Saturday, December 21, 2013

American Hustle Review: Pimpin' Ain't Easy

I walked into American Hustle not knowing much about it, other that its high score on Rotten Tomatoes (which, let's face it, has become a necessity when debating a night at the theater). I enjoyed Director David O. Russell's last couple of films, but I wasn't exactly sure what to expect, since no one had given out many plot details. Now I know why: This movie is friggin' complicated.

If you need some background information without treading into spoiler territory, here's the deal. Irving Rosenfeld (a...rounder Christian Bale than what we're used to) is a con artist who specializes in fraudulent loans. He meets Amy Adams' Sydney, another hustler who pretends to hustle in a British fashion. Their hustle gets out-hustled by Bradley Cooper's FBI agent Richie DiMasso, who then hustles them into hustling a corrupt New Jersey Mayor (Jeremy Renner). Soon enough, everyone's hustling everyone with a side of fresh hustle.

On paper, this story should be a mess. Yet, American Hustle paces itself so well that it seems as if Russell is walking you through the story while holding your hand and telling you you're pretty. As long as you're paying attention for the 2.5 hour runtime, you should be cool.

I'd love to discuss the story more, but I can't really give that much away without spoiling anything. Plot details are unveiled little by little, and every little bit of the dangling carrot makes you want to know more about the characters and what they all really want in the end.

All of this is pulled off really well by the characters. I've recognized Russell for his work with his actors, because he always gets the performances out of them that best suit the movie. The standouts here are Louis C.K. as DiMasso's boss (Did you know he was in this? Me neither.) and Jennifer Lawrence in her true-to-Internet-folk-hero-status as Rosenfeld's probably-not-sane wife (Yes, he has a wife an a girlfriend. No, it doesn't make sense at first). And Amy Adams greatly captures that "Will they/Won't they" dynamic - not with a love interest, but rather in regards to "Will her boobs fall out of her shirt or won't they?"

Rated R for giving teenage boys funny ideas.
There isn't really much else that needs to be said about American Hustle. It's written, acted, shot and edited well; the period is well-represented by the production design and phenomenal music. Really, you should go see this one before awards season comes around.

Speaking of awards season, what are your picks for the best 2013 had to offer? I'm planning on putting together not a top X list, but rather a list of things I thought were interesting that happened to come out in 2013. But that won't be for a few more weeks since I'm giving myself more time to actually experience what came out in 2013.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Catching Fire Review: A Day at the Death Beach

I know this movie came out on Thursday, and today is Wednesday. Most of you probably saw this already and won't care what I have to say. But if you were as on the fence as I was about seeing yet another adaptation of a young adult bestseller, then you might want to listen up.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire is miles ahead of its predecessor, and it's a great example of how to fix a franchise before it falls too far.

I was pretty skeptical going into this one. While I enjoyed the books (the first two, at least), the first movie was nothing short of a disappointment. The camerawork was sloppy, the runtime was bloated, the action was incredibly difficult to follow and the character performances hardly lived up to what the books put in my mind. Fortunately, Catching Fire pumps some life into the franchise before it can become a series of misfires.

Granted, some issues still rear their ugly heads, with the most notable being the movie's length. Catching Fire is a whopping two and a half hours, and it's not hard to feel that time wear on. This comes from the movie being a pretty faithful adaptation of the novel and sticking to its arbitrary structure. If you aren't aware, each book is split up into equal thirds of something, something and something else. If one something isn't as interesting as another something, well tough tortoises. Suzanne Collins is not one for structure, as you can see on her website.

But she is one for creepy rubber rats. I didn't read to see why.
Fortunately, though, the movie's two and a half hours are peppered with something great that way too few movies attempt to include these days: those little throwaway moments that serve to flesh out the characters and give them life outside the plot. I'd credit these - and the rest of the film's greatness - to the franchise's new director, Francis Lawrence. You know, the guy hot off the success of...Water for Elephants?

I know you forgot about this movie. But the elephants never forget.
I'm so glad The Hunger Games finally found a director who knows what he's doing. You can easily tell he had a hand in revamping the once-nauseating action scenes and giving the quasi-science fiction universe a more cohesive vision. And I commend him for getting decent performances out of the actors who felt pretty underutilized in the first movie. It's nice to finally see that Katniss is a smart and strong heroine rather than constantly just being told she is, and now there's reason to want these people to succeed.

If you like the series, you've probably seen the movie by now. If you were on the fence like I was, I really want you to give this one a shot. The last movie was perhaps a big turnoff, but Catching Fire finally gives reason to all the hype. So go see it or whatever.

What did you think of this movie compared to the last one? How do you think Mockingjay will turn out? Especially because, well, it's Mockingjay. I had a long talk with some friends about how I want to be excited for the franchise after how good Catching Fire was, but I can't because...Mockingjay. Let me know what you think in the comments, I want to chat. And there's no reason for you not to - I'm sure you've had a Google+ account rammed down your throat by now.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Thor: The Dark World Review: Like a Hit to the Face from MeowMeow

By now, there's an undeclared deal we all have with Marvel Studios: We give them our time and money, and they give us a string of movies that both introduce and revitalize fan-favorite characters from decades-old comics. These movies have also been of a consistent quality - even when they're not great, they're still good. I put the original Thor in that area, and I'd put the new sequel there as well. But while The Dark World isn't amazing, it's surprisingly fascinating.

In an effort to write reviews that lack flow, I'm going to switch gears for a second and familiarize you newcomers. Thor: The Dark World continues Marvel's "Phase Two" of movies, meaning that this is a continuation of both Thor's story and the overarching plot of the other Avengers-related movies. But whereas Iron Man 3 focused on the fallout of the New York incident, Thor 2 takes aim at the thunder god's new perspective on humanity and his obligation to protect them. This happens by way of an incredibly boring opening monologue from Odin about some dark elf with some weapon that's been locked away for some amount of time. Honestly, you won't really care about the main villain. Just know that the action's great, the settings are beautiful, the score is epic, and the movie is generally fun to watch. Oh, and there's Loki.

Pictured: One of the few Loki images not
involving hentai or someone's DeviantArt page.
If you haven't heard already, Tom Hiddleston's Loki spends some time in The Dark World, and he's easily the best aspect of the movie. It's either unbalanced writing or Hiddleston's presence that somehow makes the character who killed thousands of people the most likable one. The other actors do a fine job too, especially with their clear effort to make the otherworldly characters seem more human. However, a part of me wishes Kat Dennings and series newcomer Zachary Levi were the only other characters going for laughs. With everyone constantly trying to out-funny each other, you can tell they're among the few who know what they're doing.

