SIONR: Star Wars: Squadrons…All First Person?!

I swear, it’s one step forward, five steps back with EA.  It really is.  After Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order, it looked like maybe they took some fan feedback to heart and created something that was actually worth playing.  So when I saw that they were doing a fighter combat sim game in the vein of Rogue Squadron, you can imagine how peaked I was.  Finally, they are doing something cool with the license!  It took them so fucking long!  But now we actually get to see something unique!  Thank fucking Groj!  And then I saw more about the gameplay, and all of my hopes for this title withered and died on the vine.  Because this company just can’t help themselves.  They really can’t.

During their little gameplay demo, I couldn’t help but notice something – all the combat is from the cockpit.  All of it.  There was footage from outside, but all of that was clearly cutscene stuff.  So all my hopes of the arcade-style fighter combat sim are gone.  Instead, this is just another EA game where they have to take a formula that works and fuck it up.  I don’t get how these people do it.  They are masters of this, I swear.  You really would think that these games would write themselves.  You have a formula that works through multiple entries in a beloved series, so you just take that and modernize it.  How awesome would it be for the kind of gameplay from Rogue Squadron with modern visuals?!  It prints money!

But like always, EA finds a way to fuck it all up, and that’s where it ends.  I’m sure tons of people will talk about how awesome this looks, but not me.  I’m out.  Already one of the things I wanted most is gone, so for me this is just a dead game that may end up like Battlefront II – crappy to start but gets better over time.  Why is it so hard to make games in this license for this company?  Is EA so inept that they just can’t see the forest because of the trees in the way?  I don’t know, and at this point, I don’t really care.

Until next time, a quote,

“You missed?!  How could you miss?!  He was right in front of you…” – Mushu, Mulan

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Cyberpunk 2077 Delayed. AGAIN!!!

For those of you who live under a rock because I assume anyone who comes to this site and is a nerd has already seen this everywhere on the Interwebs, CD Projekt Red’s next project, Cyberpunk 2077, has been delayed.  Again!  It was already delayed from April to September.  Now it is being delayed again until November.  I suppose I should say that I’m not surprised by this.  After all, with the plague still ravaging the world and upheaval everywhere with BLM, I imagine keeping on a timeframe is difficult.  However, the cynical part of my brain has some thoughts and I’m really wanting to put them out there.

Instead of releasing the game during a time when it would have very little competition, now the biggest game of 2020 is releasing during the holiday season.  Part of me thinks it is a smart business decision, but there’s just one problem – we’re heading into another console generation.  That’s gonna be the big buy this year.  The big thing that everyone is looking at.  Releasing a game that will essentially be a swan song to a console generation when everyone is looking to put the next one on their Christmas list?  It’s weird.  For those who wonder, I am gonna wait to get the PS5 until a later version comes out.  Maybe one that can emulate fucking PS2 and PS1 games?!  Never gonna not be mad about that.  There are PCs that are potatoes that can do this.  Why is it that tech that is so much older than what Sony is working with can do this, but they cannot?!

CDPR has taken a really big risk here, and there is this niggling thought in the back of my mind that I just can’t get rid of.  A while back, CDPR had said that a next-gen version of this game was a long ways off.  What if that was a straight-up lie?  Like, a wholesale no bullshit lie straight from the source.  I mean, what a perfect thing to sell systems.  Make the year’s most-anticipated game a launch title for the various platforms.  Would they really have to do a whole lot?  After all, the PC version of this game will obviously have better visuals and framerate than the console ones.  So wouldn’t it be so much simpler to just port the controls but not downgrade the visuals for a new console release? Then you could have the old console version so they don’t have to refund anyone who has pre-ordered the game, while having the new console version that will be a launch title.  It makes perfect sense to me.

I think it’s brilliant.  What better way to sell consoles, especially a new Xbox that is already low on first-party titles to sell it, than to have the biggest game of the year?  Say I’m wearing a tinfoil hat, but I think I’m on to something.  Let me know if you agree or not.  Still, unbelievably frustrating.  I mean, they can’t put the game off much longer, can they?  Say they still don’t like the game’s performance by November, what then?  They gonna delay again?  By that point, tons of people will have moved on from the current consoles to the new one.  They gonna sell a game just for previous-gen systems?  That will massively cut into their sales.  Like, in a way you wouldn’t believe.  I don’t know.  They are taking a massive gamble here, and part of me wonders if it will pay off or not.

*Update* I was right!  CDPR just released a statement that Cyberpunk 2077 will be playable on next-gen consoles immediately.  So all this stuff about delays is bullshit.  This was a marketing decision to sell new consoles.  Kinda shady, but whatever.  I’m sure Sony and Microsoft paid them a ton of money.  The game is supposed to come out November 19th, and the PS5 is rumored to be coming out November 20th.  Yeah, delay for polishing, my ass.

