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Image a happy little puppy walking down the street. As he walks along, he thinks of very happy puppy thoughts. Maybe the dog he sniffed while walking down this street, or maybe about the “present” he is going to leave in a certain someone’s dorm room later tonight. The happy little puppy tries to cross the street and…BAM! he is plowed by a two ton truck that reduces his body to a splattered mess all over the road. Bits and pieces are everywhere, and even if you tried, there would be no possible way to construct this tangled mess of entrails into what we would consider a small animal. This relates directly to a new mess I have discovered, it goes by the name Rollerball, and no matter how much of this contraption is left, you could never reconstruct it into anything we would consider a movie.

Rollerball is a remake a mid-70’s film about a futuristic sport based on a roller-derby. The original takes place far into the future in the United States and is herald by many as a solid movie for it’s time. In contrast, Rollerball (2002) take place in the very near future (like tomorrow, mainly for the dumbass masks the participants are wearing) and it’s setting is an Asian country whose people love Americans in their fast cars so much, they bet all of their money on them.

Little to the players knowledge, but extremely evident to the common whore, when you do something over and over, it becomes very boring (see: NBA). So the producers of the sport, and their cohorts trying to lock in a key airing in North America, rig the game to have someone brutally injured or killed in every match. I don’t know about the players, but after the second player in as many days got screwed up, I would be getting the fuck out of there. Which is exactly what the films leading characters try to do, but seeing as they are tough Rollerball champions, they decide to escape in an ice cream truck with a motorcycle keenly placed in the back. If I were them, I would grab and Bomb-pop and say “Bring it on!”

The biggest problem, is this movie could have been cool if not for the massive editing done to bring it down to a PG-13 rating. Cut away shots, incomplete sentences, and a very obviously blurred sauna scene are so blatantly obvious, a three year old on a iMac could have made a better movie fit together.

The film stars LL Cool J and Chris Klein as two Rollerball greats who are looking for fast cars, faster money, and even faster women. LL gets all three, but Chris has to settle for just two, as his woman, Rebecca Romijn-Stamos, works out in the nude and has a nasty gash above her eye. Knowing the other women in the film, one might think she became critically injured when going for some stick (wink, wink).

Looking back at the track record for the actors and crew, you wonder where in the hell this move came from. John McTiernan directed Die Hard for god sakes. I won’t say that Chris Klein is a good actor, but the very least he had some moments in American Pie, American Pie 2, and maybe Say it Isn’t So. LL Cool J was damn cool in Deep Blue Sea, but any acting career these people hope to have in the future won’t be based on the tagline, “Rollerball’s Chris Klein” or “From the director of Rollerball” because I am turning the opposite way, and running like hell.

In any event, with the low box office numbers garnered by this piece of trash, maybe not enough people will be affected by it, but all I can say is I have been severely traumatized, and Rollerball has shown movies a new low.


Resident Evil is one of my favorite game series to date. I didn’t have the curse of owning a PlayStation, so my first endeavor into the series was Resident Evil 2 for the Nintendo 64. Later I would try my hand at Resident Evil 3 and Resident Evil: CODE Veronica for the Dreamcast, and later this year, gamers will we treated to two new RE games on the Nintendo GameCube. So with all of the background, and expectation, does Resident Evil (RE) make a successful video game to movie transition?

Holy Freaking-Yes!

Despite what some critics may say, and only some, the movie totally rocks. From the minute I stepped into the theatre, and saw the familiar Umbrella logo on the big screen, I was amazed, and overjoyed that this was finally happening. The movie starts off with a killer credit sequence setting up who the Umbrella Corporation is for non-fans. Constintin Films tried really hard to set this movie up for people who are not familiar with the series.

The basic plot is one of a prequel to the games, although there are some familiar elements. A mansion is shown in the first part of the movie, while it remains to be seen if the mansion is the same particular one in the first RE game, but seeing the ending of the film will make you doubt it. Milla Jovovich’s, Alice, character suffers acute memory loss in the beginning of the film, and throughout we learn about just who she is and how she ties into Umbrella. After an accident at one of Umbrella’s underground laboratory’s under Raccoon City, the 3,000 or so employees are exposed to the T-Virus, a viral agent capable of reanimating a human body into a soulless zombie whose only instinct is to feed.

After Jovovich’s character, and a rookie cop (not Leon) are caught by an elite Umbrella force sent to infiltrate the Hive and shut down the Red Queen, the facilities A.I. that they believe has gone homicidal and killed the entire staff. In short time the “l33t” squad of Umbrella personal are made into mince meat, the survivors have to piece everything together (excuse the pun, har har har).

Fans of the series will recognize some of the monsters, such as zombies, zombie dogs, and the ever cool Licker who actually evolves before your eyes when given fresh DNA. While the story may not be too above average, it does present some nice twists and turns that keep you guessing, and the best part, the movie actually produces some legitimate scares, as well as some T and A.

The Marilyn Manson score has already received high praise in our soundtrack review, but on the big screen with a high decibel level, it is even cooler.