So, I'd rather not continue my laundry list of the movie's elements. Instead, let's discuss my aforementioned fascination with The Dark World. It's common knowledge by now that Joss Whedon was brought in to "fix" the script. And you can tell.

"Who can take a sunrise, sprinkle it with dew..."
Thor 2 honestly feels like two films spliced together; and it's a job done well but not perfectly. When The Dark World is good, it's absolutely awesome. When it's not, it's really not. And the seams are very clearly visible. Certain scenes are incredibly written and immensely enjoyable. The action is great, and it all feels very appropriate in the world of Thor. Yet, other scenes are laughable mush that feel lazily put together. Several action scenes feel stolen from Star Wars. Yes, I meant Star Wars. I know it's a Thor movie, but apparently the director thought The Dark World needed space ships, laser turrets, black hole grenades and speeder chases. The dialogue feels even more unfitting. The best example is the scene where Odin makes a dismissive laugh that lacks anything I've ever seen on the emotional spectrum. If you're good with PhotoShop, please make it a gif and send it to me.

It goes without saying that you should see Thor 2, regardless of its really weird quirks and shortcomings. It's still a decent Marvel movie and it's awesome in the superhero department. Just know that you're not alone if some of it seems off.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


You're probably wondering where I've been the past few months. You've probably wondered if I've been brutally murdered after finding myself in debt to the Underground Ostrich Racing League (UORL). I have. I'm writing this from another plane of existence.

But we have more pressing matters to discuss. Grand Theft Auto V was released about a month ago, and, naturally, one would think a guy who writes about prevalent pop culture odds and ends would have a few words to say. And I do, now that I've actually finished the main campaign and can talk from a place other than my butt. Although, admittedly, it's a nice butt - just misinformed in a few areas. Since I, the writer, and you, the reader, lead very busy lives, I don't have time to carefully construct an in-depth article about GTA V, the game. Instead, here's a quick blow-by-blow question-and-answer setup with several queries I see often asked about the game along with my responses. So basically, heres a page of me talking to myself - kinda like Garfield without the Garfield. Oh yeah, there's spoilers, too.

It's the saddest thing you'll read without "Nicholas Sparks" in the byline.
I'm poor/stupid and haven't picked up the game yet. Should I?

Yes. GTA V is one of the most fun games I've ever played. It takes the immersive world of GTA IV and removes all the grittiness that took the joy out of that game. Missions range anywhere from assassinating a CEO to flying a biplane into another larger plane and then jumping out of that plane. I might be underselling it, but this game is mad creative. The world of Los Santos alone is worth the price of admission. It's about a 10 minute plane ride from one side of the map to the other - that's really freaking big if you're confused. And it's so crammed with secrets and side-missions that you could easily spend a day exploring.

Is GTA V misogynistic?

Absolutely. The series continues to feature male protagonists while presenting the only female characters as idiots or prostitutes. And the only serious woman in the game gets killed - in spectacular fashion, might I add. While I continue to play and see unimportant female characters, I also get the idea that the lovely designers at Rockstar don't really have an interest in adding more women. The world seems content with its depiction of each sex.

Did the torture mission go too far?

Yes, there's a mission that requires you to torture a man for information. No, it's not fun in anyway. And if I'm being honest, I don't think it really worked, even in the game's context. GTA V attempts to make a statement about torture as the mission wraps up, trying to say how torture doesn't work and it's only for the empowerment of the torturer. Nevertheless, it still puts the subject in mini-game form, and everything ends up as a really mixed message. The whole event seemed like a misfire to me.

Should Grand Theft Auto V win Game of the Year?

At this point, I don't really care about game of the year awards. For a long time, GOTY was won by whichever title had the most explosions or the badassiest characters. Now, that's all gone out the window. The Walking Dead threw a wrench into the whole operation by winning a number of GOTY awards and by being a point-and-click downloadable adventure game. This let me realize that there's no point into throwing such different titles together into one pool and deciding which one is objectively the best.

But if you had to ask me, I'd still go with BioShock Infinite for game of the year. Yeah, remember that one from way back in March? It's still in my head for having one of the best stories in gaming, told in a way only games could. And the actual gameplay of it isn't anything to sneeze at. I found myself several times having to take a moment to catch my breath after the big set piece battles. Most of that's from being overweight, but a good portion was caused by the sheer fun of the game. Lastly, Infinite did something GTA V never could - feel things. Like emotional things.

[SPOILER] It made Booker feel questionable things.
So there's a few of my thoughts on one of the biggest games to ever be released. Until the next undetermined time, stay classy, friends.

The man who killed me is named Eddie Thomas. Bring him to justice.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Do You Have a Minute to Talk About Our Lord and Savior Ben Affleck?

I've lost count at the number of articles linked from my reading list of websites referencing the recent casting news that BEN AFFLECK is your new Dark Knight. "Why Batfleck is the Worst Casting Ever." "Why Ben Affleck is a Brilliant Choice as Batman." "Obama is a Muslim and Other Secrets the Liberal Media Isn't Telling You." It all runs together.

Even more so than the number of articles I've seen is the number of people who have asked me what my opinion is on the casting. And yet, I always have a simple-yet-eloquent answer for them: "I could not care less."

This is a picture of people installing floor tile.
I care about it more than Ben Affleck.
Now, it's not that I have anything against Ben Affleck. He's shown us that he has acting ability, and the Oscar speaks for his talent as a director. No, this article isn't about how him being Batman will turn our children gay and destroy our crops. Furthermore, I think we can stop hating on him by now, especially about Daredevil. There were other people involved. And if it brought Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner together, it can't all be for naught.

Daredevil's other superpower is true love.
Actually the reason I have an insane amount of apathy for this development is that I have absolutely no interest in where DC's cinematic universe is heading. Most people know by now that I hate Man of Steel more than most members of the Taliban. Zack Snyder created a world that was way too dark for its own good and managed to take all the fun out of superhero movies. That being said, I simply don't have any interest in spending any more time in that world than I already had to. Adding a "Dark Knight" to an already dark Superman sounds like the most depressing two hours I could spend in a theater.

