Barnestorming #9210- The Digital Transcendence of Deckbuilding, Witcher 2, Bad Brains

Barnestorming #9210- The Digital Transcendence of Deckbuilding, Witcher 2, Bad Brains Hot

Michael BarnesMichael Barnes   April 19, 2012  
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para_13_imgNeverr RL, at least.

On the Table

I actually don’t have anything to review this week. The tide has waned, at last. I’m not running on empty- I got a package from the fine folks at Stronghold containing their very awesome-looking Revolver and the very Citadels-looking Lost Temple. Both should be reviewed shortly- maybe even next week since they’re smaller titles and I can probably get in a bunch of plays between Hellfire Club and some home sessions. Destined Hero is coming up too.


So it’s an editorial this week inspired by our very own Dragonstout. He asked me in the forums what it was about physical Ascension that prompted me to sell it…although I like and have championed the IOS game extensively. So it’s about how deckbuilders are really at their best when the transcend physical media and exist digitally. I’m sorry, but the physicality of touching cards or whatever and even sitting at a table to play it is trumped by actually GETTING to play the game as much as I want with real people and for a fraction of the cost. And that frees time up on game night to play more Cosmic Encounter or whatever.

On the Consoles

Witcher 2. If you like role-playing games in any capacity, this is the game you simply have to play. It’s amazing, and afteronly about six hours into it I would absolutely call it one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played- up there with Baldur’s Gate, KOTOR, Wasteland, and so forth. It completely wipes the floor with everything Bethesda has _ever_ done and it humbles BioWare’s best. It’s a smart, sophisticated game that’s very adult and not immature or facile at all.

The fantasy is definitely low, more in line with Glen Cook, Joe Abercrombie, or (gritting teeth) George Martin than Tolkien. It’s also very European, and everything is grounded and realistic- even the damn elves. The attention to detail is sometimes staggering- there’s a siege that opens the game where you can sit on this overlook and just watch these trebuchets being loaded and firing.

The combat is closer to Dark Souls than Skyrim (thank god). Hacking and slashing doesn’t work. Every fight, even against peon guards, requires you to prepare and think on your toes.

The writing is spectacular, even when the voice acting isn’t. There are little touches that are subtle but just add to the overall density of the game- there’s a beat in the intro cinematic where a king being attacked by an assassin on a ship actually stops to finish his drink as his bodyguards rise to his defense. The characters are realistic, not necessarily good guys, and intrigue abounds- not just Z-grade pulp fighting and lame nth-generation Tolkien/D&D junk.

It’s cool that there’s a trade-off going on this year, with 360 getting Witcher 2 and PCs getting Dark Souls- the two best RPGs of this gaming generation.


I got Gratuitous Space Battles, but between the game constantly crashing and the fact that I really don’t think I like it, I don’t see it sticking around on the desktop for long. It seems like a cool idea, but a bunch of micromanaging ship designs and then throwing them at an AI fleet to see what happens is pretty dull.

On the Screen

I re-watched the David Lynch Dune for about the zillionth time. I don’t care what anyone says, I still think it’s a great science fiction picture even if it completely changes certain elements of the book like the Wierding and it almost requires you to have read the book to understand anything that’s going on.

The design is brilliant; it is for me the definitive look of Dune- some of that may have to do with seeing it in the theater when I was nine. There are TONS of great, visionary design pieces in it- I love the colossal picture frame on the Guild Transport you see during the crossing to Arrakis. The Sardaukar are definitely better than the Czech chefs from the SciFi channel version. Sting looks great as Feyd. I love the music (Toto?!). I love some of the bizzare, stilted dialogue. The internal monologues. I even love the god damned on-screen title fonts.

It strikes me as funny that it’s almost not considered a “canonical” David Lynch film because it is so totally David Lynch- it’s just a genre he doesn’t typically approach. There are moments in it that are as David Lynch as anything in Blue Velvet, Lost Highway, or Eraserhead. The first scene on Giedi Prime is TOTALLY David Lynch- all overblown melodrama, awkward looks, and grotesquerie. Some of the characters feel completely like David Lynch figures. Even the Guild Navigator.

Where it kind of falls apart is when the scope gets bigger- the heroic, epic thing isn’t something he’s really invested in- or capable of. Which is one of the reasons I think the movie is considered a failure as a whole. It was groomed to be a Star Wars-style blockbuster complete with toys and merchandising…but it’s really a very strange, off-kilter kind of science fiction movie.

