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Wednesday, May 30

Dun: Completed!

I did it! Dun came screeching in at just 400 words over the finish line, with a grand total of 80,400 words.

Zokutou word meter
80,400 / 80,000
(100.5%)


Now I just need to find a publisher...

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:51 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, May 29

Red Steel OST Now available on iTunes and CD

Composer and music producer Tom Salta has sent word that the original soundtrack of the Red Steel is available on the iTunes music stores. The OST will also retail on CD by Persist Records / Sumthing Distribution from May 29, 2007.

Didier Lord, Executive Director, Ubisoft Music quoted, “We are really happy to make this possible, particularly with Tom’s impressive work on Red Steel. It’s an important move as it will be Ubisoft’s first soundtrack released on major digital distribution channels, the first of many to come!”

Tom Salta used traditional live Japanese instrumentation such as Koto, Shamisen, Shakuhachi and Taiko performed by expert Japanese musicians including the specialist percussion group Taikoza. This was done to make sure that the music would sound genuine to the gamers. He has also worked on Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.The music of Red Steel too has received a lot of accolades. So now you can download it on your personal audio players or your PC to hear it anytime you want.

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:27 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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DVD Review: A History of Violence

This movie poses important questions that challenge American assumptions about violence, similar to how American History X challenged our assumptions about racism. It's in answering those questions that the movie becomes more than action film and transforms into a morality tale worth seeing. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:35 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Monday, May 28

Adventus Regis - Conclusion

“You’re quiet, Kham,” said Sebastian.

Kham took another swig from yet another bottle of wine. “I’ll get over it,” he said in a voice hoarse from screaming. He threw the bottle into yet another pile of debris. “There’s just one thing that bugs me.”

“What’s that?” asked Quintus.

“Livius Carbo was once a great playwright. He escaped on the back of one of those things.”

“We’ll find him,” Quintus said confidently.

“Sure you will,” said Kham. “But he was taking notes from that…thing in the senator’s box. What was he writing?” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 4:23 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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DVD Review: Mission Impossible III

I avoided the third installment of Mission Impossible for the same reason a lot of people did: Tom Cruise. It's a tradeoff: a bankable star becomes a liability if you happen to dislike him. Of course, the people who don't like these big budget stars are usually not substantial enough to affect sales. Given Sumner Redstone's, CEO of Paramount, decision to cut ties with Cruise, it seems that his outrageous antics finally caught up with him.

And that's a shame, because Mission Impossible III is really good. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:16 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Movie Review: Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End

World's End doesn't give us happy endings. It doesn't wrap up Jack's story. And it shamelessly dangles yet another sequel to a series that's not sure what it wants to be when it grows up. Verbinski obviously is having fun at our expense, as evidenced by the audio playing from the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, playing over Jacks' arrival to Davey Jones' Locker.

World's End is a wild ride. But I'd rather pay to see it at Disneyland than in the theater. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:13 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, May 25

Adventus Regis - Part 17d: The Senator’s Box

But Ilmarė’s rage was unabated. Her arm drew arrow after arrow and each time Ilmarė fired, she found her mark. Before the thing could scrabble onto the seats, six arrows jutted from its face. It screeched and fell backwards, collapsing onto its dead brother. Then it too, lay still.

She whirled, another arrow knocked, aimed at Beldin’s head. Someone was shouting something.

“Ilmarė!” said Sebastian. “Stop! It’s us!”

“Forever shalt thou contend for mastery and strive in bitter blood,” said a voice in her head. [MORE]

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Wednesday, May 23

Movie Review: Shrek the Third

In the end, we get a nice little sermon about everyone getting along, about how we shouldn't marginalize people by making them out to be villains, and about Shrek accepting that he's finally going to be a dad. Ironically, my wife is six months pregnant, so this movie was a lot more relevant to me than I expected. Worries about being a good father? Check. Concerned that the kids will be too much to handle? Check. Not sure how domestic life will become part of your own manly personality? Check. Man, Shrek really was hilarious...I was laughing out loud at several parts!

