Saturday, 30 April 2011

Lower than the ocean floor

In the latest round of 'aquatic monster', we have Dinoshark. ...oh dear gods...

These have never been good, but this is terrible. The dinoshark is released from thawing ice, and comes south to Mexico to terrorise people and take part in a water polo contest or something. Frankly, the story is horrendous, the dialogue is deplorable, the delivery is stilted, every take is the first one, and the dinoshark is so obviously superimposed on the shots that a cut-out held up in front of the camera would be more realistic!

And it takes four minutes until the first death, unforgivable!

I really hope the actors are doing this purely for the money. Eric Balfour actually did something decent back in the day, and they even got Roger Corman to be in front of the camera! Iva Hasperger has... not been in anything noteworthy, but does seem happy to take off her top when she sees a crude drawing of a dinoshark on her computer screen. (Really, it's an odd moment in the scene, she's researching Dinoshark, then suddenly she takes her top off (wearing a bra underneath, no Pirahna 3D nudity here!) and then the scene changes... what the?)

(Secret note: I wrote this entry half-way during watching this. If anything interesting happens, I'll bother to amend this entry...)

Why, Syfy? Why?


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Friday, 29 April 2011

70 minutes

So, I watched two examples of what can be done with 70 minutes of time.

Get Smart's Bruce and Lloyd Out of Control: Set during the events of the Get Smart movie (with very weak links), this chronicles the adventures of the two gadget makers Bruce and Lloyd trying to get one of their inventions out from the hands of bad guys. And watch them hook up with women. This is clearly an amazingly callous piece of film-making, attempting to cash in on the big movie... and it is extremely terrible. No actual humour, despite many attempts at jokes, and the characterisation of all the characters varies from line to line (and indeed there seem to be a few scenes missing as well). A complete waste of time.

Hellboy Animated: Sword of Storms: Japanese folklore comes into play as two demons, Thunder and Lightning, make an effort to become freed from a sword they were trapped in. Hellboy is the one to save the sword, and the others have to deal with the real world impacts. Ron Pearlman, Selma Blair and Doug Jones return to lend their voices to the characters, and the story is entertaining and the animation is fitting. (How like Mike Mignola's comic it is, I'm not qualified to comment.) Nice wee movie.

What is telling is that I cranked up the speed on Bruce and Lloyd to get through it quicker. Not so for Hellboy. Two takes on using 70 minutes to tell a story... two completely different outcomes...


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Thursday, 28 April 2011

How to Convert your Dragon

A while ago, either earlier this year or last year, can't remember, I saw How To Train Your Dragon. Recently, I listened to the audio book of How, as read by David Tennant...

Um... now I've read original books that movies are based on (the Die Hard series is usually 'loosely' based), but this one was very different indeed...

What's in common is the name 'Berk' (the place) and Hiccup... and there are dragons... however... in the book, the vikings use dragons as pets (more or less). Er, that's pretty much completely in opposition to the movie. And the dragons speak (Dragonese). And Hiccup has a common, not rare, dragon...

Now, people will say that there's a Hollywood process, however... to completely change nearly everything about the story, how do you get 'dragons are menace' from 'dragons are pets'? Can it really be considered the same story for naming rights?

(I did consider going off on a spiel of naming a book, then suggesting a movie with everything reversed but... frankly... you can do that yourself.)

Now, the book is a good book (and I've listened to the next two), and the movie is a good movie, but as an adaptation the movie... isn't.

Just goes to show that if you like the book/movie, you might not like the movie/book.


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Wednesday, 27 April 2011


The obvious way to describe this movie is 'Kickass adult style'. And while I am wondering if this movie would have been made had Kickass never happened, it isn't the same style.

This is a real-world superhero movie, with Frank D'abo receiving a vision of being touched by god and so becomes a superhero to take back his wife from the drug lord. On some level, Kickass was still comic in style, not so here. This has real world consequences Kickass didn't touch. The villain does become rather more scaled down from the king-pin figure in Kickass, the drug lord here is more of a thug with delusions of grandeur. And the violence is also more real world, and the Crimson Bolt makes mistakes. And as for Boltie...

