Pointless Nonsense

Posted in movies by Bill on September 13, 2017

Little Evil is a Netflix movie where Adam Scott marries Evangeline Lilly and becomes stepfather to her antichrist son. It’s got a great cast and they do what they can but it’s just not that good. There’s a scene about 35 minutes in of Evangeline Lilly looking particularly hot that I’m surprised I can’t find more than a really shitty quality version of that I was going to link to to save anyone else the time of watching the whole movie, but whatever. Maybe if you were a step-parent you could relate to the plot, but that’s about all I can say for it.

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Posted in video games by Bill on September 12, 2017

Pillars of Eternity is an isometric RPG with with real-time combat from Obsidian, the studio that made KotOR2, Fallout: New Vegas, and South Park: The Stick of Truth. It appeared as the featured game in a humble monthly bundle (as in, the one game that you know you’re getting before you decide to pony up $12 for the bundle) and since it’d been on my wishlist for a while, I went for it. Even though I still have like 5 other games I haven’t even started yet. And I signed up for another monthly bundle while playing it because the next Tomb Raider game was the next featured game. But I digress…

Probably the biggest fault of the game is AAA ambitions on a kickstarter budget. It’s a large scope RPG with what I will admit is a quality story. At least, quality for as far as I got. The equivalent of cutscenes are still graphics with a narrator reading a description of the transition from one chapter of the story to the next. Very few NPCs get voices beyond a generic fantasy version of a hello (“well met, traveller” or something like that). It’d be nice if there were fancy cutscenes or more voice acting, but what really wrecks the game is the loading between zones. The large cities are broken up into four zones, but they don’t tailor quests to have you stay within a zone, so you’re quite frequently having to load from one zone to the other and then load back to the first zone to do a simple fetch quest. And unlike most isometric RPGs I remember, this one doesn’t do that thing where the roof becomes transparent when you walk into a building. Every building jumps to a loading screen to go in or out of it. Even ones that are tiny, single room, no event, nothing buildings. I tried to keep up with it because I really was interested in the story, but I moved on to the next chapter in a few four-zone city, and started to get piles of new quests that would involve dozens of instances of loading from one zone to another, and my dread of that outweighed my interest in seeing where the story went.

 

 

Posted in tv by Bill on September 12, 2017

The Orville is Seth MacFarlane’s new space scifi show that’s being billed as a comedy, but at least based on the pilot, it’s not a very good comedy but it is a pretty good space scifi show. The pilot’s a bit rough just because the jokes don’t land too well and they’re busy introducing all the characters, but it’s a solid enough Star Trek episode story. Enough to make me want to see where the story goes, and/or see if the jokes come around. Plus the ship’s security officer is cute, even in her weird alien prosthetics.

I do wish MacFarlane wasn’t actually acting in this, as he’s a far better voice actor than actual actor, but he’s made Fox literally billions of dollars so they’re probably happy to keep funding his vanity projects. And he’s got a solid cast around him, so I don’t think I’ll mind him that much.

Posted in movies by Bill on August 24, 2017

I saw people talking about Rememory somewhere and didn’t watch the trailer, but scifi, Peter Dinklage, and the late Anton Yelchin sounded interesting enough. Then Google posted a thing that they were giving it away for free today (or maybe yesterday by the time anyone reads this), so I checked it out. It’s ok. Peter Dinklage is quite good in it, but it moves a little slowly. It has an interesting conceit that… I couldn’t help but watch this and think it could be remade with a more brisk pace and be a really interesting popcorn movie, but instead they tried to make a pensive artsy movie, and there’s not really enough in the concept to really be all that thought-provoking like they wish it could be. Minor spoilers to follow,  so if you’d like to go in blind, don’t read further.

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Posted in movies by Bill on August 23, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars is the… somewhere between 4th and 7th Underworld movie. I really have no idea, since other than Kate Beckinsale looking hot, they are quite forgettable. Fortunately, this starts with a “previously on Underworld…” catchup sequence. But it ended up not even mattering, because it was so bad it couldn’t hold my attention enough to follow the plot. I would just kinda look when Kate Beckinsale was on screen and not pay attention otherwise. I shouldn’t watch the next one if they make it (which they kinda should for their fans cause this one did nothing to advance the overall story and ended with a tease for something more), but I’ll probably have forgotten my lack of interest in this by then and be mesmerized by the idea of more of Kate Beckinsale in the tight outfit. Even though she’ll be like 50 by then.

Posted in movies by Bill on August 21, 2017

Hours after being assured that Passengers wasn’t out on premium cable yet, I found that Passengers was out on premium cable. So I watched it. Last year, I figured it was science fiction with Chris Pratt and Jennifer Lawrence, so I would be seeing it, and I’d avoid the trailers. Then the word of mouth was quite bad, so I skipped it in the theater and didn’t watch it until now. The word of mouth was pretty accurate. It lost me pretty early on, but I kept hoping it would figure out a way to win me back, and it did not.

