Review: Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors

30 10 2013

Hi kiddie-winks,

As you’re all no doubt aware Halloween is just around the corner, barreling down on us like some sort of annual happening and I’ve had the big telly all to my self for a couple of days. I’ve used this time constructively by re-watching the first five Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

The thing about being a fan of a certain type of horror movie which was popular during the 70′s and 80′s is sometimes I have to be slightly apologetic, something along the lines of “Yes I know the script, acting, directing etc are awful but…” One of the exceptions to this rule I believe is Nightmare on Elm Street, part 3: The Dream Warriors, now if you’ve got a minute or two take a seat and I’m going to tell you why.

By way of pre-text, when it comes to Nightmare sequels it’s this “Pretend Part 2 never existed (Like Indie 4, or Star Wars 1 through 3).” It’s a pretty poor movie which ignores a lot of the lore created by the first movie. A discorporated Freddy Krueger possesses teenager Jesse Walsh to kill for him in the waking world rather than doing the killing himself in the dream world. Critics hated it, Wes Craven hated it, fans of the first film were kind of ambivalent, no one seems to like it but it still made a healthy return on it’s budget.

Dream Warriors sees Kristin Parker troubled by dreams of Freddy Krueger, following a dream-world chase through the now derelict house on Elm Street where Freddy was originally defeated by Nancy Thompson in the original movie Freddy catches Kristin and slashes her wrists with his claws. These wounds are mistaken by Kristin’s mother for self-harm and has Kristin committed to Westin Hills Psychiatric Hospital where she is placed on a ward with several other teenage patients all suffering from sleep disorders caused by a certain man in a hat. As luck would have it Westin Hills has recently recruited a young psychology who specialises in dreams and sleep disorders, Freddy’s original nemesis Nancy Thompson, she reveals to the patients that they are “The last of the Elm Street kids” and does what she can to assist them in over-coming their dreams and once again defeating Krueger.

Wes Craven returned to take on writing duties of Nightmare on Elm Street 3 after being unhappy with the first sequel. After his original idea of having part 3 act as a meta-film where Krueger invaded the real world was rejected by New Line (Later made as New Nightmare.) Craven’s intention was that this film would be a conclusion to the Nightmare series and end the Franchise (Which he had never wanted in the first place), indeed it brings together and then ties up many of the loose ends from the original movie.

Along with the return of Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp and John Saxon returned as Nancy and Donald Thompson, they are joined by an impressive cast which includes Oscar nominee Laurence Fishburne and Emmy-winner Patricia Arquette in her cinematic debut. Robert Englund returns for the second time as series-antagonist Freddy Krueger riding the fine line between menace and dark comedy with evident relish.

Dream Warriors is the first of the Nightmare sequels to move away from the more traditional stalk and slash scares it’s genre in favor of the effect driven set-pieces of the later films although here it is used with some level of restraint unlike abominable scenes from later entries in the series such as “Super Freddy” or “You forgot the Power Glove”. there are some great practical effects on show some memorable death scenes including Freddy emerging from a Television to claim a victim and another victim being used as a living marionette strung up by his ligaments.

Easily dismissed through association with the later Nightmare sequels Dream warriors is my favourite entry in the series and probably my favourite horror movie. It does everything right, in my opinion setting the gold standard for both the Nightmare franchise and the horror movie genre itself. It is well written, thanks to the return of We Craven and later revisions by Frank Darabont with both memorable one liners and good dialogue. The characters are (for an eighties slasher-movie) well developed and believable. The practical and make-up effects are great and with the exception of some of the stop-motion work have aged well. The acting on show is well above par for a movie of this kind with good performances from Arquette and Langenkamp as well as possibly a career best performance from Robert Englund as begins to take Freddy further down the comedic path while still retaining an element of threat.

Unfortunately as the Nightmare series continued the set-pieces became more elaborate but also more slap-stick turning the character of Freddy Krueger into something more akin to an imitation or satire of the original portrayal before Englund’s final appearance as the character to date in Freddy V’s Jason returned some of the menace for one last hurrah.

While I’m the first to admit many films in the horror genre that I like and enjoy tend to be justified with the precursor “I know it’s bad but…” This is not the case with Dream Warriors I believe it is a genuinely good fantasy-horror movie which is since been repeatedly hamstrung by the diminishing quality of it’s own sequals.

