Posts Tagged ‘red’

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Red Dawn – What the hell?

November 3, 2012

Okay.

I wasn’t going to say anything about the remake of Red Dawn, but fuck it.

I’m not even entirely sure where to start here. So, the premise of the original was Cubans and Soviet Russians airdropped into America’s back yard with the successful aim of taking over the country. That’s a movie I can watch. That’s something I can turn my suspension of disbelief on for. Especially when it’s coming at a time when the Soviet system is stumbling hard and they might try one last-ditch sneak attack, AKA 1984.

And then you have Red Dawn 2012, in which North Korea-stop. Just…just stop right there for a minute. I’m going to repeat that premise, because it bears repetition. North Korea. Invades. The United States. And wins.

what.

This is the exact same problem I had with the game Homefront. I’m going to start in on this from just a purely technological viewpoint. In fact, my technological argument can be summed up in one image.

 

You see that space between Seoul and southern China there that has exactly one light on? They’re the ones who are supposed to invade the United States and take it over. North Korea, the country with one light bulb. North Korea, the country that hasn’t invaded anybody with any real degree of success since 1950 (The 8th Army retreat doesn’t count, that was China). North Korea…third funny thing.

And the premise of the original only really worked out because at that point in time, the Soviet Union was still a juggernaut who a fair portion of Americans thought might actually drop the bomb any day now because they had nothing left to lose. Cuba and Nicaragua were really the only two Marxist powers in the West, but there’s no way they could have invaded independent of Soviet influence.

As for now, the only Marxist juggernaut left out there is China. Cuba’s got two Castros (one pushing ninety and the other five years younger) and a bunch of cars from the fifties, Venezuela has a potato-faced president who called Gadaffi “[A] great fighter, a revolutionary and martyr.”, and North Korea…well, that whole country is apparently run on a single potato battery. China’s the only real Communist threat out there, and I doubt they’ll attack directly because we buy all their cheaply made crap.

And now we come to the core reason that North Korea instead of China is attacking in the remake. China has more than four times the population of the United States and they like to watch movies over there, too. And what makes it worse, what pushes it over a line from confusing to downright racist is that all the changes they made were in post-production, consisting mostly of changing symbols from Chinese to North Korean. Because all Asians are the same, amirite? (Again, I am not right.) This is what the film’s producer said about the change:

“We were initially very reluctant to make any changes, but after careful consideration we constructed a way to make a scarier, smarter and more dangerous Red Dawn that we believe improves the movie”

BULL. FUCKING. SHIT. You changed the invading army from Chinese to North Korean because North Korea only has one movie theater, and it’s in Kim Jong-Un’s house.

It didn’t have to be like this. Here’s, in my mind, what should happen if you need a Communist enemy after the fall of Communism. ALTERNATE HISTORY DAT SHIT. Seriously. Set up a timeline where Communism never fell. Make the United State the sole holdout against a worldwide wave of Socialism. Because that’s how to make Communists scary again. They have to be poised for global conquest or it just doesn’t work. Hell, even the original Red Dawn started with a spoonful of alt-history, what with almost all of Western Europe withdrawing from NATO and a Communist revolution in Mexico. None of that happened in real life, but it does set up a world where it feels normal for Americans to be scared of the Soviets. Really, when you’re dealing with Communists, it’s kind of an all-or-nothing proposal. It’s got to be the Russian Bear or nothing.

Man, it felt good to bitch about a movie online again!

 

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Review: Pokemon Red & Blue

August 15, 2012

Now that I’ve completely ruined my legs working the polls today (or yesterday, depending on your frame of reference), I might as well go into the Pokemon series and my own personal history with it.

I was in 6th or 7th grade before I was even exposed to the series – if I remember right, we were on a class trip to the local renaissance festival. I saw  a couple of the other kids playing it, thought it looked neat, and I got it for Christmas that year.

I was hooked. There wasn’t a place that I wouldn’t bring my Gameboy and at least one Pokemon cartridge. In fact, I was still carrying them around with me as late as college. Now, you may be asking your screen, “What about the story? What about the gameplay?”

Shut up and let me be nostalgic for five minutes.

Okay, on to the story. You play as [INSERT COMICALLY OBSCENE NAME HERE], on a quest to catch and record data about one hundred fifty-one pokemon, and to beat the four greatest trainers in the entire Japan-ish world, helped by world-famous researcher and your neighbor (bloody convenient, eh?) Professor Oak, and contending with his grandson and your rival, [RACIAL SLUR AND/OR SEXUAL ORGAN] Oak, who always seems to be a step ahead of you, but maybe that’s because you’re picking up packages for Professor Oak because the delivery team at the PokeMart in Viridian City are apparently playing grab-ass in the break room, or maybe it’s the old man who yells at you while lying in the middle of the road because he hasn’t had his coffee yet.

As for the gameplay, that’s fairly simple. Turn-based, rock-paper-scissors style combat. In a battle, you can do one of four things each turn: attack with one of up to four attacks, use an item (healing spray potions, poke balls, etc.), change pokemon, or run away. You can encounter wild pokemon in tall grass or on the water, and you automatically start a battle if you make eye contact with them (it’s some weird pride thing I guess, I don’t know). If you beat another trainer, you get money, but if you lose in battle, you lose some money and you pass out, proving that the player character is a pansy.

Pokemon is one of the flagship titles on the Gameboy and may well have cemented it as the handheld game console for a solid decade. But how well does it hold up? Pretty well, actually. Even with all the advancements that have been made in the generations since, the original pairing still stand the test of time, partially because the core game mechanic hasn’t changed, and partially because they are the originals. It’s like comparing a finished and set diamond to an earlier version of itself. Everything that makes it fit for a flawless engagement ring was there all along, just maybe not quite as polished or a little rougher than the cleaner lines of the finished product. They’re still great games and they’re still the foundation of the series – no new releases are going to change that about them.