Monday, November 30, 2009

Hitman Game vs. Film - Q&A

I recently posted about the Hitman movie adaptation and how it's friggin' awesome. To get a little more insight on this story as it relates to the video game I asked Mr Musacha a few questions:


Q - What is the basic storyline of Hitman and do you think the plot of the movie captured it well?

A - The Hitman games star Agent 47, a highly skilled assassin with a perfect record in the field. He was trained since childhood by a company called "The Agency", who have no specific national or political affiliations. Agent 47 doesn't make specific contact with The Agency itself (nobody knows where it's located), but rather gets his missions through a handler named Diana who talks to him via a network connection on his briefcase/laptop. The games usually follow a series of his missions, and there's often some overarching plot that he has to solve as well. For example, in Hitman: Blood Money, the Agency is under attack by a rival company called "The Franchise". Everyone in the Agency is wiped out except for 47 and Diana, so he has to determine who is controlling this new company and eliminate their top assassin.

I think they did a pretty good job of capturing the Hitman plot. The big difference is that 47 was genetically engineered from the DNA of five great killers in the games, and he was ultimately betrayed by the scientist that created him. In the movie, they were orphans and he was betrayed by his company. The change didn't bother me, since it would have taken a lot of dialogue to explain the soft-science in the game.


Q - What did you think of the casting?

A - Loved it...I thought that might have been one of the strongest parts of the movie. That Olyphant dude looks EXACTLY like 47, and they got the costumes right as well.


Q - Did Agent 47 behave in ways you would expect based on the game?

A- For the most part, yes. Agent 47 doesn't talk much in the games, but I concede that wouldn't work in the movie. They still managed to keep his dialogue minimal. The deadpan humor from the games is definitely present, and a big part of the games is stealing uniforms to infiltrate restricted access areas, which he does in the film.


Q - I felt his gadgets were underused in the movie. You got to look at them a lot but not actually see 47 using them. What type of gadgety mischief are you able to get up to in the game?

A - Gadgets (and guns) are a big part of the games. Though they didn't emphasize his gadgets in the movie, if you played the games and kept a sharp eye out during the movie you'd see a lot of familiar equipment. He uses the fiber wire to choke a guy out and the movie starts with him using a remote mine. He also uses some kind of knockout injection on Nika...you get knockout and poison syringes in the game. Most of the gadgets are used for either silently eliminating guards or for making assassinations look like an accident.


Q - Does a character like Nika exist in the game? If so, did she translate to the screen well?

A - Actually yes. In Hitman: Contracts, Agent 47 rescues a woman named Mei-Ling from a crime lord's brothel so he can get information about his target. He later ends up saving her from another brothel and she kisses him. But Nika was a much bigger part of the movie than Mei-Ling was in the game, and I thought it was a good change. If for no other reason, they needed a character that would be more naturally inclined to TALK!

Diana is also accurately portrayed in the movie as the woman who talks to him on the computer. And there's an obscure character named Agent Smith, a CIA agent who assists the Agency, who was also in the movie. [Mr M provided more info on Smith but it's spoilerish, highlight if you're still interested: He was the guy who does a "favor" for 47 by helping him escape at the end].


Additional comments?

Only that I really enjoyed both the movie and the game, so I'm pretty excited to get a crack at Hitman 5 when it comes to the Xbox 360.


Thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Hitman

I saw this movie in the theatre with one of my girlfriends back in '07. We both really liked it and I kept meaning to watch it again with Mr M. Flash forward a couple years and Mr Musacha and I finally sat down to watch Hitman over the holiday break. I have to admit that there was a part of me wondering if it was as good as I remembered and if it was the type of movie to hold up to a second viewing. I'm happy to say it rocked my sox a second time. This movie is the shit!

It's based on a video game of the same name. My memories of watching this game are few, mostly it was hotel corridors, cool camera shots, and the awesome music. As far as I can tell it was a good adaptation of the game...but maybe I'll pose a few questions to my in-house gaming expert for more details on that...

