Archive for December, 2007

Assassin’s Creed: The unofficial Al-Qaeda game

It has been the most awaited game of the year – Ubisoft’s “Assassin’s Creed”. The official plot deals about a member of the legendary assassins, an organization of … eh, yeah… assassins. Your mission as player is to kill nine different persons because they destabilize the peace of the hole Middle East with their actions. So far, so political correct.

256px-Assassin's_Creed

I say this is bullshit.

The historical assassins had been a bunch of fanatical and ideological blinded killers who dreamt of establishing a strict theocracy (think of Iran). This sounds very familiar with what islamic terrorists are doing these days, doesn’t it?

Just imagine a few changes:

– change of time: not the Middle Ages, but the present

– change of scenery: not Akkon or Jerusalem, but Bagdad or New York

– change of armament: not the dagger and poison, but AK-47 and explosive belts

– change of mission: not a hidden single killing, but casualties as many as possible

The rest remains the same.

What about escaping after the kill? Not historical. Assassins didn’t run away – they accepted their death and now you know where the modern suicide assassin is descendent from.

This is of course only a game, but with an interesting setup.

Jens Heymann

5 Comments

Formula One Update

f1

I just read that Ralf Schumacher will pause in 2008. But frankly, it’s not that surprising despite numerous “I will drive next year”-phrases. I always knew (and the rest of the world) that it wouldn’t happen because winning the title “best way to burn money in motor sport 05, 06 & 07” isn’t the best way to bring yourself to market.

But rather lie than admit the failure…

(My fearless prediction: There will never be again a Schumacher driving in the F1.)

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Battle before Christmas – Appendix

What happens when something rare gets rarer – you’ve read it an article below. But it’s also interesting to watch what happens when the fate twists to the opposite – a “strictly” limited edition gets a second one.

afd936c622a0b21a3e253110._AA240_.L

Limited Edition of 300, first release

That took place in context with the Limited Edition of “300”. Every fanboy and collector got his copy and had been happy, proud and (I guess) felt also a little bit arrogant – what a great divinely thing he owns and others not.

51zvZEMgORL._AA240_

Limited Edition of 300, second release

Now everything is different. The big exclusiveness has gone. More fanboys can have their limited edition and doesn’t need to feel inferior any longer. Additionally this new version is different from the first one.

The reactions?

The previously exclusive owners of the first limited edition moan, that it’s only a rip-off of customers. In reality they are annoyed about spending much money for something (perhaps via bidding or third-party usury) that simply was not worth it.

All the other ones are happy and satisfied.

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Battle before Christmas

So maybe you are on the ever cruel pre-Christmas present hunt. And maybe you have to satisfy some wishes for DVDs. Usually you have a great choice because there are often many new items available for the Christmas sale. But the case gets serious if you are looking for the special one – the brand new 5-disc Blade Runner Ultimate Collector’s Edition.

51yXAKOJP L._AA240_

Fans have been waiting for years for this to come. Consequently the huge response and the fast sell-out. In recent days I have been witnessing the price-development, a fine example of how the mechanisms of supply and demand work:

Amazon.de offered the set for 43,95€ on its web site. Many bought. Some marketplace and ebay-activities for about the same price or slightly below.

Then the sell-out. What happened?

1. No more primary supply, but plenty of demand left.

2. Amazon-marketplace increases the prices to an average of 90€.

3. Hefty ebay-auctions for about 70-100€.

Suddenly, Amazon is back in the game – again for 43,95€

4. The marketplace prices collapsed to 42€.

5. Analogously the offers at ebay.

It’s sell-out again, because the sudden availability was due to cancellations.

6. Quickly every item below 60€ is gone from the marketplace – the rest now in the 90€-range.

7. Adjustments also at ebay – biddings exploded.

The end of the line? Well, we learned that DVDs can be traded like shares at the stock-exchange. All you need are enough panic people who want the same thing under their Christmas tree. And we didn’t even take a look at the LIMITED Blade Runner set.

Some information by the way if you are considering a buy:

– It’s a patience game. Wait until after Christmas (OK, this would be too late for Christmas itself.).

– Look at the UK: Half the price and with German audio track (except the workprint).

– Look at the US: Even cheaper and every edition available (English only).

– The 5-DVD set is NOT limited. There will be a new release soon next year.

– Watch your other DVDs first.

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Recently seen: The marine

Oh boy – what a movie this has been: A soldier takes out an Al-Queida-camp, returns to his home via IranAir and begins his new civilized life – until, yes of course, some bad guys (coincidently) capture his wife. Now he is on the mission again. Following up are big explosions, masses of bullets and bodies of pure muscles.

