Mark Sachs (ksleet) wrote,
Mark Sachs

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Afterlife Blues update!!!!!

Back on the field! At least until the next crisis!

No, no, stay positive. No crises are on the horizon. In fact, everything is just going fantastically well for a change. I've been unexpectedly busy this week: went to a cookout on Saturday, checked out the Boston Indies game development meetup on Monday in Cambridge (verdict: they seem like a great bunch of folks but it is a pretty young crowd -- I kind of wish someone would start the Jaded, Bitter Old Indie Game Development Meetup for people like me), saw Inception with a friend on Tuesday (verdict: between the Batman movies and now this, I have decided I am now a big Christopher Nolan fan), went out to dinner with some folks on Wednesday, got my car detailed today. Busy busy busy. But not too busy to bring you this handsome new page of Afterlife Blues, is the point I'm getting at.

I watched Live Free or Die Hard while preparing today's experiment. Eh, you know, I consider myself to be a bit of a connoisseur of big, stupid action films, and I have to say the LFoDH doesn't quite stand up. I liked it when I saw it in the theater, but every time I've rewatched it since then the flaws climb closer to the surface.

There are really two main problems with this movie. The first one is how everything everyone says about computers in it is ridiculous nonsense. It's especially unfortunate because it would be quite possible to generate essentially the same plot and the same action scenes with dialog and technology that had a vague connection to reality. The writers just didn't care. The second problem is a general flabbiness to the narrative -- things like the Homeland Security director wandering back and forth in his helicopter, the introduction of obscure locations long before they'll become relevant to the story, that sort of thing. The third... wait, three main problems... the third problem is that the villain isn't much to write home about, and his defeat is anticlimactic. So McClane... shoots him? That's all? Not exactly dropping the dude off a skyscraper or blowing his 747 cargo jet to smithereens on takeoff, is it? It seems like the movie leads with its best material and then fades away in the last act. In the end it's all a real pity, as there's a lot of potential here: the plot is cool, most of the action sequences are cool, there was some good dialog and casting in places (the speech in the car about what it really means to be a "hero" was surprisingly affecting to me) and Justin Long as the hacker sidekick was genuinely likeable. This could have been quite a stellar film, but it just didn't come together.

On one last unrelated note, I've been spending altogether too much time lately playing Minecraft. It's a great game even in its current alpha state, but I am going to say you should not go anywhere near the "community," which is full of insane obsessives. Good God. Anyway, I've been having a good time building pointless towers, spelunking through caves and getting murdered by skeletons. I'll try to assemble some screenshots at some point.
Tags: afterlife blues, comics, games, media, personal
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