340 meters per second

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.

&mdash Alfred Adler (1870-1937)

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Guilt's a funny thing.

He must have killed a lot of men to have made so much money.
– Molière

Like Steenblogen, I'm absolutely enchanted with Mercenaries. Aptly subtitled "playground of destruction," it places the player in the role of a 'private contractor' (one of the many euphemisms attached to your profession) operating in a near-future North Korea. A coup has upset the delicate balance of power on the Korean peninsula and a you're tasked with tracking down General Song before he can launch his recently-acquired nuclear missles.

The narrative's really nothing to write home about, but when it comes time blow shit up, the game delivers in spades. Clearly, the developers identified a key frustration among gamers--immersion-breaking indestructible environments--and essentially set to design a game whose sole purpose was to address this deficiency. For this, we are grateful.

Mercenaries panders unequivocally to the (admittedly juvenile) desire to rain fire down upon those who've slighted us. What other game permits--nay, encourages--the player to call in a laser-guided airstrike wherever and whenever the mood strikes? Your 5.56mm NATO rounds not up to the task? How about 2,000 lbs. of yankee ordnance dropped from 10,000 feet? Hell, you can radio for a bunker buster out of spite.

Can't beat that.

* * *

So last night I posted my review of The Longest Yard. It was late, I was exhausted and really, all I wanted was to get the damned post up so I could go to bed. These are my excuses for not addressing some of the major problems with this movie, namely the homophobia and troubled race issues.

It might be tempting to dismiss the homophobia in the movie as just a 'real' or 'accurate' representation of prison life and locker-room culture, but that doesn't wash with me: it was all too shallow and facile. "I'm just being honest" is an excuse I've gotten so fucking bored with, I can't even begin to tell you. Let's be clear: this movie is not trying to convey anything remotely resembling an accurate portrayal of American prison culture and the faggot jokes are there to titillate its target young, male audience--period. The overall feeling was one of extreme discomfort, all nervous giggles and clannish fag jokes.

As for race, I was impressed by the movie's suprisingly creative and unique approach to racism and xenophobia: a whiter-than-white lead male hooked up with a wisecracking black male sidekick and the friendship they shared served as an example to the other inmates, who set aside their differences in service of a larger purpose. What a novel plot device.

I'm not charging the Longest Yard with racism; just pedantic, self-conscious, "we're-all-the-same-underneath," fire-and-forget, feel-good fantasy. Cartoonishly racist guards, athletically gifted (and smartmouthed) black men, well-intentioned white men... stop me if you've heard this one before.

Oh, and Courtney Cox is featured just long enough to show off her postpartum tits. "Look, she has C-cups and you can see her breastplate! That's hot!"


  • At 5:11 p.m., Blogger Pacanukeha said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  • At 5:12 p.m., Blogger Pacanukeha said…

    I find it amusing you expect anything but a sugar coated restatement of the status-quo from this movie.

  • At 5:16 p.m., Blogger Labris said…

    I have no idea what that means.


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