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Friday, July 25, 2008

Blu-Ray Watch: The Other Boleyn Girl

There's two ways to talk about this movie. First is as a purely visual experience as pulled off a Blu-Ray disc and onto a decent HDTV. In this case, it's near glorious. The fabrics on the costumes alone will stun you. The settings are excellent. The lighting will give you a range from inky blacks to heavenly lights.

And then, as something other than a demo, the movie is pretty so so. It loosely follows history and The Girl couldn't really vouch for the accuracy with the book, the plot certainly falls under that category of adaptation which feels like it has been chopped into portions and some of the pieces which might have been important left on the cutting room floor.

It's not bad, it's somewhat entertaining, but I think I'd recommend The Tudors for your old English plot twists instead.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

iPhone Pick: Urbanspoon

While it has yet to actually be used to determine our choice of dining, I have played with Urbanspoon enough to see that it is at least a great way to browse local eats. Basically you shake (or push the shake button) and the location, cuisine type (Asian, Italian, etc) and overall level of expense randomize jackpot style to make a choice for you. It works great in Chicago, I can't really confirm for other, or non, metro areas.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Game Play: Civilization Revolution Demo

There's a whole subset of games I've always respected but never really got hooked on. Strategy games often come under this heading as my strategy gaming hit something of a high watermark with X-Com and has been in drift ever since.

I played the original Civilization back in college (yes, I'm old) and it's practically the poster child for such games with me.

Civilization: Revolution has managed to change that for me. Sure, the hardcore Civ fans may complain ad nasuem about ... stuff. Honestly I don't know what they'd be complaining about since I don't really play the "full" version of the game. Civ:Rev does not, however, feel watered down or truncated. It feels streamlined and accessible. It doesn't feel oversimplified, just manageable.

More to the point, there are great little points during the game where you can get a thrill outside of the normal strategy routine. Berating former allies is always fun for a laugh, but I think my favorite was when I uncovered a tank from the Knights Templar and took it aboard my galley.

Sadly the demo ended about two turns later, but c'mon - tank. Knights Templar. Large wooden boat. How is that not awesome?