So after all of the "Avatar? Don't you mean Pocahontas? LOL" conversations that flooded the internet after it's release, I have to admit, I thought it pretty amusing and to be honest I can see why people would be drawn to that connection. So yesterday, my wife rents 'The Hurt Locker' after saying things like "6 Oscars can't be wrong" and "she beat her ex, gotta support the girls" (to be honest there may have been more but by this point I had stopped listening) we sit and watch. Anyway about 30 minutes into the film I get that strange feeling that Avatar might not have been the only familiar film at the Oscars this year....
(****MASSIVE FAT SPOILERS COVERED IN JAM WILL PROBABLY FOLLOW******)
OK, lets quickly throw Hurt Locker into some bullet points:
-Young, Scruffy but attractive white newcomer, joins an already established team following the death of their associate. -He is partnered with the strong, forceful, black veteran of the team. A man who likes to be in control and play by things by the book. -The newcomer appears to be a lovable rogue, but the team quickly discover that he is in fact a lose cannon, who will break the rules to get the job done, often putting himself and his team in danger. This leads the team to wonder if he may have suicidal tendencies, or whether he is just mentally unhinged. -The newcomer's unorthodox approach, although effective, leads to internal conflict and the headstrong black veteran is left to consider whether his job is really the correct line of work for him any more. -However the team are put into jeopardy and realise they must be prepared to work inside and outside of the rules if they are to survive.
So I'll ask you guys them same thing I asked my wife "Why didn't Lethal Weapon win 6 Oscars?"
In case you haven't guessed all of the above was not written to be taken seriously, but I honestly couldn't get Lethal Weapon out of my head while I was watching it. Which in turn lead me to think that there are hundreds of films that mirror other films either directly of indirectly, and drawing comparisons to any film is possible if you try hard enough. So I'll tell you what, I'll just let the internet carry on with the whole "Don't you mean Dances with Wolves? LOL" bitching, and I'll sit here listening to my wife moan about how she should have rented 'The Ugly Truth' instead.
My wife loves to scan old photos and she scanned some of me at ECTS, and I thought I'd share a little story.
But first some context.
I think it was in 1998, I was 16 and had been working at Electronics Boutique (what is now GAME stores in the UK) in London for quite a while. Time was drawing close to a UK video game trade show called ECTS (European Computer Trade Show). Back then all you needed for an entrance pass to the show was to fill out a small section in the back of the trade journal, I forget what it was called, and send it off. After getting quite drunk after work, we filled out the forms (obviously calling ourselves Dr Boobies and Mr Fantastic or something like that), threw them in a post box, giggled like school girls then went off home to bed.
Two weeks later, you can imagine our surprise when we opened the store to find a manila envelope containing two laminated passes allowing a 'Mr F. Fantastic' and his friend 'Dr Boobies' access to one of the biggest trade shows in Europe. My manager was less than impressed. He was however a man who could see an opportunity when it arose. He worked in one of the largest London stores and wanted to get into upper management, and thought he could get there quicker with a little initiative. We were given a disposable camera and were told we could have the day off to go to the trade show under the condition we took photos of all the top games with the most potential, so he could put the orders through to get the most copies in our store, making our sales figures the best in the region. It's a simple plan right? What could go wrong?
So we go down to Earls Court, obviously going to the pub first for a pint, phoned my boss to tell him that the passes actually worked, and to assure him we're on the case, then off to the show! Which was........rubbish. Sure I got to play a few cool games but they were not the shiny E3 style demos you get now, what we saw were a load of games that were seriously 'in development' which is another way of saying seriously 'broken'. A good example was the Resident Evil 1 port on the Gameboy Colour which I played there, It looked and played like shit. Needles to say it got canned.
Anyway, the next day we get back and give the camera back to my boss to be developed. What I post now is every picture on that camera.
(Warning: Contains graphic 90's haircuts).
As you can imagine my Boss was less than happy for multiple reasons. Firstly he had only 15 developed photos of a 24 exposure. Secondly he had 15 photos of me with Morph, photos of me getting pissed, and photos of me in various stages of sexual harassment with a number of booth babes and Page 3 girls. He never got his promotion.
The tragic end to this tale is that ultimately trade shows like ECTS ceased to be because of the fact that it was easy for dickheads like us to get in, and yet I don't think that's such a bad thing. What they gave birth to is the more consumer driven shows we have today, where developers have got to show something impressive because it's the end user that's looking at it, not the retail middle-man.
Anyway, it was laugh. Plus seeing the old photos of me makes me glad I look the way I do now, (Beard and Skinhead FTW).
Hey Giant Bomb! What a week. As well as Bank Holiday, awesome weather (sometimes) and some truly breathtaking releases (Batman, Shadow Complex) this week also saw one of my all time favorite bands return to the capital for a one night only warm-up gig in preparation for the Reading Festival. The Deftones.
Anyone who was at the Kentish Town Forum on Thursday night witnessed something I haven't seen in many, many years. I saw the band play, like never before, like they actually wanted to be there, like they actually enjoyed being a band again. Maybe it was unfortunate that this rejuvenation may have its cause in the very serious medical state of the bass player Chi Cheng, who was involved in a serious car accident last year.
Each time I come out of a Deftones gig I am sure it's my last. A few years back they refused to be interviewed by a magazine due to the fact they couldn't stand to be around each other, a few hours later I witness a visibly pissed of Chino launch an out of tune guitar off stage at the beginning of a song missing Chi's head by Inches. Compare that image with footage taken of Thursdays show,
Before you say anything, yes I know the new bass player looks like Easy E.
If you want to see more, follow the link to youtube, but I can tell you the atmosphere never halted, never slowed it's momentum, then just when I thought it couldn't get any better they played "Passenger", arguably one of the best songs they've ever done, rarely played live, and considering the Irony of Chi's accident, I thought I'd never see it again.
If anyone saw them on Thursday, or two days later when they took Reading totally off guard and delivered an equally mesmerizing set, let me know.
I tell you what, I went in there to see a band I've always liked, what I saw was the band I've always loved.