Wednesday, April 29, 2015

How To Get a Megalodon

So we here at Mesozoica are closing in on a module, or early access tech demo if you will. We recently issued a challenge to our fans, if they can get us to 6000 likes on Facebook before we release aforementioned module, we will add a Megalodon into the game. Now personally I want to see a Megalodon and don't really care if we win or lose. So this post may be short, but if one goes on Google Trends and compares Megalodon to other famous dinosaurs you should be surprised by the results. I mean, Megalodon is very, very loved. So here is the Facebook, and just give it a like.

In other words, with one day left in the month, I am very close to breaking the all time monthly view record for this blog. Of course while I did initially set the record all alone, and Yafisz did break it all alone, this time we broke it together! yAy!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

What A Moron He Is

So it appears that Leadbeater really got hated on for his last "article". Well, I guess Leadbeater wanted to cover that failure up quickly by putting up a new Star Wars one. That was an average read. However, look, Suicide Squad, a film which has really just only begun filming, likely has not enough footage to even make a trailer and only one official image released. It took him one image, literally one fucking image to determine that Jared Leto's Joker would be the worst Joker that we have seen so far. Worse than Heath Ledger's, worse than Jack Nicholson's, worse than Cesar Romero's and worse than the stand-in used in the Birds of Prey television show. Just read his dumbass post, right here.
Leadbeater, that is.

So... let's take a look at this idiot's "points", shall we?
Leadbeater, that is.

1) The Reference Tattoos - His idea is that because the Joker is sporting tattoos tangentially inspired by real life tattoos tangentially inspired by the Heath Ledger Joker, this does not make sense? What makes more sense, the Joker having tattoos that represents who he is, or that sentence above, ergo Leadbeater's first point. Leadbeater asks for real world logic in regards to the tattoos, what the fuck? It's the Joker, it's not supposed to be logical you bitch!
WhatCulture, that is.

2) Desperately Avoiding Heath Ledger - So please, tell me. Had he been similar to the Heath Ledger Joker would this point have been 'Desperately Emulating Heath Ledger'? Likely. He claims that they are skirting around the character by skirting around Ledger? A character who has been around for 75 years is defined by one performance? Look, I get it. Heath Ledger's performance was wondrous but you cannot define every piece of subsequent work off of his. That was what got some of the critics to hate Man of Steel, because they could not get over Christopher Reeve. Look, Jack Nicholson's Joker stayed true to the comics' Joker, Heath Ledger had a realistic portrayal and this portrayal is the Frank Miller Joker. It's not skirting around anything, it's just giving us a different version of a character of whom we have had millions of versions already.
Leadbeater, that is. At WhatCulture, that is.

3) The Grill is Logical But Doesn't Fit the Character - By grill he is referring to the metallic teeth of the Joker. His argument here, it doesn't mesh with the comics... even though his previous point was hypocritical of that. He is questioning the logic of that and trying to determine the Joker's backstory from his teeth. Look, Batman punches out his teeth, he has to get metallic teeth. How many times can you get fillings before it is decided as enough? This honestly works the best, simply because it shows the Joker as a character one would expect to find at an asylum. Is it really unreasonable that a homocidal madman would have bit somebody's throat out? That may seem out of character for the Joker to some, but it really isn't.
Yeah, and it just called.

4) The Killing Joke Parallel Doesn't Fit - Does it need to? It's paying tribute to the comic, not necessarily emulating it. How, though, does that make this the worst on screen Joker ever? He claims that it is unlikely the Joker will match up with Alan Moore's take or that Suicide Squad will draw from that work? How the fuck do you know! It's all well and fine if it doesn't, but you don't know that it does. Yeah, likely it doesn't. But YOU CAN'T CONFIRM THAT. He really doesn't even explain himself, or back up his points here... sad, really.
Wait, Leadbeater's both!

5) The Token Purple Glove - First he claims it feels like an afterthought, and then says it was an afterthought? So which is it? An afterthought, or merely representative of one? He says it's odd that it looks like a marigold glove, which doesn't matter too much... I mean... I'd say it looks like a medical glove.... but your getting pissed off at the kind of glove? Well, if you're that petty, good for you, but I doubt that the kind of glove will make a difference. He also says it sticks out and ruins the picture, even though it's an afterthought? Decide you moron! Is it an afterthought, representative of an afterthought or something that sticks out?
I can use this because I'm black.

