Archive for category: Entertainment

Gamescom Cosplay

16 Aug
August 16, 2015

I’ve been back a week now. But you’ll have to bear with me, I was utterly shattered when I got home, so for most of this week I’ve been doing little besides my day job, spending time with Michelle and sleeping.

I’ll report back on Gamescom soon, I promise. In the mean time, here’s a video of some cool cosplay. I can’t believe the Transformer didn’t cap it off, Iron Man is cool but that costume blew all the others away. I’ll post pics when I get a chance.


28 Jul
July 28, 2015

This track is touching me in all sorts of inappropriate ways.

This Is Unnatural

12 Jul
July 12, 2015

Wait, the new Call of Duty game features cyborg manshoots AND a stylish 1940s noir Left4Dead-alike campaign mode?

What…what is this unfamiliar feeling?

Am I…am I actually feeling *interested* in a new Call of Duty Game?


The Shadowrun Movie That Wasn’t

09 Jul
July 9, 2015

If only, eh? If only.


25 Jun
June 25, 2015

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but I hadn’t really played Minecraft until yesterday. I loved Lego as a kid, but these days I tend to get bored of open-ended sandboxes.

So, while I enjoyed seeing the cool things people build, I didn’t feel it was for me.

Last night, though, I was feeling like trying something different, but also looking for something relaxing. So I loaded it up….puttered around, punched some trees, built a little cave fort in a hill. Got killed by a zombie that managed to get into my fort…

Was still feeling kinda ambivalent, like once the demo was done that would be that.

Then I found the cave.

It was a pretty sweet cave, and I immediately started imagining this multistorey dungeon with a fortress built on the hill above it.

I had just started laying in some rooms, adding a staircase down, killing the skeletons at the bottom, when the demo ended. :/

That’s when I realized it was past midnight.

This…this is going to be a problem. 😐


Mad Max: Implied Violence

19 Jun
June 19, 2015

One of the things that lingered with me after walking out of Mad Max was amazement that it was a PG-13 movie. The world the movie depicted was so obviously brutal, characters repeatedly dying violently.

And yet…

And yet, when I thought about it, that violence was almost always implied. I struggled to remember a moment in the movie where you were ever shown the full, gristly reality of one of those violent deaths. In the style of classic action flicks, clever cuts manage to give the impression that someone has died horribly without ever really dragging your viewpoint down into their gaping intestines and saying “Look, look at all the blood and guts”.

Even the most gorey moment in the movie is just a brief red flash.

It was skillfully done. At no point in the movie did it feel like it had been “sanitised for the kids”. It never felt like anything other than a brutal, dog-eat-dog reality. And yet it didn’t stray into gore-porn for the sake of being “gritty”.

Videogames Are Awesome

06 Jun
June 6, 2015

CD Projekt prevents infinite money exploit with Cow Defense Monster.

Mad Max: Scene Composition

02 Jun
June 2, 2015

Fun to learn these little tricks.

Mad Max: Furiosa Road

01 Jun
June 1, 2015

[Spoilers for Mad Max: Fury Road follow]

A criticism leveled at Mad Max: Fury Road was that the story wasn’t actually about Max himself, it was about Charlize Theron’s character, Furiosa.

I don’t have any particular emotional attachment to the Mad Max series, or the character himself, so that doesn’t bother me. But there is truth to the claim – Mad Max is the Point of View (POV) character in the movie, but he isn’t the Protagonist. Furiosa is.

The usual form of most stories is as so :

The Protagonist is faced with some problem or wants to achieve some ambition. The set out to deal with it and struggle, facing setbacks and recruiting allies and tools along the way. These struggles build to a crescendo where the Protagonist faces the Dark Night of the Soul, the climactic moment that threatens to crush their hopes utterly. But they rise to overcome it, transforming from the person they were at the start of the story to the person they need to be in order to solve their problem/achieve their ambition.

So the easiest way to identify the Protagonist is to look for the character whose wants, goals and choices drive the story forward. In Fury Road, that would be Furiosa. It is her goal to rescue the Wives from Immortan Joe and sexual slavery. She sets the plan in motion, faces challenges, recruits unexpected allies (Max and Nox), and faces the Dark Night when she finds out that the expected refuge, the Green Place, is a toxic wasteland. She has to rise up, throw off hopelessness, turn around, and confront Immortan Joe to finally achieve her goal.

Max has a smaller character arc, but it’s not the Protagonist’s arc. He starts off feral, concerned only with his own survival, and by the end of the movie has reconnected with his humanity, willing to risk himself for others, caring again. But he doesn’t face the Dark Night like Furiosa does, and his goals (escape from the Citadel) are not the driving force behind the plot movement. Mostly, he’s a reactive character, rather than active.

He’s Danny Glover to Furiosa’s Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon. Or Watson to her Sherlock Holmes.

Like I said, I don’t have a problem with that, but it’s an interesting thing to analyze, as a student of the story teller’s craft. Maybe the writers decided that Mad Max works better as a semi-mythic figure, the Road Warrior, who wanders in and out of other people’s lives, a common thread binding together stories in that world. Or maybe it wasn’t that conscious a decision, maybe they just had a cool story to tell in that world and they told it.

At the end of the day, we got an amazing piece of cinema out of it, regardless.

Everybody’s Gone Out Of Their Minds

31 May
May 31, 2015

I’ve finally gotten a chance to watch Mad Max: Fury Road, and I have to say: it totally lived up to the hype. What an amazing piece of cinema. I left the theater with a huge grin on my face, and an urge to immediately watch it again.

I’m going to post up a few thoughts on the movie here on the blog, as I digest the experience.