Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Vigil the Huntering

We gathered in the motel room to pool our information. I didn't have a lot to contribute, but found there was a priest for a church that never showed up. And, I'm not entirely clear on this, one of the not-leader guys from the train was an investigator that worked for a law firm that has dealings with a Sarah Haversham who was instrumental in getting the amulet thing to Philadelphia. And the investigator had notes that implied he was investigating the law firm he worked for on behalf of a guy named Karl (I'm thinking the leader of the train gang).

However, after that, there was a knock at the door, and it was the cop. The cop working with the train gang that had been by my shop earlier. Somehow, he found us here. (Yeah, stealth, lose-the-tail types we ain't.)

While the punk kid JB, the doctor Jack and the token woman Jane head out the back bathroom window to a back alley, I stay with Robert to give the others a chance to get away. That's as the cop is kicking in the door and wielding a shot gun! I get into a struggle with him, while Robert is ducking shots from a badly dressed pretend cop who's outside. I get the gun away from the cop, but keep him pinned as Robert grabs the gun, badly fires a few times, before basically shoving the gun in the cop's mouth and pulling the trigger. The not-cop does a runner at that point.

Meanwhile, out the back, the others find another not-cop waiting, who JB puts down for the count, and a vampire that starts snacking on Jack. Then the ninja chick from South America (totally not a Slayer, and the priest is not her Watcher) pops up, touches the vampire and disconcerts him enough for JB to come and smack him about. Jack gets away, the Slayer disappears again, then Jane turns up, and they wail on the vampire for a moment before he disappears to.

Getting back together, we quickly set the scene up that cop and non-cop from the back alley shot each other, and get out of there. We are terrible at this, but clearly we need to get better. And fast.


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Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Team Xero #14

When trouble goes down, there is one man that knows it. One man that opposes it. One man that can sort the world out. And, best, of all, he's French...

(My turn to lay down the challenge gauntlet. And with all the bashing they get, I've decided to go Franco and give the requirement: a French Hero. With bonus challenge: a breakfast scene.)


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Monday, 28 November 2011

With Feeling Once More

Recently Sanctuary had a musical episode. Generally, musical episodes are a nice gimmicky episode, and can be fantastic. This episode was motivated by Abby (girl-friend of the main male lead) getting infected with something, and only able to hear certain harmonics... yeah, so everything has to be sung, because she completely cannot hear anything said normally. Bullshit science is your friend. (Somehow this was accompanied by music as well, there was no justifying that in the episode.)

What we ended up with was, aside from one or two moments, dialogue being sung to music. Not songs that happened to fit what was going on, but dialogue that would have otherwise been fine as normal spoken conversation being sung. No, no, it worked about as well as that sounds...

And, as you might guess, that made me revisit the classic episode by which all are judged, Buffy's Once More With Feeling. Now that was a great episode, the music and the singing (and the dancing) was completely justified within the episode. The songs were actual songs, and fitted the moments being sung about. And the words would entirely not have worked if just spoken. And the whole thing was perfect in the arc of the season as well.

Since then, we've wanted more. As they say "be careful what you wish for"...


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Sunday, 27 November 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

Metapol is exploding, and it's up to us to stitch together the pieces! Actually, all it takes is one man with one microphone, and it's amazing what can happen. (And now I'm suspicious of that one man...) But then the world scene explodes, so now what do we do?

After the last episode this was a race, in many ways, against saving Metapol before it went to far. Which is manage to do, more or less. Certainly lives are lost (but not the PCs). And now... I'm not sure what our next move is. There are things we can do, but they seem small in comparison with the bigger picture...

Want to listen to Game 46? Rapidshare. Hotfile. [Amusing Avira blocked Hotfile as Malware. It probably is, but I'm continuing to use it anyway.]


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Star Trek Hidden Talent

[Warning: I'm about to poke fun at fans who were doing something they loved. While this probably makes me a bad person, I have seen far worse on the Doctor Who front.]

So, I've been watching Star Trek Hidden Frontier. This is an extremely fan made series, set in and around the Briar Patch (from Insurrection) about... some star base or another, and their ship that goes places at gets into trouble. (Not that uncommon a set up in Star Trek.)

