Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fallout 3

Nuclear war sucks, that much is obvious. In fact it's pretty much agreed that not much good comes from nuclear weapons except post nuclear apocalyptic fiction. Which brings us to Fallout 3, Bethesda's entry into the Fallout series of games. If you never picked up a Fallout game in your life, imagine playing a game set in the world of Mad Max 2 where you're trying to eek out an existence in the post apocalyptic wastelands of the world, that's Fallout.

The game starts out with the character being born, literally born, from their mother's womb. From there, a series of very clever character creation processes are laced into the introduction and the game begins. The story starts out in Vault 101, an underground fallout shelter that's survived the nuclear holocaust that devastated the world around you. Mr. Vault 101 as you'll be known as through most of the game is awoken one night and told his father has left the Vault and journeyed into the world outside. It's up to you to travel outside of the only home you've known and find him.

Upon stepping outside of the Vault, you'll find yourself in the wastelands of Washington DC, and I mean Wastelands. The "beauty" of the game's graphics is that when you look at the vast expanse of what use to be our nation's capital you see a scarred and ruined land littered with the decaying skeletons of our nation's monuments. The entire environment of the game is delicately crafted to look like a couple hundred years have passed after the world went to ruin. Debris is everywhere, skeletons posed in the position they were in life lay in beds and bathtubs, and the world is in a perpetual fog of war. As the player ventures further out into the rather expansive environment, they find all the things one would find after a nuclear holocaust. Bands of marauders raiding and pillaging, settlements of survivors of varying degrees of prosperity, aggressive genetic mutants of all kinds, and lingering radioactive areas of nuclear fallout. In short, it's a harsh unforgiving world.

Gameplay wise, Fallout is an interesting mix of Roleplaying Game and First Person Shooter. In a lot of ways it plays like Elder Scrolls, another Bethesda game. The game does follow a linear story, but with the vast expanse of Post Apocalyptic Washington DC and the many side quests and locations coupled with the sandbox environment of the game, a person could be playing for hours and not even advance the storyline one bit. Combat can be traditional first person shooter, or resolved through Vault Tec Assisted Tactical Situations (V.A.T.S.) where a player can select actions and hit locations they're targeting and let the computer resolve the probability they hit or miss. It's very useful for those with poor first person shooter skills. You can also switch from first person to third person mode, however the nature of the camera and the player's position almost virtually ensures you'll always play in first person mode. You also look like you're moving very stiffly in third person and that detracts from the game. The only other complaint I could find with the gameplay is that the game is prone to crashing, despite a patch being out that supposedly fixes that issue.

Music wise, the game comes supplied with in game radio stations that play a mix of propaganda for various factions, patriotic tunes, and old songs from the 1950's. It's a strange juxtaposition when you're shooting mutants with a missile launcher to old timey jazz. The voice acting in the game is very top notch, with celebrity voices such as Malcolm McDowell as President John Henry Eden and Liam Neeson as the voice of your father.

Overall, Fallout 3 is a top notch game that will threaten to suck your time and productivity away for hours on end. With a game environment that's huge, and dozens of side quests and ways you could play the game, a person could go through the story several times and have it end differently each time. I give Fallout 3 four irradiated Gomorrahs. They're like regular Gomorrahs but may mutate and grow extra limbs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry

As a rule, there's no such thing as Irish Indians. In fact ask most Irishmen and they'll have no idea what the fuck Curry or Naan is. Yet in a melting pot like San Francisco, a place such as Kennedy's Irish Curry can exist as this magical place of Indian food and Irish beer.

The place is, as best as I can describe it, Chuck E Cheese for adults. Like a place that has all the things adults like to do, but in one building. Booze? This place has over 100 types of beer and wine to chose from. Cheap prices for food and drink, yup they got that too. Pool tables and fooseball, check. Hookah, yes there's Hookah, that magical incense smelling smoke thats just as bad for you as cigarettes but has more aesthetic appeal. Wifi, a Big Buck arcade game, and an air hockey table round things out. Plus the place is cavernous, large enough to hold any huge group that invades it's premises. So at a glance, this place kicks ass and after spending time here, I have to agree.

