Microsoft Gaming: Rendering concrete is overrated, jump in the shark t…

Morby
Sep 6, 2007

Double Trouble

Denzine posted:

I hope Microsoft frees up that last 2% and releases an upgraded Kinect that does all of its own processing. I think it’s the last change they could make without just killing the console and the Games division.

If they did enhance the Kinect, I’d be pissed as an early adopter. You know they wouldn’t offer a trade in or replacement. The Kinect is a peripheral forced into the box that you have to pay for, even if you never plan to actually use it at all. It’s dumb.

Awesome! posted:

Can’t wait to see how hot that kinect gets. The current one is like as hot as the goddamn power brick.

And I am again reminded that the Xbone power brick is somehow bigger than the 360 power brick. Why the gently caress do I need a power brick for a device in The Year of Our Lord 2014?!

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Jan 29, 2014 05:29

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Equilibrium
Mar 19, 2003

Insert weirdly angry & overly invested post about how Alliance are all bastards and Prophet/LD/etc. are ruining the game.


I thought the Kinect 2.0 already had on-board processing, that’s why it gets hotter than a TrackIR. I can’t find much more about it than this though.

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Jan 29, 2014 05:39

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Awesome!
Oct 17, 2008

’nuff said.


I think it does some but not everything.

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Jan 29, 2014 05:42

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Fallom
Sep 6, 2008

M3wThr33 posted:

Competition is fine. Thinking they need to sell equally is not.

The anti-consumerist aspects of the Xbone really lend to the idea that we’d all be better off if it either didn’t exist or didn’t sell nearly well enough to even be considered a competitor. We’re not just talking about SNES vs Genesis here. They’re competing as multimedia services but one is ramming its foot into everyone’s balls while people say “May the best man win” and ignore it.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 05:45

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GB_Sign
Oct 9, 2012

From the Forbes article linked earlier re: ESO. The number one defense I have seen so far has been, “Well you are going to have Gold anyway so what does it matter.” I guess a lot of people love to pay twice to access things.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 05:54

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Arms_Akimbo
Sep 29, 2006

It’s so damn…literal.


I really don’t get who MS is targeting with their ads anymore. On 360 this week, the big ad is an exclusive DLC for COD Ghosts that let’s you kill aliens. Its basically Halo 5: Ghosts 2, and why does anyone care if its exclusive? They already own your console if they’re looking at the ad. Then there’s the obligatory Xbone ad that, since they’re out of games to promote, is now a screengrab from Star Trek Into Darkness, because why would anyone rent that movie from redbox for $2 when they can put a $500 machine in their living room and rent it for $5.99? And the icing on the cake is an ad telling you that to get ready for the Super Bowl, you should stock up on…pre-cooked breakfast sausage? What the gently caress? Who is their market here?

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?
Jan 29, 2014 05:56

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Chamber 9
Apr 5, 2008


I have a sneaking suspicion install times are long because xbones download the digital version from the live store and pretend it came from your disc. Given how strict the DRM was supposed to be, the last minute changes, and the significantly longer install times, this is the only explanation I can come up with.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 06:04

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Oneiros
Jan 12, 2007


She told me
how you placed
the stars in the sky.

Arms_Akimbo posted:

I really don’t get who MS is targeting with their ads anymore. On 360 this week, the big ad is an exclusive DLC for COD Ghosts that let’s you kill aliens. Its basically Halo 5: Ghosts 2, and why does anyone care if its exclusive? They already own your console if they’re looking at the ad. Then there’s the obligatory Xbone ad that, since they’re out of games to promote, is now a screengrab from Star Trek Into Darkness, because why would anyone rent that movie from redbox for $2 when they can put a $500 machine in their living room and rent it for $5.99? And the icing on the cake is an ad telling you that to get ready for the Super Bowl, you should stock up on…pre-cooked breakfast sausage? What the gently caress? Who is their market here?

When I was in the grocery store yesterday I noticed that Microsoft has bought ad space for the xbone on canned foods. Chef Boyardee, specifically.

I don’t know what the gently caress they were thinking.

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Jan 29, 2014 06:04

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KakerMix
Apr 8, 2004

whoops


Xbox, bing sausage!

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?
Jan 29, 2014 08:39

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Alan Smithee
Jan 3, 2005

From the greatest bedroom filmmaker of our times, director of “Wigga Please”, “Feminazis II: Space Master Race”, comes “Video Game: The Movie: The Game: The Movie”. Directed by Alan Smithee. Written by Alan Smithee. Starring Alan Smithee. Produced by Skoolmunkee


It’s a step up from Doritos but not by much. I will admit to having eaten the stuff out of habit, it’s good to be the king what can I say

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?
Jan 29, 2014 08:51

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Argas
Jan 13, 2008
SRW Fanatic

GB_Sign posted:

From the Forbes article linked earlier re: ESO. The number one defense I have seen so far has been, “Well you are going to have Gold anyway so what does it matter.” I guess a lot of people love to pay twice to access things.

Nah, they just like lording their ‘dedication’ to gaming over people. What kind of gamer isn’t always subbed? Pretenders, that’s who. In their eyes, there’s the actual ‘real’ gamers and people who pretend to be into gaming. It’s like those people who accuse girls of just pretending to be into games.

The people who want to play ESO without XBL Gold? Guess they’re just not real gamers.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 08:55

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Mordaedil
Oct 25, 2007

Yup, that’s a skjold all right.


I just don’t understand how a console generation will work if they are having performance problems with games out of the gate.

And I don’t mean bugs in the games, I mean literally the games are pushing the limits of the technology and what the hell does this mean for the future? Are we really going to be stuck with a system that can’t allow progression or pushing the limit of the systems as they should be capable of?

I don’t get modern gaming.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 08:59

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Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

SURPRISE


I noticed that I’ve seen multiple Playstation 4 tech demos like the Knack physics one and the old man one. But has the Xbone done any tech demos at all? Are they too busy yelling TV! to go “Oh yeah this is what our console can do”.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 09:01

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Nevett
Aug 31, 2001

I’m fine. Everything’s fine like wine.

Mordaedil posted:

I just don’t understand how a console generation will work if they are having performance problems with games out of the gate.

And I don’t mean bugs in the games, I mean literally the games are pushing the limits of the technology and what the hell does this mean for the future? Are we really going to be stuck with a system that can’t allow progression or pushing the limit of the systems as they should be capable of?

I don’t get modern gaming.

It’s always this way. Compare Perfect Dark Zero to GTA V. Developers always improve performance over time as they better understand and optimize against console hardware.

Now to be fair, those other consoles weren’t x86-based PC-lites. But you can expect improvements.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 09:23

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A shrubbery!
Jan 16, 2009
I LOOK DOWN ON MY REAL LIFE FRIENDS BECAUSE OF THEIR VIDEO GAME PURCHASING DECISIONS.

I’M THAT MUCH OF AN INSUFFERABLE SPERGLORD



I wonder if there was any legal requirement for them to not mention the Elder Scrolls Online’s subscription cost on the Xbone in that news article. They just say the Bone version requires XBL Gold, while the PS4 version has the subscription that’s also in the PC and Mac versions. They don’t explicitly say the Xbone version has 2 subscriptions to pay, though that must be the case, right?

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Jan 29, 2014 10:05

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Delusibeta
Aug 7, 2013

Ularg posted:

I noticed that I’ve seen multiple Playstation 4 tech demos like the Knack physics one and the old man one. But has the Xbone done any tech demos at all? Are they too busy yelling TV! to go “Oh yeah this is what our console can do”.

There was that Black Rock thing that Microsoft is now retroactively claiming was a demo while they set the studio on the task of making yet another Gears game.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 10:25

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Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

SURPRISE

Delusibeta posted:

There was that Black Rock thing that Microsoft is now retroactively claiming was a demo while they set the studio on the task of making yet another Gears game.

Was there ever any footage?

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?
Jan 29, 2014 10:30

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Peel
Dec 3, 2007

Heaven-Piercing Spiral

Fallom posted:

The anti-consumerist aspects of the Xbone really lend to the idea that we’d all be better off if it either didn’t exist or didn’t sell nearly well enough to even be considered a competitor. We’re not just talking about SNES vs Genesis here. They’re competing as multimedia services but one is ramming its foot into everyone’s balls while people say “May the best man win” and ignore it.

I’m inclined to agree with this.

Everyone is scared they’ll produce another PS3 if they have another PS2, but forgets that they produced the PS2 after the PS1. And the intense competition of the SNES/Mega Drive era led to two failures in the next generation that SEGA and Nintendo never recovered from.

Sony is clearly capable of making good consoles even after successful generations, and having learned a very painful lesson with the PS3 I doubt they’re eager to repeat that experience, if there even is a next generation as we’d recognise it. And they still have to compete with much easier and cheaper to use PCs, or the possibility of just playing cheap tablet/phone games.

