Movies

Raiding a Regular Ol’ Tomb

Just recently I watched the Tomb Raider movie. There will be some spoilers about both the first of the latest Tomb Raider reboot games and the movie.

The movie was based on the first of the reboot games that have been released in the Tomb Raider franchise.

I don’t remember if I have talked about the Tomb Raider game franchise but I joined on the latest reboot of the franchise. And I have enjoyed it pretty well.

The games have a pretty interesting storyline, fun gameplay mechanics, and a solid upgrade system. If I haven’t talked about upgrade systems, there will be a post about it another time.

The plot of these games follow Lara Croft as she goes from a somewhat regular person with a crazy inheritance and archaeologist dad to being a… Tomb Raider.

Silliness aside though, the first game of the reboot is Lara gaining fighting and exploration experience as she fights her way through Trinity, an evil organization that is trying to rule the world by finding powerful supernatural artifacts.

The first of the reboot is about landing on an island where a powerful sorceress queen was laid to rest. It is in the middle of the most destructive currents and storms around called the Devil’s Triangle.

Throughout the game you find out that this sorceress queen is the reason the currents and weather won’t let anyone leave the island, and at the end when they finally lay her soul to rest then everything calms down and they can leave.

I just think that this is a solid story, I really like the supernatural elements of it. It was enjoyable to play through and explore the island to find out the different facets of the queen and her people and other expedition crews who have failed to get to her.

With all of the supernatural elements in account it makes sense that it took Trinity so long to find the tomb and even get through the tomb.

But the movie was different. It was still good, but not as good as it could have been.

The movie took the same major plot. Lara goes to an island, finds Trinity, opens tomb, finds the queen’s body, resolve plot.

But they just completely shied away from all of the supernatural aspect, and it felt like that was some of the glue that held the plot together.

For some reason Trinity, even though it is a powerful shadow organization with nearly unlimited resources, has been looking for the tomb on this island for years upon years.

Trinity can easily dispatch helicopters to the island at anytime, as shown at the end of the movie, and yet the people there seem to be at a lack of manpower or assistance given to the main antagonist to find this tomb.

The queen wasn’t some super powerful sorceress, instead she just carried a deadly plague and sealed herself away.

It was a strange decision to take out the supernatural, and I don’t really understand it.

To me this is like if Indiana Jones found the Ark of the Covenant, and then they opened it and were just like,”Oh, cool, it’s a golden box.”

Trinity as an organization is super cool when you realize that they might have these crazy magic super weapons or they are trying to get their hands on philosopher’s stones or they are trying to resurrect a sorcerer queen. That is an active threat that has insanely costly potential.

An organization that finds things that abide by the laws of nature in old tombs is far less threatening. This is especially true when you start factoring in how incompetent they have to be to fail at finding a tomb on a small to mid-sized island for at least a dozen years.

They announced a new Tomb Raider movie, and I’ll probably watch and put my review of it here. I’m curious to see what they do in lieu of the supernatural.

Weekend at Bernie’s 2 Would Have Been the Perfect Movie Except For One Thing. Bernie’s Already Dead.

So my friends and I watched Weekend at Bernie’s 2.

That’s right. The critically acclaimed Weekend at Bernie’s has a sequel. You might be thinking, “How?” and that’s and a good question.

Weekend at Bernie’s ends with Bernie going to the morgue. The mob fumbling to kill an already dead Bernie. And the “calm and rational” character getting the girl.

And that is realistically where it should end.

But… They decided to make another. And Bernie actually gets a more prominent role in it.

Weekend at Bernie’s ends with Bernie’s fraudulent 2mill still not being accounted for. So what does the psychopath character convince the “calm and rational” person to do?

If you answered: Get the body out of the morgue to deliver him to his safety deposit box in the Virgin Islands. Then you would be correct.

And if the story was that simple then it wouldn’t be much of a story.