But while being more real, this movie wants to be a super-hero movie, and be more comedic. However... this movie wants to be a lot better than it is. The humour fails on several levels, and the 'real world moments' come across as 'this is how it should be in the story' rather than as a natural part of the story. Not so much forced as just obviously scripted.

Rainn Wilson tries hard to portray Frank, as does Ellen Page with her character, but they are fighting against the lack of well-drawn-ness their character fail to have. (There could be a lot of back story to Libby, but we never see why she is the way she is.) Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon are just phoning it in. Not even Nathan Fillion is saving this.

I wanted to like this movie, but it's 'grounded in the real world' is holding it back. Something more could be done with that concept, but not this.


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Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Side Quests Go!

I am slowly reaching the end of Arcanum. I know this because I've been using the FAQs. Yeah, I admit it! On the other hand, I don't want to do the standard puzzle game ultimate technique of spamming every item up against every other item just to see if does something interesting.

This one quest involves seeing something in a room, going to another building in the town, then going to a different town (although there's no way of knowing you need to do this), before going to another town to get some plot information before heading back to the first town. Um? Really? That's not obvious. I don't care who you are, you aren't going to come up with that plot logic.

Let alone another quest which involves going to a set of places around the country in a particular order... and it takes a lot of work to find out the order, interpret it, find the places, what keys they need... sod that!

I'm interested in the story, not in randomly wandering around. Although there isn't much of that left. One last quest or two, and then I'm heading off on the last part, no going back... so I'm not going just yet. Time to start striking off those side quests... which will involve a lot of walking around, but at least I'm going to know where to go and what to do when there.

And I'm not seeing a lot of replay here. I've put a lot of hours into this and, after changing characters, it's been fun. But it's long, and I have other games to play. This does mean that I won't experience all the technological aspects or all the magical aspects (or any of the magical aspects). I've dumped all my points into my basic stats and skills. And even then, there's more I could pump up.

One more annoying thing about skills. In this game, you can be magical or technological inclined, but not both. And if you are one, then the other doesn't work. Simply picking skills like "disarm trap" makes me technological, so now the magical healing my party can do doesn't work on me. Nuts.

(An interesting cheat could be to pump up all the stats/skills/etc at the beginning, then seeing how quickly you can do a run through. Or possibly go through and kill everyone because... well, you can.)

Not that I have plans for the next game to get into. Possibly something without an isometric view, that's just annoying...


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Monday, 25 April 2011

DW: 6.1

Okay, going to need a while to process that... however, I'm fully aware this was written by Steven "Bootstrap Paradox" Moffat, so I'm not entirely believing what I'm seeing....

So this is America, is it? Aside from a bit of desert, could easily be a set in a studio. Never really thought of Mark Sheppard being the son of W. Morgan Sheppard. Makes it easy for them to play the same person, I suppose though.

Anyways, to the story. What the smeg? As I mention, I'm not entirely believing that we saw the Doctor die. Let alone for the meta reason that there'll be another actor along to play him long before that happens. And this easily could be another bootstrap paradox that Moffat loves so much.

Still, the episode runs along quite nicely until they get to the warehouse where it starts to slow down for a while. Have to say the Silence look good. Clearly a mask (I presume Paul Kasey is under there), but nicely made. A lot of explain there, tunnels under the planet, but since these are supposed to be the enemy of this series (I presume), they need a good build up and to actually be a threat. (So often they are built up big but then defeated with a mere twist of the wrist.)

I'm looking forward to seeing next week, if only because it'll help seeing the complete story.

Next week: Um...


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Sunday, 24 April 2011

Life's a Be-ach

I haven't been around the past few days because... I've been up at the beach! My parents have a bach near Paraparaumu, so I thought I'd start off the long weekend (one of the few holidays this year) with some time out at the coast.

Started well with me losing my sunglasses on the train, so that was useful when out and about in the sun. And while I went up on the train, came back down on the bus (as no trains were running over the weekend). What a pain.

But yes, to skip to the question: I did go for a wade in the ocean. In April in New Zealand (ie middle of Autumn), with the temperatures that implies. Actually, the water itself wasn't too bad. Certainly not overly warm, and it may have been numbing from cold rather than be warm, but the water was fine. The waves as they splashed were on the shocking cold side, but the water was nice. Standing there, in sun, very peaceful.

