Thoughts for Thursday – Cartoons, Mario, Exclusives, and Tron

It’s time for another “Thoughts for Thursday!”  You know the drill:



1.) Tron. I’m kind of a miser when it comes to spending money.  Because of that, a movie preview has to REALLY convince me it’s worth spending money to see a movie in theaters.  A little harsh (since some previews don’t do justice to the movies they represent), but true.  Recently, there hasn’t been anything that’s particularly grabbed me.  I’ve seen all the Harry Potter movies, but I didn’t have a desire to spend money to see half a movie last month.  Voyage of the Dawn Treader still hasn’t convinced me yet, and most previews for comedies do a good job telling me I don’t want to see those movies.  The new Tron movie, on the other hand, is an interesting combination.  Visually, it’s the most unique-looking movie I’ve seen presented in awhile.  However, after the bore that was Avatar, I don’t watch movies just because of their visual appeal.  The previews of the plot for Tron haven’t convinced me, and, in all likelihood, I would’ve looked over the movie without a second thought had it been left at that.  However, a lot of self-professed “geeks” and “techies” have been speaking quite positively about this movie.  Being a geek myself, this has made me a little curious.  Probably not enough to see it in theaters, but maybe I’ll check it out when it hits DVD.  I haven’t actually decided yet.


2. Exclusive Videogames.  A few years ago, Xbox had all of the exclusives, and the PS3 was just an expensive piece of underused hardware.  Even when games finally were ported from the Xbox to the PS3, they were buggy and and reeked of being a lazily put together cash-in (According to most reviewers, Half Life 2 was guilty of this).  Recently, however, this pattern has finally started to change.  Sure, some games occasionally aren’t given the same attention as the Xbox version (the Call of Duty series is notorious for this – with Black Ops apparently being much buggier on the PS3), but lots of developers are finally giving the PS3 some love.  The BioShock series used to be an Xbox exclusive, but now they release simultaneously on Xbox and PS3.  Valve (the creators of both Half Life and Portal) has gone on record saying that they’re not only giving equal time to the PS3, they want their games to be better on the PS3.  Once an Xbox exclusive, Mass Effect 2 is now being ported over to the PS3 – and it’s being run on the not-yet-released Mass Effect 3 engine.  I wonder how Microsoft feels about all this.  Off the top of my head, the only exclusives I can think of that are left on the Xbox360 are the Halo series, Gears of War, and Left 4 Dead.  Those are significant, of course (especially Halo), and I’m sure there are more exclusives than that, but the list is dwindling.  Nothing like some healthy competition, eh?


3.) Super Mario World. Speaking of videogame exclusives, does Mario ever get old?  On a whim, I decided to play the awesome Super Mario World yesterday, and I (as always) had a blast.  Arguably one of the best in the series, Super Mario World is just a whole lot of fun.  I’ve played through the game so many times that I’ve essentially memorized the first two worlds.  Games these days may get more and more sophisticated, but there’s something about the simple, refined beauty of a tightly put together, old school Mario game.


4.) Old School Cartoons. On the subject of whims, I also randomly watched some episodes of Pinky & the Brain these last two weeks (aren’t I just breaking out some awesome transitions today?).  Man, they just don’t make cartoons like they used to.  Of course, this cartoon is funny enough and has enough slapstick to make kids laugh, but I’m surprised at the amount of adult humor that made it into this show.  Half the jokes in Pinky & the Brain easily go over the heads of the target audience (presumably, children).  Additionally, this show is quite intelligent – often comprised of some brilliant parodies or some other well-written scripts.  When I see cartoons these days, I want to cry when I see the amount of unimaginative trite that gets aired these days.  Sure, they may be cartoons meant for kids, but it wouldn’t hurt to treat the audience with a little respect and intelligence (Some parents do watch these shows with their kids, after all).  I’d like to see a little more expected of cartoons these days.  I mean, the cartoons of the 90’s were loaded with stuff for both kids and adults.  Batman: The Animated Series had such mature themes, you’d think it was meant for adults (in fact, when I was a kid, I wasn’t allowed to watch Batman until I got a little older).  Maybe I’m being too serious about something meant to be taken lightly, but, with a few notable exceptions, cartoons these days just don’t seem to try as hard as they did when I was younger.


~ by digitallysmitten on December 16, 2010.

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