Friday, November 21, 2008

"The Lizard-Spock Expansion"

So if you don't watch "Big Bang Theory," you are missing out. I understand that many people don't like sitcoms for various reasons(and believe me, I used to be one of you), but this show manages to elevate the genre.

They get everything right: fresh jokes, great ensemble cast, actors committing 100% to their characters. This week's episode exemplified all of this.

And here's one little example of why I love "Big Bang Theory":

"The Lizard-Spock Expansion"
*photo stolen from the AV Club review.

Here's how it works: Scissors cuts paper. Paper covers rock. Rock crushes lizard. Lizard poisons Spock. Spock smashes scissors. Scissors decapitates lizard. Lizard eats paper. Paper disproves Spock. Spock vaporizes rock. And as it always has, rock crushes scissors.

Thank you, Sheldon, thank you.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The new XBOX360 Live Experience is live!

I was pretty excited about the new XBOX 360 Live experience - not wetting myself Fallout 3 excited but still...

All in all it's pretty cool. Mainly a reorganization with a new coat of paint. The big draw is being able to stream/download movies from Netflix onto the XBOX. That's pretty sweet however:
  1. I need to have both an XBOX Live Gold membership and an active Netflix account. I suppose that makes sense but I was under the impression that if you had a XBOX Live account then you could download movies from Netflix for free. Stupid when I think about it now but at the time it made sense.
  2. The movies available for download are not necessarily the best movies or rather - movies anyone would really want to see - i.e. Brainscan.

Right now we're in the process of re-evaluating what services we need (i.e. Internet) versus what we don't (cable). I'm not sure if there will be a savings if we switch from cable to just Netflix. We shall see. If we do go with the XBOX/Netflix combo I will let you know how it works out.

By the by I downloaded The Strangers and should have a review up in a few days. Was going to watch it tonight but were going to the tattoo shop this evening - Amanda's getting more color done.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Quantum of Solace (2008) dir. Marc Forster

Quantum of Solace is disappointing at best.  At worst it ranks among the Bond movies that came out in the late 90s/early 00s.  I should have known I was in for a let down when I saw Marc Savlov's glowing review.

I suppose that trying to follow up on the success of Casino Royale is next to impossible.  One thing I really don't understand is why Casino's director Martin Campbell wasn't directing Quantum.  Marc Foster - directed The Kite Runner and Finding Neverland - just hasn't realized that waving a camera around like a spastic does not an action sequence make.  From the opening sequence to a frenetically edited foot chase to a bunch of crap on fire Foster prefers his camera work shaken not stirred - sumimasen I had to.  While the amount of action was satisfying and in some ways necessary I couldn't make heads or tails of what was going on.  Is this how old people feel?  Who's that?  Why is he yelling?  What's going on?  Who's got my pills?  P.S.  If CGI is going to be used don't make it look like suck.  Hell, don't use it at all.

Okay, Foster has some solid shots - not in the action sequences - so he's a good director.  Next issue.

Quantum has many nudge, nudge "look it's a tip of the hat to that other Bond movie" moments.  For me they were distracting.

For a sequel or bridge for the rest of the Daniel Craig Bond films or whatever Quantum of Solace is supposed to be it falls flat on its face story wise.  The plot zips along perfectly reasonable and then about a third of the way in the stupid pills kick in.  What the hell happened?  I wasn't expecting a character study or any in depth but still the plot back slides into absurdity.  Dur, I can has junta in Bolivia.  

I think I figured it out.  I'm not a Bond fan except for: the books up until Goldfinger, Connery in Thunderball, Roger Moore in View to a Kill, and Craig in Casino Royale.  I was really excited by the idea of a new Bond - closer to the style of the early novels, fewer gadgets, and Bond as an alcoholic sociopath whose poor choice in women drives him over the edge.  Casino delivered.  Quantum did not.  Simple as that.

Oh yeah, and one of the chicks in the movie is named Strawberry Fields.  Gemma Arterton
is adorable but seriously?  Strawberry Fields?

On the upside:

Another Way to Die is Jack White & Alicia Keyes' Bond anthem.  You know what?  I like it. Alicia Keyes bangs out a tune with some Shirley Bassey brass.  

I was honestly surprised.  The rest of the score is well handled by David Arnold.  He's a big fan of the Barry brass flourish.  Personally I wish that someone would realize that Jesper Kyd was born to do a Bond score.

