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1  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (Spoilers!) on: May 02, 2015, 10:00:10 AM

So you don't find Thor's jump cut from shorting out in the waters of vision to leaping onto the cradle with the intent of finishing Stark's attempt to download Jarvis into the super body just a little jarring?

I will say that Thor's appearance in that scene was a little unexpected, but I understood exactly why that decision was made. Thor's little subplot did seem a little unfinished, I'll give you that, but there's so much going on in the movie that it's understandable that we don't get to see everything. We see exactly as much as we need to see.

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Do you feel like events at the beached wreck were well in hand/understood when the scene cut to downtown?

This complaint I don't understand at all. We see Tony looking for news reports of the Hulk, and we see him flying toward the Hulk... what more do you want?

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The chitaurri battle in Avengers was actually a little long for me, but at least it had clear phases, with the fight evolving form a bunch of individual bouts to a cascade of mini team-ups. Also, the chitaurii forces had some variety from the boney leviathans to sky chariots to ground pounders. This was just the same bots over and over and over (and over...). With lots of 'Oh my goodness we'll all have to die to stop this thing' that just didn't ring true.
Yes the robots were same-y, but that's kinda the point, isn't it? I liked that both sides had clear objectives and the win conditions were spelled out ahead of time. In the first Avengers movie, the Chitauri's objective was "blow shit up" and the Avengers objective was "Stop shit from getting blown up." It wasn't exactly clear what either side would need to do to win, and thus the ending seemed a little like an Ass-Pull. In this movie, the Avengers goal is "Clear everyone off the island before we explode the rock." and Ultron's objective was "Drop the rock and kill as many people as possible." Nice clear-cut goals, reasons for everyone to be together at one point in the fight and apart for the rest.

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I also have to say (with geeky amusement) Nick Fury is mounting a serious campaign to seize the title "biggest douche-bag in the Marvel Universe" from the current long-time champion Reed Richards. I'll just whistle up a helicarrier and crew and lifeboat pilots after handing Agent Coulson the keys to the kingdom... a kingdom so destitute he nearly gets his cadre killed trying to steal one measly quin-jet. Roll Eyes

See, I imagine that he and Coulson were working on that for a while behind the scenes. Theta Protocol? Coulson's team couldn't use a Helicarrier if they wanted to, not enough people to man it. It would not surprise me that Fury has a lot of people working behind the scenes to set things up. We know he had Coulson working SHIELD, and Maria working with Stark (and secretly reporting back to him). How many other people did he put in strategic places? Is Agent 13 reporting to Fury? Mockingbird?
Nick Fury has always been the type to pull the strings behind the scenes, even behind his friends backs if necessary. Coulson's work has been essential, he's eliminated lots of Hydra's leadership, and gotten an understanding with the US Military that Fury himself would have had trouble setting up.
2  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (Spoilers!) on: May 01, 2015, 08:33:40 PM
I didn't think I'd have to say this, but I disagree with the above assessment of the movie. It was phenomenal start to finish. Stark's actions at the beginning make sense when viewed through the lens of the vision that Wanda gave him plus his PTSD plus his savior complex. To quote him from way back in Iron Man 1: "I have to protect the people that I put in harm's way." He thinks he's got the Holy Grail of world security, so of course he tries to use it.
I've already watched it twice, and have plans to go again tomorrow morning and next Thursday.

Also, Joss Whedon is the biggest troll ever with that last line of the movie (not counting the stinger).
3  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: April 28, 2015, 08:22:55 PM
ME 2 was my favorite of the series. I haven't actually finished 3 yet, last I left off I was about to head out to the Migrant Fleet. That was in January Something about the length and frequency of the cutscenes is irritating. ME 1 was good, but the side quests were incredibly samey, and the main plot quests didn't have a whole lot of meat to them. Fighting through the same prefab building for the 5th time was a bit annoying. ME 2 had a nice feeling, I liked the recruitment + loyalty mission for each crew member, I thought the characters were interesting and fun, the leveling system was nice. The main plot wasn't too bad, though not the best in the world. But for me, the main plot of 2 wasn't the point, the recruitment and loyalty missions were. I think I'd be super happy if the plot of ME 1 with the recruitment/loyalty paradigm of 2 were somehow merged.
I have high hopes for ME4, I wonder which ending of ME 3 is cannon. Or are they going to let you import a save file? I imagine that would be tough to write around.
4  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2015 on: April 25, 2015, 06:45:33 PM
He looks less like The Joker and more like a member of the Jokerz biker gang from Batman Beyond.
5  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box 2015: TV news, views & reviews on: April 14, 2015, 05:48:38 AM
Ok, so we finished with Daredevil. Thoughts in spoiler box below.

