Raptr’s new… whatever.

I’m completely serious when I ask – what the hell is with the way that Raptr works now? I am completely befuddled. This makes absolutely no sense to me. There doesn’t seem to be logic there. If there is logic there, I would like to know about it.

Does Raptr get something out of making people download and run a desktop app to get all their achievements run through? Is there some kind of partnership with some company out there? Something hidden within the desktop app itself that counts how many times you use it, thus getting them revenue? Is there some secret benefit to having this desktop app that I’m just not seeing? I would think that having to connect through two different places would make the burden heavier on Raptr, not lighter. And you can’t tell me that people who are using the app immediately dislodged their machines from the web-based account, since I am pretty sure that you can’t do that, just have all the info on the app and not the website. And if it can be done, show me 10 people who have actually done it. That means that the Raptr website and the Raptr app are pulling the information through the aether to display to the world.

I signed up with Raptr to share with people the shit that I’m playing and so that I could see what my friends are playing. I like to compare achievements and some of the people on my Raptr list aren’t on my XBL list, so the only way I have of seeing what they’re up to is Raptr. This may seem a bit stalkery, since I don’t generally play multiplayer games. And maybe it is. I just like to watch, okay?

But now, like half my achievements don’t show up unless I run that stupid app. Or leave it running. Since I don’t do any kind of PC gaming, I see no reason for it to always be on. And I’ve just discovered that there’s not a version of this desktop app for Apple machines.

So if you’re going to force people to use this app in order to see all of their achievements, and so their friends can see all of them, why don’t you have something compatible with MacBooks or whatever? How does that make sense? These people literally cannot have their correct information displayed on their profiles because there is no way for them to do it unless they want to manually input all of the details themselves. And who the fuck wants to do that? Nobody.

Seriously.

Nobody.

I would like a very clear, very descriptive answer to these questions: Why? What is the point? Where is the benefit? (Not just the benefit to US, but also the benefit for RAPTR.)

Let Me In

I should learn that when I have an instinct about a movie when it’s first talked about, I should trust that instinct and not bend to the ways of the movie industry just because they show me some interesting promos.

I …

I knew going in that I would be upset about Eli. So many things were changed about her that are small, but not really small. They’re important to the character, and they just need to be there.

So my mood going in was curious and angry. It’s not really the best mix. It can lead to some unsettling thoughts while things are going on. But I really wanted to give it a chance, so I sat and watched. All I can say is that I’m really fucking glad a friend got me in to see it for free. If I’d paid for this movie, I’d be a lot more pissed off than I am now.

They kind of just smooshed things together. The girl we were with said she felt like everything dragged on. But to me, it all felt rushed. Like they were trying to just get everything in and didn’t give a shit how it turned out. And they didn’t even GET everything in. So much was just plain left out. There are entire characters that just…they’re gone. They aren’t there. Integral characters. IMPORTANT characters. Entire goddamned points of plot that are out the fucking window.

Let me tell you this, too, I hate – H.A.T.E. who they chose to be Eli. Excuse me, Abby. She did not fit. There’s no universe that she could have been the correct choice in. Then you have the fact that they changed her name from Eli to Abby. Right, okay, so you want to Americanize the names for the retarded Americans. Fine. But at least acknolwedge the importance of her name being Eli.

And how about the fact that she’s NOT REALLY A GIRL AT ALL? Where did that go? That’s kind of important, you stupid fuck director. You know, I liked Cloverfield, but now I’m just so pissed off at you that I want to kick you square in the nuts if I ever meet you. You said you LOVED the original movie. You said you LOVED the book. If that’s true, how could you do this? You ruined it all!

I fully believe that this movie was made just to throw in the extra creepy shots of Abby that were not needed. It’s too bad you couldn’t take a hint from the original makers and learn that less is more in this case. That it’s not about the fact she’s a goddamned fucking vampire, but the personal relationships she builds and what happens to the people around her.

You fuck.

