Francis Buck

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About Francis Buck

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    pleistocene vampire
  • Birthday 01/21/1990

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    Writing, reading, movies, television, video games, guitar, history, science, and philosophy.

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    Francis Michael Buck

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  1. Video Games: Excuse me Sir, the machine ate my quarter

    So I'm playing MGSV on Xbox One, and I'd like to have some friends whose FOB I can defend (plus, if they want, they can defend mine). I'm not really into infiltration just yet, but I'd like some experience defending bases in general. Unfortunately the only friend I have with the game on Xbox One barely plays it.    Do people need to be your online friends in order to have this defend/protect feature going on? I've been searching a bit on the internet and haven't found anything conclusive yet. It doesn't help that the game's "tutorials" for this mode are pretty weak and barely even cover the basics, which is even worse since this a relatively complex game system (and one sitting at the top of countless other complex game systems). 
  2. Fargo Season 2: you betcha!

    I'm pretty damn psyched for this. Honestly, at first I didn't even pay any attention to last season's existence other than hearing that it was happening, despite Fargo being one of my favorite movies, as I just assumed it would be some weird spin-off that either aped the movie's style, or that the story or was just completely different.   Then it turned out to be kinda both, but it was awesome. One of the bigger TV surprises I can think of in recent memory. I'm kind of especially anxious about season two after feeling like this was a disappointing year in television for me personally. I mean, if you had told me a year ago that out of the three main shows I was hyped for -- True Detective, GoT, and Better Call Saul -- that the weird spin-off from Breaking Bad would be the only one to not just meet but actually exceed my expectations...I probably wouldn't have believed you.    So yeah, hoping for S2 of this to be great.   ETA:   Actually I forgot, but Mad Men this year was huge for me and I adored the finale. Though in that case I can say that I was never truly concerned about the show, having faith that Weiner and the crew behind it would deliver. It didn't shock and awe, exactly, but that was nice. It felt like the ending I always wanted without knowing it, and afterwards seemed completely natural and totally satisfying. 
  3. Finally saw this, and it totally met my (by this point pretty damn high) expectations. It felt so fresh aesthetically and even thematically, despite being rendered in perhaps the most stereotypical post-apocalyptic setting/scenario of modern fiction -- an archetype that was, of course, basically created by this very franchise.    I absolutely loved the structure of it and the way the story unfolded. There's so little dialogue, and so much of the plot and exposition come through visual storytelling. Even the world-building, which was also surprisingly fresh and distinct, was rarely explained directly to the audience. Like most great pieces of fiction, it forces the viewer to engage with the story in order to understand it (not that there's anything wildly complex or difficult here to understand in the first place, but then that's precisely why it's nice that so little of it is force-fed to us like a lot of blockbusters would). Same goes for the characters. Furiosa and, to an even greater degree, Max, almost never verbally express how they're feeling at a particular moment, because they don't need to. Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy are good enough actors (supported by a good enough script and director) that the audience knows all they need to know from their mannerisms. I mean shit, virtually half of Max's already hilariously sparse dialogue is just a slew of different grunts, and it fucking works.    The action speaks for itself. "Intense" just isn't a strong enough word to describe it. The set-pieces are huge, fast, completely over-the-top in every imaginable way...and yet incredibly measured and well-choreographed. It never felt like an incomprehensible mess of noise and motion (like many of the fight scenes in say, the Transformers movies). The camera-work and editing serve to establish a sense of geography to each action scene. You may get lost for a moment simply because it's all so fast, to the point that you can look away for a moment or two and miss something important...but if you pay attention, the action always follows a logical (if not necessarily realistic) chain of cause-and-effect, which is something that's way too rare in a time when action movies are more popular than ever (a similar thing happened with the success of The Raid franchise in the West, which applied the same techniques to fist-fights that Mad Max does to vehicular mayhem -- of course, this is something East Asian action filmmakers have known for decades). I also loved the wonderfully unsubtle feministic edge it had. The title may be "Mad Max", but this is absolutely Furiosa's story. The interplay between the two men and six women traveling together here is great, and it never feels preachy or forced. The fact that Max spends almost half the movie bound, impotent, and is literally treated as an object (bloodbag) was great and quite clever.   Somewhat ironically, the film reminded me a bit of the Mel Gibson-directed Apocalypto, which relied decently on visual storytelling as well as lengthy-but-coherent-and-interesting action sequences.   So yeah, movie totally lived up to the hype. If you're even remotely a fan of action flicks, then go see this. It's one of the best out there, and will almost certainly be looked back upon as one of the defining films of the genre for this decade. 
  4. The Acts of Caine by Matt Woodring Stover

