I just thought I’d give you an update on a few other things I’m working on. On RPG.net (where I post under the screen name of Count_Zero) I’ve been working on several Where I Watch threads for, in addition to various wrestling evens (which I’ve been mirroring here), several anime series. Currently, I’m working on Black Lagoon, which I’m posting on as soon as I get the DVDs from NetFlix, and I’ve just finished recapping Berserk. My next series I’ll be working on is the complete Mobile Police Patlabor (all 3 movies, both OVAs, and the TV series) which I hope to review for Bureau42.com), as well as Silent Mobius.

Once I get my next Where I Watch thread started, I’ll make sure to post here about it.

Now, you may ask, “Why don’t you post these threads here?” Well, I reply, you lot, don’t comment enough to support doing such threads here – though we do get traffic from my reviews and recaps. Still, for a Where I Watch, you really need some steady feedback.

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Normally, when I write a review of a movie, I do it right after I actually watch the film. This allows me to strike while the proverbial iron is hot. Ghost in the Shell is different. Here, I really had to think about what I was going to say. I think about what I’m going to say anyway, but this is different, because Ghost in the Shell itself is different. To explain why, and to explain why I think the way I do about the film, I have to give some background, not necessarily about the film, but about me.

Ghost in the Shell is one of those anime films that everybody needs to see once. Every “anime fan” or “otaku” or “geek” or even “film buffs” in general. Everybody needs to see it at least once. If they don’t like it, they never have to watch it again, but they need that first time. This was my first time, sort of. I had seen bits and pieces before, back when I had satellite TV, and when we had Starz. I’d heard big things about the movie before, and the manga. However, I’d never seen or read either. What I saw of the anime intregued me, but because there was nudity and violence, and because I was just getting into High School, I couldn’t see a way to watch it without my parents knowing. So, I read the manga, written by Masamune Shirow instead. It intrigued me, having a mixture of humor, action, and sexy characters, with a deep story in both the political and philosophical arenas.

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ECW: One Night Stand

Where & When: The Hammerstein Ballroom – New York City, June 16th, 2005.

Commentary: Joey Styles & Mick Foley

We start the show off with the introductions of Mick & Joey. Joey in particular looks rather choked up on his way out to the ring, though he does the cocky-heel foot wipe and kick on his way in the ring – though I can imagine he’s really pumped up. Say, Faith No More Guy is there! Big Joey Chant and a pop for “Oh My God!” Foley comes out to his WWE Cactus Jack music. My god, Joey comes up to Mick’s shoulder. I never realized how tall Foley really is. Either that or Joey’s really short.

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If you read Slashdot.org, you may have caught this news story. In short, Nielsen Media Research sent a DMCA takedown order to Wikipedia, asking them to takedown a series of catagory boxes and templates for organizing radio and TV stations by city, stating that it infringed on their copyright on the practice of organizing television and radio stations by market. Consequently, the Wikipedia foundation was forced to delete all the relevant templates, leaving the userbase scrambling to find a way to organize media articles without getting sued.

To be frank, the actions of Neilsen Media Research are a crock of bullshit. The copyright in question is no better, and in fact is almost worse then some of the bogus submarine patents that you read about weekly, and the copyright in question essentially gives the Nielsen essentially a monopoly on the classification and organization of broadcast stations by geography.

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Just doing a quick post to direct you all to a review I have up on Bureau42.com for Full Metal Panic. The review can be found here. I’m going to be having 2 more reviews going up for Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, and Full Metal Panic: the Second Raid. Hopefully, I’ll be able to turn this into a steady gig for them.

What does this mean for the blog? Well, I fully intend to keep updating the blog – Bureau42 is dedicated to science fiction and fantasy material, which means that a lot of the material I’ve been putting up right now (like wrestling recaps) would not fit there. Likewise, if I review any material that they’ve already reviewed, I’ll post those reviews here instead.

That said, Bureau42.com is a good site, and definitely worth your following, and I look forward to seeing comments from you there as well.

