Digital Polyphony

film, games, memories & random thoughts


IR135: Lots to Say

Posted on October 5, 2013 at 12:25 AM

In this installment, I spend more time discussing what these videos are than just merely linking.

Cinemassacre: Monster Madness 2013

If you love horror, then you should know that James Rolfe usually (not always) does a video a day of October to reflect on past horror movies.  I love his videos. They're the perfect length and great little summaries and reviews. There's probably close to a hundred of these by now, if not now then by the time this month is done, and he's just a big horror fan who loves to share his love of horror. So enjoy.

This is the first, so check in each day over at the site. This one is The Mummy, a pretty damn underrated Universal horror flick, if you ask me (everyone gravitates towards Dracula and Frankenstein it seems). It's just a really well done film and very clever.

I wasn't a big fan of the Mummy's Hand, though. The comedy didn't work for me.  Never realized it was only an hour, guess I didn't notice.

Cinema Snob: Jack the Ripper Goes West

I was about to write this off as just another Snob episode (that's a good thing, you should be watching because it's probably the smartest and most clever "movie comedy review" series out there today) but dangit, he has running a gag here that's just too hard to not highlight his episode this week. "You didn't scream like a little girl, did you?"

Rob Schneider and Roger Ebert

Rob wrote a letter to Roger's wife, who contacted him, and his is the beautiful result and might just have you looking at Mr. Schneider in a completely different fashion.

Lucasfilm Shows Rendered Filmmaking

Jesus. Future…stuff….

Of course, it's all stormtroopers and robots. Technology has yet to make a fully believable human. It always has to be alien or something just slightly off of actually human. Certainly can't deny environmental rendering, though. That's there, but we're not grossed out by fake trees like we are not-quite-right human faces.

Pop Fiction: Michael Jackson and Sonic 3

I don't know if you need nearly 20 minutes for this, but it's interesting nonetheless.

Cracked: Advertising Assumptions

#13 is so spot-on. It's not creepy or weird in any way, guys! But they want to say "Hey, see how well these two worked out?"

Advertisements are weird. In college, or at university for you Brits out there, I took a few courses about advertising. It's a strange world - half about art and communication and the other half about subversive audience manipulation. A lot of times, you don't think twice about a commercial: you just see the service and product and move on. But if you sit and analyze it, it's enough to get you pissed.

For example:

In any commercial for cleaning or laundry, it is always a woman. Always. Usually it's also a mother of some sort. If it's ever centered on a man or a child (there is no difference) it's to show how dumb and ignorant they are and how "mom" has to fix things and these new products will help her fix things. Pretty sexist and you don't even know it (sexist for the woman in archaic representations and sexist for the men who are apparently too dumb to figure out how to clean something and just make messes like children).

In any commercial for beer or alcohol, it's always a man. Always. If there is ever a woman in a beer commercial she is either a) only there for male eye-candy fantasy and usually not drinking the beer or b) if she is drinking the beer, she's shown as masculine and "really in to that sports game." There was a Henineken commercial a few years back where there's a party a couple's home. All the women begin talking (all attractive mind you) and the guy goes to the other guys and says "Let me show you something" and he shows his secret stash of beer in a panic room (because…you see…those women are doing women things and us guys gotta have a secret panic room because….)

Then there's others, like how products you use, like toothpaste, shaving cream and lotion, and intentionally show someone putting on way too much toothpaste on their toothbrush or too much lotion on their hands or too much dish soap. They're working your mind and making you think "well, that's the way they do it on the TV" and so you do it without second-guessing it even though, if you read the box it came in, it'll tell you to use significantly less (face wash on TV: you need a good handful. On box: only about a dime-size drip). But nobody reads boxes, do they? Nope, and they know it.

Ok, enough of that. Boring, isn't it? That's alright. Here's all the Doctor Who opening themes in one video.

Short: Someday, You'll Remember Today

A short funded through kickstar, it's absolutely beautiful.

This is the kind of stuff Kickstarter was made for. A unique voice with something to say that wouldn't have any other way to say it.

7 Videogame Worlds Created in Minecraft

Lots of pics, vids, and dat Bioshock...

Guillermo Del Toro's Simpsons Opening

For the Halloween special, GDT shows his love of horror (and his own films) in a very clever and creative opening.