Meanwhile it would be best if everyone learned that intrusive DLC and microtransactions, heavy advertising, DRM and games like Lococycle are not a good way to make money, but instead cultivating a good environment for developers and promoting games like Flower/LBP/TLoU alongside more conventional titles.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 10:32

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Lucy Heartfilia
May 31, 2012

Step 1: A anime with a friend.
Step 2: A anime to keep the cold out.
Step 3: A anime too much.
Step 4: Drunk and riotous.
Step 5: The summit attained. Jolly companions, a confirmed waifu.
Step 6: Poverty and Disease.
Step 7: Forsaken by Friends
Step 8: Desperation and crime
Step 9: Death by suicide


If Microsoft and Nintendo stop producing consoles, there will still be enough competition: smartphones, tablets, smart TVs and, of course, the PC.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 10:33

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Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012


The way competition is supposed to work is that if one competitor makes a mistake they’re punished for it.

Microsoft doesn’t necessarily need to be forced out of games business, but they do need to be sent home with their tail between their legs.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:03

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SBJ
Apr 10, 2009
Probation
Can’t post for 7 days!

Platystemon posted:

Microsoft doesn’t necessarily need to be forced out of games business, but they do need to be sent home with their tail between their legs.

Xbox, go home.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:04

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Platystemon
Feb 13, 2012


Gone Home 2, available only on Xbox −1.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:14

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Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

SURPRISE

I saw an interview for Plants vs Zombies Garden Warfare and I got kind of excited for it when they said it’ll only be available on the 360 and Xbone. Welp, so much for that.

The exclusives Microsoft are moneyhatting are just weird.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:21

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Mordaedil
Oct 25, 2007

Yup, that’s a skjold all right.

Nevett posted:

It’s always this way. Compare Perfect Dark Zero to GTA V. Developers always improve performance over time as they better understand and optimize against console hardware.

Now to be fair, those other consoles weren’t x86-based PC-lites. But you can expect improvements.

That’s the problem here though, it is too similar to the previous generation, it is not really going to be much improvement.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:24

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Lucy Heartfilia
May 31, 2012

Step 1: A anime with a friend.
Step 2: A anime to keep the cold out.
Step 3: A anime too much.
Step 4: Drunk and riotous.
Step 5: The summit attained. Jolly companions, a confirmed waifu.
Step 6: Poverty and Disease.
Step 7: Forsaken by Friends
Step 8: Desperation and crime
Step 9: Death by suicide


Did the game devs in the previous console generation immediately hit the limitations of the hardware? Or how long did it take? A couple of years? Or months?

#
?
Jan 29, 2014 11:27

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A shrubbery!
Jan 16, 2009
I LOOK DOWN ON MY REAL LIFE FRIENDS BECAUSE OF THEIR VIDEO GAME PURCHASING DECISIONS.

I’M THAT MUCH OF AN INSUFFERABLE SPERGLORD



Microsoft’s Phil Spencer says “you’ll see more IP return” following the success of Killer Instinct.

Link

By which he obviously means, “which classic franchises would you like to see us buy exclusive rights to, then hand off to an inexperienced studio different to the one that made those games you loved, but you’ll lap it up anyway because BIG NAMES”

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:29

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Elfface
Nov 14, 2010

WHY DOES MY DRAGON HAVE A GOITER?!?!?!

Oneiros posted:

When I was in the grocery store yesterday I noticed that Microsoft has bought ad space for the xbone on canned foods. Chef Boyardee, specifically.

I don’t know what the gently caress they were thinking.

No, no. This makes sense. Microwaves go Bing when they’re done, Microsoft is working on multiple levels here.

And then when you put the can in the microwave, rather than just the contents, it catches fire!

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:29

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Mordaedil
Oct 25, 2007

Yup, that’s a skjold all right.

Lucy Heartfilia posted:

Did the game devs in the previous console generation immediately hit the limitations of the hardware? Or how long did it take? A couple of years? Or months?

The best comparison I know for this is Oblivion (2006) compared to Skyrim (2011) would be five years, they’ve learned to make seriously the most they can from the hardware without completely just running into barrelends with lack of optimization.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:35

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BreakAtmo
May 16, 2009

Peel posted:

I’m inclined to agree with this.

Everyone is scared they’ll produce another PS3 if they have another PS2, but forgets that they produced the PS2 after the PS1. And the intense competition of the SNES/Mega Drive era led to two failures in the next generation that SEGA and Nintendo never recovered from.

Sony is clearly capable of making good consoles even after successful generations, and having learned a very painful lesson with the PS3 I doubt they’re eager to repeat that experience, if there even is a next generation as we’d recognise it. And they still have to compete with much easier and cheaper to use PCs, or the possibility of just playing cheap tablet/phone games.

Meanwhile it would be best if everyone learned that intrusive DLC and microtransactions, heavy advertising, DRM and games like Lococycle are not a good way to make money, but instead cultivating a good environment for developers and promoting games like Flower/LBP/TLoU alongside more conventional titles.

Plus, look at how the PS3 did in the end and the kinds of gaming experiences it produced. If that’s the scenario I’m supposed to be afraid of, well… I’m hardly concerned.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:47

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Almost Smart
Sep 14, 2001

so your telling me you wasn’t drunk or fucked up in anyway. when you had sex with me and that monkey

Oneiros posted:

When I was in the grocery store yesterday I noticed that Microsoft has bought ad space for the xbone on canned foods. Chef Boyardee, specifically.

I don’t know what the gently caress they were thinking.

They’re advertising to the gamer stereotype that they themselves have cultivated over the years. In Microsoft’s eyes, we roll our fat assess our of bed everyday at noon, stuff our gobs with cool ranch doritos, wash it all down with the Dew, and then waddle over to the couch for a busy day of CoD with the broseffs. We’ll break with an uncooked can of spaghetti O’s, and in the evening we’ll don our fanciest and least stained T-shirt for a decadent meal at the local McDonald’s (or at least look our best for the drive-thru cashier). Then it’s back to the bros for more shootmanning and mountain dew, before we retreat back to our slovenly bedrooms to jack off and pass out and repeat the whole process again tomorrow.

Jump in.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:48

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timeandtide
Nov 29, 2007

This space is reserved for future considerations.


So I just realized that Microsoft hired Phil Harrison to the Xbox “Interactive Entertainment Team” and that he’s a vice prez. This is the same Phil Harrison that was leading the charge with the PS3 launch disaster.

Same as it ever was! Same as it ever waaas!

Edit: Oh and YOSPOS says Microsoft is considering for their new Ballmer a guy who made multiple companies bankrupt so badly that people seriously entertain the idea that this guy may have been planted in said companies by their rivals. Also there is an entire plan aimed at fighting Google that they hired the guy who lost Hillary Clinton her campaign for – his politics background probably explains why all of the Scroogled stuff seems so mean-spirited and childish.

timeandtide fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2014 around 11:58

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?
Jan 29, 2014 11:51

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Explain How!
Dec 14, 2013

BreakAtmo posted:

Plus, look at how the PS3 did in the end and the kinds of gaming experiences it produced. If that’s the scenario I’m supposed to be afraid of, well… I’m hardly concerned.

That’s a result of the competition really. No-one wants another 2006-2009 ps3.

And no-one wants another xbone. There’s enough promised to be an entertaining machine over the 5-6years it’s around but it’s not great.

timeandtide posted:

Oh and YOSPOS says Microsoft is considering for their new Ballmer a guy who made multiple companies bankrupt so badly that people seriously entertain the idea that this guy may have been planted in said companies by their rivals. Also there is an entire plan aimed at fighting Google that they hired the guy who lost Hillary Clinton her campaign for – his politics background probably explains why all of the Scroogled stuff seems so mean-spirited and childish.

Welcome to executive-level hiring.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 12:05

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A shrubbery!
Jan 16, 2009
I LOOK DOWN ON MY REAL LIFE FRIENDS BECAUSE OF THEIR VIDEO GAME PURCHASING DECISIONS.

I’M THAT MUCH OF AN INSUFFERABLE SPERGLORD



Yeah, all the ridiculous policies and hiring literally the worst people for the job in various positions of power almost makes me think that MS knows something that we don’t.
Why would they hire the guy who was a major figure in the previous generation’s disaster-launch, which they themselves took advantage of, and why is he still employed after this generation’s disaster-launch?
I can honestly believe that the execs don’t read the news and didn’t look at his credentials, they just said “get me someone who has worked with a console launch before!” to an intern through a mouthful of hundred-dollar-bill sandwiches.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 12:06

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Cao Ni Ma
May 25, 2010

Down with the Illuminati Scum
www.thesecretworld.com


Companies would rather hire people with experience, even if its horrible experience, than people without it or with less of it.

Prime examples are the group of chucklehead MMO developers that continue to get jobs despite every one of their titles bombing horribly.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 12:10

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Wheany
Mar 17, 2006

By Allah!
White people
are so STUPID!

Cao Ni Ma posted:

Companies would rather hire people with experience, even if its horrible experience, than people without it or with less of it.

Prime examples are the group of chucklehead MMO developers that continue to get jobs despite every one of their titles bombing horribly.

