Saturday, August 30, 2014

Tonight’s Overnight Comedy Moment: The Observer

Will the Sims 4 be a Success, or a True Debacle?

I mentioned some time back on my Facebook page about the possibility that  the newest Sims reiteration, The Sims 4, had the scent of having problems written all over it.  Well, that whiff of problems is quickly turning into a resounding chorus of negativity.

Initially we found out that EA had cut an entire life stage out of the game. Sorry folks, no more toddlers.  But they will give you some half-assed infant state where they don't do much of anything and can only be interacted with right next to their baby carriage. Big whoop.

If they wanted to cut a life stage, they should've just wiped out the infants as they always have been on the lame side.  But that's beside the point. They should not have cut out an entire life stage at all. It reeks of programming laziness and not even understanding the game you’re working on. 

We’ve been through that  silliness before when EA released the World Adventures Expansion Pack for The Sims 3, which turned out to be a glitch ridden, weak and feeble attempt, at an adventure puzzle solving game to entice other types of gamers to The Sims franchise.  It was a major fail.

Next we found out that there would be no swimming pools in The Sims 4. That meant not only no pools, but everything that went with them including bathing suits.  Once gain, Hot Tubs have hit the road as well.

So now they've deleted one major Sim Recreation, one entire life stage, and one entire section of the wardrobe as a side effect.

Third, we found out that the customization we were used to having in The Sims 3 Create–a–Sim was being watered down to the point that your  choices were strictly limited. This also meant no more customizing your clothes, your furniture, your house, your walls, or anything else beyond anything except what EA could sell you.  You would have only a limited select number of patterns and colors to use as well.  Big whoop.

Fourth, teenagers, adults, and elders would all be the same height, once again erasing part of the line that separated the life stages from one another.  One of those not so subtle cost cutting for profit measures to keep from having to design a more specific clothing line for teens?  No doubt.

EA ballyhooed new Sims Emotions and Interactions, but we finally realized that this was nothing more than putting lipstick on the pig. A new name for the same old same old.

When  all was said and done and everything was added up there was a list of 89 features removed from the Sims game. So take your pick. It is either a game that was rushed out incomplete, or it's the usual cynical EA bullshit of leaving items out to sell them at a premium in their overpriced, Sim Fan Raking Sims store later on.  No group of gamers has been more gullible when it comes to EA's cash driven snow jobs than some of the rabid diehard Sims fans.

Now comes word that EA is withholding pre-release copies of the game for review. Usually this is a sign of trouble ahead. It's a way of getting through the first week of sales without facing the criticisms that are just on the horizon. 

From the Escapist:
Some gamers (like the ones on Reddit) feel this tactic will give EA a leg-up on first-week sales, as most reviews for the game won’t be made available until near the end of the week, and by that time The Sims 4 will have sold enough to look good enough to the average shareholder. It sounds like a petty corporate device for sales, but that’s the kind of sad times we live in.

EA doesn’t need to win, though. The smart thing to do is to NOT buy the game until you can read or watch reviews from sources you trust. Avoid the pre-order gimmicks and don’t buy into any digital bonus deals until you know for certain the game is worth the price of entry.

EA’s CEO Andrew Wilson can talk up about getting around to “listening” to their core audience, as mentioned in the interview with, but it doesn’t mean you have to keep letting them get away with their crap while they eventually learn the hard way what “listening” means.

As gamers, we don’t have to get burned every time in order to learn the lesson of not putting our hands in the fire. We should see the flames, feel the heat, and learn from the past mistakes of companies we’ve come to know to scorch us with shoddy releases and bull-crap-ridden corporate antics.

Here is my prediction that I made on Mod The Sims. The Sims is always a big preorder game, and EA will use those preorder sales numbers to boast that the game is another big seller and to deflect the heavy criticism that is sure to come afterwards.  They hope (and may be right) that nobody will care by the time the game is reviewed. At any rate, in three days we should begin to have our answer.  And yes, one way or the other I’ll be writing about it here.  Stay tuned.

Will Greatest American Hero Rise From The Dead?

The Greatest American hero was a show that ran on ABC from 1981 to 1983. It was initially quite popular but its growth was stunted when the usual network meddling sealed its doom. 
ABC moved it around in the schedule so often during its final season that it should have had a travel Visa.

Now Fox is considering reviving it. And with the right cast members it just might work. But we'll take a wait and see attitude as to whether it even gets done.  This has been talked about before in one form or another and nothing ever came of it.

I love the original series myself and own it on DVD. You can now buy it at a much much lower price than what I paid for it on Amazon originally. Turn off your ad blocking use the inserted ad if you're interested.  I may make five or ten cents in the process, which would be the first commission I’ve made in months.

The show starred William Katt, whom you may remember as Carrie's doomed date at the prom.  He also costarred with his mother Barbara Hale as the son of Paul Drake in the Perry Mason movies. And besides Carrie, he costarred in the movie First Love with Susan Dey.  (Use the links to see what I had to say about those films.)

The show also starred Robert Culp and Connie Selleca.

