Monthly Archives: June 2012

The Wonderful World of Blogging

Back in 2010 I started my first blog. I wrote a minute post and published it. I then ignored it for almost exactly one year.

I quite literally had forgotten all about it.  I had so many other things going on in my life that I didn’t have time to post to a blog.

I was a literal ‘babe in the woods’ when it came to the wonderful world of blogging.  There were loads of things I didn’t know, except that my daughter hated doing them for her university course. She much preferred the pdf format for her uni work and the blog’s for her own thoughts.

In my mind, since she directed so much vitriol towards the required blogs, I decided that they must be terrible time consuming things best left alone. That belief combined with my own personal version of the Queen’s annus horribilis meant that my blogging days were to be postponed for quite a while.

Our family had been going through some incredibly stressful days/months/years and the inevitable divorce followed. 2010 was a year of running, rushing and realization. It was also a time of starting over.

I spent so much time trying to re-establish myself that I forgot that I also needed to get back in touch with myself. I had completely lost track of who I was and what I like doing. It had gotten to the point that when I looked in the mirror to shave in the morning, I would say, “Hello stranger,” to the shell-shocked face that looked back at me.

So it took me a year to remember that I had started the damn thing. I decided that I would do a minimum of one post per day. I had wanted to be a writer before I’d ever dreamed of doing anything else. I felt that this was a good way to get back into practise.

And before you could say, “Bob’s your uncle,” I was mixing my metaphors with the best of them. I also discovered that when you added something to your blog it was called a post. I still think of them as articles, I can blame Journalism 101 back in the 70’s for that one.

It has been therapeutic, this blogging business. It has helped me get back in touch with my inner child, my raved imagination and most importantly with myself. I am still a bit rusty. Like Dorothy‘s Tin Man, I’ve needed a spot of oil now and again to get those rusty brain cells working in a smoother fashion.

It has also allowed me to ‘vent my spleen’ about things that irritate me and it helps me to take strolls down memory lane.

I’ve also learned that reading other writer’s words of wisdom, wit, opinions and thoughts has opened up a plethora of worlds, cultures and ideology that I otherwise might never have known existed.

I have also learned that if I am writing about something factual, I have to do all the required research before I post the dog-gone thing.

There is one other thing that I’ve found, an almost invaluable tool that I am convinced not everyone uses. At least not as much as I do.


The Amazing Spider-Man Returns…Again

With the 2002 release of Spider-Man with Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst as ‘Spidey‘ and his love interest, I felt that Sam Raimi had done justice to Stan “The Man” Lee’s comic creation. Two more films quickly followed and a fourth was rumoured to be in the works.

Then, nothing.

The scuttlebutt was that differences of opinion between Maguire and Raimi was causing delays. It ended apparently with both sides leaving the ‘table’ and shelving Spider-Man 4 indefinitely.

Enter director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) with just the one feature film under his belt who was now going to helm the “new” Spider-man film.

With Toby Maguire admittedly being a bit long in the tooth to reprise Spidey at this late date, a search for a younger actor was launched.

Enter English actor Andrew Garfield, former gymnast and Spider-man fan. Good looking enough to set the ladies heart racing and athletic enough to do a lot of his own stunts.

With a new Spider-man, a new love interest was required. Kirsten Dunst was, like Toby, a bit old for the new, younger Spidey so they replaced her with the drool inducing Emma Stone. *Not as Mary Jane, but Peter Parker‘s first love in the Comic Verse,  Gwen Stacy.*

English: Emma Stone at the 2011 San Diego Comi...

The story line has been changed to allow a different take on the perils of Peter Parker. Deciding to focus on the ‘lack’ of Peter’s parents, it follows his journey to discover what his father did and who he was.

In a move that completely baffles me, actress Sally Field has been cast as Aunt May. Presumably because Cliff Robertson is no longer available, forever, they felt that a ‘name’ actor was required. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Sally Field, but I am having a hard time picturing The Flying Nun as Peter’s auntie. It also does not help that she doesn’t have the white librarian hair bun that May always sported in the comic.

