Here’s the final poster for the new film from director Neil Blomkamp and presented by Peter Jackson:

Bangin

Bangin

I’d hang it on my wall. All I’m sayin.

This is me everyday

This is me everyday

Make no mistake, I’m a blogger. I’m a college student that writes about things I enjoy. My goal is to one day become a journalist in this field or take this blog and mold it into something I can do for a living.

I read an article on Kotaku that talks about the Federal Trade Commission calling out bloggers and I wanted to let you know my take and what you can expect from me in the future.

Right now, we are so under the radar that there is no way anyone in the industry would send us free stuff to review. If we ever start getting sent anything to review, I will let you, the reader, know. My opinion will never be swayed by someone giving me  free stuff. I blog because I enjoy the subject matter I’m writing about and I hope people would have fun reading what I have to say.

Secondly, all of my posts up to this point have been mostly positive. Everything on this site that has been reviewed or previewed by me is something I spent money on. Being a college student, I don’t have the time or money to review every book, movie, game, or CD. I put a lot of research into something before I purchase it because I don’t want to waste money on something I don’t like or waste my time with an awful product.

This site is simply a means for me and Fred to give you our opinion on what we like, and hopefully entertain you enough into coming back for more. Besides expecting a few laughs here and there you can expect our truthful opinion in every article we post. If you don’t agree with us on something don’t be afraid to call us out and shoot us an email or leave a comment.

That’s all for now loyal readers.

Trendy

Kids these days

I played the first three hours of Persona on Friday night. After those three hours I pressed the X button hundreds of times to get through lengthy conversations. I fought in maybe five or six actual battles. I might have had direct control of my character for thirty minutes. I’m pretty sure all I accomplished was the tutorial. I had a great time.

Persona 4 is all about being a high school kid in rural Japan and all the burdens that come with it. Including solving murders by going inside TV’s and fighting demons. Most of the time I played was spent being acclimated with the characters and the setting. I went to class a few times, made some friends, and went inside the TV a few times to meet a bear and rescue my friends from demons. There were a few anime cut scenes sprinkled in for good measure.

If there’s on thing I didn’t like it was that the game spelled everything out for me in the most painful fashion possible. It made me feel like I was a two year old that couldn’t even follow the most basic plot developments. For example, I was watching the news one night and after it was over, the main character would summarize everything he just heard. This summarization happens after almost anything plot related happens .

I look forward to the next time I sit down with Persona 4, at which point I’ll provide a more in depth look at gameplay, because like I said, I’m pretty sure I just completed the introduction to the game. Expect more Persona 4 later this week.

Shiny

Shiny

I thought this movie would be awful. I heard it was bad from reviews. It has Keanu Reeves starring as the alien Klaatu. His acting in Bram Stoker’s Dracula was more monstrous than the King of Vampires himself. It’s also a remake of a 1950’s sci-fi movie that I’ve never seen. None of the above left me feeling optimistic. To my surprise, the movie had a few things going for it besides a some cool special effects shots.

Keanu isn’t a terrible actor in this movie for the same reason Arnold Schwarzenegger is good in the Terminator movies. They’re both playing as these emotionless, robotic characters. Keanu Reeves managed to pull off being an aloof alien visitor quite well.

BAMF

Lookin good

His reason for visiting the Earth is a pretty neat spin on the usual alien invasion motif. Usually when an alien shows up, they want to erradicate us and strip mine our planet and move on, a la Independence Day, Slither, or War of the Worlds. In this movie the alien wants to save the Earth by destroying humanity. His argument is that there are so few life bearing planets in the cosmos that they can’t waste one on us. I like the idea that there are so few planets capable of sustaining complex life that when one is threatened the aliens are willing to intervene on it’s behalf so they don’t lose it.

The other cool moment in this film is when the alien meets with a Nobel Peace Prize winning scientist (played by John Cleese). They discuss that the human race is about to pass the point of no return from which we will no longer be able to save the planet. From this we discover that the alien race was in a similar situation at one point and that only then did they turn around and do what they had to to save themselves and their planet. The scientist argues that humanity needs its chance to show that we can turn around and save ourselves. We can be just like the aliens and adapt so that we don’t perish. It was a thought provoking scene.

All of the above stuff I enjoyed. It might have an environmentalist message that borders on being preachy, but I liked it. However, that’s not to say that I liked everything about this movie.

