Quick Fix: Paintball Videos!

As I implied in last week’s blog post, I definitely was quite busy so that next retrospective series is going to begin on the 22nd. However, in the meantime, you can enjoy some PRZ Fight for Asylum 3 footage and a recap!

Yes, this actually happened.

Myself and 3 other Stormrunners attended the event in Picton, Ontario. It was absolutely perfect paintballing weather – very little wind, sunny weather, not humid, not too wet and not too hot either. We played on Josh Samure’s team, which featured some pretty major teams such as Citrus Connection and the Devil Dogs (humourously, the Stormrunners got a shout out as a fellow TechPB team, even though we aren’t… but hey, I’m not going to complain about the complement). There were about 650 people playing which made for a very exciting event.

…although this guy was easily the coolest of them all.

My only complaint on the day was that the other team got absolutely smoked. They had a poor initial spawn point and were too disorganized at the beginning – they didn’t even leave their spawn point for about a minute after the break and none of their forces were sent to their alternative spawn points (a major issue because it would have delayed our reinforcements as we mopped up their troops, allowing their forces to take up better positions). The organizers did their best to even it up a bit, including a reinsertion and a ton of “air strikes” to clear our forces out, but it was definitely a one-sided day.

On the plus side, the Stormrunners did fantastic. The Stormrunners had a confirmed 116 kills and only 17 deaths, which is just a mind-bogglingly high number. Most of those kills were between two of our members, but I myself got 12 kills and only 1 death – not too shabby if I do say so myself. Images and videos are still trickling in, so if you’re interested then keep an eye on The Stormrunners’ Facebook page and our Youtube playlist. If you want to play with us at some point, we are going to be attending Commando Paintball’s D-Day Big Game on June 14th – if you are, leave a comment and feel free to say hi. Maybe you’ll get to be in our next video!

Quick Fix: Paintball News and Retrospectives

Hey good readers, I’ve got an exciting week ahead of me! On the 12th, I’m going to be kicking off the paintball season by attending PRZ’s Fight for the Asylum once again. It’s a world-class paintball field and I’m extremely excited to get out and capture plenty of footage of the action. I expect that by my next blog post, there will be lots of new footage of the event on my Youtube channel, so be sure to check it out by then. I’ve been stoked for this event for the last few weeks, upgrading and testing out my marker loadout in preparation – seriously, every time I pre-register for a paintball event, it’s like a mini Christmas to me (with the carols being pump-up rock and metal).

Commando Paintball’s D-Day event has also been recently announced as being on June 14th. The Stormrunners have attended D-Day since 2011, so this will make it our 4th attendance at the event. Most of the guys are still in school and so will be missing out on Fight for the Asylum, but by June 14th they should be all good to attend – D-Day tends to be one of our best events in regards to turnouts, so I’m excited to hang out with the team and kick some ass. It also tends to be my most popular event in terms of video views, with one of last year’s videos just shy of 10,000 views on Youtube (and still growing). You can be sure I’ll be attending D-Day this year and getting even more quality footage for everyone to enjoy.

Also, I’m considering upgrading my helmet cam from the Contour HD to a Contour+2. I’ve got a few reasons for this, so I just want to put them out there. First of all, my Contour HD is in rough shape – a lot of the vital bits which keep the camera’s battery in the unit are broken. It’s still in working order, but there’s only a couple pieces actually keeping it all together, so I’m expecting this to be my last season with the camera anyway (for the record, I bought it used for a half decent price and have been very happy with the camera in all my time with it). Also, my Youtube channel is overwhelmingly paintball-related, so I think I should focus my efforts on improving that part of the channel and making it the best it can be. At present, I can only shoot in 720p (well, I technically can shoot in 1080p, but the field of view is too restricted for my liking). This was fine on my laptop, but now that I have a new computer, I can edit 1080p and 60fps footage with ease. Luckily, the Contour+2 has a much wider FOV for 1080p footage, and I think the video quality is simply better anyway, making it a very attractive option for me. The bells and whistles are also just plain cool: smart phone integration, GPS tracking, plug-in microphones, etc. Anyway, there’s no way in hell I’ll have one by Fight for the Asylum, but I hope to have saved up enough to make the purchase by D-Day – fingers crossed!