Until next time, a quote,

“Coincidence?!  I think not!” – Bernie Kropp, The Incredibles

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: PS5 Backwards Compatibility is TRASH!

I remember back when there was all the hype about this latest system after there was a patent that gave people the implication that the PS5 might be able to be backwards compatible beyond just the PS4 generation.  I remember all the speculation.  That you could put in a PS2 or PS1 disc and play the game on current hardware.  The concept was a system seller.  It would have been a feature that absolutely everyone was talking about.  Now they have announced the system’s hardware specs, and wouldn’t you know it, it seems something that should be pretty fucking simple really was asking too goddamn much.  I’m so pissed.

There is backwards compatibility.  To the PS4 Pro and the PS4!  Wow!  What a great technical challenge!  Porting over games that are made on the exact same fucking hardware.  What a way to think out of the box, Sony.  What a way to revolutionize.  What a way to really push the limits of what you’re capable of.  But hey, if people on the Internet can’t make emulators for pretty much any console, then I’m sure it was too mother-effing hard for you too.  This console is already looking to be nothing but wasted potential.

Naturally, games media is kissing the ass of the bare minimum with this console.  What a shock.  They always go out of their way to apologize for gaming companies making things that do the bare minimum of what they are supposed to.  Never pushing for excellence.  And make no mistake, this would have been excellence.  A console that could play games from any console generation would be a feature that EVERYONE would be talking about.  It would have sold systems with that feature alone.  It would have been the PS5’s killer app.  A feature of a console that can sell them without the need for some huge game that does it.  What a concept.

Now I know that there’s no pressing need to buy this thing, when the coronavirus inevitably delays it being released.  Will wait until a cheaper version hits the market.  What does this offer for me?  4K visuals?  High framerate?  All that stuff is just icing to me.  I’m looking for cake.  And thus far, it looks like Sony’s latest console is just talking all about their icing like it’s the best icing in the world.  Who knows, maybe it is good icing.  But without any cake to put it on, then it’s just really good icing.

I’d be nicer about this if the Internet hadn’t shown how emulating this stuff is so goddamn simple now.  So what’s the fucking problem?!  Are the people at Sony really dumb or something?  Was it really asking too much for them to push the envelope?  Seems so.  So yeah, not gonna be running to get this thing.  I’m sure it will release with all the standard games that are meant to be tech demos.  Nope.  Count me out.  I don’t get duped for that stuff, and I won’t go in for it now.  For those of you who that’s all you want, then more power to you.  You do you.  I was hoping for something that actually pushed the envelope to ANY capacity.

Until next time, a quote,

“Guys says to you, ‘hey, I got the world’s biggest firecracker,’ even if you know it’s a dud, you’d still have to see it for yourself.” – Unknown

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Uncharted 5

Stop!  Please stop.  Are you like me in thinking that Hollywood is out of ideas and hasn’t had anything original come out in decades?  That all they can do is churn out more of the same because taking risks might alienate audiences?  Unfortunately, gaming is having this same problem.  Specifically, AAA gaming.  Part of what makes some of the more recent hit games so memorable is that a lot of them have been totally new stuff.  Games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Marvel’s Spider-Man, A Plague Tale: Innocence, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and soon to join them, Cyberpunk 2077.  But with the AAA market, a sameness of what is being made is being noticed.

Which is what made me so disgruntled when I saw the story about how Naughty Dog is seriously considering Uncharted 5.  Why?  Tell me why.  The last game absolutely had a story-book ending to it.  It brought the entire franchise full circle in a perfect way.  There was this great emotional catharsis to the story that made it all feel like this was how it should end.  What more can they bring to the table?  The cynic in me feels like what they are going to do is have Nathan Drake’s kid become the new hero of the franchise, which sounds awful.  For starters, this is how many years in the future?  Is it just going to be the kid with everything the way it is now?  That doesn’t make sense.  Second, the whole thing about her finding out the truth about it all was that she wasn’t supposed to follow in the violent footsteps of her parents.  They learned how to pursue their adventures without resorting to crime.  Are they just going to undo all that for another sequel?

There is this nagging feeling in the back of my mind, that AAA gaming companies are genuinely scared to take serious risks.  The idea that something may not make back all of what was invested must make them all shit their pants.  What is especially odd about that is the fact that this is Naughty Dog we’re talking about.  They could EASILY make a new IP and get people interested in it by studio recognition alone.  Just look at how many people were initially defending Anthem because Bioware’s name was attached!  Granted, the naysayers were proved right in the end, but still.  CD Projekt Red was able to have a game based on a tabletop game become the most expected title of a console generation all because it is associated with them.

