Saturday, April 20, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us (and the Mortal Kombat Series)

Lately we've been playing Injustice: Gods Among Us.  But before we talk about that, let's go back a little.

I always had a love/hate relationship with the Mortal Kombat series.  I was a teenager when the first one came out, and at the time it was the coolest thing I'd ever seen.  Yes, the violence was attractive to my tasteless 18-year old mind, but that wasn't the biggest draw for me.  I loved the digitized actors, and some of the special moves (Scorpion's rope, Sub-Zero's freeze) were a lot more interesting than Street Fighter's punches and fireballs.  Unfortunately MK1 didn't translate very well to home systems.  I don't mean the censorship (which was annoying but didn't really make the game less fun), it's just that none of the home versions really got the controls quite right.

They made up for it with Mortal Kombat 2, which was uncensored and had better graphics, tighter controls, more characters, and lots of secrets to discover.  My fiancee KJ (now my wife) and I played that one for months.  Mortal Kombat 3 was a bit of a letdown.  No big graphical upgrade, and initially they took away some of the most popular characters.  These fighters returned in Ultimate MK3, which was nice, but it still wasn't as revolutionary as MK2 had been.  Eventually they released MK Trilogy for the home systems, and that was the pinnacle of the 2D series.  I've always preferred fighting games that have loads and loads of characters, and this was (at the time) the most I'd ever seen in a single game. 

The transition to 3D was rocky.  For me, Mortal Kombat 4 was basically a tech demo - like they were saying, "Here's the groundwork; eventually we'll be able to make a decent 3D MK game."  I didn't play much of Deadly Alliance or Deception.  Each one was better than the last, but at the time I just felt that I was "over" Mortal Kombat.

In 2006, I played Mortal Kombat Armageddon.  It was the best MK game up to that date, featuring nearly every character that had been in the series.  It was like the "MK Trilogy" of 3D MK games.  Like the previous games that I had skipped, it also had a decent single player mode that played like an adventure game.  I especially loved the Kreate-A-Fighter mode, and I wish more fighting games allowed you to build your own characters.  The only thing keeping it from being the definitive MK game was the Fatality system.  The designers tried to experiment this time, and instead of giving each fighter their own fatalities as usual, they had a weird sort of "create-your-own" fatality system where you linked together a series of brutal combos.  I never got the hang of it, and it's a dark mark on what was otherwise the height of the pre-reboot MK series.  I was certainly prepared for it to be the final MK game.

In 2008, they released Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe.  It was really fun for about an hour, but there just wasn't enough there to love.  It felt like the designers did just enough work to have a solid fighting game, then rushed it out the door.  I could see pulling it out again when friends are over, if I didn't already own some much better fighting games.  There is nothing hugely wrong with the game; it just goes through the motions and gets the job done.  If you see it for $10, there are worse ways you could spend the money.

In 2011, we picked up the Mortal Kombat reboot (aka MK9 or MK2011).  We bought it on a whim.  I hadn't been following the game's development, and I hadn't read any reviews of it.  KJ and I happened to see it on the shelf, and we had some extra money burning a hole in our pockets.  We were trying to decide between that and another game, and KJ was actually the one who said, "We like Mortal Kombat, let's get it."  And we played it for months.  It is so good, far better than anything the series has put out before.  The controls are tight.  My biggest complaint about the MK series was that it didn't control as easily as more serious fighters, but MK9's controls are so good that even Fatalities are a breeze to do.  It had a good-sized roster of characters, a lot of different modes and options, and a story mode that was actually interesting for a change.

Now let's be honest.  The Mortal Kombat series started as a gimmick.  First they wanted to see if they could make a fighter with digitized graphics.  Then they wanted to see how much gore they could get away with.  Later games in the series also tried to test how much skin they could show.  I recognize this, and while I have enjoyed these gimmicks in the past, I do recognize that they are gimmicks.  All these games I would enjoy until until I was out of shiny objects to find, then I'd look for another game.  So seriously, I never thought I would say this about a MK game.  But the truth is, MK9 is one of the best fighting games ever made.  If you haven't played it, and aren't put off by the violence and skimpy outfits, you can find the "Komplete Edition" (PS3, 360) for under $20 now.  It really is worth it.

