Rape culture, #GamerGate, misogyny and Slow News Day

These are a few forum posts (relatively standalone) where I tried to analyze and explain what the hell is going on. When I’m doing this sort of thing I step away from my own personal opinion and just try to figure out the motives behind all that I see. I try to understand and describe what I see from a neutral point of view.

Notice that I don’t mention Zoe Quinn, because that’s one aspect that I just find baffling and do not understand at all.

So this is my interpretation of what is going on:

All these women (and some guys) are saying is ‘Can we have less violent video games please, with less violence towards (insert choice of concern)?’ and the reaction from the socially conditioned video game masses (that are mostly teenage boys and maladjusted guys) is ‘KILL THEM! BURN THE WITCHES! GAYS!’

You won’t reach your goal by ranting about someone else’s enjoyment because you don’t have yours.

Your actual problem isn’t about the next GTA, your problem is about the need for games that do not exist yet. A market space that you feel is empty. So the goal is: fill that space.

But if your strategy to fill that space is about going against someone else’s space, you simply won’t obtain much (if not reactive hostility).

I’m talking from a purely practical point of view: you will obtain very little by pushing the issue in that way.


(context: game critics or players going against perceived rampant misogyny in games)

The problem is that those critics seek contrast. As I said above, instead of trying to find and develop a new space, they rile against current games.

It’s only natural that someone who enjoys CURRENT games feels like it’s an attack on the things they like. And so all the accuses about limiting expression, freedom and whatnot. It’s like: you’re stepping into my garden with your haughty judgmental stance. You judge things I like, and by extension you judge me as a human being because I like those things (rape culture, every white male guy gamer endorses rape by liking and playing these games). So now I’m going to kick you out. Very vehemently. You’re not anymore a welcome guest.

The core of all problems is this judgmental look from the outside. Someone looks at what you do and what you like, and judges you.

The problem is again that this strategy sucks. If you want new types of games, once again, you don’t get them by confronting what already exists and pretend change (like petitioning to add female avatars in Assassin’s Creed). You simply open that space. You focus on new games that do not exist yet, instead of ranting against games that exist and that you scorn.

But if instead your style is confrontational, then the contrast just escalates in the ways we’ve all seen. Legitimately or not.

Finally, someone came along and said “Hey, whoa, these are some pretty offensive worlds you guys have created, I mean just look at these examples”

This is a judgmental stance.

It reads like “whoa, you are a lesser human being for liking and appreciating this stuff. Feel ashamed of your gaming habits, poor kid.”

It’s the implicit scorn that sets people off: “Haha, look at this kid.”

Are you surprised that then these guys respond with all the vitriol?


Making sweeping generalization only stacks one faction against the other and builds up the hate. I’m simply saying that this “strategy” to address the very issue won’t solve a thing, and is instead likely exacerbating it.

Vile, hateful speech is to condemn regardless of its topic. If there’s more of it than usual, it’s because this war of factions was energized by the amount of attention it received.

The attention itself is good, but too often to defend a position people point to the worst cases in both parties.

I’m persuaded that a majority of the vocal minority is made of trolls who don’t even think what they are writing, they just bask in the mess and are having a laugh. Just because there are lots of people like that, who enjoy the vitriol. It’s like attending one giant rave party that lasts for weeks. They do it merely for fun, and not for the political heft of the issue.

And it’s *these trolls* in particular that create the revolving party. I’m writing about this because my twitter has become 80% clogged by this. And between a number of developers commenting the issue, 90% of their tweets is about POINTING AND LAUGHING at the worst examples.

These developers and players are TAKING THE BAIT, making everything worse.

These are the same people who created the #ResolutionGate because Xbox output 720p compared to 1080p PS4. It’s just another giant meme.

You know? Slow News Day.

Nothing exciting happens in gaming, waiting for the autumn releases, people are bored. This one topic is just the occasion for a number of people to enjoy the Internet in their own Special way. Everyone else just took the bait and eagerly jumped in the mud pit. Because it’s fun and makes you feel like you belong to a community. And as when kids go around in bigger groups of kids, the naughty becomes the style of choice, because you are anonymous in the group and being part of the group means you don’t feel any personal responsibility.

It’s exactly like city-wide looting, when people get completely batshit crazy just because they are in a group that legitimates all they do.

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loopingworld.com

Books/mythology/stuff discussions moved to: loopingworld.com

This means that the site here won’t (usually) be updated and I’ll eventually copy all of book-related posts over there. The rest of the stuff will stay here for as long the site stays up (not planning of pulling it down for the foreseeable future).

