Ah, the games of yesteryear. Weren't they so much better than the games of today? No, no they weren't. And to prove it, you can play those really old games!
The Console Living Room is a project by the Internet Archive to bring all those old 'console' games back to life. Where 'console' is things like the Atari 2600, the Magnavox and the Coleco. Never heard of them? Can't say I'm surprised. Me, I first started with actual programmable machines like the ZX81, but I was aware of these beasts.
Ah, but such games. I can remember things like Mario Bros... Joust... Rampage... Donkey Kong... (I'm not sure why there is no sound. Maybe just my browser?)
Of course, there are a lot of games I'd like to play from around then that aren't on the archive. Karnov. The New Zealand Story. ... okay, so that's two. But they aren't on there... yet!
Tuesday, 31 December 2013
Ah, the games of yesteryear. Weren't they so much better than the games of today? No, no they weren't. And to prove it, you can play those really old games!
Monday, 30 December 2013
This is another kickstarter item, a comic called Giant! Which is ironic as the comic is about the size of A5!
This is a rather short version of a typical story whereby 'young chap who flubs everything does good'. The main character is a lot of a goof, but is an alchemist... and there's a small problem in the story where he has some potions, but it's never explained what they do. Somehow they help? Anyway, there's a giant that turns up, so they need to deal with that.
I can see this being an easy Saturday morning cartoon, and it's a decent enough story, but does feel rather short. The drawing style is nice, and simple but effective and easy to read expressions. The characters are cute enough, and my copy of this book has the Gargoyle as a special image (although he's got my name wrong).
I don't know if you can get this elsewhere, but worth reading if you can get it simply.
Sunday, 29 December 2013
I meant to talk about Triton earlier, after reading volume 1, but seems I forgot. Hey, means I can talk about volume 1 and 2! Anyway, this was the original point of the kickstarter.
Triton is a man of the ocean, but starts off in human society. However, he drawn to the ocean, and, by the end of volume 1, is pretty much returned to the sea. He has something of a girlfriend, but must fight the ancient Atlantean clan, headed up by Poseidon. First, he must take out the children of Poseidon before forming an alliance with Poseidon... or does he?
It's amazing how sprawling this story gets while still only focusing on just a few people. And some of the characters are dolphins! (FUN-yaa!) Although I do wonder if there is a coloured version of this around, and one of the dolphins is golden, and represented by being white with glow lines.
The ending isn't one one would expect, but Osamu Tezuka doesn't shy away from outcomes while still keeping this being fantastical. Although I could do with the chapter sizes being standardised (how many pages do I need to get through?).
Good story overall, and glad I was a part of this.
Saturday, 28 December 2013
They got the name of this episode wrong, and I'll hardly be the first person to say it: it should have been The Continuity of the Doctor. All those missing bits and pieces from the previous seasons we've been wondering about are brought up, and I guess answered in a way, here. And... doesn't that make it a crap Christmas special?
This is it! Hey, it's the origin of the Silence! Er... all right. It's the origin of the crack in time! Well, kinda... It's the origin of the question! Rather disappointingly... It explains the whole twelve regenerations thing! Except only us hardcore nerds ever cared about it. It featured Matt Smith in old age make up! Because if you are going to have a special, why not put your main lead in prosthetic make up for most of the time. (Yes, I know there are plenty of shows with leads in prosthetics, but they were designed that way!) It answered all those questions only us fanatical ones were answering...
...and no-one else cared about. Really. I find it highly unlikely that the general watcher, except on a casual basis, cared about the whole 'name spoken on the fields of Trenzalore' thing, and what not. In fact, this retcon episode makes for a rather boring story. Outside of exposition city, what happens in this episode? Not a lot! The Doctor goes to a place, and then stays there... and then the episode ends with a Deus Ex TimeandSpacia.
And how is it all solved? With sparkly regeneration effects, because we've now proved that regeneration energy is powerful enough to destroy whole Dalek ships! And if you must do a "remember all these companions" bit, at least go with an updated version of the end of The Caves of Androzani, instead of dragging it out like some show runners. And I will give them points for a quick change over of actor.
Aside from capping off the Eleventh Doctor, I doubt families gathering around the telly after Christmas dinner found this episode particularly thrilling...
Next Time: Well, we got us a Peter Capaldi, and a mad cap adventure I'm sure awaits!
