Good VS Evil

Today, kids, we talk about games with morality engines. Good VS Evil. The right thing VS being a complete dick. They’ve become quite popular in games, and since their early days, I’ve been very fond of them. Putting in my hands the option to be a good guy or a bad guy, a sinner or a saint, that’s my kind of thing. I get really excited about games that have this particular kind of structure. The more involved it is, the happier I am.

It’s just that, well, I tend to play instinctively. Which means, and here’s something that might just shock you, 99.9% of the time, my character is the bad guy the first go ’round. Even if it just ends up that the morality engine is so involved that I’ve managed to make choices that place me more along the lines of Chaotic Neutral (yeah, I’m that much of a prick), I’m certainly not the Knight In Shining Armor. I’m no Hero.

It kind of surprised me to learn that most of my friends are. Not even just friends, but people I encounter randomly and discuss games with. We that play our characters wickedly because it comes naturally – and it’s way more fun – we are a very small percentage of the world. Very. Fucking. Small.

Most players will go through their first plays of these games with golden hearts and halos that (somebody like me would shove up their asses given the chance) gleam with all the glory of the righteous. They do the noble things, the brave things, sacrificing themselves and/or their loved ones so that it might save an entire race of beings (barf). When the game is complete, then, and only then, will they traipse through the world again, this time choosing the dark side. The majority of players like this will not find these actions easy. You will see them struggle with themselves, even though they’ve made the decision to be bad. Oh, WHY is it that you people cannot see how glorious it is to walk on the other side of the tracks?

There are even some players, a fairly good fraction of those that are good at heart, who cannot – no matter what – bring themselves to play a bad guy. And some that, beyond that, can’t even be mildly morally questionable.

Okay, I will admit. I usually save the “white hat” run through for the very last. I don’t generally have as much fun being nice. I’m not into all that … self sacrifice and putting the good of the whole before the good of myself. I like being reprehensible. I like how the Dark Side alters the way one looks when one uses it too much (KOTOR). It makes me giddy to see that I’ve screwed somebody else over so that I can have an easier life.

But it’s not impossible for me to play through as a good guy. I do it. I do it to see different endings, to see how differently characters will react when you’re not threatening to burn down their village. I do it to see the changes and the subtleties. It’s still fun, just not as much fun. So why can’t those do-gooders see my side of it? Why can’t they just admit that for a little while, it’s kind of interesting and entertaining to be evil? Hm? I think it’s a little biased, really. I can play how you play, but you don’t even want to try it my way?

This is starting to sound a little … naughty, isn’t it.

Some people are surprised when they discover the nature of my gaming. Most, however, not so much. Once you get to know me, you really can’t ignore the fact that it bleeds over into real life. I am who I am. I make it no secret. I don’t lie about it. I laugh when people get hurt. I enjoy tasteless jokes. So my friends? Really not startled when they see my achievements always pop up with the “you won the game as a complete heartless bastard” first. Not surprised when I talk about the dark endings before I talk about the light ones. Not at all taken aback, but highly amused, when I rage quietly about accidentally getting the Light Side ending in Force Unleashed the first time I played it. ACCIDENTALLY GOT IT. SON.OF.A.BITCH. Yes, I’m still angry. I also harbor resentment and grudges, fyi.

All I want you people to do is try to see things my way. That’s all I ask. Is that so much?

Evil. Try it. You might like it.

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L.A. Confidential

How in the sake of fuck did this book get translated into a movie? No no, don’t get me wrong. I adored the book. I like all of his writing. But what rocket scientist did they find to make this into a movie script? It’s just so … freaking… I don’t even know. It’s so complicated and involved.

However it happened, I’ve got the movie on my Netflix queue. I think I’ll move it to the top to ease my curiosity. Plus, apparently it’s got Kevin Spacey in it, and I adore him.

The back of the book has the best way to describe the style of this book: Noir written in shorthand.

I’ve been trying to explain to people how it reads by using the words “razor blades” “quick” and “jagged”. Nobody quite gets what I’m saying though, so I think I’ll resort to the reviewer’s explanation.

By the way, no matter how smart you think you are, the ending will fuck you up.

World’s Greatest Dad

I hadn’t heard of this one when it popped up on Netflix. But it has Robin Williams in it, and I’m a pretty huge fan of him. So I figured I’d give it a try. The premise seemed pretty interesting. At the very least, I figured, I would be able to say that I saw it.

Gotta tell you, it’s one of the more fucked up movies I’ve seen in a while. Robin Williams plays a guy who is a failed writer, a father and a teacher named Lance. His son’s name is Kyle. Kyle isn’t the best person in the world. In fact, he’s a giant douche.

Kyle doesn’t like music, cause it’s for fags. He doesn’t like movies, because it’s for art fags. He really only likes porn. The more raunchy porn, at that. It’s all he really talks about. He’s a dick to his only friend, Andrew. The only reason I can think that Andrew even keeps hanging around is that he’s got no dad, his mom is a drunk, and most importantly, because he’s got no other friends.