UPDATE: I’ll sporadically still post here, but it will be for writing about roguelike development, tracking my own (lack of) progress, or other quirky gaming things.

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Kabbalah VS other religions

This post has no answers and only doubts, but reading it you’d see what is that Kabbalah is (or wants to be). This is an “answer” to the 12th self-study lesson (a introductory study) and it contains my doubts about it. To see the self-study you’d have to register here, for free. There are 14 lessons in that self-study.

I’ve also included the 12th lesson (about 25 minutes) if one doesn’t want to go through that registration, but I actually encourage you to register and watch the rest as it’s all quite interesting and at least enriching.


I was rewatching lesson 12 of the self-study and got some doubts. I know that Kabbalah can’t be understood simply logically, but as long I’m not “there” I still have to relate to it with my own logic and the ideas I get from the lessons.

It seems to me that the difference between Kabbalah and other religions is not the one described in that video. The difference I understand is that Kabbalah is entirely about spirituality, so it isn’t interested about the physical world. This marks a true difference with all other religions as all religions (as far as I know) do have systems of rules that apply to corporeality. From what you can or can’t eat to when and how you should pray. Even anthropologically all religions were “meant” to regulate the corporeal world and build a certain society.

But instead I can’t stop my doubts about what is explained in the video. I only know well Christianity since it’s where I’m born but, while the people could certainly believe that it’s about “bribing God”, that’s not a good representation of that religion, and the real one isn’t very different from how the Kabbalistic model is described.

The part that gives me the doubts is that one could say that the Kabbalistic process is equally “delusional”. As long the upper light is invariable and the events also invariable (so what changes is solely the self), then it means that the pain itself can’t be stopped or diverted. The pain is instead “understood”, as one, through bestowal, would perceive the “long range”, so the wider purpose beside the egoistical self.

Which essentially would lead one to “endure” the pains of life in the name of a greater purpose that says: there’s indeed a purpose, and it is good willed. One could see his sons killed in front of him, or go through great pains, but always knowing that there’s a “meaning”, and that life is eternal.

So it is true that the suffering is always relative to a perspective, and if one shifts the perspective a momentary suffering becomes bearable. Through life eternal all suffering is bearable as it is momentary. But both these ideas are essentially “consolatory” and Kabbalah would be defined itself as consolatory, as it is all based on two principles that regulate the rest:

1- That life is eternal (and so suffering momentary)
2- That God is good willed, and everything happens for a purpose

If one had the CERTAINTY of those two points, then it is true that pain would be bearable. But isn’t this perspective consolatory and delusional? As you can’t change what happens to you (invariable upper light and events) you have to “endure” it, hoping there’s a good willed purpose even when everything looks very bleak.

The other difference between the Kabbalah and religion is that in religion the salvation or the enlightenment, more often than not, happen after death. So they are “promises” of salvation or enlightenment, and one lives with the “hope” that they are true, clinging desperately to these ideas as they can only justify the pain of life, and give life a sense.

Kabbalah is different as the promise of attaining the “upper world” is here and right now. You say it’s a “science” as it has to be experienced and attained personally, first hand. It’s not a theory or an abstract idea. But the skepticism here is about “when”. One listens to the video courses, reads the books and slowly understands what is Kabbalah, but what’s that ideal point that brings back up to that “tangible certainty”? The distinguishable certainty that Kabbalah is a science and not a consolatory delusion?

I’m explaining the subjective point of view: one comes to Kabbalah trying to learn, but learning leads me to define these ideas of life eternal and purpose as “consolatory”. This can only be solved through a certainty. In other religion you achieve that certainty through “faith”, but in Kabbalah faith is not required, as having doubts and asking questions is encouraged (as in science). I am right there.

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A “key” to unlock the mystery of Fringe’s Observers

This will have spoilers for Fringe, that you should watch if you haven’t already.


One point that Fringe seems to underline is that the Observers observe the flux of time, as from an external position. Looking from the outside in. What triggered the whole disaster is the fact that the Observers observe “time” without perceiving themselves in it. That’s why September messed everything when Walter(nate) saw him and was distracted from finding a cure for Peter. This intervention from the Observer was accidental (and everything else was an attempt to try to “fix” it). And again this is because the Observers can observe everything but make mistakes because they don’t perceive themselves (and so the impact they have on reality). This is again confirmed (episode 1, season 4) by how naively the Observer replies to the guy asking him for what he needed those TV parts (to make the machine needed to erase Peter from time).

