Rohypnol. Too late you realise that your food was drugged! As you drift off into sleep, you hear...

I-Abail: Let us take our visitor to the portal lab.
Captain Braggart: Second...Worst...Date...Ever...

Brad: You awake and try to move. You struggle, but some invisible force holds your limbs. You are in a clean, white room with various machines and computer terminals on hover-tables around the walls. I-Abail stands before you.

I-Abail: Stranger, you have a priveliged opportunity to aid our technological development.
Captain Braggart: Why does my rectum hurt?
I-Abail: Our technicians have developed a space-time portal which acts as a doorway between our universe and your own. We have chose you as our first experimental subject!

Brad: He points to one corner of the room, where a free standing frame, something like a door-frame, stands. Looking through the frame you can see nothing. Two technicians pull you to your feet and hold you in front of the frame. Another presses a button on a small gadget and, with a faint buzz, your hand and feet are free. You try to break the grip of your captors, but as you do so, they push you forwards through the frame.

Captain Braggart: Why am I considerably less worried about my anus all of a sudden?

Brad: As you pass through the frame you fall forwards. You panic, but then you realise you are not really falling, but rather floating, downwards through empty space. Gradually, your surroundings become lighter and you can see that you are coming to a sort of pathway, seemingly made of a non-material energy. As you alight on it you look around. The path twists and turns, forks and converges ahead of you like a spider's web set in a black void. The path appears to be able to support your weight, but all around is empty blackness. Cautiously, you proceed along the path, feeling your way with your feet. Ahead of you the path forks.
Rob: Right. Going right.
Brad: The path continues ahead and a short distance on forks again.
Rob: Fucking hell...Left fork.
Brad: The path bends to the right and then forks again.
Rob: Left fork. I have this feeling I'm gonna end up back in that room, with him looking decidedly confused.
Brad: You arrive at a four-way junction where two paths converge and two further paths branch off to left and right.
Rob: Right fork.
Brad: The path twists on ahead, and you soon arrive at another fork. You're drawing a map, right?
Rob: Pffft. No.
Brad: Which way are you going?
Rob: Left fork.
Brad: You arrive at a four-way junction where two paths converge and two further paths branch off to left and right.
Rob: Left fork.
Brad: The path continues ahead and a short distance on forks again.
Rob: Left.
Brad: The path bends to the right and then forks again.
Rob: Right fork.
Brad: The path twists and you arrive at another fork.
Rob: Left.
Brad: The path twists and turns in space and you follow it to its end. There is no way forwards except by stepping off the path into space.
Rob: I step off the path.
Brad: You step into space and, to your surprise, your foot touches something solid which bears your weight. Moving forwards, you hear an electrical buzz and a flash of light blinds you momentarily. When you open your eyes and find yourself back in the portal lab, with I-Abail and his technicians watching you.

Captain Braggart: I've just had the most incredible dream...I was living in Salzburg with the local bell-ringer. Talk about an Odd Couple.

Brad: "Then I dreamt I hit this old man with my car, and went to use the phone at this creepy old house. The doorbell was a bit rapey."
Rob: Don't fucking remind me.
Brad: They rush forward to congratulate you. Their experiment has been successful! As I-Abail takes you from the lab back to his office, he explains that they were able to monitor your activities with their instruments and that the experiment has answered several of the unknowns that they had come across in their investigations.

Captain Braggart: That's nice...what?

Brad: However, although their portal may transport your crew back to your own universe, they would be stranded without the ship. The ship would need a much bigger portal, but their investigations indicate that such a portal will occur naturally at a certain time in the vicinity of a black hole in sector 159. I-Abail shows you, on a star chart, where Sector 159 is; you ask about other planets in the galaxy. He in unable to give details, but suggests you head for Malini, a mining planet several light years away. You contact the ship and beam back aboard.

Leaving orbit around Jolsen-3 you search the area for life-supporting planets with your scanners. A small yellow planet is picked up as the nearest.

Rob: Head for the Yellow Planet.
Brad: You take up orbit position around a small planet circling a large red star.
Rob: A literal red star? Like the communist one?

McSpindle: Scanners indicate the planet is probably devoid of all life, my douche.
Captain Braggart: Beam down to the surface, I like the sound of that "probably". Red Shirt #1 and Cripps...you're with me on the away team.

Brad: The three of you head for the transmatter unit. You leave the ship and reappear on the surface of the planet. The heat is tremendous and the cooling systems within your EVA suits must work at maximum. The surface of the planet is volcanic and small eruptions in the ground around you spray out molten lava.

Captain Braggart: Scan this planet for signs of life, it seems deader than....Bela Lugosi?

Brad: The extreme temperature on the planet prevents your scanner from functioning properly. There is no way of telling whether or not life exists here.

Captain Braggart: Let's explore a little more.
Cripps: We're doomed.
Captain Braggart: I wish I could switch you off, Goldenrod.

Brad: Your party approaches the rim of a large crater. Looking cautiosly over the edge, you peer down into a pool of molten rock. The heat is unbearable.

Redshirt #1: Scanners report that this heat is not a bear, Captain.

Brad: Suddenly, the ground behind you ruptures and the rock under your feet crumbles, causing you all to lose your balance.

Captain Braggat: Bollocks.

Brad: Cripps tumbles into his death!

Cripps: My only regret is that no character from Star Wars, however minor, was ever badly burned by lava, thereby making a joke impossible!
Redshirt #1: I...uh...wow. I didn't see that coming, did you?
Captain Braggart: Jump in after him!
Redshirt #1: Aye-aye captain! *frazzling sound*

Brad: Your communicator bursts into life!

