Monday, January 23, 2012

First Impressions: The Lorax

Hey everyone, Patricia here. Yes, it's been a while since I posted. But I've been busy going to school and studying, so I haven't had the time to post anything. Now that I'm back, time to make it up with another edition of First Impressions. Today's first impression happened to me last week when I went to the movie theater for the first time in four months and saw Red Tails. I saw a poster for an upcoming animated movie from Illumination Entertainment, the same company who created Despicable Me. It was a movie based on Dr. Seuss' classic story, The Lorax.

Just by looking at this poster, I have a 99% prediction that this movie is going to suck. Big time! For those of you who haven't read the book it was based on, it pretty much sums it up like this.

The story starts off with a young boy wandering into a dirty, polluted desolated town to visit a being known as the Once-ler. In exchange for 15 cents, a nail, and a shell from a great, great, great grandfather snail, (seriously, where the hell do you get that and where can I get it) he tells the story of the lush, green land that is now in place of the town and an orange creature called the Lorax.

The Once-ler looks around this beautiful forest filled with happy animals and examines the Truffula Trees and finds that he can make a product of it. He builds a factory and starts polluting the air, lake, and chopping trees for his greedy desire to make a fortune. But the Lorax sees this and tries to persuade him to stop what he is doing to his home, however the Once-ler doesn't listen to him and continues to run his factory as is. Eventually, all of the trees are chopped, the factory and town is deserted, the air is filled with polluted smoke, the lake is filthy, and all the animals and the Lorax leave the forest to move to another home. In the end, the Once-ler gives the boy the final Truffula Tree seed and tells him to plant it, give it water and sunshine, and protect it so it can eventually grow a forest so that the Lorax and the animals can come back.

Out of all the stories that Dr. Seuss ever wrote, this one was one of his absolute favorites. It's a story that may not be the best story for children for some, but it doesn't sugar coated or shove the message of protecting the environment in your face like most environmental stories for kids. I'm looking at you Captain Planet and Ferngully. However, in the end, the story shows a bit of hope that we can change our destructive ways and treat our environment better for everyone. That's a great story to tell to kids, especially today since global warming is rising in an alarming rate, we have more drought where rain is needed and more floods in places where it's not needed. We need to raise more awareness before it's too late and we can no longer avert the damage that we have done.

As of right now, the recent movie adaptations of these classic Dr. Seuss stories have been shat on. The Grinch, the Cat in the Hat, and Horton hears a Who are absolutely awful and from the looks of this, it'll probably follow the beaten path. But the nail in the coffin for me are the voice actors: Zac Efron, Taylor Swift, and Danny DeVito as the Lorax. Epic fail! Still, I'll let you know if my predictions are correct when I see it. Catch you later around the Old School Lane.


My most anticipated movies and video games of 2012

Almost a month has passed since 2012 has graced us in our everyday lives and so far, it hasn't felt any different for me than if it was 2011. However, as I wandered into the vast world of cyberspace, I found out that a lot of really cool things are coming out entertainment wise. When it came to movies and video games, they're really coming out with some really interesting things that I'm actually looking forward to. I don't know whether it has to do with the so-called "It's the end of the world so let's celebrate the time we have left with a bang" scenario, but whatever. Here are some movies that I'm excited about for 2012.

Beauty and the Beast 3D

I can't believe that in last November, Beauty and the Beast celebrated its 20th anniversary of its release. It seems like only yesterday that I saw this movie in the theater with my mom and sister and loving every moment of it. Man, I'm really getting old. This movie is a classic and it's one of my absolute favorite Disney movies. I'm not really into the whole princess thing, but I have to admit that I love Belle . She's odd, intelligent, a bookworm, pretty, and assertive, unlike a lot of the other Disney princesses that are pretty much damsels in distress. (If I had to choose my second favorite princess, it would be Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.)