First, let's say positive things. The CGI effects are amazing. Clearly done by someone who knows what they are doing. And the range of people they have on demonstrates, shall we say, more truer peoples in real life than usually grace a TV screen. (Yes, that's a positive, they went for people who wanted to be filmed, not people filmed for the sole aim of getting money.) And, yes, clearly, this is a love of the fans effort, and that love shows.

However... oh dear gods, some absolutely appalling acting. There's a reason we leave it to professionals. (And having been in a few fan videos myself, I have nothing but shame for my own performance.) The cast is definitely more "oh, oh, pick me, pick me!" than "I was in the stage production of Macbeth." And then there are the sets. No wait, I mean set. Everything is shot against a green screen and a background image of some part of a ship is added in. And by 'everything' I mean the one chair they have that everyone sits in one at a time so they can record their scenes. I was quite impressed when they went to a nearby park and did some actual location shooting!

Script-wise... eh, they are trying, some parts better than others. Nothing's really wowed me yet (and again, there are some professional productions that fail to wow me).

I'm going to watch all of it, but it's something that's more 'on in the background' than 'I must watch this!'


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Saturday, 26 November 2011

I was there, where were you?

So, yesterday happened. As it does. And one thing that happened yesterday was the quarterly Wellington Pub Meet of the Doctor Who fans. Which reached an exciting peak of five people, of myself, Alden, Peter, Foo and Tim. Woo!

Topics ranged from various tv series to... other tv series, and then, as these things happened, strayed onto Doctor Who. One thing that came up was that Big Finish is doing an audio to celebrate 20 years since Love and War.


20 years????

Freaking hell! We were trying to remember the books of the NAs that came between the start of the NA series and Love and War. The Timewyrm books (7), Cat's Cradle (3), Nightshade... and then named books after. Huh... looks like we didn't miss any. I was sure there were others in there, but no, Love and War was number 9. There were 61 of the things (plus MAs), can't be expected to remember them all.

But 20 years...

There are things you hear about, and all of a sudden they are 'hey that was a long time ago'. Thinking about it now, it doesn't make me feel old so much as it makes me thing I was very young when the books started. And I have them all!

Anyway, come along next time and hear about other pointless trivia that we bring up!


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Thursday, 24 November 2011

48 years later!

Yes, because I have to, this is a post in celebratory of one Doctor Who, premiering on 23rd November 1963!

So why is this posted the 24th? Because it showed on the 23rd of November... in England! Which, given that it was shown late in the day, means that it was the 24th over here! So people from England, coming here, will see this posted on the correct day for them! Woo, time zones!

But, hey, 48 years. And it's not lonely fans in basements celebrating it any more. And with Moffat taking over, and Smith just loving the hell out of the part, it's a great series to enjoy at the moment!


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Wednesday, 23 November 2011


With a first season (of 13 episodes) out of the way, I've now made it through The Protector. I'm not entirely sure why I started watching it, but I suspect the main reason was because of Ally Walker, last seen in a completely different show The Profiler.

This is a "quirky" cop show about Gloria Sheppard who is trying to juggle her work as a cop with her life as a single mom to two kids, living with her brother. [There's a whole backstory which is only semi-revealed, making me think there was a pilot episode that I missed (I haven't). Something about a fire when she was younger, when her mentally sick mother wasn't able to, she went in save her brother, and now she has scars, and is divorced... Dribs and drabs, I'm not sure how intentional it is, but it feels like there's something there the audience should already know.] And it is a rather light show, considering its 'murder of the week' style.

It's also unusual for me to watch a cop show that doesn't have something else. Either time travel, the main woman remembers everything, a fake psychic... maybe it's just that it is more light-hearted than the more grim CSI type of show. Certainly I don't watch any of that! There's also less action, as the two main leads are women. And yes, I am implying causation there. The one time I do remember a chase with guns out, it was the guys doing it. (Actually there is a chase in the last episode, but she's a giant chicken suit so it could be anyone in there.) Usually, at the end, everyone confesses when accused. Nice and easy, not entirely believable. But these things need to be wrapped up.

