I’ve found myself constantly on the hunt for a good mobile game to play, because let’s face it — apps that are capable of starting revolutions like Angry Birds did are few and far between. I did my usual, periodical trip to the top free games chart at the App Store. At the #4 spot was a seemingly intriguing game called Waterslide Extreme. Lured into a sense of false trust, I downloaded the game. After several plays, I can only be amazed that it even got in the top 10 at all.
First of all, the game hasn’t been updated since 2009, and I’m pretty sure that’s a really big red flag, and only adds more to the enigma of how this game is doing so well amongst the likes of Subway Surfers, the mobile port of the online Agar.io game, and a mobile solitaire (which is another mystery entirely). Additionally, the game has almost 230,000 ratings, which meant that there were people that really had to push this game to the top with as much effort as it would take to cut down a tree using a package of toothpicks.
“But Sam, is the game itself good?” Well, if you’re a fan of cheap downloadable browser games from 2004, then I think you’ll find yourself seated cozily in the “niche” that Waterslide Extreme carves out. The visuals are pretty shallow, even for 2009 standards; that year brought us Canabalt, the founder of the “endless runner” craze, which had more visual polish (even with an arcade-style interface!) with its 2D gameplay. When I start connecting dots and realizing that your app that has been released in the age of the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 has worse graphics than the original Playstation or even the deader-than-disco Dreamcast, you know there’s a problem. The drab visuals are accompanied by even shoddier music consisting of Garageband compositions that give away all too well when one loop finishes and another starts. For some reason, there are no additional sound effects. Just because. It’s at the very least good that the game has the decency to offer to turn off the music.
Gameplay-wise, the game isn’t really much more than a spitting-image precursor of the water segments in Temple Run, down to the steering mechanics and the coins to nab and the obstacles to avoid. However, in this case the coins aren’t coins, but rather plumbobs ripped straight out of The Sims. THEY’RE NOT DIAMONDS. THEY’RE PLUMBOBS. GET IT RIGHT. Waterslide Extreme also has all of the generic collectables:
- A “Mario star”, so to speak, something that grants you brief (emphasis on brief) invincibility
- A boost that is so fast that you are virtually control-less for five seconds
The two games do have some differentiations, unfortunately. The obstacles are sensible in Temple Run, like having to sway out of the path of a blockage, or submerging yourself underwater to avoid a tree branch that you can’t sway out of. This game could’ve had you swerving to avoid breaks in the waterslide, but nooooooooo. That would make too much sense, so what are your enemies in the game? Crabs and evil rubber ducks.
What. Is. This. Game.
There isn’t really much of a change to this algorithm, except sometimes the sky gets palette-swapped for a sunset, although calling it a sunset would be disgracing one of the most beautiful parts of the day. What I should call it is a purple-orange crossfading gradient.
Besides that, I have to let the gremlins inside me run free. I need to address how if this were a real-life waterslide, both its ludicrous design and its safety disregard to both workers and customers would be absolutely implausible. This brings up two questions:
- Why and how would anyone make a giant waterslide careening through the city?
- Who would be ballsy enough and stupid enough to try and ride said waterslide?
Even if you did muster the courage to take on the slide, the ride would probably be one of the most terrifying experiences of your life. The waterslide is even made to have a glass bottom at times to show you how high up you are and what a horrible life decision you’ve made by getting on this contraption of death. Of course, it’s only traumatizing given that you survive through the whole thing, considering the game proposes a threat that if you lean your phone too far to one side, you can potentially fly off the waterslide. If you happen to do so, the game slaps you on the wrist with a tongue-in-cheek “Whoops!” that totally overshadows your grim fate in a way that almost feels taunting.
(I’m sure that if you can afford to construct let alone conceive this giant water park fever dream, you can afford to clear up a few lawsuits from casualties’ families.)
