Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Review #4 : Foo Fighters Greatest Hits (CD) (Roswell/RCA Records)

I wonder if Dave Grohl ever thought when he got off his drum kit after the untimely demise of Nirvana to strap on a guitar and sing lead vocals in his then new band, the Foo Fighters in 1995, that he would reach the meteoric heights and be a grammy-award winning band? Probably not. 15 years later and three line up changes, the Foos are one of the biggest bands around with platinum albums and selling out venues like Wembley Arena. So after 15 years and 6 studio albums later (not counting the live "Skin And Bones" album, it's now time to release a Greatest Hits package.

I've followed the band ever since I was curious and picked up the self titled debut album in 1995. I couldn't stop listening to it. I actually liked it better than Nirvana. Every album afterwards ended up in constant rotation for me with the exception of their last studio effort, Echoes, Silence, Patience, And, Grace which I thought had too much filler tracks.

So on to the greatest hits package. I have to say, as much as I like this band, I was quite disappointed with this collection. I don't know how much the band was involved with this album, save for the two new unreleased songs, which I'll elaborate on later. There is also a deluxe package with DVD with all of the bands videos and some live performances, but since I only have the stand-alone cd, this review is based off of this.

You get most of the obligatory favorites and singles on this for such as "All My Life", "Everlong" "Best Of You", "Big Me", well you get the idea. And along with the two new tracks, you get the acoustic version of Everlong and the studio version of Skin And Bones. Where's Low? Where's DOA and Resolve? No Stacked Actors? Nothing from the acoustic disc of In Your Honor? What about songs that were on soundtrack albums such as The One and A320? And let's not forget the wealth of unreleased tracks these guys have recorded over the years.

And let's get to the 2 new songs. "Wheels" is an ok song and sounds like a leftover from Echoes. I'm not sure I'm liking the all grown up so let's write more mature sounding songs because we're married and have kids style they seem to be going with. "Word Forward" is a little better, but not by much.

Overall, if you're a fan and already own their albums, this cd alone is not worth the purchase, even the two new songs doesn't warrant it. This is a collection for the casual fan and it's a good start for anyone new to the band but there's so much better material then what's presented here.

I really hate to give this band that I like so much a bad rating, but they could do so much better than this. This compilation seems hastily thrown together and a couple mediocre tracks tossed in there just to justify a purchase. This is no way to treat their fans like this who've stuck with them from the beginning. There's so much that they have recorded that a lot of fans are dying to hear. Unless a box set is in the works, I could think of a much better way to say "thank you" to all who have supported them. Sorry guys.

(1.5 Stacked Actors out of 5)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Review # 3 - The State : The Complete Series DVD Set (MTV Video/Paramount Pictures) Starring Thomas Lennon, Michael Ian Black, David Wain

For those in their teens and early twenties, you may remember a little sketch comedy show by the name of The State. The 11 person (10 guys and 1 girl) comedy troupe whose series ran for two years on MTV from 1993-1995. This was a period when the network was steadily drifting away from strictly music video shows and focusing more on regular tv shows. Unlike today, at least the shows were innovative and interesting. Look at Liquid Television and Beavis And Butthead for example. Anyways, in 1995 the group left MTV to be picked up by CBS. They got as far as a Halloween special. And despite glowing reviews, the lack of any promotion of the show resulted in poor ratings and all hopes of an ongoing series were left in the dust. The members of The State remained close and worked on each others projects. If you watched shows like Viva..Variety!, Stella , Wet Hot American Summer, and Reno 911!, this is where it all began.

Ever since the rise of DVD. Fans of the show have been clamoring for an official release. After a few years of false starts. I'm proud to announce that the fans' prayers have been answered. This DVD set contains all 4 seasons of the show plus a disc of bonus material. Was it worth the wait ? Definitely. IF you don't mind a few changes made to the show. And let's get that out of the way first.

First of all,supposedly one of the reasons for the delay of this set was that there was an issue over the licensed music that was used in some of the skits. MTV had a deal with major record labels that allowed the network the use of their artists' songs. With the release of this set. All of the licensed music has been removed. And any spoken dialogue over said music had to be re-dubbed as well. The group claimed that it would have cost them "millions of dollars" to get the rights to use the songs again. I don't know how true that can be when the song "The Power" from the group SNAP! is being played on certain skits. My feeling is MTV wouldn't give them a decent budget to produce this release. If this is your first time viewing the show or don't remember much about it, chances are you won't even notice. I felt it didn't take anything away from most of the skits and they're still funny as the first time I saw them. The only skits that this really affects are the Barry And Levon skits (the $240 worth of pudding guys). Not hearing Sexual Healing from Marvin Gaye and the re-dubbed dialog kind of hurts these skits a bit.

