DID YOU READ

You’d Like to Move It, Move It?

You’d Like to Move It, Move It?  (photo)

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Sony’s entry into the motion-control sweepstakes-also known as Trying to Get Some of That Wii Money-finally hits stores today. I wrote about it a bit in my E3 wrap-up, where it faced off against Microsoft’s controller-free Kinect camera. Now that it’s out in the wild, here’s a few things you should consider if you want to pick it up.

It’s Not Just Another Version of the Wii
The Move setup uses a camera and a wand-shaped controller. Sony’s technology uses the Playstation Eye camera–along with a three-axis acceleromter–to track the glowing ball and map movement. The combo of visual and positional data makes the Move feel more precise as a result. For another thing, the Playstation’s beefier graphics hardware makes Move games look sharper than anything on the Wii.

Get ready for your close-up
Some of the Move games will use your image to interact with on-screen elements. The prime example of this is “Start the Party,” a collection of wacky mini-games. You and your real-life background appear on the screen, but instead of holding the Move controller, you’ll be holding hair clippers to shave heads, a paintbrush to draw with or a pin to pop balloons with. The augmented reality implementation is impressive and even a little trippy.

So far, the standouts are…
“echochrome ii”: Don’t worry about the numeral part of the title, because this game is no hacked-out sequel. echochrome ii veers pretty broadly from its predecessor in order to carve out a unique experience with Move. The core concept is the same: an architectural puzzle game that tasks players to steer a walking mannequin through spare, disconnected landscapes. But, instead of moving a virtual camera so that gaps and other hazards become obscured or no longer visible, you’re using the Move wand as a flashlight to cast shadows and create pathways for your avatar to walk through. The shadowplay

“Sports Champions”: Yes, a package of sports-themed gestural games is suspicisouly reminiscent of “Wii Sports.” But there’s a variety to the bundled activities-bocce ball, disc golf (played with a virtual Frisbee) and archery-that the Nintendo runaway hit doesn’t have. And the actual play experience feels weightier and more accurate than the sports games on Wii. You feel like you’re competing, not playing.

And avoid these clunkers…
“Kung-Fu Rider”
The goofy concept-playing as two characters racing and karate-chopping bad guys through city streets while sitting on a variety of wheeled items like vacuum cleaners or desk chairs-wins you over at first. But the game is too long by half and filled with repetitive sections.

“Racquet Sports”
This Ubisoft game is just too much of a mediocre thing. Tennis and ping pong are fine, but when you start getting into badminton, that just smacks of desperation. More problematic is the sameness of the playable characters and the odd disconnect between the gestural input and on-screen movement. Awkward and one-note don’t exactly scream cutting edge.

The best Move games aren’t here yet
As with any emerging technology, the game designers and creators working with Move are only just scratching the surface. Frankly, some of the games for the Move’s launch catalog are Wii titles that have been re-purposed-like Crave Entertainment’s “Brunswick Pro Bowling,” for example-with hefty graphical upgrades. There will likely be some truly inspired and trippy motion control games a year from now, and that alone presents the best reason for getting a Move.

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.