Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dead Island: Official Announcement Trailer



HOLY CRAP, that was perhaps the best 3 minutes of video I've ever seen from a game.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Tonight I'm Frakking You

The Gatecast Ep 73

This week we discuss the episode "The First Ones" as while on a science mission Daniel gets kidnapped by a local lifeform and then has to learn to communicate in a fashion to save his life. Meanwhile the rest of SG1 along with elements of SG2 and SG11 search for Daniel and make a discovery just as startling and even more dangerous which leaves Teal'c to save the day.

The Gatecast

Monday, 21 February 2011

Black Widow Gone Wild

Gateway by Frederik Pohl

Gateway is the first novel I've read from the mind of Frederik Pohl in fact it's my first exposure to the mans body of work despite reading a lot of "classic" scifi over the years. I can't really remember why I decided to pick up this novel but I think it just happened to be in the Masterworks Collection which was being promoted at the time.

Gateway was first published in 1977 and won the Hugo, Nebula and Locus Awards for best novel as well as the John W Campbell Award in 1978. As you can see it made a strong impression on the critics and readership something I can now attest too:)
Gateway is the first novel in the "Heechee" saga a 4 novel series which tells a story about the human race and an overpopulated Earth who find technology (mainly ships) from a missing intelligent race but the human crews (volunteers under a corporate profit led banner) are only along for the ride and a lot of them never come back or if they do they are dead.

The central character of the story is Robinette Broadhead who as a lowly worker won a lottery which gave him the funds to sign up for the Gateway project and the chance to visit the stars, we follow him as he learns how to live on the Gateway asteroid and the friendships and loves he finds there. He also learns a lot about himself and each step takes him closer to risking everything on using one of the "Heechee" ships to travel to an unknown destination in the hopes of returning with a discovery. The story is told in flashback as "Bob" a now very wealthy man talks to a Sigmund a computerised psychiatrist and we learn how he became rich and why he is an emotional wreck despite all the trappings of success. Racked with guilt over his mothers death and dreams of a unknown woman he battles with Sigmund in an effort to avoid accepting that there is something seriously wrong and bit by bit thanks to the flashbacks we learn the truth and the discoveries he made which changed him forever.

Gateway is an excellent novel, not long by today's standards but packs a lot into it's pages as it exploits the two parrallel running stories within the novel. I really hated getting near the end because I just knew there was so much more to find out about Bob and the Heechee race who left the ships and thankfully three more novels exist which continue the saga.
I simply can not recommend this novel enough, it's mildly dated for being over 30 years old but the ideas behind it are certainly not out of place so give it a go, I'm glad I did:)


Amazon UK

Well that's new.

Going though my DVD collection and ripping them one by one and then I came across a not too old DVD copy of Dr Horrible's Sing-Along Blog and found this. Now perhaps it'll play once the printed material is peeled off but that will be answered another day but it sure is a shock as DVD's have proven bullet proof up until now.

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Gaiman on Copyright Piracy and the Web



I wouldn't claim this view point could be applied to all forms of media on the web
but there is no denying the common sense of what Neil is saying.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Sunday, 6 February 2011

True Grit

True Grit: Then & Now

 
A quick recap of the story for those who haven't seen either version.
A ranch owner is murdered by one of his employees and the victims daughter travels
to the town of his death to wrap up his affairs and to seek justice via a local Marshall
she hires for the job, legally and above board. Complications arise when a Texas Ranger
joins the group as he seeks the same man and the unusual trio ride into the Indian lands
to seek out the murderer and the group he is now hiding out with.

I've watched both of these movie in the last week and enjoyed them both but for different reasons.
First off the 1969 John Wayne version of the Charles Portis novel which I watched on Blu-ray.
It has to be said that The Duke pretty much always played himself and there is nothing wrong with
that as his larger than life demeanour works well for the character of Rooster Cogburn and the casting
of Kim Darby (Mattie Ross) and Glenn Campbell (LeBoeuf) both work well and the audience gets the
"pain in the arse" of Mattie required to do what she does in the movie and the easy going yet component
side to the Texas Ranger LaBoeuf.
In 1969 the classic western was nearing the end of it's reign and more and more relied on celebrity and
Glenn Campbell's casting is an aspect of that but at least he didn't sing unlike a few westerns that
cast well known singers and that includes the odd JW movie.
That said this movie still holds true to mixing humour and a light side to what is a violent movie 
even though violence in westerns always seems to be regarded differently than in other genres.
Overall the production is excellent, the photography is clear and very appealing showing the vistas
of California and Colorado but the stage work seems for some reason small or compact although very
familiar to anyone who liked westerns.
A cracking western for it's era, one of the last before the grim and grit of the 70's changed things.

The Coen Brothers version of the same novel had me a little worried when it was first announced 
but the trailer washed away those concerns and the movie proper was excellent. It is very much 
a product of it's time and that is the challenge in taking a genre rooted in the past and bringing 
21st century demands to the production. The casting of Jeff Bridges was inspired and like 
John Wayne before him he does what he does very well, decades of experience probably made t
his role rather easy to deliver yet you never
doubt the character. Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross but as a younger girl which makes her 
performance perhaps more appealing than Kim, it was tougher to do and maybe added an edge to 
the movie more in line with the darker aspects of the novel. The casting of Matt Damon raised 
a few eyebrows but you know I would not have recognised him nor his work as LaBoeuf and i
sn't that one of the aims of acting, to be someone else.
This version of the movie looks very different, it's a lot darker and grimey which is a style we 
are getting used to and works well if the source material suits and in this case it does. 
Overall the Coen's have produced a very entertaining modern looking yet familiar western 
which is no easy task if only to convince the money men that the movie is viable in today's market.

At the end of the day as these two movies are both based on the same book it's safe to say if you 
liked one you will get something positive out of the other however in regards to which is you favourite 
that may simply come down to your age and how you view the western genre.
Personally I prefer the John Wayne version, I am used to the Duke and prefer the lighter touches of 
that movie but there is no questioning the quality of the Coen Brothers production and at the very l
east watch one or the other.

Jace Hall Show

No idea who the guy is but there are some bits on the set off Stargate Universe and V including some footage of Jane Badler sitting on the command deck of the Destiny, it must be pleasant to be in an actual set not an ubered green screened one for V:)

TNG XXX

There have been a number of TOS parodies but I think this is the first TNG full feature.
More images which are certainly not workplace safe or family friendly can be found on the Fleshbot website.