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Expanded my list of slow, "pretend I'm smart" scifi movies with The Martian and Ex Machina. Funny I watch these two so close together because they came out in the same year and the two have something of opposite attitudes about technology- one has a general "science is teh awesome" message, and the other one has sort of a "science will screw us over" attitude.

They were both great, but I will say I'm a bigger sucker for space exploration than AI, so points to The Martian for me. I like that for once, there's a movie of this kind which focuses on the problem-solving abilities that the scientific method can bring and envisions a future of global cooperation as in the ideal of space exploration, rather than using space exploration as a vehicle to explore pseudophilosophical/spiritual gobbledygook which happens so often in these kinds of movies. Also I learned a lot about potatoes and human poop via tangential learning, so there was that too.

Also saw Gerald's Game, Stephen King adaptation number 5 or so in 2017 alone. This was a pretty good one though, after being underwhelmed by the It remake and The Dark Tower being...what it was. Interesting to see where these movies on direct-to-Netflix or other such streaming services will go- if I had the space I imagine a good long-term investment would be to just get a hugh jazz TV and watch movies like this at home instead of needing to drive/walk to a theater like a healthy functioning adult.

On the other end of the spectrum, I watched the Evil Dead trilogy. Funny seeing a series realize how ridiculous it is and becoming more and more self-parody over time, yet somehow still working as good movies.

But I guess more topically, I got back from seeing the latest installment of Disney’s plot to dictate global pop culture. I’d say Black Panther is one of the best MCU movies so far though. For reference, my favorite so far is probably The Winter Soldier, and I think I’d put this one just below that one.

I was already pretty interested in seeing the movie before it came out simply because of the unique visuals it promised, so I would’ve enjoyed the movie purely on that alone, but thankfully the plot/characters were pretty good too. Most notably, the villain Killmonger (yes, really) is probably the most well-developed and sympathetic villain in the MCU thus far. I was surprised that the movie decided to take the unfortunate implications that its premise had and decided to basically make the movie about that, something that could just as easily blow up in their faces if not handled correctly.

I will say that if you don’t like superhero movies, this one probably won’t change your mind. It still very predictably follows a three-act structure, and there’s really not any surprises along the way even within that framework. It has quite a few “that was clearly inserted later” type jokes the Disney movies are known for now, and while the side characters are a bit more well-developed than typical Marvel fare, they’re still pretty thin.

oh right i also saw justice league at some point and it was terrible
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« Last post by ironmage on Yesterday at 11:15:53 AM »
I always thought people "enjoyed" curling due to it being so different from most of the other events, and so people who weren't so into sports would be into it ironically.  I have absolutely no idea if that's true or not.
I find curling interesting because it alternates a tactical element with a skill-based element.  In the planning stage, you try to figure out how best to get your stones into scoring position, while blocking your opponent from doing the same thing on their turn.  In the execution stage, you throw the stone as accurately as possible...and then desperately try to fine-tune its trajectory without touching it.

Since I live in a part of Canada where curling rinks are as plentiful as bowling alleys, I went on a curling field trip in elementary school.  It's not really the sort of thing I'd do for recreation, but I got enough of an appreciation for it to enjoy watching it occasionally.

So curling is a "hipster" sport then.
Curling is about as hipster as golf.
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« Last post by Dincrest on Yesterday at 09:19:56 AM »
So curling is a "hipster" sport then.  As for  winter Olympics, my favorite events were always the sledding events: luge, skeleton, bobsled.  I particularly like luge and skeleton.  Skeleton sliders always have the coolest helmets. 
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« Last post by Marshmallow on Yesterday at 12:27:13 AM »
I always thought people "enjoyed" curling due to it being so different from most of the other events, and so people who weren't so into sports would be into it ironically.  I have absolutely no idea if that's true or not.  Personally I find the Olympics boring in their entirety so I haven't been following it.

I did watch the whole superbowl, which is uncharacteristic of me.  I'm not an eagles fan per se, but I'm glad they finally won something.
General Discussions / Re: Completion List 2018
« Last post by Rucks on February 16, 2018, 09:50:40 PM »
1) Doom and Destiny -  stop #1 on my "Xbox360 Retirement Tour" was stupid and rote and most of the jokes were offensive.  Oh well. On to the next one.

2) Shank - Another XBLA game I blew right through.  I'm trying to retire my 360 so that means slogging through shitty, overly violent platformers like this one before I finally play Dark Souls.

3) Half-Life 2 -  Chugging along through my stupid 360 backlog. This was a decent enough FPS.  I liked it more than Borderlands and Halo but still less than BioShock.  Though to be honest First Person Shooters tend to get tedious awfully quick.
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Ni No Kuni 2 Revenant Kingdom announced!
« Last post by MonCapitan2002 on February 16, 2018, 08:50:38 PM »
So, anyone in the US who is looking forward to this, Best Buy just listed the digital preorder in error, at $20.

