Tag: Blog

[BLOG] PCR talks Shark Movies

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Audio Blog

Hey Somethings, PCR here.

So, I recently ended up watching “The Meg” and, I went into it wanting to like it more than I did.  Afterwards, I was left sitting there thinking about many of the shark movies I’ve seen, and, with Shark Week approaching, I decided to touch on 3 of them specifically.  Let’s start with the one I already mentioned..

The Meg

 

 

 

 

 

The concept of “how” was actually pretty original… there’s a section of ocean BELOW the deepest section of the Mariana Trench, separated by super, super cold water.  They find things down there that have never been discovered, and inadvertently bring something back up through it.  The movie does give you some twists, but honestly, they’re not anything we haven’t seen from other shark movies.. just… bigger.  The CGI wasn’t the worst I’ve seen, but, the story hinged on the fact that the shark was the size of a skyscraper.  Once that sinks in, you’re really just in it to hear Jason Statham say “megalodon” over and over.

Jaws

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is pretty much where it all started, and, the most realistic of the 3 I’ll talk about.   Great White Shark wreaks havoc on an idyllic town’s beach.  Sure the shark is ‘big’, but still within the realm of realism.  It’s also filmed in a ‘realistic’ way.. like.. all that shit could happen.. which made it’s impact that much stronger.  Sure, other shark movies have taken concepts and paid homage to Spielberg’s classic, and it’s well earned.

Deep Blue Sea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This movie is kind of a guilt pleasure of mine.  It has one scene of the worst CGI scenes I’ve seen in a shark movie, but the cast is amazing.  Sam Jackson, LL Cool J, Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Michael Rapaport… how can it NOT be fun?  Are there silly parts in it?  Absolutely.  Is it still a fun movie with an original twist?  To me.. yes.  Most other shark movies lean into the shark being ‘huge’, or ‘evil’.  This one made them smarter, and that made all the difference.

How about you Somethings?  What are some of YOUR favorite shark movies?  Sound off in our socials and let us know

-PCR

[BLOG] Hatton Talks Social Media

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Audio Blog

First off, if you haven’t been paying attention to what’s been going on with our Patreon – we recently closed it down. Now, one of the things they got was an audio version of our Friday Blog on their feed.

We thought it was only fair to put that live up on the site for everyone now, so you can expect to hear from Rob and myself a little bit more over the month.

This week though, with the recent explosions of Reddit and Twitter, I thought I would talk about some of the modern problems I’m having with social media. Now, some of this comes from a guy who used to read Fidonet on local BBS’s, kept up with his Usenet feed, hung out on IRC, and made some of my longest internet friends on forums. I’m clearly not anti-social media… but…

The new crop of social media that are going to try and fill in the gap left in the financial sinkhole of Twitter and the growing corporatization of Reddit are a problem. A site like Threads, owned by Team Zuckerberg, has made it abundantly clear they don’t want you using a desktop computer, much like the restrictions they put on Instagram.. and do you know why? I assure you it isn’t because you *can’t* view the data on a computer, but that they don’t want you to.

On my computer I have adblockers, anti-trackers, and ways to make the data I receive cleaner. They don’t want that – they want, and I am in no way being hyperbolic here, camera control to make sure you’re engaging with the product, no way to stop ads, and no ability to adjust the way the data is viewed. They have that right, too, but I can say for certain I’ll never use any service like it.

Next is the content limitations. All of these companies want the ability to have high-end advertisers and you know what advertisers from big brands don’t like? …sex. For a prime example of how that story goes, go read up on a little thing called TUMBLR. If you allow sex work on your platform, you are drawing a line in the sand that you accept you won’t be getting that Pepsi sponsorship. Hell, even OnlyFans, the site that is synonymous with modern pornography, tried to ditch sex until it realized that was the entirety of its userbase.

So what do we do? Sadly, we aren’t going to go back to a world of forums when we’ve been shhown places we can talk to *everyone* since MySpace. So we will have to wade through the muck of places like Threads and Hive until a better option comes along. I hope it is something like Mastodon or Lemmy that allows people to find their tribe… but they have a long way to go and they’re facing down the diamond encrusted barrels of Google and Meta.

That said, you can find us on Threads @somethingcast, but Rob handles that stuff because it makes me feel gross.

What are you using? Sound off in all the places – and we’ll see you next week.