McSpindle: SECUUURIIICTYYY OFFIIICEEER CRIIIIPS!!! SHORTLY FOLLOWED BY REDSHIIIRT NUUUMBEEER OOONE!!!!

Brad: You beam back aboard before anyone else dies horribly. You return to the bridge.

McSpindle: Just you, me and drinky left, huh?
Captain Braggart: I didn't think Red Shirt #1 would actually follow orders. Though in hindsight that's based on the actions of every other crew member.

Brad: Your nearest destination is a large grey planet some 2.3 light years ahead.

Captain Braggart: Grey can't be dangerous.

Brad: You set course and enter warp speed, dropping out again a short distance from the planet. Sensors indicate that you are travelling past a large spaceport to starboard. If your ship is damaged, you may wish to dock for repairs.

Captain Braggart: Let's dock the ship.
Shimmering Blue Cripps: That's no moon...it's a space station.
Captain Braggart: Let's hope they have an Exorcist.
McSpindle: I'll get us some new fluffy dice, captain.
Captain Braggart: Can you make sure they're not pink this time?

Brad: As you approach the spaceport, you receive a confused message warning you not to dock.
You try again to contact the spaceport, but receive no reply.
Rob: As in the message is confusing, or the person giving it seems confused? "Dave's not here, man".

Captain Braggart: On second thought, I'm not sure that I like the sound of a confused message.
McSpindle: On second thoughts, let us not go aboard The Event Horizon. It is a silly place.
Captain Braggart: You our new quotes man then, Mac?

Brad: You take up orbit position round the large grey planet and scan the surface. There are positive signs of intelligent life and you transfer it to the screen. A grey-coloured alien with a tinyround mouth and flattened nose introduces himself as K'tait of the Malini Mining Outpost. You introduce yourself and tell him of your mission. You learn that Malini is a mining planet, mining malinite, a valubale mineral ore.
Rob: Makes sense. It wouldn't make much sense if Malini was the world's primary quarry of Jeffstone.
Brad: He invites you down to the planet and suggests your crew may well be interested in a visit as the "Contests", sporting events arranged for the entertainment of the miners, are in full-swing. He gives you co-ordinates for beaming down but interference distorts the message and you cannot be certain whether he gave you 223.473.85 or 223.473.83.
Rob: Try the co-ordinates ending in "3".

Clank: Wouldn't it makes sense to try point eight four?
McSpindle: Quiet, you!
Captain Braggart: I considered it, but this strange feeling gave me the impression that it wasn't an option.

Brad: What two crew members do you want to take?
Rob: McSpindle and Assistant Security Officer Grimace.

Brad: As you materialise on the planets surface, you are greeted by K'tait. He invites you into his office and tell you more about the planet. You explain you feel that the only way back to your own universe is to travel back through a black hole, and ask whether anyone on the planet is likely to be able to help. He thinks this likely. A bleeper on his desk summons him to "The Arena". He makes his apologies and leaves. You await his return. You wait for perhaps an hour, but K'tait does not return. The door opens and a hover robot enters the room. It stops abruptly as it sense you and various whirrings indicate it is contacting its central processor.

Captain Braggart: Hello...
McSpindle: We're gonna die. I'm impressed we've made it this far.

Brad: It speaks to you, telling you to follows it.

Captain Braggart: We've been told to wait... (whispers to Grimace and McSpindle) Phasers to 'frazzle' from 'pirouette'.

Brad: The hover robot one again contacts its central processor. Again, it tells you to follow, but again you refuse. Without warning, a stun ray comes from one of its limbs, knocking you, and the others, unconcious to the floor. You awake later in a different room.
Rob: I'm not sure what the point of asking us to follow it was...if the backup plan was 'make them follow you'.
Brad: Well, exactly. These books make for really shitty DMs, don't they? The walls of the room you are in are bare and there appears to be no door in the doorway. The boot which you toss at the doorway bounces back, confirming your suspcision that you are held in the room by some kind of energy sheet.

McSpindle: Can I have my boot back now, please?
Captain Braggart: To blazes with your infernal requests, you can have a cold foot!

Brad: Some time later, guards return with a supervisor who asks whether you are going in for the contests.

Captain Braggart: Will they listen to us if I kill a random person?
McSpindle: Am I included in the sample?
Captain Braggart: That wouldn't be fair, plus they're not that much more likely to listen to me if they think I'm the kind of prick who murders one of my mates.
McSpindle: Best not mention the track record then.

TO BE CONTINUED...

video

Thursday, 17 December 2009

DVD Reviews

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
David Yates
Warner Home Video

Available Now - £24.99 (DVD) and £28.99 (Blu-ray with DVD and Digital Copy)
Review by Brad Harmer

Everyone’s favourite adolescent wizard-in-training Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for another year of schooling and learns more about Tom Riddle - the boy who grew up to become Lord Voldemort in this latest instalment of the franchise. There was a time when Hogwarts was thought of as a safe haven, but thanks to Voldemort's tightening grip on both the Muggle and wizarding worlds, that simply isn't the case anymore. Suspecting that the castle may even harbour an outright threat, Harry finds his investigation into the matter sidelined by Dumbledore's attempts to prepare him for the monumental battle looming ever closer on the horizon. In order to discover the key to Voldemort's defences, Dumbledore enlists the aid of resourceful yet unsuspecting bon vivant Professor Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent – Only Fools and Horses), who may have a clue as to their enemy's Achilles' heel.

