skull_bearer: (Skull Bearer)
Yes I waited until Febuary to see my first film of 2013, sue me.

I have an odd relationship with Tarantino movies. On one hand he is without a doubt a terrific director with his own unique style, and the films he makes are very good. However, for some reason, I've yet to see a film of his that grabs me by the throat and doesn't let me go until the last moments. I can never say I love any film of his. It's not his fault, there's just something about them that doesn't quite mesh with me. That being said, I've not met a Tarantino film that I actively dislike (except, for very personal reasons, Inglorious Basterds), so every time a film of his comes out, I usually go and see it because it guarantees a good time. Not every film has to be District 9.

So, that being said, I went to see Django Unchained. To me, it looked like what Inglorious Basterds should have been, and was at the very least not covering a historical period I was familiar with. I went in expecting gore, slaughter and good dialogue, with perhaps a little hope that this would be the film that would make me understand why Tarantino is so universally beloved by so many.

I'm sorry to say I still haven't got it, but that's all I can complain about, because Django Unchained is a rollickingly good film, and I had a really good time. It was, all around, really good, really fun, and really, really satisfying in a visceral way you only get with Tarantino films.

Unlike Basterds, in which I hated the title characters to the point I wanted to Nazis to blow them up as soon as possible, the main characters of Django and Schultz are very likable. They're not always likeable people, but as an audience there's no real problem in rooting for them. The bad guys similarly, are so repellently bad that it's a joy and delight when they get blown away in showers of bullets and floods of very pretty blood.
Spoliers from here people, you are warned )
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The gamers here might be aware of a game called S.T.A.L.K.E.R. They might not know that it was originally a film, called Stalker. Those who know this might not know that the film was originally a book, called Roadside Picnic (actually called something untypable because it was originally Russian and this keyboard doesn't do cyrillic).

By my still somewhat limitied exposure to all three types of media, THEY ARE ALL AWESOME.

I watched the film when I was something like fifteen, and I don't remember much except the intro and the vague feeling that I was watching something so incredible I couldn't take it all in. If you want to see what arthouse cinema can do when put in the hands of utter geniuses, watch Stalker. The entire film is run on atmosphere. Something like 75% of the film takes place in what looks like an old WW2 battlefield (for all I know, it was an old WW2 battlefield, the film was shot in 1979) just grass, bits of old tanks, and old buildings.

It is utterly alien, terrifying and generally all around worse than Galactus, Cthuhlu and three Reapers rolled into one. That is how good this film's atmosphere is. A fairly basic outdoor scene is made utterly otherworldly, and I can't pinpoint how it was done.

This is defintiely one of those films which to either get and spend your time in drooling awe, or don't, and wonder what the fuss is about, becuase if the atmosphere doesn't work for you, then it's pretty boring and nonsensical.

Also, for added creepiness, if you've seen the film, it's got a clear Chenobyl feel to it. In fact, one of the games was in fact called 'call of Chenobyl'. The film was made before Chenobyl.
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But there is no way in hell I'm going to miss Iron Sky. Nazis on the Moon! Flying Saucers! President Sarah Palin! It's a film that breaks plausability with the poster, so it's going to be one of those films where I go "Of course you're going to defeat the Nazis with Zombie!FDR in a killer wheelchair and his personal army of ninja bears, how else could it be done?"

So, who's with me?

Skyrim

Dec. 6th, 2011 09:39 pm
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Yeah, it's fun. Not as fun as Fallout 3 (but then post apocalyptic always trumps relatively generic fantasy), but more fun than Oblivion and a billion times more fun than Dragon Age. To be honest, a lot of the fun comes from hearing people's stories of the glitches they encountered: Flying horses, rabbits swimming upstream, NPCs being clubbed by giants and hurled miles into the atmosphere only to land, unhurt, half a mile away, other NPCs hoving in the air. My best would be the cave I found which I could only get though by staring fixedly at the floor the whole way. And the bit where textures randomly disappear leaving whatever it is smooth and blueish, purplish white. Currently the texture loss disease is afflicting the Mage college and everyone's walking around with whitish blue robes on. Maybe something got into the washing. Or the rat thing that got stuck horizontally in a corridor and couldn't move until I finally fried it out of pity.

