Futurama: Bender’s Big Score: if you’ve seen Score and felt that it’s a little heavy on the fan-service – hi. I’m one of those fans it was servicing, and it did it very well. I didn’t need that much Leeloo, and the songs were needless and clumsy, but other than that it was joyous.
I’m the sort of fan who gets an enormous kick out of the new theme tune, the triumph of bureaucracy, the explanation for how Gore lost the election, the obsessive retconning of the pilot episode’s pivotal moment, the cyclic timeline mathematics and the titular payoff at the very end. Speaking of the theme tune, have you heard the 1967 original? It’s surprisingly awesome.
“Are you free?”
“You have no idea.”
Dexter Season Finale: the only thing wrong with this season of Dexter (apart from the unaccountable soap-opera interlude that was Rita’s mother) is a certain character lapsing into a hideous crazy-stalker stereotype. But the finale got so much mileage out of the mess this created that I can almost forgive it. The scene with three people and a large black bag was almost unbearable to watch. More spoilerific discussion should probably go in the original comments thread.
But yes, fantastic. The leadup to this over the last handful of episodes is the best Dexter has ever been, and Dexter is itself near-perfect television.
“Let’s see if the best bed in Kaer Morhen can hold us!”
The Witcher: broken sexist porno that’s coming up in a lot of game-of-the-year lists, and got huge review scores everywhere but with us. You play a badly scarred grey-haired old man in leather trousers, to whom a procession of identically-shaped redheads surrender themselves sexually after three lines of astonishingly bad dialogue. Post-deed, you are awarded an achievement souvenir card showing the girl naked, just in case you didn’t already feel like a pathetic mysognist.
Somehow it’s even more wretched than the despicable Leisure Suit Larry games – the last of which revolved around date rape. The fact that Larry’s love interests even needed to be date-raped before they’d sleep with the idiot hero automatically makes them stronger characters than the Witcher’s.
It’s not that I can’t imagine what people see in the Witcher – I haven’t played it through, maybe it gets amazing after four hours of insufferable dross. I’m just appalled at what they can ignore. The huge script cutbacks before release have been achieved by simply deleting swathes of lines, so conversations are riddled with bizarre, glaring holes that not just make for abysmal fiction, but in many cases render events truly incomprehensible.
“Laurent ran guns for the resistance.”
“He won’t say – apparently they didn’t win.”
Ratatouille: I hate to be down on such a sweet film, but I’m so tired of that nervous kid clichÃƒÂ© and the angry boss who’s supposed to be funny because he’s short. Brad Bird has uncharacteristically little to add to those grating, ancient stereotypes, and the central conceit is just surreal.
The premise is a rat who can cook, and a kitchen boy who cannot, but the film has no workable idea for how the two can collaborate. It ends up inventing a physiological mechanic so utterly nonsensical that it’s downright creepy to watch.
The rat and dough physics modelling is fantastic, and it made me laugh perhaps twice, but it’s so far from the spark of The Incredibles.
Duke Nukem Forever Trailer: after ten years of development, the first movie of the incarnation that’s actually likely to be released has come out. It features no dialogue until, at the end, protagonist Nukem stands up and says, essentially, “I want to shit on you.”
I am at a loss.