• Entertainment

    This Throwback Mobile Game is Inventive and Enthralling

    I wasn’t playing videogames in the 80s (I wasn’t alive yet) but I know the forefathers of the RPGs I play now were text-based, choose-your-own-adventure type games. Strip down the visuals and fighting from modern games, and at their core, they’re storytelling devices. That’s why I loved playing Open Sorcery, a text-based RPG in which you play as a magical firewall, in a world in which magic and technology are indistinguishable. I heard about this game on the Cybertwee Facebook group, which is a constant source of cute techy content; it’s like cyberpunk’s cuter, younger sister. Joining was one of the better decisions I’ve made. The premise is based around…

  • Culture,  Entertainment

    Millennials: Let’s Grow Up and Pay for Content

    Within a week of each other, I noticed that two of my favorite YouTubers were pushed by angry fans to defend their decision to make Patreon pages – something that would allow members of their audiences to send monthly contributions in return for extra perks. Payments are not mandatory to watch their videos, and both expressed an aversion to relying on corporate sponsorship to pay for their labor and tech. One pays out of her own pocket to produce skits. I was so incensed by the audacity fans had to demand free access to these people’s lives and artistic work that I decided to start a payment plan to support both of…

  • Culture,  Entertainment

    What Pokemon Go has Taught Me About Misinformation and Myth

    I’ve been catching ’em all since my first translucent purple Gameboy (because that was obviously the best color), and  while awaiting the launch of Pokemon Sun and Moon, I’ve been consumed by Pokemon Go. I joined forums, walked more than I  ever have, and started researching the best strategies for  evolving and  selecting my ideal team. While on my search for the  perfect Ninetails and Dragonaire (even though Dragonite is stronger, Dragonaire is so much more my aesthetic) I amassed more than a few spreadsheets and lists of move sets, base stats, and  everything in-between. In the month since it’s been released, I noticed my local Pokemon Go forum devolve…

  • Entertainment

    Review and Exploration of Her

    I recently rented Her on Netflix, and realized that it is everything I had hoped it would be. There is something about the way the film portrays love, the visual vocabulary used to describe emotion and convey complex themes that resonated with me. This is the kind of bleeding edge science fiction that I’ve been so enamored by, like magical realism with computers instead of magic wands. This is the fiction that I strive to write, albeit slowly. My competition is fierce, and this film is on the top of that list. The main character, Theodore, is a soft, intelligent man who comes off as slightly creepy. This is necessary to the story because otherwise,…

  • Entertainment

    Hardcore Henry Review

    Hardcore Henry is a like a very violent yet well animated cartoon, coupled with the flow of a videogame. If you don’t like the sound of either of these, you might not like this film, but I’d still say you should consider seeing it, if only to see something innovative. I went in with very few expectations, having seen a review online and deciding it could make for interesting conversation fodder, or at least a fun Friday night experience. Though it’s not perfect, the filmmakers risked the project (and probably their careers) on the POV angle, and it was refreshing to see brave directorial decisions pan out on screen. With the…

  • Entertainment

    A Review and Analysis of Hail, Caesar! 

    This was one of the films I most looked forward to seeing in 2016; after seeing it, I felt only the pang of unmet expectations. It’s not a technically bad movie, I was delighted by its whimsical and meta premise, and laughed at many of the jokes; I was having a good time. Then it ended. My first thought was “huh” and then “whelp” thanks to its ultimately unsatisfying plot. I actually saw this movie twice, and had the same experience both times. To reply to the gentleman who felt the need to interrupt my post-film conversation to explain to me that I was mistaken, that Coen brothers movies aren’t supposed to have a point, it’s…

  • Entertainment

    A Review and Analysis of Anomalisa

    Anomalisa is a well-crafted extended metaphor ripe with wit, visual interest, and tragic folly. Directed by Charlie Kaufman of Being John Malkovich and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame, and Duke Johnson, who specializes in stop-motion animation. Existing in the realm somewhere between live action and animation, comedy and tragedy, this dichotomous film was both engaging by escaping and confronting the human existence. Though I take issue with a few points of the film, I’d highly recommend everyone see it. Spoilers to follow, as this is more of an analysis than a review. An revalysis. The plot is dense and rich, with metatextual references strewn throughout. Fregoli is both the name of the…

  • Entertainment

    Movie Review: Hateful Eight 

    Continuing my tsunami of movie reviews, I’d like to discuss the recent Quentin Tarantino  film, the Hateful Eight. Coincidentally, it is also his eighth movie. I can’t help but wonder if he had planned to make a film about these eight characters and withheld it until the numbers coincided, or if the inspiration of the film was drawn from its place in his filmography. It’s more than a little self-aggrandizing, but I’ll overlook that since the film fused the worlds of pulp and gore with character development and dialog as only Tarantino can. Hateful Eight, or as my friend called it, Western Reservoir Dogs, bears many similarities with others in his portfolio. Here lies the dangers…

  • Entertainment

    Movie Review: Carol

    I must admit, I’ve seen quite a few amazing movies in the past few weeks, and I feel like a better person because of it. Escapism in movies is always a relaxing, enjoyable activity, but this last batch of films have visually and intellectually stimulating settings and plots, enhancing my experience. My next movie to review is Carol, based on the book The Price of Salt. Though I’ve never read the book, the film’s story follows a young Therese Belivet, played by Rooney Mara, an older woman, played by Cate Blanchette, and the suffusion of their romance in an era unkind to LGBT people. The movie was very sensual, as the couple experience…

  • Entertainment

    Movie Review: Ex Machina

    Ex Machina is a film that requires quiet watching, as events slowly unfold. It’s The plot is slow but rewards careful watchers. Going into the film with as little information as possible enhances the experience, so I’m going to warn you that this review contains SPOILERS and that if you plan to see it, do. If I had to give you one a one sentence review it would be: The intricacies of the plot and of the nature of morality, manipulation, and consciousness slowly unravel as you learn more about the characters and the situation; Oscar Issac as Nathan is charming while Ava is a fascinating entity. The following paragraphs are not spoiler-free. As more…