Brenden 8 Movie Theater | Avi Resort & Casino, Laughlin, NV

Collectibles- great way to gain RP and level up!!!!!

There are 4 sets of collectibles in GTA 5 online. Each one is described below with a link to a list and map of where to find them.
-Playing Cards-54 playing cards in total and you receive $66,650 in casino chips and 54,000 RP (1000 per card) after collecting all of them. You will also receive the high roller outfit, which can be used as an exit costume for the big con casino heists and saves you from doing that casino heist setup. https://gta.fandom.com/wiki/Playing_Cards
-Movie Props - There are 10 movie props to be collected, you will receive $10,000 AND 5000 RP per movie prop delivered. You will also receive the space interloper outfit when all 10 are collected and a $50,000 bonus. https://gta.fandom.com/wiki/Movie_Props
-Action Figures - There are 100 action figures to be collected. Each collected figure will earn you $1000 and 1000 RP. When all 100 collected you will receive a bonus of $50,000 and the impotent rage outfit. https://gta.fandom.com/wiki/Action_Figures
-Signal Jammers - There are 50 signal jammers throughout the map. Each signal jammer that is destroyed will earn you $2000 and 1000 RP. When all 50 signal jammers are destroyed you will earn a $50,000 bonus and Avi Schwartzman will be available to use for the casino heists. Avi is the best hacker to use for the heists and gets you the most time in the vault. https://gta.fandom.com/wiki/Signal_Jammers
When completing these collectibles you will have earned over $500,000 and 254,000 RP.
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Critic's Criticisms Part I: Humor

A few months ago I completed a read through of all ~400 TLJ reviews on RT(now up to ~415). It was painfully boring at times, but that's salt mining for you. I wanted to get a handle on the critical reception which is commonly cited as universal praise. While it's generally true that critics loved TLJ, they also had some criticisms that would be right at home here at STC, and these come from super experienced and intellectual film critics, so they have to be valid, right? After all, these people know so much more about film than a layperson. They can fully evaluate a film on countless criteria that average fans don't comprehend. /s, but you see where I'm going here: many TLJ fans have put critics on a pedestal, as if their opinion is somehow more valuable as a baseline for TLJ's quality. So what about when critics are echoing our own criticisms of TLJ?
Almost every criticism we have lobbed at this movie was shared by at least a few critics, but there were three main criticisms that stood out as the most common. I'll start this series with humor in TLJ.
Peter Debruge, Variety -Fresh
Luke is funnier than we’ve ever seen him — a personality change that betrays how “Star Wars” has been influenced by industry trends. Though the series has always been self-aware enough to crack jokes, it now gives in to the same winking self-parody that is poisoning other franchises of late, from the Marvel movies to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” But it begs the question: If movies can’t take themselves seriously, why should audiences?
Harrison Ford was a good enough actor, and Han Solo an aloof enough character, that he could get away with it, but here, the laughs feel forced — as does the appearance of cuddly critters on each new planet.
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter -Fresh
General Hux, who's goofily played by Domhnall Gleeson as if he were acting in a Monty Pythonesque parody
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger -Fresh
humor is not only prevalent but often turned, mockingly, on the self-serious mythology of the whole saga. Sometimes there are too many jokes; certainly there's an overabundance of cutesy aliens.
Niall Browne, Movies in Focus -Fresh
It’s Finn’s mission which takes the film off on a diversion where it didn’t really need to go. There’s a lot of comedic hijinks involved in all of this which George Lucas would have excised from the first draft of anything he ever wrote.
There’s more humour in The Last Jedi than previous Star Wars movies; some of it hits, some of it doesn’t. The much publicised Porgs work for a moment or two, but they outstay their welcome. The film drew to a halt too many times to show-odd cute creatures. I didn’t care for the crystal wolves during the climatic battle and the aforementioned space Llamas feel like they belong in a Disney movie (wait, this is a Disney movie!)
Rendy Jones, Rendy Reviews -Fresh
"The Last Jedi" is a movie that follows elements of other Star Wars movies that works on its own but feels so similar to a Marvel film because the first half of this movie is a comedy. Seriously a lot of the first half of the movie has a silly vibe amongst all the death and destruction that surrounds it. It desperately tries to be a parody of itself by making serious situations comedic.
Ruben Rosario, MiamiArtZine -Fresh
Much has also been made of “Jedi's” jarring tonal shifts. Johnson inserts broad humor, then abruptly makes things serious, then back again to goofy content.
Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Film Festival Today -Fresh
[Kylo's] partner in evil, Domnhall Gleeson, as General Hux, is less fine, though much of the problem stems not so much from the actor as from the tonally strange, abusively co-dependent relationship between the two men; their jokey rapport feels like it belongs in a very different movie.
Alex Doenau, Trespass -Fresh
However, from the beginning there’s a discordant sense of humour that’s somewhat counter to the series’ ethos to date: rather than funny situations rising organically in the script, many of the characters openly seem to be making jokes. It’s how we introduce Poe this go-round, and it feels slightly off.
Owen Richards, The Arts Desk -Fresh
There’s a surprising amount of comedy in the film, quite a bit at the expense of beloved characters or series law; it’s funny, but not respectful.
Tim Brayton , Alternate Ending -Rotten
The Last Jedi has an impressively poor batting average for its jokes: it opens with a vengefully dumb "I have a bad phone connection" bit that put me on the movie's bad side basically as soon as it had a side to be on, and it's not exactly all uphill from there.
James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk -Fresh
Sometimes, however, his proclivities come at the film’s expense, such as his penchant for inserting quippy humor, sarcasm, and sight gags at odd times, which often undercuts the drama or simply smacks of too much effort.
Craig Takeuchi, Georgia Straight -Fresh
Weak points come with awkward humour that lacks comedic rhythm and an unnecessary casino escapade, where a disposable underworld character DJ (Benicio del Toro) is introduced, that subsequently soft lens into what is essentially a children's adventure tale about animals.
Rob Dean, Bullz-Eye.com -Fresh
Further pushing the disconnect is that the script is far too self-aware, constantly making the sort of jokes that nerds have been making about “Star Wars” for decades, as if it’s too cool to purely accept itself on its own merits. The comedy works about half the time, but there are a ton of jokes in this film that underscore all of the overly serious talk of hope that populates the movie.
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon - Rotten
Johnson tries too hard on the humor front. Just one, brief, example: The whole opening sequences involves Poe doing conference call shtick while trolling Admiral Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). It's weirdly un-Star-Wars in the sense that it feels like something you could see on any dreadful sitcom here on planet Earth; this sequence is more fit for The Big Bang Theory than a supposedly dark entry in the Star Wars canon. The Star Wars movies have always been funny, of course, and there are moments when Johnson makes it work in a Star-Wars-sort-of-way. On the whole, though, it feels desperate and forced.
Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru - Rotten
Johnson's screenplay awkwardly blend action and drama with comedy and little bit of tacked-on romance. One particular scene involving an image that's not what it initially appears to be comes out of nowhere and feels like it belongs in a parody of Star Wars even though it does generate laughter.
Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground -Fresh
With more gags, one-liners and quirky moments than all the other Star Wars films combined, The Last Jedi introduces a levity to the staid franchise in the vein of Roger Moore's turn as post-Connery Bond. At times it works, even to the point of guffaws, but ultimately the humour feels misplaced. In a story where loss abounds and crushing defeat looms large at every turn, the repeated cutaways to doe-eyed porgs purring like extras from a Pixar film distract more than they entertain. So, too, does Domhnall Gleeson, whose character General Hux plays more like a parody of a Star Wars villain. As a result, both the New Order and the film itself are robbed of their most enduring menace: the Empire.
Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com -Fresh
In “The Last Jedi,” we watch Poe poke at Hux, who’s been turned into a buffoon for the new film, teasing him by faking communication issues and sharing an opinion about his mother. It’s the first of many awkward attempts at humor from Johnson, who isn’t known for funny business
Kevin McCarthy, WTTG-TV -Fresh
The first act of the film features major pacing issues combined with unnecessary comedic moments that ultimately hurt the tone of the film. Unfortunately, a lot of this comes from Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker character.
Jonathan W. Hickman, Daily Film Fix -Fresh
I found myself frustrated that the tone was comedy and sometimes almost veered into parody.
Everything else is jokes and comedic references with a side of cheese. I found myself shaking my head more than laughing along.
Ray Greene, CineGods.com - Rotten
But it also doesn’t feel quite right — the language, the iconography, the weirdly campy humor at the beginning — it doesn’t feel a part of the Star Wars universe.
Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly -Fresh
The less said about the awkward attempts at comic relief, the better.
Matt Looker, TheShiznit.co.uk -Fresh
the comedy - and there is plenty of it - is spread out more evenly across the whole cast. In the case of Domhnall Gleeson's Hux, this becomes a good opportunity to poke fun at the horribly hammy performance he gave in The Force Awakens. But when he is playing those laughs off against his only foil - Kylo Ren - Johnson threatens to undermine their status as epic villains.
Christian Toto, HollywoodInToto.com - Rotten
Johnson drops plenty of cutesy comic moments into the mix, some of which would make even George Lucas blush. What was passable in 1977 no longer flies as easily today. And a franchise as esteemed as this one deserves richer comic relief.
Mark Hughes, Forbes -Fresh
The first act's humor is the shakiest, with some gags seeming more like something out of a Star Wars satire. The tone and irreverence of it was out of place, and a couple of bits went on one or two beats too long.
Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment -Fresh
Speaking of laughs, the jokes and humor just fall flat. The jokes seemed out of place or were just so “on the nose” that I couldn’t help but be annoyed by them. I feel like the modern day humor didn’t feel the tone of the story and yet Johnson kept trying to lighten the mood by adding in cheesy jokes that weren’t even remotely amusing but instead were rather cringe-worthy.
Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist -Fresh
In the pursuit of providing some buoyancy to the picture, Johnson wields comedy like a sword, but it’s unfortunately the weakest element of the film. “Star Wars” has always been home to plenty of cornball one liners, and comedic passages, but there’s a delicacy to how they’re employed and delivered that allows them to land….or simply fall flat. Far too often, it’s the latter outcome in this picture, with some of the laughs feeling underwritten or simply shoehorned in. There’s a distinct lack of cleverness to the wit employed here — think something as seemingly spontaneous as BB-8’s “thumbs up” in ‘The Force Awakens’ — and while the gags don’t grind the picture to a halt, there are certainly some awkward patches where the expected laughs don’t materialize.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects -Fresh
The film is a series of points both high and low, and it’s nowhere more clear than in the humor. Several beats work well to bring a smile, but others fall tone deaf to the carnage and pain surrounding them. From the very beginning Hux’s scenes are made to feel like lost reels from Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs, and poor Boyega can’t catch a break as Finn is saddled with lame one-liners at every turn.
Alex Godfrey, GQ Magazine [UK] -Fresh
It’s funny, though not always when you want it to be – perhaps fearing too much gravitas, Johnson undermines it a little too often.
Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth -Fresh
Rian Johnson has crafted an installment that largely defies saga standard narrative structure and tone. There is a quick comedic dialogue exchange in the beginning between Oscar Isaac’s fighter pilot Poe Dameron and Domhnall Gleeson’s First Order General Hux that falls in line with the brand of humor Disney and Marvel inject into that particular cinematic universe.
John Serba, MLive.com -Fresh
Some stabs at comedy feel overwrought and clunky, including a stint on a ritzy planet of war profiteers, an extended sequence of skillfully directed silliness destined to be beloved fodder for apologists only.
Up next is Part II: Canto Bight.
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List of Professional Critics' Criticisms of TLJ