Now bring all that within our reality, take Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle: “observations affect the observed so as to obliterate the observer’s hope of prediction. i.e. his uncertainty is absolute”

“Given these changes in scientific thinking, we are now in possession of the truism that a description (of the universe) implies one who describes (observes it).”

“Implies” as: in the picture. A kind of recursive loop (for more on this read: “Godel, Escher, Bach”):

So the Observers in Fringe are like a metaphor of what is going on in our world. Those Observers are incapable of seeing themselves in the picture and so make an “objective” observation. With the point being: we also are observers who are incapable of perceiving reality for what it is.

There’s actually an “happy end” though, as these theories seem to ultimately lead to an amplification of freedom.

I mean, these Observers are fucking retarded. It wouldn’t be that hard to put on a wig, or even make an invisibility cloak.

P.S.
About this and everything below on this blog. I found out that Bakker is miles ahead of me. As I should have expected. Maybe I’ll write about that next.

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Something bordering the impossible just happened

Nope, not about neutrinos breaking the speed of light. As you can see from previous posts, while watching Fringe I noticed some books ideally belonging to William Bell that I recognized. Between these, there was “Gödel, Escher, Bach” and two of Castaneda’s books. Now, it’s Fringe writers that put these two together, because these books are ABSOLUTELY NOT RELATED. One is about math and logic, also having won the Pulitzer, the other is about spiritualism and considered by many a fraudulent anthropological study. It’s the TV show that took elements from both to build its own science fiction mythology. So, the two are unrelated in the “real world”.

Now, while reading some reviews of the GEB on a Italian internet book shop, I found one that said that the book was a fundamental read on the nature of knowledge to put right next to “Observing Systems”, by Heinz von Foerster, another must-read classic. Since I’m curious I went on to research this other guy and realized that his fundamental ideas were similar to Niklas Luhmann, that I studied and appreciated during university. So I put an order for that book.

Today I receive the book. I flip the first pages and I find an introduction written by some Italian guy. In the very first page Castaneda is mentioned.

That’s the sort of “coincidence”. Not coincidence as in supernatural “sign from above”. It simply means that the links I see between these ideas are not my own hallucinations. These themes have a lot to share and you’ll find often that they recall each other even when not consciously. In this case the link was repeated three times, each concretely unrelated. One by Fringe writers, one by me in the previous post (before receiving the book), and one by the book’s introduction.

This was a mention of Castaneda in relation to the GEB in a Italian Preface, so not directly part of the original text and its purpose. In a book I bought because it was mentioned in a random review on the internet that was on a completely different argument. So we have this relation repeated twice, where each instance of it is UNRELATED to the other. One instance is about Fringe writers that have their own ends to fill, and put the two works together (GEB and Castaneda) as their own personal creative effort in making a fictional TV show. The other instance is an Italian Preface to a von Foerster book mentioning Castaneda, whose (the book) link to the GEB was because it was recommended in a review.

The spurious element is von Foerster. It never entered the picture in the TV show, its mythology, or, likely, the writers’ mind. Yet it marks the link between fictional creative/speculative needs AND actual scientific studies.

And so the objective proof of the outward expansion of culture countered by the inward force that determines that ideas eventually “return home” and reveal the same origin. Or this, probably consolatory and delusional, idea of mine that all these are pieces of a puzzle that is up to me (or whoever else) to put together, to reveal the Grand Design.

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Musanilgi – The Journals of Musan

To escape his country’s harsh economic conditions, Jeon Seung-chul (played by the director) defects from Musan, North Korea to Seoul. He ends up living in the city’s rundown outskirts and makes ends meet putting up street ads. His only satisfaction is going to church, where he meets and becomes attracted to Sook-young, a choir singer who works in a karaoke bar by night. The Journals of Musan depicts the tremendous difficulties North Koreans have integrating in the capitalist society of South Korea, where they are often marginalized and subjected to discrimination.

I watched this movie today at a festival (same as this, a year ago). Another Korean movie and another masterpiece. It won “Best New Filmmaker” at the Tribeca Film Festival. A dramatic story of a North-Korean “defector” (Jeon Seung-chul) trying to stay afloat in Seoul. A shy guy, very respectful, head always bowed down, always staying on his own and barely saying a word. The filmmaking style is equally respectful (“deferential”, as written below). Never forcing scenes or exploiting them artificially. Very self-consciously. There are many scenes where the humor or the dramatic effect could have been boosted, but they aren’t and the story keeps its natural, unbiased, “muted” feel. No forced perspective.

