Saturday, July 16, 2016

Ghostbusters (2016) Review

So after months and months of bitter warfare between horrible sexist GamerGate nerd assholes and SJW tumblrite militant FeminiNazis... the movie was fine.


Decent enough.

I have nothing to say about this movie, gonna be honest. The cameos were a bit obnoxious. The jokes landed here or there. Too many fart jokes. Melissa McCarthy wasn't very funny, Kate McKinnon probably saved the movie, Leslie Jones wasn't bad, Kristin Wiig was... I don't even know or care.

I don't remember anything about this movie already. "Ghostbusters" (2016) is probably the least interesting thing to talk about of the entire year. Was Michael K. Williams in this movie? I can't remember. After all that bullshit. All the crap on my twitter feed. It was this. ...It was okay. Doesn't even begin to compare with the 1984 original. So what?

Meh... I was hoping for this whole thing to write here. I could have pulled together 5,000 words easily if "Ghostbusters" (2016) was as bad as the remakes of "Vacation" or "Red Dawn" or "RoboCop" or that fucking "Total Recall" movie with the stupid gravity train. I wish it were worse. I could have gotten good and mad and written a review. Or it were in any way spectacular I'd have material. Instead I got nothing to work with here. Three out of Five, whatever. You can do worse.

Sorry for wasting your time.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Some of What Might Be the Best Movies of 2016

The year of Our Lord Lena "Tracer" Oxton 2016 is now half over. Actually it’s more than half over but I’m typically late about everything. It seems that since I rarely have time to write movie reviews, I should just update you all on what movies you should have seen in the last six months. Obviously it is now too late to see most of them because they’re already out of theaters. So well… Yeah, I wish I had something to help you with how shitty that is. Anyhoo, speaking of incredibly late, it’s now closer to 2017 than 2015, and I realize I never wrote a Best Movies of 2015 List*. (See footnote.)

My plan in 2016 has been to watch what I call "good movies". Once upon a time when this blog was in its prime I would watch every single piece of shit that Hollywood produced. Now I can look at the wonder that is "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2" and say "no". I'm very happy about that. 25% of my life has passed, I've seen enough shitty movies. I can tolerate some cheese like "Warcraft" or "X-Men Apocalypse" every now and then, but if its "Divergent 3"? I don't need to see it. I'm free of that crap! So here's ten good movies from 2016 that I saw instead:

10) Captain America: Civil War – Okay, so a superhero film is on the list. But it is not Deadpool and it is definitely not "Buttfuck v Superfuck: Dawn of Fuck". Actually I think "Captain America: Civil War" really only hangs on this list thanks to my eternal hatred of "BvS", which is already the Worst Movie of 2016. (Debate is over.) "Civil War" is how you do that movie right. You have real characters, you have real stakes, and you have humor. It also does not hurt to have a giant Ant-Man fighting Spider-Man fighting androids fighting robots fighting mutants in the greatest and silliest comic brawl of all time. "Civil War" gives you the taste of everything the Marvel universe can do. It can hit sillier highs and lower emotional blows than any movie Marvel has done before.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Game of Thrones Season 6 Reaction: The Good, the Bad, and the Sand Snakes

Season 5 was not good for "Game of Thrones". If you remember my post from last year, I summed up the season with something along the lines of:  "There is a point where it is just not fun. Watching a TV show should not feel like an extended funeral every week. Maybe that's what you're into in your entertainment, I won't judge too harshly. But I'm not." Or to put it another way: Season 5 fucking sucked. Between the rapes, the child murder, the terrible plotting, and Dorne, it was a disaster of a season.

The problem with Season 5 was not just the unrelenting misery or the "bad poosy". It was a victim of the same larger problem that ruined the last book of A Song of Ice and Fire, "A Dance With Dragons". That's the same larger problem that will cause "The Winds of Winter" to miss my pessimistic 2011 predicted release date of August 2016*. That problem is that George R. R. Martin is stuck. He's been stuck for over a decade now. He does not know how to get from his plodding middle section to the third act. We all know what has to happen:  Jon has to become King in the North, Dany has to beat the Slavers and go to Westeros,  and (eventually) the Wall is coming down and the Others are invading. But how do you get there? How do you line up all your pieces and just get there?

While GRRM has been struggling with this unsolvable problem, the show has suffered. Season 5 was not just bad bad because the villains won all the time in diablo ex machinas after diablo ex machinas. It was bad because the show was padding itself out. You could see the padding all the way back in Season 4 with entirely created arcs involving Night's Watch deserters and the fookin' legend of Gin Alley, Karl Tanner. Dorne didn't just suck because the Sand Snakes were bad, it sucked because it was irrelevant and took forever. Meereen is awful because it is a sideshow in the books and the show. Ramsay became an annoying character because he was not important to the overall story and to stall for time he was transformed into this ridiculous Hannibal Lecter-esque supervillain.

