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The Wickiness

Posted by Ta-metru_defender in TMD's Creatively Named Blog, May 25 2019 · 7 views

Essays, Not Rants! 372: The Wickiness

John Wick has a delightfully simple premise: Retired assassin lives okay life. Punk kid steals retired assassin’s car and kills his puppy (that was given to him by his recently deceased wife). Retired assassin un-retires and goes on a brutal rampage of revenge.

Simple, effective.

And honestly, when so many action movies are trying to be super smart with overly complex plots and schemes, "dude gets revenge for dead dog" is wonderfully simple. It harkens back to classic action movies like Die Hard, Predator, or even Commando where a straightforward plot serves primarily to deliver thrills. Die Hard’s concept of a New York cop as the sole defender of a captured skyscraper is fantastic and the film uses it — crawling in the ducts, elevator excitement, parking garage fun — to a wonderful extent. The titular alien of Predator makes for a challenging fight in the jungle. Kidnapping John Matrix’s daughter is just Commando’s excuse for Arnold Schwarzenegger to kill bad guys in inventive ways. A hallmark of these classics is a focus on the action over the effects. The Predator might be a stealthy alien, but its final showdown against Dutch is much more about the fight itself than it is a spectacle of effects. John Wick is a movie like these, replete with that personal sort of action, but, y’know, modern.

It certainly helps that John Wick is no slouch in the mythology department. John may be an assassin, but he’s not just any assassin: he’s a member of a secret society, a group with their own rules, currency, and even a sanctuary of a hotel in New York. We’re not told terribly much about this underground world, but we get to see much of it, and a lot more is certainly implied by characters’ responses and actions. The world feels massive, one with reams of untold stories that echo more the Marvel movies or a Sergio Leone western than a typical action movie. John Wick manages to perfectly combine mythmaking with 80s action thrills to create one of the best series of modern action movies.

It’s a step above similar contemporaries like The Expendables and The Transporter, two movies which are great, dumb fun with their own interesting worlds, but don’t quite deliver on the same exhilarating thrills that the John Wick movies do. The fights in John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum are not only wonderfully choreographed, but they’re shot in long, wide shots that allow the audience to watch the fights play out and the skill of the fighters. Void of staccato jumpcuts, Parabellum plays out like a classic Jackie Chan flick, where there’s such emphasis on the artistry of the fight. It helps that these fights are straight up creative. Parabellum features a fight in the New York Public Library (books are lethal) and another where the combatants are surrounded by cases full of knives (which are quickly broken open and so ensues a knife fight). One of the final fights sees Keanu Reeves squaring off against Indonesian actors Yayan Ruhian and Cecep Arif Rahman — guys from the fantastic action movie The Raid. But it ain’t enough to just have these exceptional fighters throw down, Parabellum sets this fight in a glass room with glass walls, floors, and cases. It’s beautiful and decidedly unique.

So much of this relies on how slick the movie is. The John Wick movies have a very clear idea of what they are and it’s played to the hilt. Russian, Japanese, Latin, and Indonesian are all spoken in the movies and have subtitles — that often emphasize words by coloring them in neon purple and making them triple the size. The operators of the assassins’ network are dressed like ‘50s secretaries, but decked out in punk tattoos and piercings, but still using typewriters, switchboards, and old computers. I’ve seen the movies described as neo-noir, and that is certainly true, but toss in influences of every action genre — from anime to westerns to martial arts — and you’ve a fuller picture.

All this to say that John Wick fills a particular niche that we didn’t even know we need, a hyper-violent action movie that pairs its blood and guns with fantastic, imaginative craft. Give me more movies with this Wicky sensibility!

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Music Games

Posted by JAG18 in The JAG18 Stronghold, May 19 2019 · 24 views
music

(Sorry I haven't updated this recently, but I joined Reddit recently and was reminded how much fun it is being on a active forum can be)

I like music. I like board games (both playing and making them). But, trying to make a board game involving music has always been a challenge for me.