I've also been thinking recently of something a friend of mine said. He told me that he hopes Hollywood stops making superhero movies for at least a decade. While that sounds weird, let me explain on his behalf. What he meant was that superhero movies are on overdrive right now - anyone could see that. He believes that if they continue to be made, they'll never be made again after this phase of filmmaking is over. No new, imaginative director or writer will get to try his or her hand at making a Spider-Man or a Wonder Woman, and the public won't get to experience it.

I agree with him, to a degree. Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox should definitely take a hiatus. I throw in Fox there because the constant stream of X-Men films has been decent, but nothing mind-blowing. I saw The Wolverine this summer; it was good, but it really didn't need to exist. Nobody wanted another movie where Hugh Jackman is angry.

On the contrary, Disney's Marvel Studios should continue full steam ahead. The team there is on a roll, and for once, characters like the Avengers are finally being put onscreen in the right way. And, oh yeah, those movies are actually fun to watch.

No, I won't boycott the new movie - I might even see it. I just can't get excited for it. It won't be a fun experience, either as a team-up movie or a springboard for a JLA film.

But hey, I'm willing to be pleasantly surprised.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jumping Into Obscurity

It's no secret I spend way too much money and time on comics. My summer job literally gave me no more than four shifts in the past three months, and yet every single paycheck went straight to catching up on my chosen series. And when it comes to series, I could definitely do with fewer. I have my DC mainstays Batman and Justice League, my Marvel team books like X-Men and Guardians, and my critical darlings Hawkeye and Saga - you know, when Brian K. Vaughan feels like putting out an issue.

C'mon, dude. It's not like you're busy growing hair.
Okay, that was mean. Nevertheless, Saga's been my go-to source for the weird and out-there, and its hiatus is starting to take its toll. So this week, I chose to go out and grab some indie series, and the results have been, well, pretty weird and out-there. Here's a few series that just debuted and are definitely worth checking out.

First up is Josh Fialkov and Joe Infurnari's The Bunker. I absolutely adored Fialkov's recent handling of the gone-too-soon I, Vampire, and he definitely shows his effectiveness with this new digital title. His usual sense of humor is still present, even if the subject matter is much darker than what he usually portrays. While I haven't seen any of Infurnari's work, he does a fine job with cartoonish yet gritty illustrations here. The Bunker revolves around a group of friends hanging out in a forest (Is that what friends do?) when they come across a mysterious bunker underground. What follows is a great mystery with some time travel and an apocalypse thrown in for good measure. The jump into this world can be a bit jarring, so I recommend giving the issue two reads so you can get your bearings. The Bunker's first issue is available digitally for only $1.99, so it's not that much of a gamble to get into what seems to be a promising story.

The next title I'd actually recommend not reading digitally, but rather in print, like our Amish brethren. Trillium, written and illustrated by Jeff Lemire, features a gimmick that doesn't feel that much like a gimmick: The book asks that you read one of its two converging story lines and then turn the book upside-down to read the other. I love it when creators take advantage of their media, and seeing this in something as simple as a print book doesn't happen as much as you'd think. As I mentioned before, Trillium involves two plots and two different characters coming together in what's been advertised as a time-travelling love story.

Love it.
A friend of mine recently turned me on to some of Lemire's work. I absolutely loved what I've read so far of Sweet Tooth, another book in which he's also illustrated. Jeff Lemire's artistry may appear strange at first glance, but it definitely grows on you - also, watercolors are pretty.

Finally, I have for you a little something that you may find stranger than the last two. I give you Burn the Orphanage. This one's been on my radar for a while, because it's called FREAKING BURN THE ORPHANAGE. However, this is not only the best band name of all time. It's also a great homage to classic games like Street Fighter and Double Dragon which you either grew up playing or (if you're my age) lied and told everyone you totally played them even though you were in no way old enough. Burn the Orphanage also has a sense of melodrama with its story you can't help but love. Characters and dialogue are exaggerated, and the action even more so. The plot isn't that involved, but that's why I gave you the last two comics. If you wanted thought-provoking stories, you grab Trillium and The Bunker. If you want kick decapitations, a guy named Bear with the literal heart of a bear, and stripper ninjas, you pick up Burn the Orphanage.

There's just a few indie series for you to try. I chose them because these issues that just released are the #1s, and thus a great jumping on point for interested readers. If you guys have any indie series for me to read, I'd love to dive into something a little more obscure than my regular superhero title. Put your recommendations in the comments.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Pacific Rim Review: Too Awesome for a Clever Title

That's it, everyone. Wrap it up. Shut it down.

Pacific Rim just made any other movies this summer completely pointless.

I had pretty high expectations going into Guillermo del Toro's new giant-robot-versus-giant-monster action epic. Heck, I was so excited for this movie that I was willing to turn my brain off and enjoy the spectacle if needed be. However, it turns out that Pacific Rim is a near-perfect example of how to put out a mind-blowing action movie that isn't afraid to throw some substance in with its style.

Suck it, Snyder. All of it. Suck everything.
For those reading who use Ad Blocker, Pacific Rim takes place in the near future, where a portal to another dimension has opened up in the ocean to transport into our world massive beasts called Kaiju (named after the Japanese genre films involving similar creatures). To retaliate, the countries of the world settled their childish differences and constructed equally large robot fighters called Jaegers (named after the Meister consumed to inspire their creation). Mechs of this scale require not one but two pilots to mush together their thoughts and memories and cooperate. These Gundams powered by friendship end up making things go boom, and crap gets punched like it's going out of style. Oh, and it's all really amazing.

Still, I remember calling it near-perfect. When it's all said and done, the story beyond the premise isn't going to win any Oscars. There are some great twists and subtle hints that illuminate the film's mythology, but most of the plot is what you've already seen in the trailers. And while I can't commend del Toro enough for his ambition with pushing a project like this to a major release, I'll admit he tries to maintain too many moving parts. There's classic American action, some sequences resembling anime, a romance subplot, and a few more elements. They don't all gel that well together, but this is by no means a deal-breaker.

Pacific Rim works best when it has its "full steam ahead" action on display. The Kaiju hit hard. The Jaegers hit harder. The punches have an incredible weight to them. The sheer scale of this movie still blows my mind. I can't emphasize enough that you should see Pacific Rim in anything but a standard theater. 3D, IMAX, or whatever else is fine. I saw the movie at a "Mega Screen" in St. Louis that uses elephants as units of measurement (must be a metric thing), and the experience was all the more incredible. Lastly, don't be worried that all the cool action sequences were given away in the trailers. Pacific Rim is more than willing to bring out some surprises.