Nobody is born a master of a craft. You have to make a thousand lovely paintings before you make your first good one.

Those executives have already gotten their lovely management efforts out of the way so now they know how to do it well.

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Jan 29, 2014 12:24

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Bear Retrieval Unit
Nov 5, 2009

A shrubbery! posted:

Yeah, all the ridiculous policies and hiring literally the worst people for the job in various positions of power almost makes me think that MS knows something that we don’t.
Why would they hire the guy who was a major figure in the previous generation’s disaster-launch, which they themselves took advantage of, and why is he still employed after this generation’s disaster-launch?
I can honestly believe that the execs don’t read the news and didn’t look at his credentials, they just said “get me someone who has worked with a console launch before!” to an intern through a mouthful of hundred-dollar-bill sandwiches.

Maybe the Xbone is their Springtime For Hitler.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 13:01

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timeandtide
Nov 29, 2007

This space is reserved for future considerations.


I’m almost certain Microsoft treated hiring Phil Harrison as a “Wow, what a coup! We stole their guy!” deal.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 13:03

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BreakAtmo
May 16, 2009

Explain How! posted:

That’s a result of the competition really. No-one wants another 2006-2009 ps3.

And no-one wants another xbone. There’s enough promised to be an entertaining machine over the 5-6years it’s around but it’s not great.

You can’t really compare the Xbone to the PS3. The PS3 always had genuine advantages right from the beginning that anyone could see, which were later capitalised on to make it the console it is today. The Xbone really doesn’t, aside from ‘exclusives’ and ‘Kinect’.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 13:03

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Ularg
Mar 2, 2010

SURPRISE

BreakAtmo posted:

You can’t really compare the Xbone to the PS3. The PS3 always had genuine advantages right from the beginning that anyone could see, which were later capitalised on to make it the console it is today. The Xbone really doesn’t, aside from ‘exclusives’ and ‘Kinect’.

A few facebook friends still think early Call of Duty DLC is a good reason to own an Xbox.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 13:05

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Atoramos
Aug 31, 2003

Jim’s now a Blind Cave Salamander!

Denzine posted:

I hope Microsoft frees up that last 2% and releases an upgraded Kinect that does all of its own processing. I think it’s the last change they could make without just killing the console and the Games division.

This will never happen. For one, the 2% increase this would bring isn’t worth releasing a new product over. Second, they couldn’t release games that required the extra 2% power, since it would exclude the original XBones.

I can think of no way to fix their situation without rendering early adopters’ consoles obsolete, which is something we’ve yet to see historically. And for them to be willing to make a sweeping change with the Kinect GPU usage within 2 months of release, well…. things can’t be going too smoothly.

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?
Jan 29, 2014 13:21

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American Horror Story: Coven

Pellisworth
Jun 20, 2005

Hi, I am listening to the new Weepies album and sipping on some ice tea… with a slice of lemon, of course! Tomorrow I plan on growing a pair of ovaries.

f1av0r posted:

I forgot why do the witches and voodoo people hate each other.

Don’t worry, no one else remembers either. Including the show’s main characters.

“Hey Fiona, I know I sent my minotaur ex-lover to terrorize and surprise sex one of your students (whom I later convinced to defect to my team), I hired witch hunters to kill your coven, you stole my immortal racist pet, I summoned a zombie horde to attack your school… but let’s put all of that immediate past behind us and forget that we’re eternal sworn enemies. I know we’ve been building to a confrontation all season, but the witch hunters killed all my voodoo clan and I need your protection. It’s totally in character for you to accept me with open arms right now instead of take advantage of my weakness.”

Did we ever learn who splashed acid on Cordelia?

The plotting in this show is seriously terrible. All the major threats to the coven disappear suddenly and unceremoniously, and we’re left with unintersting Supreme succession drama.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:36

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OmegaBR
Feb 14, 2012

Come to me …. and live forever.

f1av0r posted:

I forgot why do the witches and voodoo people hate each other. I know Kathy bates tortured the voodoo people but she didn’t join the witch faction until later. Maybe I wasn’t paying attention to the Salem crew messing up the New Orleans crew whenever it was explained

Basically when the slaves were brought to America, they brought voodoo with them, and the Salem witches gained their powers through them. The voodoo witches have held a grudge ever since, until the Supreme before Fiona signed a peace treaty with Laveau.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:42

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nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics

You know what. gently caress it. I just realized that they haven’t even tried to answer this yet and I completely forgot about it what with all the other crazy poo poo going on. What’s up with the writing this season?

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:43

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f1av0r
Jan 12, 2008


Yeah I was just thinking what kick started all that. I remember the hair cut scene and it’s clear they don’t get along. But thinking back now I don’t remember if they said why later in the show

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:44

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QuickbreathFinisher
Sep 28, 2008

coming like judgment day
i.e. for the second time.

The witch hunter guys said they “authorized it.” So probably just some nameless witch hunter mook that got slaughtered by Axeman.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:44

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OmegaBR
Feb 14, 2012

Come to me …. and live forever.

QuickbreathFinisher posted:

The witch hunter guys said they “authorized it.” So probably just some nameless witch hunter mook that got slaughtered by Axeman.

Don’t why they wouldn’t just kill her, unless they were trying to make her more dependent on Hank. Not a great answer, but at least they tried to answer it.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:47

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Pellisworth
Jun 20, 2005

Hi, I am listening to the new Weepies album and sipping on some ice tea… with a slice of lemon, of course! Tomorrow I plan on growing a pair of ovaries.

QuickbreathFinisher posted:

The witch hunter guys said they “authorized it.” So probably just some nameless witch hunter mook that got slaughtered by Axeman.

I completely missed that, then. Here I thought it was just an excuse to frame Myrtle so she could be burned at the stake and arise phoenix-like, transforming into the only entertaining character left in the show.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 22:47

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xeria
Jul 26, 2004

“Hey guys! What’s this N-F-L thing you’re doing? Is it like college? Can we play? C’mon guys! Jacksonville’s a popular place!

C’mon! Miami? Tampa?

…Anyone?”


OmegaBR posted:

Don’t why they wouldn’t just kill her, unless they were trying to make her more dependent on Hank. Not a great answer, but at least they tried to answer it.

I think that actually was their motivation, somehow — Hank wasn’t supposed to be anything but a spy (because he’s a dumb scrub who his dad kind of scorns but not really) and blinding Cordelia was supposed to draw him further into the witch school/house fold by making Cordelia dependent on him. Instead she just seer’d his infidelity — a result of going against his dad’s wishes and striking a contract with Laveau to kill Salem witches — and kicked him out. So in a roundabout way, if he hadn’t been loving/killing other witches in the first place, Cordelia wouldn’t have had anything to ‘see’ so she’d have presumably kept him around. Instead, he was a dumbass, she saw at least some of his shenanigans and gave him the boot, so the witch hunter corp lost their in to keep tabs on the Salem witches.

I don’t know if it’s ever said conclusively that Fiona knew Myrtle had nothing to do with Cordelia’s blinding and just lied her face off to get rid of an enemy. She could have actually thought Myrtle had something to do with it — because she was being real stalkery about Fiona and also was spotted at the hospital post-acid — but couldn’t prove it so she used Queenie to fabricate evidence and get Myrtle punished.

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?
Jan 24, 2014 23:00

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nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics

xeria posted:

I don’t know if it’s ever said conclusively that Fiona knew Myrtle had nothing to do with Cordelia’s blinding and just lied her face off to get rid of an enemy. She could have actually thought Myrtle had something to do with it — because she was being real stalkery about Fiona and also was spotted at the hospital post-acid — but couldn’t prove it so she used Queenie to fabricate evidence and get Myrtle punished.

I think we can just assume that Fiona was being Queen Bitch here and just trying to off a rival she knew was innocent. Cause that’s how she rolls.

And now that it has been brought up, yeah I do recall the witchhunters being behind the acid attack, but it was handled so briefly that I just kind of forgot.

#
?
Jan 24, 2014 23:08

  • Quote
Mexcillent
Dec 5, 2008


nevermind

This was a bad season and that’s unfortunate.

#
?
Jan 24, 2014 23:26

  • Quote
angerbeet
Mar 23, 2004


I’ll bet you can handwave the Madison “nothing” afterlife into some sort of “there was nothing because being alone and not famous is your private hell!!” business.

#
?
Jan 24, 2014 23:50

  • Quote
Blazing Ownager
Jun 2, 2007

I ain’t got time to bleed.

OmegaBR posted:

Basically when the slaves were brought to America, they brought voodoo with them, and the Salem witches gained their powers through them. The voodoo witches have held a grudge ever since, until the Supreme before Fiona signed a peace treaty with Laveau.

It is kind of hilariously sad that Laveau ultimately was killed by Benadryl and a Candle Stick, wielded by a racist rear end in a top hat and a doll fetishist butler ghost.

Now that would be a game of Clue.

angerbeet posted:

I’ll bet you can handwave the Madison “nothing” afterlife into some sort of “there was nothing because being alone and not famous is your private hell!!” business.

