One of the games I got in a Humble Bundle is Darksiders. And since I felt like playing a third person action... shooty... thing... game, I decided either that or Borderlands, so Borderlands will be second.
So far it's a standard fairly linear game, where the main way to win is to spam the attack button as fast as possible. Yes, there are moves, but so far just leaping out of the way and then spamming attack is working pretty well. I'm currently up to a boss battle, and will get back to it at some point.
But I wanted to talk about the 'buying improvement' mechanic, where I get new moves and more powerful versions of those moves. At which point does that that trend over into the RPG genre? While I am not levelling up my basic stats, you can broadly think of levelling as 'becoming better at what you are doing in the game', and I am certainly doing that. Moreover, it's up to me to decide where to put the points.
One difference is that I'm not saying 'I want to be this type of War' (I'm playing War of the Horsemen), so I'm not buying up improvements to fit a certain backstory I have in mind, but still I am spreading out the points according to how I'm playing... which at the moment means buying more levels in the powers I'm likely to spam and not buying new moves because then I'd have to remember I have those moves. So the difference isn't as great as it could be.
And I have to admit, I prefer games where the levelling (as such) is automatic, because when you have points to spend... that suggests there's an optimal path to level up in the best way to get the best advantage, and not doing it that way is just stupid. And while that's not true in every instance, it is for some games. No idea if it is true here, I'm not a good enough player to play the optimal way anyway, but it could be, so I could be doing it wrong with my picks.
And yes, I'm on Easy mode, 'cos that's how I play. Still doesn't mean I'm going to get through it without falling into lava many many times (as I have done).
Thursday, 28 February 2013
One of the games I got in a Humble Bundle is Darksiders. And since I felt like playing a third person action... shooty... thing... game, I decided either that or Borderlands, so Borderlands will be second.
Wednesday, 27 February 2013
After the wonderful success... no, wait, the other word... of losing the captain last time, we had to plan our next move. We knew about two new planets and were planning how to visit them... and then a distress call for a group of Imperial scientists over on a completely different planet turned up.
We sent a small team to one planet [although given hyperspace travel time, we'll probably get there before they do!] while go off to save the Imperials. At that planet, we get that there are only three left, and Jessa insists on them sending up their research before we go down to save them. Nat'tar (my third character) is entirely on board with that plan. As long as he can use the research... I mean the research can be saved, that's what matters.
Anyway, we go down, and indeed save their remaining asses, and get their research about some weird place that has picture glyphs that plays notes when pressed... and soon after they worked on that, strange beings turned up. They shot at them, and got themselves severely killed... more places to research! They also got some strange piece of metal, that is not at all a strange example of technology that I know nothing about.
We drop the team back on the ship (while we pretended to be Imperials, they didn't really care who we were, as long as we got off the planet), then go back to look in this other place. Where we find the body of the remaining expedition member that translated most of the language. Which includes that there's a strange piece of metal here that makes people distrusting and tending towards murder... and some group of people are watching us...
Tuesday, 26 February 2013
There are some movies where you say 'sod it, it walked into that obvious trap'. Such as with this movie!
Let's go out into the desert on a road trip! And let's have a suspicious accident! And let's get together with a group of people that are overly helpful for no reason what so ever! Nothing wrong with that!
Yeah, sod them. And the deaths are largely overly complicated. And there's a huge secret background reason for it all that is also overly complicated and pointlessly needs too much co-incidentalism.
And other rule to throw into the mix: don't let them talk, just shoot them.
This movie is populated with young actors who may well go on to other and bigger things because they are all pretty and willing to strip.
Yes, it's an entirely skippable movie.
Monday, 25 February 2013
That's a messy title, with + and Ctrl and not being the expression you think it would be. But it is a documentary about computer entrepreneurship.
What do you need to start up your own computer based company? First, an idea. But then money. This movie looks at the different ways people can get that, can get their name out there. Mainly by going to demo shows and the like. Some times by getting big with a great title (eg Bastion), but mainly trying to get backing. This movie follows five different teams as they try to do that.
But beyond telling those stories... it doesn't really have a larger motif than 'find a job you like and go for it', which is pablum from so many other places (if we all did that, I suspect there would be a lot less street cleaners around). There's also 'the main leader should present the vision', which is a good idea, but the two big examples, Apple and Microsoft show that the person with the technical knowhow isn't the one who should do the talking.
