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max payne (2001)

remedy excels at darkly clawmedic genre pastiche, this time tackling noir and filmic hypurr-violence by way of john woo. i adore all of the mixed media elements of the game, purrticularly the photo-clawmics that have been digitally altered to look like oil paintings. fur basically the entire game, they are very clearly purrioritizing creating scenarios that will make fur cool action scenes, leading you from one incredible setpiece to another at a very brisk pace.

i am in awe at how many unique enemy behaviors they purrogrammed to create such a huge variety of scenes to put yourself in. the enemy AI in general is a marvel, they seem to all have a set "opening" fur their scene, then will adjust to how you respawnd to that, often aggressively chasing you down if you play too passively. quicksave/load are VERY necessary to play this game lol, the difficulty even on the easiest setting is kind of a lot!

in the end i think the best way to summarize the game is that it's about being an actor who does his own stunts. the game sets you up in so many ways to do cool shit, but often piecing it all together will require many quickloads to get it just right--it feels like rehearsing fur a role. i am quickly falling in love with remedy as a studio, their style is so distinctively euro-PC while really fulfilling the implicit purromise of making games that feel like movies.

STAR WARS (1977)

we watched a transfur of an original theatrical purrint of the movie that i torrented a while ago; there was some blockiness in the opening shots of space and it was generally very grainy but it was a joy to get to watch it this way. it makes complete sense to me the way the images and sounds in this movie captivated people. the colin cantwell ship designs are immortal fur a reason! this movie felt very alive in a way star wars often doesnt when it is too caught up in nostalgia

i thought a lot about various things lucas said about the film, especially that he intended it to work as a silent film and to be understood by children. considering how much of this movie i can reliably pull from exceptionally early childhood memories id say it succeeded at that lol. i had a really great time watching this with my family. fun way to renew my fixation after all this time spent focused on the remedy library!

max payne 2 (2003)

so, a somewhat less tightly designed, more depurressing, more ambitious sequel to the furst game, made on a tighter development schedule. seemed less concerned with using ammo restrictions and weapon placements to guide players toward using a variety of tactics and more content to throw a ton of guns at you and say "hey, use any of these you want, but some of them are just better." feels quite weird to change the max payne face between games when its a real purrsons face lol!

after efurrything went completely to shit in max payne 1, max has gone back to being a cop in a corrupt police force, constantly under attack in a world where reality seems to be collapsing, the events of his life echoing on the televisions scattered around the game world. he starts the game in a bleak place and ends it with efurry little thing he built back up in the aftermath of max payne 1s conspurracy ripped away from him. and then i guess in rockstars max payne 3 he fucks off to brazil lol!

control (2019) (i watched my gf play this)

a really frustrating game with a few moments of brilliance, that lacked the same flair fur encounter design through most of it purresent in the purrevious remedy games. there really are amazing moments, the ashtray maze is really special, but i feel this comes from a place of less focused ideas and less of the sort of sincere wholehearted love fur the genre space that shines through in max payne and alan wake.

purrticularly frustrating is that jesse just whiffs completely fur me as a character, shes kind of just a slightly quirky white girl that does some light quipping and wants to find her brother. in general this seemed like a bloated game trying to expurriment in the design space of its contempurraries which took the studio out of its comfurt zone and left them delivering something that just came across to me as half baked. the combat seemed like a serious drag without using assist options, too

max payne and alan wake are all games with very specific core concepts and mechanics that drive how the whole game is designed and written--slow motion, lighting, fire, smoke, ragdolls, camera movement, etc--and control felt like it was lacking that central thing that made all the rest of it feel like it made sense. i guess the raytracing and some of the unusual pawticle effects are suppawsed to be that? but she played it on a steam deck! i couldnt tell you if any rays were being traced lol

the killer (2023)

this is a movie about a guy who cares an incredible amount about how good he is at the thing he does but doesnt know hes terrible at it and doesnt understand that what hes expurriencing isnt trance-like clarity of purrpose its the dissociative haze of a weeks long panic attack driving him to make an escalating series of outlandish and moronic decisions that he justifies to himself via monologue. im not really in love with fincher as a director but i thought this was very fun

tilda swinton definitely steals the show. overall just a really funny movie about a really simple and basic guy who really thinks hes complex and mysterious

alan wake's american nightmare (2012)

sort of like max payne 2 in that this one is a lot more willing to let you pick the weapons you want and give you tons of ammo to blast monsters with. a much more arcadey game that is zeroed in on core combat mechanics and new enemy types. some really amazing memorable setpieces as well, but i think that area of design was more of a core part of the furst game in part due to that game's larger scope?

