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thegiantbrain
December 02, 2020
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Episode 60 - Critical Strike

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We-reNotWizards
December 01, 2020
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Zombie Kidz Evolution Review

Podcasts & Videos
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oliverkinne
December 01, 2020
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ubarose
November 30, 2020
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GrantLyon
November 30, 2020
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Matt Thrower
November 30, 2020
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oliverkinne
November 27, 2020
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Micro City Board Game Review

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mads b.
November 27, 2020
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Michael Barnes
November 26, 2020
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boardgameinquisition
November 26, 2020
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Andi Lennon
November 25, 2020
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WadeMonnig
November 25, 2020
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whowhatwhycast
November 25, 2020
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oliverkinne
November 24, 2020
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Matt Thrower
November 24, 2020
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Short Cut to Remote Gaming Forum (29 Aug 2020)

Since remote gaming has now become a significant part of how we play board games, we have added a short cut to this forum in the menu on the left.

× Use the stickied threads for short updates.

Please consider adding your quick impressions and your rating to the game entry in our Board Game Directory after you post your thoughts so others can find them!

Please start new threads in the appropriate category for mini-session reports, discussions of specific games or other discussion starting posts.

What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?

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04 Nov 2020 16:32 #315929 by Nodens
I want to see more of Sophia Lillis and Wyatt Oleff from I am not okay with this.
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05 Nov 2020 09:09 - 05 Nov 2020 09:11 #315944 by jason10mm
Prospect on Netflix. Pretty cool sci-fi western. Scratch that, it is 100% western with a thin sci-fi theme. It is one of those semi surreal, muted westerns that can be really enjoyable if you are in the right mood. Sophie Thatcher does a great job, she is kind of like a cuter Kristen Stewart. Pedro Pascal is wonderful as always, guess he just really likes wearing helmets in his recent roles. I almost wonder if this role helped him with Mandalorian (and/or made him walk away from it [if that rumor was true]).

Oh yeah, who ever did the props on this film should win an Oscar (even in this year of very limited options). The set dressing, subtle pollen filled air, and all the different environment suits are FANTASTIC.

Also started the new Tremors movie. This franchise is a MAJOR fetish(?) of mine. This one is more serious so far, quite a departure from the quite silly Jaime Kennedy ones. Michael Gross is great as always, it has always amused me that such an anti-gun person could be the absolute superstar of any gun show in America. Anyway, it may fall of the cliff in the second half but so far it is a decent bug hunt film.
Last edit: 05 Nov 2020 09:11 by jason10mm.
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05 Nov 2020 10:40 #315947 by RobertB
@jason: If you think Sophie Tucker is cuter than Kristen Stewart, you need to stop smoking your lunch.

@jeb: I made it through Barry Lyndon a while back. You're right, it's pretty boring. I remember reading that it was shot with all natural light, and required custom lenses to make some of the candlelit shots work. I tried to watch it again a few months ago, but had to stop about an hour in. It's been a while, but if you want to watch a movie set in that time period, watch The Duellists.
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05 Nov 2020 11:12 #315949 by jeb
I liked THE DUELLISTS too, I saw that a few years ago, but I prefer BARRY LYNDON. You see more of Europe as Redmond gets his ass kicked from Ireland to France to being dragooned into the Prussian military (for more asskickings). You see the absolute insanity that was landed-gentry-living circa the Seven Years War as well as how fucking nuts battles were. There is a lot to like in both films, but I think BARRY LYNDON is going to grow on me, where THE DUELLISTS is not.