And audible cheers from my section of the theater.
After the lights went up, I looked behind me and saw a kid, no older than ten. I was so jealous of him. I would have killed to see something like Pacific Rim when I was his age. I haven't felt such sheer childish excitement during a movie in I don't know how long. So it's with this closing paragraph that I have a request. Go see Pacific Rim. Bring a younger brother or sister or cousin. Go with your family. Just go. And remember, if Grown Ups 2 beats this at the box office, the terrorists win and it was your fault for not doing enough.

Until next time. I feel the deepest desire to buy a Gipsy Danger action figure. And no, I don't think that's weird.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Man of Steel

[NOTE: This isn't as much a review as it is a rant. This article does contain spoilers, so if you wish to experience Man of Steel with fresh eyes, come back later. Also, I'm pretty emotional and tired, so that may contribute to my opinions and the content of this post as well.]

In the 1990s, DC Comics developed a storyline in which a character named Doomsday would appear and kill the once-thought invincible Superman. Many fans viewed this as an unnecessary stunt to boost comics sales and met the event with heavy backlash. To some, "The Death of Superman" included concepts that outright insulted fans of the character. It is with a heavy heart I find that Man of Steel, director Zack Snyder's reintroduction of Superman into popular culture, has transgressed just as much.

Before I get into the meat of the subject and the commenters have a go at me, I should probably mention Man of Steel's positives. The all-star cast is great, and Henry Cavill plays an excellent Kal-El. Much of the Kryptonian architecture looks cool, and there's a few adjustments to the Superman mythos that lead to a more sensical story. Are those enough? Okay, cool.

There are plenty of complaints to be had with the film, so I won't get into all of them here. I especially won't mention the rampant product placement (like the indestructible Sears, the extended shots of IHOP, or the Uhaul trailer with the pricing listed on it). However, one area in particular stuck with me: The unnecessarily dark tone, and, by relation, Superman's utter disregard for life. About halfway through the film's bloated runtime, a large battle between Zod and his cronies and Superman commences. What happens from then on is... appalling.

For about an hour or so, the audience is pelted with imagery of countless citizens being crushed by buildings, caught in explosions, and tossed around like rag dolls. It's all done to raise the stakes and make the need for a hero all the more dire, but there's a problem: Superman never shows up to save them. So there I was, watching a sizzle reel of death and destruction, all of it shocking and none of it impacting anything. And the worst part? The onscreen hero doesn't even care. The concept of being unable to save everyone he encounters has always been a hurdle for the character of Superman; instead of Man of Steel leaping over it in a single bound, it just...avoids it. As a fan of not only this one but all other heroes, I found Superman's laissez faire approach to the death of innocents on display here sickening.

One could compare the film's battles in Smallville and Metropolis to the one found in last summer's The Avengers, in which New York City takes a major hit from an alien attack. A similar amount of destruction occurred in that film; but since the movie never actually showed people dying in the streets, the illusion that most if not everyone was saved was put out. As unrealistic as that was, I didn't mind - the heroes were successful and I wasn't left depressed.

Man of Steel brings a conclusion as oddly as it brought a climax. Superman has Zod in a headlock in a crowded train station. In a last-ditch effort to break Superman, Zod starts to aim his laser vision at an innocent family. Instead of putting his indestructible hand in front of the beam or simply moving Zod, Superman breaks his neck. It's done with the aim of showing that he had to test his morals to save those he cares about, but it all just feels uncomfortable.

I wouldn't recommend Man of Steel to any fans of the character. In fact, there's three groups of people I imagine would be downright offended by the film. The first is those like me: Not exactly fans of Superman, but fans of other heroes and those with enough respect for Superman that they know when he's been tampered with. The next would be those like my parents: They grew up with the lighthearted Christopher Reeve films, and this one's tone steps all over that. The last group hurts the most to me: The kids having their first experiences with a superhero. Costumes and comics shaped the majority of my childhood, and to think that such a gray and grim version of a classic role model is being distributed to those needing someone to look up to is simply unacceptable.

At the end of the day, Man of Steel doesn't make me angry. It only makes me sad. It makes me sad to see that such a classic and admirable character can be made out to have such a blatant disregard for his fellow man. If you ask me, the death of Superman isn't a tattered cape on a flagpole or a bloody "S" symbol, but rather what I saw earlier this evening. If there's a Justice League franchise to be built here, there's a lot of work that needs to be done.

I apologize if this article was a bit over the top and melodramatic. However, superheroes are a topic I tend to get riled up about. Also, if Snyder can be over the top and melodramatic, I don't see why I can't. Have a good night, everyone.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

This Is The End Review: Spoiler, Everyone Dies

Have you ever seen a demon's wang? Did you want to? No? Well, if you sit in on This Is The End, this summer's high-profile comedy from Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg, you'll see a couple. But if it's any consolation  you'll also see one of the funniest and enjoyable films of the year.

But really, you'll want one of these. You know, for the devil penises.
This Is The End exists to basically ask the question, "How would a group of comedians handle the apocalypse?" Interestingly, the film is self-aware, so the actors onscreen are portraying the...actors onscreen. As far as comedies go, this cast is pretty impressive. You have your essential group of Seth Rogen, Jay Baruchel, James Franco, Jonah Hill, and Craig Robinson, with some supporting work from the likes of Emma Watson, Danny McBride, and Michael Cera, among others. With an ensemble of this caliber, I was a little worried that some actors would get more screentime or jokes than others; but luckily, each character plays well off each other, and no one feels slighted. It should be noted that much of the fun had while watching This Is The End comes from the self-deprecating humor of the actors' personalities and acting history. If you're usually pretty bitter about this group's work, the movie won't change your mind (But if you need a reason as to why people find Michael Cera funny, don't overlook his role here - he's awesome as a coked-up party boy).

Admittedly, Nick and Nora didn't have nearly enough Rihanna butt-smacking.
The film opens with Jay Baruchel meeting Seth Rogen for a weekend together in Los Angeles, the bane of Jay's existence. Seth drags Jay to a party at James Franco's house with Seth's new celebrity friends, where we find out how much Jay despises this crowd. So when he and Seth leave to get cigarettes, it's only natural that the end of the world swings into motion, and Jay is forced to survive with the very people he hates. As far as comedies go, this one gets...pretty dark, actually. There's enough gore, violence, and rape jokes to categorize this as a black comedy, if not a horror/comedy film.  Scott Pilgrim gets impaled, several people get run over by cars, and there's more than a couple decapitations. It's not for the faint of heart.

