BOOK: Fool Moon (2001)

Fool MoonYear: 2001Author: Jim ButcherLength: 607 minutes / 10.12 hours I haven’t read a lot of the urban fantasy genre, but series like Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files is what I’ve come to expect. There’s a certain amount of logic that goes into combining fantasy elements into modern settings, and—if done well—can bring a story to life. Fool Moon (a delicious play on words, if I do say so myself) continues to take the noir twist from Storm Front and applies Harry Dresden’s magical skills against werewolf foes. Perhaps Storm Front wowed me with the concept of a detective magician so much that I thought Fool Moon was slightly weaker in comparison. For starters, I felt there were too many factions to keep track of in this book. Half the time, I was trying to remember if the werewolves in question were the good guys or the bad guys. Granted, the ambiguity of the factions’ intent helped drive the plot, but they all...
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MOVIE: 50 First Dates (2004)

50 First Dates Year: 2004 Rating: PG-13 Length: 99 minutes / 1.65 hours I don't particularly care for Adam Sandler's comedies. Most of them are crass and pull their jokes from bodily humor or the uncouth main character (usually played by Sandler). There are two exceptions to this: The Wedding Singer (1998) and 50 First Dates (2004). Since this is a review of the latter, I won't go into the details of why I like The Wedding Singer. Instead, let's talk about what works in 50 First Dates for me to recommend it. Yes, I'm not necessarily giving this a perfect "5-star" score, but I do think its story has enough merit that you should watch it. As mentioned above, I don't give this film a perfect score, mostly due to Adam Sandler's comedy style. This is mostly exhibited in the first act of the plot, where we meet a reprehensible man, Henry (Adam Sandler), who basically only has sex with tourists so that he...
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VIDEO GAME: SUPERHOT VR (2016)

SUPERHOT VRYear: 2016Rating: TTime Played: 2 hours The concept: time moves when you do. The challenge: survive. I had already played a few hours of the regular SUPERHOT game on my PC, but SUPERHOT VR is an experience on a whole other level. Sure, there's not as much of a plot in this version of the game (they are two entirely different games), but it's compensated for by being one of the most immersive experiences I've had on my Oculus Quest. In fact, it's likely one of the titles that caused me to get the Quest at all. What's interesting about this quasi first-person shooter is how it's more like a puzzle game than anything else. When you have to figure out the best way to avoid being "reset" in each scene, you start to think strategically about where you are and what items are nearby to use. Sure, the violence of gunning down humanoid shapes is lessened by them being bright...
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MOVIE: To Be or Not To Be (1942)

To Be or Not To Be Year: 1942 Rating: Passed Length: 99 minutes / 1.65 hours I don't know about you, but I've found that World War II movies were released closer to the end of the war have a certain amount of emphasis that has seemed to fade with time. In fact, I'd almost wager that the comedies produced during the war are some of the most poignant films I've ever seen on the subject. Sure, making fun of Nazis is easy when you're not affected by them—but when the threat is still real, there's an amount of satire that can both entertain and thrill. Much like Charlie Chaplin's The Great Dictator (1940) that came before it, To Be or Not To Be (1942) works off a bit of mistaken identity and farse to make the jokes that much funnier. The comedy in this film is expertly carried by a young Jack Benny—who manages to gnaw on every piece of scenery in every shot...
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BOOK: Real Artists Don’t Starve (2017)

Real Artists Don’t Starve Year: 2017 Author: Jeff Goins Length: 346 minutes / 5.77 hours I’m a little conflicted with this book’s message, mostly because it downplays its definitions at the beginning of what an “artist” really is. It would be nice to make a living on my writing, but this book isn’t about how to do that. In fact, I’m already the artist that this book describes: someone who sells their creative hobby while pursuing it on weeknights and weekends. I have a full-time job, so my art isn’t my primary profession like the term “starving artist” is meant to invoke. Sure, there are bits of useful advice sprinkled throughout this book, but it wasn’t anything I hadn’t already picked up by now. Perhaps the audience for this book is the individual who is thinking of taking a considerable risk and quitting their job to jump wholly into being an artist? Any more, the current Millennial mindset of “hustles” makes this an old way...
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MOVIE: Tenet (2020)

TenetYear: 2020Rating: PG-13Length: 150 minutes / 2.50 hours I'll admit: I probably have to watch this movie again. I'm usually pretty good at unraveling a Christopher Nolan movie when I watch it for the first time. Not since Memento (2000), have I had such a difficult time piecing together the intertwining timelines. At least with Memento, I was aided by the black-and-white sections. In Tenet (2020), time moves in both directions in the same scene. Sure, this is a visually-stunning feat, but it's often a slap in the face of the Grandfather Paradox, which Tenet simply waves away with a shrug and a "don't worry about it." What's interesting is how moments of foreshadowing in this film triggered my "lightbulb reflex" each time the corresponding portion of the plot came into focus and gave me the "aha moment." I'm sure I'll pick up more of these when I watch it a second time. As it stands after a single viewing, my mind...
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VIDEO GAME: What the Golf? (2019)

What the Golf?Year: 2019Rating: E10+Time Played: 5.27 hours It seems to me that modern indie games fall into two categories: art and humor. While games like Journey and Gris trend toward the art, games like Untitled Goose Game and What the Golf? are solidly in the humor category. Of course, the humor in What the Golf? is best appreciated by those who are familiar with a wide variety of video games. Just off the top of my head, this game references Super Mario Bros., Angry Birds, Superhot, Portal, Metal Gear Solid, and Super Meat Boy. Even without this referential humor, What the Golf? does have enough amusing moments for anyone to enjoy. The biggest problem I found with this game is its difficulty and replay value. Granted, I haven’t found someone to explore the co-op mode on the Switch version, but I completed the base game in just over five hours. Since I also took the time to collect some of the...
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