Tag Archives: Emma Stone

It’s a Birdman movie! No, not that Birdman.

Michael Keaton has been a little quiet in recent years but that’s all about to change with not only the Robocop but also a dark comedy called Birdman. Now I say it isn’t the Birdman of Hanna-Barbara fame, but no one really knows. All we have to go off if the logline so far…

[quote]A washed up actor who once played an iconic superhero must overcome his ego and family trouble as he prepares to mount a Broadway play in a bid to reclaim past glory.[/quote]

Could the “iconic superhero” be the Birdman? Could he even be Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law? Unlikely, but how awesome would that be? What we do know is Michael Keaton plays the lead role of Riggan Thomson, washed up actor. Surrounding him is a host of talented actors including Edward Norton (who also took a turn as a superhero back in the day), Naomi Watts, Zach Galifinakis, and Emma Stone. While the casting is impressive, the man behind the camera ain’t too shabby himself.

Birdman

Alejandro González Iñárritu has a resume that speaks for itself. His 2006 film, Babel, which he wrote and directed, same as Birdman, was nominated for two Oscars as well as winning a host of various festival and awards show prizes, not the least of which was a Best Picture Golden Globe. While he himself wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for 2003’s 21 Grams, two of the actors (Naomi Watts and Benicio Del Toro) were so he’s no stranger to winning.

Could Birdman be the Academy Award winning vehicle that has alluded Michael Keaton for so many years? Granted he hasn’t made a career out of “Oscar worthy” films but there have been plenty of times he could have been given a nod, Batman or Beetlejuice come to mind. Given Iñárritu’s proclivity for directing award winners, there’s a good chance we might see Mr. Mom up on stage come awards season.

Even though Birdman is listed as in post-production, there hasn’t been a lot seen of this movie. As a matter of fact there is just a few pictures of filming that have only been published in the last few weeks. Hopefully as they move further along the production process we’ll get a better glimpse of Birdman and find out just exactly who we’re dealing with.

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Birdman does not yet have a firm release date, but is expected sometime in 2014.

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‘Gangster Squad’ Clips and Interviews For All To Enjoy

So this weekend marks the release of the Gangster Squad movie that has been delayed for several months starring Josh Brolin, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte and Sean Penn amongst others. This has been a high anticipated movie since last year but it was delayed due to the shootings in Colorado at a movie theater and a scene was subsequently reshot because it involved a similar event. However, we here at Grizzly Bomb were lucky enough to score some scenes from the movie and some interviews as well from on set to help mark the release of the movie. I’m looking forward myself to seeing the movie, despite the mixed reviews it has been getting, and these clips just remind me what a great cast they have in the movie and the look of old Los Angeles circa 1940s just gets me excited to see it. It may not be L.A. Confidential but hopefully it’ll be entertaining to watch. Below are seven clips from the movie and interviews with the cast so enjoy!

Amazing Spider-Man 2 Casts Harry Osborn!

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Dane DeHaan. According to multiple sources, such as Hollywood Reporter and EW.com, he’s your new Harry Osborn for this iteration of the Amazing Spider-Man series. He takes over the role that was originated by James Franco in the original Spider-Man Trilogy. He also will probably not sabotage the Academy Awards and star on a soap opera but I’m only venturing a guess at this point.

Back to DeHaan, you might remember him from that unrated Josh Trank pic Chronicle. He played Andrew Detmer, the social outcast turned super emo kid with powers. He turned in a terrific performance in showing his issues and his calm, if not frightening nature as he developed a superiority over others with his powers. He also was in Lawless with Tom Hardy and Shia LeBeouf, which he also did a great job in. Looking even further, you might recognize him from In Treatment and True Blood. He apparently was also ‘Second White Soldier’ in Lincoln so this is definitely the next step up from that.

He appears to be the last of the major castings for the new Spider-Man sequel, with Jamie Foxx slotted in as Electro, Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane and Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone returning from the previous movie. Obviously we all should know that Harry Osborn becomes the heir apparent to his father’s villain alter ego, The Green Goblin, but we have yet to see Norman Osborn so perhaps we might see him sooner than we might think. I think DeHaan will be a good addition to the cast as he definitely comes off as a terrific actor in his previous roles and it will be interesting to see how they tackle the Harry Osborn character. This seems to be running along the same lines as the Ultimate Spider-Man comic book series so maybe we’ll see…Hobgoblin? I don’t know but I’m excited with this casting news. More so than the Jamie Foxx casting because Booty Call was just on television the other day and…just wow.