Name recognition is powerful.  It’s a powerful advertising device that people don’t understand how strong it is.  Look at how divisive Hideo Kojima’s latest project was, yet sold like gangbusters solely for having his name attached.  That being said, it can be squandered.  Bioware is a great example of this.  They used to be synonymous with quality games that have rich and detailed stories.  All it took was taking a dump on the Mass Effect series and then releasing one of the worst live-service looter-shooters of all time to turn their name into poison.  EA is synonymous with greedy games that are designed only to siphon player’s money with disgusting microtransactions.  Same with Ubisoft.  Same with Activision Blizzard.  What happened to Blizzard and people’s opinion of it was almost heart-breaking.  But they sold out to a greedy, disgusting company and are now China’s bitch.  No surprise.

Game companies are now doing a new tactic – taking some of the greatest games from our history and remaking them from the ground up.  Not just HD enhancement or some mild texture updates, but complete remakes done wholesale.  It’s a gamble, but with some high quality titles released so far, and more on the way, the future for this market is looking strong.

That being said, we need some new titles.  It’s long since time that we had some new risks with IPs.  There was a time when major studios could make AA games that were where they could take risks and not have to worry about losing money on it.  Those that hit it big could become new franchises in their right, and also help pay the bills for the major projects that would be for a larger audience.  Making games has gotten more expensive, it’s impossible to argue otherwise, but there should still be room for this.  Maybe have these companies take a bigger stake in publishing some indie stuff that could grow.

I keep hoping that Sony can help pioneer some of this stuff.  Some of their recent exclusives have gone on to be really big hits and have paved the way for them to fund even more.  They bought out Insomniac, who made the fantastic Marvel’s Spider-Man.  Funny story – most of the people who work there already assumed they were owned by Sony.  It’s long since time that we had a company who is willing to go all-in for unique games that can be on their platform to give audiences something they haven’t seen before.  We need it.  This enterprise needs it.

Back when the first Mass Effect game came out, people didn’t know what to think about it.  The graphics weren’t great, but the story was engaging.  It was something new and different that came out at just the right time.  Heading into a new console generation, I think we’re at the right time again.  For new ideas to be given their time in the sun, not just old ideas with some fantastic spit and polish.  Not that I don’t like the remakes I am seeing.  The remake of Resident Evil 2 was absolutely amazing, and the one of RE3 looks even better.  Let’s not keep going with the endless sequels.

Until next time, a quote,

“If you want to build a better home, first you must demolish the old one.” – Petyr Baelish, Game of Thrones

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Star Wars: The High Republic

Disney can’t just leave well-enough alone, can they?  They can’t just draw from good source material done by creators who have thousands of times more talent than they do and bring some great stories to life.  No, instead they have to shit on everything that great people have made before this.  Because Kathleen Kennedy still has her grubby fingers in this pie, and she is still on a mission to pretend that everything great this franchise ever produced because Disney wants to shit all over everything.  That’s what they do.  “But Lucien, The Mandalorian is good!”  Well that’s just great.  One chunk of gold in a massive pile of shit.  I’m glad you were able to dig your way through and find it.

I hear that Bioware may be put to work remaking one of their hallmark RPGs – Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.  The idea has my mouth watering.  An updated version of a classic game, with HK-47 and all of his nihilistic humor.  Hopefully this time with a version of the game on console so I can play it.  Yeah, I’m a pleb.  Whatever.  I genuinely don’t care if that bothers you, or if it amuses you.  I do what I do, and I’m happy with that.  You do you, and I do me.  Life moves on.  But I guess that their project will have to be put on ice, so Disney can go back in time and then fuck with the source material we have.  Because why not?  Why not just take the great ideas of creative people and shit all over them.  It’s worked for you so far!

The ad for this talked about how they had wrapped up the Skywalker Saga and were looking to move on to other things.  Yeah, wrapped it up.  Took a shit on it, on the fans of it, and then left its charred carcass to be picked at by the few scavengers who are left.  Now it feels like this ad is just to tell us that even more crap is coming.  Corporate crap, done in a board room, where the suits at Disney can think of all the ways they can make this processed and unoffensive.  There was even a picture of their brainstorming, where you could clearly see how all about diversity these new films will be.  Well I’m so glad!  I’m so glad that we have a studio who will keep playing at diversity.  You know, up to what they will accept in China.

Did you hear that Bob Iger is out at Disney?  Get some new suit.  Part of me hopes that that means that Kathleen Kennedy’s days helming this franchise are numbered, but what does it matter?  This franchise should have died 40 fucking years ago!  Ugh!  I’m just done.  What more can they do?  A new trilogy where they go super far back in time so they can just shit out whatever mythology they want?  Why can’t they just let it die?  Why can’t it just be left to be viewed as the nostalgic creation it is?  Why the fuck does everything have to be milked to death now?!

