Cross Media Productions


I recently saw Hunger Games in theaters. My review of it was that it was good, and my main complaints is the had a lot of the camera annoyances like a shaky shots and zooming in close during fight scenes so it was difficult to tell what was going on and the alterations that are necessary for any book that is turned into a movie. This brings me to the title of this post. I’m not really sure I used it right, but what i am referring to is when a something is remade in another form of media, in this case, a book made into a movie. As was the case here and is usually the case, the movie wasn’t as good as the book. The only time this wasn’t the case was Forrest Gump; then again the movie and and the book were barely related. They had the same characters, and many of the same events, but the book was more of a Comedy with Forrest being an Idiot Savant, and the movie was more of a Drama, with Forrest being an idiot with a heart of gold.

In the case of Hunger Games there wasn’t really much changed from the book to movie, just little things like a relatively insignificant character removed, and other events changed in small ways that didn’t change the overall story. Some things were added, but were necessary. Things that were going on and needed to be shown, because the book is written in first person from the perspective of Katnis and there was a lot of explaining that only happened inside of her head.

This always seems to be the case when a book is made into a movie There is always a lot that is left out, and quite a bit that is outright changed. This is obvious because it needs to appeal to the new audiences that the new media appeals to, not just the original fans, although those are often who they actually lose with the change. It’s what happened with the Batman movies the Transformer movies, the later X-Men and quite a few other Marvel movies (Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Elektra. etc.) . People new to them that didn’t actually know anything of the source material enjoyed them – for the most part – but the original fans hated the movies for how much they changed. This part was actually a bit odd for me, because, Transformers was an Anime, something that should easily be transferred to a movie, and comic books which many nowadays are extremely episodic, but i guess it just goes back to appealing to a larger audience and not just to the herd of nerds that like the original stuff.

Another cross media creation that has cropped up is Book series being made into TV shows. My first experience with this is the making of Dreden Files into a TV show, that only lasted the one season and Legend of the Seeker, which i think lasted two or three. Both of these were changed drastically from their source material, but mostly necessarily, because to be true to the source material, a great deal of it would not have been appropriate for television, which is why i think Game of Thrones is doing so well because they can stay true to their violent and sexual source material.

The last worth mentioning is that games based off of movies are almost always terrible. This actually has a better excuse because games based off movies are usually made while the movie is being made and while it has very little to go on with what happens in the movie – something that often changes while the film is being made – games usually need a lot more time then a movie to be good, and yet they are still expected to come outbefore the movie to build the hype. Of course they’re going to suck, they don’t have the information to be accurate or the time to to be good.

Recently, Games have started to be made into movies, but not to much of a positive effect. For instance the Resident Evil movie didn’t touch well with most of the original fans of RE, but i hadn’t played any of the games when i saw the first movie and i actually enjoyed it. What they did that annoyed people is to take the basic story of the first game, and re imagine it with original characters and altered environments and events. This I actually think was a good idea, at least for this media. They kept most of the basic things: Umbrella, S.T.A.R.S., and Zombies, and made something that would actually appeal to a wider audience, and probubly got more people wanting to play the games, I know I did. The reason i didn’t want to play the original games was becuase I really wasn’t into the horror genre, but seeing that it had a great deal of action, i was interested, and have actually enjoyed the RE games i have played through: RE4 and 5.

Thing is, Movies made into games, Games made into Movies, Books made into Movies, Movies made into Books (something that i have never really delved into myself honestly) and other cross media are never going to be the same, nor should they. There are things that need to be left out, altered, and added in because they just don’t fit. A movie to game can’t be the same because a gamer should be in control of the outcome, a book to movie can’t be the same because an over-present narrator is just annoying. The best thing to realize is that things will change in the new product, but you shouldn’t let the reflect on the source material or the media as a whole, i.e. I didn’t like The Eragon or Percy Jackson movies, but i liked the concept behind them so I assumed that the books were (and having read them can say they are) better then the movies.

Amusing Mass Effect 2 Tidbit


So, i’m doing my second play through of Mass Effect 2 to get me ready for the release in March, and i come across something amusing that i don’t really remember from my first play through. For those that don’t know, on Illiam indentured servitude is legal. Yes, this sounds really bad, especially for the Americans who have a really bad past when it comes to slavery, But this system is different in that the servants aren’t forced into servitude (except possibly by their own bad decisions), and their care and job selection is limited by their contract when they enter the servitude; When i think about it, it’s kinda like if one were to join the military, cept they pretty much own you, yes i suppose you can make requests, buuut the final decisions are up to them.

Anywho, the thing that i found amusing was that when i deigned to help a Quarian (my fav race) to be sold to a certain company. The option i was given, and happily took, for them not taking her was that the company was racist for not taking on a slave that was Quarian, when in fact their objection wasn’t her race, but the fact that slavery made them look bad “Aint i a Stinka?”. The irony of this: that i called a company racist for not taking on a slave. This just really amused me so I decided To share it with the internet.

Now, let me say that despite the way indentured servitude is presented in this game to be not so bad, I don’t think it would be a good idea in real life. Even if we were to ignore the stigma attached to it in this country, the pessimist in me understands that it can easily be taken advantage of in the worst of ways.

