Sunday Ramble I

I feel I’ve been remiss in my duties, to recall a quote from the great David Bradley, for this website. To keep a blog alive and in the minds of my prospective audience, I have to keep it updated regularly, even If there is nothing “important” to discuss, such as a movie or game review, like last month. So I’ll discuss briefly what’s on my pop cultural mind. I hope to make this a weekly occurrence, should I mind it properly.

Due to Black Panther’s astonishing success, having grabbed the fourth weekend at the top just now, a lot of people’s brains are now, as Marvel is hoping, shifting to the next big movie event for this franchise, and conveniently, the heroes of the African epic will play a huge role in Avengers: Infinity War (April 27) . It’s already being called “Black Panther 2”, due to that connection. Some have also predicted, like Andrew Bridgman of Dorkly, that BP could actually outearn Infinity War. I disagree. He (Bridgman) admits that a lot of his predictions in the past, like Deadpool’s lack of box office success, were wrong, so I’ll give him that. Yet when you consider that T’challa and other members of Panther’s cast are assembling alongside the Avengers as well as featuring just about every major player in the MCU that isn’t on Netflix, including the Guardians of the Galaxy, yeah, I can easily see it surpassing the prior film. For now, Black Panther is set on easily overtaking the first Avengers’ domestic gross, but as for Avengers 3 and next year’s untitled fourth film, they seem like the ultimate champions hands down.

 

There is currently a relative drought in terms of new games to play, relative being the golden word. I, for monetary concerns, haven’t tried out the Bayonetta 1 & 2 collection on the Switch. I’ve been replaying last year’s Prey multiple times and been immensely enjoying the unsung title. The next major game I’m certain about playing is at the end of the month: Far Cry 5. Despite evidence suggesting once again, more of the same admittedly great formula established from 2012’s Far Cry 3, albeit with some decent tweaks, I’m staying optimistic. For one, the season pass for 5 is actually quite promising, with some cool sounding expansions to the main game. There’s three main narrative expansions that are in the vein of 3“s beloved Blood Dragon, which is gloriously divorced from the main game in every imaginable way except basic gameplay. There is a Vietnam mission pack, which pays tribute to the romanticized and quite ahistorical pieces like Rambo and Missing in Action. The second is set on Mars, fighting aliens with all the most obvious callbacks to space sci-fi dating back to the 50s. The third revolves around, yes, even more zombies, in what is both a shoutout to multiple different flavors to zombie film, brainstormed by a fictional B-movie filmmaker. Its gameplay seems derivative of Call of Duty’s decade long proven formula.

If all of that didn’t make 5‘s season pass seem unusually substantial, there’s also Far Cry 3 Classic Edition , which will finally let me play that game with a decent rather than crappy framerate. So, things seem pretty good for a fan like myself of the series, though I admit that while I liked Far Cry 4 back in 2014, the structure of gameplay established in 3 was already showing its age & fatigue and was hoping that whatever came next reinvigorated the franchise again. Next, however, came Primal, which aside from its neat Stone Age setting and aesthetic, didn’t really do anything new, and due to the setting, your suite of gameplay options were even more restricted. I did not finish Primal. I’m hoping 5 has a few surprises in store to what is already been showcased to make it a game worth finishing, more than once being a clear indicator of a worthwhile time.

To wrap up, here are my short thoughts on Disney’s ill-received second attempt on A Wrinkle in Time as well as something more. I have never read the 60s novel, and based on my poor reception to hearing partially an audio book during a road trip, I felt even more inclined to skip it. The previews for the new movie further dis-compelled me to see it, as to be honest, aside from a little girl searching for her missing Father, I could not tell you what this whole thing is about. Based on the reviews, I was not wrong in my judgement.

The next film that I want to see and am crossing my fingers not only doesn’t suck but is also profitable is Pacific Rim: Uprising. Thanks to international box office, the original 2013 film by recent Oscar winner Guillermo Del Toro, managed to survive as a franchise, and hopefully the long in development sequel keeps this sorely needed new intellectual property going. Seeing the very Japanese “mecha” genre succeed in any way under Western hands is a joy for me, a chance to bridge cultural gaps we often don’t think about, if at all. Hopefully its success could renew Hollywood’s interest not only in new properties but in handling Japanese material properly, unlike the failures of Death Note and Ghost in the Shell from last year. I dream of an American produced Akira film(s), with get this, a Japanese cast. Perhaps both Pacific Rim and Black Panther’s non white cast, can convince Hollywood to grow a pair and at least try to do the right thing.

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