Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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Batman Arkham Asylum (2009)

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review

Batman Arkham Asylum is a 2009 action-adventure video game developed by Rocksteady Studios and published by Eidos Interactive. It is one of the finest video games of its decade.

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Tell me Bats. What are you really scared of?

Failing to save this cesspool of a city?

Not finding the Commissioner in time? Me, in a thong?

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

Joker manages to seize control of Arkham Asylum and its island and it is up to Batman to stop him. This is one of the rare video games where the story actually matters and it is so good and so well told that it can function as a movie of sorts. Not only is the storytelling excellent here, but the voice acting is top-notch as well and that’s even rarer for the medium. And I have to say that this mythos of the Batman universe is my favorite and the game features by far my favorite Joker with an excellent performance from Mark Hamill.

The gameplay is fantastic and so varied too. Action-adventure has always been my favorite genre, possibly even better than platformers. But unfortunately the genre took a major backseat during the 21s century and thankfully this game changed that and at least now we have one great action-adventure series for the PC in the new millennium.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

It perfectly combines the elements of action-adventure, platforming and stealth in it. To me the stealth elements were the most entertaining here and those gargoyle areas where you have to eliminate the gunmen one by one without them noticing you were by far the highlights. Detective Vision was excellent and although those in-game additional playables and achievements were boring, the game is long enough that it doesn’t need them.

The gadgets are phenomenally utilized and the fight system is too easy, but comes progressively more difficult. Some of the fight moves that Batman has here were phenomenally entertaining to watch and it made the game such a great movie for those to watch as the player plays. All of the five or so gadgets were magnificently utilized and they made the game much more diverse to play.

As for the boss fights, here lies the big problem. Batman Arkham Asylum’s flaws are twofold – one is that the overall game isn’t as difficult to beat and could have been harder in some areas. I always like more difficult games and this one is only very hard from time to time. But the bigger problem are its boss fights as some of them were extremely disappointing. The last fight with Joker is ridiculously simple to beat and it is just pointless to have the last level of the game so easy when the rest was at least somewhat difficult to beat. And the fight with Killer Croc could have been shorter in length.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

But other fights are solid and some are even great. All of those fights with the two physically enhanced prisoners were very well designed in a wonderfully old-fashioned platforming manner and were also quite demanding to finish off.

I loved the characters here with Harley Quinn being so memorable and of course Joker being fantastic. This is the Joker that the movie versions never created – strong and capable, but also very funny and maniacal. And I loved every villain here and I have to add that Poison Ivy is memorable and her fight was superb. Riddler was boring at times, but Scarecrow’s fights were superbly realized and were some of the most creative and imaginative levels in the game.

Batman Arkham Asylum has terrific graphics and it’s actually some of the most impressive looking games of its time with superbly done faces and characters and some very good imagery. The cut-scenes were all very well done and engaging to watch and the game looks polished from start to finish. The sound is also great and the score is pretty terrific and accompanies the atmosphere quite well.

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Batman Arkham Asylum Game Review……………………………………………………………..

The controls weren’t the best and I guess that it’s okay as it would have been too easy to beat with easier controls. The game has very good world building and it perfectly recreates the feel of the superhero comic-book and film. The level designs were mostly excellent and the game is very entertaining. It has fantastic replay values as I actually played it twice and both times I’ve had a blast. The game isn’t original, but it is authentic in its mix of familiar genre elements that it becomes a great gaming experience. It has its flaws, but is mostly terrific and easily one of the best modern games.

Batman Arkham Asylum has its problems such as some of the boss fights which were weak and the difficulty level which is at times too easy, but it is otherwise a superb video game with excellent graphics and score, strong plot, characters and acting, some very difficult and fun levels and a great gameplay with a terrific mix of platforming, action-adventure and stealth.

My Rating – 4.7

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