Went to a midnight show Thursday and left with mixed feelings. The visual spectacle was amazing, as expected, but I was underwhelmed by the story. The music was easily the highlight of the film for me, with some amazing covers of songs I already enjoy. I snagged the soundtrack the next morning and was shocked to find that Emily Browning (Baby Doll) sang three of the tracks. Oddly enough, the more I listen to the soundtrack, the more I think I the film was better than I realized. I think a good chunk of the story is told in song, which shouldn't surprise me as I felt more story was expressed in the no-dialogue opening sequence than the entire remainder of the film. The tracks that Browning sings, in particular, have me thinking about this film far more than I ever expected to, and thinking there may be more depth to the film than the current edit of its too-simple story is able to communicate.
The film has the Inception, world within a world within a world thing going. Plus there's the problem of having an unreliable narrator. Here's my take on what's actually happening...
Spoiler for Hiden:
World 1: The bookends. Baby Doll's incarceration and lobotomy are reality. It's the glimpses of menial labor, being abused and raped, and crying yourself to sleep. This place sucks. World 2: The brothel. This is Sweet Pea's version of reality, the story she tells herself to keep from dealing with the horrors of what's actually going on. Sure, it still sucks, but there's a modicum of glitz and glamour that make things not suck quite so much. World 3: The fight scenes. This is where Baby Doll retreats as she's abused by the males in the asylum. Rather, Sweet Pea's version of Baby Doll's defense mechanism. We'll get back to that.
I think that last sequence between Blue and Baby Doll solidifies alot of this for me. There's the implication that he and the others have been abusing and raping her the entire five days it took for the Doctor to show up. Baby Doll's "hypnotic dancing" within Reality 2 is Sweet Pea's self-defence mechanism masking a staff of depraved individuals taking advantage of "fresh meat". This is why we never see the dancing and instead escape into Baby Doll's defense mechanism. She's imagining herself leading the other girls to wage war against creepy foes, because that is, in a sense, what she's doing. She's sacrificing her body as a distraction in order to procure the elements of the escape plan.
Oddly enough, this film has been sold with a "women empowerment" message, but I think if you look beyond them kicking ass in a dubious reality, there's little empowerment here.
First, three out of five die and one gets lobotomized. That's a great slogan, there. "Fight the man! 30% of you will get free!"
Second, Sweet Pea is narrating the story and is perhaps the weakest-willed of them all. Though she sees Baby Doll making sacrifices for the team, Sweet Pea is so subjugated and insecure that she can't fathom her self-proclaimed "angel" getting power from within herself. So she gets marching orders from a mystical male mentor. A mentor who just happens to take on the characteristics of Sweet Pea's bus-driving savior in the outside world. Instead of learning to stick up for herself, fight the man, and show some defiance, she sits back and lets someone with a penis talk her out of a jam. Puts the GRR! in girl, don't it?
The only character we see even remotely fight the system and exact any sort of revenge on her brutal male overlords, has to sacrifice her mind in order to make it happen. It's a choice she willingly makes, which sort of rocks for that grrl power thing, but the lyrics of the song that plays during this sequence suggest she's tired of fighting and ready to atone for accidentally killing her sister.
Anyway, I've rambled enough. I'm still digesting the film, and think another viewing with some of these concepts in mind might clarify what the film is trying, and failing, to tell me on first viewing. There's definitely more substance there to be explored, I just question whether it ultimately tells the story Snyder wanted it to. At the very least a director's commentary on the DVD should be enlightening. Either it'll clarify Snyder's intent outright and clear up misconceptions, or it'll be so full of "how we did this" that it proves lack of depth by omission.
Saw the first one in theater with whiteboyskim. Saw the second and third on DVD. Got off work early one day, swung by the liquor store and took in Afterlife in 3D while getting a nice buzz. One of the most entertaining experiences I had in the theater last year. While the booze certainly didn't hurt, I think the series sorta works because those in charge know exactly what the series is and don't shy from it. Resident Evil is a silly story with archetypal characters, iconic visuals, and ladle-full of dystopian machismo.
I could be down for another helping. Just let me bring a little something extra to help wash it down...
