Sunday Morning Stuff 20/10

It’s Sunday Morning and we’re doing it live! No work today so I can actually be here on a Sunday Morning and put down my thoughts on all of this stuff that I’ve seen and read and heard and played this week. Let’s not waste time, let’s take a look at what I have been…

Reading…

With Halloween just around the corner you can expect to read about what I’ve been reading with the upcoming return of Classically Lacking, but in the meantime please enjoy this complete lack of content.

Playing…

Star Wars Battlefront II came out in November 2017 and was resolutely, absolutely, deservedly crapped all over – but since then things have improved dramatically. Constant updates and a swift abandoning of the pay to win loot box mechanics that originally riddled the game like a greedy STI have left the game in a surprisingly good state. It is now chock full of content. Capital Supremacy is a 20 v 20 mode reminiscent of the original PS2-era Battlefront games, and the entertaining co-op pits 4 players against a relentless horde of AI, plus you can now jump into the old school Instant Action mode for some single player fun away from the mediocre campaign – if you fancy something a bit different.

Still, the actual gameplay has never really improved, and it is basic to say the least, but it also remains one of the best looking, and best sounding games to have ever been made plus you know…it’s Star Wars.

Listening to…

The new Kero Kero Bonito EP expands their already diverse sound into territory which is reminiscent of some lost SEGA game from the early 90’s – and I like it a lot.

Foals have hit us with the Part 2 of Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost and it is a pristine slice of stadium sized rock, perfectly befitting the bands current status, but honestly I’ve not really been able to give it too much attention yet as I’ve been completely distracted by the new album from Richard Dawson

Dawson has been around for a while, but I must admit that he hadn’t come across my radar until last month when I began listening to his lead-in singles to his new album after hearing them favourably reviewed on the Needle Drop. I’m still yet to really dive into his back catalogue, but his new album 2020 is a dark, somewhat depressing, and always esoteric take on life in the United Kingdom today, and in the very near future.

Jogging is perhaps the best introduction to Dawson that you could find, it opens with a snarl of noisy guitars which soon melt away to a steadier, marching beat over which Dawson’s softer, folk voice is laid, Northern twang in place, issuing smart lyrics on anxiety, work, and buskers slipping rude words into Oasis’ Wonderwall.

It is, in basic terms, bloody brilliant.

Watching…

I’ve been using most of my evenings this week to lay down and be exhausted and catch up on some of the more supposedly brilliant movies which have passed me by in the last couple of years. Namely, Sicario and Call Me By Your Name.

Sicario is one of those films that I just don’t understand how or why I hadn’t watched already. Denis Villenueve is one of my favourite directors working today, Prisoners, Arrival, and Blade Runner 2049 are some of my favourite movies from this decade. Now I can add Sicario to the list. It is a brutal, relentless, and beautifully photographed examination of the cyclical nature of violence and the real-world application that it has on the American-Mexico border.

Other than the fact it is gorgeous looking and sounding and directed with masterful restraint, Emily Blunt puts in an all-timer performance, the stress of what she is seeing and experiencing building and building up, taking a physical toll on her which shines through the screen in her posture, expression, and general and absolute exasperation.

Call Me By Your Name didn’t grab me so immediately, but over time the film won me over. The film is made with love and reverence from the sun-bleached Italian setting, it’s 80’s period, and it’s characters. It follows a blossoming, and initially restrained, relationship between the 17-year-old Emilio (Timothée Chalamet) and his fathers research assistant Oliver (Armie Hammer) over the course of a summer spent at the family villa. As their relationship grew, my investment did too, and by the end I was tied into their fate enough to be devastated when the inevitable conclusion to their relationship came.

Special mention must go to Michael Stuhlbarg who plays Emilio’s father, who manages to distil the film into a single monologue at the film’s end with all the gravitas and honesty that it requires.

And on that positive note, let’s call an end on Sunday Morning Stuff and move on to our Sunday afternoons, where hopefully we all have very, very little to do.

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