Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shutting down the blog

I do not have time to run this any longer. Anyone who wants those coleco decals get em quick, as I will shut this down at the end of July.

Thanks to everyone who was a reader. I've always appreciated all your comments, good or bad.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Colin Baker Who? The Under Appreciated Doctor.

Over the past week, I've found myself aching for more Doctor Who. The shortened season for this year's run (well, broken season anyway) has left me with a loning for more, better produced British television. Given that Torchwood (now American made but with British roots) isn't starting til the second week of July, I have this gap of time to fill. I haven't been able to re-watch seasons 5 and 6.1 again, as I've done so2 times already. I sat down, and said to myself:

"Self, there's 26 or so years of old Doctor Who to watch, giver a go."

David Tennant
Christopher Eccleston
Matt Smith
Now I've tried a dozen times to pick up the old Doctor Who materials and watch them, but truthfully, most of it is awful. The special effects and costumes are about the same as what you'd see in fan fiction. The acting is sadly overdone and unbelievable. The show, even right up to the 7th Doctor which ended in '89 is incredibly dated. Most of all, the three most recent incarnations of the Doctor, Christopher Eccleston, David Tennant, and Matt Smith, all really put the older incarnations to shame in entertainment value. Each of these men brings a very believable and far more likable touch to their portrayals.

My first real "jump" at the older materials was in the Peter Davidson era, circa '83ish. The reason being his neatly played short with David Tennant, called "Time Crash", a few years back. Davidson, from what little I'd seen, had carried some of the lustre of the more modern  doctors, with a more younger appeal. It wasn't a stuffy old man making pranks, it was a late 20-early 30 something looking gent off saving the universe. I first checked out the four part series called "Castrovalva". In a word: AWFUL. Ridiculous set pieces, poorly acted, and stupid plot. I slogged through it, and went to the next set that interested me: The Five Doctors", the 20th Anniversary special that brings all 5 incarnations of the Doctor at the time and their companions into one neat series.
Original: AWFUL.

Even though this was a little fun to watch, nostaligia being what it is, it was also really REALLY bad. Having seen the Cybermen go from what I first saw (in season 2 of David Tennant's run) to what we see in this, it's amazing that this show managed to stay on television. The Cybermen were Doctor Who's version of the Borg for god's sake. The originals for some reason bring Strawberry Shortcake to mind. You could see the silver painted chins moving underneath thw plastic mouth guards! There is some acceptance of things because of standards back in the day. But these were ridiculously bad. The acting and special effects were bad. The filming was all BAD. I never understood why old Who episodes looked like they were filmed like Coronation Street. The inside set shots looking like they were filmed by camcorders and the outside gravel pit scenes looking like they were filmed with a pinhole camera!

Anyway, after this I took a quick glance at the regeneration scene for Davidson to leave and Colin Baker to begin. After that, the next time I looked at classic stuff was when we first got Netflix (selection as awful as old Who episodes) and I checked out the "Three Doctors" episodes from the early 70's. This was terrible as well, with the villains wearing fat people moo moos on a curtain rod draped over their heads.

So that brings us to this past weekend, almost a full year since the Netcraps experience. I must have been desperate to go back into this stuff, but given I had no real options besides these, I was checking out the regenerations of all the Doctors, and I found myself strangely compelled to the 6th Doctor, Colin Baker. His costume? Retina burning. His hair? Can be taken off his head and bounced like a basketball. Sonic Screwdriver? Nowhere to be seen. I watched a little tribute to him on youtube, and for some reason, it convinced me to check it out a little further. His first episode was very shaky. "The Twin Dilemma" was filled with terrible acting and set pieces were worse than old Star Trek sets. But his portrayal of the Doctor was wild enough to be interesting. I felt that flair from his similar to what I felt from watching Eccleston play the character. Fun filled and a joy to be around, but with menace and malevolence if you crossed him. The costume really is AWFUL, but his decent acting and complete 180 portrayal as compared to other actors impressions makes it a worthwhile viewing.

