Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Written by Strategist on the 28th of October 2012 at 02:59

If you haven't remembered yet, you're supposed to turn your clocks back tonight. This always causes some confusion, at least it does for me. i have though figured out which way I was supposed to turn my clock, and the funny thing now is that the clock is approaching 3 am (here in Norway) for the second time around this night.

Did you remember to turn your clocks back?


One month in The Secret World

Written by Strategist on the 3rd of August 2012 at 05:11

Today Funcom and the Secret World community celebrates that it's one month since the public release of their latest title and MMO.

By special circumstances I decided to make an exception from my usual habit of avoiding these types of games and made The Secret World the first MMO-game that I've bought and actively played. Not counting a couple hours in The Lord of the Rings Online after it was made free-to-play. So far I'm quite impressed with Funcom. In the three weeks since I got the game I've spent almost 80 hours in Kingsmouth, Solomon Islands.

If anyone wants to play, make an attempt at early dungeons, or trade, then feel free to contact me in-game. I play in the Huldra dimension.


The Avengers-movie

Written by Strategist on the 1st of May 2012 at 06:17

I'm not much of a movie enthusiast and I rarely go to the cinema, but in the last two weeks, perhaps in part because this year's exams is drawing near, I've been to the cinema twice. Last Saturday I watched the first part of the Hunger Games trilogy. This Saturday it was The Avengers that I was going to watch, the day after the Norwegian premiere.

I'd heard a lot of praise of the movie from friends that had watched the movie before the premiere, and from coverage in countries where the movie was in cinemas a little earlier. And I've come late to some of director Joss Whedon's other works recently, but as most others I've quickly become a huge fan. So me and a friend decided to go watch The Avengers on Saturday evening.

The movie is about The Avenger Initiative, invented by Doctor Fury that brings together some of the Marvel Universe's most famous and extraordinary superheroes. And they are also some of the most singleminded and self-centred personalities you can imagine. And it is a feat to Joss Whedon's credit to bring all these characters together in an almost coherent and streamlined manner. And much attention and responsibility is given to Scarlett Johanssons character, Black Widow/Natasha Romanoff who makes the team much more dynamic.

Of course once they are brought together they still aren't very cooperative or even friendly with each other. And they have to sort out a lot of differences and do a lot of solo runs before they can finally come together and fight the big mean polytheistic son of a god.

And that's it. There's more explosions than in The Transformers movies and a lot of fast paced action interspersed with funny dialogue and just the right amount of one-liners. And the one one big emotional scene that should turn the movie and the team all around is dumbed and dulled down by a cheap one-liner and not the right kind of music - seemingly. Or maybe it's a conscious choice. This is not that kind of movie, and they don't make the mistake of trying to do something that may not contrast well.

So for a long time into the experience they seemed to be at a level that was entertaining, but didn't really entertain me. But then, after the moment appeared to have passed and when the team had finally decided to work together, the movie hit a new high, and the last bit was pure pleasure watching.

When you find yourself laughing at jokes that's funny because they build on the dialogue from much earlier in the film, it's a sure sign it's a good movie. There's lots of hilarious moments. Sadly this also threatened to ruin the entire experience, as the other audience members seemed to have contracted some sort of sit-com disorder. Yeah it's funny, but it's not THAT funny. You don't have to laugh out loud or comment on the jokes. And most of the jokes were really obvious, I could see them coming miles away, and still people laugh hysterically. I'd like to make a reference to one of Joss Whedon's other productions and point out that there's a special hell for people who talk at the theatre (together with the child molesters). This, and the subtexting in Norwegian was a bit detrimental to part of the experience of the movie, yet I did have a great time.

As always in these Marvel movies there was a cameo by Stan Lee. Which is interesting to notice each time.

One interesting thing was when the bad guy, Loki, explained his view on humanity. When you find yourself agreeing with the bad god you reflect on how it must allways be to watch Hollywood movies if you're a Nazi - or Russian.

The Hunger Games-movie

Written by Strategist on the 30th of April 2012 at 15:40

The Hunger Games is on everybody's lips nowadays. For some of you it may be about to be shoved aside by incredible The Avengers, but The Hunger Games is nevertheless the current cultural phenomenon. Whether you're all about the books or you've just seen the movie, as most of us seem to have done. If you haven't heard of The Hunger Games I assume that you must be living in a cave somewhere.

The books has gotten a lot of praise. In the Guardian I even saw the author compared to C.S Lewis and J.K Rowling. While this book series has hit the young adult readership with quite a force I wouldn't quite go that far. The story of the first book was capturing and imaginative and in many ways brilliant. But I did miss some depth and the rest of the trilogy is somewhat repetitive of the first, and while still capturing they are quite predictable, and the third book almost dull apart from a very good ending.

Yeah, I read the books. Only a couple weeks ago. I read them in anticipation of the movie, and because they were recommended to me. And I would recommend them to others. They are not in any way girly or boring, as for some reason one would almost expect when there's a female protagonist. I would bet even hardcore feminists could favor this book and its stubborn, independent main character. And the movie too captures the same balance between action and dialogue.

I watched the movie last weekend at the cinema with my little sister. She'd already watched it before, but I hadn't.

I actually liked the first half the best. There are a few scenes that's really emotional and greatly presented. And that's rewarding in a movie. In the arena however, they've evidently been extremely careful in order to get a PG-13 rating, and it shows. The shaky cam scenes works well enough, but some of the more drawn out kills from the book almost made me laugh at how unrealistically they were portrayed, although there are some faults there in the book too as far as I can remember. The big final scene towards the end also has been made much less dramatic than they should have and could have. I won't spoil it if you haven't watched the movie yet, but they should've put them completely in. And I can't imagine it would've really made a difference on the rating.

One other thing that bugged me on several occasions was the subtexting. After watching movies at home for a long time since I last visited the cinema, the Norwegian subtitles really irritated me. They should have an option to view movies at the cinema without subtitles. My eyes are so contrived that my attention is caught by text, and even though I didn't need the subtitles at all, they distracted me from hearing the dialogue several times. I look forward to when this movie comes out on DVD and I can watch it without subtitles.

I also hope that when they release it on DVD they make a director's cut edition for grown ups with a little more realism and some blood. There seemed to be some room made for extended scenes in several places, where events where left out but still hinted at.

One last thing I noted when I watched the movie was that the fire-dresses were not really how I'd pictured them, and quite frankly unimpressive.

Other than that, I would say that this movie was by far truer to the book than I would have expected beforehand, and about as much as I had been told. There are a few places where it derives from the book, but very few places where it contradicts it or simplifies things. With the concept of the book revolving around a reality show this is of course made much easier to adapt to a movie format. Even though one misses a lot when going from the very personal first person perspective of the book to the perspective of a movie, without many of the inner thought of the protagonist.

Now all we have to wait for is the game...

Politically Active

Politically Active

Written by Strategist on the 5th of March 2012 at 20:22

What does it mean to be politically active?

Would you consider yourself politically active?

At the very least I would say that I have always been politically interested. While I haven't really taken part in any political activities, I have never shunned from taking part in political discussion with friends, family or fellow interneters.

After having it in mind for a couple years I have presently gone to the step of joining a youth party. They call themselves The Left and forfeit liberal ideas, but there are far more leftist parties to choose from in Norwegian politics. I did not join the from some deep founded ideological conviction though. However they are the party that closes fit my views in the most important cases. My reason for joining a political party was entirely based in a desire for more opportunities to discuss politics.

I would like to know if any of you support a particular political party in your country, and maybe even are a member. With the entire Europe available I might even here talk to people who live in countries where they aren't really allowed to choose political sides freely. In that case you have my sympathies.