Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hitman: Absolution Trailer Parody

Sometime early last year I put together this blog entry regarding a crazy dude by the name of Toby Turner (aka, "Tobuscus") who goes around creating these wildly hilarious parodies of popular video game trailers. Back then I linked to the ones for Dead Island and Dead Space 2. This time, Tobuscus has tackled a game I've been highly anticipating for later this year, Hitman: Absolution.

Quick background. I first fell in love with this series back during Hitman 2: Silent Assassin's run on the Playstation 2. The last one in the series I played was Hitman: Blood Money, which was a fine achievement in video gaming I must say.

The main character of Agent 47--the bald-headed, barcode sporting, white-shirt-and-red-tie-wearing assassin extraordinaire--is one of the most iconic badass figures in modern gaming today, and even the feature film starring him wasn't all that bad. But Hitman: Absolution seems to be going to the next level. I mean, awesome does not even adequately encompass all that this game is looking to deliver! Here is one of the more recent trailers, which doesn't show any gameplay but which is a really cool setup to the story that is to come:

Now, as is his wont, Tobuscus went ahead and made his own parody--a literal translation, if you will, of the trailer you just saw. As usual with these I could not stop laughing. This is some good shit right here! Seriously, if you're a gamer or just like to laugh, do yourself a favor and check out both the original trailer above and the parody version below:

Was that not pure genius? I thought so.

And -- yippee! November can't come fast enough!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Whoa, Father's Day!

I completely forgot about Father's Day this weekend. Whoops, silly me! To me it was just another Sunday, and I ended up doing the usual Sunday things I do. Writing, playing video games (Assassin's Creed 2), running 4 miles, and eventually settling down at night to watch tv with the wife. You know, your average restful Sunday.

I've always been ambivalent about Father's Day. On the one hand, I've never had what one would call a "father." My real father was never around, and my stepdad ended up taking our mother from us at an early age. On the other hand, for when it mattered most, I only had the women of my mother's family to raise me. They made me who I am, without any influence from a real male authoritative figure in my life. So I celebrate these women on Mother's Day -- but Father's Day is a complete non-issue in my household. My wife doesn't have any connection with her father, either. Never has. So you can see now why the day is so easily forgotten in our house. It really is!

Yet in the spirit of things I want to dredge up from the early days of this blog a post I'd written once about the only father figures I've ever really known -- and all of them from television! So below, reposted in its full form in honor of Father's Day, is the blog post titled: "My Three Dads." Some of you may remember this one. Okay, maybe only one or two of you. This was almost four years ago, after all. Many of you didn't even know me then! But still . . .


MY THREE DADS. (Originally posted: 9/2/08.)

Okay, I know it sounds silly, but I have a confession to make: I was raised by television.

Of course in actuality I was raised first by my mother, and then by my maternal grandmother and aunt, but television always played an integral role in my childhood. So much so that I have nothing but fond affection for the "boob tube" today. And, you know, there was never that male adult figure in my life to teach me the things that many little boys learn from their fathers: specifically, how to be a man. I was surrounded by women growing up, after all. And while it's true that I learned a great deal from these strong, independent female family members, I had to turn to tv in order to get the paternal influence that was missing from my existence. In essence, I had to learn how to become an honest man, a fighter, a good husband and/or father, and how to treat a woman the way a good man should -- all from the tube!

Now, I'm only being half serious here. Because, of course, I didn't need tv to teach me right from wrong, or honesty from dishonesty. I'm my own keeper. It's been that way ever since my parents left me alone in this world. Still, I consider the following three television characters to have had the most profound influence on shaping my teenage personality, leading to the adult I am now. The essences of these three fictional characters reside within me even to this day, and those who know me really well can easily discern the part and parcel characteristics I've borrowed from these figures to make my own.


Yes, to no surprise, my latching on to tv role models began at the age of 12. I'm sure there are studies out there that correlate a boy's self-identity with the time he enters puberty. So it's no surprise that my subconscious effort to find a father figure who would teach me what I needed to know to be a man would start around this time. I'd just started junior high school, and Star Trek: The Next Generation had premiered the year before. I'd grown up watching the original 60s show with William Shatner as the young, cocksure Captain Kirk. So I naturally took a disliking to this new show and its new Captain, which were nothing like the original. However, over time the show started to grow on me, to the point that it soon surpassed my love of the original. Now after all these years, ST:TNG is the quintessential Star Trek for me. Nothing before or after it tops this show. And this character was one with which I had a strong attachment as a young boy.