Klaatu isn’t just rolling around by himself. He has a female scientist with him who was part of the first contact effort and her son. I had an extreme dislike for her son. He was basically just representing racist America. “Why are we helping the alien? He’s the bad guy! If dad were here he’d stop him!” You have no idea how many times this kid went on about how if his soldier dad were still alive he’d be shoving his boot up Klaatu’s ass. Every scene up until this kid realized Klaatu is the good guy he just hates on him and it gets annoying very, very quickly. There was a good way to handle the theme of racism in the movie, but this wasn’t it.

Less talking please

Less talking please

The military was painfully incompetent at some points. “Hmmmm. I think it’s a good idea to interrogate the alien in our secret military base instead of letting him talk to world leaders like he requested.” or “The alien’s cloud of nanomachines is wrecking us! Instead of reasoning with the alien lets try and blow him up. I bet that’ll stop his robot cloud THAT HE IS NOT CONTROLLING.” Although I will say the special effects shots were good. They may have been making some stupid decisions, but they looked pretty cool when they payed for it by blowing up or being eaten by a cloud of robots.

I didn’t hate the time I spent with The Day the Earth Stood Still. It was a flawed movie, but it was still entertaining and presented an interesting spin on the alien invasion movie. I haven’t seen the original, and I feel like if I had, I would have a lower opinion of this movie. As it stands I would say this movie is worth a rental.

Time Wasters

July 10, 2009

So I have a 9 to 5 job that involves sitting in front of a computer – who doesn’t these days. And like many office dwellers, I have found ways to pass the time; a little Facebook Scrabble here, some textsfromlastnight there, a Cracked or Pitchfork article in between. And God help me when it comes to twitter.

But one of the most entertaining of these sites is FML, whose last two initials stand for “my life” and hopefully the first one you can guess. This is pure schadenfreude, the horrible auditions of American Idol combined with the ball smacks of America’s Funniest Home Videos with a tiny dash of To Catch a Predator thrown in. If I feel bad laughing at these stories I only read the “most deserved” entries – there at least I seem to be part of some Karmic wheel of retribution. Besides, I suspect those people just want the attention, no matter the cost of public embarrassment.

So when I was recently linked to the website MyLifeIsAverage, I couldn’t imagine that it would be interesting. It sort of says as much in the title. I mean, I don’t waste my time playing the Sims, you know? Why would I want to read about these people doing what I’m doing.

But it is fascinating, in a sort of meta take on the social media that is the internet. By itself the website would not work. It requires the reader to understand the structure and terrain it exists in, its relation to other major milestones like FML.

Once you have that understanding, MLIA has its own sort of brilliance. Some of the posts are clear responses to items on FML, where the twist at the end of the vignette is that there is no twist. But the more sophisticated posts are the ones with the least subterfuge. They unfold with reassuring ease into a life that you already know:

Today I decided to clean up and organize my room. In the first drawer I cleaned out, I found my old gameboy with my favorite game in it. Instead of finishing my room, I played gameboy all day. MLIA “

MLIA is a mantra, whereas FML is a curse or a bemoanment. FML requires that everyone else either commiserate or say you deserved that one. MLIA is acceptance. It is the lotus path. It isn’t somebody shouting at you through the highspeed DSL “LOOK AT ME!” It simply is.

Today, I will post this article. And some people will read it. MLIA.

Imagine Skull Island (the island from King Kong), now take away all those pesky natives and King Kong himself. Fast forward to the present day and have a reality television crew land on the island instead of a film crew and you have a pretty good idea of what’s going down in Fragment. Needless to say the book was written just for me. There was even a military quarantine of the island! How did Mr. Fahy know I loved those?

This book could have easily been a summer blockbuster movie. It’s got action, monsters, a fast pace, and an interesting cast. The plot is intense. A reality television crew land on the island. The first people to set foot on it in hundreds of years! Live broadcast! The ratings will be amazing! Within ten minutes of landing on the island the shit hits the fan so hard it breaks. The island is thick with some of the most imaginative and well done monsters in recent memory.

Ima eat your face off lol

Ima eat your face off lol

I mean look at that mother fucker. Look at him. He ends lives. The spiger is only one of the island’s inhabitants, and almost all of the other creatures were designed to kill people just as hard.

Speaking of killing, the author did not kill me with his techno-biological-babble. I couldn’t always follow it, but it never got too absurd and was mostly understandable. It’s annoying when people treat science fiction lazily and have lame explanations, but thankfully that isn’t the case here (even if he is guilty of name dropping Halo 5).

My favorite in the series

My favorite in the series

Up until this point all I’ve done is throw rose petals at the feet of this book. It deserves every one of those petals, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few short comings here or there. Early on in the book it would cut back and forth between what was going on with the island, and this college professor giving lectures at a university. I didn’t really care about them and would read through those parts as fast as possible to get back to some monster eating people action on the island.