Love his cameo in it…you can’t miss his big, Midwest accent even in the middle of a sandstorm.

On Spotify

You just can’t beat having a playlist on random with over 1200 tracks of American hardcore, 1980-1987.

Mostly I’ve been listening to Bad Brains though, they’re the band that I always seem to come back to when looking for the best of the genre. You just can’t beat the ROIR cassette (well, CD…er…stream). So many great- and very distinct- hardcore cuts on that record. No other band has EVER matched their sheer power, ferocity, and skill.

I’ve been listening to some of their NYC/DC hardcore contemporaries as well- especially the great New York Thrash compilation from 1982 with a couple of pre-rap Beastie Boys tracks on it, Kraut, Even Worse, Jesse Malin’s first band Heart Attack, Undead, Adrenaline O.D. and so forth. Awesome stuff and an essential document.

I’ve even been listening to some Cro-Mags, who I’ve never really liked…but I’m digging “Before the Quarrel”, a collection of demos of stuff that went on their debut, “Age of Quarrel”. Super raw and aggressive. Totally not into the Hare Krishna thing at all though.

It’s kind of an issue I have with Bad Brains too- the Rasta thing has always been kind of off-putting to me, particularly when it gets into homophobia on one of their later records and the religious element isn’t what hardcore is all about for me. That said, it obviously inspired HR and crew and put some real passion and fire in what they do, so there’s that going on as well. I’m all about the positive messages and goodwill- but not the fealty to belief systems.

I also just started to listen to this new-ish hip hop outfit out of Sacramento called Death Grips. Holy shit, it’s brutal. Problem is, most noisy/experimental hip hop tends to be a flash in the pan without any staying power. Dalek, Techno Animal and so forth were great for a few listens, but I never go back to them.

I definitely prefer Ascension on iOS, but I prefer Nightfall in person. The additional complexity and space required are better suited to the real world, I think, but I certainly do appreciate getting to play more often.
30 simultaneous games??!?! How is that remotely satisfying? It's not possible to keep track of what's really going on in each game at that point, and then why even bother, other than to waste time? Maybe your baby is a helluvalot different than mine, because "wasting time" is pretty low on my priority list since becoming a father; time >>> money at this point, even (and not because I'm some fat cat).

Thanks for the shoutout.
You hit it right on in your editorial. Super procedural, lower interaction games are better electronically. Take Fields of Fire---coming out on iOS. Ill play the shit out of it.
I've always preferred the Lynch version of Dune to any of the others I've seen. It's got flaws but the design and look are excellent and I think the casting was great even with Kyle McLachlan seeming too old for the role of Paul. I still pull out the extended version with all the extra cut stuff and watch it from time to time.
I have no interest in playing any sort of card or board game with strangers, whether on iOS or at a convention. Meeting up with friends is the point of the exercise for me, regardless of what game is on the table.

It works better for you Michael, but it would be shame for some of us if the iOS implementations convinced some publishers to not bother at all with table-top versions.
I am really looking forward to Revolver -- interested in the review.
Yes, Toto does the soundtrack for Dune and it ranks up there as one of my favorites.
David Lynch's Dune is one of the best sci-fi movies ever made.
Is the version of Dune you're rewatching the original release, or the version with added materials? I haven't seen it since the 80s and the thing that struck me most at the time was how the original storyline had been just cropped to bits to get it down in length, the result of an argument between Lynch and the holders of his purse strings. I liked it, but realized half had been left behind.

My best friend saw it a year later in its extended version and liked it much more. When I rewatched with him on VHS it was much more coherent.

First of all, you're wrong about Rune Age, Barnes. Period.
You hit it right on in your editorial. Super procedural, lower interaction games are better electronically.

I think you hit it a bit closer, Sax.

A game is, to borrow Greg Costikyan's definition, a struggle to accomplish a goal. If that struggle is more with the rules of the game than with the other players, then I don't really need the other players. Whether my opponent is a friend, some random dude in China, or a robot is irrelevant, because I'm largely playing against the game, not my opponent. So, yeah, in those cases, bring on the iPhone.

