This is a graphic novel I’ve been meaning to read for what feels like forever, and I finally got around to it today, and wow. I can’t begin to describe how much I enjoyed this, and how much I was so completely sucked in, with the 300 pages just flying by. In a way, it’s a really simple story, about a girl spending a summer up in the cottage, but it’s just so damn rich in the way it treats what she’s going through, and her relationships. Do yourself a favor and read this.
Like the rest of the planet, I’m playing Fallout 4. After an initial big night of play of 4-5 straight hours, I’ve decided to take it easy, and just do 1-2 hour sessions every once in a while. I want to slowly savor it, but at the same time, I find that it’s a pretty intense world to be in (and bleak), and so I don’t really want to be there too much. I’m also finding myself dying a hell of a lot more than I did in Fallout 3 and New Vegas, and so that becomes a bit of slog (and I’m not a fan of having to remember to constantly select “Quicksave”). But man, what a detailed and expansive world.
I used to play all of the Telltale games, but finally got to a point where I was burnt out on them – it even happened before, and then I felt a spurt of interest when Game of Thrones and Tales of the Borderlands launched, but after playing through the first episode of each, even though I enjoyed them, I didn’t feel the urge to play more. When it comes to the second season of The Walking Dead, I had played the first episode, then around the time I was playing those other games played the second episode, but again, I just didn’t continue with it – and let me add that I’ve always played all Telltale games on iPad. With the entire season 2 becoming available as one of the free PS+ titles this month, I decided to start episode 3, and not only am I having a good time playing it, but I quite like playing it on a TV screen (on PS4). I’m going to at least play though all of season 2, and then we’ll see if I still want to play more and jump back into Game of Thrones or Tales of the Borderlands (or both).
I really quite enjoyed playing through this. It’s a game, yes, but it’s probably best if you think of it more as a piece of interactive narration, as you are not really left to do any decision-making, simply progressing through the story – which does involve playing through a few MMO-like encounters, but the point is really to hear the dialogue that happens during these segments. I did feel slightly uncomfortable at times, as it really puts you in the role of voyeur, but that’s what the game wants to do, and I liked it for that. I definitely recommend it.
With everyone going on about how this is apparently the second coming in the form of a game, I figured I had to jump in. I’ve put in a couple of hours, and I do really like the fantastic dialogue and characterizations, but man, the “combat” system (I put this in quotes because I’m playing the game without killing anyone) is annoying to a point where even though I want to play more of the game, I don’t because I don’t really want to deal with that. It’s a neat idea to try something different than the usual classic RPG menu driven system, but moving a cursor around with a keyboard to avoid objects is a huge pain.
So for quite a few years now, I’ve had a hard time getting through novels. I of course read tons, but it’s all on web, magazines, and comics. I’m better at reading non-fiction, but I recently tried to get recommendations for some fantastic non-genre, fairly recent novels (literature/fiction) that I could sink my teeth in, real page turners. I wanted to avoid sci-fi, adventure, etc. as that’s the stuff that I usually turn to. I got a great bunch of recommendations from friends, and the first book to kick off this reading spurt was The Room, by Swedish author Jonas Karlsson (and nothing to do with that infamous movie). It’s a quick read, and so it was the perfect thing to get me started, and I absolutely loved it. I wouldn’t want to say too much about it, but it’s the strange Kafkaesque story of a man dealing with working in a new office environment. I definitely recommend it.
I’ve been enjoying pretty much all of the Star Wars comics from Marvel since they launched earlier this year – the recent Lando mini-series was especially good – and with all of the excitement for the upcoming release of The Force Awakens, I decided to read the only two series from the Marvel books I hadn’t read. The first is a 4-issue mini-series called Shattered Empire, that is the only book so far that take place after Return of the Jedi. It was quite enjoyable, in that I’m now a bit hungry to find out more about what happens during this period of time, leading up to Force Awakens. Greg Rucka is a good writer, and the art was decent. The other series is called Kanan, is still ongoing, and tells the origins of one of the characters from the current Star Wars: Rebels animated series (one of the last Jedi). When the book launched earlier this year, it wasn’t something I was particularly interested in reading, but I binged all 7 issues that are out, and ended up really liking it. The art is quite good (less so for the one fill-in issue, but still fine), and it made me appreciate this character much more than I did from watching the first season of Rebels (I haven’t watched anything from the second season yet). If you’re looking for more Star Wars comics, the current Chewbacca mini-series is really funny.
This movie had no right to be as good as I thought it was – considering all the changes that happened behind-the-scenes during the making of it. But yes, not only was this a hell of a fun ride, I think it’s my favorite Marvel movie since the first Iron Man. I watch all of them, but can’t say that I often really like them that much – I didn’t care at all for Age of Ultron, it just tried to do too much, and ended up feeling like a mess. But I’ve always loved Paul Rudd, and he’s just perfect here in his role. I’m more excited for the Ant-Man and The Wasp sequel than any of the other upcoming Marvel movies.
I love Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness so damn much, and I was beyond excited at the idea of getting a TV series that follows that, with good ol’ Bruce as Ash, and Sam Raimi on board as well (and even directing the pilot). The first episode was pretty much everything I was hoping I’d get from the series, and immediately made me feel like this was going to be my new favorite show. It’s dumb, fun, crazy, gory. Basically, it’s Evil Dead.
I know Spectre has gotten some fairly negative reviews, and I absolutely disagree with them. It’s no secret that I’m a huge Bond fanatic – I’ve owned the entire series on VHS, DVD, and now Blu-ray – and to me, even more than Skyfall, this felt like a true celebration of “Bond,” and one that would have been more fitting for the 50th anniversary (when Skyfall came out). Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Skyfall, and it’s the better looking film (better art direction), but Spectre was just so much fun to watch, with tons of nods to the entire series, without descending too deep into the Brosnan/Moore abyss of joke action. We get a lot more winks from Craig than we’ve ever seen, but I find that he manages to strike a decent balance between that and the intensity he’s shown in his previous 3 Bond films. I saw it at an advance screening in IMAX, and it was one hell of a fun ride I’m not going to forget soon. In fact, I can’t wait to see it again. And please, give us one more movie with the same crew.