There are a few key points. One is that there’s a religious theme at some point. There’s a religious song of which a couple of lines link back to the movie and can be used as interpretation. One is about how God saved the like of a “wreck” like “me”. As a prayer, being thankful that God had regard EVEN for a “wreck” like oneself. The other is that this salvation brought clarity. I was “blind” and now I see and understand.

Only that this story has no salvation. It’s not a cynic view on religion as these religious guys in the end are the only ones who (somewhat) accept Jeon (the protagonist). Yet the truth behind this story is that there’s no salvation at all. A fish out of the water sooner or slightly later dies. There are actually more than one ways to interpret the movie, as a tragedy or in more optimistic ways.

At some point I started to think in the perspective of the passion of Christ. And the Father/Son. The Father let it happen. He watched it. He watched his son being crucified and didn’t move a finger. See this then in the world’s perspective, the tragedies of every day. Stories, likes this one in the movie, based on a real story apparently, that have only innocent victims and no happy end. The Father, all-seeing. Not moving a finger.

The dog in the image is the puppy that the Jeon saves (from the world/environment) and tries to protect. Anti-god. He tries to do all he can and more even if already in the deep end of trouble. A puppy again like the reflection of someone living in a hostile world. A puppy that, left alone in that city, would likely die. In the puppy there’s the reflection of the protagonist, and it’s on the puppy that we see the protagonist’s “compassion” (hello Erikson, the themes are all renewed). A victim trying to save another. Jeon gets beaten a number of times by some thugs while trying to do his work, yet it’s only the third time, when he has the dog with him, that he fights back. To save the dog from them. He goes to search for him around when his “friend” first tries to sell the dog, and then abandons him after he figured out he couldn’t get anything from him. Saves again the dog’s life a number of times. Keeping him afloat as he was trying to do with himself. The movie ends with a “long take”. He gets again the job at the Karaoke, after he was being unjustly berated and fired, and after the woman pitied him when she learned he was being discriminated as North-Korean and was having a very tough life, the woman asks him to go out to a shop to get beer for customers and gives him as well something to eat for the dog. So we see this long take of him going out, feeding the dog for a while, then walking through the road to the shop, getting the beer making sure it’s of the right kind as asked, then walking back. A long, uninterrupted sequence. At some point it hits, but it’s entirely on the viewer. The camera follows the man from behind, not too close, looking at the whole road. He continues to walk down the road and it’s you, watching, to realize, whenever you manage to notice and without cuts in the scene, that there’s something in the middle of the road. Jeon continues to walk till he’s 2/3 feet away from his dead dog. Probably hit by a car while he was away. He stays there watching the dog, the scene running uninterrupted. The street is quite trafficked and cars start to move Tiananmen-like around the silent, unmoving Jeon and the dog on the ground. After a very long moment Jeon moves another step toward the dog, then continues on, walking past him. And the movie ends.

Maybe I’m a cynic but the way I see it is that Jeon tried to save the life of the dog. In the end he couldn’t do much, the dog died not because of all the previous threats he was saved from, but simply hit by a car. A city, an environment not hospitable. A fish out of its water. The kind of fate that likely happened to Jeon himself later. So god is watching, but the only ones who seem to care are “us”, victims.

The fallen.

P.S.
My spectation included a woman behind me that squealed aloud every time something bad happened to the puppy, but that watched impassively whenever all sort of bad things happened to the protagonist. Women…

“Critics” opinions from the internet:

Some of the best films can be found in the new, catch-all “Viewpoints” section, like writer/director/star Park Jungbum’s strong debut, The Journals of Musan, based on his real-life friend, Seung-chul, a North Korean defector in consumer-crazy Seoul. Park has no other agenda than to put the viewer in Seung-chul’s shoes. Like the film’s other bemused characters, the viewer will likely misjudge or at least change her/his opinion of the stolid man underneath a severe bowl cut. He earns just dollars taping (alas, not plastering) posters for a few dollars during the day, and at night he buses tables at a karaoke bar (for $4 an hour) managed by a pretty woman he first spies in church. (The film features one of the most beautifully directed scenes I’ve seen in a long time—a cringe-producing karaoke version of a Christian hymn.) Seemingly simple, deferential—stunned, really—Seung-chul’s slow to react, even when bullied. The only friend he has is a dog he finds on the street. (You’d be crazy not to be reminded of De Sica’s Umberto D). And it’s another film from South Korea that depicts Christianity without cynicism or condescension, in which faith plays an important motivator. (Park has worked as assistant director to Lee Chang-dong, whose Secret Sunshine is another probing, expansive film that deals with faith.) Finally, for dog lovers, it also features the cutest. Puppy. Ever.