So a quick go-over of some moderately successful stories, but not really wider than that.
Sunday, 24 February 2013
I'm guessing they chose that number because of the proper religious significance, but they don't really many much of a reference to the religious side of it. Oh, and it's easier to have 6:16 as a time.
Anyway, it seems the FBI has a team of people to go investigate ghosts and hauntings and stuff. A rather odd collection of people that I would more believe the FBI would disown rather than put into a team. Anywoo, they go to a prison where there was an attempted burning of all 616 inmates. So they go in, place cameras all over the place, and have camera glasses (is that actual tech? I would think so, but...). Oh, and a paranormal specialist (again with the FBI it seems) also turns up. They find a woman, who is evil and stuff, then they all get killed off one by one. And that's about it.
This is found footage. So it's got that going against it. And the light levels in this wash the picture out time and again (because it's artistic!). There is one moment that got me, but otherwise nothing surprising.
No-one in this I recognise, the writing isn't believable, and this invents some mythology for itself to play with that's not that impressive...
So yeah, not a great movie.
Saturday, 23 February 2013
You may have heard of Total Biscuit (no idea why his channel is Total Halibut). He tends to review games by just playing them and recording first impressions (known as the WTF is series) and there you go. (His review of The Eternity Clock is pretty much on the money, and he does indeed quit at the obvious point.)
However, he has said more than once that he is not good at puzzle type games. Like Portal and point and click games. And when he says 'not good' he says 'bad'. Like really, really bad. Like terrible, shout at the screen 'why are you so stupid, look at that obvious thing!' bad.
So, of course, when he does that (what he calls 'WTF am I doing edition?'), it makes for must-see viewings and don't-see-because-you-will-yell-at-him viewing! For example...
Yeah... irritating, yet highly amusing!
Friday, 22 February 2013
This is a Quick Read, not even 100 pages. The Silurian Gift by Mike Tucker. While this doesn't feature Ace, this does feature explosives, so there are some similarities there.
In the Antarctica, Relham has a base... and guess who shows up? Intentionally as it happens, in that Pelham got in touch with some Silurians who offered him Fire Ice as a power source (what Fire Ice is is never explained). However, Pelham is a dick, and so one of the Silurians turns on him (after he nearly kills her), and wakes up some Sea Devils. And Myrkas. And the battle goes on from here.
So yeah, Sea Devils. They are on the cover, but we don't get a good look at them. I don't know if they are just artistic impression, or if these are they new designs. Certainly they don't get a lot of characterisation, and one is reminded of Warriors of the Deep a lot, but without the full pantomime horse effect of the Myrka.
Very much a quick read, and feels more like a mini-episode than most of them do.
Thursday, 21 February 2013
Every new thing seems to spawn a movie centered around it. A horror movie, in this case, around Chatroulette or Omegle.
The schtick is when chatting with a stranger, type (because there is no audio it seems) "I did it for the lulz" three times, and then Smiley pops up behinds them and guts them. One young woman, not believing this, tries it, Smiley kills, and then she has a mental breakdown believing that Smiley is coming for her.
And this movie is more about her breakdown than it is Smiley. Indeed, the movie tries to make the point that society is crashing in on itself, and "I did it for the lulz" is a valid excuse that abrogates all responsibility and consequence. And that the internet is the next step in the Anthropic Principle. Yeah, it's a little bit of a mess.
And then we get the big twist at the end, at which point you give up on all the characters and then wait for the ultimate twist to kick off... and there it is! (And you should stick around for the post-credit moment, although that would require watching the movie first.)
Aside from stupid apperances from Roger Bart and Keith David (stupid as in 'they were wasted'), there aren't any actors of note. The Smiley make up could have been interested, but the point of the movie isn't Smiley, so they don't really do anything with it.
Not a movie to watch, not least of all because it can't make its points properly.
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
Tuesday, 19 February 2013
Oh, I didn't realise, this is a sequel to another movie I reviewed. I wondered why the set-up 'supposed bad guy helps to take down badder guy in a horror movie' was a little familiar.
