Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Alien Coveant


Alien Coveant is a good movie. Not as interesting as Prometheus was but still a fun ride with some great acting by Michael Fassbender. He was the best actor throughout the movie, showcasing a complex android capable of homoerotic scenes. Let's go over the plot-line. Spoilers incoming. 

The story is similar to the original. There's a space colonization ship carrying 2000 humans (in cryostatis) with 15 crew members. The ship gets hit by a random solar flare in space and it messes up the ship. Walter (our good AI, played by Fassbender) wakes them up and has them fix the ship. They realize that they have to go back to cryostasis for 7 years before they reach their colonization planet destination. They hear a human voice through a transmission and they pinpoint where its coming from. Turned out there was a planet capable of sustaining life that they didn't know about (somehow, mysteriously) so the captain decides to go there. You know what happens next.

They land on the planet, walk around and touch a bunch of plants and go in the caves where Elizbeth Shaw was last seen in (the main character from Prometheus). This was the planet where David (our evil ai, also played by Fassbender) was last at in Promethus. So some crew members get infected by the xenomorph toxin (virus like subsatance) and they get sick. Then the xenomorphs rip them apart and all hell breaks loose.

They're fighting a xenomorph at night when all of a sudden a guy in a hood (with long locks) shoots a flare out into the sky. The xenomorph gets scared and runs off. It turns out to be David. What happens next is the best part of the entire movie. David meets Walter. We find out that David has been genetically engineering xenomorphs and that when he came to the planet he killed all the primitive humans that lived there with the xenomorph virus. Back then it was in an almost infant-like state so it didn't create xenomorphs, we just see a scene of it just killing the inhabitants of this human-like planet.

There's some homoerotic stuff between David and Walter. David kisses Walter at some point. He shows him how to play the recorder and he says,"I'll do the fingering". Kind of funny that they gave an android some sexual elements. There's also a scene where David is trying to kill the female lead role and she asks,"what are you going to do with me"? And he responds,"the same thing I did with her". And then he pushes her on the table, gets on top of her, and then starts to kiss her. What was that implying?

There's a fight between David and Walter. We see Walter about to smash David's head in with a rock but then it ends scene. We don't see Walter kill him so its up to the viewer to make of it what they will. Walter ends up back on the ship with the remaining living crew and they find out an alien infected a guy who got attacked by a face attaching xenomorph. He didn't die but his face was badly burned. Somehow this strain of xenomorph still infects you even if it doesn't kill you. So they have to kill this xenomorph and it turns out to be the standard alien we all know and love. Tall, black, sharp pointy tail, second mouth to feed with. All that jazz.

Our last two living crew members end up shutting it down by releasing it into space. They actually shoot out a giant truck with a spear-like front end and it ends up cutting the xenomorph right through its body, ending the madness.

Then Walter puts the pilot (Tennessee, played by a guy who's shown up in more comedies than science fiction films) into cryostasis. Its the lead actress's turn to go into cryostatis. She's right about to be put to sleep but then at the last second she realizes that something is wrong. What did she realize? Still not too sure about that one. She starts panicking super hard and starts pounding on the class of her chamber. But its too late. Walter puts her to sleep, and then goes to the human embroyo compartment. He takes out four xenomorph embroyos from his mouth and puts them in there. Good luck with your colonization humans.

The main question is the obvious one. When David was sent out by Weyland corp did he have an objective or did he simply become a crazed android that wanted to evolve the universe and create perfect beings because humans were not that? Another thing to point out that's never been explored before in an Alien movie is that when a xenomorph attacked a crewmember David talked to it and said,"calm down, breathe". The xenomorph actually stopped and breathed, talking in its language. Then David said something like,"once you get them to trust you they'll do anything you want for the rest of their life". Boy, so these things can be trained like pets? Mommy, I want one too!

Quite a wild ride of a movie. Everybody pretty much dies and its implied that all 2000 people (in cryostatis) aboard the ship are probably going to get killed by those xenomorph embroyos. Who knows, maybe in a another Alien movie we'll see Walter or some other android controlling them like his pets. Like a summoner character in a video game. That would be fun. The blood frenzy was real in this movie too. You should definitely check it out if you haven't seen it!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Overwatch anniversary! (soon)


Hello ladies and gents of the Internet world who read my blog. Its been a good minute since I wrote about Overwatch but now is definitely the time to get back into talking about it. In three days there will be an anniversary event for the game. It's hard to believe the game's been out a year already but time flies when you're having fun so in that sense its understandable.

For a few months I thought that if I wanted to get farther in music I had to put down the mouse and keyboard (gaming in general, even stopped playing smash competitively) but recently I realized that I shouldn't just go cold turkey and stop playing for too long. Gaming provides me fun, excitement, confidence, and stress relief that is different from playing music. Its kind of funny to say this but I need gaming in order to be happier. I'm glad I figured this out sooner rather than later because without gaming I'm a much different person. I take things too seriously sometimes. Get stressed more easily. Things like that. Anyways that's only a portion of what I wanted to talk about here.

Let's talk Overwatch. Last time I posted about it I wrote a piece about the newest hero to the roster, Orisa. Since her release I haven't exactly been able to figure out if she's even a part of the competitive meta. I see her a lot but I also don't see her a lot. She's a great hero for sure but she isn't exactly new or groundbreaking. Needless to say she's still a great tank character. The fact that she can shoot and put up barriers makes her like a D.Va/Rein combination with Zarya's gravaton projectile, the one where she can push you into the gravitational force of the projectile attack.

