Thursday, July 31, 2008

Doomsday (2008) dir Neil Marshall

I love Neil Marshall movies. Hell, he makes movies I want to watch. Dogsoldiers - best werewolf movie ever made. The Descent - best hot chicks spelunking movie ever made. Doomsday - best love note to early Carpenter, Cameron, and all around awesome made in a long long time.

Doomsday is not high art wanking. Bjork does not roll around in congealed vaseline yelping for an hour before people look sullen while telling us war is bad. Doomsday is shit bowing up, bodies exploding like garbage bags full of chum dropped from four stories up, and pure insanity. This is one of those movies I enjoy because everyone on screen seems to be having such a blast. It's gory, shit explodes, bunnies get blasted to shit by automated gun sentries, everyone hates Scotland, politicians are evil, Bob Hoskins is Bob Hoskins, multiple decapitations, Neil Marshall reserves a special death for Sean Pertwee, there's a completely apeshit floorshow, Rhona Mitra is slammin' hot, a steam locomotive, and a bus that has "Out of Fucking Service" graffitied over it's destination box. Doomsday rocked. Oh and put a lot of Beavis emphasis on rocked.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A major problem with Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution

Near the last third of the game there are some major lag issues simply because there's so much going on. I would suggest saving fairly often because of these lags. I would also suggest patience. Your console isn't frozen - one way to test this is to pop open the dashboard. If that pops up there's just game lag. If it doesn't well then I hoped you saved because you're gonna have to reboot.

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution (XBOX 360)

Sid Meier's Civilization Revolution is a fun game. I never really played the PC versions until I needed something to play while waiting for the newest version to be released. Some reviews said that the console version lacked the depth and complexity of the PC games. That's definitely true but I found the PC to be complex to the point of tedium - much like a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game.

So I tore through SMCR. At the beginner levels you can basically just whup and whomp on the enemy to your heart's content. "King" difficulty is tough and frustrating but doable. Unlocking the "Deity" level Achievement points is a borderline nightmare. Most of the time you are holding on by your fingertips and the moment you have a lead the other leaders gun for you. You must remain 100% focused on your goal, make careful decisions, and be very lucky. Very, very lucky.

I managed to bag the Economic Achievement with the Incas - barely. They start the game with enough money to rush production of a warrior which gives you a five turn edge for exploration of the map. If you can grab enough villages you can make the 100 gold to get the Settlers bonus. The villages I got had Caravans which I promptly sold - doing this allows you to get 30 gold without handing anything over to enemy leaders. I also noticed that not running into enemies for as long as possible made life a little easier. The sooner you meet them the sooner they start making demands. After that I focused on scientific advancement and building everything I could to make money - Markets, Trading Posts, and Banks. I made no effort to build wonders. I kept one city cranking out defensive troops and slowly built "speed bumps" at key points - i.e. borders between nations. Eventually everything worked out. It was still a freaking nightmare. Near the end I was cranking out defensive troops as fast as possible just to keep my cities from falling in order to buy time to build the World Bank.

The other Deity acheivements were much, much easier. I started with the Germans in the hopes of a Domination victory. I was extremely lucky from the start. I managed to find an ideal location to put Berlin. I quickly built an army and smashed the Japanese who were very close to my starting point. My section of the map only had two access points so I was able to set up a defensive perimiter early on. I put all my effort into cranking out troops and working toward unlocking military scientific advances. I was at war for almost the entire game - Arabs to the North, Indians to the South - but managed to hold them off fairly easily. At the defensive strong point my troops gained a lot of experience which helped me later in the game.

Note: DO NOT leave attacking troops undefended! Watch where you are placing your troops - location is vital. Hills are your friend unless controlled by the enemy. DO NOT take the bait! I noticed that the computer would dangle a weak army in front of my positions. If I sallied forth with a unit that didn't have a high enough movement to return to safety they would be stranded and summarily picked off. REMEMBER to bring occupying forces along with your blitz. Nothing worse than conquering a city only to have it snatched away because you didn't have units there to defend it.

I strongly suggest using Spies - who gain a bonus from being in the same area as a Great General. I had one city cranking out Spies as soon as I could get them. Form one cell to defeat any opposing spies in an enemy city - the rest of your spies keep single units. When you finally mobilize your forces focus your effort into one unstoppable sledgehammer use the spies to decimate the city. I stole every Famous Person I could, then tore down defenses and then battered the living hell out of the opposition. Hint: Bring more troops than you think you need. For taking one city I suggest nine core troops choices plus whatever else you can get your hands on. Three sets of: Defense, Attack, Blitz - i.e. Archers, Legion, Horsemen. Plus a good number of spies and at least two defensive occupying troops. It's a lot but you want to win don't you?