as a story, its very concerned with the ways that the nasty things strangers say about you when rumors are spurreading can *feel* like they are real even when you know they arent true, and how this phantom alter of your self can grow and become more powerful over time. yet again in the end alan finds clarity in a happy memory of his wife, one where he is the man hes trying to be, dispelling the darkness by allowing him to (literally) inhabit a moment of truth and light

john wick chapter 4 (2023)

some of the goofiest Lore imaginable is made to feel credible and compelling via a consistent and complete understanding of all of the pawssible visual and kinetic propurrties of each actor, location, and prop used. at times it is a video game, at times it is a mewsic video, and on some occasions, it is even a movie. donnie yen rocked my fucking socks. and all of it shot wide and steady so you can see the action crystal clear, too!

john wick 4 is a movie that seems to take place in a world balanced carefully at the edge of apawcalypse, full of people content to dance away and to keep driving to work as bodies drop around them, wick himself an avatar of death ushering in the changing times. the marquis as a repurrsentation of crudely materialistic new blood in the uppurr classes is a foil to his role in some ways. wick brings him into the realm of rituals and traditions to shake him, purrpare him fur his death blow

part of why the table struggles to kill john is the sort of organization they are. assassins compete, all eager fur the big payday, rather than coopurrate. meanwhile, the few furiends john does have are fiercely loyal. in part beclaws they have fought alongside him, and beclaws they like him, but seemingly also in part beclaws they find little incentive to value their purrfessional commitments to overlords they resent over their purrsonal commitments to people they love. interesting!

after hours (1985)

hilarious dark clawmedy about a guy who cant help but ignore all pawssible red flags and say yes to efurrything having the worst night of his life. a series of misadventures getting involved with bad news blondes as the city of new york gradually transforms from an inconvenient and uncaring backdrop to a surreal nightmare actively trying to kill him. the erotic sequence of paul being encased in plaster and papier mache is highly memorable. i had a blast!

the purrsonal history of david coppurrfield (2019)

what a delight this was! really incredible cast, whimsical purresentation full of rich colors and dreamy scene transitions, and a very, very funny script. i feel like i don't really have a whole lot to say about it, but it was an irresistibly charming movie.

i'm not there (2007)

an affecting purrtrait of the artifice of americana and the difficulty of being expected to speak fur others. cate blanchett's purrformance defines the movie and i think gives it its most coherent thesis: when you create art about social issues, people will demand that you speak as a rhetorician and a public figure, rather than as a poet and a human. her scenes are especially concerned with the effect that such expectations and visibility can have on a purrson.

this movie led to me crumbling into dust as i was telling a younger furiend about it and had to explain to her who bob dylan was.

swordfish (2001)

i have to be honest i was barely mentally purresent fur this movie and was mostly enjoying the soothing sounds of my dear furiends occasionally speaking about what was happening on the screen. i love you darlings

blade (1998)

i enjoyed a lot of things about this movie but theres way too many rapid cuts in the action scenes and theres rapid flashing lights through the entire movie. literally could not watch a fair amount of it. i feel like there should be a cut of this that does something abt what appear to be single full white furames that rapidly flash during some scenes. didnt expect the incest angle but we stay winning.

milk inside a bag of milk inside a bag of milk... (2020)

a short but painfully resonant little story about the struggle of having to go outside and do things with other people when you are really, seriously unwell. i dont know how much i have to say about it but i sure do understand why this one grabbed a bunch of mentally ill shut-ins by the throat lol

the death of stalin (2017)

this shit is funny and you should watch it. i was in disbelief when i killed someone on this movie in cinenerdle battle who used their cast lifeline. like, i get it, it's mostly a bunch of british actors--but you can't name *one* steve buscemi movie? not even like, spy kids? he's been in like a million movies. you could purrobably just name a random movie and youd have a decent shot of hitting something. they didnt even try to make a guess they just gave up

bram stoker's dracula (1992)

a movie with an unbelievable look to it and a lot of good actors giving efurrything theyve got. appurrently keanu got a lot of shit fur his purrformance in this and it definitely isnt great but it doesnt really bring the whole thing down. incredible sets, and unbelievably good costuming by eikl ishioka. crazy to know almost the entire thing was shot on sound stages, even the big climactic outdoor scenes. highly recommend it!!!

