Archives for March 2014

“The Raid 2 : Berandal” Review – A Bigger And Better Martial Arts Experience

This movie, man.  This movie.

The Raid : Redemption was a 2012 martial arts movie filmed in the Philippines and directed by Welsh filmmaker Gareth Evans. And it was one of the best movies of that year and one of the best action movies made in at least the past 10 years. And now The Raid : Redemption looks pretty quaint in comparison to it’s sequel.

This movie is much bigger and improves upon every aspect of the previous one. The first one had a pretty simplistic plot and characters, the second one has a more complicated plot and stronger characterization. The level of acting was completely fine in the first one but in the second one there are stronger performances by the returning actors as well as several new ones including Takashi Miike regular Kenichi Endo and the Nightmare Detective, Ryuhei Matsuda as members of a yakuza family in Jakarta. And with the larger cast and resources, you a lot more action scenes in a large variety of locations and circumstances.

While I don’t want to give away too much of the story, because it has a lot of frequent twists, the basic premise is this: The main character of the previous movie is sent deep undercover in the criminal underworld of Jakarta to find evidence of the link between organized crime and corruption in the higher ranks of the police force and ends up being sucked in to a highly destructive gang war caused by a conspiracy.

Iko Uwais, who plays Rama, the main character, was a pretty generic boyscout-ish good cop who also happened to be some kind of god of fighting. In the second one he’s still the least corrupt person but he does show more acting chops. He makes a pretty convincing thug and throughout the events of the movie his performance does show that Rama is getting tired of the constant fighting not just physically but also mentally because it’s now consuming his whole life.

Arifin Putra plays Uco, the son of the mob boss Rama works for, and is really good at playing this slimy, arrogant spoiled idiot who you want to punch in the face and is a pretty effective villain alongside Bejo,  a mysterious crippled gangster with a small army of assassins at his disposal.

But that’s not what you want to hear about? You want to hear about the awesome fighting, right? Yeah!!

Oh man. This movie has some of the best fights I’ve ever seen in a martial arts movie. Like, the hallway fight and the last fight between the brothers and Mad Dog in the first movie were great fights but pretty much every fight in this movie is like those but better. You have Iko Uwais versus dozens of angry thugs armed with anything pointy or heavy enough in tight spaces, large rooms and open areas. You have several one on one fights with crazy and awesome assassin characters, with the final one on one being the most brutal kitchen fight since Riki-Oh.

Yayan Ruhian, who played Mad Dog in the first movie, returns as a different but very similar character and has two amazing action scenes. Julie Estelle and Very Tri Yulisman play two assassin siblings credited as Hammer Girl and Baseball Bat Man, who are insane and awesome murder machines and Cecep Arif Rahman as “The Assassin”, who I won’t say anything about besides “oh my god I can’t this fight is too good oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit yooooooooooooooo”.

There’s also a really great car chase with cars flipping and crashing and people shooting each other  that is destructive enough but doesn’t turn in to a boring car spectacle like in A Good Day to Die Hard or the new Need for Speed movie.

So yeah. I think you should watch the first one and then find the nearest place where they’re showing The Raid 2 : Berandal and watch it. Several times. It’s the best martial arts movie in decades and shows what actual talent behind and in front of the camera with actual work ethic can do and puts the mediocre results of bloated budgets and overproduced focus tests of Hollywood to shame.

The Raid 2 : Berandal official poster

The Raid 2 : Berandal is in theaters now and you need to pay real cash money to see it because I don’t think you’ll see a better martial arts explosion on the big screen in a long time.

Realism In Games: How Real Do Shooters/FPS Games Get?

Hey guys thought I would try this and see what happens.  There are hundreds of realism units out there in  several games.  Most of which are in Arma.  Now my question for everyone is…

How real do you get?

Is the realism of a military unit good for young kids in a video game?

Let me know your thoughts in the comments section.  Guys, thanks for the support.

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Maybe we can make this and the tangent topics the theme of HorsePLAY! EP16 – what do you guys think?

Woman Crush Wednesday – Jaimie Alexander (Lady Sif – Thor)

Tonight I will be joining Chip Cella and Andy Uruqhart over at the Agents of SHIELDcast so this g33k Grrl (emphasis on the “Grrrrrr”)pick by our friends at Be Like Water comes right on time. I just saw the Thor: Dark World movie and loved it, possibly more than the first. Lady Sif is definitely easy on the eyes.. We hope to see more of her on the S.H.I.E.L.D. show..  Giggity.

I bet we’re all curious to see how many people will be cosplaying Lady Sif now that she seems to be a mainstay.  Now, on a more serious note, do you think Lady Sif added more substance to the S.H.I.E.L.D. show?  Better yet…

Lady Sif – Sizzle or fizzle?

Let us know in the comments and be sure to visit our friends at their respective blogs, Facebook pages, podcasts, etc!

