Cathode Tan - Games, Media and Geek Stuff
logo design by man bytes blog

Friday, February 08, 2008

TV Watch: Lost, Confirmed Dead

I am definately becoming a fan of this year. It feels tighter and more tense than the last season already and, dare I say it, finally starts to remind me of the first season. The first season was full of danger and mystery, not just weird plot twists and mysticism.

Confirmed Dead gave us four quick flashbacks which tied directly into the action as opposed to any kind of fluff. This last season won't have much time for fluff, so let's hope this is a trend. And these flashbacks were pretty juicy. Why would Dan have such a reaction to Flight 815? All the other characters had some kind of connection to the flight except Miles, so who exactly was that in all those pictures? (Like candidate is someone associated with Eko). How is it that Charlotte didn't seem too surprised to see a polar bear skeleton in Tunisia (and how the hell did it get there? Is it the "real" location of the island and the island is just ... what ... removed from time?). Did Frank get the job as a pilot just because he called about the footage?

Course, there's still this problem that the writers insist on layering new questions even when old ones are getting to the point where they feel stale. Locke badgering Ben for information about "The Monster" felt forced and false to me - as did Ben's answer. That and the whole silly wrangling over why the Freighties were really there ... it's like the Island's main power is remove a person's power of explanation. It was passable in the first season, but now is just feeling annoying.

I was glad to see Naomi and Abaddon, however, as I think we're going to get the net drawn closer on the global view of the Island as the truth about the Freighties unfolds. Also, if Miles can't give us some insight in the the Jungle Whispers, Jack's dad and maybe even the cabin, I'm not sure who can.

All in all, I'm in thumb's up mode.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Movie Watch: Aliens Versus Predator 2: Requiem

The thing about this movie isn't just that it is bad ... but that it can be so sloppy about it at the same time.

For instance, the predator in the film was nicknamed "Wolf" by the filmmakers because it plays a role like Winston "Wolf" in Pulp Fiction. Apparently this predator does nothing but sit around in his big chair and wait for other predators to mess up so horribly that he has to go clean up their mess. Generally by spilling so much acid on everything that nobody knows what happened.

First - this is such an idiotic concept ... that this bloodthirsty race of aliens actually gives a damn what some backwater planet thinks about their crashed ship ... and second the film is shot so that it simply moves so quickly you don't realize how stupid it actually is - which is pretty much indicative of how everything else in the movie goes as well.

Nothing is scary in this movie because special effects artists turned directors Brothers Strause didn't bother to pay attention to either Alien,Aliens, or Predator to note what makes them scary. Instead you get a patchwork of quickly edited shots pieced together from other, better movies. The inside of the tank will remind you the inside of the landing ship in Alien, mysteriously organic walls will pop into existence out of thin air and sppoooooky night vision scenes will occur even if no character involved is actually using night vision. Any moment which might have actually been milked for tension is blown to little pieces before it can get there.

Two of my favorite lines:

"He was .... skinned alive" (actually, no, that guy was way dead before getting skinned, but you can't really say "skinned" in a movie without following it with "alive" - right?)

"I hope we're both wrong" (when actually since they were discussing escaping the town, one would hope they were both *right*)

And finally, I can't emphasize this enough, and really it should be horror movie 101 - but apparently not for the citizens of Gunnison, Colorado ... when beset by baddies ... don't leave the tank unless you absolutely have to leave the tank. You see, there's a writing frame called a cabin story. Many horror movies use it - the premise is that the characters are stuck with their conflict because they are in fact trapped in their cabin/artic shelter/spaceship/whatever. The Thing is a classic example, as was both Alien and Aliens. Writer Shane Salerno, who brought us such masterful works like Ghost Rider, wants to frame the story like a cabin story .... except he forgot to build the cabin.

Don't bother with this one, even for schtick value. Even if you're a fan of either franchise.

New Team Fortress 2 Achievements

One Trick Pony
Play 3 rounds as spy while never destroying any objects. Why sap when you can back stab all night?

Blame The Staff
Type "team" and "sucks" into team chat at least five times within a round.

Fire Purty
As pyro, use at least half of your flamethrower ammo without causing any damage.

Back Door Man
Take a control point by yourself while incurring no damage ... because nobody was defending it in the first place.

Slight MIA

I've had a couple days of harsh travel. Midway was shut down due to fog, had to catch a redeye this morning to make any use of the business day. It is, however, sunny and nice here in Atlanta. Snowstorm might keep us an extra day. Shucks.