If you watch this, pleeeease mute out the horribly out of place music.

So far I've gotten through The Twin Dilemma and a second series, "The Two Doctors", where Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor, run amuck on galactic villains with style and flair. Troughton looked remarkably well given it was nearly 20 years since he was last seen on the show, only showing grey hair as the only difference. Baker was in fine form, with randomness like fishing, then berating Peri his companion, then off to save the universe, then passing out, then looking stupid himself. All very entertaining.

If you are longing for more Who, check out Colin Baker. Of what I've seen so far, aside from the sadly dated feel that is still prevalent in his run, he is the most "modern" of the bunch. Even with Sylvester McCoy taking the role after him, his acting chops just did not hold up well. He was a comedian in a dramatic role and just didn't look right. Baker made people believe in his Doctor, even though studio execs may not have.

Carrot juice anyone?


Monday, June 20, 2011

Wanna see the Vancouver Riots?


Impressive tech demo, disgusting display.


It's the GREAT DALEK Charlie Brown!

Thanks to bossman Drodge for this fun fun link:

If Charles Schulz had written about a time-hopping Gallifreyian instead of a chronically depressed little boy, chances are his artwork would look like Larry Wentzel's. There's no Snoopy as K-9, but who wouldn't want to see A Weeping Angel Christmas?
I always figured that something vaguely sinister was occurring in the Peanuts universe. You could never tell what the adults were saying — was it some sort of backwater Silurian dialect? Also, I'm guessing the Great Pumpkin was some sort of shaved Yeti. In any case, the theme song would sound like this.


Isn't that awesome! :D


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Review: Sucker Punch

Basic synopsis from Warner Bros.:

"Sucker Punch" is an epic action fantasy that takes us into the vivid imagination of a young girl whose dream world provides the ultimate escape from her darker reality. Unrestrained by the boundaries of time and place, she is free to go where her mind takes her, and her incredible adventures blur the lines between what's real and what is imaginary. She has been locked away against her will, but Babydoll (Emily Browning) has not lost her will to survive. Determined to fight for her freedom, she urges four other young girls-the reluctant Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), the outspoken Rocket (Jena Malone), the street-smart Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens) and the fiercely loyal Amber (Jamie Chung)-to band together and try to escape a terrible fate at the hands of their captors, Blue (Oscar Isaac) and Madam Gorski (Carla Gugino), before the mysterious High Roller (Jon Hamm) comes for Babydoll. Led by Babydoll, the girls engage in fantastical warfare against everything from samurais to serpents, with a virtual arsenal at their disposal. Together, they must decide what they are willing to sacrifice in order to stay alive. But with the help of a Wise Man (Scott Glenn), their unbelievable journey-if they succeed-will set them free.. -- (C) Warner Bros


Before you sit down to see this film (coming out on Blu Ray, DVD and Digital Download June 28th) you really need to let go of any sense of what the film is, was, or what was said about it. This is a movie that one needs to see to believe. Is it that bad? Is it art? Is it a gigantic mess thrown at film upon an epic scale, hoping to lure the people who like to watch trains wreck? 

Ladies, if you had any interest in seeing this film, the best you can hope for is being owed one after you've sat through it with your significant other. Be prepared to be owed... oh... 2 chick flicks and a back rub, with breakfast in bed thrown on top. This is a movie solely made for the boys. If you want to get out of it, pretend to be the man sitting on the bench in the mall waiting for you to get out of the girlie clothing store. This is a movie about young women in skimpy clothing swinging ninja swords and shooting bullets at monsters, zombie nazis, and robots, all in a level by level progression similar to a video game. They do this through the imagination of a girl who's sultry dancing is so amazing that everybody in the room forgets that anything in the world is happening, especially the scantily clad girlies picking their pockets for the things they need to escape the asylum.

Sound ridiculous yet? 

