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Movie Recommendations

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life May 12 2015 · 435 views
Movie, Film, Blockbuster
Every now and then in conversation someone will mention a movie they love that I haven't seen. There's also a bunch of films from the past few years that I wanted to see but never got around to. So I've decided to finally make a list of all these films to keep track of and help motivate myself to actually watch them.

Below is the list I have so far, but I'm sure it's not complete. That's where you guys come in. What are some of your all-time favorite movies, or movies that you think are worth seeing for their artistic or storytelling merits?

Please make your suggestions in the comments. If there are movies people suggest multiple times that I've already seen, I'll make a separate list of those to help with duplicates.

To Watch:
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian
Terminator Salvation
The Hurt Locker
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
X-Men: First Class
Men in Black 3
The Dark Knight Rises
Argo
Wreck-It Ralph
Skyfall
A Good Day to Die Hard
Monsters University
The Wolverine
The Wolf of Wall Street
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Boyhood
Birdman
Interstellar
The Imitation Game
Kingsman: The Secret Service

Thanks everyone!


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PAX East 2015

Posted by Black Six , in Uncategorized, Real Life Mar 20 2015 · 268 views
PAX, Boston, Videogames
I had the pleasure of going up to PAX East in Boston, Massachusetts from March 6th to 8th. As always, it was a blast and it was great to hang out with Than the Moa and Watashi Wa and meet a couple of WaWa's friends. I thought for a change I'd endeavor to take some more pictures and blog about it and share some of my experiences.

The Lines
PAX East is famous for its massive lines for everything. When you cram 70,000 or more people into a single space, you're going to have to wait for stuff. It's not unusual for people to line up for panels over an hour in advance, and lines to play popular upcoming games like Overwatch take two hours or more. With the lines being such an iconic part of the event, I decided that would be the focus of what I share. If you follow me on Twitter you probably saw some of my tweets rating the lines and sharing pictures. Below is a little more of the same, but not constrained to 140 characters.


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I was able to snag a Media badge for the event, which meant Friday morning I got to wait in the very short Media/VIP line. By PAX standards it was pretty tame, and meant I got to check out the show floor before most people. No regrets!


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Saturday, on the other hand, I had to line up with everyone else to get into the expo floor. The reason so many people line up is so they can rush in and get lined up for things like Oculus Rift, Gigantic, Overwatch, and other multi-hour waits. I was trying to line up for Rooster Teeth, but when I got to the booth they weren't even there.


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I didn't make the same mistake on Sunday and decided to wait and have some breakfast and not go into the expo floor until after the lines cleared. I snapped this from one of the catwalks that crosses the expo floor on the second level. Yes, there are a LOT of people...


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A much smaller and faster-moving line was the one to get swag bags. The bags were a bit disappointing this year, only containing the program guide, a deck of Magic cards, a promotional Superfight card, and some ads. Oh well.

Overwatch


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I definitely took advantage of my early media access on Friday by going to play Overwatch, the FPS being made by Blizzard. Yes you heard that right. The gameplay was tight and certainly seems like it's getting ready for release. I only played three or four of the different classes, and of those, McCree was by far my favorite. I'm intrigued to play more when it comes out.

Harmonix


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The day before PAX East started, they announced Rock Band 4! The game wasn't on display, but you could preorder an exclusive PAX East guitar controller, which I did. They also had Amplitude available to play, which was interesting, but I definitely need more time to really learn it, and not play with a group of people that cranked the difficulty up to expert.

Gabe and Tycho


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We caught part of the Gabe and Tycho panel where they basically spent an hour answering people's questions and making us all laugh. As the minds behind Penny Arcade and PAX, it's great to see that they stay so involved with their fans.

Rooster Teeth


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The reason we caught Gabe and Tycho was because we wanted to get good seats for the Rooster Teeth panel, which we succeeded at! The panel was pretty great and we got to see some awesome videos, including the Red vs Blue Season 13 teaser, a Minecraft Let's Play rap (the content of which isn't really BZP-safe), some rough work for the next season of X-Ray and Vav, and a hilarious Funhaus video. The Q&A sessions were a bit groan-worthy at times, but overall I had fun as always.

