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Films & TV: Watching Together Vs. Watching Alone

Howdy people of the internet, time for another opinionated blog post and today I’m going to tackle watching films and TV and what it is like to do it together or alone, and in addition to that I’ll be talking about the pros and cons of each and the general perception of both.

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Now this is not a new conversation topic, this is a subject that has been debated for a while especially when it comes to watching films in the cinema. I mean for some people watching films and TV shows with other people is like an event and they love the atmosphere of having others around them, but then there are others who like to be alone when it comes to their viewing experience because it allows for silence and concentration on what they are viewing.

My Experience When It Comes To Films

For me I’m primarily a solo viewer. I can remember back in my teenage years when the concept of watching a film in the cinema alone was looked down upon with many people saying that it was either weird to go to the cinema alone or sad because you probably had no friends. I mainly avoided it because I wasn’t sure if I had the guts to go into a place which was primarily for groups. That being said during 2007 to 2008 I missed out on a good few films because I was waiting on friends and family to see it with me, and after a while I had enough. So I don’t recall when I first went to the cinema on my own but I think it was when I watched Iron Man for the third time, but it wasn’t until I got my Cineworld Unlimited Card in the latter half of that year when I really started getting into watching films on my own. These days it is my primary way of watching films. It’s not like I don’t like watching films with people, however I do just like planning my day at the cinema, watching 2 or 3 films in one day and no having anyone talking to me or asking me questions or having to listen to adverts or trailers because I have my headphones on. I have a system in place os that my cinema experience is as good as possible. The same rules apply when I’m at home, if I’m on Netflix, Amazon Prime or getting something out on DVD then I do prefer to be on my own because I can view everything at my leisure.

With all that being said I do like watching films with people too and some genres do lend themselves better to being together than being alone. For me comedies aren’t nearly as fun unless you’re with friends and horror films for me aren’t nearly as bearable without someone with me to share my fear.

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And with certain blockbusters like The Avengers, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Star Wars Episode 3 (yes even that film) would not have been as fun with my friends and family with me.

My Experience When It Comes To TV

When it comes to TV it is a different kind of experience. With the many different kinds of TV shows and channels that exist in the world today, you’re bound to find stuff you’ll want to watch with your family and friends and things you’ll want to watch alone. Some shows are designed for group viewing while others don’t require a large audience. Besides watching cartoons and certain soaps with my sister and mother, I’ve always watched TV shows on my own. After I went to university in 2011 and had no TV, I ended up watching a lot of TV online and that became my new addiction. I hadn’t watched that many shows before that point, so when I got recommended all of these US shows and then started watching them, I discovered this whole extra world of entertainment that I’d not seen before. Watching shows like Community, Fringe, Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Grimm and many others wouldn’t have been the same if I have had watched it with other people (with the exception of Breaking Bad because I watched that finale with my housemates). I certainly could not have watched those shows with my family because of the sex and violence, it would have been super awkward. The only shows I watched with my family is The 100 and The Walking Dead, but it is purely circumstantial and it’s annoying that we have to watch it as a unit, because if someone is not around, then we’ll have to wait and I HATE having to wait to watch something I love watching.

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Watching these shows would not have been possible if I didn’t make the decision to binge them on my own.

The Pros and Cons Watching Together

Now I am going to list some of my pros and cons to watching films and TV shows together.

Pros:

  • Shared emotional experiences
  • Having an energetic atmosphere
  • Having something to talk about afterwards
  • Memories

Cons:

  • Having to deal with really talkative people
  • Having to plan ahead to make sure everyone’s schedule matches
  • If watching at home you may have to deal with breaks (toilet, food, etc.)

The Pros and Cons Watching Alone

Now I am going to list some of my pros and cons to watching films and TV shows together.

Pros:

  • You only have to worry about yourself when it comes to scheduling
  • You don’t have to deal with people chatting in your ear
  • You can watch whatever you want when you want

Cons:

  • No one to talk to
  • No one to share your thoughts and experiences with

Conclusion

So to conclude there are both good and bad elements to watching films and TV shows together and alone. I guess it really depends on who you are as an individual and how you choose to view things. For me I have been watching films on my own for almost 7 years and I don’t regret the decision and since TV shows have become part of my life during university, I’m used to watching them alone too. But I do look forward to specific films which I can share my viewing experiences with others.

So what do think of this? Are a person comfortable watching things on your own or do require a companion/group? Also what do you think of people who do go solo, do you think they’re sad/weird individuals or can you see the advantages of it? Please give me your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next post, laters!