By way of a post-script to get the most out of the Nightmare franchise consider watching 1, 3 and Freddy v’s Jason. three as I’ve already mentioned is pretty much a direct sequal to the original and FvJ contains many plot devices which recur from Dream Warriors including the return Westin Hills Psychiatric hospital and the use of dream suppressant Hypnocil, originally advocated in Part 3 by Nancy. Viewing of New Nightmare remains optional, It once again reunites Wes Craven, Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund and John Saxon I like it, many don’t.

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Wednesday, October 30th, 2013 Ralph 2 Comments

Secret Cinema

21 05 2013

GOOD LogoDon’t tell anyone.

No, seriously.

It says so on the tickets. In big sensible writing it says TELL NO ONE.

Of course, I’m going to tell you though. I mean, keeping secrets is what you’re great at huh, Internet?

Secret Cinema is a new, different, immersive way to watch movies. Have you ever seen a film and loved it so much that you just wanted to live in that world? Secret Cinema, for one night, lets you do that. Have you ever thought about just booking a ticket for a movie, not knowing what you’ll see, but knowing that you’ll meet fantastic people and have a great time, no matter if you like the film or not? Secret Cinema gives you that too.

Last weekend Gabby and I travelled down to our fair (?) capital to attend Secret Cinema 20. After having a thoroughly good, if abjectly scary time at Secret Cinema 19, we decided to go again this year. Am I glad we did!

I’m not going to tell you what film we saw, but I will tell you that after we bought our tickets, we were sent a link to the intranet site for an organisation called G.O.O.D. and told that we’d been given new jobs and had to visit the intranet site every day. Closer to the opening day of SC20 a huge meet up happened in London, bringing with it news of a popup shop for G.O.O.D. Careers and a music video featuring Thom Yorke dancing. Closer to the day of our visit we were given our new jobs at G.O.O.D. I was to be in the Committee for Credit Creation, and was advised to bring a solution to the financial crisis and a penny (to help us get out of debt, you see). Gabby was given a different job and we both queued up at different entrances.

For the first hour we both went and did our own, odd tasks which included pointing, shouting, throwing, headdesking, drinking booze and chatting to folks. We finally met up and explored the rest of the huge Croydon office that Future Cinema (confusingly, the company that runs Secret Cinema) had rented out for the event.

I’m not going to tell you anything more, save that there were brilliant improv performances by so many actors, and you get much more out of the experience the more you put in. Going in costume is only the start. If you’re willing to engage with the actors, make a fool of yourself and get into the spirit of the thing, you’ll have an even better time.

In that way it’s a bit like D&D.

You should probably try it.

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Tuesday, May 21st, 2013 Neil 6 Comments

Neil The Apple Fanboy

04 04 2013

Apple Logo

Or How I Stopped Worrying And Learned To Love The Fruit

On Tuesday I had a problem with my iPhone. The GPS had started losing tracking and the automatic brightness seemed to be doing the opposite of what it was supposed to.

Handily I was training at Leeds, the location of Apple’s newest UK store, so I decided to drop in and see if they could fix it. They asked me a few questions which boiled down to:

  1. Have you changed the way you use your phone?
  2. Have you tried resetting it?

I answered that I had tried a full wipe and restore, and I’d not done anything different with my phone. Then and there the lovely Apple Genius swapped my phone out for a shiny new one. In ten minutes I had my phone replaced, and in another ten the iCloud backup of my phone was restored and I was back up and running.

That, right there, is customer service. I walked away from that Apple store one happy customer. Happy that I’d switched to iOS from Android (although I miss some things, for sure) and happy that a week before I’d splashed out on an iPad (on which I am writing this).

Apple offers something that other tech companies don’t, and it’s hard to understand unless you’ve really jumped into the cult and culture of Apple. I can’t imagine Samsung mimicking the experience I had with my iPhone. Maybe they will with their upcoming stores, but at the moment I don’t know of anyone else who offers that similar integrated ecosystem of hardware, software, sales and support.

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Thursday, April 4th, 2013 Neil 1 Comment

The Future of Cinema… Monochrome?

