HANGING OVER

So I watched The Hangover Part II today. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe it’s meant to be a comedy. An hour and a half and I didn’t laugh once. Maybe I’m wrong and it’s some kind of drama, only without the drama. Or an adventure film without the adventure… you get the idea.

The Hangover Part II Posters

Have you ever seen those dreary US sitcoms that contain plenty of sit but no com? That’s what this film was like. Completely inoffensive (despite trying VERY hard), the kind of thing you watch simply because it’s on, not because you have any desire to actually engage with the plot or characters. This is fine when watching a TV show, but a feature length film that you’ve shelled out you’re hard-earned for? I expect better. Sort it out film maker dudes.

And don’t get me started about the “whacky” bearded guy…

THE TROUBLE WITH CHRISTMAS

So Christmas nears and the seemingly traditional problems arise. Some bright spark at We Make Loads of Cash in the Games Industry, has decided, again, that now is the time to release all the killer apps in one fell swoop.

You can't see me.

These are the ones that concern me right now. You see, I want them all. This is despite the fact that I can’t afford them all, neither financially nor temporally. But they all look so good.

The solution is simple: Get one of the above and play it to death, by the time that’s done it’s January sales time and you can reap the benefits of your patience.

But I don’t want to do that. I want them all now. I know it’s materialistic and wrong (doubly so in a recession!) but I can’t help it. SO if anyone out there wants to give me a copy of each of these games, feel free to do so.

Yours hopefully,

Me.

CHESTER ZOO

About a week or so ago I visited Chester Zoo with the family to see some sights and shoot some snaps.

I posted this image to my Flickr account:

I got a tweet the next day complimenting the shot from the dudes at the Zoo, who linked to it from the Chester Zoo Facebook page.

Many, many hits followed and I was made up with all the positive feedback. Then the Zoo private messaged me on Twitter to ask if the could have the picture to use on the cover of their quarterly magazine. I am very excited about this. Very. Excited. Will keep everyone updated.

ALLERTON TOWERS

So I took an afternoon off this week and Kerry and I went to Allerton Towers. I’ve lived round here for 27 of my 30 years and never been here before. Took the opportunity to get a couple of photos while I was there. The panorama (bottom image) caused  some consternation when it wouldn’t line up properly, but I got there in the end.

The Park was only small but it was beautiful, and at 3:00 on a Tuesday afternoon it was empty, which was ideal. If you are ever in the local area I recommend you give it a try.

PAUL

I recently watched Paul. The latest comedy from Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Different director this time (if memory serves correctly Edgar Wright was off doing Scott Pilgrim). I thought the film lacked a bit of panache, some of the quirkiness that personified Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz was missing. The eponymous CGI alien was decent enough, but he reminded me of that episode in The Simpsons where Homer voices Poochie the Dog. A tad desperate.

Still any film which can cram in as many Star Wars references as this one is always going to be a winner in my book. The geek shall inherit the Earth. Amen to that. It’s completely throwaway, but sometimes that’s just what I’m looking for.

 

SANDBOX GAMES

The last two games I’ve played extensively are Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood (ACB) and (as a free download from PSN) Infamous. Both sandbox style free-for-all-do-what-the-hell-you-want-and-screw-the-consequences games. But I have issues with both.

ACB: It takes too long to get anywhere. To play through the entire story I must have had to traverse digital Rome several thousand times. It doesn’t matter how many magical underground tunnels you put in, I still gotta run for five minutes before I can get to a location which provides some entertainment. I’m playing this late at night, I don’t have time for all this fannying around. Get on it Ubisoft.

Infamous: When the games says “Area Cleared: Enemies Will Not Return” then reasonably enough I don’t expect them to be popping up every two minutes out of nowhere. This is of course an attempt to keep the game interesting as the player moves from one mission point to another, but I have a simpler solution. To avoid tedious long trips across the entire map for missions, just don’t put them in the game. Countless man hours saved in the production studio.

In conclusion: get GTA.