Captain Jean Luc Picard of the U.S.S. Enterprise (NCC-1701-D) was in many ways the thinking man's captain. Picard very much preferred to use his wits and diplomacy to defuse a dangerous situation, rather than his fists. He was a refined gentleman, well-read in various scholarly pursuits (notably music, botany, and archaeology), yet he was stern under pressure and no-nonsense when it came to saving the lives of his crew. He commanded great respect for his ability to keep his emotions in control under tense situations. All these aspects endeared me to the character, and slowly during the course of the show I found myself imitating Picard's demeanor in real life.


In January 1993, a spin-off to the 70s show, Kung Fu, premiered on what was then called the: "Prime Time Entertainment Network." The show was called Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, once again starring David Carradine as Kwai Chang Caine -- though now the grandson of the original Kwai Chang. I credit this show--and the character of Caine in particular--with awakening the fire in me to learn everything I could about Chinese culture and language, as well as cultivating my interest in gong-fu.

Kwai Chang Caine, like Jean Luc Picard, was refined and wise. He was someone who could obviously carry himself in a fight, but whom--more often than not--sought the peaceful solution to a conflict. This was who I wanted to be like. I was always a quiet and observant child by nature, and by 1993 I had grown into one of those intense, focused teenagers. The type of person who other kids in high school had no idea how to deal with, and would generally leave alone for fear of what he might do in reprisal. But the values that Caine stood for were my values as well, and so it was easy to see why I would latch on to this character as my role model.


Finally we come to the last of my three dads, Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod. This figure appeared in Highlander: The Series as the titular character, portrayed by one Adrian Paul. While premiering before Kung Fu: The Legend Continues in the Fall of 1992, I wasn't introduced to the show until shortly after I had already been addicted to KFtLC for a couple of months. But when my best friend, Tarrell, finally convinced me to check it out, I was hooked from the get-go!

Duncan MacLeod was a 400-year old Immortal, master swordsman, and martial artist. However, I found myself more drawn to the deep pathos that arose from the character's long life than the action-y elements (although those aspects were a nice bonus on the show). How it was that, despite never being able to die, his life was far from a happy one. For in those 400 years Mac, as he was known to his friends, has had to deal with the deaths of countless loved ones, all the while remaining alive and struggling to make it through another year without those he cherished. As someone who had lost his mother at an early age, this pathos resonated deeply with me. I actually *felt* the heart-wrenching pain of this character's loss, and I was never the same again.

Duncan MacLeod, more than any character on any other show, has defined who I am as an adult man dealing with a monstrous past. The strength to face the world and the demons it holds, I drew from this character most of all. Highlander has had the most profound influence on the young man I was becoming and would remain even to this day.

And there you have it! These are the three biggest TV influences to shape my personality in those turbulent teenage years when I struggled to find myself. I'm not any one of these characters, nor am I the sum of these men. I've taken only certain facets from all three--aspects which I suspect I already exhibited naturally on my own. But the influence is there nonetheless.

So, do any of you have tv or film characters who have inspired you in life? If so, please sound off in the comments section below.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

True Blood Sundays!

Yes, it's back! There, there . . . no need to cry your tears (of blood!)

This has truly become my favorite time of the year for television. 1) Game of Thrones beginning in April; 2) Regular bullshit tv season coming to an end in May; and 3) True Blood begins in June! HBO is really killing it with their two best series airing back to back like this. And I, for one, am so glad!

Season 5 begins tonight, with the premiere of the first new episode, "Turn! Turn! Turn!" kicking things off. The previews have been looking good for this season, and hopefully it will be a lot better than the previous two. I think it will.

And how am I preparing for the big night? Well, look what just came in the mail last week:

Yes, I'm going to be getting my premiere night on right! I love the specially formulated True Blood beverage from the store. You can also buy it in person here in NYC at the cool HBO brick and mortar store located on 6th Avenue (just off 42nd Street). I purchase around two to three 4-packs each year around this time. And this year, I even picked up the True Blood brand glasses like the one in the pic I took above. And even though that's my microwave in the back, I in fact prefer my synthetic blood drink chilled to perfection . . . and not nuked to 98.7 degrees body temp!

In other words, I'll be drinking True Blood out of a True Blood glass while watching True Blood. Makes sense, eh? Or am I just kooky?

Whatever the case may be, enjoy your Sunday night, folks!

