Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Dec 16 2014

10 Most Amazingly Devilish Embodiments of Satan in Film

Published by under Editorials,Lists,Movies

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Evil—We see it represented in a variety of ways in any number of Horror films. Various directors and writers try to mystify our senses with interpretations that are subtle and use some of the most mundane concepts. Like fear of the dark, fear of the unknown, and in some cases a combination of both and attempt at eloquent narratives of what lurks within.

Other films rely on levels of extremism—Larger amounts of blood, guts, gore; with myriad carnage and unbridled chaos. At least that’s what the production would like to believe you’re witnessing. While far other films use embodiment’s of creatures, monsters, interpretations of spiritual phenomena, and other things that we don’t want to encounter going bump in the night.

I love all of the above, because the basic rudimentary response these films want from us is to ‘feel’. And not in any sense of the word brought about by Bruce Lee or Yoda…to feel a primal response that inspires fight, flight, or even chilling catatonia. While some films fail at gaining these responses and instead gain laughter–judge that meritoriously if you choose. There are films that thrive on bringing out some of our greatest fears while bringing the perceived master of evil to life.

While there are many interpretations of the devil, all of them in some form or another are attempting to represent evil from its source—as believed to occur by 95% of the human population. The Devil, Lucifer, Satan, Iblis, Djinn (Jinn), Beelzebub, Moloch, Nidhogg, Ahriman, Mara, or any number of other invariably known titles that represent the embodiment of all evil.

Whichever representation you’ve seen, here are 10 amazingly cast and acted embodiment’s of evil, which we will now colloquially accept as ‘The Devil’, that are as haunting as they were enthralling to watch on the screen.

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6 responses so far


Dec 10 2014

What Everyone Has Gotten Wrong in the Grand Theft Auto 5 Prostitute Controversy

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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By now, everyone has heard that Australian iterations of Target and Kmart — unaffiliated with the American versions of the companies — have decided to remove all copies of Grand Theft Auto V from their store shelves. The decision was made after an online petition from Change.org with 40,000 plus signatures was effective at prompting the retail stores’ directors to comply with the wishes of the petitioners.

Gamers heard the news and took the internet by storm, with most of them disparaging retailers’ decision and decrying the move as censorship, sexism, and just plain ignorance. In fact, one can look directly underneath the petition to see commenters using their Facebook identities to insult and berate not just the intention of the petition, but anyone involved.

This sort of hyper-reactionary response has unfortunately begun to characterize a great deal of the gaming community, both in media portrayals and in the vast majority of visible opinions online. While all internet comments should be taken with a grain of salt, the ones clearly visible on multiple stories covering the issue reflect a common narrative held by people prone to aggressively defending the content of video games.

The fact is that while the Grand Theft Auto series may seem like an unfair target of frequent controversy, the particulars of this case are worth discussing rather than jumping to outright conclusions or worn out thought-terminating cliches. Continue Reading »

8 responses so far


Nov 28 2014

WhyThe Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1 Worked Despite Itself

Published by under Editorials,Movies

The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part 1

Call me a Negative Nancy, but I was immensely nervous going into The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 this last week.  Despite the incredibly high quality of the first two films, the third instalment in Suzanne Collin’s increasingly inaccurately named Hunger Games trilogy had everything going against it.

Since the film ultimately exceeded the promise of the previous films, it’s even now difficult to remember exactly what all the fuss was about.  I mean, why wouldn’t it be awesome?  It’s the Hunger Games after all!

While I could enumerate on any number of reason why Mockingjay Part 1 should have been a terrible film, I will limit myself to the main five concerns that I had before seeing the film: each of which was addressed by Francis Lawrence’s superb direction, Jennifer Lawrence’s riveting performance or sheer happenstance.

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Nov 25 2014

Is Writer Arthur C. Clarke Responsible for Much of the Technology We See Today?

Published by under Editorials

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Science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke is notable for his futuristic novels and the script that he penned for Stanley Kubrick’s film 2001: A Space Odyssey. While Clarke’s books were incredibly popular, he might end up being best remembered for his remarkable ability to predict future technologies.

People have long tried to figure out why Arthur C. Clarke was so intent on attempting to predict what the future would look like. Many point to the fact that Clarke’s mother worked as a radio telephone operator during his youth. At this point in time, operating a radio telephone was a big deal as it was one of the era’s leading technological devices. Electronic communication was in its infancy, so Clarke was fascinated by his mother’s involvement in the industry. Pair this early exposure to cutting edge technology with Clarke’s wild imagination and you have the perfect recipe for a technology prophet.

Guest post written by Brandon Engel

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Nov 21 2014

Why The Muppets (2011) Actually Worked

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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Before watching it for myself, I simply couldn’t fathom why 2011’s The Muppets was as popular and as well-received a film as it ended up being.  The Muppets were those fuzzy, rainbow-colored puppets from the seventies that my grandmother liked to watch reenact A Christmas Carol, Treasure Island and The Wizard of Oz.  After being cancelled in the early eighties, they parleyed their popularity into a string of increasingly modest grossing films before falling out of the mainstream entirely at the end of the last century.