I kept thinking that they were trying to squeeze all this shit in as fast as possible because they were going to add something toward the end that hadn’t been int he original. But no. Nope. They were just… uncaring about the story. Clearly did not give a shit about the timeline. Did not give a damn about the people, which the book and the movie revolve around. Pissed all over Eli and her story. PISSED ON IT.

There were scenes that were remade right from the original movie. Line for line. Movement for movement. Yet you couldn’t be assed to give the characters a little more depth?

You even managed to fuck up the relationship between the bully and his older brother. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? It didn’t need to be that the bully was picked on, because he’s not. His older brother encourages him. They’re friends. They’re both bad seeds. You didn’t need to change that. Why would you change that?

Eli is not a pathetic mewling little priss. She doesn’t require people to like her. Yes, she does like Oskar, but she’s also using him to her own ends. She’s manipulative. She’s over 200 years old, for fuck sake, she’s not going to be sheeplike and make me want to puke all over myself like Abby did. You just ripped Eli apart and used the steamy entrails to create Abby, that’s what you did. All the good stuff is gone, and all that’s left is the shit stained refuse. And Oskar… Owen. Whatever. I felt nothing for him. I felt no triumph when he finally stood up to his bullies. I felt no elation when he finally chose A… wait. You left that out entirely, didn’t you? That gut wrenching choice he makes between Eli and the rest of his life – the way it used to be? You just… threw that right out. Because relationships aren’t important… noooo. Only gore is important.

And you couldn’t even do that right. I refuse to believe you even read the book. Damn it. It describes very clearly what Eli looks like, what she CAN look like, and you followed none of that. None of it! Just made up your own shit and skipped on your merry way down the road to fucking up every tiny detail of this story.

God.

I’m so angry right now.

DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE. Even if you haven’t seen the original, even if you haven’t read the book. This movie is not worth your time, or your money. Stay away. Stay far, far away.

Let The Right One In/Let Me In

I’m sure we all recall how I feel about the book and the movie Let The Right One In, yes? That I adore it to pieces and make everybody watch it.

When it was announced that there was going to be an American version made, I was curious. The Wiki for it said the director intended to include some of the things in the book that the Swedish version didn’t. I was expecting that they meant the really vampirey parts. The things where you go “oh shit!” and got kind of excited about it. I mean, it’s not that I wanted a replacement for my movie, it’s just that I wanted to see what could be done with it.

THEN it turns out that instead of adding things, the American director has removed some things. Some VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. I am a little ticked off that names were changed. Yes. Okay. But that’s minor.

It seems that they’ve removed entirely the fact that Eli/Abby is not really a girl, and just made the character a girl. Hello, that’s sort of really important to the story, thanks. That irritates me. There are a couple of other things, too. I was just generally unhappy with the whole thing.

Then, of course, I read up some on it because I was curious again, and discovered that they’re not trying to remake the Swedish movie, but make another version of the movie. Okay. Fine. And then it turns out that the director holds the movie in high esteem, both the original and his own. And that the book is something he adores.

After that, I watched a couple of the trailers for it and now I’m back to being curious and wanting to see it. I want to see what this guy does. I want to see how it all comes out. He’s quoted as saying he thought that the book could make a really great scary story, and while Let The Right One In is psychologically scary, I think I’d like to see what this American director did. And if I’m honest, I did enjoy Cloverfield. I think maybe this guy can do it, do what he thinks he can do without fucking shit up too much. Despite what he did with Eli/Abby.

So I’ll give it, and him, a chance.

Gabriel

Alright.

See, I went into this with the idea that it wasn’t going to be very good. I mean, I don’t recall it ever even being in theaters. I hadn’t even heard of it until I saw it in Netflix.

I’ve been putting it off for a really long time, though, because I have a thing for angels, and I knew it was going to be bad, and I didn’t want to be frustrated. But I finally watched tonight. The problem is, it’s not a bad movie, per se. Just the dialog is complete crap. I’m pretty convinced that whoever wrote the dialog is bordering on retarded. Like, actually mentally deficient.

