Green Zone and Trials HD

It is always nice to walk into a posh hotel, announce your name, and be escorted down into a private function room. I managed to get this rare privilege by knowing a competition winner of an Xbox Live community event. I’m not sure what it was they won at, or why they were unable to tell me, but hey, a free event is always good. This particular event filled me with extra high hopes for an evening of fun and entertainment as the set up was: Arrive at posh hotel, eat and drink all you want for free, play some games, and watch a preview of Green Zone. Awesome.

canapesSo lets start at the beginning, and lets face it, this is the most important part for me anyway, with the food. Now I arrived a little late so I was worried it might all be gone, but I was in luck. Waiters in indescribably pink shirts were still floating around the miniature Edwardian tables. Their sliver trays adorned with tempura prawns,  green chilli salsa nibbles, bite size pies, and for dessert tiny cupcakes and cream filled meringues. It was great, I set my self up on a prime waiter route and filled up to my hearts content.

Now on to the less important stuff, like the gaming and the film…. ok, they were important too, but just a bit more everyday. The consoles were rammed when I arrived so I casually snuck about waiting for some unsuspecting fool to lay their controller down for just a fraction of a second. Then I saw my opportunity, the controller was on the table, the man was turning away and I leapt into position. It was all mine, the success of the take over temporarily blinded me to the act that I had managed to bag myself a sports game. I was deflated, but decided to give it a go anyway.

Sporty and dark, what more can you ask for?

If you have a bit of a sadistic streak  I now thoroughly recommend Trials HD. Not a game I had ever considered playing but there is a small masterpiece hidden away inside. This is a Trials game, as the name suggests, so you drive your motorbike over bits of wood and metal pretending to be ramps until you get to the end of the course. The best thing about the whole experience is the overly used rag-doll physics, your character is so floppy you just want to shake him. Leaning too far forward on a jump makes him crash head first into the landing zone, creating a tantalising splatter of blood before he slides so satisfactorily off his bike to his doom. He hits everything, with limbs bouncing about and head lolling. I don’t think I made it round a single track all the way, it was just so glorious watching how his flying corpse interacted with the different jutting out stuff strewn about. Before I had the chance to tire of Trials HD and change game a nice lady ushered us out and into a mini cinema. I was sad to leave my squishy motorbike man, but even sadder that the only other woman in the midst of an Xbox community event was just there to chaperone us about.

The mini cinema in the Soho Hotel. Sadly all the chairs were red when I was there.
The mini cinema in the Soho Hotel. Sadly all the chairs were red when I was there.

I hadn’t given Green Zone much attention except to acknowledge it as a potential thing to see if I was really bored. I enjoy Bourne but somehow the tag line of ‘Bourne gone epic’ on every bus made me suspicious of its actual worth. Of course we had to start with the obligatory introduction from our host, Xbox Live’s  community manager. He informed us that Live is about more than just gaming, it is a whole social experience. With the launch of Facebook and downloadable movies people could live their online lives through the console. In the month of March this service will be even more special due to the addition of all three Bourne films available for download. So there.

Yey, it's Matty D in all his camo glory. Pity everything he's saying into that mic is the most boring stuff in the Universe.
Yey, it's Matty D in all his camo glory.

The film started, I was way too close to the screen and felt slightly overwhelmed, then it all made sense.The first 20 minutes of Green Zone are like sitting behind your mate playing some three year old next gen FPS. It’s dry and dusty, there are palm trees, the soldiers are moving about in small groups with the leader providing one sentence dialogue and plenty of wavey hand movements, and the explosions are big, grainy and yellow. Ubisoft or EA could just run it as their next advertising campaign for just about anything.  Sadly a gamer would probably demand more action, more realistic characters, more stuff on screen, and generally just a bit more happening. I can see that it is the perfect film to sit a bunch of Live gamers in front of. Presumably the audience was all made up of competition winners from various sites and forums that Microsoft had approached, and presumably they were asked to run a community competition on an FPS to select the attendees. So logically the only way to amuse said crowd is to stick with what they know.

The rest of the film felt more like a movie, but still lacked an interesting plot or characters with any depth. If you are tempted to go and see it in the cinema may I recommend that you just rent the Bourne trilogy and treat yourself to something worth taking a few hours over. Then again, maybe this was the whole point and I have just fulfilled a marketing dream.  Microsoft show a rubbish film that wets your appetite for Bourne, you go home to the comfort of Live, and lo and behold look whats on offer for the tiny price of your soul….







8 responses to “Green Zone and Trials HD”

  1. Simon avatar

    🙂 Jonathan Ross didn’t much care for Green Zone either, but then his opinion has plummeted in my eyes since he said that he adored Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland.

    I think something brown has exploded in the Soho hotel’s mini cinema.

  2. arc14716 avatar

    I don’t care much for seeing the movie. Movie ticket prices out here are getting more and more expensive, especially with them adding a surcharge for 3D movies.

    I would say someone likes cowhide or cow patterns on those seats. That’s what it looks like to me.

  3. Eleanor avatar

    We get the 3D surcharge too, I’m trying to hang on to my last pair of glasses so I never have to pay for them again.

  4. Markatansky avatar

    Matt Damon!

  5. The Rook avatar
    The Rook

    I loved Trials HD. Have never seen the Bourne movies. And never heard of Green Zone. I imagine, me being me (and I am me very much), I will watch the Bourne movies before I play the Bourne game (which I own).

  6. arc14716 avatar

    @ Eleanor: I thought you were supposed to return those glasses after you were done with those. There’s a dropbox or something at the exit when you leave.

    I can’t recall watching a Matt Damon movie in the past. I haven’t been to the movies in a while.

  7. Rachel avatar

    Great article Eleanor. I have been to the Soho hotel to see Bourne Ultimatum which almost made me sick as I was too close to the front. I am going to have to see Green Zone as I worked on it on and off for 2 years (as an extra). I am assuming you didn’t see me. I won’t get my hopes up.

  8. Eleanor avatar

    Awww no, wasn’t looking out for you. I feel like I need to watch it again now!

    I’m glad you had the sick feeling too, my friend told me I was being stupid, but I was quite far back and still found it really overwhelming to be so close the screen.

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