EricHVela FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold Don't be a divider.

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  • Activity

    • If Twin Peaks was a ghost story... Wait...

      9 hours ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      Previous "spooky" review here. (Not a favorable review. Sorry.)

      The Haunting of Hill House (2018-)

      Throw out the idea of it being scary. It ain't.

      ...but instead, there's a kind of Twins Peak vibe. ...but it's more "grounded." The trippy things that stylized Twin Peaks is replaced with level-headed ghost stories - as level-headed as ghost stories can be.

      My primary gripe is the jumping between flashbacks to distant history and recent history and back to the present is done jarringly and, sometimes, without any warning. It's just the style of parallel storytelling, but I cannot help but think they could have done it more cleanly. It eventually snaps into one time-frame, but it takes a long time for it all to click. You'll know when it's about to happen, though.

      (I also have a personal gripe. It's a small thing in the full scope of it all, but it bothers me at a personal level. Most people would miss it, but that's okay I suppose. Such a detail wasn't really important in that part of the story and those who never had close experience with it wouldn't even know.)

      My personal recommendation: It's okay. My recommendation for others: Sure. Why not?

    • I'm not easily shhhhcared.

      14 hours ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      A Quiet Place (2018)


      The premise overlooks an obvious flaw, and it distracted me through the whole thing wondering when they were going to figure out what they should have known from the very beginning.

      It takes a lot to make me scared. Show me what's supposed to scare me and I can deal with it rationally. Convince me that there's something to fear but not what it is and I can't deal with what I don't know.

      "How do we do that?" someone might ask. You do it by good acting from those I can see. Have them make me believe in the terror, not some fully visible monster...

      ...and not by CGI creations. CGI doesn't impress me. Go back to getting it as much as possible in principle like we used to do. There's no graphic representation of formulas and curves that will match the fidelity of principle photography.

      For horror nuts like me, I cannot recommend this.

      Since I am a horror nut, I can't say whether I would recommend it to others. The logical flaw from the start might make it a difficult suspension unless one can brace themselves against it. I was told that this movie was good. So, I wasn't ready for such a basic error.

      My personal score: Low. My recommendation for others: Unknown.

    • Marvin...

      5 days ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      ...the Paranoid Android, not the Martian...

      I'm in the market for an Android phone. It will be the first Android phone for me.

      I need one that is sturdy and that has a large screen.

      The Windows Phone that I currently have has been Microsoft Security Updated into oblivion. (No more feature updates and, apparently, no more app fixes, either.) It has been through Hell physically without any hardware failure. No scratches or cracks on the touch screen. Not misshapen despite being wedged once. Also stepped on many, many times. Streamed audio and video for hours in high heat (which you should not do).

      ...but it has now come to the point where apps (SMS (Skype), Sync (OneDrive), Weather, Email) are crashing all of the time. The camera reboots the phone after a few snaps. ...and these are "native" Windows Phone 10 apps from Microsoft. 3rd Party apps do not seem to have these issues.

      So, I've read a couple of recommendations. Any Android Phone users out there with more recommendations and the reasons for the recommendation?

      (I refuse to use that refuse of an app called iTunes that ignores your answers to questions during installation and, without permission, digs its claws into many native features of a PC. Any update resets any attempts to remove those invasive measures, and updates are required to keep the iOS device up-to-date. You must use iTunes to connect iOS devices to a PC. Android requires nothing to connect to a PC or to keep it up to date, and if you turn off auto-update, it stays off without requiring updates until a 3rd party app requires it.)

    • Inktober Day ? - "Spell"

      1 week ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      I'm hopped up on cough medicine, trying not to fall asleep. I rushed this one, but I'm about to go to bed and don't really care. Good enough. First time drawing a monster since I was a kid with crayons.

      "Spell" (subtitle: "c wut i did there?")


    • The Magic 8-ball says: "Not Likely"

      1 week ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      Microsoft's Project xCloud (which means that's not going to be its final name unless it's cancelled) is essentially what Google's Project Stream is trying to do - stream games from the cloud...

      A while back, NVidia announced a partnership with Microsoft's Azure team - the folks behind the Microsoft cloud. They talked about cloud-based rendering and cloud-based AI, but my brain immediately went to games. Microsoft also had some rumblings about an XBox with such a service in recent history. Like Project Stream, it's hoping to target all devices, mobile, consoles (including switch), desktops... and whatever direct-to-brain gaming technology they'll probably invent soon - Matrix style.

      I guess I was right about what Microsoft would do with it, but again just like Google's idea, I am certain that the technology just isn't here, yet - and even less so for mobile devices with a slower and high-latency connection. (I might see the technology before I die, but I'm not willing to bet on that.)

      MS has been working on this for a while, but so has Google. I don't know who's has the most experience in designing such a service, but I'm curious who has the more resources to put behind their research and development.