I'd like to visit nearby Kapiti Island some time. This does involve forward planning, as you need to apply for a permit first. This does tie you in a bit... Still, be an interesting visit...

A more summary time might be more enjoyable in the ocean... however, this was nice too...


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Saturday, 23 April 2011

ODT: Demo Long Play

While I can't play the game, I can play the demo. And provide detailed commentary...


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Friday, 22 April 2011

ODT: Demo Quick Run Through

While I can't play the game, I can play the demo. And here's proof! Note: annoying in game sounds abound...


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Thursday, 21 April 2011

ODT: Scenes and Trailer

Although I can't play the game any more, I can share the cut scenes from it with you. And the trailer is at the end. That trailer (can't remember if I saw it on TV, but must have) is what made me buy the game.


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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Gotter-GAMMA-rung - 5

[I missed the first session of the new game, so we start here in session 2.]

My name is Breytack, and I was caught stealing Omega Tech. Although it wasn't my fault. I never intended to get caught. However, I was, but then I escaped (very useful teleportation powers I have). That didn't stop me from getting ambushed...

When I came to, I was in a cell, in a room with badders and some kind of machine that took my life force. I'm not sure how long I was there before a ruckus erupted as Adventurers entered the room and starting fighting with the badders. Deciding that now was the moment, I teleported out and helped set about kicking the badders' arses. Fell down just the once, but that was par for the course for us. Eventually, after much battle, we defeated them all, and took control of the machine.

The Adventurers said that they had come to this place to find the origin of the robots that were coming into town and exploding. Since I wasn't too keen on going back to town any time soon, I threw my lot in with them. (I've got great intelligence... just not wise at all...)

Tracking into caves, we found a large area covered with moss and infested with birds. Which, not surprisingly, attacked us. And hurting us. A lot. Again, we went down, and it was a tough fight to the end. Indeed, we were all down, when Zabrock finally shot the last moth into unconsciousness, falling unconscious himself.

At least, I presume we'll survive, what with all of us either out cold or dying...


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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Zy-go away

So what is the worst Doctor Who spin off video of all time? Well... there is Lust in Time, which was extremely abysmal. So let's restrict it to BBV... again, I have seen Do You Have A License To Save This Planet? Sigh, okay, in the past three years...

Zygon: When being you isn't enough... yes, that is extremely terrible, and fits the criteria perfectly. Appearance Lance Parkin and Jonathan Blum working on the script? However, they got rewritten out, but that doesn't explain why the people who are associated with it willingly were so...

Basic concept: guy dreams of being a Zygon, turns out he is, and there's another one around who wants him back, and converts the girlfriend into a Zygon, and... oh yes, there's nudity. To be fair and balance, male and female full frontal nudity, but never mind balance, I'd prefer there to be 110% less nudity all around. I would admit that the nudity is completely justified by the script... but I'd be lying. Nothing is justified by the script, certainly the scenes aren't. Trying to following the story (before apathy kicks in), I got the impression that they lost random pages of the script but decided to go ahead and film what they had.

The production is typical for BBV... and I mean that in a good way. They've had a lot of experience shooting fan films, and have that down and the CGI and all... one small problem being that the actors completely fail to embody their characters and are entirely unconvincing and generally look like they've been given the directorial note "just act, we'll capture it on the camera, and that's great!".

I saw this because I had the opportunity to. If the opportunity comes up for you, I recommend giving it a miss...


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Monday, 18 April 2011

The Real Avatar

Slowly, over several months, I've been watching Avatar: The Last Airbender. (The easy line here is that someone should make a good movie out of it (as it hasn't happened yet), but...)

This works excellently as a series. Fine, yes, it takes longer to watch, however it is worth it. The arc slowly develops, we get some nice filler pieces as well as plot development, and there is plenty of time to establish characters (as opposed to caricatures in the movie). And... it's just so much more fun! The movie was a dreary piece, whereas the tv series is a lot more light-hearted and keeps the serious moments for dramatically appropriate places. There's a good build up over time and, best of all, there is a great pay off to be had after three seasons.

Also good voice acting as well. Characters are nicely different (although I spotted more than one use of Rene Auberjonois) and production keeps the voices clean and clearly audible.

