Oct 282008

Both football teams were swept again. And this time it’s pretty much my own fault, I misfielded both of the teams.

Hakkapeliitat lost by ten points. The team had a bye week for its biggst gun, Packers’ Aaron Rodgers. Picking up niners’ J.T. O’Sullivan seemed to be a good choice, especially against a porous Seattle defense. Turns out that pretty much anybody would’ve been better – he turned over the ball thrice before being pulled before the halftime. Not good. And not very prolific either. Santana Moss played like a young god, getting two scores – one receiving, the other on a long punt return. Frank Gore didn’t score, but gained very respectable yards, both on the ground and in the air.

Niners lost by seventeen points – the game was tied before MNF where opponent’s Titan-players pulled off a nice upset over Colts. For niners the playmaking was not an issue, Drew Brees led the Saints offense over Chargers in a great shootout in London, throwing for three touchdowns. LaDainian Tomlinson returned to form in the very same game, running for multiple 20+ stretches through surprisingly ineffective Saints defense. Jason Witten pulled in an uncharacteristic zero points, but a couple of broken ribs is a good enough excuse for being sat on the bench for the most of the game.

I so need to dig the teams out of these holes, otherwise the playoff hopes dwindle fast.

Bring on week nine.

Oct 262008

Max Payne PosterThe curse of game-based movies persists, the recently released Max Payne is a terrible film.

While the Remedy game from 2001 was unapologetically wallowing in noir aesthetics, John Moore’s adaptation actually manages to pull off a caricature, not a glass of triple-distilled gloom.

The actors seem to be strongly sedated throughout the proceedings. Mark Wahlberg, who has done a couple of decent action-ish flicks, he’s strangely wooden in this film. Mila Kunis isn’t able to shake the That 70s Show burden in the little screen time she gets. Casting gets surreal in lesser characters, the horny hispanic dude from Prison Break is totally unconvincing as the antagonist, and Marlo Stanfield from the Wire is given a terrible accent and a single clue to provide as a plot device.

And what a plot it is… The storyline of the game has been simplified a lot, but awkward and underused elements from the original remain in the script. And the less said about the New York weather, the better – constantly alternating between billowing snow and driving rain has rarely been any less convincing than here.

In a movie based on gun pornography, it’s hard to figure what the scriptwriter was thinking when the first proper gunfight happens around the one hour mark, and the game’s main innovation – bullet time – is almost absent from the action.

Thankfully the film clocks in at under a hundred minutes, but also strongly hints at a sequel in an obligatory post-credits sequence.

Oct 252008

Front 242 on stage in KaapelitehdasVisited the Alternative Party in Kaapelitehdas yesterday.

Both to see what the allegedly steampunk-infused occasion was all about, and to see Front 242 on their very first gig in Finland.

The party wasn’t really a party, at least around nine o’clock. It mainly consisted of people hunched over laptops, a couple of salesfolks at booths and an art exhibit. And a bar. Which was much appreciated.

Appreciated since the gig was late (and obviously beer in good company never hurt anyone).

Surrealist PrinterIn the age of bands having agreed timeslots in infamously late-playing Helsinki venues, the seventy minutes delay before the Belgian headliners took to the stage was quite annoying. As I’m a complete F242-virgin, the music was all pretty much unknown. The songs varied from lame to energetic, but all in all the hour and some change was good fun. Not least due to the good use of video backgrounds, some relevant to the lyrics, some utterly unhinged.

The upper image is from the concert, and sadly showcases the shortcomings of phone cameras in suboptimal conditions. The lower picture is of a surrealist printer, an aging HP machine that did not print anything, but played the national anthem of soviet union at the user’s request.

Oct 232008

Chinese Democracy datedIt’s now official, Chinese Democracy will be published on 23.11.2008. The band’s site streams the eponymous first single.

The second incarnation of Hanoi Rocks calls it quits six years after a surprisingly successful reunion. I definitely aim to see one of their farewell gigs in early 2009.

