If I could make one tv series and one feature film…

If I could magically commission two free shows as an executive producer; here’s what they’d be: -A Zach Galifinakas plays Marty Huggins series set in the same universe as the campaign but not necessarily with the whole campaign thing (definitely include all of his family though), maybe just him being congressman or whatever, good writing, lots of laughs -And a new faithful remake film of Raiders of the Lost Ark, like scene for scene totally remade and then some, maybe with the director from the new mad max, just not sure who could play Indie..

If I could make one tv series and one feature film…

Election Year: Debacle & Solution

Ok. Here’s my two cents on the election year debacle. Not trying to get in a pissing match. Just making some comparisons worth considering, and arriving at the conclusion that we’re pretty much screwed on getting any decent candidate at this point: Trump’s authoritarian spectacle is reminiscent of the gyrating Mussolini or the big guns firing president from the film idiocracy. There is nothing presidential about this reality star, who has never served public office and now wants to hold the highest office in the land. As for Bernie’s socialism, this too is a great and dangerous delusion, albeit one carried out by sophisticated-sounding idealism rather than raw spectacle. (And then there’s Hilary to further the grind of the same wherever the wind blows career-politician big gov with big biz buddies of the past 20 years.) America finds itself polarized by two extremes not unlike much of Europe prior to World War II.   

The two party system has failed us. It’s a shame that there cannot be one moderate, reputable person as a viable candidate in this election. America can run on its own and finding a president to simply not f everything up is apparently too much to ask.. which is why I’m nominating my mailman for president of the United States. He has years of government experience. He’s quiet and reliable. He works hard, no matter the weather, and handles his business everyday without bothering me at all.     

Election Year: Debacle & Solution

Firewatch – Review 

Firewatch is a literary success for video games. It also has a beautiful and immersive atmosphere.  

Firewatch does well at representing video games as a medium for poetry & metaphor- realistic in characters and story, where the supernatural elements are only in the imagination of its atmosphere, the environment that the game naturally exists in. No superpowers, guns, or puzzles… Just a short interesting escape that serves its purpose very well- to remind us, through humor and paranoia, of the fragility & sadness that our lives must often return to. 

This is told through two excellent voice actors, smooth walking-sim mechanics/controls, and a beautiful watercolor animated art style that’s accompanied by an excellent score. The interactivity of the story and gameplay function very easily together. This experience represents another seed of what video games can become in terms of a medium for sharing the human experience. 

A couple negatives to mention:

-1 point for technical issues (especially on PS4) that will hopefully be patched soon. 

-1 point for the branching of dialogue choices not resulting in any substantial differences to the story. Because of this, it didn’t quite reach the potential that it could have. For example (even though I’m in the minority of thinking that the ending was compelling & fitting), I do think that there should have been multiple endings based on your choices. 

Ultimately, it’s a great indie game, best played through, cold, in a single sitting. It’s a relaxing, intriguing, and saddening interactive-tale. It doesn’t try to blow your mind with deep thoughts that are out of this world. Instead, its profundity comes from being grounded in the reality of its own cohesive simplicity.

Score: 8/10, on PC & PS4

Firewatch – Review 

House of Cards – House of Hamlet

I’ve been re-watching House of Cards in anticipation of season 4. The show, like Kevin Spacey’s accent, is silly and unrealistic, but undeniably entertaining. It’s a soap opera, but its fantasy is also consistent and compelling. In this way, I see it as a 21st century Hamlet. There are several ways I can think of, off the top of my head, in which this Netflix binge-streamer is heavily influenced by Shakespeare’s 1603 masterpiece; both have:

  • a realistic backdrop/setting that is mysterious to most audiences, which allows the more unrealistic aspects of its fantasy to better play out.
  • main characters who are powerful & affluent but behave as petty & self-interested as a person can behave.
  • insights into human nature seen through an exaggerated, pessimistic, and existential bias or point of view.
  • a plot based on nothing but a struggle for power.
  • over the top actions taken by characters in that struggle.
  • a lot of overly dramatic asides that include theatrical monologues.
  • loose reflections on real life events that dramatize real-life political cultures driven largely by greed.
  • and, of course, dialogue that is delivered in a constant deluge of metaphors.

A lot of these items can be seen as recurring themes in many works of Western literature over the past 400 years, but this internet show doesn’t just show them, it fully functions on them, playing on the imagination of the audience at theater or the viewer at home, and it’s unabashedly aware that it is doing so. What does all this mean to the average viewer? Same thing that it did 400 years ago- a hell of a fun time. – markolius 4e40a1bd-e89f-4179-bc03-e4ac3a664f60

House of Cards – House of Hamlet