Notes from the Kraken: July

In All, Notes by David

Welcome again to We Have Always Live the Kraken, a pop culture blog transmitted directly to you from the belly of the beast. Here in the Notes we’ll show you this month’s posting schedule, but first here are some thoughts.

So things have moved slowly at the Kraken lately, and I don’t just mean the great monster slouching toward Bethlehem. Some of that is just the nature of the summer months, and some of that is the simple fact that other writing has taken us away from being able to really stay on top of things. Hopefully that will change going forward, at least somewhat.

Another thing of course that is now happening is we are truly in the midst of con season. Anime Expo has come and gone, and D23 will soon approach as well. Then, of course, there is San Diego Comic Con, which is slowly creeping towards us like a distant tsunami. This year’s SDCC is looking a little different. The days of movie studios showing up in droves is likely gone, and it’s unclear yet precisely what the result will be. Sure, there is still the chance that one year both Marvel and Star Wars will show up, and it might break things, but other than that things have really calmed down on the movie front–except of course for Warner Brothers, which is the one studio that has increased its participation even as others run away.

Honestly, the shift away from movies is likely a good thing, even if it will feel like a huge change for many. Movies were always a questionable fit with SDCC, and the benefits from studios coming to SDCC have always been highly dubious. Television has stepped up to take advantage of this gap, and that is probably for the best, because in the days of peak TV there is so much to watch that SDCC highlighting as much TV as possible is going to be far more effective than mainstream movies making the same attempts. Still, I do hope movies don’t disappear completely. Maybe they just need to look at new ways to advertise outside of panels. Offsite events have been growing more and more at SDCC, and movie studios taking advantage of this would be wise, especially as it would continue to spread out the SDCC crowds. Screenings and premieres are also useful tools that will hopefully be utilized more, and maybe this will also be the birth of more niche movies getting some love during the con. It’s still unclear whether any of these changes will make things slightly calmer, but it is fair to say that we are in a transition phase for SDCC that hasn’t been seen since Twilight changed the game back in 2008. What this game is changing to remains to be seen, but things are changing whether we are ready for them to or not.

David Robertson

From the depths of the Kraken, here is what we are bringing you this month.

The Life in the Kraken Podcast: Westeros Edition has returned! Enjoy our weekly coverage of Game of Thrones.

Meanwhile, David will continue his attempts to get caught up with the The Anticipated,

  • His first entry will be his thoughts on ColossalDavid has already expressed his love for this film from his SXSW Film Reviews, but now he will expand on those thoughts.

Matt returns with another edition of Hidden Levels, This time he will be taking a look at Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale, and the glamorous life of running an item shop.

Catch of the Week:

Each and every week the residents here in the Kraken will offer one recommendation for the week that we think you all would enjoy. It might be a movie. It might be a book. Who knows? This is your… Catch of the Week Month.

If any of this month’s recommendations interest you, feel free to click on our Amazon affiliate links below. We get a small kickback on anything you buy at no extra cost to you, and that money goes toward sustaining and improving the site. Thanks!

Kyu: I typically like to try and find unique or obscure things to recommend, but today there’s nothing else I want to evangelize more than the hit new Edgar Wright film, Baby Driver. Stylish, energetic, and just a little bit subversive, Wright’s take on the getaway driver movie (ala Refn’s Drive and a bunch of older movies I’m less familiar with) is interested above all else in capturing the feeling when talent and skill and concentration and planning create a magical moment when you are in sync with the world–expressed through Baby’s expert driving as tuned to the constant music in his ears.In its colorful villains, carefully escalating structure, and precise cinematography, Baby Driver shows how much Wright learned from Scott Pilgrim, and between a bang-up cast of experienced actors (especially Jamie Foxx’s scenery-chewing asshole, John Hamm as Don Draper turned outlaw, and Spacey’s surprisingly sincere gangster) and effective new faces Ansel Elgort and Lily James Wright’s ensemble here rivals his earlier efforts. Although it really is a little deeper than it seems, with themes of communication and family running just beneath the surface, all you really need to know is that Baby Driver is a slick, exciting, excellently crafted film that should be a great time at the theater for anybody–and definitely check out the soundtrack afterwards. Just don’t let the tunes tempt you into lawlessness. Nobody gets away forever.


David: So Final Fantasy has has some problems for a while, and a lot of those issues can be somewhat traced back to the original release of Final Fantasy XII. It might seem weird for me to now go and recommend the remaster that is coming out this month, but hear me out. Final Fantasy XII: The Zodiac Age is so much more than the original. For one thing, it will include the Zodiac Job System that America never got to have the first time around, which actually makes the characters unique; and for another thing, the creators of this game have been working tirelessly to give us what they call the true version of this game. All of this sounds very promising, and makes this game worth another look. Sure, Vaan will still be in the game, but the game will be oh so much prettier, smoother, and still has Balthier around to be the best ever, so go ahead and give this troubled classic another shot.

That’s it for this month. July is here, and ready to strike. So buckle up and enjoy the ride, and don’t mind the sharks. They are here for their own convention and just wish to be left alone.