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Topics - the shutdown man

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Help! / Question regarding the Nikolai Dante GNs...
« on: 30 May, 2009, 12:11:51 PM »
I'm looking at stocking up on my Dante collection, and as we speak I'm adding books to my basket in the 2000ad shop and I've noticed they don't seem to have the Sword of the Tsar collection. It's not even marked "out of stock", there's just no entry for it. Anyone know why?

Film & TV / Toy Story 3 teaser
« on: 29 May, 2009, 06:04:00 PM »

Film & TV / 2001: Your views....
« on: 26 May, 2009, 05:23:10 PM »
I went to see 2001: A Space Odyssey in the cinema last week. I've seen it plenty of times, but this was the first chance I had to see it on the big screen. It was as fantastic as you'd expect, and Keir Dullea was there to introduce it. Seems like a thoroughly nice chap. Although, one of the reels must have been damaged, because for about 20 minutes during the scene with Poole outside the ship and "Open the doors, HAL" (i.e. the almost totally silent part), there was a loud clicking noise which was very irritating for that portion of the film.

Anyway, my main point. My friend and I nearly came to violence in post-cinema pints talking about this film, when he mentioned that the dawn of man sequence, and thus the film as a whole was pretty bleak. i.e., early man is taught how to learn tools and the first thing he does is destroy something with it, then he learns to kill, just like man always will and the whole scene is a damning indictment of humanity.

 Me on the other hand, I've always figured that 2001 is one of the few sci-fi flicks with a positive outlook on humanity. Man learns how to use tools, and yes he kills the other apes, because hey, that's how evolution works, it's unfortunate, but someone had to survive.  Without that knowledge, no-one would have survived, man would have stayed as scavengers, fighting over the watering hole. And the whole point of the film is about mankind being pushed towards its maximum potential, i.e. the Starchild.

So, those are the two opposing viewpoints which were brought out that night. I'm curious to know what others think here.

Help! / Okay Hivemind, I've got one....
« on: 21 May, 2009, 02:00:51 PM »
A long time ago, I was sitting up late and I saw the last 15-20 minutes or so of what appeared to be an English  short film apparently made in the 80's. It was about a contantly bickering family on a road trip, and when the arguing got too much, the dad kicked the son out of the car on a country road in the middle of nowhere. Then, driving on, the family encounters a bunch of fellas who take them out of the car, into the field and kill them one by one. The last shot is of the son finding the car. I can remember it was filmed in with lots of flashcuts and slowmo, and all sorts of that stuff.

Anyone have any ideas? I've never even known where to start looking, since I didn't know the name, or who directed it.

Film & TV / The Road trailer
« on: 14 May, 2009, 10:17:06 PM »

It's good to finally see a trailer for this, although I'd agree with pretty much everything said on that page; The trailer seems to be a bit of a case of misadvertising (assuming they've stuck to the book, which by all accounts they have), a little too action-y. Still, it looks impressive.

Links / My Drunk Texts
« on: 06 May, 2009, 11:04:59 AM »

No, not actually mine. But they do take submissions, so you never know....

"Last night, received :"which is correct, seven and five IS thirteen, or seven and five ARE thirteen?" sent:"Neither, because it's twelve." MDT"

Film & TV / Star Trek
« on: 05 May, 2009, 11:33:56 PM »
I've just seen this, and I'm happy to say it's fantastic. It walks a fine line between being a prequel, with sly winks to the show like explaining how Bones got his name, and being its own story. Also, it feels epic, something Trek hasn't done in a long time. The first time the Enterprise is glimpsed, through a shuttle window with music swelling is classic stuff. And there are actual weird looking aliens just walking around in the backround like it's an everyday thing, not like the more recent "Forehead aliens". It's all about atmosphere.

I have only two issues with it really;
1) The humour. There are two types of humour in this film. One is the enjoyable type that doesn't distract from the plot, like a running gag about [spoiler:qwfj0ant]Uhura's first name[/spoiler:qwfj0ant]. (Not much of a spoiler, but just in case). The other kind is Simon goddamn Pegg. I love Shaun of the dead, I love Hot Fuzz, but there's a time and a place for the man's comedy, and this is not it.
2) There is one massive coincidence in order to advance the plot.

But all in all, it's great. And it's got a hot Orion girl. Green shouldn't be that appealing, but somehow it is. Top stuff.

