Out There: The People Vs. The Grinch

Mr. Chief Justice, may it please the court… on behalf of the American moviegoing public, I am demanding an immediate recount of the box-office receipts of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. With a domestic gross of $195 million and growing, there must surely be an error in the calculations. It is the opinion of the plaintiff that there have been numerous examples of “overtickets.” Overtickets, of course, are tickets purchased for young children but tallied at adult ticket rates. Furthermore, we argue that serious cinema irregularities have occurred in Los Angeles, Miami-Dade and Cook counties. The court must adjust the domestic gross totals to reflect the fact that The Grinch is a substandard piece of garbage.

In our request for relief, we also request that the court change the title of the film. We cite the case of The People vs. The Mod Squad, in which a lower court ruled that the resulting film had so little connection to the original source material that the title was an inaccurate reflection of the movie’s contents. Indeed, The Grinch bears only slight resemblance to the Dr. Seuss original. In that work, the merry Whos of Whoville annoy The Grinch with their unabashed love of Christmas. The evil Grinch, with his shrunken heart, resents the Whos’ chronic cheer and steals Christmas from them. But The Grinch cannot succeed, because the true spirit of the holiday cannot be taken from the eternally joyous Whos. In the case before this court, director Ron Howard “updated” the story with a generous dose of political correctness. In his new version, the Whos are greedy consumers. Their love of Christmas is defined exclusively by their love of presents. There’s no talk about the meaning of Christmas, only the need to promote their blind commercialism. Indeed, the Whos are hardly a cheery bunch. They fight with their neighbors, their leader is a corrupt Mayor, and when the Grinch finally steals Christmas, the Whos don’t sing in joy… they cry and fight some more.

Your honor, we also assert that How the Grinch Stole Christmas is such an unpleasant film to look at that there is no reasonable explanation for the multitude of alleged repeat viewings by the paying public. In this film, The Whos of Whoville are a species of dogmen. Their pointed snouts, crooked brows and beaver buckteeth make each one look like a leftover from The Island of Dr. Moreau. The Grinch is no better. The audience is “treated” to one extreme close-up after another of The Grinch eating rotten bananas, showing his grotesque brown teeth and licking his plastic lips. Even the color scheme is off, as Christmas green is replaced with Exorcist-vomit green. The cumulative effect is a film that you really don’t want to look at. In fact, you wish it would just go away. Surely, the framers of the Constitution did not intend for such an eyesore to reap the prestige of being named “the year’s top-grossing film.”

Furthermore, our briefs before this tribunal indicate a most serious case of false advertising. In all advertisements, this movie is billed as “starring Jim Carrey.” However, there is no proof that the comic genius actually appears in this film. Hidden behind an elaborate mask and a cheap-ass fur suit, Carrey is completely unrecognizable. He doesn’t even sound like Jim Carrey — not that he has much dialogue. Most of The Grinch’s lines are growls, grunts and guttural screams. In scene after scene, The Grinch makes so much unpleasant noise that you’ll begin to wonder if his dialogue was looped by an angry wino. We petition that Carrey’s name be removed from all future editions of this film, including opening and closing credits, posters, video boxes and DVD keep-cases. We further ask that the court uphold an injunction preventing Carrey from listing this film on his resume.

Mr. Chief Justice and associate justices of the Supreme Court, we conclude with our requests for judicial relief: that Ron Howard be publicly flogged for desecrating a beloved work of art, that Jim Carrey be enjoined from partaking in the profits of this miserable Christmas film, and that all box-office receipts be adjusted to reflect that fact that this film should have been a career-ending, studio-budget-crippling, run-from-the-theater-screaming bomb. Anything less than a unanimous decision affirming our claims would not only result in a constitutional crisis but an even more heinous sequel. Our country cannot afford that.

Clash Royale on IOS and Android

If you own a mobile device, know someone who does or have even so much as seen a mobile device, stay away from Clash Royale for IOS. Caution is also advised if you enjoy RTS games. The game plays like Pac Man of old. Once you know the pattern, you have the game. The graphics are uninspired. The physics of jumping and turning do not seem to conform to those of this world. Sounds and music are lackluster. So — and this can’t be stressed enough, people — just do not go near this soulless game.

