Many-jane. Pot. The good stuff. Call it what you will, two facts remain: It is illegal. It is harmless.
The Union is a move all about it. It covers the legal history about marijuana, which is just weird, then goes on to how the prohibition against marijuana doesn't work in any way you examine it, which also doesn't make sense. And nothing about how pot is managed makes sense.
Let's name one drug worse than this. Tobacco. Okay, okay, let's go for a second. Alcohol. Seriously, these should be class 1 narcotics, not marijuana, and yet since tobacco and alcohol have been around for so long, and so prevalently, they are fine. And yet there is a huge market for pot that needs to be fed that has led to the dubious set of collections of people, called Unions, that deal into this. This extraordinary money making market that would be ruined if it was legalised and regulated.
This movie covers all this well, and presents a wide range of people, and shows actual illegal pot growing operations. I suspect being Canadian made it slightly easier to deal with certain practicalities of access than would happen in the United States. It's a decent picture, and an entertaining watch.
But don't take my word for it. Watch it for yourself on YouTube:
Monday, 31 December 2012
Many-jane. Pot. The good stuff. Call it what you will, two facts remain: It is illegal. It is harmless.
Sunday, 30 December 2012
Here's a fairly obvious statement: corporations put profits first. A lot of people would agree with that. Corporations would try to spin that. And this isn't saying that corporations are bad or good in and of themselves, just that they have this overriding incentive behind everything they do.
The Corporation is a look at what they are doing, and how they behave. Not surprisingly, corporations do not fair well. The movie starts with how corporations are people (well, they don't explain that, the movie just uses that), then shows that corporations are psychopaths. It shows that their image matters more than what they actually do. And, to be honest, there isn't a lot presented about what we could do to stop the corporations from doing what they want.
Some corporations, such as Monsanto, are picked on more than others. So yeah, it's easy to hold up examples of corporations gone bad. A lot of them, especially the larger ones, are, because that works for them. What we don't see in this is the flip-side: how do corporations work well? Can they work well? Do we need to get rid of them entirely? That is addressed... not at all.
Not an unpredictable look at corporations, but with a big focus missing.
But don't just take my word for it. They have the entire movie on YouTube:
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Have you heard of Acquisitions Incorporated? It's the D&D group run by the Penny Arcade crew, and GM'ed by Chris Perkins of WOTC himself. And it's funny. And... it also stars Wil Wheaton!
But after a few series, they weren't really able to get together for podcasts, but they now pretty much meet at PAX meetings and have two hour games... which are podcast but also videod. So you can see them...
While the 2010 session is available, I'm going to add in the 2011 session as it is somewhat more independent of what has gone before (whereas 2010 leads directly on. Certainly watch that, but if you haven't listened to the podcast yet, 2011 is easier to start with).
And continuing on from that is the 2012 session, so also check that out.
Friday, 28 December 2012
Since we are talking about Gerry Anderson (and we must right now), I'm going to bring up Terrahawks. The series most likely to be mentioned as "oh, yeah, he did that as well". (I think even The Secret Service gets higher billings!)
Anyway, we have this epic battle between evil aliens (who were ugly of course) and the attractive team of the Terrahawks, with the heroes having names like Kestral, Falconer and Hawkeye... because that's what you do when you name the series 'terrahawks'. Although of course the star of the series was really Windsor Davies as Sergeant Zero and the whole Zeroids crew, battling the Cubes... leading to the excellent series closures of the zeroids and the cubes playing naughts and crosses... and who won varied across the episodes!
Some of the more bizarre moments (give the above): actually daring to kill Ninestein, the leader. It-Star... just It-Star. And there's a live action version of SOS by Kate Kestral (sung by Moya Griffiths, the singing voice of Kate, presumably)...
This is the iconic opening:
And here are some moments from it:
And to prove that everything sounds better when a full orchestra is behind it:
Thursday, 27 December 2012
Okay, is this S07E06 or S07EX? ...okay, it looks like E06, all right then, all questions have been resolved... except perhaps of how this is the best Christmas story and yet still fails...
