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Thursday, January 18, 2018

I'm Not Mad, Just Disappointed

It might be an aspect of getting older, but I've found that I just can't get worked up about entertainment anymore. There was a time where I would have gone off on a rant about Todd McFarlane giving Spider-Man mask eyes the size of his head, but not anymore.

Why, yes, my eyes do go from above my eyebrows to below my cheekbones.
Part of it could be that I'm just not going out of my way to watch stuff. I'm not current on any of the Marvel or DC TV shows. I pick and choose the movies that we go to see. I don't read any current comic books. Even so, if I do see/read something, I just can't get mad about it. I either think it's OK, or that it's not for me and move on.

I suppose this is why I just don't get the "This is the greatest/worst movie/TV Show/comic book EVER and if you don't agree with me, it's because you're not smart enough to understand!" I've heard that WAY too much, especially with regard to any DC movies starting with the Nolan Batman stuff. Look, it's great that you feel so passionately about something, but there are all kinds of tastes out there. Just because you think this is the best depiction of your concept of Batman doesn't mean someone who doesn't even like Batman has to agree with you, even if you accuse them of being stupid for not doing so.

There's enough entertainment that I know I like, or that I think I'll like but haven't watched/read yet, that I really don't need to seek out any of the stuff that I'm pretty sure I won't like.

Now get off my lawn!

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Thursday, January 11, 2018

Communication Problems

Over the holidays, we went and saw The Last Jedi. My overall impression was that it was an OK film with some really good scenes. However, there was one major underlying problem that I had with the film, and that is communication, or lack there of. Be warned, if you haven't seen the movie yet, you might want to skip this post as it does contain spoilers.

Still with me? OK, here we go.

The film opens with the Rebels/Resistance/whatever-you-want-to-call-them fleeing their base in three ships. The First Order jumps in with four star destroyers and one dreadnought. Here is where the lack of communication, as well as military incompetence, starts to show.

Poe spearheads an attack on the dreadnought's defenses, which apparently doesn't have defenses against small, one-man fighters. He knocks them all out and calls in the bombers. (I won't get into my problems with them as ships here.) Leia calls Poe and tells him to call off the attack. Poe ignores here and switches off his comm.

Leia then decides to NOT order the bombers to stop and return to the transports. Let me state that again, the GENERAL in charge DID NOT order the bombers to return. All of the bombers are then destroyed in the attack, for the which Leia blames Poe! Yes, he refused her order to return and he should be punished for that, but SHE could have called the bombers back, and DIDN'T! It's Leia's fault all those people died and the rebels lost those "valuable" ships.

Next, there's Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo. She takes command when Leia is incapacitated and decides not to tell Poe what her plan is. Again, no problem here. He has shown himself to be a hot-head and has ignored orders in this very film. However, she seemingly doesn't tell ANYONE what her plan is. I understand the reveal they were going for, the "we're not giving up, we're fleeing to a base" thing, but there are some of the crew that helped Poe in his mutiny that should have known what was really going on.

There's playing close to the vest and then there's keeping people who need to know out of the loop. Would anything have changed with Fin, Poe, and Rose? Maybe, maybe not. At the very least, it would have given the characters information they should have had. They might have even worked WITH Holdo to make the plan a success rather than the string of failures that it was.

I don't hate the film, but these were some of the things that my brain could get around while watching.

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Thursday, January 4, 2018

A More Laid Back Vacation

Where we'll be staying on this vacation - The Red Caboose Motel
Last year we went back to Orlando for our vacation. This year we're staying a little closer to home and going to Lancaster, PA (with side trips to Hershey and Gettysburg). Since this isn't as planning intense a trip, I have made a decision (not a resolution, a decision). This year I'll gather information but, aside from booking our hotel, I will not pre-plan or pre-purchase* anything. We'll be able to do what we want on a particular day and not be beholden to my schedule.

Let's see how long this lasts.

* Mainly because I CAN"T. Unlike WDW, the attractions in PA don't seem to think that people plan for their trips months in advance.

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

Joyous Yuletide!