Anthony Mackie did this great breakdown of why modern film sucks.  Everything has to be packaged.  Everything has to be marketable, mostly to the Chinese.  They are becoming a bigger film audience.  But there are signs that maybe something is changing.  After all, Marvel creations are tanking.  After Endgame, it’s clear that the steam in the MCU locomotive is gone.  They’re going to desperately try and sell the various components of it, but at the end of the day, it’s all just gone.  Their latest project is a film about a great character that came out WAY too late.  Then there is the Disney Plus project with Vision and Wanda that nobody cares about, and the Falcon and Winter Solder show that nobody wants.  So this great experiment they did which became a cultural landmark gets to pass along until Disney has successfully milked it dry.

I can’t remember so much about hardly any movies these days.  They’re all so safe and marketable.  They’re all the product of boardrooms and suits making sure the smallest details are tested and made sure they can appeal to the largest demographic possible and take no risks.  Granted, taking risks isn’t always good.  A lesson that the creators of the Sonic the Hedgehog movie learned, and when they listened to the fans, it became one of the largest turnarounds in film history.  How a movie went from being so hard to look at that it was frightening, to being probably the best video game film to date.

Maybe that’s what the Star Wars brand needs.  Something that takes risks.  Big risks.  Make a film that does something new and daring.  But who am I kidding?  That won’t happen.  Something different might not sell in China.  Better to make something with flashy colors that can fill seats.  The law of diminishing returns will hit, but so what?  Disney is already making money hand over fist with their streaming service because for whatever reason, people are stupid enough to actually pay to see their shitty content now.  Baffling.  Just baffling.  What about anything they make currently is worth a regular monthly fee?

But Lucien, you can see all their older stuff too!

All the stuff of theirs that I actually want to see, I already own.  So yeah, I’m good.  Film is a decaying medium.  The films that will stand the test of time are so few and far between now.  I talked about it before with the Star Wars sequels.  None of them will be remembered in the long term.  Ten years from now, what will people remember about The Force Awakens?  I suppose the next two numbered films will be remembered for being terrible in every conceivable way.  What about Solo?  What do you remember about it?  Did you even watch it?  I can’t remember any of the plot of that film.  Only thing I remember about Rogue One was the Battle of Scarif.  That was it.  Release a cut of that film with only the third act and I’d be fine.  The first two acts are so tedious and boring that they might as well not exist.

So we will see this franchise keep going, being driven into the ground.  And Disney will desperately try and find something else to buy so they can drive it into the ground.  Some other form of nostalgia to milk, because if they could make original content, what a world it would be.

Until next time, a quote,

“Can hear all that, can you?”
“Damn right I can!”
“Get help.” – Cloud Strife, Final Fantasy VII Remake

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: The Reason Final Fantasy versus XIII Never Got Made

While everyone is mad at Blizzard (and rightly so) for basically being a giant bitch for the Chinese government, along with the NBA, I thought it might be worth bringing up how something that had the potential to be amazing got totally screwed because yet-another AAA game developer wanted to appease the Chinese, and in the process ruined what could have been the greatest Final Fantasy game ever.

I remember when the first trailer for Final Fantasy versus XIII came out.  It took my breath away.  The world looked so much like the modern world, and you have a very broody hero facing down an entire army.  They open fire on him, when you see glass-like swords deflecting them.  That was awesome!  For a LONG time, there was nothing.  Then in 2011 they released another trailer!  This one looked even better.  Again, so much like the modern world as you see the Prince and his father driving in a car, with the father ragging on him for being so glum.  In the distance we see airships floating there!  Then we see things get real with gameplay.  It looked sick!  You have this city where things are going to shit, with you having to escape with your friends.

The plot of this game had the makings of something unlike anything we’d seen before.  A young prince, cursed with a deep bond with death.  A young woman, with a connection to a goddess of life.  Both star-crossed, but on opposite sides of a conflict.  You have to fight your way out of the capital, with the goal being to find a way to take back your home.  Some appearances that this may be a story taking some cues from Hamlet, and the makings of a masterpiece were all right there.  Even when the game changed names and became Final Fantasy XV, it looked like there was still potential.

Then the game released, and we realized that it was mediocre beyond all reason.  Clearly rushed out the door just so they could have it be done.  There had been an amazing idea there.  So what happened?!  For years, this question dogged me, until recently I figured out that someone had answered it.  It was discovered that the reason for the end product of all the years of work on this title being for nothing is because of China.  Why am I not surprised?