11 01 2013

Last night the Stupor collective teamed up to watch the excellent but bleak and harrowing “The Mist”. A very well made, gritty film that could be loosely categorised as horror with a pinch of Sci-Fi. Adapted from Stephen King’s short story by director Frank Darabont, this quality movie seems to have gone rather unnoticed by most, even it’s target audience and not least by two thirds of that evenings audience (Gazz and myself).

The only reason it came to my attention, I now recall, was because it was mentioned in a podcast I listened to over my Christmas break of the BBC’s flagship film review show (the Wittertaining Kermode and Mayo’s Film Review Show in fact). They interviewed one of the stars, one Toby Jones (ironically, the guy who’s name I couldn’t remember during the showing). “The Mist” was a remarked on by Mr Jones and the interviewing Mark Kermode as a top draw, having an ending the director had to fight the studio tooth & nail to keep and being originally planned to be released in in black-and-white.

It would appear these three things stuck with me as I spontaneously quizzed this parish’s Mr Holmes on the movie this Monday and mentioned the other two facts during our discussion. He confirmed the veracity of the comments on both quality and ending, and took to investigating the black-and-white point further.

On arriving at my house with his DVD in hand (yes, of course I had to watch it as soon as possible) he confirmed that, from his research, the movie was “even better” in black-and-white, with the effects looking “nicer and less plasticy” too. With this in mind we sat down to watch the movie but, as Neil DVD didn’t have the “Special Edition” black and white edition on it, we unanimously decided to turn the saturation down to zero. Simultaneously turning the 47” HD panel into a monochrome set and allowing us to watch the movie the way the director intended.

Argh!! The Black &White Tentacle Got The Sherminator!!

125 minutes later and we’d witnessed a revelation. Not only was I sat there completely aghast at the beyond-brutal ending but seeing this film in shades of grey really added something. As reported, the special FX looked darn good (in a kind of fun but horrifying way) and, most surprisingly, the picture quality looked comparable with a decent BluRay transfer. The best bit, however, was how the whole thing felt. It was absolutely wonderful. If anything it seemed almost more real and only on a couple of occasions did I even realise we were watching in black and white. We were all very impressed, so much so that we agreed with Gazz when he voiced the opinion that we should watch future horror films with the colour removed too.

So, there you have it, revelation shared!! Go watch things in black-and-white, people. Just give it a go and see what you think…

Sure it won’t work for everything but anything that’s intimately filmed and has a good story won’t suffer and, if anything, may be improved by a manual decolourisation.

As an aside, it also served as quite a good counterpoint to the current 2D (twoD) verses 3D (threeD) debate too. At no point did I wish it was in threeD and, yes, there were quite enough frames per second for me too. This completely confirmed what I guess we already know; attach all the bells and whistles you want, you can’t beat having a good, well written story and, if you don’t have that, then the rest is just meaningless, superfluous fluff.

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Friday, January 11th, 2013 Ado 1 Comment

A Cinematic Quest of Rediscovery

02 01 2013

I used to be very “into” going to the movies. So much so, in fact, that I can remember one occasion when my now wife and I went to the local picture house (a horrible chain multiplex, but it’s nearby) and, after looking through all the listings of movies to be shown later that evening, we couldn’t find a single film we hadn’t seen. These were the good times. The features were much the same as they are today; some good, some bad, most pass the time well enough and will be forgotten in six months.

The differences from today’s experience of the cinema are the price, which has almost doubled, and the audience, which has massively declined in manner and increased in the number of light-emitting personal devices on constant show… Oh yeah, and they never turn the bloody lights off anymore. This is not the distant past I speak of but a mere decade!! Anywho, these factors combine have served to put me “right off of” going to the movies anymore.

The glasses I use to view my old cinema-going days

Partially in an attempt to resurrect my love for the movies, a few months ago I tried the new fangled IMAX screen that had opened up at the slightly less local horrible chain multiplex. This, however, turned out to be something of a disaster. Besides sitting through 2 hours of Ridley Scott doing to Alien what George Lucas so successfully managed to do to Star Wars ten years earlier (FYI; That’s not a good thing), I found the whole experience even more off-putting. The screen is massive, but not in a cinematic ratio, the sound is massive, but so loud it physically hurts and the price tag, you guessed it, is MASSIVE. £13 per ticket! Are you bonkers? I will certainly not be returning to one of those screens any time soon.

