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. 



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



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



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)



For all the praise I’ve heard over the years, I knew The Shield was a safe bet, and it didn’t disappoint. I hope the following seasons (7?) are at least as good as the first. Rectify is solid. It’s similar to Breaking Bad in its pacing and under-the-surface tension, plus I’m a huge sucker for characters that are abnormal/asocial/etc

THE SHIELD - Explosive. The Wire on steroids, I love it
RECTIFY - Haunting, atmospheric and beautifully made. 



Diablo 2 is why I haven’t seen more movies this month. I had little expectations at first (because of its age) but it’s been weeks now, and I just need to finish one more quest…

DIABLO 2 - Only started to see how 3 evolved, and now I might finish it. Still really fun and addictive (just one more dungeon/item/etc…)
VANQUISH - Holds up well, incredible arcade adrenaline
THE SWAPPER - Dead Space meets Braid? Creepy pretty atmosphere and satisfying puzzling



Figured I’d balance out the awful sci-fi action flicks with some guaranteed-to-be-good foreign films, and it sorta worked. I only viewed the bottom three with hilarious commentary tracks posted by LaserTime which made them all worth it. Sorta. 

A SEPARATION - Really good family drama, get a glimpse of Iranian life
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR - Depicts love and relationships perfectly
WAITING FOR GUFFMAN - Parks & Recreation as a movie
GODZILLA - Excellent disaster fun, lame drama sideplot
SPLICE - Not scary or compelling as much as it tries to be
GODZILLA 98 - Awful followup to Independence Day, just Summer Stupid
PLANET OF THE APES - Lacks everything of its namesake, pointless
XMEN ORIGINS WOLVERINE - Impossible to watch without LT commentary



MISFITS - I love the soundtrack. The show is really special. Thrilling, grossly funny, touching and smart
CALIFORNICATION S7 - The writing remains fresh, and I’ve yet to see an episode in the entire series that did not make me at least laugh out loud (or tear up)
HOUSE OF CARDS S2 - More interesting than entertaining, but it’s both
TOM GOES TO THE MAYOR - Tim and Eric is all I need, though I want more. Neat little show



Although a lot of May was spent chipping away at Dark Souls 2 and yet another revisit to Minecraft (named my most recent worlds “Final, End, Last” etc), I did get into some new-ish stuff.

DOOM - How this is still really fun much less actually playable is beyond me
ANGRY BIRDS - I get it now. I don’t think I can stop, either
RISK OF RAIN - Cool style and music, simplistic gameplay
PVZ 2 - A proper sequel but bloated with micro-transactions, wish I could’ve paid upfront…



At a glance, I’m thinking my themes for this month were Romance and Alienation. I’d seen Perfume previously and am happy to say it holds up just fine… (I LOVE PERFUME’S OST.) Thor was a bit of a letdown, and Ender’s Game barely resonated with me on any level. I liked the book! Blue Caprice and Take Shelter are tidily comparable with their mentally ill protagonists, and Fruitvale Station with Hard Candy both deal with injustice. Hanna does everything, but not well. Anyway;

PERFUME - Psychopathic protagonist and lovely V/A is all I needs
THE SPECTACULAR NOW - A teen comedy as a serious drama
THE PAST - Starts out great. Overly complicated plot, soiling an otherwise delicate and relate-able situation
HANNA - Again, too complex for its own good, i.e., Gov’t conspiracy?!… The cool assassin-daughter survival story is great fun though
THOR TDW - Pretty cool, funny. Standard Marvel fare
TAKE SHELTER - Holy hell is Michael Shannon not just the craziest actor available. Watch him lose his shit yet again, now in the Midwest
BLUE CAPRICE - (DC Sniper movie) An apathetic perspective on their mental state (muttering WE WILL MURDER EVERYONE in a Walmart with no context or follow-up) demolishes any hope of understanding or connecting to these killers, which I guess… is the point… 
FRUITVALE STATION - (true story) Deifies the victim of Oscar as more of a Hero-Saint than an actual human being, which for me spoiled the message of “cops/the system is fucked up.” Didn’t feel this
HARD CANDY - Great acting from young Ellen Page. Also, she  really is Ellie. Otherwise, some overwrought plot points and far-reaching scenes take me completely out of the flick

ENDER’S GAME - Deadpan acting is a caveat of blue screen sci-fi epics (and weak directors). Lacks any humanity whatsoever

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