Domination was a breeze compared to the Economic victory. Now for the cheezy part. This probably isn't 100% Kosher but it's a good cheat. When I got to a point where I knew I had the game in the bag - three out of four enemies defeated - I saved. Then I just achieved each victory and reloaded from that save point to achieve the next one. A cheat? Yes. However after nearly tearing out my eyes in frustration for days trying to win the Economic victory - Amanda & George ran and hid from my ranting - I felt I deserved the break. Plus it was fun to just pulverize the enemy. I mean just grind them into dust. I think I continuously bombed London for most of the 20th Century just out of spite.

Oh - just to let you know - nuking an enemy capitol does not count toward a Domination victory you still need to move troops in to occupy it. It's also a good idea to move all troops away from the city you are going to cook unless you just don't care.

I only have one achievement left to acquire but damned if I'm even going to try - win the game before 1000 AD. Screw that, I'm gonna play more Battlefield: Bad Company.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Two tastes greats that taste great together? Darren Aronofsky & Robocop?

I was kind of pissed when I heard "they" were going to remake/re-boot Robocop. Then I kind of forgot about it. Then I read that Darren Aronofsky is directing. That could be pretty cool actually. Much better than if Wes Anderson tried to remake it.

Max Payne - Debut trailer.

I have to admit that I am really excited about this movie. We all know I man-love mark Wahlberg.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Olde Towne General Store

Olde Towne General Store
205 E. Main St
Nacogdoches, TX
75961
936-560-3210
This is a kick ass lunch joint on the north side of the square. That's the long and short of it. There's no point in going to some fast food place when you go to a place like this. I'd to try their soups but they are usually out by the time we get there.

Mike's Barbeque House

Mike's Barbeque House
1622 South St
Nacogdoches, TX 75964
(936) 560-1676‎
We ate here for the first time today and I have to say, "Really, is this so hard?" I mean that this place is damn good. It's kind of surprising and disappointing when you go into a Barbeque joint and everything is just not that good. Mike's is good across the board though they were out of pork and I didn't get ribs or dessert.
The brisket was nice and tender without gnarly globs of fat. The sausage was damn tasty - next time I go I'm gonna get their sausage po boy. The turkey was solid but I kind of wish that I had gotten ribs instead. The sides we got were all good. The beans had a good smoky/sweet flavor with chunks of brisket in it. The rice was dirty. Cole slaw was minced without too much vinegar or mayo. The potato salad didn't have eggs in it and had the consistency of mashed potatoes - which was pretty damn awesome. There were also pickled tomatoes. Even though I ate at Mike's this afternoon I'd eat there right now.
I have to say that I was most impressed with the sauce. I can honestly say that I wouldn't change anything about the sauce. It was perfect BBQ sauce. Little sweet, touch more vinegar than most places, little bit of heat, touch of salt, just right. If they had it bottled I would have bought some.
All in all a great experience. Mike's is the place other BBQ joints in town have to measure up to.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Film and Television Scores, 1950-1979


This book looks like it could be pretty cool. According to amazon.com it hasn't been released yet but I might just try to weasel a copy from the publisher. It doesn't look like something that's going to be high demand though. It could be completely unreadable but I get the feeling that it's pretty interesting. Then again I love scores.

Site Updates & Assorted Mumbo Jumbo.

I think that I have everything in general order. For now. Hopefully. Possibly.



Blogposts are still the same. Commenting is still the same. Most the links, feeds, and fun stuff on the right has been streamlined. I am constantly adding feeds and if there's anything you would like to see added - or removed - please let me know.



If anyone has anything to contribute please do so. If you're not a contributor but would like to be one please let me know. Everything - reviews, links, feeds, insane rambling, food, movies, gaming, naked pictures of Hitler sunbathing - are all going on this page.



Any questions, comments, or ideas are welcome.

National Lampoon Presents: The Beach Party at the Threshold of Hell (2008)

Don't bother. It's not even remotely as good as Six-String Samurai. Beach Party etc etc is like one of those independent movies you have to watch because someone you know was in it with a budget.

I'm not sure how National Lampoon got involved as distributor. The DVD cover has pretty much nothing to do with the movie. Actually I'm sitting here looking at the cover of the DVD and it looks like it could be pretty cool. It's not.

What I have done on my Summer Vacation.