This is a fantastic story and very enjoyable. Leave it as a tv series. Yes, you could make it into a movie, but it works perfectly the way it is.


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Sunday, 17 April 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

Phew, my first game GMing in SSM. Seemed to go down well enough, people enjoyed it, didn't go off on too many tangents. Think it's a bit obvious what is and isn't part of the plot (names = things to note). Managed to get a few people to do weird things...

As for the story itself, thrill as people meet Anton LeVey! Listen as the Chef takes that one last step to becoming a perfect chef! Gasp as the French get slandered over and over and over again. Explode in excitement as bombs explode in audio!

Listen, if you dare, to Game 33: Rapidshare or Hotfile.


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It's Horror-ble

Another round of bad horror movies.

House of Bones: Straight to never-watched-tv, this features a bunch of nobodies with Charisma Carpenter completely slumming it as a psychic, and Corin Nemec as completely misplaces comic relief. The idea is that the crew of "Sinister Sites" visits the nominal house as part of their flagging "ghost hunter" style series, only to find the house is the real deal. And, to be honest, the house is the most interesting part of this, with actual supernaturality to it. None of this "it was old man Withers all along!", this is a House with designs on killing you dead and screwed with your mind. I like that. Didn't help me like the movie though...

Zombiechrist: This is a dumb movie. Fine, it's trying to be a dumb movie (it's called Zombiechrist), but this is a really, really dumb movie. Christ is resurrected as a zombie and goes around killing naked women (there are a LOT of naked women) because... of something to do with being done over by Mary back in the day or something... I dunno, there's some raving about a plot, but it's just blah, blah, blah, back to the dumb movie. Don't even watch to be "shocking"...

Suicide Girls Must Die!: Speaking of naked girls... I suppose liking this movie would be aided by liking the Suicide Girls, can't say I'm a fan. Beyond that, this is about them heading out for a photoshoot (a naked photoshoot), then, as a minor part of the movie, they disappeared and otherwise die (in an extremely cheesy manner). However, the "reality" part of this is somewhat undercut when you ask "how is this 'reality' horror movie shot like it was?"...

Pelt: Bunch of young stupid people go into the woods, have sex, then get attacked and killed one by one by man guy... um, actually, that could be any movie. The reason for the name Pelt, well... guess what happens after the killing... (there might be an animal rights message in here, but that's subsumed by being a bad slasher flick.) Not a proud movie to have on any one's CV...

Dark Floors: Oh, this was so close to being a good movie! A father is trying to help his daughter at a hospital when him, and some other people, get stuck in an elevator for a moment, slip through a crack in reality, then have to fight their way through a dark version of the hospital, complete with monsters, and some very notable twists with causality. The monsters, which reminded me of Terrahawks monsters, do have a slight problem with suspending disbelief... but I could accept that, and the rest of the movie, very well done, however... the end of the movie is a lot of a 'wtf?' that just throws you right out of the moment. So close, but not close enough...


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Saturday, 16 April 2011

Doctor Who: 2 in 1 . 1

Writing a book is hard. So the BBC decided to make it easy by only asking authors to write half a book and sticking two of them together. Or rather, given the type face and spacing, a quarter of a book.

First up, Death Riders/Heart of Stone by Justin Richards/Trevor Baxendale.

Death Riders is about a circus in an asteroid, and a lot of running around. Really a lot. There's also death, and a monster (which I thought was big but must have only been wee), and not everything going on is as it seems. Justin Richards gives us a kiddy book and clearly has delved deeply into kiddy writing. The characterisation was meh, and the story wasn't much better. More like Justin Richards had one or two good ideas, and decided to write a story around them.

Heart of Stone was a lot better, but I'm not sure how much of that is because I like Trevor Baxendale's writing. Now, there is still running around, let's not pretend otherwise, and the story is also aimed low, but there just seemed to be better ideas, and better executed here. Interestingly, when he married Amy, Rory because Rory Pond. Hmm... (Although, to be fair, I couldn't remember his last name either until I rewatched Amy's Choice.)

Not sure I'm a fan of this style of book, but so far 1.5 out of 2...


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Friday, 15 April 2011

The Look of the Thing

This week has been an announcement of costumic proportions.

