Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays, y’all!  In these last few minutes of Christmas here on the West Coast, I leave you with the template to create your own Hallmark Channel Xmas movie.  Because if you give a man a fish, he may eat for a day, but if you teach a man to make a Hallmark Channel Christmas movie, he can crank those suckers out year-round.

https://storify.com/JustJeanine/made-for-tv-xmas-movie

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Live-at-the-Time Blog: “Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace”

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • I don’t think I’ve watched this since it came out in the theaters the first time.
  • These Trade Federation aliens always seemed suspiciously Asian to me.
  • Cowards, eh?  Qui-gon seems a little dismissive.
  • Oh hi Padme, downfall of the Republic.
  • Man, Padme is pretty determined not to see the writing on the wall here.
  • Her white-haired advisor is all “WTF?!”
  • 11 minutes. That’s how long we were able to go Jar-Jar-less.
  • Those were some nice 11 minutes.
  • You know, I hope that theory that Jar-Jar was going to be the Dark Side Yoda is true. Because otherwise, you’d have to think that everyone connected with this film was too afraid to point out his resemblance to a caricature from a minstrel show.
  • Ugh, the Gungans are kind of a repugnant race in general.
  • The scene from Star Tours!
  • I can’t understand half of what Jar-Jar is saying. Not sure that this is a disadvantage.
  • Well that was the fastest planetary takeover in history.
  • I mean, those two trade dudes literally conquered the whole Nabooean government in the time it took two Jedis to get there. And they came on the same ships!
  • Maybe this planet would have been better off with the Trade Asians.
  • R2:  MVP in any age.
  • I think you’ll be sorry if you land on Tattooine. Just saying.
  • What in the name of Yoda is Qui-gon wearing?  It doesn’t even look like a poncho, as much as a blanket with a hole cut in it.
  • Like those Jedi robes weren’t style-y enough.
  • Thus begins a long history of me never being able to tell Natalie Portman and Kiera Knightley apart for the rest of their careers.
  • Damn it, why would they take Jar-Jar with them?  What possible help could he be here?
  • Why doesn’t Qui-gon just mind trick some other poor sap on this God-forsaken planet into exchanging his credits, and then give those to Watto?
  • Qui-gon is not so stealthy, given that he can’t hide who he is from a five year old.
  • Glad they don’t feel bad about coming in and eating all the food these poor slaves have.
  • These are kind of fatalistic folk.
  • This seems like a pretty poor bargain. Qui-gon might not be the best ambassador ever.
  • Huh. For some reason I had totally forgotten that Anakin was a product of parthenogenesis.
  • You’d think people would be more excited about Vader being born Jedi Jesus.
  • Ah, the Ben-Hur scene. Little more impressive when there was more than one real person in it.
  • This is a really long race for something that we have almost no doubt of Anakin winning.
  • If I had any clue as to what he was doing when he’s flicking the switches, it might be more meaningful.
  • Even the Hutt didn’t care about that race.
  • “Why do I sense we’ve picked up another pathetic life form?”
  • Obi-Wan could tell even then that this was a bad deal for him.
  • Poor C3-PO. The true martyr of Star Wars.
  • Meanwhile, Darth Maul has been standing around on a sand dune for like, a day.
  • Maybe if any of the other senators did anything, Palpatine wouldn’t have had such an easy time. He’s the only one out there hustling.
  • That is one young-looking Samuel L. Jackson.
  • While Padme is looking like a sap here, she has been pretty much backed into a corner.
  • Well ok, if she wasn’t going to wait around for their help, then she really was kind of a sap to just show up, do Palpatine’s bidding, and then leave.
  • Glad Qui-gon’s going to take this kid that he’s not allowed to train on this dangerous mission.
  • No, I think this kid is kind of dangerous. Qui-gon might not be the best Jedi.
  • 95 minutes in, and he’s going to explain midichloridians now.
  • Actually, it sounds sort of like Scientology.
  • Even Anakin doesn’t look like he’s buying this.
  • Oh freaking Jar-Jar.
  • If I knew Padme’s plan was to recruit the Gungans, it wouldn’t be the Chancellor for which I’d be voting no confidence.
  • Serious. There was literally no safer place Qui-gon could leave this kid?
  • Glad Padme doesn’t even look back to see if the kid who just saved her bacon was ok.
  • Well that could have gone better.
  • Man, don’t you hate it when people keep blowing up your stuff from the inside?
  • Oh Darth Maul. That was not your finest hour.
  • Geeze Qui-gon. Nothing like “bye” to the guy you’ve been training for years.
  • Holy Moly, it’s an actual Jedi thing that you have to have a mullet and a side braid?
  • I see Padme went all the way to Spencer’s Gifts for the static electricity globe she gave the Gungans.

Dragon Age Inquisition Thoughts: Trespasser, 2nd Pass

Spoiler Thoughts:

