October32014

MOVIES - SEPTEMBER

The Fault in our Stars is one of the saddest movies I’ve ever seen, even expecting that going in. Awful things happening to amazing people. (Reminds me of The Passion of the Christ in that way— and maybe RoboCop.) I can be a real dick about movies lacking production values, but the most important quality I hope to find in movies, beyond acting/writing/direct, etc. is an emotional connection between it and myself. Even if a movie/show/game lacks in significant areas of production or artistry, none of that matters if I’m blindly in love with the characters. I don’t know if The Fault in our Stars is of any cinematic quality because I was too enamored with these kids and their moment to moment living/suffering to notice anything else. 

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS - I completely lost myself somewhere in between the predictable sentimentality and teenage wish-fulfillment (literally Make-A-Wish is in the movie) and I loved it
DIE HARD - NOW I HAVE A MACHINE GUN, HO-HO-HO
GUARDIANS OT GALAXY - I think I appreciate more of how financially successful/beloved this new, odd ensemble is over actually liking the story itself, but it is super cool. I am Groot
EDGE OF TOMORROW - Surprisingly good, interesting and creative mechanics (exo-suits, obscure aliens, time manipulation)
ROBOCOP - Outside of appreciating the scifi elements, not much here for me

2PM

SEPTEMBER - TV

SHIELD S4 - Started great back in S1 and just keeps getting better
FAMILY GUY S11 - Tired of the series but more than half of the eps are still genuinely funny/shocking

4AM

SEPTEMBER - GAMES

Still can’t get enough of FTL. Seems like the possibilities of managing and upgrading your ship are endless, kindling a desire to restart fresh and try something completely different. Team Ico’s recent announcement of Vane got me into replaying Shadow of the Colossus, which holds up pretty well.

FTL - Hope more games copy anything from this, still unique and fun
DOOM 2 - First time playing, pretty badass. Better than the first
SHADOW OT COLOSSUS - Looks great, plays well, emotional xp
STEAMWORLD DIG - Addicting, fun, pretty short, excited for sequel

September32014

MOVIES - AUGUST

High Fidelity could be a sequel to Say Anything. Not counting spiritual sequels, I love connecting otherwise totally unrelated movies that either star similar characters or have a ton in common elsewhere. The Big Chill could be a sequel to The Breakfast Club. This Cracked article does a great job of it. I guess it’s a similar feeling to watching Marvel hero movies post Avengers, like there is a bigger story/world than just the one you’re seeing at the moment. 

I also disliked, though appreciated, Mad Max. I know I’ve been spoiled worlds over on post-apocalyptic settings, but even the plot/chatacters/etc didn’t grab me at all. It was however the perfect prelude to watching MST3K’s Warrior of the Lost World, a total Mad Max ripoff.

Also Robin Williams was big last month. Still have to see What Dreams May Come, re-watch Dead Poets and Good Will Hunting

SAY ANYTHING - Very 80s, very sweet. Predictable but sincere and fun
THE BIG CHILL - Ensemble cast, 24hr slice of life, sad that it ended
HIGH FIDELITY - Very 90s, Cusack is cool, favorite Jack Black role.
THE BIRDCAGE - Great fun. Just shy of Meet the Parents level
CAPTAIN AMERICA - Slick and cool. Bit too full of itself, convoluted
DEATH TO SMOOCHY - Rare performances, weak narrative
TREASURE PLANET - Quite pretty, didn’t get into it much
MST3K:WotLW - Awful movie, hysterical riffing. YAY MEGAWEAPON
Mad Max - Enjoyed 2, but could not care less for this. Impressive practical effects. More interested in the source material outside the film

September12014

AUGUST - TV

Nothing recent has grabbed my attention quite like RECTIFY. I’ve re-watched scenes from a few episodes; both musical sequences and dialogue-heavy. It’s not the mystery or plot that makes the show for me, it’s the moments showcasing its craft, direction, acting, etc. (Rectify was already posted last month, and I’m sticking with first-time viewings for the most part)

VICE - Needs no explanation. I only wish the episodes and seasons were longer. I want more of this.
THE SHIELD S3 - The show gets better and better. Sexy, crazy, cool
AVATAR TLA - Rewatched the entire series, still just as surprisingly captivating. 
EASTBOUND & DOWN S4 - Still fun and ridiculous, most interesting plot for the series so far. 

