I think TDK and some of the Phase 1 Marvel stuff were superhero films at their finest (I'm thinking Iron Man, Captain America). You're right that TDK went for lower stakes and did it really well, but superhero stuff nowadays - that I do still enjoy, don't get me wrong - is like watching a television show with an couple of two-hour-long episodes coming out a year than watching some movies that happen to be related.

And there's nothing wrong with that, I suppose, it's just a different mindset than one has going into TDK.


(224 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Copy-pasting my review on the store's website.


Hope Never Dies starts with the protagonist lamenting not being in contact with his best friend of eight years, then that friend showing up one night, telling him that another of his good friends died under mysterious circumstances. They team up, try to patch their friendship while investigating, always asking questions and getting more questions than answers in return.

It just so happens that the protagonist is former Vice President Joe Biden, and his best friend is the Forty-Fourth President of the United States of America, Barack Obama.

Through his investigation, Joe reflects on the friends he’s fallen out of touch with, with the life he once led, and on his successes and failures over time. There’s serious reflection on dealing with grief and a close look at how America’s opioid epidemic impacts his home town. And at one point there’s Obama, recovering from a moment of doubt, looking at Biden with renewed determination and saying, “Yes we can.”

With plenty of references to the eight years they spent in office together and their time on the campaign trail before that, “Hope Never Dies” draws you in with the prospect of a madcap caper as Joe and Barack, amateur detectives, bumble their way around blue-collar America, but the meat of the book – estranged friendships, an ever-deepening web of seemingly-disconnected evidence, and a vibrant cast of characters – is what keeps you invested, from the first page to the last. Recommended reading for anyone wanting to spend just a few more hours with America’s favorite bromance.


(25 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Teague wrote:

I don't think I recall knowing this: is the new job similar to the old job?

Not in the least. The job I'm referring to is as a bookseller at a local bookstore; we're hitting out 5th year anniversary for this location this summer, but the home store (and only other location) has been open for over 40.

So this hearkens back to my days selling video games. Certainly the particulars are different, and it's a much bigger operation than two part timers and the owner, but at its base: people are looking for books and I'm happy to sell them. Everyone has their own sections to manage and keep track of; I lucked into Sci-Fi (also includes Fantasy) and Graphic Novels, as well as some lower volume ones.

(We don't have name badges but lanyards make an easy identifier that you're an employee. I grabbed a button at the store and ordered a replica of an old Book It! button to keep with it.)


We do a lot of neat stuff, like a Staff Picks flyer in-store and online and recommendation tags on the shelves to highlight books the staff has enjoyed. Observe my almost exclusive attentions to sci-fi, including a book I was able to read in advance that's coming out next month (we get advance galleys to read, review, and be able to recommend in-store): https://www.northshire.com/picks/AndrewB

For reference, my old job was wedding videographer. I still shoot some weddings for the company but no longer edit. I'm also currently trying to do video on my own but it's been a bit slow, I need to refocus on trying to attract business.


(167 replies, posted in Episodes)

Yeah I got blindsided by it on Facebook v.v

I've loved seeing your WIP images on this, and it's cool to see video of it too. I am very excited to see more of this!

241 years ago today, the Americans lost Fort Ticonderoga during the American Revolutionary War. Here is that story.

I had the idea for this video a year or two ago when Tom Scott was looking for submissions for guest videos. It wasn't accepted but I'd wanted to do it anyway. Thanks to Regan for feedback on the script and edit (even if it was just "it's good").

If this gets good traffic and interest, I kind of want to do stories at other forts as well. Not necessarily full histories (I summarize Ticonderoga's history in the first paragraph) but an interesting story from colonial era forts. There are a few in easy driving distance from me I'd go to next, so we'll see.


(25 replies, posted in Off Topic)

New job is going well, worked yesterday on the 4th which was different as of late. Came in and they had a Pandora station of Souza going; I could listen to marches all day but some grumps changed it halfway through.

Also posting a video shortly that I'll make a separate thread for over in Creations.


(119 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Oh man. That's a fun prompt. Do you go for a book with wilderness survival? Or something like physics to help with rebuilding a manufacturing base, the Lucifer's Hammer approach? Best Buy (or the spirit of something modern and tech-y) is an interesting limitation too, probably some sort of rechargeable power source - solar or more likely mechanical - but I'm sure I'm missing something. As for useless implement, I'm just curious what people say. Towel is a bit too useful to count as such.

