Far Cry 5

Over the years I have played many different games franchises such as Tomb Raider, Call of Duty, Just Cause, Need For Speed, and a few others. My favourite FPS is Far Cry because you can just run around anywhere, there is plenty to shoot at, the missions are fun, and the worlds are huge. So when Far Cry 5 came out I was looking forward to seeing where the game goes. New games these days though are expensive, so I waited until the price dropped, and luckily I was able to buy it during a special discount weekend on Origin for a very decent price.

I played this a few weeks ago, just after having completed Far Cry 4 for maybe the third or fourth time. So I was looking forward to spending a few weeks getting through it. Unfortunately though it was a shorter game than previous games, and when it came to and end I was disappointed, it seemed a bit short. I am not one for going through and completing all of the side missions, and collecting all of the secrets, so I just blasted through the main story.

Overall it is not as good as Far Cry 4 which is a hoot of a game. Whereas FC4 had a lot of humour mixed in with a dramatic story, FC5 was mostly drama, and at times quite depressing. The main evil dude was a nutjob cult leader, very much like that Waco guy, and he wants to basically end mankind. It is all set somewhere in backwoods U.S.A. which looks great, but is not exotic like the locations in previous games. It didn’t really do anything new either, it was just more of the same in a new location.

Shooting stuff though is still fun, and overall it is a satisfying game to play, but I would still rate this third behind FC4 and FC3.

It will be interesting to see what they do for the next game.

No Escape

Having watched two film-noir flicks recently I though one more would be a good idea, so I found this on YouTube.

The story tells of a woman who thinks she may have moidered someone (by accident), a down-and-out musician who at first tries to extort money out of her, and her boyfriend, who is a cop but obviously a dirty one. Things happen and by the end the woman and the musician fall in love with each other, and the bad cop turns out to be the actual murderer.

Pretty standard stuff, and neither good nor bad. Mostly I enjoy these kinds of film because it is a good look into how life was before computers, smartphones, people saying “awesome” (a word I flatly refuse to actually speak) at everything, and reality TV. Still, you can’t call yourself a film buff if you don’t watch a wide variety of flicks.

At the end of the film the down-and-out musician gets to sing his new song “No Escape”, and it is heard by a film executive who offers to buy the song, thus ending the film with smiles all round. Awesome!

I can’t really recommend it, watch a Humphrey film instead, but at the end after a chuckle at the silliness of it all I was satisfied.

Date watched: September 17th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2019: 27

Blanck Mass – Odd Scene / Shit Luck

I few weeks back I was researching Buck Futtons and wondering if they have released any new material since the excellent “Slow Focus” which came out six years ago now. Turns out they have not released anything since then but are apparently working on a new album.

On Bandcamp however I came across this release which is by one of the Buck Futton members, and I liked what I heard so purchased it with glee. There are two songs and they are a kind of a cross between the Buck Futtons, Ministry, and European electronic metalcore. It’s rather good I must say, but not to everyone’s taste.

Take a listen for yourself, best thing to do.

It was only US$2, cheaper than chips.

Music count 2019: 24

Take One False Step

It was good to watch an old-timey film again, so I chose another last night. This was a completely random choice on YouTube.

The opening credits started the film off with shots of people stepping into various bad incidents or situations (stepping into open manholes, stepping onto a bar of soap outside the shower, going up steps to the wedding altar, etc), played to some upbeat music, so it seemed like a comedy. It turned out to be a thriller though, a passable one.

Cops on the case.

Shelley Winters played an old flame of a successful college professor, and both get mixed up in a murder mystery (her murder..or so it seemed) with the professor trying to clear his good name while having to deal with a potential rabies infection.

It has a simple plot with no extra machinations piled on that today’s films would do. It all plays out as we would expect it to which makes the little twist at the end all the more twisty.

The acting was quite standard. The actors, apart from Shelley, all had decent but not stellar careers. The lead role was played by William Powell who looked awfully fancy in this 1922 silent film called When Knighthood Was in Flower

At first I found it hard to get into watching this, but once the plot picked up I found it to be watchable. It was interesting to see 1949 Los Angeles and San Francisco though. At one point in the film the main actor refers to his rental car as a “drive yourself” which I found odd. It turns out this was probably referring to the American Driveurself Association, which seems to have been how you rented a car in the U.S. back in the day.