And now we have Injustice: Gods Among Us.  Why did I preface my review of Injustice with a Mortal Kombat history lesson?  Well, for all intents and purposes, Injustice is the spiritual successor of MK9.  It was developed by the same set of programmers, and is very similar to MK9 in style.  The controls are a bit different (most noticably Injustice doesn't use a block button), but overall you can easily see the similarities.

So how does it measure up to its predecessor?  Well, overall I do think MK9 was a slightly better game.  It had a larger roster of fighters, and slightly more intuitive controls (in my opinion).  But truthfully, I'd have to be a more hardcore gamer to really care.

Injustice has 24 fighters (with four more coming soon as downloadable content).  The roster is split 50-50 heroes and villains, featuring most of DC's major characters.  The basic controls are simple, though some of the more complicated combos are almost impossible for me to pull off.  Granted, I'm playing on the 360, and I hate the 360's controller for fighting games.  Still, some of the most powerful moves are the easiest to perform.  You can throw background objects at your opponent by simply tapping the shoulder button.  Each character has an over-the-top Super Move which is done by pressing two shoulder buttons together.

These super moves are basically Injustice's alternative to MK's Fatalities (or MK9's X-Ray moves).  Unlike fatalities, they can be done during the match, after filling up your super meter.  It's hard to imagine anybody surviving these moves.  For example, Superman punches his opponent into space, flies after them, and punches them back to the ground.  It stretches believability a bit that people can keep fighting after getting hit by these powers, but that's nothing new for fighting games.  Seriously, how many people in real life could get hit by Ryu's fireball or Dhalsim's yoga flame and still continue the match?  Injustice just takes it a bit farther.

Also cool are the stage transitions.  Most stages have two fighting areas, and if you use the right move in the right spot, you will knock your opponent into the other part of the stage and continue the fight there.  The Mortal Kombat series has been doing this for a while, but this time the transitions are especially funny (and damaging).  If you're fighting on the roof and your opponent knocks you off, you don't just fall to the street level.  No, first you get knocked into the side of a nearby building, where a wrecking ball hits you, then you fall and land on some elevated train tracks.  The train hits you, knocking you to the street level, while the train also crashes to the ground in the background.  Again, these transitions challenge your suspension of disbelief, but they're very entertaining.

Injustice's story mode is very interesting.  Several former DC voice actors have returned, including George Newburn and Kevin Conroy.  The plot is similar to one of my favorite episodes of the Justice League animated series, but it plays out much darker.  I'm only a couple of chapters into it so far, but it already looks very compelling.  And in case you were wondering, the story mode does explain how a human like the Joker can stand up to Superman's punches.  (Update: I've now finished the story mode.  It's really good.)

Like MK9, Injustice is filled with tons of unlockable content.  Each character has an alternate outfit related to the story mode's plot.  You can unlock these outfits by spending cards you earn while playing.  There are also a lot of extra costumes that can be earned other random ways, such as by completing other game modes.  It also has some extra battle modes you can unlock, as well as the usual miscellany I probably won't bother unlocking, like concept art or music.

There's a mode called "STAR Labs" that works a lot like MK9's Challenge Tower.  You are given specific missions that sometimes involve fighting, but are just as likely to be something off-the-wall like defending the Earth from meteors.  One early mission has you controlling Catwoman's cat while avoiding museum security guards.  You even have a "meow" button.  These missions are a cool break from fighting, but a lot of them are frustratingly difficult for me.

Is it balanced?  Are the combos easy to pull off?  Is the online opponent-matching any good?  I don't know; I'm not a very hardcore gamer these days.  I will say that some of the one-button-press moves (like throwing background objects) are just as damaging as some of the moves that take more complicated button-pressing.  So lots of matches become races to see who can reach certain background objects first.  Also, some of the ranged moves (like Deathstroke's rifle) are cheap enough to be somewhat cheesy in the wrong hands.  But it's balanced enough that when KJ and I play, either one of us could win no matter who we pick.  And in the end, that's all I really care about.

