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SF Fight!I recently bought a PS3 and have been muddling my way through the unimpressive library of PS3 exclusive titles.  Having had an XB360 since early 2006 and a Wii for nearly as long, the PS3 and I have a lot of time to make up together.

Just recently I rented and beat Heavenly Sword, a “first generation” (meaning one of the first releases) title for the PS3.  As mentioned here and elsewhere on this blog, I have gotten to run through a few titles on the console that heavily use the Wiimote sensor.  When Sony announced the Sixaxis controller, critics immediately saw the feature as a gimmick that would try to rival the Wiimote, and pitifully at that.  But now that this faithful critic and all around observer has had a chance to lay hands on both, what’s the verdict?

To emphasize the point, I am only comparing one PS3 game to every Wii game I’ve ever played.  Very unfair odds on either account, but I’ve noticed some very interesting things that have led me to believe there may be a clearer winner than someone may think.

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This is a bit of a politically charged post that I had over at AdamantFire though I thought I would post over here as well, since it deals with The Dark Knight.  This isn’t my usual course of action, but considering the subject matter and that it’s an in depth look at the movie and what it means, I thought I would post it here.

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Before I go on, note that I have seen one Woody Allen movie through and through. Though I can’t say that I’m terribly impressed with his style, his characters, or his story, I still respect the man’s movie making savvy. For the first time in a long time, I began reconsidering Allen’s talents when I saw a clip of Manhattan.

manhattan.jpgManhattan (1979) stars Diane Keaton and Meryl Streep notably, but I never saw them. I only saw the opening montage, in deceivingly pristine black and white with the narrator, Woody Allen, writing and rewriting the first chapter of whatever he or his character is writing. Funny and endearingly annoying, it’s an interesting way to begin a movie. If I thought of movies like essays, and the openings were the attention grabbers, Manhattan could have quite easily put me to sleep. But because movies are not essays (or are essays in a different way – all in the perspective, I suppose), Allen’s movie becomes a charming albeit obsessive introduction to the city that the director himself loves.

I think the most striking ways in which Allen is able to show the beauty of a dirty, grimy city is through black and white, which seems to emote more than just an absence of color. The feeling of the city becomes nostalgic, from the couple kissing on the balcony to the stark contrasts between the cars and the snow to the glittering fireworks in the night sky in time with Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” If nostalgia was film, it would be in black and white. It covers the imperfections in color, the discrepancies, the distractions, and focuses on the glittering eyes and contrasted pales and darks. In a weird way, Allen’s Manhattan becomes more real, more actual, than the real Manhattan ever could. But in this, we see the magic of Hollywood – the ability to change the ugliest duckling into the most gorgeous swan.

And on that note, I think it’s worth mentioning that Woody Allen has lifted Manhattan above cliche. I’ve never heard it much romanticized – just that those who live there would never leave. Whether it is by choice they stay is not told but shown to us in the montage. Because of his careful steps, Allen is able to create a world that speaks in pictures, not in sound.

darren-aronofsky.jpgNew and creative directors are diamonds in the rough, but they can be just as uneven and unbalanced as lumps of coal. Oftentimes, brilliant directors have rocky beginnings but still show potential for unprecedented style and character. Darren Aronofsky, a modern example of such, has shown growth and weaknesses within his repertoire of films, but has the potential to become one of the leading directors of our time.

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Awards and Recognition

Echoes in the Coil


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