Archive for Rambling

Captain ‘MURICA and other Marvel movies

NO CIVIL WAR SPOILERS

If you liked the last Captain America I’m pretty sure you will like this one to. It has the same tone and style as the last film, winter soldier, but it isn’t the same film (unlike a certain Age of Ultron).

The last few Marvel movies have been mostly refreshing viewings. Maybe not overly refreshing, they are superhero movies still, but phase I’m glad that the movies haven’t grown stale as of yet. The movies I’m referring to are Guardians of the Galaxy (henceforth referred to by simply ‘Guardians’), Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and Captain America Winter Soldier.

What made the Winter Soldier into such a hit, partially, I would propose is that it dared to be different; it dared to do something new. It wasn’t much of a typical superhero movie, the likes of Iron Man, Hulk or Thor have been. This was more akin to a spy thriller, and it established more of the Marvel universe. We got to see S.H.I.E.L.D. in action, HYDRA came back, the villain wasn’t as much a “boss fight” as it was plotter that had to be stopped and the actions in this film had consequences in the upcoming movies. Those are what made this movie so different and exciting. All other movies after this couldn’t of course turn the Marvel universe upside down like this one did but the Winter Soldier dared to not only be self-contained. (Iron Man 3 do have some references to the Avengers, but they aren’t super influential to the movie (that or my memory might be falling me)).

Next up we have Guardians, the smash hit. It is basically Avengers in space but none the less it works so brilliantly. But why does it work, it works cause this time “everyone” is so over the top and the heroes aren’t all that serious. Not all heroes are serious, just look at Iron Man, he jokes all the time, but the rest of the old crew? Pretty serious dudes all of them. In Guardians, everybody jokes (maybe not intentionally…) plus it managed to do a “Avengers” without first having 4-5 movies as setup.

Age of Ultron. Why is this movie here? Because that one did everything wrong. Okay, that is too harsh, it didn’t do everything wrong and I’m pretty sure it was a nightmare to produce since it had to include so many big heroes and let them all shine and at the same time set the stage for Captain America Civil War and a few other films. However, we shall not let it pass just because of that. It was sadly a kind of lame movie, not a bad one by far, at minimum a 7/10 but it lacked originality. It was just a rehash of the first Avengers in all too many aspects.

Finally we arrive at the Ant-Man, a film some people say is just Iron Man 1 in a new skin. A statement I see some truth in, but what to me made this movie was the heist aspect of it. Yes, in many was it was the typically “origin movie” for Ant-Man but I think it worked since it was a pretty different origin and that our hero was a small time crook. But since Ant-Man and Iron Man both relied on suites and science and such I can see how that might make them feel similar, but the movies are so very different. One of them are the fights. The Iron Man films do have fight scenes… some pretty good, but most I feel aren’t that inventive. In Ant-Man, they’re as inventive as they can get (maybe not, but almost). Perspective is played with and since they change size, now anywhere can be a battle field. The fights stink of creativity and it’s a good stink.

So why this rant? Because after thinking about these movies and having seen the latest Captain America I feel hope full that we will get many more inventive and different superhero movies in the coming years.

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Semi Random Blurt #04

It isn’t the size that matters, it’s the quality.

Now that I’ve gotten that out of my system let’s get serious. I’ve been thinking about the critique some games have gotten from the fact that their avarege play/completion time is short. Games that come to mind are “The Order 1886”, which was ridiculed for its 5 houres of play time. But I don’t really see the problem here. Why would should a game get a lower score just from being short? Well they don’t is the answere (I think at least (might be wrong)).

As I remember it, back in the middel of the 00s, many of the big action and FPS games that came out were often under 10 houres long. Most could be completed the same day you bought them. But as I also remember it, no one really seemed to point out this fact or care. So why did “everyone” go bananas when “The Order 1886” was only 5 hours? One of the reasons could be the price, that a game being sold for full price should at least be X hours long. But I don’t really think time has ever been the issue, it is rather the lack of enjoyment that is the problem. Had “The Order 1886″‘s 5 hours been mindblowingly good, no one would have cared, instead it would have been raised to the sky like Simba and been hailed as a beacon of light, that quality is always more important then quantity. However, we got neither and therfore everyone got pissed.