Trailer Roundup: Gangster Squad, Lone Ranger, Dark Knight Returns, and More!

[tabgroup][tab title=” Gangster Squad “] "Gangster Squad" posterInspired by a true story from the 1940s and 50s, Gangster Squad is about the Los Angeles Police Department putting together a small squad of policemen tasked with the goal of keeping East Coast mobs out of their city’s streets.

The cast list is impressive, including the acting veteran Sean Penn and the recent favorites Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone.  With a setting and tone much like the video game L.A. Noir, we’re excited to see how this one turns out.

Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Josh Brolin, Emma Stone, Nick Nolte, and Sean Penn
Release Date: January 11, 2013

[/tab][tab title=” The Lone Ranger “]

"The Lone Ranger" poster

Tonto and John Reid go back a long way… like to the 1940s.  And now they’re making a comeback in Walt Disney’s version of their story with a new twist – Tonto is going to recount the American Old West adventures that made John Reid into the fighting-for-justice legend we all know him to be [SuperHeroHype].

With a winning combination of Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer (they made the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films), we’re expecting lots of humorous adventures, entertaining fight sequences, and interesting lore.  Also, Johnny Depp’s crow headpiece is pretty wicked.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Armie Hammer, Tom Wilkinson, William Fichtner, Ruth Wilson, and Helena Bonham Carter
Release Date: July 3, 2013

[/tab][tab title=” Broken City”]

"Broken City" posterNew York City’s mayor appears to have done well for the city since he was elected, but he has one personal problem: his wife is sleeping around.  So the mayor hires an ex-cop to track down the man she’s cheating with.  However, the situation escalates when the ex-cop finds out that there’s more to the mayor’s situation (and his political games) than he’s letting on.

Audiences will undoubtedly be tired of politics by the time this film comes out, but maybe Marky Mark’s ambition to take down a conniving politician will be just what some Americans want at that point.

Director: Allen Huges
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Russell Crowe, and Catherine Zeta-Jones
Release Date: January 18, 2013

[/tab][tab title=”The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2″] "The Dark Knight Returns - Part 2" posterAfter several years out of the spotlight, Bruce Wayne becomes Batman again, this time as a middle-aged man still ready to take on the new criminals that have arisen in Gotham City.  But this time Batman’s being called a murderer, and a warrant is out for his arrest.  Superman claims he must follow the law and find Batman, but will he?

The story is nothing new, as superheroes have been called vigilantes and murderers before, and there have been show-downs between Batman and Superman in the past, but judging from the trailer we’re guessing DC Comics isn’t going to drop the ball on this one, especially if Part One was any indication of how good the finale will be.

Director: Jay Oliva
Stars: Peter Weller, Michael McKean, Wade Williams, Ariel Winter, David Selby, and Gary Anthony Williams
Release Date: Winter 2013

[/tab] [tab title=”Movie 43″]

"Movie 43" posterThe most we can say about this movie is that it’s a comedy featuring a large, all-star cast that will be “intertwining different tales” [IMDb].  It was also going to be called Red Band at one point.  If you’ve seen Love Actually or Valentine’s Day, it’s supposedly something like that, but with a far more adult approach, in all aspects of the word.

Director: PatrikForsberg, Peter Farrelly, Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill, and several more…
Stars: Chloe Grace Moretz, Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Elizabeth Banks, Gerard Butler, Kristen Bell, Kate Winslet, Anna Faris, Richard Gere, Naomi Watts, Halle Berry, Jason Sudeikis, Chris Pratt, and many more…
Release Date: January 25, 2013

[/tab][/tabgroup]

 

Hero Express: Hammer To Play Batman, Silver Samurai on Set, & RED 2 Set Photos!

Welcome back to the Hero Express, your one-stop sometimes SPOILER filled shop through the top five stories in comic based Film & TV news!

Armie Hammer Likely to play New Justice League’s Batman

This interestingly enough isn’t the first time he has been in the running for the role. The last time there was a Justice League film project Hammer was again preferred for the part. Even though that project fell through WB’s still feel he would be the best to play the part of DC’s JL Batman. I believe with this choice that WB’s wants a different style of batman than has been displayed recently in Bales performances. What I mean is that with Batman needing to fight side by side with other superheroes that this time around the character will have to be more of a team player.

I haven’t seen a great deal of Hammers work except for his role in The Social Network so I can’t say how well he would take on the legendary role. However he will be starring in the upcoming Lone Ranger remake coming out next year, and so we should be able to find a good understanding of his acting abilities under a mask of sorts.