Well, Kyle dies. In a very embarrassing way. His dad makes it look like a suicide, and writes a note for his son. He does this because he doesn’t want his son to be seen in that way. I can understand. It’s horrifying. No matter how much of a cock your kid is, you don’t want him to be found holding his cock when the cops come.

This is sort of where things go nutty. The note gets out, and the entire school reacts positively to it. Suddenly Kyle has hundreds of people who love him. People who detested him when he was alive. Lance uses this to his own ends. Writing a book in his son’s name and using it to break himself into the profession he’s been trying to get into his entire life.

The ending was more than a little easy to see. I sort of wish that because of that they would have gone somewhere entirely different with it. But I think that it’s ultimately the right ending.

I liked it. I think it had to grow on me, but when it was over, I found that I liked it.

Oh, and surprise! Bobcat Goldthwait wrote it.
No shit.

Deadgirl – Request(ish)

With friends like J.T., who needs prison cellmates?

It’s one thing to be a juvenile delinquent and know your friend is slightly more of a waste than you are, and another entirely to realize your best friend is willing and able to abuse a helpless girl both physically and sexually.

And entirely different thing altogether when that girl is possibly not as alive as she appears to be.

Other than some fairly bad editing and the use of some incredibly Donnie-Darko-esque music, I actually enjoyed watching this movie. Yeah, you are detecting a bit of surprise there. I really didn’t expect to enjoy it at all. A friend said she was pretty disturbed by it, and I like disturbed, so I went for it. Low expectations for everything, guessing that it wouldn’t strike my fancy too much. So yes, I’m a bit taken aback that I actually liked it. The acting was pulled off pretty well, considering that the main players in the flick aren’t real heavy hitters. The slightly slow story isn’t really noticeable because you really want to know what’s going to happen next (she says while mentioning it).

It’s like the most fucked up fairy tale in the entire history of fairy tales. I’m even including all the original ones here. The Grimm’s. The folklore. All of it.

As much as you think you can anticipate the ending, you really can’t. It comes a little bit out of left feild. Then it goes ahead and runs around behind you for a while before popping up again and shouting “BOO!”

The whole movie is pretty weird, but the ending is sort of extra weird. You’re a little disgusted and a little bit horrified, but it’s also sort of sweet. In a really disturbing kind of way.

The prince and hero eventually gets his princess… sort of.

“You’ll enjoy being dead. Deadgirl does.”

Ma Vie En Rose – Request

There are two movies by this title. Both are French. One is a biopic about a singer. This one is about a 7 year old boy who wants to be a 7 year old girl.

I’m starting to notice two things about French films:

1. They’re just a little bit strange, all of them
2. They don’t pull their punches.

The story of this movie may seem like a typical coming-of-age/finding yourself movie, but it isn’t. Not just because there’s some very odd interludes with a doll, either. Though, those are pretty atypical.

They really manage to show the struggle some people have to go through – at any age, really – but especially in childhood. We all tend to think that being a kid is easy, when really it’s the furthest thing from the truth. Being a kid sucks sometimes, a lot. For some people it can be a really confusing and turbulent period of life. It’s hard to make somebody who doesn’t understand that feel that, but this movie really tugs at the heartstrings.

I really like what they did with this film and it’s main character. The whole thing felt truthful, honest. Sometimes this sort of subject matter can come off feeling forced. Contrived. Amazingly, there wasn’t a point where I thought that it was trying to hard.

The ending really pleased me a lot.

Welcome To The Dollhouse

Fuck. Talk about showing my goddamned age. Once upon a time there was this goddamned movie. I don’t think it even went into theaters, and I don’t know how I discovered it. I just know that I was completely obsessed with it. It wasn’t easy to find, and I wanted to own it, but it ended up that I just had to rent it a lot. (Once upon a time, DVDs didn’t exist) Now? I have no memory of why I was so obsessed.

Maybe I’m just a fan of these types of awkward movies because this is just how I felt through the entire first 10 years of school. maybe I see me in them and I for some reason feel like reliving the excruciating pain.

I’ve definitely grown past the obsession stage, but it’s still a pretty well done story. I still definitely enjoyed it. It’s fucked up, definitely. It may go far beyond fucked up. Especially the dream sequence. The fact that it was one of the few movies I had ever encountered that didn’t have the wrapped up nicely happy ending that I was so sick of at the time likely was a really big attracter for me. I went through this phase where I actively sought out movies that ended badly or with the bad guy winning at the end. I was sure they were out there, and I was sick of happy endings.

All I know is that at really random points in my life the main title song will pop into my head.

I didn’t even remember the plot until almost halfway through. Which is odd, considering how many times I’m sure I watched it.

I don’t know if you have to be a social outcast to enjoy this movie, but I think it might help.