I Watched All 5 Final Destination Movies in 5 Days

Dude it was awesome.

The Final Destination Franchise is one of my most beloved in all of cinema. Without going into too much detail (because you can find out more on the wikipedia page or the fan wiki page) the movie series deals with people that were supposed to die in gruesome accidents, but through luck, fortune, or intervention they are able to escape death; however, Death has a plan and the people that “escaped” die in strange accidents, but various characters are somewhat aware of Death’s plan.

The first movie was supposed to be an X-Files episode, but it turned out to be too good/big of an idea and was made into a movie, which obviously spawned 4 sequels.

I watched all of the movies and reviewed each one, here is what I thought. There are some spoilers, but you will have to select the text to see them.

Final Destination (2000)

My Take: I remember seeing this flick in the cinema and 20 years later it is just as good; in fact, in a lot of ways it is better, because it blows most contemporary horror flicks away. The concept of the film is introduced in a coherent and easily-digestible manner; but what really stands out is the competent writing, lack of plot holes, and general quality of story. The creativity, direction, and effects related to the various deaths are of the highest quality and have an over-the-top aspect that really elicits a response.

I have seen this movie several times and each time I do I manage to appreciate something new. I can see myself watching this again in the future, which is good, since I bought the DVDs (yeah, I guess I am old-school; or maybe just old, but I still buy physical media on occasion…)

Defining Scene: (highlight text to uncover spoilers) the scene in which Todd is killed in the bathroom is easily my favourite scene. It is hard for something like the bus impact to be overtaken, but the bathroom kill is just too real. I can imagine myself (and actually did when I watched this) in Todd’s situation as he slips on the wet tile floor and somehow gets wrapped up in (the very hotel-styled) drying cord in the shower. Even the way he struggles to stand up in the tub with the bottom slick with shampoo, it is totally believable.

Ratings:
IMDB6.7/10
rottentomatoes35% Critics; 68% Viewers
– my rating – 10/10

Bottom Line: Wow, the critics were really wrong here, this movie is a perfect 10.

Final Destination 2 (2003)

My Take: For me, the only thing that makes this movie somewhat less than the first in the series is that it is a sequel. If this had been the inaugural in the series (and with a few changes to the lore, it could easily be switched with the first) it would easily be the superior film. Even as a sequel, it is truly excellent and lives up to the first. The only thing I don’t like about it is Ali Larter’s character’s (Clear Rivers) new haircut, and that is a very insignificant complaint.

The same intelligent writing and competent storytelling is present in this film, albeit with a slightly different take with a different director. This film trades a bit of music quality for some more interesting camerawork, but that can boil down to to preference as to which is better. This is a really fantastic flick and I can’t recommend it enough! …especially when viewed shortly after the first!

Defining Scene: (highlight text to uncover spoilers) I was really drawn between picking the main accident scene on the freeway and what I ended up selecting. Before I get to my selection, I want to note that the car accident scene is amazing, the CGI blends in with the practical effects very well and the sheer gruesomeness is only matched by the attention to detail and creativity, a truly excellent scene. My pick; however, is the very final scene when the teenager is blown up at the barbecue and his flaming, severed arm lands on his mother’s plate – it is, for me, the perfect black humour element, and suitably grim.

Ratings:
IMDB6.2/10
rottentomatoes48% Critics; 58% Viewers
– my rating – 10/10

Bottom Line: Yeah, I don’t know how the ratings are so low, this film was awesome!

Final Destination 3 (2006)

My Take: I will admit that this is the first in the series that starts to drift a little ways away from the core vision of the first two. I don’t want to give the impression that this is a bad movie, it totally isn’t, but it lacks the same feeling that the first two had.

The effects, creativity, and writing are all still excellent; however, there is some small piece of feeling that I can’t quite describe that this film lacks. What this film doesn’t lack is excellent music direction as the director of the first film returns, but at the same time, a lot of the shots are a bit more soap opera style – perhaps that is what is changed in this entry, there is a bigger focus on the interactions of the characters, rather than the subject of their interactions (death).

