Friday, November 21, 2014
Well, it's the final Friday before the storm known as "The Holiday Season" begins so let us all take a deep breath, brew up a coffee pot filled with a nice dark roast (spiked with your choice of booze) and get into a calming/fun state of mind before the eventual screams of "I'M LOSING MY SHIT HERE PEOPLE!!!" bursts forth from between our lips in regards to family, holiday shopping and the craziness of the season.
To help put you in a good mood, here's Frederik Storm's Milkshakes, a fun, nonsensical animation set to the music of Simon Jonas Larsen (which is reminiscent of Herbie Hancock's Rock It).
I promise you, it doesn't sound anything like Xmas music.
Video after the break.
|Review by Caitlyn Thompson|
Produced by Nina Jacobson, Jon Kilik
Screenplay by Danny Strong, Peter Craig
Based on Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Directed by Francis Lawrence
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson,
Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson,
Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore,
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jeffrey Wright,
Stanley Tucci, Donald Sutherland
As Mockingjay Part 1 begins we're back in District 13.
That's right. The place we thought was decimated by the Capital is in fact, a militarized state that has been preparing for an uprising since the rebellion which resulted in the creation of the Hunger Games seventy-five years ago.
Third installments should ascend in some way, and Mockingjay Part 1 is, overall, rather stagnant.
The film feels like it might reveal something exciting, something new, something, or at least you hope it might.
I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t and should have been condensed into forty minutes. It’s poor form to have an audience wait two hours for a taste of the intensity to come in Part 2.
Now we have to wait another year for the real action.
Thursday, November 20, 2014
This was a significant year in animation, largely due to the debuts of Tex Avery, Frank Tashlin and Carl Stalling at Warner Bros., with Avery in particular pushing towards a new kind of comedy that hadn't been seen in animation up to this point.
But Disney was still king of the animation world, and his studio was heavy at work on its first animated feature, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which would be released towards the end of 1937. As for other studios, Van Beuren and Ub Iwerks both closed their doors in 1936, and there weren’t many significant new characters born (Terrytoons birthed Kiko the Kangaroo and Walter Lantz gave us Meany, Miny and Moe, if you’re interested), but there were still plenty of wonderful films from studios like Disney, Warner Bros., Fleischer and MGM.
Take a look:
I’ve worked in a variety of different companies and office environments over the last decade, and the social scene is decidedly more banal.
That’s not to say that I’ve never observed co-workers who dated or were involved in some kind of liaison (and it’s typically the later rather than the former), but people have lives outside of the office.
Specifically, most of the dating is happening with people outside of the building rather than within.
And this is fatal if not depressing flaw of just about every work place TV show: it’s a vision of America where there people have no lives outside of the office. We have no friends besides our work friends (both romantic and platonic).
Do Hollywood TV writers really think all of us schmucks work 9 to 5 jobs have lives that are so defined by where we work?
The ability to interpret written ideas into something visual is a difficult thing to master, production design in games (and also film) can transform not only the story and the characters into being but also narrative themes.
Every detail must be thought about; decor, architecture, clothing, locations, texture, physical space, colour palette, tonality, physics...the list is practically endless depending on how long you have to research.
|Image via Smithsonian /CNN|
Many games, despite being fictional forms of entertainment require a sense of authenticity to ensure the player is suitably engrossed.
Survival horror games need this especially to set the tone and aid the overall experience - imagine a survival horror game with bright lighting, upbeat music and flashing multicoloured objects (wait a minute...am I describing a Nintendo title?!) - it would no longer immerse the player in their surroundings and thus, could no longer be labelled as 'horror'.
This is why production designers and the creative team behind a game are absolutely vital.
Until recently, I believed I solely enjoyed the my favourite games based on their stories (being a writer, I relish great stories over everything else!) and to some extent I still do, however, it occurred to me that all of the games I hold in high regard also benefit from incredible production design.
