Archive for the 'Editorials' Category

Oct 29 2014

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

Published by under Editorials

halloween

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

avengers-trailer

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.

Continue Reading »

12 responses so far


Oct 22 2014

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Digital Downloads vs Physical Copies

Published by under Editorials,Video Games

dig vs phys title

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

the-evil-within

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.

Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Oct 16 2014

Rant Time: Why the Double Standard for Comic Books?

Published by under Comics,Editorials

standard

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.

Continue Reading »

17 responses so far


Oct 15 2014

Adam Sandler + Netflix = A Good Thing?

Published by under Editorials,Movies

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You may have caught last week’s announcement of this strange little team up. Strange was how it first struck me, at least. With Netflix taking more and more good television hostage, I immediately wondered why they’d opt for…frankly, bad movies. But first impressions are rarely something to go by.

Let’s take a step back and look at the deal itself. Continue Reading »

2 responses so far


Oct 15 2014

Five Things X-Men Days of Future Past Should Have Screwed Up …But Somehow Didn’t

Published by under Editorials,Lists,Movies

X-Men-FutPast-McAvoyXface

Days of Future Past had a lot of hype going for it, but nearly everything else going against it. The film, which came out on DVD and Blu-ray yesterday, is officially the seventh in the line of X-Men movies. It also marked the return of most of the cast for the first time in nearly a decade, including the reappearance of director Bryan Singer to the helm.

All the makings of a well-intentioned supergroup disaster were in the mix. The new film intended to merge the storyline of reboot installment The First Class while capturing the magic of Singer’s first two universally-praised entries into the franchise. On top of that, it was going to use one of the most well-regarded storylines from the X-Men comic series. A million unfathomably-obese Blob’s-worth of pressure was upon the entire production to not suck.

And did it succeed? Hell yes! Some critics and fanboys had lots of nitpicks, but by and large the film was popular with both audiences and critics. And China. China loved them some Days of Future Past. The fact that the Chinese adore Hugh Jackman and that Singer cast Chinese movie icon Fan Bingbing probably helped.

Regardless, Days of Future Past hardly stumbled, let alone fell on its face. Fully appreciating the fact that the movie was successful takes pointing out where other productions would have failed. For instance… Continue Reading »

4 responses so far


Oct 15 2014

Comic Book Films – Old News?

Published by under Editorials,Movies

ironman

So I’m sure that you all read this yesterday right? Robert Downey was doing an interview plugging his movie The Judge and was asked if he gets jealous when another superhero movie comes out and becomes popular. His response might have surprised some but I think that I see his point and might be slightly siding with him on this. He replied with this:

“Honestly, the whole thing is just showing the beginning signs of fraying around the edges. It’s a little bit old. Last summer there were five or seven different ones out.”

What gives? The guy that I would argue was one of the larger catalysts for comic book movies doing so well now a days basically seems to be getting tired of the superhero genre. I’ll touch on a little more about this after the jump but I’m really looking for the Unrealtors to sound off on this one.

Continue Reading »

15 responses so far


Oct 13 2014

Lessons I Learned from New York Comic Con

Published by under Editorials

NYCC

 

I’ve been going to New York Comic Con for about three years now. NYCC holds a special place in my heart because it’s the first and only comic convention I’ve ever been to. I’ve been attending the event with three day passes for two years, but 2014 marks a special occasion since I’m attending as press for the first time. After attending for three years, I would like to believe that I’ve accumulated enough wisdom that’ll make me a pro at going to conventions. I found out that I still had much to learn after my last day of NYCC.

I’ve picked up a few things from friends and firsthand experience. Some of it is practical advice, but I’ll also dish out some of the meaningful things I’ve realized. Read on for more:

Continue Reading »

3 responses so far


Oct 13 2014

Please Shut Up – A Trip to the Theater

Published by under Editorials,Movies

gone-girl

As I stated in last week’s trailer post, I wanted and was going to go see Gone Girl. Friday night came and went, as did Saturday night, but low and behold an opportunity popped up on Sunday and I rushed to my local AMC at 4 in the afternoon. I’m uncertain if it was due to bad luck, if it was going to a movie in the afternoon, or if it was the simple act of seeing a film a week after it’s debut. Either way, I’m sure many of you would agree with me that there are good movie going experiences and bad ones.

This, as the title suggests, was a less than exceptional experience. There were multiple reasons for this, but two in particular stood out that I just had to get off my chest. One being the audience, and the other was the theater itself. Before I begin, I want you to know that I will do my best to go see a movie on opening night in hopes to avoid what I’m about to tell you – so I’ll take the responsibility and say that it was my own fault for the turmoil I endured.

Continue Reading »

9 responses so far


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