(click to show/hide)
6  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box 2015: TV news, views & reviews on: April 12, 2015, 12:57:29 PM
My girlfriend and I just finished episode 6. I'd still be watching, but she wanted to take a nap and I said I wouldn't watch without her...
7  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: February 26, 2015, 07:55:39 PM
The only thing Comcast was interested in innovating was how to get more money for less service.
8  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Boardgaming in 2015 on: February 19, 2015, 07:55:09 AM
I bought Android a long while back, I finally got to play a full game with five people. I successfully got my hunch to be guilty, but still lost by a wide margin due to conspiracy related shenanigans. It's a fun game but I think it might have too much going on. The events in particular seemed like unnecessary complication.
9  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Idiot Box 2015: TV news, views & reviews on: February 12, 2015, 01:00:22 PM
Has everyone else been watching Agent Carter? It's amazing, go watch it.
10  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: February 06, 2015, 01:45:15 PM
They're shorting themselves if that article is accurate. They could double the capacity by using every base as two bits instead of one. A = 00, C = 01, G = 10, T = 11. Add in the synthetic pair I read about earlier today and you double it again.
11  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Life, the World, and Everything. (Social Issues) on: February 05, 2015, 09:56:46 AM
City living is actually a lot more efficient than rural living. With rural living you waste a lot of resources just getting goods from place to place, in a city, it's easier for the people to come to the goods, rather than the other way around. Plus with concentrated population centers the remaining land can be farmed more efficiently, as you don't have houses breaking up your fields as much. It requires far fewer people to farm today than it did 150 years ago, and that's a damn good thing. In another 100 years, 'farming' will mostly be 'maintaining farm equipment'. Self driving planters and harvesters shouldn't be too far off, after all, all they have to do is drive in a straight line. The only problems are luxury crops that we insist on that need to be harvested by hand, like certain fruits and vegetables, for example.
Plus we're not terribly far away from lab grown steaks, so there's that.
12  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Cool Non-Video Links (Quizzes, Tests, Illusions, Etc..) on: January 23, 2015, 10:33:40 AM
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This place is not a place of honor.
No highly esteemed deed is commemorated here.
Nothing valued is here.
This place is a message and part of a system of messages.
Pay attention to it!
Sending this message was important to us.
We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.
What is here is dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.
The danger is in a particular location. It increases toward a center. The center of danger is here, of a particular size and shape, and below us.
The danger is still present in your time as it was in ours.
The danger is to the body, and it can kill.
The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.
The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically.
This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

— Intended message of the warning marker design project at long-term nuclear waste disposal facilities at Yucca Mountain and WIPP, meant to discourage future generations from disturbing the sites for up to ten thousand years.

The report this comes from was actually one of two reports commissioned by the Department of Energy on this topic. The other was the product of an earlier interdisciplinary team called the Human Interference Task Force, which included the likes of linguist Thomas Sebeok and science fiction author Stanislaw Lem.

Among the suggestions made by the Human Interference Task Force made: an “atomic priesthood”, an elected council who would pass the information about the nuclear site through ritual and myth, and “ray cats”, genetically engineered cats that would change color in the presence of nuclear radiation and whose significance would be relayed through oral tradition like fairy tales and songs.

If you’re interested, you can read both reports in full: “Reducing the Likelihood of Future Human Activities that Could Affect Geologic High-Level Waste Repositories" (1984) and "Expert Judgment on Markers to Deter Inadvertent Human Intrusion into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant" (1993).
The problem is that when you tell someone that something is dangerous, some people read that as weaponry.
13  Community / Off-Topic / Re: Video game news and reaction on: November 13, 2014, 08:30:05 AM
I picked up Lego Marvel Super Heroes on Steam a week ago. I haven't played much of the other Lego games, so this review is in a vacuum: if you love Marvel, like off beat humor, and don't mind simplistic puzzles, the game is fun and addicting. On the other hand, the gameplay is pretty shallow despite the number of unlockable characters, the puzzles only count as such to children, and the plot is incredibly predictable.
14  Community / Off-Topic / Re: [Discussion] Overlapping Masquerades on: November 11, 2014, 11:11:50 AM
I can think of one instance in pop culture of this: Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In one season (three or four, I can't remember) there's two demon fighting groups who start the season with no knowledge odd each other:the protagonists group and a shadowy government group called the Initiative. They both do the same things, but they have vastly different methods. Indeed, both of their top performers are romantically involved but still don't break their respective masquerades. Until eventually a mutual threat forces the issue.
15  Community / Off-Topic / Re: The Silver Screen: Movie News, Reviews & Reactions 2014 on: October 24, 2014, 06:21:31 AM
so it seems that the age of ultron trailer droped six days early. and marvel blames hydra.
Hail Hydra!

I can't wait!

I've got no strings...
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