The One where I review "Sunshine"

Good evening. As I stated in my first post a while ago I'll also be having some posts about movies or tv series and after a long movienight with some friends I thought it'd be a good idea to have a movie spotlight from time to time.

And so here we are, my first movie spotlight will be featuring Boyle's Sunshineimdb ). Now I know you might be thinking "wait a minute, that's from three years ago. I already know that." Yeah, well, there are however people out there who might not have seen it on the cinema or elsewhere. Even if, maybe this will spark some discussion, which of course, is always welcome in the comment section of this post. If you agree, let me know, if you disagree and want to call me a douche, you may do so as well. Enough with the babbling now.
It is the year 2057, seven years after humanity first sent out a mission to the sun in the hopes of rekindling it as the sun is slowly losing it's power. As one might expect a weaker sun will ultimately result in the death of all lifeforms on Earth. After an apparent failure of the first crew, a new one is sent to the sun on board the Icarus II (clever name eh). The movie starts sixteen months into their journey, a mere thirtysix million miles away from their goal. We meet the eight daring astronauts, all more or less specialists at certain tasks needed to complete this mission. Interestingly enough, half the crew consists of Asians and we see everyone eating with chopsticks. A hint at the future?
Back to the review... Once the Icarus enters the dead zone, the zone in which no more communication is possible with Earth and the space station near the moon, we start to realize the "down-to-earth" aspect of the movie. It's all quite plausible and given the scenario, believable.
Slowly problems arise. Communications are down already and now the hull of the ship, protecting them from the sun's full force, is damaged. Boyle is pushing us back into our chairs and he keeps us interested with ease as the story progresses. To make matters worse, the oxygen producing biodome was destroyed by accident and it is revealed that there will not be enough oxygen for everyone to reach the target destination alive, let alone return to their homes.

It's all good and entertaining to watch until the Icarus II discovers the remains of the first Icarus and decides to check it out, since it might still have a fully intact payload. And "two chances are better than one", as they say in the movie.
However, this is the turning point in Sunshine for me. Briefly after entry into the first Icarus Boyle seems to have forgotten what kind of movie he wanted to create here. It's bizarre to see Sunshine become a scifi with horror and thriller elements in it, even featuring characters that seemed to have wandered off from the set of 28 days later and forgotten their way back. The science based approach goes haywire as the movie implodes and quite frankly, destroys itself with ridiculous elements being thrown into the pot. Even so, the movie did deliver with the first two acts. It's a shame Boyle and Garland did not manage to give the movie the last act it would deserve to have.

Rating and conclusion

Like an imploding star, Sunshine does shine brightly in the beginning, but ultimately, it implodes into a horrible dramatic black hole.

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The One with random collectibles from Japan

Hi guys. おっす!As I told you in my first post, I'm also quite interested in everything Japan, not just because that's what I'm studying (as a part of East Asian Studies...). In any case, it just so happens that recently I had the chance for another quick trip overseas and I got addicted to UFO Catchers.

Yeah, these. I'm sure you've seen some, no matter where you live. They might stand around in some old dusty arcade no one goes to anymore. Game centers are not popular at all anymore in the western world these days. That is completely different in Japan. It's rather impossible to walk in any direction in Tokyo, at least in the bigger hubs like Ikebukuro, Shibuya and of course Akihabara, and not stumple upon a game center. Often featuring multiple floors, with each level being dedicated to a different kind of amusement. There are floors with nothing but games, floors with those silly "drop coins to get some coins back" moneygames and... whole floors, sometimes
even more than just one dedicated to nothing but UFO catchers. Throughout my travels, I've not only seen the usual kind filled with various stuffed dolls or character goods, but also icecream or candy & snacks catchers. To top it off, there is a game center in Osaka that puts freshly made cake and pie into their machines. If you happen to win it, you are recommended to consume it on the same day and they will hand you a cooling bag so you may transport it home safely. 

Anyhow, back to those more common machines. I couldn't resist playing... a lot... and thus I present to you some items I've managed to snatch amongst some others I bought:

 Alright, let's look at what we got here.
  1. Star Wars chopsticks - Oh yeah. Do I need to say anything else? Ok.. they do not make the buzzing sound when you swing them through the air. But you will feel damn awesome when you take these out to eat your cup noodles, believe me.
  2. Pokemon Black + DSi - Ok I've had the DSi before. Pokemon Black is brand new though. My gf bought the white edition so I didn't actually get to choose, but it doesn't matter. It's game + study combined for me, even more reason to be happy.
  3. One piece goodies - Both of these cost me about 300円 each only (about 3.5$ each) and are quite nice, even for those who are not fans of One Piece, like me. The watch reminds me of old times and is of good quality, while the corkboard will be decorating my wall pretty soon. Good gifts too, I suppose. 
  4. He is my master figure - Umm... I got this one for a friend...really. Actually the truth is that the year before, when I was in Japan, I wasted so much money on this same figure and it was about time for revenge. I succeeded and as soon as I held it in my hands, I noticed that the whole figure is stiff, imagine touching plastic. The whole figure? Her boobs are soft to the touch. I can imagine some people sitting there and repeatedly molesting that poor girl's cleavage.
 I'll be off to play some more pokemenz, they don't catch themselves now do they?

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The One with p2p going f2p

Heya. So recently we've had a lot of once successful pay-to-play MMORPGs change to a free-to-play business model. Naturally, you can and are expected to still pay, but you are not forced to do so. You might enjoy various benefits, such as more content being available to you or exclusive perks. After games like DDO, LOTR and just recently PoBS it seems to be an increasing trend of a swap in business models. The old "pay your 15 bucks a month" method might not be as competitive anymore as it used to be.
Of course the question is, which games are going down the same route in the future? There are many candidates, but my top pick would have to be Vanguard.
Vanguard, huh? Many of you might not remember it. I don't even expect many people to have heard of it, as unfortunately this game did neither have good marketing nor a very large playerbase to spread the word. With all the problems the game had at its launch it was to be expected that many subscribers wouldn't be staying for long. 

Much to my personal dismay, as this game actually had a lot to offer for those looking for a more "oldschool" feeling in a MMORPG. Think EQ, DaoC. The world was vast; in fact probably the biggest I have personally seen and set foot on. You could easily spend a day on your journey from the northern reaches to the southern islands in Vanguard. The crafting system was superb as well. One of the most complex crafting systems at its time, it offered many various steps before you finally finished crafting your wooden board, your bow, or even your whole armor set. 

On the other hand, Vanguard, at launch, was filled to the brim with graphic bugs and glitches. Some people could hardly get it running on their slightly outdated PC. Compare this to runs-on-every-single-pc-in-the-world-WoW and you can see how this massively and negatively affects a new playerbase. Vanguard did get rescued in its more recent years though and that is why I think it would be SOE's perfect next choice for a new business model: f2p!

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The One where it all starts

Let there be light! And light there was. Great, finally I can see something.
I shall celebrate such a magnificient day with the start of my new blog: the molten wire.

A molten wire? "The heck are you trying to achieve here Sean?" I hear you saying. As an avid gamer, lover of internet culture in general and being a hobby designer (if I'm not too lazy) I decided to open up a blog about exactly those random and completely not linked topics. In the future we shall delve into the deeps of what the internet has to offer for those who know more about it than just facebook and youtube. Accompany me and follow my blog!

There we go, one post of gazillions to come.

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