Alright, losers, today is the day. 18 hours from now, Sony's TGS conference is going to begin, and Devil May Cry 5 is definitely going to be announced there. And don't give me any of that "Ocelot, you say this every time and it never happens", because this time it's definitely happening.
TBH it doesn't matter who directs the movie because it's the franchise producer aka Disney who gets to call the shots, and that's the actual problem I have. The movie is going to look and feel the same no matter who directs it, because the director doesn't get a voice.
Yeah, I understand the worry, but people have been saying this about the Marvel movies for years, too, and I still don't really see it. The Guardians of the Galaxy movies feel distinct from anything else, Iron Man 3 felt like a Shane Black movie, the Joss Whedon ones are very obviously Joss Whedon ones, the Louis Leterrier one was exactly as bad as every other Louis Leterrier movie, Cap 1 was classic Joe Johnston, the Russo Brothers are better than everyone else. Granted, when they hire boring no-name directors with no discernible style of their own, they end up making those very paint-by-numbers Marvel Movies™, but I've yet to see a director with a distinct voice get chewed up by the machine (well, except for Edgar Wright's original Ant-Man, obviously ).
We've only seen two Disney Star Warses so far, and one was a wonderful movie from a great director (TFA showed all the same space adventure whimsy as JJ's first Star Trek movie), and the other was a pretty bland one by the unremarkable director of... Monsters (which is such a terrible movie!). I at least want to see Rian Johnson's Episode VIII before passing judgment on this whole enterprise. He's been very vocal about how Big Disney let him make exactly the movie he wanted to.
Of course it felt more like Star Wars - there was a Sith with a helmet, a Death Star, an Empire, a mysterious evil master, X-Wings, and Han Solo.
I think the Prequels themselves taught us that it takes more than superficial references and familiar stuff to feel like a Star War. Those movies have all those things, or equivalents thereof, and it didn't help them. JJ gave TFA such a wonderful sense of rollicking excitement and a breathless pace, well-written characters that I liked enough to want to know their stories, even if that story was, ultimately, "they blow up another Death Star". I didn't love TFA because it had X-Wings and I recognise X-Wings, I loved it because it was a great space adventure movie, which just so happens to be why I liked Star Wars in the first place.
So, yeah, if you couldn't guess, I'm pretty happy about JJ directing Episode IX
Oh I don't agree with that at all. I mean, Rogue One was a bit bleh, but The Force Awakens felt Star-Wars-ier than anything since the original trilogy to me. Exciting space adventures with fun action and characters I actually like; I went into that movie thinking I was too old to really care about any of this Star Wars business any more, and I walked out a changed man.
Lucas is such a boring, boring, boring director. UGH HE'S SO BORING! He's a dull old man who directs dull old man movies. Every scene is people sitting on couches or walking down hallways; sitting, lounging, reclining, discussing all their dumb prophecies and their horrible romances. Oh, let's check in with what's going on in the Senate while we're at it, because that's definitely what children like to see in their movies. He can't write dialogue, all his characters have the same voice, he writes the dumbest stories, his directing style couldn't be less exciting; for the love of God, keep him away from my wonderful new Star Wars.
There's also the fact that he doesn't want to make any more Star Wars movies. There's a four billion dollar cheque with his name on it proving just that. He's out. The nightmare is over.
Guys... what if they bring in George Lucas to make a Star War?
EDIT - I've got it, you guys: Episode IX, Quentin Tarantino is making his ninth movie... it was right in front of us all along. Mace Windu comes back from the dead, everyone says the N-word a bunch, Rey spends the whole movie barefoot and it all ends in a giant bloodbath.
Edgar Wright for Episode IX (although I guess he might have burnt bridges at the Disney/Marvel omniglobal entertainment factory after Ant-Man).
Shane Black for Episode IX, then. A neo-noir buddy cop movie featuring Rey and Kylo uncovering an evil scheme that goes all the way to the top, and also is set at Christmas for some reason. Do they have Christmas in space, though?