From Variety:
“Hero” had a bumpy run starting as a midseason entry for ABC in March 1981.  But the show remains well-loved among TV buffs for its offbeat mix of comedy and fantasy. The original starred William Katt as a goofy high school teacher who has an alien encounter in the desert one night that leaves him in possession of a red jump suit that gives him superpowers including the ability to fly.

In short order, he loses the suit’s instruction manual and falls in with an FBI agent who persuades him to help fight crime despite his trouble in figuring out how to work the suit. Robert Culp nearly stole the show from Katt in the role of FBI agent Bill Maxwell in the original series — a character so out-there he would occasionally be seen eating dog biscuits straight from a Milkbone box, without generating any comment from other characters. Connie Sellecca, future co-star of ABC’s “Hotel,” played Katt’s sympathetic girlfriend.

“Hero” was known to have been one of the prolific Cannell’s favorite shows from his long run in TV. It marked the first series to get on the air after Cannell struck out as an independent producer following his long tenure at Universal Television, where he co-created the indelible “Rockford Files” and worked on many other shows. Fox took control of the Cannell Prods. library in 1997 with its purchase of New World Communications. (Cannell died in 2010.)

“Hero” yielded a hit record for singer Joey Scarbury with its theme song “Believe It or Not.” But as noted in “The Complete Directory to Prime Time Network and Cable TV Shows 1946-Present,” the series had the misfortune of giving Katt’s character, Ralph Hinkley, the same last name as John Hinckley, the man who shot President Reagan just two weeks after “Hero’s” premiere. The character’s name was hastily shortened to “Mr. H” in the classroom.

At one time there was talk of a theatrical feature based on the series but that never came about. Let's hope something comes of this. Let's also hope it's done as well as the original if it gets done at all. You know how these things go.  And like I said if you can catch the original please do so. You will be entertained.

The Variety article also talks about a possible remake of The Twilight Zone (again) and Remington Steele the show that launched the career of Pierce Brosnan. My thoughts? No, we don't need another rehash of the Rod Serling classic when the original is just that perfect. No, I don't care if they do Remington Steele or not.  I didn’t watch it then, I probably won’t watch it now.

There's also been talk this week of reviving Full House. Gag me with a maggot.

Tonight’s Overnight Comedy Moment: It’s Murder, Part Two

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Are You Going to Sit Through Two Nights of Houdini?

While I realize that this is only one review, Houdini starring Adrien Brody, in no way shape or form sounds like anything that I would like to sit through for two nights in a row. I don't know if you've ever seen the Hollywoodized version from 1953 starring Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh but I'll take it any day of the week over this mind-boggling heavy-handed psychobabble claptrap.

Yes, I know the Curtis version is highly fictionalized but when I watch a movie about a famous magician I want to be entertained. If I want to see someone psychoanalyzed, I watch The Sopranos.

And if I want to see Adrien Brody, I put in my Blu-ray of King Kong.

From Variety:

Brody represents a casting coup of sorts for the producers and History, but almost from the opening moments, there’s a grating aspect to the film, as if this were the first bio about an overachiever with mommy issues. Perhaps that’s because Houdini, in monotonous voiceover, insists on analyzing what motivated him: “Unlike other people, I don’t escape life; I escape.” (A veteran screenwriter, Meyer’s adaptation is based on a book published by his father, Bernard C. Meyer, in the 1970s.)

Nor is there much supporting help for Brody, with Kristen Connolly coming off as a nag playing Houdini’s perpetually concerned wife, Evan Jones as the architect behind his many tricks, and practically no one else registering.

Leaping about in time, the movie chronicles Harry Houdini’s upbringing as Ehrich Weiss, a Jewish immigrant from Budapest (where, incidentally, the miniseries was shot), parlaying his early love of magic into a stage act that eventually made him one of the most recognizable figures of his era. Along the way, the project takes detours to chronicle some of the other historical figures Houdini encountered, which included using that access to spy on behalf of the Americans and British before World War I.

The mini’s second half, meanwhile (after the most anticlimactic opening-night cliffhanger imaginable), focuses squarely on Houdini’s determination to contact his beloved and departed mother (Eszter Onodi), leading to the war on mediums he conducted, branding them psychics and frauds. That prompts an unexpected run-in with Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, whose wife claimed she could patch Houdini in to the great beyond.

Yes I do realize that there were two other versions of Houdini. One of them starred that Starsky fellow (Paul Michael Glaser) without Hutch and costarred Archie Bunker's daughter Gloria Stivic (Sally Struthers). But one of my exes was a devout Starsky and Hutch fan, and rammed it down my throat every chance she got.  So I cannot be objective in regards to Starsky's Hutchless Houdini. However, I might record it and watch Mr. Brody in the future sometime between now and the next decade.  If I’m not doing anything important.  You know, like living.

Update:  Here’s another opinion from Roger Ebert’s leftover movie review web site.  It’s not any better.

