Wednesday, 26 December 2018

A Simpe Flavour

This movie is odd, in that it seems like a simpler drama that has a twist and becomes this grand thing. So I kinda wanted to see it, but really was uncertain if I would like it.

We start with naive Stephanie helping her friend Emily, then Emily disappears and Stephanie kicks it up with investigating what is going on. Which makes it sound a bit more bad-ass than what actually goes on, which is incredibly tame (despite how raunchy some of the character beats pretend to be), and I wasn't sure if this was supposed to be a parody at times... and then the final ten minutes happen, and the entire movie just throws itself out the nearest window and falls apart. Like there are tacked on endings to wrap everything up, but copying the end of Scary Movie (which Anna Kendrick kept reminding me of) wasn't the way to go.

This movie wants to contrast and compare Anna's character with Blake's, but neither of them felt believable and were caricatures so that doesn't work. And there's a slow build of the story that I wasn't really sure when the good part was really supposed to kick in. Oh, and inserted backstories too that try to be something.

And then that mess of an ending, which doesn't work.

Ultimately, just... ugh. No. It didn't work for me, but I did get through it.


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Wednesday, 19 December 2018


I went to an early screening of this, thinking I was getting quite the jump. Turns out Readings is just a week later than Embassy...

Back in 1987 Bumblebee came to Earth to set up an advance base before the rest of the Autobots arrived. (cough what other movies cough) He has a problematic landing and ends up being a strange beetle/robot for a young lady who has daddy issues (oh, those other movies). However, the Decepticons are looking for him to find out where the Autobots are, and there's only Bumblebee to stop them.

Let's cut to the fine point: this is a fun, decent movie! We're not breaking Shakespeare for the writing here, but compared to the other movies, this is fantastic! There's the Bumblebee/Charlie connection, which drives the movie, and whenever John Cena is on screen you are in for a humourous time. Yes, the meme that is John Cena.

I also wonder how much they did practical. The actors' eyelines seemed to actually line up, and touching looked realistic, so there might have been a good standin. Ooh, also, you could also tell what was going on in the fights. I know, amazing right?

But as good as this is... there are other Transformers we could focus a movie on, you know that right?


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Monday, 17 December 2018

Doctor Who 11.10

And so the season comes to an end, with... a whimper? A bang? More like a shrug.

It's the big finale with the return of TimShaw... and...? He's got a big plan to blow things up, but spends over three thousand years to do so and the Doctor only accidentally turns up. There is a lot of fluff around with planets and the Ux (I'll come back to them) and a planet that scrambles your mind... which doesn't actually lead to anything. (Seriously, what is the point of the scrambling? The Doctor immediately has a solution, and there is a moment of threat as she has to use it for the Ux (although she had a spare for Poltraki but no others), but it's just a moment of headache and... why did we bother? Especially when it doesn't seem to be a problem for the people they recuse from the stasis chambers.)

Fortunately TimShaw came across the Ux, a species that can create things out of nothing/faith... This feels like it should have been a slam on religion as the Ux just decides that any random being that teleports in must be the creator, but the episode treads really lightly and refuses to be more than implicit in anything approaching condemnation. (Although they talk about thinking changing the universe without once mentioning block transfer mathematics... so there's that at least.)

However, we do get the only good moment in Graham facing TimShaw and working out what kind of man he is. Usually that's the sort of moment that would be given to the Doctor, or a random guest star, but we have an actual character arc, and yeah, I'm genuinely pleased that Graham didn't go through with it. And Ryan has something to do with respect to Graham's arc. Which leaves Yaz to... also be in this episode.

For the end of the season of the Thirteenth Doctor... this is just nothing. It doesn't feel spectacular. It doesn't feel terrible either. It just... is.

Next Time: ...uh, what was that? Even five seconds? I got nothing.


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Wednesday, 12 December 2018

Crazzzzzzy RIche Asians!

I wasn't that eager for watching this. Seeing another Hollywood movie put glitz and glamour on the screen to say "hey, we've got so much money ourselves, we can afford to splash it away on portraying rich people!". But, yeah, I finally got around to it.

And... it wasn't bad. The basic story of "person hooks up with someone who doesn't fit" is common enough that it works with or without trappings. And the gratuitous over the top rich people doing expensive things scenes weren't that gratuitous or over the top. Aside from a few moments of "hey, they only have this because they are rich", this could easily have been another other big family get together with fish-out-of-water story.

Along with the rather generic story we get stock characters too. Well played by the big name actors here, but we aren't talking in depth complexities here. Pick what you think will happen because of the nature of this story, and we'll have those people doing those things.

So yeah, while not that original, it's well enough told that I enjoyed watching it.


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Tuesday, 11 December 2018

To 120%

Yes, back to Arkham Knight... and I completed it! I did 120% of the story! Huzzah!

The final "boss battle" is... not terrible. It gets into the heart of the story, and is fairly basic control wise, but it's about the story, and that works well! And... then there is more story. In order to actually complete the game, you need to do all the side missions. ALL of the side missions.

Which means Riddler Trophies. You know how much fun they were in other games? And in that you didn't need to get them all unless you wanted to collectathon? Well, in this game, you need to get them all so you can finish the Riddler story. Now, I will give that they are more fun than some of the more annoying trophies in other games (I don't need to fly and target them, I don't need to shot seven buttons spread out over half the city in two minutes). However, there is 243 of them (which includes 'get 5/10/15 of this', so there is a LOT more than 243), so yes... I went to guides. Nearly immediately. I did informants where I could, but I did look up where to get things and how to solve some. While they aren't terrible, doing 300 things isn't that fun.

