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Something Extra

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Rob’s Great Scenes From Movies You’ve Probably Never Seen

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I love me some movies.  I also love me some well filmed movies.  Even better?  Movies that have scenes that just, for one reason or another, stick with you for years after you watch them.  With that in mind, here’s some of mine.

Immediately hired by White Wolf

Near Dark
End Chase.  Near Dark is a great vampire movie, and while there are a number of good scenes in it, the image of Jesse and Diamondback in the station wagon, huddled under blankets to block the sun, smiling as they smoulder and start to catch fire as they try to run over Caleb is just a great visual scene.

Cesar’s Death.  Bound is another movie that is chock-full of great scenes, but the best one for me is Cesar’s death.  The top-down camera angle as it pulls back and we see Cesar, his blood pooling into the large puddle of white paint, then pulling back further and the white paint puddle framed by the dark floor… the way it was filmed, the contrast… it reminds me of the scene in The Untouchables after Capone killed that guy with a bat at the banquet table, just some great cinematography.

Welcome… to the Rock

Men With Brooms
“The Juggernaut’s Entrance”.  Years ago, after seeing curling for the first time on the Olympics, a friend of mine and I found a place in NJ and took lessons.  It was there we learned about a fun little movie called ‘Men With Brooms’.  If you’ve played curling or are familiar with it, this movie is great, and the cast is pretty impressive.  The scene I loved the most was when Alexander “The Juggernaut” Yount and his squad enter the bonspiel in matching silver lamé tracksuits with cheerleaders and pyro going off at the entrance.  The fact that curling in and of itself is such a subdued/great sportsmanship sport made their entrance scene completely hilarious.

28 Days Later
Deserted London.  I know you’ve probably seen this movie, but I had to include it for the scenes of deserted London.  It wasn’t a huge scene to be honest, established to get the point across of how empty everything was… but the scenes of London Bridge… just… EMPTY… it hit on a scale of not only what kind of undertaking it was to get that scene filmed, but how absolutely terrifying it would be to be in that position of being there and just… being completely alone. 

…I don’t think this is the right image…

Ghost Dog
Sidewalk scene.  This is a visually amazing movie from Jim Jarmusch with Forest Whitaker in the lead.  There’s a scene in the movie where he’s walking down a fairly busy sidewalk while people and businesses are interacting around him and.. the cinematography is nothing short of stunning in my opinion.  The way that people are talking to each other, bringing trash to the curb, waving to people driving by… but do so in a way that NONE of them actually make visual contact with Whitaker as he walks… one pace… never changing speed…it was such an amazing way to show how his character walks through society under the radar.

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

Something Extra

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton’s Gaming

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Since PCR went and did the games he’s been playing – I decided maybe I should do the same thing.. it seems only fair.

So here are some of the games that have taken up a majority of my time while I’ve been sequestered to the inside world. Surprisingly, I’ve beaten a few of them, which is shocking for someone like me that gets distracted by the next bright thing that crosses my p

I was never a God of War guy. I had the trilogy on my Vita, but they were always passing the time sort of games. I know there are some diehards out there that are all about that Kratos life, but Sony had a sale early in 2020 and I had heard enough great things that it seemed a worthy way to waste some time in this lockdown which should obviously only last a couple months, am I right?

This fits TWO games!

So for nights on end, I spent hours grinding away at creating my favorite minmax set of powers and armor, and in the end – I beat every Valkyrie, which if you aren’t aware… is a feat. The game is gorgeous from top to bottom with the conversations between Kratos and Boy never feeling like redundant chores or protection quests – it is an exquisite story, and other than a bit of repetition in enemies that you only start to notice as you reach the end of your 20 hours of gameplay.

I fall in love with every Little Big Planet game. They are cute. They have great little extra challenges that actually strain your fingers. They have a mix of weird british sense of humor and childlike wonder. I understand completely why they have a hard time finding a major audience, because they are just a little too kid-like for adults and a little too hard for kids.

That said – this game is still on rotation as I try and squeeze out the last few gems… but the sign of a good game is going back to levels that you’ve already beaten and achieved everything and go and play them just because you love the level design. (Which is precisely what I’ve done with every single one of the half-dozen music levels)

Why do crafting games feature the least crafty monsters ever?