As crazy incoherent as the show has been, I think the biggest thing people are overlooking with the hell shown is that is Papa Legba’s hell. He owned both their souls in the end, and that is why he assigned that fate. Likewise, Queenie saw her version of Papa Legba’s.

I don’t think he is supposed to be THE devil, though, and that others who die without being related to his power probably have a different experience. i.e. as Queenie did not sell her soul to him, I don’t think she’d end up in the chicken shack if she dies normally.

Blazing Ownager fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2014 around 00:07

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:02

  • Quote
Doltos
Dec 28, 2005

angerbeet posted:

I’ll bet you can handwave the Madison “nothing” afterlife into some sort of “there was nothing because being alone and not famous is your private hell!!” business.

Or they’ll do something where they explain multiple afterlifes and papa legba’s hell is just one version of it.

Blazing Ownager posted:

It is kind of hilariously sad that Laveau ultimately was killed by Benadryl and a Candle Stick, wielded by a racist rear end in a top hat and a doll fetishist butler ghost.

Now that would be a game of Clue.

That still was the ultimate ridiculous part of the season. They’re going to pass it off that the reason she died was symbolism for LaLaurie finally standing up to her bully. I will get fuckin salty as hell when I see someone say that and seriously mean it.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:09

  • Quote
nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics


You know, I was typing up a post full of righteous indignation at the thought that some people might like the sadistic serial killing slavemaster, but who the poo poo am I kidding. She’s probably the hero to some.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:13

  • Quote
jscolon2.0
Jul 9, 2001

With great payroll, comes great disappointment.

Fast Luck posted:

One of the highlights of the disjointed writing is that apparently a witch governing body could “detect” that something’d happened to Madison so they sent out the council to investigate. Two members of the council are brutally murdered and no follow-up investigation ever takes place and the only other thing ever revealed about greater witch society is that Stevie Nicks is a witch. Is this coven the only one in the world because I don’t think so because there’s voodoo witches right down the street but then why does Fiona plan to eliminate the next supreme by killing the five girls in her house.

Nan called them. (You’re right in principle, though.)

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:16

  • Quote
Dienes
Nov 4, 2009

And he piled upon the whale’s white hump, the sum of all the rage and hate felt by his whole race. If his chest had been a cannon, he would have shot his heart upon it.

Fast Luck posted:

I don’t get why instead of trying to save Marie Laveau, Queenie was negotiating with Papa Legba to kill her.

In addition to it being the only way to kill LaLaurie, she was also insanely pissed that Laveau left her for dead pretty much instantly and went to the very people Queenie defected from.

OmegaBR posted:

Don’t why they wouldn’t just kill her, unless they were trying to make her more dependent on Hank.

Yup, this is exactly it. If they divorced, they’d lose the man on the inside.

They haven’t covered how Fiona lost her soul, have they? I’m guessing being the Supreme consumes or destroys it in some way.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:29

  • Quote
esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

nutranurse posted:

You know what. gently caress it. I just realized that they haven’t even tried to answer this yet and I completely forgot about it what with all the other crazy poo poo going on. What’s up with the writing this season?

It was the witch hunters, to make Cordelia need Hank even more or something. His dad admits to it, if I recall correctly.

e: Oh, it was covered already. Thanks for not loading everything, phone.

esperterra fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2014 around 00:38

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:33

  • Quote
AGirlWonder
Oct 24, 2010

nutranurse posted:

You know, I was typing up a post full of righteous indignation at the thought that some people might like the sadistic serial killing slavemaster, but who the poo poo am I kidding. She’s probably the hero to some.

I liked her, but because she was one of the only fun characters this season. Her horribleness was entertaining, unlike Queenie, Fiona, or (for the most part) Laveau. And oh, how great it is that on the same episode Queenie tells Fiona to “have some respect” for Papa Legba, Murphy turns him into an analogue for Satan. My oh my.

Edit: I didn’t like the torture porn aspect of Lalaurie. Her lines were funny as hell, though.

AGirlWonder fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2014 around 00:35

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:33

  • Quote
Coconut Indian
Jun 5, 2007
Oh, to dance naked on the beach while praying to stones!


Half of the season should have been dedicated to characters dealing with Papa Legba.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:40

  • Quote
Yodzilla
Apr 29, 2005

Oh hey I completely forgot about Nan. I guess she really is dead and returned to her home planet?

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 00:57

  • Quote
Gihon
Jan 9, 2014

Papa Legba is the most interesting character this season by far even though he didn’t show up until recently.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 02:27

  • Quote
Fast Luck
Feb 2, 2003

Yodzilla posted:

Oh hey I completely forgot about Nan. I guess she really is dead and returned to her home planet?

Well she was taken by Papa Legba so she’s more gone than most but Papa Legba himself could always decide to bring her back or something, I guess.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 02:33

  • Quote
OmegaBR
Feb 14, 2012

Come to me …. and live forever.

Blazing Ownager posted:

It is kind of hilariously sad that Laveau ultimately was killed by Benadryl and a Candle Stick, wielded by a racist rear end in a top hat and a doll fetishist butler ghost.

Now that would be a game of Clue.

Is it just me, or do the ultimate deaths of characters always seem fairly unspectacular and not at all what you’d expect (in a bad way.) Fiona took an axe to the back, Nan got drowned in the tub, the devil fell over a railing, Arden killed the raspers and then himself, the Monsignor killed himself, etc.

I want somebody to actually die in a horribly magical way, if not that huge final battle. Kinda like Nan forcing fundie mom to drink the bleach.

nutranurse posted:

You know, I was typing up a post full of righteous indignation at the thought that some people might like the sadistic serial killing slavemaster, but who the poo poo am I kidding. She’s probably the hero to some.

Blame the writers for making her and a slightly perverted mass axe murderer two of the most endearing characters on the show.

Yodzilla posted:

Oh hey I completely forgot about Nan. I guess she really is dead and returned to her home planet?

She could theoretically return during the Wonder trials, but I doubt it. If she’s really done, what a horrible waste of a character.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 02:34

  • Quote
Nichael
Mar 30, 2011

I would’ve preferred an entire season of Papa Legba drinking hot chocolate and snorting up. Lance Reddick is hilarious.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 03:41

  • Quote
nutranurse
Oct 22, 2012

Unlikeliest of Slash Fics


Lance Reddick in gnarly dreadlocks is so awesome. For a while I thought that he could only play the role of stony, distant, but well-meaning superior officer, but nope. He can also be Papa Legba.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 03:50

  • Quote
uptown
May 16, 2009

Nichael posted:

I would’ve preferred an entire season of Papa Legba drinking hot chocolate and snorting up. Lance Reddick is hilarious.

More marshmallows.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 03:59

  • Quote
Dear Prudence
Sep 3, 2012

hepscat posted:

Queenie is the only one who has traveled to the underworld and returned, right? Since Madison said there was nothing after you die, whereas Queenie went to the chicken shack and bargained with Papa Legba.

From the preview it looks like there’s going to be a heavy dose of love triangle yet again with Frankentate. Hopefully that’s over quick. Man, I just cannot get into this season.

Maybe nothingness IS Madison’s hell. Stands to reason that a self absorbed narcissist would find a black void full of nothing, including herself the most awful thing of all.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 04:02

  • Quote
esperterra
Mar 24, 2010

Dear Prudence posted:

Maybe nothingness IS Madison’s hell. Stands to reason that a self absorbed narcissist would find a black void full of nothing, including herself the most awful thing of all.

Wasn’t it Kyle’s hell, as well? That was what they bonded over before banging.

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 04:15

  • Quote
frozenpeas
Mar 28, 2007
I interviewed a NK escapee who came to my school and made a thread. Then life got in the way and the translation had to be postponed. I did finish it in the end, but nobody is going to pay 10 bux to update my.avatar


How many TV shows have used the line, “A storm is coming.” And then never actually delivered on the threat?

I remember Babylon 5 did it years ago then the “storm (the Shadow war)” was actually the weakest part of the entire series. The build up was way better. Marcus and his rangers were a bunch of tools.
Dexter did it very recently when the super-hyped “storm” was a 30 second CGI shot that ended up being completely irrelevant..
This show has delivered a storm of poo poo, but that doesn’t count.

edit : oh, turns out TV Tropes has a list, of course, Heroes would be on that list.

frozenpeas fucked around with this message at Jan 25, 2014 around 04:40

#
?
Jan 25, 2014 04:28

  • Quote
droey
Dec 8, 2009


Is it sad that the best part of this season for me has been the badass intro scene?

#
?
Jan 26, 2014 07:43

  • Quote
ghostwritingduck
Aug 26, 2004

“I hope you like waking up at 6 a.m. and having your favorite things destroyed. P.S. Forgive me because I’m cuter than that $50 wire I just ate.”


I don’t think this season was salvageable in terms of plot or characters. Even the good characters acted completely differently episode to episode.

#
?
Jan 27, 2014 03:50

  • Quote
deadking
Apr 13, 2006

droey posted:

Is it sad that the best part of this season for me has been the badass intro scene?

