Thursday, April 11, 2024

Bustin' Makes Me Feel Good


This week it was my birthday. I'm very old. At least, I feel it sometimes. And usually, when a birthday comes along, I'm kinda happy for the day to go by with as little fuss as possible. 

However, this year my lovely wife insisted that (a) I took the day off from work, and (b) did 'something'. So, after four-plus years of not venturing to the cinema we finally made the effort and braved the public to take in the new Ghostbusters movie - Frozen Empire

Okay, disclaimer time – I love Ghostbusters. I always have. I was obsessed with the first movie, saw it when it first came out (in the UK) forty years ago, bought the film on rental VHS from my local video store when it first came out (costing me a pretty penny, saved up over many weeks), and leapt at the opportunity to play the tabletop RPG from WEG. I've written about my love of Ghostbusters many times on this blog, and how it was the game that inspired me to get into game writing. So, you know it has a lot of meaning for me. 

Ghostbusters: Afterlife was a revelation. An incredibly emotional lega-sequel, and I loved it. Always felt it kinda just ended, and needed more and thankfully Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire did just that. 

No major spoilers, but I must say I may not be the best person to review this. The opening titles came up and I was already getting overly emotional. I love the characters. Mckenna Grace is flippin' brilliant as Phoebe, and the writers made the very smart decision to make her the focus of the story. I was particularly interested in the subplot about what happens to all of the ghosts?

It was the only thing that has really bugged me about the series as a whole – what does happen to them all, do they all just get stuffed in the containment grid and it fills up? It's something I tried to cover in Spirits in Manhattan, where the ghosts are captured, contained, and the characters try to either resolve the ghosts' issue that's tying them to this world, or exorcise them completely. It was great to see that issue covered in this movie, though I'd like to see them try to 'resolve' more ghost issues in the future, rather than just shoving them in a bigger box and hoping they don't get out.

Anyway, I digress. Plenty of nods to the older movies, and even the cartoon series I was suitably obsessed with - probably not something an 18-year old should be obsessed with. Cool new villain, some great new characters (Nadeem was great, but then Kumail Nanjiani usually is) and some upgrades to the tech. 

I have to confess, once again, I loved every second of this. While it didn't have the emotional punch in the gut that Ghostbusters: Afterlife had – and let's face it, it could be tricky to do that every movie – it was everything I really wanted from a Ghostbusters movie. I feel like there may be too many characters now, and it'd be great to focus even more on the new Spenglers in future movies, and I really hope there's more. 

Monday, April 1, 2024

Nothing Can Stop Me Now...

I had the notification come through from my domain host that the domain for this website had auto-renewed and I've paid for it for the next couple of years. Just as I was about to delete the whole thing and go into hiding. 

So I'd better use it! 

I had a moment of clarity a few days ago, wondering why I was in such a funk. I suddenly realised that it's the typical frustrations of a creative mind. 

When I was working in retail, as I had for twenty years, a lot of it was okay, and there were some moments where it was absolutely horrific. But while I was there, I had the release in the evenings and on days off, of writing roleplaying games, making stupid videos, writing fiction, and so on, to keep me sane. 

I dreamed of an escape, to get out of retail, to do what I wanted, and to create stuff...

"It didn't turn out the way you wanted it to, it didn't out the way you wanted it, did it?" - NIN

Now I'm out of retail, and I'm doing creative stuff during the day - albeit not necessarily the creative stuff that still bubbles away at the back of my head. However, when the working day finishes I don't have that creative release of doing something personal. I could - as long as it's not RPG related - but that restriction sometimes just makes me want to sit and stare into space or hide. 

I could do something outside of RPGs, but the idea of spending another couple of hours in front of the computer in the evening is off-putting, and my drawing skills have severely diminished since the ol' comic drawing days (not that they were very good then either). I'm sure many artists have the same problem where you look at the page, picture what you want to produce, and when you actually put pencil to paper it is just a mess or nothing like what you had in mind. I get frustrated and give up, returning to the 'stare into space/TV' mentality which I know isn't good for me.

What's the solution? I seriously considered going back to retail recently, until a good friend said to me "Friends don't let friends go back to retail". 

We'll see. Something may happen. I live in hope. 

- D.