Critical analysis and reviews, Films, Videogames

Hatchet Job by Mark Kermode

So, it turns out that I somehow ended up with a copy of Mark Kermode’s Hatchet Job almost a week early. I’ve been reading through it during my downtime and I have to say that so much of what he writes about in terms of the concept of writing reviews of media products – tonnes of it is relevant to not just those who write film reviews, but those who write videogame reviews too.

Clearly with Kermode being a film reviewer the book is written from that perspective, but much of what he says is equally relevant to games journalism as well. From giving the text the proper amount of attention before passing judgement (i.e. watching a film all the way through, playing through an entire videogame (obviously not quite possible with MMOs)) and not using personal attacks against creators in order to justify your opinion of the media piece. On the other hand, there is a slight nostalgic hint in the book for the pre-internet, pre-blogging age, when reviewers were taken a bit more seriously. At the same time Kermode is fair and says that reviews by the masses are fine, so long as they’re made by people who are prepared to publicly stand by their opinions – none of this faceless, anon m’larky stuff that so many engage in.

This book won’t teach you how to write a review, but it will make you think more about the act of writing a review.

And by the way, this isn’t a review, this is a recommendation ;)

I’m off to see Mark talk about his book on Saturday and I’m definitely going to ask for it to be signed. The book is officially out on the 10th (tomorrow).

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Write film or videogame reviews? You need to get Hatchet Job by Mark Kermode

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Critical analysis and reviews, Films, Videogames

Ignorance of infrastructure

I don’t want this to be a long post, so I’m going to try and keep it short. But in amongst all the stuff to come tumbling out of events pre and during this year’s E3, especially in regards to the Xbox One, I just feel like companies behind hardware and software for entertainment products are unaware of global access to efficient and fast internet infrastructure, and certainly unaware of the UK situation. Continue reading

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Critical analysis and reviews, Films

Star Trek Into Darkness – I disliked the lack of surprises

There’s a certain something about going into a movie, or any text, cold that can make the watching experience far more enjoyable. While in LEGO City Undercover I was delighted by having a degree of foreknowledge of what was happening in the game due to its intertextual pickings from other texts, in Star Trek Into Darkness I was left unimpressed by the film’s frequent references to the original Star Trek TV series and its subsequent films. It also didn’t help that a major plot point was lifted and partially reversed (almost like this film is in a mirror universe…) from Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan and several other things made it hard to be surprised (knowing that a third film is pretty much guaranteed does not help). Be warned that this post does contain spoilers. Continue reading

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Critical analysis and reviews, Films

Iron Man 3 and the internet of things and future tech

Tony Stark is tinkering around in his garage, making himself that bit more cybernetic. He’s been up for 72 hours and even J.A.R.V.I.S. is sure that’s too long. But it’s fine because Tony is about to unleash the next iteration of Iron Man upon the ever faithful droids. The needle is put down and Tony psyches up the computerised intelligences in the room. And then it all goes horribly wrong. Continue reading

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