Archive for May 10th, 2008

May 10 2008

Mario Kart

Published by under Blog

It’s just brilliant. It really is. The Wii is a masterful piece of engineering and it has been marketed by the best.

Apparently, a huge proportion of people who have bought Mario Kart on the Wii are buying a games console for the first time. Think about that. Surely no other game or games system in recent years has seen so many ‘lay people’ turn to geekery. Perhaps the DS, another Nintendo invention, can claim to be the leader that safely guided technophobic people into the promised land of gaming, but the Wii is the machine that will keep them playing.

We have the two wheels for Mario Kart and know how to use them. Gone are evenings of three course meals and a quiet glass of wine as we discuss the highs and lows of unified field theory (It could be true – you don’t know!!!), replaced with shouts and screams from both of us as we try to pass each other on Mario’s frenetic racing courses. And not just each other; the Wii allows gamers to race against each other all across the world, improving the experience even more.

Forget about buying Grand Theft Auto, it will just encourage you to go and kill taxi drivers. Stick with Mario Kart – fun for all the family. :p

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May 10 2008

Overlooked Classics: The Hudsucker Proxy

Published by under Overlooked Classics

Not long after playing the sleezy Griffin Mill in Robert Altman’s The Player and just prior to playing the iconoclastically hopeful Andy Dufresne in Shawshank, Tim Robbins further flexed his diverse acting muscles by playing the hapless Norville Barnes in the Coen Brothers’ The Hudsucker Proxy.

Joel and Ethan Coen have time and time again proved their wit and dark humour: Fargo, Raising Arizona, The Big Lebowski. With Hudsucker, they proved they had great filmmaking skills too.

Opening with a spectacular shot of snow falling over a beautiful city, we pan in over the rooftops until it comes upon the Hudsucker Industries building, with a huge clock about to ring in the New Year. And we are presented with a man about to jump to his death. The rest of this hilarious film is told through flashback as we watch the fascinating tale of Norville Barnes and what brought him to that ledge.

Barnes, a country bumpkin hick, hits the Big Apple with the intention of becoming a New York City executive. His timing is magical as he enters the doors of Hudsucker Industries just as the Hudsucker board determines it needs a patsy to run the company into the ground so it can buy up shares when the company goes public in a month. Not knowing that he is actually expected to run the company down, full of energy and completely incompetent, he tries his best to save the company, but with bad advice from big cheese Mussburger (Paul Newman) he is destined to follow the board’s plan to take the share price to the floor. Barnes hires Amy (the fast-talking Jennifer Jason Leigh, in a role very different to last week’s Dolores Claiborne) as his assistant, but unbeknownst to him, she is a reporter trying to expose him. The only kink in an otherwise incredible movie, Leigh’s grating portrayal of a 40’s or 50’s wisecracking strong woman is too over the top, but this only further highlights the brilliance of both Robbins and Newman.

The film is punctuated by sparkling art direction, fabulolus sets, snappy dialogue, and terrific supporting turn from Paul Newman, make this a classic movie that missed out on many deserving awards.

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