Then I noticed I was the only one. [MORE]

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Tuesday, May 22

DVD Review: Deja Vu

I heard a lot of bad things about Déjà vu, with words tossed around like "contrived," "unbelievable," and "Jerry Bruckheimer." My parents, with their big screen television, forced me to sit down and watch the movie at 11 p.m., when I was ready to go to bed. But instead, I watched right to the end around 1 a.m. It's that good. [MORE]

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Monday, May 21

Advetus Regis - Part 17c: The Senator’s Box

“I’ll keep it distracted!” said Kham. “Kill that thing in the senator’s box.” When Cal didn’t move, he shouted again. “Go!”

Kham’s command spurred Cal into action. He bounded across the arena and hurled himself towards the balcony. The Ss’ressen’s powerful legs propelled him halfway up the arena wall. He dug in his powerful claws and climbed, scaling it foot by foot.

Cal cleared the rim. He scrambled up into the senator’s box, axe in hand. There was nothing there but a drippy corpse.

The liquid eyes turned to focus on him. As their gazes locked, Cal’s mind recoiled in horror…[MORE]

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Tuesday, May 15

Adventus Regis - Part 17b: The Senator’s Box

Ilmarė sang, firing arrows into the thing even as she mouthed each note. “O môr henion i dhû.” She sang of the darkness, and how she understood the night.

Colia, witnessing the combat, closed her eyes and lifted her arms. “Iä! Iä! Hastur!” she chanted.

Ilmarė’s head snapped around to look at the new threat. Colia’s words were guttural, awful, offensive. It didn’t seem possible that the sounds could come from within a human form.

“Ely siriar, êl síla.” Ilmarė sang of dreams, and shining stars.

Colia chanted louder. “Hastur cf’ayak ‘vulgtmm, vulgtmm, vulgtmm! Ai!”

“Ai! Aníron Aldebaran.” sang Ilmarė. She spoke of the desire for the star to return.

“Ai! Hastur!” Colia chanted back.

“Stop that blasphemy! Osalian take your breath for speaking such words,” said Ilmarė. “Dîn!”

And suddenly, Colia couldn’t say anything at all. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 6:38 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, May 9

Adventus Regis - Part 17a: The Senator’s Box

“Magis attrecto!”

The book flew out from underneath Livius’ quill and spiraled into the darkness of the arena. It landed with a light plop.

With a shriek of horror, Livius dove after it, right off the balcony onto the soft sand.

Slowly, the eyes set into drooping sockets turned towards Sebastian, focusing on him despite his invisibility. The tongue twitched as it wheezed. It drew breath into itself and spoke in a groaning, deep voice. “It seems we are interrupted. Welcome to my court.” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:55 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Friday, May 4

Part 16: The Stage Upon the Sands

Down in the center of what was usually the chariot course was a stage. It was untouched. The stage was set with the furniture of a throne room. Numerous figures, all dressed in strange costume, lay dead.

“They look like rag dolls,” said Kham, kneeling down to inspect one of the corpses. “No wounds. The entire cast is dead.”

If it were not for the looks of sorrow and terror frozen on their faces, they could have been asleep.

Something landed behind him. It was heavy.

“Cal?” [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 10:43 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Thursday, May 3

Dun Update

“Welcome to the largest religious assembly space in the country,” Sally said breathlessly. “You are standing in the Conference Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.”

As tour guide, Sally had taken her time before getting to the megachurch. It was one of those things that her audience either loved or hated. And that usually depended on one’s religious proclivities. Fundamentalists were freaked out by the mere thought of so many Mormons in one place. Everyone else generally “ooh”ed and “aah”ed and wondered what the hell would make people like church so much that they’d all gather in one place.

“How many people does it accommodate?” asked a non-descript man in the back.

Ah, that was easy. She loved the softball questions, it made her job a cakewalk. “Twenty one thousand people for the Semiannual General Conference of church members. But it also houses the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and is used for church pageants.”

