Puzzle Quest Solutions and Lyle Maps

Cleaning up a few things, I was taking a look at what links bring people to Cinder Inc. from time to time. Two of the biggest are people looking for solutions to capturing Puzzle Quest monsters. The other is a map for Lyle In Cube Sector, a great platform game. So without further delay.

Puzzle Quest Capture Solutions via GameFAQ’s.

The Lyle in Cube Sector Map, click for a larger version. Via Speed Demos Archive Forums by LLCoodDave

Active RBI Baseball and Tecmo Bowl Players

mbotrell.com has done a great job of seeing who on the rosters of RBI Baseball, Tecmo Bowl and Tecmo Super Bowl are still active and playing professionally.

It’s still amazing to see Rodger Clemens still pitching.

And for those of you who havn’t seen it yet: I present the 10th inning of the 1986 World Series – as recreated in RBI Baseball by a dedicated fan.

Blockbuster – The Zombie

Saw this over on Slate.com. Edward Jay Epstein, who writes about movies and the associated industry for Slate, writes of Blockbuster’s zombie like status at the moment.

I can’t say I’m not surprised. With their brick and mortar stores requiring upkeep, and the fact that DVD’s are so cheap and easy to just buy, or easy to get through a service like Netflix it makes their storefronts the domain of people who need to get a movie tonight, and only really want the latest releases.

On a side note, the success of DVD was due in large part to the low price and extra features it offered. I think the movie studios are going to have a much harder time selling the “HD” revolution to the people. If the price point is not there like it was for DVD, it’s not going to sell, or at least it won’t until more people can take advantage of it. Most people still only have a normal TV that is not going to take advantage of the HD content. This technology sticking point will be it’s biggest stumbling block, as they can’t get the prices down from mass production, is there is only a niche market of movie and tech buff’s buying it.

I saw an article saying that the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray will be decided in large part by gamers, due to the differing support by the XBOX 360 and the Playstation 3. In reality, I don’t see most people who by either of the systems being that concerned with the HD support, because they won’t have the technology in their TV to take advantage of it. Prices are coming down, and people are looking to upgrade their TV’s for sure, but in large part, most people don’t want to get a new TV just to play games and play movies when their current TV could do it just fine. It will be interesting to watch. Don’t get me wrong. I want the HD TV’s and the content that comes with them, but I’m definitely not a typical “Best Buy” type consumer.


Netfilx, one of the few .com companies to survive the blow out and keep going strong. Being as nerdy as I tend to be at times, I’m suprised that I didn’t get into the service until just a few months ago.

I thought it might be a hard sell to Jess, but I think her friends at work did a better job of selling her on it than I ever could have. So we signed up a few months ago. Started a queue, and now with 50 movies or so in it and more that could be tossed in, it’s great.

It’s been a great way to pick up older classics (Hitchcock, Kirosawa), foreign and fun newer movies. Not to make this a cheesy ad for Netflix, but I like the ability to find obscure movies and keep them until I actually have a chance to watch them (I have had Kirosawa’s Rashamon for a month and a half now).

Busy – But links to make up for it!

So I havn’t been trying to negelect the site. Though life has been a busy mess it seems. Good things: Red Sox’s are in the ALCS, but are down 0-2 as of today (Thursday).

William Gibson is back and blogging. For those who don’t know who he is, I posted about him a couple of months ago. He used to blog and stopped because it interfered with his writing process. Apparently he’s back at it though.

– Here we have a comparison of all of the changes Lucas made to the new versions of Star Wars on DVD. Some I’m happy with, but still I’ll never believe that Greedo shot first. Read the article for insite.

– Now this is good: supposed query letters from actuall scriptwriters looking to get their “idea” made. Priceless.

The Village

I went and saw The Village this last weekend. Having read about it before hand, I kind of knew what to expect, and I was sad that I had read a few spoilers for the movie.

