Archive for December, 2010

The A-Team Poster - Cannes Film Festival 2010

I rented the movie The A-Team the other day through VUDU, and while I wasn’t overly impressed with it, it was still enjoyable! However, not enjoyable enough to watch a second time. Although, it was enjoyable enough to watch a sequel if one ever pops up.

So, what flaws were in the movie? Well, to be honest; Not many! In fact, the few “Flaws” that exist aren’t even really flaws, just personal tastes. For instance, I didn’t feel the movie had an “A-Team” feel.

I also wasn’t too fond of the cast, although Liam Neeson did manage to surprise me. At first, I scoffed at the idea of Liam playing Hanibal but after watching the movie, it turns out I was wrong, and he does an excellent job portraying the character that George Peppard made famous back in the ’80s.

As far as Quinton ‘Rampage’ Jackson goes, he did a better B.A. Baracus than Mr. T ever did! As far as I am concerned, B.A. belongs to Quinton.

The rest of the cast though? Not quite so impressive. Bradley Cooper was tolerable as the Faceman, but Sharlto Copley was a horrible Murdock, at least in my opinion.

You know who might have made a good Murdock though? Johnny Depp. I know, it sounds lame, but I think he could probably pull it off, at least better than Sharlto did.

Why Depp you ask? See, Dwight Schultz and Mr. Depp have something in common. Their Eyes. Their eyes are quite similar, and they have that crazy man gleam in them. It’s that gleam that made Schultz a perfect Murdock, and he shares that gleam with Depp.

Anyway, if you haven’t seen the movie yet, I urge you to check it out, because while it might not be perfect; It still has an enjoyment factor, coupled with a nostalgia factor.

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Image by Heather F via Flickr

I just discovered that Richard William Wheaton III, or as he is more commonly known as, Wil Wheaton, has a voice appearance in the soon to be released game DC Universe Online, and for those keeping track the release date for the game has been moved up, and is now due out january 11th.

Wil Wheaton, who is better known for his role as Wesley Crusher on the television series Star Trek: The Next Generation, is not unfamiliar with voice acting in games. He has lent his voice to many of the grand theft auto games, Fallout: New Vegas and has even voiced characters in EverQuest II. So, it’s not hugely surprising to see him voicing a character in yet another SOE MMORPG.

What I do find amusing is the character that he is voicing. Robin, the annoying kid sidekick of Batman. I find it Ironic, that the actor who portrayed the annoying kid sidekick on ST:TNG is no trading in his pips for a cape, but retaining the annoying kid sidekick role. I had thought him above that!

To be fair, his newer roles are usually anything but annoying kid sidekicks. In fact, he tends to portray a villain these days, and he does it quite well! In the series Leverage, he plays a villainous hacker, and in The Big Bang Theory he plays — Well, he plays himself but an viler version of himself. In The Guild he plays Fawkes which actually reminds me of his same character on Big Bang.

All that considering, I find it surprising he is playing Robin. My first choice for him would have been The Blue Beetle, since that was his role on the Series Batman: The Brave and the Bold. However, my second choice for him would have been The Calculator, villainous and Geeky. Nothing says modern-day Wil Wheaton better than that!

QVC Logo

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There’s a home shopping channel called QVC, that has been around since as far back as I can remember. It’s not the only home shopping network, but it is one of, if not the most popular home shopping channel.

I remember coming home from school, and my mom would have the station turned on, until I plopped my butt down in front of the TV and flipped on The Real Ghostbusters or Defenders of the Earth. However, She would watch QVC, more than some mothers watch soap operas. Don’t get me wrong, my mom watched Soap Operas too, but she only watched General Hospital, and that was on for only an hour a day, where as QVC was on 24/7.

My mom wasn’t the only person in the world who watched the channel either apparently, because as time marched on, the channel became more and more popular. As it stands now, QVC is a major cable network, included on most cable channel line-ups.