Touko Pouko, the most manic-depressive children’s show host ever returns in January.

Oct 232008

It’s quite a women’s marathon, when the contestant with the fastest time does not win, and four out of top five are men.

Not the best publicity for Nike, who organized the event.

EDIT: whoopsie, turns out taht Nike relented and has now turned to calling the fastest athlete “a winner”, which while far better than being “not a winner”, is still quite a stretch from being “the winner”.

Oct 222008

“Tuhrumuumi” is not a word I ever expected to use.

But based on the analysis between the finnish and canadian editions of the moomin comics, there’s no contest between the two.

The domestic version is hopelessly smeared, with black bleeding out and drowning out details.

I call laziness, since the new images produced by Drawn & Quarterly would probably been available for a decent price. Now we’re left with a product that’s actually now been proven to be sub-optimal.

[ via kasa. ]

Oct 222008

Got thoroughly swept in both leagues, and am now worrisomely sinking towards .500 after a great start for the season.

Hakkapeliitat lost by a whopping fiftynine point margin (yes, sports fans, 59 points of separation). Not on account of bad playmaking, but just being in the business end of truly spectacular running back display – Redskins’ Clinton Portis was a known threat, but Tennessee Titans’ LenDale White tore through the hapless Kansas City defense for three scores. Marques Colston caught no passes in his return from a hand injury, and all in all the entire receiver squad of Hakkapeliitat was very much on the quiet side. Aaron Rodgers played an effective game, his fourth on a sprained shoulder – no picks, and respectable yardage against the Colts. But all in all the team had their worst collective performance of the season. There’s only one way from here – up.

Niners on the other hand had a less conspicuous loss, but a loss nonetheless. Apart from Chicago Bears fabulous defense (two turnovers returned for touchdowns) there wasn’t much to celebrate. Drew Brees had his first scoreless night, and apart from Jonathan Stewart none of the offensive players managed to complete a touchdown.

Bring on week eight.

Oct 202008

String Theory by Randall MunroeYes. That’s an actual word, and describes a drawing contest between xkcd‘s Randall Munroe and New Yorker‘s Farley Katz.

And the upstart outplays the veteran.

Though there’s flashes of OK in the latter’s output some of the topics used:

  • The Internet, as envisioned by the elderly,
  • String Theory,
  • 1999 and
  • Your favorite animal eating your favorite food.
Oct 202008

The entire 2800+ entry breadth of this blog is now available in WordPress, properly categorized, all shiny and nice.

The effort begun in August took quite a bit more time than expected.

To celebrate the union under one umbrella I’m going to watch a bit of House and quaff a well-deserved glass of metaxa, just the thing to spark up a dark October evening.

Oct 192008

It’s been about a year since my debut in Nyt. Been doing occasional game reviews and game-related sidebars for the supplement throughout the year.

Last friday’s issue marks the first step beyond mere games, a foray into the movies-page. The article is a brief sidebar and explains the gaming context of Max Payne that just had its premiere. Haven’t seen the movie yet, but based on overwhelmingly negative reviews, this is not the first good film based on a game.

Oct 192008
Vuoden Luontokuva 2008:  Etelä-Suomen Talvi

Vuoden Luontokuva 2008: Etelä-Suomen Talvi by Simo Mikkonen

The Nature Photograph of 2008 has been selected, this year’s winner is the attached image. An image that shows the worst season of the year – the gloomy and wet november. Which, of course, has been stretching for months on end the last few years.

(The nature photographer’s sites seem to be hit hard tonight, I’ll update the link when they’re back online).

Oct 182008

One more free science/fiction (yeah, the use of slash is entirely intentional) magazine is born with the release of its first issue on the web.

H+ (seemingly abbreviated from Humanity +) explores transhumanist themes and convinced me to have a look on basis of having Charles Stross amongst the writers.