      I don't really think it's a race. People see Microsoft as less open than Google. People seem to have this notion that Google gives so much away for free - which is far from the truth. So, people are ready to trust Google more even if they charge more than Microsoft for the service. It's all about how people perceive something. I think Microsoft already lost this race thanks to Google's PR claws buried deep into the public - and a dangerous set of claws does Google have...

    • Inktober Day 3-4 days late...

      1 week ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      (Day 2 - Tranquil is here.)

      Day 3: Roasted


      Special reminder: This is me practicing on a tablet Surface - not Ink.

    • Official Comics

      1 week ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

      When it comes down to it, it's just like those comics that tell backstories or side-stories about main characters.

      I'm not a fan of taking the main characters from the original trilogy and making them side stories, but we did have The Clone Wars and Rebels do just that with those from outside of The Trilogy. They were accepted just fine.

      The story is told like a comic and done well in that regard.

      It incorporates pieces of the EU (now known as Legends), but does change much of the established EU story. This will upset a lot of people still clinging to the Legends canon as official canon. There's no way around it. I've accepted it for the sole purpose of continuing to enjoy Star Wars.

      Unpopular opinion: I wouldn't mind seeing another comic-book movie in this side-story about some of the primary characters.

      More unpopular opinion: I'm pleased with the direction that Kennedy has taken the franchise. She's allowed creators to recover as much as was possible from Legends without contradicting established movie canon, but still following the rules of the Star Wars series: the printed material never comes before a movie. If it gets penned, it will never see the silver screen. (She claimed interest in the material found from the abandoned Star Wars 1313 project. She was also disappointed with EA's move to dismantle Ragtag. I'm thinking she's unhappy with the deal that Disney struck with EA.)

      Don't @ me. stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye

    • A24: Part 2

      2 weeks ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      Read part 1 here.

      The Vvitch: A New England Folklore (2015)

      The cast is excellent with great performances, but it is still just an A24 horror film. The Vvitch [sic] features Ann Taylor-Joy who gets to stretch her acting muscles more than Split (2016). Her performance in The Vvitch [sic] makes me a bit more interested in Glass (2019) now.

      The thing that makes this particular A24 film its own entity among the rest is the fact that it is stylized with a flair of an early 1800s British horror novel about the early 1600s. (A churro to whoever gets that reference.) Otherwise, it's what one should come to expect from A24.

      I found the story to be tiresome - been there, done that - but it was still told well by the performers. It is a bit of a strain to understand the motives and dialog from the early 1600s in the modern day where nobody bothers with history anymore. There are inaccuracies as well, but I feel these were for the purpose of trying to connect to modern audiences.

      The pacing is slow. Most of the pacing isn't based on suspense. That might be intentional with the lonely life on one's own in the New England woods of the early 1600s. Yet, A24 movies seem to trend toward the slow burn. This might put off people who desire faster horror and are already struggling with the culture shock of the setting as well as the predictability of such a story.

      For the most part, I cannot recommend this but to a small group of people. It's not a bad movie, but I feel that it has a niche audience in mind.

    • The Genetics of Grief

      2 weeks ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      Hereditary (2018) is about grief from the perspective of the grieving. It's an interesting take on the topic. It is set in a story of horror, but you can count the "stages" along the way.

      All in all, it's a decent allegory of it. Those who have experienced grief to a debilitating level will probably find the movie to be very upsetting. Those who've witnessed such may find it extremely unsettling. Those who find horror movies unsettling might find this terrifying. Those who like horror movies might end up over-analyzing it, but we tend to do that anyway to all movies.

      I will say the acting is wonderful. The pacing is quite a rollercoaster. The pacing is all over the place, but it fits in with the tempo of grief in my opinion.

      The downside: The music (as I mentioned elsewhere). I did not feel that it was used appropriately. It was where it didn't need to be, and it was often against the grain of the scene without purpose. I mentioned that the shots should be able to work without the music. There were a few scenes that just didn't work at all, but they appeared to try to use music to invoke feeling - against the grain of the scene - or, as I stated elsewhere, trying to fix it in post via the soundtrack.

      I cannot mention anything further without going into serious spoiler territory.

      I can recommend this only to certain people and would not recommend it to others. As for me, it has its good and bad points in production and story. As an A24 production, it hits the bullseye.

      One more thing: If you saw trailers, you were misled. They were not reasonable representations of the story or style, but as usual, they do contain some nasty spoilers. Avoid them if you can.

    • Inktober 2018 Day 4 Minus 2: Tranquil

      2 weeks ago

      EricHVela Don't be a divider.

      (Day "1": Poison, is here.)


      What? Too literal?

      The way I understand it from the Dragon Age series, becoming Tranquil is not a pleasant process and not an enjoyable life if one was able to emotionally compare their lives before and after Tranquility. So, I consider it spoopy enough for Inktober.

      (Though, Templars apparently [spoiler] [spoiler] and [spoiler] [spoiler], and it was discovered that [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler] [spoiler].)

      One can see where my hands are shaking because I need a burrito. The slippery Surface doesn't help with that.

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