“The graphic violence is not necessarily repulsive in and of itself (though Growl’s ferociousness was unorthodox in 1991). Rather, Growl chooses to be crude and reactionary, content that an audience willing to pour in quarters would accept such a heinous depiction of human execution. The imagery is outright vile. PETA could hand out Growl as a digital business card. Sympathy for poaching is inexcusable, but believing this to be a solution is equally grotesque. Growl is as effective in its messaging as a campaign yard sign.”
“So that’s where Mortal Kombat X is caught, between the cheaply amateurish (yet sickeningly pleasurable) blood-and-guts spectacle of its origins and the means of overbearing IP owners who wish it to be broadly inclusive entertainment. Mortal Kombat only works one way and it is not the way Warner thinks it does. To detach Mortal Kombat from such ancestry is defeatist. Of course it was born for profits, but it was by accident. Unexpected. Mortal Kombat X, by comparison, is too glossy. The blood is more real, the brains more bouncy. All of this happens because dollar signs command it to, not because a handful of developers spent their time pushing social acceptability. It now feels dishonest, pandering even.”
“The character of Everly is a bulletin board for abuse. Everly the movie is a scornful, degrading mockery of sexual violation. It is borderline racist, perversely sexist, and uncomfortably crude, sold with an image of Hayek shooting a machine gun like Rambo. That is not this film.
It’s gross, so icky gross as to cover the floor with slaughtered sex workers and have male onlookers react with, “That’s a lot of dead whores.” Twice. For Everly, that is but one display of classlessness in an abhorrent splatter spectacle. End results are borderline sociopathic.”
“Somewhere in the middle, the grip begins. Instinctive satisfaction from the thrill of exploration takes over. It’s a human feeling. We’re natural explorers. The genre knows this all too well and the best-designed entries are destined for exposure.
If shooters ping a primal need for violence, adventures soak in their ability assert themselves through constant revelation: A specific skill opens that door, that ledge needs this item to be reached. The formula is gratingly simple and exploitative, yet when done right, masterful. Axiom Verge is done right.”
“But, card packs are baseball too: tearing open shimmering foil and, as used to be, chewing questionable (usually stale) pieces of barely edible rubber touted as gum. Maybe that’s what The Show needs next year, a strip of pink gum with some loose powdered sugar included inside the package. That or a Dodger dog, but freshness may be a concern.”
“Space movies of the era (and still today) put the pressure against humanity. Don’t go; we will die. Asteroids, rogue planets, aliens. Anything out there exists inevitably to kill us down here. But First Men in the Moon puts us out there for the taking – nothing from space has any interest in us other than as a mere curiosity. When those beings find out what we are, how feeble we act toward our own, only then do these thinking creatures wish us harm. We’re not a valuable or interesting species to this race of Selenites. We are their immediate threat. The usual invasion parable is thus reversed, a thoughtful inclusion for such an otherwise light feature. It’s not scintillating material, but it remains interesting.”
“It’s actually bland, safe in the way high dollar corporately produced entertainment often is – no overt symbolism lest they appear to stand for something, even though EA has released a video game about American police with the title Battlefield. They have given police the same weapons as their military series and swerve from the obvious societal irony. Subversiveness is lost for the sake of the awkwardly commercial.”