See, there’s a thing about China – they have a TON of rules in order for a game to be marketed there.  It’s the reason that Disney will never, EVER have openly gay characters in their movies.  The rule on top of all the little nit-picky ones is – no ghosts, no gays.  Either one and your work is dead on arrival.  The reason this ties into Final Fantasy versus XIII is because the Prince and his family have a connection to a god of death.  Noctis can see the light of expiring souls.  But that won’t fly in China.  And Square Enix wanted in on that sweet China cheddar.  The way that so many other companies have been.

Which is why we got a final product that was rushed to market and felt half-baked.  Which is a real fucking shame, if you ask me.  Because I can only imagine what the original product would have been if it had actually been allowed to go to completion.  Star-crossed lovers, forced to do battle because of their affiliation.  A war over a power source to keep and empire alive.  A prince working to retake his home after it’s captured.  What that could have turned into is anyone’s guess.  But no.  I’m really starting to think that Square Enix has lost the spark of what made it great.  Seems like the only stuff they’re putting out is remakes of classics, because they don’t have any original ideas.  And since the remake of Final Fantasy VII is still gonna be released episodically (no joke, they said that’s still a thing), it leaves you to wonder if the spark will ever come back.

AAA gaming is really disheartening to me lately.  Sony is the only one who is taking risks with huge ideas that may or may not always play out.  Well, them and CD Projekt Red.  I miss companies with big ideas and a foolhardy sense of passion to just throw whatever against the wall and see what sticks.

Cool game concepts going to die, microtransactions everywhere, games becoming gambling.  It’s depressing to see the industry.  But a guy can hope.  Every now and again there are real diamonds released.  Sometimes…

Until next time, a quote,

“Always, and never.” – Dwight, Sin City

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: The ‘Frozen’ Level in Kingdom Hearts III

This is the worst!  A lot of people have rightly criticized the Atlantica level from Kingdom Hearts II for the god-awful music in it, but to the credit of that level, it wasn’t this.  I cringed with most people, but there was this stupid charm to it all.  Like you could tell that those who did the voicework were really trying to make something good, even if what they had to work with is shit.  I don’t get the same feeling from the Frozen level in the official sequel.

I have FINALLY gotten around to playing it.  I am depressed (as always), and so I figured – this game is dirt cheap on Amazon now, I’ll just buy it!  So far, this game has some problems.  For starters, there are WAY too many cutscenes.  And they all go on for WAY too long.  Some of this stuff is engaging, but other times it’s so boring and I’m sitting here going – when can I get back into that action?!

Then there’s the fact that the Organization is continually handing me my ass in cutscenes and I never get a chance to fight back.  I’ve squared off against five of these dudes by now, and every time I never get to fight.  I’m going to have to kick the ass of XIII of these dudes, so can I please put at least one of them in their place?!  How long is this game where I can continually get my shit kicked in and never be able to step to them?

I knew that the world of Frozen was in this game.  In the back of my mind, I was wondering what it would be like.  Personally, I was hoping we didn’t get the world and just got Elsa.  The lady herself is interesting.  The world from the film she stars in is not.  For those who didn’t know, I HATE Frozen.  Everyone was singing its praises when it came out, and I thought it was mediocre and stupid.  Then there was the music.  Oh my fucking Groj, I could not escape the music of that film.  Everybody, and I do mean everybody, was playing it everywhere.  I despised that film from the bottom of my little black heart.

So imagine my absolute hatred when I get to the world of Arendelle, and I have the exact same fucking music from the film playing!  Ugh!  This is the worst!  It’s all so bad!  What did people like about this?!  It’s all the same bullshit you heard on the radio when this shit was coming out back in 2013.  Seriously, it’s been six years?  Seeing the dates of some of the films represented in this game makes me feel so freakin’ old.

Having to watch a video game cutscene version of the god-damn song Let It Go made me want to rip my ears out.  Who thought this was a good idea.  And they actually have Sora and the gang acknowledging that that happened.  Do they not wonder why a fully orchestrated musical number is playing in the mountains?!

Not a lot more to say, really.  This was the absolute worst.  I will accept the corny, cringe-y charm of Atlantica, but this just annoyed me.

Until next time, a quote,

“Wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” – Lloyd Christmas, Dumb and Dumber

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: His Dark Materials: Season One Trailer

For those who didn’t know, one of my favorite book series, growing up, was the His Dark Materials, by Phillip Pullman.  It had great characters.  I liked Lyra, LOVED Will.  The relationship that develops between the two is just beautiful.  The third book, The Amber Spyglass is one of the only books that has ever made me cry.  The ending was so unnecessarily depressing, when it could EASILY have been remedied.  Lyra and Will were both clever young people.  They should have been able to figure their way out of the predicament of never being able to see each other again.

