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  1. I dunno. The Last of Us 2 is a long game, and it spends a significant chunk of its running time setting up different groups of people as being OK to kill, and then pulling the rug from under your feet. It does that three times in a row, so I’m a bit suspicious when the game says “OK, there’s no moral nuance in killing THESE guys. Fill your boots” because one of the themes the game has been (trigger warning) hammering home with a sledgehammer so far is that killing people has enormous consequences, even when you feel it was morally justified to do so. Like, I never would have thought the developers could have humanised the Seraphites given that they’re a psychotic death cult who gut people alive, but they somehow managed it. It’s not like I’m planning on joining up or anything, but I did have some empathy for them by the end of the game. There’s a great scene about halfway through where Abby’s WLF crew are exploring the aquarium, and they see all the drawings that those kids drew, the ones that ran away to join the Scars. I can’t remember the exact quote, but one of them says something like “These drawings are great. I’d like to meet these kids” and someone responds with “Maybe you already did”. That scene feels like the game’s story in miniature. But yeah, ND could have put something in the coda to humanise then Rattlers and they didn’t, so maybe their goal was just to allow the player to let off some steam with some uncomplicated murder (I think you can definitely read it that way, and it’s not like killing someone is never justifiable) but I feel that the trajectory of the game up to that point is telling you to at least question the idea that killing this group of people is OK.
  2. OK, it’s not a completely serious point. But I guess my overal point is that you could easily imagine Naughty Dog partly humanising the Rattlers in the same way that they did the Scars and the WLF. There will be reformist Rattlers, and Rattlers who are only members to protect their families, and you’ve probably brutally killed at least a couple of them.
  3. I saw the coda slightly differently. The entire game has set up this pattern whereby the people you’re fighting against are framed as being monsters who are OK to kill, and then gradually being humanised as you find out more about them. They do it with the WLF, Abby, and the Scars, and I got the sense that they could easily have done it with the Rattlers too - they don’t make it explicit, but I don’t see any reason why the pattern wouldn’t hold for them as well. Their society functions because of slave labour and torture, but I don’t think that means you can kill them with a clear conscience, any more than you could kill an iPhone owner or a US/UK citizen. The structure of the game was really clever - it’s neat the way it plays with the idea and myth of righteous killing. Abby and her father’s story could be the story of literally any of the random people you kill over the course of the game. It reminds me of the Invisibles, where in an early issue the protagonist shoots a random guard, and in a later issue, we follow that guard’s entire life right up to the point where he is killed.
  4. You’d have to do a lot of work to take footage of Fisher from one film and put it in another one, in a different location with different people. Even if you weren’t just recreating her completely, there’s a lot that could go wrong given that the original footage will have been intended for a completely different context.
  5. The approach for the new Star Wars stuff was to have director-led films that give each director a lot of leeway to do what they want, rather than to have producer-led films that follow an overarching plan. The Marvel films (with a few exceptions) are not director-led at all, and are generally helmed by TV directors, older journeyman directors for hire, and younger directors who can copy the house style. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with either approach in itself, and I’d say it’s resulted in more interesting films on the Star Wars side, but it does mean there’s less consistency. I strongly suspect that you’d find it more difficult to recruit a-list directors to make a Star Wars film if you told them they’d have to follow the overall plan, rather than telling them they’d have a blank page (subject to the producers liking their take on it). The problem with the Star Wars approach is that it’s probably too expensive to have multiple teams working on each main-sequence film, so they only have eighteen to twenty four months to do each one.
  6. Shenmue kind of highlights how ridiculous it is giving a score out of ten to something as complex and subjective as a videogame. To be honest, that applies to most games, but given that Shenmue will be a ten to a specific group of people and a much lower score to anyone else, it particularly highlights the situation. It’s impossible to give it an “accurate” score and probably impossible to review it in the conventional sense, but I’m really interested to see what they have to say about it.
