Friday, August 13, 2010

Movie: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World

In a word...AWESOME! First of all, you should just see this because it is a good movie.

But if you have ever played video games and liked them, especially games from the eighties and the nineties YOU MUST SEE THIS.

The basic plot has been plastered all over the internet, but I'll summarize. Scott Pilgrim finds the girl of his dreams (literally) but to date her he must defeat seven evil Exes. This is a world in which video game physics rule (except for cracking open barrels and randomly eating stuff from them or breaking into people's houses and stealing stuff and...well...OK, SELECTIVE video game physics) and Scott's membership in a small indie band and his video game fighting skills come into play again and again.

The graphics are neat.

The homages to ancient video games are neat.

The character dynamics are actually quite interesting.

But the reason you need to see this is because it is also the FUNNIEST damn movie I have seen in a long time. It actually hurt to laugh. That hasn't happened in quite a while.

I can't recommend this movie enough.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Dresden Files RPG

Despite rumors that its demise is not yet here, the truth is that the RPG industry isn't what it used to be. Almost everything is moving to electronic. Stores are fewer and farther between, and new games are less. The rpg industry is still vibrant and strong but it is smaller than it was in the 80's or 90's. D&D of course is still alive and well.

One exception to that decline is the Dresden Files RPG, which in two (rather expensive) hard bound volumes creates and refines a system (Fate 3.0) which is revolutionizing most other games (something which in my opinion hasn't happened for a while) but also perfectly captures the spirit of the books upon which they are based. Quite frankly it has been a VERY long time since I've seen a non original (ie adaptation) setting be worth playing. The last one was Angel the RPG and that was what....8 years ago?

The game is essentially story based, which a lot of games claim to be, but this one uses a mechanic and rules set which actually encourages it, with just enough crunch to avoid the floaty 'our game is what we want it to be' feel that a lot of story based games end up being. More importantly in play the thing actually WORKS. It also beautifully put together. Some of the art is merely adequate, but even the adequate work is color INSIDE the book. That's part of the reason this is expensive and it ends up being worth it. This is a new game I not only want to play but WILL play in many games for years to come.

Movie: The Sorcerer's Apprentice

Despite the fact that he basically plays Nicholas Cage in every movie that he's in with only very minor variations on the I Am Nicholas Cage In This Movie character, I actually LIKE Nicholas Cage...he makes crappy movies better. In some cases, he even makes a movie say...Next. In this movie he actually plays the character I like him most in....Wizard Who Looks like Harry Dresden and Acts Like Nicolas Cage Playing a Warden in the Dresden Universe.

And he does a damn good job of it!

Unfortunately this movie is not really about that character at all. Instead its about Clueless but Nerdy Science Wanna Be Mage But Doesn't Want To Be Mage Chosen After a Thousand Year Search Who Uses Science! This kid is an OK actor....I could maybe like him in something but in this movie he sucks compared to what I see what the movie should have been. This kid plays the character like obnoxious side kick when unfortunately the movie is ABOUT the obnioux side kick.

The main villain does a pretty good job. He's not Alan Rickman but he holds his own. HIS Sidekick is actually pretty funny. Draco Malfoy as Duche Magician is the second best part of the movie. Also not very much screen time.

But then again this is a Jerry Bruchheimer film....which is to say don't expect much. If you see this cable, its worth watching. It you pay money like I did, I feel sorry for you. If you put it on Netflix....I assure you there are better movies out there to rent.