For the most part however. The skits are still funny 16 years after the shows debut and doesn't feel outdated at all. That's the problem I have with a lot of sketch comedy shows. If I watch them years later, some really feel outdated and lose their luster. Not so with these. All your favorite characters from the show are here too. Remember Doug ? (I'm outta heeeeeerreee!) Capt. Monterey Jack? Old Fashioned Guy? They're all here. My sides were definitely hurting from laughing so hard from revisiting this show. It's still as wacky and absurd as it was when I watched this show during my junior and senior year of high school. Not too many comedy sketch shows can stand the test of time when they're released after being off the air for a long time. I'm happy to say that's not the case here.

As for extras? This set is chock full of them. Each disc contains a commentary by all the members of The State along with interviews (during the time of the show's run) and outtakes. There is a special bonus disc included which contains
the pilot episode. 90 minutes of un-aired sketches that include commentary, more outtakes, and, various appearances they made. There's plenty of stuff on these discs to make fans happy. As for sound, it's in standard Dolby 2.0 and in full screen format. Trust me though, it's only a minor issue.

All in all, fans of the show (myself included) should be happy they can now retire their worn out VHS tapes. Unless the re-recorded music and dialogue on some of the skits bothers them enough to keep them. Otherwise it's great that this horribly underrated, Generation X-era show finally sees the light of day. It's definitely worth picking up and revisiting the show again and the skits are still fresh and funny after all these years and it's filled with tons of extra material. If you've never seen this show before, if you're a fan of comedy or shows such as Monty Python's Flying Circus, Mr.Show, and, Kids In The Hall, there's no reason for you not to own this or at least check it out. It really felt like being reunited with an old friend!
(5 boxes of pudding out of 5)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick note : The Great American Serial Killer Trailer now available!!!

Here it is folks! The OFFICAL trailer for THE GREAT AMERICAN SERIAL KILLER!! The debut production for MYZERY FILMS!!! Written, Produced, and, Directed by SAINT MATTHEW. Starring yours truly, Todd Servo, Playboy Model Angelina Leigh, Eddie Benevich, Debbie D, and Katie Russell!

The Great American Serial Killer from Myzery Films on Vimeo.

COMING THIS MONTH! Review #4 of The State complete series DVD and an interview with Playboy Model/Actress Angelina Leigh! Stay Tuned!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jumping on the Twitter bandwagon

After putting it off for so long, I decided to jump on the Twitter can check there to see when new reviews are being posted..follow me here


Friday, July 17, 2009

Review #2 Faith No More : You Fat Bastards ! : Live At The Brixton Academy & Who Cares A Lot ? : The Greatest Videos 2-DVD Set (Rhino/Slash/Reprise)

Faith No More, especially in the U.S.A, are probably one of the most underrated and unappreciated bands to come out of the late 80's-1990's music scene. Casual music listeners only seem to think of them as that band who came out with that one song Epic, and don't realize that how good that song is, there's a plethora of better songs and 5 other albums (yes even the two with original singer Chuck Mosely) out there. In light of the band's highly anticipated reunion tour of Europe this year, (Please come to the states guys! You have more fans here than you know!) 12 years after their breakup in 1998, I figured it be a good time to review something from probably one of the few mainstream acts who weren't afraid to take chances and did exactly what they wanted to do.

This 2 DVD collection is a re-release of these two video collections by Rhino. Ugh, I'm not a big fan of what Rhino puts out. As far as movies go, they usually don't take any care into re-mastering or putting any work into releasing a DVD. Any one who own the Transformers 80's series box sets can surely attest to this. But since I owned these two videos on VHS, I needed to update.

Let's start with You Fat Bastards! Originally released in 1990, this video chronicles the band, with original guitarist Jim Martin (who was later fired in 1993) during The Real Thing Tour. They were riding high on the success of the singles Epic and Falling To Pieces and were just beginning to build up steam. This tour was also the first tour for Mike Patton, Mosely's replacement and was just beginning to develop the insane vocal acrobatics that he's known for today. Filmed at The Brixton Academy, (where the band would return to kick off their reunion tour 19 years later) Faith No More plays through a blistering, high energy, hour long set of songs from their 3 albums at the time. The band is tight and barrels through "As The Worm Turns", "Zombie Eaters" and a cover of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs". They even catch their breath for a split second to perform the lounge-tune "Edge Of The World" It really is a great documentary that captures the band just realizing their full potential.