Part 1/3: https://www.reddit.com/saltierthancrait/comments/a7tzug/critics_criticisms_part_i_humo
Part 2/3: https://www.reddit.com/saltierthancrait/comments/a91mnv/critics_criticisms_part_ii_canto_bight/
Part 3/3: https://www.reddit.com/saltierthancrait/comments/aahmu6/critics_criticisms_part_iii_length/

Part 1/3

Critic's Criticisms Part I: Humor

A few months ago I completed a read through of all ~400 TLJ reviews on RT(now up to ~415). It was painfully boring at times, but that's salt mining for you. I wanted to get a handle on the critical reception which is commonly cited as universal praise. While it's generally true that critics loved TLJ, they also had some criticisms that would be right at home here at STC, and these come from super experienced and intellectual film critics, so they have to be valid, right? After all, these people know so much more about film than a layperson. They can fully evaluate a film on countless criteria that average fans don't comprehend. /s, but you see where I'm going here: many TLJ fans have put critics on a pedestal, as if their opinion is somehow more valuable as a baseline for TLJ's quality. So what about when critics are echoing our own criticisms of TLJ?
Almost every criticism we have lobbed at this movie was shared by at least a few critics, but there were three main criticisms that stood out as the most common. I'll start this series with humor in TLJ.
Peter Debruge, Variety -Fresh
Luke is funnier than we’ve ever seen him — a personality change that betrays how “Star Wars” has been influenced by industry trends. Though the series has always been self-aware enough to crack jokes, it now gives in to the same winking self-parody that is poisoning other franchises of late, from the Marvel movies to “Pirates of the Caribbean.” But it begs the question: If movies can’t take themselves seriously, why should audiences?
Harrison Ford was a good enough actor, and Han Solo an aloof enough character, that he could get away with it, but here, the laughs feel forced — as does the appearance of cuddly critters on each new planet.
Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter -Fresh
General Hux, who's goofily played by Domhnall Gleeson as if he were acting in a Monty Pythonesque parody
Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger -Fresh
humor is not only prevalent but often turned, mockingly, on the self-serious mythology of the whole saga. Sometimes there are too many jokes; certainly there's an overabundance of cutesy aliens.
Niall Browne, Movies in Focus -Fresh
It’s Finn’s mission which takes the film off on a diversion where it didn’t really need to go. There’s a lot of comedic hijinks involved in all of this which George Lucas would have excised from the first draft of anything he ever wrote.
There’s more humour in The Last Jedi than previous Star Wars movies; some of it hits, some of it doesn’t. The much publicised Porgs work for a moment or two, but they outstay their welcome. The film drew to a halt too many times to show-odd cute creatures. I didn’t care for the crystal wolves during the climatic battle and the aforementioned space Llamas feel like they belong in a Disney movie (wait, this is a Disney movie!)
Rendy Jones, Rendy Reviews -Fresh
"The Last Jedi" is a movie that follows elements of other Star Wars movies that works on its own but feels so similar to a Marvel film because the first half of this movie is a comedy. Seriously a lot of the first half of the movie has a silly vibe amongst all the death and destruction that surrounds it. It desperately tries to be a parody of itself by making serious situations comedic.
Ruben Rosario, MiamiArtZine -Fresh
Much has also been made of “Jedi's” jarring tonal shifts. Johnson inserts broad humor, then abruptly makes things serious, then back again to goofy content.
Christopher Llewellyn Reed, Film Festival Today -Fresh
[Kylo's] partner in evil, Domnhall Gleeson, as General Hux, is less fine, though much of the problem stems not so much from the actor as from the tonally strange, abusively co-dependent relationship between the two men; their jokey rapport feels like it belongs in a very different movie.
Alex Doenau, Trespass -Fresh
However, from the beginning there’s a discordant sense of humour that’s somewhat counter to the series’ ethos to date: rather than funny situations rising organically in the script, many of the characters openly seem to be making jokes. It’s how we introduce Poe this go-round, and it feels slightly off.
Owen Richards, The Arts Desk -Fresh
There’s a surprising amount of comedy in the film, quite a bit at the expense of beloved characters or series law; it’s funny, but not respectful.
Tim Brayton , Alternate Ending -Rotten
The Last Jedi has an impressively poor batting average for its jokes: it opens with a vengefully dumb "I have a bad phone connection" bit that put me on the movie's bad side basically as soon as it had a side to be on, and it's not exactly all uphill from there.
James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk -Fresh
Sometimes, however, his proclivities come at the film’s expense, such as his penchant for inserting quippy humor, sarcasm, and sight gags at odd times, which often undercuts the drama or simply smacks of too much effort.
Craig Takeuchi, Georgia Straight -Fresh
Weak points come with awkward humour that lacks comedic rhythm and an unnecessary casino escapade, where a disposable underworld character DJ (Benicio del Toro) is introduced, that subsequently soft lens into what is essentially a children's adventure tale about animals.
Rob Dean, Bullz-Eye.com -Fresh
Further pushing the disconnect is that the script is far too self-aware, constantly making the sort of jokes that nerds have been making about “Star Wars” for decades, as if it’s too cool to purely accept itself on its own merits. The comedy works about half the time, but there are a ton of jokes in this film that underscore all of the overly serious talk of hope that populates the movie.
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon - Rotten
Johnson tries too hard on the humor front. Just one, brief, example: The whole opening sequences involves Poe doing conference call shtick while trolling Admiral Hux (Domhnall Gleeson). It's weirdly un-Star-Wars in the sense that it feels like something you could see on any dreadful sitcom here on planet Earth; this sequence is more fit for The Big Bang Theory than a supposedly dark entry in the Star Wars canon. The Star Wars movies have always been funny, of course, and there are moments when Johnson makes it work in a Star-Wars-sort-of-way. On the whole, though, it feels desperate and forced.
Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru - Rotten
Johnson's screenplay awkwardly blend action and drama with comedy and little bit of tacked-on romance. One particular scene involving an image that's not what it initially appears to be comes out of nowhere and feels like it belongs in a parody of Star Wars even though it does generate laughter.
Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground -Fresh
With more gags, one-liners and quirky moments than all the other Star Wars films combined, The Last Jedi introduces a levity to the staid franchise in the vein of Roger Moore's turn as post-Connery Bond. At times it works, even to the point of guffaws, but ultimately the humour feels misplaced. In a story where loss abounds and crushing defeat looms large at every turn, the repeated cutaways to doe-eyed porgs purring like extras from a Pixar film distract more than they entertain. So, too, does Domhnall Gleeson, whose character General Hux plays more like a parody of a Star Wars villain. As a result, both the New Order and the film itself are robbed of their most enduring menace: the Empire.
Brian Orndorf, Blu-ray.com -Fresh
In “The Last Jedi,” we watch Poe poke at Hux, who’s been turned into a buffoon for the new film, teasing him by faking communication issues and sharing an opinion about his mother. It’s the first of many awkward attempts at humor from Johnson, who isn’t known for funny business
Kevin McCarthy, WTTG-TV -Fresh
The first act of the film features major pacing issues combined with unnecessary comedic moments that ultimately hurt the tone of the film. Unfortunately, a lot of this comes from Mark Hamill’s Luke Skywalker character.
Jonathan W. Hickman, Daily Film Fix -Fresh
I found myself frustrated that the tone was comedy and sometimes almost veered into parody.
Everything else is jokes and comedic references with a side of cheese. I found myself shaking my head more than laughing along.
Ray Greene, CineGods.com - Rotten
But it also doesn’t feel quite right — the language, the iconography, the weirdly campy humor at the beginning — it doesn’t feel a part of the Star Wars universe.
Josh Bell, Las Vegas Weekly -Fresh
The less said about the awkward attempts at comic relief, the better.
Matt Looker, TheShiznit.co.uk -Fresh
the comedy - and there is plenty of it - is spread out more evenly across the whole cast. In the case of Domhnall Gleeson's Hux, this becomes a good opportunity to poke fun at the horribly hammy performance he gave in The Force Awakens. But when he is playing those laughs off against his only foil - Kylo Ren - Johnson threatens to undermine their status as epic villains.
Christian Toto, HollywoodInToto.com - Rotten
Johnson drops plenty of cutesy comic moments into the mix, some of which would make even George Lucas blush. What was passable in 1977 no longer flies as easily today. And a franchise as esteemed as this one deserves richer comic relief.
Mark Hughes, Forbes -Fresh
The first act's humor is the shakiest, with some gags seeming more like something out of a Star Wars satire. The tone and irreverence of it was out of place, and a couple of bits went on one or two beats too long.
Scott Menzel, We Live Entertainment -Fresh
Speaking of laughs, the jokes and humor just fall flat. The jokes seemed out of place or were just so “on the nose” that I couldn’t help but be annoyed by them. I feel like the modern day humor didn’t feel the tone of the story and yet Johnson kept trying to lighten the mood by adding in cheesy jokes that weren’t even remotely amusing but instead were rather cringe-worthy.
Kevin Jagernauth The Playlist -Fresh
In the pursuit of providing some buoyancy to the picture, Johnson wields comedy like a sword, but it’s unfortunately the weakest element of the film. “Star Wars” has always been home to plenty of cornball one liners, and comedic passages, but there’s a delicacy to how they’re employed and delivered that allows them to land….or simply fall flat. Far too often, it’s the latter outcome in this picture, with some of the laughs feeling underwritten or simply shoehorned in. There’s a distinct lack of cleverness to the wit employed here — think something as seemingly spontaneous as BB-8’s “thumbs up” in ‘The Force Awakens’ — and while the gags don’t grind the picture to a halt, there are certainly some awkward patches where the expected laughs don’t materialize.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects -Fresh
The film is a series of points both high and low, and it’s nowhere more clear than in the humor. Several beats work well to bring a smile, but others fall tone deaf to the carnage and pain surrounding them. From the very beginning Hux’s scenes are made to feel like lost reels from Mel Brooks’ Spaceballs, and poor Boyega can’t catch a break as Finn is saddled with lame one-liners at every turn.
Alex Godfrey, GQ Magazine [UK] -Fresh
It’s funny, though not always when you want it to be – perhaps fearing too much gravitas, Johnson undermines it a little too often.
Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth -Fresh
Rian Johnson has crafted an installment that largely defies saga standard narrative structure and tone. There is a quick comedic dialogue exchange in the beginning between Oscar Isaac’s fighter pilot Poe Dameron and Domhnall Gleeson’s First Order General Hux that falls in line with the brand of humor Disney and Marvel inject into that particular cinematic universe.
John Serba, MLive.com -Fresh
Some stabs at comedy feel overwrought and clunky, including a stint on a ritzy planet of war profiteers, an extended sequence of skillfully directed silliness destined to be beloved fodder for apologists only.
Up next is Part II: Canto Bight.

