Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Quick Review: Batman Begins

One thumb sideways. That sums it up. After the glowing reviews, even from Batman fanboy's like Kevin Smith and talks of how "dark" it was, I was really expecting to be blown away. I'm not a summer movie-go'er but this one managed to hook me. Typical summer fare, cheesy lines, lack of depth, and flash over substance abound. Jumpy, fast filmed action sequences that obscure all of the action even manage to marr the fight scenes. Katie Holmes... ugh, acting isn't her strong suit, they could have at least had her in revealing outfits/poses to make her worth something (high-beams at the end of the movie for 2 seconds are about it). A jumpy storyline that suffers from pacing issues tops it all off. Typical summer effects and action keep it from being a total yawn-fest and are as predictable as they come but manage to be one of the only aspects that kept the thumb sideways and not totally down. Even rediculous main plot points like the microwave emitter that vaporizes all water manages to only hit main water lines but leaves the human operators (98% water) perfectly fine a few inches from it are glaring eye-rollers. Keep moving folks, nothing to see here.

Eminent Domain, We want a mall... get out!

With the recent ruling allowing the seizure of your private property for basically any reason whatsoever, it is time to start to stand up. Here is a quick article to bring you up to speed: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/opinion/editorial/sfl-editeminent,0,3381996.story?coll=sfla-news-editorial

The saddest part are some of the hidden catches (when aren't there any?). People who are forced out of their homes for a shopping mall or condo already are losing out, but now it gets even worse. The payment for the property is not set by any market guidlines, so in certain situations the amount paid could be less than what is owed on the mortgage! It doesn't stop there though, the entire payment is then TAXED as a lump sum payment which is a very high tax percentage... so you get even less and the government pays itself! This is very sad and not what America is about in the least, however it is becoming more and more the reality every day.

I heard from a man who has his art gallery in his home in a small town here in Pennsylvania. He had spent his entire life savings to buy a beautiful large victorian home on main street and turn it into his gallery as well as his home. Since this ruling there are already plans to claim his home and surrounding businesses and homes "blighted" and have a large hotel built. This area is a fully restored victorian mainstreet, hardly blighted, and has almost no use for a hotel in the middle of it. He loses out twice in the matter, losing his home and his business in one go... their response? He can live in one of the suites in lieu of being payed, how generous.

This has to stop, and people need to stand up to this before it gets even more out of hand.

Next-Gen Consoles Not So Next-Gen

I have been commenting a lot all over the internet about the downfalls of the "next-gen" game consoles. One is the massive development costs, which will cause the Game industry to become a Movie industry clone (consolidation and buyouts until only a handful of developers exist, which is already happening en masse). The other is the long development cycles, which means less games over the life of the system. Also I have been stating a lot of developers are unhappy with the new system specs, and having done development work myself neither look very promising to me either. Well, today http://www.anandtech.com/video/showdoc.aspx?i=2461 Anandtech has posted a hard-hitting article showing the poor performance of these "uber" CPU's.

It turns out all of my thoughts were pretty much spot-on. Plus, Gamespot http://www.gamespot.com/news/2005/06/28/news_6128306.html has a great interview with a number of key developers further proving my thoughts and fears. My only hope now is for a Revolution... quite literally.