[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on April 17th, 2014, 12:58 pm

BACK!


*appears out of an intense internet black hole*

Hey guys,

First off I just wanted to sincerely apologize to those I've left hanging over this past couple weeks, my RPing partners, my players, my JrSts and Ablation, fellow STs, and Goss, with my internet back (as of 20 minutes ago) I am going to be back in a hurried but orderly manner to replies I owe, the HD, and all those places that I've left behind in my absence.

As way of explanation I did want to be candid in the fact that I probably could have wrangled the internet into our apartment sooner than it was, but the deal with our moving was that I took care of electricity and my roommate took care of the internet situation. After a few days I was already chomping at the bit, but my roommate doesn't have the same kind of ties to the internet, she could be happy checking FB, twitter, instagram on her phone, whereas with commitments like Miz you need longer periods of time and whatnot (plus I have a tracfone, so good luck getting me to do Miz on that teehee). But I told myself on the onset of this that whatever happened happened, that a lack of internet certainly wasn't a bad thing for me so I wasn't going to rush her, just try to enjoy the little vacation.

So over my prolonged absence from Miz I finished the 5th GoT book, worked on a lot of pottery at home with my Mom, visited my old College for an art show and had a couple drinks with my old advisors, saw Winter Soldier almost 3 times, and got back into Skyrim as well as tried out that Skylanders game (way more fun than you'd think it'd be).

And I think that sums basically everything up...I'm excited to be back and I really thank everyone for their patience with me, I'll be making the rounds soon.

-Traverse
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Radiant on April 17th, 2014, 1:37 pm

Welcome back, Warrior Princess! *Hugs* we missed you!
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby S'Essy on April 17th, 2014, 1:40 pm

Welcome back Xena! :D You guys will make me install Skyrim again... but I MUST RESIST! >.<
Unless I promised one, I can not accept any more threads at the moment! I'm sorry.
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on April 27th, 2014, 2:36 am

A look at
Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Image


Overview: So I have heard mixed reviews from people I've talked to about how they felt about the first Captain America movie. I personally enjoyed it. Good ol' Cap is a very straight laced guy, but in today's world where the anti-hero now reigns king, I don't mind seeing someone whose moral values are always clearly defined and rarely waver. Regardless the overall opinion of those who had seen both movies all agreed the second one was better. I also attribute this to the character development factor. Turning comics into movies was a brilliant idea on Marvels part, but like television shows and any cinematic adventure especially with such a huge storyline hiding behind it, all these first marvel movies are really just the layout of our character and the backstory, which yes defines our superheroes and explains why they do what they do, but it also allows us to just get into the meat of the story with a second movie.

It's why I'm so excited for the second Spiderman. Anyway that weird rant over I'll jump into the film to explain why I agree with most folks and also found Winter Soldier to be preferable to the first movie.

Plot: Cap' is getting fed up with hit and run missions, briefings that don't give him the full scope of a mission, sketchy premises for Ops, etc. We also have the Black Widow and the introduction of a nice comic relief and semi- (I stress semi) more realistic soldier in the form of the FALCON Aka: Sam Wilson. Stress levels rise considerable when Samuel L. Fury is attacked and the entirety of SHIELD becomes compromised (There's a Winter Soldier in there somewhere too).

Review: So basically, if you weren't expecting it, this movie is one big action fest. Its fun you get these great switch offs of Cap with his shield and super abilities that then pans to the sly sexy spy moves of Black Widow and a super awesome car chase with Samuel L. Fury (and I normally am not that into car chases). Then of course like I mentioned above you have this nice panning of character morale and goals. Steve Rogers is just trying to figure out where he stands in a world he no longer belongs to, and there are some great lines related to things that if you were frozen in ice for decades, you wouldn't get either. Then we have Natasha Romanov, the suave cold killer who after a pivotal moment in the movie begins questioning the legions of fake identies she's collected over her time being a spy. To balance these two dramatic sides out Sam Wilson is the level headed ex: soldier along for the ride and hoping to lend a hand.

Robert Redford also does a great job as the semi-sleezy diplomat and there are two after credit specials (the one after after the credits isn't quite as cool, but the first one is SUPER AMAZING).

and this review segways directly into:

A (quicker) look at:
Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.

Image


So there are two reasons I started watching this show, the first and primary one is that I love Joss Whedon and he and his brother (I think) are the main minds behind it. If you do not know who that is he's the guy behind Buffy, Angel, Dollhouse, Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog, Firefly, Serenity, and Cabin in the Woods. He has written for Marvel, directed the Avengers and written or co-written so many scripts for movies I enjoy its not even funny.

The second reason is because, HECK TO THE YES.