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2015 in Films, Life, Television

 

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QUICK REVIEW: Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation Trailer #1

Howdy people of the internet, time for my trailer review for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Obviously the teaser for this trailer came out on Sunday (I foolishly thought that it was the first trailer, however it was just teaser to a full teaser), but now we have a full trailer to look at giving us our first look at the carnage we’re in for with this fifth installment of this film series.

Firstly check out the trailer here:

So what are my first thoughts after seeing this trailer? I want a piece of this pie yo, sign me the hell up!

Now after the badassery of Ghost Protocol (a film I LOVED), I was not only ready for more adventures with Ethan Hunt but I was also curious/worried as to how this film would come close to that level of quality. And I know from interviews that director Christopher McQuarrie said that he wasn’t trying to outdo the last film, but just wanted to make a solid film. However after seeing this trailer I feel like the people behind this film are definitely trying to up the ante from the last film.

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Looks like the stakes are set possibly even higher than before with a lot of interesting a crazy things going on like:

  • A cool female operative working with Ethan’s crew
  • The CIA are out to dissolve the IMF
  • Hunt and his crew are up against an organisation just as skilled as they are
  • Ethan Hunt hanging off of a plane

As for the plot it seems like Hunt and his crew are going to have their work cut out for them as their main enemy seems to be a bad version of themselves. This illusive group known as the Syndicate are coming after our heroes and it looks like they have a lot of skill and firepower. I’m liking the cast too. Tom Cruise and Simon Pegg like their on-point as Ethan Hunt and Benji Dunn, while seeing Jeremy Renner again as William Brandt makes me smile too. I am however really excited for the new additions to the cast. Alec Baldwin is one of my favourite actors and while he’s seemed less than likeable in the public eye over recent years, I don’t want that to get in the way of the talent that he has. Anways I like how his character looks like the bad guy, seems like he’s going to make things complicated by taking out the organisation that Hunt and his crew work for and creating friction is also fun. And Rebecca Ferguson looks like a great replacement for Paula Patton as the next leading female. Besides being a confident, she can kick ass and is in the thick of the action and I love that. What I also appreciated was that for all the action and serious story elements, there are still moments of humour, a lot of which involving Simon Pegg and Tom Cruise. Whether it is Ethan asking Benji if he has his seatbelt on while in a car that’s flying backwards through the air or if Ethan is asking a woman if he knows her after she helped him beat up his captors, it’s great and well-timed.

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Oh and then there’s the action which looks off the chain yo and some of the stuff I liked was:

  • There’s chase sequences with bikes and cars with people getting knocked down and over cliffs!
  • Cool hand to hand combat moments whether someone is being held hostage or a woman is dispensing people in a dress
  • Ethan jumps off a building into some water hole which looks like it is inside of a fountain area

I know its been said already many times at this point but I’m going to mention it anyway… HOLY SHIT, IT’S TOM CRUISE HANGING OFF A MOVING PLANE, OH MY GOD! Sure that reaction is a little extreme but you have to admit, a 50+ Tom Cruise hanging off of a moving plane is some hardcore shit. This guy must be the western version of Jackie Chan (not nearly as hardcore but you get the comparison). I mean most men at this age would probably start to slow down and not do such crazy and risky stunt work, but Cruise jumps into this madness like a duck to water and shit he goes through for our entertainment has to be applauded. I don’t know how anyone can hate on a guy that works so hard and does badass stuff like this.

I guess my only issue with the trailer is the use of that remixed version of “Ready or Not” The Fugees, it just sounded horrible and out of place, thank god if wasn’t in the whole of the trailer.

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In conclusion the first trailer for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation looks awesome, I wasn’t sure if this film would get me as excited as the last one, but my worries were put to bed as this looks just as crazy, if not more than before. The action looks great, the story seems intriguing, the cast looks great and the set pieces look insane. The waiting period for the summer film season has gotten that much harder.

So what do you think of the first trailer for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation? Whatever your thoughts are be sure to leave them in the comments below, until the next time, laters! :D

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2015 in Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: The Voices

Howdy ladies and gents, time for another review and today I’ll be talking about The Voices. Now this is a film I saw advertised on TV last week and decided that it would be worth a watch just because I was curious to see what Ryan Reynolds is up to these days. So is it good or not? Well read on and find out!

