Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Made of Honor & Grand Theft Auto...All in One Night

I never thought I'd see a cheesy chick-flick, and attend the launch of a violent video game all in one night. But that was how my evening went last night in downtown T.O.

First, I attended a special screening of Made of Honor, starring Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monoghan. The first thing I thought when I initially saw the trailer for this film was "wow, what a total knock-off of the late 1990s movie My Best Friend's Wedding" (Julia Roberts, Cameron Diaz, and chick-flick pro, Dermot Mulroney). After having watched the film, my opinion hasn't changed. Of course this movie puts its own spin on the whole concept of realizing that your best friend is "the one" when it's too late. For starters, the roles are reversed, so the man's the best friend and maid of honour. Given this, there were a few expectable laughs (not understanding all the girlie terms, jokes about wearing a dress, and of course the constant ribbing from the male buddies). But all in all, the movie was exactly what I had expected. If you're looking for the standard, feel-good chick flick for "date" night, it's a good choice. Frankly, I was most mesmerized with how they were able to make Patrick Dempsey look just like he did in the 1980s during the first flashback scene. If you're looking for the fountain of youth, ask Dempsey: he apparently has some secret that he's not sharing!

It's also worth mentioning that I watched the movie at the brand new AMC theatre at Yonge & Dundas Square. It's definitely one of the better ones I've been to (not that I've been to many theatres over the past year). The seats are actually quite comfortable (and slightly recline!) and there's tons of leg room in between rows. Picture quality, as my techie boyfriend pointed out, was also quite impressive. (Funny how we'd look at theatre quality movies and compare them to home theatres rather than the other way around!)

After the movie, it was on to Best Buy at Yonge & Dundas Square to check out the festivities for the launch of the highly anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto IV. At 9 p.m., a line-up had already formed (albeit not as long as I would have expected) while staff were on hand to attend to eager gaming geeks. Gals dressed up like Liberty City cops (the fictional city where the game takes place) occasionally pulled a guy out of the line to discipline him for disorderly conduct or whatever other made-up charges they were handing out. Not surprisingly, each man complied with a big smile on his face. After questioning, a "mug shot" was taken, and each guy (and sometimes gal) was given a T-shirt. Hey, at least they were entertained while waiting in line for 3 hours to grab a copy of the game!

The guys (and a few gals) in line represent the die-hard fans that likely took the day off work today to play the game through the night. After all, regular fans were able to pick up a copy of the game this morning at 8 a.m.! Something tells me that waiting in line was also about the "fun" experience as much as it was about snagging the game "first". But hey, to each his own.

Microsoft was also on hand (Sony around the corner at Future Shop) to award one lucky winner a limited edition GTA IV Xbox 360 gaming console. Unfortunately, my bed time is way earlier than midnight, so I didn't stay that long. But I trust that the tills were ringing well into the night, since GTA IV is expected to break sales records.

So what's the appeal of GTA IV? I'd love to hear from you die-hard gamers!

[Photos: At top are the first two eager beavers in line, along with a Liberty City "cop", who was playing her role quite well. At bottom, the Liberty City squad car kept watch on the growing line throughout the night].

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Jaybird said...

Well I didn't wait in line all night or take the day off of work but I did go at lunch and pick up my copy of GTA4 during my lunch break. I like the freedom in the game to follow the main story or go off and do what ever you want.

I am interested in trying the multi player in this game too, it is the first time a GTA game has had multi player in it. So far I have found the game concentrates on the relationships you build with other people that will get you things you need in the game.... instead of going to the local Ammunation shop that used to be scattered around the city.

You get to do things that you would never consider doing in real life, but then again that is the point of the game. Advocacy groups will be up in arms about this game but this game isn't geared for children. I'm sure this game will still be the whipping boy for parents against violent video games anyway. As long as parents pay attention to the game rating instead of just buying it for their kid because they want it there shouldn't be much to gripe about.

Are you getting a copy of this game?

Marketnews - Christine Persaud said...

Hi jaybird,

Thanks for the comments. I'm not a "gamer", per se. I'm more into the Wii, and "fun" games. But my partner IS a huge gamer, so he was engrossed in his copy of GTA IV last night. I stuck around to watch the first part, and was blown away by how much the game is indeed like a movie. It told a story, but he was the main character that decided his fate. He could do things like turn on a TV in his cousin's house (and even change channels!), steal cars (of course), listen to the radio in said cars, go on dates, enter buildings...it was just incredible. I returned to the room later to find him playing bowling on a "date" with another character. It's just amazing what can be done with these games.

And yes, I agree with you 100% that it definitely isn't a game for young kids.

Jaybird said...

Turn on the TV in the apartment? Well I didn't even think of trying that.

I did try to go on the stage at the strip club to see if I could earn myself some extra cash but that really pisses off the bouncers ;)