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Rain Birds

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  1. I think the strangest thing to me is that there doesn’t seem to have been a broad outline of where the story was to go. How the fuck does that work? I presume that they were thinking “The original trilogy had three different directors! Let's do the same!”, failing to take into account the fact that, despite not directing the second and third ones, Lucas was writing the stories and calling the shots. Did they not know they were giving a lot of control to a very different type of filmmaker in Rian Johnson? Like, if David Lynch had agreed to direct Return of the Jedi when asked to by Lucas, does anyone seriously think he’d have been given the opportunity to write the story and put his own stamp on it?
  2. I enjoyed this, but it was very clearly created as fan service & merchandise opportunity first and film second. The Force Awakens struck a better balance, but I think the biggest shame is that every opportunity to go somewhere different opened up by The Last Jedi was tossed out. I haven’t re-watched that, but I thought it a bold film that played brilliantly against expectations of wise-old Jedi Luke. Yet, as I said, I enjoyed this one all the same. It’s a big-budget popcorn flick; it entertained me, I was never bored, it made me laugh at times, it did its job.
  3. Shenmue III was made on a fairly low budget and will likely prove profitable. Shenmue IV would cost even less to make, thanks to all that has been put in place with III, so I’m quite confident that it will happen in the next few years. Given the Xbox listing that briefly appeared, I suspect that version is yet to come and, perhaps, as with Yakuza, a launch on Game Pass sometime next year might be a smart way to debut it, especially now that the first two are on there.
  4. You know what I really miss from the first Shenmue? How just about everything has a schedule. It really, really added to the immersion going out before a shop had opened or just missing closing time in the evening. That aspect was rarely seen in Shenmue II and is essentially non-existent this time around - I’d like to think it’s a knowing comment on Chinese working conditions, but I suspect it’s a trade-off for the considerably greater scale of the sequels.
  5. Sales seem fine. It’s a super-niche game made on a limited budget. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Shenmue IV greenlit - they know the engine, have plenty of assets in place so a sequel on a similar scale should cost a lot less. Dreamcast Shenmue needed to be a huge success because it was by far the biggest budget title on the platform. This can probably sell a fraction of the amount and end up being more profitable.
  6. I passed 150 for the first time today! 151, if I remember correctly.
  7. One thing I really miss from Shenmue I - the fact that shops (bar the explicitly 24 hour ones) actually close at night. It really added to the illusion of a living world. In Shenmue II and, going by the stalls & store in the first village, Shenmue III, they’re all more or less open around the clock. There’s a certain irony given the presence of a conversation option in which you mention the 24-hour Tomato store to Shenhua, who is taken aback by the idea...
  8. I’ve only played a few minutes but...it really feels like Shenmue. That should be good enough for me.
  9. I agree. It helps being in a smarter film, but he conveyed very well the dispassionate single-mindedness the first two films led you to expect from a cyborg assassin.
  10. I agree with most of what you’ve said. I didn’t dislike the sequence in question, but With that said, I enjoyed it a great deal. Whether it ends up doing enough business to spawn a direct sequel rather than interminable soft-reboot remains to be seen, but I’m happy we’ve been given a new Terminator that doesn’t feel like a dodgy made-for-TV movie or risible sci-fi sitcom.
  11. This appeared on Twitter. I doubt it was her who let it slip, but Jennifer Lynch is or was a board member so you’d think they wouldn’t want to entertain overt bullshit on the matter. Adding fuel to the fire is Michael Horse posting this image on Instagram:
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