Wait, I've got it: Christopher Nolan. A giant blockbuster visual spectacle where characters only exist to deliver exposition and the sound mixing is so bad you can't understand what anyone is saying. Snoke turns out to have been Michael Caine all along.
We found out that Ron Howard was taking over Han Solo pretty quickly after Lord and Miller skedaddled, so hopefully they won't keep us waiting too long this time.
I hope he didn't get bullied out by the internet hate train. I can't say he was my first choice for Episode IX, but I was ready to give him a shot. I honestly don't know why people seem to hate Jurassic World so much. His latest movie, The Book of Henry, seems like it was a huge bomb, though, so maybe Disney dumped him or something. I imagine it's one of those things that we'll never really find out about.
I suppose the question now is who's gonna replace him? I wouldn't be at all opposed to having Rian Johnson do both 8 and 9. Or J.J. again. Or, y'know, any number of other talented up-and-coming directors out there that Disney could snap up for cheap. Just as long as it's not Zack Snyder or George Lucas
btw, I'm giving my coveted Ocelot's Best Acting of the Episode award to Lena Headey. It's been years since she had an opportunity to be as mean, vicious and menacing as she was last night, and she does it so well. That sneer of hers is absolutely unmatched. Completely undisguised hatred for everyone who isn't her. I love it.
Worst acting goes to The Hound carrying that wooden crate up the stairs. That whole bit looked like a comedy routine for no reason.
Cersei agrees to help out, except she didn't. Sansa and Arya were going to kill eachother, except they weren't. Urine Greyjoy peaces out, except it was all a cunning plan. Jon pretends he isn't going to bend the knee, except the knee is bent. Jorah was going to die from the definitely fatal Greyscale, except it was fine don't worry about it. Dickon was our new saviour, except... no, I can't, it's still too raw (unlike Dickon lol).
So what exactly has changed, logistically, since the Season 6 finale? Dany met Jon, they banged, and the Night King blew a hole in the Wall so his army can shuffle through at exactly the speed the plot dictates; they'll either take the whole of next season to reach Winterfell or they'll be knocking on the door of King's Landing in two episodes. I suppose Littlefinger is smirking out of a slightly lower orifice now, and Tormund and Beric are probably dead (odds on Brienne having to fight zombie Tormund at some point?), but apart from that, not much really happened this year. People mostly just zigzagged up and down Westeros.
But I did enjoy all the dragon violence, and it's a giddy thrill seeing all our favourite people finally coming together or reuniting after all these years. I don't think a sudden twist ending undoes all the awfulness of the Arya/Sansa story, but it's nice to know they didn't actually ruin Arya for realsies, and I'm very happy we don't have to put up with Littlefinger any more. I don't know, it's certainly better than Season 5 was, at least. As long as the Night King doesn't bring back Ramsay or the Sandsnakes, how bad can it really be?
I just finished The Lost Legacy, the new standalone DLC for Uncharted 4/bite-size new Uncharted game, and YOU GUYS I LOVED IT SO MUCH!
So we're back with Chloe Frazer, which I think makes this the only video game I've ever played where the main character is an Australian human. Claudia Black brings her syrupy tones back to the driver's seat, and Laura Bailey is back as my newest favouritest character in the series Nadine Ross, and they're on a GRRRLZ TRIP TO INDIAAAAA! They're on the hunt for a new ancient artifact, there's a new bad guy hunting for it alongside them, and, just between you and me, they might find a little bit of that Naughty Dog character development goodness along the way. It's forty US bucks on a disc in a box, and it's in that same 7-8ish hour range as Uncharted 1 and 3 were so it's basically an amazing deal and I can't recommend it enough.
