thomasnash's forum posts

#1 Edited by thomasnash (579 posts) -

Edge of Tomorrow - This movie starts out really really well, but begins to unravel some time near when they go to the farm with the helicopter, I think. That section just kills the momentum of the movie (and up until that point, they do an absolutely stunning job of keeping things moving, especially given the premise. Things pick up a bit after that, with Tom Cruise doing some really excellent IDGAF acting, but then fairly soon after that, the changes they make from the book start to really unravel the movie for me.

I'm not normally someone who complains about a) Changes from the source material and b) Plot Holes as I think usually these are insignificant problems, but in this case the plot holes are so much the direct result of changes from the book that it really left me scratching my head and wondering what they thought the changes were adding. My main issue is that the book is actually very precise about the whys and hows the day is resetting for Cage, and how the Mimics use this ability. The film is a lot more murky on this, and doesn't seem to really stick to any set of rules: Why is it that killing an Alpha is what gives Cage his ability at the start but then at the end killing an Alpha will not give them this ability, only allow the Mimiccs to reset the day? This is the biggest of a range of issues that I have with the time travel stuff in the film - and I know that time travel is always a bit silly, but I'm only saying that the book explains a consistent and believable mechanism for it that they ignore for no beneficial reason, I think.

So yeah. It's a mixed bag for me. I think it starts out incredibly strong, loses its way in the middle, and then pretty much everything towards the end (the final assault) is pretty sub par. The very last scene has the stink of studio interference and reactions to test audiences, and feels totally tacked on and cheap, and undercuts a lot of the themes of the rest of the movie. I'd give it 3/5 tentacles.

Also watched the Coen Brothers remake of The Ladykillers, which has a bad rep that me and the missus wanted to confirm for ourselves, as fans of the original. I'd say it's mostly deserved. Where the original is lean and focused, this remake is baggy, with a lot of additions designed to extend the story that don't add a huge amount. With that said, the slightly counterintuitive thing is that these additions allow for some classic Coen character moments (including some great scenes with Steven Root). These are more enjoyable than some of the "wacky" moments (which are more in keeping with the original), which are a little hard to watch. The scene where Tzi Ma's General dies trying to kill the old lady is a pretty good example of how the zany humour falls flat, although the deadpan way he falls down the stairs at the end is properly hilarious. It makes me wonder if this would be a much better film if they'd gone darker with it, really. Marlon Wayans is awful in it, but the rest of the cast are pretty perfect, especially Tom Hanks who actually captures the spirit of the Alec Guiness performance really well, without imitating it. I'd give it 2/5 hearses

#2 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -

At first I was going to say that his biggest mistake was adding salt before cooking, but then I googled it and found out that I was wrong, and at least in the case of an omelette it's probably the better way around.

Conclusion: Dan is actually some kind of naive cooking savant!

#3 Edited by thomasnash (579 posts) -

@ian280291 said:

@yummylee: I dunno, they went a new direction with sailing, hunting and it wasn't ready for prime time...until Assassin's Creed IV BF when they executed the gameplay way better.

I know this is off topic but I just want to disagree with you quickly because I'm a jerk. I'll maybe concede that ACIV played a little better on land, but I thought the naval combat was cobblers compared to what there was in III, and nowhere near entertaining enough to carry the game.

As for Arkham Origins, I think the main reason I couldn't finish it was because of the changes to combat. After two games of punch-punch-punch-counter I found this hard to adjust to. It felt a lot less rhythmic and consequently a lot less fun. I assumed that this was a deliberate design choice to stop the combat becoming too automatic, and assumed this was me not being esports enough, to be honest.

I do agree with the person who said the traversal was a lot less fun, though. The bridge was pretty bad (although city had a similar annoyance with the big wall in the middle of the map), but what really killed it was the lack of grapple points. Again, maybe a deliberate choice to get people to glide and dive a bit more, but it really breaks the flow.

#4 Edited by thomasnash (579 posts) -

I own a few bits an pieces on Vinyl, but I don't have a turntable at the moment so they're just sitting at my parents house.

Generally speaking I'm not much of a vinyl purist, and I don't think any of the arguments for it being objectively better hold much weight. That said I totally understand it as a preference, especially when it comes to DJs, and that tactile element helps to give the impression of direct control of the song, rather than an approximation.

My dad has a copy of Fairport Convention's Liege and Lief on vinyl, and we put that on every Christmas eve. Last year my dad was talking about how to him that's the only way to listen to it because he knows every scratch and noise and imperfection on his copy, and without all those little imperfections it doesn't sound like the same album to him, and I think he's totally right in a way. I own that album on CD, and I rarely listen to it at home because it is weird not hearing the needle bump up at the end of the groove after "Farewell, Farewell."

