Archive for May, 2008

Indiana Jones and the what?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

Warning: contains some minor spoilers but seriously, have you seen the previews?

Muse and I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull [omg could that title be any longer] at the theater in Tung Chung last Sunday.  We laughed our butts off, usually for the expected reasons, for the first half and then it kind of shifted gears somehow.  It was a great movie and I’ll buy it when it comes out on DVD but I think it was just too late to keep up appearances with the previous movies.

Harrison Ford is just as good in this version as he always has been although his character seemed to fluctuate quite a bit between an old man constantly thinking “I’m getting too old for this shit” and a hero that can do anything.  In the first three movies he was a lot more consistent.  The idea of him having a son was a cute idea even if the character was a little annoying.  Short-Round had more personality.  Him showing up looking like Marlon Brando was a bit odd and really set the tone for two hours of cliches and stereotypes.

We re-watched the first three movies prior to going to see this new one so we would be ready.  One thing I noticed for the first time was how over the top, campy and completely unbelievable they were.  I never got that from these movies before.  Sure they all three showed some form of mythological magic in action against evil Nazis or evil Indians but they always seemed different.  I guess now that I’m older (and wiser? nah) I had to suspend my belief in everything that happened so much more than in the past.

So when the new movie makes fun of itself or things in the previous movies it’s a nice hommage now and then but sometimes it was just too much.  It seemed to ride on the hopes that the cliches and stereotypes it showed would carry it through and in some ways it did since all four movies are basically made in the old pulp fiction style of the Golden Age.  I suppose the idea of aliens from another dimension are nothing new when thinking about the Azteks. And truthfully is that any harder to swallow than a box that melts faces, a man who can pull out a still beating heart from a human with his hand or a knight living forever drinking from a magic cup?

The special effects were very hit and miss.  The ending sequence was pretty cool.  However, as Abraxus pointed out in his post, the cemetary model that was used was really pathetic.  Like him, I assumed we were supposed to be looking at an intentional view of a model and not the “real cemetary” as we were supposed to think.  It was a total amateur presentation from one of the best special effects companies in the world which just made me shake my head in wonder as to what they were thinking.

I know it sounds like I’m bashing the new Indiana Jones movie and that’s really unfair.  I’m a huge fan of the original movies and against my better judgement I still had extremely high expectations for the new movie.  It was a fun, funny and entertaining movie.  I would watch it again.  It’s just that the Indiana Jones movies basically created the current Action/Comedy genre of movies that we have been evolving with since the early 1990’s and this movie just feels very retro and un-evolved.  Not that that is a bad thing – it’s just not what was expected.  I have no idea why.

Your iPod makes you a criminal

Thursday, May 29th, 2008

Maybe its just because I’m still reading Atlas Shrugged but the whole deal with Hollywood (MPAA) and the music industry (RIAA) buying the United States government to further their corporate needs just scares the crap out of me.

So imagine my surprise when I read this article: Canadian Politicians Negotiate to Join ACTA, Will Criminalize CD Copies, iPods at Border Crossings Basically this is saying that the border patrols between the United States and Canada (and presumably borders between any countries involved in ACTA) have the authority to decide if you have illegal copyrighted material on your computer/MP3 player/mobile phone/USB drives/etc and confiscate and/or destroy the device in question. No proof on their part would be required if the rumors are true.

So have you even heard of this ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement)?  I hadn’t till I read this.  Since then I’ve found that this is being called the Pirate Bay Killer act which goes along with the whole copyright issue.  As stated in the linked article above, when people have tried finding out more about this through the Freedom of Information Act, all they got was the title of the act and everything else was blacked out.  From what little information can be found about this, the governments are being very quiet about this whole deal and the process to create it.

As usual, I encourage people to do their own research and make their own conclusions but this kind of thing honestly scares the shit out of me.  Not because I have anything to fear from it but because of the possibilities of the kinds of violations of rights this kind of act can make possible.  Mix this in with Homeland Security and we may be looking a little more dystopian any day now.

Screw ADT, they have Guan Yu

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Guan Yu will kick your ass

No more ninjas?

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

According to an interview with Tomonobu Itagaki over at CVG, it’s the end of the line for both the Ninja Gaiden and Dead or Alive series of games. Itagaki is the famous creator of both those hugely popular video game franchises. He states in the interview via a translator from his native Japanese that he and his closest colleagues have accomplished everything they have wanted with those games.

Ninja Gaiden II will be available as an XBox360 exclusive on June 3rd, 2008 and is currently available for pre-orders. For nostalgia sake you can also purchase the original Ninja Gaiden through XBox Live as a downloadable game for 1200 Microsoft Points. I doubt there’s a need to do so story-wise though.

The final game in the Dead or Alive series is the disappointing Dead or Alive 4 which launched with the XBox360. My Hong Kong XBox360 came as a package deal with DoA4 and I’ve been regretting that one ever since. I’d always been a huge fan of the series but the changes to counter-attacks in the game really ruined it for me. I refuse to link to the Dead or Alive Volleyball spin-off games.

No holiday here

Monday, May 26th, 2008

So I hear it’s a public holiday back home in the States.  No such luck here; I had to work today.  Although we do get about the same amount of holidays here in Hong Kong but they are at different times and have different names.  Exactly the same only completely different.

I don’t remember actually explicitly mentioning it (and I don’t have much else to say today (OMG filler)) but if you use Twitter, you can follow me there via this link: Yeah there’s a feed for it over in the sidebar as well but then you won’t get to see the octopus again as he reigns supreme over my Twitter page.  He also will not allow me to post all my Twitter posts as a blog post here as a cheater post.  He thinks it doesn’t count as a post.  I tend to agree.

Since I’ve got nothing much else to say today I’ll just plug A Little Scary once more.  I’ve posted Monday’s comic which you should check out.  Remember to check back each Monday and Thursday for new comics.  Subscribe to the feed while your there too.  It’s a lonely feed.