Surprisingly, the home life is also watchable. The brother Davey is well played, and even the kids are likable. And the mother brings in the required family tension.

Overall, a lightweight series that is entertaining. If you have the time and have been thinking about it, give it a go.


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Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Odd Resonance

You remember that moment in Firefly? Of course you do. If you don't, go to 05:10 in this clip.

Jubal Early: You know, with the exception of one deadly and unpredictable midget, this girl is the smallest cargo I've ever had to transport. Yet by far the most troublesome. Does that seem right to you?
Dr. Simon Tam: What'd he do?
Jubal Early: Who?
Dr. Simon Tam: The midget.
Jubal Early: Arson. The little man loved fire.

So where (hint: did you just read the above) did my mind go when I read the headline Fire-bug dwarf escapes jail.

(It doesn't help that in the Serenity-based RPG I played in, the GM continued the idea of the midget arson, until one player got rather final with him.)


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Sunday, 20 November 2011

DW: Alien Adventures

Remember the 2-in-1 books from before? They are back still as two adventures, but this time in a more straight forward, one orientation printing that puts one story before the other. This one involves Alien Adventures.

The first adventure is the Underwater War by Richard Dinnick. The problem with this story is that Richard has taken 'for children' to mean 'childish'. There's 'Show, don't Tell', but here we have 'don't Show, or Tell, but express what happens in a very condescending childish way that would offend a five year old'. There are some very badly written passages here that made me wonder if there was an editor anywhere near this. The actual story itself is about humans coming to an alien world and trying to exploit it. (I kept flashing back to seaQuest DSV.) The aliens are quite nice, and would have worked better had the nature of the writing not made them seem negative dimensional. This should have been better.

Rain of Terror by Mike Tucker is better written, but in this case 'for children' falls into the trap of 'having child characters', so we get a few scenes written from a rather basic child perspective. The story is an alien invasion (of a sort) (and, amazingly, doesn't become a base under siege story), although the resolution to said invasion is very quickly done. The bulk of the story is really just interactions between people, now I think about it... but they are handled well that the story kept the pace up. Nice!

Only one decent read in this set, but they both fly by so quickly, they could easily have been 'Quick Reads'. Only half recommended.


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Saturday, 19 November 2011

A Bus load of Hope

Yes, it's that time again. Time to jump in the Bus and drive for hours at a time! And have fun while doing it!

Yes, it's charity time, for Child's Play, and the Loading Ready Run crew are already in for at least four days of driving, and it hasn't even started yet! (It starts at 3pm, our time.)

More than the fun of watching them driving, check out the auction items. The live auctions can go for crazy amounts, and are usually over in a flurry of activity. The silent auctions, obviously, last a bit longer, and there are many items there I want.

[Moreover, I've had an idea for what I could craft for next years Desert Bus! And it will probably take me nearly that long to do it.]

So come on over and join the fun, watch the money roll in, and, most importantly, experience the joy of driving a bus...


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Friday, 18 November 2011

New Zealand, City of...

So, Statistics New Zealand recently announced the latest estimate of the population of New Zealand (these things are always estimates, what, you think we know exactly how many people there are at any given moment?). The number is: 4,414,400. Yes, that is a lot of 4s.

But, how big is that? Let's put that in perspective in terms of cities. Namely... let's note that there are 44 other cities that have populations that are larger than the entirely of New Zealand.

Some of them are obvious, London, Tokyo, New York. The one that is just bigger than NZ is Surat. Um, can't say I've ever heard of it, but it has 4,462,002 people. (That does sound precise, but I note that the number is a multiple of 3, which makes me wonder... but that's something I might talk about another day.)

Let's talk about Jakarta. Why? Because, at number 13, it has a population that is more than twice that of all of New Zealand! Yes, 13 cities could contain multiple NZs!

And the biggest city is Shanghai. It's not just one New Zealand. It's more than two New Zealand. It even breaks three New Zealands... in fact, by over 150,000 people, it has a population that breaks over four times the entire population of New Zealand!

Fortunately, our population density is a bit lower. We may be smaller than some cities, but we have room to breathe.


