Mr. Bill George Presents

Archive for November, 2009|Monthly archive page

Odds And Ends #3

In Film, Music, Site on November 22, 2009 at 11:15 PM

TIAW is devoted to giving all of our readers thoughtful and interesting content. We do so in a fairly lengthy fashion (according to internet standards at least). These essays can be spaced out quite a bit because we put a lot into them, so I apologize for the lack of updates as of late. In the mean time, if you are interested in the thoughts, feelings and beliefs of TIAW founder Bill George (the person typing this) feel free to visit his/my tumblr blog at MrBillGeorge.com.

That being said, here are a few things I’ve been thinking about lately that aren’t quite worthy of their own TIAW posts. However, I still feel like sharing them and it’s a good way to get a post up to keep the site active.

2012 – Roland Emmerich’s latest disaster (of a) film is certainly a ‘visual effects extravaganza’… for an hour or so. But the hour and half following that is anything but. It’s, well, boring. Very boring. It’s supposed to be an action blockbuster but it clocks in at a staggering 158 minutes. The pacing is horrific. The action beats are so far apart you forget why you’re watching it.

There are countless subplots that simply do not need to exist. At all. For any reason. Nothing would be lost with the cutting of half the film’s cast. Nobody goes into this film expecting anything besides what the trailers promise: destruction. There were a couple breathtaking sequences but otherwise it felt totally flat.

Enjoyable at times? Sure. Do those times make up for the other two hours that must be endured? Not even close.

Phrazes For The Young – I’m not usually much of a music critic. I’ve written a handful of album reviews in my day but I always feel out of my element. Film has always been my bag and music is more of a hobby. I excel at picking music to use in movies but that’s the extent of my expertise. (Well, unless you count playing Rock Band on expert I suppose.)

But with music, just like everything else, I know what I like. And I love this album.

It’s a solo album from Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas. I don’t really know how to describe it or how to put into words why I love it so much, I just do. So I wanted to share it with everyone in case there are people out there like me.

Read the rest of this entry »

I Hate Gamestop

In Society, Video Games on November 15, 2009 at 10:42 AM

I find that with each and every visit to Gamestop I find myself hating the establishment just a little bit more.

My disposition towards the game vendor has slowly festered to a blackened husk, and my resentment to myself only grows as I keep returning there to buy games. It’s not that they don’t have a great selection, or that their prices are too high, quite the contrary actually. Typically when I go to GameStop I leave with the product I wanted for the price that I was expecting. What makes me want to beat the employees to death with the claw end of a hammer is the goddamn INCESSENT nagging about reserving games and taking advantage of their used game selection. As time wears on I regard these two policies as affronts to humanity, though I realize my position may be seen as somewhat extremist.

I used to go to GameStop, get my games, and be content. When they first started the reservation policy it was actually convenient, no more worries about having to wait for a new shipment to come in for popular games. But now it has devolved to the point where the employees seem to be trying to harangue you into believing that it is a privilege for you to buy these games from them. That they are a rare commodity that must be “reserved” lest you miss out on the initial release. WTF is that? They are a video game retailer they should be well stocked with video games.

My rage for this reservation system began with the release of the first “Gears of War.” I had reserved the game a month prior, eager for “E-DAY” as the clever marketing advertisements painted it. I received a call from the automated Gamestop calling system telling me that my copy had arrived and it could be picked up during store hours. So I make the drive to the mall, fight my way through throngs of people, get to the store, and…. “Out of stock.” “Sorry,” they say, but I’ll have to wait for the next shipment, “come back tomorrow.”

Disheartened I made my way to Best Buy in the hopes that they might have the product I sought. Upon 5 minutes in the store I saw displays with DROVES of copies of the game. So I bought it, returned to Gamestop, patiently explained that they could fuck off, and got my reservation deposit back. Since then I have scorned the idea of reserving a game.

I’ve been jaded towards GameStop ever since, yet I keep returning to buy games from them for they are the closest video game distributor in my area and I don’t abhor the policy enough to spend more gas money.  I do refuse to reserve games however and I also refuse to buy used games since they are usually priced only 5 dollars lower than a brand spankin’ new copy. I spent five minutes one day arguing with a employee on why I wanted a new Little Big Planet and not simply a used one. I tried to laugh it off and chuckle about how I like opening the shrink wrap but I resolved to giving him an icy stare and uttering, “Just give me the new copy” between gritted teeth and a twitching cornea.

The other day I went in to pick up Uncharted 2 and when I asked the clerk “Could I got a copy of Uncharted 2?”  he responded with,

“Did you reserve it?” with the undertone that I was stupid if I didn’t.

“No,” I replied.

“…. Well we have one right here, you got lucky.”

So I kind of just gave him a “wtf” look and paid my total. I’m sure that he must say such things lest he be sodomized by the corporate entities behind the individual retail stores but I still can’t help but want to spew ulcerous fluids at such encounters. Maybe because I was such a whore once for Staples and such exchanges bring to light suppressed memories of being a puppet for those empty and tainted policies that my hatred is both internal and external. Nightmares resurfacing of dancing to the strings of some malevolent entity running the company from afar, his invisible eye ever present.

I just can’t seem to be okay with the idea of supporting a company that buys games from little kids and confused parents for a pittance of the original costs, sells them for $5 less than retail robbing the developers of money, and then creates this disillusionment that every new game NEEDS to be reserved or else the customer will miss out. I’m not even going to delve into the new gimmick of giving away special in-game features with reservations for fear of bursting into flame. I DON’T WANT YOUR STUPID SPECIAL IN-GAME BASEBALL BAT, LEFT 4 DEAD 2!

… Yes I do 😦