Despite the epically bad writing, the actors still managed somehow to not come off as complete assholes. I’m not sure how they managed it, but they did. It doesn’t make anything better, really. It’s just nice to know that some actors CAN try to overcome the utter shit that some people spew. The only actor that didn’t really manage that was the guy who played Ahriman. He really felt forced.

So the movie itself, it’s about angels, I already said. Specifically, it’s about the archangel Gabriel. And Michael, and Uriel, and Raphael, etc. Seven of them vs seven fallen. In a battle of good and evil for the souls of this very strange city that I’m not sure about. In the start of the movie, it seems as if they want you to think it’s Purgatory, but everybody is still alive there, so it doesn’t quite work.

The whole thing had a very Crow-esque feel to it. Like The Crow with angels instead of avenging spirits and criminals. Very dark, very gloomy, very gothy. I can see what they were trying to go for. I mean, it’s obvious that somebody was a big fan of The Crow franchise, I would say this is a clear homage. Right down to the big battle scene at the end on a rooftop in the rain. (oops, spoiler. Like you were going to watch it anyway)

The fight scenes were actually pretty well done, and there were some special effects that I’m fairly impressed with. But I still can’t call it a good movie. I certainly wouldn’t tell anyone to watch it, or put it on if I had people over. But let me be completely honest, if I found this movie on the cheap – I’d buy it. And I’d watch it while locked in my room so nobody could see what I was doing.

The Movie To Lull Your Enemies With

There’s this movie that I have in my VHS collection and I don’t like to admit it’s there, but it is. I only have it on VHS because it was a quarter, and I’m pretty sure that nobody is going to bring it to DVD, ever. Not that I’d buy it.

I saw this film for the first time when I was young. I remember having flashes of a black eyed man killing a man who looked exactly like him for a really long time. It was one of those movies that your adult mind believes you probably just made it up because it’s so ridiculously absurd that it couldn’t possibly be real, and nobody but you has seen it anyway. Because NOBODY knows what the hell you’re talking about when you try to describe it. (I had this same issue with The Brave Little Toaster)

When I saw the VHS, it all hit me suddenly. I remembered everything about the movie from that long ago day. Except, of course, where I saw it.

I’m not going to tell you to watch it, because you shouldn’t. It’s a bad movie filled with really bad 80’s cheese and a whole lot of 80’s hair. I can’t say that any part of this movie is good. The whole premise is a badly made amalgum of Lord Of The Rings and space.

I watch it myself only when desperate. When my sleeping medications are in full effect, yet I can’t sleep. When the nights have blurred into weeks, and I just need to shut down. This movie has the uncanny ability to bore me to tears and unconsciousness nearly every time. (Note, I do have to have taken the sleeping pills, or have been up for several days for this tactic to work. Otherwise, I’m just watching a really shitty movie) There’s something special in the way it’s set up, I think. The right blend of soft focus and a hero who smiles at times when he shouldn’t. Complete with a heroine in a billowy white dress running around a seashell-like castle interior while a power hungry “beast” mocks and chases her.

There, I’ve given away the whole plot.

Oh wait. I have to add that the two main characters have arranged to be married so they can become king and queen and help to unite two warring countries. And there’s a cyclops.

I’m pretty sure that this movie was a curse on it’s actors, because not many of them came out as a recognizable and working product of the film industry. One happens to be Liam Neeson. And yes, there will come a day when I will meet Mr Neeson and hand over my copy of Krull to be signed. I hope that he’s aware of what he’s put out into the universe.

Even the mystical weapon in this movie is ridiculous. There’s no way it would function in any way other than cutting off your own hand if you looked at … well, anything. The Glave, it’s called. They talk about it through the entire film like it’s going to save everything, and I suppose it does. But all I can think of when I see it is “Maybe the kings of old kept it hidden so nobody else would lose a finger”.