That was basically the only part of this season I enjoyed (as a piece of horror media at least, Reddick’s Papa Legba was quite enjoyable).

Also, I love that Ryan Murphy’s idea of a woman-positive show is to put in 10,000 instances of women squabbling and murdering each other to 1 “we don’t need any man’s help!”

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 02:58

  • Quote
Mexcillent
Dec 5, 2008

ghostwritingduck posted:

I don’t think this season was salvageable in terms of plot or characters. Even the good characters acted completely differently episode to episode.

I agree.

I feel like the first season is still the strongest, but that might be because I like ghost stories the best.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 03:02

  • Quote
Rosa Gallica
Sep 13, 2011


I really hope that the next season of this show will give Jessica Lange something different to do. She’s a talented actress, but watching her stumble around playing a bitter, catty alcoholic who used to be a beauty queen has gotten old.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 03:04

  • Quote
fullroundaction
Apr 20, 2007

Drink beer every day

Rosa Gallica posted:

She’s a talented actress, but watching her stumble around playing a bitter, catty alcoholic who used to be a beauty queen has gotten old.

No I think it’s still pretty great.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 04:10

  • Quote
Lord Krangdar
Oct 23, 2007

These are the secrets of death we teach.

Rosa Gallica posted:

I really hope that the next season of this show will give Jessica Lange something different to do. She’s a talented actress, but watching her stumble around playing a bitter, catty alcoholic who used to be a beauty queen has gotten old.

I don’t think I could ever get tired of that.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 04:16

  • Quote
Pinwiz11
Jan 26, 2009

Do we have a picture of Paul McCartney?


In Season One, I dropped the show after the pilot and then got drawn back in based on what I read. I went into the Finale wanting to know how it would all end.

In Season Two, I loved it from episode one and waiting with bated breath for the Finale to see if the could stick the landing. They did, and it was glorious.

This year… I want to know who will be the next Supreme, but I’m watching more out of obligation. And yet, I will be watching. You win, Ryan Murphy.

(Next year, the Star Trek movie rules come into play again. Right?)

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 04:43

  • Quote
MadSparkle
Aug 7, 2012

Captain Mog posted:

My favorite was the ridiculously hamfisted “THERE ARE NO STATISTICS TO SUGGEST GAY PEOPLE ARE WORSE PARENTS THAN STRAIGHT ONES” line that was flung at Jessica Lange by Zachary Quinto. It was just so out of place in the scene that it was almost jarring. Almost like Murphy forgot that it wasn’t Glee but still wanted to shove in some sort of pro-gay message- which is commendable, but not when it’s so obvious as to be jarring/PSA-ish.

I forget a lot of things about that season, but this line, the way it read felt like it had quotation marks, which really pissed me off.

MadSparkle fucked around with this message at Jan 28, 2014 around 05:19

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 05:16

  • Quote
MadSparkle
Aug 7, 2012

Rosa Gallica posted:

I really hope that the next season of this show will give Jessica Lange something different to do. She’s a talented actress, but watching her stumble around playing a bitter, catty alcoholic who used to be a beauty queen has gotten old.

I disagree. It’s her niche. She owns it. I realize it’s ham-fisted but I like ham. She is like the queen of perfectly cooked ham which might be overcooked for some, but the US does like things overcooked most of the time.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 05:19

  • Quote
LeJackal
Apr 4, 2011


As previously mentioned, a lot of this season seems unconnected and just…empty.

New Orleans as a setting is completed wasted – the city is a character in and of itself, a unique location with its own little culture and history that should have made writing a story set in it go to Easy Mode. It is never used, however.

Secondly, this school is worse than Hogwarts. Sure, Hogwarts takes 11 year olds, halts all their schooling and just teaches them magic so you’ve got witches running around that can throw fireballs but don’t know calculus, but at least they interact with the kids. Here there are no witch classes, and no regular classes either. Throw us a bone, here, they’re ostensibly there to learn about being witches and control their powers. You can’t even spend five minutes establishing some kind of directed study where Cordelia sits down and tells them to read a book of magical theory/incantations/history/whatever at some point in the season?

There are some really good ideas and cool set-pieces, but they aren’t put together in any coherent way. Its impossible to tell how much time passes between scenes, or where anyone is or has been. Its a big gnarly mess.

#
?
Jan 28, 2014 05:43

  • Quote

All right Jack! (From Durham Advertiser)

1:44pm Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Entertainment

Durham Advertiser: Keira Knightley with Chris Pine

Keira Knightley with Chris Pine

Kenneth Branagh, Chris Pine and Keira Knightley reveal to Steve Pratt the secrets of bringing CIA agent Jack Ryan back to life for a new audience

IT’S the perfect quiz question: which character has been played on screen by Adam Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck?

The answer is CIA analyst and action man Jack Ryan, created by best-selling author Tom Clancy 30 years ago.

He’s featured in no less than four movies, namely The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger and The Sum Of All Fears. Now a fourth actor has been added to the list – Chris Pine, best known as James T Kirk in two Star Trek reboot movies, plays him in an “origins” movie which shows how Ryan was recruited by the CIA.

Kenneth Branagh directs, and plays the Russian villain bent on bringing down the US economy.

The producers are clearly hoping to kickstart a new franchise and Pine sees Ryan as different to other franchise-friendly movies featuring Bond and Bourne. “I like the fact that he seems a bit more real and grounded than the other action heroes. There’s no Q and no fancy gadgets, he’s not a man of fancy suits, or Russian supermodels, or whatever,” he explains.

“But really, he’s a simple guy who wants to serve and feels compelled to serve. In that simplicity and that everyman quality he could be a professor, or the guy that you get coffee next to, and you wouldn’t think twice about seeing him in the street.

“There’s something about that normalcy that sets him apart from all these guys that are trained assassins and drive fast, fancy cars. Hopefully, that relate-ability of the audience will be the thing that encourages them to come back for more.”

Branagh, who showed he could handle action as director of the first Thor movie, liked the idea of Pine as Ryan. “I thought that was a great piece of casting,” he says.

“I did know the previous films and some of the novels and I love thrillers, so it was a chance to do what the producers were saying – to put Jack Ryan, and the things that made him compelling for an audience, into the 21st Century and see if him and that new world collided in a strong, entertaining way.”

For Branagh, it was also a chance to reconnect with Hollywood star Kevin Costner, who’s cast as Ryan’s CIA boss. It was a little like coming full circle, he says, because the two first met when Branagh was in the US touring with two plays early in his career. “I got a call one day saying that there was a guy called Kevin Costner, who’d like to take me out to lunch. This was in 1990, so I was very excited and said, ‘Thank you very much’. I went out and he wanted to ask me what it was like to act and direct a movie at the same time, because I’d just completed Henry V and he was getting ready to do a film called Dances With Wolves.

“We had a long boozy lunch, sharing war stories about the madness and fun of all of that. It was the beginning of a friendship that’s lasted right across that time and in fact he was very, very helpful about the same process 25 years later. So having him there was very nice.”

B ACK then directing big Hollywood-style movies wasn’t something Branagh imagined he’d do. Just the idea of a film career seemed an impossibility because the British film industry was going through “a very, very doldrums period” with few movies being made.

“I remember having a conversation with fellow actors wondering whether if we would ever be in a film, so that’s already a surprise. Yeah, it’s astonishing really that I’m directing a picture like this, except that I like to see a picture like this.

“They’re hard to make. They appear simple and yet they’re very, very interesting to try and put together. But in terms of a moment where you wonder why and how you’re doing it, that’s bypassed because you’re essentially trying to always follow your instincts as best you can.

“For me, the moment when you read the script is the key one. I’ve tried to make that a very special moment and set plenty of time aside to see what it does to you and if it really grabs you.

“I was very lucky to work with my producers and these great actors, people who were going to be fun to work with. In the end that becomes your experience and it’s only in moments like these where you have even a sense of objective. Otherwise, you’re just trying to do work that you believe in. I’ve kept just trying to follow that regardless of scale.”

You might think he made it difficult for himself by both acting in and directing the film.

Durham Advertiser:
Kenneth Branagh, who combined the roles of director and movie baddie

Movie-making has certainly changed technically since he took on that dual role in his film of Henry V. “We didn’t have any kind of monitors so your judgement of performance was based on a conversation with your fellow actors and a camera operator. Then you had a guess 24 or 48 hours later when you saw the dailies about whether you were right. I do think that allows you to tap into a certain kind of instinct.

“From my point of view, you just prepare as much as you can and try and be ahead of the game with the accent and everything. We arrived at a sort of consensus about how we might do things, which put us all on the same page.

“We didn’t rehearse much. We talked quite a bit and then jumped straight in. One thing I wanted with this movie was to feel that the character work, and the reality of the acting, all had that sort of edge underneath it, which is part of Jack’s journey, part of the rhythm of the film and part of the little naturalistic edge that I enjoy doing with my fellow actors.