Rafiki_presenta_Simba

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Role-playing shenanigans

Role-playing is a group activity, it is a form of entertainment/enjoyment that steems from the “cooperation” of all participating individuals.

In a GURPS campaign set in the Warhammer 40.000 universe in which I was a player, this was not the case. The party, of four, did not cooperate, in fact it was hardly even a group, it was rather two groups, both of which hated the other (in character, not out of character). This kind of group problems would in most cases just lead to the group falling apart. But ours did prevail, until the shit hit the fan.

Why did this group prevail/not murder each other horribly? I might pretend that some reading this says or thinks.

Firstly: one half of the group was dependent on the other half, because their half, both in and outside of character knew almost nothing about the WH 40k universe. Because of this, the half which had knowledge could more or less tell the other ones what to do or else they would die. It’s kind of funny how most options/choices in WH 40k lead to your or someone else’s death… or just the death of everyone involved.

Secondly: the second reason, sort of, was that the half with little to no knowledge of the universe also was a tad out gunned/powered. They were powerful, one of them were a psychic with a power weapon and really strong armor, but the other half had very big guns, and was also people with higher social ranking. Therefore they couldn’t do what they wanted, since most of society saw them as trash.

So what happened in the end? Things fell apart. The half of the group with knowledge and power realized that especially one of the other party members couldn’t be trusted under any circumstances, unless they wanted a knife or gunshot in their back, which lead to precautions and plotting of ways to kill this character. However, that character acted first, but not before some precautions had been take, luckily.

I think I should shortly present the group before continuing this text. The party was two groups, the “wildling group” which consisted of a thief with serious gun slinging skills and a big ass warrior with psychic powers. Both their characters came from underdeveloped planets and knew nothing about the Imperium of man.

The other half, “the civilized group”, was a Imperial guard lieutenant/soldier and a tech priest. These two had a long running beef with the gunslinger since that character had disobeyed orders several times and acted like a true chaotic evil character.

c0e7d26a8d27052faef4a32288b4a253

It wasn’t this bad… but not too far from it.

Both the tech priest and soldier had foreseen that the gunslinger would probably try to either kill them during their sleep and/or steal all of their stuff while they weren’t looking. Which gave birth to glorious booby-traps. The soldier set explosives all over her door and personal crate that would detonate if not dealt whit right, whilst the tech priest put a friggin Gatling gun pointing towards his door which would rain bullets on anyone entering the wrong way.

The last session of this campaign started with a bang. The gunslinger had tried to enter the soldier’s room to poison her, but luckily/unluckily the gunslinger survived. The gunslinger had even convinced the psychic warrior dude to help with the murder. The soldier found him holding a pillow outside her room, with the gunslinger bleeding from shrapnel and burn wounds. Her, the soldier should have just killed the gunslinger, if it weren’t for the fact that she thought she was only going to be robbed.

Anyhow, during the climax of the session a big battle was fought against overwhelming odds on a space ship. The party was being torn to pieces when the warrior psychic tipped the scale to the party’s side by letting a daemon posses him… which quickly became a even larger threat. All of the soldiers accompanying the party was ripped apart or burnt to cinders with psychic lightning. The gunslinger became mortally wounded but the soldier and tech priest managed to put the unholy creature down with a few well placed holy bolter rounds and prayers to the Omnisha (read: dial up-speak). After the bolters had strategically removed most of the torso of the now dead warrior, the soldier and tech priest started to head for the escape pods. This made the gunslinger mad since she was still alive and proceeded to shot the soldier in the back. Unlucky for the gunslinger, the shoot was not mortal and large parts of the gunslinger shortly thereafter disappeared from bolter rounds.

