Media Month in Review – May 2014

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

Journey PS3 game

Movies:

Only anime-films this time around. Didn’t catch anything this month either. Hope to fix that with both films at home and at the cinema :-/

  • Wings of Honneamise – A film from the late 90s, feels like an attempt to speak of humanity’s woes, and how we can always be forgiven – even if we ruin Earth, we can still make it to a new clean planet, which we’ll destroy again, but on the other hand, if we just believe, we can fix it all. Definitely feels like an “end of the Cold War” sort of film, but one which presents both how we’ll keep ruining every other world as we ruined this one due to our pettiness, but also how if we but believe, it could be made better. I actually find it more than a tad boring, with only the last 30 minutes being of any real interest.

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Media Month in Review – April 2014

April was my Spring Break month, I had a lot of plans, and ended up doing nothing… oh well. Happens. Too much vacation, I guess.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

Movies:

Only anime-films this time around. I hope I’ll catch Captain America: Winter Soldier, before it leaves the cinema theatres.

  • Richard the Third – Theatre – I used to go to a lot more plays in the past. This is actually my first time hearing the tale of Richard the 3rd, in any media. It’s interesting, how most collections of Shakespeare leave out the bloody and political tragedies (Richard the 2nd, Richard the 3rd, Titus). The writing was solid, they added a certain modern decadent atmosphere that reminded me of the Titus version Anthony Hopkins starred in. The actor of Richard the 3rd was very good, but most of the other actors weren’t overly impressive. Seems they went for melodrama, on purpose. Of the three female actresses, the Queen Mother was good, but the other two were either wooden and stuck too close to their lines, or just felt out of place altogether.

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LUFTRAUSERS – The Most Important Button is the One You Don’t Press

LUFTRAUSERS is a shoot’em up, or an aerial dogfighting game, where you get to make a plane out of 3 parts (weapon, body, engine) making up 125 combinations, each with a different audio track (I assume they have 3 layers/parts, for each bit) – I personally like the nuke body (where you blow up when you die, but take extra damage from collisions) the best.

LUFTRAUSERS video game review

This game is elegant, there are a total of four buttons you can click: Right, left, up (accelerate) and “Shoot”. Nothing else. Actually, the game has 6 buttons. Right, left, pressing on accelerate, not-pressing on accelerate, pressing to shoot, and not-pressing to shoot. While it seems weird for me to note these, as we don’t talk of “not shooting” as a button in most games, there the choice is often what to shoot, or how else to circumvent an enemy (Stealth games).

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Media Month in Review – March 2014

I’ve been all sorts of busy and pre-occupied this month, which explains the relative dearth of movies watched, as well as all the editorials I said I’ll write and hadn’t. I’ll also use this entry to give a sentence or so on each of the currently airing anime I’ve watched, and there’d been a metric ton of those.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

Movies:

How to Train Your Dragon

  • How to Train Your Dragon – Had this lying around for a while, and felt like watching more films recently, so gave it a go. Yes, I love cats, and that the main dragon is so very cat-like made me go “Awww!” – It’s a small and harmless little film. It only has one real character, and no real character growth anywhere. It’s mostly there for neat moments, for gag moments, and for ye olde “Be yourself, and you’ll change the world and win the girl” message. Take it or leave it.

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Media Month in Review – February 2014

I’ve been all sorts of busy and pre-occupied this month, which explains the relative dearth of movies watched, as well as all the editorials I said I’ll write and hadn’t. I’ll also use this entry to give a sentence or so on each of the currently airing anime I’ve watched, and there’d been a metric ton of those.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

Movies:

  • Frozen – I really wanted to watch this in the cinemas, but by the time my friend and I had time, it was only airing with Hebrew dub, and we didn’t want that, so I’ve watched it on the last night of the month, at home. Man, I had so much fun. Alongside Tangle, it really feels as if Disney is getting back on the horse in recent years. The movie held no surprises for me, being able to see all plot-twists, but that’s hardly an issue. The acting was solid, and as is often the case the supporting characters who are only meant to elicit jokes stole the show. I actually didn’t like Elsa and her voice actress (Idina Menzel) too much, but since she’s essentially a supporting character (as is the case in every Disney film, only one princess is the main character, and this time it’d been Anna) it wasn’t too much of an issue. I did wish they had more songs, the song above is the only major song in the film.

    All in all though? It was a charming movie, it was beautiful, it was fun, it was funny and it made me slightly emotional. Highly recommended.
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Media Month in Review – January 2014

I’ve been all sorts of busy and pre-occupied this month, which explains the relative dearth of movies watched, as well as all the editorials I said I’ll write and hadn’t. I’ll also use this entry to give a sentence or so on each of the currently airing anime I’ve watched, and there’d been a metric ton of those.

I use this post to go over all the media consumed/experienced over the past month, with 2-4 sentences per item. A way to give short thoughts on each topic.

The Hobbit the desolation of Smaug

Movies:

  • The Hobbit part 2: The Desolation of Smaug – Definitely a film you’re going to enjoy more if you don’t remember The Hobbit as clearly as I do (though it’s been roughly two decades since I’ve last read it). It’s a fun film, with lots of “fun” moments, especially ones designed to wink at and draw people who liked the Lord of the Rings films, but I really feel as if the titular hobbit had been relegated to an unimportant role. A lot happens in this film, this lengthy film, yet afterwards it feels like nearly nothing of import did.Smaug is well done, a feat of CGI. I liked his acting, my friend didn’t, since he was a bit too smug and cold, and as he said, he seemed like a Bondian villain. That’s exactly what I expected him to be like, myself.

