Is This Just Me?

Is this just me, or does everybody secretly wish for an alien invasion? Or something of that ilk, the kind of situation where a person could credibly sacrifice himself against tremendous odds to save the world?

Where a man could carve a legend for himself simply by standing up to the powerful oppressors and saying no?

Where a population could rise up and unanimously tell the invaders "No more. I reject you. With a Molotov cocktail!"

No? Just me?

Yeah, I figured as much.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Tron Legacy

Okay, first things first, this post is wielding some pretty hefty spoilers about Tron Legacy. If this will annoy you, please skip this post.

Oh, wait, hang on.

No it doesn't. Theres nothing to spoil.

I'm being deadly serious. EVERYTHING IN THIS FILM GOES EXACTLY HOW YOU THINK IT WILL! My expectation were subverted a grand total of once, and that was five minutes into the film!

I mean, come on Kevin, you're an intelligent man, we saw that in the original Tron, are we seriously expected to believe that you created a digital version of yourself, tasked with creating a perfect world when you clearly have no idea what perfection even means, neither did you apparently lay in any morality limits in this copy, and didn't at any point consider that this was going to go badly? You see Kevin talk to his son, Sam (I'll deal with you in a moment, right now I'm mocking your fathers poor decisions) I mean, I get that in the original film, he used a similar tactic to uncover Dillingers theft. But seriously, that was a program operating a data search! Not something given the ridiculously vague and unrealistic goal of computing perfection! Why the bloody hell didn't you give him cybernetics and program him to announce himself with "Resistance is Futile, You will be Assimilated!" And then theres what this character has turned into in the intervening time between the two films. A fucking linux-hippy. "Sam, you're seriously starting to mess with my zen here..."

And then theres Sam. We see him breaking into Encom, avoiding cameras, hacking it's mainframe and just being a general badass from motorcycles to parachutes. I had such hopes his fathers company had been taken out of his control, that he was resorting to these tactics to get back at the cruel businessmen that were perverting his fathers work...then, after a scene where the camera pans around sam standing atop a crane that towers above a city in a way so reminiscient of assassins creed I was expecting him to jump into a pile of hay, it turns out he's the majority shareholder and can assume control of the board whenever he likes. Everything wrong with Encom is wrong because he lets it be wrong, cause at 27, he's still a bloody child who "can't handle the responsibility."

Ladies and Gentleman, our hero.

Anyway, predictably enough, he winds up in the Grid (the virtual reality) That's fine. We see him captured, take a tour of the Crapsack world the grid has become (again, fine, we wanna see the pretty 3-d graphics that cost an extra £2) After fighting two opponents at Megahyper Death Edition Frisbee, he comes up against an opponent who drastically outclasses him and is clearly an unstoppable badass. He has TWO frisbees dammit! Gee, I wonder who that could be...

Anyway, long story short, Sam's beaten, captured and we're introduced to Clu, the villian of this piece. Theres a horribly written scene where Sam thinks this man, who looks just like his father when he disappeared is in fact his father (despite the fact everything he says screams Eviiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiil...) until Clu decides that Sam is a pointless distraction and that the best way to deal with him is engaging in...lightcycle combat?

Now don't get me wrong. The following lightcycle scene is gorgeous, gripping, entertaining edge of your seat action. But Clu spends the whole film as a card carrying villian? Why the need for a fair contest? (even if sam's team were on slower lightcycles...) It's not like he cares about inciting a revolution, he's an effing despot taking every program he can get his hands on and turning them into a soldier. So, despite being on worse lightcycles, Sam still manages to kick ass and play videogames (but he's all out of quarters), before his bike is destroyed by Clu.

Small gripe here. We see Sam try to save his teammate, who came off his cycle by throwing the rod that it contains to him, only to see said teammate killed before he can throw it. Sam now has a spare lightcycle in his pocket. Clearly this is significant, he can use it in a close situation, or hell, use it 3 minutes later when his own bike is destroyed! What do the writers do with this clearly planted chekov's gun? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It's never mentioned again, EVER.