6) It's Not a Definitive Take - The movie isn't even definitive yet, I mean it isn't finished! Your getting mad it for being something that you aren't sure it is even supposed to be. It is supposed to be the Joker, present in a film titled Suicide Squad. Why is one of your negative points it being something nobody is sure it is even supposed to be?

7) Damaged - Just like Knight, this annoys me. Not so much because it is the worst fucking kind of hiram (nah, I'm joking, I'm black so I don't really give a shit, not like it'd show anyways), but it is also just plain wrong. However, his reasoning is again stupid. He asks why the Joker has it when the Joker embraces his own insanity? Maybe the Joker has it because the Joker embraces the Joker's insanity?
We've established this, but let's make a foundation.

8) It Might Not Even Be the Finished Design - Then why the fuck did you write an article? If it is not the finished fucking design, why the fuck would you write an article that treats it as such? Down to the title, I mean, doesn't that just negate your entire "article"? You basically shot yourself in the foot after stabbing your arm in every other point. If it is a concept, as he says it might be, he says that just means that it'll change because people don't like it. No, if it's a concept, it's a concept, nothing more. However, if it is a concept, please tell me how Jared Leto's Joker is the worst based off of a concept! What a dumbass.
Well, he is.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Minecraft Thoughts

So, I've recently been playing Minecraft: PS4 Edition, it's an overall fun game, no doubt. However, I am not playing online so I don't get to play with my friends or anything. That might suck a bit, but what sucks even more is that I am a horrible Minecrafter. Literally, I made my house alongside a tree, and now I just keep making trees on that one tree. I haven't found a village, or really moved out of my area, which is like meshed in between three biomes, yet it is the perfect area. Honestly, though, I don't get how people can play a game like this alone.

The game is good and enjoyable, like I've said. How can you play this game alone, though? I mean, I really want to play this with friends. Just a few random thoughts.

Oh and this post just went up. Like I've said, I really don't have much feelings on Suicide Squad yet, but I'm sure Yafisz does...

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Jared Leto's Joker Revealed

So the first official photo from Suicide Squad, a movie which I don't really cover, was released. It was of Jared Leto's Joker and the picture seems weird, almost as if it could be an April Fool's Day prank.

Warner Bros.
Add caption bitch.

Honestly, the first thing wrong is that he's not smiling but screaming or something. Then it's the tattoo that says damaged on his forehead. That's just wrong. Everything else is to perfection and I can get over the scream, but the 'damaged' ruins it for me.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Extreme Collateral Damage

You know what Tom Cruise's best movie is? Collateral. On an unrelated note, which movie proved Arnold could act? Collateral Damage. Back to the Tom Cruise film, never before had anybody seen Tom Cruise in the role of the villain. There he is, the main antagonist, playing a ruthless mob enforcer who 'mercs on sight'. I mean, his character is the subject of Pharrell songs. Don't believe me? Look up Sk8brd P's old songs, therein lies Tom Cruise's character in this great film. I'd love to talk more about this movie, but, how about everybody just goes and watches it?

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Remembering Megalosaurus

Remember way back when I did all those posts about Troodons? Well, it wasn't foreshadowing for Mesozoica, but rather me being fascinated that those things may have actually had a degree of consciousness. I don't know if Troodons will be in Mesozoica, maybe is all I can say. On the new forum which is now up, where I urge all you guys to sign up, there is a dinosaur masterlist. While the list was not started by me, it was updated by me. Anyways though, I don't want to say anything that may contradict my earlier posts on Troodons but I did make one point that I believe was prevalent through that chain of posts about them is that we can never truly know for sure how they were. Look, I made an idea that velociraptors could have been nano scientists. They probably were not, but that was over 65 million years ago, so even if they weren't, how do we know for sure? Look, for some dinosaurs, like Megalosaurus, who were known to have gone extinct before the meteorite hit, it is pretty clear. Most dinosaurs we know of didn't even live to an age long enough where they could have reached sentiency. What about the ones in the final gap between meteor and life? I don't know, maybe Troodons? Then again, why would they need to, I mean look at the saltwater crocodile. Unchanged for 95 million years, it is the perfect predator.

Megalosaurus on the other hand is gone, and it was gone long before most other dinosaurs. Unlike T-Rex and Spinosaurus, Megalosaurus actually lived in the Jurassic Era and was long gone by the time velociraptors and such came around. When scientists first found Megalosaurus, the name that got accepted for it literally meant ballsack. So, fairly humiliating history? No. No matter what, Megalosaurus was the first one we identified as a dinosaur. Yes, Iguanodon was found earlier, but it was the classification of Megalosaurus that resulted in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle writing about it as the main antagonist of The Lost World, silently stalking Ed Malone. Then comes everything after.