News via [Digital Spy]

Silver Samurai, Viper and More Wolverine Images Revealed on Set

First off is a sneaky image of Silver Samurai where to get a good look you have to zoom in a bit, still it looks interesting and the design seems to be based strongly off the comics but we will have to see the front before full judgement. Next we have an image of Svetlana Khodchenkova (That’s a mouth full) playing Viper a rather complicated character from the comics and should be interesting to see how they use her in this film.  Lastly we have some stunt photos of Wolverine with claws out and on stunt wires; he is however a stunt double as you can tell it’s not Hugh Jackman.

Images via [Collider]

New and Recurring Cast of RED 2 on Set

The cast of RED returning to set for the upcoming sequel and we have some new cast members as well. So who can we see new from these pictures. First off Catherine Zeta-Jones getting into a car with Bruce Willis with Willis not looking happy (wouldn’t be my reaction). We also have David Thewlis playing The Frog (not sure what that means yet) who is doing plenty of stunts on a motor bike. We also get a good look at the returning cast with Bruce Willis, John Malkovich and Mary-Louise Parker.

The Latest synopsis for RED 2:

“The sequel to the action-comedy hit RED, which reunites our team of retired CIA operatives as they use their old-school style to take on a new set of enemies all across Europe.” The film is being directed by Dean Parisot (“Galaxy Quest”) and will star: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Hellen Mirren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, David Thewlis, and Mary-Louise Parker.”

Images and Plot via [Collider]

The Oldboy Remake Synopsis and Josh Brolin on set

The Oldboy remake staring Josh Brolin has recently had some set photos leaked of Brolin on set with and without a shirt on, granted there’s nothing shocking about that but it does prove that it’s on track to be released next year. We also have the latest synopsis for the remake and it does shed some light on how this American remake of a popular South Korean film will play out. There has been some concerns over how this remake will be made, however I haven’t seen the original and plan to this weekend.

The latest synopsis for Oldboy remake:

“Spike Lee helms this remake of Park Chan-wook’s grim tale of a man who seeks revenge against his mysterious captors, who held him imprisoned for 15 years. Josh Brolin stars, with Thor’s Mark Protosevich adapting the script.”

Images via [Collider]

Shailene Woodley Likely to play MJ Watson in the Amazing Spider-Man 2

Shailene Woodley Playing Spiderman’s new love interest Mary Jane is a little shocking. I really wouldn’t have picked her from other options for May Jane but Webb probably knows what he is doing in the cast roles, what with casting Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Shailene Woodley maybe an unusual choice for the role of the feisty Mary Jane but will most likely display a greater acting ability than the previous Jane played by Kristen Dunst (her see through tops where pretty good though). This isn’t all the news though in terms of new characters for The Amazing Spider-Man sequel.

We have also got confirmation from the studio that the sequel will have Harry Osborn involved and Electro set to be the main villain. The studios have started looking for cast members to fill the roles of both the villains to Spider-Man’s world. Electro is an interesting choice for the main villain since he has never been on the big screen before and is a weird character to base a film around if he is indeed the main villain. One last thing I would like to say is that my prediction for the way this series is going is looking more and more likely. Osborn will be introduced in this film and will then be the Green Goblin in the third film killing Gwen in the last scene (totally called this!).

News via [Super Hero Hype]

Spider-Man Sequel Confirms Return Of Director & Star

In probably the most groan inducing and obvious news to ever surface, a sequel to this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man is in the works. After the first one came out to a generally positive reaction from audiences, this money grab new franchise reboot seems determined to follow through with its shameless planned effort to make a new Spider-Man trilogy. At the time however, director for the first film, Marc Webb, was unconfirmed for a return. Now it seems like we’ll have to endure get to see another film starring the wonderful Mr. Garfield and his spectacularly lame portrayal of the hippest, least relatable, and most lame-sauce version of Peter Parker yet. [Editor’s Note – I totally disagree, Garfield > Maguire]

Aren’t I tortured?

Now if it wasn’t clear, I’m not a fan of the movie. I found myself trying really hard to stay positive about the movie right up until I actually saw it, but boy was I ever let down. I wasn’t expecting a masterpiece of epic proportions, nor was I even expecting a knockout, drag down epic superhero film. What I got instead was probably one of the stupidest, most uninteresting, boring superhero films I’ve ever seen. As I was watching it I found myself groaning in disgust or facepalming at the inanity of everything, literally every 5 minutes. Not to mention the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in a movie since the Hulk Dogs from Ang Lee’s Hulk; The goddamned lizard mouse. Plus the sweaters Peter wears, oh GOD the layers on this guy! What is he anemic? Dude wears at least 4 layers of clothes in every scene where he’s not in his Spider-Man garb.