Friday, 27 December 2013
I remember when I first saw Die Hard with a Vengeance, when I was with a friend who had already seen it, I said to him "I hope this doesn't take too long to get going." Boy howdy!
This, in many ways, is even more of a replicate of the first movie. There's a Gruber, there is stealing of money, there is a deception to make people think something else is going on... it's just like the first movie! But this movie, in other ways, is having even more fun than the first. The riddles to send McClane all over the place, getting Zeus involved so there can be more of a 'buddy' vibe to the movie, the uncovering of layers of the plot... the only real let down is that the ending feels like the very tacked on affair that it is.
Still, you got to admire Bruce Willis and Samuel Jackson in this. They have a great chemistry together. And Jeremy Irons kicks it up a notch with him evidently enjoying his role. Indeed, they were all having fun. And there are some impressive sequences (even if, again, the Mythbusters show some of them couldn't happen).
This ranks only just below the first in fun, and with plenty of action is a great entry to watch.
Thursday, 26 December 2013
It's set at Christmas for one obvious reason. Die Harder is simply the first movie redone. (I've read both novels the movies were based on. The first one had some changes, but was a lot closer than the second.)
We have would be terrorists again, we got us some big explosions, we got McClain running about the place complaining that this is the same movie again. I had forgotten about the other group of 'good guys' that turn up. Which, to be honest, really feels like a complication they could have left out. That whole scene with the Church battle could easily have been dropped without too much going missing. And the last explosion looks cool (even if the Mythbusters have proven it impossible).
William Sadler is looking good for a man of 40. Dennis Franz, although a cop, isn't completely retreading his role (which I haven't actually seen). Art Evans gets some fun parts to fill in, gets near action as well as expository. And, of course, we have Bruce Willis, with a higher quip ratio, and able to take out whole groups of guys when SWAT teams can't. Some scenes do push the credibility factor, but it's still all good.
Certainly not up to the first, or the third, this movie is far better than some entrants in this now series.
Wednesday, 25 December 2013
If you are going to have a tradition for watching a Christmas movie, there is only one choice you can have. The one, the only... Die Hard!
This is the beginning of the everyman film. A cop from New York ends up in Los Angeles, at a party with his estranged wife, and ends up shirtless, shoeless and aidless as he takes on a European gang who have an exceptional thief for a boss. There's action a plenty, and even character growth, in this amazingly well crafted film. A hell of a lot of the dialogue is quoteable, and there are many performances to applaud, with, of course, the main plaudits going to Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman.
And I'm not one to go gaga over the music, but Michael Kamen does a wondeful job with the music score, with his arrangement of Ode to Joy. The perfectly time swelling as they enter the vault is masterful. And we even get a hint of the end song, courtesy of Al, before it shows up as a final cap to the movie.
I love this film, and it's one of my top ever movies of all time. Never mind the family classics, sit down and watch this!
Tuesday, 24 December 2013
I've always wanted to see the movie that spawned the phrase "the calls are coming from inside the house!", and this is it! Well, close enough. That exact line is never said, but we get the idea.
It's Christmas time, and at a Sorority House, the girls are getting obscene phone calls. And then they start going missing, as one by one they position themselves in such a way as so they can be attacked but everyone else is diverted at the time and doesn't hear them being killed. Useful! Anyway, events build up until the killer is killed... or is he?
I'm going with the director that this is more psychological horror than slasher, but it, back in 1976, did help form the trend. But as a horror movie, it works well. We the audience sometimes aren't entirely clear as to if a certain person is the killer or not (and if not, how did he know to look in the basement? That's what I want to know). It can get a little ridiculous just how the girls can be isolated and killed off, but it's not like people are dropping dead left, right and centre.
We do get a few names in this. Margot Kidder is in the house! As is John Saxon. We also get a very menacing performance from Keir Dullea, looking nothing like Dave Bowman, and Olivia Hussey being the star, who is no stranger to horror roles.
Decent movie. Why is it that we need to go back to these old flicks to find them?
Monday, 23 December 2013
This is one of my favourite movies. Science fiction horror movie in space. And better at it than Hellraiser 4 tried to be.
