Stuff more interesting than the Pope visiting the UK

17 Sep

I mean, he’s important and that, but he’s not a patch on the last one.

Scott Pilgrim vs. The World


Here is a film with action scenes so sharp, fluid and kinetic that the normal reaction to something important happening – “Wow, that was cool” – is moot, as a stupid grin envelops your face long before it actually happens. Michael Cera seems too genuinely nice to pull off Scott’s underlying flaw of being a dick, but watching his skinny arms and legs slice through a series of meat-headed antagonists and stunt extras is unfalteringly hilarious. The script and comic timing (both of the actors and editors) are similarly excellent, and the cheeky prods at geek and hipster culture will entertain all but the most religious of fake glasses wearers.

Muse at Wembley

…is a phrase I’ve used so many times in the last week I’ve begun to mentally bond the two together, creating the London-based stadium rock outfit Muse At Wembley. I could argue with nobody for pages about how Muse At Wembley’s approach to songwriting, their command of melodies, strains and swells, crescendos and codas, are all just fucking brilliant, but I’ll summarise: they were as powerful and exciting as the tens of thousands of people in that stadium expected them to be, rolling out hit after hit after hit, yet still squeezing in a few old favourites for kicks. Ruled By Secrecy was one of them – as far as rarities I want to see live go this is pretty far down the list, but such conviction was evident in the performance it was difficult to look away.

There’s not much to say about Biffy Clyro’s (my other favourite band) support set, other than that they tore the floor of Muse’s redonkulously monolithic stage design up. Seriously, look at it. At least the wall of screens gave the poor people under six foot somewhere to look.

Deus Ex: Human Revolution

Filled with shame that it took me ten years to experience the genius of the original Deus Ex, I’m watching this new one like a hawk. It’s being made by an entirely different studio, but by all accounts the mechanics that made the first game great (dizzying amounts of player choice and influence, simple but effective RPG elements, massive open levels etc.) are all intact. Upgrading the laughably moronic AI and the beepy retro soundtrack seems a given, so the chances of it failing to be at least pretty good seem microscopic.

Mainly though, I’ve fallen in love with the trailer. It’s entirely CGI, months old and every male character speaks like they’ve eaten a burlap sack of hornets washed down with wet concrete, yet the apocalyptic score, mechanically enhanced action and mental art direction (Shanghai has a second floor) still brings the chills.

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