The best part of the whole experience is that you know a sequel is guaranteed. The movie ends in just the right spot where we could see Leon and Claire barreling down the street in a police car being chased by that blasted tanker truck.

In the end, Resident Evil was worth every penny it received this weekend at the box office (around 18 million dollars), and I can honestly say I will be making more than a few trips to the theatre to see some live action zombie movie. I know I seriously doubted Paul W.S. Anderson’s potential in doing this right, but I don’t think the movie could have had a better director.

Three months later…

Admitting the fact that most of MTV’s movies have sucked is Barney Gumble admitting that he has a drinking problem. So when I noticed that this was an MTV Film, I cringed, but decided to see it. I’m glad that I did.

Orange County is about one boy’s dream of leaving the city in which he grew up, and going to Stanford to study under the leadership of one of his favorite authors and professors. Add to the fact that his parents are whacked out and divorced, his brother is a pill popping basket case, and his best friends seem to have some sort of fascination with getting lit up, jumping off of things, blowing things up, and fondling each other.

Shaun’s (Colin Hanks) high school guidance counselor sends in the wrong transcript, which leads him to receive a rejection letter from Stanford. He spends the rest of the movie using various assets at hand to get himself into the college of his dreams. Helping along the way is his brother Lance (Jack Black) who likes to keep different kinds of drugs in Aspirin bottles, and ask for his brother’s urine.

While the movie is nothing like the gross-out comedies Not Another Teen Movie and American Pie, it does have some generally funny moments, with some notable characters in supporting roles. Ben Stiller shows up as a fireman, Chevy Chase (who surprising enough, is still alive) plays the high school principal, and John Lithgow plays Shaun’s over-achieving, money-hungry dad.

The movie also has a great soundtrack going for it. Featuring new music from The Offspring and Foo Fighters, as well as regurgitated music from Crazy Town among others.

Being a comedy is hard to do with the bar raised so high by the previously stated movies, but Orange County manages to be very fun, and entertaining. While most of the events may not seem plausible, it sure is a good time.

Not Another Teen Movie is not going to win any awards in anyone’s book. The movie is cliché, the characters lack anything resemble character (and therefore a brain), and the acting is sub par at best, but that is what makes this movie so much fun to watch.

The movie combines all of the past teen movies together for the last 20 years. Stemming from the 80’s comedies of the brat pack, to the movies of last year with Road Trip and even some Final Destination thrown into the mix. Not Another Teen Movie has a way of just letting you sit back and enjoy the movie for what it really is. A spoof of the ultra-cliché high school setting with the same characters that really just get new lines in each film they produce.

Director Joel Gallen (previously known for his commercial spoofs on  the MTV Movie Awards) shows that he has no idea what the hell he is doing, and if a camera fell on him walking down the street, he would claim the “God’s Must Be Crazy.” With the style and finesse (read: non-existent) that is in this movie, you wonder why they even needed a director. Seriously, does someone need a director tell a girl to sit on a toilet and make big steaming piles of it? I don’t believe so.

Not Another Teen Movie focuses on the life of Janney Briggs as she is the “pretty-ugly girl” that only needs to lose the glasses to become instant “hottie” material. Stuff happens, girls get naked, stuff is said, football game ensues, girl finds out about bet, hates guy, loves guy, credits roll, audience grumbles, audience demands money back, riot ensues.

See what I mean, cliché.

While the movie offers nothing to set it apart from it’s (much better) predecessor Scary Movie, it does provide a great way to waste two hours of your life, and laugh a little, which will be hard to do with so many serious movies being release this season. Have some fun and see a show, five bucks isn’t bad for some fun.

Resident Evil is one of the very first games you think about that would work great on the big screen. For the most part bits and pieces of the game, have been inspired by movies, so the jump seems more than logical. Finally, after more than four years of waiting, we are getting Resident Evil on the big screen. While I hope the movie satisfies the legacy of the games, the soundtrack left me strangely disappointed.

Let me just go on a small rant here. Why must you edit songs on soundtracks? I mean, come on, the movie is obviously rated R, meaning that no one under 17 should be in there without a parent (in the perfect world), so why butcher half-way decent songs on the soundtrack to make you feel like you are listening to a mid-day radio show? I mean radio stations around the country have the balls to say “shit,” “fu*k,” and various other words on the air, albeit, late a night when everyone from the FCC is sleeping, but why on a CD such as this one.

I think I was somewhat lenient in my score, I originally wanted to give the album a 2.0 for the fact that I don’t appreciate being sold an edited album to appease corporate suits who just want to be able to market something with the Resident Evil name to children. You market the games, that’s bad, you market the R rated movie, that’s worse, so make the CD clean and make everyone happy? No, it doesn’t work that way.

As for the material itself, the CD still manages to make up some ground, but not much. Marilyn Manson’s “Fight Song” has been remixed, although it doesn’t sound as great as the original version, Manson’s lyrics are so washed up and faint in this Slipknot remix, it is almost impossible to hear anything but the banging of drums and guitars. To their own credit, Slipknot’s original song, “My Plague (New Abuse Remix)” is a great lead off track. The rest of the CD features regurgitated songs from Static-X, Adema, and The Crystal Method. While all great songs, nothing I don’t already own.