The bottom line:  While I do think MK9 is technically a better game, Injustice has a lot of charm and comic geekiness that makes me like it better.  I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes fighting games and DC characters, but if you want to wait a year until a "complete" version comes out, I wouldn't blame you.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Nintendo 3DS

Still no big long post here, as I've been using up all my blogging energy for my RPG blog

Just wanted to mention that I have a 3DS now, so if anybody wants to add me to their friend list, here's my friend code: 1306-5310-8353

Remember you'll have to give me your code as well for it to work.  As long as we're posting friend codes, here's my Wii Code (not that I play the Wii much any more): 7045 1920 7172 8881

And my X-Box 360 handle: MattAndKJ

I'm really enjoying the 3DS.  So far I've mostly been playing Mario Kart 7, New SMB 2, and a bunch of classic NES/Gameboy games.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Super Hero Summer

Covering three:

The Avengers
I didn't bother blogging this one when it came out, because it was just too obvious.  I simply can not imagine a better super hero movie, unless Avengers 2 is just two hours of Black Widow making out with Pepper Potts. If you haven't seen the Avengers yet, you owe me $5 stupidity tax.  By the way, I've seen it with and without 3D, and it was beautiful both ways.  The 3D is great but not required, so use your own judgement there.

Amazing Spider-Man
This was fun, but I liked the other trilogy better.  And that's really the hardest part of sitting through Amazing Spider-Man - the fact that I'd seen most of it before.  Generally I don't mind remakes or reboots, in truth I think it's fun seeing how different people tackle the same story.  But in this case I wish they'd just summed up his origin story in the opening credits.  Instead, this movie actually spends more time on his origin story than the 2002 version.  We all know Spidey's origin, and while I appreciate the differences (the return of web shooters, intrigue involving his parents, Uncle Ben's accident playing out differently), they didn't need to draw it out so long.

Andrew Garfield does a decent enough job, but it really got on my nerves the way he always took so long to speak.  "How are you, Peter?"  "................................Fine."  They could have shaved 15 minutes off the movie's running time if they'd removed all the awkward conversational pauses.  You could tell a lot of the dialogue between Peter and Gwen was meant to be cutesy and clever, but it fell flat on my ears.  Maybe I'm just too old.

I loved the Lizard.  He looked great, and the fight scenes were a lot of fun, even if they did look a bit like video game cutscenes.  The part of the movie's climax involving cranes - you'll know it when you see it - was so cheesy that I can't decide whether I love it or hate it.  It was reminiscent of the "don't threaten New Yorkers" bridge scene in the 2002 movie, only much more over the top.

Overall I'd have to give it a thumbs up, but understand it really doesn't do much that wasn't done ten years ago.  I try not to judge movies based on other movies, but the bottom line is that if the earlier trilogy didn't exist, I would have been much more impressed by Amazing Spider-Man.

By the way, we saw it in 3D, which was fine, but they really didn't do much with it.  Save a couple of bucks and see it in 2D instead; you won't miss much IMO.

The Dark Knight Rises
It was really hard for me to get interested in seeing DKR.  Sure, Batman Begins was a great way to cast away old shames and restart the franchise.  And The Dark Knight was as good as a Batman movie could ever hope to be.  But none of the trailers for Dark Knight Rises really pulled me in.  After the flashy, colorful Avengers movie, I wasn't sure if I really wanted to see another gritty, realistic Batman.  

But I loved every minute of it.  And I do mean every minute, which kind of blows my mind.  The movie is nearly three hours long, and I'd heard that it lags in the middle, but I never felt bored.  There were a couple of subplots that could have been left out without affecting the movie's overall quality, but nothing that really bogged the movie down.

Bane was great.  I wasn't expecting much out of him, but he really captured the spirit of the comic book character.  But predictably, the character I liked most was Selina Kyle.  She was clever and funny...  yeah, there wasn't much there that we hadn't already seen from Black Widow, but I'd rather see it from Selina.

The movie seemed to pick bits of its plot out of several comic story arcs, such as No Man's Land, Son of the Demon, and of course Knightfall.   It's as if Christopher Nolan scoured the history of the Batman universe to find the bits that would be most believable.  In some ways it felt like a direct sequel to Batman Begins, with Dark Knight just being an interesting extra story thrown in the middle.  It ended perfectly, wrapping up all the right details and really capping off the trilogy well.

Awesome as it was, I am glad this is the last one.  It's a great trilogy, but it doesn't need more.  I hope the next Batman reboot is more on par with the 1989 movie.  The Nolanverse is awesome, but I'm ready for something a little more comic-booky again. Not silly like Batman & Robin, but just fanciful enough that it could exist in the same universe as the Justice League.  I'm tired of Marvel having all the fun.