M. Night Shyamalan’s movies are best seen the first time with little pre-knowledge going into them. Then they reward you with repeated viewings with little hints and clues that make the movie still enjoyable to watch. Another way to put it, Shyamalan rewards you for paying attention. Little small things, but they add up.

The Village though. Good and bad. I like the movie. It places second right now my personal list of his movies (with Unbreakable being the first). Good things: beautifuly shot, the pacing was great, pulled great performances out of his actors, and made for some great suspense. Bad things: I’m all for period pieces, but the dialect pulled me out of the movie too much, and I felt like it was too forced to be genuine, also he seems to be not as sublte with his “twist” endings anymore but lays it on heavy so you can’t miss it. Then again, I know that some people didn’t see it coming and were very suprised as to the twist.

Anyways, go see it. Bring your significant other. It’ll be fun.

The Philadelphia Story

I watched The Philadelphia Story last night with my wife. Since the movie makes my wife’s “top 5 movies of all time” list, it was a must watch movie. I’ve always wanted to see the movie anyways with it being on the AFI’s top 100 list, and I am slowly progressing through that list of movies (I’m making good headway).

Jimmy Stewart has always been a favorite actor of mine. The guy who never quite gets “it” but you are always rooting for him. Stewart was by far the best part of the film. Katharine Hepburn on the other hand tends to annoy me in movies. I don’t see her as belivable or credible as a character at all, but that’s flowed over into other movies of her’s as well (i.e. The African Queen). The rest of the supporting cast and Carey Grant did an excellent job.

When I see lists of old movies and hear about how good they are, I tend to not really belive that they are that good. Maybe it’s that I don’t think that some 60 year old movie can really hold me the way a more modern movie can. I’ve been finding that pleasantly wrong. With my wife I’ve been starting to buy and watch older movies like “All About Eve” and “Funny Face”. These movies entertain, without having to resort to blowing up a building. The feelings and emotions carry the same weight all these years later.

Problem is I want to start buying them left and right. With the Criterion Collection and the Fox Studio Classics, and their infernal numbering system that makes you want to have a complete set, and other major studio releases of Hitchcock classics and other director and star driven movies of old, I’m on a classic movie kick. Nice part is, I can somewhat justify getting the movies from time to time, with the wife loving them already, she’ll want to own them, right?

Star driven animation vs. character driven animation

I was reading an article on “The Terminal” where it was speaking about how Spielberg and Hanks both work well together, and it mentioned Dreamworks SKG, where Spielberg was the “S” in SKG. I couldn’t remember who the K or the G were (Jeff Katzenberg and David Geffen for those who care), so in finding the Dreamworks website, I found out about Shark Tale.

Putting aside any similarity to another fish movie, it made clear to me again the differences in Dreamwork’s style of animated film and Pixar’s style.

Take the advertising for Shrek: “Hey we have this animated movie, with Eddie Murphy, Mike Meyers and Cameron Diaz playing the lead roles, and by the way there is a story somewhere in there.”
Then you have Monster’s Inc: “Hey we have this great story with monsters in the closets, and oh yea, by the way Billy Crystal is playing one of the characters.”

Completly different marketing stratagies, and also different goals as a movie.

Dreamworks has it’s focus on it’s talent that it brings into it’s movies. It wants the stars names to drive you to see it. Go for the stars, and it’s a bonus that the movie might be good. Pixar on the other hand is so story driven that it’s the characters that matter much more than the actor that plays them. Not to say they don’t get top rate talent, and that they don’t push them, but for an example see the latest trailer for “The Incredibles,” the latest Pixar movie coming soon. Do ever really get to see who is actually playing these characters? No, it’s focus is on the creators of these great stories that you remember, and the quirky new one they have created, not Will Smith as a fish!

This isn’t to say that I don’t like Shrek. It was a fun movie, and I will probably watch it again someday. Sure I’ll also see Shrek 2 and possibly even this new Shark Tale movie. For me, at the end of the day I care more about what happens in Pixar movies and where the characters end up when the movie is over. For some people, it’s different, and that is why Dreamwork’s movies do so well in the market.