So, I’m lumping all of these into the same category. I enjoy each one for their own reason (MC because it is unendingly creative, DBD because it is this hot mix of horror and strategy, and 7DD because I haven’t played enough of it to have eked out all of its secrets) — but they all fall into ‘games I play to hang with friends’. I am mostly an extrovert, and I’m going to tell you that this has been a big old slice of hell to be trapped inside with little contact with the outside world.

These are the games that have kept me in contact with people I may not have had a chance to talk to otherwise.

I’m putting a link to the company that makes these games, and at first you may think.. wait, that’s a bit of money for some sudoku puzzles, doesn’t my local paper have a new game in each and every paper? The answer is yes – but those aren’t handcreated by masters of puzzles. Spend some time on the youtube channel, Cracking the Cryptic and you’ll get it.

Yes, you have to be a certain type of person to want to grind away at super difficult and altogether confusing variations of number puzzles, but – yeah – I’m 100% that guy. I get the occasional free Google money from doing surveys, and the last $20 or so I’ve earned there has paid to have every one of these apps on my phone.

There’s a war! I’m the King!

There is a whole other slew of games that fall under the ‘play until distracted’ that would make this article waaaay too long. So here’s the short versions and a quick few words.
FINAL FANTASY XV – I decided to beat one of the newer generations. This one seemed as good as any… it is the most gorgeous piece of unintelligible mess I’ve ever played.
LEVELHEAD – It’s like MarioMaker, but for PC – and has the most welcoming online community I’ve ever had the pleasure of hanging out with
DEMONCRAWL – It’s Minesweeper, but with roleplaying elements. Perfect to lose an hour in occasionally.

Lastly, the games that are on my ‘going to try next’ list…

SPIDER-MAN: MILES – That’s next on the list, but I loved the original, so it’s a no-brainer.
RETURN OF OBRA DINN – Every reviewer I respect said that Obra Dinn is an amazing piece of adventure gaming that must be tried… and it was on Steam sale over Christmas, so it awaits me.

If you haven’t noticed – I fill the vast hole in my soul with digital enjoyment… what have you been up to?

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

Something Extra

[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, What I’ve Been Gaming

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Hey Somethings!  Been spending a fair more time on my PC over the past few months, mostly due to working from home and many of the social things I’d been doing previously having been shuttered, so I decided to put together a list of what’s been keeping me sane lately.

Now, I’ll start by saying ‘I’m not a hardcore gamer’.  Consoles were never really my thing.. my last console was an XBox One S… prior to that.. a PS2 and a Dreamcast.  I do most of my gaming PC, but I’m much more a ‘casual gamer’  That being said, here’s what I’ve been playing lately…

Elite Dangerous : Horizons
This game is SLICK.  It’s a space sim that has combat, exploration, resource and commodity trading, all with some stunning visuals and great ships.  It’s a bit of a ‘thrown in the deep end’ to start, but fairly easy to catch up with as well as having great resources online.  The single player is fun, but forming a “Wing” with friends who play is where it’s at.

Fun fact: Freddy hates gas-powered generators more than he hates teenagers

Dead By Daylight
Been playing this game for almost a year now, and to be fair I don’t play it as much as I did when I started.  It’s a PVP based “Survivors vs Killers/Hunters” game (for those unaware) and… let’s just say that I’ve turned off the ‘post game chat’.  Back in my OG Xbox days, I will admit my friends and I used to talk a lot of trash over Xbox Live…(a LOT of trash).  70% of DBD post game chat is… beyond that.  The Cross-System play means you often wait less time for matches to pop, and the console players (currently) can’t chat.  On the upside, they have a number of licensed properties… so if you ever wanted to play AS Freddy Kruger (The Nightmare in the game), or try to escape from Amanda from SAW, it’s certainly worth checking out.

Rocket League
I had played a fair amount of Rocket League back on the ole Xbox One S, and picked it up once again off Steam recently.  Since it’s migration to Epic Games, the game has added a lot, and I mean a LOT.  Weekly challenges for cosmetic drops, new game modes, it’s definitely been keeping it fresh and still something I’ll get in at least a few matches a day on.

