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Titles covered: Incredibles 2, 8th Grade, Antman and the Wasp, Equalizer 2, Early Man, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Ralph Breaks the Internet, and Christopher Robin.

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Movie Reviews: November 2018

Titles Covered: Solo, Avengers: Infinity War, Isle of Dogs, From Here to Eternity, A Quiet Place, Chappaquidick, The Equalizer, Gentlemen's Agreement, and Won't You Be My Neighbor?

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Titles covered: Paddington 2, The Maze Runner Death Cure, Ready Player One, Annihilation, A Wrinkle in Time, Black Panther, Pacific Rim Uprising, and Tomb Raider

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GenCon 2018

Kathryn and I (and my 3 brothers) just experienced “The Best 4 Days in Gaming” at GenCon and had a blast! We decided to recap the event by reviewing all the games we spent a significant amount of time with. To keep this simple, we decided on a three-tier rating scale: Buy!, Maybe, and No Thanks.

Big caveat here... This is not a list of the best or worst of Gencon. There are literally thousands of games, many of which take an hour to learn and play through, so I only played a small percentage of the games there. Also, I mostly pick events that are free and have cute themes.

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Titles Covered: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Justice League, The Greatest Showman, mother!, Thor: Ragnorak, Hostiles, Wonder, Ferdinand.

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Movie Reviews: All 8 Muppet Movies

So for those of you who missed the big news at the end of last year, I got married. I know... I know... crazy! Anyway, my new wife
Kathryn and I have a mutual love of the Muppets, so we decided to revisit the entire theatrical canon.

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Best Picture Nominees, Ranked

I debated whether to talk about the best picture nominees this year. The ceremony was even more political than usual, which means that I had less assurance than usual that they were actually good, and anything negative I say about these movies can be chalked up to bias. But, against my better judgment, I decided to plow through the Academy's picks to see if they hold up.

Coming in at #49...

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Mar. 6th, 2018

Titles Covered: Blade Runner 2049, Despicable Me 3, Lego Ninjago, The Breadwinner, The Wall, It (2017), Logan Lucky.

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Video game reviews

Titles Covered: LittleBigPlanet, Ni No Kuni, Gears of War, Kameo, Halo 3, God of War 3, Tales from the Borderlands, and The Evil Within.

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Short Reviews for games that I don't have much to say about:

Alan Wake (***)

Weird 3rd-person shooter based heavily on the works of Stephen King. The mechanics and environments are interesting, though the enemy design is very limited, making the game somewhat repetitive.

Shadows of the Damned (***)

Decent-ish collaboration between Suda51 and Shinji Mikami, featuring Resident Evil 4 gameplay and Suda51's awkward sexual humor. Reasonably fun and fairly humorous in parts, but not much of the enemy or level design stood out to me.

Bulletstorm (*** and a half)

Fun, fast-paced shooter that encourages you to get creative with your kills. FPS games can seem all the same, but the super-powers, sci-fi gadgets, and scoring system make this one better than most. Not the most memorable game, but a real easy experience to slide into for some arcade-like fun.

Vanquish (*** and a half)

Another arcade-like shooter, with lots of action and big explosions. It's basically the 3rd-person shooter version of those old-school “bullet hell” space games. I can't remember what the plot was about, but the graphics are great, the shooting is non-stop, and the “rocket slide” mechanic is put to great use.

Fallout Tactics (** and a half)

Take Fallout, remove all the roleplaying, make the combat a bit more sophisticated, and you get Fallout Tactics. The guns and enemies are well designed, even if the difficulty balance is horrendous. Overall OK, but missing the roleplaying and story that made Fallout so great.

Jan. 3rd, 2018

Titles Covered: The Last Jedi, Sing, The Red Turtle, Baby Driver, A Monster Calls, Spiderman Homecoming, and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.

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And a few short reviews, because I'm way behind:

War for the Planet of the Apes (***)
Fairly interesting continuation of "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" that has some great moments and interesting ideas, but is hampered by excessive length and a lame deus-ex-machina ending. Woody Harrelson is pretty great in it.

13 Hours: Secret Soldiers of Benghzai (***)
Oddly enough, this movie about a highly-politicized event during an election year turns out to be just a standard war/action movie. Still, a pretty exciting movie with some great moments and an awesome chase sequence, so I was entertained.

Murder on the Orient Express remake (*** and a half)
I haven't seen the original, but enjoyed Kenneth Branaugh's over-the-top direction and Agatha Christie's twisty story. It gets pretty slow in the second act, but picks up a lot towards the finale. Great cast, and I'd gladly watch a sequel.

Dunkirk (****)
Odd and haunting war drama from Christopher Nolan. It focuses a lot less on the characters and more on the atmosphere and tone, coming off like a Terrence Malick movie. Overall, a great film, and probably Nolan's best since The Dark Knight.