This isn’t a Pulitzer Prize winning book. Much like The Strain, this book is all about entertainment and fun. Other than a few stumbles in the pacing near the beginning, I was gripped. If you’re looking for a good popcorn book this summer, look no further. In a world with practically nothing left to explore, author Warren Fahy gives us one last little spot on the map to fill in. A spot filled with horrible, horrbile things.

No, not that kind

No, not that kind

Q: So Matt, word on the street is you read Fruits Basket volume one. How was it?

A: The streets don’t lie Matt. It was enjoyable. It follows the adventures of a high school girl named Tohru Honda as she adjusts to life after her mom dies.

Q: Oooooo that sounds sad. Was it sad?

A: Not really actually. She’s really cheerful and optimistic all the time. She also moves in with the Sohma family and they are all quirky.They get into all kinds of trouble together.

Q: So it’s more of a comedy series?

A: Yes. It’s more of a makes you smile with their whacky antics, as opposed to laughing out loud funny. It’s silly and fun.

Q: Do you plan on reading the next volume?

A: I’ve already started the second. One of my friends lent me twenty or so of them. Expect to see a lot more of Fruits Basket on the site.

Q: Boy, that sure was nice of her to lend you all of those.

A: Hey! How did you know it was a her?

Q: …

A: Well, until next time manga fans, may the spirit of the Great Lincoln watch over you.

Pajama Forest is a new webcomic from a gentleman named Evan Diaz and it is delightful.

One day not too long ago I was perusing my usual list of webcomics when an ad on Chainsawsuit caught my eye (you’re reading that one now, right?). The art just had a colorful and excited style to it that compelled me to click the link. As soon as the site loaded the whimsical illustrations stole my heart. In all honesty, this might be some of my favorite art in webcomics.

But a webcomic needs good writing to support the art, and Pajama Forest delivers the written goods. It’s one of the silliest things I have read in a long time and it is a lot of fun. Let’s just say Ed, the main character’s younger brother, takes his brother’s parka, names it Petie, and then Ed and Petie go on an adventure in Ice Cream Sandwich Land. You would have to be dead on the inside to not smile at any of this. Dead.

Pajama Forest updates five days a week (M-F) and is a member of the TNP webcomics collective.

http://pajamaforest.com/

This movie is officially on my must see list for the summer.

The Lost City of BAMF

July 8, 2009

attack of the vines! (seriously, something else that will try to kill your ass)

attack of the vines! (seriously, something else that will try to kill your ass)

I recently finished The Lost City of Z and it’s kind of kick ass if you like Victorian explorers being killed in the Amazon. We’re talking back in the day, 1900s. At that time any kind of expedition was doomed to die, so going into the Amazon, one of the places most likely to actively try and kill you, wasn’t the best way to get low life insurance. And based on my extensive research of steampunk websites, the major means of transportation were zeppelins, sometimes powered by the magic of an evil or neutral wizard, which is a pretty slow way of getting to where you need to go.

aw yeah emmer effer

aw yeah BAMF

The main thrust of this story is Colonel PH Fawcett, who was the kind of guy with a lot of thrust of his own, if you catch my drift (penis). The man was such a BAMF that he wasn’t even a Colonel, only a Lt. Colonel, but convinced everybody to call him Colonel anyway. He went into the Amazon on at least 7 separate occasions. This is a place that really does have those parasites that swim up your penis and require it to be cut off lest you lose everything. Specifically the book is about his last trip, in search of the fabled city of Z, a lost Amazonian city buried under the trees. If only he’d waited ninety years, everything would have been clearcut for him and the problem would be solved. Haha but seriously, we’re killing the environment. Didn’t you see FernGully and feel bad for all the little pixies?

Still, the book itself is interesting, outside of the subject material (There’s a guy in here whose middle name is literally SAVAGE. I mean come on!). We follow the author in his search to solve the mystery of what happened to the Colonel on that last expedition, where he disappeared along with his son and his son’s best friend.  Since this part is sort of a whodunit, I’m not going to say much else except that this nonfiction book reads as well as most mystery novels in your desire to find out how it all ends.

So if you want to learn about the true life person who inspired people like Professor Challenger from the Lost World and Charles Muntz from Up (seriously, they both have a love of dogs and go missing while trying to prove the playahaters wrong in South America), then read The Lost City of Z. I don’t usually do much in the way of non-fiction but this is worth every minute you invest in it. And you get to learn about the many, many ways that the Amazon will try to kill you.

that’s it. signing off//