By Lies 5 Comments
Hello World, it's been a while. I have several things to talk about today, and have conveniently lumped them together into one easily accessible blog post instead of spreading them out. Feel free to read only what interests you.
District 9: It's like Apartheid, but with aliensThe Internet Hype Machine has been all over this movie the past couple of days- almost sickeningly so. Regardless, it certainly looked like a good movie, and the great RottenTomatoes score certainly didn't hurt. Me and a friend made our way to an opening day showing, and it really did deliver. The basic premise is a rather simple allegory about apartheid in South Africa- substitute aliens for blacks. While it certainly sounds as though it could get caught up in it's own pretentiousness, the movie rather wisely downplays the allegorical implications of the setting and simply focuses on setting events in motion and watching actions and reactions. The plot flows well and goes to some unexpected places-- go in unsullied if at all possible, as this is certainly a movie you don't want to know too much about going in. Director Blomkamp has a deft touch for action sequences and story progression alike-- moving from a documentary-style first act depicting the titular alien slum of District 9 to a more traditional character interlude, and closing out with some fantastically choreographed action sequences. The whole movie is fantastically energetic, occasionally too much so, as the shaky-cam style of filming can occasionally grate. District 9 is really ultimately a fantastic film which manages to keep you surprised and engaged throughout, definitely worth seeing for almost anyone.
The film is exceptionally gory in some parts- it's definitely a hard "R" rating, and I wouldn't suggest bringing kids or the squeamish. I definitely recommend you give it a shot, it likely needs the money, as I can't really see it being a mainstream hit. Luckily though, District 9 was filmed for only 30 million dollars, an exceptionally low budget with almost zero loss in quality- the CG is top notch in most spots and the actors are all great. One of the best movies I've seen all year, and a great ride. Go see it.
Microsoft really blew things not letting Halo get off the ground though. Blomkamp could have done some amazing things with that provided he had creative control. Oh well, opportunity's gone now. Speaking of Halo...
Halo SaturationThis is something I see brought up quite a lot nowadays:
And, Halo fan that I am, this rankles me. Is this really a serious complaint? We've had four Halo games so far, with a fifth on it's way in a month. We've had five games since the launch of the original Xbox. All of which have been very good. Three main games, the Halo Wars spinoff, and the upcoming ODST expansion. I really don't get how consistently getting good games every couple years is "milking". Yes, there are two Halo games releasing this year, but both are smaller scale than normal, and offer two completely different game experiences. I just fail to see how this is a bad thing in any way.
Of course Halo has one of the largest and most avid group of haters out there, which is another thing. I just really fail to see the truth in this criticism. Until a seriously bad project comes out, I don't see how you can complain about getting more good games. Then again I do own several Halo novels, so perhaps my love for the series has blinded me. Speaking of Halo, did you see this recently announced Halo: Evolutions compilation? Sounds neat. Karen Traviss will be writing for it, who also wrote the Republic Commando novels and the Gears novels and who recently quit writing Star Wars (see there's a picture of a Star Destroyer in the next section! Most successful segue). Also this thread on Traviss quitting SW is really just fantastic. So glad I stopped caring about SW before I became these guys.
Real Money, Virtual ThingsI suppose most of you saw the shitstorm that went down in Sweep's topic about avatar COG armor. While at first I was agreeing with everybody else in thinking it was a waste of money, it got me thinking. In terms of supporting a corrupt business model, yes, it's terribly unconscionable to support Microsoft's attempt to leech every last penny they can out of gamers. Sweep certainly did not vote with his dollars (or didn't vote well, at least). However, really, as long as some degree of enjoyment can be pulled out of the purchase on a personal level, there's nothing to terribly bad about it. Sure it's mostly useless outside of aesthetics, but getting to see little digital you- dressed as a badass soldier- every time you turn on your box can be cool. Everyone has useless things they derive entertainment from. Hell, I've still got a Star Destroyer toy that I keep on a display stand, not because I play with it, but because I just really love the design and like looking at it. It's about as functional as Sweep's COG armor, but it's viewed slightly differently, because I actually own a physical object, as opposed to the 3D model applied to Sweep's avatar. As digital technology advances and becomes even more integrated into our everyday lives, I think this is an issue that we'll begin seeing more and more. Is a digital product inherently worth less because it is only a string of code? It certainly feels weird to hand over real money in exchange for imaginary content, but ultimately there is little difference. As long as you can enjoy your purchase, it doesn't matter what medium you made it in.
The song is over, thought I'd something more to say.Thanks for reading. I've got some other things I would really like to blog more in-depth about, but I've hit some serious writer's block. Oh well, I'm sure you'll get along fine without me. I'm also planning to write up another Megaguide for Halo 3: ODST and might be interested in a few partners in crime. With a well put together product we can usually get on the front page or at least linked to a bunch so your work wouldn't be in vain. Send a line my way if you're interested. Anyways, that's a ways off, so bye for now.
Comments are always appreciated :)