HorsePLAY! Zombie Talk Series: Two Podcasts Featuring Zombie Cast!

HorsePLAY! LIVE
Episodes 10 & 11 – Zombie Talk Series Featuring Zombie Cast

Pass the brains and smoked paprika – Zombie Talk is here!

In this special two-episode series, Zombie Cast from AllGames.com joins us for our best horseplay yet. In fact, the geeky antics and shenanigans are so good that we get to talking about tons of stuff beyond zombies and even horror. In Part 2 of this Zombie Talk series, we do manage to get Shawn and Matt to behave bit so we could talk about The Walking Dead and zombies in depth.

Gosh, there are too many hilarious moments and great topics to highlight here.. Well, here is a little taste.. zombie bite, if you prefer:

  • Matt does crossword puzzles and plays with his desk toys to distract us.
  • The truth about Canadian bacon is revealed!
  • A cross-eyed crafter’s Stanley Cup replica unveiled.
  • Now you too can have your very own K-9 (snarky remarks database optional).
  • Beth and Daryl might be going the wrong way on the tracks, away from Terminus!
  • What if Daryl is being set up to be killed off??!
  • The military’s real-life Iron Man project.
  • Matt and Shawn share intimate Fun Facts about themselves.
  • Norma rolls wit da homies.
  • The Walking Dead spin-off show details.
  • Why Shane was a real douchebag.
  • Attack of the Flappy Bird!!

Watch HorsePLAY! EP11 “Night of the Zombie Geeks” HD
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STUsNX70kkk

…And, for your convenience, we’ll even embed the video.  Technology OP.

 

A G.A.N.G. Manifesto: Horseplay, Origins, and Team Spirit

Riddle me this…

What *is* G.A.N.G. exactly?  Who is “The GANG”?

To understand the spirit of the Geeky Antics Network Global (G.A.N.G.) initiative, it may be worth talking a bit about the origins of HorsePLAY! and how we have evolved.  As we see it, HorsePLAY! is one of many brands and communities we will use to expand the network.  We love teaming up with other podcasters, geeks, and content marketers..

…But, anyway, origins…

 

HorsePLAY! iTunes-Friendly Podcast Cover

HorsePLAY! Where Geeks Come To Play!

When Obi and I first started HorsePLAY! LIVE, it was three of us crazy geeks talking video games (we miss ya Soldierism), technology, and whatever else happened to tickle our fancies at the time.  We had a very heavy focus on PC gaming, indie games, and MOBAs (League of Legends in particular).  We’re still a very young podcast but in our few months of doing this together, we’ve evolved quite a bit.  Now, HorsePLAY! is more about digital entertainment as a whole and we certainly have other defining elements in comedy, news, etc.

The beauty of starting any content is that you can run with a very vague idea and build upon it as you go along.; in fact, it’s best to just jump right in and not just over-think things into paralysis.  As we do more HorsePLAY! episodes, our general ideas get more refined.  We like to keep our content as raw and gritty as possible, yet we have a very deliberate direction for HorsePLAY! and GANG alike.

Don’t be afraid to dive in – the GANG is here for you!

It’s hard to describe what HorsePLAY! is in terms of categories (maybe you can help us when conclude this article) and main themes but we certainly know what we want to be in everyone’s minds.  In simple terms, we see HorsePLAY! as a community platform for geeks to collaborate, laugh, and just hang out.  That’s exactly what GANG is being built for as well.

HorsePLAY! LIVE has evolved to become the primary podcast platform  for Geeky Antics.  It is an interactive show focused on cross-promotion and community engagement, just like the rest of the GANG.

Certainly, there are tons of networks out there taking the gaming or geeky angle.  Geek & Sundry, AllGames (one of our unofficial partners), PodGods, and VOG (Voice of Geek) come to mind.  These are all networks we love yet they are missing a few things.  These are the opportunities the major networks miss and we’d like to capitalize on:

  • Creating systems to make it easier for people with great ideas to produce great content.
  • Delivering multi-language content around the world.
  • Building communities that are just as much a part of the creative process as the authors, producers, and hosts.
  • Collaborating with geeks that have the same passion and goals we do here on GANG.
  • Fostering a team spirit while allowing everyone to express themselves freely and authentically.
  • Liberating content marketers so that they can have fun – for the first time or all over again!

The last two items are particularly important to us.  All the big networks do a good job of branding and spreading influence; however, the individual contributors usually get the worst part of the deal.  We want to guide creatives and geeks through the processes of content marketing while allowing as much freedom as possible to our contributors.  We don’t want anyone to feel trapped or restricted while we provide such guidance.

GANG provides the tools, experience, and people to foster an environment of collaboration, fun, and results.  It’s a team effort – for REAL!

