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Holiday Fireplace in HD (2006)

by on 2010/12/24

Hacker Renders and I settled down early Christmas Eve morning for our first round of gift giving.

(I got a copy of The Zombies of Lake Woebegotten by Harrison Geillor and, no, you can’t have it).

In honour of the occasion, Mr. Renders took his Holiday Fireplace in HD off mute.

While I tore into my gift with the intensity of a Viking berserker, Mr. Renders approached his present with forensic, chain-of-evidence precision. The gift in question was, of course, a Best Buy gift certificate accompanied by a quote from Fallout: New Vegas.

After his Japanese tea ceremony process, the wrapping was so intact that it practically rolled itself back around the cardboard tube ready for resale.

In the post gift-giving aftermath, there was nothing to do but listen to the lively crackle of the Holiday Fireplace and watch the festive sparks fly. That is, until Mr. Renders really started to watch.

Over the years, I’ve learned a thing or two about geeks from quietly observing my co-conspirator from my gothic duck blind.

He writes his review notes on a black and white clipboard with a sharp, black rollerball pen. After the notes (rationally considered and complete) are done, they are carefully filed. I write my notes with a purple felt or whatever novelty pen that I can find (usually the monkey one), scratching my flighty little thoughts in little black notebooks with skulls, or, if none available, colourful cocktail napkins.

Methodical, driven, analytical. That’s Hacker Renders.

I know that the Holiday Fireplace in HD is simply no match for a mind like that of Mr. Renders. Originally released in 2006, this holiday staple purports to help relieve stress by showing a “warm, crackling fireplace . . . with beloved Christmas music.”

Holiday Fireplace had the exact opposite effect on my Mr. Renders. First of all, the logs did not change. Each (mostly uniform) log appeared constant, unchanged by the licking flames. Ok, there was that bit when one small piece of log fell down and through the grate.

Then he noticed this very action happened at 14-second intervals. Holiday Fireplace was nothing more than an albeit lovely loop of 14-second’s worth of footage. A-ha! This enraged him (the most).

Also there was a lack of symmetry in the stack of logs. There was a black piece of metal on the right side, upsetting the balance of the overall composition.

The lack of plot, absence of an emotional arc for players and wooden characterizations:  strikes one, two, and three.  Ok, those were my concerns, which did little but elicit a wry smile from the good Mr. Renders.

At the end of his devastating invective, he suggested that if one really wanted the experience of this holiday Blu-ray, simply print off the front cover artwork and wiggle it slightly in front of your face while humming “O Holy Night”.

If you are a true geek, be warned . . . this Blu-ray is not so much for you.

* *

120 minutes

Unrated with warning to geeks, engineers

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  1. Month in Review: December 2010 « Geek vs Goth

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