Posts Tagged ‘29th’


Review: Rambo III

July 30, 2012

Rambo III is from a very different point in American history. The 80s, apart from the abundance of cocaine and hookers on Wall Street, was a time when most of America was sure that the Soviet Union would start World War III rather than admit to losing the Cold War. And the Soviet-Afghan war was a part of that – the Soviet Union went to fight resistance to the Afghan Soviet government while the US was supporting the Mujahideen rebels with weapons and financial aid.

Rambo III begins with Col. Trautman searching for John Rambo in Thailand, eventually finding him in a stick fighting contest in an abandoned warehouse. However, he leaves before they can talk, and they catch up to him again at a Buddhist monastery. Trautman explains that he needs John Rambo again, this time to supply weapons to Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan. Rambo refuses, and Trautman goes on the mission himself, promptly getting captured after being attacked by a Hind.

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Review: National Lampoon’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj

May 25, 2012

National Lampoon has kind of a complicated backstory. It all started at Harvard University in 1876 with the first publication of undergraduate humor magazine Harvard Lampoon. After a century of publication, three Harvard graduates and alumni of the magazine licensed the “Lampoon” name for a national monthly publication, which lasted from 1970 to 1998. This is the National Lampoon of such movies as Animal House and the Vacation series, and is not the incarnation we are concerned with today.

No, today’s fare comes from National Lampoon, Inc., formed in 2002 to use the “National Lampoon” name. The more recent company has a terrible record in picking their CEOs, with one convicted of stock manipulation and a second stands charged with operating a Ponzi scheme. But all that’s beside the point. No, what is on topic is that NLI’s first movie, National Lampoon’s Van Wilder made back its five million dollar budget, and then thirty-three million dollars after that.

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Ding Dong, The Paul Is Fired!

December 29, 2011

If you’re reading about video games, then you’re probably aware of the site Penny Arcade!. And if you know PA!, then you’ve probably heard about the email war between Paul Christoforo of Ocean Marketing and Doug [No Last Name Given], who ordered two Avenger controllers from N-Control. Paul flat-out insulted Dave when the latter dared to complain about the constant delays and the fact that new orders got preferential treatment, getting a $10 discount.

And then things turned ugly. Dave sent the emails to Mike Krahulk (Gabe of PA!), who said that if it came down to it, he would kick the company out of PAX. At which point Paul doubled-down, not only daring Mike to do something, but outright saying that he and his PR people would smear Penny Arcade. So, Mike did the only thing that came natural to him: He put up Paul’s contact info for all to see.

Paul has since been fired by N-Control. So, if you’re going to send an email to anyway, keep in mind that it’s not this Paul douche. Show the new guy some love. @OceanMarketing on twitter is still fair game. Just leave his relatives out of it.


Let’s Play SimCity 4! (Part 2.5: Mental Outpatient)

September 29, 2011

From the files of Dr. Michelle Neustadt, Ph.D, Dec. 29 2000.

As part of a required annual analysis of  public officials, I interviewed the mayor of Henningsdorf and his staff. While it is not uncommon for those with power to be somewhat off, I was hoping for at least one of them to be mentally healthy. This was sadly not the case.

Mayor Kevin Dixon

As all of the staff had  been in a meeting at the mayoral mansion, I decided to do all of the interviews there. I met the mayor in his upstairs office, leaning back in his office chair with his feet up, apparently engrossed in his music. Once he noticed me, he took a more professional posture. “Oh, I’m sorry. I hope you weren’t waiting too long. I just got the new Elton John album, it’s pretty good.”l

I replied that I wasn’t, and the interview began. We talked about just how an American became the mayor of a German city, his impression of his staff, all the while he was eyeing the liquor cabinet. After our interview, I heard keys jingling and and the sound of glass against glass.

ANALYSIS: Mayor Dixon clearly has a case of alcoholism, judging by his trembling and how he went for the liquor cabinet the second I left. Despite this, he seems to be able to act in a timely manner when situations demanding his attention occur.

Neil Fairbanks

I met with Neil Fairbanks over the kitchen table, where I found him reviewing, revising, and re-revising plans for future city expansion. We talked of his past career experience, where he got his start and things of that nature, all the while he was shifting about his papers and twirling his pen in his fingers. Even while he was answering my questions, his eyes kept darting down to his papers. Seconds after I left him, he was back to his revisions.

ANALYSIS: Mr. Fairbanks clearly suffers from obsessive-compulsive disorder and perfectionism, manifesting in his job as city planner. If what Mr. Dixon has told me is true, add to that hypomania. However, none of these adversely affect his job performance.

Monique Diamond

I found Monique Diamond in the study, going over her ledgers and looking for anywhere to make cuts in order to balance the budget. We talked about her experience keeping the books, looking after the finances of the city, and dealing with the quirks of her coworkers. She seemed particularly irked with Mayor Dixon, although after looking over the budget there wasn’t much cause for concern.

ANALYSIS: Ms. Diamond shows textbook signs of being a workaholic, as evidenced by her obsession with figures and budgets. She also seems to have trust issues, possibly stemming from difficulty with a previous employer or family member. My main concern is with her physical health, as the constant reviews and revisions of finances will eventually lead to immune system and/or heart problems.

Jonas Sparks

Jonas Sparks was out in a workshop behind the mansion. Out of all of his team, Mr. Sparks was the one that the mayor had been the most worried about. After seeing him, I wasn’t quite sure why. He invited me in, offered me a bottle of soda, and began to show me the various inventions he’d been working on. One which he seemed especially proud of was a way for entire buildings to be packed into a box the size of a shipping crate that would, when struck with a wrench, unfold into the fully formed and functional building.