4! Four layers of clothes! Ah! Ah! Ah!

I’ve never seen a film with such a perfect mix of boring, dumb, and redundancy. I kept trying to forget all of the previous things in the film that I found retarded, for lack of a better word, but they just kept coming. Eventually I realized the true meaning of this film lied in it’s franchise value, and the lack of any substance, or anything new or interesting was because of this. People often talk about who is or isn’t a hack in Hollywood, and the guys who wrote this, god bless them for trying. They’re obviously fans of the character, who had to deal with immense studio pressure to make the film as toyetic, commercial, broad and franchisable as possible. What I mean by this, is that it’s the case of a studio counting its eggs before they hatch. The whole film felt like an attempt to make a movie, solely to make other movies, rather than actually tell an interesting, coherent, original story.

Script? Story? Just make the damn movie, we need that Spider-Cash!

So hearing that Andrew Garfield and Marc Webb are coming back isn’t exactly a surprise, but leaves me with no real feelings of joy either. I had no huge problems with Garfield, although he did seem to be sleepwalking through the scenes that didn’t have to have him crying, skateboarding, or crying while skateboarding. He’s not the blame for his character being utterly shit-tastic. I’ve never seen a guy whose shit was so ruined despite looking cool, having a hot babe be obviously into you, being rad at skateboarding, and being a goddamned genius. Furthermore all of the awesome camerawork that was promised by Marc Webb was mostly absent, as I recall a big hooplah being made about the POV swinging sequences, of which I can barely remember. I don’t mean to trash them both, because they did what they could with what they had. The entire thing was a massive failure on every level, except for monetary gain. Which it was made for to begin with, so in that regard it’s a success. I know I’m in the minority with that opinion here at GB, (4.5/5) but It’s how I feel.

Seriously, look how tortured he is!

Will I be looking forward to seeing the new Spider-Man film? No. Will I see it? If somebody else pays for the ticket, snacks, and then is willing to sit through my rant after the film is over? Yes. Will I be continuing further coverage of the sequel as plot details are released? Yes, but only because my editor hates me. [True.]

Grizzly Game Review: Sleeping Dogs

Summer is a quiet time for video gamers. With triple-A titles such as Call of Duty and Dishonored not being released until fall, there really isn’t a reason to get excited about summer if you’re a gamer. Of course we have Darksiders 2 which came out earlier this week, but that’s pretty much it.

Or is it?

Sleeping Dogs was also released on Tuesday for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC. The game, once went by the name of True Crime: Hong Kong, was under United Front Games’ development before it was dropped by Activision. The publisher of the infamous Call of Duty  franchise decided that doing something different and switching things up are not part of their repertoire, and thus gave up on the title after pooling in a couple of years’ worth of resources and time. Six months after the game’s cancellation, Square Enix purchased the publishing rights to the game. And a year later, the game was released.

So, does the game make you put your dogs to sleep? Wait, that’s a horrible attempt on a pun, like “I’m gonna perform seppuku to express my shame” level of horrible. It doesn’t even make sense. What’s wrong with me?

How about this:
So, will you be playing Sleeping Dogs for a long time? Or will you be watching sleeping dogs online instead?

That’s much better.

Story

The game puts you in the shoes of Wei Shen, a detective working for San Francisco Police Department. He was seconded (or “lent”) to the Hong Kong police to help investigate a triad known as Sun On Yee. Wei was born and raised in Hong Kong for most of his childhood, and has some connections to triad members in the city. These factors make him a seemingly perfect candidate for undercover work in the gang. So, Wei is assigned a handler and his journey on the fine line between black and white begins.

Yea, we have all heard that story before.

Plot-wise, the game is fairly predictable. The characters range from the good-guy-who-turns-out-to-be-the-big-bad to the asshole-who-turns-out-to-be-cool-cat. You know, the usual stuff. Of course, there are also the dialogues practically made out of cheese:

Handler: I’m shutting the operation down because you can’t handle the stress
Wei: You can’t do it now! They see me as one of them. We’re so close!
Handler: That’s what I’m worried about – you’re one of them.

Obviously, we also have the melodramatic sequences in which the protagonist is not sure of his identity. You know, sound bites of characters from both sides of the law playing in the protagonist’s mind as he drives in the rain to confront a major antagonist and sad music about being lost or something like that playing in the background. It’s pretty much a basic requisite for any form of entertainment that involves police working undercover.

