Is this Really the End?

I’m a big fan of the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg/Nick Frost team since I first watched Shaun of the Dead. I’m usually not much for British comedy but these guys nailed it with me and then again with Hot Fuzz. So when I heard about The World’s End, I was intrigued to say the least.

At first though, I was confused. From the first release I’d read, it was just about five men in their late thirties trying to relive their pasts and completing a near impossible task they’d failed at when they were younger. It seemed like something that would quite fit in with the other two movies but then maybe that’s what they were going for.

Then, weeks later, I learned that there would be aliens involved in some big world conquering scheme and thought to myself, “Ah, that’s much more what I expected.” And from there, my interest increased again.

So was it worth the wait? Does it hold up to the previous two movies?

Oh yes, it does. It was a thrill ride from the beginning to end and actually had me sitting forward in my seat, waiting for the next action sequence or seeing what they say next.

The story of the movie was interesting but not particularly noteworthy. Very Invasion of the Body-Snatcher-ish but then you don’t see one of these movies for the story. It’s always been the characters that made it more interesting.

And it was nice to see that it didn’t focus completely on Pegg or Frost. While the two were the main characters, Gary and Andy, the other three friends Steven (Steven Prince), Oliver (Martin Freeman), and Peter (Eddie Marsan) got plenty of screentime and their own great interactions. There was definitely a tense chemistry between the five of them and you could almost believe that they were former friends re-united for the first time in a long time and struggling to find some common ground to reconnect with.

The one thing I’m still not entirely sold on was the way the movie ended. It certainly came out of left field and wasn’t what I was expecting. On one hand, I liked it because I’m a big fan of that sort of thing. On the other, it seemed like a bit of a downer after everything that the group went through. Still, it wrapped up the story nicely, though a little confusing.

I wouldn’t recommend this movie to anyone who didn’t enjoy Shaun of the Dead or Hot Fuzz, but if you are a fan of the Cornetto series (yes, that delicious little treat made a cameo in this one as well), then it’s definitely a must-watch if you haven’t already.

And so begins a new arguement: which is the best in the series now? I still say Hot Fuzz but both The World’s End and Shaun of the Dead are incredibly close contenders. It’s really hard to decide sometimes.

I’m hoping that this isn’t the end of the Wright/Pegg/Frost collaboration and that we’ll see them again soon in another most excellent adventure.

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A Brain-Eating Review

Okay, so it’s been a while since I’ve been on here. That happens. I’m gonna try and make it a regular thing again.

Yesterday, I finally got around to getting the 400 Days DLC for The Walking Dead: Season 1 game. It was only 5 bucks which is something even a poor bloke like me can afford.

Now, I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. I’ve read the comics for years, love the TV show (and yes, I’m well aware of it’s weaknesses, but it’s still an awesome show), and loved last years game. It was the first time I’ve played a Telltale game, but I’ve seen their Back to the Future and Jurassic Park games.

If you’re unfamiliar with the Walking Dead franchise, it’s not hard to figure out. It’s set in a zombie apocalypse and focuses on the people trying survive against the cannibalstic dead and the other survivors willing to do anything, including stealing and killing, to get what they want.

One thing I loved about The Walking Dead: Season 1 was the ability to make choices that would actually alter the game later on. Sure, you were still railroaded into certain situations, but games can only do so much (especially one that costs 20 bucks total) and there was replayability to discover what would have happened had you done this instead of that.

Throughout the game, you play a man named Lee and are forced to make some pretty big decisions and it really tests your moral compass. Even though it was a game, it definitely had me hesitating when deciding if someone lives or dies or who would get to eat and who would go hungry. There were even a few times where I would have to pause the game and stop for a minute just because I felt bad for what I did.

Which is a credit to the acting and story-telling of the game. I really felt for some of these characters, whether I liked or hated them, and was sad to see them go.

So now we’re playing 400 Days, which takes place from the start of the zombie apocalypse. Throughout the chapter, the point of view changes to one of five different survivors in various parts of time between Day 2 to 350. The game mechanics are there, along with the devious moral choices you are forced to make along the way.

I enjoyed the game, because it is the same as the previous chapters and I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it. Not broke, didn’t fix. Good.

The voice acting, as usual, was spot on with no really annoying characters. A lot of cursing though, so if you’re adverse to that kind of stuff, I’d skip it. Like I told my wife, when she complained about it, “They’re being attacked by zombies. In real life, most people would be doing the same thing to. It’s just adding realism.”

The five different stories create five very unique people with their own concerns and pasts. However, no one really¬†gets the spotlight for long so you don’t really develop any attachment for them aside.¬† Also, some characters pasts are barely hinted at and left open, which is frustrating but at the same time, it gurantees I’ll be back for Season 2 to see what secrets they have.

In less than two days, I finished the whole DLC twice, choosing different options to get different endings. That’s a short game. Still, it was only 5 bucks and the quality of the game was definitely worth that. I would recommend it to anyone who loves the Walking Dead or zombies in general.

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