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Sunday, July 31, 2016

What do Rick and Morty and a murder trial have in common?

There was a batsh*t insane murder trial deposition in Mississippi a few months ago. The Rick and Morty crew found it genuinely profound. So they did the only thing they could, cast Rick as the defendant and Morty as the judge. What follows is the most amazing conversation that's ever happened.

I'm genuinely curious if that video stays up longer than two days.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Wait... do I still have Origin?

I completely forgot Origin even existed...

I felt the need to dip back into Inquisition and I realized something. I haven't used Origin in 7 months. I haven't bought a game for it in almost 2 years. What the hell is your problem EA? Is steam some sort of AI hivemind and you're actually fighting a shadow war on behalf of humanity's free will? Because if you aren't, either make games that make your platform matter or I'll... I'LL...

I'll still jump though whatever hoops you need so long as Bioware keeps bringing the goods.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

I just discovered pierogi...

Yeah, yeah, slow news week. But wow, if someone had just told me pierogi was mashed potatoes/anything awesome n' savory in a pastry I would have been on board years ago. I've wasted so much time...

Monday, July 25, 2016

Stranger Things Review: Will the Wise casts Fireball.

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Bring him home.
Right now I'm halfway through seeing Stranger Things.The second time. As soon as I was finished with Netflix's new 8 hour mini series I started it right up again. Stranger Things is made of a lot of moving parts, though sadly, none of those parts are original. Every character and story has been told before in either a Stephan King paperback or a Spielberg blockbuster. Though I'm beginning think that maybe, just maybe, originality is overrated.

It took a while before I was hooked, about 2 and a half episodes. I began to clue into what each of the main stories were referencing and I was ready for the Duffer brothers (fellow Durham natives!) to surprise me. But it didn't surprise me. Except for a few great monster attack scenes nothing the show ever did was "surprising." So what's so good about it? Damn near everything. Every set, every actor, every line of dialogue, every twist in the narrative's road was as good or better than anything either aforementioned Stephen has ever done. I still think a project needs at least a spark of originality to earn a full A+ but this is the most lovable A- I've ever reviewed.

But what's it all about? That's an intense line of questioning. I'm not sure I can even say without spoiling too much, but here goes. When it's focused on the kids and their journey with a CIA experiment, it's ET. When we follow the town Sheriff as he falls further down the rabbit hole of a legit government conspiracy, it's Jaws. There's also a smattering of Pretty in Pink, Altered States, Close Encounters, and you get the idea. It isn't lost on me that this should be a joyless slurry of other artist's better ideas watered down into nothing. But somehow they manage to turn lead into gold.

Would you take LSD with this man?

I'd love to go deeper into the story but it's only 8 hours long and mapping out each main thread would hurt more than it would help. But I'll say this; all the major stuff like the conspiracy, the nature of 11, and the man in the rubber suit are all well above average. It's the little things that make the whole project stand out. Like how all the child actors, even the silent 2 year old sister, say so much with their faces and not just their words. But it's not as if these kids aren't already hitting laugh lines like pros and sometimes even showing up the teenagers. Speaking of, there's also a legitimately great teenage love triangle involving the most 3 dimensional cocky jock character I've ever seen.

Ultimately the aspect that really sets it apart from the competition is it's size and structure. It's  essentially an 8 hour movie with 7 act breaks. That sounds exhausting doesn't it? It isn't. I tore through the first 5 in half a day. The entire season is expertly paced and I know that might not sound as sexy as a show that's more original or better written, but there is barely a minute of fat on it's bones. It's so well paced it forced me to notice how often so many other great shows waste their time. I'll give you an example: a man drinking in a bar has critical information but wises up before telling too much. In a show with 13 episodes the off duty sheriff would resign to the fact he didn't get the whole story and would try again next week. In Stranger Things the sheriff follows him to his car and beats the rest out of him.

If those walls could talk, they'd scream.

There's tons of moments like that where the writing feints a step towards closing the mystery box only to flip the box over and dump it all out. It's such a glorious breath of fresh air after this year's Game of Thrones and Preacher. Both personal favorites, but both prone to sit on their hands far too long than I'm willing to stand sometimes. Now that I'm almost done (again) I can say it definitely holds up. Every plot hole I marked the first time was actually solved by quick stuff I didn't bother to notice. Plotting that was more substantial than a throw away line excusing a short cut. It took two viewings to really pick up how deliberate nearly every scene is. It was designed to be watched again, is what I'm saying.

Guys, there hasn't been a first season this good in almost 6 years. All the heart, mystery, humor, fear, and energy you miss from the 80's golden age of adventure is in here. Good as new, if not maybe a teensy bit better. I'll say it, the Stephens have two genuinely worthy successors on their hands. And they're from Durham North Carolina! Did I mention they're from Durham? Well they super are.

If she doesn't get an Emmy nom, I swear to god I'll......

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Nothing makes sense anymore.

There will a partition in the history of civilization as momentous as the Common Era. The year 2017 will be the first year of PDP. Post Detective Pikachu. I swear I had a dream like this once...

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Here's the opening to Stranger Things:

But not because this is my new favorite thing in the world right now. No... it's for some other reason.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Stranger Things is the best story Netflix has ever told.

This is a Goonies-Halloween-Close Encounters-ET smoothie. It's pretty tasty.

I tell ya what guys, after seeing a few tepid reviews, I did not expect to like ST as much as I do. I goddamn love it. I'm halfway through and I am hooked, do you hear me?, I am damn near flopping on the deck of the good ship Netflix. The actors are good, but the script and story structure are even better. Master class even. It looks like a sappy speilburgian love letter because that's what the Duffer Brothers want you to see. I'll save the rest for a review, but christ guys... this is good TV.