Deckbuilders are the second best example of this point. Yes, you are competing against the other people at the table, and yes, your play may negatively impact their standing in the game. Your real opponent, though, is the mechanical structure of the game itself. Your main adversaries from turn to turn are the arbitrary restrictions on your play served up by the rules themselves. But the best example of this, of course, are co-op games. If you're my friend, then your company adds something to the game for me, but this would be true whether you were actually playing or not. As a player, I simply don't fucking need you around. I'm competing against words on a page, and so are you. The game is taking place in front of us, not between us.

The struggle with the rules I'm referring to here has nothing to do with administrivia. I'd be perfectly happy to play a game like ASL (or at least something in the same league) face to face, because even though all the rules are a bitch to try and keep track of, they exist for the most part to give you a multitude of ways in which to confound, control, or otherwise directly screw with your opponent. Either that, or they introduce enough different potential risks that trying to sit down and outgame the rules system becomes futile.

As for them being more accessible, meh. I probably could have banged out two online Chess games in the time it took me to make this post. No way in hell would I play the game that way, though. Ditto for Backgammon. I bring these two games up because, if there were any two games where face to face play has been made obsolete by computers, it's these two. Still, I set aside time to play them both regularly, in person, and would not play them any other way against a human being, no matter how much more often I got to have at them. There's just too much that goes on mentally between the two players for the convenience of computer play to be worth it.
Sure, the argument- as always- is that something is lost by not playing these games face to face.

Well, I don't know about anyone else, but playing games on screens more than maybe twice a week depresses the fuck out of me. I like playing board games precisely because it's not something I can just do every day, or every other day. It's appointment gaming; it's an escape from my day-to-day grind, not a part of it.

The day I can play whatever board game I please whenever I please is the day I stop looking forward to the next time I get to play Dune, or Earth Reborn, or The Awful Green Things from Outer Space. I can't tell you when the last time I looked forward to playing a video game was, but I can tell you it's something that'll never happen again as long as I live. If it ever gets to the point where I can't get as excited about playing a board game as I can over a round of Golf, then I will be done with board games for good.
BTW, forgot to mention that it was a great article, the kind of thing I've been missing lately. And I've gotta see Dune sometime; I just put it off because I haven't read the book, and I put the book off because it always seems like there are a million better things to be reading.

I wholly disagree with you, mjl, on cooperative games. To me, the thing that makes cooperative games FUN is the discussion with each other about what's best; I don't WANT to just sit there and wrack my brain to figure it out on my own. That's why Space Alert is my favorite cooperative game (though whenever I play Lord of the Rings I do feel like it's one of the best games ever made).

I do, however, agree with you on everything else, and in particular I COMPLETELY agree with you on the depressing nature of playing games on screens. It's soul-sucking, I feel like every minute I spend playing a game on a screen is a minute I become a less interesting person. That's the real reason why I can't understand why people play so many board games on their iOS, what a fucking waste. God knows I'm the biggest MTG fan on this site, probably, and I do play MTGO, but whenever I do too much of it I get an awful awful feeling (except for the Cube, that was unbelievable). I can't even play single-player video games without someone sitting next to me on the couch to talk to and share in the experience, really.
You're lucky it's Dune. My guilty pleasure sci-fi movie is Ghosts of Mars...
I've been playing through the Witcher 2 since it came out for the 360 on Tuesday. I want to love it, but my one complaint about it is the way the controls for movement feel. It feels rigid - if you approach an edge, you can't just jump or fall off. To climb or jump in the areas where you can, you hit the same button you use for combat. If you move forward and then turn around or change direction, it's just not very fluid, at all. Compare this to Skyrim or Dragon Age or, hell, even Final Fantasy XIII, and movement feels constrained, which kinda breaks my immersion. Great story, great everything otherwise, but the controls are a sticking point for me.
Gary Sax wrote:
Super procedural, lower interaction games are better electronically.

Although they can also work as social knitting games (something to do with your hands while you chat). I've actually been playing a lot of Ascension with The Man. You get to the point where you barely have to look at the cards, so it's just face time and conversation with some whining about the shit hand you just drew thrown in.
This article made me wish I had an iPad. Maybe then I could play more Titan too...

Lynch's Dune looks terrific and is an absolute train wreck besides that. The closest thing I could compare it to is Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. There's some terrific stuff, but the writing simply can't deal with the scope and the complexity and so the whole thing is a hot mess. It's interesting to me that the best adaptation of Dune is probably the board game.
Nate really is dead to me. I think he's about 10 years too young.