First up, there's been a lot (ie at least one or two people) about the Green Lantern costume. Something about the lines of it didn't sit right, and the CGI hadn't quite congealed yet... however, one bonus of having it be entirely CGI means that it can easily be replaced without needing to reshoot anything! (As long as you're willing to rerun the computer rendering time.) As indeed has happened with Ryan Reynolds' outfit. I'm not hardcore, pure-insistent enough to care if they have Hal's outfit exactly as drawn, so... you know what? I like it. Yeah, okay, the feet, we'll see, but I like the highlight lines, gives the suit an extra edge. Now coming on and release the damn movie already!

And in other news, we will be seeing Adrienne Palicki's legs. The first Wonder Woman outfit was very... shiny, and, no didn't work. So fans complained, and thus the more subdued, and far better looking, non-shiny version was put into place. But fans still lusted after Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman (and why not?), and so there will be the little shorts version of the costume to come as well. Will they be gratuitous or driven by the story? Or both? We'll just have to wait and see... and we'll definitely be looking...


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Thursday, 14 April 2011

It's CAME-zzzz

It's the bestest thing ever since people had the idea of cutting bread product with a sharp blade! It's from England, so you know it's good! It's what all the cool guys are watching!

It's Camel... *zzz* <snore>

Because everything is better if it's more adult, after Rome and Blood and Sand and whatever the hell else, we now have Camelot, the legend that inspired a model. This is "grown up", but which we mean there are occasional scenes of naked people having sex.

Although when people are stabbed with a sword, there's very little blood. Sex might be okay, but we can't be having with violence, kids might watch this after all!

Anyway, in this take on Arthurian myth, Morgana kills her father Uther and takes over the throne, and is a complete bitch, and hooks up with some other king for power. Merlin runs off to find Uther's son Arthur whom he stashed away before for just this contingency. Another twist here is that Merlin is unlikeable and Arthur is a young whiny pratt... so not that much of a twist. Then there's the posturing of the kids and claims to the throne, and people being killed and... bah!

This is grim and gritty and dark and emo angst crap. I have no interest in that. And, worst of all, the episode doesn't engage me at all. I say 'episode' in the singular because although a few have been screened by now, I could only make it through one (which never seemed to end) and have no interest in seeing the others. At least Merlin had fun while it failed to tell a decent story!

Critics are raving about Camelot, but that doesn't mean much. And network executives know that we certainly don't need anything original on when we can recycle other people's ideas...


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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Watch the Death 3

Be vewy, vewy quite... we're hunting lizards!

In fact, we are hunting a very big lizard. To gain the respect of the Caele, we need to hunt down and kill the Diablodon and bring back a token, at least the head. We set out through the fissure and into the lands beyond...

And into the nest of the smaller, but still large, lizards, and are set upon by hordes... or rather, a Horde. We get stuck in, however the primitive weapons we must use are hampering us, and we are unable to wipe them out as quickly as we should. Indeed, they get in some good hits... and, um... well... I died. Again. As did two others. But it was only a flesh wound! [One fate point! I'm down to one fate point! I better start thinking about my next character...]

After eliminating the threat, we rest up, then head out for the lair of the beast, nearly getting trapped inside a collapsing tunnel. Beyond that, we find pools of boiling hot magma, and I scout ahead for where we think the beast is...

Yes, it is there. Yes, it spots me. Rather than run away, I take cover, and then, when it is close, stab! Right in the eye! Giving me enough breather to then run away, back to where my battle brothers are, who are waiting and have set up a cunning trap...

The Space Wolf gets its attention, and makes the beast charge him, then steps out of the way, letting the lizard stumble... into a magma pool! However, not enough of a problem [really low rolling on that damage], so we take turns slashing out at it, it slashes us... then the Death Angel shows us how to knock it back into the magma pool, and that is something we can all do. Then with a final strike from the leader, down it goes, and we have our trophies! (Head and claws!)

Back to the city, in triumph, to await the praise of the Caele...


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Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Mr and Mrs Incredible

So what happens afterward? When you're tired of superheroing, and you've just met that special someone... this does! This movie from China is about two superpowered people just living normal lives. Including such normal things as kidney troubles and infertility...

