Henry and Kristl were In a lonely place (1950)

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“Dixon Steele is a violent man,” Kristl said..

 

“Dixon Steele is a violent man,” Kristl said while she took a sip from her Rooibos tea.

“Yeah,” Henry nodded slowly. He was drinking hot coffee in a cup filled to the brim . He had made Kristl a tea as at the moment she had sworn off coffee. Just like she had sworn off sugar a few months ago. But Henry knew that this might change tomorrow. It had before.

“That is the key to the story. It is what causes Laurel to doubt him, until it is too late.”

“It isn’t a great leap to think that he might have killed that girl.”

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Happy times in times smoking was an accepted vice.

“And this suspicion breaks the love affair. “ Kristl nodded.

“He is pretty violent considering that he almost bashes a man’s skull in with a rock. If Laurel hadn’t stopped him, he might have. He gives me the creeps.”

“That is the thing and the sad thing is that he gets more violent when more frustrated and he gets more frustrated because Laurel grows distant and cold because she starts to doubt him.. And of course the police increase the pressure, believing him to be the most likely perpetrator.”

“Like a circle. The suspicion causes the violence and the violence increases the suspicion. And so on. And so on.”

“A sad story and a great one. It is an interesting take on a murder story. Not a regular whodunit because is not really important who committed the murder. What is is important is what it causes. It is a thriller, mixed with a drama and a crime story all wrapped into one movie.”

“So you liked it?”

“Did you? I mean, there isn’t much action. So it might be boring.”

“Well, it was interesting. But I asked first…”

“Alright… I found the story interesting and the acting of Humphrey Bogart and Gloria Grahame is good, but the movie loses big on cinematography. It is just so lackluster and by the book filming that it really brings down the whole movie. There are so many moments that could have been handled better. I would have been interested what a Robert Krasker, the director of photography of the third man, would have done. The only moment something remarkable is done is when Steele enacts with two other people what might have happened. The eager fascination and detailed description of him describing the murder coupled with his expression is unsettling and brought out by having his face light up from the darkness around him. It could have been done much better though. And there are a few moments throughout the movie that seem to mood enhanced, like the moment she talks through bars to a person.. which would have been greater later in the movie signifying her being captured in this love affair but I got the feeling this was just an accident. ”

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Humphrey Bogart as Dixon Steele caught up in enacting the killing.

“Ah yes…Gloria Grahame is pretty isn’t she,” Henry smiled, “even though she has this sad expression for most of the movie.”

“Sure.. There is this one thing at the end that made me wonder about her character. “

“Which is?”

“I find it strange that she finds it more important whether Steele is the murderer or not, than the fact that she is about to marry a violent man.”

“Uhmm.”

“I mean.. he gets creepy under pressure, so he will get violent and one day she might be the target of his violence..Brr. A man to avoid at all cost,” Kristl shivered.

“Well…. I don’t know what to say. Most of the people he was violent against seem to ask for it.. Not that is makes it any less of a nono.. but somehow I am somewhat more lenient when he hits a guy who taps ash off his cigar into Steeles friends glass of brandy. Or this guy who shouts at you not to talk to his wife, while his wife started the conversation.”

“Still violence is violence.”

“Yeah, it is..”

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Laurel Gray behind bars… a missed opportunity?

“Despite that last criticism I think it is a good movie. In fact I wonder why there has never been a remake. Maybe one with say George Clooney and… well…. “

“..Angelina Jolie?”

“Angelina Jolie?!” Kristl grinned.

“Hmm.. maybe not a good idea, she probably hits back..”

“Maybe Cate Blanchett would be better.”

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Gloria Grahame as Laurel Gray.

“Yeah. She has that kind of frailty that Gloria Grahame has.”

“Well, maybe someone will make that remake.”

“You never know.” Henry said and rose to get him another serving of coffee. Halfway down the hall he turned and raised his empty cup indicating if she wanted any. Kristl nodded a yes.   ‘Addict’, he thought. he  had known she would change her mind.

State of Decay ten tips for playing the DLC Lifeline.

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Some time ago the game State of Decay got a new addon called Lifeline and it has a few changes that are surprising interesting given that this is only a small addon. One of the changes even carries back into the game and the first addon Breakdown DLC and is certainly an improvement on playing the game. It basically saves you a lot of to and fro driving.  Now this post is not a review. I wrote a review that I published on another blog, which I might move to this one, but in the mean time you can find the link here. The purpose of this post is to give a few game playing tips that have worked very well for me and you can apply to. Note that this might make the game relatively easy to play and this might be considered a spoiler.