[BLOG] Cancelled then CANCELLED trend on Streaming Services

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Hey there Somethings, Podcast Rob here!

So.. there’s this disturbing trend happening lately on streaming services, and I think it’s time we talk about it.

Recently, shows like “Grease : Rise of the Pink Ladies” , “Star Trek : Prodigy” and “The Quest” have not only been cancelled, but the decision has been made to completely remove those shows from their respective streaming platforms.

The claim (by studios/platforms) is tax write offs, but, let’s look at the larger underlying issues involved, for there are other, deeper (un)intended consequences involved in my opinion…

Sure, business is business, and the almighty dollar speaks loudly.  Yes, I get that it costs companies money to take up their server space with shows no longer being made.  But, in the current climate with the Writer’s strike, it feels more telling as to a big reason services are purging things from their platforms….residuals.

Now, is it intentional by the platform providers to screw over the writers/actors/directors and anyone else who gets (or would get) paid from having a show stream? Or is it an ‘unintended consequence’ of the provider getting a tax write off that?  The way the providers are trying to play hardball, I can’t see this an anything other than (another) slap in the face to those who make the content.  And, unfortunately (for everyone else.. not those at the top…) cutting content/inventory/personnel (looking at you TCM) to ‘save money due to slumping sales/profits’ is a self-fulfilling prophecy, because now.. people will look elsewhere for that content (if it gets picked up by another provider) or.. determine (like I did with Netflix), that ‘enough is enough’ and just drop the service completely.

Now, maybe it’s a part of the ‘entitlement culture’ that we as consumers believe that just since we’re paying for a streaming service, that all shows and movies etc. should be available till the end of time, but to be fair, the services themselves set that expectation in the early days of the Cable Wars when they were encouraging folks to cut the cord and watch everything ‘on demand’, so.. should they really be shocked when subscribers jump ship and follow the content, or just jump ship in general?

What are your thoughts?  Hit our socials and let us know what you think, and get ready for a month-long celebration of our 10 year podiversary in July!

– PCR

[BLOG] A Little Something About Trek…

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A long time ago I shunned the X v Y arguments. I use Android, but I know some people should use IOS. I play most games on PC, but console gaming will never not be an invalid choice. I don’t drink soda, but prefer Pepsi because my tastebuds are weird.  I like dragons and fantasy and elves, but can’t read Tolkien. Wars is fun, but Trek is mine…

Which leads me to my discussion of the EU of Star Trek and Star Wars and just how amazingly different they are and why, I feel like I can say with no dismissal of your fandom, that the modern Star Trek has proven to be so much of a better road than the modern Star Wars – and we can see the problem with both in the same man.

JJ ABRAMS

Look, obviously we have a bone to pick with him for a certain island, but even during my lovey dovey phase where he could do no wrong, he still boned Star Trek by turning it into a Star Wars resume. Then, when he got to Star Wars, the project it felt like he really wanted.. well, it went as well as it did. I’d almost believe that nostalgia sequels were impossible, except that Star Trek has shown precisely how to do it.

Discovery is for folks who want new ‘in universe’ stories. Picard is for people who want nostalgia that pays homage to what came before it and is wall to wall with nods to where the future took these characters. Strange New Worlds is for the people that want hidden stories from the time they remember. Lower Decks is for the people that want to mock what they love.  All of them done with care and craft, adding to the mythos without retreading it. Does Picard make a direct reference to ‘Farpoint’ the first mission of The Next Generation, directly – but it is acknowledged as such, and it is there to teach a lesson about what the ‘old guard’ knows that the new guard doesn’t. It’s that knowledge that aids the characters instead of new characters just doing it all over again.

…you know, like how the evil guy builds a big evil killer planet eating sphere laser and the heroes go flying in a trench to blow it up.  Again.

The Trek shows aren’t without their nitpicks, especially if you are a purist – but lets be real here, if you are a purist of anything you probably aren’t ever going to be happy.

You know what also does nostalgia relaunch better than Star Wars?  Chucky.  By, like.. miles.

You know anything else better than Star Wars? Sound off in all the places and Live Long & Propsper.
– Hatton

 

[BLOG] New Year, New Me (erm… Us)!

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Hey Somethings, PCR here (again!)

