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They Live review + blah blah blah

I’ve been catching up with the Bomberman Board these past couple of days, finally starting to scan some books I received like a month ago and so on. I quite like the community and it’s nice to bring it a bit of life with my scans of Japanese materials, though it all kind of reminds me of how… unhappy I am with the Shrine Place. I wouldn’t say I’m disappointed in it, and at the end of the day I’m glad I finally started the thing last year, but the design, the layout, some of the content… I don’t know, I just wish I had improved it a lot. Mind you, I explicitly say the Shrine Place is just unfinished and effectively a placeholder until I really have enough content to know how to shape the site, but I think one of my concerns is: when will I have enough content, and by then will it even be feasible to comfortably update everything?

Also, I really want to expand upon the text. One of my original ideals was to present everything in a rather simplistic and straightforward manner so it could be easily translated automatically without too much confusion. I’ve had a weird fascination with having an international site, and at one point I was interested in getting Metal Slug: Missing in Action translated into a variety of languages, and even thought of extending that to Random Hoo Haas itself, but, yeah, that’s just a little outrageous. However, writing things simplistically also meant that there wasn’t much to actually write, and I want to go back and just expand upon each of the games in as much detail as I possibly can. A lot of the early instalments have all manner of obscure little features and quirks that I haven’t documented, and you need all the room you can get to elaborate upon it.

And as usual, I worry about things I shouldn’t even need to worry about by this point, like how on earth I’m going to cover the B-Daman franchise – there’s two anime series that have never gotten English dubs or subs (it’s been translated into every other language known to man, however!), a bunch of games and numerous toylines; do I literally cover the whole thing, or only just focus on the Bomberman parts? Never mind how I’m actually going to cover it when everything is in Japanese; Jetters is feasible thanks to the anime being subbed and the GameCube game getting an American release, and the only part of that series that’s going to be truly difficult is the manga and the merchandise, as there’s like zero information of either of those parts.

So, yeah, it’s a big undertaking and should it ever become my first priority again I’ll need to sit down and plan a lot of it out. That’s if I ever actually make it that far, and it doesn’t slip into a quasi-abandoned status like Metal Slug: Missing in Action is. It’s depressing to think about.

I watched They Live. It’s pretty entertaining. A drifter happens upon a group of people spouting messages regarding the corruption of society and purging of the lower-class, and it turns out to be more than just a metaphor – there’s friggin’ aliens out and about! It’s very anti-corporate, what with the rather intriguing scenes of all magazines, billboards and media being replaced with such messages as “OBEY” when viewed by the fancy glasses, and the film’s look at the quaint little home of the various vagrants and homeless folk. It’s the perfect building-point for some sophisticated social commentary, but instead the protagonist is Roddy Piper playing a vagrant who, to be honest, seems to be a bit of a dunce, barely using the glasses for more than five minutes before blowing his cover and harassing a bunch of bad dudes. Given the way he acts, the statement that the glasses give the user a high if worn for too long and his rather outrageous attempts to convince others of the alien threat, you get the feeling the movie would’ve been no different if it had just focused on some dude on drugs.

The movie has the traditional Carpenter pacing – there’s a lot of plodding repetition and a lot of ambiance, and in theory the movie could be trimmed down to about forty five minutes without missing much, but that’s part of why it’s so great. The only time it became silly was the brawl between Roddy Piper and Keith David to put on the glasses – you’d think after a while either Keith would give in or Piper would just look for someone else, but they just keep fighting… and fighting… and fighting… and the whole thing feels like an excuse to remind people that, yes, Roddy Piper is a professional wrestler, thanks for noticing! I also couldn’t help but wonder why Piper was so entranced with the woman he kidnaps briefly – I will admit it was a relief to have a female abductee who isn’t screeching like a harpy the whole time and instead does her best to keep her cool, but at the same time, dude, she has “plotting evil mastermind” written all over her. She Arrives at the safe house mere moments before it’s targeted by the police? Wake up and smell the fact that it wasn’t a coincidence, man!

Fun movie. Barely deep and sophisticated, but an enjoyable romp, and I have to give it credit for spawning the “kick ass and chew gum” line.