Tuesday, 1 September 2015

I've Been Watching

I like playing Minecraft, but I need something more than just the game to occupy my time... so I slipped in Terror of the Autons. Annoyingly, it's only available with Spearhead from Space so I have like three or four copies of that now.

It's definitely been a while since I've seen it. I know most of the more talked about beats, of course, the arm chair swallowing scene, the doll, the plastic flowers, the face off cop... but now I get to see them again! And, of course, the introduction of Roger Delgado. And another Time Lord (is there some fan theory about who that is supposed to be? Probably, but I can't recall it.). There's a fair bit mixed in here, but it's also quite repetitive of the Master trying to kill the Doctor over and over again, pad out to four episodes. Oh, and there are some Autons in there, but meh, whatever.

There are a few specials on the disc, talking about the Master and the third Doctor and stuff.. and by the time you've watched them all, don't worry about listening to the commentary track, because we've heard the stories by then. And while I admit I wasn't reading all the production subtitle track, the bits I saw didn't stand out as giving away anything amazing. Some missing scenes and such, which did help explain a few bits of the stories, but otherwise once again more actor credits.

The story feels better than the rest of the disc, and I'm glad I rewatched it.


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Monday, 31 August 2015

Scarf face

So this is one of the big ones, one that people refer to all the time. And now I can check it off.

Tony Montana is a Cuban, newly arrived in the United States, and ready to make his mark. Which immediately means getting in with as much crime as possible, in particular the drug trade. Not content with just being another mook, he forces his way up the ranks and takes over top dog. However, principles get in the way, and so does coke-fuelled insanity, and it all comes tumbling down.

(I can't be the only one thinking of Casino during this, right?)

This is a great performance from Pacino, no doubt. All the characters are believable, and I can see how they get from one point to the next. It's no big surprise to see Tony crash down, giving us a complete story arc that feels satisfying.

I have other big titles on the list, I suppose I should get around to them too, eh?


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Sunday, 30 August 2015

Dont Blin'k

Remember how Cabin in the Woods meant that we never have any crappy 'going to a cabin for a horror movie' movies ever again? Me neither unfortunately, and so we get this movie.

A group of young adults go to a far off cabin, and then start disappearing one by one as people no longer see them...

And that's about it. Don't ask for an explanation, because even the movie admits it can't come up with one, so never mind that. Now you see them, now you don't. And so we are left with watching the movie get rid of them and we watch as they break down and... you know there's a reason movies have antagonists, it gives the movie something to focus on and provide a contrast to what the 'heroes' are going through. With out that... this just seems empty.

Although we do have Joanne Kelly giving a different performance to her Warehouse 13 role... and hasn't her career just vanished? There's also Zack Ward and a cameo by Robert Picardo. Director / writer Travis Oates did well there.

This could have been good, but I kept thinking I could be watching Phantoms instead.


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Saturday, 29 August 2015


Hannibal was a great series... but that's definitely the past tense there.

With the end of season three, that's it. Although that was more like season 3.1 and 3.2, because after being cancelled they suddenly had to skip to the actual Red Dragon storyline that was supposed to be a whole season. And that 3.2 was a lot better than 3.1.

The problem is entirely in season 3.1. For me it just wasn't doing anything interesting, it was just disappearing so far up its own pretentiousness it broke the meter. And that's this series we're talking about, where it's build on a solid foundation of self-importance and uses walls of pomposity.

Then 3.2 got better... but, strangely enough, still felt like it was dragging on a lot. Focus on characters is good, but doing nothing but cycling the same character moments over and over again is getting too much.

So yes, I'm glad it's finished. Bryan Fuller was doing worthy things with it, but got too caught up, and now the toy's been taken away from him. And no doubt it'll be resurrected in some other way before long.


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Friday, 28 August 2015

ZX Vega

I helped set off the ZX Vega... and actually have a ZX Vega! While I never had a spectrum myself, we did have a Timex Sinclair 1000 (which is like a ZX81). My cousins had one, so it was "oooh, colour! and sounds!" And now I have one myself!

Well, not really. The Vega is a Spectrum emulator, but instead of a full keyboard, we have a d-pad, four large keys to do the basics of select and fire and such, and four other buttons, one of which is for accessing the Vega menu, the others just being spare buttons.

Now, for Arcade games, that's not too bad, although one game at least has the controls 90 degrees off. But for Adventure games, which is basically text games, imaging trying to text with two buttons, one to select one of four letters, the other changes what letters are selected. Now image trying to enter something like "give apple to peasant"... yeah, I give up before they even begin. At that point, I want a full keyboard emulator please!

But there are the adventure games, and I'm quite good at the logic ones, like X=Y=Z (move the box along a path by putting down special tiles) and the like... but for most of the adventure games... here's a spoiler... they suck. Terrible graphics, terrible controls, and terrible story. And most of the games are ones you've never heard of before.

It's nice and all, but feels very gimmicky, and that won't last.


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Thursday, 27 August 2015

Even Almightee

I saw Bruce... a long time ago, and wanted to see this Steve Carell movie for a while now.

Steve Carell plays... his usual sort of character, and he's become a congressman. Coincidentally, god chose exactly this moment to turn him into Noah... and the rest of the movie is slowly building up Steve believing this, even though we know he is, and we've seen the trailers, so there's no surprise here, except for the surprise of how long the movie is milking this out. Eventually there's a flood and everyone dies, happy ending!

As one would expect in this movie, there's a lot of talk about god's plans and how he interacts with people. By setting up "opportunities", aka doing nothing and saying something happened. And the big flood is sizeable... in that it's smaller than an overflowing river, which the first flood was. And speaking of the flood, despite all the attention to the bible given in this, no mention is made of the fact that it's two of every unclean animal, and seven each of the clean ones. The verse was right next to the one they kept referencing!

But it's all mildly amusing, and I was mildly amused. Not a waste of a time, just a simple watch.


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Wednesday, 26 August 2015


As I’m sure other people asked, did we need to remake this?

Family moves into a house, there is a slow increase of spookiness, the young daughter gets taken, we’ve seen all this. And this is like an edited version of the first movie. With some less care. This just gets straight on with it, by and large, no real built up, just a couple of incidents that are just a little odd, then full on ghost-a-palooza.

There are a few changes, of course, because they have to update it, and I do like some of the performances given… but it just isn’t the charm of the first movie. Oh, and the indication is that Evil Power Lines are behind everything.

Better off watching the original again.


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