Lots of great little touches in this script, but nothing subtle. The Great Intelligence is hammered home (despite the Doctor not being able to 'get it' like a large part of the audience did... although to be fair a lot of the audience probably didn't get it either) [And no little golden balls! Points off for that Moffat! Just think of the decoration references you could have done!]. And yet... lots of character whittling around, but nothing really important happens. Just people talking, taking up time on screen. And the ending is a total washout in whatever way you want to looks at it.
And now Clara is "the girl who died twice"? What is it with giving people titles, Moffat? Can't you come up with actual proper characterisations that you need to give them some hook and hope people stick around because of that? Let alone Moffat looks to be going further than Rose/Doctor shipping did. Oh the fanfiction that awaits...
Still Jenna-Louise Coleman is nice to look at... although I keep getting Summer Glau moments, especially when she does her special voice [I would like to that moment in Shindig, but can't find a clip of it.]
Richard E. Grant is wasted here, and the less said about the Veiled Lady and her lackeys the better.
In all... it should be good, and yet, it wasn't.
Upcoming: Lots of returning monsters because... because!
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
Monday, 24 December 2012
Since I had a lazy day (first in a very long while) I had time to do whatever... including continuing playing Half-Life: Opposing Force. And, as it happens, completing it. It took me a fair few hours and yet... and this is the main point... I still enjoyed it!
I would even go as far as saying this is better than Half-Life itself. It has many of the same beats with a few set pieces, physics puzzles (some with jumping) and various battles. We get the new mechanic of getting people to follow you, which comes back in HL2. And, nicely, the alien planet is minimized.
There were a few places where I got lost. If there was a tutorial for a new melee gun, I didn't spot it (it might have been the hologram, but if so, then I didn't get that it was talking about that). And a few times I had to look up what to do next. That end boss was rather boring... and indeed the whole last level could have been better...
But still, yes, I enjoyed it. I'm not saying I'm leaping back to playing it again, but I haven't uninstalled it off my drive like I did Blue Shift...
Sunday, 23 December 2012
With money disappearing on GOG and Steam sales, it's not surprising I am in the mood for playing games. But rather than install something I just brought, what do I have already installed and ready to go? Half-Life: Opposing Force? ... Sure!
I always go through the training room area first to remind me of the mechanics and see what's new. One item that's new is the rope climbing. I hated that in Tomb Raider, and I'm not loving it here. So much so that: screw you, ropes! (And considering there are no ropes in HL2+, it seems my opinion is not the only one like this.)
However, the game itself... is actually pretty fun so far. I am Adrian Sheppard (before that Sheppard came along), one of the a-hole soldiers that came in and shot up everyone including Freeman. Only something go wrong when my team goes into the base and bam! Aliens up in this biotch!
So far, I'm only two chapters in... but yeah, I want to continue. I wasn't expecting to, but... yep, I'm in. For now.
Now obviously it's not all clear sailing. Aside from the rope, I keep getting hung-up on damn geometry. If I'm lucky, I can crouch-jump over it, but more than once I've needed to noclip my way free. Oh yeah, that's another thing. I'm cheating already. While I do like the story, I don't know if this is supposed to be an extreme hard-core game or I'm really bad at finding stashes, but I was just constantly low on health and had sod-all ammo. When a section turned up with a number of aliens suddenly popping up and more-or-less instant killing me because of my low condition, I snapped, and boom, cheats ahoy!
Unlike Blue Shift, and even unlike parts of Half-Life, I want to get back to this... let's see how long that desire lasts...
Saturday, 22 December 2012
Since I'm talking about various series I'm sort of watching / catching up with, this is one that has been going on a while, and so far... I've only seen a few episodes.
In My Drunk Kitchen Harto gets drunk. And tries to cook. Very much tries to cook. But does manage to get drunk. At least... admittedly a part of me does wonder how much of it is an act. And how much the drinking is ramped up in editing. Because... I would nearly think she would be paralytic after drinking so much. Or maybe that's just me (it's not like I have any idea about the effect of heavy drinking).
But it is quite funny. Especially the end credits. And she certainly doesn't take it seriously. It's a series I'll slowly make my way through, but it should be worth it.
Friday, 21 December 2012
I like documentaries, I think that much has been pretty well established. And, thanks to Loading Ready Run, I have established at least a peripheral interest in Magic The Gathering. So I'd like to combine the two and watch a good documentary on MTG. Only, it seems there isn't one.