-Music Questionnaires can be fun, except I only have three and they get old real fast, plus it's more a solitary activity than an actual game.
-Music Top Trumps is a real thing and card games are the easiest to make at home and I'll admit I have a draft for a set written up on my computer, but the "War" card game with cool pictures is only so much fun.
-Music Trivial Pursuit? Eh...
-Something I tried recently with my sister is I guess "Shazam!" the game. One of us plays a song and the other person has 25 seconds to guess what it is. After each song write, down the time and after ten songs each the person who has the lowest time is the winner. I'm this isn't some revolutionary thing, but we had fun.

That's all I got. Do any of those ideas sound interesting to you? Do you have any music games you play with your friends or game group?

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January 2018

Posted by FallenAtlas in The Weight of The World, May 18 2019 · 41 views

January of 2018 was the last time I was here.

It's been a long time. Lot's changed. I broke a couple of times, picked myself up. Still kicking.

Might write a short story or two. About something.

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Pokemon Gold Typhlosion Solo Run

Posted by Super Fighting Pahrak in Mt. Coronet, May 15 2019 · 35 views
Pokemon

Listen, I love Typhlosion and the Sword and Shield reveal left me feeling underwhelmed, and though I’ll probably end up seeing Detective Pikachu eventually I’d rather not spend money on it because what the what, so…this was the best way to feel like I actually still like Pokemon.

I wanted to see if I could beat Pokemon Gold Version (the 3DS Virtual Console version specifically) only using Typhlosion. I restarted the game, picked Cyndaquil, named him Blaze VI, and never used another Pokemon in battle. The only Pokemon I caught were ones I needed for HM usage, and even then there were a good amount of gift Pokemon who could use HMs so I didn’t need to do much of that.

After 12 hours and 15 minutes of game time, Blaze VI is level 84 and has beaten Red. And it’s a rather satisfying achievement.

Honestly, I think this was easier than using a full team. I didn’t have any particularly big problems, per se, but here are the hiccups/close calls:
-The second rival fight, since his Feraligatr knew Water Gun and Blaze didn’t have an effective way of dealing with him at that point
-The freaking Ice Path, my eternal nemesis
-Bruno’s Machamp probably would have been a problem if its Rock Slide hadn’t missed
-Karen’s Umbreon, which is tanky and knows Sand Attack AND Confuse Ray
-Lance got off a Thunder Wave so Blaze had to tank a few Hyper Beams, but he did, like a champ
-The first thing to put up an actual fight in Kanto was the dang Snorlax in front of Diglett’s Cave
-Blue did get a lot of damage on Blaze, but aside from one Extreme Speed it was all Sandstorm damage
-And obviously Red is no pushover

By going everywhere I could before challenging each gym and fighting everyone I saw, I was able to get Blaze to a Typhlosion before even the fourth gym. At that point he can learn Thunder Punch and Fire Punch via TM, and those (plus Dig for coverage and Quick Attack for fodder) will carry you pretty dang far—you’ll outspeed and oneshot just about everything. Definitely get Return ASAP, plus the Pink Bow held item to boost it, and be sure to pick up Earthquake in Victory Road. Obviously replace Fire Punch with Flamethrower once you get it. I barely used any items at all, either.

It was a fun side project for a week. I’d kind of like to do this sort of thing again, but I think Moon is too hard for me to do a solo run…

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Graduated

Posted by -ToaD- in Terrible Things for a ToaDally Low Cost, May 15 2019 · 40 views

A simple 1 year course in welding covering the most used process and a couple other subjects and I'm done, now to work on a resume and get my foot in the door.


Planning to start small and build up my skillset and then move on up to better positions/jobs, a far off goal could be pipeline work with my own small side shop doing request work for repairs or art people would want.


Dunno where this field will take me but I'll make sure to try to enjoy it and learn more things along the way.



Here is a trophy I made for a friend as a sort of prototype.


More ideas down the line but gotta buy my own Tig machine first.



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Old and New Stories

Posted by xccj in Team J.A.F., May 15 2019 · 36 views

It's been a while since I've put together a blog post, so here's me jabbering about my stories in general. I'm finally finishing up a couple that I've been posting.