Anyway, the movie is excellent in its own right. The casting is great, the action is fun, the plot holes are few (being based on a video game we'll give it a little leeway here), and the obligatory beautiful woman is a totally awesome character and well matched in looks by Agent 47. My quibbles are so few with the movie that I don't even want to go into them. I'd rather gush over the great script, the awesome way the director was able to evoke the game with the great screen shots, and the dead-on ending.

Rumor is they will be making more films. I'll definitely be there to see them. I'm not sure it's the same writer though so I hope the next script is still good!

from the game:


from the movie:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Huggy Bunch

I think we all know how much I enjoy the Assassin's Creed environment but did we all know that I love it a huggy bunch? No? Well, that's ok because I didn't either. But here is the official announcement that I am incorporating "huggy bunch" into my vernacular and that my first use of it is to say: I enjoy the Assassin's Creed environment a huggy bunch! Huzzah!



huggy bunch hat tip

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

WedgieFree

"No ride-up guaranteed!"


Browsing the multi-packs of ladies undergarments is funnier than it used to be!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Les Miles, I Love You but I'm Stunned!

Dear Les,

You know I adore you! You know you have my undying, unconditional devotion. But, seriously, what was up with the game management in the last few minutes of today's game? I had several mild heart attacks and all for naught. But props to your players, they never gave up!

yours forever,
sgwordy

Friday, November 20, 2009

Assassin's Creed II - Launch Trailer

Well, people, we've finally made it. ACII has officially released. Of note - in addition to what I will now assume is an assassin tradition of Conspicuous Dress, we've also got the oh-so-sneaky assassin's Conspicuous Walk with us again.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Charlie Wilson's War

I watched this movie the other day and was pleasantly surprised. From the trailers I had no idea it was based on a book about an actual person or, in fact, that it would be any good. I'll be heading over to the library asap to get the book but I enjoyed the movie in its own right.

The movie tells of a covert operation in Afghanistan in the early 80s that helped to repel Soviet occupation of the region. The story is extremely compelling and the acting more than serviceable but what really blew my skirt up was Mike Nichols' directing. Holy shite, it was like the man had a string that was connected to my head and my heart which he could pull on gently saying, "I want them here!" And I was with him the whole way.

Charlie Wilson doesn't exactly have the typical personality one imagines for a humanitarian. Mirroring that, the movie doesn't have the typical attitude of cinema geared towards social commentary. It's earnest for sure but not sentimental or a straight-up satire. Really, it's a brand new way of looking at a story and it rocked my socks. I didn't know if I should laugh, cry, or bang my head against a wall until it was bloody. Weird, I know, but you've got to trust me on this one and see the movie.

Charlie Wilson said, "These things happened. They were glorious and they changed the world...and then we fucked up the end game."



And for those of you following sgwordy's unofficial, impromptu, and arguably not well thought out series on humanitarian issues I think this goes right along with it.

Tuxedo Park by Jennet Conant

If you're interested in science or science history then you might want to grab this title. Not only is it a well written book and a great biography, it's a fascinating peek at research conducted during World War II.

Laura Kinsale and the Nog Own Me

Laura Kinsale's books are like crack to me. I truly think they work upon me in the classic addict sense. Once I start one of her novels I cannot put them down. I'd complain more, or enter some sort of recovery program, but then I'd miss out on all her awesome characters and that would be criminal indeed. I only just discovered her books this Fall and I think I have only 4 left. Egads! What will I do when I have read them all? Besides snivel and twitch in a corner (natch) I will turn for solace to my holiday season weakness: Egg Nog!

Yes, the Nog owns me as well. I'm quite certain it's ill-advised to consume something until you get sick but with the Nog there is no choice. I just can't stop!

