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6 « January « 2008 « My God, It's Full of Nerds!

Archive for January 6th, 2008

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem

After six movies, I’m beginning to think that the aliens greatest ability is that they don’t show up in people’s peripheral vision. Look at this soldier, about to become xenomorph chow:


This is on a street. There’s no place the alien could have hidden. The soldier must have practically stepped over it to look in the car, and it’s not like the aliens are exactly small.

AVP:R (why “Requiem” I wonder — did it sound cool?) has far too many direct rips from the previous Alien and Predator films. I understand giving fans what they want, but AVP:R takes it to far. On the other hand, the movie does have some few things to recommend it. It is notably hardcore. Not to be too spoilerish, but they kill the kid. And some other characters who would traditionally live through horror movies. There is one genuinely transgressive moment (in the hospital, you’ll know it when you see it), and I liked the U.S. government’s solution to the crisis. The one thing the movie lacked compared to the largely inferior Aliens vs. Predator (2004) is a big setpiece at the end like the alien queen. I guess the “Predalien” is supposed to suffice, but it’s just not that impressive.



Despite my general dislike of practically every product Microsoft has made, I have been enjoying my Xbox 360. However, last week I was given a little reminder of why Microsoft should put more work in on their user interfaces.

Microsoft just added support for Divx files to the 360, which is nice. I decided to test it out. I burned a disc with a couple .avi files on it, and put it in the 360. In the area where it shows you what game is inserted, the 360 showed “mixed media disc.” Fair enough. I selected the disc. Nothing happened. Huh. Okay, I went to the media blade and tried selecting it there. Nothing. I went to the video library, and all I saw was what is on the 360. The disc wasn’t listed anywhere. After a lot of clicking around I finally realized that you have to hit the “X” button on the controller to change the video source from the 360 hard drive to the disc.

Switching sources wasn’t exactly obvious. It’s not something you have to do when you, say, play an arcade game on the HD. It’s really the difference between something being logical (the best I really hope for from Microsoft) and something being intuitive (ie. the first thing I tried should work.)