They’ve also come up with a new villain. The Lizard  aka Dr. Curt Connors, who, I am pretty sure, does not exist in the comic book world of Stan Lee. But hey! Why not ‘make up’ a villain? You’ve already made up a dubious plot line for Spidey and friends.

**I have to stand corrected on the Lizard villain, he does indeed exist in the Spider-man verse, I just forgot him, quite understandable considering he was introduced in 1963 when I was five. I was not yet a Spider-man fan. Just goes to show there is a reason to do ALL your research.**

Stan Lee
Stan Lee (Photo credit: Gage Skidmore)

I know that a little detail like a non-existent search for Peter’s parents demise will not stop most of the targeted audience from attending in droves. It will be in the ‘new’ 3D, it will feature the ever beautiful Emma Stone and it will feature lots of web slinging, swinging, and splatting.

It looks to be witty (at least in the trailers it does) and very action packed. A perfect Blockbuster for the summer holidays. It opens here in the UK on the 3rd of July. I doubt I will be queuing up to see it.

I am slightly allergic to the demographic that will be in attendance and I really rather liked the ‘old’ Spider-Man. So I’ll most likely wait for the DVD. My Spidey-Sense is tingling and it’s telling me that, chances are, this might not be that great a film.

The Devils Rejects (2005): Zombie Western Horror

Rob Zombie wrote and directed this sequel to House of a 1000 Corpses. After the financial success of Corpses Lions Gate Entertainment were eager for Zombie to make another film.

Rob had an idea for a sequel while filming Corpses about the sheriff’s brother coming after the Firefly clan in an act of deadly revenge. With the idea in place Zombie began to craft The Devil’s Rejects  with the aim of making the film less comedic and more horrific.

Rob stated that he wanted it to feel a bit likeThe Wild Bunch , Bonnie and Clyde and Badlands. The influence of all three films can be seen in the final cut of Rejects.

The Devil’s Rejects opens with the Sheriff’s brother, Sheriff Wydell (William Forsythe) surrounding the Firefly house with a posse of lawmen. After telling the besieged family to surrender or die a prolonged shoot-out ensues with every one in the house being shot to rag-doll ribbons.

Otis (Bill Mosely) and Baby (Sherri Moon Zombie) manage to escape, but Mother Firefly is captured by Wydell. Otis and Baby after murdering a nurse to steal her car hide out at a motel.

At the motel Baby starts flirting with Roy (Geoffrey Lewis) who part of a country music band and when they head back to Roy’s room, Otis shows up and they take the entire band hostage. What follows is the hardest part of the film to watch.

Gone are the comedic undertones that make Corpses so amusing. Otis and Baby have grown p as it were and they set upon the band member with vicious and horrific acts of violence. Otis rapes Roy’s wife Gloria (Priscilla Barnes) and later kills the two remaining men. He cuts one of their faces off and returns to the motel room with his victims face over his own.

The two contact their father Captain Spaulding (Sid Haig) and they meet at the motel. After their reunion they all go to the Chicken Ranch, a brothel run by family friend Charlie Altamont (Ken Foree) and his lackey Clevon (Michael Berryman).

Sheriff Wydell has hired two bounty hunters to help track down the remaining Firefly family members, one of the bounty hunters is Danny Trejo, they catch up with them at the chicken ranch.

The cast list of The Devil’s Rejects reads like a horror-thon reunion. P.J. Soles, Michael Berryman,  and Kane Hodder all make appearances in the film.

With his second feature Rob Zombie has fine tuned his cinematic and horror skills. Focusing more on the evil side of the Firefly brood, he has toned down the hilarity that was present in his first film. He also gives the characters a chance to show who and what they really are.

The interaction between Baby, Otis and dad, Captain Spaulding is touching, funny and revealing. That this family unit is dysfunctional is obvious and just as apparent is their love (however strange) for one another.

Yet despite the more horrific nature of the film and it’s lead characters, we are fond of the backwater Dionysian family and when the film ends to the music of Lynyrd  Skynyrd’s Free Bird we are sad and a little touched.