Of course, at this point we're introduced to Fanservice, #ahem# I mean Quorra, a clearly optimistic naive girl with prodigious talents. A load of pointless exposition happens that basically just serves to fill in some backstory for a bunch of superspecial awesome programs who were completely destroyed and eradicated by clu. Huh. Guess they won't be making an appearance in this film then... This is of course filled with glaringly obvious glances at Quorra. Wonder what that could possibly mean?

Christ, I'm bitching. Before I go any further, I should reiterate, Tron Legacy is a good film, a fun film, hell, I'll say a film worth your money. But theres some pretty dumb moves, storytelling wise. But hey, it's a disney film, we knew that going in.

Oh, and Kevin Exposition Flynn also lets us know Tron, the eponymous character from the first film is dead. Derezzed, deleted. He's gone people...won't be seeing him in this film. At all. #Head slams off nearest object that isn't expensive laptop#

Anyway, blah blah pointless argument, blah blah explain villian plot, blah blah blah defiance blah nightclub with added fanservice blah blah fight scene blah blah fucking blah. Seriously, I'm not explaining the plot here, just go and watch the film.

We get the #snort# big reveal that Quorra is the last of the super special awesome programs who can change the world. Then we skip to lots of awesome fight scenes and the revelation that double frisbee guy is actually Tron reprogrammed by Clu. Wow, that one almost surprised me Disney! Oh, and you know something, we're supposed to see Sam become a powerful fighter in this film, since off screen it shows him kicking the crap out of an entire detachment of guards that are protecting the magical mcguffin plot device.

Theres a whole load of cgi overload, which is awesome, culminating in Sam escaping the grid, backing it up on a fricken memory stick (The grid is what, less then 32 Gb?) before restoring the thing to it's former glory. Theres some touchy feely crap before he leaves the arcade to see Quorra. Did she materialise outside for no reason? What the hell?????

Again, Tron Legacy is a good film, that I really enjoyed. But every character comes across as incompetent or pointless, or both. Mr tech savvy Sam Flynn has never stopped to persue TV Tropes and got a hint of Genre Savvy? Theres suspension of disbelief, then theres taking the piss.

So, Tron Legacy, a good film, a pretty film, a terrible piece of writing.

Oh, and don't see it in 3d, trust me. 3-d makes films a lot darker by neccessity of how it works (the glasses cut out light) and Tron is already a VERY dark film. Theres points where you're straining to tell if the character is SUPPOSED to be silhouetted, or if it's just a side effect of the glasses you payed £1 for.

Anyway, NerdRage(tm) vented, see you next time. Oh, and sorry for the long delay, but this was a long post to make up for it.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Mysterious Emails and Various Musings

In a rather bizarre twist of fate, I recieved a rather interesting email tonight, from a Colin Riley at Simon and Schuster publishing:


I am writing from Simon and Schuster publishing and we were wondering if you would be interested in receiving free copies of our new titles like Percy Jackson? No strings attached. If you like the book and would like to post a review of it that is up to you also we can, on occasion, provide free books for your site to host a giveaway for your loyal readers. Let me know if you are interested.

Simon and Schuster"

Now, I should probably make clear at this point that as an afficionado of greek mythology and teenage fiction that lacks sparkly vampires, The Percy Jackson books are among the best series I've ever read, and the film actually wasn't half bad either, (I await a sequel eagerly.) Hell, I even wrote a relatively decent Original Character fanfic over on that went over pretty well, which I might actually write the last chapter of one of these days. (Yes, I am this lame. No, I won't link you to my fanfiction profile, those were dark days left long ago, I have no real wish to revisit them beyond completing the story)

For those of you that don't know, the Percy Jackson Series follows the premise that Greek Gods exist and continue to, much like in the myths of Ancient Greece and Rome, bang hot girls and guys on earth, producing children, or Half Bloods, who possess various powers, as well as ADHD and dyslexia. These children are taken to a training camp/summer camp in New York State, learning how to harness their powers, and tend to go on quests of various magnitude. I'll leave the rest of the plot to you.

