Oh, look, there's a new American Horror Story season on Netflix! Oh, fuck, it's about politics and that fucking election. AHS is supposed to be tacky, campy parody horror, not literally the scariest story of the last 30 years. Hard nope.
If you think "a dumb cartoon about a horse?", no. This is maybe the best dramedy about depression, success, and failure ever made, live-action or animated (the other contender is Neon Genesis Evangelion, which is about the crushing weight of parental expectations told with giant mecha and alien angels at the end of the world).
Finally finished S4 and now all of S5.
S1 was a funny show about depression. Not all that coherent, still wandering between Simpsons gag format and long series drama.
S2 tries to cover up depression with work and success, and has an epic meltdown. The most coherent season so far, but the least fun. The one that hits closest to me.
S3 is the hangover after success, and then gets real fucking dark. But E4, "Fish Out of Water", is something everyone should see; you don't need a lot of context for it.
S4 spends a lot of time in flashbacks, especially to BoJack's mother who is awful. E7 "Underground", E8 "The Judge", and E12 "What Time Is It Right Now" are fantastic, though.
S5 has been more like S1, dramedy with no real point, Princess Carolyn's flashback and the eulogy both dragged on forever, but E8 "Mr Peanutbutter's Boos" 25 years of Halloween parties was perfect. The meta-show Philbert is a dead ringer for many of the crime dramas I watch.
There's long stretches of BoJack that I find almost intolerably dull, and start zipping ahead 30s at a time to see if the plot advances. I have my own family hangups, I can't be expected to care about BoJack's shitty family.
There's other times when it's the only show that's ever talked honestly about this stuff.
★☆☆☆☆ to ★★★★★ but averaging around ★★★★☆
One of the few things I liked in the latest Nintendo Direct was "NES controller for Switch! Though there are good 3rd-party ones, but sweet."
Turns out this is a complete bullshit product: ArsTechnica says they only work with online, emulated NES. There's the Dick Nintendo I know and barely tolerate because they hate their players.
So, 8BitDo is still the best option.
I don't generally recommend doing iOS updates on release day, but the betas have been out for a while (and nagging people aggressively!), so I'm less nervous. Do a backup and let 'er rip!
… Hours later … let 'er rip … download … ugh …
And then I come back to a white screen, saying "Attempting data recovery". FUCK. Dialog says "installing iOS" and stuck at 99% progress.
At present the screen's stuck, white with an Apple logo. Finally found HT201412 which has the extra-secret hard reset keys of Vol Up, Vol Down, hold Power.
And then I was able to log in and it's supposedly on iOS 12. But what's broken? Did it install completely? Who the fuck knows! SHIT. So now I'm restoring backup, because this is unsafe, and in maybe 2 hours when that's done, I'll try the update again. Did I say "FUCK"? Because FUCK!
So today's lesson is that nothing works, you should fear change, and never install anything until other victims have tried it. Also, backups are the most important thing ever, make sure you have them.
Most bizarre thing ever: Cells at Work. Your body as a city with every cell as a person. Paramilitary white blood cells and hapless red blood cells delivering oxygen, protecting their world (you) from horrible tentacled monsters (germs).
I've been watching some dull horror movies (The Strangers, among others) which I haven't blogged, and this is better paced and has better characters than all of them combined.
The world is a little too generic with street & industrial scenes, lazy animation, but overall a neat trick.
Up on Netflix, my 2nd favorite modern (well, you know, post-Spaghetti) western; Tombstone is 1st, obvs, guess Lonesome Dove is 3rd largely for the late, greatly missed Bob Urich.
So. This is more a character/actor study than a film with a plot as such.
Clint as Bill Munny does not really pass as the broke-down tired old farmer he's supposed to be at start. Looks like a guy you'd shoot first in self-defense. And he only gets meaner as it goes on. He does pass for desperate, though.
Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan doesn't want to be here. He's joining the party but there's no sense of desperation. He's got a happy life with his Indian wife, and Morgan was probably a billionaire already, fat and lazy.
The kid, Jaimz Woolvett, is more pathetic than anything. I see the appeal of being a gunslinger, but this fake it till you make it act is lame. And the actor's never made it big again since then.
The "cut up" whore, Anna Thompson, is mostly silent, and the cuts are almost invisible. In a time when half the population had smallpox scars, nobody'd think twice. Writing, makeup, and directing falls down spectacularly about her, and the rest of the whores are a Greek chorus to the madam who's driving this mess.
Gene Hackman as Little Bill, now, plays a spectacularly nasty son of a bitch. Doesn't seem corrupt, just got no sense of consequences to his inept actions. He likes power over people, imitates the kind of policing Wild Bill Hickok or Wyatt Earp did without understanding it.
The English Bob and Beauchamp episode's useful for setting Little Bill's character, and I like seeing Richard Harris take a beating for spouting off on monarchy as much as the next regicide-minded American, but it's kinda slow, tell-not-show, and at least one of the stories he tells is stolen directly from Wild Bill Hickok.
A while back I read Richard Matheson's Journal of the Gun Years, another fictional parallel to Wild Bill Hickok's life (Unforgiven's script is unrelated, dates back to the '70s & '80s, but Matheson published first). Like any Matheson book, it's more full of despair, horror, and sympathy and motivation for evil than any film can ever match. Unforgiven's portrait of Little Bill is no Clay Hauser, but it's not bad for a mere film where he's not even the protagonist.
