Racing Game of the Week #21: “Demolition Racer” (1999) — The Well-Red Mage

It is 1st November 1999. MacMillan Bloedel Limited is acquired by Weyerhaeuser Canada. “Keep on Movin’” by 5ive is the UK no. 1 single. Infogrames publishes Pitbull Syndicate’s Demolition Racer.

via Racing Game of the Week #21: “Demolition Racer” (1999) — The Well-Red Mage

Announcing Collaboration #4! An Epic One-Year Celebration of Video Game Characters! — Normal Happenings

They say fortune favors the bold. We’re putting on the boldest of collaborations, and we want you involved.

via Announcing Collaboration #4! An Epic One-Year Celebration of Video Game Characters! — Normal Happenings

“MAGE CAST” episode #020 – Super Poemcast Special! — The Well-Red Mage

For our 20th episode special, we the mages are here to share 17 original poems of all shapes and sizes and styles, each one based on a single game of our choice from the 1000 Games list! The 1000 Games collab may be over now, but there’s no reason we can’t keep milking it. Enjoy this chill Mage Cast entry, a pantheon of poets for your peaceful perusal. Let us know which one was your favorite!

via “MAGE CAST” episode #020 – Super Poemcast Special! — The Well-Red Mage

Film Journal: “Mel Smith I’ve Sort of Done Things”

Director: Archie Powell
Date released: 24th December 2013
Genre: Documentary
Main actors: Rebecca Front, Mel Smith

Of all the documentary genres, my favourite is by far the “in memoriam” of an artist who led a long and illustrious career, especially made for BBC Four and its high-brow, highly-cultured audience that can appreciate the subject. A popular criticism of the genre is that they follow the same formula: using archive material, show the condensed life of the person in question, with testimony from talking heads, explaining the singular gifts by which they were distinguished. But the advantage of the genre is that what makes each one unique is the subject, who bring with them their own personal histories. They remind us that one person’s life is unlike anyone else’s, therefore how unique our own are. I shall not consider my own one lived with as much potential as it could be until – although I shall be unable to know about it – such a documentary is made by the channel (should it still be best running) about me. They could include a scan of this page, messy handwriting and stream of consciousness narrated for ease.

Rating: 4.5/5
Memorable quote:

Oh, Vagina,
Oh, Vagina,
Oh, Vagina

Film Journal: “Hail, Caesar! A Tale of the Christ”

Director: Ethan Coen and Joel Coen
Date released: 4th May 2016
Written by: Joel Coen and Ethan Coen
Genre: Comedy
Main actors: Josh Brolin, George Clooney

Hail Caesar! A Tale of the Christ is a comedy about the pretentious idiots who work in Hollywood. Particularly, Hollywood of the Cold War’s blacklist era. The Brolin character is – like the protagonist of many Coen brothers films – struggling with his faith. The only thing he’s able to believe in is Hollywood and seems to be making films as a sort of self-discovery process. The Christianity-themed Biblical epics that were produced in that area – as the reassertion of Western culture and values – are homage’d here by the Coens, who seem to have been so focused on their interest in the period that they forgot about the actual plot of the film they were making as a result. It’s more of a short that jumps from its beginning to its end with the middle replaced by vignettes, skits and interwoven subplots. Clooney receives second billing but is included not nearly as much as Alden Ehrenreich, who – along with Ralph Fiennes – is simply more interesting. The Coens regularly oversee the potential of certain characters. It’s good but the Coens regularly let themselves down by making just a bunch of stuff.

Rating: 3.5/5

Memorable quote:

“Would that it were so simple.”
Hobie Doyle

Film Journal: “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”

Director(s): Joel and Ethan Coen
Date released: 9th November 2018
Written by: Joel and Ethan Coen
Genre: Anthology
Main actors: Tim Blake Nelson, Willie Watson

Sometimes the Coen brothers will put stories together by combining gags and throwaway material not used previously. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs didn’t originate as a mini-series (contrary to popular reports), so why is it an anthology? Could it be a way of using previously unused material? Maybe they did intend to produce an anthology from its conception and maybe all the material here was written for this project. Nevertheless, it still resembles the way in which to Coens put stories together, the best and the worst. Some gags work perfectly because they’re consistent with the tone, others seemed to only be included because they really wanted them to be there. The vignettes are themselves like that. Some are internally consistent and hold together on their own, while others not so much. Compared with the Coen brothers’ other films, this is the definitive entry in their filmography. It’s a perfect encapsulation of the kind of films they make. Some parts are great, other parts are self-indulgent and the rest are weird. They’ve always made anthology films. This is just the first one that isn’t pretending like it isn’t.

Memorable scene:

Rating: 3/5

Memorable quote:

“First time?”

Film Journal: “Into the Woods”

Director: Rob Marshall
Date released: 9th January 2015
Written by: James Lapine
Genre: Fantasy
Main actors: Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt

Into the Woods, I do regret,
Is nicely made but I don’t get,
How Into the Woods has so much fluff without having a story

My opinion is clear
I don’t think it’s good
I’ve no idea why I thought I would
It’s not good to me
To me it’s not good

I really hate to ask it
But could it be a hatchet?

Memorable scene:

Rating: 2.5/5

Memorable quote:

Once upon a time

Film Journal: “A Matter of Loaf and Death”

Director: Nick Park
Date released: 25th December 2008
Written by: Nick Park and Bob Baker
Genre: Thriller
Main actors: Peter Sallis and Sally Lindsay

A Matter of Loaf and Death is a thriller parodying and referencing classic genre examples in a B-movie style that is perfectly balanced so as to be affectionate instead of just naff. Much like the various ingredients that go into making a great loaf of bread, this stop- motion short is a mish-mash of elements pulled from its inspirations that all come together to form something which is not sloppy and tasteless but has rise, substance and a rich thickness. There’s shout-outs to wartime tales drawing together themes of blind love versus cold, hard scepticism and Aardman’s visual style of ecstatic humour, in which nothing is included in short unless it’s inherently funny in some way. There’s also the dark subtext that began to underpin Wallace and Gromit’s chronicles ever since A Close Shave in all its moroseness that somehow works, complimentarily with the main content that appeals to families. I don’t know how they do it – they throw everything in and get the best results.

Memorable scene:

Rating: 4/5

Memorable quote:

I will have my baker’s dozen.