Rooster Teeth Line


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Of course I also wanted to go to the Rooster Teeth booth to buy some stuff and get them to sign other stuff. Any time Jack, Adam, and Jordan were there though, the line was super-long. I probably went by the booth fifteen times all told seeing if they were there, and if they were, trying to get in line. It was frequently capped though, and when I'd go back to see if it was uncapped I ended up missing the opportunity. Eventually I got in though, and scored some swag and got some signatures.

Halo Cosplay


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One time while I was walking by the Microsoft booth a group of Halo cosplayers had gathered. Those costumes are incredible and I wish I had the time and talent to make one of my own.

Major Nelson Radio


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Another staple of PAX East for me is the Major Nelson podcast panel. The whole crew was there, consisting of Larry 'Major Nelson' Hryb, Eric 'e' Neustadter, Laura 'lollip0p' Massey, and Jeff 'Jef United' Rubenstein. They were joined by Eric Pope of Harmonix to talk about Rock Band 4 and Jeff from Undead Labs to talk about State of Decay: Year-One Survival Edition. It was a great show and I definitely enjoyed it.

Halo Championship Series Season 1 Finals


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By a stroke of luck, after I finally decided to go to PAX East, 343 and ESL announced that the finals of Season 1 of the Halo Championship Series, the competitive Halo e-sports league, would be held at the event. I've been a competitive Halo fan since 2003 or 2004, so I was super-stoked by this. It had been a while since I had been to a LAN competition in person (honestly it has been a while since competitive Halo was really worth watching) so I made a point to watch as much of the event as I could. I was not disappointed, as the nine teams (top eight seeds and a wildcard from Europe) all put on a great show. The Losers Bracket Finals was quite possibly the best series I've ever seen in the history of the game. CLG went down 2-0 to Noble Black but then tied up the series at 2-2. Game 5 would decide the winner and who would go play in the championship match for a grand prize of $50,000. And then the two teams tied! The official rules stated that there would be a shortened replay of the game, in this case Shrine (Sanctuary) Team Slayer, but that ended up in a tie too. Long story short, the two teams tied four times total before CLG finally won to advance. The crowd at the event was massive and everyone was on the edge of their seat watching (if they had a seat - there were so many people it was standing room only). Even though CLG ended up losing to Evil Geniuses in the finals, it was amazing to be there in person and feel the energy of hundreds of other Halo fans all cheering when a sick play was made. It was definitely the highlight of my weekend and a memory I hope to never forget.

All in all PAX East 2015 was a rousing success. There were a lot of other things I did that didn't make it above, like Elite Dangerous with Oculus Rift, a bunch of indie games, the Harmonix party, and good times with friends. If you're a fan of gaming, I definitely recommend making it to a PAX event at some point, as they're second to none.


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For Sale: DVD Box Sets

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Oct 05 2014 · 507 views
For Sale, Star Trek, Stargate and 1 more...
I'm looking to make some space on my movie shelves, so these lovely collections have to depart. Make me an offer - I'm more interested in getting them out of my house than making a lot of money.





Torchwood Season 1 on DVD
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Star Trek 'Complete' Motion Picture Collection on DVD - includes Star Trek I-VI, Generations, First Contact, Insurrection, and Nemesis
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Stargate Atlantis Complete Series on DVD
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Buried by BrickFair

Posted by Black Six , in BZPower, LEGO Con, Real Life Aug 06 2014 · 365 views
BrickFair, BFVA
I got back from BrickFair last night and still have not had a lot of time to recover.

A huge thanks to everyone who attended, sent in MOCs, and supported our crowd-funding campaign (or all three!) - you guys helped make this the biggest and best BrickFair yet. It's always a huge blast hanging out with everyone, playing games, building with LEGO, sharing meals, etc. I hope you all had as much fun as I did.

But now it's back to the grind. I have a lot of un-packing and sorting to do, as well as a mountain of PMs, emails, reports, and other BZPower-related things to take care of (not to mention real life). So apologies if I do not get back to you quickly. As a rule of thumb, if I have not replied within a week, feel free to bug me about it again.