In other news, I’m going to start the next Retrospective series within the next couple weeks. I might be too busy this week to get it done, but if so then it will be posted by the 22nd at the latest. In trying to keep things fresh, it’s a very different sort of franchise compared to all the (generally horrible) action/horror/thriller series I’ve covered thus far. I’m sure you’ll like it (and have probably seen at least two of the films in the franchise as well)!

Quick Fix: Page View Explosion and Updates

Hey, just a quick post regarding something really odd which is occurring on the blog. About a month ago I noticed that my page views were steadily climbing until it became common for them to get around 300 per day, although this soon stagnated to ~50 per day for quite some time. However, I’ve noticed that this seems to be a common trend, and so page views have peaked and dropped as long as I’ve been running this blog. As a bit of a stats-geek, it has actually been quite interesting and it’s fun to speculate on the causes of the peaks. For example, almost half of my total views have been on my Hulk review, and I believe that this is because The Hulk became very popular after the release of The Avengers – as a result, whenever a Marvel event happens (Avengers on DVD, Iron Man 3 hype, etc), its page views seem to go up. Interestingly, Final Destination 3 has been garnering much attention lately, so much that it has become my 2nd-most viewed post (still about 1/9th of the Hulk post, but still quite substantial all things considered), and Final Destination 5 isn’t far behind. If the trends continue, I predict that they might actually overtake Hulk before the end of the year.

Anyway, enough of that. Over the past 2 days, I’ve noticed that my page views have suddenly skyrocketed. I’ve gotten so many views that nearly 10% of all of my all-time page views have been in the last 48 hours. Holy crap.

If you studied the picture above, you’ll see that some website called “topblogstories” is responsible for most of those redirects. Now I’m not sure why I’m getting redirected to from that website, but it would seem that topblogstories.com is… a porn/escort/probably-phishing site. I probably should have guessed. Oh well, I guess that goes to show that if you want to get noticed, somebody has to get naked!

Whatever the case, that’s enough of that. I think I’ll start the next retrospective in mid-June. I’ve got 2 franchises I’m interested in tackling, although I’m leaning more heavily towards one of those for simplicity’s sake… I’m pretty damn busy at the moment, juggling a work and school (why did I take a bloody biology course? I hate science…), so it’s difficult for me to commit to all of that and then find time to watch a movie and review it more than once a week. Whatever the case, I do my best to commit to my “at least once a week” policy and haven’t broken it yet!

Also, I’m going to be paintballing again in 10 days. It’ll be the 3rd straight year my team and I have attended the D-Day Tippmann Challenge at Commando Paintball, and so there will be more footage uploaded to my Youtube channel shortly thereafter. If you want to view my previous paintball videos, click here or on the Youtube channel button link near the top right of the blog.

Anyway that’s it for this post. I’m curious to see how long this topblogstories thing continues, but I just wanted to share that little update with my readers. Hopefully I didn’t bore anyone to tears.

Quick Fix: Updates

I apologize in advance, this is going to be a pretty brief post. I’m right in the middle of final assignments period here, I have at least ~21 pages to write in the next 5 days, so that’s gonna be fun. However, there are a few interesting updates that I want to bring up so feel free to read on.

First of all, I’m paintballing on the 13th of April at the PRZ (Picton Recreational Zone). It’s an amazing field that I’d been wanting to attend for 3 years now – it’s about 2 hours from where I live inside of an abandoned asylum. It’s going to be epic, there’ll be around 400 people all fighting for it, including my team, The Stormrunners, and other affiliated scenario teams, such as Citrus Connection and The Sentinels. I’ll be recording the footage on my Contour HD helmet cam, so if you’re interested, the footage should be uploaded to Youtube around the 20th. You can view my channel here, and don’t forget to like and subscribe!

Secondly, I plan on starting the next retrospective exactly 1 week from now. This gives you a date to look ahead to, and it gives me a deadline. With papers starting to wind down at that point, it should be very do-able for me! Be sure to check them out, this is going to be a very fun series you won’t want to miss.

The last thing to mention is something… disgusting. After writing my post on Project X, I was looking up some more info on the movie when I discovered something horrific. J.B., the useless fat kid who contributed absolutely nothing to the movie, has entered the porn industry. This immediately set off two thoughts in my mind:

  1. I’m surprised that he fell into the industry so quickly, I would have figured that he’d at least get 2 or 3 crappy roles before having to fall back on porn.
  2. The fat kid? Ew. Gross. No. I’m not posting any pictures of that.
So… umm… yeah. Do your best not to picture that.
Oh God, I can’t not see it now…

Movie Review – Paintball (2009)

Hey readers, part of my intention of starting this blog is that I want to get a career by writing. Obviously, something like this is a great way to exercise that desire… and who knows, if this thing gets a decent following it can be a good thing to put on a resume. With that in mind, I’ve come up with a great way to make me post often on this blog: movie reviews!

