That’s right. We’re all super old now because Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is now twenty.
Pop culture’s favorite movie to make fun of is now old enough to drink in most countries, and we’re supposed to be okay with that? No, we should never be. We must fight against the passing of time and destroy the temporal oppression.
Until that, though, I guess it’s time for us to reflect back on the movie that consumed the world for a couple months back in 1999.
It’s honestly pretty silly looking back that you have these simplistic 8-bit or 16-bit graphics, and the way you think you can accurately represent that in marketing is by making some clay models of the characters. It’s surely expensive enough that 2D art, or even live-action actors, surely would have been a more sensible option.
But all these years later, and I look at the clay promo art for video games as some of the coolest stuff ever. Just look at all of this:
I have had this past three weeks “off” work, in that I have to go to City Hall every day and sit there doing nothing but use my computer rather than teach any classes. So in all of my free time, I guess I’ll be uploading a few more random blog posts than usual. Here’s one right now:
One thing I love to do in my spare time, probably my nerdiest and least-redeeming hobby, is to analyze the movie box office and see what movies are doing well, what movies are doing poorly, and how well the movies I love are performing. Even though I’m obviously most invested in what I care about most, I wish for the best for (almost) every movie, even though sometimes you just get pretty big failures out of nowhere.
In the case of the hypothetical scenario I’m about to write about, the first three months of 2019 were considered pretty terrible for the movie box office. There were a few hits– Captain Marvel, obviously, and then How to Train Your Dragon 3, but a few more big movies had major underperformances (Glass, Lego Movie 2, Alita, and now Dumbo) that have dragged the entire calendar down.
So I began to wonder one thing… what if the release dates of three of the biggest movies were swapped around?
This is something I locked away in the recesses of my mind until recently, but as I was stumbling around old computer files looking for something to blog about, I remembered that I accidentally predicted the future of video game consoles. I even posted about it in my high school-era blog, which you can read here.
It was April 2011, and I was thinking about the next Nintendo console, which I figured would be announced at the upcoming E3 press conference for a release in 2012. I figured what the essentials would be for a new system, what Nintendo absolutely needed to survive in the field after the Wii’s lagging end-tail sales, then what I thought might be able to be enhanced from the Wii era. That brought me to the idea of new controller designs, and thinking about how Nintendo loves to try new innovations, I ruminated on just what they might to to differentiate themselves.
Turns out, for all my teenage weirdness I was a bit of a prophet about the future direction of console video gaming.
First off, oh I don’t post on this blog very much do I? It’s mostly saved for when I have actual news to share, and there isn’t much of that at the moment. ATL: Stories from the Retrofuture is still running smoothly, somewhat close to ending its second big story and moving onto its third, whose title I will reveal somewhat later in the article… but only if you read on!
It’s like Christmas morning for any writer, and this weekend I finally got back some beta-reading critiques from a friend on a novel manuscript of mine. Getting your story torn to shreds is always a fun thing to go through as you revisit it for the first time in a while. Highly recommended for all writers.
It’s an old photo of John Malkovich that makes him look really smoking.
I have never considered John Malkovich in my pantheon of hunky male dreamboat actors, but it turns out that he ended up being relatively hunky in his early years after all, if this photo is any evidence.
Is it something about the combination of black-and-white and a suit, or was he actually just a good-looking dude back thirty-plus years ago? It’s hard to tell. But what I do know is this guy right here looks like he’s about to star in a neo-noir film about a dystopian future where the world is controlled by alien invaders who are mining the planet for precious resources, but John’s just a private eye trying to make it through the week on booze and cigarettes.