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Michael Barnes
August 18, 2022
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Godtear Beats the Odds - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
August 18, 2022
159 0
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thegiantbrain
August 11, 2022
364 0
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WadeMonnig
August 10, 2022
596 1
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oliverkinne
August 09, 2022
665 0
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thegiantbrain
August 04, 2022
542 0
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oliverkinne
August 01, 2022
841 0

Scout Board Game Review

Board Game Reviews
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oliverkinne
July 29, 2022
856 0
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thegiantbrain
July 28, 2022
612 0
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WadeMonnig
July 27, 2022
904 1
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oliverkinne
July 26, 2022
1017 0
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thegiantbrain
July 25, 2022
741 0

The Split - Review

Board Game Reviews
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thegiantbrain
July 21, 2022
819 0
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What MOVIE(s) have you been....seeing? watching?

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20 Apr 2022 14:32 - 20 Apr 2022 14:37 #332423 by DarthJoJo
I understand where this critique of Batman comes from, but I kind of hate it.

One, Batman is a fantasy. Specifically the fantasy that one good man can stand against crime and evil and be victorious. And be the world’s greatest detective and ninja. And be massively wealthy. And handsome and charming. To say that Batman (and basically every superhero) is dumb because he uses his wealth on body armor, bat-branded throwing stars and cool cars instead of anti-poverty and anti-corruption measures is the same as critiquing rom-coms for presenting unrealistic expectations for love. Yes, adults realize this, but it’s still fun to dwell in it for ninety minutes (or three hours, maybe).

Second, for whatever reason stories of the immensely powerful raising up the downtrodden have very rarely stuck in human history. Look at the ancient myths we still have today. We don’t talk about Thor bringing rain to end droughts. We talk about him getting tricked into drinking the sea. Zeus could do anything but spent all his time screwing. Rama killed a demon but only because it kidnapped his wife. Prometheus stole fire, and Jesus healed the sick, and both suffered for it. Sensible stories of community uplift aren’t often remembered in human history.

Third, this critique doesn’t really work in universe. Batman sends the Falcones and Penguin to Blackgate, but the mentally ill go to Arkham Asylum because it’s a hospital. He wants them to get better. He wants Two-Face to be Harvey Dent again. He wants Freeze to accept his wife’s death and move on. Unfortunately Hugo Strange and Harleen Quinzel work there, but the hope remains for their healing. The last episode of Batman Beyond isn’t about Batman beating the Joker into submission but waiting with a little girl as she faced her death. For all the imagery Dark Knight evokes, he is a hopeful hero.
Last edit: 20 Apr 2022 14:37 by DarthJoJo.
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20 Apr 2022 17:07 #332424 by RobertB
To be fair to Batman. nothing says he's not fighting crime both wholesale and retail. Monday he's out beating up bad guys, Tuesday he's announcing full ride scholarships for all the kids in Gotham City.

Charitable millionaire playboy philanthropist costumed crimefighter is straight out of the 1930s. It does seem a little out of place dressed up in 21st century clothes.
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22 Apr 2022 12:55 #332480 by jason10mm
I prefer to think of Batman/Wayne hitting the problem of crime (literally) from both sides. Wayne as the ditzy figurehead of a massive empire that does charity, fundraising, etc and Batman as the nightmare dispensing justice against those the charities can't reach. Wayne doesn't want to be a dictator, so he won't just spend his money on an elite police force. Batman can't kill, so he is reduced to enternal capture and imprisonment of his most recidivistic foes.