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One response so far


Nov 17 2014

The Legend of Zelda Game They Need to Make

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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Nintendo has given out nearly no information about their next Legend of Zelda game, other than it exists and it’s coming out at the end of 2015. Of course in “Nintendo time” that means we probably won’t actually see it until midway through 2016, but given their track record, it will probably be worth the wait.

What we do know is that it’s an open world Zelda title that will at least be somewhat less linear than past iterations, and stars Link, or some vague approximation of him.

And yet, I find myself wishing that Nintendo would finally let The Legend of Zelda live up to its name. Despite the identifier, the entire series has always been more or less about the Legend of Link, and how his bravery leads him to save Zelda time and time again. Sometimes, Zelda isn’t even in the game at all, and yet the title remains. Continue Reading »

5 responses so far


Nov 12 2014

Three Video Game Franchises That Need to Go on Hiatus

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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Sometimes things just need to go away for a while to make us want them again. Last week Activision announced its long dormant Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater franchise is coming back to consoles soon. Awesome right?? But there was a time when many were asking “How many of these games do we need?” (My last foray was Tony Hawk’s Underground 2). I’m this way now with a number of re-occurring franchises. Here are 3 I’d like to see go on hiatus.

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2 responses so far


Nov 07 2014

The Walking Dead’s Effective Mystery Hook

Published by under Editorials,Television

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Mystery is one of the ultimate tools in powerful storytelling.  It’s one thing to watch a show and be entertained, but when a show manages to get your mind racing to predict what happens next, or what you believe should happen next, that’s powerful.  Pulp Fiction does it masterfully with Jules and Vincent’s briefcase. Lost did it to us for 6 network seasons without giving us a payoff (thanks alot Lindelof).  After 4 seasons and counting it never occurred to me that the Walking Dead does it insanely well too, until last Sunday’s episode.

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One response so far


Nov 05 2014

What’s Next For The Last Airbender Universe After The Legend of Korra?

Published by under Editorials,Television

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The Legend of Korra is currently marching through its final season, or “book” as it’s known on the show. It’s had four, which is one more book than its predecessor series, Avatar: The Last Airbender, though I will say I am waiting to watch book four all at once, so I won’t be discussing what’s happened in it so far for this article.

Rather, I’m wondering what happens next once it wraps.

I remember being overjoyed that The Last Airbender was going to live on after its failed M. Night Shyamalan movie adaptation. A whole new series? It was almost too good to be true. And The Legend of Korra has delivered in every way. I’m not sure it’s exactly as good as the original series, but even if it’s 90% as good, that makes it better than most anything else on TV.

What’s becoming clear is that The Legend of Korra has demonstrated that the series may need a new home that isn’t Nickelodeon. The third book was yanked from the airwaves after falling ratings had Nick deem it unfit for broadcast. Now the entire fourth book is streaming online every week instead of on TV as well. The show is being treated like a webseries rather than arguably one of the best things on TV today, and one of the best animated shows ever. Continue Reading »

14 responses so far


Oct 29 2014

Halloween is the Time For Nerds: Celebrating the Most Horrorful Time of the Year

Published by under Editorials

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Tomorrow night is my favorite holiday, and very likely yours if you’re here. Most of the public may prefer Christmas for its crass commercialism and stable of timeless classic films and television specials or Thanksgiving for its epic mealtime, but Halloween is a holiday custom made for nerds. A whole day dedicated to cosplay, candy, horror, and evil music? Yes, please! It’s a time to celebrate all of the things we love with a sinister edge. Whereas the sights and sounds of Christmas very often reek of populist sentimentality and cynical modern cash-ins in the form of soulless Christmas albums and other forms of entertainment with a sheen of general cloying saccharinity, quality horror and everything that goes with it is something that never needs to be forced. Fear is with us everywhere we go all year ‘round and having one day to really celebrate it is a wonderful thing. But how to make the most of Halloween in 2014? I thought I’d share my experiences from this past month’s lead-up to October 31st and maybe give some of you some ideas about how best to pay homage to the spirits of the dead via geek-flavored entertainment new and old available this year. Continue Reading »

8 responses so far


Oct 29 2014

Do Grand Theft Auto Games Actually Need Strong Protagonists?

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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Story and characters are usually the last thing on everyone’s mind when a new Grand Theft Auto game is announced. Usually, people want to know:  A) Where is it being set?  B) Is there any new fun stuff I can do? Yet, when the games are released, all reviewers seem to fixate on the playable characters. GTA IV was lauded as having an amazing character arc, chock-full of pathos and emotion. GTA V went so far as to include three playable characters, who all met with mixed reception. Some reviewers bent over backwards to praise their effect on the game, others heavily criticized their personalities and personal choices.