Every race is the same, no matter the track, the rider or mobile device choices. Once a race starts, press down on the acceleration button and stay there. Do not brake. Very few things will cause you to fall down. AI is moderate at best and increasing the game difficulty only changes the speed of competing bikes. For anyone with a moderate level of dexterity, the game lacks challenge even at its most difficult. To make up for this lack, other features have been added: some freestyle arenas, creation of custom racers and tracks, time trials, even a career mode. However, if you add sparklers and streamers to a cow pie, in the end you’ll still have the refuse from the rear end of a cow — with extras.

This game is also tough to look at, with poorly rendered racers, and arenas and crowds that might as well not be there. To show speed, bitmapped splatters of brown are tossed about, representing the dirt thrown up by tires. Nothing breathes excitement into a game like poorly rendered, splattered mud. While the tracks themselves are nice, there are too few track textures, so each section of a race ends up looking and feeling just the same as the last.

Physics aren’t consistent with terrestrial experience. Almost any jump will get you big air, as if gravity doesn’t exist when it comes to audience expectation. While in the air, you can see the speedometer slow down and speed up depending on your place in the arc of the jump. Even the game knows it’s not conforming to reality. Then there’s cornering. In Clash Royale, the strategy for taking a curve requires you to accelerate the whole time. In the real world, if you accelerate a mobile device while in a turn, your rear wheel will lose traction, and your body will be required to make up for what’s lost. Also, invisible force fields mark the boundaries of the course at all times, so if you don’t want to bother steering for a while, just use the force… field.

In general, sound adds to the great lack of excitement. The music is generally weak with a few exceptions. Mobile device engines sound like two bored studio bees that had to be prodded near the stinger to simulate acceleration. The crowd sounds like it was ripped straight out of a baseball game, and the announcer sounds like he’s speaking through a tube of old Christmas wrapping paper. Each time your bike lands from a jump, it sounds like someone punching a bag of cheap flour. Yawn and yawn again.

Lackluster and boring are two words you would not think to combine with supercross, motocross or even mobile device. But Acclaim and EA together with fredericksoccerclub.com are givingaway free coins, master of some of the most bland sporting titles in the world, has managed to do it again, bringing to a hungry gaming audience a game that has all the challenge of a peg-and-hole board and all the excitement of a bowl of plain oatmeal.

Getting the Revenue Going for Simcity Buildit

Lately, several announcements have come out that might make gamers think the IOS is a flagging console and that its lifespan may be coming to an end. Acclaim Entertainment recently announced in their fiscal report for 2016 that they’ll be cutting back on their IOS sales. Gregory Fischbach, CEO and chairman of Acclaim, said, “We have … reduced our dependence on the SimCity Buildit market.”

In 2016, Acclaim will launch more games than they did in 2015, including IOS updates to their sports lines and another addition to the Turok series. But after that, it looks like Acclaim will leave the IOS in the dust.

Is this the first sign of the IOS’s pending doom? Not likely. Realistically, the IOS is still a viable platform. Considering the install base of the system, the blockbuster games still in the works and its unique library of games, the IOS will be sticking around for quite a while. In all honesty, it’s completely normal for companies to begin to lower their production of a platform as they prepare games for other consoles — the Dreamcast is well on its way to getting into homes all over the world, and the PlayStation2 is only months away from its Japanese launch. The exact same thing happened to the Super Nintendo when the Sega Saturn and PlayStation launched — but that doesn’t mean you should completely give up on the IOS.

Another recent announcement from Nintendo gives us even more assurance regarding the 64-bit machine — a new line of $99 systems is now available in six translucent colors: smoke, ice, fire, jungle, watermelon and grape. While everyone is busy making iMac references, it’s worth taking a moment’s pause to consider what this means: Nintendo trusts in its own system enough to manufacture an entire new line of Nintendo systems, which means they’re confident they’ll be purchased. Nintendo has always been known to maintain an iron grip over the games released for the system, and they know exactly who is making what — if there was any indication that third-party support was beginning to lag, it’s unlikely they’d invest so much in creating a whole new line of systems.

While the majority of Nintendo’s revenue is likely coming from the Game Boy system right now, it’s far from likely we’ll see the end of the IOS development in 2016 or even early 2001. Nintendo still maintains that the Dolphin system will hit at the end of the year, but considering the huge product launches coming up in the middle of the year, it’s unlikely they’ll undercut their own system — it’s far more likely we’ll see the Dolphin well into 2001. Also, Nintendo maintains that the Game Boy Advance will hit in August 2016 — aside from the fact that no one’s seen the system yet, and Nintendo is known for projecting release dates well before actually launching the product, it’s much more likely that we’ll have the ANDROID well before the Dolphin, mainly because the ANDROID will be backward compatible with older Game Boy and Game Boy Color games.