Grave Encounters (2011): Great Start…Grave Finish

Grave Encounters

Written and directed by  The Vicious BrothersGrave Encounters  is their maiden voyage as it were into the film world. Using the obligatory horror genre as their entrance, I am sure that the idea worked really well in script and storyboard form.

I really wanted to like this film. The beginning of the film looked great. Hell, the “trailer” for the ‘ghost hunter’ team played beautifully. I wanted to make that program.

The film opens as a mock-u-mentary, we hear from a television executive how Lance Preston sent in a demo reel for consideration as a new ‘reality’ program. The excec states that he was before his time and that this type of tv program hadn’t taken off yet.

Everything looked great until episode six. We are going to see episode six. He stresses that this is not a movie. It is seventy-six hours of un-edited footage from Lance’s last ever show.

We then meet the crew of Lance’s “professionals” and we see them setting up the shots for episode six. We meet cameraman TC (Merwin Mondesir), Techno Geek Matt (Juan Riedinger), pouty assistant Sasha (Ashleigh Gryzko), Psychic Houston (Mackenzie Gray) and presenter/expert Lance (Sean Rogerson).

They are all there to investigate the creepy abandoned Collingwood Psychiatric Hospital. This place, according to local legend, has had scary stuff happen ever since it closed down. And shades of The House on Haunted Hill; the reason it was closed was a mad doctor was murdered by six of his patients.

The first thing we learn upon meeting these guys and gal are that they are new to this whole ‘ghost busting’ gig and that, so far at least, they haven’t seen any ghostly goings on. We also find out that Houston is about as psychic as my left big-toe. He is in fact just an actor.

*He also, through no fault of his own, provides for some of the ‘unintended” laughs. Every time someone said his name and the word problem together, I felt like I was watching an astronaut film –

Right up until everything goes completely Pete Tong I was with them. I liked how the film was progressing and was ready for the action to pick up.

Unfortunately when it did pick up, the players all lost their cool too quickly. It was like watching a high school theatre group do improv. Everyone wanted to panic and scream.

Incidentally, I wanted Sasha to die immediately. Nothing personal, but her scream was so irritating that the threat the ghosts posed seemed minimal compared to the ear damage her shrieking must have caused.

But before everything goes completely crazy (Did you see what I did there?) The group have had very little happen to them and they decide to call it a night. They are bored, tired and hungry. All this was good. I mean they had me right there and ready to ride the roller coaster of fear.

Like the celestial virgin, there I was all juiced up and ready to go, but my partner was suffering from a terminal case of brewer’s droop.

It is quite possible that this film was much scarier in the cinema where sound and darkness could play a big part in setting you up for the jump. It just felt like a lukewarm version of The Blair Witch Project.

To say I was disappointed, would be an understatement. Somebody must have liked the film, because on IMDb there is a Grave Encounters 2 set for release this year.

It was inevitable that the success of the Paranormal series, which owes it own beginnings to Blair Witch, would spawn imitations. The guerilla style of film-making seems to be on the rise and to be fair it has resulted in some great little films. Cloverfield to name but one.

But for the love of all that’s scary, get off the Blair Witch train. Okay?

Suffer the Little Children

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

Most people, myself included, love looking at videos on the net about babies. YouTube is full of them. They all make you laugh or go “aww.”

They are almost as popular as the animal videos. You know the ones I mean. Cute kittens and cats and dogs and puppies. These also make you go “aww” or laugh.

There are even a few about the older ‘babies’ you know, toddlers and above. There are less of those but, some not all, are truly hilarious. A little girls states solemnly that if a monster comes in her house she will, “Kick his ask.” David Goes to the Dentist, are just two that spring to mind.

Real life however is not as endearing.

Folks who let their ‘little angels’ run riot all over the place are not amusing.

The little ones who feel it is their God given right to throw things into your garden. Sweet wrappers, balls, toys in various stages of dilapidation, plastic bags and anything else their little hands get hold of.

The same little ones also like noise. The louder the better. They also like repetitive noise; banging, screaming  (the exact same decibel level each and every time) and thundering through their house with reckless abandon.

“Kids will be kids” is the old adage that most parents trot out when little Junior or Missy commit an act of hooliganism.