Dune is, as Michael said, the bar with which all other things Dune are measured. It's a masterpiece, visually, and the music and tone is perfect. Anyone who could expect even a 3 hour film to possibly encompass all of the complex themes and narratives of the novel is kidding themselves. It's simply not possible. You could make a 9 movie, LOTR-esque film series and STILL miss shit.

Gratuitous Space Battles SUCKS. It's a shite simulator that's been done to death on PC, and it doesn't even have the 4X engine behind it as a saving grace. It is the definition of BOLLOCKS.

I've been playing Battle Fleet a lot lately, which is a cheap, stupid take on the old Scorched Earth artillery game, but with ships and a too-short campaign. It's not Angry Birds (which could've been called Sharp Needles Vs. Hot Spoons) kind of addicting, but you can spend some time with it and it's time well spent. Wishing that they'd have a Japanese campaign, and they "say" they're going to be developing a lot of shit....we'll see.
Dune is, as Michael said, the bar with which all other things Dune are measured.

The book Dune is what all other things Dune are measured against. Some of the densest plotline and exposition you'll read. The film skitters across its surface barely getting its feet wet.

The movie was visually impressive but seriously flawed and, frankly, in my opinion is part of the reason the Herbert Estate is so guarded with its license. The film lost a pretty solid chunk of cash and was savaged by the Black Barneys of its day.

Pete, it's not that the movie misses stuff. I am generally a big defender of movies dropping stuff out of adaptations, because that's the only way they make good movies.

No, the problem is that Dune makes no earthly sense. I read the book right before seeing it, and it still was impossible to follow. I mean, at the premier the viewers were handed a brochure that explained the movie and people still had trouble with it.

That's also the problem with Bakshi's LotR actually.
The other problem with Bakshi's Lord of the Rings is that it only covered the first 2/3 of the trilogy. The Return of the King was a Rankin-Bass production, and featured Casey Kasem as Merry. I shit you not.
I can't help your inability to grasp it, San. Some of us are just smarter than others, I guess. :)
Strange, I had no problem with following the Dune movie's plot, and I haven't read the book before seeing it. And it has such great atmosphere, that I wouldn't even have minded if I didn't understand anything. Personally I'm very happy that it was made by Lynch the way it was, instead of being made into a LOTR-style kitschfest by some more conservative director.
Sagrilarus wrote:
The book Dune is what all other things Dune are measured against.

SMH. Obviously, Sag. Interpretations and reimaginings are what I'm talking about. I'm sure the miniseries on SyFy might've been the dog's bollocks had Lynch not done his epic creation first, but as it rests, it looks like a high school AV project in comparison. And those two are the only two that I've seen available thus far. I own both and I've watched the Lynch version probably 15 times and the miniseries twice, once because I watched it with someone who hadn't seen it.

Someone had said they were going to RE-redux it again, someone else directing...and again I shake my head wondering why Hollywood doesn't start importing someone from somewhere because those sods are completely out of ideas.
Backing off your point again Pete?

Lynch's film is the slickiest version. That's about where it ends. Content-wise it's a train wreck.

I don't think that was Lynch's fault, because as it was being filmed the word on the street was that it looking to be five hours long, and that the producers lowered the boom on him and forced him to cut 60% of his material. I don't know if that's true or not, but that's what I recall hearing at the time and it's the kind of thing that leaves a pretty big impression. Everyone knew this film was in trouble before it was released.

The film is very pretty to look at, but that's where it ends. I read the book quite a bit prior to seeing the film and I recall sitting in the theater working hard to recall the plot-line so that I could explain what was going on to my girlfriend. She wanted to leave halfway through even with my running commentary.

As I mentioned above, all of this is regarding the original version of the film that ran about two hours. The later releases added material which apparently made things better. My viewing of the VHS release with a friend was better. Still not great, but better. I think there's a third version out there but I've only seen two, and I don't know which of the two follow-ons I viewed.

The book is thicker than it looks. I'm not the biggest Herbert fan but I'll give him credit -- the guy could fit twice as much material onto every page as anyone else in the genre. When he died halfway through one of the later Dune books his son picked up where he left off, and you can pick out the sentence where the transition occurred. Herbert is much tougher material to cover than other writers due to his writing style.

ubarose wrote:
Gary Sax wrote:
Super procedural, lower interaction games are better electronically.

