February 28, 2006

Carcassonne based Comic

For anyone who has played Carcassonne, there is a quite funny comic series being run on BoardgameNews called Board 2 Pieces.

Posted by aarondf at 12:00 PM | | Comments (0)

February 27, 2006

Movies: Wedding Crashers and Red Eye

Wedding Crashers was laugh out-loud funny in many places and very good. However, it didn't have the heart of other even better comedies of the sort like There's Something About Mary and The 40 Year Old Virgin so ****.

Red Eye absolutely does keep one in suspense but the plot is so ridiculous (seems like she could turn him in at almost any point but the running off the plane and avoiding all security so easily and all was just crazy) that it was totally impossible to suspend disbelief. The killer's plan also just seems insanely ridiculous in the first place to involve her so significantly. **1/2

Posted by aarondf at 12:05 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

St Petersburg Mistress Revisited

Discussed this before but have been playing this a number of times again recently due to the expansion. Also, I had planned to try to not play again with possible Mistresses (of Ceremonies) on turn 1 but the expansion has changed my mind a bit on it. Some of the expansion cards are also very unbalanced so tweaks for better balance seem less sensible when playing with them. I would still prefer to change the rule but don't feel as strongly about it when using the expansion.

However, I played two games on Thursday and in both games there were first turn Mistresses and the player who got it won. In the first game, there were 3 experienced players and a a newbie (call them ABCD with B being the newbie and A had first Orange choice in round 1). Only two blues were taken as C decided not to open a space for himself and so I as D had to follow suit. Thus only two orange cards came out - an advantage for A but as long as they weren't great not too big a deal. However, a Mistress and a Black Market came out so it turned out that not only did A get a Mistress but he was the ONLY player to get an Orange at all in round 1 - an incredible start and one I don't think I have ever seen before. He made a significant mistake on the last turn that made the game close but still won, leading the whole way.

In the second game, I not only got a Mistress on T1 but an Observatory on T2 (only one that came up) and won the game running away, ending up ahead by like 25 points. Also had a funny moment on the last turn. We were in the Green phase and someone asked about the go 1st card (expansion card in Upgrades deck) and Matt said it hadn't come up yet and was thus useless. I commented that no, that wasn't necessarily true. I in theory could use my Obs to take an upgrade card in the Blue phase, get this card, and then use it in the Upgrade phase (was already going first in Orange phase). Amazingly, this is exactly what I did and what happened and let me get an 8th noble using a Black Market and upgrade it by being able to go first and grab the only Orange upgrade. Would have won easily without it but was pretty amusing.

Posted by aarondf at 11:46 AM | Games | Comments (0)

February 23, 2006

Hillarious Onion Headline

Betty Friedan Honored With Second-Class Postage Stamp

Posted by aarondf at 05:02 PM | Links | Comments (0)

What do Warren Buffett, Anna Nicole Smith and Fidel Castro have in common?

Read this article to find out.

Posted by aarondf at 03:14 PM | Links | Comments (0)

February 22, 2006

Games: Indonesia

Finally got my own copy of Indonesia ($75 ordered from Germany) and played it again last night. I continue to really like it but I don't think any of the other four players were fans unfortunately which made it somewhat less fun for me, too. The very poor graphic design of the board got somewhat in the way for some people; I also really don't like it but don't find it interferes with either my play or enjoyment of the game. People were even talking about calling an end to the game a turn or two early which would have totally ruined it and felt like a total waste of several hours. Fortunately we did finish the game and was a very close finish too. I may try again at David's with a different set of players or else figure I'll get to play once in a while at Joe's or at a con. It really is a great game for the right set of people.

We also had a couple of rules questions which I sent off to the designer and will hopefully get an answer. The game really does need a FAQ which has been promised but not yet delivered.

Posted by aarondf at 01:01 PM | Games | Comments (3)

Movies: Grizzly Man

This got good reviews generally and I just don't know why as I thought it was not good at all. We of course know the ending and that is ok but watching this psychologically unstable guy (and his almost equally strange ex-girlfriend) for 90 minutes was just more than I could take. Some of his footage was pretty incredible but his commentary gets in the way of even that. *1/2

Posted by aarondf at 12:58 PM | Movies | Comments (0)

February 02, 2006

TV: 24

Oh, just a note that I agree with every other post on this I've seen that 24 this season is even better so far than the high standard it has set in the past for an action show (assuming you can suspend disbelief enough). It is right at the moment my favorite show on TV.

Posted by aarondf at 04:14 PM | Television | Comments (0)

Moveis Lately: Quick Notes

Seen a bunch of movies as usual lately so will catch up with some quick notes on some. The one that particularly led me to post was the romantic comedy The Tao of Steve which was both very funny and quite thoughtful at the same time. Highly recommended. ****1/2

Saw Murderball, Enron: the Smartest Guys in the Room, and The Aristocrats which were highly regarded (at least the first two) documentaries from last year and all were pretty good but I didn't enjoy them quite as much as they had been hyped, probably just a case of too high expectations. ***1/2 for Murerball, *** for Enron and The Aristocrats.

Lord of War was quite funny and a bit scary. A satirical but also serious at moments look at the black market in armaments around the world and the corruption and blind eyes that let it take place. ****

Thumbsucker was also definitely worth watching. ***1/2

On the not recommended list are 2046 which I just didn't get into at all and ended up fast-forwarding through much of and Saraband which had some quite good scenes but didn't overall keep to a high enough standard.

On the pretty good list, but not enough to actually reommend, and all at about 3 stars are Truman, Mostly Martha, Broken Flowers and Italian for Beginners.

Posted by aarondf at 04:01 PM | Movies | Comments (0)