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MechE

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  1. Valve - Soon Shipping Games Again

    I think Gabe's a very thoughtful and intelligent guy, but I think he's fallen for that Randian, US tech mindset that there are a small number of 'great' people who get things done and create the world that the rest of us enjoy. However, this overlooks the impact of the 'ordinary' people, who quietly work away at the mundane tasks which are essential to a functioning society. I get the impression that the Valve recruiting process only looks for the 'best and brightest', which is great as far as it goes, but if you want to ship a triple A game, you need a whole load of worker bees who can come in and churn out the mundane but essential stuff.
  2. I've got to start by saying that outside of A New Hope (which is just an outstanding standalone film), the story was never really the appealing part of the original trilogy for me. As a kid I used to watch my favourite set pieces in Empire and Jedi over and over again because I found them exciting, but rarely had the desire to watch the whole films, so I'm not a traditional Star Wars fan. I should also say that what I find interesting and intriguing these days is very different to what 8 year old me did. So when I say I find TLJ as intriguing as the original trilogy, I'm looking at it from a very different perspective. I find this story of people having to live with the legacy of the OT fascinating: There's Ren's struggle to move out of the shadow of his grandfather. I liked his transition from tribute act to leader and am interested to see how he handles this new found power. Rey's clearly been harbouring a fantasy of being part of the grand narrative up until now. She's a fan girl of the Rebel Alliance and it's been fascinating watching her having to let go of all of that and find her own purpose. Again, we've only seen a glimpse of who she really can be unburdened by her past, so I'm keen to see where this takes them. I've really liked seeing Luke struggle with the responsibility of failing Ren, and thereby also failing Han and Leia, (and his dead students). I thought his journey from anger and self-pity, to hero again was well told, and a fitting conclusion to his story. Finn's story has been the most frustratingly underdeveloped for me. I liked that he story has provided us with some insight into the impact and cruelty of the Empire and First Order. From him we learn that blowing up the Deathstar didn't completely destroy all the power structures of the Empire, and that people like him were still suffering under them even after the end of the OT. I liked that his story-line was used to throw more light on this in TLJ, and like I've said previously, I'm keen to see how 'woke' Finn is used as a counterbalance to Ren in the next film. Han and Leia's story-line has been heart breaking and I'm very disappointed that we're not going to get the resolution to that thread hinted at in TLJ. So yes, I like the story, but for the characterisation it allows to take place, rather than the plot.
  3. I think you're trying to find a single cohesive message in a film that's fundamentally trying to explore and juxtapose competing viewpoints. That doesn't necessarily make it a narrative failure.
  4. I think you misunderstand my point, I'm not making a value judgement on whether or not Finn is really one of the good guys, I'm interested in exploring the underlying motivations of the characters. I think the difference in motivations is why I like the juxtaposition of Kylo and Hux. Hux is a rabid 'True Beliver' in the First Order, whereas Kylo appears to be just using them, and Snoke, to achieve his divine right of ruling the galaxy. If the First Order is GamerGate, Kylo is Milo Yiannopoulos and Hux is that weird Davis Aurini guy who made all those videos with skulls in the background.
  5. Finn is definitely acting in his own self interest when he rescues Rey from the Starkiller base, and when he tries to jump ship. He's a hot blooded male who is motivated by his desire for some more hand holding time with Rey. I don't think getting her back to the fleet was top of his to-do list. It was through his trip to the casino where he sees the suffering caused by those who profit from the Empire, combined with DJ demonstrating that acting in your own self interest means people get hurt, that he actually starts believing in something bigger than himself (and his libido). Flying into the super laser and sacrificing himself was a demonstration of just how far his character has moved over the course of the film. It perfectly sets him up as Rey's counter-balance to Kylo's call to use their power for their personal gain. I'm very excited to see where they take the relationship between the three of them in the next film, although I'm not 100% certain JJ is the right man to stick the landing.
  6. That's not the point of his character; he's Finn's ghost of Christmas future. He's there to demonstrate the end point of constantly acting in your own self interest, which is what Finn's mindset was up until going to the casino planet and discoverying a purpose larger than himself.
  7. God of War (2018) - Magni-ficent!

    10/10 Polygon and Destructiod. Recommended from Eurogamer.
  8. The Walking Dead!

    Is your disappointment that she didn't take her t-shirt off solely based on it being unrealistic, or do you think you might have other underlying reasons?
  9. The Walking Dead!

    Come on, I refuse to believe that I'm the only one who thinks that was the highlight of the entire series!?
  10. "The novel is one of the most-successful scifi books in China’s history" The population of China: +1 billion That's a lot of potential new Prime customers.
  11. I run a bit hot and cold on the film itself. As an adventure movie it was better than a lot of recent efforts, but at the same time I don't like how it ignores the dystopian issues in the real world, and I never really enjoy the Manic Pixie Dream Girl trope very much. But what I am finding interesting is that a lot of the most vociferous criticism comes from those who feel it doesn't show enough 'reverence' to film and geek culture. [Caution: cod psychology ahead] I do wonder if many of these critics define a lot of themselves through their cultural tastes, and so when for example they see it's almost sacrilegious, and it feels like a personal attack against them?
  12. Super Mario Odyssey - ALL CAPS

    You only need to do a long jump every other jump. You can use the momentum from your long jump to do an extended jump when you land. So you're stringing long jump, normal jump, long jump, normal jump, etc. It's bastard hard to do though.
  13. The film doesn't rely on nostalgia to carry it, and I'd imagine even someone who got zero of the many, many references could still come away satisfied. It keeps the main premise and characters from the book, but either jettisons or replaces large parts of it. I suspect that it will be popular with many pop culture fanboys, not because of the nostalgia, but because of the way it validates their life choices. "Actually, spending your days obsessing over films, games and music means that you hold the key to save the world and get the girl." It leans into that toxic gatekeeping of geek culture we've seen a lot of recently. In it's favour, I would say that it feels like a love letter, with Spielberg enjoying making a straightforward adventure romp, rather than a cynical cash grab.
  14. Outside of Spartacus, which he was parachuted into, was Kubrick ever trusted with a big budget extravaganza? I know that he had a number of big budget films on his wish list like A.I. and that Napoleon movie, but I'm not sure that producers were willing to take the risk on him.
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