My apologies for the delay between posts. My computer’s been down for a few weeks, but now it’s back up so now it’s time for a right proper recap, and I’ve got several events lined up – ya see, The G1 Climax tournament happened in NJPW earlier this month, and I’ve got a fair chunk of it (about 5 out of 7 days), so I’ll be recapping that, starting with Day 3, 8/13/2008 (I haven’t gotten all of Day 2, the 11th yet, and I’m missing Day 1, the 9th entirely).

Quick run-down: the G1 Climax is a round-robin tournament, divided into 2 blocks. The winner of each block faces the other in a 1-fall match. Whoever wins that match wins the tournament.
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Hither came Conan the Cimmerian, black-haired, sullen-eyed, sword in hand, a thief, a reaver, a slayer, with gigantic melancholies and gigantic mirth, to tread the jeweled thrones of the Earth under his sandalled feet.” – From The Phoenix In The Sword

(For the purposes of this review, I played the PS3 version of the game)

Conan is the kind of game that wants to be a fair number of things, but doesn’t necessarily do very well at a lot of them. The game places you in the furry boots of the titular barbarian, and not the one of the films, but of the original novels. The story begins with Conan raiding some distant tomb seeking treasure, and ultimately releasing a great evil that steals his armor. Being as Conan is not one to shrink from perils that he thinks he can handle, goes forth to defeat this evil.

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Rob Van Dam: One Of A Kind

Host: Josh Matthews.

Disk 1

We get a brief recap of RVD’s run in WCW. He’d already been wrestling in Florida for a year as Rob Van Dam before WCW hired him. At the time Bill Watts was the head booker, and didn’t like the “Rob Van Dam” name and wanted to use something different. As RVD had already gotten some mention in the wrestling press (I’m presuming Wrestling Observer and in Dave Metzler’s magazine) under the Rob Van Dam name he wanted to use something similar ultimately settling on the name Robbie V. Rob was apparently undefeated and didn’t particularly have any programs with anybody.

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I’m going to let you know right off the bat – this review contains spoilers. The game has been out for almost a year, so I’d say it’s pretty close to the Spoiler Statute Of Limitations.

Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, as the title would suggest, brings the franchise finally out of the European and North African theaters of World War II, and into the present day, or rather the not-so-distant-future, while maintaining the theme of prior installments, where they followed the conflict in question from multiple perspectives (previously the Russians, British, and Americans, now just the Americans). With the transition, the game adds a more cinematic approach, but cuts back on it’s length, for good and for ill.

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Well, I finished watching another movie, so I might as well write about it. This time it’s War – which those of you who are outside the US might know as Rogue Assassin. It’s a Jet Li – Jason Statham vehicle that’s pretty interesting, but it has some room for improvement.

Before I get started writing the review though, a quick rundown on my review scores and what they mean. I score on a 1-to-10 integer scale (no fractions of a point). 1 is the worst, 10 is the best. 2-3 is crap, but with one or two redeeming factors. 5 is meh or generally mediocre. 7 is good, but not fantastic.

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Date: March 20th, 1994
Location: Madison Square Garden
Commentary: Vince McMahon, Jerry “The King” Lawler.

Background notes: Lex Luger and Bret Hart became co-#1 contenders for the WWF Championship after they became the simultaneous final eliminations of the Rumble. Commissioner Jack Tunney ruled that both men would get a singles shot at then champion Yokozuna, with a coin toss deciding who got a shot first (Lex won). Further Bret had also been feuding with his brother, Owen, after a collision between Bret and Owen caused Owen to be eliminated at the Survivor Series the previous year. Other notable feuds were between Bam Bam Bigelow and (sigh) Doink the Clown, Randy Savage and Crush, and a feud between “HBK” Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon over who was the proper WWF Intercontinental Champion.

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The collapse of Enron is one of those incidents in business history that is certainly going to end up in the history books. The death of what appeared to be on of the strongest companies on the market changed the way the goverment, and the public, looks at business even more then the Dot Com Collapse did. The key here is, though, why? Why did Enron, which by all appearances was one of the strongest corporations on the stock market, collapse like a house of cards? That is the question that this documentary aims to answer.