I'm not outright answering that, more because I'd love to see discussion on it, but also I'm not decisive enough to put it together right now tongue


(63 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Don't know that there's enough of us to fill one out but we'll figure something out.


(167 replies, posted in Episodes)

Faldor, I was one of those that found Solo unneccesary, but I still enjoyed it. The A.C. Crispin trilogy is still a more complete story in my opinion (it better be) but Solo works well for a movie.


(167 replies, posted in Episodes)

Cool podcast between YouTube channels The Templin Institute, Spacedock, Star Wars Explained, and Eckart's Ladder.


(167 replies, posted in Episodes)

Just saw it. I'm with Queefward. Odd decision but after my initial "C'mon, really?" I'd say it works.


(2 replies, posted in Off Topic)

That's fantastic. Love the behind the scenes too, craziness.

I watch the same number of movies I used to, but I watch them less.

Used to be, I'd get a movie on DVD and I'd watch it a half dozen times in the span of a few weeks. Now, I see a movie in a theater, so I enjoy it, and I get a home video copy, and it sits in shrink-wrap until Steph wants to throw Black Panther on while she's making dinner.

I grabbed some Criterion Collection movies in the last sale that I haven't seen (and would be a bit of a boon to my column on the IMDb spreadsheet) and just haven't gotten around to them.

My free time gets taken up with a more active role - rather than passively watching, I'm actively playing a game, or creating YouTube content.

The number of movies I watch is mostly the same. The number of times I watch them has tanked.


(2,132 replies, posted in Off Topic)


Kickstarted documentary that I backed because it was around the time I was building the C64x and was generally on a kick.

They had great access to people - plenty that were instrumental to the machines and the company, and other that are enthusiasts with good stories to tell. And a lot more that probably didn't need to be included.

The film is at its strongest in its first act, when it's focusing on Jack Tramiel, the founder. It tells his story and how Commodore got into the computer business. Then after that... it just starts throwing out information. The C64 focuses more on what people did with it, rather than how revolutionary it was or anything. They just keep talking machines; eventually they talk about Amiga a lot without saying why and only later does it tie in.

And technically, it's a mess. Messy edits, bad color grading, inconsistent audio. It was decently but edited poorly. The only way you can tell it's trying to wrap up at the end is that it's got some crescendoing music and is talking about the legacy of Commodore in the present day, there's not an actual point being made, no final period on what's been said before.

It's just over two hours and shouldn't be over an hour and a half. A lot of the people they talked to were superfluous. and it needed a lot more focus in the edit.

Still, the stories it tells are fun. I'll give it an even 5/10 for good content even if it's presented very, very poorly.


(68 replies, posted in Creations)

Queefward wrote:

So, when are we doing the sequel?


(631 replies, posted in Creations)

I love the 1999 combat racer Rollcage. Turns out one of the devs is making a spiritual successor, 18 years after the last game came out.

I love how this video came out; I don't do scripted stuff too often but it was fun to write, get footage for, and so forth.


(34 replies, posted in Off Topic)

So, less a recommendation, than the appropriate place to reivew this (however, ups to the SAO rec up there).

https://img7-us.anidb.net/pics/anime/154980.jpg https://myanimelist.cdn-dena.com/images/anime/8/26197l.jpg

I finished the short series éX-Driver last night, a while after having read an article on Jalopnik about how it handles the autonomous-car future. In short, a crew of people driving ancient gasoline-powered cars are an emergency response team for when an autonomous vehicles goes "runaway". (They use "gasoline" as the distinction, rather than manually-driven, because electric cars weren't around in any viable fashion when this series came out in 2002.)

The makeup of the cast isn't that adventurous; the three main characters are two high school girls, one demure and shy (Lorna) and the other one outspoken and brash (Lisa), and a kid who's so smart that he's moved up to their grade (Sōichi). School factors into just one episode as Lisa wrestles with whether to save the runaway van that's carrying a test she didn't study for.

