Tuesday, November 27, 2012

VIDEO GOLD: McCLANE AND SON

We hear at the Vundablog love us some action movies. One of the strongest pillars of the action movie genre is always Die Hard. This time Die Hard 5, the debut of McClane and Son ass kicking/terrorist thwarting freelance business. Bruce Willis tearing it up in the USSR. Based on the trailer the movie looks incredibly fun. The only time in the trailer I was annoyed was the gratuitous boob shot and then the card Died Hard was a bit in poor taste. However the action looks top notch premium explosions and car crashes. I'm excited, I think the Valentine's day release date is a bit odd, I'd wait till summer to make an event of this but I'm sure the super studio geniuses have figered it all out.

 
 

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 12)

So, inevitably, I missed yet another week--and a pretty big one at that--but I have a good excuse: I was at DISNEY WORLD!  Yeah, be jealous.  Don't worry though, I haven't forgotten about you, the three or four people who ever read this...







HEADLINES

Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel has catapulted himself into the Heisman conversation

-Well, the biggest headline of the week is a no-brainer: Alabama falls 29-24 to Texas A&M.  I have to admit, I probably saw this coming less than just about anyone.  I was pretty well convinced that Alabama was in a class by themselves and would cruise to an undefeated record, SEC title, and eventual national title.  But what was so much more shocking than the fact that they lost was the way it happened.  After QB A.J. McCarron was intercepted in the end zone on a potential game-winning drive, the Tide would have had one more chance but were...wait for it...drawn offsides.  When was the last time you saw a Nick Saban team commit a penalty that cost them the game?  I have an overwhelming feeling that Nick Saban is going to kick the absolute shit out of his team for that and if they don't win every remaining game by double digits I'd be shocked.  Whether or not that's enough to get them back to the national title game remains to be seen.  Which brings us to our next headline...

-So now the discussion going on across the college football landscape is going on in two parts: 1. Will Kansas State, Oregon, and/or Notre Dame lose a game?  2. Can a one-loss SEC champion jump an undefeated Kansas State, Oregon, and/or Notre Dame?  Let's take it in two parts: 1. Yeeeah, I don't really see it happening.  Then again, when do you ever see it happening?  Kansas State and Notre Dame are relatively new to the spotlight although their remaining schedules aren't as challenging as Oregon's--Kansas State has Baylor on the road and Texas at home, Notre Dame hosts Wake Forest before traveling to USC, while Oregon hosts Stanford and then plays Oregon State in an effective neutral site game.  I'd say these are your undefeated teams in order of most likely to suffer a loss to least likely: 1. Oregon, 2. Notre Dame, 3. Kansas State.  I honestly don't see any of these teams losing--even Oregon, whose remaining opponents are a little overrated if you ask me--but that's the beauty of college football, isn't it? 

When the dust settles, which two of these will be in the national title game?
OK, now, #2.  Can/should a one-loss SEC champion jump one or two of these teams to make it to the championship game?  Well, neither team that will be in the SEC title game has much of a chance to impress anyone with Alabama facing West Carolina and a floundering Auburn and Georgia facing Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech.  I think if none of the current undefeated teams lose, there's basically zero chance of an SEC team in the title game.  If one loses, the chances increase.  The interesting thing about that is that it depends on who it is that loses and here's why: Oregon is still #1 in the Coaches Poll and the Harris Poll right now but remains #2 in the BCS because the computers love Kansas State and Notre Dame.  The computer average actually has Florida #3 so Alabama actually wants Florida to lose another game as well.  Oregon is #4 in the computer average so a Ducks loss doesn't change the computer average too drastically in the Tide's favor but it does change the Coaches Poll and Harris Poll drastically, which are 1/3 of the formula each.  If Kansas State or Notre Dame lose, it would shake up the human polls less than it would shake up the computers--they might not even fall below Bama in the computer rankings with a loss (particularly Notre Dame who are #1 in the computer average).  So Alabama will be (or should be) not only rooting for an Oregon loss but also a Florida loss.  Not only are the human polls more of a factor, they are more volatile after a loss (Oregon would almost definitely fall below Alabama with a loss) and they also have a tendency to be biased--that is, if they want an SEC team in the title game, they're liable to find a way to make it happen (and it will be easier to do if their #1 team loses, causing the biggest possible shake-up).  I'm not prepared to predict anything other than Kansas State v. Oregon in the title game but there are so many factors that it's impossible to say.


CLICK READ MORE FOR PICKS ON OREGON/STANFORD, USC/UCLA, AND MORE...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

VIDEO GOLD: Dial S for Silence

It's wierd how Hollywood has two different Hitchcock movies in popular circulation. The first was on HBO called The Girl which explored a very dark side of the Hitchcock film legacy. The other project is  Hitchcock starring Anthony Hopkins, Scarlett Johansson, and the return to the silver screen of the great Ralph Macchio. More so than Hitchcock hype, I am a stickler for theatre ettiquette. I believe that the filmic experience is sacred. In movie theatres we are in a shared space. Partaking in a sharing of experiences and ideas.  Talking should be at an extreme minimum. Cell phones should be silent and touched rarely through out the film. The following is a viral video for the film which comes out January 2013. The video ironically looks like it was shot on a cell phone, and it imagines what Hitchcock's cellphone ettiquette message would have sounded like. Hopkins Hitchcock looks prettyy legit, I can barely see Odin in it.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

VIDEO GOLD: Wreck-it Ralph

Disney's newest film, Wreck-It Ralph is awesome. Disney has released these sweet viral videos to promote the movie and it is my extrem pleasure to share them with you. The first one is for Ralph's own game Fix-It Felix Jr. The game is similar to Donkey Kong although it also vaguely reminds me of Dig-Dug for the graphics and the fact you have to physically tap to fix the windows, the way you had to tap with Dig Dug to inflate monsters too death. I have been playing this game on my phone everytime I feel nostalgic for the film.
 