The Mudvayne song “Dig” is remixed here also, and comes up sounding great, the song is very strong to begin with, but the remix adds to the intense feeling of the sound. Next up in the “What the Hell” category is what the hell is Method Man doing on this CD? I would just love an option to scratch that part of the disc off, the song is horrible, who even employs this “artist?”

Rather than releasing a separate score and soundtrack, Sony opted to have them both included on one record, a nice bonus to the end of the CD is the four track score produced by Marilyn Manson. If only the entire CD was composed of great stuff like this, it might be a higher score up there.

In any event, I am hoping that the movie doesn’t let me down like the soundtrack did, but if you are really a fan of the series, and have to have all the RE merchandise (like me), then pick up the CD today, it may not be the best, but it sure isn’t Glitter.

Orange County’s soundtrack, as mentioned in our movie review, has an elective mix from a number of high profile bands lending new music to the movie. Headlining the effort is a brand-spanking new track from fellow Californians The Offspring. Their new track “Defy You” does just that. It is an anti-establishment sediment that literally gives the finger to the man, stating that “I am alive.”

While The Offspring’s new track is leading the CD, don’t you think it will stop there. The new Foo Fighter’s track “The One” has been getting massive airplay as we await their new disc this summer.

Crazy Town is also featured on the soundtrack with their past hit (read: old) “Butterfly.” Also making an appearance is the generally poppy Cake with “Shadow Stabbing” and punksters Bad Ronald with “1st Time.” The ladder track feature some generally funny lyrics about a man’s first time.

Brian Wilson’s new track “Lay Down Burden” is a very mellow track that seems to fit nicely in the middle of the CD. While I was disappointed with the poor quality of Social Distortions live rendition of “Story of my Life,” it is always nice to hear from Social D.

Most of the tracks featured on this soundtrack are actually in the film (a rare occurrence these days) so if you see the movie and like the music, you can bet it will be on here. Over all a very good, if not average, soundtrack.

Is there one thing that makes this album rock? Yes, and it is called track number one. To hear Marilyn Manson’s cover on “Tainted Love” is worth the price of this CD. Sure you could use Kazaa or some other P2P device to download the track, but while the Manson track is what you paid for, the rest of the CD comes along as a bonus, and a worthy one at that.

While most of the tracks have appeared else where, or have been around a while “The Metro” by System of a Down appeared on the Dracula 2000 Soundtrack, and Orgy’s rendition of “Blue Monday” appeared on their excellent Candyass disc, this is the first time all of these tracks have been together, legally.

While the Smashing Pumpkin’s cover of “Never Let Me Down Again” comes up strangely disappointing, the rest of the tracks on the disc stand out as well known 80s songs, covered and re-mastered by some of today’s hottest names in rock.

The disc never really fails to disappoint, and the 4 out of 5 [Editor’s Note: Under our old rating system] rating is only because a great many of these tracks have appeared elsewhere, are aren’t dramatically new. It seems as though the producers of this album would have rather used old recordings from these bands, than have some new ones recorded. While Mest does make the cut on the CD, I would have liked to seen some more punk bands (since we know they do the best covers) of the likes of New Found Glory, Offspring, and maybe sprinkle in some Green Day for added flavor.

All in all, superior disc, and one of the best soundtracks in years.

Pennywise’s music is like something good you know will always be there. No matter what disc you put in your player, or what track you listen to it is still as good as the first time you heard it, I guess that is why this is the band’s seventh studio album, and why it doesn’t look like they are slowing down.

The disc starts off with the irreverent lead up to the band’s first single “Fu*k Authority” that has garnered a lot of playtime on the radio airwaves as of late. The single (a bash on the government none the less) is one of the CDs most striking tracks along with “Divine Intervention,” and “Who’s On Your Side.”

While the disc doesn’t offer as many lingering tunes as 1999’s Straight Ahead or 2000’s Live at the Key Club, Land of the Free? does offer the one thing that Pennywise is known for, all out punk music in a rebellious, yet contained explosion that keeps this album in your CD player for months to come.

While the album predated the terrorist attacks of September 11th, it should not be held down or back in any way for the negative spindle it launches upon the organized government of the United States. Would you rather have someone sing their troubles as an outlet, or plummet a 747 into a building?

One thing that Pennywise does make more than a few references to on the new disc is that of disorganized religion in the song “My God.” While I won’t go into details here (I don’t want to die a martyr at this time) the disc lives up to the true nature of the first single, and does want to totally fu*k authority.

Unfortunately, for the industry as a whole, the album doesn’t offer anything totally new that we haven’t heard before in the genre, which at the moment I believe only Bad Religion did with their New America album in 2000. Still, like I stated earlier, the more Pennywise we get the better, and this CD definitely fits in with that.

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