In the basis of formulating opinions for this game, I’ve coined a phrase that I’d like to connect to this game. The phrase is “dumb-addictive”, and it describes anything that doesn’t really make a high goal for itself yet at its core has a basic mechanic that is so easy to get hooked onto that you keep coming back. As film critic Gene Siskel once said, “A film that aims low should not be praised for hitting that target.” At the end of the day, Waterslide Extreme is just another dumb-addictive game that doesn’t even require touch so as to simplify the gaming experience further. It makes you feel belittled and you are all the lesser for allowing this game to rob your time, energy, and phone space. Had it been released as an early-2000s browser game, it would’ve worked better and made more sense. As a game that “boasts” 3D graphics that are outdone by many a 2D mobile experience, the only way Waterslide Extreme could’ve dug itself any deeper is if it asked for money.
Final rating: 3/10
Do you have any good mobile games to recommend to me? Leave them in the comments and have yourself a good rest of the summer.
sorry about all of this
i’d like to apologize on behalf of the 200+ drafts that will forever remain in limbo
i’d like to apologize for my incompetence
i haven’t updated this site since last august
and in the time between then and now
sammwak has turned five years old
over 400 posts of raw, concentrated thought
but i couldn’t be propelled to do a single post without you
i’ll try uploading more frequently since hey it’s summer
i’ll basically just take my brain and dissect it for you
i have the energy to create ideas but not enough to execute them for some reason
let’s see what happens, friend.
Hey guys, I’m back.
Now, last month Sammwak turned four years old.
This is by all means a milestone for me, considering I’ve never put so much effort and energy into a single thing ever.
Along the way we hit 100,000 hits, which was an even bigger achievement for me. Even now, I receive comments from people who sincerely enjoy my content. If my site statistics are right, I’m getting viewership from all around the world.
After my little hiatus last year leading into this year, I decided to dust off the old keyboard and whip up two posts that I put up back in April. But those two posts probably required the most work I’ve ever had to put into this blog, and I started to think about the future of the blog. Whether it would still be getting traffic, and how long it could be until it loses its sliver of limelight.
For a while, I thought about deleting the site as a whole and putting it behind me.
But that would put four years of hard work down the drain, never to be seen again.
I would blog more frequently, but school and personal obstacles are more often than not the reason behind my diminishing post frequency.
I remember back in 2010, when I was just surfing the Internet.
And I found an opportunity to make a blog right then and there.
And I took it and never let go.
I made an average of 5-10 posts a day with zero knowledge of blog etiquette, but still.
That is why I’m making this update.
I’m not saying Sammwak is over or anything.
I’m just sort of re-birthing it.
It’ll be an entirely new blog.
But not in the sense that I’m going to start talking about a brand new topic like fashion or nature.
It’ll still be the games and books and movies and videos that I started with.
Let’s try once a month, if I can keep up with that.
Maybe I’ll shave it down to once every other week.
Or I’ll just be usual and have a sporadic, unpredictable uploading schedule.
I could go back to the old days and do it every Monday.
Whatever I do,
just know that we’re in for a very crazy ride.
“I really [missed] this show. I use past tense because it’s not even the same show anymore.”
Remember when Spongebob Squarepants used to be the greatest cartoon of all time? During its golden age from seasons 1-3, it was acclaimed for its fresh humor and nostalgic elements, while also remembering that it was underwater and therefore having its own aquatic take on human society. It was–and kind of still is–one of the most iconic televised series of all time, and has received notable recognition within pop culture to this today. Everyone and their grandma remembers the “FUN Song”.
Now currently in season ten or eleven, SBSP has seen what people call one of the biggest quality declines of all time. The show seemed to start losing its flow in season four, and stuff started to get serious by seasons 5 and 6. It seemed to get more disturbing as it went on to the point where it wrings jokes out of nothing, and actually makes situations the complete opposite of laughable. Take the notorious toenail scene from “House Fancy” (a season six episode), for example. Even in the midst of this, the show tries to hit us with what we were already hit with so many years ago. The biggest connection between the two eras are nonessential callbacks to the show’s heyday. Long-time fans will say that the new SBSP lacks the charm that made the old SBSP such a hit.