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05 Nov 2020 14:11 #315962 by charlest
I watched Prospect about a year ago and really dug it. Very cool tone and interesting story. Very solid climax too with some weird and funky stuff going on.
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06 Nov 2020 21:50 #315990 by hotseatgames
Based on these recommendations, my girlfriend and I just watched Prospect. We both liked it; a nice sci-fi story. I appreciate low budget stuff like this.
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07 Nov 2020 09:30 #315992 by jason10mm
Deathgasm on amazon prime. (Very) low budget New Zealand (are those the kiwis? I can never remember) schlock horror film. If this came out in 1987 my VHS copy would have worn out and been repaired with scotch tape over and over. Great little flick, it has that Sam Raimi/early Peter Jackson horror schlock paired with a bit of Taika Watiti goofy humor (all in deliberate imitation, I'm sure). Boatloads of gore, a bit of skin, and enough emotional attachment to the characters that you care if they live or die. Alas it fizzles a bit by the end, it can't afford to hit the bananas crazy level of slaughter or demonic metal awesomeness it really needs to be a cult classic, but that is about the only major stumble other than not having a lot of epic (and expensive) licensed songs and cameos by genre legends which is understandable. It feels like it is missing about 10 minutes in the middle, there is a rather jarring time jump sensation in there that I don't think is intentional.

But still, for fans of metal, demons, and death by dildo, this movie is for you :P
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09 Nov 2020 12:51 #316032 by Shellhead
The Golden Child is not bad, but it failed to get the same cult popularity as similar movie Big Trouble in Little China. They both hit theaters in 1986, and both have Victor Wong and James Hong, so comparisons are natural. Eddie Murphy is a credible lead, though this was already established by the hugely popular Beverly Hills Cop. The story is decent, and somewhat more focused than Big Trouble. However, Big Trouble had kind of a sly self-awareness of deliberately being a B-movie, while Golden Child feels like a failed attempt at major success. Murphy throws up lots of jokes, but most of them fall flat. The soundtrack is sub-par except for an okay single from Heart. The fx are more sparse in Golden Child, and range from pretty good to okay. Even so, I enjoyed watching The Golden Child. There is a good amount of action, some nice sets, and good pacing.
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09 Nov 2020 13:10 #316033 by jason10mm
Don't they tease a GC sequel every now and then? I do feel like it gets lost in the crowd of 48 hours, BHC1&2, Trading Places, and Coming to America of 80s Eddie movies.

Charlotte Lewis though....shivers.

I watched The Outpost on Netflix. If you just want to cry about the loss of young men in a futile military action, this is the film for you. Scott Eastwood has made a MAJOR leap in acting, at least from whatever I've seen him in last, I'm all on board for a post-modern Dirty Harry film now.

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15 Nov 2020 15:40 #316169 by jason10mm
Started going through the Marvel films with the boy. Up to Captain America so far. I'm surprised how enjoyable this has been, some of these, like IM2, I think I only saw in the theater. So many little cross references, disney nods, even an Indiana Jones joke! But WOW, the image quality, especially for IM and IM2 on Disney+ is ATROCIOUS. Plastic rubbery skin and compression artifacts everywhere! But this rewatch is encouraging me to consider the 4K blu rays (if there are any). My kid just wants Thanos so I've been stringing him along until the stinger at the end of Avengers (? I think that was his first appearance). Debating whether or not to stick in a Hulk film or 2 before Avengers, but I think I'd have to rent them as I no longer have the Hulk HD-DVD (remember those!?!) and never owned TIH.

LOTR is next I think, if he can handle ice giants he can handle orcs and Balrogs.
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15 Nov 2020 21:21 #316175 by Shellhead
I haven't seen Porky's since I was a teenager, but I was feeling nostalgic and watched it on Amazon Prime. Wow. It's a very American take on a sex comedy, set in a redneck part of Florida in the 50s. A little bit of nudity and one sex scene, and a surprising amount of violence. And yet that's how the rest of the world sees Americans: violent redneck prudes.

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22 Nov 2020 11:48 #316436 by Shellhead
Watched a couple of good but weird horror movies last night, including Ginger Snaps 2: Unleashed. I saw Ginger Snaps less than a year ago, and that was a very good movie about a pair of very morbid teenage sisters and lycanthropy. The sequel takes an unexpected swerve into a drug treatment center. Ginger Snaps 2 wasn't as good as the original, but it was very good at producing expected plot twists, and also featured some particularly uncomfortable body horror.