When I grew up, and I moved out on my own, I too would even flip on QVC occasionally, because nothing was on. Kind of like how some people might flip on an infomercial late at night. However, never did I spend a lot of time or prime time watching QVC.

Truth be told though,Just like most people, I have made a few orders from QVC. However, when I received the few items that I have ordered, they usually arrive either broken, or in a non-functional state, and the one or two that did work on arrival quit working soon after it got delivered.

Now, this isn’t a huge issue, since QVC has a fairly good return policy, but it makes me wonder how on earth could this station become the cable powerhouse that it currently is? Maybe I am the only one who has had bad issues with QVC? Granted, I haven’t ordered much from them, and I haven’t ordered in a very long time, but it just seems like when I do, I have a bad experience.

What’s everyone elses experience with their QVC shopping, has it been positive or negative?

DC Universe Online

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So, you applied for Beta for DC Universe Online, and haven’t heard anything yet? You might have, and just missed it! Be sure and check your spam folder, especially if you use Gmail as your mail address. The reason I suggest this, is because this happened to me. I had received Beta information awhile ago, but was unaware of it, because the Gmail filter labeled the letter spam and tossed it in the spam folder. If I hadn’t been going through the spam folder to clear it out, I would never have noticed it.

However, I did notice it and have since begun downloading the PS3 Beta of DCUO. Which I will tell you is a HUGE download! We’re talking 15 gigs here, and about a 5 hour download. So, unless you have five hours to kill, I suggest getting the download started before going to bed, so it will be all ready for you when you wake up, all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed.

Anyway, as I said, I began downloading the game, and have since been playing it, and to be honest, I am just not that impressed. Actually, that’s an understatement. I hate it! I would rather play City of Heroes with an ice pick shoved in my head, that subscribe to DCUO.

The game sucks! At least for me, chances are most gamers will enjoy the game! It plays very much like the ultra-popular Everquest game series, and that did alright for its self! For me though, it just lacks too much to hold my interest. Like all SOE MMORPGs, it’s basically a grindfest. Which appeals to a lot of people, but just not to me! If I am going to play a game, MMORPG or not, I want to encounter a fantastic story, an epic tale. I want to feel like I am a part of something major, and that’s just not what DCUO does for me.

Like I said though, most gamers will probably enjoy the game, and I encourage you all to try and get beta access. However, keep in mind, that like all beta games, this isn’t the finished product. You will encounter bugs, you will freeze up a lot. I froze every 15 to 20 mins. You will have trouble reading the text. You will get frustrated with the game. However, that’s what beta is for! It will all be fixed by release date, and most likely before.

In the end, I think I can safely say I won’t be playing the game when it’s released. In fact, I have already canceled my pre-order from Amazon. I think I will just stick to Champions Online. However I wish SOE and DCUO all the best and good luck. I hope they do well, and who knows, after a while I might decide to give it another go in the future. Lord knows I have a habit of restarting subscriptions to SOE games. I can’t tell you how many times I have resubscribed to EverQuest, EverQuest II or Star Wars: Galaxies.

Dana Dane 4 Ever

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There was a time, when Rap and Hip-Hop was enjoyable to me. That was before it became filled with the profanity and violence that exist in the genre today. We’re talking back when DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince were cranking out tunes about how your parents just don’t understand.

Ok, granted his tunage was mainly aimed for the younger people, but at least the lyrics were clean and enjoyable. That’s more than I can say about music from any genre that kids listen to today.

God, I never thought I would think something like that. It’s proof right there, that I am in fact getting old.

Anyway, I got to thinking about hip-hop from my past, and remembered an artist who went by the name Dana Dane. He performed a few popular songs at the time, however the two that stick out in my mind the most, is Nightmares of the night, and Cinderfella.

So, since I was thinking about him, I got to wondering just what he was up to now, and I decided to Google him. The first site that popped up was of course his site, danadane.com of course. So, I clicked to head on over to his site, and was treated to hm actually singing out his URL.