Enjoy.  Not sure how long this error will be up, but it's an absurdly good deal.  Less than half of what you would pay even as an Amazon Prime member.
The Best Buy website notes it as a Season Pass for DLC, I presume.
Single-Player RPGs / Re: Xenoblade Chronicles 2 (no not X)
« Last post by Agent D. on February 16, 2018, 07:21:05 PM »
Xenoblade X is one of the best RPGs I have ever played
Well if we're going all out, it's definitely one of my favorites.
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« Last post by Dincrest on February 16, 2018, 04:54:05 PM »
When I was a kid in the Netherlands, my friends and I practically lived on our bicycles.  It was a bit of a culture shock coming to the US and it not exactly being the most bicycle friendly place.  To this day, it still irks me how many bicycle riders don't know/follow the rules of the road.  You're supposed to ride to the right, WITH the flow of traffic. However, when I visited my cousins in Colorado last summer, I marveled at how that state had fantastic infrastructure for cyclists compared to where I live in New Jersey. 

Anyway, haps... Winter Olympic coverage has been going nuts in covering curling.  Apparently there is a massive fascination with the sport and people are absolutely mesmerized by it.  I'm trying to see what the big deal is, but I simply can't.  Like, I respect the sport for being very much about subtlety, which is in stark contrast to most sports out there, but I fail to see so appealing about watching it.  I don't even understand the game at all, really, and I think it's almost as boring to watch as baseball.  I guess curling is one of those sports where people either love it or are uncultured/uncouth heathen like me who just don't get it.  Then again, I do like watching cricket (which is a sport I don't quite understand and most people think is dreadfully dull) so what do I know? 
General Discussions / Re: Whats the haps?
« Last post by Tomara on February 16, 2018, 02:39:34 PM »
Apparently YouTube thought I should really watch videos from some dude who just films ordinary Dutch cyclists/cycling routes and it's fascinating. Okay, as a Dutch person the videos are very 'been there, done that', but the comments give a lot of insight into cycling cultures in other western countries.

Some commenters praise the Netherlands for having such great infrastructure for cyclists, and I guess you can't argue with that. However, they seem to really idealise the cycling itself, saying it must be like heaven to be able go to school/work by just hopping on your bike. Even the vids with snow get responses like that! Which feels weird, because to us, bicycles are just a convenient mode of transportation, even when the weather is kind of shitty. Only a few commentors understand the actual freedom it offers: you don't need much for cycling, yet you can get almost anywhere on a bike. Cycling means independence for minors, the poor, the elderly and disabled, the city dwellers who don't want to compete for parking spots, and okay, drunks who want to get home slightly faster.

Others mention that they barely see any overweight people, as if we don't have a growing obesity problem. Well we do, sadly. It's just that they're in cars and you don't see to many cars in those videos. Cycling may be something every Dutch person learns, but just like everywhere else, some people develop bad habits, like taking the car to run some simple errands that could easily be done by bike.

There are also always people (usually Americans) who freak out because nobody aside from sport cyclists wears a helmet. For everyone of those there are five people explaining that our infrastructure is highly developed and bicycle oriented, that the Dutch learn how to ride at a very young age, that managing to fall on your head while riding on one of our utility bikes is a skill in and of itself, and that helmets just provide a false sense of safety in most scenarios you see on our roads.

But what might be most amazing is that people think we all ride the same bicycles. We don't, seriously! Sure, you mostly see city bikes and similar types (such as the classic 'omafiets'), but they come in a large variety of models from different manufacturers, and there's so much extra stuff you can put on them, from bags for grocery shopping to fancy child seats that are almost as expensive as the bike itself. It's just that most of us don't care much for gimmicky colours. "But wouldn't girls want a fun color like pink?" some commenters ask. Well, they do, when they're in first grade. But when they're a little older it's much more trendy for girls to not stand out. They want something like the Gazelle Miss Grace, and perhaps something even simpler when they're in high school. Some of the artsy types get a really old bicycle and paint it in funky colours, but they're a minority. I had a yellow bike in high school for two simple reason: it makes it easy to find in the bicycle rack and nobody is going to steal a bike that's so easy to recognise. (Okay, three reasons: some of the best robots are yellow.) The number of times it was vandalised for being different... Let's not talk about that. But it never got stolen, despite me forgetting to lock it a few times. Yay!

Single-Player RPGs / Re: Secret of Mana: The Remake!
« Last post by Andvari on February 16, 2018, 02:12:55 PM »
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