This directly relates to Kira's present from Santa this year.
As today is the Winter Solstice, I'd like to wish you and yours a very happy winter holiday of your choice. I will most likely be taking next week off from posting, but I might make an exception depending on just how geeky my celebrations are (and how slow work is).

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Turn Based vs Real Time

When I think about single player games that I play, I find that I much prefer turn based combat to real time combat. It could be a function of my age, both what I grew up with and my reaction time, but I like having games like Final Fantasy (up through X, at least), Xenogears, and, more recently, Battle Chasers operate better than your typical beat-em-up. Don't get me wrong, I love Castelvania: Symphony of the Night and various MMO's, but when I just want to sit down and have fun, I find myself going more to the turn-based mechanic.

I guess that it's a good thing that there's no shortage of JRPG games out there that I can play.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

New Bit of Tech

As longtime readers know, we cut the cord almost 2 years ago. Since that time, we've been using an HD antenna for local channels, but most of our viewing is done via streaming. This was done through our PlayStation 3 system, but I had recently noticed a lot more glitching with services. Things taking to long to load, or freezing in the middle of playback. This didn't occur on the same apps on my tablet, so it wasn't an internet issue. Sadly, we concluded that it was time for an upgrade. Since we've had the PS3 for 6 years, we certainly got our use out of it.

So, on the day before Thanksgiving, the above system arrived at our door. It's a PS4 Pro, Star Wars Battlefront 2 edition. While we don't have a 4K TV, our current TV still being in working order, I do plan on getting one eventually. That, along with the 1 TB hard drive and better processing power, lead me to the Pro version. We've been using it successfully for 2 weeks and I can gladly say that the problems I noticed before are now gone. As an added bonus, I now have access to more games and I might just get to play online with my friends. (That will require scheduling to line up, as with everything else.)

Now I'm waiting for Final Fantasy VII: Remake to come out, as the original is the reason I bought a PlayStation in the first place.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

We finally saw Thor: Ragnarok and I liked the movie, overall. I like the humor in it, the use of Led Zeppelin (both times), and the action. What I don't like, however, is how they messed with the cosmology of the Norse Gods. Let me enumerate my issues, and I'll stick with the Marvel Comics version rather than get into the Lore.

Here there be spoilers.

First of all, we have Hela. While I think Cate Blanchett did an absolutely outstanding job, I have a real problem with her parentage. Hela is the daughter of Loki, and the byplay between the two is really good, in the comics. Here, though, she's the unknown older sister of Thor. Sorry, but that doesn't work. She can still be the villain of the piece, but get her father right. In fact, it would make it even better if Thor kept suspecting Loki of betraying him to his daughter rather than just from being a schemer.

Secondly, Ragnarok is often referred to as the Twilight of the Gods, because most of the Norse Gods are to be killed in that. Surtur, however, is supposed to set all of creation on fire after bathing his sword in the eternal flame. I'll forgive the changing from sword to crown, but releasing him just to burn Asgard? Nope. He'd keep going and burn EVERYTHING!

Third, Thor's exclamations. Why the heck is the God of Thunder saying, "Oh my god"? What, "Odin's Beard" isn't good enough for you? And just which "god" is his, anyway? If not Odin, then Bor? Maybe Buri? That just threw me right out of the movie.

Finally, Odin's death is to be at the hands (jaws) of the Fenris Wolf. The wolf and Odin are in the same movie, and Odin dies, but the wolf doesn't kill him? Nope. Sorry. Odin just spreading himself on the wind like Apollo (yes, that's a Star Trek reference) is just way too simple. It's a MacGuffin, pure and simple, to get the villain out and about. They could have released Hela because Odin wasn't in Asgard to re-up some spell to keep her in Hel. Then she comes to Earth, with Fenris (who is her brother, BTW), and the wolf chows down on Odin. Much more poignant, in my opinion.

So, I don't dislike the movie, but there's just too much that they got wrong, even just from the comics, for me to say it's great. Maybe I'll like it better on a re-watch, but right now it's strictly middle of the road.

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