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Showing posts from November, 2017

Why I Love Repeat Pleasure and & It Was U

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"Now that I've loved you
You know that I want it all the time
I say there's no one above you
But now there's a new bliss above that line
Now that I've known you,
The truth could never come without your smile
But I should've warned you,
We live as long as I leave 'em all behind
And an innocent sigh, I wanted all of this to never subside
I never wanna miss a moment of life, no no
Without your neck to kiss, I was thrown to the night
And now I know

Oh if you want it, guess you want it all baby
But once you got it you want something else
Even if you're holding on for something unchanging
Yeah, once it got it, you want something else

Oh if you want it, guess you want it all baby
But once you got it you want something else
Even if you're holding on for something unchanging
Yeah, once it got it, you want something else."

How To Dress Well is the new face of Blue Eyed Soul, and for good reason. The new R&B that has been ascendant since in and around 2011, has a pl…

Why I Love L.A. Noire Pt. 2

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"You're the new face of the department, Phelps - the modern cop who tries to understand why the perp does what he does. Me, I just drop the hammer down on the lowlifes. You crunch a roach under your heel, you don't worry about what it's feeling, you just grind it into the pavement."

I know, I know. I already talked about why I love L.A. Noire, but after playing it twice in the last week, I thought there was more than enough to talk about. I also want to give another shot to explaining why it is that this game is on my top five games of all time. L.A. Noire is a game that takes from the best, but I don't think it's fair to say that it plagiarizes the classics. Through its nature as a video game, it creates a sense of immersion that far surpasses any book or film in Noir. Team Bondi and Rockstar knew that everybody wanted a game that could have been written by James Ellroy, so that's what they gave us. The L.A. Quartet is the primary influence on L…

Why I Love L.A. Confidential

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"Go back to Jersey, sonny. This is the City of the Angels, and you haven't got any wings."

L.A. Confidential, directed by Curtis Hanson - who also co-wrote the screenplay - was released in 1997. Twenty years on, it is perhaps the greatest Noir of the last two decades, up there with Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice and Michael Winterbottom's The Killer Inside Me. The film is, as if I need to tell you, an adaptation of James Ellroy's novel of the same name, the third chapter of his famed L.A. Quartet. L.A. Confidential is a truly great adaptation, and in more than one way improves on the novel. Big respect to Ellroy for admitting that the film did the story better than his novel, pointing out the moment when Ed Exley, played by Guy Pierce, confuses Lana Turner for a hooker. Ellroy said that it was incredible that he never thought of making that joke. If a famously protective, frequently grumpy, sort like Ellroy can admit that the movie is excellent, then y…

Why I Love Every Type of Gal and Wine Down Low

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Dance Hall is a genre that pulled me in from the first time I heard it. I was entranced by the affirmation of life; by the joy and hope; by the exaltation of the physical. In this way, my introduction to Dance Hall was very similar to my experiences with R&B. The two genres have a lot in common: they hold dear the same aspects of life. Get on the dance floor and lose yourself in the music. Forget all of those insecurities and fears. Dance Hall, while sharing many themes and topics with R&B does things quite differently. Instead of an artist working with a producer on original material, most of the songs in the genre come about through Riddim compilations. Riddims are put together by a producer, who then sends the track out to a dozen or so artists who he/she thinks will fit the mood of the piece. Each artist gives their take, writing a song to suit the Riddim.  

Every Type of Gal by T'nez is in my top five favourite Dance Hall tracks. I will try to explain why it holds s…

Why I Love Alien

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"Final report of the commercial starship Nostromo, third officer reporting. The other members of the crew - Kane, Lambert, Parker, Brett, Ash, and Captain Dallas - are dead. Cargo and ship destroyed. I should reach the frontier in about six weeks. With a little luck, the network will pick me up. This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off."

Alien is one of the greatest Science Fiction movies ever made. It is also one of the greatest Horror movies ever made. It gave rise to many sequels and prequels - some amazing films, including James Cameron's Aliens, David Fincher's Alien 3 and of course Ridley Scott's return to the universe with Prometheus and Covenant - and made space seem like the most dangerous place to be. Gone were the hopeful, innocent tales of alien encounters from Steven Spielberg and in came Ridley Scott's harsh and terrifying vision of the future. Alien was released in 1979, and it is far from hyperbole to say that no-one ha…

Why I Love Playing Journey With My Mother

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“You enter the forest
at the darkest point,
where there is no path.

Where there is a way or path,
it is someone else's path.

You are not on your own path.

If you follow someone else's way,
you are not going to realize
your potential.”

Journey is a stunningly beautiful game. It is a realization of the Hero's Journey. It is a quintessentially modern game, unrestrained by the traditional notions of what constitutes a video game. There is no real challenge here - not in terms of gameplay mechanics anyway - but it is a world to be experienced with a controller nonetheless. This is something that video games can do better than any medium: to immerse you in a world in a way that no other artform can compete with. That you are directing the story, invests you in a way like nothing else can. Journey is my mother Mary's favourite game. It is not just because it does not require her to master tricky controls, but because of the spiritual and artistic heart of the game.

I spoke with Mary…

Why I Love Super Mario 64

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"It's a me, Mario!"

Super Mario 64 is the most important 3D game ever made. More so than even Grand Theft Auto 3. Anyone who says they weren't influenced by Nintendo's daring, innovative and audacious entry into the third dimension are lying. I bought Mario 64 in 1997, with a Nintendo 64, about six months after it was released. I was saving up for the machine for what seemed like forever. I first played Mario 64 in HMV on Grafton St with my Dad, Noel. We were both stunned by how fresh and exciting it was, with Noel saying to me "I can't believe games have gotten so good!" He was right. I will never forget the feeling of finally getting my hands on the game. When we got home from Electronic Boutique, we found that my brother had cleaned up the room and gotten a place of pride ready for the Nintendo 64.

We had never played a game like Mario 64 before. It was a completely new experience. The transition from 2D to 3D was the most exciting in the histo…

Why I Love Bioshock

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"I am Andrew Ryan, and I'm here to ask you a question. Is a man not entitled to the sweat of his brow? 'No!' says the man in Washington, 'It belongs to the poor.' 'No!' says the man in the Vatican, 'It belongs to God.' 'No!' says the man in Moscow, 'It belongs to everyone.' I rejected those answers; instead, I chose something different. I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture, a city where the artist would not fear the censor, where the scientist would not be bound by petty morality, Where the great would not be constrained by the small! And with the sweat of your brow, Rapture can become your city as well."

Bioshock changed my life. It was a game that showed what was possible in video games. It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I still remember that first play through as one of the most incredible artistic experiences of my life. Bioshock is a landmark game in interactive narrative. No game before i…

Why I Love Super Mario Odyssey

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"Let's-a-go!"

Never underestimate Nintendo. They are The Beatles and Hulk Hogan of video games. If you don't get Nintendo, you don't get video games. After the (commercial) disappointment of the Wii U, Nintendo had to come back strong with the Switch. And boy did they come through. After the staggering accomplishment of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Nintendo followed it up with what is easily one of the best games of the year, Super Mario Odyssey. Most developers and publishers can't manage one game that fits into that category. Here Nintendo have created two in the same year. If you don't want a Switch now, you clearly haven't been paying attention. Mario Odyssey is one of the greatest games in the illustrious history of Nintendo. It is a delight from start to finish, taking the player on a supremely colourful, vibrant and inventive journey. And hey, I know my Mario games! I have been playing them for almost as long as I've been alive. I remember b…