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Well, I’ve just finished reading Charles Stross’s espionage horror book The Atrocity Archive, which contains both the titular book, as well as a semi-short story sequel, “The Concrete Jungle”. Overall, the book is a very enjoyable work of fiction for those interested in semi-Lovecraftian horror, dark bureaucratic comedy, and/or espionage fiction.

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Call me pretentious (“You’re Pretentious”) but I like Progressive Rock. I count Rush, The Moody Blues, Horslips, and Jethro Tull, and Pink Floyd among my favorite bands). I grew up on the middle 3, and picked up the former and latter up as I grew older. I saw Rush live in concert last year when they came to Portland to play the Clark County Amphitheater, and have watched Pink Floyd’s concert DVD Pulse. However, I had not yet seen Floyd’s most famous concert video – their performance in Pompeii, with their “classic” lineup, at least to American eyes and ears – Gilmour, Mason, Waters and Wright – most American listeners, especially nowadays, would be not be familiar with any Floyd’s earlier material with Syd Barrett; they’d be familiar with Barrett’s influence on the group, but they would not have actually listened to the band’s two albums with Barrett.

So now, thanks to the wonders of NetFlix, I have finally gotten around to watching the Pink Floyd Pompeii Performance, and I’d say it’s good. The DVD though, is a more than a bit of a mixed bag.

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In the first decade of the 21st century, the Video Games Industry has found itself facing a lot of political pressure from Washington DC, as well as the politicians of various state legislatures. The Hot Coffee controversy started a wave of game legislation against the game industry, with many states passing legislature to impede the sale of video games that contained violent content (the levels of violence being legislated against varied from state-to-state).

Rising up against this sea of foes, was the Entertainment Software Association, then lead by Doug Lowenstein. Thanks to the dues paid by member corporations, the ESA was able to file suit in multiple state courts to block the aforementioned laws, and in many cases get them declared unconstitutional. Further, as an outgrowth of the ESA’s sibling organization, the Entertainment Merchant’s Association (or EMA came the Entertainment Consumer’s organization, or ECA, lead by Hal Halpin, which sought to bring a voice for those who play video games and other electronic media, so that someone is fighting for them. Among one of the ECA’s first actions was to join with GamePolitics.com, a blog that tracked attacks against gaming in the public sector, from politicians, and from the news media.

The reason I’m bring up this melodramatic alphabet soup is that there is dissension in the ranks – specifically between the ECA, and the ESA – and the ECA didn’t start it.

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Wrestlemania VIII

Date: April 5, 1992
Location: The Hoosier Dome – Indianapolis, Indiana.
Our hosts are Gorilla Monsoon and Bobby The Brain Heenan.

A little background: “HBK” Shawn Michaels has finally, and dramatically, split off from The Rockers by super-kicking Marty Janetty through a plate-glass window during Brutus Beefcake’s talk-show segment, “The Barber Shop”. Also, “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair jumped ship from WCW to the WWF, with the Big Gold Belt, and won the WWF Championship, ultimately leading to Randy Savage coming out of enforced retirement to try and win the belt back – well, that and the nekkid pictures of Miss Elizabeth that Flair said he had.

Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: “Nature Boy” Ric Flair

  • WWF Intercontinental Champion: “Rowdy” Roddy Piper.

  • WWF Tag Team Champions: Money Inc. (Ted DiBiase & Irwin R. Shyster w/ Jimmy Hart)

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According to a news article at 1up.com, Tomonobu Itagaki is resigning from Tecmo and filing suit with his old company after the president of the company allegedly said he would not pay Itagaki a promised completion bonus for the game.