I love the story, the side characters, the animation is beautiful, the songs are memorable, and the pacing of the relationship between Belle and the Beast. Next week, the movie will be released again in theaters in 3D. While I'm not big into the whole 3D epidemic, I will definitely be one of the first people on line to watch this movie.

The Hunger Games

Based on the dark, grim trilogy written by Susanne Collins, the story of Katniss Everdeen competing in a game show involving with killing the other contestants to survive will arrive in theaters this March. I've read the trilogy a year ago and I've loved it, unlike the Twilight trilogy. I'm really looking forward to seeing how this movie holds up with the book.

Dark Shadows

Based on the ABC TV soap opera from 1966-1971, it involves with vampires, monsters, witches, ghosts, zombies, Johnny Depp, and Tim Burton. Being a huge Tim Burton fan, I will be expecting a lot of great art, a intriguing story line, and a lot of dark undertones and goofy scenes.

The Avengers

A movie that has Thor, the Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and many other superheroes all at once? Holy crap, where do I buy my ticket? As a big fan of superheroes, this looks like it's shaping up to be an awesome flick.


Pixar's first ever princess movie looks and sounds awesome. The story of a rebellious archer princess name Merida whose against going against the traditions of royalty. Her actions causes chaos throughout the whole kingdom and she has to restore it before it's too late. That sounds like the most kick ass Disney princess movie ever! I hope that this puts Pixar back on the map after that disappointing piece of crap that was Cars 2.

There are a lot of video games I'm looking forward to. With last year being called one of the greatest years in gaming ever, it's going to take a lot of top notch games to be released. Here's a list of some of the games I can't wait to play:

BioShock Infinite

The original Bioshock was one of the greatest FPS ever. The creepy atmosphere of Rapture, the fresh storyline with a lot of twists, surprises, and multiple endings, complex characters and interesting weapons is what makes this game great. The sequel was okay. BioShock Infinite takes place in a air city called Columbia in 1912 where a former Pinkerton agent named Booker DeWitt rescues a woman named Elizabeth from being held hostage for 12 years. The graphics look awesome and the concept sounds really cool.

Kid Icarus: Uprising

The original Kid Icarus is a classic NES game that unfortunately didn't go very far compared to Mario,
Zelda, and Metroid. But when he appeared as a character in Super Smash Bros. Brawl, people were excited that Pit was in the game and they were looking forward to another Kid Icarus game. Years later, after many rumors and speculations, Kid Icarus: Uprising was announced for the 3DS. The gameplay looks very different compared to the previous games, but it looks pretty good. So far, the 3DS hasn't really been selling like hotcakes and the 3D hurts my eyes after a few minutes. Maybe this game will pick up the popularity of the 3DS.

The Last Guardian

The same company that released awesome PS2 games like Ico and Shadow of the Colossus announced in 2008 that they were going to release a game involving a boy and a griffin-like creature named Trico trying to escape a castle and focusing on the friendship between the two. Unfortunately, the game had been delayed year after year and was almost cancelled a few times. Finally, the game will be released this year and I think will be one of the last great games of the PS3 before the PS4 will be announced. I can't wait to check it out.

Mass Effect 3

The final game in the trilogy promises to be the biggest story in the series. Every decision that was made in the previous two games is carried on with the new game and is just as important as ever with the storyline. Commander Shepard travels to new planets and recruits new soldiers to finish the war against the Reapers once and for all. While I'm not a huge fan of this series compared to my cousin, I'm still looking forward to it.

Twisted Metal

In the late 90's and early 2000's, over-the-top racing games were all the rage and Twisted Metal was one of the best. Not really much to say about it, but there will be new cars, online gameplay, and the same characters from the previous games will be there. I haven't played a crazy over-the-top racing game since Jak X: Combat Racing and the trailers and pictures make it look like a lot of fun.


One of my all time favorite video game developers is Insomniac Games. They created one of my all time favorite video game series, Ratchet and Clank. When I saw Overstrike at E3 2011, it kinda reminded me of Pixar's The Incredibles with the creative weapons and funny dialogue. Not a lot of information about what the plot has been revealed, but it's from Insomniac Games, which means it'll be creative, funny, unique, and fun.