The bar and games area form a donut around the restaurant part, giving the place an odd juxtaposition of families eating Indian food being surrounded by drunk weirdos on the fringes. The food itself is actually pretty damn good. It's no place like Shalimar (another restaurant I should review), but it's several levels above a typical Naan and Curry disaster restaurant. I highly recommend the dosa and the stuffed naan, but be careful, their hot stuff is ridiculously hot.

If there were any real complaints to be had about this place, it would be it's location. Located on the border of North Beach and the Marina district, this place is not easy to get to. The parking is iffy, especially if there's a show going on at Bimbos, which is across the street. The major road leading to the place is Columbus, which anyone who has ever driven on knows is a nightmare. And there's no easy Freeway access. Furthermore, it's proximity to the Marina District makes it a popular haunt for the now infamous Marina douchebags.

Kennedy's Irish Pub & Curry is located on the corner of Columbus and Chestnut across from Bimbos at the tail end of North Beach. They take cash and credit card and are a great venue for large groups. Definitely a solid 4 1/2 Gomorrahs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bacon Salt

Bacon, we love it. In fact it's a known fact that bacon is the most beloved food on the planet. Proof of this bold statement you ask? Bacos, Fakeon Bacon, and the other dozen bacon substitutes. Bacon is so beloved that vegetarians, people who cannot enjoy the beauty of such food, go to great lengths of science to invent a substitute for this divine meat. Hence we've come a long long way when here in the 21st century the scientists of our world brought us Bacon Salt, combining the essence of bacon with the practicality of salt.

According to the makers of bacon salt, "Bacon Salt is a zero calorie, zero fat, vegetarian and kosher seasoning that makes everything taste like bacon." So in short, bacon salt is to be enjoyed by all, and is probably good on it's own. Seriously, it makes things smell like bacon, a scent scientifically proven to be an aphrodisiac for men. Imagine if people salted icy roads with bacon salt, the streets would taste like bacon and children would be drawn outside to play all the time. It'd be a utopia on earth. Now, if technology could go further and crossbreed a vegetable with bacon, then we'd know we reached the epoch of human achievement. But until then, bacon salt shall save us from ourselves.

P.S. Do not bacon salt a can of PBR, despite what you may think, it's a half cocked idea.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Clone Wars (2008)

A long time ago, in a studio far far away, there was a young George Lucas. George rose up to become a geek icon by creating something called Star Wars. Years later, after a lifetime of hookers and blow (or something along those lines) George tore everything he created down by creating prequels to his cultural phenomenon. Humanity wept, the internet went ablaze with flaming discussions over the merits of Jar Jar Binks, and here we are. Flash forward to 2008 and we have the Clone Wars movie, not to be confused with the Clone Wars shorts (which were amazing and packed more story, action, romance, and plot in every 3 minutes than Return of the Sith), an animated feature showing "other" stories from the prequel era.

First off, for those who care, this is not a real movie. This is a two hour multimillion dollar pay per view pilot episode for an upcoming TV series aimed at teens. With that in mind, you can forgive the dialogue and writing, because it's pretty damn bad. The plot of the movie is that Jabba the Hutt's son is kidnapped by the Sith and Anakin, Obi Wan, and Anakin's annoying teenage apprentice have to get him back. Simple plot, easy to follow for even the most dullest of thirteen year olds, action abound, profit, right? I always wondered why the fuck Georgie wants to kiddify Star Wars when the entire series revolve around war, fighting, and losing limbs in some epic battle of good and evil. Anakin isn't whiney or emo this time around, but his teenage jedi apprentice is, oh boy is she bad. There's also a tranny hookah smoking Hutt in the movie too for some reason. Yes, you read that correctly. Still it's Star Wars, and there's some bright spots. Lightsaber battles, always awesome to see. Gigantic slugging matches between enormous space ships, also cool. Cute little green aliens, sweet. But then everyone opens their mouths again and talk like Jedi would if they had a myspace.