Personally, after the suck that was the G.I. Joe trailer I was expecting an unfaithful rendition of cartoon I grew up with that now focused on power-armoured soldiers. After seeing the film, I was pleasantly surprised at how little the power-armour factored into the story and enjoyed the homage to my childhood. For me, G.I. Joe was very similar to the J.J. Abrams edition of Star Trek - a fun romp through familiar territory to establish a new cannon. Both were obviously designed as set-up for future exploration of their universes and I honestly look forward to seeing where they take both from here.
Granted, Star Trek was a much more solid film overall and has the same creative team behind its sequel...
Quote from: MythicalMino on November 11, 2008, 12:10:43 PM
so, what do you use for terrain when you don't have any "official" terrain?
You use boxes and paper cut-outs! Seriously, my little brother and I have used cut out construction paper to represent forests and mountains and whatnot when playing Flames of War. No reason it can't work for 40K as well.
How many different types of fights can you have using that box set?
As far as kinds of fights with the Black Reach box set... depends on you, your opponent, tactics and terrain. Eventually, as you figure out the strengths and weaknesses of each unit in the set, you'll want to branch out and try some of the other units available via the codices. IMO, either of the faction's Battleforce boxes would be nice additions to what you've already got. Both would bolster your troop choices, supply a dedicated transport to play with, and let you try out more specialty troops. Don't be afraid to proxy and/or borrow models before you purchase them. It's a great way to see if a unit that looks great on paper works with your play style.
That being said, I'm building a DIY Space Marine chapter right now with virtually no experience playing them. Four SM Battleforce boxes at it's core, it's pretty much the Chapter's 1st and 5th Companies combined. But... I'm a bit mental.
Quote from: Destructor on November 12, 2008, 04:31:58 AM
My only question though is this - we're already short our 5th member of the group (Lockdown with his Wizard). We really could use his class, and I don't know if Crayola ever heard back from...um...the guy who wanted to join our little troupe of players. What do we, with our remaining party, want to do? Something tells me that without our multi-target specialist, things could quickly get ugly.
'twas Starshifter. He was open to playing, but has his kids on our old schedule. If you guys switched weekends, I'm pretty sure you could pick him up.
And Crayola - I'd love to at least have access to what you've used in the past so far as far as your wonderful dungeons and overland maps went. Would make things substantially easier if I ever decided to run this scenario with some of my non-local friends.
No problem. I'll need to gather everything. You have Photoshop?
So, some of you may have noticed I've been absent a bit lately. Part of that is due to a changing work schedule. Part of that is due to focusing my free time on creative endeavors. And part of that... well. Let me explain.
Niki, my wife, has congenital heart defects. Basically, there were a multitude of errors during fetal development that have needed various surgical fixes over the years for a grand total of 16 surgeries (17 after today), two of which have been open-heart. To say she shouldn't get pregnant is an understatement. Not because her eggs or uterus are bad, but because the increase in blood volume during pregnancy would likely kill her.
With that in mind, we've been considering surrogacy for quite some time. Several months ago I went to the lab where I was led into a sparse chamber with chair and sink and told to do my part. In the movies, the guy is always given a choice of magazines, videos, or other assistive materials to aid in their donation. Let me tell you right now, movies are liars. If it wasn't for an active imagination, an iPhone, and several years of practice, our hopes of pregnancy would've been dashed right then and there.
Early last month, after a couple weeks of administering her own injections I had the honor of giving my wife her "trigger shot." I figured if we're gonna get pregnant, I should've "poked her" at least once. Thirty-six hours later, the doc was driving a needle into her ovaries to harvest as many eggs as possible. Later that day, our genetics met and some of the eggs fertilized. Five days later, we transferred two textbook looking embryos into LD's (our surrogate's) womb.
A week later, the first pee-sticks began to show signs of life. Blood test follow-ups (Beta HcG, IIRC) had numbers through the roof and doubling as they're supposed to. We were pregnant!
Last week, LD started feeling crampy as if something was wrong. She went to the doctor to get things checked out and was greeted by the following:
Now, a smart man would look upon that and see two egg sacs. I looked upon it and realized we're having a robot:
Seriously, look back at the original and tell me he's not there!