By the way, DKR also shows the new teaser for Man of Steel.  I don't think I've ever seen a more pointless trailer full of random images.  I'll withhold judgement on the movie itself, as a lot of great movies have rotten early teasers.  But seriously, who thought this teaser was a good idea?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Random Sci-Fi Thoughts

I have often said, "There is a fundamental difference between a normal person and a sci-fi fan: a normal person actually likes sci-fi".  If I take my mom to see a Star Wars prequel or an odd-numbered Star Trek film, she'll come back saying, "That was a pretty fun space movie."  But if I take a true sci-fi fan - even if it's to a really good movie - for the next few hours I'll be subjected to diatribes about the technical mistakes, followed by rants about how modern science fiction isn't as good as the works of Isaac Asimov or Phillip K. Dick.

There's a reason people like this get ostracized.  It's not because they're smarter than everyone else; there's plenty of popular smart people.  It's because it's just not fun hanging around people who hate everything.  It's a simple rule; when even the nerds want to kick you in the nuts, the problem is you. 

A friend posted this webcomic declaring Star Wars to be fantasy, not sci-fi.  For the most part, I agree. However, he's never going to be able to hold a job at a video store.  To quote his accompanying blog:

Hugo Gernsback, considered by many to be the father of sci-fi (and whose name you can see in, you know, the HUGO Awards) established the criteria a work had to meet to be considered science fiction:

1) The author must know science.
2) The author must be able to play with breakthrough theories and delve into how they would affect society.

So yeah,  I can totally agree there, but it's just a semantic argument.  For one thing, Gernsback actually pushed for the cumbersome term "scientifiction", so clearly he understood science more than marketing.  My personal take?  There's "Science Fiction" and there's "Sci-Fi".  Science fiction" refers to stories that actually speculate about unknown aspects of science, attempt to predict science related things (the future of technology, the biology of alien species, etc), and in general are written by people who know what they are talking about.  Sci-fi refers to stories that happen to take place in space and/or in the future, or deal with futuristic elements like aliens or robots, but that concentrate more on entertaining you than getting their facts right.

Or for a more cynical take:  If they're on a spaceship and it bores you, it's science fiction.  If they're on a spaceship and stuff blows up, it's sci-fi.

There's plenty of room for overlap there.  You can easily be more than one thing.  Star Trek is both science fiction and sci-fi, depending on the episode or the writer.  Star Wars is both fantasy and sci-fi, but rarely really touches science fiction.  Alien is both sci-fi and horror. Aliens is both sci-fi and action. Alien 3 is both sci-fi and garbage.

What bugs me is when people try to shy away from the "sci-fi" stigma. You know, the ones who say, "Don't call my book sci-fi!  Sure, it's set in space and has robots, but it's a love story, dang it!"  Twenty years ago, sure, but today?  Right now there is not a single intelligent person on Earth who doesn't love sci-fi.  Be proud of your work!  Such a tiny percentage of people actually manage to get anything published.  No matter how hard you work, becoming a well-known author or director is still like winning the lottery.  You just sound whiny when your work doesn't get reviewed and categorized exactly the way you wanted.

I do think it's weird that the Sci-Fi channel didn't seem to mind the stigma back when it was considered nerdy, but then changed their name to SyFy after sci-fi became mainstream.  That might not be why they actually changed it, but I still think it's a funny observation.

So anyway, you can rationalize all you want about how Star Wars is technically not science fiction, and I probably won't disagree with your points. But you have to admit when you're browsing Netflix and want to watch Star Wars, you're going to head for the sci-fi section.

The Flamingo Analogy

"The world's toughest flamingo is still a flamingo."

Sometimes when I stop by the flamingo pen at the zoo, I'll see two flamingos fighting. This always makes me laugh, because really, what's this fight going to prove? Sure, you might be the strongest, but you're still a skinny pink bird with a crooked beak and a wormlike neck. When you're one of nature's silliest animals, there's no extra prestige in being the biggest and baddest one. Just picture a flamingo in a leather jacket and shades, sporting skull tattoos.  Intimidating, no?  No.

This analogy comes to mind whenever I see two "silly" groups fighting with each other.  For example, Twilight fans had "Team Edward" vs "Team Jacob".  No one ever wins these arguments, but even if you did, you'd still be a loser.  So if you ever hear me dismiss an argument as a "flamingo fight", that's what I mean.