You can find much better films to watch from the 1940’s/50’s, but I found it quite watchable.

Date watched: September 15th
Score: 6/10
Film count 2019: 26

Fourteen Hours

This is a 1951 film noir drama about a young chap who wants to jump from the 15th floor of a hotel because life sucks, and the cop who tries to talk him off the ledge.

I had not heard of most of the actors, although upon researching this film I found that they were all significant film and TV actors in the day and beyond, just not up there with The Kirkster or Elizabeth Taylor or whatnot. Grace Kelly made her film debut in this with a minor role.

The young chap was played by Richard Basehart who would go onto play Wilton Knight of Knight Rider fame, although he was killed off in the pilot episode. His voice lived on though in the intro…

The cop was played by a fellow named Paul Douglas who had a decent career in radio, TV, and film but nothing as significant as Knight Rider. He died aged 52.

Barbara Bel Geddes played the fiance of the young chap. She had a role in Vertigo, and was Miss Ellie Ewing in Dallas.

Debra Paget played a sympathetic onlooker on the street (everyone else was waiting for the young chap to jump, including a bunch of comedy relief taxi drivers who placed bets on when he would jump). She would go on to play Elvis’ love interest in his film debut in Love Me Tender. She is also the only main cast member who is still alive, she is 86 now. Elvis apparently took a liking to her…

From Wikipedia: During production of Love Me Tender (1956), Elvis Presley became smitten with Paget, who in 1997 claimed the singer even proposed marriage. At the time, however, the media reported that she was romantically linked with Howard Hughes and nothing came of this. A 1956 article quoted Paget’s comments about Hughes:

I was in love with Howard for two years, and I don’t care who knows it… I was never alone with him in the whole two years. Mother was always with us… I haven’t seen Howard for a long time now, because I’m a one-man woman, and I’ve got to have a one-woman man… But I’ll always remember Howard with fondness.

Agnes Moorehead played the young chap’s mother. She appeared in Citizen Kane (her first film) and had a very long and successful career. She played Samantha’s mother in the TV series Bewitched, she was fab in that.

The film itself was decent. It moved a long at a good pace and despite mostly taking place on a hotel ledge or in the hotel room it worked well. The acting was pretty good on the whole. It was nominated for an Academy Award, but did not win anything (An American in Paris won best picture).

Events for the film were closely based on an actual event in New York in 1938 which had a tragic ending. According to Wikipedia the film too was going to have a tragic ending, but due to the daughter of the Fox president killing herself by jumping from the roof of the Fox West Coast Building, the ending was changed (two endings were filmed). As in the film the cop tried for fourteen hours to talk the man down, and was almost successful until a photographer interfered (read the Wiki article).

This is not an essential film to watch, but I found it to be a decent watch.

Date watched: September 14th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2019: 25

The Salinger – One And Only

The Salinger are a Japanese alternative rock band that formed in 1997. I bought their album “Let It Rock” way back in the early 2000’s and thought it was a decent listen. While I did not deliberately seek their music out since then, I always hoped to find another album of theirs in a bargain bin somewhere, which is what happened a couple of weeks ago. I found it at a Hard Off in the central city, in a bargain bin full of mostly rubbish CDs for only 100 yen.

This album came out in 1999, the same year as “Let It Rock”, which explains why both albums sound the same. It is good rocky stuff with a bit of a punky vibe to it too. To listen to samples of the songs click here.

It is very hard to find information about the band on the interwebs. They have a website but there has been no activity on it since 2013.

Nothing great, but worth a listen every now and then.

Music count 2019: 23

The Charlatans

It is a holiday tradition of ours to visit a Book Off in any new city we visit, so our trip to Hokkaido gave us a few opportunities to do just so.

We found a Book Off near the Sapporo Beer factory where we had a nice but expensive dinner. The selection in Book Off was not very good, this was my only choice. Recently I have been getting into The Charlatans, and as it was only 280 yen it was an easy buy.

It is a very good album, and I might say one of their better ones. This was released in 1995, but it sounds just as fresh today as it probably did then.

We did visit another Book Off in Hokkaido, but again the pickings were slim, and I am just not interested in CDs anymore, so it was for the best.

Music count 2019: 22