Highfly Vinesman, Deepwood Wayfinder was for the BZPower Fanfic Exchange 2018 and written for Darth Jaller. It features Tamaru, Taipu, and Kapura and it's been fun writing back about the MNOLG-era. The other is a sequel to my Kulagi's Kanoka story, A Shadow's Contrivance which features the Kanoka wielding Matoran against the Dark Hunters during the Toa and Dark Hunter war. I am actually extremely proud of this story; it expands and better uses the characters from the original, has lots of character development on multiple fronts, and features a ton of Dark Hunters, both official and custom. And I'm happy with the plot too, which has enough twists and fight sequences and chase scenes and Kanoka usages to really make it worthwhile. The whole thing started off as a minor short story idea but the expanded into this major operation. (It's also one of those stories that I'm really happy with but barely has any reviews. Oh well.)


Also found some of the round-robin stories I participated in for a contest years ago; the topics still exist but the formatting got lost so it was a whole block of text, but once I got past that they were some fun stories, and I'm kind of disappointed that we didn't finish any of them. :(

One story that just made my blog look like it got updated was my BZPower Blog Story set in the style of a Choose Your Own Adventure story but starring BZPower members from the time. Of course, it was posted during the server downtime, back when the BZPower urls included "forum" instead of "board". Well, all the blog entries were still there (blog stuff got preserved but topics did not) but the links were all dead. I just went through and updated them, but that pushed a couple up to the front of the blog, soooo kinda made it look like I just posted a bunch of stuff here when all I was doing was updating some links. Story is still good, although most of the members have changed their names or become inactive since. (Gosh, and this was originally written when Bionicle G1 was coming to an end... and now it's been a couple of years since G2 abruptly ended. Crazy.)

Speaking of that, I also had that BZ-Koro epic that was supposed to herald in G2, and it was one where I'd have people vote on where each new chapter would go. It made some decent progress before work got the best of me and I dropped it. (I mean, that was before I finally got diagnosed with sleep apnea, so I mean I was running of fumes for years there.) Problem is there's not much of an audience left and some of the main characters... well, things happened and it didn't feel right to continue. I'm tempted to change some things around and write the conclusion I was working towards, but dunno if it would be worth it. Still, I don't know if I'm ever going to top Tekulo and Dotcom singing "A Whole New World" in the middle of a fight... I still get reminded of my parody's lyrics when I listen to the original.

I was also looking back at my story about the Slizers on Mata Nui. The original story was long; partially it was drawn out because I didn't know where I wanted to take it, so I just kept having fight scene after fight scene. Somebody originally contacted my about it and I started to revisit the plot and make plans for making it shorter but keeping to the same general story, just with less redundancy. Some things would undoubtably be lost in a rewrite, but I am very tempted because I plotted out an ending for the original but never got around to finishing it. Granted, I don't know if there'd be an audience left to be interested in it anyway.

A big thing for looking back on my older stories was this thing where I'm trying to list out all the characters I've ever used in stories before. Mostly because I've reused some character names through different stories. (Like I've had variations of Triki in four different stories, playing variations of his crazy character.) Of course, putting together the list made me look up some older stories, where I've found my older writing both impressive at times and cringe worthy at other times. Also makes me sad that there are some stories that I wrote that I no longer have records before, because I lost a bunch of stuff when my laptop was stolen and the BZP servers crashed and took a lot of other stories down. There was a fun Bionicle Christmas story I wrote staring Kapura, another small epic featuring the Voya-Nui Matoran against the Piraka, and a comedy about the Toa in an election, plus a bunch of other short stories and such.

Meanwhile, I have a handful of current stories I want to complete (two of which I've worked on for NaNoWriMo... twice each) plus a lot of other ideas I want to move forward with. But unfortunately, working full time has really cut down on my mental ability to just sit down and write write write... a professional author I will never be. Too many story ideas stuck in my head, and that says nothing of the older stories I want to redo / reboot. :mellow:

:music:

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MAGA: Make Apple Girthy Again

Posted by Jean Valjean in Kraggh's Works ♫♪, May 09 2019 · 42 views
Apple, Macbook, Chevy, Silverado

:kaukau: I would totally buy a Macbook Pro if they weren't so thin. Literally, make their base two or three times as thicc. Take care of the ventilation problems. Make them live up to their full potential. I care about the engineering, not about the design. The only thing that needs to be pretty is the screen.

