In the meantime, I will be updating my Instagram page and will have some juicy travel posts for when I get back. Maybe I'll become inspired and begin writing posts while abroad (as long as I can get passed the infamous Chinese censorship).Read More
Life Is Strange is yet another of those choice dependant games that seem to be quite popular these days (thanks, Telltale). Unlike most of the "episodic interactive drama graphic adventure" video games, LIS allows you to make your choice, see the immediate result and rewind time and chose the better option.Read More
A nice change from the Telltale games whereas the choices are more for fun, the choices in Until Dawn truly have an impact on how the game ends. While on the surface it seems like your cliche slasher movie (sorry, game), Until Dawn has a more profound and lasting message… if you’re willing to look for it.Read More
Oh, Blair Witch Project how you terrified me when I was ten. You terrified me to the point that I was scared to go camping or even walk outside of my house in the dark (FYI: I live in the semi-woods).
Oh, Blair Witch (the 2016 sequel) how you didn't do anything.Read More
Kingdom Hearts still exists peeps and the third one is a long way away. The newest introduction to the series, Kingdom Hearts 2.8 Final Chapter Prologue (yes folks, that is the actual name. It's the Dark of The Moon of Kingdom Hearts), has been delayed from a December release to January. But who really cares?Read More
You know the movie is going to be shit when they have to heavily borrow scenes from the previous installments to try to sell it. With the vampire and werewolf subgenre being as saturated as it is, I'm surprised that Underworld still got the budget to make a final (PLEASE LORD) installment .Read More
Preface: I dislike modern horror movies. That's not to say that the older horror flicks are better and that modern flicks suck. I, personally, hate the direction the genre has taken. Most rely too heavily on jump scares (Paranormal Activity anyone?) or disgusting gore fests (Saw, Hostel, 2013's Evil Dead?). Where is the suspense of Alien (Sci-Fi horror still counts!) or the quirkiness of Wes Craven's (RIP) films. I may be completely wrong in my assessment but many mainstream entries lack that "horror" element and reek of laziness.
Don't Breathe was most excellent. By playing on one of our (read: my) scariest nightmares of being alone in my house during a home invasion, the plot immediately sets the mood without much setup. The plot is simple -- break into a blind man's house and steal his money -- yet it turns into one of the most warped movies you'll see (this year).
Three friends -- Rocky (Jane Levy), Money (Daniel Zovatto) and Alex (Dylan Minnette) want to escape their deadbeat lives in Detroit for the bright lights of California. Rocky's arc is a common one -- a druggie who wants to leave her shit parent for greater pastures and a better life. The only problem? Money.
Rocky's boyfriend, Money (who has no background story or arc -- you know what that means) convinces the other two to rob an old blind veteran with a small fortune (from a legal settlement) stashed somewhere in his house. (FYI: The character's name is The Blind Man. Stupid yet terrifying eh?) And thus the story begins.
What follows is a cat and mouse chase between the three youngsters and the dude from Avatar (Stephen Lang). The blind man proves to be more than capable of defending himself despite his disability and the thieves find themselves trapped.
Yet despite its predictability and simplistic plot, the film keeps you fully engrossed in its twisted plot. While you feel sympathy for the young thieves, they are breaking into a guy's house to rob him of his money (that he received after his daughter was run over and killed) -- so the blind vet has every reason to defend himself.... that is until you realize the gruesome truth. (I will never look at a turkey baster the same way... ew ew ew).
However: two thirds in, the film enters the realm of disbelief. (e.g. the girl falls from a high distance, lands on her neck and she's perfectly A-OKAY -- sorry but nah, there's no way). At this point, I just want it to end: Stephen Lang is terrifying in his role. He barely speaks throughout the movie and yet I'm at awe of the man and his ability. Say hello to your new Cable friends.
Final Verdict: Don't Breathe preys on multiple primal fears -- dark, home invasion, etc. -- that helps elevate the simple plot to something more sinister and twisted. Stephen Lang's portrayal of the mostly silent Blind Man and the brilliant directing from Fede Alvarez and his cinematographer cement this film as a modern horror classic. 7/10
Early August, Telltale released their newest series that I've been anxiously waiting for: 'BATMAN - The Telltale Series' (wonder how long it took them to come up with that title?).
On its own, Telltale Batman is a well in-depth and engaging story. The characters have clear motivations that push the story forward and set up what is sure to be an interesting tale. Being able to control Batman/Bruce Wayne's every decision (from who he trusts to what he says) is extremely exciting. But therein lies the draw of these Telltale games, is it not? And playing as freaking Batman? The world's greatest detective (sorry Sherlock)? Fun-fucking-tastic.
