Cinenarrative Dissonance

Why does Mario have extra lives? Oh I get it, it makes sense for a game, but is he a supernatural plumber that can come back from the dead? It’s good old-fashioned ludonarrative dissonance, the tension between gameplay and story that haunts gaming criticism. But for all the talk about its presence in video games,… Continue reading Cinenarrative Dissonance

Self-Hating Asians

I moved to South Carolina the summer I turned fifteen, after growing up in Singapore and spending four years on a ship. Unknowingly, I stepped into a paradigm where my half-Singaporean Chinese self was now firmly classified as Asian, a title that brought with it very specific expectations.  I quickly learned that the best way… Continue reading Self-Hating Asians

There’s My Dang Black Widow Movie

Almost exactly eight years ago I posted a rant essay lamenting the lack of a movie about Black Widow in the MCU. This brings to the front of my mind that not only have I been keeping this blog for a long-ass time, but that it’s taken a long-ass time to get a dang Black… Continue reading There’s My Dang Black Widow Movie

Unilateral Drone Strikes and The Winter Soldier

The Winter Soldier has a lot going on. There’s the spy thriller trope of the one good agent not knowing who he can trust (and the others not knowing if they can trust him). There’s the actual Winter Soldier, Steve Roger’s path made manifest. And of course, there’s the fact that SHIELD has been infiltrated… Continue reading Unilateral Drone Strikes and The Winter Soldier

Endings Are Hard

It’s remarkable the effect an ending can have on a story. A really good ending leaves you feeling fulfilled. Consider Casablanca, where Rick’s last-minute change of heart is the culmination of his character throughout the film as his cynicism fades. Or Inception, where the uncertain top drives home the question of reality that has permeated… Continue reading Endings Are Hard