Wednesday, January 18, 2017
Unfortunately the Top 15 List this year is telling me something. The sad fact is that I am officially an Adult. You can put that word in brackets and a scary font. [A-D-U-L-T]. A lot of the movies on this list are indie or relatively unknown or just more artsy, and is that really a surprise? The fact is that most bad movies, or even most mediocre movies, are bad in a very boring way. I don’t need to see that "Ben-Hur" remake to know it’s awful. I’ve seen this kind of garbage before. I'm sixty-six or something (give or take forty years) come last week, I've lost count how many years I've been writing this blog. I'm not even interested in reviewing bad movies anymore. I saw something like thirty to thirty-five movies in the theater last year. I've done it all too many times already, and frankly am just too old to waste it on trash. A lot of the movies here are stuff I would not have recommended when I started this blog, or things I probably much interest in. However, there is also a lot of stuff that me, no matter age, would love.
The final list does not have a single superhero movie, or even a single sequel. Frankly, 2016 was a year where blockbusters held no interest to me – and I’m not alone there. People were decrying the death of cinema at the end of the summer because nobody could work up the self-contempt to pay money for "Now You See Me 2". Most of the big budget movies last year just flew me by. There was a Tarzan movie last year?! How? Why?? So 2016 really left audiences with no choice. If you loved cinema, you had to go weird, you had to eat your vegetables. You had to really dig. And behind all the dirt of the sequels and the bad reboots and the utterly generic, there was a lot of gold to dig up. In 2016 you really needed gold at the movies.
2017 doesn't look much better, so this list is my small contribution to maybe making your year better. (And of course, utter egoism, as always):
Friday, January 13, 2017
Friday, January 6, 2017
Until 2016 I just never had the money or the time to play as many games as I could. I also was pretty stuck in my ways. I knew exactly what kinds of games I wanted to play and didn’t want to break too far out of that box. If it wasn’t some Japanese RPG or "Putt-Putt", I was probably not going to try it. At the beginning of this year Yahtzee wrote in his Extra Punctuation column that gamers should get out of their comfort zones in 2016. I took his advise to heart and spent the winter playing a filthy Polack gaijin RPG in "The Witcher 3". I spent the summer playing dirty western first person shooters. I really wanted in 2016 to try to see the full width and breath of what the gaming industry had to offer, both big and small. Here are my findings.
Now that said, I couldn't play everything. So many of the big budget games this year looked utterly boring, so I ignored them. Life is short, nobody has time to waste on regurgitation like "Far Cry: Primal". "Mirror's Edge" is a classic, "Mirror's Edge: Retaliation" has been turned into the standard open world game that everything else is now. (You'll notice, AAA open world games failed to make this list entirely.) But I also missed things I wanted to play, like "Tokyo Mirage Sessions #FE", "Firewatch", "Superhot", "Dragon Quest Builders", "Oxenfree", "The Witness", and who knows, maybe "Titanfall 2" could have surprised me. I'm just one person, there seems to be an infinity of time at the beginning of year. By the end you realize there really isn't.
So without further ado, here the games of 2016 that I'm glad ate my time: