October 2021 in Summary: A Shot in the Arm

Sorry for the lack of content this month. I recently started a new job and haven’t really had much of an opportunity to work on any reviews as a result. In the meantime, and to give the title of this update post a second meaning, I also got a booster COVID shot as was recommended. I suggest anyone who can does likewise.

Films watched in October 2021:

In theaters:

  • <None>

At home:

  • My Cousin Vinny (Jonathan Lynn, 1992)
  • A Man Escaped (Robert Bresson, 1956)

My Cousin Vinny is commonly known as the court comedy that somehow manages to be more realistic than 99% of court dramas you’ll find. In addition to being one of the funniest movies out there, it really dispenses a lot of great advice (e.g. don’t talk to the police without an attorney present, make sure to know what, exactly, is going on before acting, etc.). Really, it’s Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei at their best, so what’s not to like?

Ever wanted to see an escape film minus the Hollywood bombast? Try looking into Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped. This film is based off of the memoirs of André Devigny, a French Resistance member who, true to the film’s name, managed to escape Nazi imprisonment in 1943 after having been sentenced to death. The film is a real triumph in minimalistic storytelling, and, in many ways predicted the French New Wave movement that would occur just a few years later.

Games reviewed in October 2021:

Donkey Kong Land III

Fun fact: Unlike the Donkey Kong Country games, I played the Donkey Kong Land trilogy in reverse order. I couldn’t tell you why I did that, although I would end up doing the same thing with Metroid Prime years later.

I also did a 101% playthrough (yes, really) of Donkey Kong 64 recently, so you can expect a review of that game in the near future.

Anyway, Donkey Kong Land III is one of the last games of its kind, selling itself as a watered-down version of a console game when, as a result of both Pokémon’s international debut just a year later (one year prior in Japan) and Super Mario 64’s success, handheld consoles at last had a dedicated niche to fill, providing 2D experiences when the mainstream wasn’t and in a time when 2D was considered outdated. I highly doubt the1 people making these games really knew of it at the time, but those early Game Boy experiences really didn’t have much of a chance of holding up in the long run.

Ultimately, what holds Donkey Kong Land III back is that it’s every bit as guilty of being a watered-down rehash as its direct predecessor, although the level design is more bland than uninspired. It’s a bit of a shame that the trilogy didn’t continue following in the footsteps of the original game, which, while flawed itself, at least tried to pitch entirely new ideas (and succeeded about 55% of the time) because if Rare had taken the handheld platform more seriously, they could have made an underrated gem. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and as per usual, there’s not much point in revisiting this game when you can play Donkey Kong Country 3 just as easily – and often on similar platforms, at that.

Featured articles:

The Outer Worlds – Matt from Nintendobound talks about the smash 2019 action RPG The Outer Worlds. It’s a highly acclaimed game, though it seems to be guilty of featuring the patented bloat of your average big-budget 2010s AAA game.

Life is Strange Before the Storm Review – Teen Angst the Game – Alex of Alex’s Review Corner takes a look at the slice-of-life game Life is Strange: Before the Storm, a game many people have likened to TellTale’s titles.

Movie Review – Poltergeist – In preparation of Halloween, ManInBlack reviews the classic Poltergeist, which I have strangely only seen the latter half of.

Denis Villenueve’s Majestic Dune – Starloggers reviews the latest attempt on Hollywood’s part to adapt the classic Dune series of sci-fi novels. It appears to have turned out much better than David Lynch’s attempt. Mr. Villenueve claims you need to see it in theaters, but I’m under the belief that if your film is only good if it’s seen in theaters, you’re doing something wrong.

Project G: Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991) – Aether continues his Godzilla project by reviewing Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Kind of interesting how the Heisei era decided to introduce mainstay King Ghidorah only three installments in. They certainly didn’t waste any time raising the stakes, did they?

Demo mode: Blue Reflection: Second Light (PS4) – And finally, AK tries a demo of the game Blue Reflection: Second Light, a sequel to an RPG set in modern-day Japan.

Links to my articles:

Game reviews: