Posts tagged Rant?

Captain ‘MURICA and other Marvel movies

NO CIVIL WAR SPOILERS

If you liked the last Captain America I’m pretty sure you will like this one to. It has the same tone and style as the last film, winter soldier, but it isn’t the same film (unlike a certain Age of Ultron).

The last few Marvel movies have been mostly refreshing viewings. Maybe not overly refreshing, they are superhero movies still, but phase I’m glad that the movies haven’t grown stale as of yet. The movies I’m referring to are Guardians of the Galaxy (henceforth referred to by simply ‘Guardians’), Age of Ultron, Ant-Man and Captain America Winter Soldier.

What made the Winter Soldier into such a hit, partially, I would propose is that it dared to be different; it dared to do something new. It wasn’t much of a typical superhero movie, the likes of Iron Man, Hulk or Thor have been. This was more akin to a spy thriller, and it established more of the Marvel universe. We got to see S.H.I.E.L.D. in action, HYDRA came back, the villain wasn’t as much a “boss fight” as it was plotter that had to be stopped and the actions in this film had consequences in the upcoming movies. Those are what made this movie so different and exciting. All other movies after this couldn’t of course turn the Marvel universe upside down like this one did but the Winter Soldier dared to not only be self-contained. (Iron Man 3 do have some references to the Avengers, but they aren’t super influential to the movie (that or my memory might be falling me)).

Next up we have Guardians, the smash hit. It is basically Avengers in space but none the less it works so brilliantly. But why does it work, it works cause this time “everyone” is so over the top and the heroes aren’t all that serious. Not all heroes are serious, just look at Iron Man, he jokes all the time, but the rest of the old crew? Pretty serious dudes all of them. In Guardians, everybody jokes (maybe not intentionally…) plus it managed to do a “Avengers” without first having 4-5 movies as setup.

Age of Ultron. Why is this movie here? Because that one did everything wrong. Okay, that is too harsh, it didn’t do everything wrong and I’m pretty sure it was a nightmare to produce since it had to include so many big heroes and let them all shine and at the same time set the stage for Captain America Civil War and a few other films. However, we shall not let it pass just because of that. It was sadly a kind of lame movie, not a bad one by far, at minimum a 7/10 but it lacked originality. It was just a rehash of the first Avengers in all too many aspects.

Finally we arrive at the Ant-Man, a film some people say is just Iron Man 1 in a new skin. A statement I see some truth in, but what to me made this movie was the heist aspect of it. Yes, in many was it was the typically “origin movie” for Ant-Man but I think it worked since it was a pretty different origin and that our hero was a small time crook. But since Ant-Man and Iron Man both relied on suites and science and such I can see how that might make them feel similar, but the movies are so very different. One of them are the fights. The Iron Man films do have fight scenes… some pretty good, but most I feel aren’t that inventive. In Ant-Man, they’re as inventive as they can get (maybe not, but almost). Perspective is played with and since they change size, now anywhere can be a battle field. The fights stink of creativity and it’s a good stink.

So why this rant? Because after thinking about these movies and having seen the latest Captain America I feel hope full that we will get many more inventive and different superhero movies in the coming years.

Leave a comment »

Role-playing shenanigans

Role-playing is a group activity, it is a form of entertainment/enjoyment that steems from the “cooperation” of all participating individuals.

In a GURPS campaign set in the Warhammer 40.000 universe in which I was a player, this was not the case. The party, of four, did not cooperate, in fact it was hardly even a group, it was rather two groups, both of which hated the other (in character, not out of character). This kind of group problems would in most cases just lead to the group falling apart. But ours did prevail, until the shit hit the fan.

Why did this group prevail/not murder each other horribly? I might pretend that some reading this says or thinks.

Firstly: one half of the group was dependent on the other half, because their half, both in and outside of character knew almost nothing about the WH 40k universe. Because of this, the half which had knowledge could more or less tell the other ones what to do or else they would die. It’s kind of funny how most options/choices in WH 40k lead to your or someone else’s death… or just the death of everyone involved.

