Movie Club: The Sessions (2012)

Some friends and I have started a challenge to watch one another’s favourite obscure movies, round-robin style. So long as this “club” continues I’m going to write about it here. (Click here to see all movie club entries.)

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This week’s movie was The Sessions. It’s a great movie that’s best to watch with minimal foreknowledge. It’s better to go in with no preconceptions. Don’t worry about it being soppy… I won’t lie, it is, but it’s 1 part soppy to 9 parts thought-provoking. It is worth watching, I guarantee it. Then come back and read on below.

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I’m jealous of ShadowPlay. It’s Nvidia’s system to record gameplay with very little performance drop. But I’ve not been able to use it because I have a Radeon (a HD 7900 to be precise).

Well AMD have this thing called Game Video Recorder which is supposed to do the same. It is in beta. Tonight, I tried it out.

What really, really stinks about it is it comes bundled with this software called Raptr, confusingly also known as AMD Gaming Evolved (I suspect both are identical aside from the title). Raptr is another wannabe social app for gamers. It’s as obnoxious as it sounds: it lives in the system tray, it scans your drive because it wants to launch your games for you, it checks your drivers are up to date, it begs you to create an account to see what your friends are up to, it doles out “points” for inane achievements like “viewing your first post”.

AMD why? Why did you find the most obnoxious social gaming app to partner up with? Why couldn’t you just make it a little lightweight app that lives with your drivers. If you had to have social media integration please just hook into the big boys — Twitter, Twitch et al — all optional of course.

Raptr’s bloat aside, the recording feature works quite well. There’s a fair amount of flexibility as to what gets recorded and how; including a “save the last few minutes” feature for when you do something cool.

The video above was recorded at 30 Mb/s, 30 FPS, 720p (my idea of a happy medium between quality and size). It has been fed through Handbrake to make it smaller for upload. You can judge the quality for yourself. I didn’t notice a performance drop while playing.

Two small problems:

  1. The output video isn’t commonly supported by video editing software. I think this is because of variable frame rates. (Which is fair. To do what it does one must expect it to be a little unconventional.) Handbrake or similar converters will do doubt bridge the gap, though at the cost of generational loss.
  2. There’s an annoying watermark “captured using Raptr”. See the 0:52 mark.

Overall, though, I’m quite impressed. I’ll be using it more.


Quick Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)
A band of super-villain convicts are forced by a shadowy government agency to do a dangerous mission. It’s a heist movie, really; but your typical heist doesn’t have Batman on its list of things that could go wrong.
The story is almost entirely from the crim’s point of view, which is refreshingly different. It turns things on its head. Batman, in a way, is now the bad guy; his nigh-unstoppable nature and unannounced appearances make him seem more like a scary horror monster than hero.
The animation and other production values are solid. The plot crackles along energetically. The characters are well done, which is fairly impressive given how gimmicky some of them are (ahem, Captain Boomerang).
Is it a kids movie? Yes and no, it straddles the line; it strikes me as quite “young adult”. It’s got violence but it isn’t gory. It’s gets sexy, but it isn’t erotic. It’s got a fairly complex plot but it isn’t a political thriller or twisted mystery.
Don’t let that worry you though. Assault on Arkham is more adult than Guardians of the Galaxy, or whatever Spiderman we’re up to. (There’s a discussion in there about the different approaches of DC and Marvel but that’s a whole other topic.)
A worthwhile watch for anyone with a passing interest in comic book stories.
My rating: Good ★★★☆

Quick Review: Batman: Assault on Arkham (2014)

A band of super-villain convicts are forced by a shadowy government agency to do a dangerous mission. It’s a heist movie, really; but your typical heist doesn’t have Batman on its list of things that could go wrong.

The story is almost entirely from the crim’s point of view, which is refreshingly different. It turns things on its head. Batman, in a way, is now the bad guy; his nigh-unstoppable nature and unannounced appearances make him seem more like a scary horror monster than hero.

The animation and other production values are solid. The plot crackles along energetically. The characters are well done, which is fairly impressive given how gimmicky some of them are (ahem, Captain Boomerang).

Is it a kids movie? Yes and no, it straddles the line; it strikes me as quite “young adult”. It’s got violence but it isn’t gory. It’s gets sexy, but it isn’t erotic. It’s got a fairly complex plot but it isn’t a political thriller or twisted mystery.

Don’t let that worry you though. Assault on Arkham is more adult than Guardians of the Galaxy, or whatever Spiderman we’re up to. (There’s a discussion in there about the different approaches of DC and Marvel but that’s a whole other topic.)

A worthwhile watch for anyone with a passing interest in comic book stories.

My rating: Good ★★★☆



If you ever play Impulse…
you’ll know that this level was created by Satan himself
— alumx

Don’t give up!
The level’s title might give you a hint. If not, maybe try watching the game’s trailer.
If that fails then Telnaior’s excellent let’s play series covers this level here.

If you ever play Impulse…

you’ll know that this level was created by Satan himself

alumx

Don’t give up!

The level’s title might give you a hint. If not, maybe try watching the game’s trailer.

If that fails then Telnaior’s excellent let’s play series covers this level here.




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