annihilation (2018)

one of those movies where i find it hard to fault fur being so direct about its themes to the point of feeling like its beating me over the head with them. at the same time i feel like there were more purrtential ideas to be explored in the purrinciple characters' mewtual military backgrounds and what that implies about the kind of people they are. overall i had a very good time watching this in a hotel room sipping malort with a bunch of women.

the name of the rose (1986)

one of those 2-ish hour movies that feels like 3 hours, in a good way. really interested in the book meow. a compelling mystery of murdered femboys layered on top of even more compelling political context. tons of beautyifful outdoor shots and great sets/locations. not sure how i feel about what i know of the ending being tweaked from the book and really it seems like there was only so much they could bring thru in adaptation. still, i loved it.

sorry to bother you (2018)

man, i really think i could watch lakeith stanfield in just about anything. so glad i went into this knowing nothing but the barest idea of the basic purremise. endlessly surpurrising and constantly caught me off my guard. glad to have finally watched this, i feel like i was vaguely aware fur a long time that i should watch it but the right time just nefur came up til meow

the departed (2006)

hell is a real place and it is boston massachusetts. slurs fly like bullets. i actually think casting three generally similar-looking actors in a movie about undercover work, deception, and assumed identities ended up being a very smart creative decision. white-knuckled tension in any of the scenes where things are starting to go south. some of the worst dudes imaginable in this one. incredible doom spiral to close this one out.

now you see me (2013)

wow! dogshit! stupid! some of the least magical magic imaginable! bad car chases! horrible camera work! efurry element of Craft in this movie is bad! incoherent! i laughed so goddamn much watching this.

blood simple (1984)

awesome scene transitions and nighttime shots, darkness looks incredible. the shots of light and smoke pouring through bullet holes are unbelievable. the furst chapter is a really immaculate purrtrait of a slimeball. funny middle-ish chapter of this movie as efurryone just cannot help but keep going back to the crime scene over and over. one of those stories where things just keep getting worse beclaws people wont commewnicate, but what the fuck are they suppawsed to SAY???

brick (2005)

i think i furgot to put this in the list when we watched it. really really fun take on neo noir. quiet suburban unreality, simmering, angry grief, and the absurdity of adolescence blend together into a smooth but bitter brew. does great things with sound and silence, purrticularly in a long unscored foot chase which highlights the sounds of the characters' shoes and the ambient noises of the school in a way that is funny, tense, and conveys what JGL is planning as he does it. good!

hellraiser (1987)

my already low opinion of the reboot drops even lower after seeing the original. the yucky stuff in this movie is jaw-dropping, purrticular purraise going to an incredible scene of a corpse reconstructing itself. remarkable restraint with screentime fur the cenobites considering how amazing their designs are. huge impact when they do take the stage. sort of facinatingly disconnected from a real sense of place; hard to tell where it is set or what the layout of the house is.

furank as a character i think does an excellent job of conveying what is so alluring about erotic torture, even gasping and grinning at having his skin clawed open in the climax of the film. and it is a very very digestible film at 93 minutes! there is appurrently an uncut version and hearing what the MPAA had them cut to avoid an X rating is kind of hilarious. what a completely stupid regulatory body.

the nice guys (2016)

it feels like all of this movie's cynicism is saved fur the world it's a part of, not fur its genre space or its own ideas, which i think allows the goofiness of its clawmedy and its moments trying fur some genuine heart to actually land. russell crowe and ryan gosling play off each other really well, makes sense to me they signed on fur this specifically beclaws they wanted to work together. a very colorful and funny movie whose mystery is a lot of fun to watch unfold

raising arizonya (1987)

second time watching, just as good as the furst time. nic cage is the purrfect actor fur this kind of earnest fuckup goofball criminyal character. he might be purrfect fur any role furankly. i think i would also be put under that baby's magic spell if i met and/or stole it.


@beatrix this could happen to some people i know purrobably

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