Not a serious movie by any stretch, we have Mr and Mrs Flint, previously known as Gazer Warrior and Aroma Warrior. Now they have settled down, just gotten a house, and are wanting a child. Into this comes a martial arts competition and, more dangerously, a young woman with an attraction for a warrior she recognises from her youth...

And this is fun! Don't be expecting too much in the superheroics department however. There are a few scenes, but this is about them being husband and wife that happen to have super powers and a few extra complications in their lives because of that, more than there is a lot of ass-kicking. (It's like what the Shouty Woman and Stretchy Man from Kung Fu Hustle could have been.)

Louis Koo and Sandra Ng are great as the two leads, playing it up and keeping it grounded with emotions at the same time, and show real chemistry.

Work checking out if you can get a hold of it. (Although hopefully your subtitles will be more in sync than mine were...)


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Monday, 11 April 2011

I Saw The Devil

(But I didn't see the Deputy, no, no.)

This is a Korean movie, but it is no laugh fest. Indeed, it is a very vicious thriller about what lengths revenge can drive you to. Also, plan some time if you are going to see this, as this movie passes the two hour mark.

The set up is that a killer kidnaps a woman, cuts her up and (by implication) eats her. Yep, within fifteen minutes bam! cannibalism! Take that American movies with your half-hour of setting up whiney teens before the slasher mindlessly takes them out one by one... Anyway, the husband of the woman is a cop, and takes time off from the force to take a break... and to hunt down and torture the murderer. In a very odd way, it has to be said, and what happens is very much at his feet as it is because of the murderer. But that is the point.

There is no supernatural horror here, the Devil here is the Devil inside us. And the Devil is incredibly seductive about getting you to do things that are all right, are perfectly justified because of the result (hmm... I think there's a saying in there).

Basically, this movie is about monsters, about becoming monsters, and about being very graphic in doing so. (Parts of it were trimmed to get its R rating, so it was supposed to be even more graphic!) Strong stomach needed here, because it's not pretty... but it is real. This movie doesn't pull punches, and you will probably not like where it takes you. It helps you understand why the characters act as they do, but you're also shouting "don't be a complete asshole!" Too late...

Damn fine acting, worth checking out if you like that sort of movie... or you could just wait for the American version, which will probably be dumbed down...


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Sunday, 10 April 2011


Yep, that time of the year here in Wellington again.

Oh ye gods, the sheer numbers of people! They had to stop entrance at one point. Press was so hard, couldn't get in before the talks, but that eased afterward. Bill is going to look for a bigger venue, but where in Wellington?

Click through for more pictures...

First up, the main reason I went, for Colin and John.

(Seen here wondering what's going on.)

Despite certain fears, a pretty decent talk. Actually relevant questions! More for Colin than John of course, although when John did speak you certainly got the sense that here was someone with something interesting to say, and I think a more concentrated talk (with less people) would be a good thing. A few questions I thought they lobbed softball answers too, although the audience was happy enough.

Next up, one miss Katee Sackoff.

(Insert your own jokes about her talent being on display.)

Talked, strangely enough, about Battlestar Galactica. Some time in the years to come, I'll get around to watching seasons three and four. A little bit about other shows, but BSG was the focus. Had good answers to questions (although they were common questions from what she said), and came across as a very nice person.

Later that evening, joined up with out-of-towners for a chat, including the Auckland Science Fiction Meet Up group. Too loud music evicted us from JJ's, so we found a new home in Express-a-holic, and I barely got home before the new day started.

And that was my one and only day at Armageddon. Didn't buy anything (other than some stuff I had arranged for before hand), so got away rather cheaply considering...

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Saturday, 9 April 2011

Finally, feel the Storm!


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Friday, 8 April 2011

Side Quests are Fun!

Yeah, still playing Arcanum. I found the answer to my problem (of blocked quest) to be extreme violence. Isn't that always the way? Indeed, violence is nearly always an option in this game with most of the NPCs. And given my companions, it's three on one, so there's a good chance I can beat the crud out of them... but then I can't get XP!

That said, the most deadliest characters in the game isn't the foes I'm fighting but my own companions. Virgil has a bow (he gets a ranged weapon, I don't...) but when he fires into melee he often hits either me or Sugg, and we then get mad and try to kill him (what with auto-combat on and everything). I'm having to make sure I'm saving often not to get past the dangers of the environment, but to make sure I still have a team!