Again, even though I'm in charge of the quests and such, I don't know that much about which dinosaurs will be in Mesozoica. Hell, the very presence of Allosaurus kind of invalidates Megalosaurus. Nonetheless, Megalosaurus is one dinosaur, which if not included, will be given some special treatment by way of my quests. It is important to remember where we come from, is what I'm trying to say. Look, scientists find Troodons infinitely more amazing than Megalosaurus because of the implications they pose. Despite all of those implications, we will never be able to get a 100% on Troodon unless we find gene fragments, which we probably won't. Look at Spinosaurus, we now know that it was a quadruped on land, even though it likely stood up biped. There is so much we will find out about Troodons in the future, but the reason why? Megalosaurus.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Mesozoica Trailer

So it appears that Arrow, which had previously spawned The Flash, will now spawn another spin-off, currently with an unknown name. This will be the third spin-off that Arrow will create, the second is Vixen, which has yet to debut. Vixen will be animated and appear on the CW Seed, but the main character will probably have a voice actor that will also play her in live action roles. Enough about that, since I don't really find it all that interesting...

There is a new show coming up and the DCW is expanding. What on Earth could it possibly be? Well, let's take a look at the cast. It is going to be starring Brandon Routh as the Atom, so we know the lead. The supporting characters are going to be Captain Cold, Heatwave, Sara Lance, Hawkgirl and Rip Hunter. That is quite a cast and I have no doubt, that this show is going to be called something along the lines of Linear or the Linear Men. Why? It'll probably be about Rip Hunter recruiting all these people in an effort to get back to his own time and will show how people like Hawkgirl and Sara Lance are non-particle accelerator metahumans, like Deathbolt. So the previous episode of Arrow, which showed Ray Palmer finally come into his own as Atom is going to be the most obvious set up for this show but I'm guessing the upcoming "Rogue Air" episode of The Flash will be ample set up as well.

Why am I really posting, though? More Mesozoica news, if you guys don't already know, we have live Twitch streams up every Saturday (sometimes Sunday and Friday) to pump the game up. My long time followers will note that I was attached to a number of projects and it all came to a head under the Aluna Games banner. I was once working on multiple projects which I consolidated into a network minigame experience called Da Hub, which we were working under with Aluna Games. While my small team of three and I tried to work out with Aluna Games, we also released asset packages. I'm deleting a lot of that history from the blog right now, but I am so excited to finally be back in game developing. Even though I am fairly competent at C#, right now I'm only taking the screenwriting role and I love it. Between everything that I have going on, working on Mesozoica has been great. We have a truly great fanbase and I'd really love to mesh it with the support structure that I've built here at 2BINProductions. So guys, go check us out on Facebook and enjoy the teaser:
Have fun err-body.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Please Leadbeater, SHUT UP!

So yeah, Knight posted his analysis yesterday. I was content not to do mine, but I decided to check out WhatCulture and sure enough Alex Goddamn Leadbeater posted another article. This one is titled 9 Ways I Masturbate 9 Ways The Batman V Superman Movie Trailer Proves The Movie Will Suck. Is Leadbeater just angry that the movie will be good? Hell, I made a public Facebook (my real one is private) just so I could respond to this fucker. So here, is why Alex Leadbeater is once again wrong about Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice.
You goat fucker, Leadbeater.

He starts off by claiming that everything the movie has done has so far deserved derision? No, if anything, the trailer is the only thing that could even warrant derision because the trailer is the only actual footage you've seen! This moron was analyzing a whole film off of four pictures. Either he's Isa or a bloody fuck.
I pulled most of these memes off of one google search and that took more brainpower than it did for Leadbeater to write his article.

First actual page claims a Generic Opening to an Interesting Idea. From that title, assume that the interesting idea is people hating on Superman. So how to represent that? I don't know personally, but I am satisfied with what Snyder gave because it does accurately represent that. Yes there are mixed feelings on it, but it did the job. What does Leadbeater suggest: 1) a taste of the battle, &, 2) Batman voice over. Maybe the second of the two could do the job, but how the hell would the first one? It's ideas like that which show hating for the sake of hating. I can't honestly analyze this part more because Leadbeater is that bad of a journalist. I mean, it's teasing the major thematic component of the film and you don't want it to show that?
Steer clear of WhatCulture guys.