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Thursday, 17 November 2011

Animated Green Lantern

The animated series that was hoping to build off the audience from the movie has begun with a two-part pilot. And after watching it, you realise where they are going...

Namely, into the wild west. Hal and Kilowog end up on the "frontier", a long way from Oa, with only them and their horse... I mean ship. And they travel around fighting the criminals with their guns... I mean rings. And both sides have guns. I mean rings. The opponents in this series are the Red Lanterns.

Which, of course, brings up a big question: what continuity is this in? We don't start with the typical Abin Sur giving of the ring, so people are expected to know something. But Carol doesn't know Hal is GL and there's no mention of Parallax, so this isn't the live action movie continuity. It can't be the comics either, because although they are using the emotional spectrum plot device (not that they have explained that yet, but that is where the Red Lanterns (Red for Rage) come from), but there's only one GL for earth, not four, and only one GL per sector, not two. It could be from the animated movies, but then they didn't agree with themselves on continuity, let alone this. It's another variant yet again.

And it's in CGI. And Hal, for some reason that animation seems to like now, has a huge chest on a thin body. What the? At least, unlike in another cartoon with GL (namely JLA), they are forming constructs with their powers. (At least, the GLs are, the RLs are just firing red beams of power.)

I don't see this grabbing new viewers as it does rely on some Green Lantern knowledge. And it's odd setting probably isn't going to resonant with GL fans. So... it has been booked for 26 episodes. We'll see if it lasts that long...


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Wednesday, 16 November 2011


So, I just finished the latest Terry Pratchett, known to the world as Snuff.

Over time, the Discworld novels have been less on the funny, and more on the plot. Not to say they aren't enjoyable, and this one definitely was, but I could deal with more humour.

This, in many ways, is another iteration of the Vimes stories. Each book, in some way, has been bringing in different races into the general folds of 'normal people'. First trolls and dwarfs, throw in golems. Then werewolves, and vampires. And now goblins. From that point of view, you can see where it's going.

And also, it's about Vimes being a copper, and gets to educate someone on being a copper. Also getting close to standard fare in many ways. Again, enjoyable, but... it is predictable where that part of it is going too.

Vimes has come a long way from the drunkard in the gutter afraid of dragons. The Summoning Dark has left its mark, and now Vimes is all too aware of what's inside himself. This could end up somewhere very dark (if Terry is well enough to tell the tale). But, if I may ask, can we deal the others (eg Carrot and Angua) again in the next Watch novel (when there is one).

As said several time, enjoyable, and will definitely be rereading this in the not too distant future. But I may reread others for the funny before I reread this for the plot...


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Tuesday, 15 November 2011


Lots of big names appearing in a movie must be a good thing, right? Especially when it's going to be just like Outbreak.

In this movie, an outbreak occurs, slowly building up from a few people to a large part of the world becoming infected. This movie really follows a few stories of people at different levels, doctors at the front line, people whose lives were affected, people at the top...

The problem with this movie is that when it hits Act 3, it gets to the moment of conclusion quite early... and then the movie completely lacks momentum as we go through the last half hour or so. We still have some character stories to go, but nothing interesting happens. And certainly nothing that builds tension in any way. The movie claims to be a thriller, but it isn't. It's otherwise classed as a drama, but the ending isn't that either. It becomes more like "here's how a real outbreak scenario might end up", and just whiles away the time. Not at all worth watching.

One good point: homeopathic remedies get a small taste of the kicking they truly deserve.

Anyway, a lot of big names, go see the list yourself. None of them really stand out, although I did spend a lot of time staring at Jude Law's tooth whenever he spoke. I don't know if it was make up, but Matt Damon's showing his age. And Lawrence Fishbourne just outclassed everyone.

Not the movie you might think it is. And not one that is satisfying to watch, either.


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Monday, 14 November 2011

Team Xero #013

It's all very well seeing the superheroes get out there, fight the bad guys, and win the day, but what about the other people? Support staff have issues too.

Although the set-up was for minor character, I don't have a lot of characters in the first place. And Trish has been in videos before. But she doesn't have any super-related role, and is seen in the opening/closing, so...