But if you dress a batman story in grim adult clothes, then I want equally adult themes. If you want to gloss over adult consequences and concerns, then keep the theme equally light. I don't knock Batman '66 or '89 (as 'dark' as it was then) for things I would roast '22 or especially the Snyder version for.
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23 Apr 2022 07:55 - 23 Apr 2022 08:36 #332505 by Nodens
Nothing useful to add, just had a chuckle


My bad, got around to seeing Synchronic last night. It's in 'good but not great' territory for me. I'd have loved to see more of some things and less of others, but it's not too long and that's at least something nowadays.
Loved some cuts and especially loved how conversation and exchange of information were handled - like in reality when real people talk and not a single infodump for the viewers. Funny how this stands out, maybe goes to show how little bad script writing matters in a big production, which this isn't really.
Last edit: 23 Apr 2022 08:36 by Nodens.
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23 Apr 2022 18:14 #332516 by jason10mm
Saw The Northman. Pretty spectacular as it blends incredibly detailed historical accuracy with a very dreamlike mythological element. The story itself is nothing exceptional but it has a wonderful synergy. It dances between a couple of contrasting themes fairly well but it starts so big and grand to end so personal that I felt a little unfulfilled if satisfied by the credits.

One particular character is sure to draw a fair amount of criticism if you choose to view the film through certain lenses but overall I quite enjoyed the movie. It is definitely a big screen experience.
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28 Apr 2022 11:37 - 28 Apr 2022 11:40 #332626 by Gary Sax
I cannot tell you why but I watched Man of Steel last night. It was ok, but like any superman movie, it struggles in its fight scenes because the only way to add stakes to a superman fight imo is to create lots of destruction around him---more than most heroes you know he's not going to be harmed in any way. I see why they leaned into it, but it doesn't really add any emotional stakes to a fight to show destruction around them. In that way, the fight in the small town/rural setting is probably the most effective because it relies less on these visuals. As I understand it, the next movie is going to pick up on this destruction thing so I see why they did it but it just isn't additive to the fight scenes in *this* movie and they really seem to hope it punches the fight scenes up for the viewer. By contrast, I thought the sci-fi stuff was pretty well done?

I don't think Zach Snyder is a very good director or anything but it was certainly nice to watch a superhero movie with essentially no irony or arch self awareness. No winking in Man of Steel for the most part. Obviously I'd tire of this dark selfseriousness if I watched too much of it but when I'm swimming in a sea of Marvel, Star Wars, etc that goes for the same arch tone it was pretty smooth.
Last edit: 28 Apr 2022 11:40 by Gary Sax.
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28 Apr 2022 14:12 #332635 by charlest
I saw that in the theater (friends coaxed me into it at the time), and the only thing I remember is that it had Michael Shannon in it.

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28 Apr 2022 14:49 #332638 by ChristopherMD
I hated Man Of Steel. Clark just stands there and watches his father die. He could have saved him but it would have ruined his secret identity. He chose a convenience over his fathers life. I will never see Snyder's Superman as anything other than an abomination and insult to the character. Just an alien who doesn't even care about the human that raised him. Which makes it hard to believe he'd fight all that hard for any of us. Never watched the following movies as I'd rather wait for a reboot that makes Superman the best of us again.
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28 Apr 2022 15:06 - 28 Apr 2022 15:08 #332639 by Gary Sax

charlest wrote: the only thing I remember is that it had Michael Shannon in it.


He's like the best part of the movie.

@ChristopherMD I agree that that part is very weird. I have no affection for best among us superman so the other bit didnt niggle at me too badly.

Also the movie makes Clark and Lois two characters you could imagine having a relationship but they aren't given any of the actual character work or action where it makes it make any sense.
Last edit: 28 Apr 2022 15:08 by Gary Sax.

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28 Apr 2022 15:50 #332640 by jason10mm

ChristopherMD wrote: I hated Man Of Steel. Clark just stands there and watches his father die. He could have saved him but it would have ruined his secret identity. He chose a convenience over his fathers life. I will never see Snyder's Superman as anything other than an abomination and insult to the character. Just an alien who doesn't even care about the human that raised him. Which makes it hard to believe he'd fight all that hard for any of us. Never watched the following movies as I'd rather wait for a reboot that makes Superman the best of us again.


I liked MoS as an action spectacle but I 100% agree with you about the characterization of Supes and his fathers.

