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What kinda name is that?

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Peaked

This happened a couple days ago, but didn't post about it 'til now.   The Conduits got into a festival, the Urban Action Showcase Expo. Meant I got to go to the launch gala. Also meant it got screened at the AMC in Times Square.   Pretty sure this means I've peaked.

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Spoilers and Reveals

Essays, Not Rants! 294: Spoilers and Reveals   Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father. That’s a spoiler, right? What about Luke fights Darth Vader in Empire Strikes Back? How about Yoda’s the green dude Luke meets on Dagobah? Or Luke goes to Dagobah? Where does it stop being a spoiler and become plot information?   Spoilers used to mean something that’d, well, spoil a surprise, ruin the story. It’d be telling someone that Lando betrays Han in Empire. Since at the point, the story seems to be pre

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Violence in Video Games

Essays, Not Rants! 293: Violence in Video Games   The first trailer for The Last of Us Part II is haunting in its tranquility. We’re treated to shots of the desolated post-apocalyptic world where nature’s reclaimed a neighborhood. Inside a house, Ellie strums a guitar, singing "Through The Valley," a take Psalm 23. Recently killed bodies lie around the house and Ellie herself is splattered with blood. Joel confronts her at the end, asking if she still wants to go through with it. Ellie’s answer?

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Going Further

Essays, Not Rants! 292: Going Further   The LEGO Ninjago Movie came out about a month ago and it was, well, firmly okay. Like, it's not awful — it’s entertaining enough — but it never rises to the delightful postmodern heights of its predecessors. But it didn't have to. While The LEGO Movie toyed with Campbell’s Hero’s Journey by making the chosen one as un-special as possible, and The LEGO Batman Movie used the narrative of a love story to reframe the conflict of Batman and The Joker to craft a

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On Visceral's Closure

Essays, Not Rants! 291: On Visceral’s Closure   I like Star Wars. I also like video games. So naturally I was very excited back in 2014 when it was announced that Amy Hennig, Creative Director of the first three Uncharted games was heading up a new Star Wars game. And not just any Star Wars game, this was gonna be a big single-player action adventure, the likes of which we hadn't had since 2010’s lackluster The Force Unleashed II. We’d been teased years ago with the announcement of 1313 but that

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The Illusion of Choice

Essays, Not Rants! 290: The Illusion of Choice When not raiding Soviet bases to 80s hits in Metal Gear Solid V, I've been playing Until Dawn with my roommate. Now, I don't really do horror, like, at all. But Until Dawn features a supposedly robust choices and consequences system, which I am, of course, a sucker for.   We’ve finished the game and there's been a good deal of payoff to some of the choices we've made. The big thing we're looking forward to, though, is playing it again and making

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Giant Robots

Essays, Not Rants! 289: Giant Robots   It is no secret that I absolutely adore Pacific Rim. Granted, and watching giant mechs and giant mechs beat the stuffing outta each other is only a part of it. See, there’s the pure childish glee to it, the great speech, and, of course, its youthful and hopeful worldview. Pacific Rim is a movie about giant mechs and giant monsters, but it’s because it’s so much more than the battle between Jaegers and Kaiju that the movie made the impression it did, it’s wh

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♫ Why Do You Write Like You're Running Out Of Time? ♫

With THE CONDUITS accepted into a festival, I realize that I really need a feature version of the movie written. So I've been working on planning it out and all. I finished the [hecka rough] Beat Sheet on Saturday, which came in at a solid 5,000+ words and around 16 pages (and 171 bullet points [not including sub-bullets] if you're wondering). Since then I've been making headway through my Outline (basically, a list of every single scene and what happens in it). I'm nearing up on the end of Act

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We Don't Need No Adaptation

Essays, Not Rants! 288: Don’t Need No Adaptation   Your Name is an anime film about a couple teens that randomly wake up in each others bodies. One’s a guy at an elite school in Tokyo, the other a girl who lives in a more traditional, rural town. Naturally, hijinks ensure, and I’m left weepy in the cinema as the credits roll.   It’s very much a body swapping love story, but it’s one that holds extra depth due to its intense focus on longing. Much of the romance that blooms between Taki and Mitsu

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More Thoughts On An Open World

Essays, Not Rants! 287: More Thoughts On An Open World   I am a big fan of linear, narrative gameplay. I love the Uncharted series for its tight and moving narrative that thrusts the gameplay along and I will critique the Assassin’s Creed games for their tendency to waylay their own plot with an overabundance of pointless side missions. I yearn for games that propel me along, marrying good gameplay with an strong narrative. Including so-called ‘walking sims’ like Journey or Gone Home that may no