It's hard for me to say this without insulting my more reverent friends, and so I apologize for this in advance.  But I also consider this analogy whenever I see two religious groups attacking each other. It doesn't matter if it's Christians vs Muslims, or Baptists vs Presbyterians, or Jehovah's Witnesses vs Mormons. From an outsider's point-of-view, all these religions are equally unlikely.

Lest you think I'm being snobbish, I'm not immune to the flamingo analogy. Everyone has their own flamingo threshold.  I've argued with my fellow geeks on many subjects that ordinary mortals would find pointless.  I've participated in internet flame wars over the best edition of Dungeons and Dragons.  I've been involved in heated discussions over the greatest Star Trek captain. 

So if I ever dismiss a battle you believe in as a flamingo fight, well, I'm sorry.  I know these things are important to people, and I should respect the believer if not the belief.  On the other hand, if you laugh along with me while I make fun of arguments between Twilight fans, Mormons, or rap artists, but suddenly get offended when I include something you like, then we're probably headed to the same hell together.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Believe It, Or Not.

Why do you believe what you believe?

I strongly distrust anyone who reaches adulthood and ends up having the exact same religious beliefs as their parents.  Wikipedia says there's about 38,000 Christian denominations... what are the odds your parents picked the right one?  It tells me you've never really given it a lot of thought, other than those "justify what I'm already doing" kind of thoughts.  What if your parents never gave it much more thought than that, either?  How many generations ago was it that someone actually did some real research?  Look, I appreciate the whole, "My daddy is always right" thing, but if everyone emulated their parents without question, we'd all still be living in caves. But we did progress... some... which means that blind obedience must skip a generation now and then.

Okay, I'm just venting because I'm pissed about the gay rights issues in the news right now.  I'm a bit tired of bigots (some of which are in my own family) who defend themselves by saying, "I'm sorry, it's just what my religion teaches."  Well, then you're not really sorry, because you choose to keep following that version of your religion.  There are plenty of Christian churches that believe gays are 100% equals.  They're really not hard to find, believe me.  But by staying in your present bigoted church, you're saying, "I believe what these people believe."  There's no "sorry" to it.

Admittedly I'm agnostic, but that doesn't mean I think religious people are stupid.  On the contrary, many of the smartest people I know are Christian.  To me, religion is just philosophy.  Everyone has a philosophy, and it has nothing to do with intelligence.  What is stupid is not following the tenets of your own religion.  It's like saying, "I know exactly what will send me to Hell, so I'm going to do just that."

There is plenty of evidence that the Bible is fine with homosexuality.  There are six verses people usually quote when they're trying to support their anti-gay agenda, but those verses are often misunderstood and subject to contexts these people won't consider.  Due to archaic language and translation differences, the Bible is extremely open to interpretation.  There's a lot of personal choice involved when you decipher a passage for yourself.  The fact is, you either blindly follow your parents/preacher/etc (who in turn may have blindly followed whoever taught them), or you choose what you think is most likely interpretation.  Why choose the worst one?  Don't you have more respect for your God than that?

As I said above, there are 38,000 versions of the Christian God.  Every single one of them has the same amount of evidence for their existence (i.e. none).  That's not a dig at religion; the Bible is pretty clear that faith is integral to Christianity, and therefore evidence is not needed.  Whether or not I consider that a cop-out is irrelevant.  But it does mean that there's no more proof that your denomination is the correct one, than there is for one of the more enlightened churches.  You don't pick a denomination based on how scientifically likely you think that version of God is.  You don't say, "Well, this church was verified by snopes and Mythbusters, so it must be the true path."  No, you go on faith, and pick one that fits beliefs you already have. 

What I'm getting at is, you can't blame the Bible if you think it tells you to discriminate against someone.  You chose your church, even if you lazily chose it by continuing to follow your parents' choices.  You chose your denomination, you chose how to interpret the passages.  You knew there were alternatives, and you chose your path anyway.  You have no right to blame God.  God is not the bigot, you are.  The Bible clearly told you to love everyone; you are the one who decided that meant "discriminate against people who are different."  By your own religion's most basic rules, you are the one who is on a path to damnation, all the while pointing fingers at everyone else.  How in the world can you not see this?

Update:  I just saw this article on The Oatmeal that seemed appropriate.

Friday, April 20, 2012

3D or Not 3D?

*sigh*  I seem to find myself writing the same blog over and over.  I've already stood up for remakes and sequels, so I think my "live and let live" attitude here is going to be pretty obvious.  Anyway...

