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Prompt Thoughts 2014

Posted on April 9, 2014 at 5:55 PM


Prompt Thoughts 2014

Hi there. Well here’s something I haven’t done in a while. I suppose you can call this “a blog about things that aren’t long enough for their own blog.” It’s more a collection of half-throughts, really. So let’s go...



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Why Are Default Windows Apps Still the Worst?

I’m not a huge fan of Windows 8. While I love its speed, I hate the complete unintuitive nature of it. I love it when I check windows update, it says I’m up to date but wait…they’re talking about the update in the metro part that is the same thing only it says I’m not updated even though the desktop clearly says I am - kind of like how the charms bar will say I’m connected to the wifi but the one on the desktop says I have limited access and the network isn’t recognized. Been the same network for over a year…how do you “forget” it?


You know, don’t get me started on Windows 8. But I will discuss Windows in general. I’ve been using the PC and Windows OS for about 20 years. Windows 95 was the first OS I remember really digging in to as a teenager and learning it. Before that it was all DOS stuff. Anyways, why is it, after so many decades, Windows default appellations are STILL the worst applications for what you want to do. I don’t know anyone that uses Internet Explorer, Windows Media Player, Windows Photo Viewer. Windows Mail App.


Windows 8 had a big change by adding in “Metro” apps for a lot of this stuff, and it’s all equally awful, from bad codecs to taking 30 seconds just to open a damn JPEG or PNG image. There is not a single default application, program of just basic thing to do that isn't a complete second-rate mess.


People will say “well download Firefox or Chrome or VLC or Fotor or Thunderbird etc…” and that only proves the rule.


By comparison, other than Safari, I use every default app on my Mac. Great mail App, great video player, it’s fantastic with images and photos not to mention media organization. It’s not just Windows 8 here, where it takes forever to load the damn thing, but the history of Windows since I’ve been using it. Other than messing around with MS Paint when I was 14 or something, I don’t remember ever actually using a Windows default app knowing that there was something better and free out there.

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Never Say You’re Never Going to Watch Never Say Never Again Again

Not too long ago, I did a look back at James Bond movies. However, there was one that was notably absent, only because it’s not considered an “official” movie. But it is a James Bond movie. There he is. Agent 007. James Bond. There’s a pretty darn good version of Blofeld. There’s Kim Bassinger looking amazing. There’s Felix Lighter…Wow. This is really James Bond.


 

Of course, if you know the story behind Never Say Never Again, you know it’s essentially a redone version of Thunderball. The difference is where it makes its mark: it’s written for a James Bond near retirement. Instead of having an aging Roger Moore playing James Bond as though he’s still 35-45, here we have Bond’s age actually a part of the story. He has scars. He has bad knees. He gets winded. He drinks way, way too much because, at this point, he says “why not?” More interestingly is that he’s also a product of 60s machismo, (or misogyny, depending on who you ask). He’s a relic. A fossil.


And he’s having a damn good time being James Bond. That, of course, is Sean Connery having a damn good time. And he’s great in this as a result of his almost boy-like glee to run around and punch people in the face again. So after finally seeing the film, a movie I’ve always put on the back burner in that “I’ll get to it eventually” bracket:


Never Say Never Again is the best James Bond movie of its decade.



Now hear me out. That decade is, of course, the 1980s, where most James Bond movies were either dull and bland (For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights), uninspired and tired (Octopussy, A View to a Kill) or just not James Bond (License to Kill). Mind you, as a Bond fan, I still find entertainment in all those in some way, but only Never Say Never Again can I actually say is, from beginning to end, really, really good. Director Irvin Kershner has a lot to do with that.


This was his film following up The Empire Strikes Back, and there’s a good consistency in how he handles action and great character moments. In other words, this is the one people should give a second look. I also think people should give Moonraker a second look because, honestly, the only James Bond movie I would actually call outright “bad” is Die Another Day.

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“Retro” means “Expensive”

You may or may not know that when it comes to “collecting” things, there’s really only one thing I collect: Japanese RPGs. I’m not an outright video game collector, just that particular sub genre of games (though I have some exceptions, usually games I grew up with). If anything, that’s because when you start collecting stuff, it’s best to begin on some small level, then grow from there. Originally it was collecting all Squaresoft titles, then it grew all Playstation and SNES JRPGs, then more to where now I have a big metal chest full of them.


Anyways, I was looking around on ebay (and other sites) and was surprised at the cost of a lot of the games. Then I started to think: ok, this isn’t good.



I kind of have a rule about buying older games: I won’t pay more than I would for a new game on a system. Of course, it’s all relative. I’m not going to go buy Mario Brothers on the NES for 59.99 obviously. But I can’t help but see just how expensive buying older games has become, and how it’s pretty much ruining the market for people. It’s probably going to be some sort of combination of re-sellers knowing they can sell people’s childhoods back to them, and my generation being the one with the most disposable income to actually shell out the money for it.