Hatton is still unwinding from his time away and coming to terms with the fact that “The Last Day Of Your Vacation Is Literally Hell On Earth”, so this week’s blog is once again from me, myself and I (those of you old enough… you’re welcome for the earworm).

With next year being our Month-Long Podiversary, I wanted to tease some changes we’re going to be rolling out!

Let’s start at the beginning!

The first episode of any given month has been, and will continue to be, our “Podcast Episode” as we call it behind the scenes (catchy name, right!?).  This is our episode where we get to primarily do things like our “List” shows and such.  It’s what we started out doing, and while we’ve seen other format shows come and go, this one will stay pretty much the same.

Second and Third weeks are pretty interchangeable depending on our recording schedule, but typically, second episode of the month has been our “Something In Review” and will remain so.  We’ve never been a “cutting edge info” podcast, so expect to see some more ‘classic’ type movies mixed in.

Third week is “The Wheel”, a favorite of ours and a chance to flex things and get crazy.  We’ll be adding some different topics to the wheel, so don’t be surprised to hear some former shows make a return, and some current show types get added!

Last week of the month was typically our slot for “The End” where we’d just discuss the final episode of a TV show.  We’ll be adding that to “The Wheel” and, going forward, pulling a 180 and trying out a new show called “In The Beginning” where.. you guessed it, we’ll be only discussing show pilots.  We’re excited for it, and we’ll see how it rolls!

Months with a 5th week will continue to be our ‘Free For All’ shows as they have been in the past.

Looking forward to kicking off our 10 Year Podiversary!  See you there!

– PCR

 

 

[BLOG] Food Places of the Past

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Hey All, Podcast Rob here.

Not gonna lie, been a rough brain month this month so far, which makes me glad we pre-recorded June to give me a breather and Hatton some well deserved time in “The North”.  That said, I was tooling around on the internet last night (like you do…) and stumbled across a list of ‘restaurants that no longer exist’ and I fell down this rabbit hole sans parachute.

So now I give to you, PCR’s list of ‘Food Places of the Past’…specifically, ones I loved going to.

4 – Steak and Ale

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From it’s Tudor style exterior, to it’s salad bar, to it’s… dimly-lit interior, this was a place you went to if you wanted to feel ‘rich and important’ on the cheap.  The prices were good, the steaks were (surprisingly) good and inexpensive, and the overall atmosphere was friendly yet high-class… kind of like a casual Brookstone.. but with food.

 

3 – Chi Chi’s

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Good-sized portions, endless chips, good prices.. what could go wrong? (Hint : Hepatitis A).

True Story. A roomie of mine and I went to a Chi-Chi’s for lunch one day.  After siting there for nearly 30 minutes with no contact from anyone on the wait staff, and having finished our chips, we left and walked next door to a Red Lobster…  where we proceeded to spend almost $200 on lunch and drinks and apps.  Taking a photo copy of the receipt, we went BACK to the Chi-Chi’s where the hostess greeted us and offered to take us to a table.  We explained to her we were there previously, never got helped, so went elsewhere and handed her the copy of our receipt to show what they missed out on.  Ahhhhh.. good times, good times.

 

2 – A&W Drive Ins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’ll be honest, the memories of these are foggy as I was VERY young, but I remember the excitement of my mom and dad when we were headed there as a ‘treat’ for us.  I don’t remember anything amazingly special about the food, but the frosted mugs certainly stand out, as does the Root Beer Floats… THOSE I will remember forever.

 

1 – The Ground Round

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Man… to be a kid and go eat here again.  Endless popcorn, the mostly-wood interior, the screen in the middle playing endless Heckle and Jeckle cartoons, the ribs.. THE RIBS MAN… this place was a Shangri-La of fun in the ’80s.  I honestly don’t think there’s anyplace that exists now that is on the same level that The Ground Round was back then.

Ok Somethings, what were YOUR favorite places to eat as a kid?  Chime in on our socials and let us know!

-PCR

 

[BLOG] Do you play Rogue-likes? I do…

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Hey folks, Hatton here. There have been a glut of Roguelikes that have crossed my path the last few months. Games that change every time you play them. Games that offer you only one life and then you have to start over.

Some of these games gives you a “Rogue-Like” where the game gets easier as you unlock things, but even those start off brutally hard. Here’s a couple I’ve been playing the last few months and dying and dying and dying at.