This Holiday Season Give Up On Trying To Please Society And Simply Give People CAKE IN A CAN...Take That F*cking Pinterest
Thanks to social media sites like Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook your inability to succeed at anything is gloriously highlighted by photos of the perfect cupcake, the most beautiful family ever and feed updates that let everyone know how awesome life is for people who are not you.
It can be pretty fucking depressing.
Especially during this time of year when you are barraged by nothing but glorious holiday representations of perfection that make people feel less worthy than a pile of dog shit
|Fuck you asshole|
But this year, instead of striving for some unattainable goal of creating the most perfect gifts or decorating your entire house in a craft-tastic version of the lodge from the movie White Christmas why not simply throw in the towel and give everyone cans of cake?
Yeah, you heard me, fuck spending your valuable time and money hand-making embroidered cocktail napkins for a bunch of ungrateful jag-offs, throw 'em a gift bag filled with Cake In A Can instead and call it a day.
Hell, they'll probably end up enjoying it more anyway...So shove that up your ass Pinterest.
The internet has given us a lot over it's short life span, from changing how we are able to research topics that were once limited to what you could find in the drawers of your local library's card catalog or migraine-inducing microfiche (if you don't know what that is, be thankful) to being able to type in the words "70s Hairy Muff Porn" and finding just what you need (rather than having to search it out physically like a perverted Indiana Jones).
Unfortunately, with all that access and information comes a darker side as well, one that allows for people to say and be as awful as they want without the fear of retaliation.
When situations like Ferguson, MO break we all have about five seconds to take sides online before the worst inside of us comes frothing out. The fight between reason and racism begins the moment the first person comments on a story and it escalates from there, sometimes to the point where the violence of online spills over into real life (like in the case of #gamergate).
But where does all of this need to be vitriolic come from? Sure, some of it is learned at the knees of our parents, but inherently, when we reach puberty, the desire to rebel from the values, rules and social norms of our mom and dad helps to shape our individual identities. We make the choice the see others as different or as similar to ourselves just as we make the choice to be an asshole or a nice person. While we may have an immediate reaction to another individual (a prejudice) we still have the ability to not act on it (bigotry and discrimination).
For a fascinating look at the whys, hows and what the fucks behind the concepts that seem to be exploding all over the place, watch Hank Green break down the learning after the break. And if you enjoy what you watch, pass it forward to some of your friends and family members...who knows maybe they might learn something as well (or, better yet, let this link be your comment to any online assholery).
THROWBACK THURSDAY: That Time When He-Man & Skeletor Battled It Out At The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade
Back in 1985 a Masters of the Universe float was concocted to enchant children (and scare Pat Sajak) while simultaneously making it clear to parents that they should buy EVERY He-Man & She-Ra toy on the planet for their bastard offspring.
The float worked.
Hearing the annoying pleading from their hell-spawn, parents bought the testosterone-centric action figures by the droves, where in my neighborhood it was declared the Xmas/Hanukkah of He-Man! The buzz and subsequent Ch-Ching! of cash registers worked so well that they brought the float back again the next year with Dolph Lundgren (who was filming the live-action version of the cartoon at the time) to introduce it....with poor Pat Sajak once again.
Of course, we all know what happened after that movie opened...no more float.
For those of you who were old enough to remember the epic awesomeness that was The Masters of the Universe float, this may bring some tears to your eyes, if you are too young to understand how radical it was to open up a Skeletor action figure that had the revolving battle-scar armor thing-a-ma-jig on Xmas morning (or on one of the Hanukkah nights), go fuck yourself, this post is not for you.
LONG LIVE CASTLE GREYSKULL BITCHES!
Video after the break.
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
It’s Christmas Eve in Hong Kong, and while the residents prepare to celebrate, a dedicated band of brothers - the firefighters of Pillar Point Division (Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue, Andy On) – are dispatched to a warehouse fire. What they find there first plunges the city into darkness, then threatens a far worse fate for them all.
When every move could mean sudden death, the bonds between the men are tested, and dangerous truths uncovered. Will they be able to trust each other enough to make it through the night, saving themselves and the city they’ve sworn to protect?
And we're giving away three copies!