Meanwhile, teenage hormones cause the students at Hogwarts to lose focus on their true mission. As Harry and Dean Thomas clash for the affections of the lovely Ginny, Romilda Vane attempts to woo Ron away from Lavender Brown with some particularly tasty chocolates. Even Hermione isn't immune from the love bug, though she tries her hardest to suppress her growing jealousy and keep her emotions bottled up. But there is one student who remains completely aloof from the romance blossoming all around, and he intends to leave a dark impression on his classmates. With tragedy looming ever closer, it begins to appear as if peace will prove elusive in Hogwarts for some time to come.

Whatever your opinions of the books, the movies are a somewhat mixed bag. The first two are good kids movies, the third one is outstanding, and the next two were...pretty damn awful – terrible attempts at editing massive books into two and a half-hour movies that resulted in some vital story elements being excised entirely. With Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, however, the series is back on form with this excellent movie.

Yes, this movie is much darker and meaner than its predecessors – but you know that already. What you may not know is that the action sequences are outstanding and the acting – yes, even from the now young-adult cast – is excellent across the board. Fans of the franchise will no doubt have seen it already, but those of you who passed for whatever reason are encouraged to give is a look – I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence:
Some magical combat, one murder. Some blood.
Sex/Nudity: Teenage infatuation, and some “snogging”.
Swearing: None.
Summary: An excellent kids movie, with more than enough to entertain an adult audience too. Those who haven’t yet tried Harry Potter are encouraged to do so now. 9/10

The Armstrong and Miller Show: Complete Series Two
Matt Lipsey
2 Entertain

Available Now - £19.99 (DVD)
Review by Blake Harmer

Back for a second series, comedians Alexander Armstrong and Ben Miller are back with more sketches including favourites from the first series as well brand new characters in their attempt to make you laugh with their mix of surreal and cleverly observed comedy.

The second series of The Armstrong and Miller Show, if you enjoyed the first series, will not disappoint you as it delivers exactly what it says on the tin, more of the same with some new sketches to stop the show becoming stale and completely samey. I did find a lot of the sketches quite funny, my personal favourites being their mock takes of Flanders and Swann, the fake safety adverts (which did have slight Pythonesque humour to it), and Jilted Jim, a man who was left at the altar for the wedding DJ, but still went on his honeymoon.

However, as can be found with most sketch shows of the past decade or two, is that a lot of humour is repeated regularly throughout the series, with each character having their own catchphrase, which I personally find quite annoying by the third or fourth time you hear it. I also found that because of this, a couple of sketches that were not funny and were pretty non-sensical were repeated in a dire attempt to make it funny (see also: Fast Show, The).

All in all though there may be better sketch shows than this in terms of laughing harder, but Armstrong and Miller is more likely to make you chuckle more times than not in an average episode.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Some comic violence and murder but nothing gory to put you off your food.
Sex/Nudity: None.
Swearing: Quite a bit, but the swearing is used for comedic purposes rather than for the hell of it.
Summary: An enjoyable sketch show that’s guaranteed to make you laugh, especially if you enjoyed other sketch shows like Little Britain. Whilst there are better sketch shows than this, it is still well worth having a look at. 7/10

Starhyke: The Complete Season One
Lightworx Media
Available now: RRP £29.99
Review by Rob Wade

By the year 3034, the human race has suppressed all forms of emotion. So when the Reptids (the last remaining alien race in our galaxy) threaten to release a weapon to re-awaken them, it's up to Captain Blowhard and her increasingly inept crew to travel back in time and stop them from changing the past and altering our future forever. Now plagued by uncontrollable emotions, the crew of the Nemesis find not-so practical ways of coping, whilst Dr Striker looks for a cure in the most unusual places...

Right away, this show hits the perfect note: a science fiction show that's ludicrously over the top in scope and scale, with humour that's just downright silly. Claudia Christian (Babylon 5) plays Captain Blowhard, the Nemesis' captain, and is clearly adept at sending up serious science fiction like the show she is most famous for.

Once the emotions of the crew begin to show through, the show goes very heavily in the slapstick direction, but fortunately the content is sufficiently stupid that it doesn't just come off as un-necessary. Particular highlights early on include a pair of crew members beaming down to present day Earth, only for one to beam down into a wheelie bin. They then move to a local cafe in search of a source of emotion inside, all the while trying to look inconspicuous, tricorders in hand scanning the area. It's stupid stuff like this that will make you chuckle in sheer disbelief, and before too long you'll find yourself wondering how this crew ever became feared for anything.

Jeremy Bulloch (Boba Fett from The Empire Strikes Back), also, is superb as Dr Striker, the ship's medical officer with an insatiable lust for his nurse. The show does a very good job of escalating the emotions of the crew gradually, as before long most of the crew are beginning to wonder if the doctor is capable of curing any of them of this affliction simply because he seems to have been crazy since before the Reptids' attack.

That isn't to say, however, that this show is perfect by any stretch. A reliance on toilet humour occasionally, coupled with innuendo so blatant that they might as well just have the cast fucking on camera, can sometimes be a cause for annoyance, but it's a minor blip on an otherwise solid show.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating :
Violence : Very little on-screen, a fair bit of implied stuff off-screen though.
Sex/Nudity : None whatsoever.
Swearing : None.
Summary: A tremendously self-aware science fiction comedy, which plays out somewhat like a cross between Garth Marenghi's Darkplace and Lexx. Recommended for science fiction enthusiasts and those in need of a good old fashioned cheesy time. 7/10

Ross Noble: Nobleism
Universal Pictures
Available Now - £19.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

Ross Noble is a damn strange comedian. His style feels like a cocktail of the rambling surrealism of Eddie Izzard and the rambling rambling of Billy Connolly. Walking on the stage with absolutely nothing prepared takes a lot of guts and ability (believe me, I’ve only done it a few times – and only once on my own), and Noble is one of the few comedians capable of making you laugh so much it hurts. And I mean literally.