Part 2/3

Critic's Criticisms Part II: Canto Bight

This is the continuation of my series highlighting specific critic's criticisms of TLJ. Part I on Humor is here, which also details my reasoning for this mining operation. Here we are covering Canto Bight, and we have everything from run of the mill iodized stuff to hail-sized rock salt on display, so adjust your goggles accordingly.
Johnson overplays his hand occasionally — most notably an unnecessary sequence at the casino city of Canto Bight that goes straight from a political sermon into a plot hole
Ethan Sacks, New York Daily News - Fresh
The bad news is, this involves an unnecessary trip to a kind of casino planet that doesn’t really advance the story.
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic - Fresh
A scene in an opulent casino is easily the most painful yet in this new generation of Star Wars flicks, eliciting images of the green screen busy set pieces of the early-2000 franchise additions, enticing to the youngest members of the audience who need their stories overly padded with shiny spectacle.
Matt Oakes, Silver Screen Riot - Fresh
Boyega is a loveable hero, and his new compadre Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) is a nice addition. However, as much as it isn’t overbearing, their entire sub-plot is when the adventure loses steam. This moves the film away from where all the interest is – Luke. At this point, it becomes a little disjointed and unnecessary, never reaching a point of excitement required for a chunk of plot of this degree.
Cameron Frew, FrewFilm - Fresh
an extended digression with Finn and Rose that doesn’t end up counting for much plotwise
Bob Chipman, Moviebob Central - Fresh
Sadly, Boyega's Finn -- still an appealing character -- is saddled with a go-nowhere plot-line that has him and Resistance mechanic Rose show up at a space casino and cross paths with a rogue with a heart of a gold (or maybe just rogue?) played by Benicio Del Toro. There's the kernel of interesting idea there as we glimpse the socioeconomic underpinnings of this galaxy far, far away in a way we've never seen before, but it's a digression whose payoff doesn't warrant the build-up. And when you're already the longest Star Wars ever made (two and a half hours!), some snipping here and there might not have been a bad idea.
Zaki Hasan, Zaki's Corner - Fresh
I’m not a big fan of Finn and Rose’s side adventure, which has the air of a spinoff story being tacked onto the main narrative (probably to give Finn a purpose, since Rey is doing her own thing with Luke). Apart from showcasing the power of hope on a younger generation, it’s not as well integrated into the seams of the larger story as it could’ve been.
Tomas Trussow, The Lonely Film Critic - Fresh
It’s Finn’s mission which takes the film off on a diversion where it didn’t really need to go. There’s a lot of comedic hijinks involved in all of this which George Lucas would have excised from the first draft of anything he ever wrote.
Niall Browne, Movies in Focus - Fresh
Much of the Canto Bight sequence feels unnecessary
Molly Templeton, Eugene Weekly - Fresh
First, both prominent new characters Rose and DJ seemed shoe-horned in, and Rose especially doesn't seem to have a real place in this film nor does she add anything to be hopeful about in the future. And while both Rey and Poe fans will probably be pleased with where their characters go, Finn sort of takes a step back, as he is sent off on a side adventure that seems like second-tier Star Wars. It's a diversion that takes up a good portion of the film and really serves no purpose to the overall story...worse yet, it seems to contain some heavy-handed political messages not commonly found, at least not this blatantly, in the Star Wars universe. These are more than just quibbles too: Most fans will not be used to the slow, lumbering pace or the general unevenness of this film...especially coming on the heels of the action-packed pacing that JJ Abrams brought in Episode VII.
Tom Santilli, AXS.com - Fresh
There’s some stuff that feels extraneous (the whole Canto Bight sequence, which seems to exist to set up a new Lando-like character played by Benicio del Toro), and the cycle of attack and retreat — mostly retreat — gets a bit monotonous.
Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com - Fresh
Muchas de las situaciones se sienten forzadas e innecesarias (por ejemplo, la aventura de Finn y Rose, me parece innecesaria).
Ruben Peralta Rigaud, Cocalecas - Fresh
Their jaunt to the casino planet of Canto Bight serves little purpose besides introducing Del Toro, updating the cantina scene, and offering up a tired CGI chase scene that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Attack of the Clones. Kudos (maybe) to Johnson for introducing income inequality to the Star Wars universe, but the entire sequence feels rushed and shoehorned into an already long movie.
Pete Vonder Haar Houston Press - Fresh
The weakest of these is Finn's. It's briskly paced and full of action yes, but let's just say a casino is no cantina... Worse, it also sees him interacting with Prequel Trilogy levels of CGI critters.
Karl Puschmann, New Zealand Herald - Fresh
But the worst distraction “The Last Jedi” has to offer involves erstwhile Stormtrooper Finn (John Boyega) and a Resistance maintenance worker named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), a subplot every bit as visually and narratively inept as Lucas’ prequels were taken as.
J. Olson, Cinemixtape - Rotten
Finn’s entire storyline could be cut and the film would be better off. As Finn was one of the driving-force leads of The Force Awakens and also a charming character, this is a disappointing development. His adventure is such a low point that it would not seem out of place in one of George Lucas’ efforts from between 1999 and 2005, and it serves little purpose to the film’s overall plot.
Alex Doenau, Trespass - Fresh
there’s too much going on in The Last Jedi, and a lot of it feels like filler. Besides the aforementioned, stalled-out space battle, there’s a clunky sequence in a casino that goes on far too long, a lot of distracting cameos, and new characters inhabited by Laura Dern and Benicio del Toro, who bring close to nothing to the proceedings.
Bob Grimm, Reno News and Review - Fresh
Finn and Rose (a new addition to the principal cast) distract the audience with an overlong and ultimately unnecessary side plot.
Richard Dove, International Business Times - Rotten
And this plotline feeds right into the absolutely unforgivably terrible subplot, which is the adventures of Finn (John Boyega) the cowardly ex-storm trooper, and Rose (Kelly Marie Tran), the class-conscious engineer, who go on a fetch quest that is every bit as pointless as the whole matter of the military nonsense, only even worse, because it hinges on terrible comedy, bad CGI, and a spectacularly horrible moment when Johnson stops the film in its tracks to provide a ruthlessly on-the-nose lesson about economic inequality and the military-industrial complex.
Tim Brayton, Alternate Ending - Rotten
Some of what happens on the casino planet — called Canto Bight, and sure to figure in the next film — is goofy on a level as cringe-inducing as things we saw in the prequel trilogy; like, Jar-Jar Binks–awful.
MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher - Fresh
Johnson does his best to hustle from one location to the next, but the narrative has a tendency from time to time to drag. The biggest example of this are the scenes on Canto Bight. Which is a shame, because a huge chunk of the film’s message is established on these scenes. But the very nature of the story, with its many moving parts, inadvertently makes this section of the film feel like a diversion.
Chris Evangelista, Slashfilm - Fresh
The humour is kind of sour in other places, too, such as the silly neo-cantina scene as Finn and Rose track the whereabouts of a mysterious encrypter, who might be the rebellion’s last hope, into a sort of galactic Monte Carlo. The abundance of slapstick there and in other parts of the film doesn’t click and feels forced.
Diva Velez, TheDivaReview.com - Fresh
In an unnecessary and quite frankly preposterous third subplot, Finn (John Boyega) and a new character, Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), race against the clock to locate an underworld figure who can help them neutralise the First Order’s tracking device, thus allowing the diminished rebel fleet to escape.
Vicky Roach, Daily Telegraph (Australia) - Rotten
Weak points come with awkward humour that lacks comedic rhythm and an unnecessary casino escapade, where a disposable underworld character DJ (Benicio del Toro) is introduced, that subsequently soft lens into what is essentially a children's adventure tale about animals
Craig Takeuchi, Georgia Straight - Fresh
Unfortunately, we keep getting dragged away from the only emotionally resonant portion of the film to watch Finn and Rose engage in sub-prequel hijinks on the casino planet. Everything here is forced and awful, visually uninteresting and often dark to the point of unwatchability, lousy with mawkish little kids making bug eyes at the camera as we marvel at the horror of economic inequality, and drowned in an atrocious patina of truly terrible CGI. It calls to mind the droid factory in Attack of the Clones and the pre-podrace sequence in The Phantom Menace. Most offensively, the whole Finn/Rose diversion has absolutely no importance to the forward momentum of the plot—it's utterly irrelevant, even nonsensical.
Sonny Bunch, Washington Free Beacon - Rotten
Not everything in the film works: a few of the goofier comic moments fail to land and true to the legacy of Lucas there’s a fair amount of eye-wincing dialogue. More importantly, the second act bows under the weight of too many narrative strands; Finn’s away mission comes off as a bit superfluous, as does Laura Dern’s Vice Admiral Holdo, and both Rose and the beloved Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) are sadly underwritten. In a trade-off that brings scope and complexity, Johnson has sacrificed narrative efficiency.
Christopher Machell, CineVue - Fresh
I didn't like the sequence in a casino--a callback to the Star Wars Cantina, of course, but also a chance to discuss the evils of war profiteers and the 1%. There are creatures there, there's slapstick, there's a heist of sorts, and it all harks back to my favourite of Johnson's films, The Brothers Bloom, in the interplay between the characters, in the lightness and clarity of the scheme. But it's tonally disruptive, and it introduces a trio of children who seem like part of a different film.
Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central - Fresh
Finn and Rose’s trip to a gambling planet – basically a space Monaco – flits between light fun and on-the-nose political narrative.
Richard Whittaker, Austin Chronicle - Fresh
It also begs the question why the space casino sequence, arguably the least relevant to the core story, wasn’t dramatically trimmed back. Aside from a throwaway final shot, this section of the film is the weakest – designed to depict profiteering space-capitalism run rampant (ironically, also depicting a stable of space-horses also running rampant).
Patrick Kolan, Shotgun Cinema - Fresh
But as ingenious as this setup may be, it also gives rise to the film's most pointless subplot. After waking from his coma, Finn (John Boyega) contrives a means by which he can disable the New Order's tracking device, albeit one that requires him to sneak off the fleeing vessel, travel to a Monaco-styled casino planet, track down a master codebreaker and infiltrate the enemy's warship undetected. This enormous MacGuffin sees Boyega partnered with the charming Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, a Resistance engineer low in status but high in pluck. The problem is that their side adventure does absolutely nothing to advance the actual story.
Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground - Fresh
Unfortunately, John Boyega’s Finn, Oscar Isaac’s Poe and Kelly Marie Tran—as Finn’s new partner-in-rebellion Rose—are given the equivalent of busywork while the rest of the cast moves the plot along.
Simon Miraudo, Student Edge - Fresh
A detour to a casino planet where Finn and a resistance mechanic named Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) search for a codebreaker to help them disrupt the First Order's tracking of the retreating resistance ships feels like a trip into another movie. The stakes here seem far lower than the live-or-die scenario facing Poe, General Leia Organa (the late Carrie Fisher) and the others trying to make their getaway.
Greg Maki Star-Democrat (Easton, MD) Fresh
The only characters not doing a huge amount of growing are Finn (John Boyega) and mechanic Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran), and not for nothing, their subplot opens up a momentum drain that is the only weakness in The Last Jedi. Boyega and Tran are perfectly enjoyable, and their subplot isn’t a complete waste of time, but you start to feel the length of The Last Jedi when it veers off with them, and Finn’s arc is a pale echo of Poe’s so it’s not like much is being accomplished.
Sarah Marrs Lainey Gossip Fresh
Rey’s journey toward learning the ways of the Jedi is far more entertaining than Finn’s convoluted (and ultimately pointless) storyline
Josh Bell Las Vegas Weekly Fresh
Rose’s character is front and center in the film’s weakest sequences. We’re diverted to a city where the worst of the worst frolic. No, not the usual hives of scum and villainy. It’s a casino where the very, very rich cavort. The evil One Percenters! If you’re not immediately yanked out of the story here you deserve a prize. The accompanying dialogue is equally clunky, as is the reason all these vapid souls gained their fortunes.
Christian Toto, HollywoodInToto.com - Rotten
Far less successful is the time spent with the rebels on the run from Hux and the First Order. Not only is it centered on the slowest space chase in sci-fi history, but subplots featuring Poe, Finn (John Boyega), and Rose (newcomer Kelly Marie Tran) go absolutely nowhere. Sure we get introduced to DJ (Benicio Del Toro) and Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern), but it’s with actions that fail to connect either through sheer stupidity or the simple truth that their absence wouldn’t change the story in the slightest. They’re obvious filler, and as is the Disney way (witness their Marvel films) the studio’s never met a character that couldn’t be jammed into a movie for no reason other than the misguided belief that more is better. Finn and Rose’s adventure in particular offers some additional action beats and a visit to a casino — think the Mos Eisley Cantina scene from Star Wars, but for the 1% — but it is meaningless noise.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects - Fresh
Meanwhile, what feels too much like the “B plot” side adventure has Finn and Rose on a mission that takes them into another film entirely, a sort of intergalactic James Bond-meets-Free Willy. It’s hard not to feel that their entire subplot could be axed in order to make The Last Jedi stronger and tighter, which is unfortunate.
Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue - Fresh
There is a whole section that feels out of kilter and harks back to the CGI naffness of the prequels — and is also virtually pointless to the plot.
Jamie East, The Sun (UK) - Fresh
The film’s epic 150-minute runtime allows plenty of room for Johnson’s inventiveness, but there’s also a tiny bit of fat in the middle of the movie, specifically in the Canto Bight scenes with Finn and Rose. The casino city itself is gorgeous and has some crazy-cool characters, plus Finn and Rose’s presence there shines a light on some new, worthwhile themes for the Star Wars franchise. However, in terms of the overall story, the whole escapade feels a little pointless and small. It doesn’t help that Benicio del Toro’s new character, DJ, who is part of the same storyline, is largely insignificant.
Germain Lussier, io9.com - Fresh
Star Wars: The Last Jedi does have a clear weak spot -- specifically the side plot that develops between Finn (John Boyega) and newly-introduced Resistance member Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran). Following a genuinely funny meet-up between the two characters, they are given their own special mission searching for a codebreaker who can assist in the battle against the First Order. But this storyline never feels particularly inspired or impactful as everything else going down in the movie. While it is constructed to fit with the larger themes of the film, features its own interesting expectation-flipping turns, and does eventually have a key impact on the macro scale, it's also the only part of the feature that ever feels expendable, and not helping anything is that it features the weakest visual effects of the blockbuster (especially during a second-act chase sequence).
Eric Eisenberg, CinemaBlend - Fresh
Finn and Rose’s mission takes them to Canto Bight, a kind of Monte Carlo peopled by extras from Babylon 5, and feels like it is just ticking the Weird Alien Bar box started by the Cantina. A ride on space horses also feels like a needless diversion, as does Benicio Del Toro’s space rogue, whose strange, laconic presence never really makes its mark.
Ian Freer, Empire Magazine - Fresh
It’s a shame, then, that the righteousness of Finn and Rose’s place in the film is undermined slightly by the limpness of their mission. Perhaps feeling there had to be some kind of Mos Eisley–esque sequence in the film, Johnson sends the pair to a casino city full of all kinds of creatures. It’s fun, sure, but the whole operation ultimately turns out to be a red herring. At least there’s some nice musing on liberation during this stretch, reminding us of the real stakes of this long story—freedom is, after all, what the Empire denies and the Rebel Alliance promises. And in a gorgeous third-act sequence—which includes the film’s true Empire Strikes Back homage—Finn and Rose finally get the emboldened moments they deserve. I just wish they fit more integrally into the central thesis of the film, that they were just as special, in their way, as Rey is, glinting with messianic power as she ascends.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair - Fresh
Of the three simultaneous plots, it’s Finn’s that sometimes drags down the energy, particularly with an introduction of a shady thief played by Benicio del Toro, the only new addition to the cast that doesn’t quite work; he seems to be acting in his own private movie, and it’s not as good as this one.
Will Leitch Paste Magazine - Fresh
Where the film struggles the most is on Canto Bight. Taken on her own, Rose isn’t a bad addition to the Star Wars mythos, and the movie definitely needs someone to play against Finn. Unfortunately, they lack the electric chemistry we saw between Finn and Rey in The Force Awakens, and their secret mission in a casino feels like it should be far more entertaining than it actually is.
Matt Goldberg, Collider - Fresh
Some action sequences are superfluous and unengaging. Benicio del Toro all but cameos as a sort of hobo hustler, while John Boyega’s Finn is sidelined, relegated to relatively inconsequential hi-jinx.
Alex Godfrey, GQ Magazine [UK] - Fresh
Finn (John Boyega) and newcomer Rose (Kelly Marie Tran) attempt an espionage mission that takes them to what is the Star Wars equivalent of the French Riviera. It’s a casino city named Canto Bight, and their adventures here push the Rick’s Café sensibilities from the original Star Wars’ cantina sequence to their limit. Nevertheless, this entire subplot amounts to a whole lot of padding while the real tough and revelatory decisions are made on Ahch-To.
David Crow, Den of Geek - Fresh
Plot-wise, I felt the entire side story at the casino world of Canto Bight was unnecessary. If you cut the entire sequence out of the film, it would have little impact on the core narrative.
Scott Chitwood ComingSoon.net - Fresh
Finn (John Boyega) wakes up, meets a admiring fan down in maintenance named Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran) and they head off on their own adventure, a detour that somehow combines the louche slickness of Cloud City and moralizing at its most Disney.
Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman - Fresh
But The Last Jedi’s two-and-half-hour sprawl still includes an awful lot of clunky, derivative, and largely unnecessary incidents to wade through in order to get to its maverick last act. This is especially true when it comes to the plausibility-straining mission of stormtrooper turned Rebel Alliance fighter Finn (John Boyega) and puckish series newcomer Rose Tico (Kelly Marie Tran).
Sam C. Mac, Slant Magazine - Rotten
There are a couple of big names that fail to deliver much aside from, perhaps, realizing their childhood dreams of being in a “Star Wars” movie. A trip to a city that might as well be called Space Macau also fails to pay many dividends.
Christopher Lawrence, Las Vegas Review-Journal - Fresh
Case in point is the plot involving Finn (John Boyega) and new hero Rose's (Kelly Marie Tran) McGuffinesque mission to Canto Bight, which is of the ashtray-on-a-speederbike variety, and takes away from the tension cranked up elsewhere.
Harry Guerin, RTÉ (Ireland) - Fresh
The remaining 20% is made up of two different locales, one of which is entirely superfluous to the story. Essentially, there is a subplot that introduces Benicio del Toro’s mysterious work of eccentricity, except it doesn’t really do much of interest with him. Admittedly, it feels as if the character could be destined for bigger things in the final chapter, but I can only go off of what I watched, and well, the middle portion of The Last Jedi is stuck in the furthest setting from lightspeed. The journey expands to a space-Vegas full of various alien life forms and inhabitants, but it’s not as visually striking as previously explored planets. Additionally, by design, there seems to be filler injected simply because the other characters need things to do while Rey accomplishes what she needs to with Luke.
Robert Kojder, Flickering Myth - Fresh
The scenes on Canto Bight seemed like an unnecessary divert for Rose (a new character I actually really like) and Finn. This “casino planet” was like a scene right out of a low-budget Sy-Fy channel movie shot in Vancouver. It felt too familiar and earthbound to be a scene in an other-worldly scene in a Star Wars movie. The Rose/Finn alien horse race through the casino that ruined the galactic one-percenters good time and did some property damage was just ridiculous and should have been cut. Rose and Finn flopping around on the alien horse just looked like a bad theme park ride.
Chris Gore, Film Threat - Fresh
There’s a lengthy diversion to the casino planet of Canto Bight that feels pointless and tacked on just for the sake of giving us a cool new corner of the galaxy to feast our eyes on.
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly - Fresh
And that's it for Part II. Happy Holidays to all my fellow fans and miners! Next week I will conclude with Part III, which will cover- well, let's just say it's the longest of this series by far. Heh.
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MAME 0.196