So for the twist: Other people who want Bernie’s money use the power of Voodoo to bring Bernie back to life and tell them where the money is at.

The voodoo spell fails though and doesn’t become a True Resurrection (D&D don’t sue me). It becomes a partial resurrection where Bernie is only alive when he listens to music.

This gives the actor who plays Bernie a much more prominent role than in the first movie. And lt’s him do a lot of dancing.

The dance move that you might have heard of called the Bernie has its roots in this series.

So the movie is more of the same, where one character is psychotically willing to disturb the dead for a good cash payout and the “calm and rational” character tries to feign reluctance about the whole plan.

It is a great movie and really does a good job at pairing with Weekend at Bernie’s. 9/10

Cubic Analysis

Classically, I like to start off with what this blog post isn’t:

  1. This isn’t an analysis of Timecube.
  2. This isn’t an analysis of cubic functions, or any sort of polynomial function for that matter (sadly).
  3. This isn’t a lifestyle post.

What we are talking about today is the one-of-a-kind thriller (horror?) trilogy Cube. Let that be a warning that spoilers will most likely be ahead.

The first of the movies was Cube. It was simple, it was low budget, and it had a small math puzzle. The main plot of Cube (and the following movies) is that a few people are trapped in a cube room, that is attached to more cube rooms, which in whole make up a giant cube.

They are not only trapped though, they don’t know how they got there, they don’t know how to get out, and to put the icing on the cake, some of the rooms have death traps in them. The plot is driven solely by the need to escape the cube.

The start of the movie consists of random characters that come from different backgrounds in an unexplained and mysterious environment. The end of the movie consists of random characters that come from different backgrounds in an unexplained and mysterious environment.

That’s right, other than a snippet from one of the characters, the movie leaves out a ton of details such as:
1. Who built the cube?
2. What is the cube’s purpose?
3. Why did they choose these people to be in the cube?

And that’s why the movie is good in its own unique way. It lets the viewer come up with their own canon. Watching it, the viewer can answer those question with whatever seems to be the most reasonable answer. This means that establishing that there is no lore was more effective for Cube rather than trying to come up with some lore that could be considered unreasonable or faulty.

This was lost on the next installment, Cube 2: Hypercube.

As the name implies Cube 2: Hypercube takes place inside of a cube that has an added dimension. They added more than that extra dimension though, they also added an separate reason for each person to be there. And they also added a corporation that backed the building of the cube. So now we have two questions of the three answered.

Then at the very end they give a half-baked reason for what that cube’s specific purpose was, thus kind of answering the third question.

They simultaneously answered all of the questions without giving any solid lore.

Then the third movie came out, which being a prequel, is aptly named Cube Zero.

I have almost no words for Cube Zero. It’s like they were aiming for adding as much lore as possible without actually having any effect on what that lore implies. It showed people operating the cube. It showed higher-ups to those operators. It pictured a dystopian government using the cube. It gave a reason for the people to be in the cube.

And yet…

Nothing felt established. The reason people were put in the cube was also disproved in the movie itself. There were weird religious overtones at times. The operators don’t know why they are there. The higher-ups talk about people even higher up. The dystopian government was never fully pictured.

Yet it relied on the lore to drive the plot, rather than Cube’s plot being driven solely by a need to escape.

It’s a strange concept to have a movie that strips almost the entirety of its setting and still maintains a driving plot, and I firmly believed that Cube achieved that.

Bearly a Post

You know how two weeks ago I said that I was really stressed and there was a lot on my plate and after about two weeks it will be alright? Well, turns out that is exactly what happened. I have been self-actualizing my butt off the past few days. I might even be able to produce some extra content this week (like livestreaming gameplay) which is exciting since I usually don’t have a ton of free time.

Last week was Zelda theme week, and it was a lot of fun to play all of my favorite childhood Zelda songs. It was really stressful to produce, but quite rewarding having people come check out the videos. If you want to check them out here is a link (no pun intended) to a playlist of the entire theme week. I hope to do more theme weeks and more themed content in the future. If I can muster up 7 spooky songs, I’ll play them leading up to Halloween.

