August 4th, 2008

Island in the Sun

Southern Discomfort

Raise your hand if you even noticed I was gone for a week! I'm sure most of you were busy with Comic-Con and Houston and Sparklelolcopalypse Sparklelolcalypse (tm cleolinda) and all manner of sundry things, so if there's a post of yours—or a video or trailer or magical fandom thing/news—you want to make sure I see, give it here, you. I skimmed through my skip=600 (and that was without comms and feeds).

I was stolen away for a family vacation, and while I don't plan on writing extensively about it, let's see if I can get away with an abridged version.

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If my vacation doesn't sound all that vacation-y, that's wasn't. But I got to spend a lot of time with my brother and sister, and that's what really mattered.

Wait, that's not what mattered! What mattered was all the new media I consumed. Because that's what you all care about.

Soul Calibur 4: My brother and I played a little bit of this because it was in the Xbox. It was, you know, a fighting game. Playing as Yoda was pretty fun.

Condemned: Criminal Origins: This was the game I played for hours and hours until I beat the damn thing. It's a first-person shooter that places a heavy emphasis on melee combat, so instead of running around with a rocket launcher, you're beating the shit out of people with axes and pipes and paper cutters and shit. And when I say people, of course I mean zombies. Basically. It's a creepy motherfucker of a game, especially because it's rare that enemies just jump out and surprise you. Instead, you see or hear a glimpse of them before they hide, so you know they're there, just waiting. There's also a lot of bullshit forensics that's kind of fun. Your character is a police officer voiced by Greg Grunberg, so it's like you're playing as Matt Parkman!

Grand Theft Auto IV: I played around on my brother's post-endgame save just to see what it was like, and he got me some codes so I could have even more fun. I liked blowing shit up. This one time, I blew a helicopter in half, you guys.

N/N+: Why had I not heard of this game before? It's so fun! You're a little ninja bouncing around solving puzzles! It's a nice, old-school game.

Pandemic/Pandemic 2: Paging cadhla! Paging cadhla! In this game, you get to play as a virus whose goal it is to EXTERMINATE HUMANITY. In the sequel, you can play as bacteria or parasite as well. You get "evolution points" as you infect more people, and it's so much fun to watch your infection spread across the world. You want to increase your infectivity while at the same time decreasing your visibility so countries don't shut down their borders and airports, keeping you from spreading. Once you have a worldwide presence, you can turn up your lethality and start watching the human population go down. Oh man. So simple, yet so fun!

The Secret Life of the American Teenager: We caught some of this one night. It was not very good. Also, for fuck's sake, just because it's a show about teen pregnancy does not mean it deserves to be compared with Juno. "7th Heaven meets Juno" would be Juno making fun of the Camdens.

The Food Network: My siblings are apparently big Food Network aficionados, so I watched a shitload of Food Network over the week. We watched The Next Food Network Star or whatever, and the person my sister didn't want to win won. Rachael Ray is cute but has a scratchy, irritating voice, and her abbreviations are cloying. But in her travel episode to Santa Fe, she totally showed the hotel and spa my company off-site was at! Robin Miller is attractive (redhead!) but has no personality. Food Detectives is like Mythbusters with food. What I want to Ask Aida is "Why are you so pretty?" Those Neelys sure are...down home. Bobby Flay always loses. Jim O'Connor on The Secret Life of... loves Threadless, and in the take-out episode, he wore both a shirt my brother had just worn and one I had just worn.

Project Runway: I had never actually seen any of this show, but I caught some substantial portions of episodes, and other than Heidi Klum's incessant repetition that one of you will be in and one of you will be out or whatever, it wasn't bad! I liked that it was really about fashion and why people designed what they did and how they worked with various materials and all that business. It wasn't all that backstabby cattiness you see in most reality shows. Or maybe I just didn't see enough; I mean, it is a competition, so I'm sure there's some of that as well.

Hannah Montana: Seriously, the premise of this show is that no one recognizes Hannah Montana because HER HAIR IS A DIFFERENT COLOR? The episode I saw had a monkey in a locker. And your typical Disney overacting. I enjoy a handful of Disney shows, but this one didn't seem to stand out very much. To be fair, I didn't see a lot of the adventures of Hannah Montana, just Miley (how creative!) in high school with a secret teddy bear.

The X-Files: I Want to Believe: Fight the Future had explosions and bees and excitement. This movie was lacking in all three. And various other things.

Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: So great!! Oh man. Someone described this as "noir screwball comedy," and that's an apt description. It's got a twisty mystery, a believable romance, offbeat hilarity, and a sprinkling of metahumor. Totally worth checking out.

Lucky Number Slevin: I thought it'd make a good double feature with the above. It was...okay. It think it's very clever, and it kind of is, but it's so...empty. It takes half an hour at the end to explain itself in a somewhat self-congratulatory fashion, but you don't really see what the point of it all was. Except to have Morgan Freeman and Ben Kingsley be in the same movie.

Timeline: Fun time-travel nonsense! And all throughout, I was wondering why that cute French chick looked so familiar, and then at the end, I learned it was Anna Friel. Duh!

There Will Be Blood: It was less boring than I expected, but it was still kind of slow, albeit intriguing to watch. The final scene, of course, was awesome. And I was amused by Jonny Greenwood's score, which seemed less like a musical score and more like a bystander commenting on the movie, getting all het up and excited at the appropriate points. But I liked No Country for Old Men more.

Doom: I was on a plane, you guys. And it was there, on TBS. And Rosamund Pike was pretty. The movie itself was pretty much a pointless, clichéd mess, but the part where the movie turns into a live-action FPS simulation is kind of hilarious. You even get a chainsaw!! But, seriously, what's the point of making a Doom movie if you turn it from being about demons from Hell to being about SCIENCE GONE AWRY OMG.