The doc told LD everything was going great, and her cramping was just her body getting used to the idea of two embryos deciding to stick around. I told her it was 'cause she wasn't drinking enough motor oil to appease little Wall-E.
Last Friday, November 7th, Niki and I drove to Oklahoma (where LD lives) to see the first "official" ultrasound. Up on a big flat-screen TV, hopes of my very own R2-D2 were dashed as the two eyes had distinctly transformed into two much larger embryonic sacs. Peering into the first, a small blip within an oblong shape flickered binarilly between bright and dark. Niki and I were not looking at a robot. We were beholding the heartbeat of a flesh-and-blood child. Our child. It was truly one of the most amazing things I have ever witnessed. A beating heart in a tiny us only half a centimeter long. With a matching flicker in the sac next door! We've got two healthy hearts beating within LD's belly!
Wow! We are officially expecting twins!
The doctor labelled our pictures #1 and #2, while saying that they typically call them "Baby A" and "Baby B." We explained that we were fine with that, as we'd already taken to calling them "Thing 1 and Thing 2" anyway. Niki's an elementary school librarian, so she considers the The Cat in the Hat reference fitting instead of silly. My suggestions of "Gork and Mork" or "Tomax and Xamot" were quickly vetoed. LD wants to call them "Boomer" and "Sooner," but I have promised a swift kick to the shins should that happen.
Thing 1 is measuring in at 0.52 cm with a heart rate of 111:
Thing 2 is measuring in at a hefty 0.55 cm with a heart rate of 110:
With those numbers, we've determined that babies are healthy and spot-on with where they should be. Well, Thing 2 measures a day older than he actually is, but somebody has to be the overachiever.
Anyway, that's what's up with me. Now, if you'll excuse me I need to get the wife off to another lead revision. *sigh* That's a whole 'nother story...
Anyone who hasn't read them should try Eaters of the Dead and The Great Train Robbery. Easily his best books as they don't suffer the typical, "Crap! We're a week from deadline and I'm 100 pages out!" feeling you get from most of his works. Being based on another work of fiction and a true story, respectively, I'm guessing it made nailing the ending a bit easier for him.
That being said, he had a great creative mind that told interesting and entertaining stories. He just seemed to have trouble sticking the dismount.
I'm around. Just... busy. And not looking forward to writing this post...
I'm gonna have to postpone the game indefinitely.
The majority of the problem is work. They're adamant that I go back to every-other weekend effective immediately. Unfortunately, real life commitments make it difficult to find large blocks of gaming time on the non-working weekends. I'm going to keep an eye out for a pattern of free-time that might suit our needs, but right now I'm not hopeful.
If someone wants to take over where we've left off, I'll be happy to hand over all the appropriate files and notes. Heck, I can even continue to update macros. Finding time to do the upkeep and maps isn't the problem. It's finding the time to PLAY. Unless you all have every Wednesday off, then we're good to go!
I'm just sick about this. I had hoped to stave off the work changes until the end of the year so you guys could finish this module. Alas, that's not going to be possible. Again, if anyone can/wants to take over, I'll give 'em everything I've got, teach 'em the software, etc. The team deserves to complete the adventure. You're a motley crew, but you're awesome.
Quote from: MythicalMino on November 07, 2008, 03:53:40 PM
Orks vs. Space Marines.
7 Space Marines let loose with a volley of boltgun fire, landing 5 hits. Out of those 5 hits, 3 rolls to wound. Now what do I do? This is where I get stuck. Armor Piercing confuses me quite a bit for some reason. The Ork Boyz have a sv of 6+, the bolt gun has an AP of 5. From how I am reading it, I automatically take away 3 Orc Boyz due to them not getting a saving throw because of the Marines' AP rating for their weapons. Am I correct? Or does Armor Piercing play a different role? Not sure....
You've got the right of it. That's why AP3 is the "holy grail" of shooting. It's enough to erase a Space Marine's armour save. It's also why cover saves are so much better for Orks, Imperial Guard and other light-armour troops in 5th edition.