But, it’s a dead technology…

In 1992 there was this neato little thing that came out called the Minidisc. Special little players. Special little recordable disks. Everything a technophile might want in a new toy to play with.

Well, I never got one. I can’t say for sure why. Either it was too expensive back then, or something else caught my attention and I needed to have that more. Note that this is during a time when I have to rely on my parents to get me the gadgets I want because I’ve got no income except from babysitting (not even an allowance!) and five bucks an hour doesn’t really add up very quickly.

Let’s cut here to recently. It’s been well over ten years since this magical device was on the shelves of our electronics stores. I am an adult now. I have my own money source. And I no longer need the permission of anybody else to buy the things that I want. Even if they are completely rediculous. An acquaintance of mine informs a group of people on a forum that he’s going to sell or just plain give away a bunch of his old stuff. I note on the list that there’s a minidisc player in there, along with blank discs and a charger.

So I wait like two weeks, stalking the thread, mildly curious as to why nobody’s snatched up that player. It’s only 20 bucks for all of it, I feel I should make that quite clear. It’s not expensive. Oh, yes. It’s a dead technology. Now we’ve got CDs and MP3 players that will hold thousands of hours of music on them, plus videos and whatever the hell else we want to put on them.

The minidisc is – quite bluntly – the retarded cousin of the cd player.

Every once in a while, two things come out. In this case, minidisc and cd. They battle over the populace, each denouncing the other for it’s various faults, and touting it’s own prowess in the music world. But there can only be one. We saw BetaMax go down, we saw LaserDisc flounder and die. It’s not only the truth of history, but also Darwin’s theory of evolution. The fittest one wins. For minidisc? It was the CD. A simple, easy thing that people flocked to, leaving the poor little minidisc in the wakes of it’s glory.

So I finally decide that I’m going to buy this thing. Why the hell not, right? 20 bucks, and it’s something that I used to want really badly. Maybe it’s hearkening back to my younger years. Wanting to remember easier times. Maybe it’s nostalgia. I’m also admittedly lying to myself and saying that I could use it in more “dangerous” or “risky” situations that I don’t want to bring my Zune into. The truth of that that’s held down in the dank depths of my mind is that I likely won’t take it any further than my front door. But shhh. That’s not what’s important.

Cue to two days later. A package comes in the mail. Ho! It is my recent purchase!
A lovely box of deleted disks with a few fresh ones mixed in. The player itself. A Gameboy Color charger that amusingly works for this contraption.

Of course the first thing I do is to search the disks for something on them. One of them does contain some music. It sounds pretty freaking good considering how old this thing is. I figure out how to delete not only individual songs, but also the whole disk. (This was on purpose) I’m pretty amused by the whole thing, and then it comes time to explore the machine more completely.

Ridiculous Point Number One: This thing actually runs on a single regular battery. Oh, I know. This is how it all used to work. You don’t have to tell me. I’m old enough to remember a time before Duracel figured out how to create rechargeable AAs. Back in the stone age where when our tape decks started to run out of juice, everything would start to sound as if it were coming to you from under water. It’s just surprising, that’s all. I don’t think I’ve seen any electronic device with a normal battery case in like five years.

Yes, console controllers do come with them, but there’s that option for the rechargeables, isn’t there? There is. And what do we all do? We go buy the rechargeable pack, because we know in our hearts that using regular batteries is borderline retarded.

Luckily, the thing works if you plug in the A/C adapter. I seriously thought I was plugging it in to recharge a dead cell, not because the thing wasn’t actually holding a BATTERY at all.

Ridiculous Point Number Two: A few minutes of prodding and exploring shows me that there’s no real way to connect this thing to my computer. Everything is on USB these days. And even if it’s not, it’s got some kind of link cable to connect it to your PC and do whatever it is you have to do. But this?

I think I’m missing a cable, maybe. So I send a PM to the seller asking just how on earth I’m supposed to get music onto these blank disks that I’ve got.

