Disparate Thoughts: Guardians, Arrows, & Replicants

#2

 thoughts on recent occurrences too thin in substance to stand on their own

Destiny_20140915214803

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Destiny has had its hooks in me for the past month. Deep. My feelings on the game haven’t really changed since the review. I suppose the major milestone over that time period was starting and finishing the raid a few times, a very enjoyable experience. It’s definitely the most interesting content in the entire game and its design philosophy spread across the rest of Destiny‘s missions would have made for a much more varied, tactical, and ultimately enjoyable game. I don’t necessarily mean the level of challenge it presents but rather the fact that real teamwork, coordination, and thought are required to overcome it, all which would have benefited from being evenly distributed in other modes of play.

Bungie always said that if players wanted to venture through the main campaign on their own they’d be able to do so. Naturally this meant that they couldn’t design any of these gameplay segments with any kind of involved level of collaboration in mind. I get the decision but for a game that’s specifically targeted to be social, I feel like its one that turned out to be greatly detrimental when you consider the mundane, thoughtless mission design we ended up with. The strikes however, small chunks of mandatory co-op action, do not suffer from this same baseline drawback. Why then did they end up just as straightforward? There’s no reason some of the concepts employed in the raid couldn’t also have come to fruition here.

Yet still I find myself drawn back in spite of the frustration of such obvious shortcomings. My main character is one level away from the cap, while I took a fresh Warlock from 5 to 24 over the weekend. The pull of greater gear and ultimate weaponry still draws me but for how much longer I can’t really say. I definitely feel as though I’m reaching saturation point. I’d imagine over the next week or two I’ll jump into orbit for the last time until the first piece of DLC arrives in December. I’m starved for new content, as many regular Destiny players surely are too.

Arrow

I’m self aware enough to know that when it comes to many forms of entertainment I’m a little bit of a snob. This especially rings true when it comes to television. If it isn’t on HBO, AMC, Showtime, or FX, then it’s probably a waste of time. Network TV is generally a cesspool of brain-dead, dumbed down, censored programming that I find almost painful to sit through. I will admit though (and happily so) that there are an increasing number of smaller US channels beginning to catch on with some genuinely solid drama like Bates Motel, Outlander, and Manhattan. The biggest surprise of all for me though, is CW’s Arrow.

I have a very love/hate relationship when it comes to modern superhero adaptations. I can’t stand the Marvel stuff, in cinematic or televisual form with Guardians of the Galaxy being the exception proving the rule. Since Nolan’s trilogy, I find it very difficult to enjoy caped crusaders that aren’t brooding, damaged, and living in a world that feels grounded (relatively speaking). Arrow just about fits those boxes. It’s a comic hero tale transported to serialised TV in just about the best way you could realistically hope for. The cast is really solid, there’s some decent philosophising on morality and trauma, and the action scenes are shocking well executed for what I’m assuming is a show operating on a very modest budget compared to some of the titans of medium.

I’m even more intrigued to crack on with it now that The CW has their second show in the same universe up and running in the form The Flash. I’ve read it’s more light-hearted and jaunty in tone which could very easily end up pushing me away quite quickly but I’m willing to give it a shot once I catch up with Arrow. My enjoyment of it reminded my of how unfortunate it is that bar Batman, DC has really struggled the take their franchises to the big screen. Hopefully this small screen success can pave the way…but with Zack Synder firmly in the driving seat for the next few years, I seriously doubt that’ll happen.

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I thought it was about time I start to build up a Blu-ray collection of my favourite films so I began by buying Blade Runner (The Final Cut) and the complete Alien saga (of which only two I’d rank as essential but still, for completionists sake I went for all five, Prometheus included). A few days after they arrived I found myself with Vangelis’ wonderful score stuck in my head (as I often do) and so rather than turning immediately to Spotify and quenching my musical thirst, I opted to wait until later that evening and watch the film in its entirety.

I couldn’t really tell you the first thing about HD transfers but I will say that the film looks really sharp on Blu-ray. And as far as its other merits go as an actual motion picture, it’s as great as ever. If ever there was an example of a visual style being more than something surface level, not just a veneer of gloss but rather an essential element in the makeup of the overall viewing experience, this is it. Scott’s cyberpunk dystopia remains bafflingly seductive all these years later, its wet, glowy, rain slicked streets a treat for the eyes in spite of its age. In combination with Vangelis’ masterful scoring? It’s a memorable audio-visual assault on the senses I’ve experienced in very few other films.

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Tears in rain

 “…like tears in rain…”

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