Although they can also work as social knitting games (something to do with your hands while you chat). I've actually been playing a lot of Ascension with The Man. You get to the point where you barely have to look at the cards, so it's just face time and conversation with some whining about the shit hand you just drew thrown in.

This is exactly how I feel about Dominion. Whenever acquaintances ask how I can complain about RFTG's lack of player interaction and not Dominion's, I explain that Dominion, after initially analyzing the setup, lets me relax and chat with my friends (don't even have to pay attention at all when it's not your turn), pausing the chit-chat to observe especially crazy situations, whereas Race for the Galaxy actively stops me from doing so.
Not a bit. It's pretty obvious that the book itself is what spawned all imitators and thus is the pre-eminent source of what defines Dune. It is easily my most-read book series, and second favorite SciFi property behind Burroughs' John Carter series.

And you're right, his son is not nearly the man the father was.
Ghosts of Mars? Yikes.

When I was studying adaptation in film school, I really developed an appreciation for what it means to translate a novel or other media into a screenplay. Most people that have no fucking clue about screenwriting think that adaptation literally means copying words from one page to another, or doing something absolutely disasterous like using a comic book as storyboards (see: Watchmen, 300). These are the same kind of people that bitch and whine about things cut out of or changed in LOTR- Tom Bombadil had to go because he sucks and it contributes nothing to the core storyline or themes. Arwen had to show up at Helm's Deep because the audience needs to see her again and it has to be established that she's, you know, an actual character in the overall story.

Getting back to Dune, it's really amazing how much of the book is on the screen- the adaptation is actually really good, but it's so dense and it either requires knowledge of the book or a willingness on the part of the audience to fill in the blanks around some of the more esoteric or vague elements. There's a lot of terminology and characters, and I think the screenwriters felt that given that Star Wars had a lot of terminology and characters (as well as an in media res story that doesn't explain everything) that audiences would run with it. It didn't really pan out.

I've seen pretty much every cut of it from the theatrical version, which I saw in the theater in '84, up through the director's cut, the Alan Smithee version, the TV two-parter, and the five hour workprint that I used to have on VHS. It was almost unwatchable because of the quality, timecode, and unfinished footage but it REALLY shows how difficult editing the film must have been...and how longer/more DEFINITELY doesn't mean better. The best cut, really, is the theatrical one. It's the tightest and most reasonable.
The only really excellent things about the Lynch film is the appearance of the Navigators and Piter DeVries' mantra, which is forever in my head (the stains become a warning...) The content, pacing, and self-indulgent directorial style pretty much destroys it, otherwise. Would it have been different if they'd let him do a 5-hour movie? Maybe. If we still had to deal with the melodramatic acting, the pointedly moody camera work (I can see the editing room already: "Does this feel heavy enough? Maybe we should let the shot linger another few seconds?"), and the whole sound weapon routine, I kinda doubt it. It's simply not a good film. I'm still hoping for someone to come along with an LotR budget and say that they're at least going to do two films. Or maybe an HBO series.

Bad Brains is one of my all-time favorite bands, if not THE favorite. Their first album is in my top three for "stuck on a desert island with only one album/CD/collection of MP3s" (although, now that I think of it, did the sea water or the shipwreck just wipe out all the rest of the stuff on my iPod?)) When they started in the 70s, no one played like that and it was brilliant. One of my favorite moments in music is that first guitar growl from Dr. Know on The Big Takeover.
I will say this for Dune: the movie has balls. I would expect nothing less from Lynch, and the movie is still a train-wreck. But it does swing for the fence. It's not satisfied to go the easy route. And I agree, the design is excellent. It nails that perfect balance between alien and familiar. I wish more blockbusters took risks like that, even if it occasionally results in a mess of a movie.
They would, but asshats proclaim it's "unwatchable" or "try to hard" and you end up with shit like Ghosts of Mars instead! :)

Yes, I'm that one guy who liked Chronicles of Riddick, too, because they swung for the fences. That, and I'm secretly in love with Vin Diesel.
I loved the first witcher and have played it 3 times through with great enjoyment. The controls however for the second one turned me off on release. i tried many times with each "enhancement" they release to pick it up but it still feels VERY stiff and makes me wish for the old point and click system.

