Jan. 4th, 2012

trinityvixen: (awesome)
New Year's Resolutions are kind of the bane of my existence. Looking back at what I've previously resolved, I see so much that I've not done. I resolved three years ago to finish the cross-stitch for my sister's wedding. (It is now going on seven years late!) I have resolved, every year since I went, to make a scrapbook of my time in Australia. I feel moderately better that I've gotten some more supplies for it--and I sent the majority of my photos to be digitized, so I have those things safe and digital and not just in hard copy. That's got to go on a list for this year, if only to not still be cluttering shit up when I (HOPEFULLY) have to move this year. I also have vague plans to volunteer more and maybe see a few more plays this year. But that's about it. Making resolutions seems to be as far as I go to accomplishing them.

One thing that I resolved and totally succeeded in? SEEING 52 MOVIES IN THE THEATERS LAST YEAR. I did it before December was over, and by 2011's end, I had seen 56 movies in the theaters. I saw fewer seasons of TV than ever before this year. I watched a paltry 176 movies for the first time, and I didn't even clear 20 books this year. (In my defense, five of the books I did read were George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books, which should could for at least three books each.) But I got this one thing done. All in all, it was a really fun resolution, and one that, despite occasionally driving me crazy and making me panic about falling behind on it, I generally enjoyed accomplishing. Going to the movies is, relatively speaking, a cheap outing and a great time. There were more than a couple of trips where I had so much fun with the company that the content was irrelevant.

I'm going to have to break this down by genres. Not genres of movies, but the genres of how I felt about those movies. This may take a few days. Let's start with the worst movies. That way, it's all uphill from here. Without further ado...

So Bad, It's Shameful to Admit I Saw Them
Season of the Witch - Nicholas Cage made a great bad movie this year, and it was Drive Angry. I can't believe I saw this instead. And that I dragged my family to it, no less.

I Am Number Four - Timothy Olyphant aside, there's nothing to this Twilight-with-aliens-knock-off to make it worth anyone's time. It makes sense that it's so trite and cliched given that it was based off an assembly-line writing process.

Sucker Punch - The ultimate proof that style does not trump, much less make up for, substance. Such a waste. And sexist to boot.

Hobo With A Shotgun - Ugh. I may have been mad at other movies I saw that both sucked and blew, but this was the only one that made me feel literally unclean for having been a part of. I was ashamed, really and truly, for being in the audience, and the whole time I wanted to just leave. I desperately wanted to leave. I sat through the entirety of Ang Lee's Hulk without leaving, but I wanted out of this movie within the first five minutes. I feel gross just thinking about this movie. It disgusted me and it made me hate everyone around me who found it at all amusing.

The Hangover Part II - Beyond it's blatant homophobic "laughs," this move blew just because it was an exact retread of the first movie. When I say exact, I mean, cut-and-paste-the-"plot"-points duplication. Fuck this movie.

Cars II - Bizarrely, Larry the Cable Guy was the best part of the original Cars. His character was genuinely sweet, whatever his voice actor's typically obnoxious schtick. Making a sequel entirely about how much of a loser he is and then having him come from behind to save the day or whatever was a mistake. Making a sequel at all may have been a mistake. This is Pixar's only real failure of a movie, but, er, wow, when they miss, they miss by a lot.

Green Lantern - Dear. God. I haven't seen a comic book movie that was this much of a mess since the aforementioned stab at telling Bruce Banner's story. It literally made no sense. I wasn't even drunk enough to hand-wave away how bad it was. And it was bad at everything. I give it zero marks in every category. No one acted at all, if they could help it. No one had any chemistry with anyone else--the leads all reacted to one another with as much warmth (love or hate) as they would a subway pole. Things happened that had no connection to anything else, and the progression from loser to hero followed a trajectory that can best be described with the following dingbats: ...?...!?...!?!?!!?!?!?!

Transformers: Dark of the Moon - I have to give props to Michael Bay for concocting a plot line whereby we went to the Moon to discover Transformers. That was pretty fucking batshit out there crazy. Otherwise, this movie is even less relevant than anything that's come before it. All the problems of the franchise already abundant in the earlier movies were there and then some since several Oscar-worthy actors decided to debase themselves by signing onto this shit show and needed their own scenes to be humiliated. At least the racist twins were gone?

Stay tuned for the next installment, wherein I discuss the movies that were colossal disappointments! And maybe some that were even just mediocre! You can't wait! I know it!
trinityvixen: (win!)
I've seen many arguments for and against prosecution of digital content pirates. This is the best argument I've yet read as to why prosecution is the losing strategy if your battle is really about sales and not, say, some sort of ego trip about controlling content.
Some more thoughts on this. )

Speaking of Legos and pirates, though, I bought the latest game, Lego: Pirates of the Caribbean, and it's delightful, if a little bizarre. Like, I can hardly tell where the cut scenes are going to end and going to drop me in to play the story. Also, a lot of the story play seems to take place in scenes that aren't, strictly speaking, movie-based. For instance, recruiting Jack Sparrow's crew to go chase after Barbosa in The Curse of the Black Pearl. In the movie, Jack goes as far as to find Mr. Gibbs himself, but the rest of the crew shows up at the dock later, and that's the end of it. In the game, I run around finding each person and securing them for my ship. It's a little backwards, but in a movie where there are a) invincible zombie enemies and b) not infinite amounts of droids to destroy, it's passable. It's a Lego [Fill in the Blank Film Franchise] game; it could be Lego: Twilight and I would still play it. (Especially if I got to bash little Edward into a million studs on occasion.) Hopefully, too, it will tide me over until Lego makes my dreams come true and exploits its possession of the rights to The Lord of the Rings to make a game in addition to the physical sets.

And did I mention that I'm playing all these games on my brand new PS3?

In 2010, when I started biking to work, I promised myself that if I hit 100 trips on my bicycle--trips that would otherwise cost me a ride on the subway, not bike rides taken just for the fun of riding--I would buy myself a present with the money I'd saved commuting. I didn't make it in 2010. In 2011, however, thanks in part to the unseasonably warm weather and my increased endurance, I rode my bike on over 250 rides over the course of about 6-7 months. Counting strictly by $2.25 rides on a pay-as-you-go accounting (or $2.10 or so, with the MTA's bonus thrown in), that's more that $500 saved by not taking mass transit. If you count instead the cost of unlimited 30-day Metrocards for those months, I saved hundreds of dollars more. You could even subtract the money that I did set aside for the infrequent ride on the subway and/or bus (about $60 pre-tax from my paycheck), and I was still ahead by more than the cost of the system. And I was staying in shape. Win-win-win all around.

Why a PS3? For starters, it does have some games you can't get on the XBOX that I've been interested in playing, and I enjoyed some of them at PAXEast enough for it to stick in my mind this long. (Looking forward to the Uncharted series a lot!) I also know quite a few people who have them now from whom I can borrow games, which makes me less nervous about the investment. Ther's also the Blu-Ray player, which, as I build up my library, will come in handy. Plus our apartment already has an XBOX 360, which my roommates have rounded out with a Kinect now. I even got a $75 gift certificate at Target for buying the bundle I wanted anyway (it came with a Move controller and a game as well) after Christmas. I made out with a bandit. I feel a little ashamed spending so much on myself at the holidays, but it was something I earned. Next year, I'll try to save up for a TV :)

I have no idea how to friend people on it, but I'm TrinityVixen (shocker, I know). Say hi to me some time? Please do not laugh at my laughably paltry amount of trophies. I'm working on it!


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