“So really that was a goal for the atmosphere of the scene rather than me necessarily having to hit acting beat x, y or z. I prepared for that as best I could but I wanted it all to feel as relatively raw as possible so we weren’t too slick or too smooth.”

Many of the Moscow-set scenes were shot in this country with Liverpool, Manchester and London standing in for the Russian city.

Branagh points out the makers did go to Moscow, but only briefly. “One of the things that we did do was – because it was early in the shoot – establish a breathless pace that the film often has,” he recalls.

“I remember we got off the plane from New York that morning, went to recce the first place in Moscow and, that afternoon, Chris was on a hotel roof with us saying, ‘We’ve got 40 minutes, the sun’s going, we have three pages of dialogue, do you mind doing it all in one? We’ve only got half-an-hour…

“Moving around in Moscow was a bit like that, so when we came back to some of the cheated Moscow in Liverpool, Manchester and parts of London, we adopted the same kind of hit the ground running approach. But we were there for long enough, I thought, to get the sense of vibrancy that the new Moscow has.”

  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (12A) is now showing in cinemas

All right Jack! (From Consett Stanley Advertiser)

1:44pm Tuesday 28th January 2014 in Entertainment

Consett Stanley Advertiser: Keira Knightley with Chris Pine

Keira Knightley with Chris Pine

Kenneth Branagh, Chris Pine and Keira Knightley reveal to Steve Pratt the secrets of bringing CIA agent Jack Ryan back to life for a new audience

IT’S the perfect quiz question: which character has been played on screen by Adam Baldwin, Harrison Ford and Ben Affleck?

The answer is CIA analyst and action man Jack Ryan, created by best-selling author Tom Clancy 30 years ago.

He’s featured in no less than four movies, namely The Hunt For Red October, Patriot Games, Clear And Present Danger and The Sum Of All Fears. Now a fourth actor has been added to the list – Chris Pine, best known as James T Kirk in two Star Trek reboot movies, plays him in an “origins” movie which shows how Ryan was recruited by the CIA.

Kenneth Branagh directs, and plays the Russian villain bent on bringing down the US economy.

The producers are clearly hoping to kickstart a new franchise and Pine sees Ryan as different to other franchise-friendly movies featuring Bond and Bourne. “I like the fact that he seems a bit more real and grounded than the other action heroes. There’s no Q and no fancy gadgets, he’s not a man of fancy suits, or Russian supermodels, or whatever,” he explains.

“But really, he’s a simple guy who wants to serve and feels compelled to serve. In that simplicity and that everyman quality he could be a professor, or the guy that you get coffee next to, and you wouldn’t think twice about seeing him in the street.

“There’s something about that normalcy that sets him apart from all these guys that are trained assassins and drive fast, fancy cars. Hopefully, that relate-ability of the audience will be the thing that encourages them to come back for more.”

Branagh, who showed he could handle action as director of the first Thor movie, liked the idea of Pine as Ryan. “I thought that was a great piece of casting,” he says.

“I did know the previous films and some of the novels and I love thrillers, so it was a chance to do what the producers were saying – to put Jack Ryan, and the things that made him compelling for an audience, into the 21st Century and see if him and that new world collided in a strong, entertaining way.”

For Branagh, it was also a chance to reconnect with Hollywood star Kevin Costner, who’s cast as Ryan’s CIA boss. It was a little like coming full circle, he says, because the two first met when Branagh was in the US touring with two plays early in his career. “I got a call one day saying that there was a guy called Kevin Costner, who’d like to take me out to lunch. This was in 1990, so I was very excited and said, ‘Thank you very much’. I went out and he wanted to ask me what it was like to act and direct a movie at the same time, because I’d just completed Henry V and he was getting ready to do a film called Dances With Wolves.

“We had a long boozy lunch, sharing war stories about the madness and fun of all of that. It was the beginning of a friendship that’s lasted right across that time and in fact he was very, very helpful about the same process 25 years later. So having him there was very nice.”

B ACK then directing big Hollywood-style movies wasn’t something Branagh imagined he’d do. Just the idea of a film career seemed an impossibility because the British film industry was going through “a very, very doldrums period” with few movies being made.

“I remember having a conversation with fellow actors wondering whether if we would ever be in a film, so that’s already a surprise. Yeah, it’s astonishing really that I’m directing a picture like this, except that I like to see a picture like this.

“They’re hard to make. They appear simple and yet they’re very, very interesting to try and put together. But in terms of a moment where you wonder why and how you’re doing it, that’s bypassed because you’re essentially trying to always follow your instincts as best you can.

“For me, the moment when you read the script is the key one. I’ve tried to make that a very special moment and set plenty of time aside to see what it does to you and if it really grabs you.

“I was very lucky to work with my producers and these great actors, people who were going to be fun to work with. In the end that becomes your experience and it’s only in moments like these where you have even a sense of objective. Otherwise, you’re just trying to do work that you believe in. I’ve kept just trying to follow that regardless of scale.”

You might think he made it difficult for himself by both acting in and directing the film.

Consett Stanley Advertiser:
Kenneth Branagh, who combined the roles of director and movie baddie

Movie-making has certainly changed technically since he took on that dual role in his film of Henry V. “We didn’t have any kind of monitors so your judgement of performance was based on a conversation with your fellow actors and a camera operator. Then you had a guess 24 or 48 hours later when you saw the dailies about whether you were right. I do think that allows you to tap into a certain kind of instinct.

“From my point of view, you just prepare as much as you can and try and be ahead of the game with the accent and everything. We arrived at a sort of consensus about how we might do things, which put us all on the same page.

“We didn’t rehearse much. We talked quite a bit and then jumped straight in. One thing I wanted with this movie was to feel that the character work, and the reality of the acting, all had that sort of edge underneath it, which is part of Jack’s journey, part of the rhythm of the film and part of the little naturalistic edge that I enjoy doing with my fellow actors.

“So really that was a goal for the atmosphere of the scene rather than me necessarily having to hit acting beat x, y or z. I prepared for that as best I could but I wanted it all to feel as relatively raw as possible so we weren’t too slick or too smooth.”

Many of the Moscow-set scenes were shot in this country with Liverpool, Manchester and London standing in for the Russian city.

Branagh points out the makers did go to Moscow, but only briefly. “One of the things that we did do was – because it was early in the shoot – establish a breathless pace that the film often has,” he recalls.

“I remember we got off the plane from New York that morning, went to recce the first place in Moscow and, that afternoon, Chris was on a hotel roof with us saying, ‘We’ve got 40 minutes, the sun’s going, we have three pages of dialogue, do you mind doing it all in one? We’ve only got half-an-hour…

“Moving around in Moscow was a bit like that, so when we came back to some of the cheated Moscow in Liverpool, Manchester and parts of London, we adopted the same kind of hit the ground running approach. But we were there for long enough, I thought, to get the sense of vibrancy that the new Moscow has.”

  • Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit (12A) is now showing in cinemas

Pop?

Quote Originally Posted by Fowllyd
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I’d always thought that Barry was just Glasgow Saint posting in a style somewhat akin to Dune/Stanley/Mole/Spaceman/SF76/Ethnic Minority Saint/whatthef*ckever – but I could be wrong. In the end though, does anybody (apart from Barry) actually care?

Nah

Dune is Barry/stanley/mole yadda yadda, he does seem to have some intelligence just gets lonely I think and trolls.

Glasgow was 100% and was bournemouth, thinks he is funny and definately isnt very intelligent

Space: The next final frontier …

Two weeks ago I wrote about turning famous Star Trek episodes into the next Star Trek movie. (Which could have included more underrated episodes.)

I also wrote some time ago about a Star Trek series that bridges what’s known as The Original Series and “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

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I am not the first person to think of doing my own “Star Trek,” though the concept belongs to Paramount Pictures. Facebook has “Star Trek: New Voyages,” which formerly was known as “Phase II,” which was sort of the original version of what became the first Star Trek movie; “Official Star Trek Continues“; and “Star Trek: Renegades,” the latter of which apparently has cast members from two of the TV series.

Independent of the various Star Trek novels — and there may not be, to quote Carl Sagan, “billions and billions” of them, but they’re probably more than you can count — the Star Trek Fan Fiction site has stories from all five TV series, plus crossovers therein. The Fan Fiction website has 5,300 fan-written stories of the original Star Trek, 3,400 stories for “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” 1,500 stories for “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” 8,100 stories for “Star Trek: Voyager,” 4,200 stories for “Star Trek: Enterprise,” and 1,600 stories for what’s labeled as “Star Trek: Other,” a series I don’t recall.

Actually, what you’re about to read would fit into “Star Trek: Other,” though that would be a terrible title. (“Space … the other final frontier …”) There are supposed to be 80 or so years between the first and second Star Treks, and it would be interesting to explore (get it?) what happened in between.