Then he says the CGI of the film is bad. Except here is the thing, he also says this in the second section: "While you can’t judge a movie’s CGI off its trailer". If that is true, don't fucking post anything about the CGI. You make some points after that, which would be valid if you hadn't completely invalidated them before typing them.
Specifically Superman.

The droning music is his next point. The way he explains this part, it's actually slightly valid, and one can see the inklings of a journalist who is great at doing other articles (just like in me you can see a great journalist who would be great if he minded censors). However, this guy uses the word 'generic' far too much.
It's not breaking if I've already covered it...

The crummy tease. Teasing a teaser trailer. It's like taking an electrician taking the rate of an ampere rate.  He says the teaser trailer's teaser didn't show enough and is a slog? Slog means hard work, which would mean that you are actually crediting the movie instead of bashing it. Here's some advice Leadbeater, how about you use words you know the meaning of.
Well I already told him... so...

Then he says that the film relies too heavily on symbolism from The Dark Knight Rises. Please, tell me how a character is going to look different from himself in a different film. Yes there will be certain differences, but take Cavill's Superman and the George Reeve Superman. Silhouette them both and you see practically the same image. He criticizes Jeremy Irons' voiceover when it is actually talking about Superman, you're not supposed to see Michael Caine. The one person I doubt anyone gives a shit about who plays is Alfred.
I think I used this one before for Leadbeater...

Then he says Warner Bros don't know the market and he goes on to list a series of places for where the teaser was teased... by speculation. Those were rumors Leadbeater, not actual marketing done by Zack Snyder. Then he just drools over Star Wars...
This one's different but totally describes it... also, I didn't want to google search again. Oh yeah, sorry if this offends aynone.

Then he criticizes the dialogue and asks how Superman hears Batman. He asks if Superman has developed super-hearing, which was actually a major part of the last film... what the fuck is wrong with this guy? If he's being sarcastic he should realize that this is text and he comes off as a dumbshit. He claims that the dialogue is cheesy, when most find it threatening. He says it's a step back into Shuchmacher when the only one doing that is you, Leadbeater, with your horrible writing.
The more you know!

Look, Batman Forever did make cinematic history by introducing Robin. This film will do the same by having Batman and Superman on screen, so why are you criticizing the trailer based off of a comment made by Henry Cavill when just before that you give the trailer credit for doing that? See how confusing that sounds? Nobody was groaning "Batman and Superman! WOW" or "we get it", they were going "HOLY FUCKING SHIT MY FEELS! TAKE MY FEELS SNYDER! TAKE THEM!". That was the majority.
Leadbeater - YOU ARE A DUMBASS

His last point is very ironic. He says we've seen a lot of it before. Well, only if you went to ComicCon... really. What we have seen a lot of, is your bash articles Leadbeater... that is what we are tired of seeing.
Now leave Leadbeater.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice Trailer Reaction

We here at 2BINProductions are big fans of Man of Steel, our black reporter from Saskatchewan, Yafisz Khan, has been so defensive about it that he has tried to start a flame war with WhatCulture's Alex Leadbeater. Now, three hours after the first official trailer for Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice was released, we already have another hate article on WhatCulture. Since it wasn't by Alex Leadbeater, we don't really care, although I'm sure he's concocting something. However, here is my analysis of the trailer.

Now, going in, I'd heard that while many people, likely the majority of people, loved it. These people have expressed so much gratitude and joy and all of that good stuff. It's always the vocal minority that seem to be negative. That is expected. Look, haters of Man of Steel will always exist, the film was polarizing no doubt. There comes a point, though, when you judge a film so harshly before you see a trailer and repeat the same things right after the trailer with no basis to back up your predispositions that people aren't going to take you credibly. I've expressed nothing to excitement and delight over this film and now I finally get to tell you all whether or not I like what I see.

Now, I'd like to make a point that was made over on other sites. As a Teaser Trailer, this trailer went above and beyond in terms of success. As a trailer, it undoubtedly failed. However, it is not a trailer, so, I guess it succeeds? Yes, it absolutely succeeds. Obviously there is still a great amount of division, but the new WhatCulture article, if it can even be called that, tries to bash on the trailer. Yet if you read the comments, everybody is going against the author, Tom Baker. So, damn. We all knew that the criticism would be addressed in the film, but Zack Snyder figured it out. The best way to try and win over the critics, is the embrace their criticism. Let's face it, there are actually very few people who think that Man of Steel had problems in acting and directing. It was really just the dialogue and the fact that Superman killed Zod. So embracing that criticism, that could go a long way.

