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Showing posts from June, 2017

Movie Review: Wonder Woman (2017)

Wonder Woman, indeed! The DC superhero's origin movie is a triumph, anchored by Gal Gadot's performance and director Patty Jenkins' focus on what makes the character great: the purity of her strength and purpose.

In the film version, Diana of Themyscira grows up among the Amazons, who are sworn to defend mankind. When an "above average" specimen (according to him) crashes into their hidden refuge, Diana leaves the island with him so she can fulfill what she sees as her sacred purpose: to save the innocent and defeat evil.

The movie takes its time building up Diana, which is the key to its success. Gadot is phenomenal as the goddess in her various incarnations: as a restless young woman questioning her mother; as a stranger to the modern world; as the one person you want on your side in any fight; and finally, as a true friend of and believer in humanity's light. In particular, her fish-out-of-water moments in London serve both as comic relief and further insi…

Toddler Potty Training: Finally, Success!

This post is dedicated to parents struggling with potty training.

Last year, my coworker told me that his daughter, at age 2.5, suddenly decided she was going to use the potty, and did so. Additional anecdotal evidence from other parents in my circles seemed to confirm that girls learn to use the potty sooner than boys.

My own experience was a match: at two and a half, Junior was perfectly content to have his toilet attached to his butt, as it were. Oh, he knew when he had to poop, but he would deny it even when caught red-faced and in mid-exertion. He refused to stop playing to empty his bladder or colon. It seemed we would have to wait until he showed signs of being ready AND interested in being potty trained.

I was especially eager to leave diapers behind because cleaning up Junior’s poopy butt and diaper was gross and, I began to suspect more and more, entirely avoidable. He knows when he has to go, he just won’t admit it! Conflicting viewpoints compounded my #firstworldproblems:…

Game Review: Ikenie to yuki no setsuna (PS Vita)

Ikenie to yuki no setsuna (US version: I Am Setsuna) is a melancholy game that mostly overcomes its flaws. It's designed for players to experience "the authentic JRPG style of yesteryear" (per its official website), and it certainly succeeds in capturing some of that magic. I made the mistake of playing in the original Japanese -- more on that below -- but overall it's an enjoyable JRPG.

One-sentence summary: You are a masked mercenary accompanying Setsuna on her pilgrimage to sacrifice herself so humans can have a 10-year respite from monsters.

Snarky summary: Chrono Trigger's Chrono protects Final Fantasy X's Yuna together with a formulaic band of weirdos. Fwendship!

The game's strongest point is probably its beautiful music. Composer Tomoki Miyoshi keeps it simple by using only a piano as accompaniment to your adventure. The soundtrack works because of the strength of each individual composition; standouts include "Beginning of the End," whi…