About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

03 May 2008

Movie: Iron Man

I had not heard of the comic book - so I was not expecting much - this is a movie, I wanted to watch simply because the trailer promised a lot of action, and the hero was Robert Downey Jr - more unlikely than Tobey Maguire as Spiderman.

But it works brilliantly - and the movie, while still a cliche of superhero scripts, is well produced, and features some really impressive stunts and action sequences. And above all, the baddies are easily identifiable, and not not powered by mutants or aliens. And I think that is what is really interesting about this hero - it raises the idea, however briefly (because the physics are frankly next to impossible), that given enough money, it can be possible to be your own superhero. In short, Iron Man is the advanced version of Batman. :p

02 May 2008

Movie: U23D

3D movies are awkward for me - especially because they require me to wear 3D glasses (over my existing glasses). And, for the most part, I think they are just gimmicks. In fact, the trailer for a 3D movie, ripping off a Jules Verne novel starring Brendan Fraser (Journey to the Centre of the World) seems absolutely rubbish. But, this is not a movie - it is a music concert; featuring one of my favourite bands, U2.

And it is awesome - combined with the cinema sound, you actually feel like you are at the concert - be it in the crowd (when the shots are from crowd level), to standing beside Bono or the Edge or as a fly on the stage, observing Larry's incredible drumming. The 3D format works brilliantly, and if you like U2, you must go watch this movie.

29 April 2008

Movie: More than Just A Game

It is billed as a drama - but it is really a documentary. Like most South African movies, it deals with the past - specifically - the contribution of games - specifically football (or soccer) to the life of the political prisoners on Robben Island.

It is certainly a well told story - and is a solid contribution to the history of football in South Africa. However, I think the directors and producers should not have tried mixing the dramatic recreation and documentary aspects (recollections from the surviving prisoners) in a single movie - as a concept I find it too jarring and just did not work for me. It would have been better to have it either completely narrated, or completely dramatised.

27 April 2008

Movie: Avalon

I have been meaning to watch this movie for almost a year, and I finally got round to it this past weekend. It is a trully eclectic mix: Japanese writers, director and producers; Polish actors, location and language; storyline loosely connected to a a British/Norse myth - and it is quite literally what a "gamers" movie should be about.

The movie revolves around an "illegal" MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) in the near future (a bleak near future of drought and misery) called Avalon. Games have evolved to where VR is quite realistic, and people play in padded VR rooms (on hire, because the equipment is too expensive). Avalon is a WW2 like sim, where individual players and parties (groups of players who have joined up for a common cause) earn experience points, which can be used to amongst other things converted to real currency. But there are also dangers to the game - and a virtual death could translate to real life vegetative state. The movie tracks one of the top solo players of this game (Ash) and her quest for redemption (due to an earlier online incident which led to her going solo) and for a hidden level that literally separates the elite from the rest.

Avalon is billed as the "future of gaming" - and considering it was released in 2001; it is very much a forward thinking movie and concept. Avalon is a beautiful movie - highky stylised. If you have ever player RPGs, then the storyline will be quite engrossing - but it is very much a gamer's movie - full with hidden references. If you like games, you must watch this movie.