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Frankburnsflagg Blog

Another film I saw recently...

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Soylent Green -- 7/10

Just got the chance to see this film and it was well worth the rental. A New York police detective gets involved in a murder case and finds out there's more to it than meets the eye.

Acting wise, everyone did a pretty good job. The atmosphere seems appropriately grim for an overpopulated setting in the future. The movie itself seems a little bit dated at points, as in the furniture and such, but the themes are still relevant today.

[spoiler] As in dealing with women being treated as furniture/window dressing, or lesser than men; and the whole treating those who are poor like crud... and having them live in bad conditions and feeding them whatever slop that the companies choose to make... instead of what's good for them. [/spoiler]

It's still worth the watch, just to see the film unfold and the truth come out. Heck I was surprised at just how much this film made me think about things, when it came down to what corporations/companies could be doing to people's food supplies, etc.

Some more movies I've seen recently...

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Labyrinth -- 7/10

An interesting take on Alice in Wonderland, that has David Bowie playing the king of the trolls, who has his minions take the main character's baby brother.

It goes on a little bit movie wise and is somewhat odd O_o, but it's still worth the view. Especially if you're a Muppet fan ;).



The Artist -- 9/10

Finally got to see this movie :)!!

It was worth every penny that I spent. It's a fine love letter to an artform that is long past and was long due in returning to the big screen.

Acting wise, everyone played their parts well... as for the atmosphere of the movie, it was accurate to the time the movie was supposed to take place in.

Loved how each of the movie titles represented a part in each character's life. It was a good way to transition viewers as the movie went on.

Also, loved how music was interspersed in the film. It helped to draw me into the movie that much more... and only added to the atmosphere. They did a good job in terms of showing what old Hollywood was like, before all of the hustle and bustle.

[spoiler] One thing that I really noticed:

Was just how much sound intrudes in our lives O_o. I really appreciated the peace and quiet, over the loud and in your face ness of modern life. It was a nice retreat into a bygone era :). [/spoiler]



I definitely recommend this film.

Off-Topic board not loading...

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I just tried to get it to load and all I'm running into is a 404 error. Clearly there's still people posting in it, since I saw a post from January 2012 in it.

Anyone else having the same problem?

A couple of movies that I saw recently...

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Judgment at Nuremburg -- 8/10

Just saw this film recently and it really made me think. It's a movie that takes place a few years after WWII ended, and people who were involved with the Nazis are being round up for trial. Spencer Tracy plays Chief Judge Dan Haywood, an American judge on a tribunal who helps to try the accused.

Burt Lancaster plays Dr. Ernst Janning, one of the accused. What Judge Dan Haywood goes through in terms of finding out what went on during the war causes him to think things over, since things weren't black and white. Dr. Janning lets people know this during the trial, along with the other accused.

By the end of the trial, the Judge's mind is made up and he makes his decision... what it is though, is for you to find out once you see the film. I don't want to give it away. It is that good of a movie. A dark and somber one, but still one that is worth watching after all these years.

As for the acting, everyone did a great job, keeping the atmosphere tense and moving at the same time. It most certainly earned the Oscars that it did win and those who were nominated and didn't win one, still earned every one of their nominations.

It's a film that's still relevant to this day.



Die Hard -- 8/10

Been wanting to see this one for quite some time now, and it was worth the watch.

Bruce Willis plays Officer John Mcclaine, a New York police officer who goes to Los Angeles to visit his ex-wife and kids for Christmas. He ends up meeting his ex-wife at the yearly Christmas party, and that's when things go sideways O_O. A group of terrorists, led by Alan Rickman's character, Hans Gruber, have their eyes on something that the Nakumora Plaza building contains, something that his ex-wife's boss doesn't want him to have.

So now things are that much more complicated for Officer Mcclaine. Now he's in one heck of a situation that he didn't plan on getting into.

I'd continue onward, but I'd hate to give anything more away... it's more fun to see than it is to talk about Smile.

As for the acting, everyone did a fine job in their roles, but two people really stood out to me (and no, one of them wasn't Bruce Willis -- yes he did a good job, but these two really stayed with me), Alan Rickman did a splendid job as Hans, and he did a kick butt impression of an American accent... and his dry humor cracked me up at times, he was a great foil to Willis's character, John Mcclaine; and Reginald Veljohnson did a wonderful job as Sargent Al Powell, who at first glance appears to be just another inept cop, but at the end of the day really surprised me as a character.

You'll have to watch until the end to see more of what surprised me from Sgt. Powell though... since if I said much more it would give it away.

Overall, this movie was a surprise to me and I'm glad I took the time to watch it.

I'm glad that I took time to watch both of these films, they were worth the watch and in their own way either made me think (Judgment) or made me laugh (Die Hard).

Some random talk about the upcoming tv season...