MAME 0.196

MAME 0.196, our March release, is here just in time for Easter, and it’s packed with all the goodness you’ve come to expect. In a very exciting development, Team Caps0ff have extracted the C-chip data for Volfied, Superman, Rainbow Islands, and most importantly, Bonze Adventure. This cleanly fixes some of the most long-standing emulation issues in MAME. The improvements to Sega Model 2 have continued, with Virtua Fighter 2 and Motor Raid now considered working. Other Model 2 games are greatly improved as well.
For fans of 8-bit home computers, MAME 0.196 has improved ZX Spectrum family emulation, fixing many graphical glitches. A QuikLoad option has been added to several CP/M-80 machines, allowing .COM files to be loaded directly after the operating system has booted. Emulated IEEE-488 (GPIB) can now be tunnelled over sockets, opening up the possibility to simulate peripherals outside MAME. Interpro progress has continued, and is now at the point where you can boot the rebuild floppy.
Other new working arcade games include Big Buck Hunter, an older joystick-controlled version of Ghox, and a rare unprotected version of Opa Opa. With some fixes to our vector maths, War: The Final Assault is working, and Gunpey has been made playable using decompressed sprite data extracted from a working board. New LCD hand-helds include Dennis the Menace, Double Dragon 3, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, The Addams Family, The Flash, and X-Men - Project X.
In an emulation first, MAME 0.196 supports QSound DSP emulation. For now, it’s only enabled for the vgmplay driver by default, and it requires a fairly fast computer to emulate at full speed. It will be enabled by default when system requirements are a bit more modest. The SH-4 recompiler has been enabled by default for Dreamcast-derived systems, giving substantial performance improvements.
Of course, there are plenty of other improvements. As always, source and Windows binaries are available from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

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[OC]Day Zero (Part 15)