Hope to see you all next year!


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Furlough Fundays

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Jun 16 2013 · 760 views
videogames
For better or worse starting July 8th I'm going to be off every Monday for eleven weeks. As those of you who have spent time with me on days off know, they're usually spent on the phone or replying to emails for various work-related things. For the government furloughs, however, we are expressly forbidden from doing any work-related activities. What am I going to do with my extra day off then? I know, maybe finally play some of the many videogames I have acquired over the years but never finished or in some cases even played.

And you're going to help.

Below is a list of games and series that I need to play to some varying degree, with descriptions. You tell me what I should play.
  • Halo - I never did beat Halo Wars, and there's plenty more achievements to get in the others. I never got all the way through Anniversary either, come to think of it...
  • Mass Effect - I need one more achievement in the first game, then I need to bring my character through the second game again, and I haven't even played the third game yet.
  • Dragon Age - I played the first one all the way through but never got through all the DLC. Only played the demo of the second one.
  • Bioshock - I played the first one, would probably play it again to harvest instead of save. Haven't played the second one or Infinite.
  • Gears of War - I've played the first game multiple times and used to LAN it. Only played Horde Mode on the second. Never played the third or Judgement.
  • Star Wars: The Force Unleashed - I have the Ultimate Sith Edition but never played it. Don't have the sequel though.
  • Batman Arkham Asylum - Own it but haven't played it.
  • Fable - Beat the first one, own the second and the third (it's free on Games on Demand!) but never played them.
  • Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay - Heard this was pretty good, picked it up cheap but never played.
  • Ghostbusters - Same as above.
  • Watchmen: The End is Nigh - Ditto.
  • Dead Rising - Fourpeat.
  • Guitar Hero/Rock Band - There's always more songs to play and more achievements to get.
Have at it!


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For Sale: Nerf Guns

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life May 04 2013 · 1,538 views
Nerf, For Sale
Somehow over the past few years I've accumulated a bunch of Nerf guns that have been taking up a lot of space. I'm looking to remedy that issue by getting rid of some. Most of the below were bought used, but they all work and I've cleaned them all up to the best of my ability (in some cases that includes taking them apart and running the plastic pieces through the dishwasher). I've removed the air restrictors from several of the spring guns. No ammo is included.

UPDATE: The Titan, Hornet, and orange Hyperfire have been sold. All the rest are still available.

Make an offer, I'm really open to anything. Just note that you'll also be paying for shipping on top of whatever you offer.

Thanks!

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Bulbasaur, I Choose You

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Mar 05 2013 · 908 views
Videogames, Pokemon, Retro
That's what I said almost a month ago when I decided to dig out my Gameboy Advance and copy of Pokemon Blue. I kept reading people talking about the newer games and it made me recall the fond memories I had playing the original back in the day. I've been going through the game again, having a lot of fun the whole way. I even picked up a used GBA SP because how did we ever live without backlit screen? I mean seriously you expect me to play in only the most ideal lighting conditions?

Anyway, I'm currently in Celadon working my way through the basement of the totally-not-a-casino fighting off the evil Team Rocket. Then I'll be taking on Erika assuming I'm leveled up enough. My current team consists of:
-Bulbasaur
-Pikachu
-Geodude
-Gyrados
-Drowzee
-Machop

I really wish I had a fire Pokemon to help out with Erika, but I've yet to come across any. I've been working on training up Drowzee so hopefully he'll be enough to carry the team.

I've also ordered copies of Pokemon Ruby and Sapphire, so I get to try out some more recent (only a decade old) Pokemon games. I can't really justify a DS, so nothing past that for me, unless I get really into it.

Let me know if you have some suggestions for my team. Also - what should I evolve my Eevee into?


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Black Six Goes to Disney

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Feb 02 2013 · 393 views
Vacation, Orlando, Disney
As I mentioned near the end of this entry, once I was done with BrickFair Alabama I didn't head back home. Instead, I hopped on a plane and headed for sunny Orlando, Florida for a real, live vacation.