Secondly: the second reason, sort of, was that the half with little to no knowledge of the universe also was a tad out gunned/powered. They were powerful, one of them were a psychic with a power weapon and really strong armor, but the other half had very big guns, and was also people with higher social ranking. Therefore they couldn’t do what they wanted, since most of society saw them as trash.

So what happened in the end? Things fell apart. The half of the group with knowledge and power realized that especially one of the other party members couldn’t be trusted under any circumstances, unless they wanted a knife or gunshot in their back, which lead to precautions and plotting of ways to kill this character. However, that character acted first, but not before some precautions had been take, luckily.

I think I should shortly present the group before continuing this text. The party was two groups, the “wildling group” which consisted of a thief with serious gun slinging skills and a big ass warrior with psychic powers. Both their characters came from underdeveloped planets and knew nothing about the Imperium of man.

The other half, “the civilized group”, was a Imperial guard lieutenant/soldier and a tech priest. These two had a long running beef with the gunslinger since that character had disobeyed orders several times and acted like a true chaotic evil character.

c0e7d26a8d27052faef4a32288b4a253

It wasn’t this bad… but not too far from it.

Both the tech priest and soldier had foreseen that the gunslinger would probably try to either kill them during their sleep and/or steal all of their stuff while they weren’t looking. Which gave birth to glorious booby-traps. The soldier set explosives all over her door and personal crate that would detonate if not dealt whit right, whilst the tech priest put a friggin Gatling gun pointing towards his door which would rain bullets on anyone entering the wrong way.

The last session of this campaign started with a bang. The gunslinger had tried to enter the soldier’s room to poison her, but luckily/unluckily the gunslinger survived. The gunslinger had even convinced the psychic warrior dude to help with the murder. The soldier found him holding a pillow outside her room, with the gunslinger bleeding from shrapnel and burn wounds. Her, the soldier should have just killed the gunslinger, if it weren’t for the fact that she thought she was only going to be robbed.

Anyhow, during the climax of the session a big battle was fought against overwhelming odds on a space ship. The party was being torn to pieces when the warrior psychic tipped the scale to the party’s side by letting a daemon posses him… which quickly became a even larger threat. All of the soldiers accompanying the party was ripped apart or burnt to cinders with psychic lightning. The gunslinger became mortally wounded but the soldier and tech priest managed to put the unholy creature down with a few well placed holy bolter rounds and prayers to the Omnisha (read: dial up-speak). After the bolters had strategically removed most of the torso of the now dead warrior, the soldier and tech priest started to head for the escape pods. This made the gunslinger mad since she was still alive and proceeded to shot the soldier in the back. Unlucky for the gunslinger, the shoot was not mortal and large parts of the gunslinger shortly thereafter disappeared from bolter rounds.

This party was dysfunctional from the very beginning, too dysfunctional in my opinion. In some RP groups, this situation could very well have been the end of their continued playing, with participants quitting the group. But luckily, our group survived this. It was interesting experiences, and to some degrees one that worked well with the setting, but I wouldn’t want to experience it again. Unless it was decided from the get go that we would be backstabbing each other. Even though the end result was pretty glorious, it was also from time to time very frustrating to play because you never knew if the other half of the party would cooperate or not. Moral of this story: don’t backstab and don’t be uncooperative.

Pic found here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/c0/e7/d2/c0e7d26a8d27052faef4a32288b4a253.jpg

Leave a comment »

STAR WARS VII (The last one, for now)

Out with the old and in with the new. It’s rebootin’ time!

 

SPOILERS!

 

 

As I and many others have pointed out, this movie is a retread of old steps, but it is also a retelling and kick-off for the new trilogy. This is why Han Solo must die.

Yes, Han Solo must die and Leia and Luke are not allowed to have much screen time (might also be because of their pay…) in the first episode. The reason old characters need to be offed (I’m guessing the other two might also meet a end in one of the upcoming movies) is to cement this as a its own thing. It will still be Star Wars even if a few characters die, that baggage of that franchise goes beyond Luke, Leia and Han, but it needs to ditch as many “bags” as possible to be able to flourish into something “new” and unique. Well, maybe not have to, but it should do it. Because this is a new thing and new things need to do new things, and stop doing retread old stuff.

Because of this, Han Solo had to die. If Han Solo hadn’t died, than there would be problems down the road, such as which character they should put the spotlight on and “why isn’t Han Solo here helping out/solving the problem?” (He also died because Episode VII is copy pasting the plot of Episode IV but it also served the grander purpose of “completely” turning Kylo Ren to the Dark side by performing patricide (and mentorcide))

(The imagery shown leading up to Han Solos death is awesome; I felt a need to mention that)

So during the next two episodes some more of the old characters might die, to further set this trilogy apart from the original but also to drive the overarching narrative forward. Luke might die fighting Snoke, Leia might die from a New Order assault, all to strengthen Finn, Poe and Rey as characters, ’cause they can’t stand in the spotlight if some old crumbs are standing in the way.

Leave a comment »

Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

So me and a friend saw this film.

It was really good.

We had to eat a pizza to calm down.

Our words weren’t enough.

If you are reading this, stop that s*** and go watch Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

There is finally more than three Star Wars movies.

R2D2 out of R2D2.

Leave a comment »

Something about a movie #01 Jurassic World

This post will spoil some parts of Jurassic World (2015). If you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want to have anything spoiled than please stop reading. If you haven’t seen it and doesn’t care about some spoilage than don’t be afraid, keep reading, just know that parts of the ending will be discussed.

-SPOILERS AHEAD-

There are dinosaurs in this movie, of many different shapes and sizes, but the one I will concentrate on is the big aquatic one (Mosasaurus), the one shown in all the trailers. I think it is given a too big of a role in the movie. I understand that if they put so much time on rendering it, they would want it to do some cool stuff, but it doesn’t. So let’s look at the three times it is in the movie.

  1. The shot from the trailer + a little more

The first time Mr.Mosasaurus is shown in the movie, it is part of an attraction, a show. It is shown for us and the characters as a spectacle, which it is. Worth noting (if I don’t remember wrong that is) is that they say how many teeth it has, because it will be important later on in the movie (foreshadowing (though honestly, they could have skipped telling us its “dental number”)). As I said, it is shown as a spectacle, which it is. It is cool and fun to see this big creature.

  1. The torture death

This mainly the reason why I don’t like Mr.Mosasaurus, however, I do see the reason why this scene exists in the final product. The reason I don’t like the scene is because it is what I would like to call a torture death-scene. What I mean by that is that the inevitable death is prolonged just so we can see the soon to be dead person suffer. It doesn’t have to include torture, so maybe I should call it something else… but back on topic!

In this scene, the assistant, tasked to take care of the kids is taken by a flying dinosaur, dragged to the water area, dropped into the water, reputedly shoved under water by the flying lizard which tries to take her. Only to both be eaten by the mosasaurus. So why is this scene in the movie? I can think of three reasons.

One, to kill of a semi important character AKA someone we have seen more than one time during the film. Included in this is the fact that we as an audience are probably supposed to feel like she got what she deserved. Since she is shown as a “bitchy” assistant that can’t do her job/doesn’t care about the kids (read heroes), is “bitching” to her fiancé on the phone and is trying to control their wedding plans, also because she is British. Seriously, that is a valid reason; if you are not homogenous enough with the rest of the crew you will probably be on the list of dead people by the end of the movie.

Two, to give Mr.Mosasaurus a kill and three, to remind us of Mr.Mosasaurus so he won’t feel as random in the final act.

  1. The anticlimactic villain death

Most of the people I have talked to agree with me on this on. It was very anticlimactic to see the villain, Indomnitus Rex killed by the Mosasaurs, just because she stood to close to the water. It was the T.rex and raptor that was supposed to triumph over the baddie. The villan shouldn’t die by a swim by.