Seriously, all of these thin laptops look incredibly fragile. I can get how people might want a phone to be a fashion statement, but I think that people these days look at a thicc laptop and say to themselves, "That's for some heavy duty stuff right there." Like those Alienware computers, which I'll never buy because I'm not into gaming, but I appreciate how they don't treat their hardware.

Whereas Macbooks, they think that everybody wants something thin. At least offer the option to get a thicc laptop. And see how that goes. They might be surprised at how quickly they sell. Because it's the thin ones that actually look cheap. And as I said, fragile. Like they're meant to be temporary, when you're in-between laptops. Not that definitive laptop that keeps its value over time.

Get your act together, Apple. You're the freaking trend setter, so even though I don't buy your products, your decisions affect me.

Until then, I'm saving up my money for a Silverado High Country. Which I probably won't be able to comfortably buy until around 2028. And I definitely won't invest in the Apple ecosystem until sometime after that, and that's assuming that they get their act together and make products that are works of engineering first, design second.

And Chevy knows that when to make an economy car and when to make a big, thicc truck.

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Done with Undergrad

Posted by Obsessionist in Chronic Obsessions, May 08 2019 · 35 views

Last night I turned in my final undergrad assignment before getting my BS in Mechanical Engineering. It was a 100-page research document entitled "Motivations, Values, and Creative Processes of Participatory LEGO Bionicle Fan Community," which feels like an appropriate way to cap things off.

Might try to get it published. We'll see if I have the motivation.

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Endgame: Yes Spoilers

Posted by Xaeraz in dead cell, May 06 2019 · 59 views

did we really need the movie to be sped up 6x so they could make us watch it six times in a row instead of just once at normal speed

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So I ordered...

Posted by SwagtronYOLO in Designated Tekulo Crying Corner ♡, May 02 2019 · 68 views

you to shut up
Queen Watevera WaNabi's build Whatever box and it looks fun despite the fact I can't MOC to save my life.

Also I will never have time to play with it, it will end up rotting in my collection and why did I do this to myself?

~Tekulo


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or; An Introduction (A New, Hopefully Not Terrible Epic)

Posted by Zatth in Zatth Blag, Apr 19 2019 · 104 views
epics

I need to find ways to keep writing daily :P
And hey, at least I'm feeling this one, since it's basically my excuse to go back through everything BIONICLE and refresh my memory. So, without further ado, an Epic!

...thingy, sorts of!

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BZPower T-shirt Contest 2019!

Posted by Brappy Hour in Raptor Paddock, Apr 16 2019 · 345 views

FREE FOR ALL!

Welcome once again, friends to another BZPower t-shrit contest. It may be the 10th anniversary of the Glatorian and the Bara Magna saga, but the decision has been made that this year, anything goes! Any design for any Bionicle character, setting, icon, etc. It's as simple at it gets. So have fun!

A special note. I'm happy to announce ChocolateFrogs as co-collaborator for this years contest!

Rules: Your design must be a simple design, one color, and must be medium sized. A previous winner and decent example is linked here. Link
Your design must also be black on a clear white background. This makes it easier for the screen printing process.

You may post your entries in this thread, and have until the end of May to submit your design.

The Prize: The maker of the winning design will receive a free T-Shirt!

ADDITIONAL INFO:
The winning design will be chosen through a voting process of the members of BZP.
Colors will be suggested and chosen by the members as well.


Feel free to ask any questions if needed.
That's all for now. Have fun, and good luck!

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First Black Hole Image

Posted by Akano in Akano's Blog, Apr 15 2019 · 75 views
EHT, Black hole and 1 more...

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At some point I'll talk in depth about this beautiful achievement. It is truly awe inspiring.

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Dark age

Posted by Bfahome in You're attacked by a Repair Nektann, Apr 14 2019 · 113 views

So I've made my way into the real world and with that comes restrictions, in this case space restrictions. I'm not living in a place where I have enough space for everything, including my LEGO collection. So for the moment it looks like I'm going to be prioritizing other hobbies and creative outlets over my LEGO stuff. Gonna see if I can get back on that Mandalorian armor and some other things I'd abandoned.