For what the movie is, it's not terrible. It's certainly better than the prequels, but that's like saying a fart is better than a stinking toilet log. As a made for tv movie, I'd be all for it, but for something you pay 10 bucks in the theater for, they could have done better. Sad George, we keep hoping you'll make us love you again. The Clone Wars gets 2 1/2 Forced Gomorrahs. Haha, get it, Forced, the Force, ahhhh I slay me.

The Dark Knight (2008)

There is no entry for Dark Knight. The movie was perfect, you already saw it and don't need me to validate that statement. Deal.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog

Mad scientists never get their big break. They plot and scheme and build devices of mass vaporization but in the end they get their comeuppance, when all they aspire for is getting some comedownance on the general population. After all, they're smarter than most of us, and shouldn't the smart people take advantage of their god given right to look down on everyone else? Thankfully we have Doctor Doogie Howser Horrible, MD, or just Dr. Horrible. Doctor Horrible has a blog, he rants on the internet, he talks about the status quo and how it's not quo at all. He's got big plans because the world's going down the toilet and to fix it he just needs to rule it. And he's like the rest of us, he does laundry, he's got problems, he has a crush on the girl at his laundramat. And we learn all this through song and dance.

Yes Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog chronicles the age old tale of a man's struggle to conquer the world, kill the good guy, and get the girl. It's a tale that stretches back to biblical times when men struggled to conquer the world, kill the good guy, and get the girl. Standing in his way is Captain Hammer, aka Captain feathered-hair-tight pants. He's dashing and buff and kind of a dick, the way you imagine most super heroes being in real life. He likes to ruin Dr. Horrible's day. He's also taking his girl. It's almost like Revenge of the Nerds, the musical, which would also be a great musical if they ever made it. But I digress.

In the end, Doctor Horrible is delightful to watch. It's got romance, suspense, danger, pretty redheads, and mad science. All the ingredients for a perfect musical. It's also got a villain named Bad Horse the thoroughbred of sin, created by the guy who created The Tick, and Fake Thomas Jefferson, and you know you've got gold when something has menacing equine villains.

Doctor Horrible's Sing Along Blog gets 4 Horrible Gomorrahs. They're like regular Gomorrah's but horrible, like they kicked babies and strangled prostitutes growing up.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Lucky 13

The purple paint outside, the big black cat logo, yes this is Lucky 13. It's got convenience of location, being near the Church St Muni and the bus lines going down Market St. It's got a beer selection worthy of a brewery, including Framboise Raspberry Ale, a beverage that a roommate of mine has affectionately dubbed Raspberry Angel Jizz (TM). It's the type of dive bar that you'd imagine the Ramones or the Sex Pistols hanging out in, the walls are covered in punk rock murals, concert posters for the Misfits, and the entire decor is very dark. You feel like you're stepping into the void when you go there, except the void is slinging cheap beer and cheap liquor to the tune of Bad Religion. It's location seems to garner just about every facet of San Francisco's demographics. Gays wander in from the Castro, hipsters from the Mission, people coming back from shows at Cafe Du Nord and the regular San Francisco cross section of old hippies, ex rockers, and Gen X yuppies. The place gets serious praise for it's liquor selection, price, and juke box. Other bonus points are a popcorn maker dispensing free movie style popcorn that you'd pay 5 bucks for at the movie theater and the place allows dogs and other pets. After all, why walk your dog in the park when you can take him to a dive bar and give a diet of floor popcorn and spilt booze. Like most places it's not all that perfect. It's perpetually noisy in there. Blaring jukeboxes in an enclosed space and everyone shouts to be heard above the music. It's also perpetually crowded inside. But these are minor things compared to the liquid goodness this place dispenses. But for all it's boozery, I give Lucky 13 3 1/2 Gomorrahs. It can be great, but the crowdedness can be too much.