And with declining quality comes declining ratings. Despite the show’s ongoing popularity, the show took a shocking dip in 2012, with a 29% drop in the number of kids aged 2-11 watching the show, according to Nielsen. Another popular theory is that the show collapsed due to show creator Stephen Hillenburg resigning and leaving the show in the hands of creative director Derek Drymon, which spawned a legion of new writers and crew members that tinkered with the show to unbelievable extents, doing something that TV Tropes calls “flanderization“.
Flanderization is defined as “the act of taking a single (often minor) action or trait of a character within a work and exaggerating it more and more over time until it completely consumes the character.” All the characters have gone through dramatic trait changes, such as Krabs, who is now portrayed as something of an antagonist to appeal to the placeholder storylines of his fetish for fortune. Spongebob’s former persona as a naive Pollyanna has turned him into an eccentric idiot. Patrick went from a slightly dim oddball to one of the dumbest characters on TV. Squidward went from being the butt of every joke to the voodoo ragdoll of Bikini Bottom. Sandy went from the peppy female companion to a ghost who rarely appears. And let’s not forget when Mrs. Puff ended up trying to murder Spongebob…
The world of Bikini Bottom got flanderized as well; it turned from a light-hearted place with a couple off-color jokes to a sadistic hellhole where surreal situations and bawdy gags ripped from Adult Swim are the norm.
However, the show didn’t just go down the drain magically…
For many, it was the Spongebob movie that marked the beginning of the end.
The movie just so happened to premiere in the time interval between the end of season three and the start of season four. The movie was a lot heavier than most regular episodes, containing darker plot lines such as the “ice cream lady” and Dennis the bounty hunter. It was sort of a somewhat-prescient insight onto what the series was going to transform into. It makes even more sense when one realizes that this was supposed to be the showstopping finale for the series before a couple things got in the way.Try imagining that scene where Spongebob and Patrick get drunk off of ice cream, looped for years on end, episode after episode, forever (or until the show ends, whichever comes first). In the end, despite how the writers are clearly starting to get dry on their ideas, SBSP might have a sliver of hope to redeem itself and bring back some good stuff. Maybe we’ll see Sandy again. Maybe an episode will go by without anything disturbing. Only time will tell. What do you think? Is Spongebob truly past its prime? Leave a comment about it. Also, make sure to follow my Tumblr at http://www.prince-of-limbs.tumblr.com. WARNING: Not for moralists. ——————- Authorities: https://sites.google.com/site/tria1andfai1ur3/over-analysis/oa-tv-shows/spongebob-decline-in-quality http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SpongeBob_SquarePants ——————- Stay classy, ~S~
Hey guys, it’s Sam. Now, I know my recent post releases have been really out of order. Some come out on Mondays, some on Sundays, others on Saturdays, it’s a mess. I’ve been trying to get an every-Friday streak going on for a while, and my personal life has influenced my ability to blog frequently. I’m sorry there was such a delay in between my BookBuzz post and spark., I’ve just been really busy.I just suddenly realized I forgot to make a Halloween special and a Thanksgiving special this year. So, so sorry for that, and I’ll have to make the scope of this year’s Christmas/New Year’s special even bigger to make up for it.
Thanks for over 118,000 hits and fifteen subs! I know this sounds wussy for me to be getting excited over that, but it does mean the world to me that 15 of you have clicked that subscribe button and eagerly await a new post from me, no matter what day or what week it arrives. I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without you, so I do thank you from the bottom of my heart!
This is also my 400th post on Sammwak. I did not even believe I was going to make it to 400, let alone 50. But thank you for making me want to make more posts and continue blogging for all of you.
Now, I’ve also been reading a lot, and here are the books I’ve been getting into:
- Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis – My sister shipped this book to me a few weeks back. It’s the autobio of the frontman of one of the best funk bands in the universe. Stadium Arcadium is legendary by the way.