This party was dysfunctional from the very beginning, too dysfunctional in my opinion. In some RP groups, this situation could very well have been the end of their continued playing, with participants quitting the group. But luckily, our group survived this. It was interesting experiences, and to some degrees one that worked well with the setting, but I wouldn’t want to experience it again. Unless it was decided from the get go that we would be backstabbing each other. Even though the end result was pretty glorious, it was also from time to time very frustrating to play because you never knew if the other half of the party would cooperate or not. Moral of this story: don’t backstab and don’t be uncooperative.

Pic found here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c0/e7/d2/c0e7d26a8d27052faef4a32288b4a253.jpg

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STAR WARS VII (The last one, for now)

Out with the old and in with the new. It’s rebootin’ time!

 

SPOILERS!

 

 

As I and many others have pointed out, this movie is a retread of old steps, but it is also a retelling and kick-off for the new trilogy. This is why Han Solo must die.

Yes, Han Solo must die and Leia and Luke are not allowed to have much screen time (might also be because of their pay…) in the first episode. The reason old characters need to be offed (I’m guessing the other two might also meet a end in one of the upcoming movies) is to cement this as a its own thing. It will still be Star Wars even if a few characters die, that baggage of that franchise goes beyond Luke, Leia and Han, but it needs to ditch as many “bags” as possible to be able to flourish into something “new” and unique. Well, maybe not have to, but it should do it. Because this is a new thing and new things need to do new things, and stop doing retread old stuff.

Because of this, Han Solo had to die. If Han Solo hadn’t died, than there would be problems down the road, such as which character they should put the spotlight on and “why isn’t Han Solo here helping out/solving the problem?” (He also died because Episode VII is copy pasting the plot of Episode IV but it also served the grander purpose of “completely” turning Kylo Ren to the Dark side by performing patricide (and mentorcide))

(The imagery shown leading up to Han Solos death is awesome; I felt a need to mention that)

So during the next two episodes some more of the old characters might die, to further set this trilogy apart from the original but also to drive the overarching narrative forward. Luke might die fighting Snoke, Leia might die from a New Order assault, all to strengthen Finn, Poe and Rey as characters, ’cause they can’t stand in the spotlight if some old crumbs are standing in the way.

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Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens second watching

Now the hype train has come to a stop and I believe the “no spoiler” period is over.

I have seen this movie twice, was it as good during the second watching. No, no it wasn’t but it was still an enjoyable ride. Would I still recommend people to go see it, defiantly, because it is a good adventure/action flick. But that’s ‘bout it.

I might sound a bit harsh, especially since my last post was a weird praising of the movie, which I don’t regret, because back then, it was truly magical. But as with all things, it calms down eventually.

“SPOILERS AHEAD”

If you’ve seen Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, than you has seen this movie. That is something being said by many critiques and while it is true, it is also “not true”. This movie is a stepping stone, a launch pad, from which the new trilogy shall bloom and grow.

So what do I mean by saying that the critiques are true but also not. Well the big story/plot points for this movie are the same as those in Star Wars Episode IV, the goo that binds it all together is not the same, and I think this is important to point out.

The plot is therefore kind of a letdown, since it is a “retelling”, but it is still way better than the prequels. However this creates some interesting character traits in the villain, Kylo Ren. He is a Darth Vader fan boy, and he wants to become a new “Darth Vader” therefore he mimics said person and that makes for a interesting villain. He wants to continue a legacy that failed, and at the same time, he wants be something of his own. I am really looking forward to seeing what they do with this character in the rest of the trilogy.

Next up! Finn, the “odd-ball”, “why odd-ball?” because he is a New Order defector. He was part of the “EVUHL EMPIRE” but after seeing some casual murdering of innocent civilians he decides to go with the good guys. Also, he falls in love with the new generations’ hero. Which is a new thingy-jingy.

The hero of the prequels (Anakin) did also have a love story, which leads to destruction and a imbalance in the force. So it will be interesting to see were this will be going, will Rey respond to Finns feelings, will that lead her down the path of the dark side?

Also our hero this time around is a woman, which I think is cool. Star Wars have been for the most part a sausage-party, with some exceptions. And the movie played did a fun thing with the fact. In one scene, when Rey (the hero) is attacked by some thugs Finn runs to her rescue but before he arrives she has already neutralized the threat.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this, but what I do know is that this film has laid out a good and solid foundation for the two upcoming movies.

