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Welcome to the Entertainment page. If a product needs reviewing or we just feel like making fun of Hollywood's most famous nimrods, you'll find it here.

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Halo: Reach review
By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

Some of you might know that I am not exactly an enormous fan of the Halo franchise. In fact, I considered the demo of the first game for the PC to be one of the most atrocious gaming experiences I have ever had (although this may have more to do with over hype than actual suckitude on the magnitude of, say, Trespasser). So what is the verdict on Bungie's final Halo game before 343 Industries takes over? Or, to make this about as mainstream media as the other sources of review that probably played this game even less than I did, what is this whole Halo thing about?
Halo: Combat Evolved (a subtitle Bungie themselves never wanted) was a launch title for the original Xbox. Supposedly it revolutionized the entire first-person shooter genre, because it is not like other games let you drive vehicles and play properly with a controller. That said, the game was a huge success and told, by using only like five different meshes (yes, EVERY indoor environment in the entire game looked exactly the same), the story of Master Chief, a genetically engineered space marine who shot aliens on a planet shaped like a ring, called a halo. This then spawned sequels in Halo 2 and 3, at which point the story of Master Chief seemed to be over. So ion order to continue making tons of money, Microsoft and Bungie released halo: ODST and now, Halo: Reach.
Reach is a prequel, starting before the original Halo. Mankind is not yet at war with the Covenant and there are still quite a few genetically engineered soldiers, called Spartans, left. This is because mankind is not yet at war with the Covenant, something that changes pretty quickly once the Covenant invade the planet Reach. The player plays as Noble 6, the newest member of Noble-team, all full of Spartans. So obviously they get to do all the funny dirty work as the entire invasion kicks off. So yes, there is an awful lot of going from point A to Point b to shoot things along the way and hit a button so you can then proceed to point C. This sounds a lot more boring than it is, because Reach gets one of the important parts right. Yes, it is, at least with a friend by your side (the game supports 2 player co-op on a single console and 4 players over several), actually fun to shoot things in Halo: Reach. Add to this that the covenant's guns feel less like they were made by Mattel this time around and I was surprised to find myself actually genuinely enjoying a Halo game. The weapons, while always frantically low on ammo except possibly the assault rifle (which, this time around, is actually useful!), feel quite good this time around. I will admit to having a particular fondness for the sniper rifle, as a well-placed headshot really feels like a headshot is supposed to feel. Add to this that the vehicles are strangely drivable and there is a lot of stuff to do in the campaign. Including a mission where you fly around in space and shoot stuff up. Yes, the controls for that were also quite adequate.
The big new thing about Reach, however, is the armor abilities. These are basically the deployables from Halo 3 except they have multiple uses. Also, they now have a jetpack, which would allow for some Tribes-esque moments were it not so slow. However, a jetpack is still a jetpack, so it still manages to be entertaining, and useful.
All in all, there is a lot of things to like about Halo: Reach. It is not a game that blows you away as much as it is a fitting goodbye to the series that made Bungie enormous, filled with high production values, a pretty interesting plot, a lot of throwbacks to the earlier games and attempts to push the Xbox 360more than they probably should. Yes, there are a few frame rate drops, but nothing totally abysmal. All in all, if you enjoyed the previous Halo games, you probably owe it to yourself to play Reach, and if you strongly dislike the previous Halo game, then Reach might not change your mind. But I will admit to wanting to fire off a few rounds into a bunch of grubs and then smashing a guy in the face. So obviously it is doing something right.
Movie Review: 'The Owls of Ga'Hoole' a fun flick even if rushed

By Ezra Mann (Editor in Spoof)

There is no shortage of people who will give high praise to a story or fairy tale with a happy ending and I have been among those who can say it's fun when the good guys triumph. However, after a while the 100 percent clean movies can leave one feeling too disconnected from reality and some of the most successful adventures include less than giddy moments.

Some of my favorite family friendly flicks as a kid showed that people get hurt, die or treated terribly like "The Secret of Nimh," "Who framed Roger Rabbit" or "Little Shop of Horrors," without being rated anything more than PG 13 (though standards back then were a lot tougher). This potential dark, but still appropriate for the kiddies, premise was really what I have been in the mood for and for the most part this movie fills the description adequately. "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" adds to what has already been an impressive animated movie year and is another win for Warner Bros. Studios.

The story follows the tale of a young barn owl named Soren (Jim Sturgess), who has not even left his nest yet, but with an unhealthy taste for adventure finds himself thrust into the real world. Unlike his older brother Kludd (Ryan Kwanten), he is drawn to the heroic characters in his bedtime stories and when it appears there might be truth to the legends each brother find they must make a crucial decision that will affect owl-kind from then on.

This is one of those films where except for a few exceptions it is pretty easy to tell who the good and bad guys are. The main villain, Metal Beak (Joel Edgerton) is about as dastardly as you can be and Soren’s friends like Twighlight (Anthony LaPaglia) or Digger (David Wenham) might as well be his knights of the feathered table. Overall I had a blast watching this movie and even though the cheesy moments did get a little hard to swallow, the only real fault I found with this movie is that they tried to do too many things in the hour and half, giving it a rushed feeling.

I will give props as well to Animal Logic, which was the studio also responsible for the sweet look of “Happy Feet,” with another amazing job for visual effects. I have so far been indifferent to the 3D touch for most movies because ticket prices are expensive enough, but this time it actually seemed to enhance the overall experience.

This won’t be the top awards winner when it comes to deciding best animation feature, but I do recommend it if you want a decent popcorn flick that is not at all offensive. If there is a sequel as hinted by the glaringly open ending, I think I could be interested in watching it and who knows I may just read the stories that this is loosely based on. For keeping me interested during a late night movie experience without putting me to sleep I give “ Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole” three and a half out of five screeches.

 Images are copyright of Bungie, Microsoft Game Studios, Animal Logic and Warner Bros.

Past Entertainment: Telestrations and Trailor Park Wars Reviews.

1031 B.C. - 2010 A.D., Really Pathetic, LLC.