All posts by masterchief

Outlander, seriously OUTLANDER

Take a bunch of vikings, add some space monsters, throw in Jim Caviezel to kick some ass, and Fallout Boy for no reason (other than Ron Perlman is awesome, and they need to make another Hell Boy movie ASAP), and you haveOutlander, the best movie that Hollywood decided I didn’t need to see in a theater. No, my home theater system didn’t let me down, but this movie deserved the big screen. The 13th Warriorwas awesome on the big screen, and great 70 more times at home, thanks in no small part to that first big screen awesomeness aftertaste.

This time though, they just decided to not waste all that money on previews and advertising, put it out in “limited release”, and then let us all just grab it on Netflix based on idiots like me doing their advertising. If you didn’t deserve to see this, I would tell them to screw off, but you do, even if they don’t deserve your patronage.

No, it wasn’t full of the best special effects or stunning dialogue, but the vikings also didn’t wear cow horns on their helmets. It wasn’t over the top and epic like hollywood seems to believe is all we want, but rather, more like a good book. There were just enough key characters to be interesting, and just enough character development to make you care a tad bit when they get chomped. Really though, if you are going to enjoy this movie, you are probably already sold. If not, get back to playing Hello Kitty Island Adventure.

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I blame watching The Brave One

Reading this security warning about mean people that use a virus to encrypt your data and then offer to sell you a decryption key got me thinking. How bout we start a Google Answers type service where people can donate for a “virtual” hit on these dirtbags. If you get infected with a nasty virus and you want to get even, throw $20 into the pool for the virus or exploit that got you, and when it gets high enough, someone will think it is worth their time to “disrupt” the life of the people that infected you. Sure, it is probably hard to track them down, but my guess is that for enough money, people could get pretty creative. Besides, how hard could it be to outsmart these guys (I hear they share a bed with their mother and are dating their neighbor’s goat).

How to choose your president

We finally have 2 dorks to choose between.  How do you choose which one represents you best?  Simple really, just follow these steps and you will hardly even have to think or pay attention for the next 5 months. Start by making a list of the candidates you are considering voting for.  It should have 2 names, Barack and John.  If you have more and are considering a write in vote or third party candidate, good for you, that will show them (as well as waste your vote on a loser, which I am trying to help you avoid).  If you are a brainless drone voting the way your family or friends tells you, you are not really voting, but rather demonstrating your similarities with a sheep or lemming, so please just go read something else.  Oh, and if you are voting based on skin color, please find some moderately slow way to kill yourself, that balances pain and agony with adequate expedience to get yourself out of the gene pool before election day. 

So, how to vote?  My suggested method is as follows, after the break:  Continue reading How to choose your president

Smart car my ass

Recently I started driving an electric car.  I pay nothing for gas.  It has a range of around 25 miles, but round trip to work and back is only 15 miles, so I charge it exclusively at work.  It has a top speed of 35mph and is classified as a “neighborhood electric vehicle”, but I drive on the back roads to work anyways, so no big thing.  It is far from roomy, probably not very safe in an accident, but short of a box full of puppies trained to hug kittens, it is probably the best way to meet chicks I can think of.  Being so small, you don’t even need a “no fat chicks” bumper sticker, cuz they look at it and realize they would likely get stuck in the door if they were to even try to fit in the tiny little passenger seat.  Funny thing is, the hotties that flock to it whenever I park it assume I am some sort of environmentalist dipshit who wants to talk to them about how Hitlery should drop out of the race or how much money we are wasting in Iraq.  I don’t bother explaining to them that I agree completely, but that it would be best if Obama joined her, and that a few nukes would save us tons of money in Iraq.  They also all assume it is a “smart car”… sigh.

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See, my little electric car looks like a shrunk down smart car to people who haven’t seen either one in person before.  That isn’t a bad thing, but seriously, what is the point of the “smart car”.  Yes, it can drive at freeway speeds, but who would want to fight with semi for a lane in that thing?  The real issue though is that the little coffin only gets  a tad bit better milage than a normal sized car, and it isn’t exactly cheap.  Really, the only reason to buy it in my book would be for the chick magnet appeal.  