  7. Yeah. I was surprised to read that Tarantino's bit in Sleep With Me, where he goes off on that Top Gun gay subtext monologue, was in fact Roger Avary's party piece that he stole outright. He seemed to have been living off that legendary script they wrote together for some time, and needed a bit of time to build up more material.
  8. To be fair, that dude wrote Argo as well, which was a pretty good film. Even if you got the Coen brothers working on a Zak Snyder film, they probably couldn't counteract Zak Snyder's essential Zak Snyderishness.
  9. I really loved the Sith planet, especially the way that it was this mad alien monolith that forged starships in this huge plain of dust. It was hard to get my head round it geographically, but I think that helped make it seem weirder and more alien. I guess they could have had completely new Sith warships, but the new films have gone all-out to make frequent usage of the Star Destroyer silhouette as a storytelling device, so it works thematically and it provides a kind of visual linkage to the other films. New ships would have been a bit extended universe. I liked the dagger too, in the same way that I liked the weird altar in the middle of a forest at the start of the film, protected by what may or may not be Darth Vader cultists. The film doesn't explain where either of them come from, and I quite like that kind of loose end in terms of storytelling technique. It reminds me of the caverns underneath Dagobah that look like they were carved by intelligent beings. Who built them, and why? Were they really there, or just part of Luke's Dark Side vision? Did Yoda just spike him with space shrooms? The film doesn't even ask the question, it just leaves you to speculate. It makes the universe feel bigger, and more mysterious. There was quite a lot of that in Rise of Skywalker, like the O2 Arena crowds of Sith (or something) that started to fill the stadium towards the end of the film. What the hell were they? Revived Sith? A figment of Rey's imagination? A cinematic affectation by JJ Abrams? Something from the reshoots that is no longer explained, but was too expensive to remove? I don't know, but it was pretty cool nonetheless.
  10. Yeah, the ancient Sith planet ran on mysterious ancient technology that was known to that extinct species but lost to the galaxy at large. It was a classic sci-fi mcguffin, I don’t think it needs to be explained any more than that. We don’t need to see the logistics of crewing those ships, any more than we need to see them loading up loo roll and pillows.
  11. I’m really enjoying replaying Reach on Legendary, except the space combat sequence in Long Night of Solace for which there are not enough dog’s dicks in the universe for it to suck. I love it on Heroic, but on Legendary it’s a complete clusterfuck of getting continuously battered by enemies you can’t see or shake off. The only way I managed to get through the second section where the human space station is attacked en masse is by hiding behind the station itself and popping out every so often to take down a single ship. I managed to get through it eventually, but I am never doing that again solo.
  12. I would agree pretty much entirely with that list, except I’d swap From Dusk Til Dawn with Django Unchained, and would probably move Once Upon a Time a bit further down. I loved the insane ahistorical bloodbath ending in Inglorious Bastards as it fit perfectly with the rest of the film, but didn’t think it worked in OUATIH. I’d love to see the film it would have fit with, but it wasn’t this one. Man, he really lost it between 1997 and 2009, didn’t he?
  13. Linking two sentences with a “but” doesn’t imply any connection between those two sentences? The word “but” can’t change the meaning of a sentence all by itself? I’m not saying you’re full of shit, but
  14. One thing to bear in mind is, if you ever find yourself saying something like “the abuse Kelly Marie Tran suffered is obviously completely unjustified, but” or “the treatment Tran received was horrendous and she in no way deserved it, but”, then go back and delete the “but”, and end the sentence there. Loads of people - including people in this thread - don’t end the sentence there, and go on to inadvertently justify the abuse and tacitly suggest she did deserve it.
  15. It seems like he doesn’t like it, so while I like filmcrithulk and respect his opinion for the most part, I don’t want to contaminate my enjoyment of Rise of Skywalker with his no-doubt thoughtful and well-argued criticisms. So I’ll probably give that article a miss.
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