Daily Archives: 11/14/2011

“The Hunger Games” trailer is here

May the odds be forever in her favour...

After a decent build-up, with carefully timed casting announcements, magazine covers and online hype-building aplenty, Lionsgate have chosen this, of all weeks, to release the first proper trailer for their grab for the “Twilight” fans allowance, in the form of “The Hunger Games”.

 

And it looks…pretty good.  I’m certainly more keen to see what looks like a decent dystopian SF movie, set in the wake of an unnamed catastrophe, with inoffensively pretty characters and an air of palpable menace than I am to see the continuing romantic entanglements of Whiny Girl, Sir Abs-a-Lot and The Haircut.

I’ve read that the first novel is the only one to bother with, and on the evidence of this trailer, I might have to give it a whirl.

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Filed under Books, Films, Geekery, Movie Trailer

Charlie Brooker 4, Modern Warfare 3

Fun fact. Charlie Brooker actually looks like this in real life...

Erstwhile screenwriter, telly face and gaming curmudgeon Charlie Brooker is at it again. And as usual, he’s got a ruddy good point.

You might remember him from his various BBC series – “How TV Ruined Your Life”, “Newswipe” and his one-off special, “Gameswipe”, or in his capacity as the creator of Channel Four’s ace reality telly/zombie mash-up, “Dead Set”. He’s also one of the few Guardian columnists whose byline I actively seek in the paper, chiefly as he never loses a chance to integrate games and gaming into the papers’ general arts conversation.

His latest column tackles “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” intelligently and asks a simple question that has probably occurred to most games players at one time or another:

Why am I playing this game, when the protagonist is such a weapons-grade tool?“.

Yes, he's got a mohican haircut. In the Military FPS genre, this passes for characterisation...

So often in games, movies and novels set in this genre, we’re asked to accept at face value that we should identify with characters whose sole notable feature is an ability to field-strip an assault rifle blindfolded and to p spout inane, frat-boy one-liners largely inspired by the killing of enemy combatants, the inevitable, imminent slaughter of said enemy combatants or the destructive force of the military hardware which will be used to wipe enemy combatants from the very face of the planet.

It’s all a bit dull, really – and it’s where I can’t get excited by the “Battlefield” and “Call of Duty” games. I don’t want to be these guys, so the idea of slogging through a five-to-six hour campaign in the company of people who’ve read too many Jack Ryan novels and taken them far too seriously isn’t exactly my mug of Senseo.

I’m not saying that all game protagonists must henceforth be replaced by variations on this guy:

The bard of self-deprecating urbane whimsy

But wouldn’t it be more interesting to play one of these games with a protagonist who isn’t built like a brick outbuilding and whose sole interaction with the world is to pepper it with bullets, knife slashes and tactical nukes?

I realise the irony of saying this given my preference for the bald-headed, space marine genre of third-person action games but there again, I don’t want to be those characters, either.

If games are supposed to be offering me wish-fulfilment and an escape from the pressures of the real world, they’re doing a bang-up job on the second point and a piss-poor job on the first part.

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Filed under Blogs, Gaming, Geekery

The most amazing Sci-Fi epic of all time is here…

Via BitterWallet and IO9 comes the debut of an astonishing revolution in cinematic SF.

Tired of competent, routinely astonishing special effects in movies?  Think that you could do better than James Cameron and his massive render farm with your wheezing laptop and a dodgy copy of MS Paint?  Stalwart in your belief that actors are overpaid and that anybody can be the lead in a film?

In a land...where copyright infringement doesn't exist as a concept...

The Ghanian film industry has the film that you’ve been waiting for – witness the astonishing power of “12:00”.

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Filed under Films, Geekery, Movie Trailer