Who Cares A Lot? was released in February of 1999, almost a year after the band's breakup. It's pretty much a companion piece to the compilation album of the same name. This disc pretty much covers most of the bands music videos (except for Ricochet and Another Body Murdered) and is more or less an updated version of an earlier video collection, Video Croissant. This time with music videos added from the bands releases after their 1992 masterpiece Angel Dust, 1995's King For A Day, Fool For A Lifetime and 1997's Album Of The Year. Interspersed between videos are various short interview clips and home video moments, and two live performances. One in 1992 on an old MTV show called Hangin' With MTV and a live performance of the Burt Bacharach song "This Guy's In Love With You" from Australia in late 1997. It's a nice little video documentary of the band and it's different eras.

The video quality on these discs are so-so. As with most Rhino dvd's, They really don't put much time or effort into re-mastering. So don't expect HD quality with these. The YFB and WCA disc's footage is grainy at times and still feels like you're watching a VHS tape and not a DVD. And the presentation is in full screen with the exception of the videos for "Stripsearch" and "I Started A Joke". Sorry widescreen fans.

As far as any special features on the two discs are concerned, there are none. The only feature is the choice of audio. Either in 2.0 or 5.1 surround sound. 5.1 is a welcome addition to these discs and it definitely is a nice touch. I know tensions between the band members towards the end were at an all time high but it would have been a nice addition to have members of the band do a commentary on the live shows and videos to give a bit of insight on what was going on with them during this period. And the lack of any additional bonus footage is kind of a bummer. I mean come on, it would've been great to see more live footage or interviews from the first 17 years of the bands existence that I'm sure the fans would love to see. YouTube is full of stuff

All in all, this set isn't too bad. For all intents and purposes, this basically was released by their former label for get some extra cash, and by both discs presentations, it really shows. The Brixton video, despite the video quality, is an excellent set of songs and a great performance. For the hardcore fans who may not own this or casual fans looking to check out more from these guys, this collection is certainly worth getting if they're not hoping for crystal clear video or no widescreen. As much as I like this band, the lack of any bonus features or even a band commentary really hurts this collection. Hopefully now that these guys are back together, and I really hope they stick around for a while, we can get a proper release that will satisfy the fans who stuck by the band through the good and the bad, even when they were gone.

(4 jizzlobbers out of 5)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Review #1 : Ghostbusters : The Video Game (Playstation 3)

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of the Ghostbusters franchise. I saw the 1st film in our local theater when it came out in 1984, and I was a fan from then on. I loved the cartoon show and even the Filmation series that had nothing to do with the movies, (Columbia had to get the rights from them to use the name), and drank Hi-C Ecto-Cooler like it was going out of style. Ah, those were the days!

One thing I was not a fan of however, were the video game adaptations of the films. The Atari 2600 game was atrocious and the NES versions were nothing short of terrible. I never got to play Sega's take on their consoles.

Which brings us to the present. The news of a Ghostbusters game spread like wildfire. It was going to be written by none other than Dan Akroyd (Ray Stantz) and Harold Ramis (Egon Spengler) who also wrote the last two movies. The talk of a continuation of the story got fans everywhere excited. Then Activision (who originally was supposed to develop the game) backed out of the project. Atari then came along and picked the game up and devloped the game with Infernal Dreams and Sierra Entertainment.

25 years after the first movie, and 20 years after the second was the released. Ghostbusters : The Video Game has been released for all the current systems. Since I own the PS3, this review will cover that version.

I have to say, if you are a fan of the franchise, then there is no reason you shouldn't own this. It really is like you're getting the 3rd installment of the series. As I've mentioned earlier in this article, Akroyd and Ramis teamed up once again to pen the script for the game. Set in 1991, 2 years after the events of Ghostbusters 2, Ray, Egon, Winston, and, Peter (all voiced by the orginal actors Akroyd, Ramis, Ernie Hudson, and Bill Murray) are looking to expand the franchise and hire a new, nameless recruit (you) known only as "rookie". Your job is to be the guinea pig for Egon's new ghost busting gizmos. And hiring you couldn't have happened at a better time. Some strange things are going on at the Gozer exhibit at the museum and all sorts of spooks and specters are unleashed on New York City once again. Even Annie Potts (Janine Melnitz) William Atherton (Walter Peck) reprise their roles once again. Sorry, no Sigourney Weaver or Rick Moranis this time. Alyssa Milano lends her voice as Dr. Ilyssa Selwyn, the museum curator and Venkman's new love interest. The Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Slimer, and, the Librarian Ghost also pop up in this game