Lucky 13 is located on Market St. Parking is moderate, but doable, and transportation is handled by the Church St. Muni station. Bar is cash only, and the place has no kitchen but Castro St. and a 24 hour Safeway are nearby.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


Meet Wall-E, he's a robot. See Wall-E collect trash. See Wall-E befriend a cockroach. See Wall-E squat a log (er in this case cube) of garbage and arrange it like Jenga pieces in a tower. See Wall-E fall in love. No really, just see Wall-E. You have to hand it to Pixar, they somehow managed to pull off a post apocalyptic sci-fi Chaplin-esque romantic comedy adventure movie about the environment and not suck or be preachy about it.

Wall-E is about the last robot on Earth. In fact he's the last anything on Earth. You see, in the future mankind treated Earth like a toilet and like any lazy people who don't pick up after themselves, decided to ditch the planet and lounge it up in space while thousands of little garbage picking bots cleaned up their mess. Flash forward several centuries later and all that's left is Wall-E. He wakes up, he picks up trash, he builds neat little skyscrapers out of them, he finds little trinkets to take him, he watches musicals, then he goes to sleep (mode) and repeat. He's good at what he does, which is why he's the last thing on Earth. The only other things that seem to survive with him are the last cockroach (you know shit's hit the fan when there's only one cockroach left alive) and Twinkies. Makes you wonder why more things can't be made from Twinkies since all forms of media seem to portray them as invulnerable to the ravages of time and environment.

Now meet Eve. Apparently in the future Ipods are not only robots, they carry neat blaster cannons, scanners, and are named Eve. Eve meets Wall-E. Wall-E falls for Eve, Wall-E and Eve act out a time tested love story, but with robots. Eve takes Wall-E to her giant space ship with giant fat humans who became lazier than the Jetsons ever portrayed humans being. All the things you love about sci-fi movies seem to take place. Robots uprise, artificial intelligences deem humans stupider than them, battles are fought, lives in peril, the fate of humanity in jeopardy. And all the while, Wall-E is seducing Eve with his underdog charm and gritty exterior (really, he's one filthy bot, he picks up garbage all day remember?) and not much else since in the future robot's can't say anything beyond their name. Yes, you can count the number of words all the robots in the movie say on one hand. Which means it takes some talented body language for Wall-E to flirt with Eve, that sly devil-bot. In the end, Wall-E is about the environment, and what happens when we ignore Al Gore and the hippies and crap where we eat. But it's nice to know someday my Ipod will have a blaster cannon.

Wall-E gets 4 1/2 Gomorrahs. One for the two robots, one for the ghost of Fred Willard, one for showing the invulnerability of Twinkies, 1/2 for the references to old sci fi films, and -1/2 for getting show tunes stuck in my head.


1. (noun) The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation
2. A San Francisco dive bar that doesn't need your praise to be cool.

Zeitgeist is a quintessential dive bar. It's located under a freeway, the walls are covered in graffiti, rocker memorabilia, bumper stickers abd the bathrooms are either porto potty horrors or badly lit closets of questionable sanitation. Furthermore, the staff seems to display only two moods, frantically busy or surly. And yet, Zeitgeist is probably one of the more beloved institutions in the city. This is a bar that locals go to, and they don't need your shit or your attitude if you plan to bring it.

Those who are open minded and patient can find a silver mine of lining underneath the dark cloud exterior. For one thing, Zeitgeist boasts a very large selection of beers on tap. They also are well known for making one of the best bloody marys this side of the country. Even better, they're on the cheaper end of the spectrum for booze in the city and pitchers (big glass ones, not the sissy plastic water pitchers you find in pizza places) seem to range between $10-$12 bucks. The place serves some delicious freshly grilled bbq for the cheap, although instead of fries they're served with grilled potatoes that always seem slightly undercooked. The biggest draw, however seems to be the large outdoor beer garden, where at any given time during the spring and summer seasons you'll find college kids, hipsters, bikers, bike couriers, and just whoever chilling outside with their friends over several pitchers of ale. It's like a large no stress social gathering.