This first review combines 2 of my interests – horror/action cinema and paintball in the 2009 film, Paintball. I first heard about this movie from a friend of mine who had seen it. He was telling me stuff about acid-filled paintballs, psychotic mercenaries and people battling it out to the death… he said it wasn’t that great, but honestly, it sounded pretty awesome to me! However, while the movie has some decent ideas, they’re wasted for the most part. It’s like Predator, minus everything that makes that movie good. Be warned, spoilers below… not that there’s really that much to spoil.

First off, for a movie called Paintball, there is very little actual paintballing going on. The whole idea is dropped pretty quickly once the bodies start piling up. However, I really question how much anyone involved knew about the sport. In some ways it seems like they’re enthusiasts (one of the plot points makes me think that the production process went something along the lines of “hey guys, I just got a RAP4 Grenade Launcher, let’s make a movie about it!”), but in some very key ways the movie represents paintball horrendously. Case-in-point: the film is supposedly starring professional scenario paintballers, but literally less than a minute into the game they’re all taking off their masks. The #1 rule of paintball is always keep your freaking mask on!!! I think the intention is that it’s supposed to help you know which character is which instead of them being covered by a mask, but the fact that the movie gives us no real attachment doesn’t help this notion at all. Furthermore, some of the characters are wearing goggles instead of full-on masks, so why not just give them all goggles if you’re trying not to cover their faces? Or how about different mask designs per character to differentiate them? Not that hard people, and honestly that’s one of the main ways I differentiate people when I’m playing the damn game itself…

Anyway, paintballing gripes aside, the characters are just plain badly presented. We’re given a very brief intro to them, but I honestly couldn’t tell you anything defining about any of them. One was called “Fred” I think, but I only remember that because his brains get bashed out and they start screaming his name when it happens. It doesn’t help that the sound editing was horrendous, I seriously could not understand what the characters were saying half the time, especially outside the heat of combat. As a result, the movie devolves into a bunch of screaming people running around and getting killed off one-by-one.

Honestly, I could have forgiven some bad characters if the film had had some other redeeming elements. However, Paintball can’t do much right. When it’s on-screen, the violence is pretty brutal, but not really all that satisfying. Most of the deaths are filmed with a thermal vision camera, which is rather cool at times, but it is used too often. The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense either. For example… at the start, there’s clearly about a dozen people opening fire on the characters (judging by the amount of paint flying at them). However, the movie later reveals that there’s only 1 mercenary out there killing people. So… who was doing the shooting? The movie does seem to imply that there’s another team running around out there, but we never really see this for certain (and it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for them to be doing the shooting since they were being hunted before the others).

Another major complaint about the movie – it’s just boring. Seriously, even with the frequent brutal deaths, I wanted to turn it off after about 30 minutes. We’re given no investment in the characters and no pay-off when they finally get offed. As much of a piece of crap The Final Destination was (a movie series I will likely go into at some point in the future), at least that movie got the payoff right. Paintball can’t even do this right. Throughout the movie they’re getting the parts to build “something”. At the end we realize it’s a paintball grenade launcher loaded with acid-filled paintballs. Epic, I’ve sat through 70 minutes of this crap, at least I’ll get to see someone killed with that thing… haha. You wish. When she goes to fire it, the gun literally does not fire. Seriously, what the hell?! What kind of screenwriter hypes a weapon like that and then does not use it once? Hell, the characters don’t even use the acid-filled paintballs… which, y’know, might be handy when you’re being stalked by a psychopath who has killed everyone else in your group.

On the positive side, I’ve gotta hand it to the director, Daniel Benmayor – the movie looks fairly slick. He has an obvious love for faux long-takes and an interesting style. With some reining in (long-takes are good, but they’re excessive in this), a good script and a bit of a budget, he could actually make something pretty good. Unfortunately, while Benmayor can view it as a learning experience, to us it’s nothing but a piece of crap. Bottom-line – this movie sucked.

Final Score: 3/10