In between times I’ve visited the cinema now and then but have come away largely disappointed. I did happen upon the excellent “Sightseers”, a real “must see” for anyone with a dark sense of humour but, in the main, movies such as Captain America, The Avengers and, most recently, Skyfall have been seen but were all very blah.

That brings us pretty much up to date and to the reason for this piece. Tomorrow, my lovely wife and I will be attempting to simultaneously reignite our love for the movies and make best use of a (n Orange) Wednesday we both have off by going to the cinema to watch three movies in a day. It’s something neither of us has done before but it seems like something we should have. We won’t be helped by the fact that one of our planned features is the almost-three-hour The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey but it is so rare to find three films you actually want to see that we’ve thrown it right in there. The others are: Life of Pi 3D, I’m not really into threed but this is supposed to be very well made and my wife loved the book, and Safety Not Guaranteed, which I stumbled upon last week and is an indie film about three reporters investigating a guy who’s put out a small advert in their paper asking for a volunteer to go back in time with him.

We’ve worked out our schedule, allowing for trailers, and we should be able to work it to see The Hobbit at 10:45 first then run straight into Safety Not Guaranteed after which we have just over an hour break for dinner and finish off with Life of Pi 3D until about 19:55. That is, of course, if all goes to plan and we don’t get Deep Vein Thrombosis for our efforts.

I ought to get off now, as tomorrow has turned into later today, but I wanted to share with you all the peculiar adventure the Wifflecopter (TM) and I will be going on.

Wish us luck and see you on the other side…

UPDATE:
Well looks like we’re back on the cinema horse now, we had a really good time watching three very good & completely different movies with well behaved audiences. Couldn’t have asked for more.

We had to reorganise immediately on arrival, as the 10:45 showing of The Hobbit was sold out (we found out later this was probably because the 2D showings were in very small screens!) but the reschedule worked out best for us, giving us 50 mins between each film instead of the first two following through immediately.

I think three films in a day is definitely our limit but, that said, enjoyed every second spent reacquainting ourselves with our love of the pictures.

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Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013 Ado 4 Comments

A Business Guide To Planning Space Missions

14 06 2012

Prometheus

Spoiler warnings for Prometheus!

So I saw Prometheus twice last week, and as a film it’s fine but bits of it really rankled me. Some things just dont make sense, especially since the whole Prometheus mission is supposed to be a scientific one. I think Cory Doctorow (yes, I’ve a huge hard on for Doctorow, get over it) got it right when he said:

science fiction films are visually consistent, not logically consistent (the opposite of science fiction novels, which is why I’m a pain in the ass to take to sf movies)

(It’s totes worth reading the review of Prometheus Mr. Doctorow is referring to as well.)

What I didn’t realise though, is that everything entirely makes sense IF you understand the internal workings of the Weyland corporation. I’ve managed to get hold of this Weyland email which illustrates exactly why all that dumb stuff that happens in the movie actually makes perfect sense…


From: [Corporate Services] corporate@weyland.com
To: [Scientific Division Managment {SCIMAN-LIST}] sciman-list@weyland.com
Subject: URGENT: Updated Guidelines for Mission Planning
Date: 08/03/2088 10:37:15

It has come to our attention that some staff are failing to correctly implement company-wide Best Practice procedures when planning new interplanetary scientific projects. Please take 5 minutes to familiarise yourself with the following updated considerations from the new Scientific Interplanetary Investigative Venture Management Guidelines [rev: 3]:

