The push for photo realism in games has really drawn attention away from games with great sprite art. Muramasa: The Demon Blade is a title that got completely lost in the American market, in part because of it’s being a sprite-based side-scrolling action game and in part due to its being released on the Wii. In fact, I remember being interested in the title before it was released here and then totally forgot about it until a friend brought it to my attention again. I’m glad he did because the game really hit me on an aesthetic level and brought me into the world of magical ancient Japan. Read the rest of this entry
Thor is by no means a great film in this day and age, but the circumstances of the movie make it a surprising one. One of my least favorite comic book characters is Thor. What fun is it to read about a god? There is little drama to be had there because even if he does there are many means for him to come back – more so than most comic book characters. I was not looking forward to Thor and have made it very clear, although I said that marketing would have problems with the movie. I’m silly. The Marvel movies are their own brand that people will give a watch at least once. Thor was an easy number one in the box office this weekend. Good for Marvel!
But the movie works, and that requires some exploration. Besides the fact that it was a movie that managed to balance its humor, action, and pseudo-drama, the movie seemed to speak to its primary audience of children born in the 80’s and 90’s. Thor and Loki were born into a generation of privilege. Their parents and the parents before them fought in wars and had to establish kingdoms or households, and the kids do not know how to be humble or ever want for anything. The results are arrogance and envy. Read the rest of this entry
Despite the middling reviews for Danny McBride’s Your Highness, the film is actually a well-structured fantasy film. This is hard for me to say because, in general, I do not enjoy fantasy movies. It might be the fact that it was a comedy, and it may even be the fact that they kept the pace brisk instead of spending time on showcasing the fantasy world they created. Regardless, it is a competent film that is worth watching if the viewer cares about fantasy and/or dirty comedy. Yes, dirty comedy.
I have no problem with low-brow humor. My movie diet in high school were the works of Kevin Smith (and Fight Club), after all. Maybe age finally caught up to me, or maybe my appreciation for such films reached its saturation point; but dirty dick humor just doesn’t quite work for me the way it once did. Zack and Miri Make a Porno would have been a much more enjoyable film if it weren’t so crass. Your Highness would have been a more fun film if they excised the moments in which characters swore for the sake of swearing. Four-letter words are best used in precision comedy strikes, not just uttered to make sure people are paying attention. Not when they’re uttered for the guffaws of 16 year-olds who decided to sneak into the screening. At some points the film sounded less like a crafted tale and more like a high school lunch table. Read the rest of this entry