It’s the little things

Being observant can pay off, or at least make life an entertaining spectacle. I notice unpolished, scuffed, and dusty shoes… it’s my thing. It also enhances movie watching and video game playing. By the way… have you gained some weight? (being tactful doesn’t necessarily go hand-in-hand with being observant)

In Time, the non-Saturday Night Live Justin Timberlake vehicle, is entertaining. It’s a sci-fi thriller, lots of shooting, lots of pseudo-futuristic scenery, lots of running, lots of car chases. Running and car chases seem to be the dominant theme in this movie. This “getting there as quickly as possible” theme matches the premise of the movie. This movie is about time, and when you are short on time… you get your ass moving.

*Note: I am not spoiling the movie in this blog.

Time is currency. Once you reach the age of 25 you stop aging, but your clock starts… literally displayed on your forearm as a bright neon green reminder of your impending death. You have one year to live unless you start earning time, either through work, gambling, or crime… unless of course you are fortunate enough to be the 1%. The 1% get to live forever, the 99% aren’t so lucky. This information and premise is stated up front… I made the leap. I said “okay, I’ll believe this whole genetic countdown to death thing.”

The time thing is also why running and car chases are the vehicles to move the plot along. If you are always running out of time… you got to run or drive fast. 3 days to live, well I guess I am going to sprint to work to earn more time… and I am going to work fast so I earn more time. Need to get across town, well better put the pedal to the metal. Time is ticking baby!

Here is where the plot and details get fucked up. Amanda Seyfried… who looks like a cross between a monchichi and a big-boobed nymph… plays Justin Timberlake’s love interest. Movie directors, producers, and writers know what movie goers want to see… we want to see young ladies running around with shapely legs. To ensure Amanda’s legs are adequately shaped (and movie goers voyeuristic needs filled), she wears super high heels through the whole movie. Sprinting through gunfire, well put Amanda in some Jimmy Choo heels! Need to ensure a dramatic “almost out of time, thus about to die” scene (which is a re-play of an earlier scene)… put Amanda in heels so she can show how hot and fast she can be.

I’m sorry, I can believe this whole time is money thing but I am calling bullshit on the shoes. Nobody with half a brain would consciously put on heels when the odds of running are pretty high in your daily life. Wouldn’t the laws of evolution render the desire for heels extinct? If 99% of the population is constantly running, or at least walking fast, wouldn’t the market for selling heels drastically drop or disappear? No large consumer base equals no product. This is the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Along with shapely legs, movie goers want to see car crashes. Shattering glass, squealing tires, Thelma and Louise plunges… this is what we like to see. However, there is a car crash (actually it is a multiple roll down a slope) that was total bullshit. No seatbelts, just a moment where Justin Timberlake acts like my mother in our 1979 Chevy Caprice wagon… throw an arm out to stop little Sublimemonkey from nose diving through the windshield. Luckily for our monchichi nymph, Justin has some awesome upper body strength.

It’s the details that matter. It’s the details that makes a flight of fantasy go from entertaining to stupid. Fortunately, these two things didn’t subtract from the overall entertainment value of the movie… it’s worth seeing, especially to see corporate Hollywood’s take on corporate greed.

Speaking of worth, I paid $63 for Call of Duty’s Modern Warfare 3. Worth every penny. I spent 6 hours of my life last night being a stoned cold killer. I got through 36.4% of the game… I should be done in about 12 more hours (sooner if I call in sick tomorrow). There is no plot, there is no premise. In campaign mode you run around shooting bad guys. In multiplayer mode you run around shooting bad guys. Pretty simple concept. It is a delicious concept and experience. Visually it is striking. It is stunning… it is a smorgasboard of video gaming pleasure.

I’m crouching behind a concrete jersey barrier. The bad guy (Russian) is crouching behind a pile of trash and tires. My machine gun is rocking and rolling… brass is flying out of the ejection port with a distinct “ping” that is barely audible because of the roar of battle. I can see my rounds missing and smacking into the trash heap. Clearly visible puffs of dirt and trash show that I am not in a good position to deliver the coup de grace. I continue to fire because I am now mesmerized by the image of me killing trash. This is a visceral experience, there is no rational thought… I want to shoot trash just to see it die in HD. Paper is being ripped and tossed into the air. Those same shreds are then gently floating down. I hit a soda can… it jumps into the air and then falls down hard… bounces once and then rolls.

I grew up in Tennessee, I know the physics of killing cans… this is exactly how a can dies when shot. Refocusing on the bad guy, I pull a grenade and I toss. My movements are real… which means it seems to take forever to lower my rifle, pull grenade from pouch, pull pin from grenade, cock arm and throw grenade. There is no superhuman video game speed here… this is painfully slow. The grenade arcs through the air, it bounces off a tire with a thud (like the sound of a hammer on a tire makes) and then explodes. The bad guy is pushed up and away. I don’t notice the bad guy, I notice the tire. It flies into the air and then spalts down. I am stunned but move on… I got bad guys to kill. A hail of fire pushes me back a couple of minutes later. I don’t want to die, I have to balance my inner Rambo with my hatred of waiting for the respawn. You can’t be too big of a hero, but you don’t want to be the last man through the door. You rush the enemy when needed, you fall back when necessary.

The fucking tire is exactly where I had moved it with my grenade, it had not “respawned” to the trash pile. This game remembered, this game got it right. This game got the details. The only way this game would be better is if you wearing high heels while shredding trash, tires, and bad guys. Being able to take off your high heel and stab someone with it might make it better too.

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