My plastic deathtrap uses no gas, and did I mention that I don’t pay to charge it!  If you want a new vehicle to combat the crazy gas prices, wait until they at least get 60mpg, or buy a motorcylce, because if you are going to be unsafe and you insist on still using gas like a cave man, you can at least look cool doing it.  Trust me, nobody looks cool in these micro cars.  If you are normal sized, you will look huge in them.  If you are above average in size you will look like Andre the Giant in them.  If you are a tiny little person that is comfortably scaled to something that size, everyone will just assume you are far away and always yell to talk to you!

Age of Conan (on my Mac Pro)

I was not expecting AoC [ Amazon ] to live up to the hype, but it did.

I was not expecting it to be so gorgeous, and not just because you can see boobies. The youtube clips don’t do this game justice.

I was expecting it to be buggy and to have that “new game” feel, but the content I have seen so far is kicking butt. I have not yet gotten stuck, had a buggy quest, or had the game crash.

I was not expecting AoC to run as smoothly as it did, considering I am playing it on a Mac using Bootcamp, but the only thing limiting it is the steaming load that is Windows XP. I have 8 cores and 16gb of ram running on a 64 bit bus, most of which just sits there unused. I went with a slower processor and dumped the savings into upgrading the machine, but I have never used more than 35% of the CPU. The 8800GT is doing all the work, and all I can say is WOW (no, not WoW, not anything like WoW).

The fighting mechanics are still growing on me. I was one of those rare people that will admit to liking Oblivion, especially compared to the click on target mash buttons lameness that most classes in WoW utilize (sure, in raids they are now forcing you to move around to avoid hot lava, but the only reason this is hard is because many people don’t have the skills to actually watch their cast bar AND the screen). So far I have only played a barbarian, and the casting time for longer combo moves seems a bit off. Many times I think I initiated a combo, but my toon is just standing there getting beat on. Finally, the combo will pop up, and like some tard at the fair playing whack-a-mole, I excitedly mash the buttons in the order shown. Sure, I could have gone with the dance dance revolution comparison, but that would give away my winning idea of using a dance mat for controlling my toon!

Things I am not digging as part of the Early Access include the craptacular server maintenance schedules and lack of voice acting for the quests past the starting area, but maybe those will be fixed with the official launch. Of course, they are european, and expecting even half-assed customer support would be purely naive. Don’t believe me? Go try to find their phone support number…. nope, they don’t have one. Hopefully they can make up for it with adequate online GM support.

Should Blizzard be worried? Yes, they should. Not because everyone will be leaving WoW to play AoC,though some will, just for something new to do. Personally, I am not yet to the point where I am hooked, and I fully expect to go back to WoW some time before the next expansion. AoC may just delay my return for a few months. The real reason Bizzard should be worried though is that a bunch of weird Norwegians showed that WoW did not set the bar too high, and they are no longer the only real option for people wanting to get their MMO on. Two days ago I was still resigned to WoW being the best option for the foreseeable future, but now I can see that providing them competition is not only possible, but likely. This is good for gaming in general, and I look forward to seeing how the competition drives the genre in the future.

Be interesting or be quiet.

If you are in your 40s, male, wear a fanny pack, and have a corded earpiece for your cell phone stuck in your ear while eating dinner, please consider the possibility that you are a massive tool, and regardless of how enthralled with your inane conversation the tardfest you are eating with is, the rest of us really don’t want to hear your opinions, factoids, or ponderings. Talk in a quiet, indoor voice, not the one intended for sporting events. As a bonus, it may make your flock seem more interested in your verbal diarrhea, as they lean in closer to hear what you are saying. Even better, the rest of us will only know you are an idiot by your attire.

Casino Royale review (yep, spoiler free)

Maybe not 100% spoiler free like agent Bladerunner’s post, but I did the best I could. If you REALLY want to play it safe, just skip my inane babbling, like most rational folks do anyways.

