Sunday, 23 September 2018

In Her Shadow

It unlocked last week, and I dived right in. It's the latest Tomb Raider game, Shadow of the Tomb Raider.

We're on familiar ground with a Mayan apocalypse, but it's not supposed to be 2012. (Well, no date is mentioned, but that is unlikely.) And, um... whoops. It might be Lara's fault, but who can say? Anyway, we are then running around jungles and ruins and, of course, villages tucked away from the rest of civilisation.

As far as story goes, this is similar to the other games. As is the gameplay. There is a slightly different upgrade mechanic yet again, and merchants you now need to find to buy things. However... there is a LOT more focus on puzzles than combat. Like, the first half of the game is puzzles with only a little shooting. Then we get random rooms with mooks to make up for it.

And once again Lara is a bigger psychopath with more kills than some wars and plagues. She doesn't even hesitate to kill some, and that's in cutscenes so you can't blame me for shooting people.

I have completed the main storyline, although I have yet to collect everything (I didn't even fast travel once!). And there is a New Game+ mode I'd like to try.

So far I would rank the games as the first one, then this, then Rise. Not that Rise is bad, just not as good as this one.

That said... I can see me playing the first game again...


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Wednesday, 5 September 2018

MEGA Tim Sqid

Hey, New Zealand film! And after screening at the film festival it gets a general release.

John is a guy that works for Deacon (actually called Shelton, but he plays Deacon in What We Do In The Shadows so I kept thinking of him as Deacon), and decides to pull a job he shouldn't have, by raiding the Chinese shop and taking money and a temporal dislocator. As such, when he gets into trouble, he can time jump, and because he's not that bright, gets into further trouble by time jumping. Along the way he sort of gets a girlfriend and also right up his own nose. And they eat pies a lot.

This is set in Thames, and boy howdy does it feel small town New Zealand. From the small time crooks, to the 'yeah, okay' attitude, to the real enjoyment of the pies, this is pure kiwi.

It's also a comedy about time travel, and that part didn't land as well with me. The comedy was too understated at times, and the time travel was just a thing, not a real problem to be overcome or helping (I'm pretty sure the writer didn't bother trying to keep track of everything).

Still, overall... sweet as.


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Tuesday, 4 September 2018


Okay, let's acknowledge the iPhone gimmick now and move on. This is a "screwball comedy" called Tangerine.

Sin-Dee gets enraged when she finds out her pimp boyfriend is cheating on her and goes off to find the woman down. Alexandra reluctantly follows until the drama is too much, then peaces out as she wants to get ready for her club performance. Razmik is just a taxi driver who sometimes need to get some release. These three people swirl and intersect until everything comes together for a big climax. But not a lot are satisfied afterwards.

Human dramas are human dramas, no matter what the context, and this one comes across well. Being how they are transsexual prostitutes, this isn't one you wouldn't immediately think of, but it still works out.

I'm not a big fan of screwball comedies, but by the end, I was on board.


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Wednesday, 29 August 2018


All right, a Slender Man horror movie. I'm in, let's go.

Four girls summon a supernatural horror and then get picked off one by one.

...and that's about it really. The originality this movie brings is... it came out in 2018? This is... bad. Let's just jump straight to it, this is a badly made movie. And this is me saying that, who can't tell you what an edit is. Replace Slendy with any other creature, and this movie wouldn't change at all.

Two examples, so yeah spoilers. One scene has a girl at the library researching Slender via the web, and I'm pretty sure they just filmed their own research they did (or rather didn't do) for the movie. Oh, and later it turns out she had her own computer at home anyway. But this way they could do a scary library scene!

And a really annoying touch, they completely missed on Chekov's runner. They establish early that one girl is really good at track. And even bring up the point later again. So you would expect that at some point she has to outrun Slender, perhaps to save herself and someone else? There's a bit later on where that totally could have happened. But nope, none of that. Not even subversion of that because they don't make anything out of it when it could have happened. Just drop it from the movie and forget about it.

Maybe rent this later? But don't bother watching it now.


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Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Baden Baden

Hey, I finally got back to the Film Society, and it is a French film tonight, Baden Baden.

Ana is a young woman with a largely casual attitude to life, including doing a job and having relationships. We are with her as she finishes one job (and keeps a hold of the dress and rental car she got), and she returns to be with her grandmother. Her grandmother ends up in hospital, and Ana decides to remodel her bathroom using her own skill. At the same time, Ana sort of gets together with previous boyfriends, who are varying degrees of jerks.

Okay, I know there were bits I didn't get, and parts that just didn't resonate. This is billed as a comedy/drama, and the comedy is around the bathroom remodelling, and the drama is the rest of the movie. And there are also very artistic moments when I had no idea what was going on. This movie also has the issue of 'long slow shots are artistic' as opposed to just long and slow.

I wasn't sure about this movie, but thought I'd give it a go. As something different, yeah okay, but not really one I would pick.


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Sunday, 12 August 2018


Religious girl who experiences supernatural abilities? Okay, I'm in.

A young woman goes to college by herself, feeling alone. Eventually makes a friend or two, one of whom could become something more. However, as that friend is female, and she is religious, she doesn't think she should be having such feelings, and her previous abilities resurface. However, this isn't a good thing, and her family think they must do what is best.

First note: "atmospheric" is not the same as "slow", and this is slow paced. Which isn't bad, but when it takes so long to get anywhere, I'm already seeing the rest of the film spooling out before me. Nothing here is surprising, so I'm sitting there waiting for the inevitable beats to play out... and there they are.

This is basically a coming out/becoming accepting of one's own feelings that don't conform to your upbringing, but we don't need this to take place over two hours...


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Friday, 10 August 2018

Ex Libris: The New York Public Library

Okay, settle in, this is a long one. By which I mean it is 3 and a half hours long! On the other hand, for a Frederick Wiseman document, it's on the short side.

This documentary is within the New York Public Library, and the format is a lot of very short segments of goings on at the library. Which means there isn't really a plot line as such, just moment of the library in use.

Which means the themes that come through aren't that of the library itself, but of how people use the library, interact with the space and idea of it. We have people using rooms for meetings and presentations, we have people using it as research, we have a few behind the scene meetings of what people consider the role of the library and how to develop, and then we have shots of how the neighbourhood the library exists in.

So while not a standard documentary, we aren't following a story, but nonetheless you get the sense of what the library is, and what it means.

Which is great... but I hope you have a very strong bladder! (Note, TMI: I don't.)


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