As I said before, the second appearance of the Mosasaurus is the one which bothers me the most, the reason being that we are shown a “torture death”. ‘Cause if you look back at almost all the other deaths in the whole franchise, this one doesn’t fit. Yes, there have been gruesome deaths, and deaths that aren’t super quick or in which the camera lingered on the killing. But in all of those instances there was something obstructing the view or the camera was zoomed out. Here we see the victim fighting for her life, nothing covering the happening, and having close up shots of her. Just too truly show us her agony and terror before her ultimate demise. It doesn’t fit into the franchise or the rest of the movie. Also, as I stated before, she had to be killed because she didn’t do her job, classic reason to die for in a movie. But if we think about it, she actually tried to do her job, though not as enthusiastically as she should, but the kids just run away. Plus, the one supposed to take care of them, the kids’ aunt, isn’t doing that. She is only shown to be interested in business and money (but don’t worry, she redeems herself by wanting to have a family of her own by the end of the movie. Unexpected message yo).

PS. Don’t claim that the first death in the original Jurassic Park, the one with the blue collar worker, is a “torture death”. The focus is not the one dying, yes he is in focus but not the main spotlight, also his face shows pain, not terror or dread. The dinosaur killing him isn’t shown and the focus is more on trying to rescue the dying one.

In the first “point” I said that the number of teeth of the Mosasaurus was important, well I forgot about while writing this post and that is how important it is. It is important because “the one with the most teeth wins”… It’s stupid…

Leave a comment »

Metaphors?

Why do we use metaphors? We could just plainly state what we want to say or write. “He kissed the girl”

See, that wasn’t so hard. Now there is no confusion. But seriously, why do we use them. A metaphor could just become waste of space and ink in story, the bad ones at least. A good metaphor enhances events, or rather the description of them. If we take the example, “He kissed the girl” and add “like a mother kisses her child”, the kiss will be totally different.

We use metaphors to enhance a event/description/thingymajingy by calling upon a “common” source of knowledge. Another example: “His eyes, brown as a young doe’s, sparkled in the light”. So here I used a metaphor (or maybe it is a simile, not totally sure, English is hard sometimes) to describe the color of a person eyes. I could have written, light brown instead, but because I used “[…] as a young doe’s […]” I call upon a common source of knowledge. By common I mean knowledge that most people should know, just to clarify. A person who reads this will probably think that his eyes are very beautiful and maybe innocent looking, because of what we associate does with, now for another example, but this time of a “bad” metaphor.

“His eyes, brown as a cesspool, sparkled in the light”. If this was used to describe beautiful eyes… it failed miserably. It would probably be a bad metaphor to use in most situations when describing the color brown, unless of course you want a disgusting brown. Than it would be a good metaphor.

Why do I ask why we use metaphors? Because I think that you should question how things work, even if they are the right way to do something. ‘Cause if you do you might just learn something, like how metaphors work. Also I do it because I’m interested in storytelling and narrative and such fancy stuffs.

Enough of a detour, if we go back to the first example: “He kissed the girl”, this might seem like very plain thing to write. You could spice it up a notch or two by writing “He made love to her face with his orifice” or “He tasted her lips, warm with blood and sweet from cotton candy”. These two ways of writing “He kissed the girl” spice things up, creates some dynamic to the event and also sets a certain tone to the whole thing… and it is also the reason why “He kissed the girl” can be a very good way to describe the event. If for example, the story is from the “He’s” perspective and it just says: “He kissed the girl” and nothing more is added. It can give us readers something to think about and some smart depth. Was it so that he actually didn’t think the kiss was anything special, maybe he doesn’t love this girl that he kissed. That is the problem with writing, there is no right way to do things, how bothersome… well not really, but since no real “right or wrong” exist, how will you know that what you write is “right”? (Dunno, don’t care, give me more chocolate)

Leave a comment »