Crypt of the Necrodancer – It’s well established this game was made for me. It is catching dungeon crawling and beat-landing. It’s DDR in caves. I have played a couple hours of it every week since I got it in 2015 and still have challenges I haven’t come close to yet.

Tales of MajEyal – Out of the games on this list, this is the most hardcore of the Rogue experiences. It’s turn based tiles, stat crunching, a thousand things in your inventory, weird collections of powers, and every time you play you are at square one again. Died on the final boss? Well, welcome to killing rats again, stupid. It’s also brilliantly fun.

Aces & Adventurers – Years ago I had the idea to figure out a way to make solitaire or poker into a dungeon crawler. There have been attempts, but most end up being ‘high card/low card’ or too reliant on the AI not cheating. Aces & Adventures fixed it all. Beautiful story modes, different character builds, it’s like a deck-building game, but with a normal deck of cards. Highly recommended.

And one last one, I’m going to mention DemonCrawl, but it isn’t precisely a Rogue game.. it has some of the hallmarks with random loot, but it is really just a weird game of Minesweeper. Totally worth looking into though.

What Rogues do you like? Nethack? Rogue? Sound off in all the usual places.

[BLOG] Death to the Snyderverse

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Hey all, PCR here.

I’ve been seeing a lot.. a LOT of chatter lately about “Justice League 2” and how the Snyderverse should and will be continued and, I have to admit… it’s only slightly less annoying than when people were clamoring for The Snyderverse in the first place.

Let me be clear, was “Zack Snyder’s Justice League” better than Whedon’s?  Admittedly, it felt like it had more gravitas to it and was a more ‘serious’ movie.  That said, the whole concept of “The Snyder Cut” was bullshit from the beginning.  Zack and his (vocal) fans on social media made it seem like there was a finished movie hidden in a file cabinet somewhere, when in reality, it still cost over $70 million to film.  Snyder has also gone on record talking about the “torture” and horrible experience it was working with Warner Bros to get his vision made, to the point that the relationship has deteriorated immensely and reports are *now* coming out that WB wishes the ZSJL was never made in the first place.

My opinion?  ZSJL was a creation of the COVID pandemic.  Things were shut down, hardly anything was being filmed or created,  and here WB had an opportunity to ‘relaunch’ something that didn’t get a resounding review originally into something, hopefully, better.  Had COVID never happened, it is unlikely that Zack’s ‘vision’ ever would have seen the light of day.  What’s worse, is that the whole “Release the Snydercut” movement was fostered by a VERY vocal minority of fans with severe entitlement issues, and *now* reports are floating around that this was all at least a semi-coordinated effort by Zack, his people, and fans with multiple social media bot accounts.

After ALL that, there is STILL a group of ‘fans’ SO hung up on this that they’re lobbying for WB to sell the rights to Netflix to continue the Snyderverse.

My question… when is enough enough?

He did his Superman movie ($258 mil budget, $668 mil box office), He did Batman vs Superman ($300 mil budget, $870 mil box office).  Justice League *barely* doubled it’s money with $650 mil box office on a $300 mil budget.  The movies weren’t great, weren’t reviewed well, and did not do the kind of money that was predicted for them.  BvS has set a record for Worst Opening Week Friday to Second Week Friday Decline, and the worst Friday to Sunday of opening weekend decline since 2015’s Fantastic 4.. yet the entitled cries are the same.. “Just let him do his movie” He did.  “Just give him one more shot..”  Shot given.  “Just sell it to another streaming service…”  Oh, the streaming service that has a history of cancelling great content before Year 3 so they can save on residuals?  THAT service?

It’s time for the ‘silent majority’ of fans to look at the ‘vocal minority’ and tell them to pound sand.  The “Snyderverse” has come and gone.

It had it’s chance.

Let it go before we see crazed fans driving around in jacked up Pick-Up Trucks with huge “Justice League” flags flying from the back saying Zack got robbed…

– PCR

[BLOG] You can tell when radio died…

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So it is LivestreamForTheCure time – last year Rob was the quizmaster in a battle of movie quotes… this year, I’m going to be the quizmaster and the game is going to be a lot different.