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Some of the 'shows' that are being put out this year on television aren't even worth my time. It seems as if Tv execs are running out of good ideas.

A Charlie's Angel remake? Give me a break. -_-

A remake of Dallas? Been there, done that -- with the original.

Pan Am? Not interested in seeing a 50's/60's type melodrama/soap opera.

Playboy Club? Same as above.

Even more worthless reality tv, such as Hillbilly Handfishing? Why me? Go away...

I wish that there were more good shows on tv these days. I really miss those days when there actually was something good on tv.

Any thoughts on how things could be improved tv show wise?

House...

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I've been ok with the show House as of late with the plot lines and the drama. One of the only real things other than the cases that have kept me watching was the relationship between House and Cuddy. It was going along nicely, with House actually trying to grow up for a change.

I was pleasantly surprised by this development... until TPTB screwed up royally. The whole 'using Vicodin once again as a crutch' thing is getting old and imho is a sign of weak writing and a weak plot. It literally came out of thin air. House certainly didn't look stoned to me when he was keeping Cuddy company when she was afraid that she might die.

When she mentioned to him about that... I was sitting there (along with my mom), going 'what in the?'... where did that come from? I know that he has had his issues with that drug, but come on, is that the best you guys can come up with? As for drama, I too know that that has to be there in some way, but I don't think that things were handled in the best way there.

To make House into a complete douche and have Cuddy into a person that's so unsure of herself that she just wants to break up with him no matter what is just a joke and an insult to fans of the show and those who have worked so hard on the characters themselves.

At the end of the day, what are they trying to do? Trying to tick people off? Disrespect the hard work and the effort of the actors? Drive fans away? Make people not care?

As for my mom and I, we're about ready to quit watching the show -- period. It's just gotten past rediculous. Sad really, so much potential there, and from the looks of things, they've kind of squandered it.

Movies...

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This year is going to be a pretty good year for movies... I have quite a few of them that I am looking forward to seeing.

The Dark Knight -- which just looks incredible, in acting, in storyline and elsewhere.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince -- which looks good.

The new Hulk movie -- which looks way better than the previous Hulk movie, the storyline itself seems to be rather creative.

The new X-Files movie -- the one movie, besides the Dark Knight that I am MOST looking forward to, it seems to have a good storyline and stuff. I just can't wait to see it :D!

Hopefully these above movies will turn out to be as good as they've been hyped to be. I would really hate to see any of these movies fall short when it comes down to it.

My review on Brain Age

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Get Out There and Exercise Your Brain! - A somewhat math-impaired Tv.com member's review of Brain Age

Category: Puzzle Game

Players: 1-16 players

Rating: E for everyone

Release Date: April 17, 3006 - United States

Publisher: Nintendo

Developer: Nintendo

Platform: Nintendo DS

Welcome fellow Tv.com members! The following review is going to be about Brain Age - a videogame that I previously was curious about, but not sure of at first. It didn't take me that long to get hooked though. From the first mini-game onward, I had fun. Sure there were times where I got frustrated, but for the most part, I had a blast playing this game.

This game was the brainchild of both Dr. Ryuta Kawashima and Nintendo. His book (published in Japan), Train Your Brain: 60 Days to a Better Brain, was the inspiration for the game. They were interested in making a game that would appeal to both hard-core and casual gamers.

Well, now onto the game itself - Brain Age. It's not your usual videogame - where you fight off baddies and face off against bosses. In this game, you have to do a series of different mini-games (calculations x 100, for example) to help to determine your Brain Age - and to help to exercise your brain as well.

The controls in this game are easy enough to get the hang of in no time. They are mainly touch-screen based, using the stylus for most of the mini-games.

You also use voice recognition in Brain Age - this tended to give me some problems. I would say one thing, and the computer (cpu) thought I said another.

For example, when I play through the Stroop Test, whenever I say Red, the computer would think I said Yellow or one of the other colors. It isn't that good at voice recognition overall, I tend to have to repeat myself sometimes when doing any voice recognition related task in Brain Age. This can tend to get on my nerves.

As for the stylus controls, they're decent enough - but there are times where I wanted to throw the game against the wall! They sometimes didn't work the way that they were supposed to. Sometimes when I play Time Lapse and Calculations X 20 and 100, the computer (cpu) mistakens what I wrote down, for another number. One example was when I was playing Time Lapse -- I would put in one time and the computer would think it was another one. This seems to happen more for left handed people (which I am) than right handed people.


Well, the graphics, they aren't too bad or too good, for that matter. They're somewhere in the middle - which suits this game just fine; not that it needs any flashy graphics to keep gamers entertained. The game itself makes up for the somewhat lackluster graphics with good gameplay.