Tomb Raider

When I first heard that a new Tomb Raider was coming out, I was excited. Over the years, the series took a turn for the worse and the games became awful. However, similar to the Sonic the Hedgehog series, the Tomb Raider series changed for the better when Lara Croft and the Guardian of the Light came out in August 2010. Even though it was very different from the previous games, it was a great comeback for the series. In E3 2011, a new trailer of the game came out and it looks like it took the best from the earlier Tomb Raider games and improved on it.

Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time

During the PS2 days, my favorite platformers series were Ratchet and Clank, Jak and Daxter, and Sly Cooper. When the PS3 came out, only the Ratchet and Clank series continued while the other series ended. However, Sucker Punch Productions, the company who created the Sly Cooper series, teased about a Sly Cooper 4 in their other game Infamous. In E3 2011, the announcement of Sly Cooper 4 got people excited. The plot takes place years after Sly 3: Honor Among Thieves in which the main characters Sly, Bentley, and Murray reunite and their main mission is to retrieve the stolen Thievus Racconus, the book that belonged to the Cooper family for generations. Although Sucker Punch is not getting involved with the game, it looks just like the previous games.

That's my list of my most anticipated movies and video games of 2012. I have a really strong feeling that I'll be seeing more movies and games that would look just as awesome. Thanks for chilling out with us at the Old School Lane. Catch you later.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Top 10 Favorite Pee-wee Herman Moments of 2011

Originally posted at at December 31, 2011.

It's New Year's Eve! The last day that 2011 will grace our normal routines before fading into obscurity in our history books 50 years from now. In my last post about my top 5 video game comebacks of 2011, it made me think of the celebrities that had made such great comebacks. While I could write down about Jennifer Lopez, Britney Spears, or Robert Downey, Jr., that would be too obvious and boring. Here at Old School Lane, we try our best to stray from the predictable. You could probable look them up at Time Magazine or some celebrity website that could tell it in better detail than I could actually care to do. So I'm going to talk about my favorite moments of this year from my favorite bow-tie wearing man-child, Pee-wee Herman.

While it may be true that he hadn't rocked Entertainment Weekly or Access Hollywood compared to the other celebrities, that doesn't mean he was a slouch. On the contrary, he accomplished a lot since his comeback close to three years ago and his fans couldn't be more happy for it. Here are some of my favorite moments.

1. Pee-wee's SNL digital skit

On January 15, Gwyneth Paltrow hosted Saturday Night Live and Cee-Lo Green was the singer. While the episode had its high and low points, the highest one for me was Andy Samberg meeting Pee-wee at the bar and taking copious amounts of shots. Afterwards, they rode a mechanical bull, danced the Tequila dance, bashed news correspondent Anderson Cooper with a wooden chair, and had a short intervention which ended with more shots. It was so great seeing Pee-wee at SNL again since he hasn't been in it in over 25 years. Here's to hoping Pee-wee will host an episode in 2012. Hey, if they got Betty White to host, why not Pee-wee?

The funny thing about all of this is that Pee-wee had an interview with Anderson Cooper the following day at CNN. Anderson is quite the trooper.

2.  The 2011 Creative Arts Emmys

After The Pee-wee Herman Show finished its Broadway run, the Tony Awards was right around the corner. Unfortunately, they had no nominations. That really got me angry when I first heard that. However, that changed when I heard a few months later when I heard that the show was nominated for three Emmys. That is quite an accomplishment after being out for a short time. Here's his response to it at the Red Carpet.

Although they didn't win any Emmys that night, don't despair. If the Emmys wasn't going to recognize his creative genius, then someone else will. We'll bring that up a little later.

3. The final episode of Batman: The Brave and the Bold.

Although not as dark and epic as Batman: The Animated Series, for what it is, it's pretty good. There were a lot of cool characters voiced by talented people such as Neil Patrick Harris and Adam West, but none was cooler than Paul Reubens voicing Bat-Mite.