Random chap has the ability to wire up a disco to kill people, then kidnaps someone and takes them to his house where he has other people to kill. That someone has people come after her, and so there are more people to kill. Arkin ('collected' in the previous movie) escapes and is brought in to bring that team in, and gets caught in the house. And then insert generic slasher movie from there on in.
The most annoying thing about this movie is the editing. The director clearly felt that if a shot went on longer than a second, then that's too long so CUT! CUT! CUT! Really, the pacing is just frenetic, with shots jammed together. A lot like the plot, which is just a random series of rooms with weird traps and stuff jammed together until the movie was padded out long enough. And just how did the death rave work in the opening? How long would that take to set up?
Josh Stewart returns as Arkin, and Emma Fitzpatrick plays the young woman with the ear problem... although nothing much is really made of that. The biggest name here is Christopher McDonald, who is only in the movie for a minute or so.
It looks like I liked the first movie. Not so much this second one. Can we then hope there's no third?
Monday, 18 February 2013
It's that time of the year again. I went for a walk around the bays, and paid for the privileged. Since I don't hang around for spot prizes, there really isn't much point in me doing this. My feet are still healing from the time a few weeks prior when I went for a walk because I wanted to.
My time was about the same as last year. Don't know what precisely, because they didn't show the start time. I was hoping for under an hour, but still 70 minutes.
Next year, unless I'm with someone, I'm not sure I'll bother.
Sunday, 17 February 2013
What character from Star Wars do we most want to see return? Jar Jar of course! But right after him, Darth Maul! I'm sure if you were George Lucas, you'd see him as a cash cow and want to resurrect him as well!
The Clone Wars is not directly under Lucas, but certainly has grown up to be a great spin-off with its own mythology. At least, I guess so. I stopped paying attention during season one, but I've heard good things. And I also guess, given that Star Wars apparently only admits one mythology, and viscously protects that, all this is in the one canon as well? [I never understood that. Being a Doctor Who fan, I already deal with many different canons, so can't get my head around one that refuses to acknowledge that there there cannot be one official 'text'.]
Anyway, as part of a big build up, why not bring back one of the big baddies of the movies, one Darth Maul? Because he got cut in half, and died many years previously, that's why. Pffft. As if that matters. No, let's do this huge thing because of ratings! And so, as the end of season four, they brought him back. And compiled the last four episodes and released that as a special compilation "Darth Maul Returns!" [So don't complain to me about spoilers, 'cos it's there in the title.]
So to give away spoilers: there's very little return. Two of the four episodes aren't even about Maul and his brother who is looking for him (psst, he has a brother), but about witches - yep, there are witches, so we can see how magic, I mean 'midichlorians', is set up to bring people back. Anyway, so the brother finds Maul and... he's a half-spider thing (because he got cut in half!) but... no-one addresses how Maul survived, or why he's a half-spider, or anything! Just, he's back! Waah! And now he's around for season five.
Load of tosh. But I will only respect this if they also bring back Qui-Gon... but that's probably already happened, hasn't it?
Saturday, 16 February 2013
Die Hard was great, great action, great characterisation, and Alan Rickman! Die Harder repeated that. With A Vengeance got the credits out of the way in two seconds, then got straight into the action. Live Free was computer typing IS EXCITING! And now we get A Good Day.
John wants to get back together with his son, whom he thinks is in trouble, so he goes to Moscow, where John Jr (Jack) is actually helping a political prisoner escape... but who cares (not the movie) because we have chases and action sequences and betrayal, and people dying without anyone caring...
Seriously two supposed bad guys are knocked off basically off screen. (Well, not quite, but certainly incidentally.) And the characterisation has gone out the window and flattened itself on the pavement below. As for the action sequences, there is no truck/jet surfing, but there also isn't any action sequences that you'll remember after leaving the theatre. It's like they heard about the stunts in 4.0 being too ridiculous, so they toned them down, but forgot to make them more interesting to compensate.
Bruce is cruising through this movie (in one early sequence, bad guys come in, he just stands there, casually picks up a gun and mows them down without even pretending to be in danger - yeah, that's great writing right there), and constantly complaining that he is 'just on vacation'. Jai Courtney is also in this movie, as are the other actors, but don't really play any part in the plot because there barely is one. (Mary returns as Lucy.)