Skyrim

Dec. 6th, 2011 09:39 pm
skull_bearer: (Default)
Yeah, it's fun. Not as fun as Fallout 3 (but then post apocalyptic always trumps relatively generic fantasy), but more fun than Oblivion and a billion times more fun than Dragon Age. To be honest, a lot of the fun comes from hearing people's stories of the glitches they encountered: Flying horses, rabbits swimming upstream, NPCs being clubbed by giants and hurled miles into the atmosphere only to land, unhurt, half a mile away, other NPCs hoving in the air. My best would be the cave I found which I could only get though by staring fixedly at the floor the whole way. And the bit where textures randomly disappear leaving whatever it is smooth and blueish, purplish white. Currently the texture loss disease is afflicting the Mage college and everyone's walking around with whitish blue robes on. Maybe something got into the washing. Or the rat thing that got stuck horizontally in a corridor and couldn't move until I finally fried it out of pity.
skull_bearer: (Default)
You know, for the first time I really feel my age. Being twenty six fits really well. Maybe it's the fact I'm sorta settling down, or that I looked at photos of myself at 19 and went wow, I look young. More spots, for one thing. And hair, god, the hair. Going short was the best thing I could have done. Really unmanageable.

Anywhoo, I went to see Tintin today. I took my little Milou stuffed toy along (shaddap, I always wanted it as a kid, and the best thing with being an adult is all the stuff you always wanted to do and now can) which, is just as well, because I gave my nails a break and instead of biting them just clutched Milou and squeaked.

So yeah, it's good. It's neck-breaking and Tintin is one of those things that I know so well that I'm not bothered if they change stuff as long as I can see why. The changes in Tintin were well thought out and made sense. And wow, were there changes.

Cut for spoilers )
skull_bearer: (Default)
You know, for the first time I really feel my age. Being twenty six fits really well. Maybe it's the fact I'm sorta settling down, or that I looked at photos of myself at 19 and went wow, I look young. More spots, for one thing. And hair, god, the hair. Going short was the best thing I could have done. Really unmanageable.

Anywhoo, I went to see Tintin today. I took my little Milou stuffed toy along (shaddap, I always wanted it as a kid, and the best thing with being an adult is all the stuff you always wanted to do and now can) which, is just as well, because I gave my nails a break and instead of biting them just clutched Milou and squeaked.

So yeah, it's good. It's neck-breaking and Tintin is one of those things that I know so well that I'm not bothered if they change stuff as long as I can see why. The changes in Tintin were well thought out and made sense. And wow, were there changes.

Cut for spoilers )

Meme rec

Oct. 24th, 2011 12:32 pm
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What is your favorite childhood fairytale?

<input ... > View 571 Answers

Never really had one, but if it's fairy-tles you want, there's a great X:FC retelling of the Juniper Tree here. Note the warnings, seriously. This migth be one of my favourite fics in this fandom.

Meme rec

Oct. 24th, 2011 12:32 pm
skull_bearer: (Default)


What is your favorite childhood fairytale?

<input ... > View 571 Answers

Never really had one, but if it's fairy-tles you want, there's a great X:FC retelling of the Juniper Tree here. Note the warnings, seriously. This migth be one of my favourite fics in this fandom.
skull_bearer: (Default)
(note, I'm not including Portal 1+2 here as they are mostly casual games that I pick up and put down from time to time. I love them, but they're not the ongoing projects of most games I play)

Mass Effect 2 (by a nose, plot is not as good as 1, but the action and playability and lack of a bloody inventory system makes a win, helped by the facts that with Gibbs savegame editor I didn't have to do any mining)

Mass Effect 1 (so much love it's not even funny)

Star Wars, Knights of the Old Republic 1 (It's everything that's good about Star Wars, with none of the shit. Rated down because the combat mixes the twin cheats of turn based combat and save anywhere, meaning every battle is a cakewalk, and it crashed a lot. A LOT)

Fallout 3 (Finally, a non-bioware game! So much love. So much love. The plot isn't as good as the above, but the fun of wandering around the beautifully rendered post-apocalyptic wasteland more than makes up for it)

Skyrim (Yeah, it's awesome. Dragons, Vikings, lots of fun)

Baldur's Gate (Dear god this is old, but I still love it, I played it about a million times and was still finding little Easter Eggs here and there, wonderful).

Jade Empire (An odd one, straightforward in some places, very weird in others. Fun to play if only to see what happens next, a lot of unexpected twists and one REALLY OBVIOUS one).

Baldur's Gate 2 (Again, played a million times. Still love it. The characters, the world, the plot. Love. All Round. Had less of the odd little nuggets of the first, which was a shame).

Icewind Dale (More straightforward than most RPGs, which is a shame, but it's beautiful and strange, which means I played it a lot).