I can't remember the last time I took a trip of more than one night that wasn't for a LEGO convention or PAX East. Sometime back in high school I just kind of stopped going on normal vacations. So this was the first time I had done something like this in a while, probably closer to a decade than I'd care to admit. Also, I hadn't been to Florida since I was in second grade, which was about eighteen years ago, making this even more of a big deal.

Back when I started planning to go to BFAL, I was talking to a friend of mine who now works at Disney and mentioned the idea of stopping by on the way since I would already be down south. It turned out the plane ticket would only be about $50 more, they could get me 50% off a hotel room, and into all the parks for free! With a deal like that, I couldn't pass it up. So I took a few more days off from work and made my plans to hit up Walt Disney World.

I had a lot of fun, and going with someone who knows the parks really well was like having my own personal tour guide. We knew which rides had long lines that we should get to early or Fast Pass, the best order of doing things, and where everything even was. We crammed a lot into the almost four days I was there. We did most of what Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and Magic Kingdom had to offer, and spent some time in Downtown Disney as well. Unfortunately we didn't make it to Epcot - next time!

Some of the highlights for me were Star Tours, Disney Quest (so many videogames - if you go and play some Guitar Hero Arcade, see if you can beat any of my high scores), Festival of the Lion King (my favorite Disney movie), Space Mountain, Muppet*Vision 3D, and Toy Story Midway Mania. There were lots of other fun things too though, so many I've probably forgotten some of them.

If you've never made it to Disney, definitely put it on your to-do list - it's a blast no matter how old you are, as long as you're a kid at heart. Big thanks to my friend for organizing things and being my guide while I was there.


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Things to Bring to BrickFair

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life, LEGO Con Jan 09 2013 · 814 views

BrickFair Alabama is eight days away! So much stuff to worry about! To help me not forget anything, I'm going to make a list here. Let me know what's missing.
  • Clothes
  • Toiletries
  • Wallet
  • Passort/drivers license
  • Boarding passes
  • Snacks
  • MOCs
  • Brick badges
  • Prototypes and other pieces to give out
  • BZPower Guestbook
  • BZPower business cards
  • Camera
  • Laptop
  • Phone
  • Other phone
  • iPod
  • Packing tape
  • Umbrella
  • Tablet (maybe)
I'm sure I'm overlooking something...


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Thoughts on The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Posted by Black Six , in Real Life Dec 14 2012 · 548 views
Hobbit, movie, spoilers
This entry contains spoilers! I discuss both The Hobbit (the book) as well as The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (the movie), and even go into The Lord of the Rings (the books and movies). If you don't want any of those spoiled, stop reading now.

We good?

Great!

I loved the framed narrative. I was expecting it since we knew Ian Holm and Elijah Wood were in the cast, but they did it so magnificently. I love how it ties into The Lord of the Rings movies and the beginning of those where Ian Holm does the 'Concerning Hobbits' narration. Perfect, absolutely set the right tone.

I loved the history of Erebor and seeing the Lonely Mountain and Dale in their prime. The way they cut the arrival of Smaug was teaser-ific (in a good way). Except Thorin and Balin were supposed to be away from the Lonely Mountain when Smaug came, and they witness it from afar. Also, Thrain and Thror are supposed to escape from the secret door and be the only survivors. I'm not sure what they gained by changing that.

I loved most of the Unexpected Party, especially the dishes scene. Except it was supposed to start at tea-time, which I'm pretty sure is the afternoon, not the evening. I also missed the colored hoods which are very clearly and explicitly mentioned in the book. Also, I wanted to see them playing their instruments. I'll concede that all of those are pretty minor in the big scheme of things - but I wanted to see them all in the different colors!

I loved the trolls - they captured their personalities perfectly. Except that they completely changed everything else. It was supposed to be raining, they were supposed to be having a hard time lighting a fire and they all see the trolls' fire from afar and send Bilbo to investigate instead of their ponies being stolen. Bilbo gets captured when trying to steal a troll's wallet. The dwarves then go one at a time and get captured instead of all of them fighting until the trolls threaten to kill Bilbo. And it was Gandalf who confused the trolls until they turned to stone. I'll concede that a talking wallet (as described in the book) would have been silly. Also, since the book has been broken up into several movies, they had to start developing Bilbo's character as a quick-thinker earlier by having him delay the trolls.