The first part of the trailer, the embrace and using that criticism against the critics... genius. I loved it. The way people are depicting mistrust and being unsure in Superman, some even going on to compare him to dictators and maybe by a strech, Hitler?, is just genius. It shows how we as a society would actually react and how critics did react. Then the second part focuses entirely on Batman and his voice, it's different, smooth and nice. The dialogue, though, teasing the fight which will be a masterpiece... just wow. I love this teaser trailer and I think it was fantastic.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Analyzing the Significance of Mad Max

George Miller released Mad Max in 1979 and with Mad Max: Fury Road one day under a month away from release, it seems like now may be a good time to analyze it. The first film in the franchise that I saw was The Road Warrior and having been a little child then and used to the creativity used with little budgets as shown in Batman Returns, I really appreciated what little I saw. The Road Warrior was a very creative film and as much as I'd love to analyze it, I'm going down to the very first one which was released about 36 years ago.

Post-apocalyptic fiction has been around for a long, long time now. Hell, Norse mythology was post-apocalyptic fiction with Fenrir and all and up until Mad Max's release, The Planet of the Apes was the premiere entrant in the genre. A large part of the first film comes from Miller's tenure working at a hospital in Australia. Now bear in mind, the upcoming film is an American film but Mad Max, had it been released today, would have been considered an indie film. This is because at a budget of $400 000 in Australian currency, even forty years ago, this was a small budget. So imagine the minds blown when this film grosses $100,000,000 at the box office, a success even by today's standards. Now add inflation to that.

I'm not going to provide specific examples of how Mad Max has and will continue to influence media and pop-art, but rather keep this brief. The film's unique and relatively simple use of it's budget allowed for focus on character. This is one of the films that places emphasis on character development, even though the protagonist is silent. In spite of the violence and dystopian setting, the entire world in the first film does not seem entirely far fetched (something the sequels threw out the window). Invoking feelings of humanity within us, the film is significant because even though it is post-apocalyptic fantasy, the true apocalypse in the films is the Freudian regression in the villains.

Monday, April 13, 2015

A SHIELD Spin-off?

It took an entire season to get Marvel's Agents of SHIELD right, I mean, at first they were bumbling as to whether or not be a spy show or a superhero show. When Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out, they were forced to be a spy show, and it worked well but did not exactly mesh in with the rest of the season. Nonetheless, they went along with it and we now have an extremely good show on television, even though it is still ages below Arrow, which appears to be it's arch enemy.
- MYK Cameo via memes

Now I'm hearing ramblings of a spin-off of the show. Look, the only reason Arrow got a spin-off was because not only was it good in it's first season (nothing to cry about) but it was amazing in the second season. The amazing Deathstroke the Terminator arc in the second season was essentially what confirmed The Flash going on air. Unfortunately, Supernatural was amazing almost every episode of season nine except the spin-off one. That's a different story, though, and the fact is that even though I've really enjoyed watching Coulson and the Inhumans in a grand spy escapade this season, it's really nothing to cry about. So yeah, ramblings of a spin-off are really likely only going to come to fruition in the third season, when hopefully the show will be relatively as good as Arrow but this season? Hell no. What would it be about? Well that's kind of unimportant because we don't even know why they would do it.

ABC can hardly keep Marvel's Agent Carter on air and at one point even considered the fact that they might have to cancel Marvel's Agents of SHIELD. Plus, ABC kind of sucks at spin-offs, does Once Upon a Time in Wonderland ring a bell? ABC, try and save Marvel's Agent Carter and try and improve Marvel's Agents of SHIELD, which, although good this season, has truly only been held up by Kyle Maclachlan and the Inhuman storyline. To expand, those elements are what have been carrying the show because even though they should not work in a spy format, they are working likely better than they would have if the show decided to go with a superhero approach.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Daredevil First Impressions

So Marvel's Daredevil came out two days ago and given that I'm almost finished watching Archer, I decided to try it, I mean, why not, right? Is Marvel Entertainment really going to do that, start every show with the prefix Marvel's. I mean, you don't do that for the movies, I don't go to the movies to see Marvel's Iron Man III, I go to see Iron Man III. You're acting like nobody knows who Marvel is, which is fair, because three years ago nobody did know who Marvel was. If DC attached their name to Arrow and made it DC's Arrow everyone would flip the fuck out because everybody knows who DC is.