- The Everafter War by Michael Buckley – My sister got me this one way back. Two sisters live in a town where fairytale characters abound. Prince Charming is plotting war against the Master, whoever he is. One major person has already died, so it looks like it’s gonna be a bloodbath.
- Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame Smith and Jane Austen – It’s literally all in the name.
- Watchmen by Alan Moore – The quintessential old-school DC comic book. It takes place in the 1940s-60s in an alternate reality full of superheroes. When superheroes are outlawed, a murder brings them out of retirement for one last job.
I’m becoming slowly addicted to this website called TV Tropes. Have you heard of it? If so, then your life has probably been ruined too. It’s a place that uses “tropes” to tackle all of the ins and outs of television, film, and literature. Every scene setup, every character cliche, every stock phrase, if you can imagine it, there’s probably a trope for it. Trope makers, trope namers, trope codifiers, tear jerkers, nightmare fuel, YMMV (your mileage may vary), getting-crap-past-the-radar, the list goes on. And I’m naming all of these off the top of my head. I’ve been troping for at least two months now, and I can’t stop. If you want to join me in my downfall into mayhem, it’s at http://www.tvtropes.org, and if you come across a Stuffedninja on those haiku pages, that’s me. :D
Thanks again for taking me on this wild journey.
Video of the Week well, I’m not sure if I’ll be publishing on time again, so let’s just call it Favorite Video: “YouTube Rewind: What Does 2013 Say?” by YouTube Spotlight. An awesome mashup of every meme, fad, hit, and popular thing of the year, featuring Youtubers such as Tobuscus, Pewds, Rhett & Link, Epic Meal Time, and more! 20.2 million hits in two days. Impressive.
Get a load of this while you guys wait for my next post. Great review.
Originally posted on omphaloskepsis:
Hyperion Books for Children, 2007.
hardcover, 425 pages.
It all starts with a school essay. When twelve-year-old Gratuity (“Tip”) Tucci is assigned to write five pages on “The True Meaning of Smekday” for the National Time Capsule contest, she’s not sure where to begin. When her mom started telling everyone about the messages aliens were sending through a mole on the back of her neck? Maybe on Christmas Eve, when huge, bizarre spaceships descended on the Earth and the aliens–called Boov–abducted her mother? Or when the Boov declared Earth a colony, renamed it “Smekland” (in honor of glorious Captain Smek), and forced all Americans to relocate to Florida via rocketpod?
In any case, Gratuity’s story is much, much bigger than the assignment. It involves her unlikely friendship with a renegade Boov mechanic named J.Lo.; a futile journey south to find Gratuity’s mother…
View original 1,005 more words
Now back in August, I let out a post that was centric around the one movie of the entire year that had my most eager share of anticipation: Wreck-It Ralph (and its running mate Paperman). And I probably stated it about a million times how excited I was for the movie, and if I didn’t see Wreck-It Ralph it would be as disappointing as Mark Twain not dying at the arrival of Halley’s Comet. But not only did I see the movie–I saw it on opening day. No, I didn’t see it in 3D, but after those 108 minutes, my mind was so blown I forgot the movie even came in 3D. Now let’s find out if that’s a good mind-blowing, or a bad mind-blowing.
Released on November 2 (it couldn’t come any sooner), Wreck-It Ralph is a computer-animated comedy that is the official 52nd animated feature in the decades-long roster of the Walt Disney Animated Classics, being the first and only entry of the year. (As the 53rd title, Frozen, is coming next year.) Directed by Rich Moore, famous for his animation directing work on Futurama and The Simpsons, the movie–well, I won’t waste my time making up a new plot, let’s just reuse my old one. Wreck-It Ralph “starts at a typically nostalgic down-the-block arcade. One of the titles in that arcade is Fix-It Felix, Jr., where you play Felix himself and must constantly repair the damages of a building facade while the game’s villain smashes away atop the building. That villain is the 9′-tall, 643-pound Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly), and for three decades he’s been the guy that everyone loved to hate. And Ralph’s tired of that. And to make everyone notice he can be the hero [by getting a Medal of Heroes], he literally disappears from the game via power cord and joins the light-gun FPS Hero’s Duty, battling “Cy-Bugs” alongside the game’s own hero, Sergeant Calhoun (Jane Lynch). But he doesn’t spend the whole movie in this game, as he later goes onto a candy-themed kart racer called Sugar Rush, and here he meets one of the game’s main characters, [the glitched] Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman). Vanellope has learned that her game is faced with a threat that could affect the entire arcade. The worst part? Ralph may have started the whole thing.” Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?
