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Archive for November, 2009

Popcorn Sucks – Fermat’s Room

Hello everyone and welcome to our first edition of Popcorn Sucks.  Today we’ll be looking at the film Fermat’s Room.  This is a spanish thriller/horror about a group of four mathemeticians who are invited to an event via mysterious letters.  The letter explains that the group is being brought together to solve one of the greatest enigmas the world has ever known.  They are given pseudonyms based on famous mathemeticians who came before them and are to reveal no information about themselves to the other guests.  Upon final arrival at a decrepit old grainery they explore it to find a well furnished room with a blackboard and numerous books on mathematics.  Soon they come to find themselves locked within the room and the room to be getting progressively smaller as the walls close in on them.  A PDA in the room rings and they are given a brainteaser that, if they can solve, will slow the room’s shrinking for a few moments.  This is where the movie really starts to shine.  The group must work to solve the constant bombardement of riddles all while trying to figure out why they were brought here, what they all have in common, and how to stop/escape the room. 

The film itself plays out like a mystery in the sense that you really have no information going into the movie, but more and more details come to the surface with each moment.  The suspense in the film is phenomenal.  With so many problems having to be dealt with at the same time, you as a viewer find yourself struggling to find out which answers you want first.  Are you more eager to hear the answer to the newest riddle, or perhaps a revelation of an element of one of the characters, or maybe you want to know the overall reason they are here. 

The only bad things people might find in the movie is the lack of character development, but I for one am perfectly fine with this.  You lock four people in a room that’s shrinking, and no they aren’t going to have revolutionary breakthroughs in their characters or understand a lot about themselves.  They are too busy trying to find a way out.  I think this adds to the sense of realism and suspense to the film. 

Fermat’s Room is on DVD now from IFC Films, and I highly recommend it.

Bonus: Here’s one of the riddles in the movie.  What is the pattern in this sequence of numbers?  You should be able to find their order.           8-5-9-1-7-3-2

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Geeky Things To Do With Your Non-Geeky Friends

November 29, 2009 Leave a comment

We geeks get a bad rap.  Most of the “norms” think that we just hang out all day in our basements or some such and do “weird” things.

Use this to classify yourself and your "so-called" non-geeky friends & family.

Trust me, anyone can be a geek.

Bearing this in mind I have a compiled some geeky activities to do with your non-geeky friends.

#1 – Fluxx

The card game with ever changing rules.  The good thing is that Fluxx now has many different flavors at this time.  If unpredictable fun is your thing, then Fluxx is for you.

#2 – Settlers of Catan

In my honest opinion, the absolute best board game I have ever played.  Not as predictable as Life and not as cut-throat as Monopoly.  The board changes every time you play, so the game is always different.  Also, the gameplay is actually quite simple once you learn it.  I have not met a person yet that doesn’t like this game.

#3 – Munchkin

You knew this was coming.  If you haven’t introduced your family to this particular gem, you aren’t a true geek.  There are so many expansions and flavors of Munchkin now, you can hit just about ANY demographic.  It’s fun no matter how you play it.

If you think there are some more out there, let me know.  I’ll post ’em.

Discuss.

Categories: Humor, Internet Tags:

Assassin’s Creed 2: Ending Impressions (Minor Spoilers)

November 29, 2009 7 comments

So if AC2 has two wrist blades...will AC3 have one coming out..nevermind.

Buongiorno everyone.  We’ve come to the end of another venture into Desmond’s DNA memory and boy what a ride.  Overall the game was an enjoyable experience, but it comes along with a lot of the issues that the first one held. 

Story:  The game picks up right where the first one left off which was a heck of a cliffhanger in the original.  We’re quickly thrown into action as Desmond must escape the Templar facility and seek shelter with fellow Assassins.  There we find that they have their own animus and throw Desmond right into the past again.  Here is where the plot takes it’s course a bit differently.  The original game seemed a lot more focused on the mystery of the facility and how Altair came to be important and what everyone was after.  You would jump back and forth from the future to the past as more and more details unfolded.  In AC2 you very very rarely come out of the animus.  This leads to the plot revolving entirely around our new hero Ezio as he seeks vengeance against some people who conspired against his family.  The entire game plays out around this and the mysteries of the first game rarely come up until the end.  Actually if you don’t spend your time looking for the hidden glyphs or codices you can actually go through 95% of the game without the plot having anything to do with the mysteries of the first game.  This is actually a problem I had with the overall story.  I try to keep my thoughts as spoiler free as possible, so this may be hard to word.  The game takes a drastic turn in plot near the end of the game and the focus turns from the main plot to one revolving entirely around the mysteries that the people in the future are trying to figure out.  Even Ezio has no idea what’s going on at certain points.  I see how Ubisoft was trying to pull a “A-ha. The plot was actually this the whole time!” in an attempt to be clever, but when you never focus on the “mystery” plot in the game it just falls flat.  I felt more cheated, as in I felt the plot up till now was all pointless and had no meaning.  This reduces a lot of meaning to the game when a vast majority of the story was robbed of its meaning.  The game itself has another huge cliffhanger ending that I believe Desmond himself put best as the screen goes black and he hollers “What…The…Fuck!”  As the credits roll.  Luckily the game keeps going through there and you continue playing through the credits, but I just wanna say that it was incredibly annoying to try and play a game as fountains of words come pouring across the screen.  Seriously Ubisoft.  Just let us finish the game and then watch the credits.