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When it comes to the story it goes a little something like this:

“Jerry (Ryan Reynolds) is that chipper guy clocking the nine-to-five at a bathtub factory, with the offbeat charm of anyone who could use a few friends. With the help of his court-appointed psychiatrist, he pursues his office crush (Gemma Arterton). However, the relationship takes a sudden, murderous turn after she stands him up for a date. Guided by his evil talking cat and benevolent talking dog, Jerry must decide whether to keep striving for normalcy, or indulge in a much more sinister path.”

I thought the story here was pretty interesting, it was dark, creepy, violent, but also quite funny and bizarre. I got a lot of vibes from films like Filth, Life After Beth and Warm Bodies where life goes on as normal but there is a something questionable and out of the ordinary happening where people can’t see. At first I was wondering how the film would proceed and whether it would catch my interest, however, once the more dark and corrupt side of things take place the film definitely gets more interesting and as things go from good to bad and worse for Jerry, you just get curious to see how things will pan out in the end. There is a lot of creepy and atmospheric aspects to the story, but at time things can be quite funny as there are scenes and sequences that make light of such dark and dangerous situations. Oh, and the ending for this film, damn! I was not expecting it at all, I won’t say what happens, but suffice to say it was awesome.

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When it comes to the cast they are all pretty good, but this film belongs to Ryan Reynolds as he does a terrific job playing Jerry Hickfang and some other characters. Jerry is a lovely, friendly, if somewhat confusing and strange individual, he operates in his own little world but just about functions normally when in the presence of others. At first you wonder what the deal is with him, but as the film goes on you come to understand him and while not all of his decisions are right, you do want to see him find peace. Reynolds is an actor who I’ve liked mainly after I saw Buried which is one of the most underrated films of 2010 and still is Reynolds’ best performance to date, and here he delivers another great performance. While Reynolds has a fairly recognisable face, I seriously didn’t see it that much, the man disappeared into the role and was really convincing as this mentally disturbed man and that takes talent.

Anna Kendrick was really good as Lisa. Any time I see Kendrick in a film I get quite happy, I’ve been a fan of hers since Up in the Air and every film I’ve seen her in, she turns in a good performance and the same can be said here. Kendrick plays such a sweet, innocent and light-hearted girl who pretty much wears her heart on her sleeve and has some fun times with her co-workers and Jerry. Gemma Arterton was also great as Fiona, I haven’t seen Arterton in many films since Quantum of Solace, but I’m glad to report that she is still 1) A very beautiful and attractive woman. But more importantly 2) That she is a very good and compelling actress with a lovely and likeable presence. As for Jacki Weaver she was brilliant as Dr. Warren, she was the doctor trying to help Jerry with his condition and trying to steer him in the right direction and Weaver handled the role like a pro, being calm and authoritative but also kind and understanding. Oh and Ella Smith was quite cheeky and nice as Alison.

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In conclusion The Voices is a good film, since it isn’t a big budget film I feel like it will probably get ignored by the general public and that sucks because this is definitely one interesting film with a great central performance from Ryan Reynolds. It probably won’t appeal to everyone as it is quite disturbing and violent, however the intriguing story and good performances on display should not be missed out on.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen The Voices and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your comments below and let me know what your thoughts are. Until the next time, peace out peeps! :D

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Favourite Songs #38: Kenny Loggins – Danger Zone

Howdy people of the interweb, and welcome to the 38th edition of my series of blog posts dedicated to some of my favourite songs ever in life. So today I’ll be talking about one of my favourite songs from the 1980’s in the form of “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins.

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Excuse for following statement, but…. FUCK YEAH, this is my jam! There is nothing quite like this song and while I came across this a lot later in life, I will say that it has been part of integrated into my system ever since.

Check out this awesome tune below:

So what makes this song so awesome? Well, it is hard to describe because this song is more than just music, it is life. Haha. But seriously, this song, for me, is the definition of manliness. I think it is when you hear those guitars start up, you know you’re in for a good time. It is rock music with that great 1980’s sound. This is a song that sounds like it is of its time period, it could only work in the 80’s, and while some may consider it a little cheesy (probably because of the association with Top Gun), but I adore it. You have gorgeous guitar work, a lovely bass line and some lovely drums, along with the wonderful vocals of Kenny Loggins. When you hear this song you feel the passion, I love Loggins’ voice the way he sings just makes me feel the heat and epicness of life. The lyrics are sung with such passion, hearing lyrics like: “Headin’ into twilight / Spreadin’ out her wings tonight / She got you jumpin’ off the deck / And shovin’ into overdrive” or “They never say hello to you / Until you get it on the red line overload / You’ll never know what you can do / Until you get it up as high as you can go” (singing that part at the top of your lungs is the best). But this verse is my favourite: “Out along the edge / Is always where I burn to be / The further on the edge / The hotter the intensity“. But obviously it is all about that chorus. I don’t know if there is another chorus in life that is as fun or as epic to sing to. Oh and to find out Giorgio Moroder was behind the music composition of this song just makes me love it more as I’ve come to appreciate Moroder more after I found out about his work on Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories.

