Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Villain Vs. The Three Amigos

* = A mantra to live by...

After surviving the stifling heat and the commute that truly inspired dreams of genocide I plopped down on my couch and decided that maybe some Cronenberg was in order. I’ve never been a huge fan of his work, I understand it, I sometimes enjoy it, but overall I don’t have the devotion to it that say Dave or Mike do. I had never seen eXistenZ (*** out of 5), had it on the DVR and decided to give it a whirl.

Much like the other Cronenberg films I’ve seen the first thing that jumped out at me was his obsession with body issues. Whether it’s germs, the decaying nature of flesh, or the malleability of the physical form he seems to love this theme as it pops up again and again in his work. The second was the idea of a game taking the place of real life. As technology improves, quality of ‘real’ life continues to decline. In a virtual world we can be anything we want. Look at the droves who are addicted, sorry Heidi, to World Of Warcraft. They spend massive amounts of their lives living vicariously in a virtual world. I find this phenomenon fascinating. So suffice to say, I liked the film, I didn’t however love it. I found the premise outreached the grasp of the execution. Not to mention the ‘non ending’ ending was a tad played out and frustrating. I do have to admit it was reasonably entertaining and the cast was excellent. That may be the first time I’ve found Jennifer Jason Leigh extremely attractive, Jude Law was superb, and Christopher Eccleston & William DaFoe are ALWAYS good. Would I watch it again? Most likely not, but I’m glad I did sit down and see it.

On a side note it definitely gave me some ideas for gaming. Here’s a spoiler if you’re reading Guilded Age (Infinite *’s out of 5) and aren’t caught up.

They’re in a game & they can’t get out. I’ve thought about running a D&D game that is similar in vibe to this, and having the players eventually wake up and they are in Gamma World.

Maybe they were in the game when the apocalypse hit. Perhaps they used the game to escape the ravages of the ‘Nu’ World. Could they just be guinea pigs for some type of mad scientist and are now free. Or perhaps they are vat-grown clones whose ‘birth’ program hit a glitch and instead they were raised in a virtual environment game world of D&D. Either way that would be levels 1 through 5, and then they’d wake up in their real world. The fact is though the D&D world would still be a real world to them, a dimension where they would have friends, families, enemies, & responsibilities.

If you woke up into a bizarre world of mutants, plagues, monsters, and science from a world of swords and sorcery would you go back? The idea has potential, but then again most ideas do.

It would also make a nice ‘deathtrap’ in a super hero game. In the Marvel universe it would be a great way for Arcade to deal with a particularly dangerous group of heroes. When it comes to the DCU I might be a bit harder pressed to find a villain with the modus operandi that would fit, although the Wonder Woman foe Dr. Psycho might fit the bill. Either way, having the PCs wake up in a world with no powers and constant glitches trying to ‘delete’ them might be kinda fun. Or perhaps a riff on Alan Moore’s classic Superman story “For The Man Who Has Everything(Infinite *’s out of 5).
If you were in a fake world where you had everything your heart desired could you leave it for a harsh reality and a deadly confrontation? It’s a tough moral dilemma for most of us, well at least those of us that are honest about our inherent human flaws.

Who would have thought that a movie that I only felt ‘meh’ about would inspire so much creative potential? Maybe I just have too much time on my hands, to much time for...


- The world, especially people on my commute, is lucky I’m not crazy and armed; otherwise there might be a significant drop off in population. How folks can be driving 65 mph and yet can’t tear themselves away from a f’n cell phone, or putting on their make-up, or reading a paper long enough to safely steer this giant metal machine not only terrifies me, it angers me. I shouldn’t be surprised. Mankind for the most part is a pox on the face of the world.
- I should have worn my glasses today.
- The Nu-DCU is shaping up quiet nicely. Oh except for the Teen Titans. I’m not a fan of the way Superboy looks or the blurb about Kid Flash or Wonder Girl. I really wish that DC would understand you don’t have to break and rebuild every toy in the toy box some just needed minor tweaks.
- Tonight I’m either watching the new Green Lantern animated flick or playing the HELL out of Virtual Pro 2 while Cassandra is downstairs painting trim. Either way I WIN!
- Labron James has shown he is the Weakest of Sauces.
- The box of Horus Heresy, the new FFG version, is HUGE.

Oh and it has John Goodenough’s name right on the cover. Which is pretty cool seeing as he’s pals with Dave.
- I’m hungry for something, but I can’t put my finger on it.
- I started painting Trolls, Hobgoblins (well half Ogre half Hobgoblins anyways) and a few large Orcs yesterday. The Hobgoblin color had me worried, but it really came out good. Now I just need to devote some real time and attention to it and I’ll have some nice minis.
- Speaking of Ogres, I’ve been reading the Paizo Adventure Path Rise Of The Runelords (**** out of 5). The third part is sort of homage to flicks like The Hills Have Eyes (*** ½ out of 5) with the role of mutated hillbillies being played by Ogres & Ogrekin.

I’m seriously considering plopping this down into the current D&D campaign. If it’s going to happen it’ll be further up the mountain range, a few levels down the road as a side trek to a larger plot.

I might integrate it after the current run of stuff, and my planned ZOMBIES stuff. I can’t state enough how much portions of that adventure we’re outstanding, especially the traps which reminded me of that classic X-Files episode ‘Home(Infinite *’s out of 5), which dealt with very similar themes.

Good enough.

“We get some rules to follow
That and this, these and those
No one knows

We get these pills to swallow
How they stick in your throat
Tastes like gold

Oh, what you do to me
No one knows

And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool am I
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool of mine

I journey through the desert
Of the mind with no hope
I found low

I drift along the ocean
Dead lifeboats in the sun
Come undone

Pleasantly caving in
I come undone

And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool am I
And I realize you're mine
Indeed a fool am I

Heaven smiles above me
What a gift can be love
But no one knows

A gift that you give to me
No one knows”

* = Damn your willpower Ferrell!

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