So this as a disclaimer this is a show I'd watch if it were simply watching paint dry for 45 minutes (I'd at least give it a couple episodes to make sure that was all it was before I stopped), my opinion on this television show is inherently biased.

When I first started watching Agents of Shield after I think two episodes my boyfriend was skeptical. This show admittedly starts off slow. The plots it introduces to get those long term enemies and storylines going are sort of awkward at times, and I was talking to two acquaintences that stopped watching after a few episodes because it was lacking realism. I don't watch Marvel shows to watch realistic things, but I got their point nevertheless. So if this heavily onesided discussion has you starting the show don't tell me I dind't warn you about a slow start.

That being said, the aforementioned boyfriend gave Agents an ultimatum, basically a couple episodes to turn it around and that it most certainly did. The characters and the dynamics between them are great and once this development starts taking place there are just some great episodes.

I still haven't watched the season finale, just the first twoish parts to it, but they correspond directly with the events of Captain America, which has a giant impact on SHIELD as a whole and that whole universe crossover (which they do more than once) was just great, and that was originally the only reason I wanted to bring this show up in reference to my review on Winter Soldier, but ha...

So enough of that, I hope you guys are doing well, and thank you for the kind words, until the next review...

Safe Travels
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Shijara on May 1st, 2014, 1:53 pm

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Hey, Traverse.

This is a bit of a random snippet, but I just wanted to tell you and I hope you don't mind me putting it here. I just wanted to say that I think you're great. I don't know the staff super well, but I think I've had the most experiencing talking to you, either about stuff in Taloba, or in regards to my some things in the Help Desk. You are always very nice and I think your patience goes a long way. I wanted to let you know you're appreciated and I'm not the only one who thinks that.

Thanks for your hard work.

-Shi
TO MY WONDERFUL PARTNERS: You guys are the best.
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Strange on May 6th, 2014, 11:36 am

I am a great lover of Joss Whedon myself and, initially, I'd been hopeful for Agents of SHIELD. However I found my enthusiasm waning week after week spiking occasionally when we found out more about TAHITI or whenever something Asgardian is around but that all changed after Captain America.

All of the episodes since that have cemented this show for me. I am 100% a hardcore fan of this series now. They never told them what they were doing with Cap America 2 until after the show started so they had to think on their feet and change the dynamic of the show and what they came up with is fantastic. It reminds me of a pheonix. The show, for me, was burning out but then it rose from those ashes more magnificent than I have ever seen it.

So, yeah, I wuv it. Just thought I'd say.
"I'm such a Silverheart fangirl"
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on May 9th, 2014, 1:03 pm

ShijaraThank you for the kind words they are always appreciated :)

StrangeI wholly agree these last five or so episodes have brought the show to a whole new caliber, its pretty fantastic.

So no movie reviews this time just severe nerding out. You guys might have gotten the impression by now that I enjoy movies, and perhaps unsurprisingly my favorites are the F and SF varieties. Well this Summer is perfect for just that kind of genre. Basically all the movies I am looking forward to seeing are Marvel (X-men, Spiderman) and one coming out soon that could be utterly terrible called Jupiter Ascending, but it has Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum in it and I simply just can't wait for it. Oh and Malificent, I am actually excited to see that one too...

But last Summer I had Pacific Rim, a movie I still thoroughly enjoy, and that was my Summer Blockbuster, this summer its this:



Its probably cause I'm a sucker for ragtag groups of anti-heroes, or that its Marvel, or maybe that Vin Diesel is voicing the tree Groot whose only lines are going to be "I am Groot", but I am so excited for this movie I cannot even express it.

And then of course this year also heralds the release of a game that I've been waiting for since Dragon Age II came out:



Open World, the return of Varric as a party member, the ability to play as any race including the Qunari. I enjoyed Dragon Age II more than some less than others, but from all that I've stalked sites as this game has developed every sign points to Bioware trying to mesh the best parts of each Dragon Age game into this one on a super suped up graphics level that is basically going to force me to buy a next gen console, and I do not even mind. And then of course there's the potential human storyline that this trailer implies which without giving away any spoilers SOUND PETCHING AMAZING (hopefully if you've played Dragon Age: Origins you feel the same way)

And I just assumed when they put the vague release date of 'Fall 2014' on all their taglines that that meant the end of November or even in December, but Oct. 7th? Christmas is coming early to this gamer :D

So yeah more movie reviews to come, I owe Matthew a review of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind which I will FIND, and now putting it in my scrap means it must happen no MATTER WHAT.

-Safe Travels ;)

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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on May 21st, 2014, 1:39 pm

These reviews I suspect will be coming hard and fast this summer, within the next couple of weeks close to 5 movies I want to see all come out, also if you are into the sci-fi genre and haven't seen the trailer for 'Lucy' starring Scarlet Johansson and Morgan Freeman, I would recommend taking a peek, that doesn't come out till August but looks like it could be a fun time.