So you might imagine that when they made the first live-action film version, way back when, I was really hoping it wouldn’t be terrible.  I’d seen them ruin so many things I love before, but maybe this time would be different.  The girl playing Lyra looked the part.  Nicole Kidman looked and sounded just as insidious as I would have expected Mrs. Coulter to be.  Sam Elliot was flawlessly cast as Lee Scoresby, with that southern charm.  I liked having Kathy Bates voice his Daemon too.  That was great casting.  Oh yeah, and they got Sir Ian McKellan to voice Iorek Byrinson.  Everything seemed to be set for something great.

What we got was something that shit ALL over the source material.  For starters, Roger lived at the end!  Um…no!  He was fucking dead by the end of the first book.  That’s important for the plot of the sequels.  His gruesome death was a key point to how he is brought back into the plot in the third book at the world of the dead.  Next, the film didn’t end with Lyra stepping into another world.  That’s how it ended.  Her friend was dead and the base was destroyed.  She knew her enemies were hunting her so all she could do was run.  So she followed through the same window that Lord Asriel went through, not knowing where she would end up.  It sets up the next book, where she meets Will in the other world.

But the thing that bothered me most was the fact that they took one of the central plot points of the series and basically gave it the finger.  That plot point was the fact that the main antagonist of film was not the church, but this vague government entity call The Magisterium.  Phillip Pullman was not subtle in the fact that the true villain of the book was the church.  The whole series can be viewed as an analogue to the battle between the Catholic Church and the Protestant Reformation.  That wasn’t an accident.  It’s important.  There are multiple characters representing the church throughout the series, and even angels who the characters interact with.

Pullman was making a very direct statement about how the church, religion, and faith are all corrupt, led by people who are evil and manipulative, using the brainwashed masses to do their bidding.  Lord Asriel stood as a beacon of rebellion against them.  And so the church did everything in their power to destroy him.  The third book has a massive battle between the church’s forces and the army Asriel builds, which ends with Metatron, one of the biggest angels of all getting killed, along with Asriel.  It’s implied that both sides are utterly destroyed.

When I heard that a trailer had dropped for a new series that HBO is launching for this novel franchise, I was wondering what they would do with it.  So I watched the trailer.  And…I’m pissed. Won’t get into the fact that Lee Scoresby has been turned into a none-Southern dude and all that southern charm has been sucked away.  Whatever.  Or that we don’t hear Iorek speak.  That’s weird.  He did.  It was him who gave Lyra the moniker Silvertongue, due to her ability to lie so well.

But the thing that has me pissed off is this – why is the villain the Magisterium again?!  They were a puppet government who was basically a branch of the church!  It wasn’t them who was ever referred to as the main antagonist.  It was always the church!  Why is it that no production company is willing to do this right?  Is everyone just too afraid to shit on America’s religion of choice?  Is no one willing to take the steps Pullman did by making it understood that religion and faith are the enemy of logic and reason?  Of course not.  Because you have the Christian right shitting bricks and getting just as pissed off as the regressive left would for their hot-button issues.  How either side can call the other “snowflakes” is beyond me.

I wouldn’t be so upset about this if it wasn’t a central conflict in the story.  Huge portions of this narrative revolve around the war between Asriel and the church.  Especially in the third book.  By then, Asriel has basically declared war on Heaven itself.  And the implication is that he wins, albeit by taking the highest angel down with him.  Why can nobody run with this?  You’d think HBO would have more stones than a big movie production company.  They can afford to take risks.  But no.  I guess they have to play it PC for the right, because fuck what Pullman was trying to make.

Not gonna watch it.  The books will always be better anyway.  A pity that Will McAvoy is having his talents wasted in this piece of shit.  He’s a phenomenal actor and could probably play a good Asriel.  If only he was in a better production.

Until next time, a quote,

“All the history of human life has been a struggle between wisdom and stupidity.”  – Mary Malone, The Amber Spyglass

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Disney is Remaking A Night on Bald Mountain in Live Action (CG)

I fucking hate modern Disney.  There are not words to describe how shitty they are.  I could sit here and explain in exhaustive detail all of my grievances with modern Disney, but then I’d be here for hours and you all would get REALLY bored.  Understandably so.  But what they are doing to cash in on people’s nostalgia has finally reached the point that it pisses me off beyond the pale.  I could handle them fucking over the legacy of Robin Williams with their shit-tastic version of Aladdin.  Especially since Will Smith sounds medicated in that movie.  I listened to the soundtrack, and he sounds so tired in every song he sings.  I was annoyed but just shrugged and went “whatever” when I saw their “live-action” version of The Lion King being advertised.  Sure, all the CG animals have zero personality because they have the uncanny valley level of CG detail, but whatever.

