Friday, 29 August 2014

Captain Phillips

[Post #30 of the Blaugust Challenge!]

A movie based on the real life hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, Tom Hanks stars as the clever captain of that ship which begins the morning before it set sails from port. It is quite interesting to see the countermeasures used by the unarmed container ship when a handful of pirates decide to try capture it for ransom, and the shifting of focus between the pirates and their prey makes for a pretty tense and exciting film. Can't really give away more than that as it might take away from the experience for you. While Tom Hanks does his "captaining" very well, everyone else does a decent job in the acting department (pirates included). Also funny to learn that pirates get their crew via ye old school yard pick.

Tom Hanks wishes he had one of those guns right about now.

That said there are some changes I'd like to see which I think would make the movie better. The first part at the beginning before Tom Hanks reaches the docks could have been chopped. Some other people in the later part of the movie traveling from point A to point B footage could also be removed and replaced with "they arrived". Lastly I would have liked to see the part where the US NAVY goes in and brutally kills every single pirate, their families, friends and pets at the "pirate base". 

Unfortunately that doesn't happen in real life either so I guess it's too much of a stretch. At least it looks like the Maersk Line learned their lesson and began employing security personnel on their ships. There are so many parts in the movie where I was saying out loud about the difference one or two armed dudes would make.

Anyway, before I get carried away further into real life vs movie life I'd better score this, and since I believe it is one that many people would enjoy I give it three and a half bullets out of five.

Blaugust Bonus: Writing Prompt time! "Do you collect in game pets? Various games have turned this into a mini game but are you a pet collector? If so why? If not why as well?" Yes and no, depending on the game. More on the no side though. There are three main barriers to pet collection for me. First, are they useful? If it's just a display item that you can get easily or by paying money then that holds no interest to me. An example for exception to this would be mini-Liadri in Guildwars 2, who while only being a "trophy" is one that I felt to be earned.

The second barrier is longetivity. If I need to take care of pets by any means other than occasionally healing it then it is too much of a hassle. Having to learn veterinary skills in UO for example (I think that combo was healing, taming, animal lore and anatomy) to maintain a viable ally was just not in my character. So, yes I had my mount and a random pack of critters for a short time, but it became too annoying to replace the pack as they died so I eventually dropped them altogether.

The last barrier is cost. If it costs real money then I don't buy it. Mabinogi is a huge exception for me here though as the pets are cheap, some freely earned, very useful (you can play AS the pet) and perhaps most importantly CUTE OVERLOAD. I don't classify as a collector though, as there are many I skip. My initial plan was just to get something to help me fight, followed by transportation. I sort of earned quite a few more in the process... cough. My current barn consists of: a mini bear, a thunderbird, a black unicorn, a giant eagle, a thoroughbred horse, a cobra, a thunder dragon, three flamemares, an armored pegasus and four bulls. Don't mock the bovines, I used them to help me defeat one of the goddesses in the game!

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