Defining Scene: (highlight text to uncover spoilers) I know it seems like I am harvesting the low-hanging fruit, but the scene in the tanning salon where the two airhead friends burn to death (and of course, all of the less-clothed moments before their deaths) is easily my favourite. There are other deaths that are more brutal (looking at you nailgun massacre) but the tanning salon scene combines all cinematic elements together in a truly fantastic manner.

Ratings:
IMDB5.8/10
rottentomatoes43% Critics; 57% Viewers
– my rating – 8/10

Bottom Line: Anyone that would rate this 43% should be imprisoned for life.

The Final Destination (2009)

My Take: Alright, here it is right out at the start: this movie is not as good as the previous three. This was made in the time when 3D was having a resurgence and the movie focuses a little too much on that technology. There are big gaps in the quality of scenes and their execution. There is still a lot of creativity in each of the scenes, but the quality is noticeably lower in almost every aspect.

As far as story elements are concerned, the general writing is in step with the previous three movies, but there are fewer connections (and those that exist are really added on) and to me, it is clear that the writers had recently viewed the previous three and left out a lot of exposition. My position isn’t that more exposition is better, but there really good balance of mystery and exposition, and this flick just leaves a lot of connections that need tying up hanging in the wind.

Defining Scene: (highlight text to uncover spoilers) I am going to be honest here, there aren’t too many scenes competing for this honour; I have to give it to the tow-truck driver’s face landing on the front lawn, it made me chuckle.

Ratings:
IMDB5.2/10
rottentomatoes28% Critics; 35% Viewers
– my rating – 6/10

Bottom Line: Okay, okay! It doesn’t live up to the name… 😦

Final Destination 5 (2011)

My Take: Yes! I am so happy that this movie didn’t continue the downward spiral that the previous entry in the series was on. I will admit that this movie is not as good as the first two installments (or even the third) but it is a definite “return to form” which was very, very welcome.

Where this movie really suffers is in the precognition aspect – the premonitions are staid and it seems like there are no subtle warnings, only large, intricate ones, which is a little too simplified for my tastes. The music in this entry is geared more towards commercial/popular rather than atmospheric, which is not a bright note. The camerawork and direction is acceptable, but nothing really interesting. The effects are better than the fourth installment (not hard) but aren’t quite as good as the first entries. There is still a great deal of creativity in the actual scenes, which made me smile.

Defining Scene: (highlight text to uncover spoilers) I was really surprised that the movie ended up being a prequel, and that was really well done. At first the lack of references to flight 180 (which had become a standard) bothered me, but those bothers were eliminated by the ending. Despite that feeling, my actual defining moment was seeing Champ Kind getting horrendously covered in boiling-hot asphalt – I could imagine myself in that situation and it was absolutely terrifying for me, it was grotesque and intense, an excellent scene.

Ratings:
IMDB5.8/10
rottentomatoes62% Critics; 52% Viewers
– my rating – 8/10

Bottom Line: Welcome back! This is a great entry for the series.

Well, enjoyed all of the movies, but I do have my preferences, and here they are, in list form, ordered from most favourite to least favourite:

  1. Final Destination 2
  2. Final Destination
  3. Final Destination 3
  4. Final Destination 5
  5. The Final Destination

Be sure to vote in the poll below and leave a comment with your thoughts!


All movie posters from IMDB.
Poster collage from FD Wiki.

Barfi (2012)… A movie review!

Once again, I am here to tell you about another fantastic Hindi movie.

Ranbir Kapoor as Barfi
Barfi (2012)

About

Barfi, is a movie about a man who cannot speak or hear, who falls in love through a series of unfortunate events, with an autistic girl. This movie transitions from one love to another and is a compelling story.


Reaction

It made me laugh, and cheer, I was truly blown away by how well this movie came together.

I have a love for Hindi movies, this is true, but that love comes from movies like this. Genuinely heartfelt, good movies. The acting, despite lack of true vocal communication from the two main characters is undeniably good. You know and understand everything that is happening via narrative and body language. It superbly done.


