Monday, January 21, 2013

Cool finds on Netflix ..

Sometimes I can't stand Netflix because the variety is lacking.   It's like getting Star Trek: The next generation, but not finding the original series on there, or DS9, Voyager, or Enterprise.   How about NOT just the old black and white Dr. Who's, or one 'season' of a Tom Baker ('70's - 80's) scarf wearing episode, but the whole lot an caboodle.   But maybe not getting what I want is a good thing.   Now don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to seeing the entire run of Buck Rogers, or Space 1999 on Netflix as much as the next geek, but sometimes not getting what you want can lead to a whole lot of surprises.

Here are a few gems of geekiness that I might otherwise of missed if I would just get what I want:

Flying Swords: Dragon Gate - Jet Li movie.   Kinda says it all.    But mix in some real nice cinematics, lots of sword fights (comes with the title), throw in some Indiana Jones, Piratey stuff (aka and a duel in the middle of a sand-storm and you basically have a the recipe for a decent movie.    Pretty good stuff, though Is it me, or is it getting somewhat old the whole 'I can leap and fly in the air and do incredible non-realistic things with a sword' thing.   Meh, still a great time.

Painted Skin: The Resurrection  - Another Chinese cinema flick, dealing with Demons, and love and all that jazz.    A couple things that make this one interesting -- Cinematically this is amazing.   The special effects are on par with new kung-fu movies, but the directing is just crazy wild.   The story is better than Flying Swords, but it does deal with Demons .. so be warned.   Oh and when you watch this, which you should ... Is it just me, or does this have a strong taste (especially the bad guys and their makup etc) of Conan??    In a way I could see this Director doing a Conan-esk flick, just by the setting and costume designs.   Plus the fighting scenes are really, really, really well done.

Clash of Empires (no ...not the board game of the same name.. though now I really should play that too) -- This is alot better than I thought it would be.   Basically you have a Chinese princess and a Roman Prince hooked to be married, but this is all for naught because of those pesky pirates.   But thankfully there is a Sinbad (the sailor, not the comedian) type character that comes into play.   Really fun fun movie.   This is what adventure movies are about.  Booyah

Dawn of the Dragon Slayer -- Medievil story about a guy getting revenge and killing a dragon.   Not new, I know.   But the cinematics/landscapes are really well done, and the Dragon, though it could of used a few million in the CGI dept. was probably one of my favorite designs of a Dragon that I have seen in a while.   The lead Actor .. yea he sucks.   Not right for the part at all.   The rest of the cast are pretty good.   This movie is on my list just because the story itself, and its execution sort of surprised me in its quality.    

Mugamoodi - A bollywood movie (only has 2 dance/song routines so don't shudder) that is a superhero movie.   A martial artist called ..get this ... Bruce Lee .. ya ... he names himself after the actual Bruce Lee, wants to impress a girl so he becomes this superhero (while keeping a step away from the cops and the mob).   Anyway, this one totally surprised me.   The fight scenes are actually decent and the tone of the movie is fun, but it also has some decent dialogue in it as well.   One thing that I've found while reading subtitles on this one .... you have to read faster than the Chinese movies.   Just warning you.

All these fun flicks.   Good job Netflix .... Now go get me some ALF episodes.!! 

Wargaming made anew ..

Beyond the gates of Antaries is an upcoming wargame for the creative mind that brought us Warhammer.   I've never played Warhammer, as I was missing two very important things .. A store to pick up Warhammer and money to plunk down on the beast that Warhammer is.   Lets face it, it is a daunting game.   Not only cost wise, but painting as well.    Some things have changed though ..

First up, I'm starting to enjoy doing painting of minatures ..not that I'm good at it by any means, but in a way I find it very theraputic, and a great way to relax.   Also, the reward of in a way bringing a lifeless figure to life (speaking figuratively .. see what I did there ;D  ) is very cool.   Not only this but each brush stroke, for me and my illusterous creative mind.. brings a story to each figure.   Now like I said I'm no great artist, but I enjoyed my first real foray into painting with my Shards of Aschardalon boardgame from Wizards of the Coast.

Secondly .. is the game mentioned above.    Beyond the Gates of Anataries may just be the thing to get me into wargaming.   First, its going to be a universe that is changed and moved (within certain parameters) by the community.   What you play, when you play counts towards its overarching story.   I like to think of it as Eve Online... but with minatures.    Also, this isn't just a game being created by some young upstarts .. but by Rick Priestly .. one of the key designers of the Warhammer Universe .. but this game isn't Warhammer.   The setting is based more on direct science, instead of supernatural.   Which is great for me, because one of the great deterrents of Warhammer is the dark themes and ..well.. lets face it, I don't need darkness in my life, I've got winter and that's enough for me.

I've been checking out some vids for this kickstarter, and it looks interesting.   Will I go down the poverbrial rabbit hole and support big 'Beyond the gates of Antaries' .. not sure, but if I give a buck toward it, I'll get the lowdown on the rules and may get a foothold into something that might be the link between tabletop gaming and the mmo.   Which is kind of cool.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best Music of 2012 ... according to me :D

Ok, here are the top 2012 music releases in my opinion.

Best Hard In-your-face 'til your skin tears off album:

As I Lay Dying - Awakened.   It's more than screaming, there are some great guitars, deep lyrics andt all the songs have moments of great background vocals.   It's a heavy album that you just don't get sick hearing over and over again.

Best Worship album:

Remedy Drive : Resuscitate Me  - Always playing in the car.   It's what a worship album is .. makes you think, makes your heart be guided heavenward.

Best Rock Album:

House of Heroes -- Basically, because this has simply been playing pretty well non-stop on my iPod.   It doesn't get old.   I switch between this and Remedy Drive ... a great pairing.

Best Metal Album:

Tourniquet: Antiseptic Bloodbath -- Musically amazing, lyrically provocative.  But Yes, I still eat meat!

Album of the Year

Theocracy: As the World Bleeds.
Yes it came out late 2011 ... but I didn't have a list then so *nyaahhh* ;)   And it occupied my car stereo for at least 4 months ... CONSTANTLY!!  This is the best lyrically, musically driven album I've heard in years...that and singert Matt Smith just screams like no other.   Always makes me crank the stereo.

Honorable Mentions:
Flyleaf: New Horizons; Disciple: O God Save Us all; War of Ages: Return to Life

Looking forward to in 2013:  New albums by Red and Golden Resurection.    Going to be a crazy good time.