Olga Kurlenko is the Bond Girl in Quantum of Solace and since I saw her in Hitman she's been one of my new favorite actresses.  Apparently she's also in Max Payne as well so I have another reason to see that.  Only problem is in Quantum Olga is all weird and tanned and trying to pass for Bolivian.  I dunno, she's still hot.

All in all...meh.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Da plane! Da plane!"

Yes. Yes I did.

Yes that is my skillet.

I might be one of the last of my friends to get a tattoo. The initial shock of getting ink hasn't worn off yet. For a long, long time I took pride in not having any tattoos. Hell, I've know Jews with more ink than me. For some reason though now was the time.

The design was something I came up with while doodling in Poli Sci. People are asking me what the meaning is. If you know me then you get the point.

For those of you who don't - cooking has basically changed my life. Changed my life for the better. Well, unless you count the fact that I have yet another aspect of life to argue and be uppity about. I love cooking. I love food. Now I love getting tattooed and thanks to my research I now have a love of Victorian cutlery.

"Did it hurt?"

Compared to what? The time I smashed my head - y'know that one time? The lung infection that nearly killed me? Self-mutilation? Falling out of a tree and landing on a stone wall? Getting sun poisoning? High school? Cutting a divot out of my thumb? Watching The Core? Cleaning up shit -no literally human scat - at Barnes & Noble?

Yes, getting a tattoo hurts. It's a fucking needle covered in ink getting jammed into your skin a bajillion times a second. Actually it doesn't really hurt that much. Maybe if I got my eyelids tattooed or my taint inked - that would really hurt.

The main problem is the blood and the pus that sprays everywhere. That and the midget who dances around you whacking you on the funny bone.

In all seriousness, getting my first tattoo was completely awesome. I strongly suggest not getting a Disney character...unless it's a Man's Ruin tattoo with Tweety Bird.

By the by I'm already planning my next tattoo.

If you're in Nacogdoches and planning on getting a tattoo then I strongly recommend Tat-2-Majik. Amanda's ink looks absolutely stunning and my tattoo looks totally wicked bitchin'. Plus the guys are Joe Strummer and Trojan Records fans. Cheers to ya guys.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Assorted Tuesday news:

Interesting piece of news: today I am going to get my first tattoo. Yeah, yeah I know I swore I would never get one. Actually I believe what I said was I never thought I would have an idea for something that I would want to have when I was eighty. So yeah. Expect some pictures and me yabbering on about the experience fairly soon.

In other news:

Fallout 3 is still chugging along however:
  • My first piece of advice to new players is: if you want to get the most out of the game then avoid the skill that gives you more XP and the skill that gives you an automatic extra level. There is not really any point in picking up skills that only give you a few extra points in skills - i.e. Gun Nut only gives you 5 points in Small Arms and Explosives.
  • I like the level cap - Level 20 - in Fallout 3 but gaining XP is absurdly easy on Normal Difficulty. Every computer hacked, lock picked, enemy killed, and side quest gives you XP that adds up very quickly.
  • I've maxed out my levels and have hardly touched the main storyline. This makes completing quests much easier. They are still challenging but I'm not in mortal fear of getting blasted into little bits.
  • In order to get your exploring/adventuring money's worth avoid the level 20 perk Explorer. It reveals all locations on the map. You still have to get there in one piece but some of the mystery is gone.
  • Fallout 3 has a nasty habit of freezing. I don't know if there's a problem with my copy or with my ancient 360. Actually Fallout 3 freezes as much as Elder Scrolls: Oblivion did for what that's worth. Remember to save often and don't rely on the autosave file.
  • Walter - resident of Megaton - has completely disappeared. Maybe he got a gig in the Republic of Dave but I seriously doubt it. I checked some of the forums and apparently Walter and some other characters have a nasty habit of phasing through the environment and dying or simply vanishing.
  • The inhabitants of Little Lamplight are the current focus of my wrath - even more so than giant radscorpions. You'll find out.