I realize that it's been weeks since the 4th of July but here are some pictures, etc, etc, etc. For some reason I am having trouble getting the pictures to line up with text and all that shit so here are the pictures. Amanda took most of them.

Here I am having fun like a normal person. This is normal right?



Perhaps this is why every one was so chum-y?

Aren't my nails pretty? I got them did for vacation.


Further proof we were at the beach.


FEEDING.
"WOO! VACATION! WOO!" - direct quote

No. That is not me fishing. Why would you ask that?



Picturesque. It was actually very pleasant.

video

And then there were fireworks.

We went to the Goliad State Park on the way home. This is the mission. Here is some video:


video





This is the top of the Fannin Memorial. It's near Goliad. This was a WPA project and this is a great example of the craftsmanship.


Monday, July 21, 2008

Brideshead Revisited...the movie?

Evelyn Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is one of my favorite books - Top 100. I am a fan of the BBC miniseries with Jeremy Irons. I really don't know if I could possibly enjoy the movie. There's simply too much going on in the book. Bah I say. Bah.

Battlefield: Bad Company

Whatever your feelings are about EA Games they do make some polished quality games.
Battlefield: Bad Company is no exception. I've really been enjoying the online mode even though there aren't too many options for missions - i.e. Deathmatch, Conquest, etc. - but this doesn't bother me too much because more often than not I end up playing Team Deathmatch anyway.

How does B:BC compare with Call of Duty 4 and Rainbow Six Vegas 2? As far as story goes B:BC has the most enjoyable storyline. It's more along the lines of Kelly's Heroes than a Tom Clancy potboiler or other modern military mumbo "evil dictator has a nuke" jumbo. It's fun and I found myself laughing more often than I do during comedies. One of favorite lines so far has been,

Sweetwater: But that place is heavily guarded.
Haggard: Well we're heavily armed!

B:BC doesn't take its self too seriously and that allowed me to have fun even at a higher difficulty level. Playing isn't punishment or profanity inducing - okay it induces profanity but it's more along the lines of, "FUCK YEAH!" than "FUCK YOU!" Part of the fun is that things blow up real good. I've developed the habit of blasting holes in walls instead of using doors. Hey, it works. I've also learned the joy of ferreting out snipers by reducing cover to bits with a well placed mortar attack.

Game control is standard FPS controls. There's not much in the way of a cover system a la RS: Vegas but you don't really need one. COD4 needed that because the game was punishing.

I'm not saying B:BC is the end all be all for FPS but for a summer diversion it definitely fits the bill. Whatever problems I could have with B:BC can be remedied by playing the other FPS out there.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fallout 3 - 10/07/08


From the makers of Elder Scrolls: Obilvion a post apocalyptic RPG. OMG doesn't even become to cover it. Fallout 3 this Fall. Boo-yah.

Minute Maid Cherry Limeade is not made of people.

Minute Maid Cherry Limeade is crack. While I haven't begun to steal TVs, mug old ladies, or sell myself for a carton I am not ruling out the possibility.

I picked up two cartons from Kroger's this afternoon. They were on sale 10 cartons for $10 but Amanda would only let me get two. Earlier I was cutting the stuff with iced tea but now I've moved to the straight stuff.

You have to keep in mind that I am still relatively new to sobriety and limeade(s). Previously lime was something you put in something clear, refreshing, and alcoholic or on food. The one real bitch about sobriety - besides me - is the fact that I am always thirsty. Water gets pretty boring pretty fast. Iced tea is good if strong enough. Iced coffee...well I get a little jittery after the second pot of coffee. There's just something about limeade and Cherry Limeade in particular that just hits the spot. Kind of like Pink Grapefruit, kind of like Limeade, kind of like crack. All magic.

When there's no more room in Hell...

wear the dead as jewelry!

I saw this ad on the side of imdb and had to click on it. My morbid curiousity would not be ignored.

Yes folks. LifeGem creates gems out of your loved one's bones! LifeGem is made of people! Pets too - if that's your preference.

Maybe I am just overly sensitive but this is pretty creepy. Not as creepy as wearing a lady suit and slow dancing to "I Only Have Eyes For You" but still. This is morbid, weird, and just vaguely ghoulish. They range in price from only $3500 to a mere $20,000. At least turning people into meat pies yields an affordable - and tasty -product.

Momento Mori are one thing but turning people into bling? This is one gem that is truly outrageous.

Batman: Gotham Knight (2008)

Batman: Gotham Knight could have been a "Can't wait to see the new Batman movie! Need Bat-fix!" but it most certainly wasn't. I downloaded it because I was bored and it's usually a safe bet that some thing animated from the DC Universe will be pretty solid.