This 5th dimension Batman obsessed creature known for breaking the fourth wall has appeared in four episodes, but his magmum opus was the final episode, Mitefall. Most final episodes for a superhero cartoon end with the superhero fighting the main villain in the efforts to save the universe. But not this one, it's all about Bat-Mite getting the Brave and the Bold cancelled and replacing it with a darker Batman cartoon. He is the highlight of the whole episode.

4. 2011 San Diego Comic Con

2011 was a great year at Comic Con. Mike Judge was promoting the comeback of Beavis and Butt-Head, Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko was revealing new information about The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra, and Pee-wee Herman made a guest appearance at Comic Con. He presented three different video interviews discussing about his comeback, the new movie produced by Judd Apatow, and many more. Here's my favorite interview. Enjoy.

The worst part about this was that I was in California for the summer and I couldn't go due to financial issues. Oh well, maybe next year.

5. Pee-wee's influences with the NFL

You might be wondering what I'm talking about. Here me out about this and get comfortable because it's a doozy. After Pee-wee's appearance at Comic Con, he went straight to San Antonio, TX to be a guest judge at Bravo TV's Top Chef: Texas. (Unfortunately, that episode won't appear this year, so that moment will not count). Along the way, he visited the Dallas Cowboys in the middle of their training day.

Meanwhile, in November, Miami Dolphins player Jared Odrick did the Tequila dance after sacking the Denver Broncos quarterback.

One month later, Pittsburgh Steelers player Ziggy Hood did the same thing after he sacked the Cincinnati Bengals quarterback.

Man, who would have thought that the Tequila dance would still be cool after all those years.

6. Pee-Wee's Playhouse turns 25

Last year, the movie which is now considered a cult classic, Pee-wee's Big Adventure turned 25. This year, the TV show which TV Guide called one of the best cult classics of all time celebrated its silver anniversary.

45 episodes of crazy, yet memorable characters, stop motion animation, puppets, cartoons from the 30's and 40's, and much more is what's awaiting you as you see this awesome kids show from the 80's. From the wacky 2 minute intro sung by Cyndi Lauper to Pee-wee riding his scooter, this show is an undeniable classic that really influenced a lot in entertainment and pop culture history. I don't know what TV would be like today if Pee-wee's Playhouse never graced our viewing eyes. What better way to be more appreciative of this awesome show than this next moment.

7. Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse: The Untold, Unauthorized, and Unpredictable Story of a Pop Phenomenon by Caseen Gaines.

In November 1, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Pee-wee's Playhouse, a writer named Caseen Gaines interviewed over 100 people who were involved with the show and put together this book of their unbelievable stories. This book chronicles all the way to the career of Paul Reubens in his early years with the Groundlings to the final Broadway show in 2011. It has over 250 pictures, an episode guide, a chapter dedicated to the Christmas Special, and so much more. This is a book you should definately check out if you're a huge Pee-wee fan. Kevin and I have ours and we love every minute of it.

8. The Simpsons: Episode 494: The Ten-Percent Solution

In this episode written by Dan Castellanella and his wife Deb Lacusta, Krusty's show gets cancelled...again, but this time Bart and Lisa don't help him get back on TV. Instead, an agent named Annie Dubinsky, played by Joan Rivers, helps Krusty with his comeback by making his kids show for adults. Gee, does that sound familiar? If not, I'll give you a hint.

That's right, Krusty's comeback is just like Pee-wee's comeback, all the way down to the stage show and the reactions from the audience feeling like kids again. Besides that, it's a okay episode, check it out.

Another thing to bring up is Joan Rivers is great in this episode. It seems that there's a kind of special connection between her and Pee-wee Herman. First, she was in his Christmas Special. Next, Pee-wee was the first guest on her short lived late night talk show. After that, Joan went to see his show on Broadway. Finally, Paul Reubens jokingly said that Joan would play Pee-wee in his biopic which was mentioned in an interview at Comedy Death Ray.