On the upside:

  • Yes, I have hit the level cap and have kick-ass armor and weapons and a hired goon - pictures pending - but wandering through the Wastes is still dangerous. Higher level critters are roaming around and the damned giant radscorpions show up in pairs - I loathe giant radscorpions but I am glad there aren't giant spiders...I might get too heebie jeebie out to play. I should have gotten the "does an extra 50% damage to insects" skill.
  • I am still having a blast playing the game though I am glad I've eased back and playing less. It's an easy game to tear through - on Normal difficulty.
  • The new bad guys are awesome. I will say no more about that.
  • The main story - what I've played is pretty darn awesome and I actually regret some of the decisions I've made.
  • Fallout 3 is the first RPG in a looooooooooooooooooooong time I am actually excited about playing through again. I've already started planning my next character. If I wasn't so far into the game time wise I'd start over. My new character is going to be a psychotic cannibal who likes melee attacks, long walks in the Wastes, enslaving the weak, and explosives.
  • Oh and by the by: Dear Bethesda dudes. xoxoxo thank you for the rolling pin. It is the neatest.

Okay folks, time for me to get inked up or tatted or whatever it's called.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Fallout 3 to-do list 11/06/08 (possible spoilers)

Yes, I know, I know...

Hooligan Youth Reviews has turned into Hooligan Youth waxes rhapsodic about Fallout 3. When I see or do something non-school or Fallout 3 related you kind folks will be the first to know. I am kicking around the idea of doing an piece about why I usually play female characters in video games. Until then however here's a run down of my to-do list and fun things in Fallout 3.

  1. I ran across slavers yesterday out in the Wastes. Fortunately they kept their distance. I found the slaver main base and have had an offer to be paid for slaves but personally I don't like the idea unless it's raiders or slavers. My god, do I actually have scruples?
  2. During further investigation of the Wastes I found the Talon Mercenary HQ. These guys are a bunch of dicks who have had a contract out on me for quite some time. They have a tendency to show up at inopportune times. Pinche mercs.
  3. As much as I love Sergeant RL-13 he is not the best back up in a fire fight. I think he is best used as back-up/pack mule for searching the Wastes. I haven't been able to figure how to repair damage but I'm working on it.
  4. Not really a spoiler just a warning - if you're not well-armed or prepared AVOID OLNEY CITY. The place is crawling with critters called deathclaws. These nasty fuckers are some kind of horrible mutated version of something whose entire genetic code is made up of rage-o-hol. I shit you not. If you are going to go after these things I recommend blasting off their legs with grenades and land mines so they can't sprint and bound after you and then picking them apart at distance. I've heard the dart gun instantly cripples limbs but I don't have one yet.
  5. I heard a rumor about a kick ass weapon being at the base of a statue next to the entrance to the Tepid Sewers. Will investigate for more info.

That is that for now. Time to go to math.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

"People comma we the!"

Blah, blah, blah Fallout 3 is awesome blah, blah, blah.
The last post about Fallout 3 for awhile, I promise. No honestly.
I want to get a screen capture up of my character now that she has an awesome hat. Yeah that's right, an awesome hat.

Fallout 3 keeps expanding on me - every time I complete one quest I unlock two more.
Being rewarded for skills I like to use is a real joy. I realize that sounds absurd but in most rpgs being a weenie brainiac/stealth/sniper/conversationalist is pretty much a death sentence for a good part of the game.
Now that my skills are improving I am able to do some real damage and when I use a scope the crosshairs stay pretty much where they are supposed to. The combat shotgun is one of my favorite weapons - the line from Aliens always pops in my head, "I like to keep it handy for close encounters." It's funny because Close Encounters of the Third's... whatever. Most of the heavy weapons I sell because I'm too much of a pussweed to use them effectively.
The score and soundtrack are both tip-top. I have turned off the score - it was a bit...melodramatic and I'm more a fan of ambient noise. Plus I like to hear what's coming ahead of time. You tote around a radio and can pick up stations. One station is bizarre pro-America rambling from the President (narrated by Malcolm McDowell). The other station I picked up is a mixture of blues, jazz, and big band. I listen to that when I'm just trekking around town.
One problem I'm running into with the game and apparently it's a common glitch: NPCs are disappearing from Megaton. It's kind of a pain in the ass because I have all this scrap metal collected to sell him. Pinche NPC.
Fun tip: On the upstairs level of Sheriff Lucas Simms' house, there is a trap door in the ceiling.
There's also some hilarious dialogue about the skewed vision of American history in a post-apocalytic world. If I can find it on the net I'll post it here.

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