Pan’s Labyrinth

Go see Pan’s Labyrinth*. Seriously. Though one thing bugs me about it. The title “El Laberinto del Fauno” translated to “Pan’s Labyrinth” which would mean that “Fauno” would be “Pan” — but in the actual subtitles, they never once say “Pan” and instead call the creature “Faun.” This bugged me more than it should have. Pan’s Labyrinth was one of about four movies that I wanted to see at TIFF but couldn’t on account of it selling out before individual…

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Happy New Year

2006’s been a good year, so here’s to an even better 2007. Happy New Year. Bonus trivia: How is this weblog just like the block of cheese I bought two days ago?

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List of (most) Films Watched in 2006

Back in February I started compiling a list of movies watched using a pbwiki. I kept good track of everything until mid-July, which was about the time when I bought an XBox 360. No coincidence there. However, using various other posts across the internet (including on flickr — I honestly don’t know why I started doing this), I can try to fill in the blanks. In no specific order, with my favourites and stand-outs in bold, the list is:

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Favourites of ’06

It’s that time of the year again. List season! I, too, have to partake and call out my favourite things from the past year from, in some cases, a rather small sample. But we make due with what we have. Favourite Games of the Year This was really the year of the XBox 360 (and DS). Sure, the Playstation 3 and the Nintendo Wii launched to much fanfare in 2006, but one console’s rediculous price and the other’s popularity (SOLD…

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Pacing

It seems as though the “older” I get, the more drawn I am to deliberately paced movies. I say “deliberately paced” beacause it’s a lot more appropriate and a lot more positive than the often used, and negative, “slow” label. Movies by the likes of Terrence Malick and Nuri Bilge Ceylan are some of my favourites, and I’m currently trying to catch up with the filmographies of Tarkovsky and Antonioni, amongst others. In the commentary for Antonioni’s “The Passenger”, Jack…

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Hair Cabal

I am convinced that there is a conspiracy amongst barbers and hairdressers to purposely give random, off-the-street customers horrible haircuts. I can imagine them at their holiday parties mingling and socializing and laughing amongst themselves about all those awful doos they doled out that year. Venting is about all I can do at this point. Once you realize what’s going on — that the guy with the scissors heard “short” when you said “shorter” — it’s already too late. Unless…

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Gears of War

I wrote the majority of the following two days after Gears of War launched. It has since been sitting in limbo. Might as well just get it out now:

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The Next Week

2006 Rock Paper Scissors World Championships Toronto International Art Fair Toronto Condo Show XBox 360 – Gears of War Playstation 2 – Guitar Hero 2 ( m/ ) XBox 360 – Call of Duty 3 (a Canadian campaign and a Polish campaign!? They know how to push my buttons!) Playstation 2 – Sega Genesis Collection PSP – Every Extend Extra PSP – Lumines 2 XBox 360 – Tony Hawk’s Project 8 NDS – Elite Beat Agents NDS – Yoshi’s Island…

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If FPS designers designed cities.

The Tblisi Ministry of Transport is very constructivist and/or brutalist. Basically, very Soviet. It also bears a striking resemblence to the kind of structures that you’d find in future-set FPS games. Perhaps it’s no surprise that Half-Life 2 is set in an Eastern European styled city. It makes me wonder if anybody has done (I’m sure somebody has) a study on architectural/civic design as represented in video games. Could be an interesting subject. Bonus content: Russian Utopia: A Depository.

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Confessions of a Clone Maker

Or, “Regarding Ripping off Japan”. Read the latest Gamasutra Soapbox called “Japanese Video Game Copyright Protection & Preservation (Or Lack Thereof).” I have issues with it, but I’m biased. So is the author, but I’ll get to that later. The confession. While I did not work on the games that were singled out, I did work on similar games at the same time and was around the creation of the two “classic” CBC games mentioned. Apparently, I’m a thief? Maybe…

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Lumines Live

I bought Lumines Live. I liked it. I then bought the extra “Advance pack”. I liked it. If there were to be another skin pack, I might get it too. (I’ll pass on the battle/puzzle stuff though — never touched them never will). Does this make me a bad person? All the holier-than-though game magazine editor podcasts tell me “YES, yes you are.” They say I am part of the problem, equating this to various horse armours and NFL stadiums.…

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Digital Distribution

A few months ago, before the release of Prey, 3DR blowhard Scott Miller shot down negative comments about the future of digital distribution and praised the coming digital distribution revolution. Obviously, the “praise” was nothing more than a giant plug for the service that they were using for Prey: Triton. In his post, Miller wrote about the many advantages of a system like Triton (two of which were anti-consumer). He said that There are other advantages, too, but I’ll save…

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“Fog in Toronto”

If going to a show where an orchestra plays music from video games makes me a nerd, then what does it mean when I go to two such shows in a month? After going to Video Games Live a month ago with (recap writing) Jenn, Saturday night I attended Play! A Video Game Symphony. The main difference between the two shows was the $50+ price disparity, which reflected itself in the quality of the arrangements, the guests, the size of…

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