mr. robot

WRITTEN: 02.10.2016 → WORDS: 553 → TYPE: TV-SERIES → SCORE: GOOD

I stumbled upon some articles claiming Mr. Robot could be a good TV series to watch. So I check first if it’s available at the library, and it was. So I reserved it and picked up later when it arrived.

After few episodes the throwing of technology terms seemed a bit excessive and annoying. People probably would get it that they know the things even without exactly quoting some new tech terms around. The story itself seemed more interesting than techno talk, so I kept going and it seemingly gets better by each episode. Mr. Robot has strong vibe on society is flawed, both technologically and the humans habitating it. Creators also give sense of they really do not like the computer driven world we live in now.

Elliot, the protagonist of the series is quite unsure about he’s surroundings and life he is living. The reality that just keeps on fracturing while episodes progresses. Viewer’s standpoint the story is also progressing in unsure ways and it’s hard to be sure about anything that is going on. Elliot reminds me of Dexter in many ways. Instead of murdering people Elliot just hacks them and makes them feel sorry for their deeds. After that he just picks up another target and carries on with the life. There’s a lot of more connections to Dexters patterns with Elliot. Anyway, episodes takes recent events from our society and mirrors them nicely into the show. I would consider Mr. Robot genre to be soft-cyberpunk, due it’s not as that dark and grim.

Usually series and movies are created with certain patterns, but Mr. Robot follows it’s own pacing and directing, which is very refreshing. The viewer also gets treatment by being led to situations that usually resolve a bit differently than in Mr. Robot. Visual compositions are clearly off from regular highly planned golden ratio rules. Not always, but enough of times to make it noticeable. I don’t know if that’s on purpose but I like what is going on there. Extra layers of surrealism are added via active breaking of fourth wall, but just softly enough not to disturb.

Mr. Robot uses quite flat visuals all around, colors are mostly washed out pointing to gray. Some places have a bit stronger colors, but seems creators are happy with the neutral tone. To some extend colors are pretty boring and overall the palette is not sync within the music playing in background.

Music in the Mr. Robot mostly uses some nice cyberpunkish electro style, which is really nice but does not fit in the actual story that is going in the screen at given times. I suppose the composer has not seen where music is going to be used. Maybe second season is more in sync with the events.

After watching the first season, the viewer is left with rather paranoiac and unsure feeling. The feeling also saying that it would be nice to start watching second season already. Lucky me, it is out already, but not yet accessible in my location. Hopefully it will answer to the questions first season did not.

soma

WRITTEN: 24.09.2016 → WORDS: 494 → TYPE: GAME → SCORE: GOOD

A game without guns and without huge arrow pointing where to go next – seems promising. Along that Soma has story set in dark science fiction world, which makes the offer even better.

Soma is a story focused game that requires player to think and same time it brings up philosophical questions about existence. There’s just one small flaw in the design. Developers have put in a flat story without even trying to analyze what kind of person is playing the game. It would have being possible to add psychological profiler to game. Even now there’s self tests in game’s terminals, but they’re basically doing nothing but self study for the user. With few tweaks the game could have used data player adds in them. After that it would being breeze to use the data in the game story and how it changes towards nearing the end. Now it’s more like book that proceeds without considering the reader too much. Also questionnaires could being left optional only, and if player would not fill them then game would proceed with it’s normal storyline. Anyway, that’s not the case and we have solid one-track story here anyhow.

Sometimes wondering aimlessly is a good thing. Modern games rely too much guiding players through the game, that’s the pit Soma does not fall into. The classic games come from just right amount of frustration and Frictional Games developers seem to be very close to correct amount. If you always get too much help or don’t need to think, then the reward system in brain chemical tracks won’t activate the pleasure pipes either. Then again... when enemies really loves to hang around you and just don’t away, it gets too frustrating and also nicely makes enemies less scary. That’s the problem Soma does have, but it’s something to get over with.

Visual treats are coming from dark science fiction setting combined with biogenetic mass along watery treatment from bottom of the sea. Soma is very beautiful game and it has appeal that lasts in your mind for good amount of time after playing it through.

Musical treatment in game is somewhat dull, I do not even remember if it had any actual music besides end credits. Atmospheric noises and ambiance again is well done and fits in nicely increasing the immersion.

The horror offering in the game mainly comes from pressuring surroundings, sense of being there and not knowing exactly what is going on – which slowly is being revealed. Some jump-scares and some less jump-scares play along as well adding helpless feeling. Soma is good game, but even so after playing it through, it feels like something was missing. I personally think it’s just the lack of personalized story. Game has one good story and that’s pretty much it and all it needs.

terminator genisys

WRITTEN: 17.04.2016 → WORDS: 256 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: OK

I was in the airplane coming back to home and watching Terminator Genisys with rather loud environment. The small screen had cut off ratio in the picture and there was no subtitles. It was like watching movie with no sounds what so ever. Maybe I did miss something about the movie, maybe something crucial.

Well I did not.

Movie is trying way too hard to be a Terminator movie. It does have all the ingredients which needs to be in there for it. It also has very high quality visual effects, which early terminator movies were known for, besides other things. In modern times being visually high quality is more of an norm than way to blow people’s mind off. So it does not really work here, since we’re in a era where we already are nearing a situation which can eliminate real actors away completely. So what is left for movie to give kicks is badly written story, really lousy actors and overdoing plot twists.