The problem? Batman. There have been so many different iterations of Batman's story that one can't help but refer to them. What path will Telltale follow? The Killing Joke? Year One? The Long Halloween? The Dark Knight Returns? It's hard to separate this version from the others even though it's clear that Telltale is trying to forge it's own Batman tale.
Another issue? THE ANTAGONIST? As in, who is it? As much as I enjoyed delving into the story of Batman (but seriously, who doesn't?), there was not much that happened. Introduction after introduction after introduction (Telltale, I get you're trying to make your own story but goddamn if people don't know who these characters already then get the hell out of Dodge already.)
AND SPOILER: BATMAN'S PARENTS ARE DEAD. If you weren't aware of this insignificant fact then prepare for Telltale to remind you EVERY. FIVE. MINUTES.
Following the typical Telltale formula: characters are wonderfully introduced, you have no idea what is going on and you make some super tough decisions.
In typical Batman formula:
Super sleuthing and detecting? Check.
Depressed Batman (even though he's rich as hell)? Check.
Meaningful Alfred quotes? Check.
All jokes aside, the first episode truly did a wonderful job of setting up the story and leaving many (read: too many) unanswered questions -- causing you to cough up the extra cash for the season pass. (Side note: if you just pay for one episode, it's a waste of money. Either buy the season pass or skip it altogether.)
Verdict: This is simply an introduction to the Telltale version of the Batman story. Characters are introduced, the conflict is set up and Batman's parents are dead. (Oh shit, did you forget too?). The story presentation is excellent, the playable fun factor is not. 7/10
The story features the talents of Troy Baker (what isn't he in?), Laura Bailey (Fetch!), Bailey's husband (aka Travis Willingham) and Erin Yvette (Telltale game MVP).
I just want to note that I'm on vacation in Punta Cana right now while writing this post. That is how good of an impression this game made on me.
No Man's Sky is a completist's dream, which is basically me (it took me an entire year to finish Dragon Age: Inquisition with all those side quests...) There are many galaxies to explore and planets to harvest to extinction. It's perfection! It's beautiful! I want to live there. There is just so many aliens and SO MUCH GOLD TO BE MADE. Once I started I just couldn't stop. Forewarning: this game may cause addiction and loss of sleep.
I had no intention of buying NMS until after I finished my long list of games to finish (which by the way, is just too long 😭 -- looking at you Witcher and Fallout). But it just looked so pretty that I couldn't resist, ahh!
At first, it seemed boring with its mundane tasks. It literally just throws you into the game with no explanation. The idiot that I am -- I didn't get that there were objectives to complete. Sooo, I spent a better part of my first hour walking around and hacking stuff. (I'm still confused how I lasted an hour).
When I finally managed to fly up into the air, I realized the sheer vastness of the game and how much there was to do. There really is no point to the game other than exploration and discovery. By meeting different aliens, you learn the weird language. By mining different crystals, you survive. You get your frustrations out by killing off those pesky sentinels. I named each planet after various members of my family, so if you ever run into the Jiji galaxy, that'd be me.
This is what Destiny or Star Wars: Battlefront should have been. Exploring different planets and fighting through hordes of aliens. Not just sticking to two or three planets doing the same tireless missions over and over. And then having to pay to attempt a new mission?? Dislike, lame and no thank you. (Also fuck you both for costing $60 bucks for nada).
Verdict: I can't give No Man's Sky a proper rating until I've played it fully. I've only explored about, like what, 2% of the game? But as a first impression, it definitely impressed the pineapple off this girl. 🍍
Sorry puddin, but Suicide Squad was just so disappointing. Ugh, I don't even know where to begin. I had such high hopes for it too: Jared Leto, Viola Davis, Will Smith, Margot Robbie -- so much wasted potential.
(Side note: HUGE Jared Leto fan over here. Jordan Catalano <3)
That's not to say that the movie wasn't entertaining -- because it was. The first half was solid. Humor! Joker! Batman! Heart Wrenching Deadshot daughter scene! Viola Davis being all badass. But when the suicide squad finally gets together, it takes a sharp freaking nosedive. Only two (three?) characters remain interesting. It becomes repetitive, predictable and it SUCKS.
Guardians of the Galaxy you are not, Suicide Squad. Stop copying Marvel and start doing your own thing DC! Goddamn.
At no point did I feel that the suicide squad was actually embarking on a "suicide" mission. Slipknot is the only character to literally "explode" off the scene and he is in the movie for a total of ten minutes? Show of hands who actually gave a shit.
The battles were too easily won and the baddies posed no real threat. The fights scenes were badly directed with terrible editing. The villain was probably one of the worst I've seen (and I thought Apocalypse was a bad villain). Too much exposition and talks of how "badass" these protagonists are but when it came down to it, she just stood there.... moving her body back and forth. There was no evidence to back those "badass" assertions. Show don't tell my friends.