If I could cram all my knowledge of seeing the movie into one word, it would have to be “greatest”. Because this is the greatest movie I’ve ever seen. Most people could easily fall for it being a video game movie, but search through all the hard candy and you’re gonna surface with a soft center. Wreck-It Ralph has some of the biggest virtues you’ll find in an animated movie–familiar themes (the behind-closed-doors theme that you may have found in Toy Story or Monsters Inc), well-written laughs, eye-popping visuals, noticeable but still thoughtful messages, and a lot of surprises you’ll love to encounter. It’s not just a cover-up, however, to say that the movie had minimal but still present missteps. Wreck-It Ralph is a treat for kids, adults, and the tech whizzes and tech newbies alike, bringing them an impressive and imaginative incarnation of code, pixels, avatars, pretty much everything in the interactive gaming world. And I thought Captain Underpants had a load of potty humor.
5 out of 5 – Positive messages – Viewers are enticed to accept the ways they are “programmed”, rather than to change their image for others to see. This is exemplified through the bad guy affirmation at a weekly support group for villains: “I’m bad, and that’s good. I’ll never be good, and that’s not bad. There’s no one I’d rather be…than me.” In-movie characters also learn how crucial it is to walk a mile in someone’s shoes before getting judgmental over them. More themes include inclusivity against exclusivity, and selflessness against selfishness.
4 1/2 out of 5 – Positive role models – Ralph’s journey to make his peer approval a conquest turns into a life lesson of having pride in himself and his contributions. Ralph doesn’t let his status as a villain outdo the virtues that make him a hero; he’s a kind and resourceful character that strives to be the underdog. Vanellope is a spunky but still striving character that refuses to stick with the status quo in her own game–a game that Common Sense Media called “stereotypically girly”. In the game Vanellope also finds a way to control her deficiencies as a glitched character to turn into her biggest upside. Ralph initially dislikes Vanellope but eventually weaves his first big friendship with her. Despite his quirky natures, Sgt. Calhoun manages to work alongside Fix-It Felix in many wild occasions.
4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Wreck-It Ralph may be a toughie to crack for newcomers to the gaming world–naming all the characters, deciphering the natures of games, and so on–but it will still be a treat otherwise that will bring laughter from the mouth and–in some occasions–tears from the eyes. It is a very thoughtful and clever movie that takes video game crossovers and merchandising to the next level, crunching it into nearly two hours of the greatest adventure in video game movie history.