Can't even imagine the crack high I could get if I sipped (read: chugged) a glass of good ole Nog whilst reading the last of Kinsale's books. ah, sweet bliss.


note: when i've finished all her books i'll post a mass review for them so check back later if you want more details on crack in book form

Monday, November 16, 2009

Technology iz Friggin' Awesome

I realize that as a scientist I should not be particularly enamored with the use of glass over a hot surface but bringing that type of technology home is absolutely delightful. The TOT recently gave yours truly this lovely kettle:



and my simple mind is all agog at being able to watch the water come to a boil on my gas stove in a glass container. Ah, the simple life!

Now if I can just get some parafilm in my kitchen then we're all set!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Assassin's Creed II: Lineage

Awesome prequel videos are available for details on the lineage of Ezio, ECII's protagonist:




I'm relieved to see that our assassins continue to use such tactics as conspicuous dress and death of at least 3 additional people for each target. Clearly this was not an aberration of Altair's and I have high hopes that Ezio will continue it. Course, if I had an awesome outfit like that I wouldn't bother to try and hide it either.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sneakers in the House

In the midst of unpacking Sneakers was freed and he has promptly begun his sneaky ways.

Prince of Persia

I think we all remember just exactly how much of a tool I am for Ubisoft but what the crap is up with Prince of Persia? This is a video game that Mr M has played in its various iterations and it has now been adapted for theatrical release. And if the "Sands of Time" subtitle is any indication they might have more movies planned.

Here are a couple screen shots from (to review) Prince of PERSIA:








And here are some shots of the stars from the movie (lest we forget) Prince of PERSIA:











Now, as one of the whitest Americans of Western European descent around it's not like I'm Ms. Ethnicity but what's with the ridiculous whitewashing?

For shame, Ubisoft and Disney!

It's a real bummer too as the movie looks pretty cool but I vote with my buck and my buck doesn't support shit like this!

A Bleeding Heart Weighs In

I've always thought of myself as a bit of a bleeding heart. I'm that person that will catch spiders and put them outside instead of smashing them, and I could probably never set a mouse trap in my house (though there'll probably never be a need as my dogs rival cats as mousers), but then I'll come by a true Bleeding Heart and realize I'm really just a Bleeding Heart Lite. This observation started with observing various dog owners.

As a dog owner myself I have some idea as to their tendencies and how one goes about having a home open to dogs. Admittedly, I have stricter expectations of my dogs than other dog owners but I don't find that to be a big deal. If you want the kind of dog that jumps on you, dirties your furniture, and basically runs rough shod over your home fine, it's your dog, it's your prerogative to have any kind of dog that you choose. But when your explanation for tolerance of a dog getting more space in your bed than you do is "I just hate the thought of my dog feeling bad" that's when I know it actually has nothing to do with the dog. That immediately tells me that you are not thinking about the nature of a dog but anthropomorphizing. You've just given your dog your own value system.

Don't get me wrong, I fully understand that dogs can find infinite joy in bounding upon their owners, claiming each soft, comfy spot in the house as their own and basically owning their owners. I also understand that a dog doesn't feel bad when it has rules. Dogs live by rules, they live by having a leader and knowing where they belong in the pack. Whether they run the pack or live by a certain set of rules within the pack they are just as happy; they understand the rules and live by them. That is happiness for a dog.

So as I was thinking about this it got me to wondering what kind of Bleeding Heart I am. Is the difference between Lite and Extra-strength understanding the difference between your own value system and that of others? Let's think of those spiders I catch as a simple example. Does BH Extra-Strength leave the spider in place to avoid making it feel bad and then BH Lite thinks, spiders like to build webs in my front yard so why don't I put it out there? I'm not totally sure, and I bet the various types of Bleeding Hearts have widely different views on spiders (they are creepy and crawly after all) but this got me thinking even more (don't worry, I'll lie down for a rest soon so as not to over-tax the brain) and my mind started to spiral around to that thorny issue of humanitarian issues that we here at sgwordy have visited before.

