Mixed Media, Saturday 12 March

On Tuesday morning I happened to tune in to Zane Lowe’s show exactly at the moment when he plugged Lizzo’s new single, “Good As Hell”. It’s fantastic.

I had missed the release of her second album, Big GRRRL Small World in December, so I’ve been catching up on it this week. It’s more laid back, and features more of her singing than rapping. It doesn’t have as many immediately catchy tracks as Lizzobangers, but it is growing on me.

Films seen:

  • Deadpool: I watched this on my own because it’s a 16 certificate, and Pathe cinemas don’t allow under-16s in for those even if they’re accompanied by an adult. Honestly, there was nothing in Deadpool that I would have minded Alex or Fiona seeing, but that probably just says as much about me as a parent. It’s an irreventant and fresh take on the current superhero movie era. Apart from the long flashback, it’s a straightforward revenge story. Ryan Reynolds was born to play Deadpool, but we all knew that.
  • Zootopia is one that Fiona and I did go to see together. Non-essential, but fun.
  • Creed is amazing. Great story that echoes but doesn’t ape the original Rocky. Intense performances from Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan, and some very clever editing and effects around the fight scenes. Loved it. Want to go back and watch Rocky again now.

I’m up to the middle of season 9 of Criminal Minds now. After the highs of season 7, season 8 was weaker. The villains were less inventive and less sympathetic, the recurring plot elements (especially the cognitive interviews) felt repetitive and predictable, and the opportunity offered by the introduction of a new team member (Dr Alex Blake) was wasted. Apart from her history with Erin Strauss, she was blandly functional.

Netflix NL made season 5 of The Walking Dead available the other week, and I’ve just finished watching all of it. Season 6 is still airing on TV, so I guess I’ve got a while before I can catch up to it.

Over the voorjaarsvakantie the other week I played Firewatch by Campo Santo games. It’s an ambitious dialogue-based game that is hard to talk about without spoilers. The graphics are stunningly beautiful, but marred by disruptive drops in framerate when the PS4 failes to keep up. The story veers from tense thriller to painfully emotional drama in the blink of an eye. The character dialogue is outstanding. The radio chats between Henry and Delilah are intimate, funny, and show a complex friendship developing. You feel part of the relationship. But I didn’t like the ending. The game tries to sell you one thing, and it delivers another. The thing it delivers isn’t a satisfying pay-off for the atmosphere the game spends several hours developing. I can see what they were trying to do. Ultimately, I don’t think it worked, but I applaud the attempt, and I would love to see more games like this.

Some Bleu:

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