A few weeks ago the news broke that Jurassic Park was going to get a 3D re-release.  My brother and my cousin both immediately responded with the standard "OMG-Why?-Has-Hollywood-run-out-of-ideas-and-do-they-only-care-about-money" knee jerk reactions.  These are both very intelligent people and I usually respect their opinions, but come on guys.  Different people go to the movies for different reasons.  Heck, the same person goes to different movies for different reasons.  Sometimes you want to appreciate the film for the piece of art it is.  Other times you want to go on a roller coaster ride. 

Now my brother lives in the magical land of Xanth, where he's never more than twenty minutes from the nearest roller coaster.  He doesn't appreciate what it's like for those of us who no longer have access to a theme park.  If I want to ride a roller coaster, I have two choices.  I can drive a few hours, or I can see a 3D movie at my local IMAX.  (...which is, coincidentally, located right in the vicinity of where a few roller coasters used to be, until they paved paradise and put up a shopping mall.  But I'm not bitter... jerks.)

First off, you didn't see this coming?  Converting old movies to 3D is a trend right now.  You're going to see a lot more before it's over.  Of course they're going to start by looking at a lot of the more popular movies with big special effects.  Plus, 3D televisions are starting to get cheaper and more popular, so people are going to want a lot more 3D blu-rays for their collection, and if you're going to upconvert an old movie anyway, why not give it another run on the big screen?

They're not making you see them.  Steven Spielberg is not going to throw handcuffs on you and drag you to the theater.  Nor is George Lucas going to break into your house and convert all your Star Wars DVDs to 3D. Are you just complaining because Spielberg and Lucas are wasting time that could be spent doing other things?  Maybe... but I doubt it.  These guys have a lot of resources, and can afford to have teams working on several projects at once. 

Or are you just mad because they're going to put something in the theater you don't like?  Look, I appreciate the whole avant-garde film student schtick, but not the whole "everything sucks except for the stuff I find artsy" thing.  It's old.  The internet is full of jaded critics who think it makes them look cooler if they hate everything.  It has been played out.  It is time for people to start gushing about the stuff they like again, and ignore the stuff they hate.  It's a simple fact - you are not the entertainment industry's only target audience.  Sometimes people will release movies that aren't meant for you.  Sometimes music is released that isn't in a genre you like.  If something is released that isn't your style, don't say, "That looks awful."  Just say, "That's not for me, but someone else will probably like it."  It's what mature people do; come join us over at the grownups table.

I think people are confused by the word "converted".  It's true, if you convert your canoe into a bathtub, you'll have a hard time getting it back again.  But movies don't work that way.  Converting a 2D movie into a 3D movie does not mean that the 2D version no longer exists.  They're not "changing" your movie; they're releasing an additional version, one which you are free to ignore.

Now  I will agree, upconverted 3D isn't great yet.  Not long ago we saw Star Wars Episode I in 3D, and it really was a lukewarm experience at best.  Some scenes were better than others, but even the best scenes were like watching it through a Viewmaster.  Yes, people standing in the foreground looked closer to you than the stuff in the background, but really it was just a gimmick that didn't add anything to the movie.

More recently, I saw Wrath of the Titans in 3D.  Now that was a cool experience.  It was filmed in 3D, and it showed; I swear I had more fun at that movie than at any theme park ride I can remember.  Wrath is the kind of movie 3D was made for, and I wouldn't want to see it any other way.  It makes the 3D in Star Wars look pathetic. So yes, I see how upconversion seems like a waste of time when you could be filming new 3D movies.

But I don't begrudge George Lucas for making 3D Star Wars conversions.  Frankly, I'm just glad they're doing them in numerical order - maybe by the time they get to the good ones, they'll have perfected the process.  And that's the point, isn't it?  Technology improves when we use it.  If we just sit on this whole "upconverting" thing, it will never get any better.  But I think it would be really cool if a few decades from now, we could have glasses-free Star Wars movies in 3D that blows Wrath of the Titans away.  But we'll never get there if we don't practice now.

For now, I'll probably skip most 3D upconversions.  I'm just not into it.  It's enough for me to know that the technology is improving, and eventually might yield something worth seeing.

Anyway, the bottom line is the same as it was for the other blogs: If you don't like it, don't go see it.  But please stop whining about it; it's extremely childish, and you're ruining the fun for those who do enjoy seeing them.