The closest I've been told about is Walking the Planes, which is a series of brief videos about various MTG conventions and Pro Tour tournaments. It isn't introductory to MTG in any way, and assumes a good knowledge of what the hell is going on, but it does give a good profile of the main players in the arenas.
If anyone knows of a good documentary on MTG, please let me know. (Or, hey, in general, a good documentary I should watch anyway.)
Thursday, 20 December 2012
Now, I have gone on record before about not liking playing the original Half-Life. (And I still haven't gotten to play Opposing Force... although considering I gave up on Blue Shift, I might never.) However, I would like to see someone else who does enjoy it playing through it. So a Let's Play really.
And I've found this. Which is sort of a Let's Play. It is more of a humourous take on what it means to be Gordon Freeman, silent protagonist. By giving him a voice. (In a way that reminds me of Static Fiend.) But, of course, he can't speak. So what do we have?
Freeman's Mind. Currently up to 44 episodes... which hasn't been updated since September, so I am wondering if it has ceased to be... or maybe just resting. Or maybe just takes long between episodes. I haven't studied the release dates, so can't say. But will soon catch up with all of them
And there one extra feature I like. Although each episode is on a separate page, making for a little more work, the episodes are available for downloading. So I can grab them and watch them offline in my own time... and at my own speed. I'm at the point where even 1.5 seems slow.
Wednesday, 19 December 2012
Did you take part in the Double Fine Amnesia Fortnight? That's the fortnight in which Double Fine stop their other work and get some games up and running to prototype stage that might develop into full games.
Miss out? Don't worry, you can still get in on it! The Humble Bundle page for it is still working, it seems, and by donating you can get the prototypes and access the documentary episodes 2Player created.
And, regardless, you can watch the videos of the creative process by going to their Twitch TV channel.
Watch live video from doublefine on www.twitch.tv
Why not get in on it?
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
I'm aware of the Continuum series. Tried to watch the pilot episode, gave up half-way through. So here's another series called Continuum.
This series is about Raegen, who wakes up on a ship in space with no memory. And very slowly little is uncovered, until the last episode in which... it actually gets interesting. I won't say what it is, but it is somewhat different (while not entirely novel, it does at the last moment enough to catch me by surprise).
You can buy or steam the entire season in one go, or watch the series in pieces on YouTube.
Monday, 17 December 2012
[This will involve spoilers for the end of the movie version of An Unexpected Journey, so I'll hide some of it from the main front page.]
I can't remember who originally noted it, but it is true that this is the second set of three movies. Created after the original set of three movies. But set before the original set of movies.
Yes, I'm saying that An Unexpected Journey is Peter Jackson's The Phantom Menace. And yes, I am saying this to troll.
But wait, there's more! We get to find out more about the history of one of the iconic characters from LOTR. And the mentor figure gets to feature more, and do more cool stuff with the aid of CGI!
And as an echo from the first movie (this bit hidden) the Azog/Thorin fight echoes the Lurtz/Boromir fight.
All with more CGI and chase sequences and changing from established history, this is everything we hoped TPM would be!
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Yep, I wents to sees it. At eight o'clock... in the morning! 'Cos no-one else (okay, not many) did the same, so it was a nice relaxed non-child-filled time. I'm also re-reading the book (and gotten past where the movie ends just before I went to see the movie), so have a better idea about what was going on than I normally would.
The main thing rereading the book taught me was... this book is a comedy! And that carries over to the movie, in a rather awkward way. You've got plenty of comedy moments with the dwarfs (such as the fight under the Misty Mountains [is there an 'actress' with... oh, yes, there is.]), but the previous movies have already established the universe as far more dark and foreboding, and Peter and co. and included a lot of extra material (sometimes from whole cloth) that fail to fit with that comedic atmosphere. There is then, understandably, a clash of tones. The movie errs on the side of serious, which makes the comedy moments stick out... like sore thumbs. Not to say they aren't amusing, but it is very much a case of 'LOOK, COMEDY!!!!'
