Monday, 19 November 2018

Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - BASE

My second solo victory in Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII's Blackout mode involved lots of crouching and staring at doors that no-one wanted to open. Turns out that's a valid strategy. Since that video is incredibly boring, here's another two clips of me killing a good chunk of people while either hiding in tall grass or running around like a headless maniac.

Saturday, 17 November 2018

ALISON - Nightride

Alita: Battle Angel - GALLY

Although it's disappointing that James Cameron couldn't spare the time away from his Avatar sequels to give Yukito Kishiro's manga the full, gunmetal treatment, substitute director Robert Rodriguez looks like he's stepping up his action game to compensate. Rodriguez's previous attempt at adapting dynamic, black and white comics had all the elegance of a brick. Sin City may have had visual pops to spare but the grace and fluidity of Frank Miller's art was elsewhere. By comparison, Alita: Battle Angel's liquid mantling and servo-crunching mayhem is a revelation.

Hotel Pools - Dissolve

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child

A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child may be subject to the amnesiac, free-association plotting that drives the other Krueger sequels but screenwriter Leslie Bohem does remember to build his phantoms around experiences that are both recognisably part of teenage life and ripe for horrified embellishment. A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master survivors Alice and Dan are now high school sweethearts, surrounded by a fresh crop of pals and expecting their first child. Naturally Freddy sees this pre-college pregnancy as an opportunity to really turn the screws on Alice.

The expectant mother finds herself rapid-eyeing her way into the shit-stained asylum where Freddy was conceived. She experiences the child murderer's violent, repulsive conception in the first-person, trapped inside Sister Krueger's body as dozens of rabid criminals, including Robert Englund out of his third-degree burns make up, fall on her. Later she floats around on the periphery of Freddy's birth, witnessing a bizarre reconfiguring of history in which the unkillable child murderer dreams himself back into being as a flayed goblin. This new version of events is so startling that an attending Nun takes it upon herself to body slam this Dream Child into the nearest bin. Baby Freddy promptly escapes, demonstrating the wits and ambulatory expertise of a newly chest-burst Alien.

Unlike say The Dream Master, Elm Street 5 keeps its characters defiantly one-dimensional. Alice's new friendship group are nothing more than a collection of bodies, ripe for the slaughter. Their thoughts and feelings are background radiation, filling in just enough detail to provide context for their deaths. Freddy's kills, when they arrive, frequently feel like the best possible use of these characters. This essential ambivalence allows the film's more morbid notes to sing. Funny book fan Mark is shredded in a dream sequence that mixes superstar comic aesthetics and A-ha's Take on Me music video. Dan's demise, in which he is forcibly transformed into a biomechanical carbuncle growing on the hide of a speeding motorbike, has the deranged, diesel power energy of Japanese cyberpunk.

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Eagle Eyed Tiger - Diffusion

A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master

Considering the Elm Street series is built on the idea of a disfigured nonce entering children's dreams to murder them, it's no surprise that the films have an elastic relationship with reality. Victims slip in and out of the dream realm to be prodded and abused by Robert Englund's increasingly flamboyant boogieman, while clairvoyant teens are able to build themselves super-identities out of the damned spirits haunting these planes. Formula firmly in place, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master rambles around with a new set of young adults, mechanically embedding character specific dangers before callously offing them with bravura make-up effects.

The Dream Master's attempts to play with the Elm Street recipe are a mixed bag. Showing unwilling allies forcibly hurled into REM sleep to placate a psychic's night terrors neatly combines the anxiety of sequel survivors with a refresher on the forces opposing crispy Fred. That the film rushes to mangle these A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors leftovers (Patricia Arquette's steely psychic Kristen Parker is reduced to a one-note shrieker by her replacement Tuesday Knight) with very little ceremony leaves large sections of the film circling the drain. Eventually Dream Master settles on Lisa Wilcox's Alice, a lucid dreamer well-placed to turn the tables on Krueger.

Alice daydreams through the difficulties of her waking life, be that plucking up the courage to tell the school hunk how she feels about him or putting a drunken, abusive father in his place. Her blips of directed unreality invite another sense of uncertainty into the film, promising a variety of attack that never quite comes together. Although it's expected that scenes will bubble along with the looping chaos of nighttime fantasy, Renny Harlin's film dwells on the method and delivery of Freddy's assaults to the exclusion of anything else. By extending the murders, so the audience can luxuriate in the special effects, Dream Master trades shocks for revulsion, using Kreuger not as terrifying spectre but the wisecracking MC walking us through the latest prosthetic showcase. This imbalance is compounded by the gentleness and general likeability of Fred's newest victims. These young girls aren't attacking him or each other, they're just kids getting on with their lives. Their slaughter therefore registers as mean-spirited or, in at least one case, outright repulsive.

Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII - SKULK

Skulking around and ignoring enemy loot as I commando crawl my way into first place on Call of Duty: Black Ops IIII's Solo Blackout mode. Stick around to the end to see how close the game was (thank you desiccated tree) and how bad a sportsman I am.

Gunship - Dark All Day (feat. Tim Cappello and Indiana)

Dragon Ball Super: Broly - I'M THE DEVIL

Previously depicted as an unbeatable wall of muscle, Broly washes up here in his own in-continuity movie as the personification of the Saiyan's primitive, genocidal savagery. Given how far Son Goku and Vegeta have come - surpassing the legend of the Super Saiyan, tapping into the heavenly power of the Gods and settling down to have kids - it's a kick to see them both absolutely manhandled by an ultra powerful but unevolved example of their vagabond race.