Friday, June 8, 2012

You Keep On Completing Me

Last year around this time, I posted this blog entry about a severe increase in visitor stats to The Bimillennial Man. At the time, I had gone from having unique visitors in the 10s and 20s per day, to over 60 and even nearing 100 each cycle.

Many of you had kind words of encouragement then and congratulated me on this progress. And I, in turn, thanked you all for making it possible. And, of course, for taking the time out of your busy schedules to stop by once in a while.

Now, a little over one year later, that sentiment still stands. Thank you all for remaining loyal visitors to this humble blog. And to those of you who only lurk, my heartfelt thanks goes out to you as well. Trust me, I know who you are. I can see your IP addresses!

But I thought I would update you all on the state of things now. Yes, I haven't been able to blog as much this year as I'm accustomed to doing. Some of that was intentional, while most of it was not and was due to circumstances beyond my control. And yet, despite it all, I have to say the numbers have been crazy this year! Looking back, I scoff at thinking I was anything special with a mere 80 unique daily visits. Wow, cool dude. That's awesome!

But now, everything has changed. Things are starting to get serious. At the start of the year I saw the blog's stats double. Whoa! And as the year went on, it just got even more bizarre, increasing more than 400% over last year's numbers. And these past several weeks in particular have seen the site's traffic reaching stratospheric heights! Here's a snapshot of the chart, provided by Blogger's new built-in tracking system:

That's well over 400 hits each day! Now, because this is a new tracker over the one I used last year, I can't rule out that the numbers might be slightly skewed here. I do know that you can get wildly different results from one tracker to another. Alas, my old tracker is a buggy piece of crap and can no longer be relied upon. Also, while I am still not including my own visits to my blog, I can't rule out the fact that a good portion of these numbers are from people who are not truly landing on my page, per se, but instead retrieving my pics through Google Image Search. Let's face it, I put up a lot of pics--particularly in my Game of Thrones reviews which, just like last year, continue to be the prime generator of around 80% of the traffic this blog receives daily. Sheesh! People are going absolutely bananas for this show!

To clarify, I went from receiving 60 to 100 daily visitors last year to now averaging between 380 and 680! Last Sunday alone saw me reach a site high of 730 unique visitors in a 24-hour period. Wow! I'm guessing I have the Thrones' season 2 finale to thank for that! If I expand the chart to cover my yearly numbers since this blog opened back in 2008, you can get a better sense of just how rapid the increase in numbers has been over the past 4 years:

That's what I call progress!

Now, let me make something clear. I am not sitting here thinking that I'm something special. I'm well aware that I have the tv show to thank for most of this. You pick something wildly popular to write about on your blog, and chances are your numbers are going to skyrocket. Also, I'm well aware that quite a few of my regular commentators here have blog numbers that far trump mine. After all, some of you have dedicated followers alone numbering in the hundreds. I only have 30. And it's my fault, too, that. I really need to get out there in the blogosphere and meet more of my fellow bloggers. I know, I know.

And yet, I can still feel a sense of achievement with these numbers. Maybe you only like me for my screencaps, maybe you like me for my non-Thrones content. But whatever the case may be, I appreciate the hell out of you all for visiting me here. Ya'll are the best.

'Nuff said!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Ep. 20 Recap: "Valar Morghulis"

Previous Game of Thrones Season 2 episode recaps:
Ep. 11: "The North Remembers."
Ep. 12: "The Night Lands."
Ep. 13: "What Is Dead May Never Die."
Ep. 14: "Garden of Bones."
Ep. 15: "The Ghost of Harrenhal."
Ep. 16: "The Old Gods and the New."
Ep. 17: "A Man Without Honor."
Ep. 18: "The Prince of Winterfell."
Ep. 19: "Blackwater."

Episode 20: "Valar Morghulis"
Original Air Date:  June 3, 2012.
Directed by:  Alan Taylor.
Written by:  David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.

Tonight, as befitting, we close out what ended up being a fantastic Season 2 with the showrunners themselves returning to pen the final episode. And what would a Benioff & Weiss episode be without Alan Taylor directing? Also, after last week's masterpiece, how would the season finale fare by comparison? These questions and more will be answered . . .

. . . Now!

Panama Trip - Day 1: Here There Be Balboas!

In late May, 2017 I embarked on a trip of a lifetime. A trip to Panama's steamy tropical province, Bocas del Toro. Now, before 2017 ...