And You Thought It Was Safe(?)


Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)
Yeah, I'd have that look on my face, too.

Yeah, I’d have that look on my face, too.

I won’t pretend I’m some knight-errant, riding in on a white horse to save Tomb Raider. I know that, as a hetero male nerd, I’m supposed to love Lara Croft, but I’ve despised every game in this franchise and things only got worse as it went on, each iteration more shamelessly copy-pasted than the last.

Then the old girl almost died in 2003, when Core Design and Eidos Interactive released the sixth game in the series, Angel of Darkness. It combined the tank-like controls and five-story screaming death drops of the previous five games with a headscratchingly stupid plot involving magic paintings, a camera that’s as bent on Lara’s death as the antagonists, and more bugs than Jurassic Park’s computer systems. Continue reading

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300 (2006)
February 1, 2011, 12:00 am
Filed under: Movies, Reviews | Tags: , , , , ,
"My 300 friends and I would like to have a word with you. About tolerance."

"My 300 friends and I would like to have a word with you about tolerance and multicultural pluralism."

In spite of all the horrible things I’ve said about him over the years, I can’t really find it in myself to hate Zack Snyder. He is, in many ways, what we’ve always hoped for: a director who stood by his promise to faithful translate one of his favorite comic books to the screen…and succeeded. Unfortunately, he chose to translate this one, and I’ve got more than enough hate in me to spare some for Frank Miller. Despite everything he’s done to change the face of modern comic books, the man’s creative juices just don’t flow the way they used to, and there’s no better picture of the arid waste that lives in Miller’s head than this: his fantastical re-imagining of the battle of Thermopylae.

300 begins with an extended bit of ancient Spartan propaganda, following the long journey of King Leonidas (Gerard Butler) from birth to adulthood, narrated (like the rest of the film) by Leonidas’ friend and comrade-in-arms, Delios (David Wenham). Delios’ narrative selectively edits any embarrassingly-accurate pederasty or slave-killing out of the Spartan agoge in favor of gratuitous slow-motion wolf-killing. Because that’s really so much better. More dramatic than slave-killing, really…especially when the wolf is safely CGI. Continue reading