Monday, April 29, 2013

Rental Review: Red Dumb...er, Dawn (2012)



First, let me extend a heartfelt apology to Kaos Studios for ever mentioning their first person shooter in connection with this dreadful movie.  Sure, both shared the same idiotic premise of a North Korean invasion of America, but I am sure Homefront provided far more entertainment value than this dog of a movie.   

Having said that, I will now briefly review Red Dawn (2012).  You know what was the best part of this movie?  That screenshot above.  Everything else was rubbish.  Yeah, seriously.

Now, I want to be clear about something.  As you probably know from reading my previous post, I am a HUGE fan of the original movie.  Therefore, I guess it could be expected that I would find fault with any film that tried to "remake" John Milius' classic.  I understand that.  However, let me assure you that I went into this film prepared to forgive a lot because I am one who believes that more of a good thing is no sin.  So, when I loaded the DVD into the player, I sat down with eager anticipation....

...And after the first 15 minutes, one word came to mind:  "Bastards".  Those lousy and lazy Hollywood bastards.

What director Dan Bradley, and writers Jeremy Passmore and Carl Ellsworth, did to the memory of the classic film is simply criminal, something on the order of the USSR's 1956 invasion of Hungary. In fact, it is worse than criminal, it is downright incompetent.  Where to start....

Monday, April 15, 2013

For Shame!


"Are these things real?...Did I see those brave and noble countrymen of mine laid low in death and weltering in their blood?  Did I see our country laid waste and in ruins?  Did I see soldiers marching, the earth trembling and jarring beneath their measured tread?  Did I see the ruins of smouldering cities and deserted homes?...Surely they are but the vagaries of mine own imagination."
  - CSA Pvt. Sam Watkins, 1st Tenn. Infantry



For shame, game devs!  For shame!  Do you not know that America is currently in the mid-point of the American Civil War Sesquicentennial celebration (i.e., 150th Anniversary)?  Where are all the new ACW games?!?

It really grieves my heart to see how "America's Iliad" has been overlooked by gamers over the last decade.  I mean, we have so many World War II games being published on a regular basis that one can hardly throw a stone without striking a fascist stahlhelm.  Yet America's greatest struggle, one that consumed over 600,000 lives (World War II "only" consumed 405,000), is largely ignored.

This is so inexplicable to me.  While World War II is done and settled, the issues of the America Civil War are still with us today:  issues of race, federalism, states' rights, the extent of the 9th and 10th Amendments, and more.  To explore the ACW is to explore the political present.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Planned Parenthood Hates Babies: The Game



Interesting article today over at PC Gamer.  It seems that a collaboration between Digital Media at the Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Expressive Intelligence Studio at UC Santa Cruz, along with a grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, has produced the "Game-O-Matic".  What is it, you ask?  Well, according to its official description, it is:
   
...a tool for creating short, simple games.


Instead of designing how characters and objects behave and then spending hours coding it, Game-O-Matic lets you think about what you want a game to be about. All you have to do is create a diagram of relationships and choose which of the games it makes for you that you like best!
As a practical matter, the program operates by taking user submitted nouns and verbs, and applying them to a selection of premade gameplay templates to create a simple game.  The result?  Crap.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Long March


I know we all like to idolize teachers, but in my experience the truly good teachers were few and far between in the government-run school system. In fact, out of my 12 year experience, I can only claim to actually having four good teachers (the rest were little different than the surly bureaucrats you meet at the DMV). Not surprisingly, two of the four had doctorates, with a third working on his doctorate at the time I was in his class. The fourth...well, I don't know much about him because he was my sixth grade(?) music teacher and I didn't take note of such things. Nonetheless, this man makes my list because he, too, managed to impart some wisdom that has stayed with me throughout the years.