9. The 2011 Spike TV Scream Awards.

In October 15th, Spike TV awarded many movies and actors left and right. Darth Vader won for Best Villain alongside George Lucas. Robert Downey, Jr. won the Hero Award while many people had posters that had the same look and color as President Obama's election poster, and Paul Reubens won the Visionary Award for his creative mind and a vision to create one of the most iconic characters of all time. How did he present himself on stage? Like this!

That's right. The same bike from Big Adventure. The Scream Awards was great overall, but they really saved the best for last for everyone's favorite visionary.

Paul may have not gotten an Emmy this year, but that doesn't matter anymore. Now people finally recognize him as the visionary genius that he is.

10. Pee-wee's guest appearance at Jimmy Kimmel Live

While Pee-wee had a few guest appearances this year, the Halloween episode with Jimmy Kimmel is my favorite. Pee-wee comes with his Halloween costume dressing up like Dracula due to the popularity of vampires, while Jimmy is dressed like Donkey Kong.

First of all, that is awesome. Finally, a real looking traditional vampire that doesn't gleam in the sun and has the personality of styrofoam. But the best part is when Pee-wee prepares his Trick or Treat soup and shrinks Jimmy to a small size and takes over his show for a brief moment. That was beyond awesome!

That concludes my list of my favorite Pee-wee Herman moments in 2011. Hope that we see a lot of other awesome moments in 2012. Hopefully, some more news about the new movie, if the rumor of him being in next season's Dancing with the Stars is true, the upcoming episode of Top Chef: Texas, and who knows what. Thanks a lot for reading this. See you in 2012.


P.S. Pee-wee, if you're reading this, I want you to know this. We, here at Old School Lane, want to say that we love you and support you. We hope you have a great new year.

Update: A few days after posting my list, I received a thank you post from both Caseen Gaines, the author of Inside Pee-wee's Playhouse and Pee-wee Herman himself on my Facebook account. I was beyond thankful and happy for those posts. Thanks again, guys.

Caseen Gaines: "Awesome list! I'm so honored to be included! Have a great 2012!"

Pee-wee's thank you via Twitter

First Impressions: Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader

Hello everyone, welcome to our newest section of Old School Lane, First Impressions. Here, we're going to be focusing on anything new and upcoming and see what the first impression by just looking at a movie or TV poster or book cover. To me, a poster is the first thing I see before I see a trailer. Depending on what the poster looks like is really what either gets me excited or disappointed about an upcoming movie or TV show. To those who are saying to yourselves, "Oh, but Patricia, you shouldn't be judging a book, movie, or TV show by its cover." Well, you're absolutely right. I don't judge them by their cover, so this isn't 100% legit. But for some reason, everytime I look at a poster or cover, I can always tell how much it'll rock or suck about 93% of the time. Today we're going to look at Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader.
Keep in mind, I'm not the horror movie buff, Kevin is. But since he's busy working on his movie, I'll give my impression on the movie first before he will. Anyway, I digressed, so let's get started.

Attack of the 50 Foot Cheerleader is a remake of the classic 1950's B movie Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, which in itself is a female version of The Amazing Colossal Man, another 1950's B movie. The synopsis of the movie is the following:

An aspiring college cheerleader, Cassie Stratford, consumes an experimental drug that grants her beauty and enough athletic ability to make the cheer squad. The drug has an unforeseen side effect, however - Cassie starts to grow and grow and grow.

