March 2017: Horizon, Worry, Arrival & OJ Simpson

March has been a weird, quiet, contemplative month for me. I’ve spent the majority of it worrying and panicking. Why? Because I’m at a point in my life where I don’t know what to do. I have hopes, dreams and ambitions but I don’t know how to achieve them. I’m questioning every move I make because I don’t want to move in the wrong direction and jeopardise my chances of achieving my goals.

Broadly, my goal is pretty simple, become a filmmaker. I’ve been writing a lot, it’s slow going though and I’m still not convinced I’m any good at it. Despite my education and the results I got at university. So, do I continue writing? Even though once I’m done I’m struggling to turn my writing into a film? Do I go into other, more mundane paths e.g. Getting a normal job? The latter certainly wouldn’t hurt. But I feel like it would be a setback or an obstruction. 

There’s also the fact that I’m socially awkward and terrible at maths. This means that any job where human interaction and the handling of money is involved, simply isn’t all that good for me.

Anyhow, onto more enjoyable subjects:

Horizon: Zero Dawn released this month to rave reviews. It’s one of the games of the year so far, without a doubt.

Graphically it’s gorgeous, gameplay wise it’s fun & addictive but a little repetitious and simplistic. The story is a mixed bag, it doesn’t really get interesting until about halfway through the main quest at which point there are some good reveals. Side missions are dull though and there are only three characters in the entire game that are interesting.

For a new IP, Horizon is great. They’ve packed so much into it and pretty much everything is well done. Hopefully the inevitable sequel will have a better story and characters.

I’ve been reading the newest Star Wars book and the final part of the Aftermath trilogy, Star Wars Aftermath: Empire’s End. Heading into it I had low expectations, considering the fact that I wasn’t keen on the previous two books. I was pleasantly surprised to find this book to be quite enjoyable. It’s certainly the best in the trilogy.

I’m still not sold on the writing style though, the prose is a little clunky and sometimes challenging to follow. The use of intervals is also an issue, especially when they add next to nothing to the overall story and they often focus on underdeveloped characters. That being said, there were two intervals focusing on known characters and those chapters were two of the best in the book.

This month we saw the announcement of Xbox Game Pass. To put it simply, this is a video game version of Netflix. It sounds great. It’s certainly something that will challenge PlayStation. My only concern is that it’s another subscription service (don’t we have enough of those now?) and it’s not something I’ll be getting because I like to focus on 1 game at a time & I’m pretty slow at it. 

I watched The People v OJ Simpson on Netflix, having missed it when it first aired on TV. I love a good courtroom drama. I think shows like The Good Wife, Damages and Boston Legal are great. This was therefore something I knew I’d like and it didn’t disappoint.

I loved the opening of the first episode, the way it built suspense and created an atmosphere was very well done. The cast were brilliant and well deserved of the acclaim they garnered too.

I also liked how the show remained interesting and engaging despite being based on real events that I was pretty familiar with. Even though I knew pretty much exactly what was going to happen, I never lost interest.

I do however want to say that another courtroom drama that aired in 2016 was better than this. That show was called The Night Of and I’m pretty disappointed that The Night Of was overlooked in favour of this show at awards season.

Finally, I watched the hit 2016 film, Arrival. It was okay, but not much more. The characters were a little bland for my liking but I did like the central mystery of the film.

However, I wasn’t keen on the films use of lighting. So much of it is unnecessarily cast in shadow, yes it creates a mood & tone but it also makes it visually dull.

That’s my March of 2017. It’s been a pretty quiet month but not an entirely bad one.


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