None of the dune movies have really done the books justice but lets be honest. Unless someone with Peter Jackons zeal and money tackles Dune on the big screen you won't get any satisfaction. Even than i am sure some will still nit pick like they did with Jackson's LoTR trilogy.

WTF is wrong with The Chronicles of Riddick? So it wasn't Pitch Black but it was damn fun to watch anyway! My guilty pleasure is Troy so rip away. :)
Tom Bombadil had to go because he sucks and it contributes nothing to the core storyline or themes

This is 100% wrong, bar the part about him having to go. He had to go because his segment would have tortuously tedious on-screen and because what he does contribute to the core storyline and themes is extremely subtle and entirely literary and would have been lost entirely in the translation to film. It also, I'll admit, one of the weaker sequences in the story. One day well have to have a big argument about the second film, where Jackson leapt all the way from entirely necessary changes to pointless butchery. That'd be fun :)

All the stuff I keep hearing about the Witcher 2 is pushing me to toward the point where I'm starting to feel I want to get a 360 just so I can play it. But I just got Fatal Frame 1 & 2 for my old Xbox, so not quite yet.
The Chronicles of Riddick was great.

When I first heard that there was going to be a live-action LotR movie trilogy, I was very afraid that they were going to Jar-Jar it (i.e. shit all over) by casting Robin Williams as Tom Bombadil, aka Mork from Ork. Fortunately Jackson had the common sense to leave Bombadil out. Bombadil is okay in the book, but he would have been too much on the big screen.
I've never seen Chronicles but I like Pitch Black for the same reason that I like Event Horizon: they actually use science to some degree. The accident with the ship in space is silent and completely plausible (dust and micrometeorites are a significant issue for interstellar travel.) Once the creatures get involved, it's a little rockier, but overall it's not a bad film.

I know Chronicles has
Sevej wrote:
My guilty pleasure sci-fi movie is Ghosts of Mars...
I love that movie! Ice Cube is fun to watch, whether he's a barber or a thug, a pothead or a space mercenary.

I even loved it the first time I saw it, when it was called Pitch Black.

On the other hand, I couldn't finish watching Dune. It bored the shit out of me. Literally - I was so bored that I said, 'I think I would rather drop a deuce than watch the rest of this movie.'

Not really. But I was too bored to finish watching it.
InfinityMax wrote:
I was so bored that I said, 'I think I would rather drop a deuce than watch the rest of this movie.'

That's not saying much, very few movies are as enjoyable as dropping a deuce.
More people should play Nightfall on iOS with me. I need to review it and Barnes refuses to play with me and no one else on my Gamecenter seems to have it. Add me: MattLoter

Bad Brains are awesome. Cro Mags are awesome. NYHC is, in general, totally awesome. HR is an out of his mind dickhead now though, while John Joseph is one of the nicest most positive people around. He also wrote an amazing book; Evolution of a Cro Magnon.
Event Horizon is definately under-rated, a very cool movie.
A few years ago the Beastie Boys released a disc of their pre- rap material, Some Old Bullshit.
It's got some good stuff on it.
MattDP wrote:
All the stuff I keep hearing about the Witcher 2 is pushing me to toward the point where I'm starting to feel I want to get a 360 just so I can play it. But I just got Fatal Frame 1 & 2 for my old Xbox, so not quite yet.

Get a PC. The version is better and moddable.
Matt If you are going to get an X-box 360 get it for the right reasons. Those two reasons would be Dragon's Dogma and Dark Souls. If you haven't played the first witcher i highly recommend picking up the enhanced version so you can really understand the setting of the game.
I bought Witcher 2 - you guys better be right that it is good. Ah, who am I kidding, it will probably remain in shrink for months if not years.

I never heard a song from Bad Brains though I know of them - I guess I need to get a CD of theirs.

Event Horizon: not a good movie. I remember watching it with some friends and afterwards I turned to them and, in a derogatory tone, said "so the ship went into a dimension of eeeevilll? And with our laughter we forgot about that film.

Ghosts of Mars: not great but still watchable. Interesting cast.

Chronicles of Riddick. Fun movie. I like it and Pitch Black and can't wait for the next one. (There are some costumed shots of Vin on the set of the next one.

Dune: Saw this in the theater. Remember the NY Times giving a full page to explain the characters, houses, etc. Saw the version where more voice over was added (I liked this version as it helped understand things much better).