Friday, November 28, 2014

Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer

William Gibson: "How I wrote Neuromancer" @ The Guardian


From the article, written by Gibson himself:
My fantasy of success, then, was that my book, once it had been met with the hostile or indifferent stares I expected, would go out of print. Then, yellowing fragrantly on the SF shelves of secondhand book shops, it might voyage forward, up the time-stream, into some vaguely distant era in which a tiny coterie of esoterics, in London perhaps, or Paris, would seize upon it, however languidly, as perhaps a somewhat good late echo of Bester, Delany or another of the writers I’d pasted, as it were, on the inside of my authorial windshield. And that, I assured myself, sweating metaphorical bullets daily in front of my Hermes 2000 manual portable, would almost certainly be that.
Read the full article here.

Timothy Leary on Neuromancer:
"It's the way the world is going to be in ten years, like it or not."

I don't think there is, nor will there ever be, another story that makes as much sense to me as Neuromancer.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Sci-Fi Channel's 1999 "Thanksgiving Scinemathon"


Star Wars: The Hype Awakens

UPDATE: I wasn't aware of the following Tweet when I wrote this post yesterday:

 
so we won't have to endure camera phone footage after all!


The original post is as follows:

The Force Awakens still hasn't grown on me as a title yet, but give it time. It took ten years for me to admit that The Phantom Menace is not only a thing, it's canon. I have a feeling JJ's movie is going to stick quicker than that one did. And to be fair, I'm glad Phantom exists, if only because it gave us Qui-Gon Jinn, a dual lightsaber, and the podrace scene, which is one of my favorite big audio moments in all of movie history. The only thing I truly dislike about the prequel trilogy is the fact some misguided parents show it to their kids before showing them the real trilogy.

Speaking of the podrace, do you know what other sounds I love? The sounds of dinosaurs in Jurassic Park movies, specifically at a theater which isn't afraid to kick up the decibels. That sound is chilling, man. So the first decent Jurassic World trailer dropped yesterday and, in case you haven't seen it, here it is:



I loved Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy, but this trailer doesn't exactly do him justice. It sounds like the acting in a made-for-Youtube movie. "Hey, watch out. This thing can kill you. You hear what I'm saying? And genetic modifying is bad, 'kay?" He kind of looks confused about where he's at. And I'm not sure how driving with the velociraptors works unless they're all being chased by something big and bad. But if that's the case why doesn't Pratt look at all worried?

Remember how they fed cattle to the dinosaurs in the original film? And how you don't actually see the dinosaurs responsible for shredding up the cow's harness until later? That's Jaws awesomeness right there. Or when the kids realize the goats are gone. That was brilliant.

So in the trailer above it was great to see there would be a new dinosaur who eats sharks. That's exciting. What's not exciting is the trailer blows its load and shows us the dinosaur in full. Why does promotional material screw surprises up so badly? I would have gone to see the movie just to see what kind of dinosaur eats sharks.

I digress. As you know, Bob, Disney is showing the first trailer for Star Wars: The Force Awakens this Friday, which certainly makes sense: it's historically one of the biggest days at the box office, the day after Thanksgiving, otherwise known as the day idiots feel justified in going bonkers at Target. You think, "Well, obviously Disney wants as many people as possible to see it, so that's why they're releasing it that day." But then you hear they're only releasing it in thirty American theaters (originally it was reportedly nine) and you remember why you hated Disney in the first place.

Because Disney is run by assholes. That's why.


Seriously. The leaked trailer is going to end up online faster than the speed of light and it won't even look as good as the first time we saw The Phantom Menace trailer on shitty-ass Real Player at 56 kbit/s. As for all of us who are pretending we're not going to watch it... well, we're assholes too, because we'll be the very first who do. We won't hear a thing above the nerds' applause and the tapping of plastic lightsabers, and we won't be able to see shit other than the fact it appears to have been shot by a Parkison's victim. But we'll watch it a million times and Walt Disney's corpse will be laughing its ass off from a cryogenic grave. 

I'm still holding out hope that Disney has a surprise (UPDATE: They did!!!) that turns out to be a little more palatable than all this, but so far this decision sounds like pure corporate bureaucracy. They already know what happened when they tried to restrict the Age of Ultron trailer. Short of disabling all the electronics in the audience with an EM pulse, how are they going to keep this one from leaking, too? Perhaps they don't care if it leaks, but wouldn't it be better if we all saw it properly?

If I had to guess, the trailer will be officially streaming by Monday. And in case you're wondering: No, I don't blame a corporation for trying to make money with this, but again, couldn't they make more of that money if they showed it in more than thirty theaters? It's just such an odd decision in the internet age.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Summer Camp: an upcoming video game straight out of the VHS horror section


announcement trailer

Tom Savini is in on this. So is the composer who created the original Friday the 13th score. It's pretty promising, but let's not get too excited until we see some real gameplay. Read more here.

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Hitler just wants to teabag a dinosaur

So it's been over two weeks since Halo: The Master Chief Collection released and I was pretty excited to get a copy. Unfortunately, the multiplayer matchmaking system does not work. I don't know who to blame—the developers or the publisher, or a mixture of both, and maybe even XBOX LIVE itself caused some of the issues. I don't know enough about this technical stuff so I won't point fingers, but goddamn. In the fifteen days since I got it, I've played a total of fifteen online games. In fact, since last week's patch, I haven't successfully connected once. (To be fair, I've kind of lost interest in trying at this point, but since the patch, things are noticeably worse for me.)

I was disappointed in Civilization: Beyond Earth, too. I know a lot of people are defending it because... well, I don't know why, exactly, but it's just not a fifty dollar game at this point. Although it worked well (for me) early on, that's not a bonus, it's just a realistic expectation. Rather, it used to be a realistic expectation for a game to work on launch day, but the only game that's really kicked ass in that department lately was Shadow of Mordor. 

And that's fucking sad. Again, I don't know who's to blame for Halo turning out so shoddy, but someone needs to be blamed eventually. Then there's talk of compensation for our troubles, but what's the chance it's anything any of us give a shit about? With the exception of Beyond Earth, I (mostly) stopped pre-purchasing games ever since Duke Nukem Forever. I don't want to have to stop buying games on launch week, too.