Saturday, March 29, 2014

How Not to Write with Starcraft: Speed of Darkness

Hey y'all.  So I decided that when I review certain books, like Starcraft fanfictions for example, I'll combine the review with the How Not to Write segment unless the book doesn't deserve it, or its mistakes are stuff I've already gone over before.

Guess what book deserves it.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Nitpickery -- The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Hey y'all.  So now it's time to focus on the most popular of the three films in the Dollars trilogy.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is a film that has gone on to make Clint Eastwood one of two most influential western actors in the twentieth century (the other, naturally, being John Wayne).  It's a great film that's possibly one of the best of all time.  It already appeared on my top ten movie list, and I have a feeling it appears on the lists of many others.


For those uncultured miscreants who haven't seen this movie, it's the story of three criminals on their quest for gold during the Civil War.  Angel Eyes, an evil man bent on getting his own, initiates the chase.  He discovers that Confederates have stolen gold from Union soldiers, and goes off after a man named Bill Carson.  Meanwhile, Tuco and Blondie, two more scoundrels, scam the countryside by turning in Tuco by his reward money and rescuing him to secure the reward money somewhere else.  Their misadventures bring the two to Bill Carson first.  Tuco learns that the gold is buried in a graveyard, and Blondie learns the name of the grave.  Keeping their halves of the secret, they go forward.  Thus all three head out to a graveyard where the $200,000 worth of treasure is buried.

---- Top Ten Things to Say about The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ----

10.  This isn't a trilogy.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Nitpickery -- For a Few Dollars More

Hey y'all.  So the next movie in the trilogy is For a Few Dollars More.  The strange thing about it is, many people apparently think this is better than the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.  I don't.  Granted, it does a few things that make it a huge step up from A Few Dollars More, but in my opinion GBU eclipses it as it's more of a total package.  Few Dollars More has a division of both good and not so good.

So this is a movie about the Man with No Name -- named Manco -- who is going after a new bounty: El Indio, a murderous madman who's just escaped from jail.  The reward for El Indio is $10,000, and that's something Manco has to get on.  He finds out about a rival for his bounty, Colonel Douglas Mortimer. Mortimer suggests they team up to take out El Indio, and they do so, attempting to stop Indio from robbing a bank.

Eh, that's not the best summary I've ever done, but this is a fairly complex movie, and I can't explain it out without ruining at least some of its charm.  Or at least going on too long about details that are better seen than told about.

In any case, be ready for spoilers.

-----  Ten Things to Say about For A Few Dollars More -----

10.  This movie suuuuucks.

And this time I mean it.  Mostly.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

How Not to Write with Starcraft Ghost: Nova

Hey y'all.  So I promised that there would be a going-over of Starcraft Ghost: Nova to explain the problems with the writing.  This is not to pick on author Keith DeCandido -- quite frankly Will C. Dietz deserves it more -- but to demonstrate that there are lots of characteristics amateur writers have in common.  Sure, no new writer has all possible errors, but there are several errors that are common among writers when they haven't reached the true honing of their craft.

DeCandido's mistakes are what I call "honest" -- he has an unpretentious understanding of writing that other authors I've read don't have.  He knows about tension and emotion, and those things can cover a lot of flaws in writing.  After all, the manga Hollow Fields has writing and plot errors like you would not believe, but its charm and concept make it a very entertaining read that I recommend highly.

However, while DeCandido had several good ideas and knows how to make plot cause tension, his clumsy narrative prevents readers from really enjoying his story.  Though I am quite willing to believe Blizzard tripped him up in some way, at least by cancelling the game his book was meant to promote.  I'm also willing to believe they stunted his creativity in some way because he was using their plot and referencing their characters.  It happens.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Nitpickery -- A Fistful of Dollars

Hey y'all.  So the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (that I shall continually refer to as GBU) is on Netflix, and I've been watching it like you wouldn't believe.  Very obsessed, much.  So why shouldn't I do a review of this trilogy?  After all, if I love GBU so much, then shouldn't I know the full story of Clint Eastwood's character, as told by director Sergio Leone?

Of course, A Fistful of Dollars is first.  It's the story of the Man with No Name -- referred to as Joe -- who enters a town full of thugs and murderers.  Two crime families, the Rojos and the Bakers, have a deadly rivalry going on, and they can't stop antagonizing one another.  In comes Joe, who, through clever thinking and good shooting, sets the two families against one another so that they can destroy themselves and spare the innocent populace.

That's what I gather, anyway.

---- Top Ten Things to Say about A Fistful of Dollars. ---

10.  This movie suuuuucks.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Me and Aldaris (p28): Things get Serious

You know when you wake up somewhere unfamiliar, with weird smells and sights, and then you get all uncomfortable because this is not your home?  I hate that.  Especially when you're in a place where you don't have spare clothes, a toothbrush, or anything to eat other than cans of beans.  I don't like beans unless they're refried.  But no, I'm in some stranger's house on the wrong side of the country, sharing the lounge with Cheonha.  She was pretty fearful of the guys last night for some reason, so she just sat with me, on the other side of the lounge.  We all fell asleep in the living room, which is pretty fine because I don't think any of us want to sleep in a stranger's bed.  Just weird, that.

Because Cheonha was with me, that meant John got to crash out on the couch all by himself.  Toby was still on the cushy chair, with one of those leg-extender things (I'm so good at words and english, no?).  When I woke up, everyone was still crashed out.  Heh, John snores.  I got up, too dang headache-y to lay down anymore.  I get that way when I sleep for too long.  Actually, I missed most of the night by being in China and staying up late with everyone the night before (We stayed up really late watching a dumb movie -- it was the only one with korean subtitles), but with all the stress of what's going on, I just can't sleep.  My laptop was in my house when it was on fire, and even if the fire didn't get going that much, who knows what the water damage is?

Stress-waking turns people into zombies, so I just kind of wandered through the kitchen until I realized that I was looking for aspirin.  No such luck.  With equal thought to what I was doing, I went outside.  Dunno why.  Sunlight makes me feel better, and I hadn't been awake for a sunrise in who knows how long.  The digital clock on the microwave said 6:07.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Nitpickery -- Starcraft Ghost: Nova

Hey y'all.  So I've read three Starcraft novels so far, and besides the world, they have one thing in common.

They all suck.