7AM

AUGUST - GAMES

Boy did I get back into Binding of Isaac. I took a yearlong break after maybe 5 hours logged, then some new trailer or sequel announcement infected my brain and suddenly I’m over 30hrs in. I’ve only recently stopped after my first finishing of the “real” endgame. So easy to pick up and play for a chunk of time… many chunks

WALKING DEAD S2 - Better, more intense and gut-wrenching than the first
STALKER CALL OF PRIPYAT - Weak story. World and survivalist gameplay are better than the first. So glad I took a chance on the series
BINDING OF ISAAC WotL - DLC makes it amazing, so so many surprises, all acquired via high skill or just dumb luck
RAYMAN JUNGLE RUN - Impressive and fun, mimics the console game beautifully

August22014

MOVIES - JULY

More of my recent Russian media fascination with The Return (note: Russia looks like the most fucking depressing place on planet Earth) and Laser Time strikes again with another handful of commentary tracks (for Predator, Running Man.) 

FARGO - First time viewing. Ya, I get it now.
THE RETURN - Beautiful visuals, quality storytelling, don’t go to Russia
RISE otPotA - 2nd viewing and just as good, I love the ideas and characters
THE RAID - I liked DREDD, which copied this exactly. This is also kickass.
PREDATOR - Solid action flick, special fx still impress, cool music too
SUNSHINE - If the band Muse made a movie about going to the sun it would be something like this. Not Danny Boyle’s best but not a bad sci-fi experience
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 - Poor sequel, a missed opportunity
DAWN otPotA - Predictable plot, forgettable characters. Interesting “first contact” interactions. Memorable intro credits (ala Dawn of the Dead remake)
RUNNING MAN - 80’s campy, ridiculous but kinda fun. 

2PM

JULY - TV

RECTIFY - The cinematic elegance and scenic gravity of Breaking Bad with the small town peculiarities of Twin Peaks. I can’t wait for the next episode…
AVATAR THE LAST AIRBENDER - Yip-Yip! Stellar on all aspects, easily one of the best ‘kids’ shows ever created
THE SHIELD S2 - Cool, smart and sexy. Glad I started this 7 season series
MASTERS OF SEX S2 - Growing on me more and more. Wonderful characters, intriguing plot
EASTBOUND & DOWN S3 - Shamelessly funny, smarter than it appears

10AM

JULY - GAMES

Russia is making all sorts of headlines lately so I figured it a perfect time to play STALKER and finish the Metro series. I like me some good apocalyptic environments, and the surface areas in Metro are freakin fantastic. STALKER went from tedious (Far Cry without vehicles) to addicting over the first few hours. Something clicked and I just had to get that new gun/suit/area/etc. 

DIABLO 3 - Great couch co-op, just really fun to play
METRO LAST LIGHT - Ideal sequel, rich and unique atmosphere
STALKER SoC - Took a few hours but now I’m in it till the end, solid and scary
SHADOW COMPLEX - Needs a sequel badly, still plays really well
GAME DEV STORY - Addictive and cute, rewarding 
OUTLAND - Disappointing compared to similar 2D platformers, pretty art

July32014

JUNE - MOVIES

X-MEN DOFP - Best movie I’ve seen in theaters for a while, excellent fun
CINEMA PARADISO - I’ve had Cinema Paradiso on my watch list since forever, so I guess I had unrealistic expectations of it. It was the longer version, and lovers of the “original” don’t love it either. Just didn’t grab me
THE LEGO MOVIE - Surprisingly enjoyable, refreshing reversal of cliches/tropes at an explosive pace
THE ACT OF KILLING - Another unmet expectation. It leaves too much to interpretation, however intentional it may be. I disliked the entire viewing experience (again, the desired affect)

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