One thing I wasn't expecting to impress me as much as it did was the film's special effects. For a summer comedy, I thought I'd see some cheap green screen usage or some generic monster models. However, This Is The End features fully conceptualized creatures, and yeah, they have dongles. But impressive cast and special effects aside, the film is, at its core, very funny. There are great gags and riffs, the most memorable being a fight between Danny McBride and James Franco regarding McBrides "me time." If you look closely, you see even Seth Rogen unable to keep it together.

After seeing This Is The End, I'm anticipating a bit of controversy. Ironically, after several apocalypse movies over the past few years, this raunchy comedy is the first to reference the Biblical Judgment Day. Any sticklers who tend to be easily offended by media that messes with theology won't enjoy this particular movie. Much of what the film asserts as the "rules" of the apocalypse don't really align with what Christians believe. However, as a Christian myself, I can happily say that This Is The End never craps on religion. It only plays with it, and nothing winds up feeling offensive.

But I was cool with Dogma, so grain of salt and all that.
Potential whininess aside, This Is The End is well worth seeing. It's a fun time with a lot of great comedy thrown in, even if it gets a bit too dark for its own good at times. Most importantly, though, I can't say how relieved I am to see a truly enjoyable film. After a summer that's been laced with mediocrity (Star Trek, Now You See Me, After Earth, The Purge), This Is The End provides the amount of excitement we expect from summer movies but haven't actually received since Iron Man 3. Check it out as soon as possible, because we all know Man of Steel will be the only movie discussed after this weekend.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Fanboys Must Die: It's Nothing Personal, Just Business

My goodness. Last night at their E3 press conference, whether by pure serendipity or a change in their model made that very afternoon, Sony executed the best possible business move against their Microsoft opponents. In response to the revelation that the Xbox One would not support used games or the lending of games to friends (at least not very well), would basically have to always be connected to the Internet, and would cost $500, Sony countered by saying the PlayStation 4 would treat used and lent games as consoles always have, would not require an online connection, and would cost about one hundred dollars cheaper, with a price tag of $400. As someone who was, to say the least, concerned about Microsoft's assertions, this sounds pretty freaking awesome.

Take note, douchebag.
Yet, I also got a little worried. I had played everything on a 360 this generation, so shouldn't I move onto a One next generation? After some minor deliberation, no, I don't think I should.

Through my time as an Xbox 360 owner, I guess I've unfortunately fallen into the "fanboy" realm, meaning I've closed myself off to anything not put out on or related to the 360. And this isn't an unusual occurrence. You can take a trip to that small corner of town called the Internet and see fanboyism everywhere, and for the weirdest of things.

You can also see sexy fanfiction about dinosaurs, but I won't tell you how to Internet.
However, once you remove my fanboy tendencies, Microsoft has given me no reason to stick onboard for the transition to the next generation. The price is high, none of the exclusives tickled my fancy, and, oh yeah, all that other garbage. Not even my library of 360 titles will keep me on the green side. Want to know what the Xbox One and PS4 have in common? Neither plays my 360 games.

Once you strip away the pageantry, you realize that Sony didn't "kill the Xbox One," and they didn't "bury Microsoft." They just made an impressive business decision, and it's enough to hook me. So if you're in the same boat as me, take a step back and see if, in terms of business, the Xbox One is something behind which you want to put your money. And if your a Sony person who's really interested in the One, do the same. Furthermore, feel free to be passionate about the system you buy. Just don't be petty, because you don't owe these manufacturers anything.

Have fun with the rest of E3. I suddenly have the urge to look up pictures of triceratops.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Now You See Me Review: It's Like Trying To Tell a Stranger 'Bout Rock n' Roll

"I wanna show you a magic trick, yeah I promise it's sick like whoa-oh-oh-oh."

[That was an excerpt from the Ke$ha hit "Booty Call." The following has more to do with a movie.]

"Look closely. Because the closer you think you are, the less you actually see."

Holy crap, I am so tired of this gosh darn quote. It's one the new film Now You See Me came up with all by its big boy self, and it wants you to put it in your high school yearbook. The quote references slight-of-hand, or, more applicable here, magic tricks. However, after a good old watchy-watch, I'm not entirely sure if Now You See Me pulls off its tricks the way it intended.

Now You See Me revolves around The Four Horsemen - not of the apocalypse or an all-male equestrian squad, but a group of street magicians brought together under unusual circumstances. Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson, and Dave Franco conduct elaborate stage shows involving CGI bubbles, rabbits in boxes, and heists where the Horsemen don't keep a cent. Did that last one catch your attention? Well it sure did for Mark Ruffalo's offensively incompetent FBI agent and Morgan Freeman's hat-toting magician-turned-skeptic. Thus begins a long and winding tale of deception and trickery. Also, Morgan Freeman's face freckles. But I guess if you're going to disprove magicians, you need some sort of mask, like that guy in those videos I watched in freshman history class.

Ladies and gentlemen, with nothing up my sleeve, I give you...a public school education.
Looking back on it, the film's a friggin' mess. The plot goes all over the place and never wants to slow down; there were a couple points where I just wanted to take a breath and go over what just happened. While some might find the movie's pace refreshing, others will notice how exhausting the breakneck speed gets after about half an hour. Now You See Me also lacks a protagonist. With such an impressive cast, no one's that intent on stepping off to the side to let one person have all the fun. At first it seems as if we should support the Horsemen, but then the focus shifts to the FBI and Interpol, and then kind of Morgan Freeman but not really, and back to the Horsemen. The logical choice would've been to have Franco's inexperienced amateur magician be the springboard for the audience, but instead we were only treated to glimpses of that goofy smile.

He needs to get out of his brother's marijuana-scented shadow sometime.
Now You See Me also suffers from some pretty hideous CGI. Littered throughout the movie are scenes way too dependent on computer imagery that cheapen the experience. Had the filmmakers graced these moments with more practical effects, the film's more down-to-earth trick scenes could've felt that much more impressive. Speaking of down-to-earth, the movie is too quick to delve into the weird and fantastical. While the teleportation trick teased in the trailers is aptly explained, we still see holograms and bright lights that feel very out of place.

