Monday, November 21, 2011
10 Things I Hate About You Vs. Brokeback Mountain
* = This would be the ONLY way I'd see those flicks Dave. THE ONLY WAY!
It was a busy weekend. D&D was Saturday night. I would love to tell you that it went as planned, but I’d be a big, fat liar, & while I might be the first two, I’m not a liar. I had high hopes, spent a great deal of time setting up how I thought things were going to go only to watch the train come off the proverbial tracks and speed head long into gaming oblivion. I have never fully lost control of a group like that before. I did not enjoy it. The strange thing is I know at least one of the group had the “best time ever”, so now its just confusion. I have to go back and re-assess the group and what style they want to play. If they are more into a gonzo style then I need to meet that expectation rather than the intrigue and ‘mission’ style we’re currently playing. It falls on me to figure it out and tailor make the game enjoyable for all.
Overall it was just two encounters. That was all I could really do. One was meant to be a social encounter with the potential for a fight as they ran into another group of adventurers who were engaging in the slave trade. Instead of talking to them, they sent their ‘allies’ ahead and tried to sneak around, which went well until Dave & Mike botched some rolls and fell into a cold, rushing river. Then things went pear-shaped and a blood bathe ensued. It was a tough fight, and two of the ‘baddies’ fled. The PC’s then dealt with the three ‘slaves’, which I thought would be a good time for an info-dump and maybe some role-playing, but that also got ugly in a hurry.
In the end the PC’s made their decisions and have to live with them. Oh and they decimated an Owlbear. I rolled just horribly and surprisingly enough the PC’s had found their groove as a team again. When they work together and functionally, they are an efficient group of dangerous individuals, when they don’t I generally drop one or two of them to at least 0 hit points. It was just a strange session, lots of laughs, but it was low for me on the ‘fun’ quotient.
Somewhat in response to this, and to just how busy things have gotten I cancelled the Ravenloft game in December. I’m not sure I’m up to running a game where things fall that far out of the way of what I’m looking for in the realm of ‘fun’. Granted the other people apparently had a blast, but the Ravenloft game is somewhat of a sacred cow for me, so I’m going to sit on it for a while. Oh and I’m not even really sure that I can even get it all done before the 12th. So it’s going on the shelf until maybe the summer.
For the first time since early in the year I’m really struggling emotionally. I don’t know if it’s that were speeding headlong towards the end of the year, but I can’t help but think about my dad. Maybe taking some time to just focus on my wife, on things at home, and sequestering myself away will give me some perspective, some time to deal with this, and to just refresh my batteries as “The Year Of Sux” comes to it’s inevitable end.
There were more Pathfinder Minis pics put out this week.
Huh. Well that is uninspiring. Two spiders and a really mediocre at best skeleton, that’s the best you can offer me this week? If I were making a decision just based off these picks I’d have NO interest in the January set. All that negativity being said, I did get my four heroes in the mail on Saturday and they are GORGEOUS! If this is the quality that Wizkids can guarantee as the norm then they’ve exceeded my expectations. Those four miniatures are some of the best-painted pre-paints I’ve ever seen. There is a level of detail, of color, and yet shadow that is fantastic. The sculpts aren’t overly dynamic or anything to write home about, but they serve their purpose. Great stuff, and well worth the price & wait. It’s given me a inkling of hope for the January set.
This weekend I also finally finished a book and watched some flicks, so you don’t have to. Here’s what I thought;
- Dragons Of Chaos (** ½ out of 5) –This is a little Dragonlance anthology. It was a buck and as any of you who read this drivel know I’m a SUCKER for bad fantasy novels, I eat them like I eat cheeseburgers; fast, mercilessly, and with great mirth. This one really didn’t ‘sing’ until the last two stories. One, I believe was by the ultra-talented Jeff Grub, was about a chess game between dragons. There was a slight twist, but overall I just loved the feel of it. The last story had to do with a white dragon being woken up by the forces of Tiamat right before the first run of books take place. The thing is the dragon doesn’t want to ‘enlist’ in Tiamat’s war horde. I’ve been on an anthology tear right now; I’m in the middle of like five of them currently. This one wasn’t the best I’ve read, but it’s certainly not the worst. I can only hope my next foray into Dragonlance will be a tad more even overall.