I’ve heard that they are remaking Lilo & Stitch.  Because that’s just what that filmed needed!  A fun and colorful and touching story about a girl, an alien, and finding the meaning of family.  It needed to be remade with Disney doing their now trademark diversity pandering!  Yay!  They’re remaking The Little Mermaid.  Maybe they can have Ariel be a Muslim mermaid.  Have her wearing a seaweed burka.  Diversity, after all.  And you know what, that’s all fine too.  Because after all, why would we want to have those old 2D animated films be the ones we remember?  Those aren’t the moves for “grown ups,” after all.  No, instead we have to remake them in the worst way possible, with acting that is The Last Airbender levels of bad.  Taking all the charm and whimsy the animated films had and bending them over a table without any lube.

Then I found out something utterly horrifying that has pissed me off so much – they are remaking A Night on Bald Mountain in “live-action.”  Oh boy.  Fuck you Disney!  Fuck you and your creatively-bankrupt company!  You all take the things that people love and fuck them over the ass. I loved that piece in Fantasia.  It’s my second-favorite.  My first being The Rite of Spring, telling the story of the growth of life on Earth.  A Night on Bald Mountain is a fantastic piece.  The levels of darkness, both musically and dramatically is just insane.  The demon Chernabog summoning the souls of the dead and the damned for an insane party for one night, it’s incredible.  The animation is flawless.  Absolutely flawless.  The portrayal of the dead and the damned is just so perfect.  As they rise from the graves, rising up the mountain, you can almost feel the dread the townspeople are feeling as they stay inside and hope that dawn comes soon.  It all builds and builds, culminating in the most visceral experience I have ever seen in 2D animation.  Nothing else has even come close.  Plus, at the end, there is the fantastic pairing up with Franz Schubert’s “Ave Maria,” which has the townspeople seeking the light of Heaven to cleanse them of the darkness.  It’s perfect.

So I guess a whole bunch of suits and Disney are sitting around going…
“Hey guys, we’ve been remaking all of these classic movies and making money like gangbusters.  What else do we got?”
“How about we take that one bit from Fantasia about the demon and remake it!”
“But that’s not a whole story.  It’s a musical showing of what happened during one night.  How could we make that into a full-length movie?”
“Just have some big actors/actresses with some stupid story about killing the demon and put in some diversity shit to make people talk about how, if you don’t see it, you’re a bad person.  All of this nostalgia shit makes money anyway, so we can make this into whatever we want.  Just make sure all the advertising for the movie only shows the stuff that will play on people’s nostalgia.  We don’t want them to know that this is just a cash-grab that can make us a fuck-ton of cash.”

And then I figure that they laugh heartily and pay some Thai child to dance on top of a tank full of piranhas for their amusement.  Because Disney is pure evil, after all.

I can’t believe that Disney is doing this.  It isn’t enough that they took this franchise and turned it into a fucking Kinect game?!  It isn’t enough that they have made cash-grab after cash-grab of all their old 2D films, and every last one of them has fucking sucked?!  Without a single exception!  They are all nothing but trash!  That isn’t enough?  Now you have to take one of the hallmarks of animation and turn it into another piece of shit, all so you can make a quick several hundred million dollars to satisfy your investors?!  Oh how I wish Chernabog were real, so he could turn you and all your board of directors into pig demons.  It would be fitting, after all.  Then he could put you in front of a pile of money and tell you to worship it.  Would be fitting, given what you all do.

How people can stomach modern Disney is beyond me.  They pander to diversity because it sells.  The moment it doesn’t, they will kick it out the door like a $10 whore.  It’s why you don’t see gay characters in their big-budget movies, after all.  Because then they wouldn’t be able to sell their films big in China.  Although, I guess they won’t have to worry about that with this live-action trash.  You can’t have ghosts in films that go to China either.  So hey, go big with the gay pandering in this movie.  Oh wait, that would be hard because the premise is about a demon having a giant party.  Associating that with gay people would send the wrong message to the far-left community you are trying to pander to.

Ah, what the Hell.  Just fuck over the entire storyline.  In order to make this have a 90 minute runtime, you’re already gonna have to do that anyway, so might as well go big.  Make Chernabog a person of color transgender pansexual.  They aren’t having a party with all the damned and the souls of the dead that they summoned to them with their presence.  They just wanted to give all the dead POCs a place to gather where they feel included.  The villain can be Christian white nationalist groups!  Maybe they are having a straight pride parade!  Yeah, that’s a great angle.  It’s not like Disney or whatever two-bit director they will get for this shit actually cares about the story they are adapting anyway, so why not?  I’d kind of prefer that you all just go the distance with fucking the story over.  Then I don’t have to feel like you are shitting on one of my favorite movies.

But you can guarantee that I’m not giving Disney money to see this trash.  Not a fucking chance.  Disney and their live-action butt-rape of this bit from one of my favorite films can suck a dick.  Can suck all the dicks.  Fuck Disney.  Fuck these live-action movies.  They all suck.  They will always suck.  The critics who say nice things about them are paid shills.  The audience who likes them is Americans who we already know are dumb as dirt.  Fuck this.  Can these people please stop raping what I love?