There’s just way too much filler between those moments of passion. Speaking of passion, Brody and Kristen Connolly, as his put-upon wife who was more of an assistant than a partner, have zero chemistry, although it’s not really the fault of the charming “House of Cards” star as much as the screenwriters who gave her no character with which to work. Again, it comes back to the writing. When Houdini and wife argue about how she's putting him in a box in their marriage and she says “You’re only happy in a box!,” even the most forgiving of melodrama fans will roll their eyes.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tonight’s Comedy Moment: It’s a Recession.

It's a recession 1

It's a recession 2

Cops Crew Member, Bryce Dion, Shot and Killed during taping of an episode in Omaha.

Cops-TV-showIt's probably been years since I’ve watched an episode of Cops. Even in its heyday I was not a big fan of the show. Once you've seen two or three episodes you realize that the episode you're watching is just like the one you watched the week before and the week before that and the week before that etc. But that's the way it is with any reality show, whether it's American Idol, Survivor, The Bachelor, Honey-Boo-Boo, the Bigoted Dork Dynasty guys, or the latest episode of Fun in the Wilderness  brought to you by the Queen idiot of Alaska, Sarah Palin.  Reality shows? I'm just not that into you.

Cops has been on the air for over 20 years and has had its first fatality. No it wasn't one of the boys in blue, it was one of the crew members. As bad as this is when you remember that the show has been in production for that long and this is its first fatality, that's not a bad record.

wendys_restaurantThere are a lot of dangerous professions in this country. I know this to be a fact from first-hand experience. Back in the days when I was working in convenience stores I was held up two different times. The fact that I'm here writing this means just one thing: that I and some of the people I were is working with during the second robbery were damn lucky. 

On the first robbery I was working by myself. Due to the stupidity of one of the thieves I accidentally caught a glimpse of his face. When they tied me up in the back room I thought for sure I was a goner.

bryce-dionIt's amazing that people don't realize that many of these convenient store workers who get nothing but minimum wage are working one of the most dangerous jobs we have for very little money.
So was there some supreme being looking after me? No, it was just pure dumb luck that I survived. I could just as easily have been very dead.

What makes this even worse is that Mr. Dion was killed by friendly fire.   But once again you have to wonder, was 30 shots absolutely necessary?

From Deadline Hollywood:

Omaha police chief news conference: “This was a friendly-fire situation. It was an officer’s round that struck Mr. Dion,” Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said at a news conference that just wrapped, discussing the shooting death of Cops crew member Bryce Dion last night during police response to a robbery at a Wendy’s restaurant.

Cortez Washington, the robbery suspect, fired the first two shots and while his weapon was discovered to be an Airsoft pistol that does not fire bullets, Schmaderer said the shots produced a muzzle flash and sounded like actual gunshots to the police officers.

“Like I said earlier, his gun was an Airsoft gun and looked and sounded like it was real,” Schmaderer said. Schmaderer said the three officers who had entered the restaurant fired at Washington who ran out of the restaurant’s east door; Dion was in the east doorway and was hit. Dion was wearing a ballistic vest, but the bullet “came in under his left arm and slipped in between the vest, where there is an open area.”

Local media have reported 30 shots were fired by officers responding to the scene. Schmaderer declined to confirm that because, he said, “it is the subject of a grand jury investigation.” But he added the reporters “inference” is that the number of shots fired by the three police officers who went into the restaurant was excessive, “and I don’t believe it was.” He vehemently denied suggestions the hail of bullets suggests the police were showing off for the Cops camera.

“Any criticism is unmerited. The grand jury will see this video, and I’m confident they will come to same conclusion,” he said of the footage the Cops crew had shot at the scene, which he said has been turned over to authorities for the investigation. The three officers have been placed on paid administrative leave, Schmaderer said, adding that a grand jury has been convened with regard to the shooting.

Read the rest of the story by using the provided link.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Classic Playboy Comic Joke 8/25/2014

I have been placing these comics on my Facebook page that is supposed to be associated with this blog. I did it that way because technically it was easier than formatting a post here for one single picture. In other words I was being a lazy S.O.B.

If you post in a lot of forums as I often do, you make a lot of enemies and not a lot of friends. A lot of those people that you piss off, will always be looking for a way to get back at you. So it's not always advisable to be pointing out the errors of someone's way.

On Facebook you're always in danger of being censored by the puppets of Mark Zuckerberg.  Buried deep in my photograph albums was an old comic that dared to show a woman's nipples. I don't even remember how it got uploaded to my photographs, because I had an exact duplicate where I used photoshop to cover up those little red cartoon dots that might be used to breast feed some cartoon baby of the future. 

So some Neanderthal reported my big obscenity in an effort to get my account banned. It didn't work. I found the picture myself and deleted it before Zuck’s loyal minions could get their hands on it.  Or me, or whatever.

So for the time being I'll just post my nightly comics whatever they may be to my blog and post the link on my Clyde’s Stuff  Facebook page. By the way, why aren't you people visiting me on Facebook? On the other hand why aren't you people on Facebook, visiting my blog?

Here is tonight's overnight comedy.  I hope you enjoy it.  Don't forget to visit my Facebook page for the nightly Movie/TV musical moment.

Playboy Overnight Funnies