And, of course, I saw it in 3D... in High Frame Rate. (And now have my own pair of 3D glasses). Um... I do have a few issues with it, and it reminds me of VidFIRE, in that the motion in some shots really stands out and feels off to me. Also, the images are a little too clean, like they were shot in a more sterile environment. Basically... it doesn't feel filmic. Which it is supposed to be.
A few notes on the personae: Richard Armitage pulls off serious very well. Ian Holm's voice often reminded me of John Hurt. Andy Serkis stole the scenes as expected. Sylvester McCoy was full on Sylvester McCoy. Barry Humpries was... oh, so that explains that character. The dwarfs were... on screen (where are the blue, red and yellow hoods, dammit?!).
You'll note that I haven't talked about the plot, because most of you probably already know it. There is a lot more agency given to the characters than was in the book, and there's extra material I'll leave to Tolkein scholars / DVD extras to explain.
Also, you'll have already made up your mind to see it or not, so my opinion not so much. I would like to see it again, maybe in 2D or at least non-HFR just to see the difference, but otherwise I'm happy I saw it the way I did.
There is something other I want to talk about... in tomorrow's post...
Saturday, 15 December 2012
Since all the cool kids are doing it, now that I have finished reading it, I'll talk about The TARDIS Tales Treasury.
Graham Muir made a name for himself in New Zealand Doctor Who circles (well... circle) by coming up with TARDIS Tales, a completely irreverent take on Doctor Who in cartoon form with the aid of a big chook called Saucer. You can read a lot of them, as they were published in TSV. But this collection contains all of them, and more. With a complete coverage (the original form in RTP) of the history, and some bonus strips in the appendix.
Everyone sites their favourite moment, I'm going for where Graham turned the Seventh Doctor into Ferret pudding. Why? Because he could, and because it's funny. And it didn't stop him with any continuity issues (why start now?).
The TARDIS Tales is exactly the sort of pisstake Doctor Who needs. As in actually humourous. The only question now is, why haven't you got a copy?
Friday, 14 December 2012
There aren't many shows that survive after only a season. There are a few. But this one got a movie. And, ten years later, they are still talking about it.
Firefly - Browncoats Unite from Geeks Union on Vimeo.
And yet, unless it's a cartoon or something (it totally should be a cartoon), I don't think it should be brought back. (I mainly go for a cartoon as I think that would be the best way to cheaply bring back the series for the screen.)
Thursday, 13 December 2012
[This is what happens when it is late and I get a silly idea for a post. While I'm sure Randall would be able to come up with an interesting graphic, I can't.]
Looking at the number of hits for these (complete) phrases: (sticking with the main topics as covered in secondary school)
Damn you physics: 35,700.
Damn you chemistry: 47,100.
Damn you biology: 36,600.
Damn you mathematics: 8,950.
Damn you maths: 52,400.
Damn you statistics: 57,700.
Damn you science: 134,000.
We see that 'science' is the most damned of all the sciences... Damn You Science!!!!
Wednesday, 12 December 2012
Hey, it's John Barrowman and sister Carole E. Barrowman! Together again for the first time! And it's a Torchwood book, Exodus Code. By Captain Jack Harkness himself, so it must be brilliant!
It turns out the Earth has rings in it, which Jack found out about in the early twentieth century when he nearly fell into a mountain in Peru. However he forgot about it. Then in modern day, women are becoming hysterical there are geysers coming out of the ocean, and people are on a bus about to get shot at.
There are two bad things about this novel. One is that there is a lot of jumping around, so it gets confusing quickly. There's a big fight scene near the end, and I have no idea why anyone was shooting anyone, where anyone was in relation to anyone else, if people were supposed to be good guys or not... and why I should care. Bit of a mess.
However, worse than that is that this story is just straight up boring. Being messy doesn't help, but when there are large sections when very little happens, and what does happen happens very slowly, I lose interest in what is happening, and am turning pages out of sheer bloody-mindedness. This isn't an exciting Torchwood romp. This isn't an exciting anything romp.
And don't expect lots of great insights into Captain Jack either. I'm not sure if this is because the authors didn't want to step on anything RTD might do, but there are no exciting revelations, and characters don't progress in any interesting ways.
Just give this a miss. Even with who the authors are... just give this a miss.
Tuesday, 11 December 2012
You may have heard about it in hushed tones, you may have met people who encountered it... but have you ever actually seen it?
