Xperia Lounge, James Bond Xperia Theme, Ghostbusters (2016), and other digressions

Apart from the surprisingly popular PS4 Remote Play app and standard Xperia features such as screen mirroring, DLNA server support and proprietary technology such as Hi-Res audio, Sony includes apps that market their Sony Entertainment Network, which is often an overlooked distinguishing feature of buying their smartphones.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of Sony Xperia users don't seem to take advantage of the perks of having the Xperia Lounge app on their smartphone. Although largely cut off from Western multimedia offered by Sony due to my location in China (where Sony has stepped back from marketing their products), I was still able to install the recent James Bond theme, which was released in conjunction with the 007 L'Exposition event in Paris. The theme installs a Daniel Craig vs. Sean Connery wallpaper (poor Pierce Brosnan) and uses a gun sight icon as a replacement to the default Apps drawer.


I especially liked the gold trimmings in the UI, which extend not only to the keyboard, but to the configuration sliders in Settings. The black and white theme harkens back to the Technicolor years of Connery, while fans probably would point out that the use of gold is a reference to Goldfinger (1964) and Goldeneye (1995).

Author's Note:
My ex-girlfriend would probably be delighted I'm no longer much of a James Bond fan, thanks to the absolutely awful Skyfall and the lazy, pointless, and forgettable Spectre (2015). I can understand why Craig would want to leave the franchise after those exceptionally bad releases. The cast was excellent for both flicks but Sam Mendes, who had no business working in an action film, just bombed. Moreover, the screenwriters should make a public apology for writing films that crapped the Bond legacy. Back to Richard Dean Anderson's MacGyver for me.


Sony Movies

Sony Entertainment has been making several mistakes in the last few years, though sharing the ever-amazing Spider-Man with Marvel Studios somewhat redeems its entertainment arm from the poorly made The Amazing Spider-man 2 (2015). However, marketing the all-female Ghostbusters is a disaster in the making. I find Leslie Jones funny as hell, but Melissa McCarthy is overrated, repetitive, and boring. Contrary to all those accusations of sexism, a lot of the fans of the original team just don't find the trailer, the cast, or the reboot interesting. Even if they slapped on the original theme from Bill Murray's classic film on the second trailer, the 2016 version just isn't funny and just made me feel sorry for Chris Hemsworth, who seems to be attempting a side career in comedy. 


I remember watching the original trailer of
Ghostbusters in 1984 and getting goosebumps.  Director Feig, Judd Apatow, and alumni Dan Akroyd can ply the Internet all they want, but I just don't see anything even remotely compelling from this version. Bringing back the firehouse, the logo, the particle throwers, the theme, and nods to the original will not make it as funny, intelligent, or as exciting as the original adventure of the 'boys in grey.'

What Hollywood always seems to forget is that movies like Ghostbusters (1985) were successful because it resonated for the audience of that generation. It wasn't some effort to play on sentimentality, or promote some gratuitous feminine agenda. If you watch "odd" Peter Venkman, staid Egon Spengler, and earnest Ray Stantz in the original, you'll see bankruptcy, bravery, laziness, and American entrepreneurship of the 80s.  They were kicked out of the university labs for being incompetent and unsuccessful (Venkman for just being a dick). Feminism? Dana Barrett was a successful musician, while Venkman was an egotistic douchebag who took a desperate chance on building a business from his more technologically-inclined colleagues (we call that 'venture capitalists' and 'startups' today). For all the criticisms and controversies regarding Ernie Hudson's Winston, his unemployed, honest, down-to-Earth character reflected the politics of the 80s and his character certainly received his time in the limelight in the sequel. Heck, Ernie Hudson was the only member of the group that was remotely good-looking.


Feig's pandering Ghostbusters (2016), like McCarthy's vanity projects, should deservedly flop. There is no way I'm going to the cinemas to watch this reboot, and it has nothing to do with gender. In the same way, I wouldn't want a female Bond either. As pointed out by many columnists, the movie industry should have a unique female character on their own, not one that builds off of an established literary character. The Tomb Raider flicks may not have been very good, but Angelina Jolie's Lara Craft certainly proved that a female franchise could work. Women deserve better than a Bond with a vagina.

Note: Yes, Croft did have some lose connection to another established male character, famed archaeologist and grave digger Indiana Jones. However, anyone who is a Jones fan (or a Croft fan for that matter), knows how far off the two characters are. For one thing, the polyglot Indy lived through several battles in World War I and II, is an established scholar, and isn't accustomed to a silver spoon in his mouth. And he's not a particularly good shot, too, with a preference for a leather bullwhip after a childhood experience involving a circus train. And let's face it: Croft would kick the snot out of world-weary and untrained Indy.



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