  • When assessing the viability of an interplanetary scientific mission, it’s perfectly fine to accept ‘because we think so’ as
    justification
  • Unmanned preliminary missions are for losers; rubes are cheap
  • Quarantine is optional, flamethrowers are cheaper and much quicker
  • Always hire a captain that is indifferent to the mission. The longer he’s working the more expensive it is!
  • Don’t let the crew meet before locking them up together for several years, things may be boring for them otherwise
  • When picking a scientific team, make sure their UTPTWTF (urge to poke things with their fingers) rating is very high, they’ll never get anything done otherwise!
  • The buddy system is pointless, NEVER use it. The same goes for headcounts
  • Make sure women make up less than 25% of the crew
  • Encourage your employees to remove their helmets at every opportunity. Recharging those oxygen tanks is expensive
  • Always have plenty of quality classic black & white movies for your android. Abbot and Costello come highly reccomended
  • If you must leave staff in a creepy alien building overnight, make sure you do not record or monitor them, they need their privacy too!
  • If providing a high quality, expensive medical suite; make sure it only works for men. Always keep it stocked with plenty of staples
  • Do NOT tell your prospective crew anything about the mission before they head off. If partners of your crew need to know where they’re going for several years, a shrug or dunno is standard practice
  • If you are sending a high-level manager on the mission, make sure they have no interpersonal skills and no management oversight; also make sure they cannot run sideways. This is a choice position for that board member you never got on with
  • Don’t bother providing any prohylactics for the crew, they’ll probably crash or get eaten anyway so why worry?
  • Make sure your android is as creepy as possible, and make sure to install the english accent pack
  • The ship’s lifeboat need only travel 50 meters without crashing, any further is considered a bonus

We feel these procedures will produce many more profitable avenues for WEYLAND to explore. For further information I suggest thoroughly reviewing the Strategic Management Update Guidelines – General Information [rev: 7] (SMUG-GI7) umbrella documentation.
Thank you for your time.

Darren Linehold MBA MUSSBC
Head of Business Continuity
Corporate Services Division

WEYLAND Industries
x62970

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Thursday, June 14th, 2012 Neil 2 Comments

MAXed out

11 06 2012

I went, I saw and I’m here to report back on my IMAX outing.

I’ll start off with an aside but something that may prove of interest to those of you who may wish to follow my tracks to a Cineworld IMAX screen near you. After a little research it became apparent it’s possible to use Orange Wednesday 241 codes for IMAX showings. I must admit I doubted this slightly, but thankfully it worked! We still had to pay two lots of the supplementary fee (in our case £4.50) but only one original ticket price. So this took the admission down from an eye-watering £13.10 to an almost acceptable £8.80.

So, once we’d paid our reduced rate we took our place near the front of the queue to enter the 580 seater venue. We’d deliberately arrived over an hour early as this was the first Wednesday “Prometheus” was out and it was only showing once each day in IMAX. The first surprise came when the 3D glasses were handed out, peculiarly this was done in the queue. On receiving the specs, they felt much more solid and were significantly chunkier than the usual ones, that tend to put me in mind of the free sunglasses McDonald’s gave out in the 1980s. Still impressed by this, we were then ushered into the auditorium and I was immediately struck by the size of the screen. Words can’t describe how huge it is, standing at the bottom then looking up to the top you almost fall over backwards it’s so massive. Now, positively buzzing with excitement, I bounded up to the front row in the top level and held the very centre seats against all comers, so we’d have the best view in the house (only fair if we’re reviewing the thing, right?). After a short wait, the lights went down and show began… well the trailers at any rate but the feature followed soon enough.

There I am and there's most of the screen... (photo courtesy of Sanch)

During the trailers we were initially in 2D and the picture was very impressive, the extreme resolution on the concave screen draws you in beautifully, combine this with the unobstructed view from the stadium style seating and you feel a bit like you’re in your front room but you’ve managed to afford that 70” LED screen and are now sat about 3 feet away from it. The surprising disappointment for me was the sound, it’s just so relentlessly loud, especially in the trailers (where I assume it’s deliberately amped up anyway) the audio was so over the top at points it seemed as if the speakers were giving up and the dialogue became quite tinny. I’d go as far as to say it actually hurt at times, which can’t be a plus in anyone’s book.

We then moved to the 3D trailers and these were horrid, particularly the Spiderman reboot effort. While the players were still, everything was alright, but any kind of fast movement (i.e. Spidey swinging action) it all dissolved into a blur. This was most off-putting but I sat in hope that it may abate when we moved to the feature presentation and I wasn’t disappointed, the image was very clean and the 3D was of a good quality.