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Sunday, 13 November 2011

DW: The Gunpowder Plot

So, a traditional historical story, with hardly any aliens to be seen. A rare treat... no, hang on... I'm thinking of The Plotters. No, in this, the latest computer game, as is standard for New Series Who, everything that happens on Earth is due to aliens. In this case, there is a small issue of Sontarans and Rutans... (I will give the new series this, they do have the actual battles between aliens that we only dreamed of in the old series.)

Anyway, with the backdrop of the Gunpowder Plot to explode ol' London town, the Rutans are trying to wipe out the Sontarans, as they do, and need to help events along to get their crashed ship out. And so our hapless heroes get mixed up in history as they put paid to another alien invasion.

And heroes indeed! This adventure features the Doctor, Amy... and Rory! And you get to play as all of them! Indeed, Rory gets more to do here than he ever did in the actual stories. And that's another point: this game is long. Far longer than any of the previous adventures. Mainly because it is split up into lots of smaller segments, but have a few hours spare if you want to work your way through it. But considering how thin some previous adventures have been, this is only for the better.

Not to say it's all wonderful of course. Levels get repeated a bit, and long segments are repeats of the "dodge the guards" mechanic (ugh, the Sontarans really over-guard the sewers... and can't see people sneaking right in front of them). The camera didn't help in many cases, especially when I had to move backwards to go forwards. There were a few puzzles where it took me a while to work out what I supposed to do (especially Rory vs the Rutans). And a very odd bug: while in the Rutan ship, Rory and then Amy literally lost their heads! (Another bug, Amy getting hung up on scenery... caused me to die, stupid woman!)

But the free roaming levels were good. They do visuals well, so being able to look around pleased me. Although it's not always clear where I can go and where I can't (a few odd invisible walls). And there were a few places I didn't look, which bring me to...

Would I play it again? I think so, but not immediately. And I didn't find the surprise guest, so that will be something to look for. (Unlike cards, none of them to be found.)


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Saturday, 12 November 2011

He is... Intentionally Homeless

The current chairman of the NZ Skeptics is one Gold. (That's now his legal name.) He's decided to take a break from the normal working regime so he can walk to work. Or rather, walk for work.

In particular, he is on a walkabout across New Zealand. He's doing so for different charities, and because he can't (so do this now before he can't!).

(I also read a while ago that he plans to offer his services to create websites for people in return for a place to stay, but that doesn't seem to be mentioned on his website any more.)

Anyway, quite the admirable goal, and he's looking for sponsors, major and personal, so if you'd like to tip him (the price of) a pint, he's be happy.


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Friday, 11 November 2011


So, what is today? World Quality Day? Yes, but whatever. Skyrim? I couldn't care less. The date that a stupid movie claims has major occult significance, based on powers that existed before the Julian Calendar? No-one should care about that.

An atheist (so you can already know where that character arc is going) is a sad person, and is called home to attend to his dying father, and is reunited with his wheelchair bound father. It turns out that numerology explains everything, demons and gods are real, and there is purpose in life so give all thanks to higher powers and in no way take credit for being able to do anything for yourself.

A big thing about this movie is that it is from the director of some of the Saw movies. Definitely not the writer of, just the director. This is a stupid movie, it drags on, rehashs the 'you believe in religion, what about this?' a number of times, and as for the ending... I don't want to give it away, but I did, later, think of this (don't click unless you want a spoiler).

No doubt due to the Saw connection, this will do well. What a pity, as it so doesn't deserve any recognition at all.


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Thursday, 10 November 2011


No sooner said that done. [BTW "Trekkies" vs "Trekkers"... I don't care!]

Trekkies in 1995 is all about the fans. Even the stars are just there to talk about the fans. And, in some cases, there are fans of fans. But, really... they are just like other fans. That's how people want to spend their money? Hey, I've been to Armageddon, spent some money myself. This is all about largely positive experiences. That said... warning sign: when you dress up your pets, perhaps you're going a bit too far. (That and young children.) This is hosted by Denise Crosby, the woman who decided she didn't want to be involved... then desperately wanted to be back in. She talks to fans, to stars of the original series, TNG and Voyager... interestingly, no-one from DS9. Not sure why. A lot of people will point at this people and laugh... yeah, I can't. Too much like me.

