Archive for July, 2008

Superheroes you say?

I find that I can’t be the only person in the world that gets marginally bummed when he hears responses like:
“Oh yeah, The Maltese Falcon, sounds familiar…”

There’s been a general malaise toward the classic films of the world.  This feeling, that we should be quarentening these great works to Turner Classic Movies for the over 70 crowds in nursing homes.   It’s as though because there aren’t massive explosions, girls getting naked, and cool gadgets, that these movies are some how lacking, and substandard.  As though because these movies rely on words more than actions, that dialogue somehow makes a film worse.

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July 29, 2008 at 12:43 am 1 comment

Kurenai

Kurenai [Kurenai, ]

PLOT/STORYLINE: 10/10

Kurenai has an amazing storyline to it, one of the best I have seen in recent years. It follows the tale of Kurenai Shinkurou, a young male teenager who works as a “mediator” (Someone who specializes in solving other people’s problems). After requesting harder jobs from his boss, Juuzawa Benkia, he gets what may very well be the hardest job he’ll ever have. He’s placed in charge of Kuhoin Murasaki. Rich, snobbish and spoiled, Murasaki provides quite a challenge to Shinkurou. Unlike other bodyguard jobs, Murasaki is seven, and obviously needs more care. Shinkurou has to fix her spoiled nature as well as ensure she remains safe while he is at school during the day.

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July 25, 2008 at 4:23 am Leave a comment

The Maine Double Feature

Two weeks ago, The Maine released their debut album Can’t Stop Won’t Stop.  Currently touring, The Maine are an interesting blend of pop and alternative.   Their sound is in line with that of bands like Cute Is What We Aim For, All Time Low, Something Corporate, and We The Kings.  That being said, it’s not for everyone.

The Maine‘s lead singer John O’Callaghan is thankfully less whiny than Cute Is What We Aim For‘s Shaant Hacikyan.  The vocals are driven by sincerity and stay well within Callaghan range.  Relying more on clever lyrics, the music maintains a fairly steady rhythm throughout the CD’s 12 tracks.   While this makes it easy to pick up the album from anywhere, it make it impossible to determine where you left off, or that the song has changed.

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July 21, 2008 at 2:38 am Leave a comment

4th Edition: Natural 20 or Critical Failure?

When the words “Dungeons and Dragons” are said, people react in a few ways. Some might roll their eyes and snort derisively through the nose (a maneuver that makes them look and sound a little like a pit bull, usually). Others quirk an eyebrow and question the speaker; perhaps they’re interested, but perhaps they’re only curious because of the opportunity to demean the sad and lonely nerds. A few that I’ve met have warned that only Satan lies down that path (I sold my soul for a natural 20).

Me? I get excited. Dungeons & Dragons has been a part of my social repertoire since I was in high school. My first experience was with 2nd edition AD&D, a horrid age of unnecessarily complex rules, presided over by the dark and tyrannical THAC0 (To Hit Armor Class 0). That didn’t last so long. In high school, a friend convinced me to give it another shot, during the 3.5th edition era, a time when negative modifiers were no longer good (ever), and feats were as important a part of character creation as classes and skills.

Having bought, to date, over $400 worth of 3rd and 3.5th edition, I was understandably bitter when 4th edition was announced, though optimistic that particularly annoying rules might be changed (I hated grappling, it never made sense). A part of me yearned for a system that was more balanced and player-friendly, while my wallet vehemently rejected the idea. As details leaked out, I grew excited by the changes; maybe this would be fun after all.

As it turns out, it is. (more…)

July 20, 2008 at 1:57 am 3 comments

Hellboy II: The Golden Army

Three things you should know about me and Hellboy II:

1. I didn’t watch the first one

2. I haven’t read any of the Hellboy comics

3. I was primarily attracted to go see the second one because I really liked Pan’s Labyrinth, and I knew that Guillermo del Toro was directing it. (I didn’t find out until afterward that he directed the first one as well.)

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July 13, 2008 at 10:37 pm Leave a comment

Falcon Pu–…what!?

Despite the growing stack of CDs that I’ve been intending to review for the past several weeks, I found myself instead drawn to write about my absolute horror at the release of Nintendo’s most recent offering .  Captain Rainbow seems to have gotten mixed up, taken a wrong turn at topical (or possibly tropical), and decided that in fact, American heros frequently dress up in rainbow colored leotards with magical rainbow powers.

Excuse me, what?

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July 9, 2008 at 8:58 pm Leave a comment

No Fights In Glasgow, But They Have The Same Bus

Walk With Me In Hell

Deep down, everyone wants to be a rock star. It’s a lifestyle that is glorified as being full of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. People play Rock Band because they want to be rock stars. People devote their lives to playing in local bands because they want to be rock stars (a decision that leaves many 35 year-olds living in their parent’s basements). But rarely does any fan have a chance to see the real lifestyle from the band’s point of view. Most music DVD’s tend to be 90% live performance, with maybe 15 minutes of backstage footage, consisting mainly of drunken debauchery. However, as anyone music aficionado would tell you, no camera can ever capture the intensity or true nature of a live show. So, rather then capture something that will top out as mediocre, Lamb of God tries to capture the trials and tribulations that come with the touring process. And one thing becomes very clear; the life of a rock star is not nearly as cool as Rolling Stone makes it out to be.

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July 8, 2008 at 4:04 am Leave a comment

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