Weirdly enough, despite all its flaws (and it has many flaws), I rather enjoyed Now You See Me. It's a very entertaining film, and scenes like the introduction and Franco's fight with Mark Ruffalo stand out pretty memorably. The dialogue can be sharp, even if the characters feel less like they're playing off each other and more like they all want to do their own thing. Now You See Me feels as if it was written with magic tricks in mind. Setups given at one point lead to payoffs several scenes later that feel well-deserved, and trying to follow every possible nod in the present that might lead to a reveal in the future can get pretty fun.

In the end, someone could throw Now You See Me's awful quote back in its face. At times, the films thinks it's so close to executing twists and throwing off the audience that it fails to notice the big picture. The movie has a tendency to be so myopic for turns in the plot that it blinds itself to the mess it makes in the process. However, if you can turn a blind eye to the many sins it commits, Now You See Me can be pretty enjoyable.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The New Xbox One: Nothing Like the Old...Xbox...One...

Halley's Comet. The United States Census. The changing of the console cycle. Events like these happen once, maybe twice, in a lifetime, and we are lucky enough to be in the midst of one such happening. There is a new Xbox on the horizon, and it goes by the confusing moniker "Xbox One," because there totally isn't another Xbox to which people have given that name. Yesterday, I was lucky enough to have basic cable, so I watched the reveal and recorded some of my thoughts. In case you missed it, the show was on Spike, your source for everything deep and cerebral.

Also, Manswers.
Since the PlayStation 4 announcement is still fresh in everyone's mind, Microsoft countered in one of the best ways they could, by actually showing the console. And darn if it is not sexy.

Admittedly, it's a bit boxy. But curves aren't everything.
The box itself has been upgraded with a Blu-Ray drive, a buttload of internal memory for what I can assume is a push for digital content, and an HDMI in port.. However, once the device is turned on, and the tiny Satan-wizards inside work their black magic, the Xbox One gets much more impressive. It instantly goes to the dashboard without any delay or need for updates, as mentioned in the presentation. While Windows 8 is an obvious inspiration, it has a much bigger emphasis on your recent activity and even what your friends are doing at the moment.

Xbox One's big push is to replace everything you need and everyone you love. It does this through "instant switching," kind of like multitasking on smart phones but on steroids. After plugging in your cable/satellite TV to the HDMI in port and connecting to anything else that you want to give you ADHD, the Xbox One allows you to switch between games, movies, and TV, almost instantly. Oh, I see what they did there.

Or maybe just between J.J. Abrams films and
"The Price is Right." We don't know for sure.
If you squinted, you could even see some games for the new Xbox. While we were promised 15 new franchises, we only got to see one: Quantum Break. Developed by Remedy, the folks behind the OG Max Payne games and Alan Wake, Quantum Break is...well, I don't know what it is.

Others included a new Forza and the inevitable Call of Duty: Ghosts. I found it odd that Microsoft decided to show off their innovation with a studio that's been putting out the same game since 2007. But maybe I'm being too hard on them; they do have some pretty novel features planned.

I'm pretty excited for this new console. The biggest question left is how much it'll cost; I assume we'll find out sometime before it launches later this year.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Star Trek: Into Darkness Review: Set Phasers to Over-Used Joke

And there it is: Another summer, another blockbuster, and another sequel. Had J.J. Abrams made it under usual circumstances, Star Trek: Into Darkness could have been yet another soulless dip into the pockets of fans. However, being the go-to director of the two arguably biggest science fiction franchises in history, Abrams is not in usual circumstances. Star Wars Episode VII is fast approaching,  so he had to put out the good China. With this in mind, does Into Darkness provide a solid summer space romp while giving a promising peek into the future of Star Wars? This awkward and semi-formal  intro would have me say "kind of."

"It's this decent."
Star Trek: Into Darkness is not some weird VHS you found in your dad's box of "Things that Aren't Porn," but rather the sequel to 2009's reintroduction of the franchise, which I rather enjoyed. As a person who has never seen an episode of any Trek series (I'm sorry! Don't hit me...), I thought the reboot was a fun action movie that did a decent job of making Star Trek "cool," as if that was a thing Trek fans cared about. The sequel is pretty much what you'd expect. The Enterprise crew returns for a new adventure, a new villain, and a new everything else that isn't really all that new - but more on that in a bit.

What struck me the hardest about Into Darkness was its aesthetic. You can really see the amount of detail put into the costumes and sets. And while this isn't something that usually grabs my attention, I found myself staring time and time again at Zoe Saldana - like, you know, the stitching or whatever. The interior of the Enterprise is also pretty cool. There are multiple decks, hallways, and lots of glowy buttons that might do things. While these aspects of the film don't seem like they should be focal points, any other theatre nerds will love the care put in. Unfortunately, many of the scenes with heavy emphasis on CGI negate much of the goodwill earned in this department. And yes, we still have lens flares; but much like high fructose corn syrup and black tar heroin, they're fine in moderation.

Just as harmful to your eyes.
Unfortunately, much of Star Trek: Into Darkness feels pretty "been there, done that," in regards to either the previous Star Trek or other popular action films. The plot has everyone's favorite main points: an attack on a safe haven that kicks everything off, a villain who wanted to be captured, a secondary villain who was hiding in plain sight - you get it. Chris Pinewood Derby is still the cocky-yet-talented Kirk, and Zachary Quiznos is still the dry-yet-sassy Mr. Spock. They play off each other fine, but none of their dialogue reaches the same cleverness as that in last week's Iron Man 3. The same goes for the action sequences. Despite the head-squishing and base-jumping, I was never blown away. I promise I'm not being pretentious; the film isn't boring, but it does feel a little like a retread. And while we're on the subject of flaws, I must say that the cast's screen time is very unevenly distributed. Other than the main duo and the villain, we don't see a whole lot of the cast - everyone ends up feeling a bit underutilized and underdeveloped.

Into Darkness' saving grace for me has to be John Harrison, the film's villain. Eggs Benedict Cummerbund (the name puns keep coming) plays an incredibly pissed off Star Fleet Supersoldier wanted for terrorism or crimes against humanity or something. I don't think I can tell too much about him without spoiling most of the film. However, I loved the twist he throws at the audience. No, not the one that any person following the film's development already knows, but rather a change in the hero/villain dynamic. To reiterate what I said before, it's not really anything new; I just love how Cumberbatch plays with it. At one point in the film, I found him to be the most likable character.