 
 
 
 
You can play the games made up for the movie here Fix-it Felix Jr., Hero's Duty, and Sugar Rush. The second viral commercial is for the racing game Sugar Rush. Which is sort of like Candy Land, meets Mario Cart(the title recalls san fransisco rush). The character design work is pure genius. The gameplay and names and concepts for the games are better than most new games coming out which feel like a repetitive stream of dudes in masks with guns. Sugar Rush was released in 1997 in the film's universe, and Fix-it Felix Jr. is from 1982. 

 

The movie doesn't address the idea of console gaming versus arcade gaming but that6 is fertile ground for sequels as weel as online gaming. The film was my birthday movie this year and it was the perfect treat to my year. Last year it was Harold and Kumar 3(debatably the best of the trilogy). This is the viral commercial for Hero's Duty soon, which feels totally like a Halo ripoff in an arcade game, that the game play would be more like a TimeCrisis style shooter or House of the Dead. I hope Wreck-it Ralph get's a sequel beacuse the films universe is fertile ground for  future movies. Because it is our own videogame universe and this is a great non-chalant way to use and deal with it in a fun way on screen.
 
Here are some pics of me and Danielle meeting the films stars at Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World Orlando.

 



 





 
 
 
 

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hobbitcore's College Football Corner (Week 10)


Well, as you can see, I had another "Bye Week" last week.  I was absolutely swamped with both school work and "church" work so not only did I take a week off from the corner but I missed a whole bunch of games.  I did, however, get to see the Gators blow an easy shot at an SEC title, so that was nice.  Let's take a look...






HEADLINES

QB Jeff Driskel and the Gators were brought back to Earth (literally) by the Dawgs last week

-So the Gators finally got knocked off their cloud.  Thank the football gods.  The sad part is that I probably would have picked them last week because I had even less faith in the Dawgs.  I did always maintain, however, that the idea that the Gators were the #2 team in the country (the computers actually had them #1 which just illustrates the weirdness of the computer calculations and the desperate need for the human element--which then underscores how ridiculous it is that the Coaches Poll is 1/3 of the whole formula when coaches have no time to watch games or follow any team but their own--but I digress) was ludicrous.  Now we have a new #2 who may actually have a case for being #1...

Coach Bill Snyder and QB Collin Klein are leading Kansas State to their most impressive season in years

-I've been sold on Kansas State since they destroyed my 'Canes in September.  Bill Snyder's Wildcat teams have always been a fundamentally sound model of consistency but this is on a whole other level.  They've had two close calls--three if you count a 14 point win over North Texas--and one of them was a big time road win over Oklahoma (who rarely lose in Norman).  The rest have been 30+ point wins in which the Wildcats have scored 50+ points, two of which were against then-top-15 teams.  They're outscoring teams by an average score of 44.4 to 17.1--an average margin of 27.3 points (for those of you allergic to math).  

Collin Klein may not be the best quarterback in college football--although in spite of his awkward throwing motion and relatively modest yardage total, he is #2 in the country in QB rating (behind only A.J. McCarron who has comparable passing numbers) and #3 in completion percentage--but you'd have a hard time arguing he isn't the best player playing QB and he has to be considered the top field general in the game.  Oh, by the way, he's also averaging 5 yards a carry (600+ yards on the year) and has 16 rushing touchdowns--and he also has a RB in John Hubert who has run for another 700+ yards and 10 touchdowns.  Who needs to throw with those numbers?  

The way Bill Snyder has these guys playing--especially the defense--there is nobody left on their schedule that has a chance against them because it's going to take a hell of a defense to stop this train and the best defense the Wildcats face from here on out belongs to a TCU team playing without their suspended starting QB.  It's hard not to see this team as on a collision course with Alabama in Miami in January.

LB Manti Te'o and his Notre Dame defense have been so impressive that he's now in the Heisman conversation

-Notre Dame continues to answer the bell, proving they're the real deal again and again with big time statement games.  This time they went into Norman and handled the Sooners easily.  This is another team with a clear path to a BCS bowl at least with no more ranked teams on their schedule until they close out the season with a trip to the Coliseum to take on USC--although don't count out the possibility of them slipping up against Pittsburgh or Boston College.

-One story that's not getting a lot of coverage is the fall of Auburn.  With a 63-21 throttling at the hands of Texas A&M last week, the Tigers have "clinched" a losing season and at 0-6 in SEC play with Georgia and Alabama their only remain conference games, they're in very serious danger of going winless in SEC play which certainly doesn't bode well for Gene Chizik's job prospects, even if it is just one season (although the Tigers went 8-5 last year and 4-4 in conference last year--not a very impressive post-Cam resume).

CLICK READ MORE FOR THIS WEEK'S PICKS (LSU/BAMA, OREGON/USC, AND MORE)