I can only imagine that there will be a 6 so that Holly can return to the McClane family? ... but please don't if it's going to be like this.
Friday, 15 February 2013
This is a new thing that is happening. The upside is that the videos are just 30 seconds long, so it doesn't take long overall to catch up with most of them. For example:
The downside is... why the hell did this go anywhere near viral? Is it because it's 30 seconds and thus easy to reproduce? Because it lets people spasm about? The 'original' video didn't even do this, and it wasn't until V2 (and being a 'version' is easy enough, just title yourself that) is where the format actually establishes itself.
Still, at least I can sort of say I was there when it happened, even though I didn't pay any attention to it for a day or so. And this is a thing that happens.
On the flip side, it looks to be dead already, so that's over with.
Thursday, 14 February 2013
While I am a fan of the Discworld series, the Science of Discworld books has been one I've taken longer to get around to. For example, my first copy of I is the expanded version. Understandably, the Discworld sections are more amusing than the science sections, so I've often skimmed those ones. Although I have, at some point, read them all properly.
With Darwin's Watch, book III, I found the science sections to be nearly as interesting as the Discworld stuff (or possibly the Discworld section lowered in quality as well?). Not to say I didn't feel inclined to skim some parts, but certainly I enjoyed reading all those sections on my first read through. Amazing.
The story is all about evolution, what is it, how did it get "discovered", what was Darwin's role in it all... and what about parallel universes and the meaning of reality and all that as well. Perhaps it is the content that is more interesting to me and thus I'm happier to read it?
The Discworld section has them trying to ensure Darwin writes The Origin of the Species, and are confounded by Auditors. I do note that while Death knows all about them... suddenly it seems the wizards do as well! And how to fight them, a la Thief of Time. Hmm.... not entirely sure I buy that, but you need it for the story to go on.
So yeah, a more even book for readability. Book IV is two months away... but I'll probably wait for the paperback again (all mine are paperbacks)... and then wait some more... but maybe not quite as long.
Wednesday, 13 February 2013
Because I can, I went to Te Papa! Yep, that's right, if you read the comments on any article talking about it, it appears I am one of the few people in existence who actually deign to visit the place.
Certainly this time I saw new exhibits, and finally got into the Golden Days exhibit! And, of course, hit the Wacky Shack!
But I also attended the major exhibit of Game Masters. And if that link stops working, here's the originating ACMI link, because this is an Australian exhibit that went over here.
The basic thing about it is.. it has games. Arcade machines. Wii. X-Box. Playstation. PC. All the machines, all the games. (Okay, not all the games, but a ton of games.) And you can play any and all of them for the entry free ($16 in my case). And once again I proved I can't use a console controller properly... but I do encourage you, if you have time, to go check it out. That's a ton of games you might not otherwise ever see again. And there's also videos of interviews with creators... which are also on the ACMI site I was told, so you can check them out easier there.
And this was from one of the other exhibits (you can't take photos inside, but I took other pictures). It evoked the sort of memories you get from the Game Masters exhibit.
[END] Read more!
Tuesday, 12 February 2013
There was an event. A Red Dwarf event. Well, half of one. While Danny John-Jules had been to New Zealand at least once before, this was Robert Llewellyn's first time. They came for the day in Auckland, and there was episode screenings, and photo and signing sessions, and of course they talked on stage.
I should have taken videos. Others did, I didn't. Just pictures. Blurry, blurry pictures.
All the attendees wore a holographic H, although there was only around 50 of them. Robert repeated a lot of stuff from his Man in the Rubber Mask book (which would be new to a lot of people there), but only briefly pimped News from Gardenia. (He also pimped News from the Squares and Danny Bucky.)
I spent a lot of the time helping Rochelle run her Retrospace stall, and got a glimpse of how retail works... that was quite interesting! And Danny and Robert quite liked her car (well, mainly her numberplate):
And yes, I did wear the H.
[END] Read more!
Monday, 11 February 2013
Yes, I was up in Auckland most of last week. Why? You'll see tomorrow.
While up there, I had a good view from my hotel room (night and day). And I went for long walks. In fact, I went on the Auckland City Walk. I popped over to Takapuna to visit Retrospace. I don't think I'd be over selling it if I said they have a lot of stuff. And went there via the ferry.
