Punching Nazis makes *everything* better

This is a slightly rewritten version of an idea I had recently. Yes, it still exists on Facebook, but I wanted to change a couple of minor things and archive it a little better. So, here goes… While watching The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor with my wife recently, I had an idea. You see, while the film isn’t great (Though I adore the ‘No, this isn’t Rachel Weisz’ joke), it drops some curious hints at the O’Connell’s service during the war and that got my brain working.

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Long time readers will know how dangerous this can be.

So, the OSS/SSR/Delta Green have sent the O’Connell’s on a mission, teaming their talents with that of Professor Henry ‘Indiana’ Jones. No-one’s quite sure how the New York playboy Lamont Cranston was assigned to the mission, but he claims to know the area you’re going to quite well, while transport is being provided by noted barnstormer and ace pilot Cliff Secord. Add some Nazis to punch*, and a suitably horrifying threat (The Nazis are testing a nuke? Well, there’s a nuke, but it’ll accidentally raise Cthulhu/the dinosaurs at the center of the Earth/the Royal Family lizard people**), and there’s a pretty solid pulp adventure in there.

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That got some interest, with folks saying that Peggy Carter should be involved, given her boyfriend is on ice. Fair call that, both in terms of suitable characters and adding more female PC’s. I was trying to keep the MCU out of it, but I’m not completely averse to mentioning them. That did give me a further idea though, and while I told myself I wouldn’t write sequels anymore, within 10 minutes the idea I had a more than workable epilogue. If you’ll indulge me…

INTERIOR, SSR BRIEFING ROOM. THE PC’S ARE BEING ADDRESSED BY PEGGY CARTER.

‘The United States government, and by extension the free world, thanks you for your recent service. As much as we’d like to give you some time off, we have more work for you. A word of warning, you may think you’ve seen everything, know everything, but let me give you a piece of advice: the universe is a far stranger place than you can possibly imagine.”

SHE CHECKS HER WATCH “We’re just waiting on one more person to arrive and we can start the briefing.”

AS IF ON CUE THERE’S A STRANGE WHEEZING GROANING SOUND. A STRONG WIND WHIS UP IN THE UNDERGROUND BUNKER, PEOPLES HAIR IS RUFFLED AND PAPERS ARE BLOWN OFF DESKS, AS THE TARDIS MATERIALIZES IN THE CENTER OF THE ROOM. THE DOOR OPENS AND OUT STEPS THE 13TH DOCTOR.

“Sorry I’m late, but the helmic regulators a bit knackered and was causing some nasty feedback in the dimensional stabilizer.”

SHE SEEMS TO FULLY GRASP THE CONFUSION IN THE ROOM, NOTHING THE LOOKS OF SHOCK.

“Oh, hello. Nice to meet you all, I’m the Doctor.”

SHE REACHES INTO HER COAT, PRODUCING A PACKET OF TIM TAMS, WHICH SHE OFFERS TO THE GROUP.

“Biscuit?”

END AND ROLL CREDITS.

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Now all I need is the time to sit down and write the damn thing…

*I’d be tempted to add the BPRD in there as well somehow, but that might be one crossover too many. Though I ran a 60’s spy game a few years ago where the PC’s were from SHIELD, the IMF, UNCLE, Torchwood and UNIT, I’m sure I could work them in somehow. Besides, young John Hurt for the win, as the kids say.  DON’T TELL ME IF THEY’VE STOPPED SAYING IT LET ME BE CURRENT FOR 10 SECONDS PLEASE.

**Note: actual lizard people, not coded anti semetism. I was gutted when I found that out – I’d thought there were people that thought the Royals were part of an empire of snake shapeshifters secretly ruling the world, and no, turns out it’s just people hating the Jews. Damn bigots, ruining everything.

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Keanu Reeves murders (almost) everyone.