éX-Driver is a six-episode series, annoyingly split up onto two DVDs that have the most hilariously bad menu design I've ever witnessed. Visually it looks fine but navigating it is awful. I might make a video review of the series and devote about 30 seconds to these menus. But the series is short, which makes for easy viewing. The first four episodes are all self-contained (while still happening in a specific order, their individual plotlines don't cross over), while the last two episodes form a concluding arc. You never find out why autonomous cars go runaway, which was annoying, but in such a short series they decided instead to focus on the characters, which I'll reluctantly admit was smart.

Episodes go predictably with the emphasis being on the car chases, which are a delight. Cars don't always move realistically - instead feeling a bit like playing with Matchbox cars as a kid, you emphasize cool movements over realism - but it's well choreographed and conveyed.

In short - find the DVDs on Amazon used for nice and cheap and enjoy it. It doesn't break new ground but it's entertaining, and its short length is refreshing as I work my way through some series with a hundred episodes.


(44 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Seeing the list itself is kinda cool. Star Command (1996) is something I'll certainly have to check out on my own, even if I don't join you for it.


(12 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I left my job as a wedding videographer and am trying to go the self-employed route. So far it's been more fruitlessly hunting down business than actually shooting but tomorrow I have my first shoot for someone I didn't know previously. Slow but exciting in its own way. Also working on my sci-fi pet project movie; shooting my sister's scenes tomorrow and the last actor next week.


(18 replies, posted in Off Topic)

Got a two-plus-bonus all related to each other - examination of sci-fi settings and particularly starships.

Channel: Spacedock
tl;dr: "Any spacecraft. Any sci-fi." Primarily analyzes individual ships from Star Wars, The Expanse, Star Trek, or from many other sci-fi settings. Will sometimes do a video on an entire setting (Cowboy Bebop earlier this week) or a "top five x ships" list, and a special treat now and then with full blueprint battle plans, usually from shows but in one case, "How the Rebels could have captured a Star Destroyer". Mix of looking at it as fiction and in-universe analysis.

Channel: Eckharts Ladder
tl;dr: Star Wars first, then Halo, then other properties after that. Does a lot of comparisons (Which Star Wars faction has the best dropship?) and bios on characters and factions. Primarily looks at the subject matter as works of fiction.

Channel: The Templin Institute
tl;dr: "The Templin Institute investigates nations, organizations and factions from alternate worlds." Primarily in-universe descriptions of factions, sometimes technology, sometimes individuals. Some recent videos look at the Systems Alliance from Mass Effect, the Ministry of Magic from Harry Potter, and Multi-National United from District 9. A couple videos step back from in-universe and compare a bunch of things, like "Naming Your Interstellar Empire" and comparing fictional flag and emblem designs. Not a huge fan of their in-universe delivery style but the two aforementioned were great.


(224 replies, posted in Off Topic)

I read the first couple of chapters then, through no fault of its own, moved onto other stuff. I need to get back to it.

Also it has a chapter on asteroid mining, which is of interest to us for some reason.


(2 replies, posted in Creations)

Thanks man smile Props to Teague of course for the heavy lifting on the campfire scene, but yeah, I'm mostly happy with sound on this one.

I'm down for something occasional.

My own free time hasn't been as free as I like (freelancing, amirite, also that whole able to make movies thing), so I haven't had the chance to put something together. If people want, though. I can start looking into it at least. One Saturday a month or something.


(2 replies, posted in Creations)

I'm proud to release my latest short, The Fourth Traveler!

Synopsis: Sometime after the end, a man finds community and companionship, separated not by distance but by time.

Extra BTS: This is the project that Teague helped with the fire effects on. (Since the voiceover-less version I posted in the VFX thread, I've added a plume of smoke to a few shots and toned down the amount of distortion.) Most of the movies that I do are action flicks, usually with gunplay because A) it's fun and B) it's light on VFX work. This one isn't an action movie at all, but it gets implied that such things are offscreen; after all, what would a post-apocalypse be if everyone weren't packing in some fashion.

I did not leave the bag in the stump after shooting with the First Traveler.

I did leave the bag in the stump after shooting with the Second Traveler. Whoops.

I recovered in when shooting with the Third the next day. Authentic weathering, my dudes.

Anyway. Thank you for the help, folks, and I hope you enjoy!