When this song comes on, nothing else matters, it is just you, and the manly sounds of “Danger Zone“!

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Top Gun honestly wouldn’t be half as fun without the epic sounds of Kenny Loggins, fact.

Now I obviously came across this song through the 1980’s classic, Top Gun. However, I didn’t see Top Gun until I was in college and had to watch in my media course which I think was in 2008. One would wonder why it had taken so long for me to see such a classic film, well I had a lot of other stuff to watch in the 90’s, plus if a certain film wasn’t on VHS or on TV in my house, I just wouldn’t see it. So  I hadn’t heard of  the pleasure of having this song be a part of childhood, however I can safely say that during my first viewing of this film my heart was captured by the epicness of this song. Hearing “Danger Zone” spread across the film just fuels the adrenaline, every time you came down, this song brings you back up!

In conclusion “Danger Zone” by Kenny Loggins is just epic, it is a fine example of some of the best music from the 80’s that works not only as a film associated with a famous film, but also on its own. It is the kind of song you should listen to on the highest volume and is just the best for karaoke. If you haven’t experienced the badassery of this song then you awe it to yourself to check it out as it is that amazing! Yeah I said it.

Well that’s another song review done, what do you think of my song choice today? Whatever your thoughts are leave me a comment below and be sure to come back next time for another song review yo! :D

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2015 in Films, Media, Music, Reviews

 

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The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water Review

Howdy ladies and gents, time for a fresh new review from the cinema! Yeah, I decided to get out of the house today and watch something and so I decided to start with something questionable, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. Now before watching this film I had a lot of reservations like: 1) I thought that the trailers loved less than impressive. 2) I wasn’t interested in the CG versions of the characters. And 3) My love for SpongeBob peaked around season 3, everything beyond that was okay or totally substandard. So was this film worth the effort? Well read on and find out.

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When it comes to the plot it can be summarised as the following:

“When a diabolical pirate above the sea steals the secret Krabby Patty formula, SpongeBob and his nemesis Plankton must team up in order to get it back.”

Surprisingly the film was better than I expected, the plot was simple and easy to follow and it really felt like an episode of TV show. I thought from the trailers that this was just going to be another mindless animated film for children, however there was fun to be had with this film. The was not perfect by any means. Like I said before the film felt an episode of the show, however, that you do feel like this could have been a TV movie as there really wasn’t too much in this plot that couldn’t have been done on TV. Another thing to note, If you’re fan of some of the other secondary characters then you’ll be sorely disappointed as they are limited to cameos or random non-speaking roles and its disappointing. Also the humour wasn’t always on-point, now I don’t if it was just because there was a small audience in my film screening or if the writers are running out of steam, but there was silence throughout most of the film. Besides the odd chuckle, there was no laugh-out-loud moments at all. And some of the more childish aspects of the TV series were apparent too with your basic slapstick and toilet humour. Now I have to say that there are elements of this film that I liked more so than the first SpongeBob film in 2004, but that film felt like a film and not an extended episode of the show.

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The cast was pretty good. Tom Kenny is still as charismatic as SpongeBob SquarePants, Bill Fagerbakke is fun as Patrick Star and Clancy Brown is still wonderfully aggressive as Mr. Krabs and he had some of my favourite lines. Mr. Lawrence is another person with some great lines as Plankton, while Rodger Bumpass is good as Squidward Tentacles but I feel like he wasn’t used as much as I would have liked, and Carolyn Lawrence is fine as Sandy Cheeks. But the best voice work came from Matt Berry as Bubbles. When I heard Bubbles speak I recognised his voice immediately as Douglas Reynholm in The IT Crowd, I was so happy. And finally Antonio Banderas as Burger-Beard the Pirate was cool, I mean his character was over the top, silly and very similar to Patchy the Pirate, but I think he was fine.