Like the obligatory old fart (I am in my fifties) I will also trot out the old faithful, “We had discipline when we were kids.” And we did. Our parents didn’t beat us with a hose-pipe or a wooden  two-by-four. They did give out the occasional belt ‘stropping’ and they did utilize the switch.

*I don’t know about your parents but I do know some who  had the nasty habit of making you pick out your own switch.*

We were taught not to intrude upon other people’s space. That space included their home, their garden and their personal space. My parents were very good about not believing in the old ‘children should be seen and not heard’ and were vigilante in the art of teaching us to be polite and respectful.

I know this all started in the Dr. Spock days of parenting. The days of, “If I discipline my children they won’t like me anymore.” This started in the 1970’s and it has gotten worse. It has created a generation, or two, of parents who will not take the responsibility of parenting.

These irresponsible parents are churning out babies and not helping them become ‘people’ or teaching them about encroaching on their fellow man. These babies are growing up to be thugs and hooligans and are filling our jails as juvenile delinquents.

I am not lumping every young person into this category. There are some who don’t do any of the things I’ve mentioned. To those upright and stalwart young citizens I offer a salute of gratitude.

To the rest, I want to offer a swift kick in the seat of the pants of their parents.

Max Payne 3 – Conclusions

Max Payne 3

Okay, so I finished Max Payne 3 last night, well early this morning, and I had a little think about the game. I was perhaps a bit harsh on the game, in my ‘first thoughts‘ on it. Because all said, it was a fun play through.

Now admittedly I’m not a Max Payne fan. I had played a very little bit of Max Payne 2 and my initial thoughts on that game, was that it seemed a lot like Condemned. As I said in my first post about Max Payne, I felt that I had been there before.

I guess to an extent it felt like that because Rockstar had set the whole game up as a ‘Game Noir’ and that’s okay, but did they really have to have that ‘grind house’ look to it?

I am still trying to figure out why they did the scratchy and shaky appearance to the whole thing. It did look like a addicts vision of life around him, but the bleeding and blurry colours didn’t really make a lot of sense for a ‘third-person-shooter.’

If it had been a ‘first-person-shooter’ it would have fit a bit better, but I still maintain that it was an un-necessary distraction.

The story was okay. The bit about powerful, rich, corrupt families has been done before. I suppose that with the drug cartel problem in Mexico these days grabbing headlines, it seemed the topical thing to do. But again, it still felt a little like a ‘re-run’ that I had seen before.

My other main complaint? The game was short. Damn short. I guess they felt like the inclusion of a Max Payne multi-player would make up for that. I did play the multi-player for a bit after I had finished the game. Sorry Rockstar, it didn’t add anything to the game. For a start, my character wasn’t even Max, for crying out loud. That bit was locked.

English: The Rockstar New England logo, a divi...

I guess I do have to admit that I liked the almost easy task of blowing bad guys away in their dozens. I do like shooting things whether said things are aliens, bad guys or enemy soldiers I am a sucker for a gun fight.

The ‘bullet time‘ feature is still fun, although it took me ages to really master it and the R1 feature took me forever to remember I had it as an option. But when I did remember all I could think of was John Woo’s Stranglehold game.

To be completely fair I have to say that it was a good play, but, it did not have that wow factor. So in my thinking it is more of a rental versus a ‘gotta have’ game.

I will say that I did like the fact that Max was in his mid-forties. As an old fart myself, it was nice to see a protagonist who was not young, bronzed and muscle bound. Someone instead with a bit of character on his face. Grizzled and wrinkled and still able to get the job done.

True Grit

John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit.
John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was sitting here perusing my old blog posts when I suddenly got the image of John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn in my head. As I sat there mentally studying Rooster, I thought of the title of the film.

True Grit.

More images came to mind. Grits, obviously, the great southern delicacy that I can live without…forever. Who ever invented this southern ‘breakfast’ dish, should be shot with the corn niblets that were ground up to make this dish.

Bland to the point of disgust and only edible after you add copious amounts of salt, pepper and butter. Blech!

