I will completely admit to being a little out-of-sorts lately. It’s been a few months worth of being pulled in many directions, I’m grumpier than usual, work projects keep dragging on with revisions and edits, and weekends fly by with the zeal of a million locusts, devouring all of my energy and not really preparing me for the coming week. Maybe it’s just Winter setting in. I usually say that all I need is the occasional chai latte to put a spring back in my step during this time of year. But damn, it’s been a rough one already. Maybe I’m suffering a case of the 30s, overwhelmed by the “things I should be doing” vs the “things I could be doing” and settling somewhere in between. I just have no energy left. But here’s a mini-update.
Beyond Two Souls, Ni No Kune, Skyrim, and PS4
To follow up on my last two posts about Beyond Two Souls, I actually ended up taking it back to Redbox after two days because it became oppressively clear that I didn’t need to play it anymore, since plenty of people on YouTube had uploaded all of the possible alternate versions and endings the game included. It’s really not my type of “game,” and it certainly shouldn’t be marketed as one. It’s just a bunch of “push this button to do this thing” Choose-Your-Own-Adventure type gameplay, but it certainly seems like you don’t really even have that much control over your own destiny, until the very end when you get to decide who you want to spend the rest of your life with, or if you want to die. It was a little bit unnerving knowing that I couldn’t even “die” during the main storyline. One way or another, it still progressed along…
Really impressive attention to detail though…?
I also bought Ni No Kune, because I love Studio Ghibli. I haven’t really had a chance to play too much yet, but in general it’s really cute, but definitely holds your hand far too much. Like… I really don’t feel like I can go and do too many things thanks to invisible walls, linear paths, and overexplanation. It does it to the point where it’s just so many cutscenes, tutorials, talking forever… By the time you get to play and run around, it’s already been an hour. Maybe it will get better once I learn all of my standard tools/abilities at my disposal and don’t need every task explained to me…
I’ve begun playing Skyrim again, mostly because I gave up on trying to put all of my household items away in proper containers, and traveled back to Solstheim to do the quests there. I sometimes forget just how profoundly massive the game worlds are in the Elder Scrolls series, they offer so much gameplay and quests that I often wonder if I’ll ever be truly done with the game. I still love it, though Oblivion still has it beat, at least in my memory.
Ah, Playstation 4. I have so many PS3 games to catch up on, I won’t be buying a PS4 for awhile… Let them get their bugs worked out. I’ll wait for an entry from a franchise I follow, like Uncharted 4… I’m excited by the potential of games on the PS4, but I don’t like first-person-shooters, online multiplayer, or playful newcomer games like Knack enough to go out and get one yet. If Elder Scrolls VI were a launch title, that’s a different story. 🙂
The Host, GI Joe: Retaliation, Ip Man, and Death Becomes Her
Watched The Host a few nights ago, mostly because I think Saorsie Ronan is pretty awesome after seeing Hanna last year. I know, I know, it’s a story by Twilight author Stephanie Meyer, but I gave it a chance. It actually was relatively entertaining, and I liked the concept behind it all. Saorsie did a great job of carrying scenes where she had to talk to “herself,” though sometimes the writing felt a little basic. I think what struck me about the movie is the motivation behind the main character’s actions seemed so… strange. Not alien-strange, but girl-strange. Being a gay man, I’m sure I’ve said before that I probably “think more like a girl” than most guys, but there are many times when I’ve talked with my close female friends and realized that they really do seem to think quite differently. The way they are attracted to men, the way they seem to fight more with voices inside their heads, the way they approach life-altering consequences and even seem to want to willingly self-destruct at times… It feels different, and maybe I’m way off base here, but the main character’s actions and impulses seemed so much more normal for a girl, or at least girls I’ve known, than most movies I’ve ever seen. And for that, I give Stephanie Meyer a lot of credit. A lot of people criticize Bella’s actions and impulses in Twilight too, but I bet if I saw those movies or read those books, I’d get a similar feeling for how a lot of girls genuinely feel and think. Not in the same way a male writer would write about a willful female protagonist. Am I right, or am I wrong?
I also put GI Joe: Retaliation on while I was working on something else, and that movie reminds me exactly how little boys play with their GI Joes. The scene with the ninjas on the ziplines on the cliff reminded me of times when we’d take our GI Joes and tie strings to them, and swing them around into each other, narrating a much more elaborate fight. Kyle hates these movies, but I flash back to being a little kid, and they’re just plain fun. Good? No. Fun? Yes.
Ip Man is the only movie I’ve seen recently that was absolutely fantastic. It’s somewhere on the 250 IMDB Top Movies list, so I get to check it off, and I’m glad I gave it a chance. The first 20 minutes or so were comedic and I wasn’t really sure if I wanted to watch a movie about martial arts, but once I let it evolve beyond the first Act, it just blew me away. It takes a lot for me to pay attention to a predominantly male cast in a foreign film about martial arts. But, great storytelling, impressive action, and lots of surprises. All of this knowing it’s loosely based on a real person? Amazing.
Death Becomes Her. I love this damn movie. I only mention it because I just watched it again last night. I watch it probably once every year or two, sorta like The Fifth Element. I prefer dark comedy and British humor above all others, and this black comedy is just ridiculously fun. It feels like a variation of Beetlejuice, the way it’s handled, the pacing, the humor, the shots, and the set design. Why are there not more movies like this? Why do so many movies take themselves so seriously? Even something like Dark Shadows could’ve learned a few things from Death Becomes Her. We need more The Addams Family’s, more Dead Like Me’s. What I found surprising is that if you watch the trailer for Death Becomes Her, there are a ton of deleted scenes, and apparently a completely different ending. I really hope that if it ever gets Blu Ray release, they’ll add the deleted scenes to the menu. 🙂
That’s all, I just felt the need to get these all off of my mind before I do a better post this week!