Enchantress/June Moone, ugh. This is all I have to say about that -- Cara Delevigne is a gorgeous women and a fantastic model but an actress she is not. (Scary thought -- she is starring in Valerian with Dane Dehaan and it's directed by Luc Besson. Lord help us.)
And the Joker -- what a pathetic joke. His character was reduced to nothing more than a psychotic romantic sideline character and... a gangster? Seriously, can someone explain that scene with Common -- we get it, they're crazy. For hyping up a character so much in the trailer and only giving him maybe 15 minutes of screen time -- what's up with that?
Harley Quinn is the one redeeming quality. Harley has been my favorite villain in the Batman universe since her introduction in the animated series. Naturally, I was particularly critical and skeptical of Margot Robbie's portrayal of Harley. But damn! Robbie is to Harley Quinn like Michelle Pfeiffer is to Catwoman. Perfect casting choices. But can we please go into more detail as to how she could fall in love with Joker. I get his Jared Leto -- but he's a fucking psychopathic and abusive killer!
AND THEY INCLUDED TANGO OF EVIL, ALEX ROSS HOMAGE FRIENDS:
Final Verdict: With the studio cuts and rough editing, there is no fluidity to the story. The villain posed no real threat and created zero danger. Ultimately, the film wasted its cast's talents on subpar writing and awful direction. Feeling some low expectations for Justice League. 5/10
SIDE NOTE: My brother pointed out (which I agree with): they should have done a quick montage of different missions solidifying the "twisted family" vibe that they seemed to be going for. There was no real camaraderie between the squad -- aside from Deadshot and Harley -- which caused the second half to suffer.
P.S. Did Katana even talk? Aside from talking to her sword and backstory, totally forgot she was there.
(side note: this review is solely based on Vol. 1 of the series.)
If I could review this story in one word: BOOORING.
It was nothing more than a brief introduction to the series and the characters. Much of the story is spent learning each of the character's traits and the death of a nonsignificant character. Listen, I love dialogue-heavy books. Let's be honest. I spend most of my time "dialoguing" with other people but damn, there is so much I can take. I want some action, some movement of the plot, SOMETHING.
The only character that really stood out to me was Ellie, but only because she was a ghost (Beetlejuice anyone?). This is, in the most basic terms, a fluff story. A zombie fluff story.
Let's be honest here: when I don't like something, I can be a bit (read: overly) harsh. I will admit that the seeds that were planted for the next story installment will pick up the pace. Plus it's beautifully drawn. That's the main attraction for graphic novels right? How it's drawn? I enjoyed looking at it more than I did reading it ha.
Will Gwen hook up with the guy who could (and would) kill her? Who is this mysterious Egyptian dude and what did he promise Gwen? Will Tan spill Spot's secret? All this and more in the next installment of iZombie! ..... but is it really worth it?
Final Verdict: BORING BORING BORING. 😴 Will I read the next installment? Sure, but only because I have to finish something once I start it. My advice: skip the graphic novel and watch the show instead. 2/5 stars.
One word: APPETIZING (see what I did there 😂)
Huge fan over here. The show is the reason why I even read the graphic novel originally. But only after reading it did I realize: it's very loosely adapted from its source material. The main character doesn't even have the same name for God's sake! (Gwen vs Liv)
Here's what you need to know about the show:
- It's created by Rob Thomas aka the man behind Veronica Mars. (aka my favorite TV show marshmallows).
- The only "paranormal" character on the show is Liv (and the other zombie). Whereas the graphic novel has ghosts, were-terriers (I shit you not), the show does not. Thomas wanted to solely focus on Liv's experience as a paranormal living in this world.
- The opening theme is drawn by the original artist of the graphic novel... so that's cool.
- Did you like Warm Bodies? Well, iZombie is similar in the sense that Liv takes in a part of the person when she eats their brain (e.g. their memories, skills, and personality). Personally my favorite part of the show. It gives each episode a different twist on Liv and Rose McIver is quite talented.
- The second season just ended and it's been picked up for a third, so there's no better time to start watching it. Best part? It's on Netflix 😎
Final verdict: Funny, imaginative and refreshing. A new spin on an old tale. By no means perfect, the crime solving "psychic" zombie twist keeps the show from ever getting boring or repetitive. 4/5 stars.
Side note: Does anyone else not care for Major? Yeah, I get it dude, you're hot. But please get a new personality. Lowell + Liv 4ever.
When it comes down to it, the TV show has wittiness, plot development, and interesting (though a bit static) characters. The graphic novel has static characters and were-terriers (and vampires and mummies and ghosts and...). Too much paranormal is not a good thing, graphic novel iZombie: focus more on the girl and less on the zombie.