Archive | August 2012

The Strangers

View the details here.

(Note: I had this completely typed up and just as I liked it. Then I tried to insert the link to the IMDB page and the entire thing disappeared. So  now I’m cranky. Grrr.)

Yes, this movie came out in 2008 and I’m just now watching it.

Why is that? Honestly, because I loathe Liv Tyler. I couldn’t tell you why, there’s just something about her that irks me. It isn’t really her fault. I like movies that she’s been in, but not because of her. And while I won’t refuse to see a movie she’s in, I tend to resist seeing it unless it’s something like The Lord of the Rings, but that’s for another post.

Since The Strangers is four years old, the statute of spoilers is well past. If you haven’t seen it for whatever reason, tough jellybeans (see HOP).

So the story is: Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman are leaving a wedding and heading to a remote vacation house. They’re not speaking because he’s proposed and she has, obviously, declined.

Sidebar: This is one of my pet peeves. How dare you propose to your whatever at someone else’s wedding? That is a celebration of them and their love. Don’t upstage them because you need to be the center of attention. Bugger off. Not saying that’s what happened in this movie, because he waited til they’d left and were outside in private, so thank you for that.

He calls a buddy to come pick him up, beause things didn’t work out quite right. There are a lot of awkward silences and sort of conversations while they try to wrap themselves around the change in relationship status. At one point, they seal their horror movie fate by almost getting it on.

Then they really seal their fate by answering the damn door. It’s 4am, people. Unless you are expecting someone, you don’t answer the door at 4am. Seriously. At least, I don’t. And I really won’t ever be doing so now. Ever.

What ensues is a whole lot of psychological torture and terrorizing of the poor schlubs who were (let’s be honest now, they opened the door, it’s their own damn fault), unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the way wrong time.

Liv Tyler asks why the psychos are doing this. One of them responds, “Because you were home.” Yeah, that right there? That’s why you leave the door locked and go about your make-up sex in peace and quiet.

At any rate, while the movie was totally predictable, it was sufficiently creepy to require a viewing of Daffy Duck as Robin Hood to make sleep happen.

I wouldn’t have paid to see it in theatres, but now that it’s freely available, it’s worth a viewing.

Oh, and don’t forget to not be home when strange people knock on your door at 4am. Trust me on this.

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Yarn

I love yarn.  I’ve loved yarn for as long as I can remember. (There was going to be a cute little picture of yarn and stuff here, but for some reason WP doesn’t love this picture and refuses to let me post it right now. Maybe later.)

It’s just so versatile.  You can make so many varied and snazzy dohickies with it.

When I was younger, I learned how to knit and crochet.  I promptly forgot how, since the next time I picked up a set of knitting needles or a crochet hook with any serious intent wasn’t until my early 30’s.

As such, there’s been a lot of trial and error in my crafting endeavours.  (On a side note, having read a metric butt-ton of British literature in my formative years, I have a habit of spelling things in the prettier British format.  I try to remember not to do this, as I’ve been told it’s a tad pretentious as I am not British myself.  Bear with me, since I will inevitably slip.)

picture from hither and yarn

The advent of the internet and YouTube has made relearning these skills far easier and it’s been less of an exercise in frustration and more of an oh-I-just-learned-the-coolest-thing-ever journey for me.

I can successfully knit a rather nifty scarf.  Sure, it’s pretty basic, but it’s a start!  I can crochet the same.

After I finish the two scarves I’m currently needling, I want to start putting a little extra pizzaz into my crafting.  I’m going to make zigzags! Yes, I’m pretty easily pleased.

After the zigzags… Bags! I found the cutest pattern (eep! Pattern reading is not yet a skill I have.) for crocheted tote bags. How hard can it be?

The next big crafty project on my list?  Sewing.  Not like hemming the pants that keep coming loose, but actual honest-to-goodness sewing.  Clothes are expensive darnit!  If I can make my own, not only do I feel accomplished, I can also dress pretty.  What’s not to love?

Cabin in the Woods

View the pertinent details here.

I love a good horror movie.  Hell, I love a bad horror movie.  Then there’s a whole new category of fabubad horror movies.

That alone would have been enough for me to see Cabin in the Woods.  Add to the mix that Joss Whedon (who has god status in my little world) wrote and Chris Hemsworth (who is quite simply divine) stars and you have yourself a combination that ensures my love, even if the film proves utter crap.

It’s starts off pretty much as expected.  College-age kids head off to an isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere for some good clean fun.  Anyone who has ever seen a slasher flick knows what’s going to happen.  Someone drinks, someone has (or attempts to have) sex, everyone dies, the end.  Right?

Well… Not exactly.  See, there’s a twist here.

I don’t do spoilers, so I won’t go into too much detail.  But not everything is as it seems.  There are other forces at work than just crazy, random happenstance.

There’s a very specific purpose to this scenario and the players were chosen to fit certain roles.

So as the movie goes on, all of this unfolds (along with Chris Hemsworth being just awesomely biteable). While it initially looks like a typical slasher flick, the subtext is all kinds of awesome. In true Joss fashion, the ending is not what you expected at all.

The visuals are great and the mood is perfectly creepy throughout. There’s one scene where they’re cycling through all the possible horror flick bad guys that is right out of one of my nightmares. Another scene puts the blood wave in the hallway bit from The Shining to shame, but is balanced by some hysterically funny zombie snacking. At least, I found it hysterical. Some folks fear that I may be sick in the head.

