Category Archives: Movies

300!!

How can I not mention the 300 Spartans at Thermopylae?

While 300 blog posts is not as impressive as the feat of those long-dead Spartans, as someone with a BA in history and a big interest in ancient and medieval history, I could not help it, nor did I try.

Someone posting daily for a year can easily accomplish 300 posts with over two months to spare. In my case, I started in July of 2009, almost six years to get to 300 posts. That’s only 50 posts a year. In 2014, I hit 100 and 200 posts. In 2014, when the weather got nicer, I had a lot fewer posts. When the weather got cold my output increased until November, when I participated in NaNoWriMo, Tenkar’s Landing, UCon, and in late December decided to GM for the first time at a con with Marmalade Dog 20 the first weekend in February.

It isn’t that I wasn’t writing or wasn’t being creative in some way, it just wasn’t on this blog.

I don’t have enough ideas, or the time and energy to post as often as some do, or to have the consistent quality of others. This is not my 300th written post for this blog, it is the 300th posted for this blog. I have an article ready to post for the next nine days, plus what I have started for the April, 2015 A To Z Challenge.

I will post as often as I can and strive for good ideas.

This is merely a navel gazing post, so other than mentioning Spartans that many seem to think are only a movie, or a movie based on a comic book. Few seem to know it is a real event that occurred long ago. There was a movie about the 300 in the 60’s. The acting is not good and the special effects were not outstanding, but the movement of troops give the general idea of how it must have been.

I have mentioned my character Griswald, a 10th level cleric, 10th level fighter, 11th level wizard half elf. I once estimated, based on the area of effect spells and other offensive spells he has that in a narrow area, he could kill over 500 orcs, perhaps more, by the time they got close enough for him to have to use his sword. That was assuming optimal results in his favor. Who would face such a man? One who can call down the power of his god, or evoke the mysteries of the universe, or beat you by martial skill? As long as there are hundreds or thousands of orcs more scared of their chiefs and sub-chiefs than they are scared of Griswald, that’s who.

I have yet to have a character drive a stake in the ground for a final stand. I have thought about it and planned how it might happen, but never actually played that scenario. I thought I might be playing that scenario when Griswald’s town was under siege, but they left. They will think long and hard before they try it again.

Have any of you had a character perform a rear guard action and fight to the death so that other characters could escape or defeat the bad guy?

Hobbit Battle of Five Armies

Went to see Hobbit The Battle of Five Armies yesterday.

It was good and consistent with Peter Jackson’s interpretation of Tolkien’s world.

The conclusion to the Dol Guldur situation felt rushed.

There were new creatures that made the movie different from the books in an unexpected way.

One army and one character were way late to the battle, and one army was replaced by a different army.

If you haven’t gotten over Peter Jackson changing some things so much from the books, you won’t get past these differences.

There is a lot more struggles of certain characters with their situation than in the prior movies.

If you can let it go and enjoy the movie as its own thing, you will like it.

The RPG Scene In E.T.

The one line I remember from E.T, besides “ouch”, “E li ott” and “I’ll be right here.”, is “Negative Charisma!” My friends and I all laughed at that, as Dieties and Demigods had already come out and we all knew about negative charisma.

Thanks to OSR Today, I was directed to an article about the game scene at Dungeons & Digressions, and a second article at Geeky Rant about the role of D&D in the making of the movie.

Guardians of the Galaxy

I finally saw Guardians of the Galaxy tonight.

It is very good and I recommend it.

I had not hear of this comic book series until the movie.

I’m not big on comics. I will read them if they are available to me, but I never got into spending a lot of money on them. I had my brother doing that, so I enjoyed his comics. Late 80’s/ early 90’s X-Men, The Dark Night, and a few others I don’t recall.

My one complaint was it felt rushed.

It definitely left me wanting more.

I like towards the end of the credits, there is the line: “No raccoons or tree people were harmed in the making of this motion picture.” LOL

World War Z

I finally saw World War Z on Netflix last night.

I enjoyed it. It felt a little rushed and some of it had the good guys missing clues from the zombies.