Netflix vs. Blockbuster


Well, it happened a while ago, but I’m only now feeling the desire to write about it. As a direct result of the Blockbuster bankruptcy the Blockbuster that i worked at went out of business, then then the one that i got relocated to closed. After this happened, i got really annoyed and cancelled my subscription to blockbuster online and out of spite, and the desire to still get movies/tv shows, i started a subscription to Netflix. I have since come to believe that Netflix is really better…and here is why.

1.) It’s cheaper. I didn’t really notice before because i was getting all of my rentals for free, but the I’m only spending about 8 bucks a month to get something that would have cost a great deal more though blockbuster. Either the buck a day per movie through the store, or 15 bucks a month through the online are both more expensive.

2.) It’s more convenient. I really really really really like the streaming, especially the way I can have it both through my computer and PS3.  The only way you could come close to streaming with blockbuster is on demand, which also means paying for each of them. There is also instant access to all these movies and shows with no need to wait for them to come in the mail or wait in line for newer or more obscure items. You also don’t risk receiving the incorrect or a damaged disc which happened to me more then once, and to plenty of other customers. Yes they do allow you to report it and after the report the immediately send the correct disc…if they have it, but the inconvenience is still there.

The only negative thing i can say about it is that there are a lot of popular and newer shows and movies that they don’t offer, but the inexpensiveness, and convenience far outweigh this disadvantage. even though the selection is limited I have been able to find a lot of things i have wanted to watch, which is mostly TV shows, and anime….which i suppose could be considered TV shows, but most the ones i watch didn’t air in the US. In fact I am currently watching SNL 2000s, specifically S34: E11 with Hugh Laurie as the host (the second time), did you know he is British? because i didn’t until the first time i watched this episode when it first aired Christmas season of 2008.

Now, before i went with Netflix i considered Hulu, but i can use it for free, and it has this weird tendency of messing up the image on my computer if i watch it fullscreen for to long, and i didn’t want to start paying for it if that was going to happen.

Conclusion: Blockbuster: BOOOOO! you deserve to go outta business if you don’t change you ways, and Netflix: YAYYYYYY!!! puh-lees don’t go away. and Hulu: I like your free stuff.

Book Review: All Your Base Are Belong To Us: How Fifty Years of Videogames Conquered Pop Culture


That is a really long title. I was at borders looking at the D&D books. On the shelf below them were strategy guides that i have found little use for since i discovered that all that information is on the internet anyway, albeit without most of the pretty pictures. Stashed next to them was this book with a really long title. Any gamer worth their controller should get the reference to a poorly translated Japanese videogame, but i really thought that the first portion of the title was unneccesarry, because the important part that got me to buy and eventually read the book was the history aspect of it.

I already knew the bare bones, about the video game crash of the mid-80s and how that funny Japanese guy from Nintendo Shigeru Miyamoto made sure they survived, but I didn’t really know the specifics. I wanted to learn the specifics though, which is why I picked up this book. It starts out with a short bit about what the author suspects is the first videogame created, and procedes chronologically from there.

To be honest, i lost a bit of interest when i started chapter 6: The Rise of Electronic Arts. Yes there were great things like the Sim games that they made, but they also made the most annoying games: Madden. However, i kept reading and gained an appreciation for it, seeing as the great amount of money they gained from Madden and other sports games, allows them to make Sims and Dragon Age, games I do find great enjoyment on.

After that the game becomes less chronological and more focusing on impactful games like the rise and fall of Everquest, the good and bad of Rockstar sandbox games, and the awesome artistic aspect of Bioshock, aswell as many more. I would recommend this book to Gamers, but really to anyone that would like to understand the history and evolution of games.

inFamous 2 – Review and Social Comentary


As it is with any sequel, one must compare it to the original. Well, i definitely liked it more then the original, the only complaint that comes to mind (and i haven’t played it since i got the platinum a month ago so i may be forgetting some things)  is that the basic lightning attacks drain your power reserve, but this is balanced by having different and possibly more powerful versions of your basic attack which are gained through spending experience. Which brings me to one of the great things they did by giving a lot more extra powers, which actually brings to mind a complaint. For some of the powers, you spent experience on a more powerful version of the power, but for most of them, it was a similar, but over-all different version of the power that augmented the new elemental power you gained, meaning that for some, i chose to use a lower level power because i preferred the way it worked.

When it came to the story, it was along the same lines of quality. It was a comic book style story that was reminiscent of the x-men storyline. It is further explained and revealed that despite Cole’s super-bad-assedness is obvious, he is not alone. there are others that have the potential to have powers like him called Conduits, and they just need a blast sphere to bring it out of them. In the new city of New Marais – the video game equivalent of New Orleans apparently – the main baddies are a group of red necks calling themselves the Militia who took over policing the city, after a flood that destroyed most of it (sound familiar) turned the place into the anarchy, rendering it kinda in a police state, where they attack people they ‘suspect’ of being Conduits. This ended up being very much a witch hunt, because there was no real way to identify them, much like the mutant story of the X-Men series, except that most Conduits can’t even use powers yet. Also like the X-Men series, whether you chose to be good or evil the decisions tend to be more along the lines of X-Men or Brotherhood of Mutants.