Trekkies 2 in 2004... is just a repeat of Trekkies, really. Only this time they go around the world and go to other conventions. And check in on a few people from the first movie. But basically a continuation of the first. (Got to think that this movie is fairly easy to make. I'm sure there are a lot of logistical issues, but this really is just 'shoot people and edit together'.)

Very much a slice of fan culture that we all recognise.


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Wednesday, 9 November 2011

George Lucas Must Die!

That, at least, is a take home message from this documentary. This really is a love/hate letter from the fans to George Lucas.

I sort of get it. If someone really screwed up Doctor Who... however, we have the benefit of if we don't like what's currently happening, wait a few years and someone else will be in control. Doctor Who isn't as identically identified with anyone in the same way that Star Wars is identified with the other GW. I don't have the same passion for Star Wars as these fans do, but I can recognise it.

This movie is mainly about the fans. (And we see a lot of fan made work in this. Some adequate... most not.) It starts off with some beginning lead up of George before hitting Star Wars itself, and talking about how it made them feel. Importantly, the people talking were kids then. And then it goes on to the re-edits of the movie (and here is where I really don't care who shot first), then goes back to the new movies. [My Phantom Menace story: I saw it within 12 hours of its release, at 10am, in a largely empty theatre.] Then ends on bile and hatred and admiration.

There's always a problem with fans, in that while a lot of them are normal people, the one's who end up on screen are the weirdos. This documentary suffers a bit from that, in that few of them make a coherent argument. But one point of this movie is that SW brings out an emotional reaction, so that is getting captured. That does make the point of the movie a little hard to follow... but then there can't really be an ultimate point. Some people thing SW belongs to them, some go with what Lucas does, and then there's the current generation of kids who like all the movies, including Jar Jar.

An interesting slice of life of fandom. I know there are a few documentaries about Trekkies, not really about Whovians (nothing big screen certainly). Might try to track them down.


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Tuesday, 8 November 2011

The World V Bobby Fischer

Insert line here about fine lines, genius and insanity. On the genius side, we have Bobby Fischer, chess player. On the insanity side, we get Bobby Fischer, conspiratorial finder supreme.

The document starts off being about BF and his brilliant chess skills. Then they cover the games with Spassky, and devote a fair bit of time to that. And then, afterwards, the movie shows off the decline of Fischer with a little more glee than the previous parts of the movie, finally some juicy human disaster to get into!

(Interestingly, considering that this is a documentary about a ... sport? ...hobby? baordgame? they don't spend any time explaining how it is played. Every other documentary has a segment on 'here's how this bit is played', but not this one. Either chess is that ubiquitous, or the only people likely to watch this are already chess aficionados and don't need to be told.)

In fact, in many ways, this movie does expect a level of knowledge about Bobby Fischer as well. We don't get a heartwarming story about his early child life (except as it pertains to him liking to play chess), nor are we told about who Spassky is, other than 'the Russian champion'. And the afterwards section jumps around like we already know the gaps that need to be filled in. I get that he is a 'name', but I can't say I know a lot more about him now than before I started watching.

Overall, a moderately decent documentary that assumes some knowledge.


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Monday, 7 November 2011

Call of the Margin

I wanted to watch this movie for a number of reason. Kevin Spacey. Jeremy Irons. Demi Moore. Simon Baker. Zachary Quinto.

Shame I didn't pick it because of the story. Or rather, didn't pick it because of the story. The story is about some... unnamed financial institution that has just let people go (this is set at the beginning of the financial crisis), and one person had been developing a new model of their business. Someone else picks it up and... well... I had a hard time following the content, there was financial speak, various characters asked for it in plain english, and yet it was still containing jargon. Basically, something about them owning stuff that would cost them, and so they had to get rid of them...

I wouldn't really call it a thriller, as it has a slow build, and in the last sections of the movie it tells you what it's going to do, and then does it. At least, I guess it does, it isn't really clear.