This started life as DLC for Uncharted 4, before Naughty Dog realised they were onto a winner and decided to build it out into a full retail release, so I expected something pretty similar to the main game. And it is, for the most part (there's a lot of rope-swinging and stealthy-shooty-swimmy encounters) but it has some really neat new stuff, too. Really early on, TLL dumps you in a massive open area with Chloe, Nadine and a Jeep, and tells you to work it out for yourself. I really enjoyed the huge Madagascar level in Uncharted 4, but that was, ultimately, a fairly linear trek to a specific destination with some cool stuff to find on the way. TLL's version is essentially a small open-world, where you have an idea of where to start but the rest is left to you. It reminded me heavily of Metal Gear Solid V: a great big level full of stuff to do with as you please. You can explore, you can make a beeline for any conspicuous structures, you can kill all the guys or sneak all the guys, there are puzzles hiding out there, there's a sidequest. It's all up to you, baby. And while the mechanics of Uncharted aren't quite suited for this kind of gameplay (you don't run very fast, so you don't want to get too far from the Jeep, and only being able to hold two weapons limits your options), it's still a wonderful level to bomb around in for a couple of hours.
After that, it's back to Uncharted 4's business as usual, which is to say a lot of climbing, a lot of walking about, some big ol' level-spanning puzzles, and short but intense bursts of the best violence the Uncharted series has had. The combat is much the same as U4, though there are some fun new weapons in TLL. The same complaints I had about Uncharted 4 apply here (which is to say too much walkin', not enough shootin'), but TLL is a much shorter game and I think the overall pacing is better for it. I still wish there was more combat, because the combat here is so good, but... well, let's just say that the dearth of dudes to shoot is only a problem in the middle of the game, BECAUSE IT SURE AIN'T AT THE END!
OK, I'm not going to spoil anything, but The Lost Legacy's final couple of hours are FLAT OUT INCREDIBLE. It's like a Greatest Hits compilation of every action setpiece the series has given us so far, but cranked up the most rididiculously amazing level. It's the best setpiece in the series, fite me irl if u disagree. Oh BOY it's so good! I was shouting at my TV! I was slamming the buttons on my controller! My voice is hoarse from how hyped I was! It just keeps going and going, and the stakes keep escalating, and my hands are still shaking as I type this. UNCHAAAARTEEEED!
Oh, and the story! While the basic plot isn't going to surprise anyone, the writing and characterisation and development are wonderful. You get a bit of a look into Chloe and Nadine's backstories, and how they grew into the cool ladies we know and love, and they both get thrown into lovely moral quandaries that force them to confront themselves and grow as people. It's so well done; they both feel like three dimensional characters with values and hopes and dreams, desires, for-realsies personalities. I love'em. Chloe is so much Lara-Croft-er than that heavy-breathing imposter in the current Tomb Raider games it's kind of hilarious; it's just so fun to see her out there in her element, raiding tombs and cracking wise
Alright, so I'm revising my own personal Uncharted rankings: 2 > TLL > 4 > 1 > 3. Have I mentioned that I really like The Lost Legacy yet? btw I was just looking through all the Extras you unlock after finishing the game, and there are some amazing unlockable costumes for Chloe. I can't wait to jump back in and start mopping up some of these Trophies while messing around with the ridiculous slew of unlockable goodies.
I was really enjoying Season 3 until the final episode, particularly how they handled Nikki Swango:
From the clever bridge master strategist who was holding her own against Varga, to "I guess I'll try and kill a cop and get shot in the head for no reason. Oh well". It just felt totally out of character and dumb, like they couldn't think of how to end her story after the big shootout scene so they just scrawled some quick notes on a napkin and had the intern shoot it.
I didn't mind the ambiguous ending, but it was really obvious that that was how it was going to go from about halfway through that scene. I was just sitting there like, OK, bro, I get it, you're going to leave it open. I don't know, I suppose I pretty much just tuned out after the Swango thing.
So far the only one of these seasons I've really enjoyed all the way through is the first one. Seasons 2 and 3 have been nine great episodes followed by really disappointingly dumb endings. I know you're supposed to pretend it's not about the destination, it's about the journey, but nobody ever says that about journeys with great destinations.