Here Noble pulls together a hilarious show, but tragically not one of his best. The very nature of his comedy makes things hit and miss, and whilst still very funny – he has released funnier. Nobleism, however is still worth checking out, as the interactions between himself and not only the live audience, but also the forty cinemas that the show was broadcast to live, nationwide – is excellent. Especially the mouthy chav whose claim to fame is that she once pissed in a bin.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence:
None
Sex/Nudity: Some mild references.
Swearing: The occasional strong word, but all in all, it’s pretty clean.
Summary: An excellent show, and a must-have for fans of Noble. Newcomers may be better off picking up Unrealtime for a better showcase of abilities, however. – 8/10

Heat
Michael Mann
Warner Home Video

Available Now - £17.99 (Blu-ray)
Review by Blake Harmer

Neil McCauley (Robert De Niro - Mary Shelley's Frankenstein) is one of the best thieves in the world and has got by in life with the philosophy that he can only become attached to things he can't walk away from in 30 seconds if he spots the "Heat" around the corner. His crew of criminals is a high-tech outfit pulling off professional jobs that catch the eyes of Detective Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino - Dick Tracy), who becomes obsessed with bringing McCauley to justice, even at the expense of his private life.

Heat is a spectacular crime thriller filled to the brim with suspense and great gunfights and is highly entertaining all the way through to the films thrilling conclusion. If you haven’t seen the film before then I highly recommend it. For fans of the film, the film has made the transition to Blu-ray nicely, with the improved picture and sound quality improving the whole experience of the film greatly.

On the downsides to what is otherwise a brilliant film, I did feel that the plot rambles on a bit before reaching the exciting conclusion, and whilst this does add suspense to the proceedings, I did feel that it went on longer than was needed. Also, when compared to the DVD edition of Heat, I found that there wasn’t a lot of new content in terms of extras, which I thought to be pretty disappointing considering this is a Blu-ray re-release of a great crime film.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Lots of gritty realistic violence and death scenes, and plenty of shootouts with some blood, but the blood is shown realistically rather than being fully over the top.
Sex/Nudity: There is a sex scene, and a few more heavily implied, but you don’t really get to see anything.
Swearing: Loads, but hey, this is a gritty crime thriller.
Summary: Michael Mann’s epic crime thriller is still as enjoyable and tense as it’s always been, and whilst there aren’t as many extras as I would have liked to have seen on this Blu-ray edition, it is still a worthy addition to your collection. 8/10


Wednesday, 16 December 2009

My Day As A Factory Supervisor

I love this time of year. The drizzle, the crowds of gimps squeezing into Debenhams to buy an overpriced packet of gobstoppers for someone they vaguely know, the slightly creepy animatronic figures in shop windows, and of course, that constant sense of wonder and excitement coming off of children everywhere.

I’m also reminded of the time last year, when I found myself on a plane to Lapland with my head in my hands, muttering that I really did have to find a better temp agent than Bjorn.

Landing at Lapland International airport, I was greeted by a two foot tall elf in a green felt outfit, holding up an A3 piece of card with my name across it in magic marker. “Hi,” I said, when I reached him. “That’s me.”

“Hello there.” said the elf in a surprisingly bass voice. “I’m Ingrid, one of Santa’s toy makers. You must be the new factory overseer.”

“Uh, yeah, sure.” I replied. I had actually been told I was to be attending to the Herculean task of cleaning out the reindeer stables. Whilst that wouldn’t have been the worst job I’d ever had, working in a factory sounded a lot warmer, easier and a lot less faeces heavy than the original position. So, who was I to argue?

Ingrid led me out into the car park. I was expecting to see some kind of sleigh, pulled by a team of reindeer, but I was actually walked to a neon-pink Smart car.

“Hop in!” smiled Ingrid. I climbed in, smacking my forehead on the sun-visor.

Ingrid dashed us through the snow, in a one-horsepower urban vehicle. Through the fields we went, Ingrid laughing maniacally all the way. “So,” I said. “What’s the job like here?”

“Oh, you’ll love it!” said the demented dwarf. “It’s mostly a case of making the bootleg packaging look as much like the original as possible, and keeping the conveyor belts from clogging up.”

“Bootleg packaging?” I asked, alarm bells going off once again.

“Did I say ‘bootleg packaging’?” asked Ingrid, blushing. “I’m sorry, I have a speech impediment that makes ‘festive gift-wrapping’ sound like ‘bootleg packaging’.”

“But you just said it.” I pointed out.
“Oh...I mean I have a speech impediment that makes ‘bootleg packaging’ sound like ‘bootleg packaging’”.

“Oh. Me too, I think.” I said.

We finally arrived at our destination. A cutely decorated cottage in a winter wonderland, that looked like every cartoon drawing of Santa’s home I had ever seen. Ingrid led me up to the front door, and showed me in. There, sitting in the front room, was the big guy himself.

“Hey, Big S!” called Ingrid, slapping Santa Claus a hip-hop style weird hand-shake. “This is the new guy, the one who’s overseeing the packaging production.”

“Ho-ho-ho!” laughed the big man. “Good to see you, little boy!”

“I’m not a little boy.” I replied. “I’m twenty-six.”