She led them through the publication circulation areas. They had a neo-Georgian grace, like a government building.

“How big is this place?” asked a grumpy-looking older woman.

“Four hectares, or ten acres,” said Sally. “The total area in the conference center is one point two million square feet, with interior volume of nine point forty-three million cubic feet. For seating capacity and sheer size, the main auditorium has no peer in the world. It’s seven times the size of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.”

“Wow,” said the lady, looking less grumpy.

“It’s truly miraculous. Not only can the main auditorium comfortably accommodate a huge audience, they can all clearly see and hear whoever is speaking on stage. That’s no small feat.”

Sally was going to use the phrase “no mean feat” but kids always giggled and wanted to know what angry feet were doing on stage. Sometimes adults did that too.

“The distance from the pulpit to the last row of seats is the size of a football field. Unlike a football stadium, people seated in the last row can see a speaker at the pulpit as clearly as if he were standing a few feet away. There are even sixty booths for simultaneous language translation. In addition, the conference center contains a nine hundred-seat theater and an underground, fourteen hundred car parking lot.”

“Makes sense,” said an older man. “Got to fit all those people.”

“Indeed,” said Sally. She prided herself on those “bridge” words that meant absolutely nothing but made it seem like she was really interested in what they had to say. Because, really, she had NEVER THOUGHT OF THAT.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
71,710 / 80,000
(89.6%)

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:39 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Wednesday, May 2

Comments on My Review of 300

Mariana V. Miller
Initial post
Good review, I thank you for that.The truth is that this movie isn't for everyone and it really laughs in the face of political correctness, which makes me wonder: why would the politically correct Pollyannas of the world go to see this movie?, to be disgusted?.Your review should be plastered to ticket booths everywhere, so such people can be warned.I loved the movie too and it bothers me when people critizices it for not being what it was never intended to be. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 9:01 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Comments on My Review of Superman Returns

EA XT
VERY insightful review. I can tell this is a person who (rightly) adores the original and understood how much more "Returns" could be, but isn't cruel. Let's all hope Mr. Tresca's hopes for Superman on the big screen come to fruition sometime soon.

J. mcdonald
I actually enjoyed Superman Returns more than many of the other super hero films of recent years. I also think that Bryan Singer made a wise decision to model the film after the original two movies.However, I have to agree with you that it simply doesn't measure up when you look closely at the plot. That's not to say that the original films didn't have plot holes, but you are correct when you say they were more "fun". You're less likely to complain about the plot if your having a fun time :)For the most part I'm happy that someone revived the superman films and did so in a way that pays tribute to the original films.I wonder what would have happened if they actually let Richard Donner loose with 200+ million dollars? And this time nobody interfered with his vision?Well written review!-JM [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 8:59 PM | 0 comments links to this post


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Tuesday, May 1

Adventus Regis - Part 15: The Arena

A strange quiet had fallen over the ruins of Vestalanium. From their vantage point on the road, they could see that the fires were starting to burn themselves out. Few people moved along the streets, with only the occasional howl sounding a human presence.

The road eventually led to a large circular stone building; the arena. There was debris and blood everywhere, as well as a scattering of slowly cooling corpses. The gates remained open. Above them hung an enormous banner.

It read, “Adventus Regis,” and the three-armed symbol of the king seemed to glow in the darkness. Flags and banners still fluttered in the night wind.

Bijoux was perched on top of the banner, peering down into the arena. “It flew into the arena,” she said. “Emric’s in there somewhere.”

They dismounted their horses and cautiously entered a scene of utter carnage.

The inside of the arena was deserted. Blood, debris and scattered bodies littered the place. It was obvious a riot had broken out. Graffiti was scattered her and there, mostly written in blood. “The Last King,” and “Carcosa is now!” were common.

“I’m going to scope out the arena,” said Kham. And with that, he vaulted over the edge of the arena wall into the lamp-lit pit. [MORE]

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posted by Michael Tresca at 7:58 AM | 0 comments links to this post


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