It is to Bond what Batman Begins was to that pointless crapfest series of movies. Both movies dealt with the beginnings of their characters, not worrying so much about continuity with what had been done before/after them. This works for me. The latest set of Star Wars movies are a good example of why you don’t want to try to stick within the framework you already set up too much. Yeah, prequels are hard, but this one got it right in many ways. Is it a must see in the theater, I don’t know? If you have a nice home system you won’t loose too much, so if your schedule is full there may be other movies out this season that I would put before this, but definitely catch it on Netflix, as it really was quite enjoyable.

Problem is, I can’t exactly figure out what to say about it that is good. I have a few complaints I can start with, but I will try to come back to what is good. First, there seemed to be 4 different directors and writers, or maybe they broke up the movie between different production groups for style reasons, I am not sure Interesting, but I don’t know if it really works. The continuity between the different parts was just not there for me, and I didn’t feel like it was my fault because I am not sophisticated, but rather, I felt like someone was trying to demonstrate skills that they clearly had, but maybe they should have saved for another film. Maybe some of you smarter folks will appreciate that aspect of it more than I did.

Second, as many of you already know, for me casting is one of the most critical parts of movie making. In my opinion, this casting was brilliant…. mostly. Daniel Craig was amazing. He was nothing like any of the previous bonds, and that is fine by me. I enjoyed many of those films, but they really were becoming caricatures of themselves. The one liners and catch phrases were becoming more of what defined the movies than the story and action. This one dropped all of that (including sadly, some of my favorite stuff, but discussing that may be a spoiler to some of you purists, so I will talk about that at a later date). The few one liners where delivered with a completely different style and approach, that they actually worked. The bad guys were SOOOOO bad and the rest were all great, perfectly cast for their roles, with a few that really stole the show for a few minutes (Jeffrey Wright and the guy that played the banker both stood out to me). Judi Dench as M was superb. If she gets any better I might start developing a thing for much older women, which is good, because I seem to be aging myself for some reason. Which leads me to the leading woman, my biggest complaint. Ok, in a bond movie there are usually a few women, and there are here as well, don’t worry, but the main chick just didn’t do it for me. She was hot, sure, and seemed to be quite a talented actress, but I didn’t buy her in her role, and I didn’t feel any chemistry between her and Bond, though that may have been on purpose for story reasons that I am not smart enough to follow. Maybe she nailed her part, but if so, maybe that part needed a bit more refinement, but then again, they don’t let me make many big budget movies, so I may be missing something here.

So, what did I like about it? Well, it was just a great film. Despite its incongruous nature to us lowbrow types, it was enjoyable as hell to watch, even if you have to check your ticket to make sure you are in the correct theater. The intro was the best ever for a bond flick, in its own way. With a single exception (in my opinion) the casting was superb. The parts I missed about the old ones, I got over, and the new parts that would not have worked at all in the old Bond movies where a nice change of perspective to the series. I am truly looking forward to the next one. I wouldn’t suggest it for kids (nothing there for them) and I wouldn’t suggest it to my Dad, who is a big bond fan, but for the rest of you I would give it some witty affirmation of a positive nature.

Dani California… Sweet

Catchy tune, great video, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers are showing their long term relevance like few bands seem to be able to do these days . I enjoyed this song so much when I first heard it that I went to iTunes to purchase a copy, but sadly, my account info was garbled from a recent hard drive crash, so I didn’t buy it. I am oddly glad of this though, as it seems that this great song is destined to be overplayed on EVERY station I listen to, to the point where I will likely hate it before the full album is released May 9th. Hopefully the rest of the double album will live up to this single, yet somehow not get turned into jingles and get the Phil Collins era radio saturation that can ruin even the best album.

Nice try, but YUCK!

I love a good gyro, and I love Arby’s fast food, but damn, their new gyro is just not good. I am sure that there were some skinny people in California that used words like fabulous or delightful to describe it in taste testing, but they were wrong. It is none of these. Now, the cheese filled potato things with bacon chunks were GREAT, but I would probably enjoy cheese filled cat turds with that much bacon mixed in. Can’t understand how a place that gets so much on there menu so right could drop the ball on a gyro!