Graphics wise, the game looks great. there is a small amount of frame rate drop-especially in the library level. And the characters' mouth movements don't always sync with the dialouge at times The backgrounds are very detailed. And it's fun to see some of the nods to the other 2 films. An example of this is in the firehouse. You end up here between missions and it's cool to see all the haunted artifacts you can find with your PKE meter stored and to be able to slide down the pole. Even Vigo's painting is stored there. Wait a minute. Wasn't that painting destroyed at the end of the second movie? Hmmmm. Plus there's a variety of ghosts you encounter. Some you can trap, and some you have to flat out destroy. Destruction in this game is fun too. Especially in the Sedgewick Hotel level, where scorch marks and destructible enviroments are abound. Don't cause too much damage though, because Peck is keeping an eye on you.

The controls in the game take a bit of getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, busting ghosts has never been so much fun. You blast the spook with your proton stream until the ghosts energy level goes into the red. You then fire a capture stream to hold the ghost and drag it to your trap. You can slam the ghosts into the ground to keep them from getting away. Making sure you vent your pack to prevent overheating is also key. During the course of the game, you also gain new "weapons" from Egon like the Meson Colider, Boson Darts, Stasis Streams, and, my favorite, the green slime. With the slime you can tether it to objects to pull them towards you so you can advance in your mission or you can hook it up to a trap and then connect it to a ghost to snare it into your trap. You also use the PKE meter to search for ghosts and scan them so they can be entered in your Tobin's Spirit Guide. Doing so also reveals the ghosts weaknesses and other info. You also scan for haunted artifacts which are collected during the game and stored in the firehouse for you to look check out later.

As for the things that make this game from being perfect? One is the rather frustrating difficulty throughout the game. One level had me and Stantz trying to slime tether these flaming stone angels to these locks in a cemetary so Ecto-1 can get in. And it didn't take long for me to get taken out because the camera sometimes prevents me from seeing where they are so I can get away, resulting in attacks from behind. I get knocked out and when Stantz comes to help me out. He get's taken down as well, forcing me to start over. The A.I. isn't totally perfect. Sometimes they don't always help me out or they just stand there and will stay there until I find the area to go to so they can continue on. The voice overs from the cast are done pretty well and adds to the experience. Although Bill Murray's voice sometimes sounds like it was "phoned-in".

In my version of the game, there is a pretty damn fun multiplayer. You can play with 3 other people in 6 different instant matches. In Theft, you have to protect a ring of artifacts from ghosts who are trying to steal them. Protection has the players defending PKE posts from spooks trying to destroy them . Destruction and Containment were ok, but nothing special. I really like Survival, when you and your friends have to survive 10 rounds of waves of spirits And Slime Dunk, a competetive game where you vie to dunk and trap as many Slimers till the time runs out. You have the option of playing these games in a quick match or play a string of them in what's called a campaign. You can also choose different locations or have it come up randomly. Cash is earned as you go along and you can rank up with more money you earned. The voice support is essential when your team mates get knocked down. Sometimes you're so busy trapping ghots you don't realize that most or all of your team is down. So teamwork is essential for this part. One drawback however, is it's sometimes difficult to join a game, often resulting in error messages. I found it easier to just create a match and wait for people to join. Maybe it's because the game as only been out for a month? I really hope that Atari releases more DLC for this game. Multiplayer is what really makes this game shine.

Overall, this game is a big nod to the fans. If you loved the movies and the franchise, you will definitely enjoy this game. This title actually in a way makes you feel like a true ghostbuster and you're part of the team. In all reality, you're getting Ghostbusters 3 pretty much. The game is really fun, and the multiplayer is a blast. If the weird acting camera and random difficulty weren't sometimes frustrating. This truly would've been a perfect game. But it's not a reason for fans of the series not to own it. Busting has never felt so good.

(3.5 Slimers out of 5)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Welcome One And All !!

Hey everyone!,
Welcome to my Fists Of Fury Theater! This site is going to be dedicated to tv, music, and, other forms of entertainment that I happen to come upon. I'm going to do at least 2 reviews a month. I'm always on the lookout for stuff to review. . I'd love to check out your stuff. E-Mail me at and we'll talk shop. This place is going to be a constant work in progress as I become aquainted with this format. So stay tuned, and tell your friends!!