My actual gameplay experience this competitive season has been pretty hit or miss. Mostly miss. In one day my sr dropped by like 300 points and there's probably noway for me to climb back up for the remainder of this season. However, I've gained something in the time that I was away from gaming. When I returned (the prodigal son has returned!) I realized that sr and rank doesn't matter.

The only thing that matters is playing your best and getting better at the game, thus honing your skills and having fun. And in that aspect I've succeeded beyond my wildest imaginations. I'm super good at the game now despite not playing for a while. Something just clicked. Playing other games maybe? I've been playing Quake Champions beta...

I'm at an all time high skill cap for Overwatch and this makes me really happy. Being good is different for various gamers but being good for me (as a healers main) means not dying very often, escaping death traps easily and often, healing the majority of the time, and securing kills, sometimes a lot of them. I've been able to do these things pretty well for my skill level (silver-gold rank). I do plan on getting better and trying to reach platinum eventually. 

Last thing I want to discuss is that they teased some new skins for the anniversary event. Check them out on the top of the page. These skins look pretty wacky to me but they are much different from whats already in the game so we gotta give Blizzard credit where is due. Nice job...(slow clap)

So yeah...Overwatch is a year old and there's a lot of stuff planned for next year. There's going to be three more arena (3v3 mode). Poppa Jeff (Jeff Kaplan, Director of Overwatch) has spoken out and said that the first year was all about adding new stuff. Year two will be about supplementing and improving upon what's already there.

Orlando's advice to Blizzard for Overwatch-Just make a summoner hero already!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Phillip K Dick's The Cosmic Puppets


The Cosmic Puppets was the perfect book to get me back into reading science fiction novels. The story itself is very short (130 pages), the writing is simple, and the theme and plot is also quite simplistic. Let's get into it.

The book starts off with a man going on vacation with his wife to his childhood hometown. Once he gets there he realizes that everything is wrong-all wrong. The streets are all named different names, the people are all different, and nobody can remember anything that Ted Barton (the man) remembers about the whole town. He ends up finding out that he actually died in the record books as a kid. So, he ends up going on a mystery tour (magical, in a way) to figure out everything.

He ends up learning all kinds of stuff. There's a kid who can build golems that can get in and out of the barrier between towns. There's these spirits called Wanderers that can float through objects and they're actually people from the old real town. The book has a strong thematic ending that basically resolves with two gods fighting among themselves and the town is just a small picture in a giant universe. Its kind of a metaphysical kind of horror but the beings themselves gives it a science fiction element because they live as part of the Earth as well as space nebula too. 

It's short, simplistic, and straight to the point. Its not the best thing I've read from Dick but it was cool to read one of his short early works. To think this book had horror, fantasy, and science fiction elements and it was written in 1957! That's like way cool man. Although I'm not the biggest fan of horror in science fiction I do think the science fiction element overpowers the horror and it comes out pretty good.

Check this out if you want something short and fun

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

New Track-Overworld Theme



So I created another new track recently. I think I did a much better on the drum programming with this one and I even did like 7 guitar tracks! Craziness. It sounds a lot better than I thought it would be. My next step is to get better with my drum programming to get more varied beats and eventually fills. This soundclip was created with a video game in mind. Think of like walking around in an rpg (science fiction rpg like Xenoblade Chronicles X) and you're walking around the town or you're just getting into a fight, maybe even a boss fight? I don't know. Enjoy, let me know what you think on Soundcloud or even here.

https://soundcloud.com/user-294063763/overworld-theme

Monday, May 1, 2017

New Track


I uploaded a new track to my Soundcloud. Its my first track with drums, although its just a repeated drum loop. Its taking me a while to learn Ableton but once I get the hang of it I'll be able to compose great stuff on my own. The track is called chug it! and its a metal groove. Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/user-294063763/chug-it

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Student becomes Le Better


So my buddy just got back from Coachella and said he had a blast. He said he spent a lot of time playing ukulele and when we jammed today with both of us on guitars he was significantly better. He can actually jam with me and improvise (albeit at a beginners level). The fact that he can keep playing and jam for extended periods of time without running out of ideas or getting hand cramps means he's made an important milestone in his guitar playing. I want him to work on songs too. He's been doing Sum 41's With You on uke and the first little short tune I showed him how to play on guitar was the Adventure Time Theme.

Pretty cool that he can jam out now. I was doing a lot of jazz stuff based around his improv. I also did a lot of chromatic stuff based on jazz harmony changes and it sounded really good. I think he underestimates the fact that he can jam a lot better now. Now we just need the bass player (our friend) to actually play the bass sometime. 

I've been talking to a drummer and and a guitar player about doing some collaboration. I also want to work with my former band's singer on stuff. He's in New York but I was thinking I could just send him tracks and have him do the production end of everything.

The good thing is that my friend is getting better which means I might have somebody to play music with. it also shows that my teaching has had good results. There's a chance that he could surpass me one day on the guitar. I better keep up my chops! Haha.

Exciting! 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Soundcloud


So I created a Soundcloud page where I'll be posting music from now on once I work on more recordings. It will probably take me a long time to add more stuff because I want something more than just guitar tracks, I want full arrangements with drums and stuff using Ableton. But yeah I want to use this soundcloud page to post weird experimental jazz influenced guitar stuff. I'm also interested in using vocals down the line too. Right now all that's on there is two recordings I made for a European pop album that's going to be released soon.

Enjoy!

https://soundcloud.com/user-294063763