Strange ship returns from somewhere, rescue ship goes to find out what happened... and they find that strange events are happening. On the plus side, when they are seeing strange things, they do talk about it. "Hey, I saw someone who is dead / back on earth." Perhaps that means something that you should be careful about... on the negative side, they do still chase the people that shouldn't be there (although it's clear they are mentally "infected" at that point).
[I've wanted to do a story such that when that starts happening, the crew goes "we have a D9 situation" and get suitable drugs or something to help them against the mental onslaught.]
And it ends with people dying who you'd think would make it, and vice versa, and there's a hint there for a sequel (there should totally be a sequel).
Lawrence Fishburne and Sam Neill, fantastic! I love the way Neill delivers the line "Captain, I'm having some problems here!" and the corridor he's stuck in goes crazy. Although I'm not sure he would have been so enamoured of the prosthetics he had to wear. And Fishburne gets some great dramatic moments to perform, even with being in a ship in space (obviously would stand him in good stead come Matrix). And what other movie ends with Prodigy?
Seriously, great movie. If you like any of those genres, check this movie out!
Sunday, 22 December 2013
Yes, me, I am, myself... about to discuss sport! Shock!
I don't watch a lot of sport. I think, if I tried to, I could get into soccer. But one sport I will watch when it's on is cricket (probably because I used to watch it with my dad, but then I still have no interest in rugby).
I've been watching the New Zealand vs West Indies match, and it's been tense at times! We probably would have won the Dunedin match, but we'll never know. The Wellington one... three days! And, unless they screw it up, NZ will win on day four at Hamilton.
But something that's been common across these matches is that the opening partnership has failed pretty quickly... which, really, makes it easy for one of the batsmen. He gets out, then has the rest of the innings off! On the other hand, consider the bowlers. When they bat, they are at the end of the innings, they come in, there's lot of pressure, and generally they fail (because they aren't on the team for their batting potential), then, ten minutes later (such as today), they are out and bowling again. That's full on! It's not like the top batsmen have to bowl, but everyone has to bat.
So here's to the bowlers. And it's been a bowlers game mostly. Here's to them keeping it up!
Saturday, 21 December 2013
Friday, 20 December 2013
I did see Pitch Black long ago. I was present while Chronicles was on screen. And now I've zipped through this latest take on Vin Diesel's pet project.
After a hurried explanation, Riddick finds himself on J Q Random planet, and spends some time dealing with the wild life and being 'badass' on screen. Then he brings two ships down to get him, they spend some time all squabbling and Riddick going 'badass' on them, then darkness hits and they need to team up to go 'badass' on J Q Random beasts.
Sounds unexciting? Damn skippy! Lots of brown, lots of close up editing to establish pace. A lot of CGI creatures we are supposed to believe people are interacting with. And, of course, entirely unneeded nudity of Katie Sackhoff (I would at least concede some degree of allowance to the movie if guys also stripped... but only she did).
There's nothing particularly noteworthy here. Only see it if you can't find anything else at the video store.
Thursday, 19 December 2013
Oh dear gods... I don't think I have the words... this is a terrible movie beyond the belief of terrible movies...
The President, in the Oval Office, gets an email to say the office doors and windows are covered in bombs, and they will blow in 24 hours, or earlier if they try to leave. Okay, that's stupid, but not impossible. Oh, and the email was sent by aliens. The President is trapped with an intern and two fibre optic technicians... will they survive? And you won't believe the ending... seriously, even when you are watching it, you won't believe this is the ending they are going with.
This is set in a single room, namely the Oval Office...'s bad knock off. The windows are conveniently covered so they don't need to show outside, and other people appear as voices through the door. The actors are completely real and not at all obvious they are Italian... oh wait, the other way around. The script maintains the sense of inanity and the writer is a little too proud of his ability to play with names. As for the big names... nope, didn't recognise anyone.
I admit I watch bad movies, looking for that one rare gem... this is so not that, it's a rare non-gem.
Wednesday, 18 December 2013
I'm a big fan of Stephen Donaldson, so it's kind of surprising it took me so long to even start reading his detective novels originally published under the name Reed Stephens. The first one is... The Man Who Killed His Brother.
This, being a detective novel, is fill of twists and turns... and yet, I picked who the bad guy would be early on, and surprise, no surprise, it was that person. Girls are going missing and turning up dead, overdosed on heroin and no longer virgins. And yet... it takes a while before people leap to the kidnapping option. Really? I was there straight away. I mean, it was kind of obvious. And not just because this is a detective novel. Perhaps his later works are better?