He told me about his past, growing up in rural Texas, spending his summers with his aunt and uncle and his inventions. It was all very…creative, possibly a flight of fancy born of boredom.

ANALYSIS: Mr. Sparks shows signs of perfectionism and seems to hold his uncle in high regard, elevating him to an almost idol-like status. He has occasional fantastic ideas that he seems to be convinced are possible, but none of these threaten his job performance in any appreciable way.

Sam Armstrong

Sam Armstrong was in his own study, going over crime statistics. He seemed a little distant during the interview, distracted by a picture on his desk. Mr. Armstrong had a very long career – coming up through the ranks of the police force in Bridgeport to become chief of police and later public safety advisor. Having such a high-stress position was difficult, he admitted, but he’d found the challenge invigorating, even if it didn’t leave any time for romance.

ANALYSIS: Mayor Dixon mentioned that he believes that he accidentally caught Mr. Armstrong trying to look at Ms. Dean while she was dressing. At first I didn’t believe him, but after the interview, I’m not ready to rule out voyeurism and/or social disorders.

Bettina Dean

I am intimately familiar with Bettina Dean. Many years ago, we worked together on a case study about public health for the city of Chicago. Back in those days, she was always very professional, if a little uptight. Judging by our interview, not much has changed. She seems to have loosened up considerably from those days, and admitted to being infatuated with Mr. Armstrong.

ANALYSIS: Ms. Dean and Mr. Armstrong both have high-stress jobs, and it seems only natural that they would be attracted to each other. She seems to have a minor obsession with her work, but not to the level that it would interfere with her on a day to day basis.

Jamil Heard

For Mr. Heard, I had to travel out into the field, where he was directing recently-approved road expansions. He seemed to have a genuine enthusiasm for the work, going so far as to help the road crew spread asphalt, even if his appreciation for the smell was slightly troubling. He revealed that he too had been educated in Chicago, and was Jordanian by birth. He admitted that what Mayor Dixon told me was true about his being upset at the approvals needed.

Given the composition of the rest of the cabinet, Mr. Heard may prove a useful contact in the event that the others get completely drunk.

ANALYSIS: Mr. Heard shows a minor case of bipolar disorder, which seems to be triggered by work difficulties. His aversion to alcohol is a result of his religion, and given the rest of the advisors, is a refreshing change of pace.

Camile Meadows

In order to meet with Ms. Meadows, I needed to take a jeep out into the German wilderness. A very solitary one, her. She told me of her works promoting recycling efforts and alternate energy programs in England, and how she needed to get somewhere remote after the hustle and bustle of London. She prefers to go on solitary walks to be with nature and to, as she put it, “get away from everything”.

ANALYSIS: She shows signs of depersonalization disorder, combined with possible delusions of grandeur. Her personality and desire for solitude are also indicative of introversion or an aversion of  personal relationships.


Late Ass Review: Lord of the Rings and The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion

May 30, 2011

This is about as late as a weekly review can be, but I do have an excuse. What happened was, my grandmother got sick this week and I had to spend a couple of nights with her, just in case she had to be taken to the hospital in the middle of the night. So, I spent Wednesday and Friday night up there, Thursday night I managed to get Part 4 of Battlefield Vietnam captured and let it render overnight, and now I finally have the drive to get this review done. So, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.

Let me start by saying that this plot synopsis will in no way be an in-depth look, because I’d be here typing for hours. The Dark Lord Sauron creates the enchanted One Ring, imbued with his own life force, in order to rule over Middle Earth. He is separated from the ring in a battle with a Human-Elf alliance, and it is lost in a river after the elf carrying it is ambushed by orcs. It is later (much, much later) picked up by Gollum, who is…uh…Gollum. He claims it for centuries until is it found by the hobbit Bilbo Baggins.

And here’s where the synopsis compression kicks in. Bilbo leaves the ring to his nephew Frodo, while wizard Gandalf the Grey travels to Minas Tirith to learn about Bilbo’s magic ring, discovering it is really Sauron’s One Ring. Gandalf is imprisoned by Saruman the White, who wants the One Ring for himself. Sam and Frodo eventually reunite with Gandalf after his escape, and meet up with the human warriors Aragorn and Boromir, elven archer and scout Legolas, dwarven warrior Gimli, and fellow hobbits Merry and Pippin, forming the titular Fellowship.

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Review: Zardoz and Two Worlds

April 29, 2011

So, I’ve made another mistake. When I wrote the “Coming Attractions” for this month, I got Two Worlds II confused with the original game. From what I understand, the sequel is a fairly good game, and a major step up. Without further dudes, here’s Zardoz and Two Worlds.

Zardoz is fucking insane. There, I said it. The avatar of the God Zardoz is a giant floating stone head that speaks to men who wear suspenders and red manties and it vomits guns and ammunition. Then one of these worshipers is revealed to Sean Connery who shoots a revolver into the camera, perhaps in an attempt to put the viewer out of their misery. Sean Connery wakes up in a pile of sand in Zardoz’ mouth, where he finds sleeping people in clear plastic bags.

I can tell already that this review is going to be an exercise in futility. Zardoz is indescribable. I am dead serious, I have absolutely no fucking clue what is going on, and I seriously doubt that Sean Connery does either. And now there’s a girl riding nude on a horse that was apparently a hallucination. We’re about twenty minutes in here. This is evidently what the director of Deliverance does when given a free pass.

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