Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Reviewing Roundup

I loved this graf by Lileks:
“Team America” was made by 17 year old boys who cut class to smoke cigarettes. “Star Wars” was made by a sophomore who was bumped ahead to the senior class because of his smarts, but never fit in and spent lunch hour drawing rocketships in his notebook. “The Incredibles” was made by 30 year olds who remembered what it was like to be 16, but didn’t particularly care to revisit those days, because it’s so much better to be 30, with a spouse and a kid and a house and a sense that you’re tied to something. Not an attitude; not some animist mumbo jumbo, but something large enough to behold and small enough to do. “Duty” is a punchline in “Team America”; it’s a rote trope in Star Wars that has no more meaning than love or honor any other word that passes Lucas’ cardboard lips. But it meant something in “The Incredibles,” and all the more so because no one ever stopped to deliver a lecture on the subject.

You should read it all, as contrary to what you might glean from this bit, he likes them all. I think his characterizations here are spot on, although that may be because I'm 30 with a spouse, kids, house, and that "sense". As well, I should confess I haven't seen any of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, though I'm familiar with the plot of The Phantom Menace thanks to Weird Al's The Saga Begins. (Gratuitous Weird Al quote: "I've always been a fan of Don's, and it was a real honor to be able to record the 2nd funniest version of American Pie ever, right behind Madonna.")

Here also is Evan Kirchhoff's entire review of Revenge of the Sith, titled "A GOOD THING ABOUT THE NEW STAR WARS MOVIE":
...is that nobody at the end says, "And this, at last, represents a new hope...in these, our star wars". Although you know that was an earlier draft.

More entertaining still are Kirchhoff's video game reviews, having attended "E3", which appears to be some kind of tradeshow/geek heaven.

I have zero interest in video games. In fact, I have never played any version of Nintendo (or PS or XBox or whatever) in my entire life. This fact did not prevent me from enjoying his post tremendously. My favourite would have to be his take on the Chronicles of Narnia, for Gameboy:
I played a little girl in a dress (Lucy, presumably) wandering in a mysterious snowy landscape, with an "A" button for jump and a "B" button for kick. I was approached by a faun, one Mr. Tumnus, who rapidly broke down and blurted out his story about a White Witch whose spell had been cast upon the once green and pleasant land. I tried to kick him repeatedly in the groin: B B B B B B. The game tediously refused to acknowledge this attempt. He asked me to shove some boulders out of a path, even though I was a tiny weak girl and he was at least eight pixels taller than me; after another frustrating round of B B B B I gave in and cleared the path, which allowed us to walk into his home, where I went around unsuccessfully trying to break stuff (B B B B B).

I think this game would be sort of like a heavily-abridged book on tape where the author made you solve an arithmetic problem before hearing each passage. On the other hand, it was fun to imagine going back in time to tell my young self reading the book that one day it would be reconstituted on a lightweight, portable electronic device with an animated color screen where I could knee Mr. Tumnus in the 'nads.

Hooray, I now have a new "life meme" (relaxation mantra, whatever). Whenever I encounter someone in everyday life who is irritating me, I'll just think to myself, "B B B B B B", and my worries will melt away. Thanks, Evan.

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