What I appreciated the most was the presentation. Visually this film is beautiful. One thing to note is that this film is primarily in 2D with traditional cel animation (probably digital though) and it looks just like the TV show, however, there is a higher quality in the colours, art and fluidity. Also this film has some great action scenes and some really acid trip-like sequences that were so fun to watch. The CGI used on the 3D characters in live-action was decent, though it was unnecessary. The music was also decent with a decent film score from John Debney and the use of “Squeeze Me” by N.E.R.D. was actually quite enjoyable.

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In conclusion The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water was better than I expected, with some really great 2D animation (which was wrongly hidden in the marketing for the film), wonderful voice work and trippy sequences, it definitely makes for a fun time. That being said this film was not nearly as fun as the early seasons of the TV show and felt a little like an extended episode than a film. If you’re a die-hard fan this film’s for you, however, if you’re fan of the earlier seasons or not into SpongeBob at all then I would give this one a miss.

Rating: 6.5/10 (Better than I expected, but not a return to form for the classic yellow character)

So have you seen The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water and if so what did you think of it? Also if you’re a long-term SpongeBob fan how do you feel about this film, is it better or worse than the last one? And do you think it needed to be made or should have been left in the dark? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Well that’s me done, until the next time, peace out yo! :D

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: 20 Feet from Stardom

Howdy people of the internet, well since I’m not going to be reviewing anything from the cinema any time soon, I thought I’d review something i watched on Netflix instead and today I’ll be talking about 20 Feet from Stardom. Now this is a documentary I really wanted to watch because of three things: 1) The concept behind the film. 2) Mark Kermode’s recommendation. And 3) My auntie’s recommendation. So with all that in mind let me review this thing.

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To put it simply, 20 Feet from Stardom basically tells the stories of backgrounds singers who have worked in the music industry and documents the highs and lows of being in that profession.

This documentary like the best films in the genre is detailed, informative and emotional. This film not only gives you the personal stories of singers who have been part of the business but it also gives an insight into the way music industry worked with aspects like how there were unwritten rules, dodgy dealings, leading artists who appreciated their background singers and those who didn’t and a hierarchy system for lead and background singers, and that’s just a fraction of the topics covered. What I really appreciated about this film was the emotional element, some of these singers had the joys of working with some of the best people in the music industry, but for some they peaked too early and then ended up having to change professions, continue trying for a solo career or stayed as a backing singer for the rest of their career.

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As for the singers involved, most of them I didn’t know of but my mum would probably know because it was from her generation. I have a lot of respect for Darlene Love and Merry Clayton for continuing to make music considering that down periods they had to endure. Táta Vega is another person who is another great singer who I’m surprised didn’t get more publicity considering all of the stuff that she’s done, and Judith Hill s someone I didn’t recognize until I saw her with Michael Jackson in the This is It archive footage, she is such a talented musician and considering who she’s worked with and the voice she has, I was very surprised to know that she’s not become a bigger presence in the industry. But the main person who really captivated me was Lisa Fischer, my god what a voice. Ms. Fischer comes across as such a kind and beautiful soul who lives and breathes music and only does it because she truly enjoys it. Fischer is incredibly versatile and has had one hell of a career with the solo work she’s done and the other famous artists she’s worked with, I was surprised that I’d never heard of her beforehand and not heard her gorgeous voice before. I think I fell in love with her voice (if that’s possible).

One other thing to note, considering the state of the music industry these days with some horrible musicians and songs, it is nice to see some good music and singers at work. Whether it is just singers harmonizing in the studio, watching live performances on stage or archive footage, hearing the famous sounds of The Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Ray Charles among others was just delightful and obviously the background singers also have their moments in the sun which is also awesome.

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In conclusion 20 Feet from Stardom is a very good documentary that covers a side of the music industry that not many people are aware of and presents the lives of background singers in a detailed, thoughtful and entertaining way. I would highly recommend this as it is a very good watch just to see such talented and underappreciated people at work.

So have you seen 20 Feet from Stardom and if so what did you think of it? Please be sure to leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! :D

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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The Connections We Make Through Gaming

Howdy ladies and gents, how you been doing? So with my blog post about solo gaming, I just wanted to make another video game post and see if I could start up any more discussions, and the subject matter today is making friends through gaming basically.

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So I decided to talk about this specific subject after watching Video Games: The Movie, a documentary about the history, technology and culture of the games industry. And while it skipped over a HECK of a lot of details when it came to the 90’s, Sega’s involvement in the games industry, the 8th generation of consoles, PC gaming and some of the failed gaming experiments, at the same time it did well to highlight some of the major accomplishments, failures and entertaining aspects of the industry. The one thing that it got me thinking about is the culture, how’s it changed and the bonds people make through gaming.