4 out of 5 – Violence – During the Hero’s Duty scene, the game’s characters fire guns at Cy-Bugs to make them explode in bits (no goo or blood is splattered, however). When a Cy-Bug strips Ralph of his gun, his arms are revealed to be giant guns themselves.The Cy-Bugs eventually go on to invade Sugar Rush, which turns it into a very interesting game. In one scene, Ralph clumsily startles a number of Cy-Bug eggs after receiving his medal of heroes, causing them to start hatching one after another. In another scene, Calhoun accidentally drops her already broken sensor (from all the sugar particles), which causes it to go off and evoke eggs to hatch in a wave. When pursuing Vanellope after having his medal stolen, he falls into a pond of sugary sweet goo, and fights through the candy forest to emerge looking like a monster. Moments later though, he is crammed into a giant cupcake and pastry police officers hit him with their nightsticks. When he is taken to King Candy’s lair, one of the officers whips out a candy chainsaw to get Ralph out of the cupcake, causing him to run away in fright. In another scene, Vanellope’s fellow racers destroy her car while simultaneously mocking her glitches, causing Ralph to scare them off. At the villain support group, a cyborg (meant to represent Kano from Mortal Kombat) viciously rips out a fellow villain’s heart. But as this fellow villain is a zombie, no actual damage is done. In one of Sgt. Calhoun’s flashbacks, she reminisces her wedding day, when the party was crashed by a giant Cy-Bug that ate her husband. Cautionary tales about character deaths are spread, like how you cannot regenerate when you die outside of your own game, or how characters can become “homeless” after their games are unplugged. This may upset younger audiences. When Felix welcomes Ralph into his 30th anniversary party–actually, their 30th anniversary party–a piece of the ceiling breaks off and falls on Felix. This does kill him, but as he is in his own game he automatically regenerates. When Ralph suddenly breaks through the walls of Felix’s room in King Candy’s “Fungeon”, some people might be startled. Also, people might be holding back tears when Ralph is forced to wreck Vanellope’s kart. He had done this since if Vanellope was allowed to race, her glitches would put the game out of order and eventually get it unplugged. And this is even worse for Vanellope, since glitches aren’t allowed to leave their games. So that meant if the game actually was unplugged, she’d die with it. Go down with the ship, you know. Calhoun and Felix get stuck in “Nesquik-sand”, and to get strips of Laffy Taffy above them to come down, they must be amused. So against her will, Calhoun repeatedly slaps Felix and gives him various injuries, but each time he uses his golden hammer to repair the wounds. Apparently that hammer doesn’t just fix broken windows, it can fix broken noses.
2 out of 5 – Inappropriate Content – Felix and Calhoun strike a relationship and eventually–let’s just say take their love to the next level, evoking a very passionate kiss. They also smooch in another scene. One iconic character, Street Fighter‘s Zangief, wears only his underwear. Ralph also comes across an apparently used pair of Zangief’s underwear as well, much to his disgust. In another scene, Ralph strips a Hero’s Duty character of his suit, clothing his unconscious body with only Zangief’s underwear. Luckily, the stripping is not actually shown onscreen.
2 out of 5 – Language – Nothing colorful, but potty humor and name calling is frequently seen. “I hate you”, “shut your chew hole”, “numbskull”, “brat”, “doody”, “frickishly”, “buttload”, etc. “Pussy” is also mentioned–but in the word “pussy willows”. In one scene, Vanellope playfully calls Ralph a “son of a gun”. Rihanna’s “Shut Up and Drive” plays while Ralph teaches Vanellope to drive her kart.
5 out of 5 – Product Placement – Very iconic and famous game characters appear throughout the game, especially in the Game Central Station scene. As I said in my other post, nearly 200 game characters made cameo appearances in the movie. A cyborg resembling Kano, Zangief, Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Cammy, the Pac Man ghosts, Pac Man himself, Q*bert, Bowser, Princesses Daisy and Rosalina, Frogger, the Pong paddles, Peter Pepper, the Qix, M. Bison, Eggman, and Sonic all made appearances in the movie. Coincidentally, Sonic appears giving off crucial lessons about the policies of game death–similar to how he gave eventually pointless tips in “Sonic Says” from Sonic & Sega Racing. Sugar Rush also evokes many references to candy brands. Believe it or not, Skrillex actually deejays Fix-It Felix, Jr.‘s 30th anniversary party–needless to say, his track “Bug Hunt (Noisia Remix)” was featured on the official Wreck-It Ralph soundtrack. Some of the songs used in promos and commercials for the film include Fun.’s “Some Nights” , Lipps Inc.’s “Funkytown”, and Flo Rida’s “Good Feeling”.
3 out of 5 – Drinking, Drugs, and/or Smoking – One scene takes place in the 1983 arcade game Tapper, where customers are shown drinking from beer mugs. It’s apparently root beer, but I’m still suspicious. A game character pours a martini for himself in one scene, and at Felix’s anniversary party some people are briefly shown drinking.
