The Return of the Commodore 64?

Posted in hobbies, Pop Culture on May 9th, 2011 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It holds the Guinness World record for best-selling single computer model of all time, so who had a Commodore 64?

My family had one when I was growing up, and I enjoyed playing hours of games on it.  I remember how novel it was that we could create a sign, card, or banner on the computer and then print it out –  complete with pixel-riddled graphics and what-do-you-call those side strips on the paper with the holes in them that you tear off and either discard or twist them together and make art out of them.  My uncle had a subscription to Loadstar, which was a Commodore club of sorts – he would get magazines and new games monthly in the mail.  I used to love some of those Loadstar games, unfortunately, I can’t find them to play on emulators now.  I really enjoyed an Activision game called Toy Bizzarre, and my all time favorie game for the Commodore 64 was Maniac Mansion – I was addicted to it until I won it, and then I had to go back and win it with  all the different character combinations.  They did make a version of Maniac Mansion for the original Nintendo, but I was biased toward my Commodore version.  I always thought that game would make a great movie (think Clue), and when I was younger, I tried to write the game into a novel but never finished it.

So what’s got me thinking back to the 80’s days of the Commodore today?  I came across an article on about how advance orders are being taken for the resurrection of the Commodore here in 2011.  It’s being made to look just like the Commodores of the 80’s, but it will have today’s computer capacities since the ’64’ in Commodore 64 referred to the unit having 64 Kilobytes of memory – about the equivalent of one long email, according to the article.  If you’d like to read the article, click here.

My Bloody Valentine 3D

Posted in Movies on January 18th, 2009 and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s almost embarrassing to admit that I saw a movie called, “My Bloody Valentine 3D“.  But the reason I’m writing a blog about it is because I actually liked it.  A true slasher film; the grisly violence was excessive.  But I actually didn’t find myself rolling my eyes at the constant gore fest, which is what I did during the last few movies in the Saw franchise.  In the poorer quality Saw movies, some of the violence doesn’t really even make sense.  It’s almost like they’re trying to see how far they can go, how shocking they can be, and what they can get away with, even if it’s not integral to the plot.  My Bloody Valentine 3D actually has a well-developed, interesting plot.  If you don’t pay attention to the newspaper headlines that come out of the screen in the beginning of the movie (very cool 3D effect – definitely more on those later), the plot might actually be hard to follow.  I know, a good plot is unheard of for a slasher flick, but I was even left to piece together some plot details after the movie was over.  Not that it was too hard to follow, just a lot of continuous action that makes it difficult for one to think about character relationships and how they relate to the plot while also watching the movie.  So for my best attempt at a plot synopsis, here we go…

Harmony is a small mining town where everyone knows everyone else, and the mine is the lifeblood of the town.  The filmakers very successfully give the audience a good feel for the sleepy little mining town.  Decades ago, there was an accident in the mine which was initially blamed on the owner of the mine, Hanniger.  When it was found that the victims of the mining accident were actually brutally murdered, it was blamed upon the sole survivor of the accident, Harry Warden, who is left in a coma.  A few decades later, he wakes up and slaughters 22 people, including a group of teenagers having a party at the mine.  Four of the revelers make it out alive, and flash forward 10 years to now.  Hanniger’s son (he was one of the 4 survivors) returns to the town as a new rash of murders unfold, and he finds himself accused of the brutal crimes.  There’s actually more to it than that, but this kind of gives you an idea about the movie.  The plot and direction of the movie allow the audience to never be sure who to suspect of the murders, and there are various twists and turns.  Very well done for a horror movie, especially one belonging to the slasher genre.  Now on to the 3D effects…

3D does not often work for me because my eyesight is very uneven – I have near perfect vision in my left eye, and terrible vision in my right eye.  But I was sure to bring my eyeglasses, which kind of levels the playing field for my eyes, and so when I wore the 3D glasses on top of my regular eyeglasses, the 3D worked very well.  I’ve been to various 3D shows at Disney World and Universal Studios, and I would say those are the best of the best – but even they don’t always work for me; sometimes I have to squint to be able to see the 3D.  But now it seems there have been some advancements in the technology, and it’s clear the movie industry wants to showcase these advancements given the rash of 3D movie previews I’ve seen in the theaters recently.  Among the 3D features that will be out in 2009 are: Monsters and Aliens, Up, Disney’s a Christmas Carol 3D, Ice Age 3, and Toy Story in 3D.  But anyway, My Bloody Valentine 3D was very cool – the entire movie was actually in 3D for me, and all I had to do was sit there – no fiddling with glasses, no squinting…  and that was a first for me.  The murderer’s weapon of choice is a miner’s ax, and there were many times it would actually appear to come out of the screen (along with disgusting bits of gore, of course)!  Besides that effect, other things about the movie were cool because of the 3D as well; even scenes that consisted exclusively of dialogue.

As one reviewer on mentioned, My Bloody Valentine 3D does not take itself too seriously – and that’s a good thing.  In fact, a few months ago when we first saw the movie’s preview and tagline “Nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!”, we thought it was a joke…  you know, one of those “previews” that actually ends up being a commercial.  But it was for a real movie, and so we couldn’t resist venturing to the big city to utilize a  free voucher we had gotten on a previous visit to see the otherwise expensive 3D ride to Hell.  If you are a fan of horror movies, My Bloody Valentine 3D is a must-see.  I’m not sure how this movie would translate to a regular screen.  It might still be a good horror movie, but given the 3D effects, it was nothing short of awesome!  I would almost classify it as a sort of haunted house experience, except you’re sitting in a seat and not walking around.  If you look at it that way, the $13.50 price tag ($11 matinee) would be a bargain for the over 90 minute experience compared to admission at most haunted houses.  Of course, haunted houses don’t have the extra-long, very gratuitous nude scene, which I could have definitely done without, but since that’s my only complaint about the movie, overall I would definitely consider it an afternoon well-spent with hubby (no we did not take the kids to this feature!)  After all, nothing says ‘date movie’ like a 3D ride to Hell!  Apparently so!