It has a plot thing that I think is the source of people’s dislike for it, which I can’t discuss without spoiling the shit out of the movie, so spoiler warning for everything past this. And She’s All That spoilers, for no good reason, too.

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Posted in tv by Bill on August 20, 2017

Spider-Man is the new DisneyXD series, replacing Ultimate Spider-Man which was never particularly beloved by the fans, but I thought it was perfectly decent. Presumably they timed the reboot for the Homecoming movie. It’s high school Peter, more in the traditional setting and tone of Spider-Man stories (less joke-y than the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon, more joke-y than Tobey Maguire). Instead of Midtown High, the action here takes place at a fancy school for geniuses, at which several traditional Spider-Man supporting characters study, but also Miles Morales and Anya Corazon, so there’s some ethnic diversity without racebending any of the old characters (at least so far). And the genius school means a lot of random scifi stuff. Robots made by students and whatnot.

The animation style is very anime-influenced. The characters and certain objects of note get all the attention, while the backgrounds have washed out colors and very little detail. Personally not a fan, because it makes the art just look unfinished, but that’s a minor quibble. The tone is right, and I think it basically wants to be Spectacular Spider-Man (best Marvel cartoon ever? probably) with more robots. It probably won’t compare to SSM, but I have to give them credit for trying, and it has a lot of potential, so I’ll definitely be following this.

Posted in tv, Uncategorized by Bill on August 20, 2017

The Defenders is the culmination of Netflix’s various Marvel series, and it’s pretty good, but not great. Smartly, this is only 8 episodes instead of the 13 that the other series have run. Those have all dragged a bit in the middle (the fact that we all watch them within a weekend probably makes that worse, where watching it week to week there’d be tension, watching 13 hours over a day or two makes us feel like get on with it already). Also smartly, they take a few episodes before the band gets together. Everyone gets their own little storyline leading them towards a common enemy before they connect. Probably smarter still, they spend a big chunk of time with Iron Fist on the sideline, because his series wasn’t very good and the actor isn’t very good.

Some things with mild spoilers:

  • I would find it laughable if they tried to hook up Danny and Misty in this universe, just because of the casting. She seems like a grown woman with her shit together (and, to be superficial for a moment, an amazing rack). He seems like a kid in high school who took a philosophy class.
  • The thing that happened towards the end with Misty is awesome for future Misty developments, but I think she handled that way too well. How do you not freak the fuck out when something like that happens to you? Her immediate reaction is “it’s not your fault, it’s the job.” And not “holy shit aaaaaahhhh!”
  • Krysten Ritter is still really hot and great as an alcoholic trainwreck and this show got me hyped for Jessica Jones season 2 more than anything else. But I guess The Punisher is before that.

Posted in tv by Bill on August 18, 2017

Septuplets is a failed pilot from 2003 that I stumbled across. Little did I know, it was from the writer of Bio-Dome, so with that pedigree, how could I pass it up? A couple that owns a hotel has septuplets, then skip ahead to their 16th birthday, and they’re a bunch of good-looking teenagers get into teenager hijinks at their parents hotel. Nora Zehetner (the slutty one), Maggie Grace (the romantic), and Shawn from The 4400 (the idiot surfer bro) are some of the siblings. It’s somehow both predictable and surprisingly bad, but an amusing look back at what bad TV was like 14 years ago. Stringing together hits from the era for the soundtrack, good looking but not very talented actors, dudes with frosted tips, and everyone’s white. Like, obviously the septuplets are all the same race, but so are all the guests and love interests. Lilly white. An Asian guy shows up at the tail end, but he’s it.

Posted in tv by Bill on August 16, 2017

DuckTales is DisneyXD’s reboot of one of the best cartoons of my childhood, because that’s just what we do now. Talented voice actors are replaced with celebrity voices (David Tennant as Scrooge; Bobby Moynahan, Abed, and Jean Ralphio as the  newphews; Kate Micucci as Webby; Beck Bennett as Launchpad; the black woman from the last season of Castle as Mrs. Beakley) because that’s also what we do now. Not that they’re bad (except I have a hard time understanding Donald), just feels like there’s no real purpose to it.

Anyway, it slightly modernizes the concept, but still retains the basics. Money bin, nephews, supernatural adventures and whatnot. Webby and Mrs. Beakley get to be actual characters instead of being very generically female and nothing more, which is nice. The animation is pretty good, though the colors are slightly washed out and I think it’d look nicer if it was more bright.

Without nostalgia for the original, I doubt I’d be that interested based on the pilot, but with nostalgia, it’s good enough to keep watching.