Beyond the Game

Forgive me, readers, for I had content lined up yesterday and the day before from two article ideas I had two days ago that I thought would be 500 words each. An album review–previously done in the 500 word format–and a short piece on the new YMMV section on TVTropes, a measure which still feels less like a legitimate section for tropes and more like a wiki-scale timeout for the rest of us. Today, I woke up and woke up my computer as normal. Or at least, it was mostly normal, until I realized the laptop which had served me faithfully for two years now had a primary disk error. Now, here I am on the family’s backup machine, reviewing a movie that came recommended with uTorrent when I installed it on this machine, Beyond the Game.

Beyond the Game is a documentary about two competitive players–one of whom is Chinese–meeting for the grand showdown at their particular game: Warcraft. It’s a movie about competitive Warcraft, but honestly, I already watched The King of Kong, this can’t be far off. Except no one in King of Kong spoke Chinese, and I never put Windows Media Player Classic with the Combined Community Codec Pack onto this computer, which means now there are no subtitles for me to read. Despite the fact that I can see the subtitle file right there, next to the movie in the torrent folder. Is this entertaining you, yet? Because truth be told, I’m getting a little bit pissed off from having to install this much crap.

This is so amazingly infuriating on so many levels. I’m trying to watch a god damn movie here, and all I get is this crap from every single media player installed on this piece of crap machine that can’t even play smooth audio for more than two and a half seconds about how they can’t play those god damn subtitles–WELL I’LL TELL YOU WHAT, SUBTITLES ARE NECESSARY WHEN ONE OF THESE PEOPLE DOESN’T SPEAK THE KING’S ENGLISH. All this guy speaks apparently is fluent Chinese, which is really no surprise, given that he looks about as Chinese as–oh, I don’t know, THE POPULATION OF CHINA?! I know this is really unprofessional of me, but you know what’s unprofessional of you, whatever asshat made this movie?! Not hardsubbing a film you intended to be seen by international audiences when one of your documentary subjects speaks CHINESE AS HIS FIRST LANGUAGE.

How the hell am I supposed to be able to review this movie if I just have the .avi file, hm? You’re giving out your barely over an hour long feature for free on uTorrent, ever think that maybe somebody who isn’t as technically advanced as you, Mr. BigShot Independent Documentarian might have to watch your movie on something that’s older than some children they’re acquainted with? GOD, this is just so BUSHLEAGUE. You know, I’ve switched to my third media player now–third, VLC–trying to get this to play. Turns out I didn’t have VLC either! What a shock! I should be dead by now with the amount of shock I feel over the fact that nothing, absolutely nothing in this day has gone right!

I wake up, my computer’s a brick. I text my girlfriend, she’s a nervous mess. I talk to my mum, she’s been dealing with network and computer and printer troubles, ALL DAY. I turn around, there’s another problem. And you know, all day, there’s been this notion hanging around my head that maybe it’s all my fault and maybe I’m the one who broke my computer that froze at the god damn welcome screen and maybe I’m the one who tries to sabotage every good thing in Ailish’s life and maybe I’m the one bedeviling my mum’s new fax/scan/printer, but so HELP me, NOT BEING ABLE TO REVIEW THIS MOVIE IS JUST NOT MY FAULT RIGHT NOW. I don’t have anything prepared! I don’t have anything to talk about! I don’t have anything for you, but you vultures, you maniacs, you just keep demanding more from me! I’m only one man, I can’t publish a thousand words a day for every day out of the year! I’ll either go mad or get a paying job at this before I do that!

I try to listen to a nice Bartok string quartet on my girlfriend’s iPod–IT’S ON SHUFFLE. Where are the shuffle settings?! I don’t know! I’ve rebelled against owning one of these for years now, because god dammit, I’m a man of few principles, but I stick to them LONG after they’re hopelessly outdated. Thankfully, my skepticism of iPods was proven correct when I found out, on Chad’s iPod, that you can’t transfer actual songs from the device itself to your computer. How too cool for school is that. Oh, Steve Jobs is so worried about god damn piracy that he’s going to keep me from getting an album I gave my girlfriend as a gift from her iPod onto this piece of crap computer just so I can listen to something I bought in a god damn store without being dragged through it at random GOD DAMN IT. It’s absolutely useless, it’s a piece of crap device and if you can’t transfer data from it, to your computer, what use is it? What use can it possibly be? Say you lose your entire media library, but all of it’s on there–what do you do? WHAT CAN YOU DO?

It’s been a real crap day and I don’t have to come home to deal with the rest of this business. I can’t talk to any of my friends cos I haven’t installed MSN, I feel like getting a good night’s sleep and MY GOD DAMN COMPUTER’S A BRICK. I don’t know what in the god damn world made me think that watching a movie about competitive gaming that IS HALF IN GOD DAMN NOT-ENGLISH CHINESE sounded GOOD at the moment. This movie probably sucks, it’s barely over an hour long, so screw it–TWO STARS