Character wise, there was a lot here I recognised as Donaldson, with the way the main character 'Brew' has to force himself to act, to the way he reacts to people. Other characters are fairly one-note, it feels like Donaldson needs a longer work to bring characterisation out, or just write a short story and just get in and out (although his short stories can be very hit or miss).
While I have the next two ready to go, but I think I'll read something else to break this up.
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
Yeah, they made a sequel. Moreover, they are setting up a whole new franchise. Can't remember the first? Don't worry, I barely can either, although the movie does kinda assume you know what happened, and there's no recap so... yeah, good decision there guys.
In this chapter, there's a whole new house, but the same ghost comes back. And lots of minor things happen like pianos playing and small things moving. But if that's not enough, there's also a haunted hospital! And another haunted house! More haunted houses for your buck! It turns out there's a whole backstory deal, and someone was watching Psycho too much and there's running around with blue filters and... a rather lame ending.
But there is something missing from this movie. Namely... scares. I was not scared once. Not even a jump scare. Ooh, this thing moved... and? Creepy sounds are made... and? It's a ghost! ... and? Not even the characters in the movie can really get that much worked up. Scary noise and they go towards it, and then they are ready to take on the spirits and the like, and... It's just a whole lot of nothing.
Even if you saw Chapter 1, I wouldn't recommend bothering with Chapter 2. And if you haven't seen Chapter 1, there's no point starting here.
Monday, 16 December 2013
Yeah, I enjoy the Alan Patridge tv series (not the 'Ah ha!' one, the two seasons of 'I'm Alan Patridge'), so of course I had to see the movie. In a theatre, as it happens, that only had three other people in it!
At North Norfolk Digital there are changes taking place, one such is the firing of one of the team, who doesn't quite take it in the best of spirits. And Alan needs to step in and try to help, as only Alan Patridge can. Yep, badly. And funnily!
There were quite a few laughs, from me and the others. Steve Coogan is great as Alan Patridge. Felicity Montagu's Lynn has a bit too much spirit. Colm Meaney gets quite a bit to do as Pat Farrell.. but the rest of the cast, even Nigel Lindsay as the nominally evil Jason Tresswell is rather one note in their characters and performance.
A funny movie that doesn't outstay its welcome, and one with great songs too!
Sunday, 15 December 2013
I saw this movie with just two of the available dees. There were a few scenes I thought 'that might look nice in 3D' (hint: probably not because 3Dness isn't the 3Dness I think it should be), so I might yet see this again, but at least it was a nice, not even slightly packed, theatre.
And I'll hide some thoughts away:
The Beorn sequence was rather short. And I'm sure there was lots of annoyance from the actors trying to line everything up with green screens and such. Really, the whole movie timeline was compacted A LOT.
What the hell happened to Mirkwood? There were long scenes in there, and Bombur(?) is supposed to undergo some mental anguish and stuff. Still, we do have Bilbo going invisible more often, although in the book he tells the others of the ring!!!
The barrel sequence... was unbelievable. Okay, I can suspend my disbelief with the best of them, but this was an action sequence for the sake of an action sequence (unlike the rest of the action sequences, which were action sequences for the sake of having other action sequences). Those barrels shouldn't have survived that long, let along they should have sunk after the first waterfall. The book had it a lot clearly, with the barrels actually being sealed.
Fili and Tauriel... okay, was that invented entirely for the movie, or are there other texts in which that is set up? To be honest, it wasn't necessary, and was an excuse for another female presence in the movie (and there was no real excuse at all for Legolas being in the movie), but I didn't really mind as it helped break things up.
The Gandalf fighting scene was impressive... but he gets captured a lot in these movies.
That ending... it was in the wrong place! Instead of the big forge fight, we should have had the attack on Lake Town. Now people have to remember the whole black arrow story and the chipped scales and such. We should have ended after the death of Smaug, the characters thing they are fine, but we pull back to let the audience know the five armies are on their way, boom, tension for movie number three without as many dangling plot threads! And the five armies is going to be a huge enough time sink... I mean battle anyway.
While this did indeed deviate quite wildly, as long as you can divorce yourself from the book it's good, and I'm sure will be an interesting part of a trilogy watching binge.