So when I see games go upwards of 80, 90. 100, 130, 200 even (more if you’re looking for one of those “holy grail” titles like Earthbound or something)…it’s pretty disheartening.  The reason most buy older games is because they, just like people with comic books and toys, sold them a long time a go. I know I sold my Genesis, Dreamcast and N64 and wish I had them all back. But not just because some of those games are worth money now, but because, well…that was a major element of my youth. It still is, actually. I’d love to have them back because emulators can do only so much. It’s just not the same.


Still, my little collection has grown. I have some gems, and there’s probably only about five major ones I’m missing only because the cost to buy them is disgusting. But all those re-sellers and whatnot on ebay, they’re really ruining the fun for the people who those games mean the most for. Those people aren’t going to turn around and sell them, they’re going to play them and put them on a shelf.


Also, if you’re curious what JRPGs I own, I pretty much need two Dragon Warriors on the NES (II and IV), Ogre Battle, Lufia II and Earthbound on SNES, Persona Revelations (which someone stole form me…jerk…that’s literally the only Playstation JRPG I don’t own) on the Playstation and Shining the Holy Ark, Panzer Dragoon Saga, Shining Force III and Magic Knight Rayearth on the Saturn (lucky enough to have found a Dragonforce that wasn't overpriced). Oh, and Shining Force CD on the Sega CD. There’s a smattering of lesser titles here and there across the consoles, and I could use a box for my Final Fantasy II, Dragon Warrior I and Lufia I, but easier said than done, right? Or easier said than paid for.


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Rick and Morty is the Best Animated Show on TV

Now with seasons wrapping up and finales coming, I'm sure I'll get around to doing TV show reviews like I did last year. But I just wanted to say that Rick and Morty is one of the best things happening right now. Funny. Strange. Irreverent. Extremely clever.  Even Touching at times.  That is all. Just wanted to put it here somewhere.


I have no problem in anyone, including myself, saying that this is the spiritual successor to Futurama. I'm glad something is. It's certainly cruder and more adult, but the humor, the clever, twisty science plots, and I think, eventually, the characters will come to proove that.

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Casting Complaints are Still a Thing?

Hey, how about all the nerd rage on casting that apparently is still a “thing?” Boy, if there’s anything that I’ve become so tired of, it’s people complaining that some guy or gal doesn’t look like some drawn character or some other actor they envisioned. It’s the epitome of fan entitlement.


It all has to do with psyche. You see, most people that are complaining about comic book casting are the fans of the said comic books, who have their own vision in their heads, built upon years and years of reading the comics, on how a character is. The idea of someone “acting” as a character is often lost on them.


Robert Downey Jr: “He’s all washed up! Also too old for Tony Stark!"


Christian Bale: “What? A British guy? He’s not big enough!”


Chris Evans: “He’s too small, not enough muscle!"


Idris Elba: “He’s black!”


Heath Ledger: “No way. The gay cowboy? He’s not scary or weird enough. Give me Crispin Glover!”


Hugh Jackman: “Dude’s too tall for Logan!”


Michael B Jordan: “He’s black!” You know, speaking of slight racisim, remember all those racist Hunger Games tweets from when the first movie came out?


Chris Hemsworth: “Who? Kirks dad? He’s not big enough!” (I feel the idea of people training is out of the question)


Tom Hardy: “I don’t know who that is! No! Supposed to be Hispanic!”


Daniel Craig: “James Bond can’t be Blonde!” (Of course, the fact that Roger Moore had light hair as well seems forgotten).


Robert Downey Jr: “Sherlock Holmes is supposed to be British!”


Henry Cavill: “I’m an idiot and the idea of a British actor doing an American accent is lost on me. This is Superman! He’s gotta me ‘murican!” Say what you want about the movie itself, but Cavill nailed the role.


Upcoming: Gal Gadot is “too skinny” because, apparently “gyms” don’t exist, and Ben Affleck is “too Ben Affleck” and so on.


To anyone who wants to complain about an actor in a superhero role before seeing a movie, think back to a movie and give me an example of bad casting. There isn’t one. Bad scripts? Bad directing? Sure. But casting? Haven’t seen one yet. But the way people react every. Single. Time...you would think they never get it right once.



The cycle is so:


Announcement of casting for new superhero movie———> Backlash of casting for a few days, anger ensues ———>Anger stops, simmers until movie is released. During this time people forget they were angry in the first place ———>Movie is released, performances are usually good if not great, even Ryan Reynolds as Hal Jordan for goddsake, everyone forgets they were ever upset ————>Announcement of casting for new superhero movie———>


By the way, relevant now, it's the same thing when Facebook or Twitter or some website changes their look. Reaction, complaint, rage, then "eh...what was I angry about?"


You’ll still have a few holdouts, but most, if not all, usually come around and, often, forget they even had issues in the first place. There are some in hindsight that weren’t good choices, but I don’t remember anyone complaining about Storm in X-men until they saw it.


Outrage and anger against stuff is always cyclical and never-ending. There’s always going to be some new “awful music” that is bad for our children that resets every five years or so (from Elvis to Eminem), there’s always going to be some “evil household item” or “evil fad” that hurts our children (when it’s usually only a handful that are dumb enough to do it), there’s always going to be some new diet pill every six months…sit back, look at the cycles, and it’s actually kind of funny. Unfortunately, the internet also makes it all irritating.



 

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