As someone who is a fan of the Dead or Alive games, as well as the Ninja Gaiden games, regret this turn of events a great deal. I hope that Itagaki’s lawsuit will result favorably for him. He is a talented game designer, and look forward to playing his future games. Also, I hope we don’t get a boycott in this case, at least not unless the lawsuit doesn’t go Itagaki’s way. If Itagaki wins, he’ll likely get paid his promised bonuses, as well as any promised royalties, and those will be decreased if there is a boycott. However, Itagaki loses, then would be the perfect time for gamers to vote with their wallets and take their money somewhere else.

Alternatively, rather then refusing to buy Tecmo games, this would be the perfect time, to show Tecmo just how much we enjoy Itagaki’s work. Rather then refusing to buy Tecmo games, instead, we only buy Itagaki’s games. All of them. And only the Tecmo games made by Itagaki. Have Itagaki make oodles of money for Tecmo showing two things.

  1. Itagaki is an asset that can make a lot of money for Tecmo, and thus they want him to work for them, and so they should reconcile.
  2. Itagaki is an asset that can make a lot of money for other companies, and so now that he’s on the market, they’ll want to hire him, so he gets a new job sooner.

Just my two bits.

Jackie Chan is one of my favorite comic actors out of the cinema of Hong Kong. He has, rightfully, been compared with Danny Kaye, with regards to his physical comic prowess. Having heard good things about the second film in the series, and having been amused by the first film, I popped this one on the ol’ NetFilix queue, and then promptly forgot about it. Well, having now bumped it to the top of the queue and given it a watch, I figure I might as well share my thoughts on the topic, particularly while I’m trying to expand the content of my blog to stuff that isn’t about wrestling.

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So, I’m getting started a Let’s Play thingie for Star Trek: Bridge Commander. Basically, if you’re unfamiliar with the way the concept works, a Let’s Play is where I play through an game, while taking a video or image record of my play, and then posting it for all to read and enjoy, and laugh at my failures and awe at my successes.

At the moment, my attempts to upload my gameplay to GameTrailers and GameVideos aren’t working as planned, so for the moment I’m uploading the videos to MegaUpload for download from there, so, without further ado –

Introduction: Wherein my Captain gets a bridge dropped on him, giving me a shot at the big chair.
Download Link

Episode 1: Wherein I learn the ropes from Captain Jean-Luc Picard, take on a few Romulan Warbirds, and can take comfort in the fact that my crew is actually competent at their jobs, so I can give them their orders and get out of the way, rather then having to micro-manage in traditional space-sim view, at least so far.

A little background coming in:

At the Four-Way Iron Man match for the Ring of Honor title (I still need to get that event, by the way), Low Ki came out with the win, and became the Ring of Honor World Champion. Coming into Unscripted I believe he’s gotten a few title defenses under his belt, before facing Xavier (who made it into the quarter-finals at Road To The Title before getting beat by Red).

However, the start of the show is going to be a tournament to crown the first ROH Tag Team Champions – and unlike Road To The Title, we’re actually going to crown the champions at this show!

On the one hand, it’s another tournament show, and as I’ve said before, Tournaments tend to be meh, just because of the nature of the format.

However, since this is a Tag Team tournament, the tag team part may work in the tournament’s favor. I’ll be keeping an eye on this as I watch the event. (more…)

Wrestlemania VII

The Time: March 24th, 1991
The Place: The Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
The Commentators: Gorilla Monsoon, to be joined by Bobby “The Brain” Heenan, a couple of guest commentators.
The Champions:

  • WWF Heavyweight Champion: Sgt. Slaughter (heel)
  • WWF Tag Team Champions: The Hart Foundation (Bret “Hitman” Hart & Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart) (faces)
  • WWF Intercontinetal Champion: “Mr. Perfect” Curt Hennig (heel)
  • WWF Womens Championship: Inactive

Being that Wrestlemania is stateside again, we start off the show with a performance of “America The Beautiful,” this time by Willie Nelson. Jesse Ventura split ties for the WWF between the last Wrestlemania and this one, leading to Monsoon going with a series of Guest Commentators over the evening – sort of, we do get one color guy for most of the show, but we have a few guests pop in, like our first match of the evening – with “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan on commentary.

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