Marvel's Daredevil is not the best superhero show out there right now. That is a fact, deal with it. It is very good, but it is not the best. Just because it's super violent, grim and gritty (something we barely see from Marvel), doesn't mean that it's going to be great. Let's face it, The Flash is the best superhero show right now and Arrow is number two. Yeah, Marvel's Daredevil is a number three but that's just because it's not that hard to beat Marvel's Agents of SHIELD or Marvel's Agent Carter in terms of quality. Last year, it was just Arrow and Marvel's Agents of SHIELD and last year's season of the bowed archer is better than the first season of The Flash. That is how good it was, yes, this season has dropped in quality, but that seems to be simply because the second season was just that good.

Now, let me explain to you all what Marvel's Daredevil doesn't get right. It's a bit slow and spend so much time on exposition that you are honestly waiting for something to happen and then it does and does not disappoint. Now normally I'm a fan of this approach, but that's when it comes to movies and novels. Look, I'm willing to admit that maybe because Marvel rarely goes with this grim and gritty approach that I may just be shocked. There has to be more to it, though. I mean, you only have thirteen episodes, so they don't waste time on filler but they do waste time on way too much expositional dialogue that the fight scene at the end of the second episode really did not seem like it lived up to the hype.

What does work, and there is a hell of a lot more that does work than does not. The fight scenes, when they do happen, are magnificent. That is a plus, I mean, the fight scenes in Marvel's Daredevil are the ones that we should get on a weekly basis in Arrow, instead, Kreisberg only gives them to us during premieres or finales. Like, I've yet to see a fight scene in Marvel's Daredevil that matches the Arrow vs. Deathstroke, but every fight scene has far surpassed the likes of the Arrow vs. Maseo Yamashiro. Then there is the acting, Charlie Cox perfectly embodies Matt Murdock and while everyone else isn't shabby either (as in, they are good) the show's real shine comes from Vincent D'Onofrio. Maybe it's because he's the most "veteran" actor and probably the best of the bunch, or because he plays the Kingpin very, very, very well.

All in all, I don't know how Netflix seasons are going to work. I mean, after we get to Marvel's The Defenders are we just going to go through the entire cycle again or what? Nonetheless, while Marvel's AKA Jessica Jones doesn't have me very interested (given the fact that it was in development hell since 2010), I am looking forward to the future of Matt Murdock. I don't know if he'll show up in another show until he joins the Defenders, but I am certainly invested.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Order: 1887 - It Should Happen

I can't help but want The Order: 1886's sequel, a lot right now. Unfortunately, it appears that even though Ready at Dawn has an engine built and ideas for a sequel, we may not even get one. Of course, The Order: 1886 has sold a minimum of 0.75 million right now and despite people calling it a moderate success, something with sales that high is a success no matter the prefix. Yes, it's received middling reviews and in my own review of that (just scroll below, I think), you'll find that even though I enjoyed the game thoroughly and gave it a much higher score than others: that criticism is well deserved. I can't help but feeling that maybe The Order: 1886 would've been better as Telltale's The Walking Dead game was stylized and be released in episodes.

I mean, The Order: 1886 is the only game that's ever really compelled me to try and get all of the trophies. I'm at 48 % after one playthrough and in my second playthrough, I not only want to record more footage for YouTube, but also get that to 100 %. In comparison, I have 37 % trophies, 58 % and 39% trophies for Mass Effect 3, 2 & 1 respectively and that is more trophies than people usually get when they don't try. I've never tried for trophies before, but getting them for The Order makes me feel better about the game. Well, I mean, it might as well given that I want to milk everything I can out of the game given the lack of replayability value...

The problem with replaying the game is, that the cutscenes are so damn long and unskippable because of the perfect way they transition into the action. Now, like I've said, the gameplay system is so good that part of the reason people were hating on it was because they barely got to experience it. I'd suggest a good way to get around cutscenes is kind of like what Mass Effect did. When a characters talking, just push X and go to the next bit of dialogue, it's fast and effective. Or go the Uncharted route, click X and get an option to skip.