Quirkier features of the place are $30 rooms you can rent per night up above that claim to be clean, though I honestly have never heard of anyone ever renting a room upstairs nor could imagine anyone wanting to sleep above the cacophony of noisy drunks, and the Mission District Tamale Lady. The Tamale Lady is somewhat of a local hero, dispensing cheap tamale treasures around the streets of the Mission District and Zeitgeist is her headquarters. At any given night cries of "The Tamale Lady" can be heard and gaggles of hipsters will line up around her as if she's bringing manna from heaven. If I were to ever give Zeitgeist a score, I'd give it a solid 4 Gomorrahs, minus one for the horrors of the bathroom I've had to endure there while drinking a pitcher of pear cider by myself, but it's Zeitgeist. They don't need my praise.

Zeitgeist is located on the corner of Valencia and Duboce, under the freeway. Parking is decent, the 16th Street BART is close by, and they only take cash so bring lots.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


this spot is reserved for the great San Francisco Buffalo Wing tasting test that will eventually happen.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wanted (2008)

I am very glad I don't work in a cubicle job because according to the movie Wanted, if you're a twenty something office monkey trapped in a dull pathetic existence then your only means of escape is to become an assassin and shoot a lot of people. And not just shoot them, but using some slick Matrix-style curve ball way to shoot in the process.

Loosely based on a comic book series by Mark Millar, Wanted is a story about Wesley Gibson, an apathetic victim of the cubicle monkey lifestyle. Wesley's day consists of going to work where he's constantly berated by his overbearing Nurse Ratchet of a boss, going home to his run down apartment to his girlfriend whom right from the beginning is shown cheating on him with his douchebag best friend and trying to cope with the fact that he's broke and leading a meaningless existence by taking heavy medication. In other words, he's pathetic.

A chance meeting with a woman named Fox aka Angelina Jolie playing her umpteenth bad ass gun wielding femme-fatale, steps in and informs poor Wesley that he's the heir to an ancient tradition known as killing people for hire. Apparently Wesley's father was one of the greatest assassins in the world and was recently murdered and it's up to Wesley to take on the family trade. With almost zero prompting and the minimum seven stages of denial, Wesley goes down the path from pansy to bad ass through a series of obligatory training montages with the various rogues gallery of assassinannys showing him the ropes before he's sent to take down his father's killer.

This could have been a decent summer action movie. This could have been a movie akin to Fight Club or Office Space in that we have a hero that inspired us to escape whatever monotonous lifestyle we might be living in to aspire to some sort of greatness. Unfortunately the movie gets bogged down with some video game-like concepts that would tax the suspension of disbelief of thirteen year olds. People are able to jump and flip cars as if they were playing Grand Theft Auto, bullets are shot like curve balls and able to defy logic and physics; and while cool the first time, a person would get tired of seeing two bullets collide in mid air after the third or fourth time. James McAvoy, who is a very talented actor, does a fine job with what he's given. It's just that the character Wesley isn't that great to begin with. Unlike other people who might be morally conflicted with becoming an Assassin, Wesley jumps into it with enthusiasm simply because it's better than his old lifestyle. There's just very little growth in the character. Morgan Freeman, who plays the head assassin leader, shows amazing acting simply because he's not bursting into laughter when his character delivers some of the most ridiculously hokey lines ever written for a man played by Morgan Freeman. For example, this is the first movie with Morgan Freeman where I've ever heard him drop the f bomb. Angelina Jolie is just playing Angelina Jolie in action movie mode, she holds a gun, she shoots, she pouts, she wears tight outfits, and she leans against things looking all sultry-like, it's not anything new to us. In the end, Wanted is just an action movie for the dumbed down Myspace generation.

Final Verdict:
2 1/4 Gomorrah's; great concept, some awesome action scenes, but ultimately pretty dumb.

