The Year of No Gaming… Day 021…

The Year of No Gaming… Day 021… after the break…

The Year of No Gaming… Day 021…

Three weeks. That’s how long it has officially been since I quit playing all computer games (four weeks, unofficially, as I gave myself a week to try the concept out).

After three weeks, I’ve done pretty well. Not every moment that used to be filled with gaming has been filled with work, but a good chunk of it has. Personal Project #01 was completed. Personal Project #02 is progressing. It is sad and humbling to admit this, but – If I was gaming like I normally do right now, I would not have completed project #01 never mind anywhere close to where I would be with project #02.

I’m not one to foresee the future – Don’t ask me about lottery ticket numbers or the outcomes of sporting events. Personal Project #03 is a complete mystery to me… Right now, I’m more interested in plugging away on project #02. I always have thoughts but that’s all that they are right now – Thoughts.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012 movie) impressions…

Writing movie reviews takes too long and I’m too tired to write an 1,000 word review. Therefore, I’ll just leave my thoughts on this movie that I recently watched:

  • In brief, “The Dark Knight Rises” is too epic by half for it’s own good. The plot was too epic by half and the entire movie always felt a bit too full of itself to be taken completely seriously. This movie desperately wanted to be made ten years later then when it came out, to have a certain gravitas that the typical 3 to 4 year turnaround for movies in a franchise typically has.
  • The production itself was top-notch. This is a big budget film and it showed. There’s no complaint with how the film looked or the costumes or the sound or the special effects. Make no mistake – This is a summer blockbuster film.
  • Batman’s “gargle-y voice” was too distracting. So was Bane’s. At times, I was tempted to see if turning on sub-titles was possible. I remember a popular video on line comparing their voices to the Muppet character, “Cookie Monster,” from Sesame Street. The comparison is more apt then a lot of people would care to admit.
  • The Catwoman was wasted here. What was the point of her character again? I couldn’t see it. Anne Hathaway does an amiable job as a “realistic” Catwoman (although, honestly, she has the face for Harley Quinn that not even Photoshop could improve upon – Seriously, how did everyone miss that casting opportunity?) but for an entire series that banks upon “realism,” this entire film stretched that premise to the breaking point. Exploding concrete? Sure. Trapping police officers underground for months? Um, whatever. Having Batman’s back fixed by stretching it out with a rope? Golly… Whatever.
  • Have I mentioned that the finale with a running, screaming mob of police officers fighting a running, screaming mob of Bane worshipers is as shallow and decadent as that sounds? It is. Remember the “too epic by half” comment before? This is an example of that.
  • The rookie cop who is supposed to be “Robin”… Again, I didn’t get that. They never really work together. He never wears a superhero costume of any kind. He’s the Robin who wasn’t Robin and if he wasn’t Robin… Then why is he even there? Why not have him discover the Batcave earlier, put on some stuff in the finale and fight alongside Batman briefly in the finale? Batman is impressed, flies off and pretends to sacrifice himself and just gives the Batcave to him.
  • The Scarecrow cameo just smacks of “The guy who played the Joker is dead so we’ll get the next available guy who’s still alive” syndrome. I find it hard to believe that the sentencing scenes started out with the Scarecrow in mind. In all truthfulness, though, I smirked at the whole “Death… By exile!” line. Good moment.
  • The Qui-Gon cameo (sorry, Al Ghul) was a nice touch. It does look like that, in the afterlife, Al Ghul hasn’t been missing many picnics.
  • In conclusion, this is a film that tried too hard to be too epic and failed. Just as in the previous film, cramming two villains into the movie is one villain too many. I’m sure we’ll wait 5+ years before the inevitable reboot occurs. I don’t want Tim Burton gothiness or Nolan’s realism or, for that matter, the campiness of Adam West or the neon sugariness of the Kilmer/Clooney era… But something in the middle of that. Will that happen? Probably not.

GAMING HISTORY MOMENT –

Remember the age before the Internet? Most do, some don’t. Remember the age before BBSes? Some do, most don’t. Back in the old days, you had two ways of acquiring a computer game – Buying / pirating it or typing it out yourself. “Typing it out yourself”? Yup. There were computer magazines that had computer games in source code form. You hammered away at the keyboard, typing it in, line by line (in BASIC, no less) and then saving those programs onto floppy discs. It was a magical moment when you finished typing in a computer game and it worked ON THE FIRST TRY! Wow. That was a moment. Those moments rarely occurred, in which case you had to go through the entire program, line by line and see where you had messed up. There was even a program that you could type in that helped you code-check all the other programs that you typed in… Sort of like a line-by-line check-sum for the programs. It was always exciting to get a gaming magazine that had two or more games to program in.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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