  • Ok, second verse, same as the first.
  • Working off my first run-through (which, if you were interested, I wrote a day-by-day playthrough of here.)
  • In case you’re not interested in a day-by-day playthrough, I basically tried to do the diametric opposite the second time, so my first Inquisitor was a Human Warrior who sided with the Mages, kept the Wardens, sacrificed the Chargers, had Cole become more human, romanced Cullen, made Leliana Divine, and had Morrigan drink the water.
  • This time around, I also consulted a walkthrough in the interests of completion.
  • So of the initial “secret” quests, the only one I had missed entirely was the Harlequin tagging.
  • Those things were not only hard to sneak up on, but almost never showed up this time around, even though last time I remember seeing them *whomp* in and out all the time.
  • Oh Cole and Maryden!  Well that’s maybe not quite as cute as the Zither scene, but they seem happy.
  • Wow, without the Chargers, there is literally nothing Bull has to say to you.
  • There continues to be a lot more PDA here than you’d expect at a religious conclave.
No really, super inappropriate, you guys.
  • …Which is actually just fine, when it is the Inquisitor and Cullen getting married!  Squee!
  • I feel like this Inquisitor, being a warrior and fairly well-connected, would be a little more aggressive and less placating than an elven mage.
  • Wow, there were like three whole eluvians I didn’t find last time (for the record, I found them this time without the walkthrough.)
  • The interaction with the old elven spirits doesn’t go half as well if you didn’t drink the water.
  • Cool, I got new armor.  It’s for rogues, but it still fits for some reason?
  • I still don’t get how anyone affords the Clasping maw.
  • I guess I’m using the beehive on a stick–I wouldn’t want Cullen to think I’m scorning his dog’s gift.
  • Even though they seem to have patched some of the problems from the last time, this lag in the Deep Roads certainly didn’t go away.
  • I just timed it, and it takes about 50 seconds for her to loot something or climb up a ladder after the request.
  • Huh.  I totally didn’t realize you could bust open some of these passages once you get the exploding anchor ability.
  • Gosh, this one veil fire puzzle has such tricky timing, I don’t think I would have ever gotten it without having read about it.
  • Josephine seems pretty upset about this council and the Inquisition, for having been roughly 1/4th of the Inquisition.
  • This Inquisitor is unimpressed with the squabbling that’s going on while her hand is catching fire.
  • Given that we’re implying that she’s going off to die, I feel like there should have been more with Cullen than a quick hug.
  • Oh wait, there were even more secret quests than this one walkthrough had!
  • For one of them, you had to find a piece of codex in the Deep Roads before you flooded everything.  Well, I guess we’ll find out whether I did or not eventually.
  • I cannot find this underground vault at the Elven Ruins for anything.
  • Wait, I just found it.  Hachi machi, but that’s a lot of money.
  • We can afford the Clasping Maw now!
  • But in a sad reveal, it’s a two-handed weapon, and we only trained one hand and shield.  Womp womp.
  • I guess we could try to craft actual warrior armor with the new schematic we just found.
  • So it’s super good armor, but sadly an unattractive color.  I guess we could give it to Iron Bull, since he’ll be coming along on most of these quests.
  • I must say, the new armor makes Bull look pretty svelte.
  • Oh, the fireworks thing was another game I missed first time around.
  • Actually, after about fifteen minutes, I’m pretty much missing it this time too.
  • I think you’re supposed to score 80 on it to get something decent, but the most I could manage was around 65 before I couldn’t take it anymore.
  • Ok, time for the Qunari gauntlet.
  • So this time around, we’ll try saving the dragon.
  • I’m not sure why we’re so charitable with this one, when we didn’t care about killing all those other ten, but maybe we mellowed.
  • Look Qunari girl, Bull’s not going to turn on me.
  • Wh…what?
  • What did you call me Bull?
  • OMG.
  • I can’t believe I just had to kill Bull.
  • I have to lie down now.
  • Ok, back now.
  • I think I’m ok.
  • But wow, this will not be my definitive playthrough of DAI.
  • Nice that they give you a chance to reform your team since I’m down a man now.
  • Plus the traitor took off with my newly-crafted armor!
  • Apparently still not over it.
  • I guess on the plus side, after Bull, Solas doesn’t really evoke that much of a sense of betrayal anymore.
You look at me when I’m talking to you, dammit!
  • I guess we did find all the codex, because we clued into the Fen’harel thing already.
  • So let’s reflect on Solas’ plan for a minute this time around.
  • The Evanuris did the unspeakable by killing Mythal, so Solas put up the veil to lock them away.
  • The veil ruined elven society by taking away their magic.
  • At that point, Solas got sad and went to take a nap for a couple millenia.  (What?)
  • When he woke up, he decided to destroy the world by tearing down the veil, but for some reason, all his power was in an orb?
  • Too weak to open the orb, he does the next best thing, and gives it to a totally evil crazy powerful magical…thing?
  • His initial plan is for Corypheus to open the orb and get exploded, at which time he was going to take it and destroy the world, but he was foiled by Corypheus not going along with the plan and surviving.
  • You break the orb, so he drops you and the Inquisition like a hot potato and goes and kills Mythal for her godliness.
  • He kills her, even though this was the exact thing he screwed up everything in the first place for!
  • Solas, you are a bad planner.
  • This Inquisitor isn’t in love with you Solas.  She’s gonna take you down if you mess with her.
  • Well thank goodness Corypheus didn’t think of this way of getting the anchor off you.
  • Although, if you think about it, Corypheus was the only thing that prevented Solas from killing everyone already with his orb and anchor.
  • Basically, Corypheus saved us all.
  • So this time around, I think the Inquisitor would keep the Inquisition around, because she’d want a big force to go after Solus and her arm.
  • That was not much of a heartwarming last scene with Cullen, BioWare.
  • At least the epilogue cards have slowed down.
  • Vivienne’s going against the Divine!  More betrayal!
  • Ok, I thought about it some more, and I guess it’s logical that if you had Bull let his BFFs die, then you shouldn’t expect him to form an attachment to you, whom he’s known for a much shorter amount of time, that would overrule his dedication to the Qun.
  • It’s just the idea that the whole game revolves around our character that deceived us into thinking differently.
  • I think the only good thing was that this Inquisitor didn’t romance Bull, because that would have been the end if he’d slept with her for two years and then turned on her.
  • I still love Cassandra reading “This Shit Is Weird” so much.