I didn’t know the movie was based on a book until the movie came out. I have not read the book, but there is a new twist on why the zombies attack.

I won’t post spoilers or give it away. It has drama and tension. It does a good job of making sense of some of it that helps with the suspension of disbelief.

If you’ve seen the previews, you know they are the fast zombies. I don’t like that idea. Must be because I’m a grumpy grognard who likes things the right way.

After I got done with the movie it said I might like the uncut version that is two minutes longer. Sigh…

Why can’t they let you know they have a longer version BEFORE you watch the shorter version. Not sure I want to watch it again right away.

Movies I Want to See

“Real Life” keeps getting in the way of movies.

The last new release I saw was Godzilla and I enjoyed it. I would have enjoyed it more if I had not heard the “review” on NPR the day of release. A review doesn’t tell the movie, it explains it. If I did a review paper for school, way back when, I would have gotten a poor grade. The movie was more true to the original Godzilla movies of my youth.

Before that, I saw Captain America, Winter Soldier. I also enjoyed that.

Anyway, the list…

  • Maleficent
  • How To Train Your Dragon
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past.
  • Amazing Spider Man II
  • Edge of Tomorrow

I have too many other activities and interests. I own a home with a yard and have a dog. All supported by my full time job.

Most of my leisure time has been directed at playing D&D with my son and his girlfriend on weekends. We have had 5 sessions, I think? It has been a lot of fun. We had to cancel last weekend, but so far, we are on for Sunday! I can’t wait.

Godzilla

I saw Godzilla today.

It was good, but I was expecting more Godzilla.

I heard part of a movie review on NPR driving home the other day, and they always tell what happened in the movie instead of reviewing it.

If I wrote a book review in high school or college and just paraphrased the book, I would get a failing grade. Why can’t they do a review that makes me want to see or not see a movie instead of telling me the bits that aren’t in the trailers?

May the 4th be With You.

I had thought about a Star Wars Marathon today, but I no longer have my old videotapes or a VCR to watch them.

I might have one DVD somewhere.

I did not find any Star Wars movies on Netflix. There is the Clone Wars series, but I was not in the mood for that.

Instead I watched season 1 of Continuum and the first 3 episodes of season 2.

I don’t have cable, so I am not up on a lot of shows.

I found it to be pretty good, but it does move fast, like most types of shows anymore.

It seems like a lot of series are into the story and tying everything together. They all try so hard to build the story to get the fan base behind them.

It seems like they are all trying to avoid leaving the characters stranded in a situation left by a cancelled show.

Not all achieve the success of Star Trek and resurrect via movies and follow on series.

Continuum deals with issues of time travel to explain how one character does not cease to exist when his grandmother is killed. It must be a new thread of time, or our models of time travel don’t know all they need to to explain it.

In general, I am very leery of time travel. It seems like all the Star Trek movies and series after a certain point came to rely on time travel. They made it too easy. Some of their stretches to make it work made it difficult at times to suspend disbelief to get into the story. So far, Continuum has done a good job with it.

There are a lot of “flashbacks” to the future to help explain the action in the current episode and it helps fill in gaps for prior episodes. There is a major trend in flashbacks in a lot of TV shows. I guess that is one way to fill in the back story for those who want more. So far, I think it works for Continuum. We’ll see how long it takes me to finish the rest of season 2.

Space Nazis – Iron Sky

I just watched the movie Iron Sky.  the premise is that the Nazis retreated to the moon in 1945, and a US mission to the moon in 2018 reveals them.

It was better than I expected. It is a comedy/farce, with the feel of a WWII movie mixed in with a bit of 007, and a dash of the advertising/propaganda business.

It was produced in Finland, Germany, Australia, and New York. It pokes fun at Nazis, America, and the UN. The UN is renamed in the movie to something else, but is a stand in for the UN.

It reveals how the rest of the world views Americans as warmongers, and not much better than the Nazis. Unfortunately, we Americans have let our leaders piss off the rest of the world so much that we need the military we have to keep them at bay.

I won’t delve into the politics further here. As an American, if you can just let the jabs at America pass, you can enjoy this movie.