I don't think I've seen fatter lips on any one woman in my life compared to Babydoll (portrayed by Emily Browning), the lead girlie of the bunch. They are so thick and round and focused on in the movie, it's almost like lip-porn and you think she'll actuallu need a wonderbra for them for fear that she'll fall on her face. Throughout the movie, she does land heavily a number of times, crushing cement and concrete blocks, no doubt from the weight she bears upon her porceline face. 

The other girls featured in this romp are all equally portrayed, with Vanessa Hudgens (ironically named Blondie) bearing the hair that is similar to the mane of a raven haired lion, Abbie Cornish the wildly savage "Sweet Pea" and her saucy mouthed little sister "Rocket" (played by Jena Malone) both acting like they need whips, chains, rubber, and a Rihanna song to get them through the day, and Jenna Chung, the prototypical polite, cute Asian girl Amber. This movie is a who's who of teenage boys wet dreams.

Take away the dirty girlie aspect of the film and you do get a very well filmed style piece. Giant Samurai's, Clockwork Zombie Nazi's, killer robots, dragons, you name it, all were wonderfully brought to life by Watchmen director Zack Snyder. You are thrown into a gritty and grim world of post war America, where the men are boss and the women hate them for it. This whole film screams hate at the way women were treated and portrayed in the 50's and 60's. The film is eye openingly awesome to look at, with gigantic set pieces and surprisingly credible choreographed fight scenes. The leads all did their jobs and did them amazingly well, in particular Browning, who does not look out of place at all in her school girl outfit slaying demons and zombies with style and grace.

This movie is very loud, with a rocking soundtrack playing through most every scene. It truly helps the viewer get into the scenes and bring them along for the ride. Think of that feeling you get when you are on a roller coaster. There's no real particular "sound" but there is unbelievably loud noise all around you. The wind in your ears, the white noise of screaming people all around you, the carts on the tracks. After a while it all blends into the experience that is a roller coaster. It is all very similar in this film. After one or two scenes, you don't actually hear the music, you are just immersed into each scene as if you are almost there.

This is a movie not for the feint of heart. As mentioned earlier, girls, wait outside. Let the men go in and enjoy the film. Some ladies, carry tissues. This is a loud, male fantasy induced slogfest, with nothing for you, beyond teaching you what your man might like in the bedroom. Guys, get ready to owe the women a favor or two for this one, but be more than willing and ready to do it too. This is one for you.

Score: 7 out of 10...

...9 out of 10 if you are a pervert. 


Friday, June 17, 2011

Review: Child of Eden

This week I was romanced by the thought of a Kinect game that I actually was interested in. Several review sites around the web, including my personal favorite IGN, say that this is the title that we were all waiting for, this is Eden.

Child of Eden is a Kinect friendly (but controller capable) game for Xbox 360. If you don't have a kinect, don't bother. This title is MADE for motion control. The story? From what I could make out of it, it's sometime in the future, the internet is now called Eden, and mankind has moved into space, and there is a girl in a garden that needs saving... from Eden... thus the internet is eating a little girl. Hmm.

Beware the '90's styled amoebias. They spit purple blocks.
If that sounds confusing to you, welcome to the club. It sounds completely assanine to me. Don't take that as a bad thing though, as this title is about the game itself, NOT the story. I never thought that this was able to happen.

At it's root, Eden is a shooter title, but one, for lack of a better term, is Euro'ed up. Techno trance music, enhanced by your shooting capabilities, washes over you as you move yourself about shooting the likes of glowing worms, insects, and possible parasites. The neon colours are not just pretty things, they are not just '90's flash back, they are engaging and well planned. You have two styles of weapons. Your left hand is a machine styled light gun. It is fast and easy to use, but not very powerful. Your right hand is a lock on missle light gun.
You save a whale from what looks to be tartar and barnicles.

To call what you have guns is unfair, as this is the simplest way to describe what you have. They aren't guns though, they are more... sprayers? I'm not sure exactly how to describe it. But they work and work well. The motion control has very little to no lag, which is, to this point in Kinect life, unheard of . You seemingly can only have one or the other active at once, but that may change on later levels.

