Grump Talk: Horny Nun and Summer Fun

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Hello, grumpeteers! How’s your summer going? Mine is like grains of sand slipping through my bony fingers. While I still go to graduate school in the summer, it’s a lighter season for me, so I’m trying hard to make headway in my various hobbies while I still have the (guilt-free) spare time.

I haven’t forgotten about Saturn! I’ve been playing Panzer Dragoon Saga for a while and hope to finish it up and post my thoughts on it within a month. It’s not that it’s a particularly long game, but its graphics are migraine-inducing and it still has some of those pesky hallmarks of a late-90s JRPG, such as inconvenient save point placement and boss gauntlets that make me want to punch someone. I also allowed myself to become distracted by other games whose graphics don’t cause me to get headaches, such as FFXIII and Demon’s Souls. Enough digital ink has been spilled describing both of them, so I doubt they’ll ever get a proper treatment here. I’ll just say that FFXIII is the huge disappointment I thought it would probably be and that Demon’s Souls is engrossing and totally Vagrant Story 2.

On another front, I saw Micmacs in the theater and was totally planning on writing it up when Inception came and jizzed all over my face. So plans changed! Really, Micmacs is charming if you like the sort of quirky, old-school humor that Jean Pierre Jeunet, director of Amélie and City of the Lost Children, specializes in. It almost channels silent comedy of old at some points. It wears a bit thin in the middle, but the climax is pretty satisfying, so I don’t feel anyone inclined toward such an experience would leave feeling their time was wasted. If you like movies about misfits banding together to destroy arms manufacturers, you should check it out!

I also saw a vintage flick that survived through the decades to still engross, mesmerize and thrill. Black Narcissus is a story about a group of nuns who take on the task of renovating an Indian general’s old palace into a school/medical clinic for the poor, farming villagers. The atmosphere of the valley the movie is set in seems to start affecting them, however, and soon all manner of crises, both physical and metaphysical, envelope them. If I’m not mistaken, the film won an Oscar for Best Cinematography back in the day, and it’s totally deserved. The film starts out relatively demurely, but soon vivid Technicolor threatens to overwhelm the drab habits of the nuns and the final half an hour of the film is some top-notch suspense that even Hitchcock could envy. Black Narcissus also has some of the best non-horror (or is it?!) makeup I’ve ever seen. If you watch it, you’ll know what I mean. And no, I’m not talking about all the white people they painted brown. Criterion Collection recently put out a new, remastered version on DVD and Blu-Ray and I’m considering picking it up, but I also went a little spend-crazy over the weekend with some other Criterion titles since they were all on sale. So we’ll see! At any rate, if you love furtive stares from nuns you won’t want to miss this one!

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10 Responses to “Grump Talk: Horny Nun and Summer Fun”

  1. Tim Torres Says:

    DEMON’S SOULS ISN’T VAGRANT STORY 2 FFFFFFFFFFFFFF

    Now that the original Vagrant Story team is back together to work on that Tactics Ogre remake we may get an ACTUAL Vagrant Story 2! ;____;

  2. John Mora Says:

    Explain to me how Demon’s Souls is not Vagrant Story 2

    • Tim Torres Says:

      There is no mention of the events involving Ashley Riot, Guildenstern, Mullenkamp, the Duke, the Dark. There’s uh, no story. :V The music is nowhere near similar. It doesn’t take place Boloveria or wherever and not in Valendia/Ivalice. The visual style is only slightly comparable, and the weapon system is not nearly as complicated as VS. Tell me how it IS VS2 beyond DAT ATMOSPHERE.

      • John Mora Says:

        The extreme focus on customizing weapons and spells/abilities. The unforgiving difficulty. The trap-laden dungeons. Boletaria is every bit as well-realized as Lea Monde. EVERYTHING THAT DOESN’T HAVE TO DO WITH THE PLOT. And yes, Demon’s Souls has a story, you ninny. I guess you might not know if you didn’t make it any farther than the first or second area, though!

  3. Tim Torres Says:

    So uh how are those mega man games going

  4. Terry Says:

    God I love Demon’s Souls. I’m gonna start a new character soon.

    Gonna name him Ashley.

  5. Michelle Says:

    I can completely get the comparisons between Vagrant Story and Demon’s Souls for what its worth, would love to hear more thoughts on this though!

  6. Sean Says:

    I finally got around to Black Narcissus, only 3 months late! Totally worth it, thanks for the recommendation.

    Minus a couple sequences in the beginning, this thing hums right along. For some reason, I’d anticipated a more plodding pace.

    Have there been any recent re-releases of Thief of Baghdad? I might have to track that one down, despite its lack of psycho-sexual nuns.

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