One universal good thing The Order: 1886 has done, however, is given us a universal standard. We want games with it's production value and amazing gameplay, but we want more of that money to go to gameplay than graphics. What game better than to show these new standards than The Order: 1887? I mean, Ready at Dawn's made great graphics that they don't need to improve, they have an engine ready for a sequel and have already stated a desire to emphasize gameplay. How to do this however? How get a sequel greenlight? DLC! Either make a cheap but story based DLC that acts as either a prequel, in-between-quel (thank you X-Men: Days of Future Past) or sequel that resolves the story a bit. This DLC is gameplay heavy, little focus on cinematics and basically is a middle finger to all the haters... but I want The Order: 1887 and I think it should happen because Ready at Dawn has provided us with a great world that should somehow be expanded.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Remembering Hook

I love Disney. I really love Disney. Down to their worst movies, I still find one scene I can love in it. You know what, though? One of my favorites was Peter Pan and as a child, I just loved that. A kid who can fly to another planet where he doesn't need to grow up. It wasn't until I played Uncharted 3 that I realized sailors used stars to map their island routes and that Never Neverland is actually just an undiscovered island. The entire story of Peter Pan is fascinating and the fact that the novel acted as a pseudo-sequel to Treasure Island, with Captain Hook having had killed Long John Silver, makes it even better. I love the movie and so many people do as well.

That's why Steven Spielberg's Hook was critically panned or on the worse end of mixed reviews when it came out. It ranks among the worst of Spielberg's movies, and that's surprising because he really doesn't have any bad movies. The Terminal is a good movie to watch if your sick and can't go to work one day and even Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has it's defenders and moments. Hook, however, was panned because it made Peter Pan grow up. That is honestly why, read the reviews and such and you'll see. Nobody hates the movie, they just can't fathom why Spielberg would do this. Spielberg once professed that he suffered from Peter Pan syndrome and read the interviews he made leading up to this film, he had a passion for Pan that is irreplaceable. Now ask him about Hook and he himself will say that he hates it.

Why? The reviewers of the film forced Spielberg to "grow up" and "get out" of his syndrome in a sense and see the film as they, the "grown ups" wanted him to see it. Hook only made a profit of $50 million even though it grossed $300 million. That problem is in the marketing because even for today's standards, $300 million is a lot of money. What is Spielberg's worst film, probably 1941 because it tried to be a comedy and ended up being great for the unintended reasons. Always is a close second but that's honestly because it's just odd. I mean seriously, those two movies and The Terminal are really the only bad movies that Spielberg's made. Yet why does Hook get so much hate?

As I've previously mentioned, it's because of people clinging on to this vision that Peter Pan will not grow up. Spielberg simply wondered, what if he did? Is there really that much harm in wondering? The movie is beautifully shot and one of the best examples of elaborate set pieces and displays of articulate background designs that are nowadays being found in CGI. I'll liken this film to Man of Steel, something people only hated because of their fetish with Christopher Reeve's Superman: The Movie. Despite there being a gap of decades between both Supermen and both Peter Pan, the love held for the first one soured the experience of the second one. Yet I love Hook and now I'll explain why I do.

Where to begin? Let's start at the beginning. We're introduced to Peter and Moira Banning, a successful All American couple who suffer from the syndrome we experience in almost any feel good movie. Yet it feels so different for some reason because Peter is such a stiff. He's against anything fun, he's against anything dangerous yet he wants to drive an owl to extinction and take over Sierra Madre clubs. He's an 80s pirate, this was before 2000s computer pirate and the 2010 Somalian pirates, mind you. An 80s pirate is essentially a corporate stooge who apprenticed under Donald Trump and operates a Ted Turner subsidiary and has only one goal in life: MAKE MOTHAFUCKING MONEY, regardless of the personal cost. No matter how much Peter tries to connect with his son, he just cannot. When they go to the orphanage where Peter grew up, operated by a Granny Wendy who used to live by J.M. Barrie (fuck off Depp), we have an incredible scene. It's just so beautiful, yet ironically I can only relate it to one lyric by Pharrell Williams: "I know niggas who run from their shadows like Peter Pan". The scene I'm referring to I cannot find a video clip, but it's Peter Banning on the phone. His children are behind him agitating him but we see his shadow rise up and try and embrace him but he rejects it and yells at his children, furious. Such a poignant scene.

