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Showing posts from November, 2023

Consumed With Hate: Star Trek V: The Final Frontier

🌌 What If God Was One Of Us... The Crime:  Star Trek V: The Final Frontier The Guilty Party: William Shatner Overview: Shatner directs an outing that's long on philosophy and short on anything at all happening Why I Hate It... While a lot of fun gets poked at it, Star Trek IV: The One With The Whales  is arguably the best (or at least second-best) in the series. It's fun, it leans into the character camaraderie, and tells a story about making intergalactic peace through persistence and science. It nicely caps off the story arc that was started with Wrath of Khan  and resets the entire crew back to their pre- Khan  status quo, working as both a potential endpoint for the original cast (who were quickly aging out of their roles) and as a jumping off point for more. The guiding hand here was Leonard Nimoy, who wanted to make a movie that didn't rely on spectacle or a charismatic villain or solving a problem by shooting guns at it. The result is a film that--despite the gimmic

Consumed With Hate: Munchkin

🧚 We Represent the Lollipop Guild... The Crime:  Munchkin The Guilty Party: Steve Jackson Overview: A low-effort D&D send-up that walks the line between party game and RPG-lite strategy game without really succeeding at either. Why I Hate It... Finding balance in board game design is hard. You don't want there to be a clear winning strategy, or everyone just races for that. You want there to be some kind of catch-up mechanic, in case you make a bad--or just unlucky--decision early on so you're not completely screwed for the rest of the game. This is especially true in the kinds of Euro-style board games that I favor, where there's competition but not a lot of direct interaction. E.g., you and I are attempting these similar goals and drawing from the same scarce resource pool, but we're not actually touching each other's boards at all. Striking that balance from a design standpoint, and doing it well, requires a great deal of finesse, playtesting, and thoughtful

Consumed With Hate: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

🤼 No Matter How They Tossed the Dice, It Had To Be... The Crime: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice The Guilty Party: Warner Bros Overview: Hacked to bits and frankensteined together by a committee of clout-chasing executives desperate to prove they could be just as good at this as Marvel, Batman v Superman  is the worst tentpole film I've ever seen. Why I Hate It... I love bad movies. I love picking them apart, figuring out why they didn't work, trying to see through to the director's intent and trying to grok how the whole thing went to pieces. Now, not all bad movies are created equal. Last week's entry, Man of Steel , is mostly just boring because it lacks a coherent narrative direction. Manos: The Hands of Fate  is terrible, but it was an indie film made by incompetents in the 60s and the only reason anyone has heard of it at all is because it got a send-up on Mystery Science Theater 3000 . But every now and then the stars align (ahem) and you get something that i

Consumed With Hate: Man of Steel

🦸‍♂️ A Cloudy Day in Metropolis... The Crime:  Man of Steel The Guilty Party: Zack Snyder Overview: Zack Snyder's deconstruction falls flat because he doesn't like superheroes and is real bad at juggling theme, setting the entire DCEU down a path of idiocy. Why I Hate It... Way back in March, I did a write-up of Sucker Punch , a movie that doesn't work, but that I can't help but admire for its ambition and bravado. And I posited that the main reason it doesn't work is that it's a theme-rich film helmed by a director who's really bad at managing theme and integrating it with story and character arc. And I stand by that. Snyder is good at many things--he's an excellent visual stylist and second only to George Miller in terms of being able to shoot chaotic action sequences and keep them coherent. But when it comes to thematic storytelling, he's not good. For most of his filmography it hasn't mattered all that much. Nobody saw 300  because they were