Podcast: The Round Table Episode 2.9

The Round Table

The latest episode of The Round Table features listener feedback, special guests James and Jessica Peveler, tips for incorporating “The Belly of the Whale” into roleplaying games, and a lively, multi-faceted discussion on when and if player characters should be allowed to die. Also on deck: way too many chupacabra references.

Normally, Chris Miller and I use a Samson C01U condenser microphone on Chris’ Windows XP laptop. In episode 2.9, we were using the microphone built in to Chris’ new MacBook, and it sounds pretty damn good.

I don’t know what sort of equipment Master Misfit Mick Bradley is using, but our virtual round table is made possible by Skype. Mick and Chris both record the show, just in case there is an audio problem in either Louisville (Mick’s home base) or Eastlake (site of Chris’ tricked out studio). Mick typically takes a couple of days to edit the show, removing some (but not all, else my voice would never be heard) extraneous crap, mixing in the musical cues, promos and bumpers. This particular show was recorded Friday evening and released Monday morning.

Head on over to The Harping Monkey and grab episode 2.9, if it’s not already in your podcatcher. While you’re at it, grab episode 2.8, which Mick and Chris recorded while I was on vacation. They cover a lot of stuff, but I really wish I’d been able to participate in their discussion of X-Men: The Last Stand.

Underworld: Evolution (2006)

Underworld: Evolution (DVD)Underworld: Evolution (2006)

Starring Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Tony Curran, Shane Brolly, Sir Derek Jacobi, Stephen Mackintosh, Zita Görög, Brian Steele, Sophie Myles and Davy Jones

Directed by Len Wiseman

I wasn’t a big fan of Underworld, but I rented Underworld: Evolution over the weekend. I had every intention of writing a review, but then some jackhole hacked my forum and I got distracted.

You might ask yourself why I would rent a sequel to a movie I didn’t like. Two reasons really:

  1. I’d heard from several sources that the sequel was superior to the original.
  2. I believe that eventually a brilliant sequel to a movie that sucked will counter all the sucky sequels to brilliant movies, bringing balance to the Force.

As the sequel had been held up as superior to the original, I suppose it is necessary to compare the two. However, I want to stay away from phrases like “Underworld: Evolution was/wasn’t as good as Underworld” because they imply that Underworld was measurably good. The only comparison I will make is that both Underworld and Underworld: Evolution failed to meet my expectations. The second only comparison I will make is the number of partial decapitations, which I believe is identical in both films.

I’m having a hard time quantifying why I didn’t like this movie. It has a lot of stuff that I normally enjoy, including leather-clad Beckinsalian vampires (okay, that one is pretty specific), lots of gunplay, Derek Jacobi, helicopters, explosions, werewolves, and ass-kicking. U:E also had something its predecessor did not: hot vampire-on-lycan action. Well, technically it’s hot vampire-on-vampire/lycan-hybrid action, but that sounds clunky.

So why didn’t I like it? Well, Michael (the aforementioned vampire/lycan hybrid) and Selene (the aforementioned leather-clad Beckinsalian vampire) still have zero chemistry. I shouldn’t have to be told that these characters love each other, it should be obvious from their interactions, and (hot vampire-on-vampire/lycan-hybrid action notwithstanding) it isn’t. I’ve loved peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with more passion than Michael loves Selene (hot geek-on-PBJ action sold separately)!

Then there’s Michael (who looks like he really, really needs to be the gentle-yet-dangerous frontman for an almost-metal alternative group). He’s supposed to be this uber-powerful cross between vampires and werewolves, but mostly what he does is get his ass kicked until the very end of the movie, when he finally grows a pair and [SPOILER REDACTED].

Finally, there’s this nagging feeling I had at the back of my head that continuity had taken a vacation between Underworld and Underworld: Evolution. Sadly, I can’t put my finger on it and I’m afraid that only be watching both movies again will I be able to either identify the discontinuity or dispel the nagging demon. I’m not sure it’s worth the trouble.