This made sense for most of the game but the ending really annoyed me. I do think that if you hate spoilers you shouldn’t keep reading, but if you do skip to the next paragraph please at least re-read this portion after you have beaten the game, because i do bring up a major complaint here. The final decision comes down to being good and saving the many by allowing the few to die, or being ‘evil’ and allowing the many to die, by saving the few. On the surface at least. This decision really cheesed me off, because to me the few seemed far more valuable than the many. This is definitely a horrible situation either way, and i suppose the question could be posed would you let all the Einsteins die to save everyone else? But it isn’t even that, It’s closer to: Would you let all the humans die so the chimps can go on living. Now i know this really simplified, and could be better related to letting all the mutants die to save all the non-mutants, because the other is more relatable, but i like this one so i’ll go with it. Yes, the mutants are in the minority and a great many people would die, but there are still a lot of mutants that would die too and with them a dramatic leap in evolution. Now, to consider killing either party the benefit the other is ‘evil’ either way, but i don’t think that being forced into a decision like the game does can easily be defined as good or evil. After all, we are not above sacrificing the lives or comfort of ‘lesser beings’ to advanced as a species and we never have. The argument could be made that the reasons it’s different is because the two types are so similar, one coming from the other, but should that matter? Does anyone actually miss our Homo-predecessors, (referring to the species, not the sexuality) or think the world would be better with them still in it? Now i’m not saying that if a ‘better’ species were to evolve that the lessers should be killed off. What i am saying, if the decision needs to be made of who deserves to inherit the earth, should it be the greater parents, or the fewer children. What i am really trying to say is this is not a question of good/evil or right/wrong and to imply that it is is just aggrivating.

Wow that rant went off on a tangent of some thinking philosophy, and i didn’t even pay attention in that class. Anywho, for those that skipped that bit for fear of spoilers, i don’t blame you, but i would like it if you went back to read it later, after beating the game. I would really like to see others’ view on this game and specifically what i brought up about the ending. I really did like the game, and although i didn’t like how black/white the ending was like much of the rest of the game, i did like the idea it brought up, and perhaps that was the whole point.

i did really like the game, and recommend it, even just for a rent/borrow. They did add in a potentially replayability aspect of it, where you could design challenges and play ones other people have made, but i’m not creative enough to enjoy it, and the ones others were making just seemed to be “lets see how many baddies i can cram together, and if anyone can actually beat that many” short answer: “yes” long answer: “once you beat the game, you are extremely powerful, and good enough to take down most challenges, and the enemy AI isn’t good enough to take advantage of being a swarm.” Play though it twice, bot good and bad, both endings are worth seeing, and are drastically different, unlike the first game where both were pretty much a lead-up to this one. If you can, import the good/bad ending from the first one, because there advantages to doing so.

OH! final note, the thing that really drew me to this game was lighting powers, and i have always thought that controlling lightning was the coolest and potentially most versatile of powers (at it’s core electricity control is energy manipulation which is really powerful if you throw some physics into the mix) and in this game you can lift and throw cars all Magnito style. I would only have wished you could manipulate them like Crypto could in Destroy All Humans, but i can understand that it may be more difficult to move something past the basic lift and throw.

Portal 2 – Review


Well, i just rented Portal 2 on Wednesday, and only just beat it yesterday…for the second time. The first time was just for fun, and the second was to get all the trophies i missed in the first time through…and for a bit of fun too. I haven’t gotten all the trophies yet because i need to do the co-op section, but i have to wait til PSN is back online because i am without a companion to help, and without an extra controller even if i did.

Anywho, about the game. It is great. It is only slightly longer then the previous although there is a whole bunch i haven’t played in the co-op section, but is still fun.  The humor is still there, sometimes i stalled doing what i was supposed to do just to hear what Wheatley or GLaDOS was going to say next, heck even the turrets had amusing things to say.

The new additions of the different liquids that had different properties was a fun and challenging thing to play with aswell. I especially liked the white paint that allowed you to put portals an the flat surfaces it painted.

I liked the original a lot, but this one did have more content then the 3 hours it took me to beat the other one, but i’m not sure if it’s worth the purchase. Yeah, it’s fun but once you have solved all the puzzles, there really isn’t much in the way of replay value.

Fast Five – Review


Today…or rather, yesterday because i am making this entry after midnight, is…or was, my birthday. On it, i went to see this movie. Once again, i saw a review before i saw it. From seeing that review i wasn’t at all excited to see it, but because i was seeing with my sister, brother-in-law, and friend of my sister’s, i figured i would give it a chance, and i’m glad i did. It was a fun mindless action movie. There really isn’t much other then that that i can say, because it’s really one of those movies that if you’re just looking for action with cars you’re going to love, but if you’re looking for something else, why the hell are you watching this movie? You should really know what to expect from the other 4 movies, cept this one is chock full of other action stars, and characters from the other movies.

The one thing i should say is stay through the credits, because there is a scene at the end with a teaser and obvious set-up for a sequel.

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