First

A look at
The Amazing Spiderman 2

Image


So this movie met my expectations in a lot of ways, and disappointed me in a few others. On the one hand, after getting the origin story of Peter Parker out of the way, you get to see Andrew Garfield really shine in combat sequences with goofy, sardonic jabs chracteristic of the Spiderman I longed for in the Tobey Maguire versions. Emma Stone also portrays, in my opinion, a much more dynamic female support, constantly refusing to stay on the sidelines despite her lack of super powers. I also enjoyed immensely the musical tracks that accompanied Electro. I don't want to spoil it too much if you're planning on seeing the movie, but suffice to say it gives the character a very eerie backdrop when you start hearing what they do with the score.

I guess the part that bugged me about this movie, was that it was mostly they same as its always been, a healthy sprinkling of Peter Parker angst, fighting against his promise to a dead Dennis Leery who keeps popping up during the movie, reminding Spidey that those he cares for always die in the end, while also delving into the Green Goblin storyline, which of course is a repeat form the last franchise as well. The ending of the film, however, did cinch up a lot of things storywise, sets up a whole host of bad-guys-to-be for the next movie as well as a whole new section of Peter Parker's life after high school, making me of course, already excited for the new movie.

If you want some action, drama, and a good deal of Spidey wit I would recommend seeing the flick, but if you're not super engaged in Spiderman I wouldn't begrudge you waiting till it comes out on Blu Ray DvD, its not something I'd demand as a must see movie.

Also I am a bit bitter because I learned that because Sony has the rights to Spiderman for now, he will not be appearing in an Avengers movie anytime soon, which bums me out to no end.
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on May 23rd, 2014, 3:48 pm

A look at
Godzilla

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Preface: So I actually wasn't planning on going to see Godzilla in theatres. The 1998 Godzilla movie was actually one of my favorites growing up. I loved Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, that French Guy, and the blonde girl that I've never seen in another movie ever, I didn't know from which angle this Godzilla movie was being taken, but what I did know was that I didn't want any part in it. Then my Dad convinced me with a couple reviews he read and there I found myself.

Review: Now I have never seen the original Godzilla movie, but it was clear that this movie was trying at least in part to bring some of that older sense back, Godzilla's model looks just like a suped up version of the classic film, which I actually liked. They also changed a few things about your general understanding of Godzilla, altering the idea that Godzilla is a mutated iguana, and instead making him a primordial creature that simply lives in the darkest depths of the sea.

Now there's a couple details that I don't want to spoil, since they are thankfully not revealed in any trailers (at least that I've seen), that made me enjoy this movie a lot more than I expected, for it makes it very much a monster movie. I also enjoyed that the film plays up humanity's useleness to combat a threat such as Godzilla. It makes fighter jet missles look like potato shooters, and while the military scrambles for solutions you have Ken Watanabe, a scientest for the orginization that is aware of Godzilla's presence, just urging them to let nature take its course.

I think the part that drew me away from the movie a bit was the people you follow. You seen Ken Watanabe and his british assistant several times, but the main focal point is a soldier by the name of Brody. He is tied to this whole series of events by his father (Bryan Cranston), who after an incident at a reactor he worked at in Japan is obsessed with discovering the truth about whatever destroyed it. He has to rescue his father from lock up after he tresspasses in hte supposedly iradiated zone which is quarantined even now 15 years after the initial reactor meltdown, and thus in both of them exploring the area in order to find his father's research in their old house the two of them get caught up in the world threatening events that follow.

I guess my point of disappointment was that this movie didn't pick a certain destination to go in. It either could have been a straight up monster movie which I would have been quite satisfied with, or more following the people that are effected by the attacks, also a legitimate option. Instead it sort of splits, trying to do both while not fully suceeding in either. You never become terribly attached to any characters (or they may die too soon for that to be possible), while getting sporadic bits of the monster battles. You follow Brody mostly, get a taste of his nurse wife and child, who are inevitably caught in San Francisco where the brunt of the action goes down, and as a bomb expert (loosely translating his job title haha), instead of going back to make sure his wife and son get out of the city safely, he joins up with the military to add his expertise to the mix, and ends up being a focal point of the militaries flawed strategy to end their monster problems.

I have to say towards the end of the movie there are some very satisfying action sequences, and I think for the most part it keeps you jumping and wanting to know what's around the next corner, mostly because of the spoilers I'd not like to reveal :). Regardless I think it was a decent re-vamp, but not a stellar one.