So, why watch it? Because it has great acting, and solid direction. Even if the script could use another few passes, this is still a well made movie. All the big names are worth watching, and give fantastic performances.

But, yeah... plot, don't watch for that...


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Sunday, 6 November 2011

Of Steam, Steel and Murder

Keblang! A season ender! Watch us get off to an exciting start as we try to get off a train and back to the city! Will we ever attack... somewhere? It does take us a while, but look out for George!

Bert does odd things with plots. We... well, me at least, am not entirely certain what's going on with it all, and next week will be interesting as we have fall out from our actions, and from what else is happening in the city. Will there still be a city??

Listen to it all in Game 45. Rapidshare. Hotfile.


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Activity that is Paranormaler-er

Once was fine, two pushed it too far, so why not back for a third shot at "static camera horror footage"!

Since we know from the first movie that whatshername suffered from demons when she was young, and something about a sister in the second movie (which no-one remembers), experience shock and horror as we go back in time to see how it happens! ... although not in any way that causes shock and horror.

There's a big gimmick this time of... a rotating camera! Woo! Experience the terror as the camera slowly swings around to show something slightly scary, then pans away slowly... and then stops... and then swings back (seriously, minutes, months, centuries pass by waiting for the damn swinging camera padding to GET ON WITH IT!) to show the spooky thing gone and someone being puzzled by the lack of spooky thing! Gah!

Admittedly, there are some attempts at actual horror, with a few things flung about (mostly off camera, or moving blurredly) but mostly we are again being scared with the 'standing in one spot for a long time' or 'tell me about the scary person you were talking to' moments. Not so much.

I liked the first movie. It worked, had actual atmosphere. The second one just didn't click anything interesting. And now the third is showing that this is a movie in a franchise (and there is nothing stopping them expanding this to another family member, or another family entirely). Give this a rest and come up with something new, hey, guys?


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Saturday, 5 November 2011

Who's the Ice Warrior?

So, in Silent Stars, Dan rants on (he brings it up more than once, and it seems to cause him some concern) about how, in The Ice Warriors, Victoria is the one who names the Ice Warriors 'Ice Warriors', but then the Ice Warriors seem to quite happily call themselves 'Ice Warriors' as if it's their actual race names.

Oh noes! What a continuity blunder! The entire canon of Doctor Who will surely never sustain such a blow to its integrity!

Well, just as well I'm here to explain this.

Let's go with Victoria does name them. So, then, in people's minds, at that point, they are called the Ice Warriors. Now, enter the TARDIS. We know the TARDIS does the actual translating (what, you think the Martians are speaking English?), so then whenever the Martians are talking, and refer to themselves, the TARDIS thinks 'aha, when they say their race name, I'll simply translate it to Ice Warriors, 'cos that's what everyone else already thinks of it as'. (And this simple translation trick works for the audience too.)

But wait, you really nit-picky people say. Walters was the one who first uses the phrase 'Ice Warrior'! Aha, now we move on to the next part of the theory. Let's skip ahead to The Seeds of Doom. Which, of course, happens before The Ice Warriors. When the Doctor and co turn up, once again, we can have the TARDIS translating the race name. But also consider that the Doctor is the one saying 'it's the Ice Warriors!', so that fixes that name into everyone's mind then. And from that point on, for humans from 2070 onwards the big green Martians are Ice Warriors. Which is why the name comes to Walters later.

(Or, if you follow other media, insert Red Dawn from Big Finish audios in that role instead.)

Ta da!


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Friday, 4 November 2011

DW: The Silent Stars Go By

Because this is apparently what needed to happen, Dan Abnett was given allowance to write his own DW hardcover, and came up with The Silent Stars Go By.

This books features... wait for it... you're going to be surprised... I promise you'll never see it coming... the returning monster is... I'm going to give it away... complete spoilers here... this novel has... The Ice Warriors! I know! You never saw it coming, did you? Not in a million years would you expect it! Suspense about their identity is built right into the book, and they aren't named until a third into the book! Wow! Out of nowhere!
Small tip, Dan. If you want to hide the surprise, a) don't mention them in the blurb. And b), most importantly... DON'T PUT THEM ON THE COVER!!! Seriously, I haven't cared enough to count the number of times the monster is a big reveal, but it's already been given away by the publicity, including the cover picture which, even if people don't read blurbs (like me), they're going to work it out as soon as they see the actual book!