Another image is that of grit. If you have ever raised chickens for eggs, you will know this word. Grit is made up of small shells and stones that have been ground up into tiny little crumbs. You have to give grit to chickens every day if you want eggs that will survive long enough for you to put them in your omelet.

Chickens (Photo credit: Allie’s.Dad)

It is essential that chickens have grit to give them strong shelled eggs.

I also think of the boy scout newspaper called Grit. We used to have a town character named Burney who sold these things on the town square when I was a boy. Burney was a ‘town character’ because he had epilepsy.

Not the sharpest of tools in the shed, Burney was nonetheless harmless. He would not have hurt a fly. Strangers coming into the town would give Burney a wide berth, fearing him a little. One day Burney had a petite mal  on the sidewalk. A couple of visitors were shocked and concerned.

One of the tellers from the bank, come out and looked after Burney and made sure he didn’t bite his tongue or swallow it. After Burney’s fit was over, the teller went onto the drugstore and got him a cold Coke. Burney thanked him and sat contentedly sipping his cola.

One of the ‘non-residents’ of the town asked the teller what had happened and was that poor man okay? “Oh, that’s just Burney,” the teller replied, “He’s all right.” After glancing over at Burney one more time, the teller went back into the bank.

Burney finished his Coke and took the bottle to the store for the deposit it would net him.

I mention Burney, because of True Grit. The film, about a young girl who seeks to catch and hang her father’s murderer is looking for a Marshall who has true grit to help her. Of course all the main protagonists have grit in spades.

And that is the last thing I think of, the grit that people show in their everyday lives. Not everyone has it. Grit is that stubborn never give up attitude. The ability to keep going when others will easily give up. Grit is loyalty and the ability to not think of yourself as anything different. Grit is to be brave in the face of the fearful.

Burney was a wonderful example of true grit. Through every type of weather imaginable and if he was sick or not, this man struggled out everyday to sell his Grit newspaper. He even ignored, for the most part, the annoying kids who used to make fun of him. Every kid in town would do it at least once.

“Hey Bur-ney! Wana buy a GRRIITT!” The shrieked out question was usually said on the run as Burney was incredibly fast and could almost catch the little stinker who thought he was so witty. He would not have done anything if he had caught the kid, as I said Burney was harmless.

I know he was because to my everlasting shame, I was one of those little clowns that thought it was hysterically funny to taunt Burney. Burney did catch me once. All he did was look at me sadly and shake his head, he then let me go.

I never picked on Burney again. But I can tell you now that when I think of True Grit, it’s Burney’s face I see in my mind more often than not.

If Burney was still alive, I’d buy a Grit, I’d buy the whole damn bunch of them.

House of a 1000 Corpses (2003): Horror Zombie Style

Cover of "House of 1,000 Corpses"

Released in 2003, House of a 1000 Corpses had actually been sitting on a shelf since it had been made in 2000. Studios were reluctant to release it as they were unsure of the rating it would receive from the film board.

Corpses marks Rob Zombies directorial debut, he also wrote the film, and for a first attempt, Zombie pretty much knocked it right out of the park.

The cast of Corpses is a good one. Sid Haig (as Captain Spaulding), Sherri Moon (as Baby Firefly, Moon would later marry Zombie effectively giving her the more bizarre name of Sherri Moon Zombie), Karen Black (as Mother Firefly), Bill Moseley (as Otis Firefly), Michael J. Pollard (in a tiny cameo as Stucky), William Bassett (as Sheriff Frank Huston) and Dennis Fimple in what would be his last film role as Grandpa Hugo.

Rob Zombies first horror film would be the celluloid equivalent to his Heavy Metal music.  Zombie is an avid horror film fan himself, he adores horror films from the 1930’s and 40’s, he had already directed all his own music videos when he decided to make a feature length film.

Although the film opens with two couples who are travelling the back roads of rural America in search of local legends and places of infamous origins for a ‘travelogue’ the film is really about the Firefly family.

Captain Spaulding, who dresses like a clown, is the head of the backwoods brood. The Firefly’s are like the American dysfunctional family on acid. Every member of the family give a whole new meaning to the descriptive word eccentric.  Spaulding is at turns, funny, irascible, and murderous.