And the most handsome.
Star Trek: Into Darkness is by no means a great sequel, or even a great summer blockbuster. However, it's not bad either. It's...kind of leaning towards the "good" end of decent. If you enjoyed the last one, you'll probably enjoy this one too. But if you aren't a fan of Abrams' work, you could probably do better with your night at the movies. Until next time.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Birdemic 2: The Resurrection Review: "Strange Things are Happing in the Environment"

"A tour de force, no other way to describe it!" -Monsieur Andre, The Phantom of the Opera

Wow. Just, wow. Birdemic 2.

To get it out of the way, those of you unaware should know that Birdemic 2: The Resurrection is the highly anticipated sequel to the...let's go with "film," Birdemic: Shock and Terror from 2010. Haven't heard of it? Then I'd like you to punch the testicles nearest you. I hope they're yours. After the tears have stopped and you can read this again, drop what you're doing (but please keep this tab open) and watch it on Netflix. Not committed enough? Here's the cliff notes.

That should be all the background info you need. If not, here's the plot from the first one:


So the sequel picks up in a new location: Hollywood, California. I know, because the opening credits took us on a walking tour of the entire area. Your favorite humans who say words and sometimes emote are back: Rod, Nathalie, the mustache guy who claps, the Alopecia guy who bears a striking resemblance to Woody Harrelson, we got 'em all. They join Bill and Gloria, a movie director with an affinity for independent films (but references films that most definitely are not independent) and a prosti-actress, respectively. Sorry, I was trying to type "prostitute" but "actress" came out. Once all the characters get together, they make a movie. Then, you know, birds.

And sassy gunplay.
"But didn't all the birds stop attacking and leave at the end of the last movie?" OH I'M SORRY, ARE YOU MASTER STORYTELLER DEAN KOONTZ?

Well, because plot holes are a thing the writer/director heard about in a fever dream, we go to rain storms of blood, brought about by Global Warming and capable of raising the dead. With that, all the birds rise up from the ground, along with cavemen and zombies. I mean spoiler alert. Once the fun begins, we follow our group as they survive in the most populated and apathetic apocalypse (birdemic?) ever.

Much has improved since the previous film. The crew has upgraded their single camera to one that shoots in 480p, so don't fear that you'll mistake the screen for your old Motorola Razr. Oh, did I say "much has improved?" I meant only that. The rest is the Birdemic you know and love.

Shots go on for way longer than they should. The CGI is ripped straight from a bowling alley's strike animation. The script doesn't make any sense, and has a misguided yet assertive environmentalist message. Actors don't have the slightest idea of what to do in front of camera, and to them, chemistry is only that section they failed when getting a GED. The list goes on.

And I love it. It's what the fans expect from the Birdemic crew, and boy do they deliver. Ask anyone who's been lucky enough to see it already about jellyfish, and they'll light up with joy.

One is an alluring creature who draws the
eyes to its curves. The other is a woman.
I only have one major problem with the film: It exists.

Now hold on a second, let me explain. What I mean is that the first film had a sense of "This is what we're putting out, isn't it great? Oh, you're laughing. But, look at what we worked so hard on! Stop laughing...Stop...*sob..." However, The Resurrection has reached the point where you know for sure that the filmmakers are in on the joke, rather than wondering throughout the film, and this takes away a sense of excitement. Had this been an original movie and not an official follow-up, my complaint would be a non-issue.

Even so, Birdemic 2: The Resurrection is an incredibly fun and entertaining film, and a cult following of the franchise is inevitable. You know how reviewers will spit out B.S. like "it's the feel-good movie of the year"? Well, I'd say that about Birdemic 2. I'm still smiling just thinking about it. After Birdemic 3: The Birdening comes out, I expect that all campy horror films will feature birds, just like all suspense novels should feature a golden retriever shoehorned into the story.

"She has a name. It's Trixie."
Hey guys. I owe you an Iron Man 3 review. But I don't have it. I saw it last weekend (very awesome, I highly recommend it), but my time has been taken by finals. I mean it, I'm so busy, I still haven't made it to the new issue of Batman. I hope you guys accept this as my humble offer; the theatre I saw this at advertised the showing as the "Virginia Premiere," so that's pretty cool. I'll see you guys again soon. Keep it swell.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Let's Try It With Some Enthusiasm

This article isn't geared towards the usual readership as much as it is towards those who don't invest in "nerdy" things like the rest of us. In arbitrary fake Loner & Friends language, we'd call them "People With Social Skills."

Disgusting, aren't they?
This past weekend, I had an interesting conversation with a friend on a bus. By friend on a bus, I don't mean a scary, possibly homeless man who tells you about how the gypsies stole his toes, but rather a person I knew on a private bus going to a specific destination. I'd also like to mention that the conversation was incredibly dull; its lack of excitement is precisely what made me think about it.

Sleep was nigh impossible on this mode of transit, so I had to resort to desperate measures: human interaction. I began speaking to this guy about (What else? Talking is hard.) the song on the radio, the lovably obnoxious Taylor Swift aria, "22." If you haven't heard it, watch the video below and stop considering yourself one of the lucky ones.

Isn't it the best? Anyway, I attacked the somewhat awkward situation with the best way I knew how: obnoxiously loud singing. He stopped me (for reasons other than the obvious) and asked what it was. In retrospect, I understand his lack of exposure - this song's a little too raw and real for the mainstream. At the time however, I said this.

"You haven't heard this before? I thought you were a Tay Sway fan. I remember you really wanted to see her when we planned to go to a concert a while back" (THAT'S how you provide context without spelling it out. Take note, Smallville.).

"Nope. I just though it'd be a good show."

Okay, so you show enthusiasm without being...enthusiastic? I was a bit perplexed, so I let that steep for a while. Next I noted his shirt, which referenced the band Neon Trees.

"Oh, hey, Neon Trees. They're a band that exists and makes songs. How'd you feel about their new album? I really liked their first one, but Picture Show took a really weird and angst-y direction that I wasn't too fond of."

"I just like 'Everybody Talks,' the single." spent probably $20-30 on a shirt because you like one song?

These little talks put a thought in my head: How can someone be so apathetic about things they supposedly enjoy? From what I've gathered, this all comes from the mentality that it isn't "cool" or "hip" or "dope" (The kids say "dope." I know for sure - observing kids is something of a hobby of mine.) to be enthusiastic or energetic about something that makes you happy. People have this notion that having a genuine sense of excitement for something you love should be abandoned once you reach adulthood. Anyone who holds onto a love for something that's so important to them they know every single fact about it and want to share that love with others are somehow classified as "nerds," "geeks," or "weirdos." And you know what, non-traditional readers whom I assume by now are the ones looking at this?

