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August, 2008:

Speed Racer Review

This movie, from the Wachowski Brothers, is perhaps the ultimate live action cartoon. I haven’t seen the early anime on which it is based but I don’t think you need to.

This is beautiful to look at, filmed almost entirely with vivid, primary coloured computer graphics, the only non-cgi elements are the actors themselves. The races are hyperactive, non-stop action with acrobatic cars fitted with cool gadgets. Seriously, this movie carries a style all of its own – well done messrs Wachowski!

It stars Emile Hirsch, John Goodman, Susan Sarandon, Matthew Fox and Christina Ricci. All the actors do a great job considering their stereotypical characters and really get into the spirit of the film. The bad drivers appropriately snarl and sneer, the evil crime boss and industry mogul are joyfully overacted, and even John Goodman’s fight scenes are great to watch 🙂

Surprisingly, the plot is decent, even though there’s never really any doubt how things will pan out. And there are the odd touching moments such as the dad to son talk, and the background of the “myserious” Racer X. Bet you could see his “secret” coming from a mile off!

This was panned by the critics, and didn’t do too well at the box office. It will probably do better on DVD. Personally, I think the film delivers what is meant to. Some feel the running time at over 2hrs is too long, but it felt just right to me. It never felt boring and never let off it’s rapid pace.

Don’t get me wrong: this is not going to leave a lasting impression with the viewer and won’t win any awards (apart from special effects and videography) – but it’s an enjoyable two hours and you’ll really get caught up in the proceedings. This is a kids film but really anyone will like it.

Nice to see Ben Miles popping up as a commentator in the last race – I remember him well from the excellent “Coupling” TV series.

8.5 / 10
IMDB | Rotten Tomatoes

Free Games With Gametap

Gametap – a Turner Company – is a games membership site where the customer can choose between free or paid options.

What’s interesting about this site is the broad array of games even in the free membership.

Gametag offers a mix of emulated classics from the arcades and consoles as well as classic PC gaming fare. This emulation is in itself very well designed, and some titles you can even play multiplayer! The system has a lobby for these multiplayer games so you can find people to play against. You can play challenge , or co-op with players.

For example, play the Sega Genesis version of Streetfighter 2 – against a remote, human opponent 🙂

Gametap also has some episodic games, some of which are unique to the site such as American McGee’s Grimm. Unfortunately, while a unique concept with interesting art design the first episode at least is an average playing experience.

To round the site off, you can even save playlists of games (and access others) as well as

Here’s some of the old school titles on Gametap:

Robotron
Joust
1943 (multiplayer)
Tapper
New Zealand Story

All 100% authentically emulated.

And the retail PC titles?

Hitman 1 and 2
X2
Deus Ex (recommended, highly rated)
Tomb Raider Legend
Myst
Thief
Colin McRae Rally 2005
Daikatana
Bloodrayne

And the console titles? A wide array of Sega and NeoGeo titles – take a look at these…

Cannon Fodder
Sensible Soccer
Metal Slug 1 + 2
Art Of Fighting
Fatal Fury
Final Fight
King Of Fighters
Mega Man
Samurai Showdown
and… Psychonauts!

If you’re a figher / beat ’em up fan you’re well catered for 🙂

Every game I’ve listed above is in the free subscription, and even this is just scratching the surface. If you want to go gold you’ll get access to many premium games including all the Zorks, Tomb Raiders, Sam and Max’s, and Hitman: Blood Money. In fact, over 900 titles.

To round things off Gametap even runs tournaments and other events daily.

Join Gametap here

Hi!

Welcome to the Blog.

Essjayar.com (originally .co.uk) is one of my first sites, created way back when I was learning basic HTML and had access to the web (via dialup).

Originally it held details of my motorbikes, some information on the then new Napster and it’s alternatives (at the start of the filesharing `boom`), and lots of information on making money via the web.

Since then my online process became focused on this latter area, and it’s evolved into my main site Netpreneur Now.

Now Essjayar.Com is wordpress-based. I’m becoming a big fan of this powerful, easy to learn, and simple to use platform.

This blog will be more about my other interests, mainly reviews and links of my favourite books, movies, games and websites. It’s somewhere to record my thoughts.

Add me to your bookmarks and feed reader. Once the content starts flowing, this will be an interesting place to visit.

See you soon!

P.S. The original, messy, HTML based site is still up there – you can hit the homepage here