But I guess that I didn't need to put any points into Intelligence after all. That said, the "urgh" approach was wearing, and now he's "I take offense at your tone to me. Good day to you sir... I said 'good day'!" So that's amusing too!

Not that the main quest is incredibly engaging. Indeed, I got a wall of text the last time I interacted with it, so I'm still wandering the city, encountering minor quests and having fun dealing with those. Mostly "go here, and then come back", but it's diverting. One or two involve "go and do something bad", although I take the good option when it is presented (and money isn't an issue given certain... features of the game...). Not because I'm inherently good or anything, it's just that being bad would mean investing points into skills I'm not bothering with as I want to put those points elsewhere. Honesty through skill upgrades...

I was planning on breaking on leaving the city for the next major point, but am down the sewers clearing it out... however, it's a huge sewer and it takes time to cross, let alone beat up enemies (did find a sweet sword that's almost one-hitting creatures now). It's just... too big! No idea if I'm heading towards a major area of concentrate baddies, or a ladder, or what. I did spy a Swamp Thing that I'll beat on later, but it's slow good. All for those precious, precious XPs...


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Wednesday, 6 April 2011

More Like "Arse-canum"

In an effort to learn more about this mysterious world that I otherwise observe from afar, I am interested in getting back into playing computer games (not that I ever was a huge computer game player, but they have their moments). Thanks to, I've picked up a lot of games cheap... about time I started playing them.

I loaded up Arcanum, an interesting looking RPG game that's had high reviews, and started playing... after spending an hour or so reading the manual. Seriously? I need to read all this first to get into the game? (Not that it helped, see later.)

Let's try to technology route, go for the Dwarf figure, and get into the game. Hmm... an airship (why do all alternative reality media feature air ships???)... crashing... and a quest to find some dude and give him a ring or something. Oh, and a follower! Neat! Let's peruse the area... (some time later) okay, need to kill the bandits at the bridge gate (okay don't need to, but...)... man, that's annoying. I suck at combat, after getting a good hit, I need to save the game, and then if the next hit is bad, reload. That sucks! And... I have a gun! I have lots of bullets! I have the Firearms skill! ... But why can't I use the damn gun! Can't find any way of shooting it! What??? And nothing in the manual, either! (later) okay, I'm level 7, fighting a level 1 sewer rat, and I'm only hitting one in ten times! Screw that...

Okay, new character, half-ogre, melee focused. Low intelligence, quite amusing. Some quest chains not immediately available, whatever. Got two companions now, and those bridge bandits are a joke. And so are the sewer rats... hang on, I get to the next stop in the main quest line, and... I'm too unintelligent to be understood? Huh, I'll try some other quests so I can up that stat, presuming I can find something my level and not die in the random encounters to get there, I'll see, however...

I CAN'T DO THE MAIN QUEST LINE???? WHAT????? Do I need to have stats at a particular level to do the main quest line? Why? Am I not supposed to be able to play the game with any character I choose? Shouldn't the game ensure I can play the main line?? Shouldn't the game let me know and enforce the limits???

I'll try a little longer to get Bob to work, but I'm not enthused... what else have I downloaded?


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Tuesday, 5 April 2011

CGI Lantern

New Green Lantern trailer, huzzah!

Have to say that most of it still reads as CGI (yes, what else would it be? But it looks plasticky). Still, Ryan is looking better the part, and Mark Strong is a great Sinestro. (...and there's Ryan's "Keanu" moment...)

Mid June? Damn!


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Monday, 4 April 2011

Suckered Punch

Go watch this on the big screen. There are some amazing set pieces that need to be viewed in "large big vision". This is the sort of movie that should have been (in a good way) converted into 3D... Zack Snyder makes a great kung fu/mecha/fantasy/science fiction movie...

This wee movie is a cheery feature about a girl who is thrown into a mental institute and tries to escape from the brothel. Or burlesque show. I'm not really sure. This movie starts playing with reality from the get go, so it's never entirely clear what exactly is going on. Yeah, you can follow the story, but there's always the nagging feeling that something else should be evident... (this is mostly cleared up by the end.)