Of course, internet people can't sit and just say "that's fun." Nah, saw people picking it apart. "Too self-referential" and "too long" and "I don't know those things." Jesus, just sit and enjoy life for once, folks. Learn to have some joy.

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Need the references hunted down for you, you can check out Empire's dissection. Though they do miss the mark on a few (Lard Lad is a reference to another Simposons Treehouse gag, the lions outside the Town Hall are more in-line with a Ghostbusters Gag as it looks a bit like NY Library).

Doctor Who Themes

Man…the 80s. Whew…those happened.

Still like the notable Tom Baker one the most, best blend of video and music.

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Thug Notes: Animal Farm

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Wonder Woman Short

A great short, and the internet loves it, but you know what I'm tired of? People saying "See? Wonder Woman can be done as a movie! Come on Warner Bros you lazy bastards!"

Problem is, two minutes does not a movie make. All this is, is a visual representation of Wonder Woman. That's great, but I don't think anyone would doubt that visually, especially with what studios have available today, that a Wonder Woman movie would look great as well. There's a difference between being "good" and "looking cool."

Plus when it comes to "free fan made" stuff on the internet, the internet is pretty damn lenient. You damn well know that if this was a feature and that dubstep hit, the internet would be outraged. The internet is a fickle bitch.

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Criterion: Bergman Video Essay

Love it when Criterion puts one of these out. There are films of Bergman's that I adore (Virgin Spring, The Magician, Seventh Seal, his 3-film collection, Wild Strawberries for example) and some I'm not all keen to (The Magic Flute, Face to Face, Fanny and Alexander for example). But even those I'm not keen on I still admire the craftsman of it all.

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John Landis: Kind Hearts and Coronets

In this video, director John Landis tells us in just over 3 minutes why Kind Hearts and Coronets is one of the darkest (and easily overlooked) comedies of all time. You can hear his love for this movie in his voice. If that doesn't get you excited…

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Note to self: maybe do an Ealing Comedy retrospective at some point.

Oh, and he also did one for Dawn of the Dead. He sure likes trailers.

Videogames and Male Stereotypes

Though the top comment nails my main critique, feminism isn't just about women, it also deals with men and overall gender equality. That's nothing new, though. There's been a plethora of misinformation since the early 1980s when the Women's Lib movement began to die down and the message started to become unclear that people began to associate "feminism" with "man hating" for some reason. Then you have pundits with their "femi-nazi" BS just muddying up the waters as well as those that shout they're feminist but really aren't. You know, kind of like how people think PETA is the same thing as the humane society, but that has nothing to do with their mission. That's because PETA's mixed up their messages and when I try to tell people that say they're with PETA yet they own two cats and three dogs and a hamster, it becomes lost on them (see, PETA doesn't believe in animal ownership).

Anyways, what was this about? Oh. yeah. Male Stereotypes. A good vid about body image and emotional disassociation in regards to video games.

Like women in games, men are also painted in pretty broad, stereotyped strokes. The difference is that a lot of those strokes are positive and aren't there in servitude of another gender.  The big one here has to do with emotional distancing, being faceless and being expendable. I think those are legit, but the body-image thing, not so much. Women have to deal with a sense of "shaming" to look a certain way when it comes to video games whereas men get to "feel manly" by playing men with big muscles and being awesome and punching people in the face.

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Speaking of women in games.

Neil Druckmann - The Last of Us

Neil is the writer and creative director for The Last of Us. A Public speaker he is not, but he's up in Toronto giving a speech about The Last of Us and, specifically, the themes and messages and, notably, about women in video games. He has a daughter and didn't like what he was seeing in terms of women in games: sexualized, marginalized and all sorts of "ized" but basically it boils down to none of them feeling like real or being good role models. It all has to do with the pattern in entertainment.

Basically, he wanted to create a non-sexualized character. He wanted a different level and purpose of the character of Ellie and here he is showing his writing arc for her. It's about how Ellie evolves, and how the entire story is an allegory about women being independent: starting with clinging to parental figures, finding her own strengths and weaknesses and, eventually, growing to actually becoming the dominant character.

Christ…Last of Us is just a beautiful game. If you haven't played it, you're missing out. Not on a "fun awesome game" but a game with some heft and meaning to it. His interpretation of the ending is beautiful. It's not her understanding Joel and saying "ok" it's her realizing that Joel is wrong, and he robbed her of the choice just like the people he fought against robbed her of that choice as well.

