Valve Steam Box

The console war, as of late, has gotten a little bit stale. Not many gamers are being swayed to go with one system or another; matter of fact, many gamers own all three big consoles now. The reason for this is that even though there are revolutionary things happening in gaming right now, not enough has happened to any one console to make it standout. All three major consoles have a very generic feel to them. Similar graphics, similar hardware, similar add-ons, and, for the most part, the same game availability. But, this may not be the case for long.

Valve, the company behind games like Half-Life and Portal, has plans to release a new console soon. The console is called the Steam Box and it boasts a large jump in gaming technology. One of the most remarkable specs about this console is the 1 terabyte hard drive. Another is the RAM which, by all accounts, seems to be anywhere between 4 and 8 GB.Image: Polygon That is more than most computers are sold with. What I find most interesting is the Linux based OS. Not much is known about how the console will function in the market and even less about the particulars of the system but, one thing is certain, it is already making ripples.

Steam has been around for more than the rumors of the console. Steam is a user community that Valve hosts through their site. Here you can download games and play instantly, develop new content, and share your user experience. This reminds me of the grassroots Linux days of yore but its more than that. Valve is a major player in development already and it looks like they market it right, the Steam Box could do some damage to the three console giants.  With the momentum building, more than just this blogger are looking forward to seeing more of this system.


Movie Review Monday; Brave

New from Disney on DVD is the animated jaunt, BRAVE. Brave stars Kelly McDonald, Billy Connolly, late night host Craig Furgeson. With stars like this and the stunning visuals, this is a must see film.

In this film, Merida, the teenage daughter of King Fergus and Queen Elinor, is determined to live out her own life.  As she turns to a wise women who she doesn’t know very well, she is granted with a wish. After making her wish, her world turns upside down and she has to figure out how to change the curse before it’s too late.

Check Brave out on DVD and Blu-ray where movies are sold or rented.

Monday Movie Reviews: Prometheus on DVD

Recently, Prometheus came out on DVD and Blue-Ray. Prometheus is a film by famed Alien director Ridley Scott. Scott has been known for sometime in Hollywood for his work within the genre of Science Fiction and Prometheus is no exception. The film begins with an archeological find that propels humankind to the stars to search for our makers. Using cutting edge technology for light, graphics, and sound, Scott brings the journey into space to life in a stunning way that I had never seen before. The cast of the film is decent and does a great job of helping the story along.

The story itself is very vague and cryptic but this is probably done on purpose as both Scott and producer Damon Lindlehoff both have a flair for the mysterious. It is possible that a sequel will follow up the film and that holes in the plot will be filled eventually. Overall, I loved the film but would have been harder on it if I didn’t already suspect a sequel to come out of it.

Review: The Legend if Beowulf

Cover of "Beowulf (Unrated Director's Cut...

Cover of Beowulf (Unrated Director’s Cut)

The legend of Beowulf ; starring Ray Winstone, is as strong as his strength. A man known all around for being the King of the Geats his incredible features, soon meets evil in the face of a giant. His name is Grendel (played as Crispin Glover ); being a somewhat ancestral kin to the great sinner, Cain. He come with evil and terror as two great beings come to a conclusive battle that only god could judge. This movie is told by poets and historians in many versions and is also taught by teachers for educational purposes. The film includes Angelina Jolie as Grendel’s mother; who claims revenge for her son’s death after a brutal encounter. Beowulf is a moral story filled with many lessons and mysterious creature that lurk in the past.

As of the movie, we are also learning about the full story in better detail and descriptions. We have learned about certain treasures given to heroes as of the legendary Hrunting, which was never defeated in battle. Gold and other various jewelry were used to honor the most glorified warriors. Warriors were known to be heavily armored with the most strongest of elements.

Indiana Jones in Imax

Cover of "Indiana Jones and the Raiders o...

Cover via Amazon

This year, in theaters everywhere, Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark is being re-released in Imax after being remastered and optimized for the Imax experience. The film re-debuted last night around the country for midnight showings and will be showing throughout the country for a typical schedule of showings.

The remastering of the film is for the most part very well done and is very crisp and clean. There are some pieces of the film though that are not remastered as well as the rest of the film. I hypothesize that this is done strategically where the film crew used drop sets instead of solid piece sets and the film was left slightly blurry to cover up the drop sets. I may be wrong and the remastering may just be sloppy.

For me, the sound was made so much clearer and dynamic. Colors were more vibrant and the overall quality of the film  was great. Seeing the classic Raiders film in stunning HD on the Imax screen was not only a cool opportunity  but, it reminded me of why I loved the film in the first place.

I saw the film at Concord Mill’s AMC Theater. The theater, like many AMC Theaters will be, in addition to showing Raiders, showing all four films in a marathon on September 15. This marathon will encompass every film in the canonized series including, almost begrudgingly, the Crystal Skull. Each film is close to being two hours long so, plan to be there for a while. Each film, like Raiders, has been optimized for Imax and will be shown in stunning HD for the first time. In addition to returning to the big screen, Raiders and the whole Jones collection will be released on Blu-Ray on September 18.

The Amazing Spiderman

The Amazing Spiderman

By Allenair Harris

This film is about a man, whose life changed forever when an itsy-bitsy spider penetrates the nerve of Peter Parker. It all happened when a curious feeling overwhelmed him to look for clues about his father, who have been missing for years since his top-secret discovery in the famous Oscorp Incorporated lab. Andrew Garfield stars in this action-filled movie continuing the franchise of the Amazing Spiderman. Emma Stone plays the role of Gwen Stacy, an employee at Oscorp Inc; also surrounded by curiosity herself.


Spiderman (Photo credit: rpeschetz)

What I liked about the movie was how Peter Parker was honest with Gwen Stacy about his spider problem, especially with her father being a police captain named George Stacy. This film offers a lot of action, stunts, and effects as Spiderman undergoes techniques to catch Dr. Curt Connors. I strongly recommend this film to anyone who likes action and Spiderman.





Tiante’s World: The New School Policies

I will be talking about how school policies have changed. The new policies
effects the school in a good way. A lot have changed but its’ changes are better for
the students.

The dress code at Stanly Academy has been changed from last years’ dress
code. Last year Stanly Academy dress code was cache pants/shorts with a black or
white polo T-shirt. This year we are able to wear cache or jean pants/shorts with a
black white gray or gold polo T-shirt. I like the new dress code it gives us more
options on what to wear and I think that’s fair.

This year at Stanly Academy we have two 7min breaks after 1st an 3rd
period. Having the breaks helps make it through the day because we don’t have
classes back to back anymore.

Overall, I think that we will have a better school year this year because of the new rules and policies Mr. Campbell has brought with him.