Now to my big gripe with the picture, my general opinion is that the extra dimension adds nothing to a film and the best you can possibly say about a 3D movie is that you forget you’re watching it in 3D. My issue is you can never say this about “An IMAX 3D Experience” as whenever you tilt your head slightly, reclining back into your seat or sideways against a loved one, you loose the effect and get a partially blurred image. The reason comes back to the different glasses you’re given on your way into the screening, they’re different for a reason… IMAX 3D works differently to the 3D you’d see in a regular screen, known as RealD 3D. The polarisation that allows the glasses to filter the overlayed images for each eye is linear instead of circular, this basically means that, if your head is not level the polarisation fails and you see the unfiltered image. The tolerance on this is very low and completely unlike RealD 3D, which allows the viewers head to move freely while maintaining the 3D effect. This destroys any sense of immersion because, as you relax into the film you move slightly off level and see the image smudge, pulling you back out of story never mind the effect.

In conclusion, I think I’d have to say IMAX is an OK but ultimately disappointing experience that I wouldn’t recommend or go out of my way to repeat. If you can go to see a 2D feature and get cheaper tickets, then it may be worth a look for a decent action based film. Otherwise I’d save some money, and your hearing, by visiting a modern digital projection screen for your regular movie viewing.

P.S. As for Prometheus, it was alright but made little sense. It was well filmed with good characters and was enough fun to justify watching, but it had nothing to hold the attention of a real Sci-Fi fan, with most of the plot falling over at the mere hint of a closer inspection. Catch it on a mate’s BluRay in six months… 7 out of 12.

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Monday, June 11th, 2012 Ado 2 Comments

Turn eyes to MAX

05 06 2012

Tomorrow I’m hopefully going to have my first “IMAX Experience”, as they call it, and I’m rather excited about it too.

I’ve wanted to go and see what all the IMAX fuss is about for quite some time now. I’m a regular listener to the Mayo & Kermode Film Review podcast from BBC Radio 5 Live, in which chief contributor Mark Kermode has continually insisted IMAX, and not 3D, is the future of cinema. Combine this with some independent research into the cinematic standard (it’s extraordinarily high resolution, stadium style seating and gargantuan concave screens) and my appetite is whet to the point being positively submerged…

Until recently IMAX screens were few and very far between but I’ve noticed them popping up in many of the cities I’ve visited of late, though I’ve never really had the chance to pay any of them a visit, as I’m usually there to do something else, either that or there’s nothing on I really want to watch. However, with the opening of an IMAX screen at Sheffield’s Centertainment Cineworld complex, one of these mammoth venues is easily at hand, so all I had to do was wait for a movie to come along that would justify the rather costly £13.10 admission.

Enter “Prometheus”, Ridley Scott’s return to the Sci-Fi genre and prequel to the Alien(s) franchise. I saw a trailer for this before a release day screening of “The Cabin in the Woods” and was so impressed by the visual quality and shear scale of the thing I made the decision, then and there, that this would be the one to take my IMAX flower.

Looking further into it, now the time is upon me, the only thing that’s giving me second thoughts is that you can only see it at IMAX in 3D (or threed) but I’m willing to overlook this in this case as it was filmed in threed (so it wont be one of those awful pop-up book looking retro-fits) and I’m hoping the extra umph of the IMAX projection might compensate for the usual dimming effect.

So, there you have it, I’m on the verge of what might be an incredible experience or a rather expensive disappointment. As far as the film goes, I have great confidence in Scott to deliver, if not a classic film, then at least an epic feature. He has a great pedigree for such things and given the cast he has to work with, I feel sure he’ll not let me down. I watched Alien in Hi-Def on my mate’s wall last night too, so I’m all kinds of prepared. Now it’s just a waiting game. I’ll b sure to report back on how it goes, on all fronts.

Roll out your shiniest bells and finest whistles IMAX. I’m coming over there and I expect to be impressed.

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Tuesday, June 5th, 2012 Ado No Comments

A Jubilee Warning

29 05 2012

Mmmmmmmmm, children.