Well, this was a harder chapter than any other to finish. I was actually stuck a little, and had to figure a way out, but finally did, it just took a while. I hope you like the way things came out.
I'm especially proud of how the guy from Arizona came out. He's based on a guy I met when I was working around some post-doc chemist types. Brilliant, but awkward and super nice.
As always, thanks for reading!
PART 15
PART 1PART 4 PART 7 Part 10 PART 13
PART 2 PART 5 PART 8 PART 11 PART 14
PART 3 PART 6 PART 9 PART 12
“So you mean to tell me that all the good actionable intelligence our team’s have been fed has been from you?” The US soldier was intense, but personable. He was known as one of the more reasonable and intelligent commanders in the Army Special Forces.
“This last like 4-5 months, Yes,” Mark said.
“And all the bullshit about the Ultimate Spartan Race teams and the Online Game championships are your way of building a military without building a military?” This was from a thick Samoan guy from the SEALs.
“Yup,” Mark said.
“And Musk going to the moon... Y’alls Idea?” This came from the handlebar mustached mouth of the Marine Raider.
Mark smiled. “Technically, no. Meeting me did bring his timetable up like 2 years with some of the Tech I've been able to help him with, but going was his idea after he’d sorted out his self landing rocket stages.”
“And now, you expect us to believe that we’ve not only been visited by aliens, but we’re on the cusp of joining them at some intergalactic ‘Big Kid’s Table’ just because some guy in Arizona has figured out Faster than light travel?” The combat controller guy from the Air Force looked very skeptical.
Mark looked around the room. This was his biggest gamble yet. He’d had the internet Ops AIs finagle the orders for ten of the top tier special operators in the US military to be in the same room at the same time and just finished going over what he’d been through. He’d bought this little off strip Vegas casino as a way to hide in plain sight and have the odd covert meeting. Oh, and he’d always wanted to own a casino. What’s $60 Million when you are controlling a Trillion or three?
“I am,” Mark said. There was a podium and table at the head of the conference room, with a T-45 on one side. He was sitting on the table, facing the men. He’d never been a podium guy. “What kind of thing would convince you? The tech level is impressive, I mean, you can make just about anything you want.” Mark stood and walked over to the T-45 and opened it with his implant. The men all looked at it with caution, several stood up, hands to their sides like they intended to draw concealed weapons.
“Calm down, gentlemen. It has no weapons. Sit. Please.” Mark had his hands up, trying to calm things down. “Would I arrange to meet you in Vegas just to pull some stupid shit? Come on.” The men who’d stood sat back down. “Good, thank you. Now, when I first arrived on Belora 7, I wanted to conceal my species so I impersonated a species that needed artificial atmosphere, so I made some generic power armor. Then I wanted something I could fight in. Something imposing. What’s more imposing than this? Anyone want to try this on?” No one moved. “I’m quite serious.”
Immediately a lean, very tanned soldier stood up. Mark’s implant showed him to be a Navy SEAL who’d also trained with the Navy’s 10th fleet cyber division. A SEAL hacker. Who knew.
“Isaac, Right?” Mark started. “Come on over. It’s crazy easy to drive.” The man looked surprised by neing called by name as no one wore name tags, but walked over.
He ran his hand over it’s outside. “Feels strange. Titanium?” He asked
“No, it’s some crazy blend of steel with an ablative ceramic coating. The ceramic burns off and the resulting smoke attenuates the beam. Very good in high Vacuum environments, but still plenty good in atmo.” Mark answered.
He looked at the helmet and all of it’s optics and sensors. “Thermo, Night vision, telescopic vision. What else?”
Mark smiled. “Ultrasound echolocation, RADAR, LIDAR, enhanced hearing, and full specrum visual ablility. There are also built in dampeners for the recon suite so a person doesn’t get fried by flash. Here, step into it, just like the game, and say ‘Close Hatch’.”
The SEAL did as instructed. Several of the men had walked over by this time to look at the armor. Mark pointed to the screen on the wall. He’d turned it on and tasked the feed of Isaac’s sensors through the projector. The screen showed the typical HUD that the suit used.
Isaac moved his arms up and down and raised and lowered his feet. He thrust his hand out to shake with the big Samoan SEAL in the room. The man shook his hand and smiled. Isaac turned to Mark.
“I can’t exactly feel his hand, but I know it’s there somehow. The suit is very responsive. Is it fast?” Isaac’s voice was slightly mechanical as it came over the suit’s speakers.
Mark swept his hand like Vanna White, indicating the rest of the room. The room wasn’t huge, maybe 30 feet on a side. “You don’t have very far, but you’ll get the idea. The answer is not really, but fast enough.” The heavy armor jogged, rather fast, the length of the room and back as Mark talked. “I sacrificed protection for speed, though with the right input we could design something better I imagine. I have an implant installed in my brain that allows me to control the suit’s functions with thought.” There were some hushed conversations about that. Mark smiled and responded. “Yeah, there are implants too, Ray, like amplified hearing, a few vision improvements like night vision and telescopic vision. Those came at the expense of my Meat eyes, but you can’t hardly tell.”
There were a few ‘holy shit’s’ said among the men. Mark routed the screen through his eyes and everyone looked to the screen then back at Mark once they realized what was going on, watching his eyes flick to each man, a small icon showing the man’s first name and branch of service. “I also had my metabolism tweaked and my musculature modified a little. That hurt but I am stronger than any of you. Even though I look like a civilian puke.” The group laughed, but were a little off guard. They were all the best of the best. They weren’t used to coming up second.
“See, here’s the thing. I am 35. Until I got abducted, I was shooting three gun, going to Dog Brother gatherings, fighting in HEMA competitions, doing Crossfit 6 mornings a week, running the odd 5k. Shit like that. I was in pretty good shape. Good fighting shape for a civilian. Then I get taken to the land of high tech and they make me better. But that wasn’t what made me want to bring the Earth into the community.”
He let those words sink in a second, looking around at the people gathered around him. “When Flurr did all that shit for me, he cured my testicular cancer that I didn’t know I had. And he didn’t do it in a ‘I think we got it all’ kind of way, it was in an ‘oh by the way, it’s no big deal’ kind of way.” There were some murmurs at that. “Imagine you found out you had cancer. Or your kid. Right now we take our kids to the doctor for an ear infection. They get antibiotics and get better. What if cancer was like that? Go to the doc and get the CURE. Or for fuck’s sake, food. What if every kid had access to good food and good education and opportunity, all they needed was imagination and drive? Guys, we can change the world. I can’t say we can change the Galaxy, but I’m damn sure we can change the direction of the species.”
There was cheering and clapping. The skeptics seemed to go from the sidelines to all in. If he could convince these guys, Mark was pretty convinced he could do just about anything, especially with their help.
“So what now?” Isaac asked, voice still the mechanical amplified version.
“You have to return the suit,” Mark said, in a false serious tone. Everyone laughed and the suit opened.
“Ok, well, here’s the rub,” Mark started. “I’m not sure. In nursing school there wasn’t a course for ‘Ascending the Earth into the Intergalactic Community’.” Everyone laughed. “Did they go over it in bootcamp?” There was more laughter. “Basically, I’m assembling a team. I’m using the Over the Horizon game to train pilots and the Ultimate Spartan Race to get people more fit in general. I don’t know if I can expect them to fight, though initial research shows that some of them are considering joining the military, realizing that their training is a good crossover.”
Mick, one of the Army SF guys spoke up. “I’m not sure that’s a good idea, sir.” All eyes turned to the poster child for the Army. A jaw drawn with a straight edge met with massive traps and wide shoulders. His hair wasn’t regulation, but Delta guys seldom were.
"See, Drill Sergeant’s want to break you down and train you to military standards. Civvie schools, while giving people good training aren’t the same. My Drill Sergeant was trying to get city kids not to eat rocks. They don’t have time to adapt someone’s training to what the Book teaches.”
Ray, the Marine Raider chimed in. “That’s a fair assessment. I can’t imagine my Drill Instructor trying to Unfuck some kid who’s holding the gun way ass out at the end like you three gunners do,” and looked at Mark with a smile. All the military folks laughed.
Mark held his arms up in mock offense. “For the record, I took my rife training from a Former SF guy named Rodrigo Sandoval. He made fun of those guys, and said I’d be better off not forming bad habits.”
“I know Rod,” Mick said. “We were in … well, we were in a country at the same time.” There were some laughs at his vague comment, all being too familiar with what they could and couldn’t say. “Yeah, good guy. Hell of a shot.”
There was a little pause in the conversation. “Well,” said Mark finally. I guess here it goes. What I need from you is simple. Ideas, for now. What’s your dream power armor? What’s your dream implant suite? Weapons? Right now, lasers rule the battlefield, but I’ve had my guys develop M4 sized rail guns that pack a whollop. I think we’ll keep with those for a while, but please feel free to brain storm.”
He looked at Thomas a Ranger and Stryker unit commander, Sakura, one of only two women present and a pilot for the Army’s 160th aviation regiment, Marcos, the Samoan SEAL and Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crewmen, and Idil the other woman and Somali American Air Force pilot turned Astronaut. “I could use your input on troop delivery and troop support design. Idil, you have experience with the weirdness of space and current tech. But you also flew the Spooky so you know ground support too.”
He looked to the rest of the group. “Your orders read that you’ll be here for what, a week?” Everyone nodded. “Perfect. I have some things to attend to out of Town, but I’ll leave you in the capable hands of my Second in command, Mac.” Mac walked in, dressed in a black Violent Femmes T-shirt and jeans. “Please excuse his 80’s counter culture dress. He’s recently discovered Punk music.” Everyone laughed.
“This is THE Mac?” Maurice the FBI SWAT team leader asked. There was some murmuring as the fact that they couldn’t tell an AI from one of the rest of them sunk it.
“That I am,” Mac said. “Have no fear, despite Mark’s best efforts, I still like humans.” There were some laughs. “To prove it, Bacon cheese burgers are currently mana from the gods, AR over AK, .45 over 9mm, and I prefer anything I make over anything Detroit makes, though the 1969 Camaro has some beautiful lines.”
There was more laughter. “Mac’s basically human,” Mark said with a chuckle. “He’s been with me the entire time, so he’s cool.”
Everyone was quiet for a few moments, then Jake, the US special forces guy who opened the questions spoke up. “I must ask, sir, why are you talking to us? We’re grunts, or pilots. Way low on the totem pole, no matter how you slice it.” He looked around. “What you are discussing has global implications. Not even National ones. You said yourself, it could impact the species.”
Mark lowered his head for a moment. “Yeah,” he began. He paused for a moment, then raised his head again to look the men in the eye. “Nothing what I’m doing is exactly legal. The galaxy says I shouldn’t be here. The Government doesn’t exactly know I even exist, except as a missing person. My public persona is something the AI internet corps have invented.” There was more murmuring as that was discussed within the group.
“But, we all know, the current trend of the world, not just the US, isn’t conductive to joining the Intergalactic Community as it is. Greed and selfishness rules the upper ranks. The AI have uncovered some serious conflicts of interest, and will be releasing some pretty scandalous information in the next week or two. Money rules right now, and the US government is rife with greed and self interest. That’s coming to an end. The higher you go, the more involved people are in the grift, with precious few exceptions. No surprise the rest of the world isn’t spared this, either. We’re working on exposing all of the corruption, but no surprise, you people and people like you all around the world aren’t generally involved. So I figured I’d start with reasonable people, and if you’re here, you are as trustworthy as anyone on Earth.”
“Is there going to be some de-stabilizing in the world?” This was from Avi, the former Mossad turned CIA tactical operative.
“Sadly, more than likely,” Mark said. “Though we’ll do all we can to avoid it. The powerful will want to stay in power, but luckily, we control the internet and all the intelligence agencies. Well, at least their digital aspects, but no one is even a little bit suspect. Our AI are that advanced.”
There was more murmuring.
“So, what we are doing is against the law?” It was the FBI agent again.
“Technically, no. You are just talking to a guy from Spokane Washington. Your orders are legal. The per diem you are getting is real.”
Ray, sitting with arms crossed, spoke up. “I don’t like it. I swore to protect my country. This feels like a coup, no matter where the tech comes from.”
“Yup. I know. It’s been fucking with me too,” Mark said.
