Mookie's February 2023
A bunch of random stuff happened this month, I am capturing in one post.
Battlefield 2042 Season 3
I nearly finished all of the Battlefield 2042 Season 3. I was distracted by Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II for the first half of this season, so I had some work to do because I joined the season when half of it had past already. It was a very fun season full of surprises including one of the best scripted in-game moments I have ever experience in a Battlefield game – and this is from a Battlefield fan who’s played since Battlefield: Bad Company 2 all the way back in 2010.
There were of course shenanigans because there are always going to be Battlefield Moments (tm).
The new map, Spearhead, is really fun to play and offers a nice mix of big area battles and small confined close quarter combat. The return of the class system was also welcomed.
The devs at DICE have really turned the game around after a horrible launch. Battlefield 2042 is a very enjoyable game now and I prefer it to Call of Duty: Modern Warfare II.
Last year, I replaced my years old, loud and power hungry CyberPC gaming rig with a small Minis Forum X500 PC. The X500 ran great and was fast (AMD Ryzen 5700G / 16GB RAM). But at the start of the month the single giant fan on the machine started to grind for a long while before it got spinning normally. It got progressively worse. I may tear it down sooner or later to figure out what’s going on and if I can replace the fan. But, I needed a machine to use, so after some research and a quick detour with a HP gaming rig whose LEDs were all broke straight ouf of the box, I got a new workstation.
I ordered and received a Lenovo P360 Ultra workstation. It wasn’t cheap like the Minis Forum, but it is a solid machine with a three year onsite warranty. The thing is also really nice because it is super easy to get inside of the machine to do upgrades and maintenance. I got the Intel i7-12700 model with 16GB of DDR5 RAM. I popped in another 16GB to bring that up to 32GB of RAM. I am hoping this machine lasts longer than the Minis Forum.
I have an old Intel N2930 machine that I use as a silent passively cooled server at home. It runs all the monitoring for the house and metrics collection too. I also use it as my central machine for editing and posting to my site. The machine is almost ten years old, but still runs fine and has enough RAM (8GB). But, it only has a slow 128GB mSATA m.2 drive inside. I also had a Raspberry Pi 4 running Home Assistant off of an external SSD.
I replaced both machines with a MeLe Quieter3Q (8GB RAM / 256GB eMMC). I stuck an extra 512GB NVME drive into the Quieter3Q and got Proxmox installed on it. It’s fast and passively cooled, so that’s really nice. I had issues getting Proxmox installed on it because of the internal eMMC – Proxmox fails with a not-very-useful error message. After searching around, I found that Proxmox’s installer is hardcoded to not install to eMMC drives (though there are workarounds). I ended up installing to the NVME drive and turning the eMMC drive into extra storage.
I migrated Home Assistant over to Proxmox and that took a bit of trial and error until I found this Reddit post.
I migrated my monitoring over to a second VM and it’s all running now too. I am writing this post on the VM also.
I watched a few new movies this month too. Here are some excerpts from the notes I took while watching.
Murder Mystery (5 out of 10) - A typical mediocre Netflix movie. Murder Mystery is a straight-to-streaming knock off of the much better movie Knives Out.
Shotgun Wedding (3 out of 10) - Jennifer Coolidge is hilarious. And while she might be a supporting role, she steals every scene she’s in. She is the best thing about this movie. Jennifer Lopez is good in the movie along with Lenny Kravitz – this may have been a better movie if it explored their past relationship instead.
There’s a reason why Shotgun Wedding went straight to streaming. This is a lazy predictable action rom-com that lacks the three ingredients of the genre it aims to be – boring action, zero romance and barely any laughs.
If you want to see Jennifer Lopez in a better romcom, Marry Me from last year is a much better movie. It’s even streaming on Amazon right along side Shotgun Wedding.
At Midnight (3 out of 10) - The music is overused an distracting. Instead of working in the background, the music sits in the foreground telegraphing the emotion of the scene instead of letting the scene play out.
The movie is shot in a way that makes it look cheap. The Vaseline on lens shots are cheesy. The heavy use of bokeh is bizarre. And the constant use of not-very-stable hand held cam is jarring.
I get that they are trying to make a throwback film that calls back to the classic days of films. But it never feels right. It never captures that feel.
I am happy that the filmmakers of At Midnight decided to let the Spanish speakers speak Spanish. There is a good chunk of the movie that is in Spanish with subtitles.
Monica Barbaro deserves a better script than this.
The New Mutants (4 out of 10) - This isn’t a terrible movie, but it is rather lackluster. The connective tissue that holds together stories just wasn’t very well developed here.
Watching The New Mutants feels like watching half of a movie. As if it were an R-rated movie that was edited until it became a PG-13 movie.
The cinematography was plain and looked more like a mid-budget TV show than a movie.
The dialogue was super clunky.
Fall (6 out of 10) - Really does capture the feeling of acrophobia. The script does a good job of setting things up, even small things and tying them up. The twist was good, really good. Earned in all ways. I enjoyed this movie, there are some tense moments in the movie. But, for a minimalist movie with an absurd yet intriguing premise, it overstayed its welcome.
It was a rough month of mediocre movies, except for Fall.