Gather ’round friends, and let me tell you a tale. A tale to chill your blood. A tale of power, madness and dogs…

Recently my travails have taken me to the darkest continent of Canadia, a land of wind and ghosts and hockey. There I met a wise woman who told me of the true nature of power and of those who wield it. My friends, read on and know the terrible truth of our very own The Queen:

Born Elizabeth Windsor to unassuming parents from Bromwich, The Queen was noted as a precocious child from an early age. By age 3 she could walk in a manner most regal, and by 5 she could factorise and solve quadratic equations using her colouring book and collection of chubby chalks. It was on her 6th birthday that her parents bought her first dog. A dog that would change the fate of the little island we call INKGLANDD.

The dog’s name was Fg’hanguiw, and was one of those little-legged corgis. Young Liz and Fg’hanguiw became the best of friends, going everywhere together. Even at school the two could not be seperated, any teacher trying to do so feeling a base compulsion to let the young girl and dog be.

It was not long after her 7th birthday that her parents began to notice a certain change in Liz. A blackness to the eyes, reminding them of the documentaries they liked to watch on Shark Week. Few could now resist the commands of the girl. She had already commanded the villagefolk to craft her a hat of the finest gold and jewels, and a cloak of flowing ermine. Over the next few months three more corgis gathered around the young girl, although where they came from the villagers of Bromwich could not tell. Named Shas’yargj, Mrkufgh and Wiggles, the three joined their elder brother and were never seen apart from the young Liz.

Slowly Elizabeth’s influence grew, more and more villages falling under her thrall. Calling herself The Queen (for she had renamed herself after her favourite band), her demands grew more and more improbable: to be present at the opening of parliament, a castle in london, a tower to imprison traitors to her reign. Soon the whole country was under her control, bowing and scraping to her every whim. However, it was by this point that the citizens noticed that Fg’hanguiw was no longer present at The Queen’s side for public appearances. Some servants at the Royal palace claim to have witnessed the dog yapping at the monarch before folding in on itself and disappearing in a puff of mathematics.

Of the three remaining corgis, none were seen again. Occasional yelps, barks and the clatter of chains were said to be heard in the lowest dungeon of the Tower of London, but nothing more.

Over the next five years The Queen’s power waned. In desperation she purchased corgi after corgi, even going so far as to sell her ‘crown’ and several grandchildren to fuel her corgi addiction. Vast corgi corrals in Whitechapel held her collection, but none of the animals held the power that those first four pups did.

Without the influence of the otherworldly dogs, she could no longer command her subjects. Her power exhausted, she is now but a pale shell of a human, given an honorary position as nod to our subjugated past.

Despite what history might say, this is the true story of our monarchy my friends. Remember it well, for you are now one of the select few who know the terrible truth.

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Tuesday, May 29th, 2012 Neil 3 Comments

An Open Invitation

27 05 2012

As a fully paid up member of Geek club I have sunk too much money over the years into trading card games, only to be unable to compete with players who can afford to sink yet more money into the game for those overpowered rare cards. And yet I never learnt my lesson, and whenever a new one that looked interesting came around I’d be right back into the cycle.

Enter Fantasy Flight Gamesliving card games. If you’re not familiar with the format it is essentially a trading card game with an important distinction; all of the ‘boosters’ ‘ contents are already known, and usually supplied at the maximum amount allowed in a deck. No more costly chase for that one rare card that would really make your deck. There are also plenty of places to plan your deck online, meaning you can plan future purchases to gradually improve your deck.

What really pushes the FFG LCG format over the edge for me is the support for the online community and OCTGN. OCTGN is an online tabletop tool which allows you to play your favourite card games against your friends online. The best part is the aforementioned support by FFG. They allow use of all but the latest booster packs on OCTGN.

Which leads me to my open invite.

I know a few of us already play the A Game of Thrones LCG, and I propose an online tournament (or league if we can get enough players) through OCTGN. I am more than happy to teach people to play and use OCTGN. I suggest that we all play each other either best of three as a small tournament or perhaps twice in a league, with the winner taking 1 point and matches taking place once a week over OCTGN, and I will provide a chapter pack of your choice for the player with the most points when it’s all done.

I’m also going to try to live stream / record and narrate some games since it is all done online.

So what do you think?  Why not leave your WWE style call outs in the comments below and lets get this going…

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Sunday, May 27th, 2012 Gazz No Comments
 

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