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Barfi
What a beautiful movie

Starring Cast

Priyanka Chopra (Jonas) plays an autistic girl, and well, she does it flawlessly. Ranbir Kapoor plays Barfi, and their on screen chemistry is simply undeniable.

Turn back time!

While this movie is from 2012, I want them to go back in time at the Oscars, and award this movie. Because it was truly Oscar worthy. Now I know Bollywood movies don’t really get considered for North American awards very often, but this movie should of been considered, if not win. It is a true gem.

Rating

I don’t even want to give this movie a rating because I feel as that would insult it. So 20/10 it is, you read that right. It’s just that good.

Xbox Series X/S and the NextGen

Xbox Series X | Photo from WindowsCentral

Lets talk Xbox:

For the longest time I have been a very large fan of the Xbox brand, but lets be honest, the Xbox One generation was less than stellar. I fan-boy’d out for it for a good long time, defended it and Microsoft. I hoped it would get better, but Sony just kept putting more nails in the coffin that was Xbox.

The narrative of no exclusives, anti-consumerism plagued the start of Xbox One, when they forced the Kinect (which I love btw, not that it was forced, but the device itself). This created a very negative drive for the Xbox teams to work against.

They changed leadership at Xbox, and the glorious Phil Spencer came in. This is when change started happening. It wouldn’t be enough to save the current generation of Xbox from slaughter in the so called ‘console wars’, but it would help setup the next generation by restoring some of its name, and showing that they were in-fact, pro-consumer.

How I define that is the Xbox One X, Backward Compatibility, Xbox Game Pass, and Xbox Game Pass for PC. They showed an ultimate move by creating a powerful console to end the generation, and they created a Netflix style service for streaming games if you will and put more in the distance.

That more in the distance was the next generation, with aspects like Project XCloud, and the Xbox Series S and the Xbox Series X. Now while the Xbox Series S is a streaming console, no optical drive, it is still more powerful than the current generation consoles. While we are on that topic, the Xbox Series X is even more powerful than that, being the most powerful console outright. See below.


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Xbox Series X Specs:

  • CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 GHz (3.6 GHz w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU
  • GPU: 12 TFLOPS, 52 CUs @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU
  • Die Size: 360.45 mm2
  • Process: 7nm Enhanced
  • Memory: 16 GB GDDR6 w/ 320b bus
  • Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s
  • Internal Storage: 1TB Custom NVME SSD
  • I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (Raw), 4.8 GB/s
  • Expandable Storage: 1TB Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)
  • External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support
  • Runs cooler than the Xbox One X (click here for the info)

The Narrative:

Xbox has changed the narrative of power, providing simply, the most powerful gaming machine in the console world. But not having exclusives narrative hasn’t changed, yet, Microsoft bought Zenimax (a 7.5billion USD purchase), and brought its total studios to 23 game studios. These studios having been recently purchased are not quite putting out exclusive content yet. However, this does change the narrative. Xbox has games. Xbox has Power, but now people argue over the term exclusive, as the games are also available on PC. Lets talk about that.

Exclusive to the Microsoft driven Ecosystem should be the term used instead of exclusive to console. Microsoft has changed the way they do business with regards to gaming. By not excluding the PC element, they are increasing their overall user base of software. Whether it derives from PC, or Xbox, or even mobile with Project XCloud and Game Pass, Microsoft holds users in their ecosystem. The narrative now when looked at from a more logical point of view is, Xbox has games, power, and is pro-consumer.

These three narratives were the driving force behind poor reception to the last generation. So coming into the next generation, the narrative is quite different. People have to understand that generational leaps and changes happen, and this is a good step in the right direction for Microsoft and the Xbox brand.


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What is next:

November 10th, 2020, Xbox Fans, new users, and even some converts from other consoles will be getting their hands on the Xbox Series X/S. And while there are no real exclusives that we know of for launch yet (there could be some they haven’t announced), people will be getting a console that plays four, count them, four generations of Xbox Games natively. I’ll list them in-case you’re confused.