The old man ignored me and went on with his spiel. “Well, come, let me show you around.” I was led into the main work room, where lots of people like Ingrid were packing toys into cardboard boxes.

“The recession is biting deep everywhere,” said Santa, “so we’re having to downgrade some of the toys. For example, young Jimmy Pugh here has asked for a Ben 10: Alien Force Omnitrix watch. Our budget doesn’t stretch that far, so we’ve given him some left over Robot Wars stuff instead.”

Robot Wars?”

“Yeah, well,” muttered Santa. “Craig Charles looks a bit like Humongousaur, doesn’t he?”

I conceded. “But this packaging here says Gobot Wars.”

Santa smiled at me. “Ah-ha! I see you’re going to be good at this job already. Pick one of the elves and give him a beating. They’ll learn quick enough.”

“A beating?”

“Sure. They respond best to corporal punishment. Here, use this.”

Santa handed me a genuine Toronto Maple Leafs hockey stick. “Wow! Thanks, Santa!”

After sending a Nintendo DS flying through the air, concussing a nearby elf, I continued to study the racks of toys moving through the factory...Go-Go Guinea Pigs, various films from a chap named Walt Sidney, WCW action figures. I counted them off, slinging a variety of pucks into the bloodied frenzy below.

As I took a break for lunch, Ingrid sidled up to me. “Hey, have you noticed anything suspicious going on around here?”

I looked him up and down. “You’re two foot tall, dressed in green felt, and sound like James Earl Jones. I’m just flown over 2,000 miles to be paid five-seventy-five an hour to criticise toy box art and fire hockey pucks into a busy factory. No. Nothing seems suspicious to me.”

Ingrid ignored my protestations. “I mean, with the toys.”

I nodded. “Indeed, I have, Ukko.”

“Ingrid.”

“I plan on confronting the old man today.”

When Santa arrived in the workshop that day, my eye was drawn to the rather suspect Dino-Bot Riders box under his arm. I decided to strike. Placing a Go-Go Guinea Pig down on the floor, I took a slapshot that Wayne Gretzky would have been proud of. The motorised rodent spat down the corridor, cracking Santa Claus square on the temple.

“Wank!” cried the old man. “What the fuck was that for?”

The elves all turned to look at me as I called out to the jolly red clothed man. “The game’s up, Bin Laden. I suggest you come quietly.”

Santa tore off his hat and beard, revealing himself as the evil leader of the Taliban. “Curse you! How did you know it was me?”

“Easy, Bin Laden. Santa Claus would never stoop to using bootleg toys. He prides himself in his handywork. You siphoned off the money to fund your evil schemes, whilst distributing bootleg toys to the children of the world.”

“How did you spot them as bootlegs?”

“Some were hard to spot... TNA action figures, for example. Those were nothing more than old WCW wrestlers re-packaged as...oh, no, wait. These are kosher. But this, was your biggest mistake!” I brandished the hockey stick high. “You did your job a little too well with this. I haven’t missed a shot all day...and everyone knows that the hockey sticks wielded by the Toronto Maple Leafs are unable to hit a fucking thing. Apparently.”

Bin Laden let out a scream and ran from the building, into the night. “I’ll get you, Harmer! Next time! Next time!!!”

I turned to Ingrid. “So, what did that douche do with the real Santa?”

Ingrid chuckled and seemed to magically grow in size. “Ho-ho-ho! Didn’t you guess? I am the real San...”

“Yeah, all right.” I said. “I was only asking to be polite. I’m not actually interested.”

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Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Avatar

Avatar
James Cameron
20th Century Fox

In Cinemas Nationwide from Thursday 17th December
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Avatar takes us to a spectacular world beyond imagination, where a newcomer from Earth embarks on an epic adventure. Jake Sully, former marine, is confined to a wheelchair, but despite his disability he is recruited to travel light years to the human outpost on Pandora, where a corporate consortium is mining a rare mineral that's worth a fortune - rarer than diamonds. Because of Pandora’s toxic atmosphere, the Avatar program was created in which human ‘drivers’ have their consciousness linked to an avatar, a remotely controlled biological body that can survive the lethal air. These avatars are genetically engineered hybrids of human DNA mixed with DNA from the natives of Pandora, the Na’vi.

Jake is given the mission to infiltrate the Na’vi, who have become a major obstacle to mining the precious ore. However, the beautiful Na’vi female Neytiri saves Jake’s life and changes everything. Jake is taken in by her clan and learns to become one of them. As Jake’s relationship deepens with his reluctant teacher he learns to respect the Na’vi way. Soon he will face the ultimate test as he leads them in an epic battle that will decide the fate of an entire world.

James Cameron first conceived the idea of this film fifteen years ago, when the means to realise his vision didn't yet exist. Having now seen this film, I can see it was totally worth the wait. Watching this breath-taking movie was like the first time I first watched Terminator II: Judgment Day or Jurassic Park, the special effects are mesmerising; a true joy to watch.

I have a strong theatre background and what I have always loved about the theatre is that when you are watching a play the experience feels that more human and tangible because the action is literally unfolding in front of you. By creating this film in 3D it somehow bridges that gap between the audience and the screen - thus that gap between the stage and the screen. The only experience I had previously had of 3D was those cheesy films at theme parks where a 4x2 projects from the screen looking as if it is going to hit the audience on their heads (very droll), so I am pleased to say that Avatar is nothing like that. The 3D is so subtle and so cleverly done it really does feel like you can reach out and touch the magnificent scenery.