Gameplay: If you played Assassin’s Creed then you won’t be too shocked by the gameplay.  You have more of the same free-running, climbing, wrist-blade stabbity action.  It follows the open-world formula of mini-events like races, assassination contracts, and things of that ilk.  Additional elements this time around include a lot of weapons to choose from and the addition of a second wrist blade.  They took the really fluid combat that I loved from the first game and transferred it over well.  You can also now recruit certain groups of NPC’s to follow you and provide distractions by sending them to guards to seduce(courtesans) or fight(mercenaries).  It’s also much easier to escape from being chased now with the ability to hide in any crowd and the ability to use smoke bombs later in the game.  All these additions to combat are really interesting, but I rarely found need to use any of it.  I’d say 98% of the situations were solvable by walking up and dual-wrist blade assassinating two guards and usually a third that had a delayed reaction and just fighting the rest.  Rarely did I even feel a need to draw a sword and instead just countered and parried with the wrist blade weapons.  Overall if there’s one big change to the gameplay I would say it’s that the game is much much easier.  To be honest, the game difficulty lied with Ezio himself who would sometimes decide to jump off in random directions or off ledges because sprint/jump work as the same button and if you don’t release it at the right moment you’ll send Ezio off into the wild blue yonder.  The greatest nemesis in the game though was this guy…

The Greatest Enemy In the Game

 Sorry about the quality of the image, but he can’t be found in screenshots even though this little pest is EVERYWHERE!  The problem comes with these crate-carrying NPCs just being all over the place and in some missions are clearly purposefully spawned directly in your path in bunches.  Why is this an issue? Well if you so much as come within two feet of them you have “bumped into them” which will make them drop their crate at which point every guard in a 100 yard radius will be alerted and on your ass.  You may think you can avoid them, but they take the most random walking paths sometimes and are just out to get you like some kind of UPS homing missile.  Get it? UPS…carry boxes…SHUT UP!

Music: Not much to say about the music aside from the fact that it often times felt more at home in a documentary about UFO encounters than the Renaissance.  The music was just cheesily spooky/mysterious sometimes.  Overall nice, but forgettable.

Characters:  Ezio is a much stronger character than Altair was I feel.  He has a lot more personality and charisma, and the same holds true for the majority of NPC’s that you meet in the game.  None of them are real deep in substance, but enjoyable at the end.

 Final Thought: If you liked the first one, you’ll like this one.  If you haven’t played the first one I don’t recommend getting this because the end result of the game is entirely driven by the first.  Overall the game felt more like work to get to the actual story that was hidden from you through the majority of the game.  At least it was fun work and there’s just something about dual-wrist blade stabby stabs that is fun.

Categories: Gaming Tags: , ,

Web Portal: Top 10 Post-Apocalyptic Vehicles

Perhaps one of the better options in an apocalyptic scenario is to barricade yourself in a well fortified position.  Eventually you’ll start running low on supplies, or you’ll suffer cabin fever at being cooped up with your loved ones.  One can’t simply venture into the wastelands unprotected though.  That’s when you need to get yourself a super tough transport.  Jalopink has gathered up a fan submitted list of what would be the top 10 vehicles to get you through the apocalypse in style.  Of course I do find it hard to imagine an apocalyptic scenario where gas rains from the sky, for you’re going to need tons to keep moving in these things.  Step through the (PORTAL).

Black Friday

Black Friday is about as close as we get to the great Zombie Apocalypse.  Hordes of unwashed masses clamoring over each other in their hunt for their desire.  Cast off are their shackles of dignity and pride as the mob floods the aisles without a care for their fellow beings.  The only downside for me is those with the most delicious brains remain indoors at this time of year.

Categories: Horror, Humor Tags: , ,

5yphon’s Trailers of the Week!

November 28, 2009 Leave a comment

This week’s pretty skinny on good trailers…

I have soooooooo been looking forward to this…  When I saw this I peed myself.  Just little.

That’s it…

Categories: Fantasy, Humor, Movies

New DC Comics Animated Movie

November 24, 2009 2 comments

Marvel’s got a lot of catching up to do to DC these days in the animation department. The last animated picture that I liked was Ultimate Avengers, and that was so-so. Superman/Batman was quite simply, amazing. And rumor has it that, there is a sequel in the works.

Here’s to hoping that A Supergirl From Krypton gets “animated”.  I would love to see them try to get Darkseid all badass looking.

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