*sigh* (Oh, and speaking of naming things, Dan goes on about a particular continuity error I'll address in a post tomorrow.)

Anyway, that aside, there is a reason not to name the monster straight away, although the explanation isn't obvious. Most of this book is a run around, with Doctor and Amy (and others) running from Ice Warriors, and Rory (and others) running away from Ice Warriors for... the bulk of the book really. There's a little plot expansion during the running, but basically it's them running around. Then, in the last 50 pages, we get actual exposition about what's really going on. If you can hang on till then, then you might get some originally of story, but it's a long way through chase scenes to get there.

From the above rant, you might guess I wasn't that impressed with this novel. You'd be right. For hardcover novels, you'd expect something special, either a particularly famous author, or maybe a big event. This is neither of those.

Unless you are a completest (like me), feel free not to bother with this.


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Thursday, 3 November 2011

It gets better... and worse

A while ago I reviewed The First Sequence. This one is The Full Sequence.

The first thing to note is that this movie is in black and white. Some people have complained about this. The director did it to make it 'scarier'. I wouldn't say that it was scarier... or even scary, but I'll get to that in a moment, but I will admit that the black and white nature gave it a more raw, edgier feel to it. Overall, the production was quite good, and it's been a while since I saw the first one, but I feel that this is better.

However... there's the content. In this movie, Martin watched the original movie on DVD (yes, this treats the first movie as fiction) [notably, while watching it on a computer, has to rewind the DVD in super rewind before rewatching it... what the?], and takes an unhealthy liking to it. Fair enough, we see easily that he's an unhealthy person all around, so when he goes off the deep end, we aren't surprised. He has it in his head to make a twelve person centipede because... well, because. And so he sets about getting some bodies, mainly from his work place (which doesn't seem to notice and/or care), and puts it together...

However, he's not any kind of surgeon, knows what to do from only watching the movie, and so the last third of the movie isn't scary so much as... absurd. And funny. And just stupid. It all falls apart, again surprising no-one, but while it's happening it's just bizarre, not horrific at all. Meh.

I'm not sure where there is to go in the third movie... but, yes, there is a third movie...


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Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Vigil the Huntering

In preparation of the Travesty visit, it was decided to get the pendant back from where Jack Cottage hid it, and place it in my safe. (I say 'it was', because I have no real interest in dealing with the thing.) Turns out the doctor's place was ransacked yet again and the pendant is missing. Good riddance.

At the club, we are shown into a room in which the owner, Darlington, talks to us through speakers, and doesn't show us his face. Bit of a prick really. He also took our cell phones away so we couldn't call in reinforcements (like I had planned to, which is also why I'm glad I didn't say 'come in if you don't hear from me'). He knows who the South American chick is, and the bully boys on the subway weren't working for him, and, in general, he seems behind the eight ball. Oh, and his room had really thin doors (yay for a fumble!).

So, with him letting us go, and the pendent out of the way, that's about it really. All over with. We can move on.

The punk kid turns up at my shop in the morning, wanting to contact the doctor, so I get rid of him easily. (Turns out he woke up covered in blood, and there was a young woman killed last night which matches, but I don't know this yet.)

After a quiet day, when I'm closing up, two cops turn up, claiming something about firearm selling illegalities. While they have a look around, I get Stitch to come over, and Jane and Robert contact me. The cops can't find anything (I run a clean shop), so I leave Stitch to keep an eye on the place while I head out with Robert and Jane to catch up with Jack and the punk...

[one day per session... don't expect xp to be spent in a hurry...]


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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Marrow House 2011

It seems that there's a yearly event in Newtown that I've only just found out about. It's the Marrow House Shop Haunt, and it's nearby [location redacted], about a block away from where I live. So, of course, I had to pop down. And, of course again, I had to take video of it.

It's just a store front display, but they look really good! View it in its High Def glory!

[Video redacted to allow for the official one.]

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