Twelve Lessons from the Movies of 2012 – Part 2

Welcome back to the second half of class! Sorry I’m late, I was a bit busy with a little thing called the Global Game Jam (check out my 48-hour project “Sprout”). We’ll examine six more movies today, see what we can learn from ’em, and even give out a few other awards!

Continue reading


Twelve Lessons from the Movies of 2012 – Part 1

So here we are in 2013! Time to reflect back upon all the films we saw last year. For most bloggers this’ll take the form of a best-of list and maybe a worst-of list too, but we’re real writers, and supposedly video game developers, so we’re gonna try to be a bit more constructive than that. One of Logan’s close friends studies cinema, and he’s always said you can learn something from any film, good or bad. I’m not sure if that applies to George Lucas movies, but luckily he didn’t release any movies this year.

Continue reading

Quickies: Helldriver (Japan, 2010) and Castaway on the Moon (Korea, 2009)

I was certain “Helldriver” would be a Japanese splatter winner, as it looked to be a spiritual sequel to Yoshihiro Nishimura’s masterpiece Tokyo Gore Police, with Eihi Shiina in the leading villain role, a chainsaw as the weapon of choice for newcomer hero Yumiko Hara, and Old Faithful levels of blood geysering into the stratosphere all but a certainty.

Continue reading

A Thing of Irrelevance

John Carpenter’s an interesting fellow. Creator of some of the most beloved cult movies of all time in Big Trouble in Little China, Halloween, and Escape from New York, he’s also managed to make a considerable number of mediocre flops. Often times he’s strangely insisted on creating the musical “compositions” for his works, a travesty that regularly plummets them into the realms of absurdity (I’m looking at you, They Live). He fortunately did not do the music for The Thing, a movie that stood out in 1982 as a masterpiece of suspense and horror and today has the sort of cult following that has made it his highest rated movie and even one of the top 250 on IMDB. It’s a bit goofy and campy at times, but only enough to entertain you up until the genuine thrills start. And honestly, who can complain about a sombreroed Kurt Russel in giant black shades and leather jacket piloting a helicopter? It’s also a showcase of awesome practical effects, giving us some of the most gruesome alien imagery in cinema. So, despite the looming IGF submission deadline, up until which my crew and I were to be working feverishly and without rest, I wanted to be front-seat for the Norwegian-made premake The Thing (ooo, clever) to bare witness to what could be a subtle well-executed thriller, but was far more likely to be a screaming, shrieking, CG-infested craptacular.

Boy was I in for a surprise.

Continue reading