That’s the world of “The marine”.

marine_poster

In the manner of typical 80’s action flicks (Schwarzenegger and co.) the plot combines various mass destructions, “funny” one-liners and the lack of sense or talent. John Cena, a wrestler, doesn’t even get close to his obvious models. And Robert Patrick as villain – so there are good movies, and there are bad ones, too. The role of the wife has no real purpose, save the showing of some flesh and being helpless (but nevertheless sexy).

The last thing you should ask for in this type of movie is logic – some examples:

– They keep firing a thousand bullets on the car and it doesn’t slow down.

– Neither they hit the driver (character shield I guess…).

– And while they are firing, the driver protects himself with a flak jacket against direct strafing.

– Which he is holding up with his one hand – the other one drives.

– The people continually slap each other, but no one carries any visible damages.

– The hero is simply indestructible – not with a fire extinguisher in his face or a sledgehammer on his body.

– Even a gigantic wall of flames cannot burn a single hair from the hero’s head.

All in all, this film is extremely(!) dumb, but it can work for you if you are able to level down your requirements for being entertained under the movie’s threshold. Otherwise you’ll know what this “thinking can be stressful”-thing means.

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Hell froze over! German Apple fansite now powered by Windows and .NET

It’s been a long time since my last blog entry – but here it is:

One of my favourite “we’re-just-a-bunch-of-fanboys”-site is mactechnews.de. These guys are always on the line when it comes to Apple and their beloved hard- and software but something strange happened a few days ago: they relaunched their website which is now a from-the-scratch rewrite with all new Ajax and what-not. The point is though: They did not only rewrite it, they did make a choice.

mtndotnet

Now mactechnews.de is based completely on Microsoft .NET and ASP.NET 2.0 powered by Windows Server 2003 machines…

Source: http://www.mactechnews.de/news/index.html?id=139708

No Comments

Recently seen: The motorcycle diaries

Loving or hating this movie is decently biased by your political attitude. The plot wraps up Ernesto “Che” Guevaras and his pal Alberto Granadas trip through the countryside of South America. This all occurs prior to Che’s guerilla activities in Guatemala, Cuba, Congo and Bolivia, but shows his impressions of the people he meets and hence his “social” awakening.

windowslivewriterreviewthemotorcyclediaries-11002motorcycle-diaries6

For my review of this film I put aside all those political aspects and concentrate on the story. When Ernesto and Alberto travel through the countries it’s a little bit like watching an episode of Lonely Planet. Nice places, nice talks and then again on the road.

The ever-horny Alberto only thinks about the next woman, meanwhile Ernesto – you know what he became…

Overall an edged movie with nice pictures, but also with a bizarre historical back-end.

One detail of this movie I couldn’t get: They always say that they have no money, but how did they pay for the gas for the motorcycle? Or didn’t they pay?

Jens Heymann

No Comments

TV review: Treasure Island (ProSieben)

I have to admit that mostly than there is a big budget tv-miniseries I am going to watch it. They are ambitious, expensive and somehow unusual. Maybe you remember that Nibelungen-tv-version sometime ago: huge advertising, high expectations and in the end a merely low result.

So Treasure Island is not that bad. It keeps you busy for two evenings, but could have been way better:

Here a list of potential flaws:

1. Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-rip-of

Some of the characters acts like the ones from the big picture. John Silver like Johnny Depp and the two english soldiers like those pirate counterparts.

2. Modern dialogues

It is curious to hear the people talking in modern slang and maybe cost the movie some classical flair.

3. Actors

The producers did a big casting for this one. They did not have always a good hand. The acting performances go up and down through the film. This must not be bad acting, it also may be a sign of weak directing.

4. Known faces

To cast well known comedy actors in important roles is a thing I would be very careful with, because you permamently have to think of it and therefore it harms the overall atmosphere.

5. Invent new roles

Inventing roles is always a sin, even when it is a girl showing her naked body numerous times. I guess, this is simpy a marketing thing to attract a modern young audience.

But of course we will wait and hope for a better next one…

Jens Heymann

No Comments

Recently seen: Apocalypto

Mel Gibson’s second movie in a foreign language tells the story of some mayan people in the pre-Columbus era. The main actor and his fellows are captured in a raid by other mayans and are brought into their capital, where they serve as human sacrifices or as trade bait. Our hero has left his pregnant wife and his son back in a hole and now tries to escape and get back to them with hunters on his trail.

3075279070

The first thing to recognize: Why does the movie look so strange when in motion? The answer: It was filmed digitally.

The second thing: Life in the jungle can be dangerous. The movie shows us that you can die of jaguars, frog venom, snakes, rocks or even man-made traps. So watch out next time in the forest!

By the way: The last act reminds me a little bit of Rambo II, where Rambo hunts the Russians.

Overall not a bad movie, but to be a real epic it is too short and tells an unimportant story.

Jens Heymann

No Comments