Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A list of movies streaming on Netflix come November.

Guess which one I'm most excited about.
Here is a list of movies streaming on Netflix come November 1st. In the past this list has been pretty spot-on with a few exceptions being released a day or two after the posted date. There are also several surprises through-out the month that aren’t on this list, so be on the lookout for those.

November 1, 2014:
Artifact (2012)

Kingpin (1996)
The Rocketeer (1991)
Spike (2008)
Total Recall (1990)
The Quick and the Dead (1995)
Star Trek VI : The Undiscovered Country (1991)
Hart’s War (2002)
Airplane! (1980)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001)
The Core (2003)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
Addams Family Values (1993)
Braveheart (1995)
Internal Affairs (2004)
The Haunting (1999)
Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992)

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Season 9
Portlandia: Season 4

November 4th
Altman (2014) – A documentary about Robert Altman, not one of my favorite guys, a bit self-indulgent towards the end (I think) but still The Player and Short Cuts are pretty solid movies. His movie Mash is streaming and I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it so I may have to check it out.

November 5th
Fading Gigalo (2014) – I’ve never been a fan of Woody Allen’s movies. Out of the many he has made I’ve enjoyed two, maybe? I do really like John Turturo, though, so that makes me feel a bit bad for not having any interest in the movie at all.

November 7th
Virunga (2014)

Scream 4 (2011) – Finally, all Scream movies streaming on Netflix. I’m kidding of course; I can’t believe they made 4 of these things. That being said, still, with nothing else to watch I could see myself checking these out because of a mild curiosity to see just how crazy they got at the end with the whole thing.

November 8th
Louder Than Words (2014)
Nebraska (2013)

November 11th
Not Yet Begin the Flight (2012)

November 12th
La Bare (2014) – Male Strippers!

November 13th
Small Town Santa (2013) – I’m sure there are those who enjoy these movies. If so then why are you here reading me? And also, stop watching these movies! There are so many better made, better acted, better written movies with the same idea but so much more . . . well, better.

November 14th
Chelsea Peretti: One of the Greats (2014)

November 19th
Sabotage (2014) – I was all set to write this off as the usual Schwarnenegger movie – which ain’t so bad, I mean, it is what it is – but then I watched the trailer. The female detective from The Killing and I think – did I see a glimpse of The Martin Donovan? So this movie is now possibly cool.

November 21st
Lilyhammer: Season 3 – The second best Netflix show streaming after House of Cards.

November 22nd
Ida (2014)

Snowpiercer (2013) – Granted this is the best thing this month, but I’m still curious, weren’t there two different versions of this movie? Or no. I can’t remember what happened with the studio wanting to edit the crap out of this movie, if they lost or won? But like I said, I don’t care, I want to see this movie!

Nikita: Season 4

November 23rd
Happy Christmas (2014)

November 25th
Beyond the Edge (2013)

Running from Crazy (2013) – Ernest Hemingway, not my favorite author (kind of think of him as the Robert Altman of books) but certainly interesting, and it looks like their whole family was interesting too so I’ll definitely be watching this one.

War Story (2014)

November 29th
The One I Love (2014) – This is probably the second most anticipated movie streaming this month. I don’t know like anything about it but I have heard it’s good so I’m going to check it out.

Trailer Park Boys 3: Don’t Legalize it (2014) – I’m not . . . I mean, seriously . . . why?

November 30th
About Cherry (2012)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Indie Game and Print the Legend: Surprisingly entertaining documentaries about video games and 3D printing.

Like movies? Like video games? (bonus points if you like the music of Jim Guthrie) Check out Indie Game. In fact, if you like all of those things, then why haven’t you seen it?

It’s easy to play a game and never give a single thought to what went into making the game, the amount of time and work that went into the color of the the sky and the way it changes color as you go, or even the simple drive for the game - why is your character doing any of the things it’s doing? These are the sort of things that the people highlighted in the documentary Indie Game deal with and fight with, and all of it is rewarded by the fact that you who play the game don’t know or even think about any of them.

That’s their job, they create something that is fun and takes the player away to a different world, and if you never give the people behind the game a second thought then they’ve done their job perfectly.

It seems a painful job that in the end, with the finished product, it all becomes worth it. I mean, to be able to create something that others can play, and even better - enjoy! That is something truly amazing. They’re not making up something that people are only reading about, nor are they making a movie that people are only watching, they’re making a world that other people can interact with and explore and solve puzzles. A good game is one that lets you feel as though - while you’re playing it - you actually exist in that world, you are the character. To be able to do that, to be able to get others to experience that, I would say is completely worth it - but boy would it be exhausting, and this documentary shows that it is - as well as frustrating.

