Tuesday, December 28, 2010


**Warning: Spoilers for Tron: Legacy**

**I pretty much talk about the movie here**

*You have been warned.**

So anywho, i came to Tron late, having not seen the whole film until late last year, then immediately watching the Rifftrax for it, thus securing that I shall never take it seriously ever again.

So I saw Tron: Legacy tonight. And something bothered me.

It was not the 3D, which was fairly slick though seemingly unnecessary in some scenes (I took my glasses off for the conversation on the Solar Sailor, and the cinematography looked far better in 2D).

It was not the whole "putting on the Reich" scene where the bad guy speechifies to amassed troops in a very Nazi way (we'll play a drinking game later).

It's not the bad Final-Fantasy-Spirits-Within-style de-aging of Jeff Bridges.

It was not that the aforementioned Solar Sailor scene stopped the plot dead in its tracks for 30 minutes (the original did that too).

It's the casual murder.

"But wait, Lucas!" you declaim. "This is a Disney film. Surely they'll never SAY die!"

Well, they say de-rezzed, so allow me to explain my issue.

The Tron world is peopled by Programs, who look and act human and are essentially people, and Users, who are humans.

In the original Tron, Flynn is put into the Deadly Discs contest (and later, the lightcycle fight) where he must battle for his life in a kill-or-be-killed situation. Even then, it takes a few attacks on him for him to finally fight back against the human-looking program and defeat him. When asked to finish the job and de-rezz the opponent, he is horrified and refuses to kill for the whim of an overlord. Later, in the lightcycle fight, he does fight back by surviveing, and the nature of the contest spells doom for his opponents.

In Tron: Legacy, Sam Flynn is digitised into the Grid and selected for the games. He's put into the Deadly Discs scenario. He avoids the first few attacks, then sees in the next court that the disc can kill. He immediately launches his disc with intent to kill. It doesn't work at first, and the match becomes heated, with Sam finally de-rezzing his opponent with disc-through chest. He's almost immediately put into the next match. He kills his opponent quickly and uses the extra time to look for a way out.

Wait, what? This guy's been dropped into a computer world for 5 minutes and he's already killing people stylishly and without remorse? And that's just in the games. Once he's on the run, he's blasting those Orange guard programs left and right, sending the digital chips flying.

"But wait, Lucas!" you declaim anew. "Those programs he's killing are Orange Guys. Orange guys are bad guys, just drones. Surely it's okay to de-rezz them!"

Wrong again. Late in the film it's shown that not all captured blue guy Programs are sent to the games. Some are sent to "Rectification camps*" in boxcars**, where they're force-marched*** into glowing orange boxes that look like ovens****, and come out as perfect goose-stepping*****-in-formation Orange Guys.


The Big Bad of the film, Clu, is shown as an Authority-Equals-Asskicking dictator, who's destroyed an entire race within the grid because they didn't fit his ideal of perfection******. This is to make sure to point out to those of us still playing the home game, that this mook is a complete monster.

So how do we defeat this monster?

***last warning, major plot spoilers here zomg***

In order to get his son and Token Girly out safely, Flynn uses his physical god powers (which really would have been useful in the big fight) to hold back Clu, then Force-pull him in and reabsorb him, causing a massive energy release that destroys them both and the entire city.

Let me repeat that. THE ENTIRE CITY IS WIPED OUT.

That means every program, good or bad, is dead. That's genocide. And he's the good guy.

I couldn't believe it.

Disney, ladies and gents. You know, for kids!

*** DRI*hic*NK!
**** DRINK!
***** DRINK!
****** DRINK! Whoa. I gotta sit down.

I will do you a favour.

I shall recommend you go and download (for free) Super Crate Box. It recently won Free Indie of the Year (on Bytejacker) and it has casuall sucked up about an hour of my time today without even trying. It's basically a metroid-style platformer, but you're confined to one room. Your little dude has to run around collecting crates, each of which gives him a weapon upgrade. Problem is, it's a randomised weapon upgrade (so you might trade a bazooka for a weak-ass pistol), the enemies you don't kill get faster and angrier, and even if you sit and plug away at the enemies, you don't advance to the next level until you get a certain number of crates without dying.

It's addictive. Play it.

This is the link.

Monday, December 27, 2010

It sounds really silly, but it makes me happy when people mention things that I've written in my blog (well, people who aren't people that I've forced into reading it, anyway)

To show my joy, here is a gif of Scott Pilgrim rocking out.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Machine of Death: HA!

I'm reading this book on my Kindle:
"Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories About People Who Know How They Will Die"
Here is it's Amazon listing.
Here is it's website.
It's about people who go to a machine which pricks their finger and then tells them the exact method of their death (but not time or details. Like "Almond" or "Car Crash").
Some of the stories are ironic, some are Twilight-Zone-Dark, a few are worrying, and one so far touching.

But this one made me laugh out loud the moment I turned my Kindle-page.

(Oh, FYI, the titles of each story is one of the causes of death mentioned, most, but not all, being the cause of death of the main character.)

I present it here, in full:

HAHAHA. Ah ha.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Pusher.

I'm sick of having interests that are diverse and oddball enough that when I get a reaction to something, I can't talk about it unless I force that thing onto them and then press them for a conversation.

I first felt this feeling after going to see My Disco with Ted. I name dropped the band at work to local metal/odd-ball music people that I talk to and no one knew it. I assumed that, as it was one of Ted's bands, it'd be known to people who like Teddish tunes like Godspeed You Black Emperor and such. The one person who seemed interested recieved a burned CD from me and he didn't like it.

It's similar to when I try to talk about Scott Pilgrim to some people and they go "Oh, yeah, I read that." and I gush and start talking about the fact that I love it. And the person goes "Yeah, it was okay. I just read the first one." Argh.

I'm not saying people shouldn't have their own opinions, far from it. I just wish that sometimes those opinions would match or at least be nearish to mine without my having to forcefeed them to people.

So anyway.

I was disappointed with the last trade of Ex Machina. It was the series conclusion and it was unsatisfying.

If you don't know Ex Machina, I am not the least bit surprised.

It would not be worth my explaining the premise or anything. I probably wouldn't convince you to try it. Even then, you might hate it.

edit: That being said, in the last month I've had two great conversations, one with a guy at work, and one with my boss, about my love of insects, and nature in general (which lead to the loaning of Bill Fitzhugh's "Pest Control" to Joe, and Rick's highly recommending Attenborough's Planet Earth to me. So I could easily be full of shit.