Read Only Memories

Yeah, so the only reason I would ever play this is because it was included as part of the bundle of narrative games and I’m still a completionist at heart. That’s a good enough reason for me to avoid buying those huge bundles. This one is a traditional adventure game with an original setting and production values that are meant to evoke the 8-bit era. I don’t much care for the nostalgic value of this style but I guess it does help keep their costs down.

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Little Big Man (1970)

We haven’t seen much of Dustin Hoffman in recent years but he was once considered one of the greatest actors in the world. This one was made even in his career shortly after the success of The Graduate and there’s even a scene here that obvious references in. Little Big Man counts as a Western but it’s not like any other Western I’ve ever watched and I believe it’s one of the earliest instances¬†of revisionist films that are critical of the US government’s treatment of Native Americans.

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Dragon Age: Inquisition

Way late on this one and it wasn’t at all certain that I’d even get around to it. I’d skipped the second game after even if I did like the first one. As I grow older I find myself more and more reluctant to play the big AAA releases. My playthrough was further hampered by the realization that this is really more of an action RPG, that it absolutely requires a gamepad and by the sheer length of the game. I did end up completing it but I’m not sure that it was worth the time.

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Boy and the World (2013)

Due to some disturbances in our usual schedule, I had to skip a day of posting recently. I thought we’d get back into the groove with an easy to watch film. This is a Brazilian animated film that’s only about 80 minutes long. It turned out to be fairly heavy and depressing watch with no dialogue at all. The film does list voice actors but the only sounds they make are indecipherable mumbles and exclamations.

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Arrival (2016)

Like pretty much everyone who has read Ted Chiang’s Story of Your Life, I greeted the news of it being adapted into a film with incredulity. I loved the story and I’ve considered Chiang to be one of favorite science-fiction authors ever since I read Understand, but it seemed unfilmable to me. Having Denis Villeneuve as the director didn’t fill me with confidence either. He’s clearly talented and is very cerebral and my reaction to his films has always been mixed. Still, this was one film I absolutely must watch and was duly frustrated¬†that while it was released in November in the US I needed to wait until January this year for it to come to Malaysia. Note that this post will be full of spoilers, so consider yourself warned.

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To Live (1994)

Continuing with our ongoing efforts to make a dent in our list of backlogged Chinese films, here is another entry from back when Zhang Yimou made films that mattered. Once again this one stars Gong Li plus a smattering of other familiar faces from that era. What marks a difference from the previous two films I’ve covered so far is that this one is actually critical of Communism, though the criticism is less severe than I’d expected.

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The unexamined life is a life not worth living