I wandered around the Auckland Art Gallery (where most of the pictures are from), before going up in the Skytower lift. Being up there... it does your head in a little, being so high with hardly anything beneath you. But saw the amazing range of Auckland's suburb sprawl, reminded me of Sydney. And because you do this sort of thing, I took video:
All that and much other wanderings I did. But it wasn't the whole reason I was up there.
Sunday, 10 February 2013
I've been at a hotel the past few days (for reasons that will become evident soon), and there's a weird thing I've noticed with regard to their restocking and general cleaning policies.
I've got a cake of soap. I have used it a few times under normal circumstances, I haven't gone crazy and lathered my body every five minutes, or eaten it or anything. So I've only used a sliver, is what I'm saying. Why, then, do they feel the need to restock me a new one each day? How is that in any way efficient / cost effective? It's all very well saying 'we want guests to have the best' and / or 'the cleaning peoples have a perk of used soap', but when it's only had a few washes in water, even 'perks' will add up to a significant noticeable level.
Also towels. Now I have no idea if they are simply rehanging or giving me new ones (same with sheets) but again they can't really be resupplying each day, because that laundry bill would be through the roof! I've stayed at places which explicitly say 'in order to conserve, please consider reusing your towels' which is fine, I do that anyway. So really hotels are changing the linen that often? It makes sense if they don't.
And yet, they seem to be. Perhaps that's just the (level of) hotel I'm at? Even then, word of advice: in the name of saving you some money (and perhaps passing that savings along to my bill), feel free to leave my soap sitting there for another day or so.
Saturday, 9 February 2013
What a run of the mill movie it turned out to be. The main reason I watched it was the description intrigued me that it might contain some interesting elements.
"Focusing on the timeless themes of jealousy, murder and betrayal, 'I Against I' is set over one night and utilises different time lines to reveal a dark and unexpected conclusion to a simple mystery premise."
Let's unpack that, eh? "the timeless themes of jealousy, murder and betrayal" = generic movie of a crime drama involving incompetent people who only manage to work out the plot due to sheer coincidence. Not an actual original movie.
"utilises different time lines" = flashbacks. This is, of course, the potentially interesting element. And this has a lot of potential for interesting story telling. We see the version where person one whacks person two over the head and kills them, and what does that mean? But then we also see person two getting away in time, but then what does that mean?
There could be a movie that focuses on that, but then that'd be seen as 'science fiction' or something, and frowned upon, and wouldn't be considered to even be able to have a plot with 'characters' and 'development' and be nothing but a 'gimmick'. So it will certainly not be possible for any mainstream movie to be that.
On the other hand, every mainstream movie could have been this.
Friday, 8 February 2013
And this is the third movie.
From fonts to objects top cities, this looks at who designs the urban planning we see. Or, in some cases, the lack of planning. While this movie did try to show how cities are structured in their development, and they heavily rely on citizen buy in, there are a few points missed.
One is that despite any amount of initial planning, a lot of growth is organic, and the contours and features of the land can trump any plans made in the abstract. (Although if all you are starting with is a huge plain, that may be less of an issue.) The other point is that while planning is nice, it can be superseded by industrial concerns, to whit companies with their own plans to create their own spaces and get laws 'amended' or worked around if need be, which can throw a lot of design out the window.
The overall view of this movie is that urban development is happened. Time was spent on how to incorporate nature back into parts, but no comment was made on whether or not there should be more development in the first place. Mainly because there's just going to be increasing population so they need to live somewhere. Although maybe not in very good conditions.
An interesting movie, but a very pro- one.
Thursday, 7 February 2013
First there was Helvetica and now this documentary.
Look around us. There is stuff. A lot of stuff. And someone designed it. (Not one person designed everything, but you know what I mean.) Who are the people who design things, and what do they do? This documentary talks to many of them. And mostly they are interesting. Certainly more to it than I thought there was. Although only a small part on sustainability in the face of ever inventing new things that we are all supposed to want.