Best part of the movie are visual effects and some punch lines the Guardian throws in. Catering every possible one in the target group audience is just lazy. Sometimes it works and sometimes not, this time it did not. It’s time to move forward with the franchise instead of sticking in past. No need to do remix-reboots on every single movie. I know it’s cheap and safe bet, but it’s also most likely to lead into boredom.

chasm city

WRITTEN: 12.04.2013 → WORDS: 342 → TYPE: BOOK → SCORE: OK

House of Suns from Alastair Reynolds was good enough to grab Chasm City next from library's shelf. Back cover told that this is part of bigger universe called Revelation Space, but also works as standalone book.

Chasm City starts with epilogue telling some events that has being going on lately, like melding plague and such. After short introduction we're following hired gun tracking he's target. Tracking becomes the main story arc and it's pleasant to follow it. Scenery is mix of steampunk and traditional science fiction with cable elevators. The overall mood is humorous, masculine and egoistic. Characters are quite simple minded and difficult situations are opened via deus ex too often. Even so longer I got into book the harder it was to quit. Story also ends quite uninspiring way considering what would being possible.

Either way it was interesting enough to carry on in Revelation Space universe. I also did read that rest of the books are focusing more on story than self promoting characters.

★★

More information

Revelation Space - saga
Original banner image: C H A S M C I T Y by tozzie

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Book & Audiobook

revelation space - saga

WRITTEN: 04.04.2013 → WORDS: 1113 → TYPE: BOOK →

Some time ago I read House of Suns from Alastair Reynolds and liked it quite a lot. So when I noticed Chasm City around local library I decided to read it and after that I decided to read the whole Revelation Space saga. I still have one short story unread: Monkey Suit.

Alastair Reynolds Revelation Space universe has many books and I'm going to blog something from each of them. Links to those posts will appear here, so things are nicely organized.

Novels in publication order
Short Stories
Timeline

Books covers vast range of years and I've included the timeline from Wikipedia here, so its easy to choose possible different reading order than publication one.

Story Period Book
Great Wall of Mars 2205 Galactic North
Glacial 2217 Galactic North
A Spy in Europa ~2330-2340 Galactic North
Weather 2358 Galactic North
The Prefect 2427 The Prefect
Diamond Dogs ~2500-2550 Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
Monkey Suit 2511 Deep Navigation
Dilation Sleep ~2513-2540 Galactic North
Chasm City 2517-2524 Chasm City
Granfenwalder's Bestiary ~2540 Galactic North
Turquoise Days 2541 Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
Revelation Space 2524-2567 Revelation Space
Nightingale ~2600 Galactic North
Redemption Ark 2605-2651 Redemption Ark
Absolution Gap ~2675-3000 Absolution Gap
Galactic North ~2303-40000 Galactic North
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he loves me... he loves me not

WRITTEN: 29.03.2013 → WORDS: 244 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: GOOD

He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not – À La Folie... Pas Du Tout (2002) deals with essence of love from two different perspectives. I've always wanted more stories with take on multiple viewpoints and this movie does it quite well. Sometimes the events are quite distressing and yet sometimes tragicomic.

★★★
More information
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not (2002) on IMDb
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prince of persia: the sands of time

WRITTEN: 18.02.2013 → WORDS: 392 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: OK

Seems every Disney movie I see means a lot of trailers and way too many annoying advertisements. Lucky most of those can be skipped. I really do not understand why they punish buying customers like this. Maybe they really want people to visit more often in harbors. Trailers belong to their own menu item so customers can view it if they really want to.

Movie is based loosely to Prince of Persia: Sands of Time game, which is really good game. Movie itself again is not that good, but not that bad either. Lead characters are prince (Jake Gyllenhaal) and princess (Gemma Arterton). Both actors do their job and nothing more.

There's some interesting similarities to another game called Assassin's Creed, but then again AC was first being made as another Prince of Persia game.

Movie is way too long with all it's boring action scenes, they should have cut it down by 30 minutes or use the time a bit more entertaining way. Visuals were quite good so I suggest to watch 1080p version.

★★
More information
Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010) on IMDb
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pathology (2008)

WRITTEN: 23.01.2013 → WORDS: 263 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: BAD

Damn, who produces this kind of crap?

In case you need banal dialogue, bad acting, simple plot, sex and some corpses, try your luck and watch pretty much anything else – you will get more value for your time.

I tried to figure out something good about the movie and came up with classical response: it ended.

★★
More information
Pathology (2008) on IMDb
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the grudge 2

WRITTEN: 10.01.2013 → WORDS: 140 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: BAD

What an awfully bad movie and even worse horror movie. I did like the structure of movie which was following different locations and persons, anyway that's pretty much only good thing to say.

★★
More information
The Grudge 2 (2006) on IMDb

intacto

WRITTEN: 07.01.2013 → WORDS: 261 → TYPE: MOVIE → SCORE: BAD

After promising start the movie turns out to be quite shitty.

Idea of Intacto (2001) is quite good: Luck is contagious, passing and bettable asset. Music works nice and visual side is good. Too shame the end result is just series of different takes, glued together.

Since the premise and general concept is good, I wish someone someday makes better remake out of it.

★★
More information
Intact (2001) on IMDb
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