Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Dr Stu and Dr Who

They've put the Dr. Who interactive episode on the web from Xmas for those of us without digital at home.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Touche

It's been an interesting week.

I passed my Grade 1 Foil test at fencing (despite being told for once I would not be sitting it). Naturally I'd done no prep, hadn't even held a weapon in my hand in 1 month and it really showed. So I sat the test. Twice. Passed after eventually persuading the instructor I knew not to hold the sharp end.

Work's been... extra difficult this week but I think it has helped me realise my priorities - I should be moving on anyroads. My WFRP game is on hold for a couple of weeks while everyone goes skiing and I caught Underworld: Evolution on Tuesday. Ok flick but make sure you see the first one before hand.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

New Year, New Money Pits

I've decided to start looking for a new job in the New Year since by my reckoning it will take 6-9 months to find something, which could mean being trapped in Pagan... sorry... Leicester for a further year if I faff. I've also decided to leave Casa Al as it is becoming increasingly small for my liking owing to the vast amounts of books and comics that seem to be taking over my room. So trying to juggle these things is becoming a bit of a headache. I really need to focus on one or the other but I've seen 2 jobs that look absolutely perfect, one of which is even back in old St. Andrews and offers a lot more cash to do basically what I do at the moment.

I've also had to insure my Stu Mobile again. Last year's insurance was £360. Since then I've reached the lofty age of 25 (soon to be 26 in over a month), had 0 accidents, made 0 claims and... moved to an LE4 postcode in Leicester. So now with 3 year's no claims bonus my new premium with the same company, car and driver is...

£560?!

My new motto - Leicester: It wants to be London, but without all the good stuff. Other than that, not really been up to much other than working and keeping my housemate up at 10pm with the sound of my late-night ironing.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Home? Again

Made it back to Leicester this afternoon (5pm no less) after leaving Dundee around 10am. I suspect it had something to do with the 95 mph stints I kept accidentally doing.

Spent the evening chilling and playing Ultima V: Lazarus, which is an amazing game using the Dungeon Siege engine. It's even more amazing given the fact that I am listed in the game credits under past contributors. I wrote some dialogue in 2001 though it's highly unlikely it was used. However I do appear twice in the development quotes (everything I say being highly quotable of course).

Anyway expect many sad updates as I progress through this, but let me show you the uncanny likeness of my character...

Friday, January 06, 2006

Still Sharpe?

Reading this blog's meme I noticed Six Foot Hobbit likes Shapre movies, but what people may not know was that 8th Doctor Paul McGann was picked to play Sharpe. During filming he was incapacitated and replaced by Sean "Boromir" Bean. And got serious wonga in an insurance payout.

Who knows perhaps in a parallel-dimension Paul McGann is Doctor Who, Boromir and Sharpe. In this one he's just plain unlucky.

And in other news they're filming new Sharpe.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

We Have a New Enemy

I like bad movies, or rather fantasy movies people consider bad.

Dungeons and Dragons 1 sits proudly on my DVD shelf with it's £2.99 bargain sticker unremoved. I wish I had the Region 1 DVD with all the games and stuff on it.

Dungeons and Dragons 2 is on a DVD-R as a XViD file. I might even make a trip to playusa.com and get the DVD this month.

Hawk the Slayer was not rubbish. Krull is a masterpiece IMHO and its soundtrack is one of James Horner's best.

The only "bad" fantasy film I view as an abomination against man is the Sword and the Sorcerer, a film so terrible it is like watching a Clockwork Orange brainwashing video with your eyes being removed from your sockets whilst dunked in a vat of lemon juice and with fire and acid coat various important parts of your anatomy.

Also Earthsea was kind of like Sword and the Sorcerer but only with the fire and acid if you read the books.

Surprisingly I'd never heard of Uwe Boll until I caught word of his latest "masterpiece", In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Movie.

As this article explains Uwe Boll is a director/producer who makes games based off B-level computer games. Like House of the Dead or Bloodrayne. Or Alone in the Dark, which if it had been based off the original Cthulu-inspired Alone in the Dark game could have been a masterpiece. House of the Dead is apparently actually "Beach of the Dead" (Uwe gets a good deal on using this particular beach in all his movies). In fact this beach appears in all his movies in some form. I'm told watching this movie is less fun than watching someone else shoot their way through the game.

Uwe Boll funds his films by a loop-hole in German law meaning that if the movie tanks the investors get a massive tax-break. It's like the Producers - they actually want the movie to be bad.

Uwe Boll somehow manages to get A list actors like Ben Kingsley or Jason Statham into his movies by casting literally 2 weeks before the movie begins shooting and getting them at bargain basement prices because they have a hole in their schedule.

Uwe spends most of his interviews writing in pigeon-English about how he compares himself to Speilberg or Tarnatino.

Anyway Dungeon Siege The Movie is his latest effort to make a film in the style of Peter Jackson. It sounds similar to the game (which was just Diablo in 3D) - a young farmer (called Farmer by some twist of fate) finds his farm has been devestated by Krugs and his family taken. Fortunately (as I thought when playing the game) said Farmer is also a pretty good warrior/wizard/rogue and proceeds to go on a bender of violence, killing lots of Krugs and stuff.

And look at the cast - Burt Reynolds, Ron Perlman, John Rhys-Davies, Matthew Lillard, Kristanna Loken, Leelee Sobieski, Will Sanderson, Jason Statham, former NFL star Brian J. White, and German supermodel Eva Padberg. Not exactly the Lord of the Rings cast (except Rhys-Davies), more like the cast of a really odd British/Goodfellas gangster movie. The action is choreographed by the guy that did Hero.