So Season 6 is not perfect by any means. It has padding, it has bad plotting, it has mistakes. But here's the thing:  it gets there. By the end of this season we are at the final act of the story. We are ready for the final wars. And even an uneven season with several mistakes requires a nod of recognition from me. At least it got there.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


This whole post is just more game reactions. But a lot of games did not get a full reaction from me, so I’ll write up quick ones reviews here before the detailed ones:

"Battlefield 1" is about World War I, which is cool, but also it’s a Battlefield game, so it’s instantly un-cool. "Dishonored 2" could be really cool but the story seems dumb and it only makes me wish I were playing "BioShock 4". "Prey" should be called "Prey 2" because if you call two games 'Prey' that just gets really confusing. "Watch_Dogs 2" should not fool anybody in 2016. "Gears of War 4" is more like 'Gears of Bore 4'."Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE" is a game that only I will ever enjoy. "Titanfall 2" is not "Overwatch". "Spider-Man "won’t be out until 2019. And I don’t know what "Mafia III" is.

Anyway, onto the reactions. I'll break this post up into categories:

Games I Really Want to Hate But Must Begrudgingly Admit Don’t Look That Bad:

"God of War 5" – I hate God of War. These games have been symbols for a very long time of everything that was wrong with gaming last decade. The first "God of War" was fun in a pretty shallow way. Now that "Bayonetta" and "Metal Gear Rising" exist I cannot really think of a good reason to play "God of War" in 2016. When I think of Kratos I think of teenaged boys who think they’re mature, eating Doritos, sipping Mountain Dew, and raging against the Wii for being “kiddie”. That’s probably unfair, but God of War really collected a lot of bad trends like QTEs, lame linear game design, and stupid empty-headed plotlines. If God of War was in anyway aware of its own insanity that was all lost in Kratos’ unrelenting brotastic fury. It was assholian to a degree that aesthetically turned me off.

Weirdly Seems like the guys making the games agree with me. "God of War 5" is a curiously specific answer to all my complaints.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

E3 2016 Reaction - Parte the Firste

Guess what? It’s E3! And unlike last year where I pretty much did nothing for the show, I’m actually going to write up some reactions. Because there isn't much else to talk about, other than really depressing serious issue like gun safety in this country, Islamaphobia, and the slow disintegration of the electorate into bickering groups screaming past each other in an endless national flame war. Games are a much easier topic, so I’ll talk about them.

While I did not go to E3 this year, I have done all I can to try to be there in spirit. That includes watching the long industry conferences, watching playthroughs on Youtube, and downloading the "Resident Evil VII" demo. But also I’ve simulated the experience by sitting in long soul-crushing lines of traffic, eating gross fast food breakfasts, and sleeping like trash all week. No, it isn’t the same thing, but at least work is slow so I have plenty of time to write up my reaction posts. Also I can pour all my frustrations at my failure to ever return to E3 into Reinhardt players in "Overwatch". You slow bastards never know what hit you.

On some level of topic: Every year the question is brought up: "who won E3?" Well, I cannot really say there were winners of E3 2016, because right now everything in the gaming industry is in such flux. Nintendo is holding its cards close to its chest while it transitions to the NX. At the very least Nintendo knows where it wants to be and seems to have a roadmap to get there. But Microsoft seems totally lost. The Xbox One is clearly the second place finisher after the PlayStation 4 and Microsoft does not know how to get back on top. Everything Microsoft has tried since 2010 has failed. Scorpio seems more like a threat than a promise of the future to me. These gaming half-steps show a console industry that has prepared itself badly for this generation and is looking for a way to catch back up to PC, consumers be damned. VR is here but it’s been floundering to make a true beachhead. Sony is giving it a big push but how serious they are is hard to say. While Ubisoft is celebrating thirty years with giraffes and dancers without bellybuttons, Vivendi is plotting a hostile takeover. Heck, E3’s showfloor itself is largely a ghost town this year I’ve heard. Konami and Disney are gone from the industry, EA and Activision left the showfloor, Nintendo has just Zelda and a treehouse. E3 as an institution itself is very much in doubt.

So with all uncertainty in mind, I’m just gonna talk about games. Because despite the industry's state right now, 2016 has been a phenomenal year of gaming so far, and this E3 was very good for games. Scorpio seems like a rip-off, VR might not work, Nintendo might be doomed, but while we all ride this train to our collective doom, we'll have games to play.

This is going to be a two-parter. I'll post the second part tomorrow night.