Me? I honestly don’t think I cared too much either way. Their individual quirks and MOs became window dressing as I raced around the city, turning pedestrians into literal pulpy window dressing on my car. GTA is more about the experience and the freedom of playing around with the engine – the games are giant toys. Yet, the games’ characters and the stories they weave do lend an undeniable color to the proceedings. After all the story missions have to have some “story” behind them to not feel like the random, repetitive jobs found in side missions or on GTA Online.

Even then, the majority of story missions weren’t memorable because of how they affected the plot as much as the new fun shit they introduced. So, the question is: where does character lie on the spectrum of importance? Do characters make or break an otherwise good GTA game? Continue Reading »

One response so far


Oct 28 2014

Not Watching The Avengers Movie Trailer was the Best Decision I Ever Made in My Geek Life

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I still can’t believe an Avengers movie was made. Still. Guys! A freaking Avengers movie was made! The Avengers! And it was…good! Great, even! And everyone loved it! And they’re making more! WHAT MADNESS IS THIS?!

As a kid, in a hundred million years, after torturing myself watching the Roger Corman Fantastic Four flick and the (thank you, Goddesses of Hyrule) not-picked-up Justice League of America TV pilot just to have the briefest taste of live-action superheroing, I never believed we’d live to see such a day. These kids today have no idea just how fortunate they are to grow up in this marvelous world of comic cinematic sublimity.

When they announced the Avengers movie I danced. When they announced it’d be written and directed by my beloved Joss Whedon I danced naked. I started a countdown for how many days it’d be until I’d be in that theater holding a bag of Twizzlers in my hand and a million and one dreams realized in my heart.

Until then, though, I’d have to settle for watching trailers or finding whatever stolen set photos the internet put forth. I turned to my computer and waited. And then that magical day arrived. A 1080-Powered up two minute blast of footage to whet my appetite and get me ready to have my face avenged off.  All I had to do was hit play.

But I didn’t.

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13 responses so far


Oct 22 2014

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Digital Downloads vs Physical Copies

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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Invariably, when a video game console announces that it will be digital-only, all hell breaks loose on the internet. The vast majority of vocal gamers seem to loathe the idea of digital downloads. People generally allow exceptions when it comes to smart phones or tablets, but in regards to nearly every other venue, people come out on the side of physical copies.

Understanding why they have this reaction isn’t hard. I am firmly a member of the pro-physical camp. In fact, I own hundreds of copies of old cartridge games despite their rampantly free availability as ROMs online.

Despite my inexorable personal stance on digital games, I still happen to purchase digital copies surprisingly frequently. In fact, in the past year I have likely purchased many more digital games than physical ones.

Why have I done this in flagrant disregard of my on-paper principles? Why even have a stance against digital downloads of games at all? The sheer ambivalence of this discussion warrants laying some home truths out in the open. Doing so takes an explicit comparison between both the good and bad qualities of each medium… Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


Oct 20 2014

Evil Within Isn’t So Scary After All

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

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My roommate was raving all summer about this video game called Evil Within. He wouldn’t shut up about how scary the trailer looked. Evil Within is the latest foray of Shinji Mikami in the genre of horror. Gamers know the man for his work on a handful of early Resident Evil games. I really missed how horror was subtle in older games wherein it was all about playing tricks with the mind. Modern survival horror titles tend to think that better graphics are advantage as they try to scare players overtly by making the most grotesque creatures ever. I don’t know about you, but I find the unknown a lot scarier. The Evil Within appeared to be a promising survival horror title. It’s not a bad game as a whole, but it fails to scare players in a memorable way that’ll make it an all time classic.

Read on for more.

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4 responses so far


Oct 16 2014

Rant Time: Why the Double Standard for Comic Books?

Published by under Comics,Editorials

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One of the most tiresome ongoing internet debates is the representation of women in various forms of media. While I would certainly argue that this is an issue worth addressing, the tiresomeness stems not from the topic itself, but from the approaches of the people doing the debating. Exhibit A: the recent kerfluffle regarding artist Milo Manara’s variant cover (shown above) featuring Spider-Woman in a classic Spider-Man pose in what I like to call the Spider-Woman Initiative.

The cries of sexism began long before the issue hit the stands, with the entire premise being that NOBODY would EVER draw a MALE superhero in that pose -the obvious response to anyone who has ever read a comic book being “whaaaaaaa?” because anybody who knows who Spider-Man is (a popular comic book character) and what Spider-Man does (whatever a spider can, I hear) has likely seen him in that pose, which is presumably meant to accentuate the spider-ness of the man (or woman in this case), countless times. I own a t-shirt that has Spider-Man in that pose. Well, that was easily settled. Thanks for playing.

But the hate kept coming….and coming…..and coming. It became so intense that Marvel Comics actually fired the artist from the upcoming projects he was slated to work on. And that’s exactly where I’ve personally got to draw the line. Internet shit talk is one thing, but damaging peoples’ careers is just plain wrong unless they are violent offenders like certain professional athletes. But spiteful crushing of another human being’s livelihood aside, the real issue I’m wondering about today is why is it specifically comic books that are singled out for sexualization of the female form when this is clearly an across the board kind of deal? We’ll get to that later. First, some observations.

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17 responses so far


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