One valid point they made was that form lo longer links with function. They used the example of spoons and chairs, before talking about the current mobile phone, but the phone by itself is enough of an example, in particular the headset. It was two speakers (one input, one output) that was positioned with plastic to be in front of the mouth and ear. Now, it's a rectangular object that doesn't fit comfortably to the head and often doesn't even reach the entire distance, and it makes people speak louder so everyone can hear! (Or that might just be me.)
Anyway, I certainly have a lot of designed stuff, and this wee documentary is a small look into how that came about.
Wednesday, 6 February 2013
I did it! That is to say, I done it. I watched(*) all the episodes of the TV series of The Incredible Hulk. (Although not the two TV movies afterwards.) (*) Where 'watched' means 'watched most of the episodes on fast forward, and with no subtitles, so I saw what happened, but didn't hear all the dialogue, but most of the episodes are the same anyway'.
And 'by the same', we get the set up of Bix (as he's referred to by the director) being the new kid in town, gets caught up in some events or another, get trashed once at the end of Act 2 for the first Hulk Out, before more exposition leading up to the final Hulk Out in Act 4 that solves everything, before he takes to the road again. So, yeah, I didn't miss out on much by fast forwarding through it all.
Still, there were some decent episodes in there, because the writers actually wrote decent characters, a point they make, and one I'll agree with. And some interesting 'different' episodes, such as the one centered on the reporter Jack McGee, and one where Lou 'the Hulk' Ferrigno has an actual speaking part (although he's not as strong as the Hulk, whom he meets in that episode). And you know what, if Lou came up to me and said 'I'm the Hulk', I'm not one to disagree with him.
I'm glad I made my way through them all. I vaguely recall seeing some when I was much much younger (especially remember Lou breaking through a motorcycle helmet). And, as ever, that haunting melody that you will never forget, the Lonely Man theme...
Tuesday, 5 February 2013
Why should the Americans be the only ones to make bad horror movies? This is one from the British.
Four friends, ostensibly two couples, go out to a far away house for some reason, and nearby is a tree and some ruins. Turns out the tree is well known for people hanging themselves from it. Guess what happens? Yeah, even without the opening 'this is actual footage found by the police' who then basically describe the result of the end scene, you can tell exactly where this is going... and there it goes!
This then leaves the characters to carry us through. So this movie then ends up being an equal part measure of angst and panicked running, neither of which is worth acknowledging as a tour de force of brilliant cinematography.
This is from a rather new writer and director team (one other short together listed on IMDB - which admittedly isn't great with non-US credits), so we can hope they get better. This is just too generic to really tell if it had promise or not.
Not worth watching as neither bad nor good.
Monday, 4 February 2013
As soon as I saw the trailer, I knew this movie was going to crash my brain with the violation of the physics and the biology.
Let's get the story out of the way. Boy is on bad side of the tracks, girl is on good side, boy and girl try to get to each other despite their societies telling them to stay away... yep, it's Romeo and Juliet all over again. Or possibly Titanic. The point is the story doesn't matter because love is more powerful than gravity... and every other physical principle guiding the universe. (And talk about a speedy ending...)
The movie opens up setting up some basic rules. There happens to be two planets next to each other but with their own gravities. Rule 1) everything from one planet is affected by the gravity of that planet. Rule 2) enough mass from the other planet can keep you on that planet. However Rule 3) if matter from both worlds are in contact long enough... they combust!
Fine, these planets exist. Whatever. But then we have the rules of the planets which the planets must obey, as given within the movie, so at that point, we can start bitching. (And this is all observable in the trailer!)
The air from the planets intermingle... but air is matter... so why not combusting all over the place? (Because it is always moving, and specific bits of matter are not together long enough to go bang. Okay, that can survive for now.)
But then there is a building that connects both worlds, and we see shots in the trailer of people working on each others ceilings, as it were... but then the planets are locked relative to each other? So they don't rotate? So where's the gravity come from? Let alone how do seasons work?
And then the characters eat food from the other world... how? It would stick to the top of the mouth, you wouldn't be able to swallow, and then it would just fly 'upwards' as soon as you open your mouth far enough! Let alone that's two matters from opposite worlds that aren't combusting! Let alone the evolution probability for two 'human' species to turn up and have compatible biology (there is a suggestion that some creatures can cross over naturally, and it would make more sense that the 'humans' arose on one planet then crossed over... although that just shifts the 'how did that happen?' question.)