I love to write, obviously, but I love to write stories, and I love video games and movies and all things theatrical, so I’ll admit I looked into how to make a video game; and again, I’ll be honest that it didn’t take long for me to change my fucking mind and laugh at myself for even thinking it was something I could do. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but seriously. How anyone can do all of that and still have a passion for it is beyond me. I’ve written long stories and worked on them for months, adding and subtracting words and whole chapters and such - but that is nothing compared to making a video game. Sure you can make a simple video game with an app and you’re done but who wants to do that when you could make an epic plot driven character developing video game? Me, but not anymore. I’m perfectly happy with letting someone else do it and I’ll play in their world.

Indie Game is about the people and not much about the games, and not really much about the details of making the games, it’s about the industry and the people who are working on their own or with a small group. They are the small fish in an ocean of big fish.

I definitely like the indie games. Journey is a short game but one that my kids still play and I got that when it was first released, and hell I’ll even still pick it up every once in a while too. The big budget games like Mass Effect are great and amazing and I love those games, but the indie games are great too just for different things, they have an emotional and involving story, like some of the bigger video games, but the indie games - on a budget - have to use different ways to get the connection with the people playing than the bigger games do.

Journey is the perfect example.

At the end of the game I asked my kids what they thought, and my daughter thought the ending was good and happy, my son thought it was sad (I agree with my son). I played the game, my kids have played the game, and after each time we still talk about the things that happened and what the story is and what it means and what the ending means, I freaking love that! They’ve seen parts of Mass Effect and what they see they like, and it took them a while to understand that it wasn’t a movie they could watch when I wasn’t around, it was a game I was playing (like the Uncharted commercial, a game they also liked to watch me play).

I don’t get why people - parents - get so upset about their kids and video games. You want them to go outside and play, make ‘em do it, but if they’re gonna be inside playing a game, talk to them about it, get involved! So many people know so little about what the games can offer both you, and your child, and the relationship between you both. Now that’s just me, and I sure as hell ain’t no Father of the Year, but like I said, for me and my kids, some of these video games are good. They’ve even taken to do drawings of the games, and my son drew up a level for Sound Shapes so I showed him that you could actually make your own level in the game and he took to creating levels like crazy! No matter how bad of a day I’m having, or what I’m doing, I have and always will find time to sit down and play a freaking video game level that my 6 year old made. I think that is awesome!

Another documentary streaming now is Print the Legend, and this movie took me by surprise with how much I enjoyed it.

I’d heard about the 3D printers but never really gave them much thought. You can print out an object, okay . . . I’d seen the titles for articles on the printers but never clicked on them, and watching this movie is like watching the highlights of all those articles about the 3D printers, how the little guys started playing on a playground that was pretty well populated with the bigger guys; the difference being that the little guys were going to bring the 3D printers to the masses - which was something I didn’t know we needed, and I think this documentary shows that we pretty much don’t, at least not yet.

It’s kind of like a fad - for now the 3D printing is a fad, I think, most definitely. A fad that has potential to be something much bigger. I’m not belittling the accomplishments of those developing the 3D printers by calling it a fad (at least not intentionally), it’s just that there’s nothing major being done with them by the average guy who bought one and with it in his basement developed a working prosthetic hand. No, that was one of the companies that developed the printer developed the prosthetic hand, which is great and amazing but I don’t see how that’s going to get your average Joe guy to buy one, and if it doesn’t catch on then it’s gonna fade away and in turn when looked back at it all it will be seen as a fad.

Now I’m not a fan of the kid who used his printer to make a working gun, obviously that’s the worst thing that anyone could use it for, and the last thing we need is just anyone being able to make a gun in their house. I think even the NRA would be against it for no other reason than there being no way for them to come out looking good if - now think about it - ANYONE could make a gun? I don’t think anyone wants that, but I’ll be damned if that gun printing kid suddenly made the printers something more than just a fad(?).

The documentary was well done for the same reason that the Indie Game documentary was interesting and that is because these people were interesting, and what they are doing was interesting and important, both films are about groups of people changing the way things are done in either the video game industry or the 3D printing industry (which I never knew was a thing until I saw this).

Obviously this would be a rather dull film were it not for the people who are behind trying to make these printers mainstream. You have the gun guy, but the other groups working to make the printers a “thing” are entertaining because you have people who just like to mess around and invent stuff all of a sudden find themselves in charge of companies with an image and soon the infighting begins and people change as well as their ideals and not everyone makes it all the way to the end, and if it weren’t for all of this - if it weren’t for human nature - it wouldn’t be nearly as entertaining as it is.