5 April 2008

Infinite possibilities, and you picked this one...

It's April! Hurrah! That genius month where the first day apparently belongs to every fool on the planet. Thank fuck I didn't get fooled this year. Not sure if that means that I don't have enough friends for one among them to have the balls to try and fool me (or indeed, anyone else); or we just couldn't be arsed to fool one another. Either way, I had no tricks played on me this month! Yay!

Bought a few DVDs yesterday, been watching them over the course of today...

First was Seraphim Falls, which was a vaguely interesting chase/thriller/western from a debut writer/director, with Liam Neeson and Pierce Brosnan. It's beautifully shot, and wonderfully acted, but unfortunately the decision to descend into surrealist images at the end of the film seems totally at odds with what is otherwise a gritty, well-paced chase movie. Still, I'd say I enjoyed it, even the slightly silly ending - Louise C. Fair? Hah! - particularly some of the more intense set pieces.

Next there's The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - Mark Kermode's film of 2007, if you're interested. Been wanting to see it for a while now, but the bastard completely eluded me when it was out in the cinemas. Anyways, it's just been released on DVD, and I snapped it up. And I can't decide whether or not I like it - it's very long, very drawn out and very ponderous. I think I may have to watch it again to truly decide of I enjoyed it, but it did have very striking pieces of imagery in there - one in particular, of Jesse James emerging out of a cloud of steam stuck with me the moment I saw it - and Casey Affleck's performance is just as great as the critics claimed it is. Brad Pitt was very subdued, I thought, but equally outstanding. Also of particular note is the soundtrack - minimalist piano, but still absolutely amazing.

So I take it you've guessed that it's been a western sort of weekend for me. I was going to buy 3:10 to Yuma as well, but I couldn't find that for a decent price, so I'll wait a bit and pick it up on the cheap!

Bought Condemned 2: Bloodshot too; and that's pretty damn entertaining. The combat system is fantastically brutal, if a little bit hard to get to grips with - very hard to get to grips with, actually; it's very timing reliant, and when you're in the middle of a massive, pulse-pounding fist fight, your every nerve wants you to just hammer those buttons and see what happens! Still, the story is good, the graphics are solid and a very creepy - although it is easy to make graphics look good when you shine no light on them whatsoever! - and the multiplayer is damn good fun. Of particular note is the Crime Scene game mode, where you have two teams, one the criminals and one the police. The criminals have to hide two boxes with severed heads on them, and stop the police from finding and scanning them. It's a very good, tense piece of gaming, although it is a wee bit laggy online. I reckon if you get 4 or more players in a room with their own TVs and play that over system link, it could be incredible! As it stands, online it's a very welcome distraction from the relatively mindless blasting action of CoD4.

Speaking of CoD4, I downloaded the new maps for that, and they're solid. Probably the most important aspect of them is that it mixes up what are quickly becoming rather stale maps with fresh blood. Chinatown is easily my favourite one so far - loads of buildings, alleys and stairways for fantastic mid-range combat. Broadcast seems a little broken to me - there're already glitches flying around the massive TV room - Creek is too sniper-focused and Killhouse far too confined. But still, it's new maps to memorize good camping, holding and choke points on, so I'm glad I shelled out the 800 points for it.

Been a tricky week elsewhere - work didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but I'm still earning more than I need to to survive, so I suppose that's okay. The lady's started her new job, and she's not exactly loving it. But enough about the personal problems.

Hope you guys had a great week! I'm off now! Toodles!

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