Now I’ve not been on this planet that long to see the crazy highs and lows of the video game industry, however, I feel like I grew up at a really great point in time. I got to experience the last moments of 16-bit gaming, got to transition into 3D games and got to experience the best days of offline gaming without heavy impact of the internet. You see I remember a time when gaming used to be shunned, if you played games you were a nerd or were considered unsociable or uncool. However these days everyone is doing it, obviously loads of things have changed since the 90’s and 80’s, but it is interesting to how people come together to game, whether it is online, offline, at conventions or tournaments. I feel like video games, more so than other forms of media, has a gravitational pull that is too strong to ignore. And it is just insane to see how many people check out gaming-based events and become friends, events like Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), Pax East, Games Developers Conference, Tokyo Games Show, Evolution Championship Series (Evo) or tournaments for Counter-Strike and Starcraft, it’s like gaming events as big as the Grammy’s or Academy Awards.

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As a gamer from the 90’s I can say that some of my best friends I have made through gaming or have had play games with me for extensive periods of time. For me playing games through local multiplayer has been some of the best gaming experiences of my life. I think things really came to high playing on the Nintendo 64, on that console I spent many days playing the FPS titles GoldenEye and Perfect Dark, both titles showed just how much of a crazy person I could be with rocket launchers and proxy mines. Then there’s the first three Mario Party games caused of the best and worst experiences with my friends (we pretty much broke up all the time when shit hit the fan). And obviously there is the first Super Smash Bros. which was some of the favourite four-player action in my childhood that wasn’t related to racing or shooting games. But when it comes to the good standard multiplayer action, the Mario Kart series is where life begins and ends. Whether it was in school, college or university, that racing series has always found a way to be part of local gaming experience. I played with friends, family and people I didn’t even know, it seems to be universally something that everyone can get down with and when you’re in a room together, things can get heated, electrify and crazy. Other games I’ve played with people and had killer times with is Halo 1-3, Call of Duty: World at War, Black Ops and Modern Warfare 2 and Phantasy Star Online Episode 1 & 2.

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Another aspect of gaming that I love is the fact that you can find friends is so many unexpected ways. Like when I’ve gone to conventions and had sessions with people I didn’t know or when I came to uni and found out one of the guys in my accommodation was a hardcore gamer (heaven!) or when joined a video game society at uni and found all of these beautiful people who were just as obsessed as I was. Best times ever. The only way I haven’t found friends through gaming is online, I know it has been done before, but I’ve not really played with unknown people that much online to point where we were friends, guess I wasn’t playing the right games lol. Going back to Video Games: The Movie, it just reminded me of how unifying gaming can be with people becoming friends online or getting married thanks to video games, it just makes me think of how beautiful this form of entertainment is and how some people will never understand the fun that comes from it.

So to conclude, gaming, it a great medium for gaming. Most people that I have met are just nuts about games and they can recognise their kind straight away and like to be in each others company. In the early days some gamers stuck together just because they could only find solace with their own kind, but times have changed and most people these days just like being around people who understand them. From an outsiders point of view us gamers can be a simple bunch of people, but there is so much more to us than that. Some are fairly complex, we can shy, a bit weird or have learning difficulties, so playing games and being around gamers can be the only way we can function. And thanks to groups, tournaments, conventions and your basic local and online multiplayer games, people have and will continue to find connections through gaming.

So now things move to you, have you found friends through video games and if so was it online or offline? Also what do you think of video game culture with tournaments, conventions or marriages? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below. Until next time peace out people! :D

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2015 in Life, Media, Video Games

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Kill the Messenger

Howdy people of the internet, time for another SIMPLE REVIEW where I tell you my thoughts on a film in a more condensed manner then my standard reviews, and today I’ll be discussing Kill the Messenger. Now before I went to see Chappie (review here) I went to see this film out of curiosity since the plot sounded interesting and I didn’t think the film would be in my local cinema for too long. So after watching it I’m ready to pass judgement.

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Here the story summary:

“A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA’s role in arming Contra rebels in Nicaragua and importing cocaine into California. Based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb.”

