|Last Month's Entertainment (Redux)
||[Mar. 4th, 2015|06:54 pm]
|[||Tags|||||anime / manga, child of light, games, imitation game, life is strange, movies, oscars, predestination, project almanac, prototype 2, saekano, theory of everything, whiplash||]|
|||||ps3 warming up||]|
After the aforementioned Pro Tour Fate Reforged sidelined momentum, a prodigiously entertainment-laden week promised a hefty update - which got procastinated two weeks staler. Nonetheless, the accomplishment of those two weeks is worth note.
During Pro Tour Saturday, Oscar-movie run was kicked off by The Theory of Everything. The Hawking couple biopic penned by Jane Hawking showed itself worthy of its Academy nods (and eventual win by Stephen's proxy, Eddie Redmayne). While his role was the increasingly physically demanding, hers was of emotional demands, and the celebrated physicist is found to be featured in a biopic akin to John Nash's A Beautiful Mind: compelling in the human element, while amenable in the expertise of its subject. The movie of course does not fully adhere to its origin, but it is for a fluid, solid watch.
This was followed up by dovetailed time-travel movie run in Project Almanac, Tuesday after. Easily the most forgettable fare of last month, the MTV film offers a millennial time-travel story: nothing fancy, or ground breaking, but speaks to its intended audience. Not a glitzy affair, it does try its hand at some science, while tied to its found-footage schtick, it doesn't adhere to paradox-eliminating already-altered timelines or multiverses, relying on a feedback issue to be the "don't mess with this" caveat. Not too bad, really, just not notable in its genre.
To wash off the taste, a follow-up time travel flick was watched, which was not seen in the cinemas, having been shown two months prior. Predestination is the feature-film version of Robert Heinlein's mind-bending short "-All You Zombies-", harking from filmed versions of sci-fi classics since Blade Runner. The orinigal short story is a landmark work, and the movie tries (and succeeds) in bringing the conundrums of the tale to celluloid. The additional Fizzle Bomber storyline bookends (extrapolates?) the gist of the story, and performances by Ethan Hawke and Sarah Snook carry the rendition well.
That weekend saw us watching Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing in The Imitation Game. Perhaps due to vocation, I sided more with Turing than with Hawking, and though Cumberbatch does well with the content of the role (split by age with the portrayal of a younger Turing, who carried more of the emotional impact) but Redmayne still had the meatier role. Keira Knightley's turn as Turing most trusted ally is slightly overshadowed by the narrative nonlinearity, and World War II seems far from our protagonists until their fateful breakthrough. I invited back-to-back screenings with The Wind Rises, for celebrating the marvels of technology wrought by the great war. It does seems awful that Turing's personality seem Sherlocked, whether intentional (as casting indicates) or not.
The next Tuesday saw us back at an Oscar flick, Whiplash. JK Simmons's performance really is what you remember after, even as the story, from his student's POV is somewhat thin on the memorable. The feature is based on a prior Sundance short, also with Simmons, and proves to be a strong vehicle for his high-intensity performance. I hear say jazz enthusiasts aren't as enamored with the great-individual-performer line, but it serves to counterpoint Fletcher's brand of learning with a nearly-masochistic lead role. The education angle strikes a chord with me.
We almost planned a follow-up on the next Tuesday with Birdman, but life intruded.
The only other entertainment of note was playing through Prototype 2. Its gore and language firmly place it in the mature vein, but it is a single-character, somewhat open-world action-RPG. The real appeal is never being able to die from the environment - even a suicidal leap into the ocean bounces you back onto land. While the characterizations are spare, and the intrigues convoluted, your nigh-immortal avatar never needs a moral compass, and never really strays from it (for example, civilians are never more than knocked flat by your brusqueness - as I never tried indiscriminate firing - but military joes can suffer from any and all of your abilities. Power trips with far horizons I've not played much of, but the entertainment value is undeniable.
Have started on Child of Light, which I suppose has not impelled me forcefully enough, and the Life is Strange demo has flagged me to wait for sale pricing. Saekano has piqued our interest as well. We'll see what comes up in the next few weeks.