Yes, okay, this movie also features young women in skimpy clothing, which isn't a bad thing. Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hughes and Jamie Chung full these roles, and put in tough performances at the same time. Scott Glenn plays David Carradine as the Wise Man, and gets the best lines. The production values are high, and the music is enough to make me want to pick up the soundtrack.

Definitely a movie to see.

And one more thing... remember that colour is entirely overrated...


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Sunday, 3 April 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

The arc is coming to a close. Finally Constantine is there at the end... however, there are six players on Skype, and for a while I wasn't sure if we would get anywhere, let alone an end scene.

And if Gavin was going out for a while, this would be a good place... and he certainly won't be there next time...

Once again, Game 32. On RapidShare and Hotfile.


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Horror: UK vs US

Sod it, this is going to contain spoilers. On the other hand, these are horror movies I'm talking about, it's not like the plot it overly complicated...

First up is the entry from the lands of the English: Spiderhole. This features four friends (I presume, they don't actually seem to like each other that much) who decide to kick off the carefree life style of squatting, with no sign of food, electricity or adequate plumbing. But that's all right because they've interrupted some crazy person intent on killing them because... meh, we only get some thin excuse for it really, something about the killer saw his father tortured, so now he's an insane doctor or something... What it comes down to is they get picked off one by one, and then are butchered or... die anyway, the exact method isn't always clear. And, ultimately, no-one cares. This is not a good movie. No sense of tension building, no interest in seeing anyone get out alive, and when she gets the chance, she doesn't bother trying to kill the guy... bah...

On the other hand, from across the waves from the land of the freedom fries, we have: Husk. A car of friends encounters a bird strike on their windscreen and they crash into a corn field. Immediately, they separate and head into the field... only they fail to get killed straight away. Instead they find a house and some scarecrows, and the scarecrows get more numerous as they are turned into them. Because... there's some supernatural menace around because some kid didn't like doing his chores... or didn't like his brother... or who the smeg knows. Unlike the above, this is a decent movie, they actually do set up atmosphere, and the supernatural element lends a lot to the creepiness of it, especially in the sewing room. There is one annoying moment of this big set up that is completely failed to be paid off, but otherwise this is quite watchable.

And so this time the winner is... the colonials...


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Saturday, 2 April 2011


Simon Pegg? Nick Frost? Of course I'm watching!

Simon and Nick attend ComicCon before launching into their UFO tour of America, and that's when they encounter Paul. An alien. It's them wacky hi-jinks! And predictable moments too. By the end the ending rolls around, if you can't spot the big character movies, you have never ever seen a movie. But, what the hell. This is by and large a comedy, so they focused their writing on other areas.

And Paul himself is very well realised. I was going to give a lot of credit to Seth Rogan, but according to the trivia Joe Lo Truglio did most of the work and Seth just swanned in afterward! Yes, good voice for the alien, and good timing from Seth, but only because Joe worked with everyone else to give him a place to work in...

Aside from the main characters, there are the "hilarious" comedy duo in the B plot... yeah, that didn't work too well. There are also numerous references to other movies, particularly in the latter part of the movie. These drew a wry smile, not really a big laugh though. Also, a couple of big names crop up...

So, while some parts are not-as-brilliant, the rest of the movie is an amusing watch.


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Friday, 1 April 2011

I've Been Watching...

Because it's been a long time since I've seen it, when I spotted The Dominators in my pile of DVDs, I grabbed it and put it on.

In some ways, the environment of the story was more interesting than the story itself. This is a five-parter, where it was reduced from a six-parter... and I'm not sad about that. There is a fair bit of padding in this story as it is (running around? In a Troughton? You don't say...). Visit the capital... get captured by Dominators... escape... get captured again... escape and attack the Dominators... visit the capital again... and whatever.

But behind the scenes, we have the creation of Norman Ashby as the writers give up on dealing with the BBC. The Quarks as a replacement for the Daleks? Who thought that was a good idea? And then there's the revelation from Wendy Padbury about director Morris Barry... and the New Zealand connection! (and yes, I found the easter egg... terrific!)

Not as good a story as I recalled, but the DVD made up for it in other ways...


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