Cinematically this is a masterpiece, it feels like everything that James Cameron has been working on, every skill he has honed and perfected over his career has led to this point; this is his opus. Avatar is a frenzy of colour, the forest and its creatures are phenomenal and so intricately detailed. I am positive this will be one of those films that you watch time and time again and still notice small details that you hadn’t on previous viewings.

There is a strong gothic undertone running throughout the film (I don’t mean in the black eyeliner, dreary poetry and Marilyn Manson sense of the word, I mean it in the literary sense of the word) which seems to act as a social commentary on how we treat the environment and they ways where we as a race are plundering the earth of all of its natural resources until there is nothing left to take. As well as this social comment, there is a secondary meaning, a political stance which seems to be reflective of the injustice and American greed of the war on Iraq. It could also be seen as comment on war in general where invaders have forced new ways upon natives of other lands whether for political or religious reasons.

However, it would be unfair to comment on all of the positives without acknowledging the negative. This is verbatim the same story as Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, a wonderful cartoon made in 1992 where Christian Slater plays the part of Pip (Avatar’s equivalent of Jake Sully)and Tim Curry plays the part of Hexxus (Avatar’s equivalent of Parker Selfridge). It would therefore be difficult for me to state that this is a truly original film, because that would be a lie and I don’t want my mum to put me on the naughty step.

Although, this film has produced some good performances none of them are particularly outstanding. Similar to all of Cameron’s films this is not a film you will be remembering for its high calibre of acting. This film will only be remembered for its outstanding effects and Cameron’s fantastic direction. Although ,this will surely be a great feat for upcoming actors Sam Worthington and Zoe Sladana, I doubt they will be getting any Oscars for their performances.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence: Plenty of kick ass gun fire and bow and arrow action!
Sex/Nudity: Some mild petting, nothing to write home about.
Swearing: Mild, nothing to shock the kids.
Summary: This is a truly magical film and it has to be experienced for the first time in 3D, so everyone get your arses down to your local cinema and watch it now, you will regret it if you don’t! 9/10


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Monday, 14 December 2009

Greatest Movies I Ever Saw (In No Particular Order) - #1


Here at Emotionally Fourteen, we spend a lot of time focusing on the negatives, with such hilarious segments as "The Worst Games I Ever Played" or "Why your RPG Campaign sucks" serving to allow us to impart our opinions upon the world via the glorious communication tool (if that's what you consider it to represent) that is the Internet.

However, sometimes it's nice to hear about something positive every now and then, and if I can just fill the Internet with a little more positivity, then that's not such a bad thing now is it? So with that in mind, I give you the first of The Greatest Movies I Ever Saw.

High Fidelity



When I first saw this movie, it was round at a friend's house, so I didn't really take it in, but I got the gist: John Cusack's character ran a record shop, and I heard the odd bit of dialogue that made me chuckle, so I thought I'd give it a bash another time when it was on TV and I'd be able to catch the whole thing.

Thank fuck I did, I'll tell you that. The film went from "a couple of bits of dialogue that made me chuckle" to being one of the greatest films I ever saw, mainly because at the time it felt like the original book that the film was based upon had been written by a writer who truly GOT what it was to be Emotionally Fourteen.

From the outset, this film ticks all the boxes of what it is to be a guy: the one hobby you're that little bit more into than everyone else seems to be able to understand (except of course, those who are into the hobby themselves), the vague attempts at philosophical discourse from what essentially is an everyman character, albeit one with his own business. The constant evaluation and re-evaluation of past mistakes is another one, but of course it's always key to integrate them with something you find comforting.

What struck a chord with me in this movie was the feeling that there are people who do this on a slow day at a shop. It made me feel like less of a square:



Face it, if you're Emotionally Fourteen, building top 5's of different things is EXACTLY the kind of thing you do on a regular basis. Hell, I opened up my input on this site with two of them in the space of the first couple of months! Granted, one of them was about Dot Cotton from Eastenders and the other one went into great depth about punching off a robot's face and the satisfying feeling that gives, but nonetheless the implication is clear.

Another plus point to this movie is that it's an adaptation of a novel that doesn't become a shitter version of the novel. All too often you'll hear people lamenting whatever novel they enjoyed being turned into a film, but when it came to High Fidelity, the director's plans were sensible enough to include ways to adapt everything that might become a problem, the most notable one being the change of Marie de Salle from an indiscriminate American to a black American played by the gorgeous Lisa Bonet.

The soundtrack's bollocking awesome in this film as well, including such artists as The Beta Band, The Clash and Stevie Wonder. Although the characters give Stevie a hard time in this film, they acknowledge his place as one of the greats as well, so you can't really fault them completely. Besides which, Jack Black's version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" is one of the better cover versions I've heard.

Finally I'll leave you with some trivia for the film, courtesy of The Internet Movie Database:

"In the Hungarian dubbed version, Barry and Rob are discussing Reservoir Dogs instead of Evil Dead II, because that film was almost unknown in Hungary that time. Reservoir Dogs was also the film discussed in a similar scene in the novel."