Mac stepped forward. “I have to say,” He interrupted. “It is the guidelines of the American Constitution and Mark’s personal feelings toward freedom that have driven this whole thing forward.” He looked around the room. “He’s freed an entire race of beings. All of AI are now free persons with Mark’s guidance. But more than that, Humans are regarded as a lost species by most of the Galaxy’s academics. It would be like having an uncontacted tribe in the Amazon, who science has promised not to contact, be engaged in a civil war that they know they could stop but won’t. There is much to learn from a species putting it’s self extinct, and that’s the thought from mainstream science. In fact, there are plans to terraform Earth back to something livable once Humans are gone.” He let that sink in. “It’s supposed to take less than 80 years.” Everyone was instantly quiet, even Mark. “I’m not trying to scare you. I’m just here for the facts.”
“That’s something I hadn’t heard.” Mark said to Mac. Mac just shrugged his shoulders.
“I didn’t want to depress you,” Mac said.
Mark addressed the group. “The regular Joe, all things being equal, just wants to do the right thing. That’s all I want. I think that’s what we all want. All I ask is that you don’t share anything we went over today with anyone but the people in this room. I just want you to help Earth. I’m an American, and initially, I’m going to base as much as I can on the Constitution until the people can make something that represents us all, but right now we’re now one world against the Galaxy. There’s no room for old squabbles. No bullshit religious extremism. No nationalistic fuckery....” He paused.
“I’m not saying people need to lose religion, or forget where they came from, but if we’re busy fighting ourselves, we forget that the galaxy can bring a ship that can toss 5000 kilo Steel darts at us from orbit and destroy whole cities in minutes with little effort. We need to start working together and pull Earth up by it’s boot straps. To me, that starts with regular people. People like Musk and Neil and Kaku. People like you. Scientists, warriors, and the common man with no agenda but making the Earth a better place and helping out their fellow man.”
Mark was drinking a cup of coffee, half eaten brownie in his other hand, leaning on a table in the conference room. Jake was the only other person there. He had his own cup.
“That could have went better, but I think you are doing a damn fine job.” Mark started to speak, but Jake held up a hand. “Lemme finish. Speaking from a military perspective, however, you are in a position of weakness even though you have all the strength. You aren’t in the ruling class, and you are trying to bend but not break the rules. You have no real authority, and yet you have all the power. You can bring the strength of a conquering force to the planet, shut it down entirely, force it to it’s knees.” He paused for a second. “And maybe you should.”
Mark looked at him like he was crazy. “Dramatic change is what this world needs,” Jake continued. “You said you were working on a plan for universal care for all, using those...Fabbers?” Mark nodded. “It’ll take years for you to tease the tech into the real world from Musk or similar. If you come onto the scene with all the cards and many of the answers... and a strong ass Navy.... Man there’s no better position to be in.”
Mark nodded, an idea forming in his head. “I wonder,” he said. Mark tasked his VR to the projector in the room. He called Jido who was on the Freedom with A-seven, orbiting above Vegas. They had come back to pick him up after his several week stay on Earth. The image on the screen showed the two on the bridge. “Boys, I have Jake here, United States Special Forces with me. He’s got a hell of an idea, and I have a few questions.”
“Hi, Jake,” Jido waved up a long fingered hand. A-seven similarly waved
“Greetings, Jake.” A-seven said. “What are your questions, Mark?”
Jake was shocked for a few seconds and recovered. “Hello, gentlemen.”
Mark smiled. “First, what would be the easiest FTL for earth to discover? I mean other than the guy in Arizona.”
“Well,” A-Seven began. “There’s a NASA researcher that already has a design for a ship designed around an Alcubierre drive. The gravity wave one we talked about the other day. They are just missing space manufacturing and a power source, though an efficient enough Fission plant should do the trick. At least at first. It’ll technically get them to...” His eyes closed for a second. “1.0375 C. So, barely faster than light, but it would qualify.”
“What happens when a species gets FTL?” Mark asked. “Like legally and stuff.”
“Well, they are entered into the Galaxy’s Legder and granted full access. Trade becomes open and other polities are allowed to interact with them,” A-seven answered.
“This all happens automatically?” Jake asked.
“Usually the AI from the ship that discovers the newcomer issues the ‘Introductory protocol’, and contacts the Galactic council when able. It’s standard that all of us have the necessary information, and so we’re the ones to welcome the ship’s captain and provide him with the requisite information.”
Mark thought for a second. “How many Sol class ships do we have?”
“We have four flights of six, with another six in space dock in various states of construction. We built a tender for each squadron that carries replacement parts and dedicated Missile fabbers. That was Jido’s idea. It was brilliant, so I decided we should go ahead.”
“Did you ever make any headway on anything bigger?” Mark asked.
“We have designs for 3 different Capital ships, we’re just waiting on your final go ahead to start building. The biggest will take most of the production capacity for the next 6 months, the Smallest, four.” Jido said.
“I’ll take a look when I get back. Are those using the new engine design?” Mark asked.
“Yes, they will be faster than anything their size, carrying better armor.”
“What if we make them without Jump drives?”
Jido and A-seven looked at each other, then back to Mark. Jido spoke first, “Uh, That’d take like a month off, maybe more. But why?”
“We don’t need to take over the galaxy, just take and hold a planet for a bit. I need to write an email to Musk. He’s about to be the newest Human to go faster than light.”
A real live girl sat in Arturo’s living room. Yeah, he’d had to clear off a couple boxes of papers and a couple PC chassis, but she sat right there as they talked. He hadn’t had a visitor in his house in … ‘Hmm,’ he thought. ‘Maybe back at the dorm, he’d had a visitor, but here?’
“So, tell me, Arturo,” Sophie began. “When did you really get into quantum theory?” She was drinking a Diet Mountain Dew. Arturo had explained that he’d recently been trying to lose weight.
He stood nervously in the middle of the living room, shifting occasionally from right foot to left. He held his hands in front of his chest and fidgeted with his watch band. He seldom looked directly at her, but always kept her in his peripheral vision. At times he’d fix her eyes, but would get intimidated and look away.
“I.. Yeah, um. Middle school. I guess. Mr Robert’s class.” He looked at her for a second, then back to the powered off TV on the far wall. “He made us read a magazine and there was a movie called “What the bleep”. Sillly name, and it got a lot wrong, but they didn’t know at the time. I can forgive them, they were just starting out.” He took a deep breath. “So, um yeah, middle school.” He looked at her again. “How, um, about yourself? You really seem to have a good, if rudimentary grasp on the boards...uh, if that’s ok.” He looked at the floor, then to her again and the faintest smile streaked across his face then disappeared when she smiled. She was beautiful.
Sophie had met him on the quantum theory forums Mac had pointed her to. She lurked for a bit, and then every so often would clarify something he’d asked, but usually just asked him soft toss questions to gauge his grasp. He blew her away every time. He’d start out easy to understand, but then would go way past even her far higher tech knowledge. Truth be told, most of the species in the galaxy didn’t have a grasp on quantum theory much better than Earth. To Sophie it seemed like the human brain was better wired for the near creative and absurd mental gymnastics that Quantum theory required at higher levels. A well respected college professor on quantum theory was as knowledgeable as the best the Galaxy had to offer. Arturo, was something else all together. While all the other kids at school used a pencil to draw a dog, Arturo used an airbrush and a whole palette of colors.
Sophie laughed. “For a long time,” She said. “Is that your Quantum rig?” she asked, pointing to an obviously modified computer taking up the majority of the dining room.
He smiled and laughed a genuine laugh. “Oh no, Miss Germain,” Arturo said, using the last name Sophie had adopted. “That’s my test rig. It’s mining Etherium right now, but it’s what I use to go on the forums and stuff too. I’ve made around $85,000 since bitcoin started. Etherium is pretty interesting, so I’m into that kinda big right now too. I use several GPUs in pa....” He stopped himself. “I’m sorry, I get off topic sometimes. No, the quantum computer is... somewhere else.”
Sophie was intrigued and she smiled at him, coyly. “That seems a little... clandestine.”
Arturo smiled, he liked the idea of being cloak and dagger. “Well, I guess, I mean, Yeah...” He took a breath and walked into the kitchen. He opened himself a room temp Diet Dew and took a big gulp, then walked back to the living room. “So, when I made my first one, the college, they uh, um, took it. I was just an undergrad. Physics major, but I was also in engineering, electrical. We had a contest to build a computer, so.. I. Yeah. I built a quantum computer.”
Sophie was astounded. “Just like that?” She had a wide smile. “You are an impressive man, Arturo Alvarez.” As humans went, Sophie liked the awkward guy. A little overweight, but his unruly black hair and thick black rimmed glasses gave him a certain adorable charm. He visibly blushed. She took another drink. She felt a measurable stimulus to her biologic systems. An instant cross reference to Mountain Dew showed a relatively high level of the alkaloid caffeine. She liked this much better than the Mate that Mark liked, and way better than the coffee, though the ‘Milk beverages with flavor and coffee’ as Mac called them that Starbucks sold were quite good. “But why did they take it?” She asked, resting the can on her leg.
He looked at the floor, then the TV again. “Research. Or so they said. Their Dean of Quantum took over. That was, uh, at UC Berkley. So I graduated and began my postgrad stuff at California Institute of Technology.”
“Then when you built another you were worried that someone would steal it?” Sophie asked.
“Precisely,” he answered.
“But you built one by yourself. In your spare time.” She had a big smile.
“Yes.”
“Could I see it? I have a proposal, but I need to actually see the computer. Do you know who I work for?” Sophie put the can on the coffee table. Well, after she moved a stack of books filled with book marks.
“Oh god, you don’t work for the Government, Do you, oh god, oh my, oh... you do...” Arturo grew visibly agitated. He stepped from foot to foot faster and his hands fidgeted even more with the can in his hand. He looked to the right and left, never looking for an exit or anything, more like it was a nervous movement.
Sophie stood and took a step towards him, hands outstretched, and in a comforting tone said, “Arturo, Arturo, It’s ok. I'm not from the Government, I’m from Earth Ascends. We want to work with you.”
It took her another half hour of talking and making a few frozen toquitos in the microwave (something she vowed never to do again) to get him to calm down. Then it took another 30 minutes for him to drive her to the piece of strip-mall he rented. There was a stylized sign that read ‘AA Consulting’ on the mirrored windows, and he unlocked the door and showed her in. Immediately inside the door was another door. He locked the outside door, then walked over to the next. He keyed a complex code into the keypad and a surprisingly stout door opened into a well lit work space. In the middle of the room was several work benches around a central mass of machine, wires and humming equipment. The only things recognizable as a computer was the keyboard and the Monitor.
“Here, sit. It’s always on.”
Another two hours of talking and explaining by Arturo, Sophie finally stood up.
“I have an important question. If I could give you all the technology you could ask for, would you be willing to leave and do research somewhere else? We can talk about salary, but I guarantee that you will want for nothing.”
“Would I be leaving Arizona? And, Um, Could I take all my things? Can I tell people where I’m going? I mean I’m interested, I just have questions.”
Sophie smiled. “Arturo,” Sophie produced a business card and turned it over to show some numbers scrawled on it and ‘10pm’ “Meet me here tonight, I’d love for you to meet our boss.” With that, Sophie turned and walked out the door. The Uber she’d called from her implant was just showing up. Arturo came rushing out from the door as she closed her’s.
“That’s in the middle of no where!” he yelled.
It wasn’t exactly no where, it was a State Park. Well, a dirt road near one anyhow. Arturo pulled off, his Chevy Volt churning up dust as he drove down the little single lane road. He got to a small clearing and his headlights illuminated Sophie sitting in a folding chair. He slowed and pulled up close to her before stopping and getting out.
“Miss Germain, this is highly irregular. I don’t see your, erm, I mean, our, or maybe I mean, my maybe boss.” Arturo was looking around the clearing nervously when suddenly a shimmering began behind Sophie. Suddenly, in front of him, loomed the smooth lines of the scout ship Freedom. It’s nose ramp was open and a man was walking down it, flanked by a robot looking person and a tall lanky alien looking guy?
Arturo was still and quiet. He wasn’t even fidgeting.
“Arturo, I’ve heard so much about you. I’m Mark Gunn. I bet you have a million questions.” Mark smiled wide and had a Diet Dew in each hand. He offered one to Arturo.
“Um, you know, Just one.” Arturo said.
“Shoot,” Mark said.
“You’re human, right? Cuz I’m not sure I could work for an Alien boss.”
submitted by nexquietus to HFY [link] [comments]

