Avengers: Age of Ultron

     Posted on Mon ,25/05/2015 by candybowl

So finally saw the new Avengers movie Sat evening. I liked it, despite my causing us to get there late and having to sit way up front (never optimal) – there were a number of funny parts and as always, the effects were well done. Definitely an entertaining movie overall.

But there were a number of things that definitely make this a lesser movie than the first one, much the same way the two Iron Man sequels are definitely lesser movies than the first one – to wit (Spoiler alert):

1) This movie follows on the timeline from Captain America: Winter Soldier, so SHIELD is dead yet Hydra still somehow exists (if memory serves, they still had Loki’s sceptre at the end of that movie) – and this gets to the first problem – how many big, secret conspiracy orgs STILL exist in the world, for pete’s sake? Especially those claiming to have existed since WWII (started by the Nazis – who else)? So that’s a bit farfetched to begin with.

2) Ultron is a good bad guy, even if a bit too sardonic (James Spader, eat your heart out) but he ‘springs into being’ a bit too quickly for the plot – one minute he’s parts on a series of tables, the next he is a fully-formed, morphable android with hundreds of copies? Where are the Koch Brothers who bankroll all this? Too fast.

3) Why is Thor the only ‘god’ seemingly interested in getting Loki’s gem back? Wouldn’t Loki himself have an interest in it? Wouldn’t Odin have a way to ensure Loki helps Thor and takes the gem back to Asgard where it belongs?

4) As pointed out by Kerewin – Scarlet Witch fulfills the role of ‘Storm’ in this movie – seeming a wimp, then at one point seems to be among the most powerful of all? You can’t have it both ways, guys.

5) The whole fight between Iron Man and Hulk was silly and a distraction. Why didn’t Hulk just run away? And it’s getting WAY too convenient for Tony Stark to just whip yet more Iron Man suits, ever more custom and more powerful, just out of nowhere whenever the plot demands it? Lame.

6) I liked the attempts to give these characters more than one dimension, but really the only three that have their heads on are Cap, Hawkeye and Black Widow, and the latter two are just badasses, not even enhanced. And of course the appearance of SLJ helps right the ship (mentally and then later, literally).

I think the main thing about these comic movies is whether or not they make you want to watch them multiple times. The first Iron Man – definitely yes, have seen it several times. The first Avengers – same. This one, like the recent CA movie and the Iron Man sequels – not so much.

Still worth a watch though….

Other voices:
Metacritic
Rotten Tomatoes

candybowl

Alice….still rules…!

     Posted on Tue ,19/05/2015 by candybowl

dilbert

candybowl

just THINK of all the spaceships you could build!

     Posted on Sun ,10/05/2015 by candybowl

Go inside this Seattle architect’s ultimate Lego paradise

candybowl

Ahmet….

     Posted on Tue ,05/05/2015 by candybowl

every time he was on, it started silly and then went so very, very wrong…. :)

candybowl

Ha! or….oops!?

     Posted on Mon ,04/05/2015 by candybowl

savage chickens

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Round one – Spirit.

     Posted on Thu ,30/04/2015 by candybowl

Never knew about this – I can see the similarity although the Zeppelin tune is arguably much more complex…songs can be played at the link…

Led Zeppelin Loses First Round in ‘Stairway to Heaven’ Lawsuit

candybowl

Surreal, to be sure…

     Posted on Tue ,28/04/2015 by candybowl

pretty dadburn weird…..even for a hardcore VW nerd like me….:)

People Impersonate The Internet’s Funniest Cats In This Absurd VW Spot

candybowl

It’s just about that time of year…

     Posted on Tue ,28/04/2015 by candybowl

only about another month until the 2015 NW Pinball and Arcade show on the weekend of June 5-7! Apparently this bad boy will be making its debut there….very, very cool!

candybowl

I played Computer Space!

     Posted on Mon ,27/04/2015 by candybowl

Thanks to Ed Fries, I got to play a real Computer Space tonight! Ed bought a Time2000 backbox from me (backbox for a vintage Atari pinball that I had around, it had been intended for a wall decoration for a gameroom that is likely to never get built out in that way, so decided to sell the BB. Ed bought my Atari Space Riders pinball some time ago). So I took the BB out to his house tonight, and in the arcade he recently built near his house in a separate building – lo and behold, a 1971 Computer Space resides.

Here’s the story of his Computer Space. And here’s some history links on the game itself:

http://www.arcade-museum.com/game_detail.php?game_id=7381KLOV
http://www.pinrepair.com/arcade/cspace.htmPinrepair.com
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_SpaceWikipedia
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhdu2Jh9cucThe Dot Eaters (video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esp24NI9ixsComputer Space making a cameo in the early 70s dystopian Soylent Green

I got to play one of these a few years ago at California Extreme, along with another extremely early Atari game – Space Race – but i honestly don’t remember the gameplay. It was very cool to *attempt* to play this – the controls look at first glance similar to the much later Asteroids (button to thrust, button to fire, two buttons to rotate the ship left and right) but the layout is effectively a mirror image of Asteroids, so hard to figure it out without practice.

One of the things I really like about this game – besides its age and heritage from the dawn of videogames – is simply that it represents a dream. When you look at that wild fiberglass cabinet, you know someone was thinking of science fiction when they designed it. They were thinking of inspiration and imagination, dreams of spaceships and exploration that wasn’t far removed from the Apollo 11 landing only a few years before – dreams that we still have in other forms, but to me, not quite the same, perhaps even a bit more cynical these days.

But when Computer Space came out, it was still at the dawn of solid state hitting both US industry far more broadly as well as the nascent consumer market not long after. For two kids at the local Sunshine Pizza Exchange in Oregon (and the far bigger, always extremely fun arcade down at Seaside, OR) the question was always “Can I have a quarter?” and “can I have another?”….

Thanks, Ed.

candybowl

Cecily Strong at the WHCD…

     Posted on Sun ,26/04/2015 by candybowl

Wow. Not quite as much for laughs as the past Seth Meyers/Obama Donald Trump takedown of a year or two ago, but BOOM! She gets in some serious zingers in the true Daily Show tradition (despite being from SNL)… video at link…

Cecily Strong Jabs Obama On Charlie Hebdo, Mom Jeans At White House Correspondents’ Dinner

candybowl