#5 Edited by thomasnash (579 posts) -

@brodehouse said:

I was thinking how in most games, especially open world games, one of the things most players try is to subvert regular morality, often to just see if the game will 'let them' or because it's so absurd ("did that option say Kill Yourself? See what- OH FUCK!"). Which made me realize that the protagonist of Hatred is basically Open World Vinny; a kill-crazy psychopath who is only pleased by causing horrifying pain and suffering in the name of pointless mischief.

I wonder if the way to subvert Hatred is to try a no-kill playthrough.

So correct me if I'm wrong, but the pivotal event of Spec Ops: The Line was one where the game gave you an illusion of agency, then tried to make you feel shitty for having "made" the decision. Am I right in that? I remember at the time that, although I certainly thought Walker was a shitty guy for doing it, it didn't make me feel bad in the way all the bumpf said it would.

Basically what I'm saying is that if you can't do a no-kill play through then the game totally fails as the art peace you're describing.

#6 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -

@bartok said:

I kinda got burnt out on the Dr. Whos somewhere near the end of David Tennant's run. I'm glad the show is popular because that will lead to the BBC financing other Sci-Fi series.

Unlikely to be honest. Doctor Who is generally filed under Saturday evening family entertainment, not sci-fi. A few years ago the success of Doctor Who is basically what led to them commissioning Merlin and Robin Hood (both turrible), and I suppose it might have something to do with recent crapathon Atlantis.

Recent forays into "sci-fi" haven't been very well received, either. Outcasts and Survivors are the only things I can think of that are prime time Sci-Fi shows that the BBC have attempted, and both were cancelled after 1 series. Unfortunately with the way these things work, the BBC will interpret this as a lack of interest in sci-fi rather than them having commissioned inept scripts.

Also, I think Doctor Who will have to remain unique because I don't think thee BBC can afford to risk anything else like it. I'm fairly certain that when it became a joint UK/American venture, part of that was because the budgets were too much for them (although someone please correct me if I'm wrong!)

As for the show itself, it has its ups and downs. Every series (in the new incarnations) has one or two totally crap episodes (Giant Wasp attacking Agatha Christie, anyone?), and a lot of it depends on the actors. I think all the actors playing the Doctor have been pretty great in their own ways, but they haven't always been paired up with the right companion. Matt Smith had great chemistry with Karen Gillan, but not really with Jenna Coleman - but I think the chemistry between Jenna Coleman and Peter Capaldi has been really good. David Tennant was great with Catherine Tate, but it was less interesting seeing him with Freema Agyeman (although I haven't got a lot of love for Russel T Davies tenure as showrunner anyway).

So yeah, when the chemistry isn't there then the flaws become really obvious, but when it is there, it can really paper over the cracks. The most recent episode was a perfect example. Main monster was a bit uninspired and crap, lots of things about the episode were screamingly stupid, and the moments of pathos were rushed and unearned - but the chemistry and relationship betwee nthe two main characters, underpinned by some terrific acting, really held it together.

#7 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -

So I really like panpipes. Even though the bulk of panpipe music that I hear is like, panpipe covers of 80s chart music in chinese restaurants, I just love the sound of them. They have a really unique timbre that's also very pleasant and I just love it! It's just a shame that it only seems to appear in really tacky/cheesy contexts (and I don't know that I have it in me to be the type of guy who is really super in to peruvian folk music or something).

#8 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -

The only thing that springs to mind is Grim Fandango. I found the last moments with the train going through the gate and disappearing really moving and satisfying. I think it's mostly because all the character stuff in that game is top notch.

Also in Grim Fandango, I always found the bit where you reach the temple gate near the end (before going on a whistle-stop tour of the previous locations) really awe-inspiring. I think it's a combination of the fact that it's this really sombre moment of reflection after some pretty crazy stuff happens, the fact that I have a longstanding fascination with meso-american culture anyway, and the fact that the music is absolutely awesome:

#9 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -

Been reading the Southern Reach trilogy by Jeff Vandermeer. It's a really great mix of lovecraftian horror, mystery and sci-fi. Unfortunately I put it down halfway through the last book and didn't pick it up again. It lost something of it's really laser-like focus in the last book. Overall though I'd say it's really fucking good!

#10 Posted by thomasnash (579 posts) -
@splodge said:

@Giantstalker I am sure being shot at does not help either!

I managed to replace my own job in the last office I worked in. When I started about 90% of my job was to basically copy and paste numbers from one spreadsheet to another and do calculations. I got bored of this after a week so I wrote some excel macros at home and ended up automating the entire process. I was still on my probationary period so they ditched me but kept the new system.

The only thing worse than getting replaced by a robot is building the robot yourself.

haha. I'm in a slightly similar situation actually. Fortunately I'm working for a small company so I can make sure that I'm the only person who knows how to work the spreadsheets without them breaking...