This got me wondering, How cool would it be to have my domain URL sung?! Seriously, I wonder how much Dana Dane would charge to sing “Shaide blog dot com”. That would kick ass! That right there, is a brilliant business idea!

Cryptic today went live on their holodeck server, with a patch for Star Trek Online. This is the 3rd major free content update, and includes many new graphical changes, as well as sets the stage for the soon to come release of the foundry, which will allow users to create their own missions to play.

In terms of graphical changes, the biggest change would have to be for sector space. It’s been totally revamped, to give it a more realistic and expansive feel! Before this update, space didn’t have that Star Trek feel, and didn’t look real at all. Now though, not only does space take on realistic features, but stars fly past you as you zip through the cosmos at warp speeds.

How much of a difference to graphics are we talking here? Well, a picture is worth a thousand words.

World of Warcraft

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Bottles of Mountain dew have begun flying off store shelves, as Hard-core gamers, and basement dwellers alike, have begun swooping into grocery stores all across the country! The reason? In anticipation of the midnight release of World of Warcrafts third expansion pack, Cataclysm of course!

Apparently, many WoW gamers have taken time off from work, and plan on staying up for a couple of days straight, so they can play through this expansion pack. Apparently, they never heard of taking your time and savoring something you enjoy.

Now, I am sure you all know what World of Warcraft is, unless of course you have been living under a rock without internet access for the past 7 years. So, I am not going to go into explaining what it is. Because you should know!

I don’t play WoW any more, so I am obviously not joining in the festivities. In fact, not only do I not play WoW anymore, but I honestly don’t know how the game can remain as popular as it is. Don’t get me wrong here people! I’m not saying the game is horrible, but what I am saying is the game is average! There’s nothing special about the game that other games don’t have! The only major plus for the game, is its simplicity. If you have never played an MMORPG, you could start playing WoW and not feel overwhelmed.

Here’s the thing though. The game get’s old. Sure, they release expansions, but what exactly is the point of the expansions? It’s the same stuff, with a different background. You will still find yourself fighting a monster, and collecting a number of their body parts. Sure, these monsters might be new, or they might be just recolored versions of old monster. You will then take these body parts to some person, who for some odd reason, wants to collect monster body parts, and in turn they will give you some experience and a piece of treasure.

You also of course get the level caps raised, so you can run around grinding on monster kills to get your level up, so you can get that next body part collecting quest being offered by that other person in the neighboring town!

After awhile, the routine get’s boring. For me, it took 3 years to realise that the game was boring as hell. They released their first expansion pack, and I admit it, I went for a midnight release! I was excited, I came home and started playing it, and then realised that I was doing the exact same crap I had spent the last 60 levels doing. So, I quit! I went checking out other MMORPGs, and discovered that all MMOs followed the same formula, however learned that many actually had entertaining stories, and offered more versatility in gameplay.

After discovering this, and moving on to better games, I asked myself why WoW continued to be so popular, and I never got an answer, until just right now. As I was writing this blog entry, the answer hit me! The reason WoW continues to be popular, is because it’s simple! Sure, it lacks depth, sure it lacks versatility and yea, it lacks a deep engrossing story, but it’s simple to play! Since the game is simple to begin playing, it attracts first time MMO gamers, who basically get their feet wet in this game, develop a character and then have spent so much time building this character up, that they don’t want to just let it go. So, when the next expansion comes out, they ignore the fact that it’s nothing new, and that’s it’s just the same old stuff repackaged in a shiny package.

I will admit though, the PvP in World of Warcraft, is the best I have experienced. No matter the MMO, none has come close to matching the balance and enjoyment that exists in World of Warcraft. Is PvP alone enough to warrant sticking through all the other crap? Maybe for some, but unfortunately it wasn’t enough for me to stick around.

Anyway, to all the people who continue to play WoW: Happy Cataclysm Eve!