Now for those who like a puzzle you can look at the picture abive. It shows the basic ingredients for beating the game. The only thing for you to do is to apply it.

For those who hate to puzzle I have below a few tips for making the addon a bit more easier to play, provided you need to.

But fist a few lines about what is typical about this addon. I assume you already know the basic game, so I will not explain the game mechanics here. The game mechanics is the same in the addon.

First, most obvious, the map has changed. The map is that of the city of Danforth. But the map is for a large part inaccessible. In fact the map consists basically of the road around the city and a about seven  areas branching of the central road. There are therefore far less buildings to explore unlike the basic game, that had a lot of places to explore and to scavenge.

Second, the addon has only one base and thus there is no reason to try and look for another one. This base has only a few option to builds. Basically you have only four slots to build something.

Third, the addon story is interspersed with attacks on your base at set intervals. The attacks by zombies increase in ferocity. The first attacks will see normal zombies, more zombies and more special zombies will join in the attack as the game proceeds. To deal with attacks you will recruit soldiers, artillery support, mortar support , air strikes and static defense around the base. I never use them since I found another way to deal with the attacks.

Fourth, and very handy, change is that vehicles now can carry equipment and especially resources. This mean that you can now drive to a shack and transport the resources in that shack in your car instead of having you to drive back and forth between your base and the shack for each resource. This change also works in the basic game and in the other addon Breakdown.

Fifth, the cap for influence is 10.000. Which is different from the basic game and addon Breakdown, as there the cap very low and slowly rose throughout the game based on your performance.

Six, the price for hiring a soldier to come with you is twenty influence, which is very cheap as compared to the 100 you need in the basic game.

Seventh, you can summon supplies from your base.

Eight, munitions shop now make munitions.

Nine, you will be pressed for time as you have to do quests within a short time and there is little time left to do other things until the story lines have finished.

And lastly: this game revolves mostly around doing missions to either save people or to gather supplies.

Now we come to the tips.

Tip one: disobey the first order you get.

The first order you get is to head over to the base at one as it is under attack. Instead of going directly to the base you are better of to use the moment to establish some out posts and gather resources. The reason to do this is because at this moment in the game the zombie threat is the lowest and you have two companions with you. Also, unlike in the basic game, you can already establish outposts and you need to establish outposts to drop off the weapons that you find. Also you have ample time to scavenge as there is no deadline on the first quest.

Tip two: Build outposts, but build them to destroy hordes and make areas safe.

Hordes get to be a serious menace in the game as they are the cause of infestations and infestations will make quests harder to do as. The only way to effectively deal with them is having outposts destroy as many as you can get. To do that you need to place outposts at place where hordes pass and this is in contradiction with placing outposts at satellite uplinks, artillery and drone sites because these are almost all on the edges.

Tip three: forget about the latrine.

There is a latrine in the game and it is suggested that not having it will make your soldiers sick. Well, I have had times where half my soldiers were sick, but that is a rare occurrence.  The soldiers will still help defend your base. The disadvantage of having a latrine is that it uses up a slot that can be put to better use.

Tip four: take a soldier with you.

Asking a solder to come with you cost twenty influence, which is cheap as compared to the hundred influence in the basic game.  So take a soldier with you. In addition this is an important way to make them playable characters and you want to make them playable to equip them.

Tip five: don’t hesitate to use your car and Molotov to save people by driving into a group of zombies.

In the basic came driving a car into a horde of zombies attacking a refugee or survivor would cause you to loose influence. In this game you can do that unpunished and you need to as the zombies get tougher and can easily kill a refugee and survivor later in the game. So throw that Molotov cocktail and drive a car into them.

Tip six: don’t worry about supplies.

With the exception of materials you do not need to worry about supplies because you will get resource when you keep the gather supplies function on all the time.  Materials you need at the start of the game to build your facilities. Once they are build they aren’t so important. You can break down all other resources.

Now follows four more tips that can be seen as game spoilers.

Tip seven: gather rocket launchers.

In almost all the games there are around five rocket launchers These are your key weapons to use in your defense as outlined below.

Tip eight: build a munitions shop.

You need to build a munitions shop to make 40 mm grenades. It might even be advisable to use a second slot for making another munitions shop so you can spent building your ammo on making more 40 mm grenades.

