Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Lost for 24

Ok, I’m 3 years behind the times.  But to be fair, I did give the show a chance when it debut in 2005. 


I am of course speaking about the show, Lost, that airs regularly on ABC.


My co-workers and friends have all raved about the “mysteries” of this show and gossiped about what may happen.  I just found the premise very surreal.  Crash landing on a deserted island while trying to survive didn’t seem like a multiple season show.  However, I was recently able to come by a steal on the Blu-Ray version of the complete third season.  Seeing how I can’t really sell it and the deal was amazing (I paid $26 Canadian for the complete, sealed, legit set), I decided to rent the first season and watch.  First of all, two words: Evangeline Lilly. 


SIDE NOTE: My wife and I have a pretty open relationship so, very similar to that Friend’s episode where Ross has a “list” of celebrities he’s allowed to sleep with; we have a list of Hot Celebrities (not a sleeping list, but just an attraction list).  After Lost, Evangeline Lilly is definitely is going on that list.  It certainly doesn’t hurt that she’s an Albertan as well!


Ok, back on topic.  I’m on episode 15 of season 1 and I am officially addicted to this show!  My wife’s cousin said it best when she said this about Alias, “This show makes no logical sense and the situations are so outrageous that they are unbelievable.  Yet somehow you still believe they could happen.”  Seeing how J.J. Abrams also created Lost, the similarities in outrageous situations are certainly there.  The mysteries keep me tuned in after every episode and the flashbacks are very interesting.  With a possibility of 48 characters, that’s a lot of material for back stories.


The beautiful thing about watching shows on DVD is:


  1. You have no commercials.
  2. You can go as fast or as slow as you like.
  3. And you can watch regardless if the writers are on strike.


Which is why I’m actually happy Battlestar Galatica, and 24 are not being released right now.  So here’s to hoping that they release season 1 and 2 on Blu-ray soon because I hate to double dip (which is another rant for another time).

Thursday, January 24, 2008


There was this movie released in 2007 called Idiocracy .  It starred Luke Wilson as a very average Joe, who volunteered to be cryogenically frozen in a study that was supposed to last one year.  However he was frozen instead for 500 year and awoke to a USA that was radically different.  Not the utopian future everyone dreams of but instead is a totally stupid society where the average IQ 50.  I often wonder if we will head towards that potential future with today’s social development.


Gametrailers has the clip of the abysmal FOX News’ coverage on the Xbox 360 game, Mass Effect.  I don’t believe I have ever heard of such unprofessional journalism as this piece.  FOX is certainly not known for their credibility nor are they watched for that purpose.  News on TV these days are more tabloid than fact and you will find more truth in Britney Spears story than the report on the Iraqi war. 


At one particular point during the “panel discussion” in FOX’s coverage on Mass Effect, a woman says that we are living in a society where children are not always supervised, which is a true statement.  But to use that as an excuse for failing as a parent/guardian is unbelievable.  A parent cannot be held responsible for the actions of a child because the child was not supervised?  The panel speaker goes on to illustrate her point with Playboy magazines and how video games are not as easy to keep from a child. 


The statements brought forth by this panel of experts, regardless if they had experience with video games or not, were simply false and were not thought through.  If you say that you are unable to control your child from watching or doing something such as playing a video game, then you have seriously failed as a parent.  Certainly I also have had experiences of doing something I wasn’t supposed to behind my parent’s back, were those things the fault of my parents, for the most part, yes.  My mom and dad were not the happiest couple in the world and they were certainly not ready for a child.  I was raised to sometimes think for myself but was usually told what to do without neigh an explanation. 


Video games, as anything else of stimuli in this world, require instruction and explanation.  If you don’t explain the reasons to a child, they are not going to value your experience and absorb that into their own understanding.  They require guidance, not just a yes or no answer.  Instead of blaming the developers of video games and other forms of entertain, how about actually doing your job and PARENT your child so they will be equipped to make educated decisions for themselves when they are old enough to buy a gun.

Friday, January 11, 2008

HD Fallout

I'm not one to be an early adopter. Sure, I'm usually the first of my friends to get the latest tech but I don't pre-order my bleeding edge video cards or the iphone. The only real early failures that my family has ever purchased was a Laserdisc player. But even then it lasted a good 4 years of use (since all orientals love to karaoke). That is why this current Warner Bros. announcement at CES this year really rocked my world. My name is Moe and I bought HD-DVDs. I fell for the superior specs and linux-like open source mentality and complete forgot that no major studio ever got to be a major studio by being open sourced. Hardware, yes. Software, no. Google maybe the only real exception to that but that's for another day. I didn't buy that many HD-DVDs, unlike some others around the Net. But I did have a fair share and certainly replaced some of my more loved classics on HD-DVD if I could. I was lucky to find a local buyer that was still interested in my player's up-converting capabilities and bought my set and movies for a decent price. However, this whole experience has taught me that nothing in tech is ever a sure thing, and in most cases, you are more likely to get struck by lightning than winning as an early adopter. Take a look at the Plasma VS. LCD battle. That's not even a format but everyone saw Plasma as a dying technology and segment for the personal home use but in 2007, there has been a resurgence AND Panasonic is now expecting to ship twice as many panels as they did in 2007 for this coming year. I'm going to stick to my guns and only purchase the cheaper DVD format (and used at that!) and spend $100 on an up-conversion player that won't take 30 seconds to boot up. For the exclusives such as Disney/Pixar films, that will be Blu-Ray. It was a great format on paper and in reality, but like the electric car, I think HD-DVD just didn't have a chance in the real world.

And it's now World of Guitar Hero

My plans for World (of Warcraft) domination was unsuccessful. I played for 3 hours on Christmas Eve and that basically led me to discover that I have somehow lost interest in the game during my time away. It was difficult as I found myself increasing bored the longer I stared at my character. I'm not sure if this is a lasting affliction but certainly for the next month I will not be logging in (which is too bad as I am paid up until March! Serves me right for signing up for extended membership!) Instead of playing WoW, I ended up finishing Guitar Hero 3 on the Xbox 360 on Medium setting. Now that's a game that I'm addicted to! Gets you off of the couch and lets you move around to the music. I especially liked the Halo Theme redux that you can download for the game (*gasp* yes, I don't hate all things Halo, the song is actually really moving). There's also a remixed rendition of the classic "Devil went down to Georgia". I also started into Mass Effect, which is the first Bioware RPG I have ever played. After a few hours, I immediately understood why people love their games. It's a very engaging experience, much more so than any Final Fantasy I have played. Instead of watch a story unfold, you are living the story through your character. This is "role-playing" that blurs a player's perception of their own reality. It's exciting to see it unfold, especially in 10 years when they look back at the "pioneers" of Immersions RPG (yes, I'm coining that term right now!) and lists Mass Effect and KOTOR, you can tell your 13 year old son/daughter that, "Yes, Daddy did play this game on the Xbox 360. I know the toaster has more processing power but that's not the point!" So, thus ends the reign of WoW over my life. What's going to happen as I move forward? Probably more Guitar Hero and maybe some Rock Band!