If Nightcrawler showed the corrupt side of journalism from the reporters, then this film showed corruption from the people being investigated. This film illustrated how dangerous and tricky the world of journalism can be when you’re reporting on a sensitive subject matter, and it gets more engaging because you know this film is based on true events. Gary is searching for the truth and has good intentions, however what he doesn’t realise is how his story involving the government is going to have serious repercussions as the government and media go on the attack and try their best to make sure that there’s no substance to his work. It was interesting to see how obsessed Gary got with the story and how the media went from being on his side to changing their opinions once some dirt was dug up on not only his sources but also his personal history. The film also goes to show how fickle the world of journalism can be. You can tell the truth, but without evidence you’re basically screwed and no matter how good your intentions are there will always be people out there trying to shut you down with threats, hearsay and other underhanded tactics. It really makes you want to stay away from this line of business because you can never really be safe.

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As for the cast I thought they all did well in their roles. Firstly, Jeremy Renner, he was SO good as Gary Webb. Now Renner is an actor I really like, whether it be The Town, Mission Impossible 4, American Hustle or The Avengers, he normally turns in a good performance, however, before now I had yet to see a film that I could say was “Renner’s film”, however this film is it. Renner does so well here showing why he is a force to be reckoned with acting with such flair, charm, aggression and drama, you really connect with this character once his world starts falling apart and he’s facing scrutiny from the media and fears for the safety of his family. The rest of the cast turn in good performances as well. Rosemarie DeWitt was really good as Susan Webb, she acted with a good amount of versatility and realsim.Ray Liotta was good as John Cullen but I wish I had seen more of him.Mary Elizabeth Winstead did really well as Anna Simons, she was smart, cautious and supportive, Oliver Platt was also pretty good as Jerry Ceppos, while Paz Vega was really gorgeous and cheeky as Coral Baca. And finally I enjoyed seeing Michael Sheen as Fred Weil and Michael K. Williams as “Freeway” Rick Ross.

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In conclusion Kill the Messenger is a pretty good film with a strong cast and an interesting story worth telling. While some of the story elements can get a little hard to follow at times due to a lot of jargon and some pacing issues, for the most part this is a great film that deserves your time.

Rating: 7.5/10

So have you seen this film and if so what did you think of it? Please leave your thoughts below and I’ll see ya on the next review, laters! :D

 
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Posted by on March 13, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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SIMPLE REVIEW: Chappie

Howdy people of the internet, time for another SIMPLE REVIEW where I tell you my thoughts on a film in a more condensed manner then my standard reviews, and today I’ll be discussing Chappie. Now from the trailers I can’t say I was that excited for this, but in the weeks leading up to its release I started to get more intrigued. Then the reviews came out with the film being pretty much mixed to negative which didn’t give me much hope for the film, that being said I wanted to judge the film for myself, so I saw it and now I’m ready yo pass judgement.

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I’m going to say this straight up, Chappie, it is a good watch, but it has problems. What the film does get right is its approach to artificial intelligence. AI is something we’ve seen in countless films before, but I will always welcome more if the story and character aspects are handled correctly and this film gets that aspect right. From the way Chappie comes into the world and tries to make sense of it, to the human fear and frustration that comes from a sentient robot, all of those elements come into play wonderfully with some very beautiful, sad, humourous and satisfying moments. With all that being said the story had issues like:

  • Not introducing the main character until a fair way into the film
  • The pacing was pretty slow at times
  • The film’s length felt like it could have been cut
  • The film echoed Neill Blomkamp’s previous work like District 9 and Elysium, but not in a good way
  • I feel like the plot wasted a lot of potential with the characters and a change direction could have made it a lot better

But other than those issues the film was fine. The actors were pretty good, for the most part. Sharlto Copley as Chappie did a good job providing the voice and motion capture, since the role was primarily voiced-based, Copley did well to use his voice to get us to emotionally connect with his character. Dev Patel as Deon Wilson was also good, however  feel like his character could have been much stronger in personality and would have been better if he had a bigger part to play earlier on. Hugh Jackman did well as Vincent Moore, even though his character is an idiot and creates all forms of havoc just for the sake of revenge and a little attention. Oh and Sigourney Weaver and Jose Pablo Cantillo was fine as Michelle Bradley and Yankie. Now let’s talk about the other cast members. At first I didn’t recognize Ninja and Yolandi from Die Antwood, but when I did I knew I’d be in for a questionable experience and man they were terrible verging on cartoon levels of overacting, their appearance in this film was so unnecessary. The best part of the film was the visual presentation, the film looked great, the CGI was awesome and very realistic while the cinematography was handled nicely. And while the soundtrack by Hans Zimmer was good, the music selection was terrible with such terrible sounds from Die Antwood, yuck.

