3, 2, 1, killshot! Let's discuss One Punch Man!

September 3, 2013

Go see The World's End...also, I Hraet You.

*gestures to first half of post title* 

And there you go.  The shortest Cross-Up post yet.

…Sigh.  Never mind.  Let’s chat for a little bit.  About The World’s End -- and I Hraet You, too.

There’s something that’s been on my mind for a little while now.  I think I’ve mentioned in passing -- here and elsewhere -- that for all my criticisms and complaints (and nitpicking) of games and movies and such, I made it clear that it isn’t that hard to impress me. It really isn’t.  Just put up a good effort, know what you want to do, and then do it.  Easy.  Simple.

…Is what I would have said a couple of months ago.  But I’m starting to think that the reverse is true.  I think that for all my posturing and talk of my easygoing nature, I’m actually VERY hard to impress.  If it was easy to impress me, then I wouldn’t have slammed The Last of Us as much as I did.  I would have called Man of Steel awesome and left it at that.  If I was the type to give out scores, I would have given Final Fantasy 13-2 an eight out of ten like so many reviewers across the internet…and it would only have cost me my soul.  And my life.

So yes, I do have high standards.  And it’s likely that there’s a growing dichotomy between stuff I think is awesome, and stuff I think is…not awesome.  But then again, is that such a bad thing?  Sure, it means that I can’t do the proverbial “turn your brain off” trick and enjoy something just because it has punch-ups or zombies.  And yeah, it probably means that I’m guaranteed to cause trouble if/when I clash with popular opinion (I’m still taking guff from my brother over not liking The Last of Us; apparently he sees no problem with a theoretically-quiet and meditative drama tossing in A FULLY FUNCTIONAL FLAMETHROWER).  But that’s okay.    It just means that I’m practicing what I preach.  I want people to have higher standards so that when, inevitably, we’re fed schlock we’ll be able to stomp our feet, point at our beloved caretakers, and tell them “No.  You do NOT get to get away with that.  Step it up.”  And I can’t expect others to flip over the trough if I’m not willing to do it.

So yes, consider this a revelation of the truth.  My standards are high -- and what bothers me probably isn’t going to bother anyone but the most obsessive and tightly-wound.  So keep that in mind from now on.  If ever you should come to Cross-Up and see me either praise or criticize something, you should know where I’m coming from.  You should know that I’m looking for a set of very particular things -- simple enough things to add, but destructive to the final effort if they’re corrupted or even missing.

And with all that in mind, you should know that the next words I’m about to say have incredible weight.





The World’s End is the best movie I’ve seen this year -- out of a whopping five -- by a pretty big margin.  Think about that for a minute.  Think about what I’ve seen and liked, and how much praise I gave to those.  Think about how much it means to me to be able to talk about something good, instead of something that leaves me tired and depressed.  I can say with some confidence that not only is the movie a pleasant surprise, but one I’ll be keeping in mind for a long time.

Thing is, there’s a problem.  I don’t think I will, or even can, do a full-on post about it.  The nature of the movie is such that, if I DID start talking about it, I’d not only be spoiling the movie but outright ruining the experience of seeing it for you -- even IF I somehow managed to dodge every story-based detail.  Just typing out that last line feels like it’s revealing too much of the movie’s hand.  That doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll never talk about the movie; based on the things it does right, there’s a strong chance I can use it for examples against things that get it wrong.  It’s just that for now, I feel like I’d be doing a disservice to anyone -- and the movie itself -- that hasn’t even seen it yet.  The poster alone nearly says too much.

So go see it.  And once you do, maybe come back here to this post and give your thoughts in the comments.  And maybe somewhere down the line, I’ll whip up a post that’s a bit more in-depth.  But for now, I’m not going to say anything more than what’s absolutely necessary.

As such, I feel like it’s absolutely necessary to talk some about the main character, Gary King.  He’s not exactly your conventional character; I’d wager that his type -- the wild and eccentric buddy who’s anomalous with society and morality at large -- has been done before, but whether you know his archetype and story arc or not, he brings with him a level of charisma that doesn’t just make him entertaining, but makes the entire movie that much stronger.  His presence utterly shapes The World’s End into its current, well-executed form, doing what every main character should do: present and engage the story’s main ideas, making his presence felt both in his world and in the perception of the audience.  And he does so almost effortlessly; it’s to the point where you have to wonder if what he does is pure accident.  I can’t think of a better character to have a leading role, and that much should be obvious to you within the first ten minutes of the movie, if that.

And that’s about all I’m going to say on the movie.  Well, no, that’s not entirely true.  First, I’ll go ahead and pull a blurb from Rotten Tomatoes:

“Madcap and heartfelt, Edgar Wright's apocalypse comedy The World's End benefits from the typically hilarious Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, with a plethora of supporting players.”

Yep.  That sounds about right.  I admit that I’m not too well-versed in the work of Simon Pegg or Nick Frost, but I thought Hot Fuzz was a pretty good movie, and the parts of Shaun of the Dead I’ve seen were entertaining.  Maybe it’s about time I pay more attention to him and…well, movies in general.

