Daily Archives: January 22, 2015

Strange Magic Review

If there’s one thing to be said about director Gary Rydstrom’s Strange Magic, it’s that it’s weird as hell. Based on A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the animated film from Star Wars creator George Lucas combines elements of fantasy, comedy and popular music. Surprisingly, the results aren’t disastrous, but it’s a far cry from being a “good” movie, and the whole of it is less than the sum of its parts.

Set in a magic forest divided by light and dark, the story follows Marianne (Evan Rachel Wood), a fairy princess who’s just been cheated on by her fairy captain fiancé Roland (Sam Palladio). With a new outlook on life, she decides to forget love altogether, unlike her sister Dawn (Meredith Anne Bull), who can’t stop talking about her potential suitors. Meanwhile, in the Dark Forest, a tyrannical Bog King (Alan Cumming) wants to eradicate love forever by destroying rare flowers used to create love potions. However, the evil ruler’s plan is quickly foiled by a scrappy young elf named Sunny (Elijah Kelley), which leads to a series of romantic mix-ups.

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Saints Row IV: Gat Out of Hell Review

Where some games portray Hell as a place of eternal torment, Saints Row IV: Gat Out of Hell’s vision of the Inferno is almost as mundane and silly as its surface world, and a little more fun to explore. A neon-drenched (but decidedly last-gen-looking) new city about half the size of SR4’s Steelport, it’s filled with undead “husks” shambling around and driving hideous junkers, all under the watchful eyes of buff guardian demons. It features depressing-looking businesses (quick, who wants to visit the Sad Cans strip club?) and distinct landmarks (like a Ferris wheel built to drown its riders), all surrounded by a jagged-rock-and-molten-lava motif. It’s also where the President – that is, your protagonist from Saints Row IV – has been kidnapped by Satan himself, thus setting the stage for Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell, a short and entertaining (but strangely paced) standalone expansion.

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