Archive for July, 2003

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July 31, 2003

The Hire
BMW produced two series of short films starring Clive Owen (Croupier, Gosford Park) as “The Driver.” These films, directed by top-notch filmmakers and sometimes written by quality screenwriters, showed off BMW automobiles by creating interesting excuses and situations for stunt driving and performance excursions. This might sound sort of cheesy or commercial, but these movies were great fun. Each was released online at BMW Films.com and I kept up with them as well as I could through the faster internet connections at friends’ houses. Now these films are available on DVD for just the price of shipping. That’s about four dollars. Get the disc. You’ll be glad you did. I recommend Guy Ritchie’s Star and the late John “Best Automobile Director of All Time” Frankenheimer’s Ambush, written by Andrew Kevin Walker (Seven). Really, though, there isn’t a proper clunker in the lot (and I am not a fan of Tony Scott’s work, by any means).

Yeah, yeah, I’ll cover GenCon, maybe. If there’s time. Right now I’m plowing forward on new projects on all fronts. More on those later, I guess.

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July 30, 2003

After GenCon
Like everyone, I won’t be filing my formal GenCon report until I get a chance to catch up. Suffice to say right now that I had a blast, Indianapolis was not only better than I expected but genuinely delightful, and there were lots of terrific folks to be around. I got poisoned by Mike Mearls, but I hope they do continue to serve that poison next year, because I am a fool.

Lara Croft[:] Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life
I hated the first one. This one is somewhat better because of intelligible — if still confusing — action sequences, an interesting character given to Gerard Butler, and the joys of honest location shooting. The fictional Luna Temple built by Alexander the Great is a fantastic adventure set-piece and the cave of terra-cotta warriors sports a fine fight sequence that should’ve been a lot cooler. This movie is still bumpy, irregular, dumb, and confusingly edited. I expected better of Jan de Bont and hoped this might be the adventure movie to hold me over until Van Helsing or whatever. Overall, the message is this: The Cradle of Life works a helluva lot better than the last Tomb Raider movie and if the series continues like this, we may get a solid adventure film the next time out. This is assuming Angelina Jolie will come back for another one.

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July 23, 2003

The Appearance of Things

A few interesting products are already beginning to surface, and the exhibitor’s hall isn’t even open yet. Monte Cook’s Arcana Unearthed is on the shelves at the White Wolf booth. I haven’t cracked one open yet, but it does have a nice matte cover, and I love matte covers. Also, the Warcraft RPG is on the shelves and that is something that, oddly for me, I’m rather interested in looking at. Strangely, the cover isn’t a colorful, green-blue-and-orange Blizzard-style cover, but a dramatic orange-and-black cover. Much more traditional fantasy cover. Seems odd to me, but what do I know?

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July 23, 2003

Hotel Full of Fiberglass Ghosts

Technology is everywhere, I guess. I’m in a historic Indianapolis train station-turned-hotel with these rather creepy fiberglass ghosts all over the place and train cars turned into hotel rooms, and here I am geeking on the internet in my room. Well, whatever. This place is pretty neat. The atrium has elevated train structural girders still in place and everything around here is train themed.

GenCon is just barely underway. I’ve got a lot of work to get done in the next few minutes, but before I do I thought I’d come by here and flaunt my fancy fast internet connection. Now that’s done, so I’ll hurry off. With any luck, I’ll be back soon with some GenCon and Indianapolis updates. Word.

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July 21, 2003

India? Na.

Bright and early and early tomorrow morning we’re off for an exciting drive to what the greeks call Indiana City. I am not really prepared, but I’m hoping the trip ends up being exciting and inspirational rather dreary, draining, and soul-crushing. I’ll let you all know how it was when I get back. Lots of good folks to meet and greet, this trip. Let’s hope I have the time (and liquor money) to hang out with them all!

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July 21, 2003

Turbonium!

It looks like the stats for John Kovalic’s turbonium dragon are complete. They’ll go out in the morning. Meanwhile, GenCon draws terribly, inevitably nearer and I am just not ready for it. Will it be a pleasant reminder as to the “who” and “why” I got into this business or will it be a disaster of improvised schedules and new-hire fuck-ups from a year ago? We’ll see, I guess. I grow nervous, I do.

All this has me thinking towards the future. I’m debating with myself over the scale at which I’ll approach PDF self-publishing this fall, and how far I want to stray from the d20 System when I do. I’m tinkering with a whole new class and level system, but that’s a thought for after the show, methinks.

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July 21, 2003

Meant to post this yesterday:

“midnight confessions
of deputy prussians
colored my time in the rhine
where a misplaced directive
from a dirty connector
i got out just in time”

— Erin McKeown, “An Innocent Fiction”