October 25, 2008 19:26Payne Suppression
In these troubled times, there's a lot to get outraged about. Like McCain/Palin supporters for example. But I won't get into what irritates me about people like the "He's an Arab" lady or the "I'm mad, I'm really mad" stripes-aren't-a-good-look-for-me guy or the Backwards-B cutter girl or even "Joe-the-fucking-plumber who isn't actually a plumber, or even a guy named Joe."
No, I'm suffering from electionitis, and can't muster the energy to bitch about politics today. Instead, I have to rant about the kind of thing that really gets my tits in a knot. Movie stuff.
Here's a quote from the recent daily-news over at the Internet Movie Database:
The head of the company that produces the Max Payne video games has joined the criticism of the movie based on the game. 3D Realms CEO Scott Miller told the video-game magazine Edge, "There are several fundamental story flaws ... in the film that have me shaking my head in bewilderment." Among them, he said, is the fact that Payne is seen in a flashback scene half way through the movie learning that his family has been murdered. Said Miller, "In the game, we put this scene right at the front of the story for a reason! Saving this scene until mid-film is a narrative blunder, because the audience needs to empathize with Max in order to like him and understand what drives him." In any case, the video-game-turned-movie led the box office over the weekend, earning $17.6 million.
Sure, I know the craft of translating video games to the big screen appears to be a lost art since the classical period of the early '90s when the form peaked with the superlative Super Mario Brothers. Now it just seems to be one Uwe Boll film after another, with little hope for a thoughtful, masterful adaptation of Tetris since the untimely death of Stanley Kubrick who, I'm sure, had it at the top of his development list. Still, I have to take issue with the quote above.
I've played the Max Payne games and, in defense of whatever poor screenwriter got stuck with the job of adapting it, I must go on record and say that the last person on Earth he should be taking narrative storytelling advice from is some software CEO douchebag responsible (in whole or in part) for the crappy emo-film-noir plotlines of a Max Payne video game.
Every time I played one of the Max Payne games, I couldn't wait for the cut scenes to stop brooding and pissing seedy atmosphere so I could kill lots of baddies in bullet time. And then toss a Molotov cocktail on them to seal the deal. The sheer tediousness of the plotlines, which would interrupt the otherwise fun and excessively violent game play, was the single most egregious example of annoying and intrusive storytelling in a video game I've ever witnessed.
I haven't seen the movie yet, but whatever original plot the writer chose to jettison or bury in a mid-film flashback, I applaud. Yeah, I'm willing to bet the flick sucks anyway. It was kind of destined to. But the last thing an unfortunately Hollywood hack needs to hear is structure advice from the people who hamstrung their own shoot-em-up with a pile of clichéd pseudo-crimestory snoozefest gobbledegook.
Solidarity, my brother. Solidarity!
Okay, now that I've gotten that out of my system, I can go back to obsessing about what's really important. Namely November 4th. Yes, 04/11/2008, that pivotal day which may well prove to be the most significant in contemporary western history.
Because, my dear friends, as we all well know, that's the day the extended cut of Waterworld comes out on DVD. Now there's an awesome flick that didn't need any damn video game source material.
October 14, 2008 11:36Guilt By Disassociation
It turns out Quebec cares about the arts after all. No one was more stunned by this revelation than the Conservative Party. Although they'd still love to cut funding for all those wealthy, elitist, gala-attending starving artists who make their living carving doohickeys out of whatsits and selling them for two bucks a shot, they've had to dial it down a bit for the election. In what was supposed to be a magnanimous move, the Conservatives have killed Bill C-10, the law that would have given a committee of their lackeys censorship oversight on government-funded film projects. Their efforts to save our morality from movies with naughty titles like Young People Fucking were abandoned to shore up support from all those artsy-fartsies in Quebec who stubbornly continue to put some stock in homemade culture. It seems all those seats they picked up in La Belle Province last election were going poof as more and more local artists assembled to point out that Stephen Harper is a poopy pants.
Much as this flip-flop in culture-fund legalities is supposed to turn my crank, I still can't get behind the Conservatives and support their power-grab at a majority government. It's their leader, you see.
I will not vote for Stephen Hussein Harper. I don't trust him, he's an Arab.
There, I said it and I'm not ashamed.
I'm not too sure about the other candidates either, frankly. Like Stephane Hussein Dion, Jack Hussein Layton, Gilles Hussein Duceppe, and Elizabeth Hussein May. I don't trust them either. They all look a little Araby to me. Especially Layton. He has facial hair. Facial hair is very middle eastern, I'm told.
You might say I'm being put off by their names, but nothing can be further from the truth. I appreciate that our enlightened cousins to the south continue to elect and support candidates with dodgy-sounding names that, on the surface, seem to cast them in a poor light. But the American electorate has wisely accepted that George Pol Pot Bush, Dick Mengele Cheney and Sarah Goebbels Palin cannot be fairly associated with their namesakes. Unfortunate middle names are an accident of birth, and don't reflect the character of their owners. It's up to each individual politician to create his or her own nefarious reputation through first-hand involvement in corruption, human right violations, war and genocide, without relying on a sinister name with some historical context to pad their résumé.
Through this long election process in both our nations, I've learned one very important thing. There are a fuckload of Husseins in this world. Why can't they all have a less common name? Something more unique and exotic, like "John." As in John Wayne Gacy McCain, for instance. There's a name you can trust.