October 28th, 2003

Dark Tower

(no subject)

Cat's Eye is a relatively obscure Stephen King movie -- an anthology film most noted for being King's first screenplay. I've just watched it my current trawl through the backlist of such flicks (and no, it's not just to have something to talk about on lj), and discovered it may be small, but it is perfectly formed. The writing fits the characters and slightly surreal situations perfectly, the actors are pretty much all excellent (including the 12 cats used as the central character), the direction and the special effects great. The main problem is probably the 80s pap over the end credits (it gets good use out of Every Breath You Take though. Hey, maybe that was even for the first time -- see The Sopranos, etc).

Admittedly the fact that the last story is the weakest of them is also a problem, but again I think the actors and effects carry it off well (and special mention to the parents, who made what is generally a thankless pair of roles work really well).

As is reasonably well-known, the prologue that explains what the cat is actually doing throughout the movie was cut, and that might have improved things. It does still exist (Lewis Teague mentions watching it recently in his sparse but interesting commentary), though by his description it seems cutting might have been best -- it apparently involves a mother trying to kill the cat with a machine gun, destroying her home in the process...) I would have liked to see it on the DVD though.

Anyway, it's not the scariest movie out there, but the first two stories in particular capture a real sense of nastiness with an edge of whimsy, and the whole is a pleasure to watch.
Dark Tower

(no subject)

The last couple of days have mainly been me stuffing around on the computer, backing things up, resizing partitions, buying the Britannica cheapish, upgrading my firewall and virus protection etc, etc. So far, everything seems to have gone very well, with the exception of the firewall. I might put Zone Alarm back on instead (I'm sure there is a way to connect our LAN back together through the McAfee firewall, but McAfee doesn't seem keen to tell me how. And maybe the trouble I've started having with Opera is just a coincidence...).

I've also been working on the new campaign, and have even written my first d20 feat! Gosh darn. Whether it's any good or not is yet to be decided. And as almost always happens at this point, I've downloaded a demo copy of Campaign Cartographer, with the wistful idea that I might have enough ability and enough uses for the software to justify the cost, but knowing this is not really the case. Since the last time I did this, my map-making skills have actually increased noticeably, mostly thanks to the work for Eden, although that was all houses, castles, town layout, etc. Terrain is a different problem. For Unua I resorted to coloured blobs on graph paper, and stealing town maps from all sorts of strange places (that was when TSR was starting putting modules up on the web, and I cannibalised some of them mercilessly). Now, I'll probably just resort to a photocopy from my giant book. But, maybe... maybe...