Smarts: A+ (5 points)
Fun: A+ (5 points)
Entertainment: A+ (5 points)
Humor: A+ (5 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
See-Again Ratio: A+ (5 points)
CONSENSUS: Wreck-It Ralph is probably the most unique animated Disney movie you’ll see this year; it has the breathtaking aesthetics, eye-popping visuals, heartfelt messages, impressive storyline, and endless nostalgia that make for the true antidote of the video game film genre.
PRICE: Well, considering the film went out last Friday, it’s obviously not available for DVD purchase yet. But on Amazon, you can buy the tie-in video game on the Wii, DS, or 3DS! The Wii and 3DS versions of the game costs $30, and the DS version costs $24. Not ready for it yet? You can have a crunch of the entire film in merely twenty songs on the Wreck-It Ralph OST. Seven tenths of the soundtrack is actually film score, ranging from “Wreck-It Ralph” to “Arcade Finale”. The other three tenths belong to actual soundtrack music, with artists Skrillex, Rihanna, Owl City, Kool & the Gang, AKB48, and Buckner & Garcia. Henry Jackman (famous for composing the soundtracks of Monsters vs. Aliens, the 2011 Winnie the Pooh, etc.) has the steering wheel on this one. On MP3, the OST costs $8, but in the flesh it costs $10.
If you want a sneak peek of what to expect of the soundtrack’s quality, check out this amazingly, shockingly, mindblowingly innovative music video showcasing Owl City’s “When Can I See You Again?” Seriously dude–this is the best music video you’ll ever see. Or the most creative. Or both. :mrgreen:
If you’re too impatient to wait for your time with the movie, check out this nifty four-minute featurette from the Movieclips subsidiary MovieclipsCOMINGSOON, involving things from cast interviews to some sneak peeks at the real movie!
Sort of like how La Luna preceded Brave, this movie–Paperman–preceded Wreck-It Ralph. It is a 7-minute black-and-white silent film that blends the traditional and computer styles of animation. In the film, a man we’ll refer to as The Man is at a mid-20th century train platform in NYC when he is hit by a flying paper. This paper belongs to a woman we’ll refer to as The Woman whom had dropped it when a gust of wind swept by. The same thing happens to The Man when one of his papers is blown away and lands on The Woman’s face, leaving a red lipstick mark on it. When the Man and Woman first depart, the Man is despondent when he believes he’ll never see the woman again. He is proven wrong when he sees the Woman in one of the rooms in a building across the street at work. He uses the contracts his boss gave him, turns them into paper airplanes, and attempts to throw one into the window, but is excessively unsuccessful. Even the paper with the lipstick mark on it fails to fly in. When he fails to see which way the Woman goes after work, he abandons his mission in disgust and sorrow–and let’s just say something magical happens after that…
Now, Paperman despite its length isn’t a very bad movie. In fact, it’s the best black-and-white movie I’ve ever seen. Despite its lack of dialogue, it has a pristine storyline that captures the serenity of its expectations. Despite its lack of color, it still uses the palette it is given to create works of art beyond our imagination. Despite this review’s lack of normality and overuse of imagery and big words, Paperman still manages to show that love can make the strangest things happen, weaving this lesson into a dandy flick with visuals as eye-popping as its unexpected comedy. But then again, the juice that makes it a special Disney movie kinda doesn’t make any sense. And that’s saying something.
(Now, due to this movie not being too prolonged, I’ve decided to narrow down the chart and strip away sections that need to be stripped.)
5 out of 5 – Positive messages – Paperman makes light-hearted humor and heart-warming inspirations out of the fact that love can cause the wildest things to occur, both in realism and human instincts. Some may be able to relate to the Man and Woman’s relationship and what they will go through and fight past to be together–especially those who have already endeavored the scenario.
