Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait
Been meaning to watch this film for ages, and finally got the chance last night. The film follows one game against Real Madrid and Villarreal on the 23rd of April 2005. Zidane is my favourite footballer of all time, so it was interesting to watch just him for nearly an entire football match. I can see non-football fans, or even some football fans, finding the film boring. But, it's actually a pretty good piece of artistic cinema. Don't expect to actually watch a football match when you sit down to view this film though.
Zidane was never a charmer, and this piece of film shows him warts and all. He sweats, spits and gives people the eye all the way through the game; much of the match is of him not even touching the ball. It's still interesting to see his interactions with the players around him and see how he's reading the game as it progresses. It's just another day at the office. He hardly shows any emotion at all throughout the entire game, until near the end where he erupts.
The match is interspersed with tasteful tunes (the soundtrack is by Mogwai I'm lead to believe) and quotes from Zidane on life and the game of football - some of the subtitles are hard to read thanks to them blending in with the background. I think maybe you have to be a real down to earth football fan (or to have actually played the game) to fully appreciate the film; which I personally did.
8/10 for the film. 10/10 for Zidane as a player - 'cos he da best!
Posted Jun 20, 2010 6:40 am GMT
So says Jun Takeuchi. Taken from this article
on CVG, it got me thinking once again about the state of the Japanese gaming industry.
I've had discussions online and offline with friends about how the west has overtaken the east in terms of overall gaming quality and innovation - this has been the case for the past 5 or so years now. My personal view is Japanese developers are way too eager to try and make games which will directly appeal to the western market and trying to make games with a western theme, while forgetting that a lot of gamers like Japanese games because they were exactly that, Japanese games.
Of course this can all be quite subjective and open to interpretation. But there's no denying that the Japanese have lost quite a bit of originality and innovation, while resting on their laurels. As Jun Takeuchi has said, Japanese games need to evolve and fast. What can be done? Less Lost Planet 2, more Bayonetta?!
Posted May 17, 2010 3:20 am GMT
First and foremost, as I'm sure all the people have already seen the film will testify, Avatar is a stunning looking film. There were moments where I honestly couldn't tell CGI from the real thing. By far the best visuals I have ever seen. The story is obviously an updated take on a very old tale: outsiders encroaching on native peoples land for either natural resources and/or the land itself. Whether this is a negative like many people have said, is another matter. I personally do not think it was. If viewers make the connection with the Na'vi and our very own habitat destruction while raising their awareness, it can only be a good thing. Though despite this, I imagine many will find this premise slightly pretentious. Regardless, the narative in Avatar is very well done and well paced. The Miyazaki masterpiece that is Princess Mononoke sprang to mind while watching Avatar; what with its emphasis on every living thing interlinking and being as one. I appreciated this aspect to Avatar, because even though I call myself an Atheist, I am very much interested in Shinto (even though Shinto is not technically a religion anyway). Obviously there have been many of our very own native people here on earth, from all corners of the globe throughout the ages, who have followed some sort of Animism and Polytheism. The past decade of terror and the various wars and battles in the Middle East, show their influence in Avatar - despite the fact that I've read James Cameron wrote the basis of the story in the 90's. The Last Samurai is another film which Avatar reminded me of.
The Na'vi themselves bear more than a passing resemblance to native; indigenous; aboriginal people here on Earth. This will lead you no doubt to feel they're not alien enough or as I have mentioned, that James Cameron is trying to tell us something. On the subject that the Na'vi can come across as not very alien (in the true sense), I would say that all sci-fi comes from the human mind. The stories, lands, imagery we make up fantasy wise comes from our own shared experiences and our history as humans beings.
As a big science fiction fan myself, for the film makers to go to this much trouble in realising the world of Pandora - with its rich, detailed enviornment and wildlife - was an absolute joy for me to witness. I personally watch films to escape (into a different world in this case), and for that purpose Avatar does a fantastic job.
Performances for the most part were solid. I've only recently seen Sam Worthington for the first time in Terminator Salvation, and although he isn't exactly going to be winning any Oscars for his recent roles, he gets the job done well enough. He's no doubt a rising star.
But yeah, films are subjective and not everybody will like Avatar. Some will see, hear and read about its success and before watching will already have in their heads: "So this is meant to be the best film EVAR, huh?! Well, we'll see about that!" All the time forgetting to switch off a little and just escape awhile. Of course, Avatar will just simple not turn people on or appeal to them; and there's nowt wrong with that. But for me, it was an endearing experience and beautiful one at that.
I didn't mean for my review to be that long. I do apologise if I bored anyone with my ramblings. I didn't want to go too much into the visuals of Avatar, so I got that out of the way from the start and concentrate on other areas more.
Posted Apr 27, 2010 9:52 am GMT