Funny Games – It’s Not Funny

I am still to watch the the 2007 remake of the film, but I have just finished watching the 1997 German language version (above). Bearing in the mind the most recent film is a remake of this one almost shot-for-shot I wonder if there still is much point going out to watch it.

The film in undoubtedly dark and makes for some pretty tortuous watching – as you already know. Haneke plays with his victims as well as his audience; the movie is called Funny Games because the tormentors play a series of ‘games’ with their victims.

Haneke’s attempts to admonish those who crave violent movies like ‘Saw’ or ‘Hostel’ actually work, a bit of a bloodlust freak myself I was shocked at the inhumanity and callousness of the captors. We really see the effects that the violence in the film, while rather expertly starved from actually seeing the physical violence take place. Like, for instance, we see the father – the man of the house despair as he becomes aware of his impotence to protect his family – they make him beg to enforce this. We also see him sob uncontrollably when he realises his son is dead. These scenes really drive home the point that violence is not simply visually stimulus, Haneke shows that people really get hurt, and death is a big deal.

To avoid calls of hypocrisy, Haneke carefully ensures that every gun shot (bar one), every knife thrust, every golf club beating, is just out of shot of the camera and the audience not exposed to it, he does this with terrific effect.

His characters break the forth wall, perhaps to afford the audience the solace that this is still a movie and this is not happening to real people, and so reduces the emotional impact.

This film has not made not enjoy a gory film as such; but at least has made me aware that films made solely for people to enjoy the gruesome and horrifying way people are meeting their ends are not big and they are not clever.

Did you see the film? Has Haneke’s message been portrayed with this?

Travel Games – Three Funny Games

We find that when traveling with friends and family, a good laugh can make the difference between boredom and excitement.
The following games have provided us with many a fun moment.

1. The Silly Message Game – There is no end to this game.

The object of the silly message game is to create a message from the letters given.

The first player gives 5 random letters, say “A”, “F”, “G”, “Y”, “C”. The players have now say, two minutes to come up with a message. It could be, for this example “A fine goose you cooked”. The winner is the funniest message – Dad may need to judge and his selection is final! To make it more interesting add more letters for older players or select themes that the message is to be about.

2. The Underpants Game – there is no end to this game, but it has been played for hours.

The object of the underpants game is not to laugh.

The first player asks the person next to him or her a question, like “What do you take to bed with you”, and the only answer that can be given is underpants, but it must be said seriously. If the player answering laughs or smiles he or she is “out”. The player who is last “in” is the winner. Use other words instead of underpants, like “poo” or “rhubarb” – just let your mind go! Another variation is to answer only yes, no, black or white.

3. The Silly, Silly Game – usually less than 15 minutes

The object of the silly, silly game is to give incorrect answers.

Each player is given either a small bar of chocolate or a packet of lifesavers. Set up some rules that would fit into the scenery that you are going to pass through. If a player sees a “cow”, he must say “sheep”, the last player to “sheep” must give a treat to the person on their right and anyone who says “cow” (the correct answer), must give the person on the left a treat. Have a number of these rules for anything that you are likely to see, and it gets really interesting, and in no time there are not many treats left!

Have some fun with these, and let your imagination go wild – the journeys will become shorter!

Funny Games – Preview of Lucha Fury

If the American wrestling is currently enjoying some popularity among youngsters, you should know that one of its derivatives is emerging. Its name is Lucha Libre (free wrestling in Spanish) and is a veritable institution in Mexico. The particularity of Lucha Libre is that fights are much less focused on violence to focus on performance and aerobatics. The other feature is that all the fighters in the ring wear masks hiding their entire face. Summing up: Mexico, masks and a touch of caricature, here comes Lucha Fury!

The four heroes in the game are all specialists in Lucha Libre, we do not know yet their exact names. Our foursome (a fifth will be eventually unlocked) all live together in a landfill in Mexico, drinking their favourite energy drink. Everything was quiet, until the four brave heroes discover that a global conspiracy is to prohibit their definitely loved energy drink. It does not take longer to take to the streets and wrestle with other masked enemies.

In the game world, absolutely everyone is masked. Have you ever fought a masked giant piƱata or a 6 feet tall masked pig? You haven’t seen anything yet! The developers have promised that everything will be done to avoid the pitfall of the traditional beat ’em all: the repetitiveness. And to do that, some enemies will be totally invincible. Like those mariachi that will rise consistently after any move. To get rid of them, you have to be creative.

In Lucha Fury, the cooperation between players is emphasized. For example, with two players on the same screen, it will be possible to perform combos by playing a Keep Away game, tossing the enemy to each other. Or to grab a teammate to make a destructive splash in the midst a group of enemies. These two-player combos are very simple, because the keystrokes are displayed on the screen. Once both players have pressed the keys, the action comes together. Simple, fast and efficient.

But what is even more charming beyond this tantalizing gameplay is the graphics of Lucha Fury. It’s beautiful, colourful, beautifully animated… a real treat for the eyes. Its cartoonish style already places it at the top of the games to be downloaded on the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

The game release is scheduled for early next year.