Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

A videogame movie.

Disclaimer I have not seen the movie, and probably never will, but I am into video games, and I thought this was interesting:

The new york times has two different reviews of this movie, and to my surprise they are complete opposites. The first one, by A. O. Scott, even designates this movie a “critic’s pick.” The second one, by Seth Schiesel, describes how he could barely get through this movie.

How can this be? Simple – the first person is a film critic, the second a video game reviewer. (I suspect age might have something to do with it as well.)

For the film critic, this movie does an excellent job of bringing to life the repetitive mindless button mashing point acquiring primal stupidity addictive feel of early video games. Back when there was no story, just the joy of being the best button masher. If you tried long and hard enough, (and had enough quarters) eventually you would win and get the girl. For him the movie does an excellent job of representing this feeling.

For the video game review writer, that sentiment is exactly what video games have been striving to get away from for years. Nowadays, video games are the ones that are very likely to be cinematic, and so story driven as to rival and greatly surpass many a cookie cutter movie offering. Today’s video games are often interactive, immersive, engaging stories that might pull you into their word more readily and more deeply than any movie ever has. With that in mind any movie that represents video games as the button mashing of yore is a slap in the face. It’s hard not to get a chip on your shoulder when you’re working in an industry that is trying to get recognition as a viable artistic medium and is constantly being compared to film.

Who to believe? Depends on which camp you’re in I guess. For me it was interesting to see opposite reviews in the New York Times, I had no idea this movie would be so divisive.

Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child

I’m a fan of Basquiat, I like his name but more importantly I really, truly like his work. It’s a great mix of childhood innocence, social commentary and a treatment of type, language and words in a visual manner. I’m also a fan of seeing artists up close and personal, or getting behind the scenes info on their lives and how their creativity works. There’s been more than a few movies and films on Basquiat, and I think I’ve seen all of them, but it’s been a while. So I was excited to go see Tamra Davis’ version, complete with never before seen footage of the man himself.

That part was probably the least interesting, and the film overall was an ok documentary. I did get a good sense of Basquiats life out of it, and what his art was about, and how it came to be. Although these were things I mostly knew already. So if you are new to Basquiat lots of good stuff, if you are already familiar then it is a good refresher at least. Also there are lot’s of great shots of New york from the 70’s and 80’s, which I always love, relish even. So I was pretty satisfied.

(image from

Packing for Mars

Mary Roach’s latest and 4th book does not disappoint. Her characteristic wry and very often morbid humor is back. This time she is explaining the intricacies of space travel.

Packing for Mars may be a little bit of a misnomer, because to get to that point she has to get through the history of space travel and all of the insanity that that entails.

I always thought I knew a little bit about outer space, but truly I had no idea. From the first animals in space (monkey’s and dog’s I knew about but there is more), through wax covered sandwich squares, and edible spaceship parts, through barf bags and “egesta” bags as well.

I also thought I had a good grasp on what weightlessness means, but in reality I had no idea.

Last but not least, unfortunately, I think this book has put out of my mind any fancifull ideas of ever going into space myself, though I might try a ride on a parabolic flight which will only set me back $5k, though even that may have been soiled but Mary’s vivid accounts on space sickness.


What an awesome mural! On a school no less, great for the kiddies. The sheer size of it, and amazing flag pants are what do it for me. Nice job Os Gemeos!

Pictures on the process of making it and more info here.


“I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.”

— Bill Cosby

For Use/Numen

Really love the texture, look and site use/installation of this giant spiderweb/cocoon entirely made out of packing tape. Technically, I guess this is a design project of some sort? For me it is clearly an installation piece. Bonus points for it’s human scale and interaction/entry points.

More pictures and even a video at fast company. Also, surprisingly, Fast Company is a really good read, it’s on of my new favorite magazines.


“I have made this letter longer than usual, because I lack the time to make it short.”

— Blaise Pascal

(it takes a lot of hard work to make things short and to the point)

A Mapless Map

This project is an interesting variation on the idea of making an image out of words only, here is a map that uses only the map labels for presentation. I like the way you can see oceans and seas via large voids on the macro level and long streets and boulevards on the micro one. Also reveals surprises in the way the labeling technology (google maps based) is implemented when changing zoom levels.