How to make a monster

TNT’s crime drame Murder in the First came back with a bang – actually, more like a few hundred bangs as two kids shot up a school bus with automatic weapons. While one of the shooters was arrested on the spot, the other one escaped with a huge array of weapons and a determination to “finish the game”. No, seriously, that’s what he said.

It wasn’t just at that point that I knew they’d blame it all on video games, horror movies and black metal. And I was right – they really pulled all the stops on this one in the first episode. But sometimes, things aren’t as they seem …

While the police is conducting a search of the escaped shooter’s home, they find plenty of incriminating “evidence”. First – the music (the image’s brightness and contrast have been altered so you can see it better):

(c) TNT

(c) TNT

So the shooter – like a ton of other people, I assume – was a fan of the band “In This Moment“, a quite mainstream Gothic Metal band from Los Angeles. Seriously? I’d have understood if they used some underground Black Metal outfit nobody ever heard of – but they opted to use a Billboard-storming combo with a big label contract. Their current tour is sponsored by the energy drink “Monster”, for crying out loud!

So the shooter liked mainstream music like everyone else. Does that make him dangerous? Probably not, but how about video games? Surely he must have played a lot of violent stuff in his time, right?

Well, the setup is there, at least:

(c) TNT

(c) TNT

Doesn’t look so much different from my own gaming den, to be honest – except that I like my consoles tidy on a rack and not on the floor, but then I’m not a homicidal maniac either. What do we have there?

1. PS3
2. Xbox 360
3. two controllers for the Xbox 360 – does that mean he has friends?
4. Xbox 360 headset

Okay, so obviously a good part of his parents’ money went into his entertainment. But wait, there’s more:

(c) TNT

(c) TNT

A controller for an Xbox One! This guy sure has everything! But where are all the games? Surely he must own lots of them, likely ego shooters like … Call of Duty? Yep, that’s probably it, he used Call of Duty to train for his killing spree! And he cusses on voice chat! Right?

Well, the cops did find some games – a stack of Xbox One game boxes to be precise. For some reason, the game at the top of the stack doesn’t have a proper cover – it just says “GAME PLAY” and is obviously photocopied and taped onto the box – but for a few frames, you can see the second game:

mitf201-nba

Wait a second …

nba2k14xboneReally? Of all the games for the Xbox One, they chose NBA2K14, rated E for Everyone? This can’t be a mistake! Looks like the series developers didn’t really buy into the usual “video games + metal music = homicidal maniac” equation either …

This just in: proper GPS coordinates are possible! Film at 11!

Showcase’s sci-fi show Continuum is something like a guilty pleasure of mine: it’s cheesy as hell, but it’s well aware of that and doesn’t try to hide it, making it damn fun to watch. Still, production values aren’t exactly the highest, so when the first episode of season 3 featured GPS coordinates, I was very curious what would hide behind them this time. After all, GPS coordinates are usually a recipe for disaster on TV shows, so would Continuum be any different?

In the scene, Alec buries his time travel device in a park and saves the coordinates to his cellphone. That’s probably not the best idea in the world and will likely used against him sooner or later, but I guess I’ll find out. The first surprise was that the phone actually displays properly formatted coordinates:

Picture (c) Showcase

Picture (c) Showcase

The coordinates given are 49° 17′ 08.5518″ -123°06′ 12.7578″, and if you enter them into Google Maps, you’ll see that they lead to Portside Park in Vancouver, Canada, where the story is set. So at least they found a proper place to put them, right? Well, not just that: it’s actually inside the exact park where the scene is shot, as becomes evident as soon as you use Google Street View on the closest road, which is East Waterfront Rd right outside the park …

Picture (c) Google

Picture (c) Google

… and compare the skyline in the background with that in the scene:

Picture (c) Showcase

Picture (c) Showcase

Turns out they actually bothered to use proper coordinates which is like the closest thing to a miracle. I am well aware that this is exactly the opposite of a “TV Fail”, but I felt I had to report on that anyway because it’s so perfectly done and shows that its perfectly possible to use correct GPS coordinates – if only you want to. Thanks, Showcase, you’ve given me hope.