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Media Month in Review – December 2013

Well, I’m resurrecting my old “Media Consumption” posts. Turns out it might be hard to remember what I watched when otherwise, and it’s also an opportunity to write 2-3 sentences about something, when I might not have more to say (or don’t have the time for it). I did watch more anime than usual this month, for the sake of the “Top Anime Shows ending in 2013” list.

Movies:

  • Gravity – This movie is an experience, more than it is a plot-driven movie, and what little plot there is is focused on the very American message of the human triumph. Regardless, floating in space, seeing explosions while hearing nothing had been well-done. A good movie? Probably not. A great experience? Very much so. The use of silence had impressed me, as it always does when it’s used well.
  • Kara no Kyoukai / Garden of Sinners 1-4 – It’s interesting, to treat this as films. I’ve watched it as part of an anime watching club online, but fell behind, so hope to get one more film watched and an essay for it written every week or two. It’s a supernatural mystery thriller, it’s very artistic, very pretty. Very interesting.
  • Steins;Gate Movie (Fuka Ryouiki no Déjà vu) – This is a fan-service movie in the best sense of the word. We get more time with the characters we enjoy. In a manner very fitting with the show, we have a story quite similar to the one in the series, but now Kurisu is the one who has to go and save Okabe. It had some pacing issues, and it didn’t hit as hard as the series, but it only had 2 hours to do everything. The concept of memory alongside reminding us of stuff from the series at every turn made this a very welcome movie.

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Obtaining My Playstation Vita – A Customer Support Horror Story

PlayStation Vita illustration made in Inkscape...

In November I had a birthday, I’ve decided to buy a Sony Playstation Vita for myself as a birthday gift. Amazon had a nice Black Friday sale for the Vita – which might have pushed me to decide to buy myself a birthday gift, rather than going out there looking for a Vita and there happening to be a sale.

 

Amazon, for those who don’t know, won’t ship electronics to most countries outside of North America, and certainly doesn’t ship them to Israel. So, I’ve decided to use a deputy service, Buy2USA, an Israeli deputy service that has a very handy tool for ordering from Amazon – so long you order from Amazon, they tell you in advance exactly how much you will pay for the product, the shipping, the handling charges and the taxes – you know in advance the full sum you are expected to pay.

The product arrived, and all was well and good, but then I checked, and as part of the order I was supposed to receive codes for 3 months’ worth of PS+, and a code to download Playstation All-Stars Battle Royale, basically Sony’s answer to Nintendo’s Super Smash Bros. – I did not receive these codes. The one downside to ordering via Buy2USA from Amazon directly using the aforementioned method is that the account used to make the orders isn’t your account – it is theirs. So, these codes were supposed to be sent via email, but not to my account, but the deputy service’s.

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Steins;Gate – Who Put a Harem in My Time Travel? / Compressed Second Halves

Steins;Gate is based on a visual novel, which may explain some of the idiosyncrasies that I’ve noticed and which weirded me out while watching the show. Not all of them, mind, since some of them are probably there to keep you off your feet. A visual novel for those who don’t know is a video game which is basically a “choose your own adventure” but with less input/the choices usually being more social in nature – it is a novel told visually with some input from the user. It’s predominantly Japanese, and very often the games are romantic/erotic in nature.

Steins;Gate anime - an anime about time travel, based on a visual novel

The cast of Steins;Gate

In fact, one of the first things I noticed in the show, but at first I didn’t pay it much mind was that the main character was surrounded by women when the opening song ended, after a few episodes when I’ve realized this is a show about time-travel, alternate realities and conspiracies, this had become somewhat perplexing – why are so many characters of the cast women? Why is there basically one male surrounded by so many girls (the other male is a caricature for “unattractive”) in a non-romantic/romantic-comedy show?

(This is a Things I Like post, it’s not a review, but more a discussion of the show and of ideas that have risen in my mind as I’ve watched it. I  will probably spoil major plot points in this post.)

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Going to Pick Up Starcraft 2 – Geekography

As I begin writing this post, we are 2 hours and 35 minutes away from midnight in Israel, when Starcraft 2 will be released. For the first time, I will be going to a midnight release of a video game. Not because I’m such a huge Starcraft fan, but, why not?

The hype and excitement over Starcraft 2 is quite crazy, and it’s not like Blizzard even had to do a lot to fan it. Well, that’s not entirely true, they fanned it by not speaking too much about it, and letting gamers who were honestly excited do all the promotion on their own. This is a winning technique, when you already have people going crazy for your next release, no matter what you say or do.

Raynor. Jim Raynor. Human badass.

I really started playing serious video games in my own home when I was in fourth grade. One of the first few games I’ve received was Warcraft 2, and then its expansion (which I didn’t enjoy much with the crazy magic difficulty). I still remember after my father installed it he tried to play and couldn’t get things done, and I got things working from the first few minutes of playing the campaign – I found it intuitive; same as some years later my cousin had Age of Empires and didn’t know how to get things done, and I sat down and within a couple of minutes got the hang of the game.

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