Basically I came to this realization when I decided to plan a short trip back home to grab some stuff. I felt like I could either bring the LEGO stuff or the costume stuff, and the fact that it's coming up on summer coupled with the fact that I have a workspace and access to tools again, and on top of that the ability to actually go places now, means that for the short term I'm gonna try with the costume stuff.

I still come here every day and I'm not gonna stop buying new LEGO stuff though. So it may not be the darkest age but still a bit of a step away.

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we're finished

Posted by Lucina in Great Games, Apr 06 2019 · 143 views

At long last.

Way back in 2016, I first started work on what would become BZP's Game of Thrones. I had no idea if the game would work. I had no idea if people would want to play. I had no idea.

This series has basically defined my time on this site (or my time associated with it) for the past several years, which is a little crazy to think about. There have been spinoffs from other members; I've hosted smaller side games; I wrote a freaking fake history book.

There will be further stories and games in this world, but I intend for them to slowly but surely expand away from Okoto, and to stand on their own. The first of these (The Argonauts) will be starting quite soon, and I might post a little bit on this blog when it releases, to showcase some stuff.

But the main story, the mainline of games, is finished. BZP's Games of Thrones has reached the end of its final season. Okoto's story is finally done.

2016-2019.

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Thank you to everyone for playing.

If you'd like to join the Discord server for these games (whether to perhaps play in one of the upcoming standalone adventures, or just to hang out), shoot me a pm.

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another old bzpower member

Posted by Cyrix in ♫ Don't Go to Sleep with a Frown in Your Pocket ♫, Apr 05 2019 · 110 views

wow look i'm returning to bzpower for a hot second to see what's up after x years away! i am super unique in this aspect! look how subversive and cool i am!

in all seriousness thought i'd come back here for a hot second and say hey. was never super active in the community but had a lot of good memories from here, and this site actually taught me some about interacting with people. i'm super grateful for both of those things, and i'd like to say that things in my life are good, not great but good, and i've got a lot to be thankful for.

bionicle was an important part in my life, still got a guy sitting on my desk in my apartment (my apartment, back in the day those two words together wouldn't even make sense), and i owe bzp a decent bit. maybe i'll haunt this blog a little more often, we'll see

<3

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16 years

Posted by Angel Beat in ~ Canterlot's Sparkling Jewel ~, Apr 01 2019 · 77 views

A long time indeed.

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Spring Break

Posted by The Hip Historian Iaredios in Scribbler's Hall, Mar 16 2019 · 89 views

So. Spring break is nearing its end. I had plans for it. Namely buying a sword. What happened to divert me so? Be sheer whimsy I saw Sid Meir's Civilization V on my list of owned Steam games, and decided to try it out. 4 days later I pronounce "Enough!" and I have ceased its usage entirely. Game is addictive in a way unlike anything i have seen, and its give-back is near nothing. Its an unhealthy addiction that has robbed me of time I was so looking forward to for the month prior. My cousin had something pop up that has made him unavailable to attend the state Renaissance Festival, now I shall either go with my brother or skip it in its entirety and purchase a sword at a sword shop at the local super-mall. I hope either have in stock the noble Spatha, because I want to get my Rome on (a Gladius is too small for my giant of a frame) and eat a lamb gyro hence'wards. i am also thinking of getting a credit card so I can get a worthwhile laptop and pay it off over time, thereby playing and beating the game of banker usury and showing our unwanted overlords that I am worthy of owning land in the future (away from their morgage-garbed prying hands, the nationless fiends). Woe to America for being in such a state, but there is little I can do then play the game and come out the better for it in the long run if I play right. And it starts with daddy wanting a better life-distraction machine.

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The Lego Movie 2 Review

Posted by Lyichir in The Songs of Distant Earth, Jan 31 2019 · 194 views

It's real good.

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2018/2019 Sets

Posted by Vezok's Friend in Designer's Lair, Jan 27 2019 · 216 views

A few things I've worked on over the last two years have finally come out as well, so it's time for another update to the list!

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