Sunday, January 21, 2001

Upcoming Game Releases

There are three upcoming PC game releases that are very high on my list of most-looked-forward-to items. What are they?

Duke Nukem Forever: It's been far too long since we had more fun than was humanly possible Dukematching in Duke Nukem 3D. Although information is spotty, it seems that Duke Nukem Forever, the newest Duke Nukem first person shooter from 3D Realms, will be released within the year. Since it is based upon the Unreal Tournament engine, you know that I am super excited. To be able to mix it up with the Dukester in a UT environment is like a dream come true. Check out Dukeworld and this Duke Nukem Forever FAQ for more information. "Hail To The King, Baby!" (Duke Nukem graphic is © 3D Realms)

Diablo II Expansion: I love Diablo II and have spent many, many hours since it's release in June 2000 roaming the world of Sanctuary hacking and slashing my way through hoardes of baddies.

Blizzard's upcoming D2 expansion will add an all-new Act V and two new character types, in addition to lots of new weapons and monsters. There will also be new recipes for my favorite transmutor, the legendary Horadric Cube. Ah, if only such a thing existed in Real Life®.

At any rate, the D2 expansion will insure many hours of dedicated play taking characters that have already completed D2 through the new act. Then, we'll play with the new characters and work them through the entire game and experience it anew!

Looks like we'll see the D2 expansion before Duke, but that's OK. I'll be there for both. (Diablo II graphic is © Blizzard Entertainment)

WarCraft III: WarCraft II: Tides of Darkness was classic RTS gaming. Talk about spending hours upon hours hooked up with other folks over a modem in multiplayer games! WarCraft III will be an advanced version of II, and the first Blizzard game to take full advantage of 3D video technology. It will add several new races to the battle between the Orcs and the Humans, and the reaces that have been announced so far look very exciting! The fact that Blizzard will keep the "classic" RTS look of WarCraft II is very pleasing to me!

Looks like we might get this game during the latter half of 2001 from Blizzard. I'll be first in line.

So, these are the upcoming games that I keep my system upgraded for. Upon release of any of these three games, I will say goodbye to daylight, civilized society, and significant other (if such a thing exists by that time), and devote my life to experiencing these games.

Sunday, January 14, 2001

Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon

This amazing film by Taiwanese director Ang Lee is now in wide release in the United States. It is certainly one of the best films of 2000. Filled with incredible scenes of martial arts fighting, Crouching Tiger is more than just an action film. It is, instead, a film for anyone who enjoys good cinema. Crouching Tiger contains lush photography that transports you to ancient Chinese deserts and forests, a storyline that is packed with emotion and pathos, and surreal scenes of supernatural feats in which the characters float in the air, run blithely across surfaces of water, and flit between the branches of trees above forests. These scenes struck me as a beautiful sort of etherial ballet. The principle actors, Chow Yun Fat, Michelle Yeoh, Zhang Ziyi, and Chang Chen all shine in their individual roles. The film's dialog is in Mandarin, and I was surprised by the fact that the subtitles did not detract from my enjoying the movie.

Do not hesitate to see this film. If you are not a fan of the martial arts, don't let its presence in this movie stop you from seeing it, since the fighting is not the focus of the picture. Crouching Tiger is great fun for everyone, and a touching, graceful story of love and devotion that anyone can enjoy. Before January 12th, Crouching Tiger was in limited American release. Now that the film is in wider release, it's popularity is expected to skyrocket, based upon its unique success in limited release. The film is already figuring into Oscar contention in several catagories.

For more information on Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, check the film's website.

Wednesday, January 03, 2001

Moby: Play

Wow! How did I miss this CD from last year? This is an incredible album, filled with great electronic music, hip-hop beats, and samples of blues vocals and other types of music. I remember hearing wisps of some of these songs on commercials on TV during 2000, and reading lots of critical acclaim for the album. After sampling MP3s of the singles Porcelain, Natural Blues, and South Side, I was hooked. I had to experience the rest of this album. Today I went to a local record store and bought it.

So, after the first listen, I was shocked to realize that I had completely not connected with the fact that Moby is the same artist who was responsible for the songs Bodyrock, Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad, and Honey. Wow, wow, wow. I'm in awe.

The etherial beats of this CD will hypnotize you. It's perfect driving music. The soaring guitars in South Side are great, as are Gwen Stephani's uncredited harmony vocals. I can identify with Moby's liner notes on veganism.

Catch up with Moby at and .

Monday, January 01, 2001

2001: A Space Odyssey

In order to celebrate the arrival of the New Year, I watched 2001: A Space Odyssey on DVD. What a of my favorites! If you haven't already seen it, you owe it to yourself to check it out. From the dawn of man to technology run amok, this is science fiction at its best, portraying man's quest to confront the infinite! You will never forget this film! "Open the pod bay doors please, HAL."

If you elect to see the movie, see it on DVD. The scope of the original motion picture is preserved in this format, as well as some of the original aspects of the film. For example, the film was originally presented in theatres with a classical music overture before the film begins, and an Intermission, again accompanied by classical music. Seeing the movie in the letterboxed format approximates the Cinerama affect from its original run in theatres in the late 1960's. The DVD also contains an illuminating speech given before the film's premiere by science fiction luminary and co-author of the 2001 screenplay, Arthur C. Clarke.

I am proud to say that I saw 2001: A Space Odyssey in its original run in theatres in 1968. I was only 11 years old. I have seen the movie numerous times since, as well as most all of Stanley Kubrick's films.

Here are some links to more web-based information about this amazing film by director Stanley Kubrick:

2001: A Space Odyssey on Yahoo! Movies
2001 and Beyond the Infinite: An examination of the film and its implications
Underman's 2001: Exploring the film
2001 Screenplay by Stanley Kubrick and Arthur C. Clarke - Be sure to check out the original 2001 screenplay from 1965. It's wildly different from the resulting film!