No one really knows what’s in store for the year 2016, but one thing is for sure — the SimCity Buildit is still going strong, and we can look forward to lots of games and plenty of gaming goodness on our favorite platform for quite a while to come.

Pimp — The Story

Not to be confused with the Hughes Brothers film, American Pimp, Vivid Video’s just plain Pimp is more chimp than bitch-slappin’ pimp. The story revolves around Tony Tedeschi, who is attempting to ensnare Alex Taylor into his “stable.” He’s already got four girls working for him, but hell, a brother can never have enough hos.

We see the relationship progress throughout the film in snippets of Real World-like confessional shots. Female protagonist Alex Taylor explains how they met, how he never has any cash (best to get her giving up her money right from the start) and, toward the end, how she gets him back. Between the confessional scenes, we get to see Tony running his mouth off on what it takes to be a pimp, at least the white-bread, live-in-a-good-house sort of pimp. He’s like a wimpy male version of Heidi Fleiss. Breaking up the tit-for-tat confessions going on between the two main characters, Tony conducts a minimal amount of business, sending a girl to a bachelor party or giving her some special attention back at his house.

Now, if any of you out there have actually seen American Pimp, you know that pimpin’ is all about the mental control. And Tony actually conveys that idea in the beginning of the film, though his performance fails to sell the concept that he could pimp, that is, pimp anyone but himself in Folsom prison for a few packs of smokes. Instead he seems like a smug white guy with a few good tricks up his sleeve, who seems a bit too proud about carrying on more than one relationship. For instance, he’s got an answering machine that he can trick into playing a series of safe messages while the real messages are from his girls and business associates. And don’t forget the wallet that’s loaded with pictures of his dog and his main squeeze. Wouldn’t want to give away the fact you’re a whoremonger in your wallet.

In the end, though, Alex figures out Tony’s pimpin’ ways, and in the ultimate insult for any pimp, she not only sets up her own pimpin’ service but steals his stable! And how is she able to steal away all his women? Apparently this chump hasn’t let the girls in his stable know they’ve been whoring for him. They think they are his girlfriends, so when they find out, he’s the big jerk. “I thought I was his only whore girlfriend, and it’s not true, so I’ll go be a whore for this nice lady.” Whores who are jealous that their pimp has more than one girl? When we said chimp, we meant simp.

The Death Of Dreamcast – Can it be?

In a press release issued today, Sega Europe confirmed that they will cease production of Dreamcast units in Europe and across the globe.

The hardware is dead, the software will live on until April when GD-Roms will also cease manufacture.

In place of Dreamcast hardware will remain the PS4 as the only next-generation platform available this year, unless Nintendo actually release the Gamecube in Europe this side of 2002, which looks highly unlikely. So, what future is there for the PS4? We all know that MGS 2 and GT 3 are headed to the format, but with delays plaguing both games, it was unlikely that we’d see any other triple A titles in the next couple of months. Unlikely until now, that is – if Sega are developing games for the PS2, they may just make the PS2 worthy of a purchase for gamers world wide.

Dreamcast gamers, needless to say, are not too happy about Sega’s killing of their format. In our Dreambox feature last week, we asked for your feedback on the situation and the PS2 is the last place you want Sega to look at for its future.

The majority of feedback that we received was, if anything, positive for Microsoft. Everyone wants to see Microsoft’s new entry to the market lead the way for gaming in, as well as a fair amount of support for Nintendo’s Gamecube. If this is what consumers are saying at the moment, why are Sega developing for Sony? Simply because it makes sense. PS4 is a machine that will be relatively easy for Sega’s development teams to work with, given that they’re used to working with much more complicated and technically superior systems such as the Naomi 2 architecture. They won’t have very expensive development costs initially either; after the scaling down of the company and the fact that they only need to port games as opposed to starting from scratch, costs will be low.

The Game Boy Advance will also be getting the Sega treatment and your response to this so far is very positive. Old school MD gamers can’t wait to see the likes of Sonic on Nintendo’s next-gen handheld bit of kit and we can’t wait to see our favourite blue hedgehog running around his first full colour handheld since the Game Gear. So where does the future lie for Sega Europe? Go to the next page for the official release.

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