Games / Farcry 2
« on: 04 May, 2009, 12:18:15 PM »
I've been playing this for about half an hour and it's already a hugely frustrating experience. They seem to have gone for a somewhat realistic style of interface this time, i.e. there's no crosshair, so shooting from the hip is nearly useless, and you need to take the time to actually aim down the sights. Also, if you want to see where you're going, you need to put away your weapon and take out your map, a bit like walking around with the torch in Doom 3. You can't have both at the same time, unless you're in the car.

Then, there's the time issue. They've gone for a Fallout 3 style open world, where it's a 24-hour day and everyone's running on a clock. Great in theory. It works in Fallout, doesn't it? Except picture this; Your boss tells you to find some diamonds outside. This is a slow exercise involving a beeper and your map. When you move closer to the diamonds, your beeper beeps faster. Further away, it beeps slower. You can potentially be walking around out there for ages before you find anything. So once you get them, you're told to go to Mike's Bar to buy some proper weapons. Great. Get in the car and drive to the far side of the map, which takes ages. There's nobody there. Why? It's the wrong time of day. But my boss told me to go there! So now, all I can do is drive back to the only safehouse I've unlocked so far (which is back on the other side of the map), to go to sleep for a few hours to make the time pass and hope the guy will be there when I wake up.

But that was when I quit the game.

Film & TV / District 9 Trailer
« on: 01 May, 2009, 11:56:10 AM »

I hadn't heard anything about this today, but it looks intriguing.  A documentary-style film about an alien ship that lands in South Africa, where the aliens are then exploited as a workforce and forced to live in slums. I like the little touches in the trailer, like blurring out the aliens' face.

Film & TV / Chocolate
« on: 28 April, 2009, 01:15:27 PM »
This film is awesome. An autistic girl with a flair for martial arts spends 90 minutes kicking ass in increasingly elaborate and bone-breaking ways. That's really all there is to it, there is a plot but it's secondary to the ass-kicking.

The girl in question was trained by Tony Jaa of Ong-Bak ass kickery, so she does a damn good job of beating the shite out of rooms full of men three times her size. Speaking of Tony Jaa, I also saw Ong-Bak 2 recently. Possibly even more awesome.

Off Topic / Swine Flu: Worried or not?
« on: 27 April, 2009, 10:47:55 PM »
So, are the media exaggerating the whole swine flu thing? I hadn't even heard about it until a couple of days ago, and now suddenly it's a potential pandemic (and I had to look up whether or not that's worse than an epidemic. It's worse). Also it's just been confirmed in Europe, specifically Britain and Spain, and every news story that talks about that mentions that it's already killed 150 people in Mexico.

But then on the other hand, not every news story mentions that only 20 cases in Mexico are actually confirmed as swine flu. And that most other cases reported so far around the appear to be mild. It's possible that the Mexican healthcare system or other regional issues could be a factor.

But I'll admit, I do get a wee bit nervous when absolutely every single online news outlet is talking about a pandemic and ANOTHER new case diagnosed. Maybe I'm just easily led. And besides, the flu was what kicked everything off in The Stand. Something to think about.

Website and Forum / Quiet time?
« on: 22 April, 2009, 12:00:42 PM »
The last week or so it seems pretty quiet around here. Some of the boards can go hours , maybe days, without new posts. Where is everyone?

Games / Empire: Total War
« on: 14 April, 2009, 01:20:47 PM »
Just picked this up over the weekend. It's a while since I played any of the Total War games, pretty much since Shogun and Medieval, so I wanted to give this a try. So far it's fantastic. Hugely addictive, and incredibly detailed. The naval battles are the big new thing and they're loads of fun; You can just set your ships to attack, or control them yourself, try and cripple the enemy ships and seize them, etc. There's plenty of freedom in what you can do.

The only thing is, it's a bit glitchy. It's a swine trying to get your men into formation on the battlefield, and if you give them an order to move, and there's a obstacle in their way, that can throw them off completely. And there are some minor sound issues. But hopefully this will be sorted later.

Film & TV / Sherlock Holmes poster
« on: 31 March, 2009, 10:05:39 AM »

I think this looks rather cool....

Games / Dredd Vs. Death cheap on Steam
« on: 27 March, 2009, 10:27:29 AM »
I only ever played the demo of this, so tell me, is it worth 7.99 for a few hours diversion?

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