The sound in Brain Age is decent, not anything special. It's kept to a minimum, and I don't mind it though. The lack of sound in this game, helps to keep me focused on the task at hand - bringing down my Brain Age to the minimum age of 20.

Hmm - The game of Sudoku, a game that before Brain Age, I did my best to avoid. Sudoku looked like the type of game that would drive me up a wall.

Once I tried it out on Brain Age though - I changed my mind about it. It ended up, at the most, being a fun game to play.

You, the player have to do the best that you can to fill up an entire 9 X 9 grid with every number between 1-9 without repeating any number in each smaller 3 X 3 grid you fill. Just follow the pre-written numbers in order to find out the right sequence. You get to use the stylus when filling in the puzzle itself, which makes this game that much more interactive.

There are two modes of Sudoku you can play - with notification (which is very hard) or without. I played some games of Sudoku with notification and I personally stunk at them. You only get 5 (no kidding) chances to solve the puzzle, and each time you get it wrong, you get a 20 second penalty added to your time (geez, that's harsh). I tend to play the game using the second mode (without notification), since it's a lot less stressful and more enjoyable in the long run.

Last but not least, if you don't want to finish the puzzle, you can always save it and come back to it later. I tend to do this myself, since I only have so much patience for a Sudoku puzzle.

Gameplay in Brain Age is straight forward for the most part. Gamers play the game for sometime when they get the chance to, like Animal Crossing: WW or Nintendogs, seeing how much their Brain Age changes each day. Using either their left or right hand in order to play the mini-games with the stylus.

Some of the games on Brain Age, are voice-controlled and gamers get the chance to talk into the microphone in order to beat the mini-game.

When you are playing the mini-games, you are timed, and the faster you are (without making any mistakes) the better your time. Professor Kawashima keeps an eye on your overall Brain Training, providing you tips along the way as well.

Sometimes when you play the game, he asks you somewhat random questions (a.k.a.: Memory Quizzes), like what you did you eat on a certain day, or what the most interesting thing that you saw on tv from the day before.

Other times he asks you to make a series of three drawings from memory - I'm ok at it, but some of my drawings look kind of funny (I would post pictures of them if I could -- but sadly I don't have a digital camera)... For example, when the Professor asked me to draw the famous statue, The Thinker -- let me put it this way, my drawing looked like a stick figure!

Now onto Quick Play and Download mode -- in this mini-version of Brain Age, you don't need to have a save file or input any personal information either.


It's basically a simplified version of the full game, that lets you play three modes: Quick Sudoku, Quick Brain Age Check and Quick Training. After trying out the game itself, the Professor will show you a preview of the full game. As for download mode, gamers can get certain information from other Brain Age users and play against them. They can either download Calculations X 30, a different take on the Calculations game in Brain Age - which lets up to 16 people play against each other or Quick Play Mode.


Next stop is, the heart and soul of Brain Age itself - the Brain Age Check! This is one of my favorite parts of the game - the exception being when I have to take the Word Memory Test. Gah, I stink at it, definitely not one of my favorite mini-games! The 3 tests themselves are picked at random, and vary somewhat due to whether or not you're able to play them using voice recognition or not.


Here they are in no particular order:

Calculations X 20 - In this game, the player has to do their best to get as many math problems correct as they possibly can, in a timely manner. I like playing this mini-game myself, since I'm good at this kind of math.

Number Cruncher - The object in this mini-game is for the player to count the number of a particular colored number or of a moving number, then write down the answer on the touch screen and see if they are right. I find this mini-game to be fun to play, and it keeps me on my toes.

Connect Maze - Ok, the point of this mini-game is to connect letters to numbers. Not in any order though - in a specific order - A-1, B-2, etc., and so on. The faster that a player finishes the maze, the better.


Word Memory - My least favorite Brain Age mini-game! The point of this mini-game is to remember as many words as you can in the set amount of time given, and then write down the ones that you remember onto the touch screen.


Stroop Test - In this mini-game, the player has to say the color of the words that appear on the screen. I only had one problem with this game, the voice recognition for this mini-game isn't that good. When I say one color, it some times mistakens it for another one.


Speed Counting - This mini-game has to be unlocked. The point of it is for the player to be able to count from 1 to 120 as fast as they can.

Last but not least, is Daily Training! This is another one of my favorite parts of Brain Age.

Here are the mini-games in no real order:

Voice Calculation - In this game, you have to answer math problems using voice recognition. I had some trouble with this mini-game... When I answer some of the problems, the computer (cpu) mishears it and thinks it's another answer.


Time Lapse - This mini-game requires the player to figure out how much time has passed between the first time on the top screen and the second one. Sometimes I had problems with this game - I would write down one number and the computer (cpu) thought it was something else. This issue tended to get on my nerves.

Triangle Math - The point in this mini-game is to get as many mathmatical equations right as you can. You figure out the equations on the top screen and write down the correct answers on the touch screen.

