Bumblebee and the Romantic '80s

Bumblebee and the Romantic '80s

So, I saw Bumblebee recently, and if you want my tl;dr thoughts, I thought it was rather good. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it was fantastic, and it ended up being one of my favorite popcorn films of the year (in a crowded year, too). However, having seen it a couple times, I’ve started having some mixed feelings on its relationship to nostalgia, the ‘80s aesthetic, and how this relates to how we consume media in general. So weirdly enough, to truly communicate what I thought about Bumblebee, we first need to discuss…

Socrates. Huh?

I Made a Thing

I Made a Thing

Super quick post here. You’ve likely noticed how quiet the blog’s been in the past month or so, and it’s because I’ve been participating in not one (!) but TWO (!!) game jams (!!!) for the month of November!

https://ari-runanin-telle.itch.io/euretta

The first was a solo project in my usual wheelhouse — a text adventure written quite a bit like a screenplay called Euretta. In it, a Stranger wanders the wild northwestern forests of California as a type of underworld as he searches to bring his wife back from the dead.

As with all tragedies, not everything is as it first appears.

Twin Peaks and the Search of the Western

Twin Peaks and the Search of the Western

When I first started this blog, I had one main goal: to talk about films and games in an engaged manner without getting overly academic about it; to remove the artifice of pretension from my writing without sacrificing any observations on deeper meaning. Now, for the most part, this goal has manifested itself in writing about the sometimes profound meaning some action films hold for me. And while I think that’s a worthy pursuit, I also understand how pretentious that can appear. It’s like saying, “Look, you just don’t GET Sylvester Stallone like I do, okay?” So, in the interest of trying a different approach, and just because I can’t get this particular subject out of my damn head, we’re going to look at something far more “high-brow” and written about…

The third season of Twin Peaks. And how its haunting feeling of emotional loss is the core of the entire show.

Cliffhanger and the Sincerity of Sylvester Stallone

Cliffhanger and the Sincerity of Sylvester Stallone

While he’s received a little renaissance of sorts with the release of Creed and soon Creed II, Stallone has always seemed a little like the sloppy seconds of the ‘80s. There’s The Terminator and then Rambo, True Lies and then Demolition Man, Eraser and, well… Assassins, Stallone’s filmography always playing second fiddle in popularity. This sounds horribly harsh, but this second-hand feeling points to a crucial truth in Stallone’s emotional core as an actor… (and yes, I just said that)…

The fear of being overlooked.

Mission: Impossible as Screwball Comedy

Mission: Impossible as Screwball Comedy

The name, “popcorn flick,” and even to a degree, “Mission: Impossible” itself encourages a passive viewing experience, a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get contract: the viewer agrees to only look for certain elements and ignore everything else, and the movie agrees to check those boxes. It is a blockbuster compromise—the film accepts a level of derision from the audience, and the audience accepts to like the movie a certain amount for indulging them. This phenomenon is best encapsulated in the phrase, “It was stupid, but it was fun.” We’re going to talk about everything else — specifically, how Mission Impossible is at its heart, a comedy.