So this week I decided to do something I shouldíve done ages ago. Iím a huge sucker for superhero movies, as Iím sure lots of people here are, but there were two in particular I hadnít watched even after all this time. Iím talking about The Dark Knight Rises and The Amazing Spider-man. I never got around to these, due to word-of-mouth for Batman and the fact that itís a reboot for Spider-man. So, my thoughts then.
First of all, I hated Rises. Did not like it at all. To be fair, Iím not much of a fan of Begins and The Dark Knight either; the animated Batman: Under the Red Hood is a better Batman movie than The Dark Knight is, and I might even go so far as to say itís a better movie period. †Itís really great, and John DiMaggio makes a brilliant Joker.
Anyway, Rises. Like I said, hated it. I thought it was slow and boring, for one. We only see Batman for a very small portion of the movie, and most of his screentime is devoted to getting the shit kicked out of him by Bane. Bane, who I might add, is nothing like his comic book counterpart except the name. It was nice that they had him ďbreak the batĒ and everything, but thatís nowhere near enough to convince me that this burly dude with a massively inconvenient mask and ridiculous voice is actually Bane. Regardless, we have seen with Iron Man 3 that a superhero movie without the superhero can work perfectly well. I fucking loved that movie, partially BECAUSE itís Tony Stark wrecking peopleís shit in all sorts of creative ways. And on top of that, the climax more than makes up for any absence of Iron Man in the rest of the movie. Rises was just nowhere near as fun, and I didnít find the characters or plot strong enough to keep me interested. †
There were a lot of other things that bugged me, like the blatant 99% bullcrap that ultimately didnít matter since Bane didnít give a shit about it in the first place but just saw it as a nice and easy way to destroy Gotham, Bruce Wayne being an unlikable prick to everyone (especially Alfred), or Jim Gordon inexplicably sending EVERY SINGLE †ABLEBODIED COP IN THE CITY into the sewers.
Honestly, the only thing I liked about this movie was Anne Hathaway as Catwoman.
- And no, not JUST for that reason.
So, what about The Amazing Spider-man then? WellÖ.I liked that one a lot! I canít help but feel like Iím being contrary with this, but I donít know what to tell you. I thought it was good.
Alright, alright, I didnít think it was entirely good. Peter Parker was kind of a douche, honestly. At the very least he was a lot less likable than the geeky Tobey Maguire version of Peter Parker. Besides that, I just canít see this dude being picked on and bullied all the time. Let me tell you, if this Peter Parker had gone to my high school he wouldíve been the coolest kid there. What with his skateboard and photography and all? Totally.
Another thing that bugged me was his ďfightĒ with the bully once he gets his powers. In the original movie Peter punches Flash Gordon across the fucking hallway, and here itís justÖ.basically, all he does is play keepaway with a basketball and yet the movie treats it as if Flash got beaten up hard. Seriously, watch it. And if you think it was about the hoop that Peter destroyed, well no. Uncle Ben literally asks him ďDid you humiliate that kid?Ē as if Peter was completely out of line doing that, and never even mentions the hoop. So again, Peter did squat. He really didnít do anything. It was just a tiny tiny bit above playfully messing around. And the worst part is that this fight is more integral to the Spider-man story than ever, as it kicks off a chain of events that leads directly to Uncle Benís death. So that didnít sit well with me at all.
But enough of me being a negative nancy, what did I LIKE? Well, long story short, I fucking loved this Spider-man. He was just chirpy and upbeat enough, neither being too grim or too childish. He was making quips and jokes, like classic Spider-man is supposed to, but not overly so. But, of course, once it matters he gets serious and lays the smack down. And once he does, itís glorious. Itís a joy seeing this Spider-man fight. Heís way more acrobatic than I remember the Raimi version being, jumping around all over the place and overall being way faster. His use of the web is also much more interesting, changing between pellets, strings or just straight-up cocooning a motherfucker in a heartbeat. There are some wonderful shots in this movie showing Spider-man as you always imagined him. This movie is Spider-man being Spider-man, more so than the Raimi movies were. Itís a damn shame this Spider-man is in a different universe from the Avengers, because he wouldíve been great in Avengers 2. I was never a great fan of Spider-man, but Iíve definitely gained renewed respect for the guy. In fact, let me give you the shot that won me over.
- Itís Spider-man doing Mirrorís Edge. I would buy the SHIT out of that game
So, whatís next? Iím watching the shit out of Riddick, thatís what. Oh, and Man of Steel, I guess?
No matter what the experience was or which game or genre left that strong first impression, such experiences have the potential to open our eyes to the rich history of a series or genre. With any luck, we might find even more to love or something better. A great first experience with RPGs could lead to an undying love affair.
Sometimes a first kiss can be so impactful that the game gets placed on a pedestal and enshrined as a gold standard, which has its own pros and cons. I mean, it is nice to have a basis for comparison, but some folks take it too far. There are people who loved Half-Life, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, or Final Fantasy VII so much that nothing after them really got a fair shake.
So first impressions matter -- they can shape and inform our gaming habits. I grew up on arcades, Nintendo, handhelds, and eventually into RPGs, so much of what I play will be influenced by how I acquired my tastes. I probably like Overwatch a ton because it has a passion for RPG roles, but contextualizes them closer to older shooters focused on objectives more than gear builds and grinding out perks for better killstreaks.
So for this month's Bloggers Wanted, we'd like you head over to the community blogs write about your first kiss, the games that positively influenced you or maybe biased you a little too much for a time. What turned you on to a series or genre? Was it love at first sight? Did it set any expectations in stone or possibly lead you to something better?
Whatever the case might be, remember to use the title "First kiss" and place "Bloggers Wanted" in the tags!
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