Until next time, a quote,

“It’s very simple – if you stop going to bad movies, they’ll stop making bad movies.” – Jay Sherman

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Three More Star Wars Movies…

This franchise needs to die.  This franchise needs to fucking die right the fuck now.  It needs to die the death of a thousand cuts.  I thought that the prequels ruined this franchise, but I was wrong.  The new films did.  And before you write this off as me just being some Red Pill guy who hates the movie because wahmen, don’t.  I hate this franchise now for a whole bunch of other reasons.  Though I do think that Rey is boring and you could cut her from the most recent numbered film and nothing would have changed.  Not really.  Daisy Ridley can’t act, but that’s not her fault.  Emma Watson can’t either, and everyone loves her too.  But this franchise needs to go, and Disney has told us that it’s not going to.  Ugh…

What am I talking about?  I’m talking about the fact that Disney just announced that there are three more numbered films being made.  Groj only knows how many side-movies that means too.  You’d think they would have learned their lesson after what a financial disaster Solo was.  Well, I suppose they kind of did.  They realized that the best way to make these movies is to just feed the fandom fan service to make them cum in their pants.  That’s why you have J.J. Abrams back in the driver’s seat.  Rian Johnson tried to do something different and failed so spectacularly that J.J. outright said that he is going to retcon the ending to the previous numbered film for the next movie coming out this December.  Wow.  That’s pretty bad.  The trailer was boring and stupid, and it ends with the biggest fan service moment of all time – the Emperor laughing!  How did he survive being atomized in the Death Star?  I’m sure the answer will be stupid, but the fanbase doesn’t care.  They will cum in their pants just like Disney wants them to.

See, that’s the thing about Star Wars fans.  They are die-fucking-hard.  It doesn’t matter how stupid you makes these movies, how ridiculous the plot is, they will eat it up.  They will eat that shit sundae and make videos on YouTube defending them.  Hell, there was one where someone said the most recent numbered film was the best in the entire franchise.  J.J. Abrams said you don’t like it, you hate women.  This fanbase is so utterly exploitable.  Even Marvel isn’t this easy to cash-grab.  Disney seems to have realized where they hit their limit and is now toning it back.  But not Star Wars.  You can feel slop to these people for eons and they won’t care.  It blows my mind.  Part of why I have always avoided fandoms.  These bitches be crazy!

Never mind that The Force Awakens was a mediocre film at best.  It had the Millennium Falcon!  Never mind that Rogue One was genuinely bad for two acts, with only the final battle sequence being cool.  Never mind that The Last Jedi was a giant dumpster fire that was awful in every way, or that Solo was butt ugly to look at and boring.  They are still cheering that three more films are being made.  They don’t care.  I wonder what it would take for them to give up on the franchise.  I really do.  Disney has realized that taking risks with this license is a bad thing, so you know that it’s going to be nothing but fan service for years.  Is there ever a point where that isn’t enough?  When boring movies aren’t able to be sold to the fanbase just based on what pandering you put in there?  That’s not a rhetorical question.  I really want to know.

From where I’m standing, this franchise needs to fucking die!  It’s past the point where it is able to be enjoyed on any level.  The fan service does nothing for me.  The films have gone from mediocre and have been getting progressively worse.  Sure, Solo wasn’t even close to as bad as The Last Jedi, but the fact that it was so boring and I can’t remember the plot hardly at all is kind of worse.  I can at least remember everything about the former movie.  Especially the scene where Leia becomes Mary fucking Poppins to go back into the ship.  That was so funny to me when I watched it.  I was laughing so hard in the theater when that happened.  Got dirty looks from fanboys, but whatever.  If you can’t see why that’s so stupid, I pity you.

This franchise should have died thirty years ago.  No prequels, no sequels, just death.  Let it die with some fucking dignity.  Oh wait, this is modern Disney we’re talking about.  You know, where every one of their classic cartoon films is being remade as live-action cinematic abortion.  EVERY single one of their live-action films has sucked.  Badly.  Disney can’t let anything die.  Then they’d have to do something original, and I don’t think they even know how to do that at this point.  Things to ruminate on, eh?  I refuse to partake in any of this.  I said in my Solo review that that’s it.  No more.  I won’t let me friend give any of his money on my behalf (he convinced me to go on the pretense that he would pay my way) to see these movies when they are either going to range from okay to a turd sandwich.  I’m done.  Hopefully you are too.

Until next time, a quote,

“This sucks.”
“Yeah, this really sucks!” – Beavis and Butthead

Peace out,

Maverick