In my opinion, this movie looks and sounds like one of the worst remakes I've ever seen. First of all, the reasoning of the cheerleader's growth is just plain ridiculous. In The Amazing Colossal Man, Lt. Col. Glenn Manning, the main character, became the colossal man by being in the wrong place in the wrong time by surviving a huge atomic explosion. For the original and remake of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, Nancy Archer, the main character, was in the wrong place in the wrong time when driving away from her troubled life and meeting up with an alien along the way. But the fact that the reason that Cassie's growth was due to some experimental drug is just...odd. She took an experimental drug to increase her beauty and athletic ability? That sounds like a odd remake of The Picture of Dorian Gray or Death Becomes Her than Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

You might be thinking, "Oh, but Patricia, they already did a remake of the 50 Foot Woman in which the main character becomes a giant by an encounter with an alien. They're trying to do something different, which is good because if they do it again for the third time, it becomes redundant". Once again, you're right. But this is a remake of a movie from the 50's. When people create remakes of classic B movies, they still have to retain the campiness and references of the older movies to keep the simplistic charm. Otherwise, it feels kinda out of place or a bit awkward. The reasoning of why a person turns into a giant or monster is one of them. To me, taking experiemental drugs that goes in the wrong direction just doesn't sound right to me.

Another thing that I saw in the poster that didn't get me excited for this movie was that the movie looks like it takes place in a high school with teenagers as the main characters. That, to me, is a step downward from the original movies. Now, don't get me wrong, if it's done right, like The Blob, then I would get excited about it. But if Cassie is feeling pressured to take drugs to have a better chance to be in the cheerleading squad, that would indicate to me that the characters are shallow, narrow-minded, and cliche. Recent movies about teenagers in high school are pretty much like that in a nut shell, so what makes me have any hope about a teenage movie that suppose to be a remake of a movie from the 50's? I don't know.

Maybe, when a trailer comes out, it'll be different, but as of now. I'm not impressed. Post a comment on how you feel about the movie. If you have any suggestions about how to better First Impressions, post that as well. It'll help me and Kevin for the site and we would appreciate that. Until then, thanks for reading and chilling out with us at the Old School Lane. Catch you later.


Interview with Kevin Gugliemo about Collector

The other founder of Old School Lane, Kevin Gugliemo, is currently working on a new horror movie The Collector starring upcoming film actress Michelle Wilke and directed by Paul Zamarelli. The story about an attractive girl shrinking her childhood friends to doll size to no longer feel lonely is a indeed a great concept and a breath of fresh air compared to the slasher horror movies and supernatural thrillers of today. I called him today and had his first interview about the movie, the plot, and his passion of movies.

Patricia- Kevin, thank you for your time for this interview.

Kevin- Thank you, I’m really excited about it.

Patricia- So, you start filming the movie next week, huh?

Kevin- Yes, I’ve been waiting for this moment for so long and I’m glad it’s finally becoming a reality.

Patricia- Well, I’m excited for you. Here’s the first question, are you ready?

Kevin- Ready as I’ll ever be.

Patricia- Alright; at what age did you realize that you wanted to be a filmmaker?

Kevin- When I was in 5th grade, I had a teacher named Ms. Farrell who assigned the class to write an essay about what we wanted to be when we grew up. Other students said they wanted to be police officers, teachers, and doctors. But I wrote that I wanted to be a filmmaker. I love movies and I’ve always dreamed of making movies. My favorite movie as a kid was Who Framed Roger Rabbit and it’s still to this day, one of my favorites.

Patricia- What made you decide that your first movie would be a B horror movie?

Kevin- I’ve always loved horror movies. I love Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the 13th, Nightmare on
Elm Street, and many other slasher movies. I also love the Universal monster movies like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Wolf-Man. I love B horror movies like Attack of the 50 Foot Woman and Village of the Giants.

Patricia- Who are your influences?

Kevin- Oh, wow. There’s so many people I respect and have a huge influence on me. Tim Burton, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, Martin Scorcese, Quentin Tarantino, Bert I. Gordon, Roger Corman. But the one person who was such a huge influence on me was Paul Reubens as Pee-wee Herman. His hard work and dedication for bringing his character to life and his show Pee-wee’s Playhouse inspired me to be a filmmaker.

Patricia- For those who don’t know, can you tell us briefly what the movie is about?