And speaking of not that fun, I also did the Arkham episodes, which are extra stories. There are six of them, which you play as different characters. However, most of them go "do this fight with unarmed foes, now do a stealth attack against armed foes, now fight several hundred unarmed foes", which is boring to just do time after time. The only really different one was Batgirl's, in which you actually have a mini story with some platforming/puzzle-solving, and decision about which bit to do, and even can continue to beat people up afterwards, but the rest are linear.

So that's that. Played it through on Normal, and have no interest in other story modes, nor New Game+.

However, I do hope we get another game like this not too far away (that isn't locked to PS4).


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Monday, 10 December 2018

Doctor Who 11.09

Well, this is a mess of a story, isn't it?

We start with it could being a haunted cabin or a cabin under attack from strange and weird forces... but nah, don't worry, it's just the dad being a dick and speakers. We get a weird inbetween zone with a strange figure and flesh eating moths... but after one problem takes care of the other, we don't need to worry about it again. Instead it's a weird parasitic dimension that wants you to be there and will whatever it takes... which, as it happens, aligns perfectly with an odd tale from the Doctor's childhood of a thing from before time, but it gives up pretty easily.

And so we have three different ideas stuck together, and they are not patched together well. If they fed off each other, or played more together, fine, but this really is three parts that are just three parts. And while each part could have been developed into being a proper threat, none of them really are inpactful.

Well, the third bit could be, with that other dimensional living energy (well, that was a luck long shot, eh?). Meeting your past loved one is a heck of a draw, and really could have been powerful... but I weren't really believing it was Grace and was just waiting for the drop. If Ryan had also encountered her, it would have been something, but this also demonstrates we just have too many characters. Although this did lead to the granddad bit, so that character arc is resolved... just in time for the final episode. Oh dear?

At least we have Ellie Wallwork, a proper blind actress, so they have that going for them. Oh, and other comedian Kevin Eldon, trapped beneath layers of latex and bad lighting and suffers the same fate of all comedians in this series... being badly used.

Now the Solitrax is standard bafflegab for Doctor Who, but for some reason, probably because it's just a small part of this mess of an episode, this is just emblematic of just this episode pulling crap from its arse and trying to be important. It just doesn't work.

Next time: Um... big epic finale, wrapping up all the hints of this season? Or just another base under siege story?


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Wednesday, 5 December 2018

At 103%

So after getting over annoying at Tomb Raider, I've switched to a different game, one I've been meaning to get to for a while: Arkham Knight.

First point is that the game can be really buggy and not play... fortunately it does play on my machine. And I've been playing it a lot. So far I'm 30 hours into it, and at 103%. How? I'm not sure, but I still haven't reached the end yet. (Possibly been playing too much. One time I started at 6pm... and then when I decided I was too tired, it was 2.30am!)

But, surprisingly, I've been good at it. Which is probably why I've enjoyed playing it so much. Not to say there aren't problems, and a few fights I've had to hit my head against, but generally I know how to do the flow now, I'm sort of used to the weapons I need to use, and so on, so that I am the Batman. It's been actual fun.

However, bugs. In one case, it doesn't give me a prompt for doing environmental takedowns. Which is annoying when you need to use them in one particular fight. And then there's the Batmobile. You've likely heard about it from other places, and yes, it is incredibly annoying. The main problem is trying to control where it is going, because, of course, the camera is also the enemy. I find it most useful to use the arrow keys, so that the camera is pointed with the car, but that does mean I can't get to some of the controls, such as speed boost. Although, to be honest, you don't really need it that much, so normal controlling is fine.

Best part is that the checkpoints aren't that impossible in the main storyline, so it's not overly frustrating... so here's to jumping back in for more % soon!


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Monday, 3 December 2018

Doctor Who 11.08

When they say things like "this was a game of two halves", this is an exemplar story, right?

We start with a standard witch story. Someone gets accused of being a witch, no nice way of getting out of it, and someone with power is pulling all the strings. This has the proper set of looking at how hysteria can drive people to turning against one another and so forth.

But then the aliens are inserted into the story, and hoo boy, do they have no place here. A bunch of alien prisoners are released and... are in no way related to witch-ness of the time. Wat? I'm sure someone should have worked in some parallels here. But no, they really are unrelated events, despite what the Doctor says, and that it took this long for the alien creatures to do anything is purely coincidence. (Which, it must be admitted, a lot of Doctor Who stories rely on, so I'll let the timing pass.)

Even then, this could have been saved. King James is more camp than a field of boy scouts, but he's has dark moments. The Doctor being accused of being a witch is obvious, and we should be surprised it took that long (and I do like how the companions are like "The Doctor wouldn't let that happen... which means-"). But... how does no-one comment on their clothes? That strange material? Speaking complete garbage? They all should have been dunked from the beginning!

But then we hit the last ten minutes, and the whole episode goes completely to pot. The need for aliens overrides everything, and the need for an answer and explanation. While the mud was wanting to infect the Doctor before, now that everyone is knocked out, let's not bother. And we also better hope no-one else decides to deal with that tree stump, or otherwise mine or crack into that hill...

There is potential to this episode, but then it goes all sci-fi, and sigh.

Next time: Is is a creepy cabin story? Or is it going to complete wash out any real sense of story?


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