Let's not forget, the film is called Hook, so the titular character is another reason why this film is good. Played by Dustin Hoffman, we get a sense of dread from Captain James Hook and down to when the children talk about the window wiper and when we return to the orphanage to see claw marks all over the house walls. Hoffman dominates the screen by playing the dreadful captain, the only man "Barbecue ever feared" and the fact of the matter is. He's one of the reasons why this film is good. It's also one of few times the villain's name is the name of the movie and for this, it works. The story of Peter Pan isn't actually his, it's Captain Hook's. It's the story of how a mad pirate's obsession shows a child how dreadful growing up can be. Hook is a representation of everything wrong with adults and when the mad Captain is becoming a paternal figure to Jack Banning, we see that the title is actually referring to Peter. He himself has become a pirate and Hook to his children, so when he finally embraces his old self, it's magical.

One of the most magical scenes Steven Spielberg has ever shot, however, is after the madness at the Lost Boys' resort. We see all of the Lost Boys reject Banning as Pan except one and this one says "There you are Peter". It is a beautifully shot scene and, well, watch it for yourself:
It is honestly, just great. The main reason why I wrote this article, however, was because I read this article by Travis Vogt. I'm not going to go and bash Vogt like Yafisz on Leadbeater, because Vogt places his opinion in a very clear and justifiable way. It's just that I need to show why Vogt's wrong about all of his pieces (except Julia Roberts, she was fucking terrible in the film). So, if you still want to, read on as I address Vogt's points.

1) It's Ugly - He says that it's not ugly because the set pieces are bad, but because of the excess used by Spielberg that he just "wears himself thin" or something to that accord. It's hard to argue against that point because that is just pure opinion. The Never Neverland that Peter is thrust into is different and seems to be an attraction in front of Pirates of the Caribbean at DisneyLand Paris rather than be in a Peter Pan flick. That's why it works. It's symbolic value to the film is great and add the fact that it does what no filmmaker, even Spielberg himself does nowaday, pay value to the actual set and design just makes me appreciate it even more.

2) Bad Acting - He says Robin Williams was bad as Peter Pan, which he would have been... but as Peter Banning, he was terrific. I agree on the Julia Roberts part, there's no getting past that... but it's ironic because the scene I used above to show how beautiful this film is, Vogt uses to show how bad Robin Williams is. Except, Vogt doesn't spend a lot of time explaining why he thinks Williams is bad. I mean Williams is good because of the expressions and subtle hints of disbelief and shock you see in him throughout the film. Vogt just says he's bad and spends three paragraphs talking about child actors.

3) Lawyer Jokes - He's angry because lawyers are the exact opposite of Peter Pan. True, but Peter Pan was good natured; Peter Banning is a pirate who represents Hook more than the pirate himself. This is just a pet peeve of his, it seems, so no point in pressing this further.

4) Annoying Kids - The kids in this film are annoying, but their annoying in every film and in this one it feels justifiable. Look, yes Banning is working to put food on the table for his children... but that doesn't excuse making false promises and claiming your "word to be your bond". It just adds to the symbolic value of Peter the Pirate, Hook the Second and it seems Vogt feels personally about this one, so perhaps it has something else to do with rather than his hate for the film...

5) Spielberg's thoughts - I've addressed this above.

6) Fuck Peter Pan - Again, this is a personal analysis of his and he addresses Barrie's dark undertones and secret facts that everybody knows, but nobody talks about. Look, he calls Spielberg out on once claiming to have Peter Pan syndrome. Great, I don't really know what point this guy is trying to make here but this bashes Peter Pan as a whole rather than Hook as a film. Why is Peter Pan relevant, though? Because he doesn't grow up. He gets to do what we all want to do and yes, a part of us resents him for it, but a larger part of us love shim for it. He makes these points on how Spielberg's a megalomaniac and Michael Jackson wouldn't like Never Neverland if he worked at a steel mill. First of all megalomania is a mental illness called Narcissistic Personality Disorder so fuck you and maybe the Jackson point is justified... but still... I have a feeling that this guy feels a lot more personally about this guy than some people. So he falls in the resents Pan for not growing up category. I'm not going to argue against his opinion, but I will justify mine.

7) Paige interview - He gets a friend of his to explain why people have warm feelings towards the film. I didn't see the movie until after it came out, at least ten years after if not more. Look, I could go on and on but...

This is a guy trying to impose his personal belief as fact. Fact trumps opinion. Opinion can never be fact unless opinion agrees with fact. Fact is, Hook is a gorgeous good film that has it's well deserved haters. His opinion is, Hook is a pile of shit. To him that is true, but in fact, it is not. Thanks for reading this long post, but I needed to talk about it.