Archive for April, 2012

TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life

Something a little different today: A plug for one of my favourite wiki websites. Get ready for a wall of text!

Stop me if any of this is unfamiliar…

You’re sitting in your lounge room one evening having just finished watching a certain movie or TV episode for the first time. As the credits roll, something about it doesn’t seem to click for you. Maybe the plot has the smallest of annoying holes, or perhaps an aspect of someone’s characterisation doesn’t quite make sense. You mull over it for a while, then later on you open the fridge door to get a snack and BAM! A really good explanation hits you. You have just experienced an instance of Fridge Brilliance.

You’re reading a series of books and you like how one of the main characters is written. Self assured and intelligent, the character has already been responsible for some pretty impressive villain-busting theories in the series, or at the very least he/she has proved to be a lucid presence. Yet in the book you are reading, the same character seems curiously blind to a potentially crucial plot development and remains so until its almost too late. For the sake of plot, the character’s intelligence has taken a temporary drop. The author has handed him or her the Idiot Ball. Continue reading

Movie Review: Battleship

Back to back madness! Here’s a review of the latest “blockbuster” effort from Hasbro’s association with Hollywood. It came out in Australia two weeks ago. The Avengers it certainly ain’t.

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Starring:
Taylor Kitsch, Liam Neeson, Rihanna
Director:
Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights, Hancock)
Rating: M
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Who could possibly have expected to see something like this in theatres? Toy company Hasbro, who pushed the Transformers film franchise into existence and rebooted the My Little Pony television series into its most successful edition ever, must have been so confident in their ability to put their toys on screen and bums on seats that they thought a celluloid adaptation of a board game was viable. Now, after a huge marketing push, Universal Studios have released the multi-million dollar project in cinemas. The results are what you might expect. Continue reading

Movie Review: The Avengers

I saw this hugely anticipated film on Wednesday when it came out, leaving a couple of days to think it over before posting a review. Enjoy.

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Starring:
Robert Downey Jr, Samuel L Jackson, Mark Ruffalo
Director:
Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly)
Rating: M
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And so it is that the superhero project seven years in the making finally arrives on our screens, carrying with it the kind of hype that can only be generated by five prior films loaded with teasing elements. The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger have all come and gone. While some of these films were more obvious in their hype-generating efforts than others (*ahem* Iron Man 2) and suffered for it, such trivial matters are in the past. The reality is that Marvel Studios’ The Avengers is one of the most ambitious action films of our time, attempting to tread the unprecedented ground of adapting a much-adored comic book super-team concept into a movie that doesn’t fall to pieces.

The reason it succeeds, more than anything else, is because it avoids just that.

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First World Problems

This is serious business, people.

The life of someone who finds enjoyment in so many things, meaningless or otherwise, is both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it’s hard to get bored, ever. On the other, it’s so easy to get distracted by shiny new things when they come along that perfectly good forms of entertainment are often left in the cold after a laughably short amount of time. Sometimes it doesn’t even matter how “good” the product is; something in our capitalist-educated minds compels us to desire what is fresh. As time goes on and the “pile of shame” grows, it gets steadily harder to find the time to get to the things we leave at the bottom.

This can be a problem for just about anyone (though, let’s be honest, a fairly insignificant one in the scheme of things), but when you’re like me and you place value in your ability to form a complete and educated opinion on every material product you experience, it can get a tad frustrating.

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…and back.

I emerge from the Easter holiday period refreshed and packing ideas aplenty. Though I remain thoroughly behind where I want to be with my 100 movies project and I haven’t touched my PS Vita since that post I put up almost a month ago, there is much to blog about. Before April is out you can expect to see a couple of blockbuster movie reviews and a wall of text as well!

How very exciting!

A thing of beauty.

Here's a picture of my favourite blogging mug. My favourite anything mug, actually.

64-Bit Memories…

It has recently come to my attention that last month marked the 15th anniversary of the Nintendo 64’s release in Australia. Shame on me for letting that go unmarked. Here’s something to try and make up for that error.

On Christmas Day, 1999, a year and a half after migrating to the sunburnt country from South Africa, I received my first home gaming console. My life would never be the same again.

Under a generous amount of wrapping paper, the Nintendo 64 greeted me in a glorious swirl of black, grey and “atomic purple“. As a wide-eyed child I had sampled some of what the console had to offer at friend’s houses, but this one was mine. Plugging it into the largest CRT television in the house and then pushing that oversized switch on the console’s curved shell resulted in a singular moment of awe that seemed impossible to match. I had my ticket to the school playground war of words; I was lodged firmly in Nintendo’s corner.

The limited edition pack I received on December 25, 1999. Words cannot express the nostalgia.

The next three years, long as they seemed to a pre-pubescent boy, were filled to the brim with some of my fondest gaming memories ever. This is the list of my top eleven favourite Nintendo 64 games of all time.

Continue reading