Seriously, go read it.

Drive to a bookstore/library right now and get a hold of The Lightning Thief.

No, don't finish reading this blog first, go now. I'll still be here when you get back.

Right, so I'm left to wonder, can this possibly be legitimate? It seems like a dream come true, and the email does suggest it's authenticity. On the other hand, my "website" can only be this blog, a blog which only came into existence a week ago, and contains only two page views that weren't me testing the blog. (Person in america who's reading, please leave a comment, or drop me an email, that would be brilliant.)

But hey, if it's legit, I'm all in favour. This would be a fantastic development in my life.

In other news, I've discovered there are few ways of changing your image for the better that are more effective then the simple purchase of a hat. I've always been nervous in the past about altering my image, I rather enjoy being entrenched in the "Casual yet totally smart for all circumstances" shtick. So when I bought a hat from my local alternative fashion centre, I couldn't help but wonder if I could pull it off.

The moral of the story: if you want to change your image, don't worry about pulling it off, just do it, swagger into work/school/lectures like you own the place, then 9 times of 10, people will like it.

Disclaimer: The previous statement does not extend to the wearing of mankinis or breaking school uniforms.

Anyway, that's about all I have time for, so till next post, good bye, adieu, etcetera.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Archer's Tales

One of the things you might be surprised to know about me is that I've recently taken up Archery as a sport. (Note: Archery constitutes a sport because pulling a 40 pound bow 60-100 times in an afternoon is physically taxing. Darts does not.)

Anyway, I've been learning how to shoot a bow for a little over a month now, and I'm finally starting to get to a stage where I can feel a little proud of my achievement. I'm not a good shot yet, but I'm getting there, slowly and surely. Getting the arrows in the target really is a nice feeling.

It's really hard to describe why I enjoy it so much. Partly it's the sense of history, learning a skill that was a vital part of like in the past, a skill that demonstrated time and again that training, dedication and adaptibility can trump better technology. (See Battle of Agincourt, yes crossbow enthusiasts, I am mocking you.)

In other news, my mind continues to astonish me. Apparently the sense of guilt at having overslept and missed half a lecture last Wednesday is strong enough to function as an Alarm Clock, actually waking me up 5 minutes before the alarm I set went off. While this does raise some slightly interesting questions about my mental state, I can't help but revel in my subconcious work ethic. If only this would translate into concious work ethic (problem sheets will no longer be left until tuesday night however, it's too much a pain in the arse to work at that time of night)

If you're still reading at this point, congratulations. You're either incredibly interested in the bizarre ramblings of a guy with far too much time on his hands (and entirely too much caffiene and sugar in his system to go to sleep just yet) or you're a crossbow enthusiast reading to the bottom in order to leave a scathing comment.

Bring it on.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hello, and welcome to the blog of a boy of questionable sanity

Hello, and welcome to the first post of the first blog I've ever written. Within this hallowed tome, I shall disclose all my deepest neuroses and shocking, shocking truths. You will learn things that you never expected, in your wildest dreams, to discover.

Actually, in all honesty, it's more likely that you'll learn that I'm a bit odd, and into slightly unusual stuff.

On the plus side, anyone who knows me and reads this may find themselves discovering shocking truths about my flatmates, my friends, and the arseholes I have to deal with day to day.

On the other hand, I'll probably also be complaining about you, as well.

However, returning to my original reason for creating this blog, as you may have guessed from the URL, (and possibly the Title of the blog, if you went to school) I'm a physicist who loves shakespeare.

That's about all I can be bothered to post today, I'll be posting quasi-linguistic-scientific rants the next time I'm sufficiently hacked off.