Kevin- Sure; it’s about a beautiful woman named Jennifer who had gone through a really rough life. Her parents are divorced, her childhood friends have gone their seperate ways, and every boy she falls in love with only want to use her for sex. So she decides that she’s going to kidnap her friends, shrink them to doll size, and collect them. If they resist her, then she’ll torture them, stretch their arms and legs, and do anything she can to no longer feel lonely.

Patricia- Wow, where did you come up with that idea?

Kevin- It’s basically a sort of remake of the 1958 B movie, Attack of the Puppet People directed by Bert I. Gordon. But not too much of a remake that it rips it off.

Patricia- What can be expect from this movie?

Kevin- A lot of laughs, gore, blood, and violence. Also, you can expect great people. Michelle, the leading actress, is one in a million. She’s sweet, funny, and a great person to work with. The director, Paul, is great as well.

Patricia- What kind of music are you using for the movie?

Kevin- We haven’t decided on the music yet.

Patricia- (beep beep) Uh oh, you know what that means, Kev.

Kevin- Uh, no, I don’t

Patricia- That beeping sound means it’s time for a random one minute interview. I’m going to set the time for one minute and I’m going to ask a series of questions. You say the first thing that pops into your mind. Ready?

Kevin- I’m ready.

Patricia- Alright, here we go. What was the last movie you saw in the theatres?

Kevin- The Muppets.

Patricia- What food you wouldn’t eat for a million dollars?

Kevin- Bananas.

Patricia- Boxers, briefs, or boxer briefs?

Kevin- Boxers.

Patricia- What cartoon from your childhood would you like to see make a comeback?

Kevin- He-Man and the Masters of the Universe.

Patricia- What was the last book you read?

Kevin- Art with Tim Burton.

Patricia- Time’s up. That’s all the time we have for today. Kevin, thank you so much for your time.

Kevin- Thank you. It was fun.

Patricia- The Collector is right now being filmed and will be coming out soon. If you would like to support Kevin and the movie, here’s a link to Kevin’s movie page.

When it’s released, please check it out. It should be both scary and fun. Hope to see you around the Old School Lane. See you later.

-Patricia and Kevin

Monday, January 9, 2012

Top 5 Best Video Game Comebacks of 2011

Originally posted at on December 30, 2011

With 2011 coming to a close, we seem to have a lot of things from our childhoods making comebacks. Movies, TV shows, and celebrities have made huge headlines about their outstanding comebacks. Video games are no exception, but they don’t make as much of a deal about it. Well, that’s about to change; here at Old School Lane, we’ll be looking at our top 5 best video game comebacks of 2011.

1. Mortal Kombat

In the 90’s, when Street Fighter II revolutionized the fighting game genre, Midway Studios released a fighting game named Mortal Kombat that brought in crazy fatalities, blood, memorable characters, and an interesting story line. However, the jump to 3D changed everything and the series became weaker and weaker with an over saturation of characters no one cared about, complicated game play, and terrible fatalities that weren’t as violent and bloody as it used to be. (I’m looking at you, Mortal Kombat vs. DC). In 2009, Midway Studios filed for bankruptcy and shut down. The hopes of a good Mortal Kombat game seemed gone forever.

But in 2010, it was announced that a new Mortal Kombat game from NetherRealm Studios was coming out and it would include everything that we loved from the older series. 2D graphics, no filler characters, easy game play, and bloody fatalities. When it came out in April 19, everything that was promised to us was delivered and more.

2. Marvel vs. Capcom 3

In the last decade, Capcom brought back a lot of their older series for a new generation. Some of them were great, (Mega Man 9, Bionic Commando Rearmed 1 and 2, Street Fighter IV) and some were mediocre at best (Mega Man 10, Bionic Commando, Lost Planet 2). Marvel vs. Capcom 2 was the one of the best fighting games ever with over 55 characters to choose from, custom made fighting styles, and over-the-top fun. We awaited the day that Marvel vs. Capcom 3 would lighten our TV sets and in February 15, it did after over a decade of waiting.