Do you know what he tells me? Do you? You have to record the audio onto the discs like you used to do with tapes. Are you all too young to remember that process? You had to play the tape you wanted to record, and hit the record button on the device that you’re recording to. Manually controlling the two items, and making sure that you’ve got it all synced up perfectly, lest there be dead air on your tape. All while, I might add, having to actually listen to the length of the song, because it had to be playing for the second device to record.

whut

So I’m laughing. I’m laughing my ass off. This is so fucking absurd that I can’t help it. I have lived through so many changes in this world, seen so much progress, that I can’t even fathom not just clicking on something and dragging it over to the destination device and have it just instantly be copied there.

Ridiculous Point Number Three: So this is where our determined heroine goes searching over the vast plains of the Interwebnetlands to obtain for herself the magical cord which will connect her computer to her new and slightly creationally deformed device.

Imagine her amazement to discover that she got her minidisc at an astounding price. That these things are still going on Amazon for 50 dollars or more used. USED. That is, out of the box, played with, taken around the world. USED.

Imagine her amazement at the fact that these silly little things are in incredibly high demand, even now! People are still buying and trading these devices like they’re brand new!

Imagine how her mouth hangs agape and her eyes widen to impossible dinner plates as she explores further and further, finding out that somehow, somehow, this product has survived the depths of obscurity and thrives!

No, they’re not making new ones. Nothing is new. Everything is old. And everything is very expensive.

I’m completely dumbfounded here. Before tonight I never would have imagined that this thing still had followers in the world. Actual followers. True believers, if you will. Loyalists. I thought that I wouldn’t find a cord that would work because it’s so dead and gone that it just wouldn’t exist. Now I realize my problem is not that, but finding a frigging cord that I can afford.

As it stands currently, without said cord, my player is rendered a mighty shiny brick, and I suppose I could use the blank disks as pointy Frisbees. But that’s all it’s doing. Not that I mind. The more I discover in this lake of absurdity, the funnier it gets. I have honestly been laughing for hours. Sitting all by myself, looking at this whatnot, laughing. The neighbors might think I’ve gone insane.

Will I ever find a way to make this thing viable for myself? I don’t know. Right now, I’m not worried about it.

I have dived into the pool of the minidisc, and find myself floundering, not because it’s a dead technology, but because it’s a dead technology that’s somehow still alive!

It’s a fucking ZOMBIE TECHNOLOGY.

Deadgirl – Request(ish)

With friends like J.T., who needs prison cellmates?

It’s one thing to be a juvenile delinquent and know your friend is slightly more of a waste than you are, and another entirely to realize your best friend is willing and able to abuse a helpless girl both physically and sexually.

And entirely different thing altogether when that girl is possibly not as alive as she appears to be.

Other than some fairly bad editing and the use of some incredibly Donnie-Darko-esque music, I actually enjoyed watching this movie. Yeah, you are detecting a bit of surprise there. I really didn’t expect to enjoy it at all. A friend said she was pretty disturbed by it, and I like disturbed, so I went for it. Low expectations for everything, guessing that it wouldn’t strike my fancy too much. So yes, I’m a bit taken aback that I actually liked it. The acting was pulled off pretty well, considering that the main players in the flick aren’t real heavy hitters. The slightly slow story isn’t really noticeable because you really want to know what’s going to happen next (she says while mentioning it).

It’s like the most fucked up fairy tale in the entire history of fairy tales. I’m even including all the original ones here. The Grimm’s. The folklore. All of it.

As much as you think you can anticipate the ending, you really can’t. It comes a little bit out of left feild. Then it goes ahead and runs around behind you for a while before popping up again and shouting “BOO!”

The whole movie is pretty weird, but the ending is sort of extra weird. You’re a little disgusted and a little bit horrified, but it’s also sort of sweet. In a really disturbing kind of way.

The prince and hero eventually gets his princess… sort of.

“You’ll enjoy being dead. Deadgirl does.”