back contents next November 20, 1999

Such a perfect place to start

Iko Mike and I need a larger social circle.

So, today, Mike suggested that we would go to the various gaming places in the area and he would drop index cards with information on how to contact him to start gaming (primarily roleplaying). Mike has been itching to join in a game, specifically of the Over the Edge system which is our personal favorite. He's looking to join a conspiracy-themed game.

I keep telling him, "Good luck in finding a group".

Any group he finds, I might join too, but that's a big might. I enjoy roleplaying and I'm a born gamer, but there is a large time commitment and a lot of mental resources need to be devoted to working a believable character which at this time, I'm not ready to commit to. I enjoy the small one or two shot deals that you can get at conventions. I wish the conventions were more frequent in this area: the next one is early spring at Moncon. Mike and I might plan on taking a road trip to a bigger conventon like Gencon or Origins next year. We shall see.

One problem Mike has in finding a group is that he's really interested in joining a conspiracy game (and he'd prefer not to GM. He always gets stuck GMing. The curse of being an amazing GM). He's not necessarily interested in "adventuring" but finding layers and layers of a conspiracy and trying to probe and find out what's going on, a la X-files. Not many groups do conspiracy games, since it's really hard to do well (getting your players to experience "paranoia" in a roleplaying game is the mark of a really good GM). The likelihood that he'll find a group is pretty rare.

I still hope he finds one. We need more "gamer" friends out here. Living in Urbana-Champaign after I graduated was wonderful because I was still around gamers and it was like I hadn't graduated. Once I moved, I don't know anyone here and finding that right niche of gamers to latch onto is difficult. I'm kind of sick of buying two player games. I was intrigued by James Ernest's game, Falling, but decided not to buy it after I discovered it was recommended for around 5 players. So I got Guillotine instead.

Guillotine Guillotine is a wonderfully cool game that can be played well with two or more players. The game takes three turns to determine the winner. Each turn is one "day" where 12 nobles (represented by cards) are lined up for beheading. Each player is an executioner and take turns cutting off the head of whomever is at the front of the line. One plays cards to get the best nobles to the front of the line during their turn so that they can cut off the noble's head.

I find the game extremely enjoyable, even though I'm miserable at it. I have yet to win a game against Mike. Oh well. Then again, I've found that in most games that I play against him, he wins. He can see more "steps ahead" than I can. I hope that, over time, I'll get good at it and start beating Mike, like I do with Lost Cities (a two player card/board game).


The World is Not Enough I know how to hurt
I know how to heal
I know what to show
And what to conceal.
I know how to talk
And I know how to touch
No-one ever died
From wanting too much

After we stopped by a couple gaming stores, we went to see The World is Not Enough. I was anxious to see the new Bond flick, especially after two of my coworkers told me yesterday that they were going to see it. I like James Bond. I know I'm completely not the kind of woman that he would go for, but the thought of some handsome, talented, intelligent MI agent sweeping me off my feet is a fantasy of mine. Personally, I'd like to become someone like Moneypenny. She's very cool. I love the sparring of wit that she engages Bond with.

The world is not enough
But it is such a perfect place to start
My love
But if you're feeling strong enough
We can take the world apart
My love

I liked the opening sequence and Shirley Manson's voice singing the theme song. It was a great choice. The special effects of the opening sequence have gotten better as CGI has become available. Spectacular.

People like us
Know how to survive
There's no point in living
If you can't feel alive.
I know when to kiss
And I know when to kill
If we can't have it all
Then nobody will

I wish I could say that about the rest of the film. It kept reminding me of other movies.

Hmm.. a boat chase scene. You know, I've seen this before. In Face Off. The one in Face Off was better, wasn't it? Yeah.

Hmm.. a skiing chase scene. You know, I've seen this before. In True Lies. The one in True Lies was better, wasn't it? Yeah.

There were a lot of things that Mike and I thought were pretty improbable. Like M would never go "out in the field", like Bond does. Denise Richardson is also extremely unconvincing as a nuclear physicist/scientist and the jokes regarding her name I could see a mile away. To add insult to that, there were no funny "Onatop" names. No equivalent to "Pussy Galore". The two female leads were "Dr. Christmas Jones" (Indiana imagery anyone?) and "Electra King". Zz. They gave Q no time to actually demonstrate the various cool devices that Bond would have and the car was completely unimpressive. The last time Bond had a car and drove it via remote control from the back seat, I thought it was very cool and I was hoping they would top that. Alas, no such luck.

I have no inherent problems with the casting of John Cleese as Q's future replacement, R. However, I wanted R to be a lot like Q, not slapstick. There were too many "lulls" in the movie for my taste and not enough "excitement". I wanted to see niftier things, but got none of them. The plot was extremely predictable (like one couldn't have guessed that the menacing tree-cutter wouldn't be used later on as a killing device. Please, can one get anymore obvious?) and that just made it all worse.

There are some pluses to the film.

Renard (Robert Carlyle)

Robert Carlyle in the role of Renard is wonderful. I wanted more of him. Then again, my attraction to him can be attributed to the fact that he looks very similar to an exboyfriend of mine. Especially in the above picture. Large nose. Shortish stature. Pointed, almost elfish features. I thought he was delightfully handsome and would have eagerly become his henchwoman! Plus, his character (along with the other "evils" in the movie) are fairly subtle. I liked that. I want to see more of his films, like Full Monty, rewatch Trainspotting.

I also liked seeing Judi Dench in a larger role. Then again, I'm a huge fan of hers. I loved Mrs. Brown and enjoyed watching her in Amy's View, a play I saw several months ago in the city. The Bond/Moneypenny banter was especially good in this film.

On the whole, Mike thought it was about medium in terms of "Bond Film Excellence" and gave it a 6 or 7 on a 1 to 10 scale. I give it about a 6, recognizing it isn't a dud but it could use some work. I do like the new Bond theme...

The world is not enough
But it is such a perfect place to start
My love
But if you're feeling strong enough
We can take the world apart
My love
I feel safe
I feel scared
I feel ready
And yet unprepared
The world is not enough
-- "The World is Not Enough"
(David Arnold/Don Black)
Performed by Garbage


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The World Is Not Enough images courtesy of imdb and CJB007
© Copyright 1999 Eileene Coscolluela