With only 35 characters in the roster, brighter colors, unbalanced and slower game play, there were mixed reactions when it first came out. However, a updated version called Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3 came out in November and it improved on it with more characters and faster game play. Great job, Capcom, now release a new Strider game.

3. Sonic Generations

Similar to Mortal Kombat, in the 90’s, the Sonic series was the one of the best series of all time. At a time when Mario was the king of platforms, Sonic came along with his speed and unique stages. The Sonic series was the main reason to buy a Sega Genesis, much like Halo was the main reason to buy an XBOX. However, when the series jumped to 3D, the series took a drop for the worse. Confusing storylines, an over saturation of annoying characters, slippery controls, unfamiliar game play and slower movement almost killed the series. However, last year, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 episode 1 and Sonic Colors changed all that and kept the series from dying out.

This year was the series’ 20th anniversary and Team Sonic had to pull off a really good game to maintain the recent success that they’ve had so far. Enter Sonic Generations. A game that mixes 2D and 3D game play and has the 90’s Sonic and the modern Sonic working together to stop Dr. Eggman from his plan for world domination. The game is a lot of fun and it’s great to see Sonic make a great comeback.

4. Rayman Origins

When video games jumped to 3D in the late 90’s, there were a plethora of really good 3D platformers such as Super Mario 64, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. When Rayman was released, it was a really creative 2.5D platformer with tons of colors and a really good soundtrack. The series improved in the later games, but when the Wii came out, the Rabbids took over with their crappy mini games and Rayman was left in the corner. That is, until November 15th of this year hit and Rayman returned in Rayman Origins. 

In this day and age, graphics are 3D and the colors range from murky brown to black. It’s so refreshing to see a video game with this much color and 2D hand drawn animation. It looks beautiful and the game play is fun and addicting with so much variety.

4. Kirby’s Return to Dream Land

Okay, so technically Kirby made his return in last year’s awesome game Kirby’s Epic Yarn, but it wasn’t the same game play that we knew from the previous games. We hadn’t seen the classic copying abilities in a Kirby game since Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards and we’ve missed it. Originally, this game was supposed to come out in the GameCube, but after many delays and failures for it to be released, it would have to be until October 24th for the game to come out.

Similar to New Super Mario Bros. Wii, up to 4 people can play this game. Kirby, Meta Knight, King Dedede, and a Waddle Dee can work together playing through the levels of Dream Land. However, for you hardcore gamers out there, this might be too easy for you and might perceive it as a kid’s game. But check it out with a couple of your buddies for a game night. You won’t be disappointed.

5. Rocksmith

Okay, this is a new game series. What does this have to do with having a comeback? Here me out. Remember when music simulator games were awesome? Remember the long hours of playing Guitar Hero or Rock Band with your friends at game parties? Yeah, those were the good old days. But unfortunately, the over saturation of those games being released year after year burned out the genre and it died out. That is, until Ubisoft brought out the idea of letting the player use a real guitar to play the game and actually learn how to play the songs. It sounded like a great idea.

On October 18, Rocksmith was released and it received really good reviews. This is what Guitar Hero and Rock Band should have been. Maybe the music simulation video game genre isn’t dead after all. We’ll just have to see.

That concludes my list of the best video game comebacks of 2011. Await some more fun posts here at Old School Lane. Catch you guys later.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Introductions and other generic salutations

Greetings, everyone. My name is Patricia Miranda, the co-founder of Old School Lane, the blog that talks about almost everything from our childhoods from the 80’s, 90’s, and today. From TV shows, movies, video games, and much more, hopefully I would be consistent with interesting knowledge of everything nerdy yet endearing.
Pretty soon, our posts will consist of boring introductions of the members of the Old School Lane, which is myself and the other co-founder Kevin Gugliemo. The second post will consist of interviews with Kevin for his new movie, Collector as well as the director and the lead actress. As for other posts, you’ll just have to wait and see. Hope you’ll drive on by and chill out at Old School Lane.