Saturday, 14 December 2013
Friday, 13 December 2013
I was going to post a rant about how it's not much into December, but everyone's already rushing out top lists of 2013, because nothing good can possibly come in the next few weeks (I particularly enjoy the top ten movie lists that refuse to acknowledge there might be a movie that's only just been released that might be worthy of including on a list that had to come out a week ago...).
But instead, I'm going to post this video. Of the top YouTube videos of 2013 instead...
I got a couple... but only a couple... I'm too hip for this scene, daddio...
Thursday, 12 December 2013
Wednesday, 11 December 2013
We continue on our merry way through the snow, and over night we are visited by small creatures that picked over our stuff and despoiled our food. Fortunately, our cleric knows how to Purify Food and Water [and made his save to be able to cast such].
However, the food situation does bring to bare that we didn't quite plan our supplies properly, and are close to running out, so we set out for a nearby village that we were planning on missing. Close to there, we find a hut, and on approaching it, we are quickly caught up in the woes of a woman who claims her husband has been taken by a moss troll. [Here I think my player knowledge came far to quickly to the fore, and I, and others admittedly, were immediately suspicious of this. Surely a simple moss troll encounter would be too easy? Perhaps there was more going on here than met the eye, but I, and others, were on our guard for something not to obvious to be happening.]
We go to the moss troll cave, and looking around I find tracks, although smaller than what they should be. Inside, we do indeed see a troll like being, covered in moss and spores, but smaller. And carrying the husband's axe. However, although we call out to it, it just straight up attacks us. As we fight back, some strange happens, with the skin rippling, but it takes a while before we realise that this is a second skin of moss troll (at least, something that looked a lot like one) over another person. However, that doesn't stop Mage from frying it, and it is only because we have a handy cleric that the husband isn't barbecue. The couple (and she turns out to be a Fey creature!) are grateful, and fortunately have a remove curse scroll to deal with the Ring of Regeneration I am wearing that is actually a Ring of Life Bleed. Thanks for giving that to me, party! They also give us food so we can get back on track.
Onwards, Nadya's son wonders off, and we go searching. The other party find him first, surrounded by wolves, but see them off just before we arrive. Continuing, we get to the Stone we were interested in, and while there is power here, there's nothing we can do about it. We find small buried bones, which I surmise are a form of sacrifice to the queen believed trapped. [Again, player knowledge possibly coming a little too quickly.] Finally, we are on the way to the capital...
[Which, with Christmas and New Year, might take us a while to get to...]
Tuesday, 10 December 2013
I'm currently reading... okay, I'm currently listening to the recent audio book versions of the original James Bond novels. Wow, and are they novel.
Did the series become popular with Casino Royale? How? We get an exciting action sequence... in which Bond plays cards. Then an exciting action sequence... in which Bond is tortured. Then an exciting action sequence... in which Bond tries to share his life with his new love. Not exactly the kicking action we expect.
The next book, Live and Let Die is a bit more like it. As is Moonraker and Diamonds are Forever. And with references to past stories, definitely need to read (listen) to them in the right order. Action sequences through out, and actual tension. And some times getting the girl.
And 'girl' is definitely the term, in that it denotes Bond as rather sexist. And possibly racist, although that might just be Ian Fleming, although it's hard to be sure. He's derogatory to negros as well as pointing out they are as capable as anyone. Bond comes across as a lot colder than he is usually portrayed on screen, and certainly not as suave.
Currently on From Russia With Love, although with over the first third of the book having no Bond, you'd be right in wondering if this was part of the series! And we finally get a gadget filled suitcase for the first time, although it's just storing items, not squirting out jets of oil or laser beams or anything.
This is making me want to watch the movies again, just to see how different they are... so that might be a series of posts some time...
Monday, 9 December 2013
Some part of the Marvel company decided that there isn't enough Marvel around, and so it looks like they are kicking off a new range, and I say that based on that there's a post-credit teaser, even in this animated movie! (Where movie is applied generously to something 70 minutes long.)
Hulk is used for a battery, and Iron Man investigates this, and while explosions are happening, a living spark of energy escapes, and then infects Iron Man's ship, and then there's a lot of smashing. Like a whole lot of smashing. Like they only put the Hulk in this so they'd have a good excuse for most of the movie being smashing. Because there is a lot. A lot of smashing that is. And then it ends... or does it? (See above re post-credit teaser.)