Since the self is a person's most consistent point of reference I think (pun?) it's a most human tendency to assume that what is good for us is good for others. In fact, if there's one thing I've learned in the fun that is traveling the world it's that we're all more alike than you'd think. At the end of the day, we want health, happiness, safety, diversion, and security for our families. But even amidst these most binding of common traits humans are vastly different. Our value systems are extremely diverse and shaped by culture, tradition, environment, terrain, availbility of resources, politics, education, religion, the list goes on... And it is those differing value systems that can so often muck up our ability to truly relate to and unite with our global compatriots.

And so from this winding road in my brain that started with hearing someone talk about letting their dog have most of the bed and analyzing my own bleeding heart tendencies as they relate to spiders, I have reached this conclusion: it is good to understand various value systems.

I know, very profound - and stated with such verve and eloquence. Let's take a moment.


In seriousness we must go one step further. Not only do we need to understand the value systems of those around us but we need to understand that they have as much worth and legitimacy as our own. I wonder how many of my interpersonal interactions might have been different if I'd always remembered this?

Is this taken into consideration when implementing humanitarian relief? Is this understood by my own beloved government when stomping about with a gun in someone else's country? Was not understanding this the root of empirial colonialism? The cause of modern colonialism?

Oof, I think I need that rest now!

Hulk Displaced

I hadn't thought it possible but Hulk has been replaced by a new contender for worst movie ever! Hulk has held this undisputed honor for 6 years now. Egads! 6 years it's been! That's how bad this movie is, not even 6 years is enough to erase it from one's mind. Oh the length, the boring, the inexplicable ending, the tragedy of Connelly's anorexic-looking body, the leaping across deserts in only two bounds, the decidedly non-Hulk impactions in the ground...oh the bad! It was just so bad! And it's quite a trick to get me to dislike any movie that stars Eric Bana - for fuck's sake, I'd watch the man eat cereal for 2 hours!

Zack Snyder was having none of that! He says - sgwordy, you think that's a bad movie? You think Ang Lee's got anything on me in the making overlong movies department? Ha! Naive woman! Let me present to you, Watchmen!

sgwordy responds - Oh no, no, Zack, please spare us a Hulk rival! Really, it's not necessary.

ZS (gravely) - Oh but it is!

And bring it he did, with a vengeance!
Long for no reason? check
Boring? check
Filled with inexplicable events? check
Long periods of what can only be called narration? check

In fact, ZS took it one step further by commiting one of sgwordy's top crimes - ugly guys, hot women (the term women is barely needed as there were only two women). We ladies only got one respite from the uggies and Billy Crudup was blue and glowing most of the time. However, he has an excellent voice so I would say he was the best casting they did to give Blue Guy a nice voice.

One of the most amazing things is that Mr Musacha and I skipped several chapters and the movie still felt like one of the longest exeriences of my life.

And the ending! Ugh, spare me your obvious delight in thinking this is the first time this idea has been thought of and implemented in the arts. Please! I watched that whole movie just for that? They could have at least tried something original to make it worth it. And did anyone not see the bad guy coming? He broadcasted his badness in every way except tattooing it on his forehead (jury is still out on whether or not that would have improved his looks).

And one last gripe before I leave off this tirade. When the Young Hot Woman and Blue Guy were on Mars (I think?) with the super cool glass (again, I think???) contraption and Blue Guy had his huge revelation about all events leading to the miracle that was Young Hot Woman thus making him change his mind, go back, blah blah blah...I think I puked a little in my mouth. Not only is that line cheap and tired I didn't find it at all in line with his character. And I couldn't help but wonder if he would have felt the same way had she been ugly and not a superhero. And also, am I supposed to have a bunch of sentimental feeling for the two of them when he cheated on his old partner to be with her? Whatev!


I've heard the graphic novel is better so maybe I'll try it sometime, though I'm not very good at reading graphic novels. For some reason I have trouble processing visual storytelling with written storytelling. Odd, I know, but so it is.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Amazing Guitarist

This is incredible. And is in neat counterpoint to my life as an underachiever. Ah, bliss!



(hat tip: RB)