WURRWALF.NET RELAUNCH | REVIEW – MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

Yo, okay, so I’ve been pretty absent because I experienced some serious burnout when it came to writing about games and such. My heart wasn’t in it–the atmosphere around the games writing community at the time was something akin to inhaling secondhand smoke.

Anyway, I’ve decided to relaunch my site with some thoughts on the movie Mad Max: Fury Road.

I should clarify that I haven’t seen the previous three (though I’m gettin’ right on that). But holy hell was Fury Road a good movie. Frustratingly good, in the best and worst ways. See, it’s with a dash of cynicism that I have to say there probably won’t be anything that comes close to Fury Road in terms of execution for a while.

It’s stylish, vibrant, unreal to emphasize depravity and survival. For once, the boatloads of blues and oranges actually function–most stuff today will use these colour filters and pretty much ruin a movie visually. Every film now looks like the godawful low-budget horror flicks you find while trawling through Netflix. Oh boy, another zombie/vampire/whatever movie awash in in grey blues, sickly greens, and acid oranges that only work to make this the most boring thing to have to look at with my poor, abused eyes.

But colour is used in Mad Max skillfully, to set tone and atmosphere, and there ends my spiel about something really basic that I’m super sick of.

Also: great practical effects make for the best two hour car chase in movies. Old ladies doing their own stunts! Explosions that are actually cool! Downright amazing costume design! It’s all so ridiculous, but measured, the work of veterans, and it’s so much fun.

Mad Max remembers what makes action movies great, and that’s not action all the time, never ending, never giving you a moment to breath to actually absorb what the heck just occurred, to really chew the cud of that fight or car crash or whatnot. Rather, it builds tension, anticipation, it gives the characters and audience the space to explore themselves, and there might not be MUCH there, but there’s something, and it holds emotional weight–its substantive when it could’ve very easily been empty calories.

It’s just really satisfying, being able to sit for two hours watching a car chase and somehow be totally enthralled. Like, is this for real? Am I doing this and loving it? These are the same things I asked myself while playing Wolfenstein: The New Order. How did I manage fifteen some-odd hours killing Nazis and not be bored out of my skull? Did I forget how Liking Things felt?

Maybe it’s because for once, characters felt like people, women were treated as people (honestly, the bare minimum, so applauding anything that achieves this is a double-edged sword), and waves of lore obviously waiting for you to construct a whole wikia subdomain out of them are nowhere to be seen.

Don’t misunderstand, there’s a huge world under the hood there. There’s tons to see in the wasteland. The worldbuilding is respectable and impressive. But Mad Max gives you only what you need, enough to make its premise work, and a respect for audience that gives us room to figure the pieces together to our satisfaction and on our terms.

And this is what makes Fury Road frustrating in a way, because hey, it is good. It’s excellent even. Yet it’s even moreso in light of how bad so much stuff is. Marvel’s dumbfuck superheroes are the biggest movie franchises right now and I’m still like, crying a bit inside with amazement that I was able to actually sit through the entirety of Guardians of the Galaxy, let alone like it.

Mad Max: Fury Road should be a lesson to filmmakers and movie studios, and even with Jurassic World on the horizon, I’ll probably go back to ignoring basically every movie that comes out for the rest of the year because I’m too busy fuming at how good this one is.

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Start Off The Year Right: Games Of 2015

I hate endings. They’re mostly never good. So, you know, forget about that. Instead of doing a list of games to signal the end of this pretty awful year, I’m going to take those same games and say, hey, if you haven’t gotten around to playing these, maybe you should try ’em out in the new year. They’re kinda neat.

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Transdigital: A Personal Transgender History/Analysis

I’ve been wanting to write something like this for a while, and actually did for a project that unfortunately fell through.  Well, I still feel it’s important and I’m not going to wait around for another initiative to do so. As always, I must make clear that I only speak for myself. I speak for no other transgender person, I speak not for their journey nor exploration. Of course we’ll have experiences in common, that’s what brings us together as a community. But too often cisgender people take what one trans person has said and use it across the board to speak for an entire group of people. I must also emphasize that, obviously enough, this takes place over a decade, and there are flawed ideas in here, but nonetheless they play an integral part of my personal history and development of my identity.

But anyway.

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Why the Wii U Presents the Perfect Opportunity for a New Pokemon Snap

Pokemon Snap was released back in 1999 for the Nintendo 64 here in the U.S. It was quite a unique little game. At it’s core a rail shooter, you played as Todd Snap, a photographer called by Professor Oak to a remote island to visually catalogue all the Pokemon that lived there. While on rails, you traveled to several geographically diverse locations on the island, photographing various Pokemon (sometimes displaying amazing or humorous behaviours triggered by certain player actions). Back in 1999, when Blockbuster was doing a lot better, you could go to stations set up in the stores around the country and print out the pictures you took in the game as real stickers. It was a great little cross-promotion. I still have a sticker on an old CD player featuring a couple Growlithes.

Pokemon Snap is one of my all-time favourite games. Every few months I stick my old cartridge in, power up my N64, and spend all day taking pictures of all those dumb little critters. The game featured some truly challenging photo opportunities—to this day I still have trouble getting a certain picture that involves Pikachu riding on Articuno’s back. So now, with more than 600 Pocket Monsters (and even more on the way!), and the Wii U’s Gamepad and improved online capabilities, I think Nintendo has on its hand the absolute perfect opportunity to revive a great spin-off. Below are the reasons why:

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