Although materials seem to be passed from one world to the other easily. Throwing a rope up? No problem... except it won't just be caught in the other planets gravity, and will still need to be a given a ton of energy to get up there. And falling from that height into the ocean? The word 'splat' comes to mind.
And then there's the walking around on the other planet... even if you have the mass holding you down, your internal biology is still guided by the gravity of your planet, your blood should be pooling in your head!
I don't care that this is 'love overcomes everything', there are plenty of stories about that. I care about that this movie violates the very basic fundamentals itself sets up. Making for great visuals (and there are some great visuals) do not an excuse give.
Sunday, 3 February 2013
This was very nearly a good movie. It has an interesting premise, characters in conflict, secrets to uncover... then in the second act it dives down into slowness and never recovers.
Two families arrive at an Open House, but whenever they try to leave, they always return to it. After a month... personalities clash to an extreme (with a dash of supernatural events(*)), and then everything collapses. The characters, the plot, any interest in this movie... I kept watching, hoping it would get better. When they find the way to leave, they all ignore it! They're idiots! And I did foresee that ending, although it would have been more interesting if it was the original girl.
(*) Why is not seeing your dead daughter/wife/son/lover/buddy/etc in a place where they clearly can't be not on TV Tropes??? I even checked the page for Event Horizon, which has it three times! Nothing!
We get Marc Sinclair, who has done some decent work, although he does look like Marc Pelligrino towards the end. Art LaFleur gets to range over his usual characters. And all the women are playing bitches to one degree or another.
Should have been better.
Saturday, 2 February 2013
The first Secret Wars was an epic battle of super villains versus super heroes versus a strange presence from Beyond. It was a fun book, and lead to the Spiderman/Venom creation.
Just last night I finished reading Secret Wars II. In it, the One from Beyond... called the Beyonder, came to Earth and the big event for Marvel was that he crossed over into all on-going comics at the time.
Of course the volume I read was just the main SWII story line, so I have no idea what happened in the other comics. That is one thing that annoys me about big cross over events like that. Why can't the comic volumes be released in reading order with all affected comics? Yes, okay, it will probably sell far less well, and be confusing to the general public, but what the hell? I'm not going to track down every issue, so will never read them any other way. (I tried to do that with Millennium, and am missing two comics (I think) and the New Guardians series... and have since given up.)
Anyway, the story line... isn't that good. The Beyonder comes to Earth and tries to find out what it means to... basically... be human. And doesn't get it. And does lots of strange things... and what there isn't is lots of interesting super hero on super villain action. There are a lot of heroes and villains, but most of them are just in it for a page or two, and that's it. Some of them only get name checked! What's the point of that? And the story of the Beyonder is just flat and boring. The Beyonder is omnipotent so there is no threat to him, and he'll never get what it means to be human so there's no chance of a proper arc to his character growth (such as it is). And the ending is just a cheat.
You might have heard there is a sequel to the great big battle... but feel free to not bother reading it.
Friday, 1 February 2013
Mushroom, mushroom. I watch a few food shows... for some reason I'm not quite sure about. And so, one show I've been watching, that's incredibly more dangerous than most for making of the cravings...
Do you like bacon? Sure, we all can! But just how much bacon can you manage? That's not enough, we want more! In fact, we want an entire United States of Bacon! In this show, chef Todd Fisher travels around the USA looking at, and, more importantly, eating, all kinds of bacon masterpieces!
Picture a burger. Put bacon on it... you've got the tamest creation on this show! Meat with layers of bacon, wrapped in more bacon, with extra bacon on it, all this and more! Generally in each episode, the show picks a town, and visits three locations showing off their bacon piece de resistance. He talks with the chef who cooks it, and they show the creation process, and then Todd gives it a munching and enjoying.
And, yeah, I'll say it, it looks like Todd has enjoyed plenty of bacon in his time. And given the bacon he is chomping in this series, at which point does a heart attack ensue? Although, all we generally see is one or two bites, so for all I know, he immediately goes "that's all I need, hey camera crew, dig in!"... or he may indeed scarf it all. No idea.
But yes, watching this starts up the lovin' bacon juices. Tasty tasty bacon... mmm... excuse me, I must go nom...