That would require creating a captain who stands out from the other five, of course, in keeping with the traditions of the series. They’ve had an Iowan, they’ve had a Frenchman with a British accent, they’ve had a black man, they’ve had a woman, and they’ve had whatever the first captain of the first Enterprise was supposed to be. They’ve never had (at least on TV) a captain who maybe is a doesn’t-play-well-with-others type, someone who is obviously talented and capable of leading people, but has a cynical and not-entirely-respectful attitude toward his superiors and so is sent away in a starship so they can be rid of him. Maybe he (or she) is the Starfleet Academy graduate voted Most Likely to Lead a Rebellion, or Most Likely to Command a Pirate Ship.

None of the Star Treks have had a Scandinavian captain. (Nor have any of them had a non-human captain, and that seems unlikely to happen given that readers and viewers naturally gravitate toward the lead character). The Vikings did a fair amount of exploring (though arguably more in the Klingon style of exploring), so Star Trek is overdue for a Scandinavian captain. As well as a tall captain, someone tall enough to look Klingons in the eye — the tallest actor to play a captain appears to be Avery Brooks, of “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine,” who is 6-foot-1. (For comparison, William Shatner is allegedly 5–10, as is Patrick Stewart, while Kate Mulgrew is 5–5 and Scott Bakula is 6 feet tall. The only way Shatner is 5–10 is if he’s hung upside down from his feet overnight, or if you’re measuring from the top of his, uh, hair.)

I’ve written before that as far as I’m concerned my template for who a Star Trek captain should be is James T. Kirk. As portrayed by Shatner, Kirk is the captain whose crew would follow him down a black hole without hesitation.

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One thing that prompts “Star Trek: Other” is what I believe is a major flaw in most of Star Trek, something that stood out most in “The Next Generation.” Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry fell into the utopian trap of believing that not only would things change in the future, but human nature would change. The characters of Star Trek are idealized people (not surprising given that they are staffing the flagship of their fleet), when the reality is that we flawed humans make mistakes, have always made mistakes, and will always make mistakes, some even with disastrous consequences. We have to consciously choose to do the right thing, every time we have a choice. That ability to make choices not only makes us human; it gives us reasons to get up in the morning.

That is demonstrated by the role of commerce and money in the series, particularly from “The Next Generation” onward. The first series presents such business people as Harcourt Fenton Mudd and Cyrano Jones as shady at best; the second invents a race fed by avarice, the Ferengi. An episode at the end of TNG’s first season includes the grand news that by then we have eliminated need. I won’t be around to see the 24th century, but I think that prediction won’t come true.

Dr. McCoy was portrayed in the first series as a cynic, except that he wasn’t; he was a skeptic, someone who wouldn’t accept the first opinion as settled. That would be a wonderful thing to imagine in a starship captain, particularly when directed not at his own crew, for whom he is responsible, but for those above him. The first book in the Star Trek: New Frontier series has its captain make a speech to his crew in which he emphasizes that their first loyalty should be to each other, not to Starfleet or the Federation. That makes sense because starships are supposed to be so far out in space that a call for help isn’t going to get answered until it’s too late. Perhaps our captain could so dislike Starfleet that he considers resigning, but is kept where he is out of his loyalty to and sense of responsibility for his crew.

An appropriate ship for this series might be, say, the U.S.S. Independence …

… which this is not. Real Trek geeks read a book called the Star Fleet Technical Manual (available in PDF in original and revised versions, in addition to blueprints)which included this depiction of a “dreadnaught,” which obviously has one more engine than the Enterprise and, one assumes, higher maximum speed, as does …

… an improved version from another website, and …

… the Starcruiser, from a later book for Trekkies. (The part that sticks up from the primary hull — on the left for non-Trekkers — is the weapons bridge, from where the photon torpedoes and megaphasers are fired.

Why would Starfleet give its biggest, baddest starship to a rebellious inexperienced captain? The answer is a story line.

As long as I am creating this series, this description sounds right for the captain, which you have, yes, read before:

People like you are generally quick decision makers, organized and efficient. Your personality is charismatic, friendly and energetic, but you take life seriously and can be a little opinionated on your own turf. You’re extremely outspoken when you feel you’re in the right. You have great trouble dealing with people who are dishonest and/or disorderly.

You’re highly productive, realistic and sensible. Somewhat of a traditionalist, you’re distrustful of new and untested ideas, and you’re more than a little blunt telling others how you feel about them, or about whatever other faults you see. When you give a compliment, however, you mean it.

Your primary goal in life is doing the right thing, and being in charge. Your reward is to be appreciated by others and have your opinion respected. You also enjoy having others willingly follow your orders.

If you clicked on the previous link, you’d find out that Myers-Briggs ESTJs are supposedly most like TNG’s Commander Riker. And as it happens, Jonathan Frakes is 6-4.

Riker brings up something missing from the Star Treks: family. You could count on one hand the number of married couples in all five Star Trek series, with fingers left over for the number of children: two. (Those would be Commander Sisko’s son in DS9, and TNG’s Dr. Crusher’s son, Wesley, who to some fans is the Star Trek equivalent of Jar Jar Binks.) Given the fact that people in the early 21st century live to their 80s, it seems unlikely that, for instance, Captain Kirk, who was the youngest captain in Starfleet when he took command of the Enterprise, wouldn’t have living parents, unless they were killed in a deep space accident. (Kirk did have a brother, who looked suspiciously like William Shatner with a mustache, but he died in the last episode of the first season.) Spock’s parents appeared a few times, as did, in an excellent episode of TNG, Riker’s father. So did TNG’s Deanna Troi’s mother, played by Majel Barrett Roddenberry. (Yes, wife of the only Roddenberry you’ve ever heard of.) Picard, the Frenchman with a British accent, had a brother, played by German actor Jeremy Kemp, in one episode.

Obviously when you’re on a five-year mission you won’t be home for Christmas, other than in your dreams. But you’d think there would be some contact, whether by the 24th century equivalent of email or running into a relative going a different direction at a starbase.

Another missing element is a character of advanced (compared with the rest of the cast) age. The original series’ Dr. McCoy was supposed to be 45, about the same age as Mr.  Scott, both of whom 10 years older than Captain Kirk. Imagine, instead, a very young crew led by a young captain who picks the brain of his oldest officer — say, his chief engineer, who of course is required to be Scottish — on how to deal with his youthful crew.

(Two other things you don’t see are clutter or even dirt on a Star Trek ship. That’s how you know it’s fiction, though clutter would quickly rearrange itself after a Klingon disruptor hit upon your ship.)

One potential aspect of a new Star Trek captain came to mind when I wrote about the similarities of one of my two original-series favorite episodes, “Balance of Terror,” and its inspiration, the World War II movie “The Enemy Below.”

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The captains of the former’s Starfleet and Romulan ships and the latter’s destroyer and German U-boat have a lot in common because they’re both captains. So it might be an interesting twist for our captain to have a regular rival  on the other side, and that they have a history that predates the series. (The original Star Trek tried to do that with the Klingon captain in “The Trouble with Tribbles,” but actor William Campbell wasn’t available for the next Klingon episode.)

That is about as far as I’ve gotten. You can’t have Star Trek based only on its captain, of course. My lack of imagination made me consider one-appearance characters of early episodes, such as the first pilot’s navigator, Lt. Tyler …

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… and Kirk’s friend Gary Mitchell …

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… who inconveniently died in the second pilot, then was killed again in “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

Of course, with CGI you’re not necessarily limited to characters that look like humans with prosthetics. Viewers of the animated Star Trek might remember three-legged Arex and M’Ress …

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… and, in an alternative universe, Kirk’s science officer and friend, Thelin the Andorian:

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Successful TV series regardless of genre require two ingredients — compelling characters and compelling stories. Some of the aforementioned Star Trek remakes featured stories that didn’t get filmed for some reason. David Gerrold, who wrote the original series’ funniest episode, “The Trouble with Tribbles,” submitted five ideas to Star Trek’s producers. One involved a time-travel experiment that went wrong to where a person was stretched across portions of a second of time; Gerrold’s idea was to duplicate the red-yellow-bloe effect from Natalie Wood’s dance scene in “West Side Story.” (Today’s special effects could do much more, of course.) The other was an episode where the Enterprise came upon a huge ship inside which a multigenerational battle was being fought between halves of the ship, neither side of which was able to defeat the other.

I’m not sure if a better Star Trek is out there, but if it isn’t, it’s not from lack of trying by would-be Gene Roddenberrys.

BigHominid’s Hairy Chasms: “Avatar”: review



Some naughty person uploaded the entire movie “Avatar” onto a site that is one click away from YouTube, so for the first time since the movie came out in 2009, I sat down to watch it. As a work of hard science fiction, “Avatar” fails miserably, but the movie works much better if you think of it in metaphorical and allegorical terms. It recalls Rousseau’s condescending (but still-cherished) notion of the noble savage, and offers the viewer a heavy-handed message about the evils of modernity—destructive technology, acquisitive capitalism, the rape of the land. The blue-skinned native people of “Avatar,” the Na’vi, evoke every pre-industrial society from Native Americans to sub-Saharan Africans. The story trajectory for protag and narrator Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, unable to hide his Aussie accent) is predictable; Sully goes native and the movie, which plays like a Kevin Costner revisionist Western, truly does earn its unofficial parodic title, “Dances with Smurfs.” It’s also worth noting the irony that the anti-technological, environmentalist thrust of “Avatar” is delivered through the miracle of special-effects technology. Taken either as hard science fiction or as a message movie, “Avatar” is a jumbled mess.