Tip nine: Make as many 40 mm grenades as you can.

Make as many 40 mm grenades as you can. If you don’t have ammo for 40 mm grenades make either silencers or flame fougasse.

Tip ten: don’t recruit soldiers.

You have only about 5 rocket launchers. So you need to keep the amount of soldiers low. Preferably not more than you have rocket launchers, but this is hard as the game will give you just a bit more solders then you want. Around two more on average.

The tactics that you now can use is equipping your small crew of soldiers(best is around six or seven) with grenade launchers. Because your npc never use and run out of ammo you have made yourself free artillery. The 40 mm grenades you make are for your own use as during most of the addon Sasquatch will be at the north gate and you can’t equip him and you will need to use the grenade launcher. In addition your npc grenades do little damage to Big Ones so you need to take them out yourself. In addition you have no control over how the soldiers will be positioned and this it might be you need to fill in the gaps.

Now go out and play.

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Zombie slaughter.
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Taking out a Big Un.

Henry and Kristl investigated The Caine mutiny (1954)

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“Humor me?” Kristl said.

“A six pack of Bogey,” Henry’s barked a laugh, “Isn’t that a bit too much of one thing?”

“I thought it might be educational. Bogart is still quite famous, so I was wondering what substance is there to the icon.”

“True, he is famous. Like Marilyn Monroe or.. Betty Boop.”

“Betty Boop?” Kristl arched an eyebrow.

“Never mind about that.. So six old movies… Why these?”

“It says that they are the great classics…but these are not all the movies that he is known for today. Well, except for the Cain mutiny. You know The African Queen, or the Maltese Falcon or Casablanca.”

“It might be boring,” Henry said.

“It might be interesting.”

“Duh..… six movies. Six old movies. Six very old movies.. Black and white movies. The horror.”

“The horror? That is hardly fitting. I mean, it can not be as bad as all these movies about cutting teens into tiny bits.”

“Hmmppf. Why do we not try one of those.. just to be fair?”

“Only if I can wear a helmet, a blindfold and have something like Rammstein playing over the headphones. Very loud.”

“You’re sissy.”

“If that is what it is called, then that is what I am. And Actually it is five now. We just saw the Caine Mutiny.”

“True.”

“Did you like it?”

“It was entertaining.. And that despite the lack of excitement..”

“You mean violence? Yeah. It is not an action movie and not a romantic comedy either, but a drama movie. I got the feeling there are not that many around much, but maybe there were never that much around anyway.”

“People like to be entertained or amused.”

“It is entertaining for me..”

“So what is entertaining about?”

“Hmm I think it is two things: the curiosity about what is going to happen and how the people deal with the situation. And.. also a third thing.. I feel empathy with the people involved. You can understand their attitudes even if it leads to disaster. You see the collision course, you see people trying to do their best, but still they collide. It is not inevitable.. but it happens, ” Kristl said. “And what I find good was that the movie seems to go one way, then at the end you get an opposite view served. This story has twists like that. At first you think it’s a simple story of a group of men who feel they have no other choice but to depose their captain during a climactic moment when he seems to fall apart. The whole movie works towards it, but at times not everything is as it seems. Some people suddenly show other sides..like people turning out to be cowards when put to the test, while putting up a brave facade when it is not needed. The end is another example of such a twist.”
“Yes, it was quite an twist at the end.”

“And that is what I like about such a movie. You think one way and then suddenly say.. but this is another way of looking at it..”

“So the story is ok.”

“Yes, I liked the story.”

“So how about Bogey?”

“It was Bogey that wasn’t a Bogey. I mean this Queeg role he played was well done. Not the cool, collected, sharp witted, hard boiled bogey, but more like post Bogey..This is a man who is on the edge, but not so far as having buckle under. A nervous wreck.. but not enough. And this is they key to the story and Bogey plays it well.”

“So you like his role.”

“Yes. So what is your opinion?”

“It was okay for an old movie. I didn’t fall asleep.”

“What praise!”

“Don’t take me wrong. It is a good story.. but somehow it would have been nicer with more action.”

“Hmmpff.”

“Just saying what I think.”

“Well, everyone is entitled to their opinions.”

“Sounds like mine isn’t up to scratch.”

“I just feel a good movie does not require action.”

“Yeah, but on the other hand, it should not make a movie worse. Definitely not.”

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0046816/

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Captian Queeg gets nervous in the key courtroom scene.