The Gomorrah Scale of Awesome

From this point on I will be using a new handy dandy trademarked rating system that I shall refer to as the Gomorrah Scale of Awesomeness (TM). Anything I review will now be rated in terms of Gomorrah-ness. For those who never read the Bible, Gomorrah (along with Sodom) was one of the towns that were destroyed by God for being full of sinful inhabitants who indulged in various pleasures. In other words, they were towns inhabited by people who knew how to have a good time. Hence everything being reviewed here will be gauged by how much enjoyment people can get out of the product.

1 Gomorrah = boring, dull, non enjoyable, the equivalent of living a Puritan lifestyle
2 Gomorrahs = Of dubious use and enjoyment, something that is utter crap except for one or two silver linings.
3 Gomorrahs = Average, kinda useful, kinda fun, fun for a while but then gets boring, like vanilla icecream.
4 Gomorrahs = Good, awesome, positive, watch this, get this, use this, eat this, just experience it in some way.
5 Gomorrahs = So much fun you'd turn into a pillar of salt if you looked back on it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The Ex, 5 Piece Knife Set

Most of you have probably seen this product in various online stores (ie Thinkgeek, Amazon, Overstock, etc.) and thought "Wow, a voodoo doll that doubles as a knife holder!" I thought the same thing which is why I currently possess one. It's quite an impressive looking addition to the kitchen and more than one person has commented on the thing upon entering our house, however there are some flaws with the thing. For one thing, the entire holder is made of plastic screwed onto a hollow plastic base. While it's big enough that it wont easily get knocked over, it feels flimsy enough that if you were to drop the holder for whatever reason, it would just shatter. My other main issue with the Ex is that the knives that were included in the set were a little dull. Now this isn't a big issue since knives can be sharpened but one would think that if you buy a knife set, the knives are already pre-sharpened. The price, at $70, is a little high too considering it only holds five knives, but of course anyone who buys this is probably looking for form over function. It would have been nice if they could sell this sans knives so those who already have a full knife set could use it. Other than that, it's an attractive thing to possess, and in my house I'm sure we'll have no shortage of pictures to tape onto the head for cathartic purposes. However my recommendation is if you buy the Ex, fill in the hollow base with something to give it more weight and stability and ditch the knives that are included for some nice Cutco knives.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Machine Girl (2008)

This movie is one of the most indescribably craziest films I've seen all year. It was as if a Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino film had a love child with an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers then went to see Iron Man and Rocky before finally produced this Grade A, B Grade, movie. Directed by Noboru Iguchi, The Machine Girl is a hyper-violent, blood soaked, semi-comedic, over the top revenge movie that reminds us that the Japanese know how to make some strange and rather fucked up movies.

The movie follows the life of Ami on a quest for revenge against a ninja-yakuza family. Barely two minutes into the movie and we already see the bodies piling up. Ami was leading a normal teenage life with her little brother when tragedy struck and her brother and his friend are murdered by the school bully. Losing her arm in the process, she sets off to avenge herself against the bully and his ninja yakuza family with the help of the auto mechanic parents of the deceased friend, a chainsaw, and the over the top gatling gun arm they built for her. In true B-grade fashion, limbs are lost, blood sprays in geysers, and people die in inadvertently funny ways and the audience is left howling with glee throughout the movie.

The plot is paper thin, the gore is over the top, and the random japanese silliness is well just silly. The actors throw themselves into their roles but in the end, as an audience, all that is secondary because we're seeing a schoolgirl with a machine gun arm blasting out justice. For those who love B movies, this one is your holy grail.

Everything is Awesome Forever

Welcome to the Awesome Forever Blog. This is the place where I attempt to review and comment on everything I deem awesome in the world. It's my outlet for any creative genius that's hiding up in my noggin and hopefully I can entertain and inform at the same time. Everything here is written in an everyman fashion that's easily understood by everybody, similar to The Self Made Critic from the old Brunching Shuttlecock's website, my direct inspiration. So please, enjoy.