2018: The Movie

Just sit back and watch this.

Neevon M on YouTube has cut together a trailer comprised of clips from almost 70 films due to be released in 2018.

Some of the films I recognise already and some of them I definitely want to know more about. But what really impresses is that the clips have been cut together is such a consistent manner you could almost believe that 2018 will be one long popcorn-fueled blockbuster.

If only…

Coming Soon: 2018

Via The Movie Web

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Forbidden Island

As someone who spent his formative years playing far too many role-playing games, it should probably come as no surprise that I have long found the idea of co-operative games to be very appealing. What is surprising is that it has taken me so long to actually give one of these things a try. But, based on a recommendation, I finally acquired a copy of Forbidden Island a few of months ago — and have been playing it almost obsessively ever since.

Just to be clear here, Forbidden island is a tabletop game. While I don’t object to digital games, and have even been known to play a few, these come nowhere near to recreating the atmosphere and excitement that can be generated when everyone is in the same room.

The game is played by two to six players on a board randomly generated from 24 tiles and involves trying to retrieve four treasures from a sinking island. If the players manage to retrieve all four treasures and escape before the island sinks, everyone wins. If the island sinks first or the players find themselves trapped, everyone loses.

The board is randomly generated using a set of 24 tiles and the flood cards determine which tiles flood, then sink. The rate of this flooding and sinking increases as the game progresses and it is this that provides the tension and much of the excitement of the game.

Each of the players takes an adventurer card which gives them a role, such as Navigator, Engineer or Pilot and each of these adventurers has a different special ability. And a large part of the challenge is for the players to look at who drew which adventurer and agree how the various abilities can be combined to best find the treasure before the whole party ends up stranded or sunk.

According to the (rather nice, metal) box, Forbidden Island is for 2 to 4 players aged 10 or above. That said, I have played it with the twins (who are aged 7) and they have no problem with fully comprehending and playing the game. This is helped a lot by the fact that the game is both quick to set up and quick to play.

Setting up takes no more than a minute and the sinking island mechanic ensures that no game will last for more than 30 minutes.

This is a great little game and one that really does generate a lot of fun for players of all ages. If you ever have the opportunity to give it a try, I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed.

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The Horror of Love

This is sick, twisted and superb.

Graphic designer and illustrator, Butcher Billy has come up with a series of book covers that re-imagines famous long songs as Stephen King novels.

The concept is to look at the dark side of love through the lenses of pop culture, bringing twisted aspects of his classic stories to play with the original meanings of the songs – that can be completely subverted or strangely emphasized, while paying tribute to the vintage design of the original book covers.

Click on through to his Behance page to see the full set.

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Star Wars Episode IV.1.d: The Pentesters Strike Back

I was amused:

It is a period of cyber war. In an effort to sustain commerce during these challenging times, the Galactic Trade Federation has required the Empire retain the services of a consultancy on Kessel (a best-value provider, and only twelve parsecs away) to assess the state of their security before signing off on the newly-constructed DEATH STAR campus.

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Happy New Year

So that was 2017. Let’s hope that 2018 turns out a bit better.

Cartoon from Wulff & Morgenthaler

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First trailer for Peter Jackson produced Mortal Engines

I like the look of this:

Thousands of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, humankind has adapted and a new way of living has evolved. Gigantic moving cities now roam the Earth, ruthlessly preying upon smaller traction towns. Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan)—who hails from a Lower Tier of the great traction city of London—finds himself fighting for his own survival after he encounters the dangerous fugitive Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar). Two opposites, whose paths should never have crossed, forge an unlikely alliance that is destined to change the course of the future.

There are seven books in the Mortal Engines series and it looks very much like Universal are setting this up as a series of films.

The Trailer

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There are two types of people in the world

Via Bruce Sterling

This reminds me of what is, possibly, my favourite joke of all time: There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary and those that don’t.

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Forgotten toys. Forgettable films?

I’m not convinced about this:

Having already had enormous global success with their Transformers franchise (G.I. Joe, not so much, but that’s stopping a new movie from getting made) Hasbro/Paramount are bringing another – although somewhat lesser known – toy franchise to the big screen with Micronauts.

I remember having Micronaut toys back when I was young… which almost certainly puts me in a very small minority, especially given that the toy line was quite short-lived.

The Den of Geek article notes that these are characters that aren’t deeply embedded in the pop culture landscape, which opens up the creative potential, but I suspect that this advantage — if any — will be minimal. Micronauts may have a minor nostalgia appeal to a minority of middle-aged adults, but for most it’s a long-forgotten brand and I find myself struggling to see why anyone would bother with it.

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Resolutions

If you are stuck for a resolution for next year, PZ Myers has a suggestion:

Just so you know, 31 December is #TwitterEvacuationDay, when many people are making the jump to alternative micro-blogging media, or just throwing up their hands in disgust and giving it all up. It’s the only way to make Twitter wake up, I think…or at the very least, to personally escape the toxic trap.

I’m recommending that everyone make the leap to Mastodon — or, I hope, that at least some of my friends get an account there. Really, it’s just like Twitter — the interface is exactly like Tweetdeck, if you’re familiar with that. The big difference is that, instead of one giant central server for everyone, it’s distributed among many smaller servers, or instances.

I had abandoned Twitter, and was happily using GNU Social, long before Mastodon was a thing. But Mastodon and GS instances can talk to each other, so which platform you prefer really is just a matter of personal preference.

But if you are still on Twitter, December 31st is a good time to join the Fediverse.

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