I loved the council scenes in Rivendell. They're touched on in The Lord of the Rings, and I think they did them well. Except for everything else. I disliked the whole Azog storyline - he was killed by Dain well before the events of the movie. The dwarves and Bilbo were supposed to enter Rivendell peacefully and by choice, and where were the singing elves? I wanted to hear their songs! And then there was the whole mistrust thing - I know there's little love between dwarves and elves, but they added Thranduil to the flashback and then made Thorin despise all elves - totally different from the book. I'm sure it will come into play again in the following movies when the dwarves are captured by the elves in Mirkwood too. And then they leave secretly, without Gandalf or their ponies?

I loved the Great Goblin. They did a good job fleshing out that character a bit (literally) and even included some of the singing stuff I'm about to gripe about. Also, the battle scene was fantastic, if a little over-the-top. It takes a lot of creative license, but it's fun at least. Except the stone giants were a bit much. It would be fine to include them, but the whole 'getting caught on the giants' knees' part didn't do it for me. Neither did the change of the 'front porch' scene, with Bilbo trying to leave and then the floor opening up instead of there being a crack in the wall. And they took out the goblins' fun little evil songs. I'll concede that Gandalf not being there at first worked out in the end in this regard.

I loved the Riddles in the Dark - they nailed this in spirit if not in complete accuracy. But no real complaints on that... Except for how Bilbo got there, and how he found the Ring. They have a flashback scene in The Lord of the Rings that shows this, and it's quite different in the new movie. Bilbo shouldn't see Gollum until he gets to the lake (really he's not supposed to see much of anything except the darkness) or see him kill the goblin (although in the book it's mentioned that Gollum had recently eaten one). Then for the escape he should lose his buttons on the door, not on some crack in the rock. And Bilbo shouldn't see the dwarves and Gandalf escape, they're supposed to have quite the head start, since Bilbo is supposed to have been knocked out for a while. I'll concede that the buttons are a minor detail and at least he lost them.

I couldn't stand the tree scene. It's supposed to take place in a glade with a wide open meeting area. Obviously Azog isn't supposed to be there. They're all supposed to get in the trees before the wargs even arrive. And then there was the silly and contrived 'trees falling into one another while the dwarves jump from tree to tree.' I'm sorry, but I don't see a pack of wolves uprooting trees like it's nothing. And then there's the battle scene with Thorin and Azog where Bilbo saves his life but he still is maybe dead and then they're all falling off the tree over the cliff only to be rescued by the eagles. And where were their aeries and why didn't we hear them talk? Smaug has a voice actor, so obviously they're making some creatures that talk. At least there were still eagles.

Other things I loved: Radagast in his entirety, Dol Guldur and the references to the Witch King of Angmar, the score by Howard Shore, and the sneak peek of Smaug.

I think in general they made it a lot more serious than the book. Which makes sense since it's a children's book and that wouldn't have worked nearly as well as a movie. But the part of me that really loves the book wishes they had kept it a bit more innocent.

All in all, I enjoyed it. If they had not included Azog it would have been a more manageable length and I think I would have liked it more. I will still be seeing the sequels and buying the extended editions and all that though, make no doubt about it.






Welcome To My Blog

I'm glad to see you made the trip intact.

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Name:
Andrew
Alias:
Black Six
Join Date:
August 2, 2001
Staff Since:
August 6, 2001
Position:
BZPower Administrator
Forums Currently Moderated:
Bionicle RPG, LEGO RPG, News Discussion
Forums Previously Moderated:
Fan-Created Games, Promotions, Marketplace Banter, Storyline & Theories, Buy/Sell/Trade, probably some others
Other Responsibilities:
Making sure news is posted, keeping the forums running smoothly, learning the ways of server-burping.

Video Games!

Most Played Games (as of late):
  • Fantasia: Music Evolved
  • Destiny
  • Tiny Death Star
  • Plants vs Zombies 2
Currently Playing:




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It's A Trash Can!

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