It's a simple affair, with only five actors being used. Adrian and Fred are back as Iron Hulk, and the other regular voice artists are also regularly voice artisting. The animation is a little odd. Although it is 3D CGI, Hulk looks like it is 2D cell shading converting onto a 3D model. Almost like a Flash animation with how the shadows fall statically and the image stretches more than animates. Strange.
Another Marvel franchise, basically, but aren't we saturated already? Or over-saturated? I think so.
Sunday, 8 December 2013
Wasn't ID4 a great movie? Shouldn't everyone try to make their own version of it, rather than let it sit as a classic? And wouldn't it be even better if the budget was like 0.1% of the original? Yep, that would be a terrible movie all right...
It's Independence Day and aliens attack! And the President is in trouble! And his kid are in trouble! And this is every cliched disaster movie tucked into one go, and isn't presented with any self-awareness of how silly it is! And wouldn't it be great if the answer to defeating them relied on bullshit made up with science words?
Take ID4, sprinkle in War of the Worlds, and (if anyone remembers it) inject just a little of The Arrival, and bam, you've got yourself a mess. Such as this is. It tried in 90 minutes to set up and then deal with an alien invasion, with CGI drilling machines, and keep it scaled down to only a handful of people. No, it doesn't work. I don't know why they even imagined it might. Still, if you want to aim high, go for it. Just don't expect everyone to love your work like you do.
At least there's the cast, whom I'm sure will be promoting this on their CV "played some part in a dubious ID4 knockoff". Garwin Sanford is someone I recognised. ...so there's him.
Yeah, not the greatest movie ever. Still, I'm sure Asylum are looking at this enviously...
Saturday, 7 December 2013
Oddly, this seems to be a movie that happened but no-one noticed. You'd think a Stallone / Schwarzenegger buddy pic would be a bigger draw.
Ray Breslin breaks out of prison as a job, to check security, and, for rather stupid reasons, is stuck in an ultimate 'escape proof' prison. Then, he teams up with Rottmayer and... guess what? The movie has 'escape' in the title, and the guy escapes prisons for a job... yeah, that's an ending no-one would ever guess.
Can you say 'battle of the incomprehensible accents'? If you can, then you are doing better than them. It's more than just the main leads, everyone seems to have problems enunciating. The acting is very straight forward, and so is the plot. There are no huge twists that completely shock you (I will give them the location of the prison, but I can believe that people saw that one coming).
The set is rather impressive, with the cells being mostly glass, and I can see the army of washers coming in every day to get rid of all the smears and fingerprints and such. And the final action sequence is... really rather pointless.
While I'm surprised that this wasn't promoted more, I'm not that surprised that people aren't gushing. The only interesting point in this movie is the team up, but beyond that, it's pure generic.
Friday, 6 December 2013
I didn't think I had anything to post about... then I opened the local rag...
Workers eating at 'sacred' offend Maori, says MP
Because they were eating near human remains. Um... so no eating near cemetaries either? Tell that to families that want to enjoy time with a loved one whose passed. Although in this case there is the extra factor of the site bein wahi tapu, which encompasses a lot of area. But all burial grounds are... so are caretakers supposed to eat off site then? And those archeologists, they all have to down tools and leave whenever they take a smoko?
I am being deliberately flippant here, because I have no respect... and yes, I expect people to eat inside churchs too.
Pool blessed after aqua-jogger dies
The article is more about Motuiliu Groom, and after some incidents near pools myself, I know I'm not going to be the first to snark on that aspect... but then there's the one line about the pool opening after it is been blessed... because it needed to be blessed? Do road accident areas need to be blessed before they can be used? People die. I'm going to die! If we get squemish over every death, we're never going to get anywhere!
Tell you what, when I die, you have full permission to heave my body out of the way and use whatever it was I was at at the time. My non-spirit won't come back and haunt you.
Thursday, 5 December 2013
I watch Geop LPs, he's pretty amusing, and so I ended up watching his 'tubed version of his Live Stream of... Euro Truck Simulator.
It's a game... where you drive a truck... in compressed real time. But yeah... you are driving a truck... along roads... taking turns... and delivering cargo... and that's about it.
Er... why? It's a nice looking game, lots of controls... but all it is is driving a truck. Not shooting at things. Not solving puzzles. In many ways, it's just grinding for money by driving along a road, so you can afford a better truck, to grind along more roads... Okay, does this qualify as a "game" according to certain peoples?
