Ellen Page

But First: Beyond: Two Souls

Beyond Two Souls Jodie

The past few months have been all over the place for me. I’ve oscillated between busy and not-busy so fast that there’s a serious danger of whiplash. I’m sure I’ll go into more detail in future posts, but right now I wanted to offer my thoughts on a game I played recently called BEYOND: TWO SOULS. You know, the latest and greatest [1. debatable in some circles..] from Quantic Dream?

Here’s the synopsis of the game. In a nutshell you’re Jodie and you have this special connection to an entity, which gets exploited by the Government in some pretty messed up ways. Depending on how you enjoyed the previous games from Quantic Dream, your mileage here may vary. Personally, I loved the game. There were a lot of nitpicks I had while playing and some of the ending didn’t quite sit well with me, but I really latched onto the ambition in the storytelling. One moment I’m playing a young Jodie about to be handed over to a Government agency by her parents and then not thirty minutes later I’m sneaking through a devastated lab to find and close a rift in reality. Before I can say, “shit, bro, that was intense,” I’m playing a homeless Jodie trying to break into a small supermarket to keep from starving. Don’t even get me started about the VERY end.

While some people were left cold by the QTEs and “non-gaming” aspects, I thought they were great. These elements allowed me to focus on the story and not get too bogged down with points or skill trees or some of the more “traditional” mechanics of gaming.

That’s all I’ve got for now. Just wanted to put this out there to get back into the habit of writing as well as share my thoughts on a fun game.

On Gods and Nolan

I decided to push on despite the general writer’s malaise I’ve been feeling to ramble a little bit about Christopher Nolan’s film Inception. Actually, that’s not entirely true. I want to talk about some of the hype about this director that’s been getting under my skin and has been for awhile. This problem of hype started with Batman Begins and has only gotten worse with each new film. Put simply: people are way too eager to ascribe “god-like” status to Mr. Nolan and I don’t believe he’s earned it yet.

Inception is a damn good movie. There was harmony between all the departments for this film and it shows. The story was solid, the pacing was good, the acting was good, and the direction was good. When you leave the theater, you will discuss this movie with your friends and it will be on your mind for a few days more after that.

But is the film great? No, and it doesn’t have to be.¬†Will it go toe to toe with the classics and come out within the top ten of all time? Hardly, but why does that even matter? We’re too quick these days to deliver heaps of praise on these movies when I think these movies should be the norm and not the exception to the rule.

At the risk of sounding the contrarian, Nolan isn’t a great filmmaker. He’s a damn good one and he has yet to make a terrible film. But I don’t think his work will define this era of filmmaking, nor will it change how we perceive visual storytelling in general.

And that’s not a bad thing..