Despite of the story’s predictability and cringe-worthiness, I find it, strangely, enjoyable (though not by any means good). How the journey unfolds feels right, and most of the characters are fairly likable. Characters complement each other very well even though they’re molded straight from the cookie cutters of movies or TV shows dealing with Asian gangs. In this case, they picked the right cookie cutters and baked good cookies. They’re nothing mind-blowing, but they are very solid. The story flows well and is satisfying. Like a well-made sponge cake, it is nothing to be excited about, but you’ll eat it. It’s relatively bland compared to other cakes, but at the very least, it will meet your expectations since there aren’t too many things that could go wrong in a sponge cake. In non-food-analogy terms, the game tells an average story. Since the story is pretty easy to execute, and the writers delivered a solid performance, there aren’t too many flaws to be found in the end product. Your low expectations are easily met.

I still don’t understand the title though. Just thinking about it is wrinkling my brain.

(Note: Per TV Tropes. the title is based on the proverb “Let sleeping dogs lie”. It should be interpreted as “leave something alone as it may cause trouble”.  I still don’t get it though. Does that mean the protagonist should have left his past alone? Whatever. I’m done with this.)

7 grizzly paws out of 10.

Gameplay

Throughout the game, you will be completing around 30+ story missions. There aren’t too many varieties among missions. Most of them feature the player getting from point A to point B in a car, kick some asses, chase someone down on foot, and maybe pick up a gun and shoot some people. They’re fun, but not revolutionary. Early story missions introduced side quests. More on that later.

As far gameplay mechanics go, they are pretty well-done. The cars feel grippy, and are fun to drive. The devs did a great job in creating the sense of speed. Driving down the highway has never been more satisfying. Cars have different handlings. You can tell the difference between driving a van and a coupe. I did not like the motorcycles though. Their handling is not agile enough for me to pick them over cars. You can hop from one car to another as you drive, performing a mid-air high jack of sorts. Personally, I didn’t care for this feature. The cars you purchase from merchants are much faster than civilian cars anyways.

The shooting mechanics are so-so. They’re just there because open world games set in modern times need guns. You have a reticle and you shoot people. There are pistols, submachine guns, assault rifles, shotguns and grenade launchers.  That’s pretty much it. They don’t feel all that different. You can get into slow motion if you hit X (on the PS3 controller) as you vault over cover. That’s generally how I eliminate the baddies. Bullet time is somewhat over-powering if you ask me. A skilled player can take out quite a number of hostiles in one use.

The fighting mechanics, however, are other-worldly. Picture Batman: Arkham Asylum’s system on steroids.  Unlike Arkham Asylum, you can grapple your enemies in this game, and you need to hit a different button to counter enemy attacks. You can’t chain up insane combos in this game like you can in Batman, but I would take the melee combat system in this title over the other. Why? The combat in Sleeping Dogs is very fluid and much more brutal. You have the usual melee weapons as well. Most importantly, you can use the environment to your advantage. Grappling your enemy and hauling his ass into the spinning blades of a fan cannot be more satisfying. Or drop a car engine on him if you feel like it. Hell, you can throw him off a building if given a chance. It has the hands down most awesome hand-to-hand combat in open world games.

The parkour style on-foot chases are decent. Basically, you hold down the X button to run, and when the screen prompts you to vault or climb, hit the X button. It’s not Assassin’s creed though, since you can only climb low walls. It’s not like you can get to the top of a 10-storey building by just climbing up the side of said-building.  The pursuits are fun due to the diversity in environments. Running through the crowded night market of Hong Kong chasing after a gangster is pretty mesmerizing.

When it comes to side quests, the game offers a decent amount of those. Obviously, there are the usual street races, which are fun because they’re short and the driving mechanics are great. There are also the random encounters, which are diverse in objectives, though most of them follow a similar structure – the usual get to a certain point, do some stuff, and get paid. You may also pursue a romance if you so desire. Romantic interests appear as contacts on your phone after certain missions. You can invite them out for a date. Afterwards, you’ll receive some sort of reward. Most of them reveal the locations of hidden items on the map. These relationships are incredibly shallow since you won’t be able to contact them anymore after that one date (and in some cases, not see them ever again throughout the story). I have no idea why the devs were bothered enough to include this feature.