Mother Firefly is a southern belle of a gal, who can be likened to Blanche Dubois on drugs. Baby is drop dead gorgeous (emphasis on the drop dead), Otis is the most visually terrifying of the family, he lacks either the skill or the need to hide his murderous nature.

The two couples, a hilarious quartet of young people whose delight at discovering the existence of Dr Satan, are at turns excited (the boys) and disgusted (the girls). When they get directions to the tree where Dr Satan was hung, they get lost and they get a flat tyre.

It is when they ‘break down’ that they come across the Firefly clan. They are welcomed into the Firefly home and are entertained while their car is being repaired. The scenes in the Firefly home are ingenious. Baby Firefly has a definite interest in Bill Hudley (Rainn Wilson) and his girl friend Mary Knowles (Jennifer Jostyn) is less than pleased at this.

At dinner, where they all have to don masks (“If ya don’t, she won’t serve desert!” says Grandpa Hugo), they hear how Mother Firefly’s ex-husband tried to burn down their house while Tiny (Matthew McGrory) was sleeping in it.

After dinner the family then put on a show. It is “Theatre Firefly” and Baby comes out singing I Want to be Loved by You to Bill. Mary doesn’t like this one little bit. She threatens Baby and the whole evening turns deadly.

If it were not for the incredibly vicious violence, House of a 1000 Corpses could almost be a comedy. Any scene with Sid Haig as Spaulding is hilarious. He is broadly funny and antagonistic. His interaction with Bill Hudley and later with the two deputies left me gasping for breath. His scenes are comedic to the extreme.

The Firefly evening, felt so surreal. We feel as awkward and as uncomfortable as the young couples obviously do in the house. Mother Firefly is clearly mad as a hatter and the fact the both Bill and Jerry Goldsmith ( Chris Hardwick) both fail to notice this, is both funny and ominous.

The film is an almost perfect ensemble piece. The entire family each get a chance to show off their backwater weirdness and both Otis and Baby are terrifying. Otis with his clearly evil ideology and Baby with her childish and naive murderous nature both shine a bit more than the rest of the family.

Of course the iconic Karen Black as mother was brilliant. It is a shame that a dispute over salary kept her from reprising her role in the sequel The Devil’s Rejects.

Corpses was Rob Zombies initiation into the world of horror and he followed it up with The Devil’s Rejects or as I like to think of it The Further Adventures of the Firefly’s. He did hop on the re-make train and he re-imaged the classic Slasher Horror that is  Halloween, part one and two. He is currently working on The Lords of Satan.

Zombie is continually fine tuning his directing talent but he still makes what I like to think of as heavy metal horror films. I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us with his next film.

What if I Wrote a Blog and No One Read It…

2012 has been a year of stiff competition. I still do several blog-posts per day and my views vary accordingly.

I say accordingly, because there are a lot of factors that dictate how many, if any, views your blog will receive on any given day. For example, we have the 2012 Olympics going on just down the road. You have the football season. New video games and old ones (getting a DLC to correct the creators SNAFU on the original ending, is just one).

London 2012 banner at The Monument.
London 2012 banner at The Monument. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Summer is also the season of the Blockbuster film. School is for the most part out. Holidays are historically taken in the summer months. People who have been glued to their computers, laptops and iPads are now going out and cutting their grass, having barbecues and garden parties.

Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Basically the season of dithering and resting while waiting on warmer weather has passed.

The only ‘constant’ is my posting to my blog.

Of course you do get concerned when you check your view count and realise that it has increased by exactly one view in the last four hours. You tend to grumble and think why am I wasting my time. Don’t people realize that I live for high view counts? That my postings are like my party trick?

Look mummy at how well I can write! Look at my broad topic range! Look, no typo’s! In essence I feel like a performing dog. Running through hoops and jumping flaming walls and hearing cricket noises when I’ve finished.

I know, I’m over-reacting. My daughter calls me the “Drama King” and for good reason. Yes. I do exaggerate. But that is only for effect. I know that folks will pay more attention if I am telling a story about, oh, say…grasshoppers and the little buggers are in their millions. Grab’s your attention, doesn’t it? The mental picture of millions of little hoppers running around is much more eye-catching than hundreds of em.

