Monday, 4 July 2016

One: 2

Could someone explain what the hell happened to video game titles? What the fuck is a “Horizon: Zero Dawn” or a “Bravely Default”? Or “Kingdom Hearts: 218/2 Days > Destiny Divide = Fart” or whatever. Do they leave this up to a random number generator? What is the reason for this? How does this get past all of the people in corporate and all of the people who are paid to make sure you don't have a stupid-sounding brand?

Another one: Games in a long-running franchise that have the exact same title as the first game in the series, so talking about it is prefaced with confusion.


“Hey, have you played Doom?” 

“Yeah, I remember that game when I was a kid.” 

“No, not DOOM Doom. The new Doom. The one that’s also called Doom but came out more recently than the other game that’s called Doom.” 


Sonic the Hedgehog. Tomb Raider. Thief. Mortal Kombat. That’s like if the next big JRPG were called “Final Fantasy 2″. People get paid millions of dollars to come up with names for these products, and everyone apparently forgot that subtitles are a thing?


You know what the new Spider-Man reboot is called? “Spider-Man: Homecoming”. See, they put another word in there to distinguish it from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man movies, as a small courtesy to anyone who tries to talk about this shit. Especially in an age where word-of-mouth social media regurgitation-as-free advertising is so important.


This reminds me: there’s an old PSX-era EA game I played a demo of called “One”. And I always thought, man, what are they gonna call the sequel?

END OF LINE

~A.H.

Saturday, 18 June 2016

"When Marnie Was There" Review

by Alex Hill


4/5



"Anna" (Hailee Steinfeld) lives in a fog. Her isolation is shown and told matter-of-factly. An asthma attack, puberty and self-worth issues all come to a tipping point. A lot of Ghibli protagonists seem to have everything figured out before the story begins, all the more convenient for them to save the day. Anna can barely stand being alive in this state. She doesn't even know how to save herself.

Tell me if you've heard this one before: A person with an illness is advised to go to the country for the "fresh air", which conveniently allows the animators to draw pastoral scenes. This is not exactly treading new ground. It's pretty much how "The Secret World of Arrietty" and "My Neighbor Totoro" begin. Maybe this would be more of a problem for me if it weren't so damned charming.

"When Marnie Was There" is a familiar story told with warmth and sincerity. It could have been told with more clarity, but I also think uncertainty is at the heart of it all.




Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Fave Things Of 2015: Part 2



Part 1 of my list of... things of 2015 can be found here.

Now, onto some of the stuff last year that DIDN'T make me want to commit suicide!

5. Furiosa

Image altered to be less orange.

I wasn't crazy about Mad Max: Fury Road. I think I just got bored with the ceaseless car-chasing. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but eventually it felt like I was watching the same 30 seconds of movie over and over again. It didn't feel like there was any tension, and the title character of the movie is so thinly characterized that they might as well have replaced Tom Hardy with a dog.

But Charlize Theron as Furiosa is all kinds of kick-ass. I think a part of me has been waiting for that character to show up on film for a long time.

MORE BELOW THE BREAK:



Monday, 16 May 2016

...Things Of 2015: Part 1


How does it just get worse every year?

HOW???

This is the first time I couldn't even think of 10 good things. Just 2 great things, 3 okay things and a bunch of problematic shit. Literally one of the only good things to come out of 2015 was that a nice lady took me to see a movie with dinosaurs in it. It took until May of 2016 to come up with even that much to say.

I promise the second-half of this article will be more positive, but yeesh. I'm not sure how any of us survived 2015.



10. JURASSIC WORLD(???)





...Maybe? I think it was okay...

I dunno, I was pretty sick when I watched it. So I don't know if I actually liked it, or if I hallucinated a better movie.

I do remember a T-Rex and a raptor teaming up to fight a Super Dinosaur though. It was basically the "Bigger Jaws" scene from Family Guy but played straight. Maybe I just don't ask for a lot in a movie about dinosaurs.

MORE BELOW THE BREAK:




Friday, 6 May 2016

Dark Souls 3: "Soul Of Cinder"

You guys, I just had a really good idea:

The final boss of Dark Souls 3 should have been SOLAIRE. 


You go in expecting Gwyn or some shit, you steel yourself for the final battle, and you walk through the fog gate… and there he is, just sitting by the fire.

You walk up to him, maybe have a friendly chat. Maybe he thinks you look familiar. Maybe you can tell him you’ve met before, in a past life/cycle. Like how you can tell the darkmoon lady that you’re a bird. It can just be to fuck around, or it can be to cement your own headcanon that your character is the same as from the first game. Maybe share some Siegbrau if you have any left. One last toast, especially to those who couldn't make it that far.

And THEN the fight begins.


Same moveset.

Same music. 

Praise the fuckin’ sun. 


I am retroactively pissed they didn’t go with that. Hindsight is 20/20 I guess. I need to go draw that shit…

END OF LINE

~A.H.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Kung Fu Panda 3: "Kai Leng"



Kung Fu Panda 3 is not a great film, but it's satisfying enough a conclusion to the franchise. A "Return of the Jedi", if you will. But there are problems. Relationships that should have been explored are still only after-thoughts(the Furious Five, Shifu, Oogway's motives, etc...) There are characters and setups introduced that seem like they were supposed to have more presence and purpose, but were quickly forgotten about. You know in the trailer where it looks like Po will finally meet a panda love-interest? Yeah, nothing happens there. And not in a way that expresses the love of friendship as being just as valid as romance, I mean that character really should have just been cut from the movie altogether. She doesn't add anything the film needed, and just kind of fades into the background gags by the end.

But the biggest disappointment with Kung Fu Panda 3 is with its' villain: "Kai", played by JK Simmons doing his best George Takei impression. Normally I'd ask why they didn't just get George, but this role would be a waste of his time too.




Friday, 8 April 2016

it gets worse

I used to do things in the hopes of some day catching the attention of a few specific people. I've wanted to follow others. I wanted a cause. A flag to hoist into battle, or at least heated conversations in a forum. I knew I would never be King of anything. I have no authority over my own life. But assisting others is a noble endeavour, I think.


Now that most of the people I looked up to are dead or turned into complete douchebags, I'm really not sure what to do with myself. Masterless, directionless. Religion didn't work. Humanism didn't pan out. Even the artificial pop trash I once looked to for distraction have left me behind. I am useless and adrift, like the world's shittiest ronin.


Even if I were right about everything, even if I had what it takes to make this world a little better, nobody wants solutions from me. Nobody needs or wants me. So I can't even take this as a sign that I should be leading instead of following, because you can't sell what you can't even give away.


I want to care. I want to help. I want to look forward to anything. I want to be given a chance by the people I think should give me a chance, and not just out of pity or charity. I want to prove that I deserve to be here. I want to feel like I'm actually doing something with some positive results, that is actually noticed and appreciated.


That will never, ever happen. Nothing I do has any affect on any person. I'm a fuckin' ghost. Except when it comes time for people to tell me I'm wrong and an idiot.


I turn 29 this month. 29 years of this poison. Fucking hell. When does it STOP?


END OF LINE

~A.H.