Being shot with AP- weapons: Ork: "I'm in rubble. I'll forgo my 6+ armour save for the 4+ cover. Awesome!" SM: "I'm in rubble, but I'll keep my 3+ armour save, thank you."
Being shot with AP3 weapons: Ork: "I'm in rubble. I'll still take my 4+ cover save. Thanks!" SM: "Well, you've negated my 3+ armour save, guess I'll finally benefit from cover. *grumble, grumble*"
Orks and Space Marines have the two most recent codices out, so they're both fun armies to play with all the latest bells and whistles. Once you've figured out which one suits your play style the best, you'll have a blast expanding that Black Reach force to a 3000 point Apocalypse ready behemoth. Be warned, though. It's addictive. I've got more plastic crack staring at me from across the room than I know what to do with.
Quote from: lildrgn on November 04, 2008, 04:51:24 AM
Thanks again for the thoughts. I've had a really shitty day, but at the end of the day, I got to come home to kids and family. We are scheduled for a 6:15 check in with surgery starting about 7:30am. It's a 5 hour or so surgery, though the doc says he's had it done in 3 hours before.
In the off chance that you get to read this before leaving or soon enough for it to matter...
It's gonna be a LONG 3-5 hours. I suggest, right after they wheel him back, you and your wife go grab a bite to eat. Leave your cell number(s) with the staff, but go to whatever's within 5-10 minutes of the hospital and grab some breakfast. 1) He's in capable hands and you and your spouse's proximity to events won't change a thing. 2) It'll pass some time. 3) It's easy to forget to take care of YOU while you're waiting on a loved one in surgery. Trust me, I've done it more than my fair share.
If you've got a book, DS, laptop with wi-fi access, bring 'em. Bring 'em all. I've found my mood can be fickle while waiting on surgery and what I can concentrate on changes with each one. Having options helps.
Good luck with Rye, Haley and the gang. It's gonna be a nerve-wracking and exhausting experience, but you'll get through this.
Quote from: Destructor on October 31, 2008, 03:42:52 AM
Thanks as always for being DM, Crayola. And I'll see you all on Saturday. Assuming I can pull myself away from Fallout, anyway.
I've got good news, bad news and good news.
Good news - You get to play Fallout! Bad news - some real life issues have come up and I'm going to be unavailable to host this weekend. Good news - you all get more time to figure out what you want for leveling up.
Sorry guys. I'll do my best to make sure real life doesn't interfere with the next session.
Once the ability to play comes online, I expect it'll be at standard MMORPG pricing. After all, if all the tools function as advertised, you're basically playing in an invite-only, custom-built MORPG. (First M removed 'cause only a fool of a took would run more than 7-8 players.)
Quote from: Rumpy on October 10, 2008, 10:18:55 PM
Yeah, too much salt is no good. Not to mention too much salt can bring your blood pressure higher. I've got a friend who can't have a grain of salt, if you can imagine. His body can't process it. He's got a kidney disease.
Had a patient once whose heart was incredibly weak. Her LV EF, more or less a measurement of how efficient your heart is at pumping blood to your body, was officially "less than 10%." I heard a doctor tell her that if he caught her adding salt to her food he'd have her arrested for attempted suicide. At first I was , then I was .
Whatever you do, Daehawk, make sure they/you catch and analyze one of those stones. Drinking lotsa water is a good start towards minimizing your risk of future stones. Hopefully, if you can get these last several out and analyze one, your diet changes and any further suggestions based on the stone will see you through to a clean bill of health.
I'm going to say this group is pretty well maxed out but we've switched to an every other week thing more or less and I've been thinking about trying my hand at DM in the new Forgotten Realms module on Sundays on our regular game off weeks. I have to figure out how Crayola does all the stuff he does with Maptool and I'd probably like to keep the party to 5 or under excluding myself as the DM and I do know of at least one other guy who would probably be up for it who isn't in the group now. I don't want to commit to it yet as I haven't had time to mess with the creative part of maptool, if it does happen look for a November start time.
Right now, I'm gonna have to agree. I think we're at a sweet spot with PCs at the moment. Easy enough for me to manage/scale encounters and few enough PCs that folks shouldn't be getting too bored waiting on their turns. If Rich is able to set up a secondary game, I'd jump on that. It's definitely a fun system. If you wanted to sit in on (observe) a game or two, that's easy enough to arrange. Heck, if you play nice I could probably let you run some monsters or something.