If you like Robert Myles, a techno trance spinner from the mid to late '90's, then the soundtrack to this game will be right up your alley. Even in tense moments of the game, you will be tappin your toes to this very engaging title. Everything you do in the game adds to the musical experience, as shooting flying octopus' and eboli virus look a likes chimes notes that magically blend into the score perfectly.

Breathtaking visuals.

The motion on screen, while technically is "on rail" (definition of a rail shooter: see "House of the Dead" or "Time Crisis") is movable to a point to where you can pan around on screen and shoot at things that may have left your line of sight.

Is Child of Eden worth getting a Kinect for? No. Not yet anyway, as the title is, at it's heart, a shooter title with a wacked out sense of style. Is it a good game? ABSOLUTELY. It's an experience that while not completely new, is fresh, and really fun to look at and even to play.

A Pink Phoenix. Seriously.

Score: 7.5 out of 10. The game is short, but it's a "play a million times" game. It's something to show off to your firends, when they say "Is Kinect worth it?" The Kinect has been a shameful disappointment thus far, but this game truly sets the bar higher on almost every level. It is what people say is "an experience to play", it's just that the experience is short and becomes a little repetitive.  There are lots of things to unlock, and there are challenge modes as well. Hopefully, there will be some DLC levels in the future as well. You will come back to play this, just to see the difference of what real game planning is like.


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Vancouver Riots: A Black Eye on Canada, again.

Zero sympathy for this guy.

Vancouver has done it again people, in 94 they did it, and unsurprisingly enough, they did it again. Citizens going wild tearing apart the city, rioting over a stupid hockey game.

And yes, I DID say stupid hockey game.

Vancouver should lose their team for this. I know, let's move them to Atlanta. They lost their team, and they didn't tear up their city over it.


Please, citizens of Vancouver, if you have photos of the people who are doing this to you and your city, pass them along to the police, post them on sites requesting you do this. Get your city back from these idiots.

Best line of the night courtesy of @bkidney courtesy of someone else on Facebook:

"I heard the Vancouver Police are sending out Thomas to stop the riots. He stopped everything else."


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters Review

Current Gamerscore from game: 695 out of 1000.

Given that not a single major outlet has reviewed this game yet, it gave me pause as to whether or not I should play it. It's a movie tie in game (bad) it was seemingly rushed out (bad) but has real Hollywood power behind it in Ryan Reynolds (good) and from preview shots of the game, it looked like it was put together a little better than most movie tie ins. (good)

From Wikipedia:

The Manhunters are an android race, originally created by the Guardians of the Universe to serve as the first interstellar police force. The Manhunters became more obsessed with administering punishment than serving justice, forcing the Guardians to dissolve their ranks. The few Manhunters that survived fled into exile and the Guardians founded a new elite police force called the Green Lantern Corps and armed its members with specially crafted power rings. Now the Manhunters are back and out for revenge, readying their forces for a war against the Guardians and the Green Lantern Corps. Faced with destruction, the Corps is looking to gifted but cocky test pilot Hal Jordan as the newest recruit, to protect peace and preserve justice.


The game plays out like many movie/book/comic book tie ins that you've tried before. If you like Spider-man: Maximum Carnage, you will like GL. If you liked Batman Begins, you will like this game. If you liked Thor: God of Thunder, chanced are you will like anything, hence you will like this game. As Green Lantern, you run around, beating up the original galazy policemen gone bad, the Manhunters. (Truly original name, hey). You are a rookie in the Green Lantern Corps, so your skill with the ring will be less that impressive. As you progress with beating badguys up, you will gain experience, thus gaining in capabilities with the ring. Your "contructs", as they are called, are your interesting ways of beating down baddies. You get a giant mallot (which is comical), you get a Giant Mech Warrior, a  rope with  a blade wheel, a missle launcher, etc.