The second thing I want to mention is that -- if my guess is correct -- you’re not going to see anything beyond the surface description coming.  You won’t.  Even if you know the particulars of the movie thanks to reviewers like Bob “MovieBob” Chipman, your expectations will likely be defied.  I certainly didn’t see the endgame coming, at least.  And the sad thing is that what happens, and the implications therein, are actually foreshadowed.  Not overtly, but it’s there, and works with the thematic motions of the movie.  Yeah.  There’s foreshadowing and themes in this movie.  Imagine that.

If you’ve seen the movie and want to talk a bit more about it, leave a comment.  If you haven’t seen the movie, get out and see it ASAP.  I don’t know how much longer it’ll be in theaters, but I’m guessing it won’t be for too much longer.  So do yourself a favor and see it before you have to wait for a DVD release or whatever; The World’s End is something that deserves your attention, a toast, and a round of drinks.

…Of root beer, of course.  Far be it from me to recommend reckless inebriation.

Golly.  I sure do love big fancy words.

Now then, let’s switch topics over to something infinitely less popular, I Hraet You.  First off, it turns out that the story’s not only been listed on the Web Fiction Guide, but got its first review by one of its editors.  Four stars out of five.  Or for you gamers out there, an eight out of ten.  Frankly, I’m more than satisfied with that; I know what I’ve got to do, and seeing such a good review -- or even any review, really -- really gets me charged up.  So if you’ve ever wondered what the heck a “hraet” is supposed to be, get ready to keep on wondering as the chapters keep on coming.  (It’ll make sense eventually, I promise.  As does Lloyd.)

That said, I think it’s about time to make an announcement: IHY is going to go on a brief break as soon as I finish this arc in the story -- and said arc is going to end very, very soon.  Probably before the month is done, I’d bet.  It’s not going to be gone for another six month gap, I can promise you that much; I just want to set it aside for a little bit so A) I can build up a healthy buffer of chapters and B) work on some special events for the blog. There are just some things that I really want/need to work on, and it’ll be easier for me to do that without having to freak out over whether or not I need to rebuild the buffer.  Don’t worry, there’ll still be some IHY content coming in -- I’ve already got a couple of nice things planned -- but I just feel like it’s time for a break while I’m at a good stopping point.

It’s worth noting, obviously, that once I reach said stopping point, you’re more than welcome to do a little archive binge.  I know how intimidating it must be to pop in every now and then and see an increasingly-high number, but I’d like to think it’s not that hard to get into the story and caught up to speed.  And if you haven’t been reading it, you’ll WANT to get caught up to speed.  If you had any idea of what I’ve got planned for the story, your pants would backflip right off your body and into an Olympic-sized pool.  To say nothing of the fact of what you might have been missing.  Including…


Snake-faced thugs!

Tools of survival!


Bunny girls of debatable sanity and tolerance of social graces!

And the usual (wrestling, shotguns, grandmas, meat, conspiracies, psychic powers, southern accents, deductive reasoning, money, masked men, violence that would break a normal man in two, and references to cantaloupe)!

There’s not a good picture for that.  But the fact remains that IHY is here to stay.  It may be about to go on a quick break, but rest assured you can look forward to some real fireworks soon.

There you go.  Shortest…well, short-ish post yet.  Tl;dr: go see The World’s End, IHY is going on a break (but there’s like a hundred chapters so you won’t be left wanting for content), and I set the stage for stuff that can never, ever meet the hype I’ve established.  What will come next?  Could it be that I’m finally going to start editing IHY?

(And by nope I mean yes.  And by yes I mean eventually.  Someday soon.  Hopefully.  It'll happen at one point, for sure.)


  1. I saw The World's End and had a nice steak dinner on my birthday. That was an excellent day indeed.

    Whenever it's come down to movies with Pegg and Frost, I've noticed that there's a lot of details in the set-up; it almost becomes a game to guess which ones might be right and wrong. Hot Fuzz was probably the most overt example of this (see: them doing everything in the latter half of the movie that Danny asks Nick about in the first half), but it was definitely here as well.

    I won't actually say more at the moment, because even if only in the comments, I believe that for now this movie should not be spoiled for anyone that's interested in seeing it. It definitely didn't end the way that I expected it to, but it was a greater movie for that very fact.

  2. It's interesting that you bring up the set-up of the movie; my brother and I were talking, and while he likes the movies in the "Cornetto Trilogy", he made a note that all of the movies seem to have a "slow start." I told him (and believe) that that's not exactly to any of the movies' detriment because A) entertaining things are happening, B) that set-up phase is incredibly important, and C) I personally don't mind a slow burn, and almost prefer it, as long as it's offering up something good. And it did.

    And that ending...man oh man, that ending. I wonder if anyone could have guessed how it would end -- and if they did, I'd have to wonder if they're some sort of esper.

    In any case, hope you had an awesome birthday. And -- oh, wait, you said it was excellent. Okay. That's...that explains a lot, I guess.

    ...Okay, well, I hope the three weeks that follow are similarly excellent. Yes, that'll do.