Rich, I'm all ears for any questions you've got re: maptool. Here, PM, e-mail, or could even arrange a tutorial q&a session in-program if you like. Just let me know what you'd like.
Quote from: Destructor on October 10, 2008, 02:36:50 PM
Making the maps is easy enough (just gotta draw them first - which can be the hard part actually), but I'll be damned if I know how Crayola makes interactive objects like that.
And while I'd love to join on a second game, Sundays just don't work for me (work until 6pm PST). So that'll at least free up my spot for somebody else to play.
Finally - yeah, I'll be leaving Rhakos as the Batmobile for now. What a strange image that conjures up...
Interactive objects are easy. Basically, you've got your base map image with everything set up to whatever you want your default to be. For the map you guys are on, that's with doors open, tapestries pulled down, secret passages revealed, etc. Then, you change everything to its other state in your image program and make a map out of that. Break that image into several small images of just the changes. These smaller images get set as "objects" instead of "tokens." In the objects layer, you move them so they line up with the background map image. Once that's done, all you have to do is go to the objects layer and toggle whether the small image is visible to players or not. Makes opening doors, closing iron maidens and picking up books a snap.
A few images, just to clarify the words... You may recognize it as where you guys met Balgrom. The first image is the default map. The second image is four of the small images that are placed as "objects." The last is what it looks like after you've lined up the images and set those objects to visible. It's pretty simple.
My biggest problem is the making of the maps. I basically set far too high a bar for myself and they take WAY too long to make. I'm considering, for future adventures and/or to finish this one, doing some sets of "hand drawn" tiles that make it look like an old school drawn map that you'd play on. Would make it a bit more modular for me, but I'd also have to start providing more audible description for areas...
While I'd tend to agree with your wife that a litho is better than weeks of pain and the possibility of death, I can't pretend to know what you're going through. And I wish you nothing but the best possible outcome in whatever decision you do end up making.
Have they studied the stones to see what kind they are? Typically there's diet and/or medication changes you can make to reduce the risk of getting further stones. Not always, but I'd think it's certainly worth looking into.
Honestly, if you've got a good bar (or if the place you and Moliere play pool has a well stocked bar), I'd sit down with the bartender and tell them what you've told us. Jack Daniels isn't for you, you've had some bourbon that piqued your interest, can't recall what brand it was, but you're willing to taste and learn what makes a good bourbon. As long as it's not during their peak busy hours, any good bartender should be happy to help you find something you enjoy drinking. After all, a happy customer is a well tipping customer.
Being honest that you're a noob comes across far less foolish than obviously faking that you know what you're doing/what you want.
If I lived closer, I'd be very in for this. I recently added The D6 Generation to my list of podcasts, and I'm hankering for a resurgence of game nights. (And am chomping at the bit to try out the new Battlestar Galactica game.)
I still haven't made up my mind yet on what to take for my feat but I'm thinking group tactics right now. My utility power is shit basically and I only have the one choice on that front.
I'm guessing Tumble?
Couldn't tell if you were using "group tactics" as the name of a feat or in the general sense. Since I only see "Group Insight" as a Heroic tier feat, I'm gonna venture to guess general sense. So, what feat you want?
Quote from: USMC Kato on September 26, 2008, 02:09:13 PM
When I am president (with dogmeat as my chief of staff), I will make bud light lime the only beer available in the U.S.
It's a shame you'll be assassinated before the election...
Though, as the V.P. on your ticket PeteRock will win in a landslide of mourning, easily becoming the first truly fabulous POTUS. And that fabulosity will move mountains. He will give Americans strength, humility and entertainment with weekly "fireside treatises." He and Simba will lead America, by example, to a new age of love, understanding, and agility training. And he will unite Palestine and Israel over pool, beer, and home-made pasta ribs with shaved chocolate. It will be the dawning of the third age of mankind. And Kato's love of a crappy beer will make it happen.
Thank you USMC Kato. For all you have done. And all you will do.