five things. [7.12.10]

Here’s some random awesome shit I’ve been enjoying lately, that I probably won’t ever write about in more detail.

1. Uncharted 2: Among Thieves

As the line between summer blockbuster movies and video games continues to blur, the Uncharted franchise is at the forefront. Wildly fun gameplay collides with a really entertaining action story, with a main character who is basically Indiana Jones meets Malcolm Reynolds meets awesome.


2. Bioshock 2

Bioshock is another franchise that blurs the line between movies and gaming. The games take place in the 60’s, in an underwater dystopian city called Rapture. The fictional city is based in large part on what would have happened if someone took the egoism of Ayn Rand to its logical conclusion, without the constraints of society. It’s an ugly place, and since in both games you go there after it fell apart and all hell broke lose, it’s also as creepy as fuck.

Like the revolution in the 80’s that transformed comics from throwaway kids stuff into genuine storytelling art for adults too, video games have know undergone the same transformation over the last decade or so. Games like Uncharted and Bioshock are proof of that.


3. Mystery Team

If entertainers were a commodity that you could invest in, seeing returns based on how much they made in the future, I would invest an awful lot in Donald Glover, the writing/acting/rapping wunderkind.

Mystery Team is a small, low-budget comedy written and peformed by Glover and his friends at Derrick Comedy. It’s more proof that an investment in Donald Glover would be money well spent.


4. Art & Copy

A documentary about the world of advertising. It takes seriously that most of it is tawdry, cheap and nauseating, while also pointing to people of uncommon creativity and genius, who can actually create art and beauty in an otherwise soulless profession.

To use the religious imagery of U2, it’s like looking for baby Jesus in the trash.


5. Crazy Heart

Movies like Crazy Heart are tricky. Not seen by many people, then they get a ton of Oscar buzz and people wind up disappointed when they finally see the movie because of all the hype.

If you can, just let Crazy Heart be what it is, instead of expecting it to be the greatest movie ever just because it got attention from the wildly arbitrary and political world of the Academy. The result is a superbly acted, well told story about the potential for redemption in the real world, set in the relationship between art and pain, and the tendency for brilliant artists to self-destruct for the very same reasons they are brilliant artists.