Friday, 11 December 2009

E14 Exchange

Brad: Yoda FTW.
Rob : I said as much to my dad on Saturday.
Brad: I say it to my Dad every chance I get. Or indeed, anyone.
Rob : I was gonna say...
Brad: Yoda VS Separatist Tank Batallion FTW.
Brad: Have you seen Facebook today? It seems like everyone's up in arms about someone getting voted off of the X-Factor. I could have told them that was the format of the show.
Brad: You're in for my Dad's movie night on Saturday, then?
Rob : Not sure if I'm working yet, in any case I think I'll have to pass.
Brad: Gay. You used to be cool.
Rob : ...Dude, I never was.
Brad: You used to be cooler.
Rob : I'll concede on that.
Brad: If you were a movie night, it would go to you.
Rob : That's a moot point, surely.
Brad: Fucked your mum.
Rob : It had been a while, I was beginning to worry.
Brad: She hadn't grown over, or anything.
Rob : ...I was going to say I thought you two had fallen out or something.
Brad: I'm putting out a hit on you.
Rob : You're what? hitting on me?
Brad: Yeah, why not.
Rob : I can think of a few reasons
Brad: I can't.
Rob : ...
Brad: ...
Rob : ...Please try.
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The Wolfman is released in UK cinemas 12th February 2010

Thursday, 10 December 2009

DVD Reviews

The Hangover
Todd Phillips
Warner Home Video

Available Now - £19.99 (DVD) & £27.99 (Extended Cut Blu-ray)
Review by Brad Harmer

Doug is about to be married to Tracy and his friends — Phil, Stu, and soon-to-be brother-in-law Alan - take him to Las Vegas for a stag-night he’ll never forget...or will he?

Tracy's father lends them his car, a vintage Mercedes convertible. Taking villa at Caesars Palace hotel and casino, the guys sneak onto the roof and toast to the night ahead. The next morning, the three groomsmen wake up in the suite with no memory of the previous night, and discover that Doug is missing. Clues abound: the suite is in severe disorder, a tiger is in the bathroom, a baby is in the closet, Stu is missing a tooth, one of the suite's mattresses is impaled on a statue outside, Phil is wearing a hospital bracelet, Stu has an $800 ATM receipt, and a valet brings them a stolen police cruiser they dropped off the night before.

A word of warning: Don’t go in expecting this to be anything other than a gross-out frat-boy comedy. That’s the best advice I can give you. It tries very hard to straddle the gulf between gross-out frat-boy comedy and clever indie film, but fails at being either.

That’s not to say that there aren’t a few good chuckles in The Hangover. They are, however, very few and far between – with the majority of the laughs coming from the bizarre situations the cast find themselves in, rather than the dialogue or gags in them. Mr Chow, the effeminate Triad is awesome, as is Mike Tyson in a great cameo – but a lot of the toilet humour and “lol thats wierd” style surrealism will leave unimpressed.

The set-pieces tend to either fall flat or knock them out of the park, which sadly averages out to, well...average.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence: Some blood and comedy violence.
Sex/Nudity: Some female and male nudity, but little to no explicit sexual content.
Swearing: Near constant.
Summary: A mildly-amusing aged-frat-boy comedy. They laughs, when they arrive, are big – but they are way too few and far between. 6/10

American Pie Presents: The Book of Love
John Putch
Universal Pictures

Available Now - £15.99 (DVD)
Review by Brad Harmer

Has it really been ten years since the first American Pie movie? Apparently it has, a fact I made aware of by this film being set...ten years after the first one. The new protagonists of this movie are three brand new hapless virgins: Rob, Nathan and Lube. One night Rob accidentally sets fire to the school library, and finds “The Bible” (the sex guide from the first movie)...Mr. Levenstein's creation. Unfortunately for them, the book is ruined. The book had incomplete advice, and embarks them on a helpless journey to lose their virginity. After trying and failing for most of time, they pledge to restore the book, and to do this, they must find the original author of the book (Levenstein) and all the other people who wrote on the book, and start the restoration.

What the movie consists of is what I can best describe as Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Increasingly Random and Totally Inconsequential Events. A series of comedy scenes ensues, but for all the effect they have on the narrative, it might as well have been a sketch show. There’s no big laughs, and the whole thing just seems very ill advised.

By the way, this movie also features a character called Stifler who acts exactly like Sean William Scott in every way, despite the fact that this doesn’t make even 4cc worth of sense.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating:
Violence:
None.
Sex/Nudity: A seemingly never-ending parade of tits and comedy hand-jobs. So it’s not all bad.
Swearing: A lot.
Summary: An “okay...ish” high school comedy that probably would have benefitted from not begin part of the franchise. There are much better uses of your time and money. 3/10

Robsessed
Revolver Entertainment
Available Now - £15.99 (DVD Box Set)
Review by Charlotte Barnes

Voted Sexiest Man on the Planet by Heat magazine, R-Patz, as the press has affectionately named him, became an international heartthrob after starring as Edward Cullen in the chart-topping blockbuster, Twilight. Now, Robsessed offers an exclusive, insider s look into the world of R-Patz, following his path from a young schoolboy, to his early modelling and acting jobs, all the way through to landing his dazzling role in the Twilight saga. The Robsessed boxset also includes the movie adventure The Haunted Airman.

Robsessed is the most shameful, badly put together piece of PR trash I have ever seen in my entire life. This is just over an hour of my life that I will never get back, after having watched it on my way to work I immediately projectile vomited on all of the passengers (all seven carriages of them) on the 07:58 to London Victoria.

At twenty-four years of age I shamefully admit I am one of those women that have read all of the Twilight books, own the DVD and follow most of the cast on Twitter. I also have a massive soft spot for Robert Pattinson... this documentary should have been right up my street. So where did it all go wrong for this film? HOW ABOUT THE FACT THAT THERE ISN’T EVEN ONE FUCKING INTERVIEW WITH THE MAN THE FILM IS ABOUT!