But, oh, what a gorgeous film. The creatures populating Pandora, the moon on which the action takes place, aren’t particularly imaginative in conception, but they’re beautifully rendered analogues of dragons, dinosaurs, buffalo, dogs, and horses (no cats, though, unless the thanator qualifies as a sort of black tiger). Director James Cameron treads dangerously close to the fantasy genre; Pandora is a magical, mystical world in which the biological bleeds seamlessly into the metaphysical. Different forms of life have evolved on that world—yielding plenty of hexapods, fangs, and bioluminescence—but most have evolved a way to “plug into” each other, reinforcing a resonant web of interspecies empathy. Pandora stands as a metaphor for our own world; through his visual tricks, Cameron makes planetary interconnectedness more visible to us.

And it’s not just the life forms that are gorgeous and inspiring: the terrain is awesome as well. You have to put aside any understanding of physics to buy into what you’re seeing, but those floating mountains, chock full of the precious “unobtainium” ore and resplendent with diaphanous waterfalls, are a sumptuous feast for the eyes, easily worthy of Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth (NB: Jackson’s Weta Workshop did the special effects for “Avatar”; there’s a reason why everything looks so familiar).

“Avatar” tells the story of Jake Sully, a disabled Marine whose scientist twin brother is killed. Jake, despite being a grunt who lacks his brother’s science background, takes his brother’s place in the “avatar program,” a sort of diplomacy-through-bioengineering project in which human minds are projected into genetically engineered Na’vi bodies—the “avatars” of the movie’s title. Humans in possession of Na’vi bodies can breathe Pandora’s air (poisonous to humans) and, it is hoped, learn the Na’vi culture and language in order to persuade the Na’vi to help the humans mine the superconducting unobtainium that Earth needs to reconstitute its wasted self. Jake is a perfect genetic match for his brother, and thus a perfect match for his brother’s avatar. He has teachers and helpers: Dr. Grace Augustine (Sigourney Weaver) heads the avatar program; Dr. Norm Spellman (Joel David Moore) is an anthropologist; Dr. Max Patel (Dileep Rao) is a fellow researcher.

The scientists have a tense relationship with the military contingent; the soldiers look upon the Na’vi as primitives, savages, unenlightened monkeys. Hardass Colonel Miles Quaritch (Stephen Lang) is head of security, and he promises the paralyzed Sully that, if Sully can act as a spy who reports on the Na’vi, he can have his legs back. Sully, who is also working for the scientists to gain the natives’ trust, slips into a coffin-like chamber that allows him to connect with his Na’vi self. While acting as a Na’vi, learning the people’s language, culture, and survival skills, Jake becomes seduced by life on Pandora, and he inevitably goes native.

From here on, you can pretty much predict the plot: with the help of his Na’vi teacher and love interest Neytiri (Zoe Saldana), Jake proves himself as a warrior and eventually leads the Na’vi in an attack against the human settlement. I’ll let you imagine how it turns out, if you’re one of the five people on the planet who haven’t seen “Avatar” by now.



For me, suspension of disbelief entailed bracketing everything I know about actual science. I could have spent all day poking holes in this aspect of the story: how could Pandora evolve humanoids who live in recognizably human societies? How could parallel evolution also produce the equivalents of dogs, horses, rhinos, and pterosaurs? How does the human/avatar uplink actually function? How can unobtainium produce enough energy to hold up mountains while not exerting equal pressure against the ground? I also had to ignore the movie’s message, a standard Hollywood trope that’s been with us since at least the 1970s, when Hollywood was questioning America’s role in Vietnam. Further, I had to try hard to ignore the many instances in which Cameron cribbed elements from his own cinematic oeuvre, especially “Aliens”: the super-competent female pilot (Michelle Rodriguez), the creature-versus-mecha combat, the overuse of the color blue, the evil corporate machinations, and so on.* After stripping all those factors away, what was left was this question: was it a good story?

The answer: yes. Yes, it was.

“Avatar” works—not as a message movie, not as hard sci-fi, but as a heroic adventure that gives a bit of a twist to Joseph Campbell’s monomyth paradigm: for Campbell, the hero is the one who brings a boon back to his people; Jake Sully, however, starts the story as an alien, and only gradually comes to think of the Na’vi as “his people.”

So you might be wondering: if Sully falls in love with Neytiri, and all these adventures befall his Na’vi body while his human body is in the tanning booth, what happens at the end? Jake is still human, after all; for him to live with Neytiri forever, Jake will have to sever his ties with humanity and somehow transfer his consciousness fully into his Na’vi avatar. Well… to this end, the movie offers up its own version of the fal-tor-pan (spirit-transference) ritual at the end of “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” To reinhabit his body, Spock had to pass through the medium of T’Lar; “Avatar” has no T’Lar, but it does have the Tree of Souls.

The movie had some of the same themes as can be found in other works of science fiction, especially the notion of a web-like, planet-spanning consciousness. Isaac Asimov’s Gaia comes to mind: in the Foundation universe, Gaia is a world on which every particle of matter, biotic or abiotic, participates in a massive collective sentience. Gaian humans enjoy a certain level of individuality, but they are nevertheless “plugged in” to the rest of their world. Robert Silverberg’s strange novel The Face of the Waters also comes to mind: human beings who live on the planet Hydros are in constant danger of extinction, as the entire planet uses its global hive mind to reject or eject the humans, attacking much as an immune system might do. By the end of the novel the protagonist, Lawler, has learned that the only way to survive the planet’s attempts to kill him is to merge with that superconsciousness, much the way Jake Sully does at the end of “Avatar.”

So “Avatar” works as a simple adventure story, the tale of an unlikely hero. Despite its liberal agenda, it follows the politically incorrect template of the white man who comes to help the poor natives and, in the process, becomes the natives’ greatest champion. “Avatar” is predictable for long stretches; it’s impossible to take seriously as an anti-technological, pro-environmentalist statement, and is just as hard to swallow as a serious work of science fiction, but the beauty of its visuals, and the appeal of some of its corny, lovey-dovey concepts, is impossible to deny. I wouldn’t mind visiting Pandora, if it were real, and communing with its ancient plant life.

Or better yet, its lanky, coltish women.



*James Cameron, for all his left-liberalism, has an affinity for the work of Robert Heinlein. Both “Aliens” and “Avatar” contain sly Heinlein references. In “Aliens,” the term “bug hunt” in the context of human-soldiers-versus-insectoid-aliens evokes Starship Troopers; in “Avatar,” the use of the slang term “bounce” does the same.

_

New York mayor’s job is to ‘defend Israel ‘ ! – Page 4 (politics)

Quote Originally Posted by johnmayo
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What glorious civilization?

Read all aboudit;

The Legacy of Arab/Islamic Civilization and Its Impact on the West

1. Mathematics

2. Astronomy

3. Chemistry

4. Physics

5. Medicine

6. Pharmacy and Pharmacology

7. Zoology and Veterinary Medicine

8. Agriculture

9. Philosophy and Metaphysics

10. Geography

11. Sociology

12. Literature

13. Music

14. Art

15. Architecture

http://radioislam.org/sindi/arab.htm

Their civilizations a thousand years ago sort of sucked.

Quit with the clowning.

Anyway, there’s no Israeli history to use as comparison. Israel has only existed for 60-odd years and during ALL of that time it has been a bloody curse upon the Middle East and a burden to the West. Do Americans want secret pacts with foreign agents whose aim is to subvert Congress and the Senate ? NeoZionist Americans do- real Americans don’t. De Blasio’s covert meetings should end any prospect of him being anything other than just another vote-wheedling maggot in the Big Apple.

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2016: the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek

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Originally Posted by Picard Sisko
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Like I had said, I’m not expecting much, though it is directed by Tim Russ, so that gives it a bigger chance of getting noticed by CBS.

Although they’re still selling Prime Universe merchandise the focus seems to be on the new films. Renegades is interesting as it revisits several familiar faces. I am a Kickstarter member, and I think it’ll work as a one-off and maybe a fan series like Phase II, but CBS have turned down a few new series ideas. I’m sure one day they wil want to bring back Trek on TV.

I think any hope of a Titan or Excelsior series has been and gone, as well as they look Takei and Frakes have aged significantly and i think the latter has turned to directing. Yes I love seeing the heroes back on camera, that’s why I am so keen on Renegades, but for the franchise moving forward I think they will have to be very careful on approach – a new series would have to cater for the general audience as well as the existing Trek fan community.

Funnily enough in 2006 for the 40th Of Gods and Men was made as an anniversary tribute as CBS/Paramount didn’t do one! I think for now the most exciting Trek projects are the fan ones: Renegades, Continues, Phase II, Axanar…