...and yet, I kinda want to play it...
Wednesday, 4 December 2013
Hey, this is that sequel to that other film... that nobody remembers... yeah, that one...
Percy is living it up at some camp with others like him, when a big monster invades and shows that the barrier tree is dying because of some guy (who I'm guessing was the bad guy in the previous movie?) came back and is not at all dead. So he and his friends set out to get the Golden Fleece from the Bermuda Triangle (aka the Sea of Monsters), and have hilarious adventures.
And have a big end battle that is amazingly disappointing. Seriously, anyone could have done it. There's a macguffin which wins the fight, regardless of who was using it. There was absolutely no challenge there at all. And the Fleece is another macguffin that drains any sense of tension out of all the scenes.
But, hey, this is about the characters, so aside from the whiny teenagers (who are being played by people near thirty!), we get the introduction of a cyclops character... and I spent most of the time wondering how annoyed the actor was at having to wear something to help them edit out his eyes, and how annoyed the computer guys were at having to replace with a single eye in so many shots... as you can tell, I was very drawn in.
No doubt there will be more movies, but this is proving effective at making me want to read the books. Because I find it hard to believe they'll be as pedestrian as this movie is.
Tuesday, 3 December 2013
I know I couldn't do it. And this is a film that touches on over a billion people Living on One Dollar per day.
Four young men move to Pena Blanca and try to live on one dollar a day each, as the rest of the community does. Only, they are only doing this for eight weeks, while the rest of them are doing this for their entire lives. They struggle to get by, to meet their food needs (barely), their medical needs (they can't), grow radishes (after taking out a loan) and make this movie which presents the stories of many of the peoples in the community.
I'm not sure they are really living the full experience, given after eight weeks they get to go back to their lives in the big city, but they do what they can. (And you can go to their site and see episodes and learn more.) One thing they show is that micro-lending is helping a lot. And, hey, I'm already doing that part of it! Go me!
I'm going on about the eight weeks bit because it is only eight weeks (he says, after saying he couldn't do it). How long do you need to demonstrate this? How much of this is voluntourism? It's important to raise these issues, but what is useful to do this?
Anyway, people are living on one dollar a day. Help them to help themselves.
Monday, 2 December 2013
On the one hand, I'm not sure how incredibly legal this is. This is the whole comic, after all, presented for people to see / read for free. On the other hand, it does appear to be easily available on the internets, so maybe it is free? On the third hand, the internets is not always known for having only legally available material... available. So it's hard to know where to put this...
On the fourth hand, here's the two Avatar comics, available in video form to enjoy!
The first is The Promise, Part 2, Part 3. In which Aang makes a promise. This is one of those situations where people resort to violence when they should resort to talking.
The second is The Search, Part 2, Part 3. In which Zuko and Aang go on a search. (You can tell they laboured a lot over coming up with titles.) This is one of those cases that seem common on soap operas.
There's another comic coming at some point, The Rift. I'm guessing there's a rift of some sort?
Sunday, 1 December 2013
So... that was a movie I watched. Apparently a comedy, but I can't say I ever laughed once during it. Smiled a few times, but never a sound did I admit.
I suppose it might help if I had the slightest interest in who they were. Seth Rogan, James Franco and Jay Baruchel have never been big names to me, so when they are at a party together with their friends, I'm like 'meh'. And then the apocalypse happens, and they and a few others have to survive, whom I also don't know / care about... it's hard to care about what struggles they have to go through. And it doesn't help that this feels extremely self-serving. "Hey, we're actors, living our actor lives, and when bad things happen, we aren't going to portray people who deserve to be watched, we're gonna be ourselves, because we think that is the most interesting group of people everyone else wants to see. Who doesn't want to see us? We're us, and we're great!" Um... no?
So beyond that... very nice effects. Some nice demons there, the wires weren't noticeable, and certainly this showed that many actors were willing to go far to poke fun at themselves.
I know there are people out there who enjoyed this... but not me. But then, not all comedy is for everyone. At least I could recognise the humour in this. I remember watching ten to fifteen minutes of Napoleon Dynamite, and then realised I wasn't even spotting the jokes! (And that's all I've ever watched of it.) Your tolerance may vary.