The story itself in the game is something to behold: it's good. This is a very uncommon thing when it comes to tie-in games. Yes, you have your generic beatdown villains, the manhunters, in their various forms. But there is an overlying story to the whole premise that works well from beginning to end. Not only does it work, but it can neatly seat itself within the canon of DC comics as well. Sadly, DC is rebooting it's universe this fall, so it won't fit after that, but who's counting. You start out as rookie Hal Jordan on the GL Corps home world of Oa, and you are suddenly attacked by the manhunters. Typically in a game such as this, it's just the "we're going to get you" storyline, then "insert movie hero and villain here". Right from the get-go, you start to wonder "why is this happening", and the story leads you to continue that train of thought throughout, to a satisfying , conclusion.

Visually, the game carries itself well. The red and blue 3D glasses option just doesn't work properly, which is sad. The game also offers 3DTV support, butvery few have shelled out for a soon to be dated technology in 3DTV, so we have to stick with HD graphics instead. In their basic form, the graphics are passable. The manhunters themselves are very well designed, but there are only 3 or 4 of them total, so we see the same badguys over and over again. One level has you take on purple amazon women, which is a pleasant distraction, but later on in the same level, we see our familiar manhunter badguys trying to run us through again. The boss fights are servicable and will challenge someone who hasn't playing through the game previously. The contstructs for Green Lantern are where this game shines, with that comical hammer and the blasting, and the fighter jet. 12 in all, giving fun and creative ways to smash familiar robots to bits.

Ryan Reynolds shares his voice talent and likeness to the game as well, which truthfully is one of the biggest selling points of the game. In  a sense, it will validate the title enough for a sale or two. He does a servicable job, but for a good story, the scripting dialogue is somewhat lackluster. You get the "noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!" cry from Hal Jordan, you get the usual "I won't let that happen/ you'll never get away with this" lines... all things that do, in the long run, degrade the experience for the player.

In the end, I believe that this game is for kids more than their parents. It's a basic beat em up that works on the levels that will keep a child entertained and wanting to see the movie that one more time, as well as to build the interest base in what is, in truth, a secondary character in the DC Comics universe. The parents and older players such as myself, have played this exact same game dozens of times before, dating back to Double Dragon, Battletoads, any number of Spider-man games (most notably Spiderman Friend or Foe, as this game feels templated from that one), and so on and so on. Decent visuals and a decent story will keep all players involved, but only for about 6 or 7 hours, as the game will have run it's course by that time. It's a great rainy day weekend renter, or a quick pick and flip title for achievement hunters.

I'm going to change my rating scale. Usually, I equate the game toa price I'm willing to spend. I'm going to go with the standard "out of 10"scale from now on.

Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters for Xbox 360:

6 out of 10.

Wait for it to drop in price, mom and dad. Your kids will love it, you can even play too, in only for the nostalgia "beat em up" memories.

Note: As of this writing, no major review outlet has reviewed this game.
Note 2: This  review also now appears on, where I will now contribute regularly. Check it out:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doing Lines: A Downtown Experience

A couple of months ago, I found myself with a small, cheap, ultra wide angle filter. I didn't use it much, although I do love the angles and curves created by creative use of fish eye and wide angle. So tonight, I decide to take my little filter, knowing it won't do near as good a job as the actual wide angle or fish eye lens, and ran around downtown, enjoying the muggy warm weather and shooting up a storm.

My goal was never to create "the perfect photo", as none of the photos I'm about to share with you have correct histograms, some are over processed, some just aren't what a professional would call "a good photo". My goal for this shoot was to create art. Playing with "lines", as the blog post title suggests, was my first motivation. Playing with colour and continuing my education of HDR processing was second, and truthfully, having a little fun with no pressure for a great picture was a third.

The original inspiration of this shoot was from Luki Ki Fom on flickr, a talented fellow out of Japan.  This shot he took with his wonderful fish eye lens, and the lines created really make this photo "pop" for me.

Click each photo to see a larger format and title.

So, without further adieu, here is what I came up with.