  • OG Xbox
  • Xbox 360
  • Xbox One
  • Xbox Series X

There you have it, four generations of Xbox titles that will work day one. Over 1000 games will work at launch, I’m probably way off with that number, as they said all Xbox One titles will work, plus the BC Library from Xbox and Xbox 360, plus obviously the new generation of titles will work. That is pro-consumerism, and very well done might I add.

Proof?

You got it fam!

How about a nice Xbox Series X commercial?

Perhaps you wanna see what Phil Spencer has said with the wonderful people over at Kotaku?

Some people are worried about Bethesda.. Don’t worry, this infographic will help.

Worlds Await:


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Conclusion:

In conclusion, the next generation Xbox console will be defining the next 8 years of console gaming. Microsoft continues to invest in gaming, and put the consumer at the forefront of the decisions, this creates a positive atmosphere for gaming, gamers, families, and yes, even competitors.

I am excited to see this new generation kick off. But before I finish things off here, I love Sony as much as I love Xbox, this article was simple about the positive change that Xbox has undergone and the future of gaming. No matter where you play, I hope you are having fun!

Goal: Crush A Raw Potato

You may thinking to yourself “what?” or perhaps, “is this a real goal?” well, I am referring to crushing a raw potato with a bare hand, unaided. I don’t know if you have ever tried this feat, but it is not a simple task.

Try it.

Go grab (or buy, or order online – thanks COVID) a potato and try to squish it into nonexistence. If you can, well, you probably lift a lot of weight and are a powerlifter competing at the international level. For most people, this is an impossible task.

I have always had decent grip-strength and I have worked on it in the past, but recently I have really been infected with urge, the desire to really improve my grip – I want, must, be able to crush a raw potato.

It may be “small” and “cute” but it is a serious gripper that most people couldn’t close with the entire hand.

I bought an IronMind IMTUG 3 (IronMind Two-Finger Utility Gripper; so numbered as there are 7 levels of increasing difficulty). You might look at this and think it is just a cute little toy, but let me inform you, this is not an easy task to close (bring the handles together). The IMTUG series is smaller than normal grippers, but it is designed to be used with one or two fingers at a time, which can really help develop the whole hand and lead to greater overall grip strength.

In the past I have used a Captains of Crush gripper (I have closed a #1, #1.5, and a #2, but only with my dominant hand) and I would like to eventually get up to working on a CoC #3, and, of course, crushing a potato.

Weak handshakes bother me, and I always relish giving a crushing answer when I am given the “dead fish” in a handshake. I also appreciate when someone returns the favour and puts my hand in a vice, but that rarely happens.

I have now been using the IMTUG for about a week and I can definitely note that my hands are sore. Well, soreness doesn’t always mean progress, but I believe in this case it does. I almost never get soreness in two parts of my body: hands and calves. If I feel soreness in either of those two spots, I know I had a bitchin’ workout. The other thing that I have noticed with the IMTUG (and like the CoC) is that it is essential impossible to put it down and forget about it. I brought this to work, and I found myself gripping it any time I had a spare moment to myself. Working on grip throughout the day can really make you feel productive, even if you normally don’t feel that way. Likewise, the IMTUG fits easily in a pocket and could be used on anywhere and anytime you have a moment or two to practice.

I know grip strength and grip training is not for everyone, but if it is something you are interested in, I cannot recommend the IMTUG (and the CoC and IronMind in general) enough – great quality products and an immaculate international reputation.

Stay tuned for future grip-related posts that I hope will eventually feature a hand-mashed raw potato.

The Masterchief and I

It was the year 2531, I, a member of the ODST had the priviledge to work along side the one, and only, Masterchief, Spartan 117.

The Masterchief and I

I am pretty confident I posted this in the past, but I felt that this was important to put out there, and if I haven’t posted this, then well, it is about time.

I have an extreme love for the Halo Franchise, and I am excited to see where the next iteration of the franchise takes us. Only time will tell, but I am hoping that it is someplace special.

That is all.