Dots & Slashes
What ARE "Dots" and "Slashes"...?
In the TV world there's "cheers and jeers." In the movie world there's "thumbs up" and "thumbs down." Well, here in cyberspace, there are (...) dots and (/) slashes. Such are the icons for this web site's own quickie "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" list, which is added to whenever the latest entertainment news requires it. What news bytes hit their mark, and which should be slashed? Here are the latest of them.
Some Earlier Lists:
Feel free to contribute. As always, review submissions are accepted!
DOT : To Google's "like, totally radical, man!" salute to the 1980's hit, Pac-Man, on the arcade game's 30th anniversary. If you logged onto their main page in late May you may have noticed that the Google logo was hidden within a rendition of the classic arcade game, Pac-Man. If you waited long enough, the title comes to life! Though hey; Pac-man isn't moving. Then you use the arrow keys on your keyboard as a lark, and discover: it's interactive! Cooooooool...and with all the classic game sounds no less. Get past level two and you even get to see the classic level 2 cinematic of a larger pac man chasing the ghosts away. What a fitting salute to a game superstar!
Slash : To ABC's Funniest Home Videos, for taking a great idea and turning it into a farce of the worse variety. The great idea: make a two-part show, saluting the 20 best videos in the show's past 20 years. Brilliant! Few younger viewers remember some of the "classic" videos from the early 90's, so why not salute them? Bring on the baseball catcher that lost his pants while jumping to catch a ball (the first 100 grand winner BTW), the baby panda that sneezed so hard he made his mother panda jump a mile, and hey, by all means: bring back the first episodes, with all the hilarious voice over work! Well, forget all that, because this faux list of "top 20 best" included...a kid blowing candles off his birthday cake? Does this faux "funniest video ever" even count as "funny"...? Number one "funniest video" was a practical joke that was so staged, you would swear it was filmed by a Broadway veteran. Supposedly; a pair of boys were "surprised" by dad, minutes after watching Texas Chainsaw Massacre on TV. So supposedly dad conveniently had a Texas chainsaw massacre costume available, just minutes after they saw the movie? Wow, how conveniently...humorless. Words cannot describe how many classic funny video moments were stubbed by this "top 20" list. What a waste of a good idea.
DOT : To iTunes, for knowing when to cool it with the iPad craze. Okay; so iPad launched the first weekend of April, and suddenly the "app" store on iTunes was completely iPad-centric. Every app page was filled with exclusive iPad games, iPad utilities, and so on. It was enough to have me throw my iPOD across the room thinking it was obsolete. Fortunately, no; as early as Monday the iTunes store was back to normal, offering me my iPOD apps as always, with no need to shuffle through all the iPad software, looking for compatible iPod software. Does this make any sense? Well, that's the point. It could have gotten very confusing, yet Apple had made iTunes sane again, for all us iPod users without the ca$h for one of those nifty iPads. Thanks for not forgetting us iPod users, Apple. It's very appreciated.
Slash : To the (extremely!) odd way that Microsoft is "praising" Windows 7. The ads are all similar in theme: someone dreamed of a Windows that would someday do this or that, and now Windows 7 is here, and by the way: "Windows 7 was my idea," or so they all say. Here's the first problem: their "ideas" for Windows 7 were available as far back as Windows 95! One guy is impressed that Windows 7 allows multiple windows on screen at once. Dude?!? That was the whole point of Windows, as far back as Windows 3.1! That is why they call it Windows and not "WINDOW." Get it? Another ad praises Windows 7 for allowing the user to allow for an external monitor on their laptop. Gosh, maybe I'm just the most lucky Windows user alive, though I remember doing this on my Windows Me laptop back in 2001. Oh, and the French girl who wants us to bow because her idea was better than all of us stinking Americans? Give it a rest, girl! What's next; praising Windows 7 for allowing us all to play this amazing new game called TETRIS? Enough!
DOT : To Flashforward, for pleasing its fans, even if there are fewer fans than hoped for. To wit ---and keeping away as many spoilers as possible--- the episode that aired Thursday, April 22nd was a "fan"-tastic episode (sorry; I couldn't resist the pun), where one of the most pivotal moments of the series, allegedly, had a character killed. Well, no sooner can you say "no fate but what we make" then the character is saved. Even better, to appease the "how could this be so" techno-geeks; the villain of the episode explains that the future is NOT SET YET, and in fact; he saw many glimpses into the future and all of them were different. The bad news: all the branches of time that involved this character's survival were bad ones, leading to (yeah you probably guess this right?) the end of the world. However, I have to give an additional, mini- "dot" to the series' writers, for making the "end of the world" 2016, and not the clichéd "2012" we keep hearing about lately. In short: great episode. Too bad too few people saw it at all (so few, in fact, the series might not get renewed for next season).
Slash : To the incredibly, unbelievably, and infuriatingly annoying idiot (and I do not use the term IDIOT lightly here), who keeps on posting SPAM on any number of popular online GAME forums, about --no, I am not kidding here--- SHOES. Yes, you read that right. Some goofus is constantly spamming the most popular game sites because his web site offers various shoes at discount prices. Remember the early years of Flash video, where some ad that had nothing to do with what you were reading about would pop on the screen, right in front of what you were reading? Well, imagine that annoyance, times a hundred. No sooner do you read a review about, say, Bioshock 2, then you want to see what gamers think of it. Unfortunately, you can't! Some idiot is talking about shoes; again...and again...and again...and again...and...wait for it...again.There's a Nike Sale! There's an Adidas Sale! There's a sock sale! There's a sale of so many shoes you want to stop reading about games and go buy a shoe right now...except, not. Seriously; what is this shoe salesman thinking? Enough, dude!
DOT : To the makers of Prince of Persia, who decided to not simply re-issue The Sands of Time alongside the upcoming movie: they decided to re-imagine the game instead. Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands will be a sequel of sorts, for both the game and the movie. In short: it is what happens in the seven years after The Sands of Time, and just before its sequel, The Warrior Within. That sounds a lot better than a simple re-release of the original classic game...which, if you were interested, is available over at Good Old Games for a paltry $9.99. If you never played it, by all means buy it. If any game would lead to a decent film series, this is it. Not that it will. It just might. You know. Maybe.
Slash : To a recent Lost episode, and that annoying "Countdown until V returns" timer! Talk about bad timing (pun not intended): this countdown timer was chosen on an episode involving the lovable Korean couple Jin and Sun. The problem? THe majority of their dialog is in subtitles...and that infernal V countdown clock made the subtitles even harder to read. In fact; the final "conversation" between Jack and a suddenly mute Sun was impossible to "read," thanks to Sun's memo pad notes being completely blocked by the V countdown clock. If we promise to set our DVRs for V, ABC, will you keep the countdowns away?
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