There you have it. 16 shots, taken out of a 241 shot run. Some good, some not  so good, but all fun in the end. Thanks for viewing.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Frustration for the basics.

Has anyone out there had to deal with someone who was supposed to do something, and then in turn after a short while of doing what they are supposed to, their effort level slips? Suddenly, every so slightly, things start getting more difficult for you and your daily routines because of it?

Then you are presented with the situation that everyone dreads. What to do? Do you speak up to this person, possibly change your relationship with this person, or even ruin it? Or leave it, as the ever present issue grows and grows? Your daily routines that require this person to be doing said thing gets affected more adversely as each day and week passes?

Granted, this sounds far more dramatic than it actually is, but man, it is awful to be in the situation. If you hadn't guessed, I am in this situation now. (Surprise!) It's with someone who I do like quite a bit (aside: no dear, lovely wife, it is not you, fear not) and I do have a great relationship with. But I know that if I do speak up, I will be pegged as a bitchy, naggy person as opposed to someone who has a real issue. My relationship with the person will be strained, to say the least. I know I am an irritable person by nature, but this is a real, ever present issue that has grown in severity as time has passed.

I do not want it to be thought that I think this or any person needs to be perfect. If it was just a mistake, then it is a mistake and you move on. This is now habit, which is far worse than any one mistake could be. That being because our relationship is being strained because of it, and this person a) is to ignorant to realize it or b) could care less. Both points are very bad.

What to do? Approach and be the bitch? Or sit idly and allow myself to swallow the frustration just so things don't get strained? I really hate no-win situations. Either way I choose, I lose.

Sad indeed.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

NHL Blackberry Sponsorship Means Balsilie Still In The Game: Update

Wow, I scooped TSN on this. :)


Jim Balsillie's endless attempts to get an NHL team may prove fruitful after all.

According to Forbes magazine, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has told Balsillie that he will get an NHL team in the future if he does not "create any more spectacles or bad publicity for the league".

Balsillie, who owns Research in Motion (RIM), has made previous attempts to purchase the Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators and Phoenix Coyotes and move them to southern Ontario.

The Coyotes may be up for sale again next summer when the deal with the city of Glendale expires. Last week, True North Sports and Entertainment bought the Atlanta Thrashers and are in the process of moving them to Winnipeg.  

RIM has been advertising its Blackberry product on the NBC and Versus coverage of the Stanley Cup Final games as well as the league's website,


From Forbes:


Anyone watching the Stanley Cup playoffs on Comcast’s Versus and NBC networks must be a bit amused by all the advertisements for Research In Motion’s BlackBerry.
RIM is run by billionaire Jim Balsillie, who has been repeatedly rebuffed by NHL commissioner Gary Bettman in his attempts to buy a team. REM is paying over seven figures for its sponsorship. Turns  out that Bettman, according to my source, has told Balsillie that if he behaves himself and doesn’t create any more spectacles or bad publicity for the league, he will eventually get a team.
Given the cantankerous history between Balsillie and the NHL, I wonder if it will be the Phoenix Coyotes?


I find this hilarious. For God's Sake, just give the man a team! Let him own the new Nordiques. It's bound to happen. I don't think any man will care about his team more than this guy.


Friday, June 3, 2011

"Eyes On You" photoshoot

It's a wonderful thing, this "Photoshop". You can take under exposed, over exposed, crappy photos and make miracles with them. It's saved me soooo many times.

So I  did a small photoshoot with Steph tonight, focusing on her eyes. Take a look at some of the end results.

This one was more just a straight on shot. It was under exposed originally, part of a HDR processing that just wasn't working out for me. The end result was striking.

This one was more a "work of art", something I had in my mind for a few days. I turned up the green on the iris and knocked everything around it out of focus.

This shot is unprocessed. It's a little soft, as it was more an impromptu snapshot while she was getting annoyed at my poor photographer instructions. :P Love you dear!

As you can see, there are lots of wonderful things Photoshop can do for you with poorly shot pictures. Luckily, I have a great model to work with, so it makes things easier in general.