Also, the movie is simply gorgeous; a few scenes are simply eye porn.

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Semi random blurt #03

There is a saying that goes: “There is nothing new under the sun” which is more or less true depending on how harsh you are with defining what’s new. This saying will have importance to this SRB.

I think it was back in 08-09 it all happened. I was going to create one of my first original characters (don’t steal ‘kay!(will use the term OC from now on, to be more like the cool kids)). You might already now where this story is going but please keep reading anyway. The reason this was going to be a big deal, at least for me at the time was the fact that it was for a RPG forum. I think it was called “Desert world” or something along those lines. It was going to be my first “public” OC and not only that, I would have to role-play it.

From the start I was suffering from illusions of grandeur, my ambition was to create a totally original OC that was going to become famous on the forum, a main protagonist of sorts. A Wolverine to the X-MEN/Marvel universe. Even if Wolverine isn’t the protagonist of everything or even a main player, everybody knows of him. I wanted to create my own Wolverine. So as I said, my ambitions were high. But as with all great tales (not really) it was doomed to fail from the very start.

My character was going to have the ability to cancel out other peoples abilities, he was going to be an orphan due to murdered family but survived by luck, be happy go-lucky but with a dark past (see what was written before the last comma) and he was going to have a evil creature bound to his body. See, only original traits… at least I thought I was original while creating him.

As I was making the most groundbreaking OC ever seen by this cruel, cruel world I looked through characters that other people had made, to see my “competition” and get inspiration. Whilst going through some characters I stumbled up on a character which had almost the exact same background story, though powerless and whiteout an evil entity tied to his body. But this shattered my innocent mind. I was a rip-off! I was not the creator of a superbly unique OC. I was at most mediocre. This made me sad, very sad and ashamed. So ashamed that I quite the forum without even finishing my character.

So what is the point of this story? For me it was to realize that I ain’t unique and special even though my mother says so. It was also when I realized that no matter what I make, there will be similarities with other things, that came before or which will be created at the same time. And it is something we just have to accept. ‘Cause even if something isn’t completely 100% original, that doesn’t mean it’s bad. If you are making a stereotype, just make sure to make it in to YOUR stereotype and be proud and happy that you made something. Originality comes with practice and time, we need to stumble and fall a few times before we can create the real OC’s.

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Semi random blurt #02

The day before yesterday, while minding my own business, I died a little on the inside from panic.

The incident occurred just half an hour before I was supposed to be at work. Before it happened everything was just normal. I was in a good mood, the cereals had been just the right amount of crunchy and I had a few minutes to just lie around before heading off to work. So to indulge in the laying around I decided to play some games on my phone, which was when the ball dropped.

I am sure that my whole being stopped for a few seconds, when I saw that my credit card was missing from the phone case. With eyes wide open I just starred at the “pocket” which was lacking in credit cards, my mind blank except for a building wail of terror, doom and panic.

When the wail finally took over my mind I started to realize all the problems this would cause.

  1. I didn’t have any cash on me nor could I take out some. My economical power would be zero if the card was gone.
  2. I didn’t have anything to eat at work and my plan was to buy something during lunch, which if we look to point 1 was impossible.
  3. If someone had stolen it I would probably be a lot poorer and I also wasn’t sure about where to call to “block”(?(there must be a better word/term for this)) the card from further usage.
  4. I needed to come up with a solution to all of these within 20 minutes.

19:59

19:58

Found on the interwebs, not my own creation

Shit hit the fan

Luckily I didn’t give in to panic… not totally at least. (I might have cried on the inside a little)

I managed to retread my steps from the day before and figure out where my credit card could have gone missing, a la Sherlock Holmes. Then I did a quick recon of the fridge and found some food for lunch, in case of card being lost forever. With some back up food and self calming I threw myself in to the car and raced to the only place where I could have logically lost it, the grocery store!

As you might have guessed, I got it back and even got to work on time. In the end, everything turned out better than expected.

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