As a North Korean defector now living in South Korea, Jeon Seung-chul, the based-on-true-life main character of writer/director/star Park Jung-bum’s debut feature, The Journals of Musan, endures all sorts of marginalization and abuse as he barely scrapes a living together putting up posters on walls. Truth be told, Park’s film itself sometimes feels like punishment, from its Dardennes-like aesthetic to its general humorlessness. Nevertheless, there are glimmers of a real, if amazingly bleak, worldview underlying its dour surface, as well as a tough-minded compassion that one might even go so far as to call humanism, that makes the end result feel less like the condescending wallow in ugliness that one might have expected.

The only levity from Jeon’s marginalization comes from the stray dog he eventually takes in and cares for—despite the protestations of his cheating, manipulative roommate. Yes, this character detail comes right out of Vittorio De Sica’s Umberto D. (another story about a down-on-his-luck outcast and his dog), but Park employs the detail in his own interesting ways. With most of the human beings around him giving him nothing but grief, the dog, of course, becomes Jeon’s only source of nonjudgmental love and companionship. (When his roommate angrily leaves the dog out on the street one day, Jeon naturally panics; tellingly, Park chooses this one moment to unleash the film’s only point-of-view shots.)

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The Tree of Life – Terrence Malick

I watched this movie today (I guess I make a special case, going from writing about Ultraman to this). I was expecting something dense and complexly layered, instead I saw a surprisingly simple movie. Beside the (legitimate and laudable) pretentiousness of these “artistic” movies there’s nothing that it’s cryptic or hard to figure out here. What it wants to say is clear and straightforward, easily interpreted by everyone, as long one doesn’t fall asleep and lets the movie lead and set the flow. It’s a movie that rewards a humble, trusting approach.

Long movie, two hours and half, without a linear narrative or even a traditional use of language. That’s why it can still be a challenge to watch. The scenes are disconnected, like a collection of pictures, a life’s album, linked together by their symbolic theme. But this association proceeds linearly, so easy to grasp. Everything that doesn’t belong to its meaning is taken out of the picture, so one isn’t misdirected toward details and detours. It tells the story of a family, seen always in retrospection. It gave me a similar feel of the last episode of LOST, in particular that final serenity and tranquility while looking back at the dramatic scenes that precede and alternate with those inside the church. Also in this movie every small slice of life scene alternates with pictures and music of “the birth and death of the universe”, from cells to galaxies. Think of the flippant, hallucinated finale of 2001: A Space Odissey, and stretch it along a whole movie. A story of a family that alternates with sequences with dinosaurs made in CG. It makes it work, and makes very simple to understand why these sequences are present and what they want to represent. A movie filled with clarity in spite of this attempt to “embrace” everything. The meaning of life within the entire universe.

It is oddly empty of passions. There are some of these slices of life that show the drama of life, but this drama is seen from a quiet and calm point of view. It tries to underline this duality represented by “the father’s way” and “the mother’s way” (as you can see in official site), but I think the movie itself, maybe Malick himself, is rooted in the Mother’s way. It’s a movie where grace and elegance are the dominating tones.

It’s also a movie unified by compassion. It has been defined as a “prayer” more than a movie, and it is a fitting description. The pieces that narrate the story of the family are not linear. They are memories re-discovered. Often images without dialogue and just a symbolic value. Every object is filled with meaning, like poetry. Words spoken alternate with words whispered, becoming thoughts. Contemporary (to the scene) or contemplative (from a future self, looking back) joined in dialogue. There are three points of view alternating: the mother, the father, and one of the sons (why it’s only one should be obvious). All three looking back at their life, trying to understand, grasping for meaning and sense. Trying to fix those moment, understand what they are/were. Why. How they happened. Three points of view and three voices that look back at their whole life.

It’s filled with compassion because this look back is completely empty of guilt or blame. Guilt and blame are both part of the story as it is natural, but not in the form of judgement. Neither of the three are judged by the other two. But they are also not avoided, they are observed and understood. Forgiven and embraced.

I could say that this is an “epic” movie in every sense. And from what I wrote you could see that it’s very close to what I think Erikson’s series also tried to do. These are kindred works, that fully embrace and fulfill what art can and should be.