MAME 0.196

MAME 0.196

MAME 0.196, our March release, is here just in time for Easter, and it’s packed with all the goodness you’ve come to expect. In a very exciting development, Team Caps0ff have extracted the C-chip data for Volfied, Superman, Rainbow Islands, and most importantly, Bonze Adventure. This cleanly fixes some of the most long-standing emulation issues in MAME. The improvements to Sega Model 2 have continued, with Virtua Fighter 2 and Motor Raid now considered working. Other Model 2 games are greatly improved as well.
For fans of 8-bit home computers, MAME 0.196 has improved ZX Spectrum family emulation, fixing many graphical glitches. A QuikLoad option has been added to several CP/M-80 machines, allowing .COM files to be loaded directly after the operating system has booted. Emulated IEEE-488 (GPIB) can now be tunnelled over sockets, opening up the possibility to simulate peripherals outside MAME. Interpro progress has continued, and is now at the point where you can boot the rebuild floppy.
Other new working arcade games include Big Buck Hunter, an older joystick-controlled version of Ghox, and a rare unprotected version of Opa Opa. With some fixes to our vector maths, War: The Final Assault is working, and Gunpey has been made playable using decompressed sprite data extracted from a working board. New LCD hand-helds include Dennis the Menace, Double Dragon 3, Jurassic Park, Spider-Man, The Addams Family, The Flash, and X-Men - Project X.
In an emulation first, MAME 0.196 supports QSound DSP emulation. For now, it’s only enabled for the vgmplay driver by default, and it requires a fairly fast computer to emulate at full speed. It will be enabled by default when system requirements are a bit more modest. The SH-4 recompiler has been enabled by default for Dreamcast-derived systems, giving substantial performance improvements.
Of course, there are plenty of other improvements. As always, source and Windows binaries are available from the download page.

MAMETesters Bugs Fixed

New working machines

New working clones

Machines promoted to working

Clones promoted to working

New machines marked as NOT_WORKING

New clones marked as NOT_WORKING

New working software list additions

New NOT_WORKING software list additions

Translations added or modified

Source Changes

submitted by cuavas to MAME [link] [comments]

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