4 out of 5 – Positive role models – The Man stops at nothing to finally be with the Woman, and quickly gains hope that lights an entire room full of the darkness of doubt. When the Man first throws in the towel on Operation: Lovebird for good, his contract paper airplanes seem to gain motivation to get their “maker” out of retirement. The Woman eventually gains as much enthusiasm towards the Man as the Man does for the Woman.
4 3/4 out of 5 – Ease of view – Paperman may have a premise that some may not know at first, but eventually its amazing visuals, breathtaking direction, and debonair charms will have the viewers swooning. Paperman is also quite frankly one of Disney’s best short movies to date, and definitely one of the most captivating as well.
Smarts: B+ (3.5 points)
See-Again Ratio: A- (4 points)
Fun: A (4 points)
Entertainment: A+ (5 points)
Humor: A+ (5 points)
Style: A+ (5 points)
I am also proud to give Paperman the honor of being our first-ever Popcorn Pick to be in full black-and-white, and the first to not contain any dialogue whatsoever, as well as the first to get at least a 25/30 score. :D :D :D :D :D :D :D Oh, that reminds me, I should probably introduce my new scoring chart:
Epic Fail (0-5 out of 30) – This movie didn’t even deserve to be reviewed, but I was kind enough to review it anyway. Incredibly choppy direction, surprisingly disjointed scripting, and/or paper-thin scenarios will likely get you in this tier. If you ever do, then you can walk away hanging your head with our official Sammwak Epic Fail Seal.
It’s just as degrading as it sounds, America.
Fail (6-10 out of 30) – Did good enough to escape the Epic Fail tier, but definitely aimed its crosshairs in the wrong direction. Abominable writing, vile editing skill, and small potential will likely land you here.
Poor (11-15 out of 30) – Definitely a lot of noticeable mistakes, but the parts it does perform correctly are very petite and will likely have already gone before the viewers notice it.
Average (16-20 out of 30) – Does have as much pros as it does cons, and while it could’ve been worse–it should’ve been better.
Well Done (21-25 out of 30) – Lots of noticeable merits in directing, scripting, and acting at a skill rate that’s just shy of perfection.
Awesome/Nirvana (26-28 out of 30 for Awesome, 29-30 out of 30 for Nirvana) – This is as high as it gets. These are the most honoring titles you can get on Picks for Popcorn. To be an Awesome movie, you need to impress me. Like, a lot. If you have flaws, I’ll notice them but will likely not come back to haunt the movie. To get the most prestigious title there is of being a pick of nirvana, you need to be solely flawless: you need mind-blowing writing, breathtaking acting that perfectly accentuates this writing, and scenarios that weave together like a master knitter’s work of art. This is clearly a movie that cannot be missed–well, the ones that scratched the bottom of nirvana’s barrel are sort of iffies.
So now that you know the grading chart, you won’t be confused in future reviews! :)
You know what to do, I’ve been blogging for two darn years! But just to review, subscribe, like, Press This, reblog, share, and come back next time for more awesomeness courtesy of Sammwak! (That’s kinda my new tagline now, I guess. Well, maybe besides “Stay classy, America.” :D)
Stay classy, America (see, I told you :D),
Videos of the Week: Dubstep. An electronic dance music genre that has been described by Allmusic as “tightly coiled productions with overwhelming bass lines and reverberant drum patterns, clipped samples, and occasional vocals.” Some of the most famous dubstep artists out there are likely what I consider the two Founding Fathers of the genre: the British music act Nero, and the American music project Skrillex. And today we’re gonna look at someone who I’d never guess could be converted into dubstep: my good friend Tobuscus. In fact, just last April an artist known as DJ Alex S. remixed the twenty-fourth TobyGames video of Bulletstorm into one of the hottest dubstep songs I’ve ever seen! It’s been seen 1.4 million times, and over 30,000 people agree that this video is the bomb. Do you?
Here’s the original “Gimme That” video at almost 200,000 hits since last March:
Here’s a fanmade video conglomerating Toby’s dancing and the song with over 22,000 hits since last April!