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Chappie was a very different film from what I anticipated, while some elements unfolded the way I expected, at the same time there were things took me completely by surprise. It was certainly better than some of the critics suggested, however I can not help but feel like this film could have been more if the story had gone in a different direction. I hope Neill Blomkamp can change things up in his next film because there is a sense of repetition starting to emerge.

Rating: 7/10

So have you seen Chappie and if so what did you think of it? Also how do you feel about Neill Blomkamp as a director, do you feel like he’s still got or do you think he’s starting to lose his touch? Whatever your thoughts be sure to leave them below and I’ll see ya on the next film review, laters! :D

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2015 in Film Reviews, Films, Media, Reviews

 

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Marvel’s Daredevil Trailer #2 Review

Howdy people of the internet, how are you all doing? With Marvel’s Daredevil bring around a month away now it seems like the advertising is definitely on the increase as we have a new trailer that dropped today. I really liked the first trailer so I was really interested in seeing more footage for sure. So is it good? Read on and find out!

Here’s the trailer:

So what do I think after seeing this teaser? I’m already down for this, give it to me now.

This show is looking better which each new image and video released. I’m not even the biggest Daredevil fan, however, I know enough about the character and it’s fan base to understand how much of a big deal this show is. The show seems a little darker, mature and edgier than what’s come before in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and sure, those descriptive terms have been used for this show for AGES, but it is hard to describe the look and feel of this footage without using them.

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Now this trailer shows us a fair amount of what we’ve seen before in terms of seeing Matt Murdock in and out of the suit, seeing him fight at night and look mashed up in the rain. However there is a greater emphasis on the characters (especially Kingpin) and story, there is also some additional footage that gives us a better look into the world and how certain events will play out.

This trailer seems to confirm what we’ve come to learn about this series from the producers and actors behind the show like:

  • Matt Murdock will not be invincible, he will get better as a superhero but will get beaten up a lot along the way
  • The black suit will be the primary suit until the classic red costume comes along later on
  • Hell’s Kitchen is full of crime and danger
  • Kingpin will be a force to be reckoned with

What I appreciated about this trailer is how much emphasis there was on Daredevil and Kingpin when it comes to their ideals, how they take the law into their own hands and how they plan to change New York into a better place. Matt Murdock becomes a hero because he believes with his abilities that he’ll be able to save the place he grew up in, whereas Kingpin seems like a straight up criminal but perceives his actions as moral. I’m loving what I’m seeing from Charlie Cox as the main character, he’s really cool, aggressive and has a good screen presence. But then there’s Vincent D’Onofrio who is looking more and more like he’ll be the most badass version of Kingpin ever. D’Onofrio has this menacing aura and looks rough as heck from the way he speaks and beats the crap out of people. It looks like Daredevil and Kingpin are two sides of the same coin and it looks like they will work their way to up in popularity until they have to fight each other. Seeing more of Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple, Elden Henson as Foggy Nelson and Scott Glenn as Stick is nice too.

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I also really like the way this show looks. I am  person who appreciates good visual presentation in film and television and in the last five years shows have really stepped up. I have to say that the cinematography in this show looks very strong, it is sharp and detailed, striking with its colour and looks especially good at night with lovely lighting. And you can’t talk about the visual presentation without talking about the action and it looks pretty slick so far. The action looks great with varying degrees of violence ranging from people jumping through windows, explosions, firefights and of course hand-to-hand combat with people being punched, kicked and knocked to ground. And of course there’s blood which may not sound like a big deal but with the MCU being the way that it is these days, a bit of extra violence is welcomed.

But of the best parts of the trailer was at the end with the one guy who says “Maybe if he had an iron suit or a magic hammer, that would explain why you keep having your asses handed to you.” Some could see that as referencing that’s unnecessary or too on-the-nose, but I think it is nice that with one sentence, hardcore and casual fans get a confirmation that this is linked to the films and is part of the MCU as a whole. As a fan you can’t help but smile or get a little giddy to know all of these characters inhabit the same world.

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In the end the second trailer for Marvel’s Daredevil is looking very promising. The more footage I see of this show, the more I’m starting to fall in love with it. It looks rough, adult-oriented, action-heavy and character driven. I honestly think this is the most hype I’ve felt for a comic book TV show for a while, and if it delivers then I can see this show making some big waves for not only other Marvel shows but the films as well.

So have you seen the second trailer for Marvel’s Daredevil and is so what do you think of it? Please leave your comments below and I’ll see ya on the next blog post, laters. :)

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2015 in Media, Reviews, Television

 

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