Here's where the Tarantino analogy fits in - the film weighs in at 4 suspiciously LotResque-length hours and Uwe was threatening to split it into 2 parts a la Kill Bill. He's no longer doing this for the cinema release, probably given that

a) the tax laws in Germany he was exploiting have just been changed.
b) most folk who paid to see part one wouldn't make the same mistake twice.
c) he can do an "extended cut" DVD.

Now I know that certain persons who read this blog also like bad movies. I expect to see Dungeon Siege on their DVD shelves before long. I know I will probably buy it, if only to laugh for 4 hours or so.

In the meantime I plan on seeing decent fantasy flicks like Narnia, Sword of Xanten and so forth. In the meantime I will let IMDB influence my views on Uwe Boll.

Happy New Year


Happy New Year all. Spent the evening in Broughty Ferry drinking with Steve and his good lady until the wee hours of the morning before returning home and drunkenly spilling beer on my parent's floor and first-footing them without a bottle.

2005 was a pretty crappy year for the world as a whole, an interesting one for me and yet it fell short of my somewhat lofty expectations for the move and new job. 2006 should be good - I've made a pretty challening New Year's resolution and I plan on making a lot of changes in January, as well as eventually looking for a new and better job now I have some experience at this work thang.

Meme

Dr. Sordid started this, so I thought I'd give my answers.

Four jobs you've had in your life:
Cashier - Cashier at the Carnoustie golf open at the restaurant catering to the famous (well Ronnie Corbert).

Summer Internship at NCR Dundee - Packed into a cubicle working on a demo project for the sales team I was pretty well paid as a student (over £200 a week), given flexi-time and left on my own to the extent where one day I left to go shopping all day while my bosses/colleagues were all in Canada and not one person noticed. Shame about the two bus trips to get to work, but it was fun to create something people actually used - next year's interns ended up expanding it further!

ATM Tester at NCR Dundee - A year later, after my degree, I got this job. Best I could get at the time. I was sat by an ATM, making less money than an intern, working from 7am (which made the two busrides into work and back real fun!) and watching everyone slowly turn into a zombie from the monotony of the job. I only did it for 2 weeks thankfully, but it was pretty hellish all round.

Demonstrator in Computer Science - Current job. Teaching and shaping the future of computer science in my image.

Four movies you could watch over and over:
Lord of the Rings - all 3 of them.

Highlander Endgame - there's just something really cool in this with an intense duel akin to the fight in the 1st Star Wars films. And it's one good guy verses the other. Considered a total B-movie by some. Loved by me... especially the "One of us must die old friend..." sequence.

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi - all 3 again, though Return of the Jedi is my favourite. Or was... need to re-evaluate it. Revenge of the Sith is also pretty damn cool.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail - Genius, just pure genius!

Four places you've lived:
Jedburgh, Scotland- border village in Scotland named with the "last/first" shop in Scotland.

Monifieth, Scotland - it's been home for far too long. 15 years!

The Dump, Ullswater St., Leicester - it was a health and safety nightmare, the fridges exploded, the gas leaked, the smoke detectors were always low on battery outside my room and always judiciously positioned over the chasm that was a stairhead. Thankfully I moved and more thankfully it's allegedly refurbished for the poor saps paying over the odds for a bed in that deathtrap.

Casa Al, Leicester - live here as a lodger at the moment, though I'm not planning on making a habit of it.

Four TV shows you love to watch:
Battlestar Galactica - Blackhawk Down meets Star Trek but with more intrigue and moral amibiguity.

Highlander the TV Show - lot of scope, lot of history, lot of swordfights. If it was made today with production values of contemporary sci-fi like BSG it would be perfect.

Rome - historical drama with no holds barred. There should be more shows like this.

Lost - Intriguing, character-driven and far too addictive.

Four places you've been on holiday:

I only got my passport this year...

Shetlands - very nice, good food, good people, interesting weather.

Newquay - good surfing before it became Chavland.

Blackpool - good fun before it became Chavland.

Dublin - pizza is the new potato over there (so the locals told me so don't stone me). Lovely town, with all the benefits of a capital city and less of the drawbacks.

Four websites you visit daily:
Wikipedia - yeah, me too.
blogspot.com - I read other folks blogs here.
strike-to-stun - WFRP website.
imdb.com - got to get pointless movie trivia from somewhere

Four of your favourite foods:
Pizza - especially Domino's or Pizza Hut.
Roast Beef, Yorkshire Pud - since moving to England I've developed quite a taste for it. Lucky for me!
Dinosaur Legs - this is what I call a chicken leg supper from the Monifieth chipper. There's nothing quite like it (in England anyway).
Prawn Cocktail - a great starter for a classy meal.

Four places you'd rather be:

Living in Glasgow or Edinburgh - close to home, but not too close, or ridiculously far like Leicester.
New Orleans, 2004 - I was going to go, honestly.
Paris - I plan to do some sightseeing here at some point.
Las Vegas - hear it's real cheap to visit there if you don't gamble.

Four albums you can't live without:
Not really a music person, but I love movie soundtracks that stir the imagination. And Queen.

Queen's Greatest Hits 2 - best songs ever. I would also try to hide Greatest Hits 1 in the sleeve as well simply for Flaaassshh, ahh...

Complete Lord of the Rings - not your 1 disc jobbie, I mean the 3 CDs that give you the complete score for each film, meaning 9 discs for the entire trilogy.

Complete Star Wars Soundtrack - as above, but 2 discs per movie.

Nox Arcana: Necronomicon - not a Goth but some of this stuff really works when you are driving at night.