26 November 2007

It's an Alethiometer, kthx.

So what if I sat down and read all of "The Golden Compass" on Sunday? It's good, and I couldn't put it down, okay? I was rather intrigued in a children's book that talks of parallel universes in a way that most of the general adult population of America wouldn't understand.

I told myself I had to read the whole book so I could go back and watch the trailer for the movie "The Golden Compass" coming out December 7th and see how true to the book it looked. I'm pleasantly surprised. There are a few scenes in the new global trailer that I thought for sure they would leave out of the movie adaptation, and the animation of the bear characters such as Iorek Byrnison looks freakin' sweet.

The movie feels as if it's being presented at a slightly different angle than the book presents itself, but only watching the whole movie will tell me if it bothers me enough to call crap on it.

The ONLY thing that bugs me about the movie trailer is that they call the alethiometer a "golden compass". They never refer to it in the first book as a compass except once where they say it looks like a compass. Other than that, they always called it an alethiometer, because that's what it is. I hope they don't call it "the compass" throughout the whole movie. Blech.

By the way, the original name for this book was "Northern Lights" from the His Dark Materials series. Why the rename for the American book? The last two books, "The Subtle Knife" and "The Amber Spyglass" didn't get a name change. It feels like Harry Potter and the *Sorcerer's* Stone all over again.

As far as the movie being so called "athiest propaganda", I call crap on it. Unless the movie differs greatly from the book there's no reason for this accusation. The book encourages us to not be controlled and brainwashed by the Church, but that's a far cry from athiesm. Sheesh. Get a grip. It's almost as bad as the athiests that called crap on the Chronicles of Narnia for being Christian. Except they had a little standing ground on that one because it sort of..well..was.. but if you don't want your children reading the book or seeing the movie, don't let them read or see it, and if it really bothers you as an adult, don't read or see it. People have a right to write whatever religious implications they want into their children's books, and you have a right not to read them. Just don't complain when I call you close-minded.

At least the movie comes in at 114 minutes compared to the film rendition of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" which clocked in at 135. My ass thanks you.


19 November 2007

Ammy and the Flea

I had no idea when I got into Okami on PS2 that it was estimated to have 60-100 hours of gameplay time. I had no idea how it would suck me in, how I would be hunched over on my floor with a pile of papers trying to collect all the collectibles and restore all the clovers (MORE BLOOM!), and work my way through puzzles that DON'T get tiresome with brush techniques.

Time and time again I have been blown away by this game. Originally I thought it was cute and had beautiful art. The gibberish dialogue bugged me and so did Issun, your wandering artist (flea-like) companion. But now I don't mind either so much, rather, I appreciate them since it wouldn't be Okami without them.

I'm only 37 hours into the game and I've laughed a lot, almost cried once or twice, open mouth-gaped a few times...generally thoroughly enjoyed myself.

However, now that I can pee on my enemies to damage them (not to mention trying to save up 2 million yen to get the akin "Brown Rage"), what more is left? Am I going to be bored in the last 30+ hours of the game?

I've told Curtis, who is currently playing Assassin's Creed, "My game is totally better than your game", and while I'm not saying AC is bad by any stretch of the imagination (mmm stealthy killing goodness), as far as a well rounded game goes I'd much rather put my time into Okami.

Well, I suppose we'll see how the last half of the game goes....!

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14 November 2007


This is a test for LJ syndicated feed.

08 November 2007

Voices of a Distant Star

Voices of a Distant Star is a short film by Makoto Shinkai.

Mikako Nagamine is a school student who gets drafted to fight for the UN Space Army (UN Spacey), and she is faced with leaving behind her sweetheart Noboru Terao. As her spaceship, the Lysithea, travels into space to find and fight this group named the Tarsians, she gets farther and farther away from Earth. Text messages to Noboru are the only way to keep in touch with him. First the messages take months to reach home, and months to travel back, but as her fleet goes into warp to the Sirius System, she knows that the next message she sends will take over 8 years to get back to Earth, 16 years (at least!) for a reply. Noboru must make the decision over and over again whether to wait by his phone or get on with his life without Mikako.

It's a touching short film about distance and relationships. While watching, I recalled the years where we actually had to send real (snail mail..) letters to each other and where not hearing from someone for a day, a week, a month or even a year wasn't too abnormal. Today our communication is about "now, now, now!" We all want instant replies, instant gratification to our passing fancies and desires, and it is the same now with our communication with our friends and families. I don't see this film as a science fiction piece, but more of a piece about humanity and our endurance. While the end is vaguely reminiscent of Evangelion, it ends with what Wiki describes as a "simultaneous soliloquy" between Mikako and Noboru.

Definitely worth 24 minutes of your time!

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