That is just a meta sidenote though. Here is the real content.

One (summer?) afternoon my brother and I were hanging out and we wanted to go see a movie. There wasn’t anything we wanted to see in the normal movie theater, so we checked out the dollar theater. Now I don’t actually remember what that theater was called, but the reason we called it the dollar theater is because they showed month or so old movies for about a dollar (maybe two).

We arrived and there wasn’t anything there that really grabbed our attention. A whole bunch of (what we thought were) mediocre movies. We were there though. We parked. We weren’t going back. We were dedicated to this movie-going cause.

So we pick Paddington, it was the least worst looking movie out of the bunch. We didn’t know what to expect, we never read any Paddington growing up, neither of us looked up any plot or read any reviews, and the trailer made it just seem like a cheesy bear comedy.

I now define my life as pre-Paddington and post-Paddington.

It is a cheesy bear comedy. But really it is a lighthearted, family-friendly movie where a polite and tragically displaced bear gets adopted by a slightly dysfunctional family. And through the magic that is children’s movies, every family problem is resolved by putting a wild animal into the household.

Aside from the stock plot that I described above this movie has a lot going for it. It has subtle humor, it has over the top humor, it has fun family moments, and unbearable puns to boot. On top of the family being dysfunctional there is also an arc where a taxidermist tries to hunt the bear throughout the town of London (and fails miserably every time), giving the movie some good action.

What takes this movie from great to transcendent though is the underlying arc throughout the entire movie.

Paddington is a bear. In London. Who can talk. And wears people clothes.

Throughout the entire movie they forget about this fact. If I saw a bear walking around in people clothes I would be utterly shocked. The movie doesn’t do that though, it knows that if it had to constantly explain itself then there wouldn’t be any time for actual plot. Instead what we get from the movie are scenes where they make fun of the fact that everyone so nonchalantly accepts this bear.

Although that shock and awe factor doesn’t exist, there still is an underlying theme of Paddington trying to fit into human society. The whole concept of “I want to be a real boy” exists in so many movies and this one isn’t an exception. Throughout the whole movie they do a great job at making him wear people clothes, making him more understanding of human society, and making his character more human.

Let’s review. What do we have so far:

  1. A movie that is genuinely fun and entertaining.
  2. A movie that has moral lessons in it.
  3. A movie that doesn’t take itself seriously in just the right places.
  4. A movie where the main character is learning to fit in.

And so the movie is wrapping up. Hooray, the taxidermist’s plans are foiled, the family is functional and happy, and Paddington feels like he is an actual human-equivalent member of society.

And then the final scene comes to a close and Paddington is reflecting on the adventure. The whole movie is supporting the idea that Paddington might as well be human.

Mrs Brown says that in London everyone is different, and that means anyone can fit in. I think she must be right – because although I don’t look like anyone else, I really do feel at home.

And there it is, the most heartwarming thing you have ever heard (but in this case I guess it’s read). He is a bear and yet he could still fit in, anyone can feel at home, anyone can belong to society. Paddington’s adventure can finally be replaced with a small boy and you would see no difference from here on out. And that’s the end of Padd-

Except it isn’t. There is one more line in the movie.

I’ll never be like other people, but that’s alright, because I’m a bear. A bear called Paddington.

The entire movie they don’t point it out, they try to make him more human, they end it with him being the equivalent of a functional human member of society. And finally as everything wraps up they slap you with one last zinger.

HE IS A BEAR

They have an entire movie to point out the absurdity of this bear getting along with society, and throughout it they decide to hold back that punch, instead dropping little crumbs of reality here and there. And then the end comes and they make, not just anyone, but the main character say how utterly absurd the entire plot of this movie is.

This is the reason why Paddington is one of my most favorite movies of all time.