Without getting into all of the nuances of it, I was doing a lot of movie research the last week and looking at my list of movies, specifically their soundtracks, and I came across an interesting piece of thought candy.  If you are of a certain age, your cd binder or tape stack was filled with soundtracks. You couldn’t turn on the radio without hearing the theme song to the summer’s big action movie or the romantic ballad for that heartwrenching romcom.  A movie’s soundtrack was possibly better than the movie sometimes…

Well, that stopped. Now, of course part of that relates to the advent of streaming and the downfall of radio and CDs as a whole, but even with that being the case, after a particular year the trend just stops. There are a few exceptions (I’m looking at you Pharrell on Despicable Me and almost any Pixar film) but prior to the year 2001, the top ten movies are littered with amazing soundtracks and songs built for movies.

So, then, who should we blame?

Now, I’m not saying that we should lay the entirety of the blame at the feet of Chad Kroeger, but it does seem like after 2001’s Spider-Man, people heard ‘Hero’ and thought to themselves, ‘Well, I guess we have to stop making soundtracks… Nickleback ruined it’.

I, of course, could pick apart the top ten movies for the next decade and show how it is a decade of sequels, franchises, fantasy films, and big action flicks that have music ensembles versus single focal songs. I could do some deeper diving into the Itunes record charts and see how the individual tracks from these movies ranked on the streaming charts.  I could even self-reflect on the fact that I’m an older guy who may not be aware that the theme to Furious 6 or whatever was all the rage at the clubs and I’m an idiot for not knowing how popular it was.

Or… I could blame it on Nickleback.

I think it is quite obvious what the right answer is here.

So if you want to play along at home, come watch the Somethings live tomorrow, May 20th, and give to a cause that means a lot to us on Live Stream For The Cure.

[BLOG] Games PCR (was) looking forward to! [A Revisit]

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Hey Somethings,

Back on November 4th of last year, I made a blog about some games I was looking forward to.  Well, since then, I’ve had a chance to play some of them and…   well..   I wanted to give my thoughts.

Need For Speed Unbound

Man,  I wanted to like this game.  The controls were solid, I did enjoy the mix of art styles, the customization was good…   so what went wrong?
To start, it was.. well.. how the game started.  You start by choosing one of three beat up cars to restore.  “Ok, cool” I thought.. I was down for that.  Except.. once you choose your car.. it’s restored!  Ok.. so.. moving on.  The controls of the first car you get are… in a word…SLOPPY.  You can’t control it… the turning is horrendous….  it’s just a hot mess.  It made me feel like when I tried to play the ported 2016 “Need for Speed” and the controller wouldn’t sync right.  After about an hour of trying to fight through it.. you find out (thanks to the story), that it’s SUPPOSED to be that way… oh.. joy.  Ok.  Bad taste in my mouth aside, let’s keep trying it.  It’s not that it’s bad.. it just gets super repetitive, and, regardless of the difficulty level, the cop chases are nearly insurmountable.  It also had this weird jump-cut mechanic at the end of a race… “Hey!  You win!  Freeze-frame-pan-around-your-car…  and then as soon as it unfreezes and you’re back in the game, there are 3-5 cops right behind you… even though there were none in the race.  It all felt very.. .forced.. and not fun.

 

 

 

 

 

Sons of the Forest

Man, I wanted to like this game…(sound familiar?)  The original “The Forest” was fun in a way that this one…   wasn’t?  Sure there are some new ‘things’ on the island to fight, but… it felt like the game knew that YOU knew you were going to see some shit.. so they turned that shit up to 11.  I can’t even say I didn’t like the game, more that I was just disappointed in the ending.  It was going along pretty well.. finding new gear… new things.. cool.. and then, just as it’s ramping up, it’s…..  CUTSCENE then ENDING and.. the cutscene was very… ‘bwahh?’  Was it an Early Access game?  Yes, and I suppose I should give it some slack for that.. but a game of that style shouldn’t have an ‘early access’.  It’s a narrative.  It should be completed before it’s released.  Instead, they were adding things as they went… and apparently still plan to do so.  Do they think the people who’ve already gotten the head-scratching ending will go back to see what extra exposition stuff they’ve added?  If so, they’ve guesses wrong with me.  Sons was very much a step back from the original.

What about you?  Have YOU played these games?  If so, let me know your thoughts over at the usual social media places you can find in the buttons up top!

Also, don’t forget, Livestream For The Cure VII starts May18th through the 20th.  Head to livestreamforthecure for info on how to watch and how to donate!

– PCR