Podcast #38: Ben and Rich Look Forward, Part 3 (Games/Books/Music)

Podcast #38: Ben and Rich Look Forward, Part 3 (Games/Books/Music) March 13, 2009

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This Week: After Rich starts off with a delicious gummy worm and most of Ben’s cream soda, Ben kicks off a discussion about the games, books and music that CaPC is looking forward to in 2009. Plus, the Top 5 is Back with our Top 5 Things that Lived Up To the Hype!

Every week, Richard Clark and Ben Bartlett sit back and discuss the posts of the previous week on Christ and Pop Culture, acknowledge and respond to the big issues in popular culture, and give a sneak peak at the week ahead. We love feedback! If you’d like to respond you can comment on the website, send an email to christandpopculture@gmail.com, or go to our contact page. We would love to respond to feedback on the show, so do it now! Subscribe to us in iTunes by clicking here. While you’re at it, give us some good iTunes feedback! We’ll love you forever!

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  • Show notes:
    Myst totally had a story you nob.

    • And uh… Bioshock is all about story. That’s what you liked about it. The action element of the game was absolutely the worst part of the game. And, of course, they aren’t bad, but compared with other FPS games, the controls are rather clunky. BioShock has three awesome things going for it: 1) story—which is what you’re talking about when you mention the plastic surgeon; 2) an awesome sort of variable weapons system—which very much resembles how JRPGs work; and 3) killer art direction.

    • Ben, you’re talking about Eva Cassady, aren’t you?

    • Oh hey, here! Albums people talk about as albums! When I think Weezer, I think two things before my mind heads toward songs: Pinkerton, then Blue. Miles Davis, I think Kind of Blue. Beatles I think Sgt. Pepper,/i> before I think “Strawberry Fields Forever.” Granted, Jefferson Airplane, I’ll always think Surrealistic Pillow,” but that’s just my way of thinking “Somebody to Love” and “White Rabbit” in one fell swoop, since the rest of the album’s kind of crap.

    • In the world of comic reading and comics news site that I inhabit, there wasn’t really a lot of positive hype for Watchmen simply because most people presumed, both from the nature of the book and from things Zack Snyder said, that the movie wouldn’t live up to (not the hype but) the book itself. There was a lot of curiosity about the film, mostly about how badly the book would be mistreated. But not a lot of positive hype. From everything I’ve read about the movie, it’s actually done better than it’s hype would have suggested—in that it wasn’t Transformers.


    Gaming: World of Warcraft
    When first released, this was apparently The Game of the holiday season. Almost universally, game review sites were heralding it as The Thing. I was highly skeptical as I really hated multiplayer games. Still, that December I became very ill and had to take two months off from work. In the first month of that time, I couldn’t watch television or play videogames, but during the second month, I needed something to entertain me, so I gave it a shot. I was astounded that this silly little game could be as thoroughly inventive and engaging as it was. This was for me, perhaps, the starkest example of the actual product far exceeding the hype that surrounded it.

    Literature: Wind-Up Bird Chronicle
    On any list of best Japanese authors, you’ll find Haruki Murakami. Almost universally, Wind-up Bird Chronicle is considered his greatest work. I did not approach this with near the skepticism as I had approached WoW. I had already read a later work by the author, but was still pleasantly surprised by just how excellent this book was.

    Film: Before Sunset
    In 1995, Richard Linklater (along with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy) created one of the most thoroughly romantic films of all time and easily one of my favourites of the medium. Before Sunrise ends properly in ambiguity. Ten years later, the director returned to the story, to the characters. Hawke, Delpy, and the characters they play have aged ten years. In the months leading up to the release of Before Sunset, my excitement reach fever-pitch. I could not wait to see what Linklater would do with and to these characters. Did their plans bear fruit? How did things end up for the couple? In Before Sunset, we see an hour-and-a-half slice of time from these characters’ lives unfold in real-time and it absolutely lives up to my expectations and the indie-hype that bought my anticipation.

    Music: The Decemberists
    The Decemberists are one of those bands that I had heard great things about from numerous sources for years. It never clicked for me to look them up and try them out. Still, the more often I heard of them the more interested I became in sampling their wares. And when I finally heard them— You know what? Scratch that. The Decemberists are awesome and I highly recommend indulging in their love of the form, but the music that really met the Incredible hype surrounding them was the Pixies. I’m changing my vote to Pixies. Simply an amazing band and amazing musical experience.

    Comics: Y: The Last Man
    There are a number of comics that get hyped as being awesome in the moment (kind of like in television). People are always looking for the next story that will elevate the medium and take it beyond the likes of Watchmen and Maus. While I personally think there are quite a few that have done so and that in the former’s case, exceeding its greatness isn’t an insurmountable trial. Still, a lot of touted series or works are not as awesome as their boosters imagine. I was a little skeptical when approaching Y: the Last Man for this very reason, yet in the end, the series is well-paced, inventive, and highly discussable. And, better than Watchmen, it’s something that can be accessed by those who aren’t familiar with the comic form.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • P.S. Rich. If you’re looking forward to reading the next big comic-to-movie adaptation, look into reading either Y: The Last Man or Scott Pilgrim. You could probably find either first volume available at your local Border/Barnes & Noble. Scott Pilgrim you could probably even read the first volume in-store.

    Y (unfortunately starring Shia Lebeouf) deals humourously with a real serious situation and the author (Brian K. Vaughan) is now one of the top dogs behind LOST. Scott Pilgrim (starring Michael Cera) deals with a 23-year-old and his slacker life and relationships with girls, but I think you might appreciate the humour in it (a lot of videogame fun). In any case, both films are in production.

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies

  • Hey Dane, correct on Eva Cassady.

    Also, I too enjoyed Before Sunrise, but wasn’t quite as impressed with Before Sunset. She couldn’t find any way of communicating to him when he showed up in Prague six months later? Seriously? Still, a good movie.

    Ben Bartletts last blog post..People and Sadness

  • Well, keep in mind that they weren’t the brightest kids (evidenced by the fact that they didn’t exchange contact info – or even last names) and that this was in the age before cellphones and internet. I think I find it believable because I’ve been in similar situations, wishing I had contact info for some girl I had met and not having the foggiest idea how to get in touch (circa the early ’90s).

    The Danes last blog post..20081119.ChurchLies