Head Count - This mini-game requires the player to keep track of who goes in and out of a house. Once people stop going in and out of the house, you have to guess how many people are inside of it, and then write down your answer on the touch screen.


Syllable Count - The main point of this mini-game is for you, the player, to count up all of the syllables in a number of sentences, and get as many of them right. I like this game - it helped me to get better at a skill that I've been out of practice at for some time.

Calculations X 100 - This mini-game is a longer version of Calculations X 20 (which has 2 modes - normal and hard mode). I have fun playing through this mini-game. The main objective is to get as many math problems right as you can, as fast as you can.

Reading Aloud - In this mini-game, you have to read a section of a book as fast and as clearly as you can. The faster that you read - the higher the syllable count will be.

Low to High - The point of this mini-game is to use the stylus in order to get the numbers in the right pattern. You start out with a low number (4) and then go up from there. The highest I've been numerically is 8 numbers, it took some time for me to get there though. If you get one wrong - the amount of numbers goes down by one.

Likes

I liked most of the mini-games - with a few exceptions.

The Professor's sense of humor and his helpful tips throughout the game.

Sudoku - surprisingly! This game is fun to play every so often.

Kind of Like/In the Middle

The controls, both voice recognition and stylus - could be finicky at times. This tended to drive me crazy every now and again.

The music and sound - They were good for the most part, not too overwhelming or overbearing. The sound was just right, but as for the music, it got to be rather repetitive after awhile. So I tended to keep the volume down in order to not get bugged by it.

Dislikes

Some of the mini-games - Time Lapse and Word Memory being the ones that I liked the least.

Overall view of the game

In conclusion, Brain Age is for the most part, a fun game for people of all ages to play and to learn from. It doesn't matter what kind of gamer that you are, as long as you play the game with an open mind - you won't regret it.

Game Play: 8/10 - Brain Age's game play is straight forward and fun, although there are some things, like control mistakes that tend to put a damper on the fun factor.

Music/Sound: 6/10 - The music and sound in this game were decent enough and suit it just fine. The music tends to get on my nerves though, every so often.

Controls: 7.5/10 - They worked for the most part (voice recognition and stylus controls), but there were times where they weren't working as well as they could have been. The game developers should have put more time and effort into fine-tuning them. Just by doing that, would have improved the game itself.

Graphics: 7/10 - They were decent enough for the game and suited it. Nothing too flashy or anything, just the bare-bones necessities.

Legacy of the Game: 9/10 - Brain Age seems to have a decent following, despite its flaws.

Sense of Humor: 7/10 - The Professor seems to have a good sense of humor, and makes me chuckle every once in awhile.

Replay Value: 8/10 - This game is fun to play every so often, but hard-core gamers may get bored of it.

Wi-Fi capablities/DS to DS: 7/10 - There's not a lot to do in Brain Age using either of these options, besides Quick Play mode and Download mode.

Overall [not an averaged score]: 8.5/10 - Brain Age is a fun game that the whole family would love, in spite of its flaws. I would recommend it to any gamer who wants to broaden their horizons and train their brains.

The writers' strike...

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Here's what I said on another forum about it:

What are your view on strikes? Do you support it? Where you ever on strike yourself?

If a strike needs to take place -- then let it. That's where I stand on the issue itself. If workers aren't earning enough money or they want better benefits, then let them go on strike.

Even if things stop, I don't really mind being without new episodes of tv shows for awhile, as long as the strike doesn't last too long and things work out for the writers.

It's sad that the strike had to happen, but I stand by the writers, since they aren't getting any residuals from DVD sales and that kind of thing. Hopefully the strike will end soon enough. But as long as it does last, I can stand watching reruns of tv shows, and avoiding reality tv shows like the plague.

Nothing new on TV

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All I see these days is nothing but junk on tv... more and more of those utterly (no offense to the fans out there) worthless Reality Tv shows, such as Pirate Master for example. Puh-leeze :roll:... Is it just me or are the writers and the tv executives having a hard time coming up with new ideas for tv shows???

I remember seeing an episode of Murphy Brown where Murphy and them were in the head executive's office and there was a board with the new tv shows on it and they were all junk... :lol:. In my opinion, Murphy Brown was definitely ahead of the curve when it came to showing that all that tv execs and writers do now is put on worthless junk on tv just for the money and revenue that it brings in.

I've about given up on tv for the most part... due to this, sadly :(.

There is almost nothing good on and most of what's on besides junk shows are repeats :roll:... I for one am tired of seeing the same episode of a show over and over again. This is another thing that I dislike about tv.

I know that they are doing it so that other viewers can get a chance to catch up on episodes of their favorite shows in case they missed it, but it can get rather old after awhile.

 ~ Frankburnsflagg