Oh, and spoilers.

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Bleep/Bloop: Your Favorite Games

Interesting choices.  Note: it's more just people's favorite game: games that you'd repeatedly play if your life dependent on it (with the assumption that if you got bored…you'd die, I guess).

Let's look at 'em

Final Fantasy Tactics Advanced - Great choice right off the bat. Long. Involved. Portable. Very addictive.

Sonic Adventure - Really? An interesting choice, it's a solid game. I guess it just hits her on the right spot where you just want to keep playing. Some people are that way.  I just feel if you only had one game to play and want it to last, you'd go with something that doesn't have an "end" or is designed to be repeatedly played. I guess she never gets bored with it.

Mario Tennis 64 - I can see that. It's an easy pick up and play game and pretty damn addictive.

Ninja Turtles for the NES - Why not the arcade version? Same thing, I guess. Another pick up and play game, easy to play multiple times. Maybe that's the way Sonic Adventure is too…been a while since I played it.

Animal Crossing - Absolutely. Great choice. Maybe the best choice on this list.

Final Fight - Like Ninja Turtles, arcade-style is perfect for this type of scenario. Still, it's also repetitive.

Tetris - Kind of a lame choice, safe choice. As far as puzzle games go, why not go with the superior Dr. Mario?

Worms Armageddon - Awesome choice. Really out of the box. As I'm writing this in correspondence with the video, this and Tactics are the two best choices so far.

Jezball - Not familiar. I think I remember seeing this back in the day but never played it.

Ice Hockey - Oh, great fun game. I feel like it needs 2 players to be fun, so you'd need someone to die with you once you get bored playing it.

Mario Kart 64 - Great choice, though future Mario Kart games surpassed it. Need to play the new one still.

Final Fantasy VI - My favorite Final Fantasy game and certainly in my top 10 (ooh…blog idea) but I can't see myself playing it as though my life dependent on it. Chrono Trigger on the other hand….

Diablo II - a similar tactic to Final Fantasy Tactics or Worms, I think. It's just one of those days that takes some investment, thought and seems to never end.

Gone Home - I have this, still need to play it. It doesn't strike me as one I would go for in the "life dependence" scenario, though.

Civ 5 - Yeah, another tactical approach - length, investment, hard to get bored with. Any sim/strat game.

Street Fighter 2 - I wouldn't go for a fighting game. Too easy to get frustrated and stop, then you die. Plus why this one? Eight characters, a few stages. I guess, like Sonic Adventure, it just hits this guy in a way where he won't get bored with it.

KOTOR - Pretty good choice, but I've played this game about three times and during that third time I as already kind of bored. I have no desire to play it again. Awesome game, though.

Snood - Wut? Well that's one off my radar.

Zombie At my Neighbors - a Solid choice, but damn it is challenging in those later stages. I feel I'd just get frustrated and stop playing, and if you stop playing, you die.

Mario Paint - Another strategic approach. Nicely done, though I know I would get bored and quit real quickly in that one.

Tetris Attack - Good puzzle game.

ICO - Not bad. Not one I would go to, though, but I can kind of see it. I just feel once you've played it once, you're kind of not needing to play it again.

MY CHOICES: If you had a gun to my head and said "play this game until you're bored with it" I would probably choose either Chrono Trigger or A Link to the Past. Maybe Secret of Mana.

I've played all those games dozens and dozens of times, beaten them all, know them back and forth and they hit a perfect area where they don't feel tedious, boring and are fun to just pick up and play.

If there's a more recent game I would go for, maybe something like Red Dead Redemption. I could play that a lot too. Played it three times already and still get a certain "itch" to go back to the wild west. Then again, I still get itches to explore dungeons, travel through time and beat the hell out of goblins too, so those other three games would take precedence.

Short:  Robot Uprising

Apparently in development as a film now. Looking forward.

Cracked: Five Cut Endings of Popular Movies

I really like Die Hard with a Vengeance, but I loathe the ending. Just so boring and anti-climatic.

This ending, though…this's bloody brilliant. I mean, it fits perfectly with what the movie is: a cat and mouse game - emphasis on the "game" theme it plays with.


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