Witcher (A bit too much railroading, a lag in chapter three, penalisation for not acting in a predecided way, made up for by great visuals, engaging world, fun characters and one of the best combat systems I've come across. And allowing me to play as Elric. Always a bonus)

Mass Effect 3 (Oh dear. To be honest, even without the ghastly ending it wouldn't have been ranking with 1 and 2. A shocking amount of railroading and forced character development which really did not suit my character at all [why would a Colonist xenophile care two shits about Earth or that bastard human kid? His boyfriend's planet's in flames!], and a rather worrying plot that had my cocking an eyebrow going: Hang on, a bit of black-box technology supposedly built by Protheans but clearly far older, and we have no idea what it does. Where have I heard that before? Follow it up with a stripped down cast, two of my favourite characters dying [three if you count Mirek], no Rachni, bewilderingly wrong-headed priorities and handwaved plot-points, then even without the groinbullet ending it would have been struggling to beat Star Wars. As it is... well)

Star Wars KOTOR 2 (Who the hell though of adding gritty realism into the Star Wars franchise? Even Lucas wasn't that dim. A perfectly good game otherwise, but didn't enjoy it so much).

Icewind Dale 2 (Some good things, some bad things, was rooting for the bad guys all the way, which fails in a game. The hacks were the best part)

Oblivion (My baseline for an enjoyable game. Oblivion was fun in places, boring in others, but still engaging enough to keep me going for 100% completion. Don't want to play it again but didn't begrugde the hours I spent on it)

LA Noire (Really good game, but couldn't really get into it. Gave up on it and haven't been back yet. May do at some point)

Age of Empires, Age of Mythology (Fun in the same way solitaire is fun. Time killer stuff)

Fallout New Vegas (One of the few games I gave up on almost immediately. Not because it was bad, but because everything it did just reminded me that Fallout 3 had done it miles better. Five minutes in and I switched it off and rebooted Fallout 3, no need to play a pale reflection when you have the real thing)

Prototype (Another one I gave up on. Fun stress relief, but no staying power)

Black and White (Good, but not my thing)

Morrowind (Gave up on it, and it crashed before I could exit it. Haven't gone back since)

Dragon Age (Shit! Only completed it for my love of Bioware and took it back to CEX the same day)

Yeah, I like Bioware. Still not playing Dragon Age 2 though.

EDIT/ to add LA Noire and Mass Effect 3
skull_bearer: (Default)
Okay, this has gone straight past Elric look-alike into full-blown lawsuit territory. Wow. Be glad it's not the Tolkien estate you're ripping off, Moocock is fairly laid-back about these things, even though this is taking the piss.

The sex cards are adorable though, am really enjoying the very playful attitude to sex in this game. Gameplay's fine, even on hard difficulty I'm not having too much trouble, and the dice poker game is a hell of a lot of fun. I like games-in-games, Knights of the Old Republic had the best, but Witcher is coming a close second. It was the one thing Mass Effect failed at. Elric is really fucking Elric to the point where it's weird being called something else (although a bunch of the time they call you White Wolf I am not kidding).

The prologue was a bit predictable, I wanted to tell the guy accompanying me "Look dude, I know this spiel. I'm Elric, and this is a prologue, if you come with me you'll be dead three times over, so you stay here and play in the traffic like a good boy while I sort this out solo." Of course, I couldn't say than, so of course, he died. Still, it's doing a good job of throwing you into the thick of the action, you have the choice of either taking down one of the big bads or a huge monsterous beastie in the prologue, and not simply a 'you take them on, they kick your arse'. You win. It does a great job setting you up as an uber bad-ass before you've even worked out where the attack key is.

The fighting's fine, although maybe that's because the last RPG I played was Dragon Age and that had a difficulty curve like a spider's backside and had me chewing on the keyboard in frustration as I was killed for the fifteenth time by a bunch of randomly spawning bad guys. Here I'm on hard difficulty and while it's not exactly a breeze, it's pleasantly challenging. I'm not dying every minute, but it's a real danger if I'm not careful, and I appreciate that. It's not as easy as Mass Effect, but it probably would be if I was doing it on normal.

In design it reminds me a lot of a somewhat better designed Oblivion. I haven't gotten a look at the full gameworld yet, but it appears to be set just after a devastating war which the non-humans came off rather the worst for. I haven't any idea what's going but that's fine because my character's an amnesiac and can't remember either (although he's being pretty laid back about being amnesiac, maybe it's because he's Elric and realises he would rather not know thank-you-very-much). Anyway, it's intruiging me far more than Dragon Age did, because we have no idea whose the bad guys, what we're supposed to do or why we're doing it, and we have to unroll the mystery bit by bit. I LOVE THAT. Nothing I love more than a good mystery plot. I suppose I can't get my hopes up too high for a spectacular shock like in Mass Effect, but hey, one can but hope.

