Another milestone reached

I'm happy to say that I have now contributed an article to that supreme productivity-reducer, the TV Tropes wiki.

I've done little edits there in the past, but never had the chance to create an article. But a couple of days ago I noticed that they didn't have an article on one of the staples of sci-fi TV and movies: The Ridiculously Dense Asteroid Field.

So I made one. It's already been considerably improved by other users.

If you download only one 157Mb AVI file today...

...make it Code Guardian, from Cee-Gee (who're Italian, hence odd voice acting). Their download server is currently a melted lump, but there are mirrors.

Someone on the Metafilter thread about this video wondered where the British robot was.

Personally, I want to see the Soviet one, stonewalling the Wehrmacht at Stalingrad, long since out of ammo for all eight guns and just pounding on Panthers with a length of I-beam.

2010 UPDATE: In the time since this post first went up, the Cee-Gee site has fallen into a state of disrepair, and no longer has the clips available for download. You can, as of January 2010, still find the high-res version of Code Guardian here on

Things to put in e:\video\notporn

Herewith, some outstanding video clips (as in, not a whole series of something) that everybody linked to when they were new and exciting (years ago, in one case).

But you, gentle reader, may have missed out on one or more of them. So I don't feel too guilty about this Outside-Scoop blog post.

The title links go to the pages where you can find the big full-resolution versions of each for download.

Big Brother State:

Buggy Saints Row: The Musical:

Mercury Joe:

Rockfish (soon to be a major motion picture!):

In A World where people, uh, race around rocks...

I cannot recall previously encountering a game promo video that used one of the famous "In A World" voiceover artists.

The reason for that is pretty simple, of course. Don LaFontaine and/or Hal Douglas (I'm not enough of an expert to be able to tell them apart) are expensive, and most games cannot even pretend to have enough gravitas to justify one of those Overblown Voice-Overs.

OK, sure, maybe an RPG or a big-ass space shooter could pull it off, but this is "MotorStorm", which doesn't even appear to have guns in it. It's just a very pretty off-road racing game for the PS3.

But, nonetheless, it would appear that "In this ageless valley, a new breed of warrior has been born." Et cetera.

Don and Hal have done better work.

On the off-chance that you haven't seen it, here's Don and everybody else who's anybody in the movie trailer voice industry except Hal:

And here's Hal:

"I saw your piggy do a wee."

I didn't have the faintest idea that someone was making a (live action) TV version of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather. But they were, and they have, and it just screened on Sky One in the UK. Dunno when it'll make it to other parts of the world. Those of us with little patience can, of course, find it for download in the usual hives of scum and villainy.

Good points: Effects more than good enough. Most acting fine. Stuff that'll severely bother small children and delight larger ones all intact. Three hours long (different sites have different estimates, but without ads, it's three hours), so it doesn't rush through the story. And, despite that, there's little spoon-feeding, yet people who've never read a Discworld book should be only mildly puzzled.

Also, "Ian Richardson as the Voice of Death" is a good thing to have in the credits for any show. Imagine what it'd do for The Bold and the Beautiful.

Bad points: Susan Sto Helit played by attractive piece of wood. Mr Teatime played by British actor doing strange American accent for no obvious reason, beyond the director's warped desire to have Scorpio from Dirty Harry in his film. Not the quickest-moving story in the world, but better some slow scenes than everything mashed into 75 minutes, if you ask me.

Given the hideous violence that a TV movie could do to a Pratchett book (and Hogfather's one of the better ones, too), this is an excellent result. Four stars.

(See also: The animated version of Soul Music, which I've now watched enough of to be quite sure that it's not nearly as good as Hogfather. Christopher Lee as Death's voice is even better than Ian Richardson, but most of the actual book dialogue is gone, and that kills the whole thing for me just by itself. I keep thinking I'm watching Masters of the Universe In Discworld, or something.)

Posted in Movies. 3 Comments »

Hang a lantern on the magical computer

Today, I have spent quite a while reading the TV Tropes Wiki.

It is informative and hilarious.

Thank you.

Today's Companies That Really Really Want You To Rip Off Their Products

Microsoft and Sony (best comment so far).

Honestly - with publicity like this, who needs a crazed bomber driving a truck full of ANFO into your corporate HQ?

Movies That're Better Than You'd Think, Episode One

"Dungeons & Dragons: Wrath of the Dragon God".

Yeah, you heard me.

The first D&D movie was hilariously awful, and this one's still no Citizen Kane, but it works quite well if you do one vital thing.

Don't think of it as an attempt to chronicle actual events that happened in an actual world.

Think of it, instead, as a fifteen-million-dollar depiction of an actual game of D&D, being played by actual gamers, and overseen by an actual Dungeon Master.

Now it all makes sense. Monsters that come from nowhere when they're needed to hurry the players along, continuity errors, crappy dialogue, you name it.

That still wouldn't be enough if the story had not a shred of wit or pace, but the script is actually not so bad. Stuff happens, there are a few good lines, the villains are aware that they're the comic relief (comic actors make the best villains in action movies), and the big bad dragon's not a bad special effect at all.

So if films featuring swords and dragons and people in olden tymes who all have great teeth appeal to you, get hold of D&D II by whatever means is acceptable to your conscience, and make some popcorn.

Posted in Movies. 3 Comments »