It’s a Bird, It’s a Plane, It’s a Shambling Zombie Propped Up by Decadent Copyright Law

man-of-steel-posterBy the time Superman and General Zod were destroying the hundredth skyscraper in the two invincible men’s pointless quest to kill each other, I had to ask myself: does anybody care? Supposedly, Superman is fighting to save the earth, but since he doesn’t seem too broken up over the thousands of people who die every time a skyscraper topples, why should we be? If there’s nothing at stake, then why does the film need to end with an hour and a half of nonstop punching and explosions? Continue reading

New Videogame Consoles! Because…Why, Again?

Also available in black!

Also available in black!

Like all members of my generation, I have a rather ambiguous relationship with videogames.

I believe in the medium. It’s a fascinating new art form, and certain games have been central to some of my fondest memories.

And yet, every few years, I look around and realize I haven’t really played a videogame in almost forever. And then I try to remind myself why I used to care.

Part of this is just a time issue. A truly great single-player game can take as much as 50 hours to complete, and every time I get through one, I look at my watch and realize that (a) it’s three a.m., and (b) I could have read five books in the same amount of time it took me to finish one game. And when you work full time and have kids, that sort of time is at a premium.

But I think there’s more to it than that. Namely, that the games companies haven’t given us a reason to get excited in a long, long time.

This is particularly striking now, as we’re currently in a moment where all three console manufacturers are making bids to be on top in the next hardware generation, and literally nobody I am aware of is at all excited about any of the three new consoles.  Continue reading

A Lenten Meditation: Twitter Sucks Like an Old Hoover

This bird has ruined a thousand lives.

This bird has ruined a thousand lives.

I still remember the first time I heard about Twitter. I was eating lunch with some coworkers in ’07, and one of them dropped the name of the then-new site.

“What the heck is Twitter?” I said, wiping mayonnaise from several orifices with my sleeve.

“You know those ‘status update’ thingies you can make on Facebook?” she said.

“Yeah…”

“Twitter is that. And nothing else.”

“That sounds…entirely useless.”

Continue reading

I’m Supposed to Care About DARK, GRITTY* Stuff This Week…But I Don’t. Here’s Why.

*[For maximum impact, every time you read the words “DARK” or “GRITTY” in this piece, say them in Christian Bale’s ridiculous Batman voice.]

I’m honestly not sure what this is, but it’s kind of awesome. Thanks, Google Image Search!

Truly, this is the week of DARKNESS and GRITTINESS. The final chapter in the Dark Knight trilogy (which they really should have just called Batman Ends) comes out at midnight tonight, and the fifth and final season of Breaking Bad (subtitled Breaking, Like, the Badliest Ever) premiered on Tuesday. I didn’t watch Breaking Bad, and I probably won’t go see The Dark Knight Lights Up (as Rush Limbaugh tells me that this new movie is called), at least not right away. The fact is I don’t like either series very much, though it’s not for lack of trying. I went to the first two Dark Knight movies, and I sat through the first season and a half of Breaking Bad. (My wife in particular loves the latter series, so it was entirely in my interest to learn to like it.) The fact is, their excessive DARKNESS and GRITTINESS renders them close to unwatchable for me.

I’m still sorting through my reasons for this, but let me see if I can give you a few: Continue reading