Mr. Plinkett Reviews The Phantom Menace!
And now he's done another full review of Titanic, so now's a good a time as any to say: go watch!
Monday, 10 December 2012
There's a new three part mini-series from the BBC that looks inside Claridges. And, wow, is it an expensive place! With a lot of big name guests there! To be honest, I'm not sure I'd be allowed in the lobby, and that... is a fair call.
But what I like about this documentary series (of which only one has been screened so far) is the level of detail the staff brings. I admire that, and like to see it in others. (I will leave as an open question whether or not I embody it myself.)
While the staff don't always answer questions, and the series is careful to not name names at times, the reporter looks to be willing to at least ask the questions, so good on the BBC for that much at least.
It does make me want to make a spin off episode where a wealthy person shows up in t-shirt and shorts, tries to book a suite for a week and (if they let him get that far), makes a series of unreasonable requests just to see how far they would go. And, yes, I would like that wealthy person to be me, so that series is a while away from happening.
Anyway, interesting first episode, and I look forward to watching the next two.
Sunday, 9 December 2012
Where do you go when you want to hear the fat beatz? You might think a club, but this is the internet, we have a website for that! In particular, plug.dj.
In one of the rooms, you can hear people playing their favourite tunes, and even spin a disc yourself (or flail wildly as the animation would have it). There can either be a succession of DJs, each playing one song each before moving on (with a waitlist to get through if there are more than five), or there can be one DJ laying out their favourite playlist.
How is the playlist formed? You select the song by selecting the video from one of three sites... at least, I think three, because mostly it's just YouTube. The video plays while the song does, and people can 'Woot' or 'Meh' it, and if they 'Woot' then another animated dance plays... it's more about the music than the visuals.
I attend DJ Mumbles' room when I go there (in the rare times when I don't have a stack of other media pressing for my attention), and I have my NZ playlist set up for when I jump in the DJ crew. You can go there now if you want... although, I gather, there might just be a bot of some kind playing songs when people aren't around.
Anyway, the clubs are on the netz, so no need of that horrible physically interacting with people. Woot!
Saturday, 8 December 2012
Are you listening to the HP Podcraft (The HP Lovecraft Literary Podcast)? Which not only has gone through all of HP Lovecraft's stories (for free), but is now looking at the stories that HP himself admire (and will go on to do other things once they've finished with that).
Chad Fifer and Chris Lackey adopt a very chatty style, not taking it too seriously. And it's easy to tell them apart (important for audio media.)
And now... you can see them! They did an episode as a Google Hangout:
Friday, 7 December 2012
I have talked about OverThinkingIt before, but I want to bring up another site with similar ideas. However, while OTI often comes across as an exercise in film and literature crit regurgitation, this is more people sitting around, having a chat, and really digging into it as we might want to.
Gonzo Planet is the home site to Digital Gonzo podcast (which seems to have come from Digital Cowboys). They talk about games and movies. And whole series of movies. Like the Die Hard series. Toy Story. The Marvel movies leading up to The Avengers. Aliens, Predator, Aliens vs Predator. Harry Potter. And now Lord of the Rings. (And many others.)
And they care a lot about music in film. And touch on television. And have fun with their own version of Buzzcocks.
And they are mostly British. So just sound many degrees more cultured than other podcasts. Definitely enjoying working my way through their archives.
Thursday, 6 December 2012
Pop Up Video? Remember that? Showed a video, and popped up facts, not always related to the song. I recall watching a fair few videos and liked learning the behind the scenes information. And yet... where is that now?
I'm not sure if they were involved in this Chop Up video from Shriek If You Know What I Did, but it was very much in the style.
Of course, commentaries are not as uncommon now as back then, but even back then other shows did facts. I recall that one show had (over a few days), all of Madonna's videos, with running commentary across the bottom... I would love to see that released now on DVD (or available in some method). But haven't seen it anywhere.
Nowadays, this would require a music channel to work, and they are too busy showing reality TV shows...
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
Never mind playing the same game twice in a row, we change again! We are going back to the Edge of the Empire system, but this time playing through the DarkStryder campaign. Originally written for Star Wars D6! I remember SWD6... I have, or possibly had, the rule books for that around somewhere...