- Conan The Barbarian (** ½ out of 5) – I wanted to love this. I wanted to shout out to the world that I am a HUGE Robert E. Howard NERD and that THIS is what Conan is all about. I wanted this to be the gateway drug for all the non-readers of Howard’s work to get onboard and see this past the pulp and realize that Howard was a fantastic author. Then I sat through this movie. Sigh. How can Hollywood do so many things poorly? They are the entertainment equivalent of Congress. The flick looked good. I liked the camera work; the special effects were tolerable, although the 300-esque-blood effect became annoying. I liked the idea of the characters, but once they spoke there was a gigantic groan that escaped my lips. Jason Momao was a decent Conan, but the story and dialogue was SO bad. It was seriously just terrible. I could go on and on and on about it, but I won’t, instead just let me say this if you’ve NEVER read any Conan, then please ignore this flick and just crack one of Howard’s stories. If you’re in the mood for big dumb fun in the vein of The Scorpion King (** ½ out of 5) then this thing is for you, because it certainly wasn’t for me.
- White Zombie (*** out of 5) – I’ve always wanted to see this flick, but had never found a decent copy or stayed up late enough to watch it. I DVRed it during the Halloween marathons, but only Saturday morning did I take the time to watch it. It’s definitely an old movie; it’s slow, it’s built on mood, and when the ending hits it’s over. It’s got a great visual creep factor and when Bela Lugosi isn’t talking he’s insanely menacing. When he talks his accent makes me giggle and I can’t take him seriously. There are some visual shots in this flick that are just gorgeous, even in black and white. If you’re a fan of old school horror give it a go for no other reason than the premise and the visuals.
- Isle Of The Dead (***** out of 5) – This flick was basically in the same movie boat for me as White Zombie. I’d always wanted to see, but just had never been able to. Again the Halloween horror movie marathons teamed with the DVR struck gold. Whereas White Zombie has Lugosi at his creepy best, this one has Boris Karloff at his acting best. This isn’t really a horror movie per say. It’s suspense, it’s a ‘chiller’, and in the end it’s creepy, but it’s not really a horror movie. I don’t want to give anything away because if you love old flicks than this is a 'Must See'. Karloff is outstanding as the 'Watchdog' General, he’s simultaneously sympathetic and at times frightening. There is a splendor to the flick visually as well; I think it has more to do with tricks of lighting rather than the actual sets. It’s a beautifully shot film. This is a film that fans of cinema should take the time to watch.
How about some…
- We had Hot Browns last night and they were delicious.
- I find it incredibly frustrating that Congress can put these doomsday measures into place to prevent gridlock on the budget and now since there is gridlock due to ideology they can agree to try and avert the consequences. This is a perfect slice of what is wrong with our government. Life long professional politicians in the pocket of various special interests groups and corporations (Who according to our Supreme Court and to helmet hair aficionado Mitt Romney “are people too.”) making decisions to protect their personal investments and the investments of their true constituents; lobbyists and corporations. It’s pathetic. The only good thing is it currently appears that the President’s nuts have dropped and that he’s going to Veto any changes forcing the cuts no one wants rather than letting them re-write this consequence. That coupled with the fact that right now there is an INTENSE scrutiny on who is paying or not paying what taxes, the corporate take-over of our government, how Congress is in the shitter with a 9% approval rating, and the Occupy Movement gives me an inkling that things might change come November next year. If they don’t then I’ll see you in the bread lines.
- I’m hoping my copy of Fantasy Quest comes this week; I’m dying to play it.
- Can someone explain how gas is now $3.09, when three weeks ago it was $3.49? What happened? And when it goes back up to $3.59 on Wednesday, is there a real reason beyond gouging Holiday travelers? F’ing thieves.
- We’ve been watching the show ‘Bad Sex’ on the LOGO channel. It’s basically the equivalent of ‘Obsessed’ or ‘Hoarders’ except dealing with a group of individuals with sexual issues. It’s amazing to watch how an addiction or sociological anxiety issue can cripple someone’s entire life from functional relationships, to actual physical intimacy, to in the end their ability to function in society. I think what amazes me most as someone who deals with folks with Mental Health issues at work is that if a person doesn’t wish to make changes based on therapy then they will revert to their miserable addict state. It’s an interesting little foray into an area of personality disorders and addiction that I don’t think a lot of people understand or even want to recognize. I recommend it if you have LOGO and some time to kill on a Friday night.
- I’m thinking Half-Priced Books versions of Marvel Essentials & DC Showcases might make ideal gifts for me this Holiday Season.
And with that I’m done…
* = That's also for you David.