Friday, February 27, 2015

Leonard Nimoy Dead at Age 83 - A Legend Has Passed On

Earlier today, as reported by the BBC and other news outlets, Leonard Nimoy has passed on.

Leonard Nimoy has been a geek icon ever since he first put on the ears of Mr Spock back in the 1966 and has been a pop culture legend ever since. Everyone on Earth knows the Vulcan salute, everyone knows his iconic lines. Now he is no more.

When I first heard the news just half an hour or so ago I was shocked, saddened by the death of one of my favorite actors but also because it finally sank in that all of us, that we grew up with these legends on our TV and Movie screens, are all still mortal and are all fated to leave the boundaries of this world and slip into the great unknown. I am just saddened that such a giant had to leave us way too soon for a man who shaped geekdom like barely anyone else. Maybe it's melodramatic, but I would like to end with the words used in one of Mr Nimoy's movies, Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. And while in that movie the Undiscovered Country meant hope for the future, I believe it is okay to use them as they were intended in Hamlet.

The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveler returns, puzzles the will
And makes us rather bear those ills we have
Than fly to others that we know not of?
Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
And thus the native hue of resolution
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of thought,
And enterprises of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,

Goodbye, Mr. Nimoy. Goodbye, Spock. 

Thursday, February 26, 2015

On Captain America, Nazis, and Hollywood

  • Trivializing of WW2
  • too much GI Joe vs Cobra, rather than making a more serious movie
  • tries too put too much back story in a 2 hour movie that didn't need to be there
  • needed a few more drafts
  • The USO phase could have been streamlined
  • the training could have been streamlined since Erskine wanted Steve anyway
  • feels like a weird hybrid that wants to either be a character piece about an American Icon or a swashbuckling adventure film and it fails at both
  • either make fun of the Nazis or do it seriously, otherwise it belittles the actual suffering of the war
  • really reminds me that WW2 is the American's favorite war: last time they were the good guys and they show it
  • it should have taken a page out of Flags of Our Fathers and instead went with GI Joe
These are the bullet points that I came up with of the top of my head when I started out to write my review of Captain America: The First Avenger. That was at a point in time when I thought people actually cared about non-current reviews. Thing is, I didn't actually want to review the film, because, frankly, by this point everyone and their mom wrote down their opinions on this movie. Most people liked it, others didn't and I belong to the latter category. Even though the film did finally make me 'get' the character of Captain America, I was also reminded that lowbrow action/superhero adventure movies, made to be enjoyed in the cinema with friends and lots of popcorn and soda, do not fit together with movies about World War 2. Because, the way I see it, you can either make fun of the Nazis in a comedic way, then you take a page out of The Producers or use comedy to accentuate the drama, then use the Life is Beautiful approach, or do it in a completely dramatic way, then do it like Schindler's List. Don't just show a concentration camp or the horrors of war and then show Captain America in his silly tights saving the day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

On Power/Rangers, Tone, and Storytelling

First of all, go watch this short film. It's by the people responsible for Punisher Dirty Laundry and it stars Katee Sackhoff as a Power Ranger. What's not to like? 

Second, let's talk about the reaction from viewers, shall we? Particularly the people on the Escapist aka the site I only go to for new Zero Punctuation otherwise. Read some of these comments, it's okay, I wait. 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Walking Dead Season 2 "All That Remains" First Impressions

So I finished Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1 and so far I like it better than last seasons' Episode 4 and 5, but I'm not sure it reached the quality standard of the first three episodes. 

The story is really good, the characters are the usual mix of flawed assholes that are still quite interesting. And Clementine is still Clementine, meaning she is still awesome as hell.

Only problem I see so far is that I haven't really felt as invested as before, nor has the game play wowed me, nor have the jump scares worked. I feel like the game tried to play the same tricks as last time but those could only be played once. Still a really good game though and already better than anything the TV show put out in its second season.

Still, one down, four to go...

Friday, February 20, 2015

On To The Moon, Total Recall, and Reality

I finally took out the time to finish To the Moon, a faux 8bit indie game from a few years ago, in which a team of scientists fulfill dying people's wishes by going into their minds and changing stuff. Sound familiar? Yes, the game does remind you of Total Recall, right?