They try to find meaning in life both in the most specific and universal way. Eye-openers. Without bias and prejudices. In being what they are they also become prayers. And prayers that have absolutely nothing to do with cults or religious aspects. They are prayers that aren’t intended for a selected group, and that do not leave out anyone.

P.S.
Reading some comments on the forums. See for example this one and make the connection to LOST finale:

I can’t put it into words. Not sure I get the beach scene near the end, except it felt like everyone had died and were meeting eachother in the afterlife, some after a long time, some after a short;

Some other comments collected:

What an extraordinary movie. Such a touching, gorgeous look at, heck, everything. I don’t have much to say right now, maybe later, but ‘The Tree of Life’ shook me to my foundation.

It is an absolute masterpiece, though anyone expecting a “conventional” movie in three acts will be quite shocked, of course. Anyone familiar with Malick should know what to expect.

It felt like going to hear a symphony performed; if you can let it wash over you and its performed well enough, all the meaning and beauty you’re looking for will come welling up from inside, not from someone standing on the stage informing us what the composer wants us to feel.

Even if you get nothing out of the film this way (and no doubt thats the case for some), this is absolutely one of the greatest works in cinematography that I’ve ever seen, and the acting is astonishingly good.

Just came out from seeing Tree of Life, and it was an amazing experience and just flat out breathtaking.

the camera work felt like seeing the world through the eyes of a child. The way the camera moved and interacted with the environment it had such a wondrous gaze, always looking up, curiously watching people and it shows how we learn about life like a child, with a vague understanding of life around us.

This movie is a large portion science/philosophical fiction but it intentionally avoids science, and completely revels in pure subjective visual knowledge.

These aren’t commercial “blurbs”, there are just spontaneous comments from those who watched the movie.

And something from Ebert:

In my mind there has always been this conceptual time travel, in which the universe has been in existence for untold aeons, and then a speck appeared that was Earth, and on that speck evolved life, and among those specks of life were you and me. In the span of the universe, we inhabit an unimaginably small space and time, and yet we think we are so important. It is restful sometimes to pull back and change the scale, to be grateful that we have minds that can begin to understand who we are, and where are in the vastness.

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Ultraman

I could say this is a beautiful illustration of Venom or Carnage painted by Alex Ross. But it’s not. It’s just a screencap from one of the recent Ultraman movies. Hugely popular in Japan. What you see there is an actor in a suit.

A movie that is utterly ridiculous. They start fighting from the first minute and continue till the last, barely speaking a line of dialogue between one scene and the next. One hour and half in total. Of (extremely redundant) fighting.

It’s almost an anti-movie. The kind of stuff that is at the same time brilliant and atrocious. The whole movie takes place on CG backgrounds, so it’s all done in bluescreen. It’s not completely CG, the actors are real, only wearing costumes and 95% of the time expressionless masks. I mean, when you have a CG movie, like those made by Pixar, all the effort goes to build communicative expressions. Here instead the masks negate all form of expression from the only element that in not CG, so you have at best the posturing trying to communicate something. Suits hiding real actors on top of fake backgrounds. There’s also something of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis as the staff that the bad guy wields makes weird piano notes when he fights.

The plot itself is a cliched hodgepodge of eastern and western plot patterns. The Ultramen are very similar to the Green Lanterns, surveying and policing the galaxy, defending the many planets from oversize dinosaur-like monsters. Their home planet risked to die after the sun exploded (like Superman), then compensated by the construction of an artificial sun that also turned all the population into masked super-heroes. A power that then lures those who are the most ambitious and want it all for themselves. The rest seems like a copy of Star Wars without plot, characters or setting (and budget). Just fights and “impressions”. And in between there’s also a father-son thing going on, with the son being exiled on another planet with a Yoda-like instructor in order to learn how to resist the lure of power and its responsibilities.

But as I said it has its charm and it should be seen, at least as a weird experiment. I had to research a bit, as the story connects here and there with other material. This is the most concise list of stuff available subtitled and directly connected material, leaving out the main series:

Ultraman Mebius Side Story: Ghost Reverse (Part I&II) – Two half an hour special episodes that vaguely set-up the first movie
Mega Monster Battle: Ultra Galaxy Legends – 96 minutes movie, the screenshot is taken from this
Ultra Galaxy Side Story: Ultraman Zero Vs Darclops Zero (Part I&II) – Two half an hour special episodes setting up the sequel
Ultraman Zero: The Revenge of Belial – 100 minutes sequel to Ultra Galaxy movie. This one is the one they say it’s good and that prompted me to watch from the start, hoping to find some trace of “plot”

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