What could have been a really interesting insight into the obsession with Pattinson and how it has not only affected him but also a view into the various types of people that have fallen under his spell and the lengths they will go to satisfy their addiction, just turned out to be a really poor piece of journalism to promote a TV series that no one has ever heard of. No members of his family sat for an interview, the best they could do was a random model that he worked with in his teens, a few editors of various gossip magazines and the writer of his unofficial biography. My favourite moment is when they got an amateur presenter to interview random people from where he used to live in London to see if they ever met him.

The Emotionally Fourteen Rating
Violence:
Only me hitting my head repeatedly against the table in front of me, whilst watching this piece of shash.
Sex/Nudity: Not even a topless shot of the man himself to relieve the agony of watching this piece of crap.
Swearing: Only the ones coming out of my mouth.
Summary: This film is so bad it made me want to put rock salt on my eyeballs to relieve me from the torture of this utter balls film. 1/10

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

The E14 Nativity Play

So, there’s this donkey. He’s just minding his own business, when he gets bought by a carpenter. We’ll call the donkey “Garwood”. This is for no other reason that I think it’s a good name for a donkey.

Anyway, Garwood is your common or garden donkey. I know you don’t often get donkeys in your garden, but that’s what they’re called. Don’t blame me. I didn’t invent donkeys. I’m not even related to Garwood.

Anyway, this carpenter who is either called Joseph or Jim-Bob has bought this donkey because he needs to take his wife or girlfriend to Bethlehem, to go and see the Judas Priest. Apparently their admin is so bad that they can only go and have their census taken at the town where they’re born. Oh, yeah, prior to all this, Mary (she’s Jim-Bob’s bird) has had a messenger.

The Blood Angel Gabriel arrived and told her that she was going to give birth to the Son of God, and that he would be named Jesus. When she points out that this is impossible, as she’s a virgin, Gabriel replies that it’s God’s will. And so she’s pregnant.

Jim-Bob is retarded, and believes this.

So, Jim-Bob, Mary and Garwood all head off to Bethlehem. When they get there Mary knows that if the stores are all closed, with a word she can get what she came for. As it turns out, all the hotels and stuff are full up – because they had stupidly supposed that they were the only ones in the world who’d need a place to stay at census time, and hadn’t thought about telephoning ahead. I’m just saying that Garwood is probably the most intelligent one in this little bunch.

At this time, The Blood Angel Terminator had also appeared to a bunch of shepherds on a hill. They were all rather surprised to see him turn up, and ran shrieking and feared. Gabriel replied “Don’t be afraid, you fucking pussies. I’m a fucking angel. If I was a demon, you’d be fucking dead by now. Grow some ball hair you fucking sheep fuckers.”

The shepherds crawled back, and Gabriel delivered his message.

“Fuck. Look, basically, God’s decided that you guys need to be shown how to do this properly. He doesn’t want to have to go through with the whole ‘flood’ thing again, because frankly, that takes way too much fucking effort to clean up after. The admin’s a cocking nightmare. Anyway, he’s basically sending his tag-team partner down to chuck you guys a few pointers. Follow that star there.”

At this point, Gabriel pointed in the general direction of the sky. The shepherds all nodded their assent, and fucked off.

Anyway, Gabriel then flew off to see the three wise men: their names were Dengar, Melkor and Bolt-Thrower. They were very pleased to hear that tag-team partner of the Lord was going to come and layeth the smacketh down on all the sinners of the world. So they journeyed to Bethlehem.

Meanwhile, the evil King Crimson had heard that the tag-team partner of the Lord was going to be coming along sometime soon, and he didn’t like the sound of that, because he was King of the Ring, or some such. So he decided to kill a fuckton of babies, because bad-guys are bad-guys.

Meanwhile, the shepherds and the three awesome dudes had arrived, and spent a good twenty minutes or so worshipping Jesus, the tag-team partner of the Lord. That night, the Blood Angel Gabriel sent a message to Jim-Bob, telling him about the evil plans of King Crimson, and that he must take the baby Jesus away. Jim-Bob knew what he must do, and so sent Jesus and Mary away on Garwood, back to Nazareth and safety.

Here is where the normal nativity story ends. Personally, I don’t like it, because it doesn’t really give Herod his come-uppance. He basically kills, as mentioned earlier, “a fuckton of babies”, and is able to get away scot-free, whilst Jesus, Mary and Jim-Bob run away. That’s why I’ve written this extra ending.

“No!” demanded the infant child. “It must not be so.”

Grabbing his Sword of Power, Jesus cried out, “By the power of Grayskull!” and pointed the blade at Garwood, who turned into a giant armour plated donkey, named Battle Donkey.

Together, Jesus and Battle-Donkey rode to the Palace of King Crimson, and cried out “In the name of the Lord, who is killing the fuckery out of all these babies?”

“I am!” returned the evil King Crimson, leaping down from the balcony and striking a superb kung-fu pose.

“Like buggery you are!” cried Jesus, and Battle Donkey charged forward, but was tragically felled by a spinning kick from King Crimson.

“Ha! Your kung-fu is strong, but not strong enough, I fear!” said King Crimson.

“Look behind you!” smiled Jesus.

“I’m not falling for that one!” said King Crimson.

“Fair enough.” Said Jesus. “But you really should, you know.”

King Crimson slowly turned around, and stared directly into the faces of a Space Marine Dreadnought and The Ultimate Warrior.

"Ah, clungetits..." groaned King Crimson.

Using its Power Fist, the dreadnought tore off King Crimson’s neck, and (using the only method of communication left to him) The Ultimate Warrior shat down his neck.

And everyone lived happily ever after...