JOHN WICK CHAPTER 3: PARRABELLUM, AKA KEANU REEVES WEARS A SHARP SUIT AND KILLS AN ABSOLUTE FUCKTON OF PEOPLE. I MEAN, SERIOUSLY, IF THEY MAKE ANY MORE OF THESE HE’S GOING TO MURDER A SMALL COUNTRY’S WORTH OF PEOPLE I’M NOT KIDDING.

Look, it doesn’t fit anywhere near as well on a poster, but it’s a far more representative picture of the film.

There’s a small clutch of films that whenever I watch them I have the urge to drop a solid chunk of money on a quality suit, neaten my hair and beard and then, well, walk around I guess? I’ve never gotten that far in the planning stage. Mostly it’s the Bond films, but I think I have to add the Wick saga to that. In RPG terms, It’s not quite Feng Shui: The Movie (That title will forever and always belong to the frankly unbeatable brilliance of Big Trouble in Little China), but if you aren’t using that system to represent this world, you’re doing this wrong. Weapons are shown in almost fetishistic detail, perfect for that game, and there’s some incredible skill on display in their use – while there’s the odd quick cut, for the most part it’s long takes of people messing each other up in increasingly brutal, and occasionally ridiculous ways and the stunt work is frequently jaw dropping in it’s skill and execution.

Keanu Reeves stars as 'John Wick' in JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 - PARABELLUM.
Told you. That’s damn sharp.

Keanu Reeves returns in the title role as the former hit-man dragged back into the life, and he certainly wears a suit well. I’m not sure I’ve seen one worn with such style since Chow Yun-Fat in The Killer, one of the few films able to match this one for sheer scope of  carnage. Halle Berry isn’t in it as much as you’d expect given her prominence in publicity and Laurence Fishburne appears to be having more fun than you at all times. He has some competition on that front from Mark Dacascos who seems to be enjoying himself so much I wouldn’t be at all shocked if he’d taken the part for free. (A harsher critic could say that being in a big budget film that’s actually seen in cinemas might also be a factor, but I’m not that person.)

There’s the odd burst of ‘Hey, it’s that guy!” with Brooklyn 9-9’s Detective Pimento and Bronn from Game of Thrones appearing. At least I thought it was Bronn, the accent he was using made it difficult to tell without a mid film visit to IMBD and my phone remained firmly turned off during the film. I’m a sucker for a good arming montage (My favorite still being the frankly hilarious one in Schwarzenegger’s Commando) and this one has a doozy, complete with a cheerful nod to Reeve’s past work that I won’t spoil. It’s not quite the equal of John Wick Chapter 2’s, but what’s the point in exactly repeating things?

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Holy shit, I’m on a horse!

We start with Reeves in serious trouble, and the amount he’s in only increases as the film goes on. Points to the writers for upping the scale of things, as the film moves around sharply, with Wick busily proceeding to chop, stab, shoot and punch his way through an awful lot of New York, with one early kill aided by a copy of Dante’s Inferno. I can picture the writers room high as kites on sugar, “So we’ve just had Wick have a gunfight in a stable, so what if he gets into a gunfight while riding a horse, against people on motorbikes? Oh, and later can he ride a motorbike and get into a sword-fight against a bunch of other people on motorbikes?” I can practically hear the high-fives as I type this.

Our guide to this world and it’s rules and regulations is Winston (Ian McShane), who has a tone and gravitas in his voice that not only will I buy whatever he’s selling, but I’ll buy immediately and thus get the free set of steak knives. For a criminal organization it’s incredibly well structured, with a complex set of rules and guidelines. The near mystical gold coins as payment, bloody thumbprints in lockets to signify favors owed and adjudicators to ensure the laws are held to. It’s the sort of nonsense that you’d expect to find in a game of Dungeons and Dragons and would seem utterly ludicrous but given how seriously everyone takes it, it works.

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Also, a very sharp coat there.

The increasing scope across the three films thus far has been slowly allowed to reveal itself, which is, to me, a far more elegant way to do things than a film 1 info dump. Sure, I do occasionally wonder at the sheer scale of things, or smaller questions such as just how many people in New York belong to this group of assassins and how Wick hasn’t yet murdered them all in the previous films. I’m more than aware of New Yorker’s reputation for giving no fucks whatsoever, but I’m fairly sure that were this many bodies dropping on this regular a basis in public places that someone would be saying something, right?

