The Thing From Another World

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There are rare times I approve of remakes; especially when it comes to ones that seem so close together. As a kid, I remember watching the classic black and white Thing with my parents and later, in high school I wrote a paper on how this movie related to the Cold War.

A reporter visits a isolated Air Force outpost in the far reaches of Alaska. A scientist comes to them requesting aid in investing a strange crash up north. The men go to investigate, finding some large and round buried beneath the ice. They uncover what appears to be a man with what appears to be a flying saucer. The take the frozen man back to the outpost, where it thaws and goes on a rampage, a monster from another world…

As far as old horror movies go, the classic Thing holds up decently well. There is some good atmosphere and music. James Arnes as the creature is pretty effective and he is pretty physically threatening as a big, lumbering creature. The characters are pretty standard for the times with a love story tacked on that doesn’t really add to anything. The movie is definitely a product of its time; there’s no blood, language, and the creature’s origin is really goofy when you find out it’s a “Space Vegetable”. In the end, it’s a decent old time horror movie that deserves a watch. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

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Dragonball Z: Broly, Second Coming

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It’s really hard to live up the epicness of Dragonball Z: Broly, the Legendary Super Saiyan which is still my favorite Dragonball Z movie but it was almost certain the mad Saiyan would return.

Videl, Goten, and Trunks are off on a fun little trip to search for the Dragonballs. When Goten starts crying, something is unearthed. After being defeated by Goku, Broly managed to crawl into an escape pod and find his way to Earth, getting frozen in some mountain ice. The sound of Goten’s crying  wakes up Broly and the rampage begins. Gohan comes to the rescue but he’s no match for the monstrous Saiyan in his Legendary form, it’s going to take everything they have to bring down Broly.

There isn’t much to say, Second Coming is a pretty flat sequel. There isn’t much of a story. Broly just exists to grunt and beat people up; he doesn’t even go full Legendary until the final minutes of the film. It was cool to have Goku’s ghost join Gohan and Goten in a Kamehameha and I did laugh my ass off when Goten pisses on Broly’s face. It’s alright to skip to if you want, there isn’t much you’re missing if you do. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

This is What you Want, This is What you Get

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First of all, I want to give a shout out to the author of this book, Jim Scheers, who I had the pleasure of meeting in person at the Weird and Wired Bazaar in Scranton a couple of months ago. Thank you for the advice and reassurance.

It’s the 1980’s and the punk scene is alive and kicking with loud, wild shows. For  nineteen year old Nick Leblanche these shows keep him sane from a cold life in suburban hell with his boring, nagging parents and his tedious office job full of gossiping idiots and pressure to stay there and rot. The music gives him a soul. At one of these shows he meet a quiet, sad looking girl named Victoria and from the on things start changing as the scene itself; the shows begin turning out of control violent as more and more skinheads begin turning up, making mosh pits into full fledged riots. Can Nick find himself amongst the chaos of his new friends and the scene he loves?

I have to admit, I was surprised how much I found myself reflecting back to my own age 19 and relating to Nick, growing up in suburbia and loving neu-metal myself. There is a lot of great imagery in the book and was very easy to put myself in the story. The story flows really well for the most part but I found a couple times in the second act where it slowed a bit but to no damning extent. One of the only minor complaints I have is that I wished there was something more extreme to end the second act to give the story a little bit more of a impact. All in all, it’s a really cool look at the 80’s punk scene and a good book I’d recommend. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Time to Blame Games, Again.

It seems like every year this happens. We get a mass shooting and a politician blames video games. Ok, I live in America, we get a mass shooting every week or two. The blaming video games thing tho doesn’t quite happen every time. They break it out here and there like your mother breaks out the fine china to impress a house guest, usually right around election time. It makes things look better to the people they want to impress than they actually are. Most of them realize games don’t actually cause violence. There are dozens of studies that show it, here I will link a few.

University of Oxford

APA Review

Journal of Youth and Adolescence

Now if you don’t want to bother reading all three of those links, which I understand, the general idea is simple. There might be some link between increased aggression similar to how watching a football or hockey game will increase aggression, causing trash-talking or yelling and maybe the occasional fight, but they aren’t causing large scale violence or criminal activity. Hell, we have all seen fights at the grocery store, does that mean buying waffles causes mass shootings or crime? No, clearly not. So why are so many people willing to accept games cause mass shootings but not accuse movies of doing it or football games creating NFL players? Well, honestly it is easy.

People desperately want an answer to why these things happen and want to know how we make it end, but they don’t want to risk sacrificing anything that affects them. So what better scapegoat than video games? Many older people don’t play them, most don’t understand them and see no benefit to them and they sure as hell don’t respect the people that play or create them.

It is easy to cling on to faulty research from decades ago or beliefs that didn’t pan out, but it is hard to abandon those for new information. Video games don’t cause mass shootings, guns in the hands of psychos do. Guns in the hands of fanatics do. I’m not just picking on guns, giving psychos and fanatics knives or air places would have the same results. Video games, however, are not a cause. Best wishes and may the gaming gods bring you glory.

Boundary gameplay trailer

I have to give a shout out to my pal Speedy for the heads up on this one. While games like Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 and Borderlands: The Pre-sequel have a lot of space and futuristic stuff in them, Boundary looks to be like a standard FPS in the dead of space. Honestly this looks really cool and I see a lot of cool opportunities this game has for some insane Z-G gun fights and some cool multiplayer matches. I’m pretty pumped for it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Addams Family trailer 2

I grew up loving the Addams Family like many others and it hurts a little that after 2 trailers this movie still isn’t clicking with me. While I think the cast is great, the fact the movie is animated kinda bugs me. While a lot of the jokes didn’t resonate with me, I think younger kids will like it. May the gaming gods bring you glory.

Dragonball Z: Buu Saga (Tournament)

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After the finale of Dragonball Z: Android Saga (Cell Games) there would be a time of peace for Gohan and the Z Fighters. In the Afterlife, Goku finds himself with a golden opportunity to train with Grand Kai by competing in a tournament against the champions of the other Kais, including King Kai’s nemesis West Kai. Goku faces off against a mysterious warrior named Pikkon in the finals, a fighter that’s more than a match for the Super Saiyan…Seven Years have passed and Gohan has become a scholar like his mother always wanted, living with his mom and little brother Goten in a quiet life. For fun Gohan became a super hero while going to high school and became friends with the girl he’d eventually marry, Videl, Hercule’s daughter  and small time hero in her own right. It isn’t long before Gohan and Vegeta, whose also living the quiet life, discover the power of Goten and young Trunks when they go Super Saiyan at ages 7 and 8. Goku earns the right to come back to Earth for one whole day so his friends get together and enter the World Martial Arts Tournament for old times sake but something devious maybe going on behind the scenes. Is this time of peace coming to an end?

For season 7 I have a lot to say. First, I think it’s the weakest season of the series and there is a shit ton of filler. My favorite part was the fight between Goku and Pikkon during the Other World Tournament. Goten and Trunks are have moments when they become annoying, and I can’t help but agree with Vegeta, something as awesome as the power of a Super Saiyan is now a child’s plaything. In fact, from here on out, if you ain’t Saiyan, you ain’t shit in this series. Characters like Piccolo and Krillin are pretty much rendered useless. While I understand why Gohan dedicated himself to his studies, I can’t buy that a mart kid like him would stop training altogether and would’ve kept preparing for the possibility bad times would come. Gohan’s superhero alter ego makes me cringe. In the end, if you can watch a recap somewhere, I’d recommend skipping this season and moving onto season 8. May the gaming gods bring you glory.