A fascinating read, and one reason I post very usually with my real name – it’s the lock that keeps me from thieving, as it were (that’s a good excuse for massive comments too).
My TV schedule is pretty empty – maybe a bit of catchup on the BBC iPlayer (such as Charlie Brooker, or comedy), but I don’t really watch much else actively.
However, this weekend I got around to watching the last two parts of Red Riding, a three-part fictionalised drama series based around the Yorkshire Ripper time – the 1970’s and 80’s. Each one was film-length, broadcast back in March, so sadly not online any more. It’s rather nasty material – covering Police coverups and brutality, child kidnapping, serial murderers, and plenty more – but excellently written, if a little bemusing in places. Really good acting, and the stories are not something I’d go back to but don’t at all regret watching. I don’t want to reveal more details since it’ll spoil things, although I fully enjoyed all three, make sure to watch them close together – I watched the first a month ago, and it was hard to remember details – the storyline is kind of continuous but each episode is self-contained, making it more rewarding to watch them close together. If you have a chance to watch it, do give it a shot 🙂
I also am still watching Lost. Lostpedia is a gem for making sense of things, I have to frequently explain things to my Dad, who doesn’t remember things from more then a few episodes ago. 🙂 It is, however slowly “getting there”. Time travel (spoiler! well, not really at this point…) sure is a bitch to make sense of. I very much doubt it’ll be fully explained at the end (there’s enough sci-fi and fiction stuff there that they’d need several years to explain it all), but it won’t be, I think, as bad as the Prisoner when it ends. Worth watching, as long as you go with the flow. It is still entertaining, and that’s what matters to me.
I probably need to find a few more things to watch (although I do intend to buy House at some point and watch more of them on TV) – although my game stack is piling up right now – Mass Effect, Empire: Total War and more Civilization: Revolutions to play!
The brilliant Korean animation by SamBakZa, started in 2003, has been recently finished. It’s a beautifully animated love story, with no dialogue – just set to music (Korean pop music usually). A nice mix of funny and sadness, and love of course (and is insanely cute and charming). With the work that was put into it (and watching them all at once shows how much the animator has improved), with such a long term project, shows he had a lot of love making it 🙂
For something so ambitious released for free I’m glad he finished it too. Worth watching them all, most easily done in English here – it will hardly take half an hour, so go watch!
Hmm, while I still have a few games to post about, there were two Japanese anime films I watched today (not in ideal situations, but there we go). Might as well report on them 🙂
The first, Paprika, was a very fun film to watch. A wonderful look at dreams, and how they reflect or act on reality. A little muddled in the story department because you’re never quite sure if the entire thing is a dream at one moment or the next (that’s no spoiler, this happens in the first few minutes of it starting), so highly entertaining – the characters themselves, and their dreams, are equally both amazing and sometimes more then a little confusing 🙂
I’d recommend seeing this, since it is both polished and an amazing experience to take on board – much deeper then most films to be honest in many ways. This is the intro which hosts one damn catchy song which I have no idea what it is saying showing off the titular character, I’ll say no more. It gives you a good general idea about the films theme without going into some of the spoiler scenes I saw when I watched the trailer.
[youtube width=”320″ height=”264″]http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xqg3Sw3s9Wg[/youtube]
The second was Appleseed, a sci-fi action film. Yeah, that’s about it to be honest. You are best to usually ignore the bits which don’t make sense (unexplained things abound, and serious troubles getting me excited about a climax due to a keyboard fault) and go along for the ride. One unique thing is that rather then traditional flat animation, it’s 3d cell shaded animation. It’s a bit unnerving (no uncanny valley, but everything is quite shiny).
The action throughout is good, if a little random and pretty atypical of many action tropes. This, with a story where you’ll likely see the ending a mile off. I’d say give it a shot only if you like sci-fi action and have some time to spare.
Possibly I’m giving Appleseed a bad rap, but I’ve seen good conversions of books and comics to films, and this suffers (possibly a lot was left out, certainly a lot of the explaining if anything!). It does have a sequel, and is defiantly more of a “series” film, so if it does interest you I guess the sequel would be interesting too.
I watched both with subtitles, since that’s what I had available, and I suspect for Paprika it fits a lot better too, to be honest (Appleseed I doubt it matters as long as the dub is reasonable).
Here’s a list of recommendations of things to check out or avoid from what I’ve watched, read and played in 2008.
Take heed the words of The Tao of Backup.
A quick thing from the NMOC – I visited D-block with Adam and investigated the slightly damp, and sometimes dry collection of computers and bits and pieces there. A lot of the material would need to be moved into the archive once it is upgraded in space, and other bits I presume haven’t got the priority to be repaired or used yet or are duplicates of existing machines. Some interesting stuff there though, well worth visiting despite the state of the building (which has structural problems with the floor and had and vandals get in, and a fire previously).
On Saturday 26th, I made it along to The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park, in Block H to be precise. I’m aiming to volunteer some time before I apply to jobs, and also have an aim to sort some IGDA Preservation SIG work too.
The museum itself is in a pretty functional state when I had a tour – they still are tirelessly working on maintenance and fixing old machines and sorting new donations but there are around 6 or 7 rooms of material to look through, two of which are on the Bletchley Park tour. It also is currently free to get into, although I think a pass to the park is required. So, from the outset well worth a visit if you want to know of the beginnings of digital computing from the Colossus onwards – as long as it is a Saturday visit 🙂
See my gallery for the full picture set, including some of the back room stuff 🙂
This seems to also be the major location now of any computing museum work. Sadly the Swindon museum has been put in storage, before I got to visit, and National Science Museum has a rather smaller display then I’d like, but against the more natural science Computer Science doesn’t have much space it’s fair to say.
If there is anything interesting I help with while there, I’ll report on it. The work is fascinating and the plans to finish the expansion of the museum for a potential September 2008 opening to the general public looks awesome. On the game side, there are of course some stored games machines, game software and so forth although it is no special aim of course, and hopefully will become fleshed out once the museum expands.
Minus comics at Kiwis By Beat! by Ryan Armand have now completely finished – a great series, well worth reading.