Three years ago, I read John Dies at the End, a very strange horror novel with an oddly persuasive narrator who is particularly good at assisting the reader with the suspension of disbelief. I was reading while attending a small rpg convention where I kept running into the same players each day. It became a running joke with a player named John. He would ask me what I was reading, and I would show him the cover and say, "Sorry." I knew there was a movie version of John Dies at the End, but I assumed that it would gut the original work to tell a more conventional horror story. Wrong. I can't remember the last time I saw such a faithful translation from book to movie, and both the weirdness and sincerity fully made the transition. It's violent, gory, amusing, and speckled with existential musings and interesting ideas. However, if you have a particular phobia for bugs, you may want to skip John Dies at the End.
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22 Nov 2020 12:14 #316437 by jason10mm
JDITE is such a surreal and weird book and film. Totally tosses out most conventions and REALLY doubles down on the unreliable narrator. I've not read the sequel yet, I'm not sure I want to see if lightning can strike twice.

I almost feel like this type of stuff is too soon for the author. It's like he skipped all the conventional horror writing effort to really nail down tension and character and jumped straight to the drug binged Stephen King wacky stuff without his Carrie, Cujo, and Christine foundational work. Picasso without the base skill, perhaps.

My MCU rewatch with the kids is up to Guardians 1. Avengers was a HUGE success, mostly due to the Hulk based slapstick. IM3 was a flop, apparently the red hot mutant creation process just freaked him out. The intro to GOTG also sent him over the edge, as did the scene where the red skinned girl grabbed the power stone and exploded. Not sure why that imagery gets to him, but I see him skipping through other shows when there is heightened emotion (characters arguing or getting sick), not really sure what is going on there. Anyway, as the MCU films get more serious heading into Infinity War we'll see how he does because the snap is gonna be an issue (though since we know the outcome and can jump right to it that should help).

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24 Nov 2020 16:42 #316521 by ChristopherMD
I re-watched Mad Max: Fury Road from 2015 and it's still awesome in case anyone was wondering.
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30 Nov 2020 16:08 - 30 Nov 2020 22:32 #316707 by Shellhead
Roku was pushing The Hunger Games series this last weekend, so I gave it a try. I would have rather seen the outrageous and darkly humorous Japanese original, Battle Royale, but so far that hasn't been offered by Roku, HBO, or Amazon Prime. I had to dismiss logical nitpicking in order to enjoy these movies, to avoid getting distracted during the reasonably effective emotional beats and character moments.

Jennifer Lawrence was perfect for the role, given that she is from Kentucky and her character's community in the movie is a coal-mining town, and her character's reluctant rise to fame likely mirrored Lawrence's own experiences after starring in Winter's Bone.

The overall series cast was surprisingly strong, including competent pros like Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Jeffrey Wright, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Jena Malone, and Stanley Tucci. However, I wasn't impressed with the performances with Liam Hemsworth and Josh Hutcherson, which was 2/3 of the love triangle in the four movies. But Hutcherson was not bad in The Kids Are All Right, where he played Moore's son.

The Hunger Games movies and the books clearly owe a vast creative debt to Battle Royale, but move beyond that starting point to tell a more personal yet epic story about characters that have some actual development and a bit of depth. Unfortunately, author Suzanne Collins does not have a knack for good games (compared to say, Jack Vance or Michael Moorcock), so we get distracting names like Peeta Mellark or Effie Trinket.

The action is good, the FX is good, and the pacing is decent despite some necessary slow parts. Lawrence's character Katniss is gruffly likeable, despite her unlikely talent for delivering spontaneously heroic soundbites and speeches. I really liked the cynicism of the politics, and the story occasionally delivered some decent surprises, though falling back on obvious tropes at other times. The love triangle was a big deal to the characters involved, but I wasn't feeling it. I don't know if all four movies were filmed together, but it feels that way because the quality is uniform across the franchise.
Last edit: 30 Nov 2020 22:32 by Shellhead. Reason: more paragraph breaks

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