The last day of every 7 Days server…

7 Days To Die
Long-time friends from NH had been playing this for years when they introduced me to this roughly 4 years ago.  While we don’t go in for public servers, we do have quite a bit of fun on a local private server.  For those unaware… think Minecraft, but not 8-bit looking.  Oh, and with lots of zombies that know EXACTLY where you are every 7 days and will stop at nothing to feast on your brain.  While we had taken a bit of a break earlier this year, we’ve introduced some new friends to it and that has brought the excitement level back a lot.  One of our ‘5-6 nights a week’ gaming games.  Come for the zombie killing, stay for the camaraderie.

What are YOUR go-to gaming jams?  Let us know!

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

Something Extra

[BLOG] A Little Something From Hatton

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Six Things That May Make A Show Bad

Because of the Something’s love/hate relationship with Lost over the years, I have found that there are certain things a television show does that make me wonder whether what I’m watching is good TV or not. Every situation and show is unique, of course, and for every item on this list, there is an exception where it’s done to great effect, but if you are watching the newest thing and you can count the number of times these problems arise over two hands in the first season, it just might be that you are watching a bad show.

1. What was the answer to the question?
There is a tense moment. Heroes have just run into a room, the villain is about to reveal a key fact, a group of hackers are pouring over a computer screen you can’t see, the camera pans slowly as everybody’s face goes shocked…annnnnnnnnnnnd we’re on the next scene. Now, more often than not, this is built for tension and we can hope that the payoff will come before the credits roll, but what happens when this sequence happens every episode? What about when it’s the same secret that is always told to everyone except the audience? It can get infuriating, aren’t we good enough to know?

Sometimes, these results come and you feel satisfied, but more often than not they are only the deus ex, the big surprise at the end, that made it safe for the good guys to win the day or the bad guys to live to fight another day. It’s the secret plan they had in their back pocket all along – that you knew they had since minute 15 and have only existed to confuse everyone along the way.

We all know who the real monsters are…

2. Why didn’t they ask twice?
“So what happened to my partner?” The hero asks the knowing intelligence agent of questionable morality.
“I thought we were here to discuss my Netflix Terms of Service?” the agent turns slowly and with purpose.
The hero slams his hands on the table, “THEY DON’T REVEAL THEIR METRICS!”

Now, maybe the hero was there for legal advice about his streaming service, but they did ask a question first. Rarely in television do characters go, “That’s not what I asked.” Instead, they respond to what they’re given. It’s a bait and switch being played on the viewer.. your mystery has been addressed, but can be pushed off until later. It lets you feel like it isn’t a forgotten plot point, but adds nothing to it. It’s a mental trick that works for a little while, but when characters are jumping topic to topic, ask yourslef ‘Would I have more answers if they had only repeated the question?’

3. You waited until now to tell me?
I get that a show where we were privvy to every moment of car rides, jet rides, train trips, horseback sojourns, and rollercoaster uphills may get fairly boring. It makes sense for exposition to be dumped at times where you are visually simulated…. but… if the only time you ever get important, life-saving information is right as the characters are about to jump in the face of danger – something’s up.

“So, what do we have to worry about?” The captain asks, gun drawn, hiding behind a bunch of crates full of dolphin-safe tuna.

“Nothing other than the rocket launchers,” The monster-turn-informant says for the first time ever, shrugging with a wry smile that makes no sense since they are also in a place possibly filled with rocket launchers.

Your everyday average black ops project.. or terrorist cell.. one of those.

Changing loyalties go hand in hand with action and espionage shows. Sometimes, like on Alias, the question of ‘who is who they say they are’ is done to amazing effect. Other times, in shows like Alias, it is a constant tennis match of never knowing if you are watching heroes or villains. Finding out the whole season has been the reverse of what you’ve seen can be an amazing and satisfying reveal. Finding out that the hero that was originally the villain was actually the villain, but for a different group of villains instead of the villains you learned previously were heroes… well, you get it.

5. Isn’t anyone normal!?
We pan from the protagonist to their neighbor who smiles jovially and waves while they are watering their plants. The minute the hero is out of shot the neighbor grabs their cellphone, ‘She’s on the move.’ Over their shoulder a mailman is delivering to the next person down the street and pulls a gun from the mailbox. All of this while a dog watches from across the street wearing a blinking collar made of C4, being walked by an assassin with a robotic arm.