Us nerds couldn't be happier.

So what if I wear a Reverse Flash T-shirt that I have to explain to anyone who sees me? So what if I can go on a 15 minute rant explaining why people hate Batman & Robin (that I totally stole, by the way - Daniel, you know what I'm talking about)? I'm having fun, and you can't stop me.

I've always loved the phrase "Like what you like." I'm not sure where it comes from, so for now I'll attribute it to the great Aisha Tyler. Yet, I feel as if there needs to be an addition to that statement. Like what you like...and love what you like. Does that make sense? I hope so, it made so much sense when the voices in my head gave it to me.

In conclusion, unusual readers who may or may not actually exist, don't be afraid to get a bit nerdy once in a while. Everyone has their tastes, and there's nothing wrong with diving a bit deeper into them. Doing so opens up entire communities in which you're free to discuss, debate, praise, and commiserate with others who have just as much enthusiasm as you do. Just be careful. You don't want to end up on a Brony's bad side.

You guys are creepy. Stop trying to convince us otherwise.
So my school year's coming to a close, meaning that I should have more time to focus and work on this here blog. I'm also talking with a good friend of mine about doing some videos for his YouTube channel. I highly encourage you to check it out, especially the ParksNotes stuff. See you guys later.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review (Part 2 of 2)

So I played the multiplayer portion. It's pretty fun. Works well. I like King of the Hill. No major hiccups.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Injustice: Gods Among Us Review (Or At Least Most of It)

I done goofed.

I knew since I promised you guys I'd write a review of Injustice: Gods Among Us that it'd be a little late coming out of the gate. Maybe Thursday or Friday instead of the regular Wednesday. But instead, I go to college, where we have work to do. Between a paper and a speech on said paper (which went awesome, thanks for asking), I didn't get a whole lot of time to play around with Injustice at the time of its release last Tuesday. I felt compelled to wait until I experimented with all it had to offer before I gave my opinion on it; in the meantime, I, you know, went to school. Juggling activities is hard, and to quote the philosopher Swanson,

After a week of nothing, I figured I'd give you guys my opinion on what I have experienced, which, to give me some credit, is most of the game. And I have to say, it's pretty friggin' awesome.

Injustice's main draw is its story campaign. I'd have to describe the story as the best episode of Justice League: The Animated Series you've ever seen. And I have to assume the writers had that in mind. There's everything from the team dynamic of the League, clever writing, and a terrific voice cast ripped straight from the cartoon. The only misstep here is Phil LaMarr as Aquaman. The guy's one of the most talented actors in the business, but the voice of "Literally every black guy ever" doesn't quite mesh as the King of Atlantis.

Like this, but more in line with a pissed-off Hermes Conrad.

For all of you wondering why Green Arrow and Harley Quinn would team up to take down Wonder Woman, I can assure you it works here. Anyone familiar with DC's use of alternate Earths will feel right at home, and newcomers can get caught up with a bit of suspended disbelief. And don't worry about finding the tie-in comics to get caught up. They do a good job of exposing how ridiculous the story is when they look at each individual development, so I'd recommend you just piece together the game's allusions to the backstory. As for the reason Bats can take down Superman? Drugs. Listen up, kids. Your favorite heroes take HGH.

Injustice features an impressive 24 fighters for you to try out. They all add a nice sense of variety to a game that could've simply had the major players and called it a day. Admittedly, there are some major balance issues among the fighters. Nothing is in place to discourage move spamming, so you could potentially rise to dominance by using Deathstroke's guns the entire time. A few of the characters seem a little overpowered as well. Solomon Grundy has several moves that can't be blocked or cut off by other attacks; and if you play a friend who uses Doomsday, they probably won't be your friend after. As long as you and your friends share the same sense of exploration when trying out the fighters, you shouldn't have any frustrations with cheap strategies.

The gameplay is also mostly amazing. Controls can be customized in every way, from button layouts to control stick usage - feel free to stick with the directional inputs of Mortal Kombat, or switch to the quarter-circle turns of Street Fighter. Most of the characters feel very responsive, allowing long combos and juggles that feel awesome pulling off. Stage transitions and interactive environments offer something fresh not found in other fighters, and each character's special move is absurdly cool. Hey, remember that "mostly" earlier in the paragraph? A few of the characters such as Bane and Killer Frost have seemingly no melee range, forcing you to get up close and risk being launched into a ground-and-pound. Furthermore, Injustice is difficult. Like swearing-and-throwing-things difficult. Luckily, the difficulty lowers slightly after a couple straight losses, but I don't think I should need to throw matches just to get past a round in the "Battles" mode.

Speaking of modes, Injustice: Gods Among Us has a metric buttload of them. My international readers can tell you that a metric buttload is about 1.3 times that of a standard buttload. There's the story, the arcade-like "Battles," the weird-if-it-wasn't-there versus mode, and the somewhat confusing S.T.A.R. Labs missions. Several missions offer a new level of challenge to normal fights, such as dodging falling debris or keeping an opposing Superman out of the sunlight so he can't heal. Others feel out of place and not much more than mini-games. Others still are just downright frustrating. Try to avoid getting hit for a full twenty seconds by a Joker who waits until the last five to pull out an unstoppable pistol. It''s freaking stupid. And I hate it. And Joker sucks. Sound frustrating?

Just looking at this picture is giving me an ulcer.
I had mentioned earlier that I would only discuss what I was able to play. By that, I mean to say that I was able to try out everything but the online multiplayer. But hey, if I wanted contact with new people, I'd go outside. I'll give you an addendum once I make my way to Xbox Live.

In closing, Injustice: Gods Among Us is well worth your time. Honestly, it can be stupidly frustrating at time, but for all I know it's a secret attempt at studying aggression in gamers. If you're a fan of fighters, comics, or simply nostalgia for the cartoons of your childhood, I really encourage you to give this one a try. If you do, make an effort to play "Under the Sea" while playing as Aquaman. I tried it the other night, it works great.

"What do they got, a lot of sand? We've got a hot crustacean band..."
Have any of you gotten around to playing yet? I really want to know what you guys think of it. Also, in the comments below, write your favorite Disney song/video game match-up. Mine is "Colors of the Wind" and Assassin's Creed 3.