All GANG team members and contributors have the option of producing exclusive content or syndicating.  Regardless of the path chosen, we want this network to feel more like a family or, better yet, gathering place for friends and family.  We’re willing to give almost anyone a chance.  The only real rule is this: don’t be an asshat and please check your ego at the door.

Your eCards - Don't Be A Douchebag.. You Asshat

Of course, things get tricky when monetization is involved.  Everyone has bills to pay and nothing is truly free so we have plans for revenue sharing and building capital.   Now, we recognize there is a fine line between sustainability/profit and selling out.  Our hope is that we can stay authentic and have fun doing what we’re passionate, while being profitable.  It’s a tall order but we know it can be done.

Another major pitfall we want to avoid is become elitist or too exclusive.  We’ve found that many outlets refuse to give people a chance yet everyone has to start somewhere.  Whereas most media networks/empires pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create mutually-beneficial scenarios where audiences, creatives, and platforms all win (win-win-win’s, as I like to call them).  Establishing a good balance between being professional and casual will be a challenge in itself.

Whereas most media networks pursue established personalities to siphen some of their audience, we want to create win-win-win scenarios.

If you believe in team spirit and are tired of the politics in major media networks, GANG is the place for you.  We can’t promise that we will never employ ads, microtransactions, or anything of the sort but we can promise that the art comes first.  That said, donations and volunteering will be a big part of our sustainability and growth.  Fundraisers are definitely on the horizon.  Believe me, every contribution (creative, financial, or otherwise) goes a long way for our collective success.

So that there is our GANG manifesto.  We know the specifics will become more clear as we grow our team and release more great content.  Thus far, the response has been amazing.  The support we have been getting has made the process far less daunting so we truly appreciate all the folks volunteering and rallying for us.

Now it’s time to introduce our team so far because a network, or any organization at that, is nothing without the right people supporting it.  First, James Tarr, better known to HorsePLAY! fans as ObioneX2 (or just plain Obi), is a growing personality on Twitch.  These days he is heavily into Arma 2 but he has also been hardcore into League of Legends, War Thunder, Hearthstone, Battlefield 4, Day-Z, and other PC games.  Obi specializes in video production, particularly when it comes to livestreaming, which involves a balance of community engagement, overlay/scene design, and scheduling.  His knowledge in these areas will help us establish the production value and timing necessary to create and build audiences in what are otherwise very crowded spaces.

Now for Mr. Ellis!  Dakota Ellis has gone by many names, including DingleDorf and Asmodeus.  He is a long-time clanmate – GO NOF – and friend.  Kota is pretty new to online marketing but has been involved in forums, Twitter, Facebook groups/pages, mailing lists, and other projects.  He’s also been a moderator and community liaison for small games like ARC/Spark and Babo.  Our hopes are to groom him as a social media specialist so he can help us curate content and sustain our various engagement paths (or marketing channels, if you prefer).

Next up is James Fortengard, known by AllGamers as Yuri or Fort.  James has quite the impressive resume, which boasts the ability to speak many languages and vast knowledge of comics, anime, film, video games, and more.  Like many lesser-known online personalities, Fort never quite got the chance to strut his stuff on an established platform or network.  He’s a tough cookie with strong opinions so we’re excited to see what we he can do once he is given a chance to do his thang.  We already have several concepts for shows/podcasts so expect some new exclusives soon!

Then there’s Matt Bradford (@MattoMcFly on Twitter), who has confirmed interest in joining GANG but is super-duper busy (we understand, buddy).  He’s currently busy with Guiness World Records, VGO (VideoGameOutsiders), AllGames Network, Games Radar, and Zombie Cast so he’ll be a guest host and blog contributor until we can all seduce him to stay for the long haul.  Please show Matt and the rest of the team some love, guys!

Finally, there’s Andy Fewtrell a.k.a. Spathizilla, who works tirelessly to make sure servers are secure and up around the clock.  He’s one of my oldest friends and one of the few people I can truly say I trust completely and consider a brother.  I mean, that’s not to diminish everyone else’s efforts but this guy puts in the time and money, whereas most will just make promises and never follow through.  He’s a guy that you can count on..  And it helps that he’s from England and has the awesome accent!  Really, he needs to lend that to our podcasts (one day, we hope)!

But wait – there’s MORE!  The GANG is the entire community over at GeekyAntics..  That includes YOU!  Yes, all you awesome folks who donate, share, comment, listen, view, chat, etc.  There is no us with you soooo..  Thanks for being YOU!

So that’s our team so far.  We hope to introduce our new GANGsters as HorsePLAY! guests but, for now, expect some blog contributions here soon enough.  Before we close out this GANG manifesto, I wanted to involve you all in the evolution of HorsePLAY! since it is our flagship show.  Take the poll below and leave some comments.  Let us know what your impressions of HorsePLAY! are so far.  This feedback will help us produce even better content.  Keep it positive and constructive.  We will not feed trolls! *wink*