Friday Brain Dump: 17 Sep 2021

Hey look, I followed through! It’s another edition of the Friday Brain Dump where I make a note of and reflect on what’s happened this week and generate stuff for the blog outside of December. And this week… erm not much has happened. BUT WE’RE DOING THIS ANYWAY. We did another Park Run, I played some video games , I went into the office ones day and we bought some new car mats, but there’s no need to go into detail on those so get ready for a brief but pretty nerdy brain dump!

Snowpiercer

Last week I talked about how I like films that are mainly just one scene. And what I mean by that is you jump straight in, get on with it and the film is a short event with no origin stories or overblown explanations, just telling a little story. And it helps if the film has some action, I probably wouldn’t watch 90 mins of talking about feelings. And I like this sort of film a lot more than “epic” battles full of thousands grey cgi monsters fighting in a field or empty city.

Last week I also mentioned I was going to watch Snowpiercer, and I did. All I knew about this film was it involved the last surviving people on a frozen earth living on a train, involved some sort of class struggle, and I was told by someone “You’d like it, it’s just basically just one scene”. And I did like it! I really liked it. It was basically one long scene, but I also really liked it because it was fucking weird. I won’t get into too many spoilers, but as the people at the back of the insanely long train make their way to the front of the insanely long train, it just gets stranger and sillier and camper and I lapped it up. Tilda Swindon is also brilliant in it as a mad northerner. It’s on Amazon Prime, so go watch it. There’s also a series on Netflix based on it that I want to watch, but I’m worried it won’t be as weird.

It got me trying to think of other films like this, but I could only think of Mad Max: Fury Road, Dredd and The Raid, although I’m sure I’ve watched more. It also got me thinking about The Last Jedi. Before we even start, I do not like the Last Jedi, BUT…. when I was watching it in the cinema for the first time, the idea of a Star Wars film where one spaceship is slowing pursuing another for a whole film got me very excited. Then the crapper characters went on trip to a comedy casino planet to free some horses and I forgot about it. But imagine if it had just been a whole film that revolved around the tension of the slow chase, exchanges between the First Order and the Resistance that didn’t involve mum jokes and coming up with a plan to get away, it could’ve been great. Instead we got a mess that led to The Rise of Skywalker having 12,459 scenes thrown together like you are watching Tik Tok, the very opposite of what I like.

Marvel Champions Card Game (on a drunken Sunday)

See, I said it was going to get nerdy. On Sunday, I actually headed out of the house and went to Rule Zero on the edge of the Olympic Park, a cafe that was a board gaming cafe but is slowly turning into more of just a cafe, herding all us nerds upstairs to keep the ground floor free for normal people, and they are using the basement for gigs, comedy and drag bingo, so the place really has something for everyone. But I went to meet up with a friend to play the Marvel Champions card game, a very nerdy and quite complicated card game where you team up as Marvel superheroes to fight supervillains. I won’t go into it too much, but it is good fun and a tough game that rewards perseverance. Overall, we won twice, lost twice, and won once again, playing for around six hours! But in those six hours we also drunk a lot of beer and I ate a cracking Sunday lunch. Seriously, the food is good in Rule Zero so if you are around that way, pop in. You don’t have to play a card game with some man children.

Once we had finished there, we hopped on a Boris bike and headed off through parks and along canals to Haggerston. And if you’ve ever seen me on a bike, you’ll know that I was terrified drunkenly wobbling along next the canal, and had to get off and walk a few times when it got crowded. The reward for such bravery? Wings and burgers in Chick n Sours and a nice cocktail in Map Maison, a cool whisky bar, to end off a Sunday. Yes I had a roast for lunch and dirty chicken for dinner, but hey I burned about 20 calories on that bike!

But you’re not done yet, the Marvel Champions card game talk doesn’t end there! Like I said, we lost two games that afternoon though a combination of not being prepared to play on the hard level, and having a bit to drink by then, making us slightly more useless. So we had beaten Spider-Man villain Rhino and generic cack villain Claw on Sunday, but we lost twice to Avengers cack-in-the-film-but-great-in-the-comics villain Ultron. With some sober strategy thinking on the Monday, we decided to meet up on Tuesday night and try again. It took two more goes, but we finally beat Ultron and we genuinely very excited and happy to do this. Yes we are 40-year-old men.

So to summarise: car mats, Snowpiercer, 40-year-old virgins. See you next week!

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