But for this campaign, we are doing something different. Namely, we are playing three different characters each, changing them out as the situation changes from scene to scene. One from the command crew, one from the named support crew, then one completely made up as we desire. Death is supposed to be a possibility in this, so we are prepared with spare character sheets.
My three are:
Lofryyhn, the Wookie who is the Chief Engineer. Because Wookies are who everyone associates with fixing ships.
Scoryn, hard ass woman who enforces security on the ship.
Nar'tar, Twi'lek scholar who is interested in getting new information more than caring about how he gets it.
Others have a similar range of characters, so... first death from interpersonal conflict next session then!
Tuesday, 4 December 2012
No, it's not me saying that, it's from the channel YourMovieSucksDOTOrg. He does a take down / analysis of a lot of big movies, and just recently he did a two part take down of the Saw series.
(Part 2 here)
I originally caught his reviews because I was looking for reviews of Birdemic, and just kept watching. M Night Shyamalan? Yep. Toy Story 3? Yep (it really is like 2 all over again...) Sucker Punch? There is backlash against that movie. And a collection of Horror movies.
While not frequent, is very amusing. Not quite Plinkett, but still entertaining. Check it out!
Monday, 3 December 2012
Yes, you might have heard of a show similar in idea to Survivor: stick a bunch of people in an isolated place and watch them be dicks, or not, to each other. Only this one is from the UK, and is with Celebrities! (Where Celebrity has a pretty loose definition, because I ain't heard of most of them...)
One Celebrity (why do I keep capatilising that?) was one Colin Baker, Actor and Former Doctor Who (as his credit ran). Why? Why would he want to be abandoned out in the outback of Australia? To suffer sleepless nights, put his hands (and other body parts) into things containing the numerous bugs and critters that are in Australia, and to never eat properly again?
To lose weight. Seriously, that was his cited reason. And, to be fair to him, after his time on the show (spoilers: he didn't last the entire three weeks), he did indeed lose weight. So... why isn't this taken up by clinics as a weight loss programme? "Come spend time in the jungle, don't eat properly, and suffer for others' amusements!" Totally winner, I'm sure.
In summary: Colin Baker was on Celebrity. That is all you need to know about it, so don't bother watching it. (And I skimmed through most of it, so I didn't watch it while watching it either.)
Sunday, 2 December 2012
Booyah! In your face... whoever you are that didn't care if I completed it or not! 100% Achievement Get! Which includes all the hats and diary pages... and completing it on Hard mode, and there are some damn hard puzzles to get past (but less that you'd think).
But... because I'm masochistic... any interest in a video Let's Play of this from me? And at what difficulty? Easy is insultingly easy. Difficult is just annoying and aside from a few really hard puzzles, not that interesting, but if you really want it... (I can't see how to uncollect hats etc, so it would just be a straight run of the game.)
[END] Read more!
Saturday, 1 December 2012
So Yatzhee Croshaw came back with another book. About an apocalypse. Involving Jam. (It's interesting in that all the peoples call it jam, although that's never an official name.)
Travis wakes up one morning and finds the city of Brisbane covered in jam. Jam that eats anything organic. And so begin the trials of him and his (to use the term loosely) "friends", as they try to cross the city (the biggest game of "the floor is lava" already), and survive encountering other groups of survivors. And yes, I know there should be a comma there, but there isn't... because that's more appropriate.
Because it seems that everyone who survives is an idiot. I'm not sure what Yatzhee is saying here about people, but I certainly got the sense that all these people only are surviving because of narrative convenience. And this extends the most to Travis, the person who conveniently manages to be present at all the plot relevant moments and find out all the things that the readers need to know. Yes, readers need to know, but I was having trouble accepting that Travis just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. And this ties in with his complete lack of personality (outside of caring about Mary). This is pointed out by other characters, which is merely hanging a lamp shade on it, and is useful for making him go alone with everyone else to find out what they are doing, but it does distance us from caring about him when he is just observing everyone else. As indicated above, when he is actively doing something, mostly involving Mary, then he is more interesting.
Anyway, have you read Mogworld, yet? This continues with one of the characters turning up here, and certainly continues that rather off-the-wall humour, so go ahead and pick up Jam as well.