The first two killings are miserable and hard. Most of the real gunslingers weren't assassins for this reason; they killed in self-defense, or drunk, or over cards or women, or hunting a legal bounty. This half-assed bounty from whores is some cold blooded shit, and they hurt for it as they should. "We all have it comin', kid."
The capture, crucifixion, & torture of Ned Logan would be a lot less racially charged if anyone else in this film was black. There were a lot of black cowboys and whores; even in Wyoming, it'd make a cattle town more plausible and this scene less… what it is.
And then the fucking apocalypse comes. It's fantastic; both in the sense of a great gunfight, and the kind of thing that never happened in the old days, but stories say did.
HD is not this film's friend. Shots are just blood squibs, no latex special effects let alone CGI (barely possible at the time). Rain machine rain is really terrible looking. One-armed deputy isn't as one-armed as he seems to be. Sigh.
I know there's a recent Japanese adaptation, which maybe I should see.
"A known thief and murderer, a man of notoriously vicious and intemperate disposition."
I bought a Gen-0 Apple Watch on launch, great device for fitness, weather, and notifications, don't really care about clocks, that's what I use calendar notifications for; but after 3.5 years it's down to under an hour battery charge, and the watch face acts weird, I think it's loose, so I don't wear it anymore.
So I just pre-ordered the Gen-4 Apple Watch, ships early next month. Same black aluminum, light and durable enough, original had the plastic "sports band" which got a little sweaty, so this time I got the cloth strap and a Nike "volt" black and green band (yes, my color theming is the same in RealLife™), see which of those I like better.
Does heart tracking make anyone else nervous, though? Like maybe I don't wanna know. The BPM measure and rings I don't obsess about completing on the original are more nagging than I want.
- Luigi's Mansion: Eh. I liked the original some, largely the gag being the Wiimote was like a vacuum cleaner or Ghostbusters particle projector, but no interest in more.
- Katamari Damacy HD: Neat, but just a remaster. How's that Final Fantasy VII remaster going, Squenix?
- Nintendo Switch Online: Actually saving your game data between consoles?! From anyone else, this is 20-year-old tech. Nintendo has just discovered "using the cloud to not be dicks"!
- NES controller for Switch! Though there are good 3rd-party ones, but sweet.
- Diablo III, some other ports. Eh.
- Town: Boring generic name for boring generic RPG, but it's NEW content. So, good for you!
- Daemon x Machina: Maybe the worst-looking mecha game I've ever seen, like a reject from N64 suddenly revived for Switch.
- Yoshi's Crafted World: Branded LittleBigPlanet ripoff.
- Asmodeee boardgame mobile adaptations. Yawn.
- Starlink: Is this the terrible Starfox game they previously canned, or a new one? I dunno. I loved Starfox64, but all since is disappointment.
- The World Ends With You: Fuck yeah. As previously noted, I resent the iOS port ripoff, but I loved the game.
- Team Sonic Racing: Arcade racers are a thing I love, but they showed a few seconds of gameplay. Who knows.
- Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: How to turn your friends into bitter enemies, the videogame.
- Final Fantasy XII, and more ports: Nice, sure, but I've got every one I care about on iOS or Playstation. STILL NO VII HD, SQUENIX! WAY TO RIP MY HEART OUT A SECOND TIME LIKE YA DID WITH AERIS, YA FUCKS! I'm fine, it's fine.
- Smash: Don't care. Even with Isabelle. Enjoy getting face-wrecked by a fuzzy dog-girl, nerds.
- Animal Crossing: 2019. Fuck! I've been done with Pocket Camp for months. Minimum 3 more months, and "2019" in Nintendo Time probably means Q3 or Q4. My body is ready NOW.
Housekeeping note: I'm still too busy with programming on the new Perilar, and some other things, to get back to my tabletop and/or online chat games regularly, but I'll be moving all my RPG stuff over to this blog from Mark Rolls Dice, I'd like to have one site to maintain which I own.
So, start with basic principles. How do I run games.
I'm a caveman from the '70s and '80s, so my Old-School is literally old and from school, as noted in Five Games. The Old-School Renaissance is my frozen caveman ass being thawed out to do it again.
There's a bunch of guides to how to do this, but they're kind of bullshit. Matt Finch's Quick Primer for Old-School Gaming is close to my view, and has gameplay dialogue examples which can be read in funny voices, but it goes on too long about irrelevant stuff. Principia Apocrypha and a bunch of other bloviating diatribes just go on forever, I started to nod off, make a little hand-puppet with my hand and flap its mouth up and down.
Here's my OSR principles:
- Let the dice fall where they may. ( Knights of the Dinner Table's Law )
- Be excellent to each other. ( Bill & Ted's Law, the inverse of Wheaton's Law )
- The Referee is always right, but the players can choose to stay or leave.
- Rules are just recordings of what we've previously done. We can change them at any time.
Like the Three Laws of Robotics, each principle is tempered by the ones previous: The Referee can override new rules. But, be excellent to each other. But, don't cheat and take away risk.