Speaking of hidden items, there are different types of those. There are health shrines, which boost 10% of your health for every five you find. You can also look for lock boxes, which grant you a generous sum of cash, or clothing items, or even a firearm. You are also asked to keep an eye out for security cameras. These cameras are located all across town and you’re asked to hack them on location. Hacking them will lead to potential drug busts. There are also statues which you can keep an eye out for during missions. These statues, when brought back to the wushu academy, can give you new fighting abilities. The rewards are immediate and adequate enough for you to actively seek out for them.

The critics are in love with the leveling up. To me, it just seems like a no-brainer. You have the cop XP and the thug XP. The former requires you to drive carefully throughout missions and not harm innocent civilians. The latter asks for you to be brutal towards your foes. (Perform an environment attack for example.) They do not contradict each other. There is the face meter as well, which keeps track of your progress on side missions. The more side missions you complete, the more you progress on your face meter. For each level of face you gain, you will unlock perks such as reduced prices of clothes and cars.

Customization options are limited to clothes. Wearing different sets grant you different perks as well. Some increase your XP and some reduce the price of cars. You can also purchase cars from merchants. They are generally faster than the generic civilian transport. Either case, there is nothing too special about them.

Powerups are available in food stalls. Different types of food grant you different temporary abilities. Consuming a can of energy drink will enhance your melee damage whereas eating a bowl of curry fishballs will increase your rate of health regeneration. They are readily available at all times, even during missions.

In conclusion, the gameplay is fine. It will last you somewhere over 20 hours. There is nothing innovative, but there are also little wrongdoings. The game is just fun to play. The complaint will be the devs were playing it a little too safe.

7.5 grizzly paws out of 10.

Presentation

Presentation is where this title shines. Having spent the first 16 years of my life in Hong Kong (which is a shit hole if you ask me), I am glad to report that Sleeping Dogs is a fairly accurate portrayal of Hong Kong. The game covered only one of three major areas of Hong Kong and only four of eighteen districts. Despite of these shortcomings, you can clearly tell the devs did their research. There is a balanced mix of eastern and western architectures across the city. Each district has a distinct feel to it and is a good representation of its real life counterpart. The narrow roads on the slopes of Central and the neon lights in North Point brought me a sense of nostalgia. Certainly, street vendors selling food do not happen anymore and the back alleys are much cleaner in reality, but there is no complaint from me. As a matter of fact, their inclusion gives the city an early-90’s feel, when nasty alleys and food carts were everywhere.

Complementing the city’s sights are the sounds. There are many interesting dialogues going on between pedestrians and they are surprisingly good reflections of the current Hong Kong culture. Some of the swear words / phrases are surprisingly explicit (which is a plus in my book). Well, I’m sure most of you don’t understand Cantonese, so this may not be a point of interest to you. Either case, I must applaud the devs for putting in all that hard work in making the city feel authentic.

I must also compliment the voice acting in Sleeping Dogs. The devs somehow managed to involve big time Hollywood actors in the project. Names such as James Hong, Will Yun Lee, Lucy Liu, Tom Wilkinson, Kelly Hu, and even our beloved Emma Stone appear on the credits.  They did a fantastic job in giving lives to the characters they were playing. Sadly, the devs have underused many of these talents. Most of them appeared in no more than a couple of missions only to be ditched and forgotten. For any Emma Stone fans out there, she appeared in only two missions and her character was never mentioned again. Anyways, I must also give credit to the rest of the cast – the ones voicing the nobodies on the streets. They were responsible for making the in-game city alive.

When it comes to soundtrack, the game covered a good number of genres. From Canto pop to Chinese oldies to American hip hop, they have it all. Don’t ask me if I like the Chinese tracks in the game. I listen to English music exclusively. Modern day Canto pop consists of incredibly one-dimensional love songs only. Anyways, the soundtrack doesn’t blow fishes out of water. It’s solid, but it’s also nothing special.

9 grizzly paws out of 10.

With that said…

The game is good. It is nicely executed but lacks in innovation. Without a doubt, it’s much better than its predecessor, True Crime: New York.

7.5 grizzly high fives out of 10

I don’t do round-ups.

Should you buy it?

Not now. As good as the game is, it is not on the level where Square Enix can command 60 bucks. Grand Theft Auto IV was perfection in presentation and Saints Row The Third was creativity at its finest. Certainly, the presentation of Sleeping Dogs is almost on a phenomenal level, but it is not enough to overcome the shortcomings in gameplay.

It’s a good, clean punch but not a knock out.

Rent the game or wait till a price drop (to somewhere under 40 bucks).