Saturday, February 02, 2013

A New Maximum Payne

I went for a walk today, just to the shops and back, and arrived at our front door soaked with sweat. My face was dripping. This would be acceptable after a ten mile run, but a five minute walk? I was carrying six bottles of cider and beer, rather than some sports drink, but even so. I guess Singapore's winter, where the mercury drops to the icy cold 29 degrees, is now over.

Tonight we visited friends for dinner, and afterwards watched the 2008 film, Max Payne, which is based on a 2003 video game of the same name. It's set in a wintry New York, so that should have been some respite from the heat.

I'm pretty sure I'd seen Max Payne before, but in Kent, in 2006, so unless I'd had a time travelling DVD player, that's unlikely. I was also pretty sure it had a plot, but when we watched it that appeared to be missing. The Bond girl from Quantum of Solace appears just long enough to be killed off, then Mark Wahlberg makes a sad face for the rest of the film. There's some rather ropey special effects with flames and demons that don't really exist, some awful slo-mo gunfire, and the whole thing is shot in a wierdly high-def way that makes it seem like an episode of EastEnders but with more guns.

And Mark Wahlberg frowning, like a man who's had a disappointing birthday cake.

I kept thinking there was a plot, arriving any minute, or at least an exciting denouement. Instead, there was a very boring gun battle in an office, and then it sagged to an end.

The problem with movies based on video games (based on other movies) is that not only are the games more enjoyable to play than the movies are to watch, but often it would be more enjoyable to watch somebody else play the game rather than watch the movie. It's not the best vehicle for Markie Mark: compared to Ted (which also co-stars Mila Kunis, just like Max Payne) it feels like utter dreck. In the right action film (The Departed, the upcoming ludicrous-fest Pain & Gain) Mark Wahlberg is great to watch, but I think with Max Payne his heart wasn't in it.

So that was this evening. We came home and after a phone call with my parents, collapsed into bed. Singapore is very hot, and doesn't appear to have been based on a video game. No bad thing, I think.

Today I also posted off the manuscript for my short story, The Unwanted Callers of Cthulhu, to a prospective publisher, and worked over the details of my Hong Kong novel again. I hope these are both steps towards getting something more in the public domain (that also suggests I should be checking my resolutions, as we're a month into the new year already). How time flies...


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