A good show needs cool characters, fine… but is everyone in on the mystery? Is everyone a spy or a secret double reverse skip Draw +4 Mossad Cyberagent? Can’t our heroes just have one friend that aren’t in league with the Russians and just enjoys the Smiths and Scrabble night? If nobody in the show’s world is just a normal everyday schmuck, perhaps the show is relying a bit too much on that trope.

6. No, it’s not that.. it’s WAAAY more complex than that…
Chances are, if you’ve ever written a story, outline, game or otherwise – you’ve come up against your brain with a twist or reveal that, honestly, is kind of obvious. How else would any of what had happened before make sense? Or, perhaps you just never really thought out the answer so now you are continuing to complicate it to try and get yourself out of your own maze. Both of these are what happens when you aren’t trying to tell a story, but simply trying to keep your audience on their toes. The deeper your mystery gets, the more satisfying the payoff should be. So, when you get to the final chapter and all of the writers start telling you, ‘Oh it was never about the destination, it was about the people…’ you have every right to be ticked off.

I know that sounds like I’m leaning on Lost with that one, but tons of shows can’t help but over-complicate themselves to keep that seasonal advertising money rolling in. Lost, Battlestar, X-Files… of course you have no idea what happened – nobody does – not even the writers.

So there you have it – what shows have you seen that did these things well? What shows have done all of them? Let us know and we’ll see you next week!

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

Something Extra

[BLOG] A Little Something From Podcast Rob…

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Why I’ve given up on GBBO

I wasn’t always a Great British Bake Off fan.  That’s not to say I previously didn’t like it, but I never knew about it or had interest in it until I started watching it on Netflix, and by then, Netflix had 5 Seasons of it already.

I was instantly hooked.  Paul, Mary, Mel, Sue… the chemistry was great.  The criticisms, witty retorts, double entendres, the bakes, the failures… it was all riveting.  

The original line-up.. on your marks, get set… Bake!

As the seasons went on, the bakes got better, the failures…as one would expect… got bigger, and the judging got harsher.

The tone noticeably shifted when Sue, Mel, and Mary left the show.  GBBO brought in Noel and Sandy as the double act, and Prue to replace Mary as judge while Paul Hollywood remained. 

I understand these were huge shoes to fill, and while Sandy immediately seemed to fall into a comfort zone, Noel looked overwhelmed at times.  The eliminations visibly wore on Sandy as weeks and seasons went on, but the thing I noticed more was Paul seemed to get more …. crotchety?  Brutal?  Coarse?  

When he was part of the original group, he seemed to know he was part of a ‘team’, but when 3 of those 4 were changed out, it’s almost like something awoke in him that he realized HE was ‘The Big Name’ and swung that ego around.  While his praises were still there (and, in some cases… even elevated to heights of compliments he hadn’t given previously)… his criticisms became more withering.  What hit me the most however, and finally made me give up.. was the inconsistency… real, perceived or edited… of the judging.

Too many times in recent seasons it felt like there was CLEARLY as obvious choice of who would be going home due to “Meh in the Signature, last in technical, middling in Showstopper” only to.. somehow.. have that person stick around and someone who was “Good in Sig, 2nd in Technical, Meh in Showstopper” be the one the judges decided to get rid of.

I won’t name contestant names as getting on the show at all means you’ve got chops… but after the semi finals of the most recently posted season, I tapped out.  Didn’t watch the finale and can’t see myself watching again in the future.  Maybe the show has run its course, maybe it needs a hiatus, maybe a total rework.  It’s still amazingly popular so doubtful any of that would happen, but this former GBBO fan is leaving the tent for good

Every week, the Somethings will be giving you a little something extra, so please check back every week for reviews, lists, cool finds, and more!

[BLOG] Watch This Space

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If you are seeing this, then either this post has appeared on our RSS feed, which may or may not be a good thing, or you are coming to the site and seeing all the new stuff we’re working on.

Either way, thanks for being here, and don’t forget that we’re back with a brand new episode on Tuesday, January 5th!