An Odd Day
Sometimes on the weekends you have days that feel like they last significantly longer than they should, and then you have days like yesterday that feel like they are over in a blink of an eye. I guess in theory what made yesterday feel so odd is because the entire day was planned around hanging out with some friends and meeting them for lunch at 1:30. So by the time I got up, grabbed breakfast, wrote a blog post… it was pretty much time to shower and get ready to go out. None of this is to say that yesterday was not a really fun day, but it was just over in a flash.
We ate lunch at a trendy restaurant downtown called the Rusty Crane… which for as trendy as it is, was extremely reasonably priced. My wife and I ate for $16, but then again we ate off the brunch menu. I had this weird breakfast enchilada thing, that while tasty is not likely something I would order again. It was a tortilla filled with egg, sausage, avocado and what was billed as grilled onions and peppers. So that to me made it sound like they would be nice and soft and caramelized, but in reality they were mostly raw and maybe spent a few minutes on the grill lightly singing the edges. Had they been like the veggies inside of a Chimichanga it would have been awesome… but me and crunchy veggies tend to disagree.
But the food overall was tasty and cheap… and the company was the important part. We had not seen our friends in several months, and normally we like to see them at least once a month to hang out and get dinner and a movie or something of the sort. The hard part about being non-parents is finding other couples that don’t have kids in tow to go out and do things with. As a result we tend to hang out with a lot of older couples, and this pair is a really odd situation. He is the very first “pimp” I had, aka the guy who first recruited me into the dark art of consulting. She is a teacher at the same school as my wife. We only realized the connection one year at a back to school barbeque, and ever since we’ve kind of integrated into each others families.
King of Monsters
After we ate we decided to go see a movie. Since my wife and the other two had not seen all of the X-Men films leading up to Days of Future Past, they opted against that one. In reality right now there just isn’t much on at the theatre that is not a comic book-y type film. In the end we decided to go see the new Godzilla film as it aligned up time wise better than almost anything else. Just a heads up… I am not sure you can call them spoilers, but be warned this section is going to have something vaguely resembling them. If you want to be surprised when you see the new Godzilla… feel free to skip ahead, but unfortunately if you have seen ANY Godzilla movie, you have also seen this one which is part of the problem I have.
I am not sure exactly what I was expecting, but this movie literally plays out like every Godzilla movie… or in truth damned near every Anime story as well. Mankind does something stupid > Horrible Monster is spawned > Hero (Godzilla) shows up and is misunderstood and attacked by mankind > Sage/Elder/Scientist explains something about nature balancing itself > We put our fate in the Hero (Godzilla) > Hero gets its ass kicked royally and is defeated > Just when all hope seems lost the Hero rises again using last ounce of strength to defeat the Monster. That is pretty much the template for half of the anime I have seen, not to mention every single Godzilla, Ultraman, Kamen Rider, Power Ranger or anything else in the same “big things battle other big things” genre.
I blame Pacific Rim for giving me hope, that a tired old movie construct like Godzilla could have new and interesting life breathed into it. I love everything about the concept of monsters battling monsters, or giant robots saving the day… it fills my inner thirteen year old with glee. The problem is the 37 year old brain is still there and unable to be detached. There were so many things in the movie that seem to have no explanation and made zero sense. There is a scene where a coal fired train is travelling across the country to deliver a payload of nuclear warheads. It is super foggy, and a bunch of the troops are sent ahead to scout the track to see if it is safe. Next thing we know the train is on fire and coming out of the fog. How exactly did that train catch fire? Sure it looks cool as a special effect but it makes zero sense because the monster attacking doesn’t breathe fire or anything. The train just apparently spontaneously combusted while it was coming across the tracks.
The biggest problem I had with Godzilla is that the movie just felt like it was going through the motions. They so closely followed the template of what a Godzilla movie has to be, that the character actors that participated in the movie just felt like window dressing. There was never a single moment in the movie that I did not feel like I knew the next three scenes that were about to happen. Obviously going into it we know that Godzilla is going to win the day… but if we have that as a fixed ending… sure you can do something to mix up the space between the beginning of the movie and the end. So as much as I am railing on the movie, I do have to give it credit that the monster battles looked good. The monsters were well animated and you can tell they spent large amounts of money trying to make Godzilla feel like the original “man in suit” version without making it look cheesy as hell. If you love the original Godzilla movies and can suspend disbelief and ignore the fact that it is following a very tired template… you might just enjoy this movie.
Right in the Feels
Now for a game that I will not give any spoilers for… because it really is worthy of cherishing. Last night when we finished with our festivities, I went upstairs, threw my headphones on and sat down with the purpose of getting through Transistor. When we recorded the podcast both Kodra and Ashgar had beaten the game, and I had heard that the ending is really heart wrenching. They were correct… the game got me right in the feels and I think maybe I even bled a little. Everything about this game is wonderful, and if they do not win awards with it… it is a major fucking tragedy. Basically Supergiant Games has a loyal customer now, after loving Bastion and seeing how much more intricate this game is… I have a feeling that anything they could create would turn out phenomenal.
My only disappointment is how generally short the game is. It took me roughly three hours of game play to beat and is the equivalent of I think four areas that you traverse, maybe five. Now one cool thing that happens is when you defeat the game you can play a “recursion” that allows you to play through a second time with all the abilities that you earned the first time… and everything becomes more difficult as well. So instead of Creep 2.0 you start seeing Creep 3.0 etc. I love the way this game embraces code lingo to produce a world that is both Tron and French Noir at the same time. I would love to see a movie made from this game… would be absolutely phenominal. I have to admit as cool as the gameplay is… I mostly wanted to play through this game for the story. I wanted to know what happened and why things were the way they are. The problem is after completing the game it feels like I have more questions than answers.
Beer and Pizza Action
After the emotional rollercoaster that was Transistor, I felt like i needed to play something far more run and gun. So I picked back up on Wolfenstein: New Order, and at the point in which I went to sleep I was roughly three hours into the storyline. There is something compelling about the game, but at the same time something that leaves me completely uneasy about the potential of a fascist future. So far I am loving the game and look forward to playing some more. Oddly enough this game seems to be able to get me to stealth around. There is a sequence where you sneak into a prison, and I loved lurking about and sneaking up on mobs and taking them out with the knife. Normally I do not do stealth at all, but for whatever reason it felt as though I HAD to use stealth. If you fire a gun anywhere near an officer they will sound the alarm and bring on all sorts of really bad shit like these flying robot things that are damned near impossible to take out with anything other than the shotgun. The game is action packed and focused, and precisely what I needed to recover from the case of the feels.
#Godzilla #PacificRim #Transistor #Wolfenstein #NewOrder