PhoneFlicks vs. Netflix for iPhone

Blog | Aug. 31, 2010

I love Netflix, and I think they’ve shown some amazing innovation in the on-demand video market, which is why they more or less own it. But Netflix for the iPhone is the first product they’ve released that I am disappointed in, enough to make me rethink my earlier assessment of Phone Flicks, my Netflix stand-in. Let’s say I’m looking for a movie to add to my queue, such as Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.

Bye Bye Brazil, indeed. Dear Netflix, when are you going to release my film?

Read more »

They’ve lost ‘Control’

Blog | Aug. 26, 2010

I was glad to ditch PhoneFlixFlicks from my iPhone because of its crappy UI. Say I want to add Control, Anton Corbijn’s 2009 biopic of Ian Curtis. Well, PhoneFlicks gives me one result: it’s Control all right — a 2001 thriller with Sean Young.

Did you leave enough room for the ad, the header, and the keyboard? Oh shoot. We forgot to leave space for the search results! So I was excited to download the new Netflix app and finally get some Control. Only I get this:

Read more »

Or would you accept complaint-inciting hero?

Blog | Aug. 23, 2010

Regarding my brief essay on how videogames are cruel taskmasters when compared to the halcyon days of say, 2005, CrunchGear has an apt description of Fanboyism: When Expression Meets Desperation.

“Lacking anything real in life, the fanboy latches onto that which he has, and imbues it with the significance he craves.”

They paraphrase Marx, saying fanboyism is the opiate of the internet, which should put those 600 or so words of mine into perspective. But putting repetitive tasks in a game that’s supposed to be fun is still no fun at all. If I wanted to set goals for myself, I wouldn’t be playing video games now, would I?

It’s Guitar Hero, not achievement-unlocking-hero

Blog | Aug. 22, 2010

Let me blow your mind really quickly: playing video games are like doing chores these days, man.

I’ll gloss over how WoW and Farmville are designed to keep you playing (I’ll leave that research to Cracked, apparently), but want to talk about how this extends to even casual games you’ve already bought and paid for.

Read more »

A generational divide at the movies

Blog | Aug. 13, 2010

I wonder if these things are related…

Why is it that the older you are the more you can’t stand ‘Inception’?

If “Inception” plays especially strongly with a young audience, it’s probably because they instinctively grasp its narrative density best, having grown up playing video games. “When it comes to understanding ‘Inception,’ you’ve got a real advantage if you’re a gamer,” says Henry Jenkins, who’s a professor of communications, journalism and cinematic arts at USC. ” ‘Inception’ is first and foremost a movie about worlds and levels, which is very much the way video games are structured. Games create a sense that we’re a part of the action. Stories aren’t just told to us. We experience them.”

‘Scott Pilgrim’ Versus The Unfortunate Tendency To Review The Audience

Hating Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is perfectly fine. It’s got a style; you sort of embrace it and dig it or you don’t. But when there’s too much effort given to tut-tutting the people you imagine to be enjoying it, or declaring and promising that only narrow categories of losers and non-life-havers and other stupid annoying hipsters could possibly be having a good time when you’re not, it sounds pinched and ungenerous. And, not to put too fine a point on it, a little bit jealous and fearful of obsolescence.

That last article may have been directed at The Kansas City Star:

The geeks are pulling Hollywood’s strings right now, and that’s not a good thing

Their influence on what we see at the megaplex and on television is vast and powerful. The Ain’t It Cool News websites of the world are in effect telling those who are in charge what to do.

This is an awful development.

They’re making movies for a large, appreciative, sometimes-obsessive audience? Tsk. Tsk. How did Hollywood stoop so low? Let’s get back to making more of the right kind of movies, like The Switch and Dinner for Schmucks.

It wasn’t always like this. A quarter century ago, the heavy hitters of movies and television would have sneeringly dismissed these Comic-Con revelers as laughable losers.

I used to be with it. Then they changed what ‘it’ was. Now, what I’m with isn’t it, and what’s ‘it’ seems weird and scary to me. Now if you’ll excuse me, I see someone who needs to be stuffed into a locker.

Maybe the author can see if he shows any of the 10 Signs You’re A Movie Snob rather than dismissing a culture he has no interest in, nor understanding of.