While there was a fair amont of rather annoying railroading at the beginning, it's loosening up nicely now (I'm reaching the end of Chapter 1). Probably the railroading was because the developers had a clear idea of who you were playing and wanted to get you into it before turning you loose. That's fine, I can dig that. The lack of a morality system is a relief too, I could lie and say that's because it makes for a more immersive experience and gives the sense that your actions have long-term as well as short-term consequences, but let's face it, I'm just pleased I get to nick stuff scott-free.
skull_bearer: (Default)
Okay, this has gone straight past Elric look-alike into full-blown lawsuit territory. Wow. Be glad it's not the Tolkien estate you're ripping off, Moocock is fairly laid-back about these things, even though this is taking the piss.

The sex cards are adorable though, am really enjoying the very playful attitude to sex in this game. Gameplay's fine, even on hard difficulty I'm not having too much trouble, and the dice poker game is a hell of a lot of fun. I like games-in-games, Knights of the Old Republic had the best, but Witcher is coming a close second. It was the one thing Mass Effect failed at. Elric is really fucking Elric to the point where it's weird being called something else (although a bunch of the time they call you White Wolf I am not kidding).

The prologue was a bit predictable, I wanted to tell the guy accompanying me "Look dude, I know this spiel. I'm Elric, and this is a prologue, if you come with me you'll be dead three times over, so you stay here and play in the traffic like a good boy while I sort this out solo." Of course, I couldn't say than, so of course, he died. Still, it's doing a good job of throwing you into the thick of the action, you have the choice of either taking down one of the big bads or a huge monsterous beastie in the prologue, and not simply a 'you take them on, they kick your arse'. You win. It does a great job setting you up as an uber bad-ass before you've even worked out where the attack key is.

The fighting's fine, although maybe that's because the last RPG I played was Dragon Age and that had a difficulty curve like a spider's backside and had me chewing on the keyboard in frustration as I was killed for the fifteenth time by a bunch of randomly spawning bad guys. Here I'm on hard difficulty and while it's not exactly a breeze, it's pleasantly challenging. I'm not dying every minute, but it's a real danger if I'm not careful, and I appreciate that. It's not as easy as Mass Effect, but it probably would be if I was doing it on normal.

In design it reminds me a lot of a somewhat better designed Oblivion. I haven't gotten a look at the full gameworld yet, but it appears to be set just after a devastating war which the non-humans came off rather the worst for. I haven't any idea what's going but that's fine because my character's an amnesiac and can't remember either (although he's being pretty laid back about being amnesiac, maybe it's because he's Elric and realises he would rather not know thank-you-very-much). Anyway, it's intruiging me far more than Dragon Age did, because we have no idea whose the bad guys, what we're supposed to do or why we're doing it, and we have to unroll the mystery bit by bit. I LOVE THAT. Nothing I love more than a good mystery plot. I suppose I can't get my hopes up too high for a spectacular shock like in Mass Effect, but hey, one can but hope.

While there was a fair amont of rather annoying railroading at the beginning, it's loosening up nicely now (I'm reaching the end of Chapter 1). Probably the railroading was because the developers had a clear idea of who you were playing and wanted to get you into it before turning you loose. That's fine, I can dig that. The lack of a morality system is a relief too, I could lie and say that's because it makes for a more immersive experience and gives the sense that your actions have long-term as well as short-term consequences, but let's face it, I'm just pleased I get to nick stuff scott-free.
skull_bearer: (Default)
Now, please understand (if you haven't already) I am a massive, MASSIVE Magneto fan-girl. He is just epicly awesome in every way, and I will happily read any comic with him in it (not necessarily buy it mind you). Always. Without fail. Even Ultimatum *shudder*.

So, seeing it with My!Erik was rather funny. I don't usually call up Erik to watch anything, ever since we went to see Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and he almost throttled me. My!Erik is of course from Past Tense so this was clear AU (although dear god I'll be working some elements in).
Spoiliespoiliespolie )
skull_bearer: (Default)
Now, please understand (if you haven't already) I am a massive, MASSIVE Magneto fan-girl. He is just epicly awesome in every way, and I will happily read any comic with him in it (not necessarily buy it mind you). Always. Without fail. Even Ultimatum *shudder*.

So, seeing it with My!Erik was rather funny. I don't usually call up Erik to watch anything, ever since we went to see Boy in the Striped Pyjamas and he almost throttled me. My!Erik is of course from Past Tense so this was clear AU (although dear god I'll be working some elements in).
Spoiliespoiliespolie )
skull_bearer: (Default)

I've also been getting into Monster Magnet, if you don't know who they are, think of a milder Alice in Chains. If you don't know who they are either, check both of them out, you're missing out.
skull_bearer: (Default)

I've also been getting into Monster Magnet, if you don't know who they are, think of a milder Alice in Chains. If you don't know who they are either, check both of them out, you're missing out.

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