There’s also the inevitable psychological by-play that I expect in anything Joss touches. How exactly do you deal with it when your job is to kill people? It’s all about coping, right?

The way the story plays out and the ending are fantastic and skyrocketed this movie to my top ten list.

Did I mention Chris Hemsworth?

In which I squee over Guild Wars 2

I didn’t really play Guild Wars.  I glanced it over, poked at it a bit, and ultimately decided I had other games to play.

So naturally, I wasn’t feverishly awaiting the arrival of Guild Wars 2.  I figured it would be more of the same and I’ve been happily getting my angel on over in Aion now that it is free to play (more on Aion later).

I picked up GW2 for A on Friday night.  He was interested and it had been a rough week.  A new game is exactly what was needed.

The evening went a lot like this:

Me (crafting in Aion and knitting): 145! The comedy of crafting whilst crafting is not lost on me.

A: It’s finished downloading!

Me: Yay!

A (making a character): Let’s see, Norn.

Me: No, not that hair, it’s awful.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope, just watching.  No, not that tattoo, it’s not pretty.

A: Do you want to do this?

Me: No, it’s your game, you enjoy.  Her clothes clash with her tattoo, you should change one or the other.

A: …

Me: What? She clashes!

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: No, I’m just watching.  Oh god no. Not the monacle! It makes her look like a borg.

A: …

A plays happily for a while, while I continue to craft and knit and watch GW2 over his shoulder.  The first character was an engineer.  A class I enjoyed in Warhammer.  They also have public quests, something else I enjoyed in Warhammer, which have been implemented in a more spontaneous fashion (and thus more fun).

A couple of levels in and A decides it’s time to check out another class/race combo and see how it feels.  This one is an Asura Warrior.  Maybe a Guardian. I wasn’t paying attention to the class.

Me: She looks like a bunny!  (After A changes her face.)  Now she looks like a house elf.  OMG it’s WINKY!

A: I’ll name her Winky.

Me: Yay!  Oh god not that hair!  It’s like a Princess Leia afro.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope. Just watching…

Much hilarity ensued as the opening cutscene tells Winky’s story.  I find particular joy in “not MY golems, of course” and A plays this character for a few minutes.  Now it’s time for A to try out a Charr.  These are sort of cat-like critters, which of course, makes them particularly interesting to me.

Me: Why does the kitty have horns?  Did her mom get roofied by an antelope or something?  What the hell?

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope. Just watching. Carry on.

A fiddles with the character options some more and I pretend to not watch.

Me: Why does the kitty have four ears?

A: Why? Are you jealous?

Me: No, it’s just… Horns and four ears?  The poor kitty is a freak.  OH! Go back to the lynx face. I like that one. And wow, she looks really surprised.  Why do you hate her?

A: …

Me: Why on earth is the poor thing wearing a leisure suit?  Those went out in the 70’s.

A: Do you want to make a character?

Me: Nope, I’m crafting. You go on ahead.

A couple of minutes pass, in which A continues to make character choices that clearly need my assistance.

Me: Why are you making her an earth focused elementalist when you have her dressed in FIRE colours?

A: (sighing and clicking back through the choices) There, is that better?

Me: I suppose, but now she’s all drab and muddy.

A: Now you’re just being an ass. Be quiet and let me play!

Whilst not 100% word for word, this is exactly how the evening progressed.  At some point A made a male ranger, who I swear looks like a guy from a boy band. Possibly Joey Fatone. I’m just saying.

I finally purchased my own copy yesterday morning and proceeded to make properly pretty and coordinating characters. I also discovered the dual evil/awesome of the map. Evil, because they spell out for you how many points of interest, waypoints, vistas (neat panoramic viewpoints in high, sometimes difficult to reach places) there are.  Naturally, I must find each and every one of these things in order to check off the counters. Awesome, because I know where all of these things are located, thanks to the map.

It’s a cruel double-edged sword. I’m compelled to find the points, but at least the game helps me by showing me where to find them. I can live with this. It took about an hour and a half of wandering about with my nose to the map and toggling back and forth so I didn’t walk into a corner like an idiot, but I cleared all of the points in my human’s city.

Other squees include:

Account wide guild membership. This makes me happy. There’s nothing more annoying than having to log in and out of five different characters just to tag them all with the guild name.

You can access your mailbox at anytime without having to be physically standing in front of a mailbox. Thank you!

You can have different weapon/spell focuses and change back and forth between them, giving you different skills to play with. Unlocking these is a matter of use, rather than spending thousands of coins buying your skills and lugging them around so you don’t have to make several trips back and forth. Yay!

My mesmer’s illusionary clones disappear in a cloud of purple butterflies. This is freaking awesome.

I can choose my armour colour scheme at the beginning of the game and that scheme stays with me through my armour upgrades. Yes, I’m a girl. Whatever. The important thing is, I don’t have to sacrifice upgrading something just so that I can still match or be pretty. There are few things as annoying as walking around looking like a box of crayons pooped on me, or looking like I threw together a bunch of hand-me-down pieces of armour without regard to weather or not they belonged together. Squee!

The quest system is fun. Instead of “kill 10 rats”, I get a little bar with several options of tasks to perform for the populace. It fills up as I run around throwing buckets of water on worms, feeding corn, and stomping cows. Or something like that. It’s far less tedious than counting down the kills.

They have different starting areas and experiences for every race and your story questline is influenced by the choices you made during character creation. This. Is. Freaking. Awesome. OMG.

There will be more GW2. Lots more.