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Showing posts from March, 2014

Game Review: The Walking Dead: the Complete First Season (PS Vita)

The Walking Dead: the CompleteFirst Season won nearly 100 "Game of the Year" awards in 2012 and with good reason. Its storytelling is superb, the voice acting is excellent, and the script can go from tender to brutal in a heartbeat. This is a game with a lot of heart and a lot of brain, and I'm not talking about the ones splattered all over the streets. (It is the zombie apocalypse, after all.)

In the game, players take control of Lee Everett, a convicted killer on the way to the big house when the world goes to hell. After gaining his freedom and encountering Clementine, an orphaned girl, Lee must decide how to keep them both alive in the world where the dead walk.

The game is episodic and adapts itself to the choices players make, usually in the form of dialogue or a critical action such as pushing away zombies. For instance, in a tense situation among fellow survivors, Lee could either be reasonable or aggressive. Or, if a herd swarms the group, Lee frequently has to …

Movie Review: The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Wes Anderson's latest artwork comes with a broad palette of vivid interiors, a gently-delivered lesson in the horrors of war, and his usual array of tools: snappy dialogue, charismatic leads, whimsical music, and an unusual plot. The Grand Budapest Hotel is beautiful. Full stop.

The movie takes place in Zubrowka, a fictional European country. The narrative is essentially a quadruple-decker sandwich: it starts out as an introduction of the country's national hero, a writer; then moves to the writer speaking about his greatest work, a book about the eponymous hotel; next comes the writer in his younger days in the hotel itself; and finally comes the main story: the relationship between a boy and the man in charge of The Grand Budapest Hotel during the final days of its glory, on the eve of WWII. (I apologize for the clumsy analogy. I am still hungry as I write this.)

The film starts slow but springs to life once Ralph Fiennes' character comes on screen. Fiennes plays M. Gus…

Movie Review: Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

If you're looking for a light snack of a movie to take your mind off missing planes or Russian imperialism, Hansel & Gretel can fill that void in your soul! This action-horror movie boasts a cheerful "fuck it!" attitude and in no way takes itself seriously, which allows everyone involved to pull off ridiculous action, dialogue, tech, and plot. Thankfully, the movie is of the bad-LOL variety, rather than the bad-CRINGE type, like Van Helsing.

Strips of the German fairy tale are filleted and served as the prologue. Little Hansel and Gretel are abandoned in the woods by their father, and they find their way to a house made of candy. The witch, wroth at their most impolite eating of her domicile, tries to fatten up Hansel for a bit of Boy-B-Q, but ends up becoming grilled herself when Gretel fights back and frees her brother. The shitty editing that shall rear its ugly head throughout the movie makes its proud first appearance here.

The opening credits track what happen…

I Finished Reading A Game of Thrones!

Yes, yes, fellow nerds, I'm aware the proper title of this series of books is A Song of Ice and Fire. Anyway, I can't wax too poetic about George R.R. Martin's fantasy novels because Fragrant Husband has yet to read them and cannot abide spoilers. By contrast, I hate not knowing what's going to happen, so I read all five books in about a month. Mwa-ha-haaaa, try me now, HBO!

The books start out solemn and become DARK. Martin throws in heaping amounts of incest, rape, betrayal, murder, deception, cannibalism, and all manner of human corruption. As a result, every little victory earned by the main characters, especially the most popular ones (Tyrion, Arya, Dany, and Jon), is like the sweet nectar of the gods.  

Martin's narrative style (point-of-view characters) is effective in showing the epic scale of, say, war or religious fanaticism, while keeping readers grounded through a strongly developed personality. It goes without saying that characters don't have all…

Sour Cream is My Nemesis

Yesterday I succumbed to my desire for nachos. I forgot to shout, “SOUR CREAM ON THE SIDE!” so the giant dish was brought out with the vile stuff squirted on everything. No matter, said I, wolfing down half of it.

An hour later, I was in agony. Demonic forces stabbed daggers into my stomach. As Fragrant Husband looked on in concern, I kept eructing uncomfortably in the hopes of expelling the noxious byproducts of the thrice-damned lactic acid bacteria used to ferment that foulest of dairy products.

Alas, I had no choice but to forcefully expel the contents of my tummy. And then I felt better…until my gastrointestinal tract, already on high alert from the presence of mysterious bacteria, decided to contribute some flatus to the expulsion.

It was bad, readers. I attribute my remaining married to cosmic intervention, possibly from that asteroid that broke up. Its blood (mineral?) sacrifice shall not be in vain!

This pointless post brought to you by Friday. Friday: I give up.