Also...I'll be posting video game things soon, a game I have been waiting for a couple years to come out came out three days ago and omigosh am I just so excited to share it with you guys!

-Safe Travels
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[Traverse's Scrapbook] Movie Reviews and Mayhem

Postby Traverse on May 25th, 2014, 2:10 am

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Transistor :


So I had every intention of giving this review and sneak peak of this video game, partially through my play through of it, having only played perhaps an hour and a half, and having a blast with the game. Before I get into it further I'd first like to tell you a bit about Super Giant Games. They are an Indie gaming developer that has only one other title to their name: Bastion. This is a game that assembled quite the cult following because of its unique traits, namely a unique story line, gorgeous graphics that do not follow a traditional vein, and a very immersive world with dynamic characters and a beautiful soundtrack. I played through Bastion and loved it because it was like no other game I had ever played before, it had its flaws, but had such character it was more like experiencing an interactive, combat filled book, than what I have come to understand as the typical 'video game'

So when Super Giant started feeding tidbits about their next title, Transistor, I followed every scrap like a starving animal, trailing off when I realized the title would be years in coming.

Then the other day I get a text from the BF, informing me that it had just come out, and that basically made my day. I was off work and downloading it from Steam as soon as I got through the door.

The plot of Transistor as far as you can tell from trailers is that the main character, a famous singer named Red, has had her voice stolen by an organization that seems to be collecting the voices of influential people all over a very cyber punk city. As Red you have possession of the Transistor, a very powerful sword that is your key to saving the day.

Now one of the most endearing points about this game is that since Red doesn't have a voice, your main guide is the voice that comes from Transistor, which at the very beginning of the game you pull out of the dead body of a man. It is clear from the start Red and the entity now inside the Transistor have a relationship, though it isn't clear what kind, and then you are thrust into the fray as robots from the 'evil' organization try to stop you and take back the powerful artifact you possess.

I was intrigued by this game, drawn to it initially because the art style was very similar and I was hoping the attention to characters and story would be the same as well, but I also wanted to see if Super Giant would improve upon anything in their follow up game. First of all the combat system takes a turn for the interesting. You have four slots for abilities to use from your sword, and instead of simply attacking in real time you are able to stop time and map out your moves, dashing behind opponents for extra damage, laying down AoE attacks, whatever suits your fancy. Beyond this, as you level up and find certain points in the game you continue to unlock abilities and attributes which can be combined, switched around and used at your leisure. To further explain you can have two upgrade slots for each of your abilities as well as up to four passive ability slots. Any ability you find in the game can be used in any slot you wish and does different things depending on where it goes. Using stealth as a passive means you are hidden for a short period of time after you slay an enemy, if its a main ability you become stealthed in order to set up an attack that does more damage, and if you use it as an upgrade it may give you extra back stab damage in addition to your base damage.

At first I thought being able to pause time and execute your moves might make the game too easy, but the array of enemies makes it not so, some can avoid attacks or move while your executing moves, while others only succumb to the first attack you play out. It makes for a fun sort of strategy both to lay out attacks as well as swap abilities back and forth to find your perfect set of abilities.

The of course there is the story. The city you are running through, called the Cloudbank, is alive with terminals where you learn things about the city, as well as get news updates, delayed to you who are experiencing everything first hand, about the destruction happening around you. Here you get to see Red's personality come out in the form of clever comments she writes and re-writes on the boards, much to the amusement or chagrin of the personality apparent inside the Transistor. Despite the simplistic beauty of your characters movements, the game also tends to convey a lot of emotions out of your character at certain points in the game. I do not want to explain too much of the plot, for it is revealed slowly and wonderfully as you play, but you slowly uncover a unique world as you go, and depending on where you place your abilities, you can learn about the people within it that have suffered like Red.

So I am writing this now because I have already finished the game. Not because I stayed up all night playing it or anything like that, but because a play through only takes about 6 hours, as I came to sadly realize, about a half an hour ago. The ending is rushed, and as I played I just kept thinking "there will probably be more after this, I mean there has to be more...right?" One of the failings of Indie games is the lack of resources they have access to in making their title, but more than that, this game was like one of those books that you'd rather just kept going. I had tears welling up in my eyes at the end, the only reason I didn't legitimately cry, was because I was just so excited to write about it in this scrap. Super Giant's mission statement is, "to make games that spark your imagination like the games you played as a kid."

In my opinion they more than succeeded in this case, and I cannot wait to play through again with my accumulated attributes, from what I've read they say there's a few more gems waiting for you there.

There's more I want to say, and a lot more I could say on the topic of this game, but in the end, its one of those things that isn't the same to read as it is to experience. So I will just leave you with a little nudge towards a phenomenal game,

-Safe Travels
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