Yes I am complaining, but, I’m also oddly content. Because if I can get just one person to read my little post, I’m happy. One person that is not a friend or a family member. One person who is an actual stranger to me. This makes me happy. This fulfils the longing in me to be noticed for my talent.

Okay so my talent equates to juggling three balls and very occasionally dropping one. But, minimal as it is, it is still a talent of sorts.

Even if you think of it as the literary version of running off at the mouth.

Assassin’s Creed III – Meh With a Capital M

I must be one of the only people in the world who is not excited about the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed III. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t dislike the Assassin’s Creed franchise. I’ve just gotten bored with it.

When Assassin’s Creed first came out in 2006 I was swept away by the stunning graphics and the wonderful story line. The main character, or hero of the game if you prefer, was Altaïr ibn-La’Ahad. Set during the third Crusades, the game’s tapestry was rich with history, both real and imagined.

Of course we only see  Altaïr once Desmond Miles, bartender extraordinaire, has been plugged up to the Animus. A machine that allows modern day folk to ‘live’ their ancestor’s memories.

Most people I know, didn’t like the first one. Stating that it was repetitive, boring and too long. Of course the biggest complaint was that you could not really assassinate anyone. Which is true, the moment you killed your target, no matter how discrete you were, you had to fight for your life.

So okay a little annoying but not enough to put me off the entire game. Just the graphics alone made my eyes feel like they were stretching out of their sockets trying to take in all that breathtaking, colourful and real looking verse.

What a wonderful blending of science fiction and historical drama. The Animus, which tied all the memories together was exciting and scary.

Still definitely my personal favourite out of all of them.

Which leads me into my first complaint. The next Assassin’s Creed had a new protagonist Ezio Auditore da Firenze. Desmond is rescued from the evil Knight’s  Templar aka Abstergo by the modern day Assassins. When he enters their Animus he re-lives the life of Ezio.

Now Ezio was okay, but, he isn’t Altaïr and his story arc is nowhere near as interesting. *Please remember that this is just my opinion.* But obviously, Ezio is the masses favourite. Because he  has come back no less than four times. I quickly got over any excitement I initially felt when I heard that a new Assassin’s Creed was being released.

But my lacklustre reception of all things Ezio, was not just down to his character. My dissatisfaction grew because of the change in the graphics and the storyline.

Gone were the breathtaking graphics that ‘one’ brought to the party. Gone were the brilliant mixing of history and science. Instead we were given graphics that were…okay. We were given a larger history lesson via on-screen data messages, a lot. And the interaction between Desmond and his ‘saviour’ Lucy Stillman, suddenly changed.

By the time that Brotherhood was released, the Uncharted series was huge. As Nolan North voiced both Desmond and Nathan Drake from the Uncharted series, and Nolan’s speciality is ad-libbing and engaging in banter with the other actors, Ubisoft decided to have Desmond and Lucy interact with each other differently.


Where did this come from? When did Desmond and Lucy turn into Nate and Elena? Why try to make them into characters from another verse?

All this just proves to me that Ubisoft has lost their way with the franchise.

Assassin’s Creed II and beyond I could just about deal with. I was still able to suspend my disbelief enough to go along with Ezio dealing with Leonardo DaVinci, and the Borgias.  But it did get increasingly difficult to enjoy the games themselves. I still haven’t finished Revelations. And before I move on, I do have to say, I like the fact that Ezio is older. I mean seriously the guy had to age sometime.

Now III has an assassin interacting and presumably influencing the American War of Independence. *cue mouth dropping open* Huh? I’ve seen the trailers and the new assassin’s ‘costume’ (yes, that’s right, I said costume) is so out of place compared to what everyone else is wearing, I’m surprised that he isn’t shot on sight.

There is also the little detail of the ‘assassin’s tomahawk’ it looks far too modern and again out-of-place. The whole thing has completely broken down my ability to suspend my disbelief.

I really do think it is time for Ubisoft to move on.