    I've had the first book for a while and stopped and started it several times, for no particular reason really as I enjoyed what I was reading, but I've finally started properly getting into it. I'm about half-way through and it's pretty damn cool. Some of the writing feels slightly weak at times, but it's never overly offensive and so far it has been made up for with the characters, plot, and very creative setting.
  5. Edge of Tomorrow [Spoilers]

    Just got out, I enjoyed it quite a bit. I like Tom Cruise -- he's great if the material is good, and the guy always puts in his all, no matter what. Emily Blunt was awesome and super badass (and ultra hot as always), though her character was slightly underdeveloped for me. Overall it was quite good though. Interesting basic premise, good amount of humor, and nice action -- it never felt too over-the-top or anything. I also really liked the aliens and their design. It was something different. Only gripe is the ending, which I was somewhat lackluster:
  6. Rick and Morty thread

    Had no interest in this for some reason. Was snowed-in today. Saw it onDemand. Remembered Sci's thread. Gave it a shot. It's awesome. Smart, dark, poignant, and hilarious. My kind of show. Thanks for rec.
  7. The Hateful Eight- Tarantino's New Movie

    Honestly, even though I'm sure I would've enjoyed The Hateful Eight, I'd rather see him make something else. I want to see a more modern crime tale along the lines of his first three. That being said I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up just making The Hateful Eight in a few months.
  8. The Hateful Eight- Tarantino's New Movie

    We'll never get another Kill Bill. QT has said at one point or another that he was going to make a sequel/prequel of pretty much every movie he makes (aside from Death Proof and Jackie Brown, to my knowledge). The Vega brothers prequel, the Kill Bill sequel, the Inglourious Basterds prequel, etc. I'm not sure if he just likes trolling people, or if he genuinely wants to do these projects but then gets wrapped up with something else, but it has definitely become a pattern.
  9. The Acts of Caine by Matt Woodring Stover

    That's what I meant, wasn't speaking tonally.
  10. The Acts of Caine by Matt Woodring Stover

    I need to check this series out. I'm either going to go for this or The Book of the New Sun once I finish the Dune series. I think I might go for this though. i feel like something a little "lighter" (relatively speaking) after blasting through all six Dune novels.
  11. The Best in Historical Fiction

    Heh, Shogun's like the one historical fiction for Japan that I actually read. It's also one of my favorite books ever.
  12. The Best in Historical Fiction

    I need to try that again. I picked it up from the library for a vacation, but I just wasn't in the right mood for it, even though I knew I'd like it under different circumstances. And I mean, shit, it's HF about Thomas Cromwell, with the title Wolf Hall. Such a simple title, but so badass in context.
  13. The Best in Historical Fiction

    I'd like some good (preferably very realistic) historical fiction on the Middle-East, and also some Far East, particularly Korea and Japan.
  14. Guy Gavriel Kay

    I just recently blasted through every GGK book on Kindle, aside from Ysabel (started it, didn't really like it). Out of Sarantium, UH, RoS, Lions, and The Last Light of the Sun, I think UH was my favorite. I agree with polishgenius's critique of Lions. The gimmick got old, quick. It's unfortunate too, because the only time he really should have used it, in my opinion, was the final fight, where it actually made some sense thematically, but by the time it got there I just kind of worn-out on the trick. I thought UH was almost perfect, but the ending fell a little flat. In particular, I didn't like how: And I still want to read Tigana. It was actually my first choice after Lions, but there's no Kindle version, and it's not at my library, so I'll have to pick up a paper copy at some point. Actually, I think several of GGK's books would have been a bit better if the villains had a little more of the spotlight. They seem to flutter around the edges, and then their real actions all happen in info-dumps of prose about wars and the various states of the civilizations involved, etc., which is something I generally can't stand. I just don't think it's compelling writing at all, in any of the forms I've seen it.
  15. New D&D movie(s) on the way

    I honestly don't see the worth in a D&D movie. For starters, you could pretty much use anything that's in D&D in a separate fantasy world without any trouble. It's pretty generic fantasy stuff. And even the brand-name is not really the most appealing thing in the world. I feel like D&D has a really strong nerd-stigma associated with it, even in this "golden era" of geekdom.