B: GK is made up six different shorts by six different animation crews. Amanda quipped that it's kind of like a Batman Animatrix. She's not wrong. Several of the animators worked on that as well. It also has some similar themes, etc., etc. I think The Animatrix kicked ass and B: GK does as well. It always makes me happy to watch worthwhile and self contained animation/anime.

I'm going to pick this up if I see it for a reasonable price and would watch it more than once.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The Barbecue House "Oldest Restaurant in Nacogdoches since 1959"

I figure since we live here now I had better do some restaurant reviews/impressions/whatever. First out of the gate is The Barbecue House. The sign says "BBQ House" so I don't know what the hell that is about.

Maybe it was because we went on an off day but I can't say that I was impressed. The beans were great but maybe it's just me - when I want BBQ I want brisket, sausage, turkey, chicken, and pork. Sure some slaw and some beans or some potato salad so I just don't have a massive pile of meat to feed on.

The brisket was okay, kind of dry, standard brisket. The sausage was pretty unimpressive. The turkey and chicken were good and the sides were pretty damn good. The slaw was a little mayonaisse-y but was a'ight.

They do have sandwiches that may be good. I don't know if they are any good and if I'll be back to try them.

About the sauce. There's much debate about sauce in BBQ: Sauce? No Sauce? Sweet? Vinegar? Thick? Thin? Slathered? Dry? Spicy? Smoky? The Barbecue House has pretty weak sauce. It's sort watery and doesn't have any particular goodness to it. It strikes me as a fairly generic flavor. Combined with average - at best - meat you have a real meh experience.

Fortuately there are still several BBQ joints in town to check out.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Eye (2008) dir. David Moreau

The Eye was one of those movies that I downloaded - legally - because it was a horror movie to watch. I've often wondered why horror fans will watch crap. I think it's because most of the time there's no choice. We just want to watch a horror movie.

The Eye is not terrible. In fact it's actually perfectly reasonable - for a Lion's Gate movie. It's got some scares and it's directed/cinematographed pretty well and Jessica Alba is Jessica Alba.

The only real problems with the movie are with the story and characters. That is if you're paying any attention at all. Parker Posey shows up as Jessica Alba's sister. Whenever Posey shows up in "regular" movies I always have a moment of confusion. I want to yell, "the Christopher Guest movie is that way!"

The Eye isn't really worth watching unless you really need a movie to watch. Jessica Alba looks normal without make-up (but still is awesome) and she pretty much carries the whole movie.

Hellboy II: The Golden Army (2008) dir. Guillermo Del Toro

Hellboy II: The Golden Army is awesome when Del Toro is allowed to go apeshit and do what Del Toro & crew do best - dark fantasy the likes of which Terry Gilliam only dreamed of. The rest of the movie is pretty stupid and funny. I don't mean funny I laughed. You'll either enjoy this or you won't.

I love Del Toro. To me this is just one movie closer to At the Mountains of Madness.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Okay folks - time for feedback.

Since I have some time on my hands I figure it's time for an overhaul of the site. So if you guys would please tell me what you like, what you don't, suggestions for design, ease of use, etc., etc., etc. then that would be dope. I promise to no longer use the term "dope". I reserve the right to use "fresh".

I would also like to know wether or not you guys would like one giant post page or seperate pages for different posts i.e. food/blog/movies.

HYR also has a few new links and gewgaws on the side bars. You can review the site on blogged.com. I also have a handy dandy subscribe button over there on the right - see? there it is! That way you can RSS HYR and get all the FYI you can shake a BFG at.

The banners for the webcomics look like smashed ass. I know. I am working on that...after I drink this cup of coffee and smoke another cigarette.

Thanks for the help. Hope to hear from you.

By the by I am working through emails and assorted correspondance - at a lazy snail's pace - but I hope you are all well and not dwelling in the Hell of the Upsidedown Sinners.

WTF movie news.

Saw today these interesting pieces:

  1. Tarantino is actually going to make Inglorious Bastards after all. Part of me is excited but most of me is waiting for Tarantino & the Weinsteins to turn it into a three part movie. P.S. I'm still waiting for a single volume Kill Bill you pricks.
  2. Someone still thinks they are going to make any money making an Elfquest movie.
  3. A remake of Hellraiser. Huh. Y'know if it was done right it could work. Personally I'm a Hellraiser II fan - I enjoy Hellraiser as well. Now if they decide to remake Hellraiser with hillbillies and shitkickers then I would be very happy. "We'll tear y'all's souls apart! Woo!"

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