Expanding the scope and mythology of your universe can be tricky. The Empire Strikes Back did it well, the Matrix sequels less so. In fairness, I’m not sure on that – I saw both the Matrix sequels at midnight premieres back in the day and haven’t gone back since. I left them angry. Not as angry as after the second Hobbit film, but that’s a different story. Mostly when I remember those two films I think back to my early to mid 20’s bullshit and how much of a twat I could be and I’m really not proud of that. It took me a long time to work past that and I still quake with shame at some of my actions. I can’t take them back, but at least I can learn from them and hopefully not repeat them. On the bright side, it’s around that time I finally came clean, and became an open and proud Iron Maiden fan, as opposed to treating them as a long time guilty pleasure. So, that’s something good and up the Irons! Getting back on topic…

If you know what you’re in for, you’ll love this. If you don’t want to see Reeves dressed well and murdering a whole lot of people with some incredible skill, then this might not be the film series for you. A 4th film has already been announced, and if it hadn’t been the films end would have all but confirmed that. In any case, I can’t wait for the next one and I’m sorely tempted to go back and see this one again. Possibly while wearing a suit…

4 and a half fancy shotguns out of five.

I should be writing…

Well, writing things that aren’t this. Good old distractions and brain goblins getting in the way of things, from helping host Niece’s 11th birthday sleep over* to a new term of sword training (Dagger’s a lot of fun) and a trip across the ditch** (Part holiday, part in-laws celebration), followed by a dash up to Cairns to see an old friend who’s had a mighty rough year. He introduced me to Lucifer and I’ve returned the favor with Leverage. I feel that’s a fair trade. He knows Wil Wheaton appears, but that’s about it. *cackles* Reminds me of the Audio Guide to Babylon 5, where one of the hosts partner is watching along (Not having seen the show before) and his theories are kind of adorable. Not as funny as the former co-workers who’s Red Wedding theories were on a different planet, but close. Also, while in NZ I splurged and bought a jacket that makes me feel so awesome I politely request someone please write me a freeform to wear it in.

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And it’s not often I say that!

I’ve had a piece on recent events and brain goblins drafted for about 2 months, but I’m uncertain about hitting post. The past can be a hell of a thing, and there’s no shortage  of regrets and guilt rolling round the old brain. Maybe I’ll post it someday. The worse I feel the closer I get to posting it, but at the same time the closer I get the more I want to tinker with it, which means a longer delay. Self fulfilling prophecy.  I’ve a headshrinker appointment booked for soon, which I’m looking forward to. It’s been too long.

On the good news front, my event got accepted for Phenomenon! Yep, I’ll be back, and even louder than before! I’ve dusted off (AKA rewriting) one of my old con games, It’s a Long Way to the Top, about a young group of Orcs wanting to conquer the world, via the music charts. To sum up in one sentence, D&D meets This is Spinal Tap or Pratchett’s Soul Music, but crossed Dio’s Holy Diver. It’s one of my favorites from the back catalogue, with a few moments still firmly stuck in my brain, the pool table incident especially… To say I’m happy about getting to run this one is something of an understatement, I’d been on tenterhooks for weeks leading up to the news, and air guitaring randomly about the place after getting the news. True, it could be said that game was an excuse for me to froth about how much I love heavy metal, but I’ve never needed an excuse to do that.

So, that’s my brain at the moment. Full of enthusiasm, almost equal amounts of  fear and an irritating level of imposter syndrome. Almost standard operating procedure.

Be seeing you…

* ME:”Night kids, sleep well, I’ll most likely kill you in the morning.”
CHILD: “Wait, what?”

** I shouldn’t have been so surprised that there’s a steampunk museum there, but picking up a leather war skirt in a nearby shop, that  was a welcome surprise. I still need a LARP to wear it in mind you.