I MUCH prefer the idea that Jor-El DELIBERATELY sends his son to a planet where he will turn into a god so no matter what he will be invulnerable. If he is a tyrant, a savior, or a recluse, no matter, he will live and be untouchable. So it's up to Pa Kent instill humanity into Clark, teach him about sacrifice, empathy, and why bad things can still happen even if you try really really hard to stop them.

Of course I also prefer a much less god-like Supes, more like the Fleischer version that has just the strength of 10 men, not 10,000, can be hurt at times, can fly but not at the speed of plot, etc. Planet smashing supes who then fails to crush Lex Luthor like a bug is far less interesting to me because then the bad things ARE the fault of Supes and he comes off more capricious than earnest.

Now that I think about it, Chris Evans' Captain America is probably the best portrayal of Superman's attitude.

Though I would kinda like to see a Supes more like what Tarantino has in Kill Bill, this dispassionate Godbeing of such a vast intellect and power that he cosplays as a goofy human mainly for shits and giggles. I know this has been done in comics some and that Invincible cartoon is basically this idea but I think there is a nuanced take that a Nic Cage superman could pull off :P
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30 Apr 2022 00:40 - 30 Apr 2022 00:42 #332706 by Cranberries

jason10mm wrote: All the Old Knives on Amazon. This is a classic 70's style slow burn character driven spy flick. Chris Pine, absolutely NAILING a distinguished salt and pepper beard, and Thandiwe Newton, proving vampires are real and can be seen on film, star as former lovers reunited when rumors of a mole (is there ever NOT a mole? ) resurface about a failed CIA OP they worked on together in years past.

No shooting, no car chases, not really any running even, just good acting and simmering tension. Alas I think the jumping around time line, designed to keep the viewer guessing till the end, makes it kinda confusing because all you really have to go on is the color of Pines beard and the length of Thandiwes hair to orient yourself to various periods. It feels like a covid film as there are rarely more than 2-3 characters on screen at once, giving a palpable sense of isolation to many scenes.

But it holds together well enough in the end and is a suitable film for a few glasses of wine and adult company.

I recently reread some Olen Steinhauer books on vacation, having forgotten that I had already read them, but enjoying them more the second time because i read more slowly. Then I saw a large print copy of "All the Old Knives" at our library sale (have I mentioned my age?) and bought it and enjoyed it. Thanks for this review, it's going to be fun to see how it translates to my 12.9" iPad screen.
Last edit: 30 Apr 2022 00:42 by Cranberries. Reason: The URL thing is broken.

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30 Apr 2022 00:57 - 30 Apr 2022 09:39 #332708 by Gary Sax
Continued on my staying off the internet, watching bad movies trip. I watched the next DC universe movie, Batman vs. Superman. Truly a shockingly bad movie. One of the worst put together movies I've seen in a long time. It's almost fascinating how bad the whole thing clangs. The only good part of it is the take on silicon valley Lex Luthor.

Like I said upthread, I don't even have any attachment to the characters so the weird murder batman and dark superman don't really bother me. It makes sense to do a little Dr. Manhattan with superman to keep some tension. But it is so badly put together and NONE of the emotional beats between the characters work at all. Truly a marvel. Zing.
Last edit: 30 Apr 2022 09:39 by Gary Sax.
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30 Apr 2022 12:32 #332718 by Disgustipater

Gary Sax wrote: Continued on my staying off the internet, watching bad movies trip. I watched the next DC universe movie, Batman vs. Superman.

The real question is, when the time comes for Justice League, do you watch the Theatrical cut or the Snyder Cut?
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30 Apr 2022 13:16 #332719 by Gary Sax
Going Snyder cut. Sounds like a miserable length addition, but these movies need anything they can get with respect to character work which supposedly Snyder cut adds.
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30 Apr 2022 18:38 #332730 by jason10mm
The problem with the Snyder cut is that it leaves you hanging forever. The Whedon version at least bottles everything up in one film.

Now DC is stuck with a Flash movie they can't release like they planned. Good grief that place is a madhouse.
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