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Stepping Away

Essays, Not Rants! 286: Stepping Away   Ed Skrein – the dude who played Ajax in Deadpool — made headlines recently. Not for taking a role but rather for stepping down from one. See, he was tapped to be in the reboot adaption of Heckboy. But the character he was slated to play, Major Ben Daimio, is Japanese-American in the comics, and Ed Skrein is decidedly, er, white. Upon finding out that his casting would be whitewashing, Skrein stepped down from the role in order to not be part of that machin

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The First Seventeen

Essays, Not Rants! 285: The First Seventeen   I was recently on a plane back to New York from Montréal (if you wondering: poutine’s really good, the Canadians are onto something). It’s a short flight in a relatively small plane, but apparently, still one that lets you have those screens in the seatbacks. Which is nice because, y’know, you can watch a movie or something. Good time to catch up on movies you've missed or watch different because you wanna.   Thing is, the flight from Montréal to New

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The Economy

Essays, Not Rants! 284: The Economy   In this day and age, I think it’s time we talked about The Economy.   In video games.   A lot of games have an economy of some sort, where you earn something and spend that something on a something beneficial. In Super Mario Bros. and Crash Bandicoot you collect coins and wumpa fruit (respectively) and when you get a hundred of them it’s an extra life. It’s a simple enough exchange, one that, like provides impetus and rewards for doing stuff.   You’ve got th

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Characters Like Poetry

Essays, Not Rants! 283: Characters Like Poetry   I talk about characters a lot on this blog. Okay, this blog’s been around long enough that you could say I talk about anything a lot.   But that’s not the point. The point is characters.   Like how in Crazy Rich Asians there aren’t really characters so much as vague ciphers used to progress a not-really-there plot, or how The Long Way To A Small Angry Planet and Mass Effect created such realized characters that you could easily imagine spending ti

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Jumping Karps

Essays, Not Rants! 282: Jumping Karps   The concept of Magikarp Jump is delightfully straightforward. The town has fallen on hard times and is a shadow of its former glory: a town that had the best jumping Magikarp. You are the town’s last hope to regain its reputation. You raise Magikarp, feed them, train them, and enter the fishy Pokémon into competitive jumps. You will be the best raiser of jumping Magikarp. In short, it is a ridiculously fun, silly game, and I love it.   Sid Meier describe

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This Week's Entry

I'm tired. It's been a long day (woke up at 4 in Atlanta, hopped on a plane, started work at 1, got home past 10) and there's some serious scthuff going down. Todays' entry is rambling and a little more charged than I'd like for BZP. You can read it on Essays, Not Rants' website if you're so inclined.   In any case, hug someone. Love somebody. There's more to this world than hate.

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Trusting The Story

Essays, Not Rants! 280: Trusting The Story   I was initially hesitant to watch Dunkirk, given that it seemed like Christopher Nolan being as Nolan-y as possible. Which, after The Dark Knight Rises and Interstellar, wasn't terribly enticing. The Dark Knight Rises was long on ideas and short on smooth implementation. Interstellar too had big ideas but lacked the characterization they needed to land. Dunkirk seemed like it could be more of the same: Nolan being self-indulgent to the point of breaki

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Loglines

Loglines are the frickin' worst. "Hey, let's distill your concept down into one sentence!"   But then, on the other hand, they do force you to distill your concept into one sentence.

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Top Nine Movies of 2016

Essays, Not Rants! 279: Top Nine Movies of 2016   There comes a point in time when you realize you aren’t going to get around to watching those movies on your list. And then it’s almost August and you’re still thinking about 2016 movies and honestly it’s just embarrassing at this point.   But then again, that’s why it’s a Top Nine, to save one space for that extra movie. Because there are movies out there I know I’d like, like Swiss Army Man or maybe Patterson. And Midnight Special. Man, I can’t

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What's The Point of Movies?

Essays, Not Rants! 278: What’s The Point of Movies?   I’m replaying Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (and it is wonderful) and I can’t help but to be reminded that there’s supposed to be a movie adaption of this game happening. Like, it’s been in development since 2010. Every now and then there’ll be some announcement (apparently Tom Holland is playing a young Nathan Drake now?), but then it fizzles out into the background. Kinda like how film adaption of The Last of Us went, there was a bunch of buzz

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