CITY BOY GEEKINESS

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LET'S CONNECT

Long ago in a galaxy far, far away... well, more like our galaxy and on this planet, I watched a little sci-fi movie about lightsabers, space and Jedis. I was a kid and I didn't really understand what was going on - I was more inclined to Power Rangers, Buffy and Digimon at the time. As I grew up and continued to rewatch those movies on reruns, I started understanding the plot and enjoyed watching the films, especially the fourth and fifth episode. Soon the prequels came and while they weren't as great as the originals, they did soothe the tide until the future sequels came. I didn't hate them as most fans did; they were merely average.

Now at the end of 2015, Star Wars has released the next official sequel since the original trilogy. My friend purchased our tickets months in advance and we waited until the big day. I finally watched the film and it definitely earns its own blog post. The movie I will be writing about today is the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise: Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

 
The Premise: Set many years into the future, the history of the Jedi and the events of the rebellion is now merely a legend. A new group of villains, The First Order, plans to take over the galaxy and destroy the last Jedi, Luke Skywalker (played by Mark Hamill). Luke has disappeared and in that time, the Resistance sets a plan to find Luke and stop The First Order.

The Good: Right out of the gate, Star Wars: The Force Awakens delivers the drama and action that fans love. The pace of the film was quick and there wasn't a single moment that felt like the movie dragged on in plot or dialogue. For a two hour movie, that is almost unheard of in today's world. Every camera shot, word and action made by the characters tied together in a seamless and effortless way. It's something that the prequel films were missing, especially in the first film - there was TOO MUCH quiet and slow time. This sequel learned from their mistakes.

Since this movie begins the start of a new trilogy, many new characters were introduced to the series. Most of them were a great addition, but Rey (played by Daisy Ridley) stands out above the others as the best new character. She's strong, quick-witted, and isn't a frail character who needs to be rescued by someone else. Rey was a fighter and I enjoyed every minute she was on the screen. Don't get me wrong, I like Princess Leia and Queen Amidala (played by Carrie Fisher and Natalie Portman, respectively), but Rey offered something new to the Star Wars universe.

The Bad: I don't have many negatives to say about the movie - it was overall really good. BUT, the only thing which irked me about the film were the similarities to Star Wars IV: A New Hope. As I watched the film and dissected many of the key plot points (as well as its structure), I couldn't help but notice that the two movie were quite similar. 

Wait... before I hear the debate about how I'm wrong, hear me out! I'm not saying that both movies are a shot-by-shot copy of each other, I'm saying that there are a few plot points and scenes that felt too similar with how the films were structured. I want to keep this review as spoiler-free as possible, so all I will say to this topic is that after you've watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens, go back and watch A New Hope to compare certain elements and figure out how it matches. You might be surprised at which similarities pop up!


The Results: 5/5!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the movie fans have been waiting for after so long. The return to the galaxy offers a great story to get hooked back into the adventure and plenty of action if you're into lightsabers, lasers and the force. The movie introduces many interesting new characters that you would be excited to follow throughout the next trilogy, and they have the personality to match. The only downside may be the similarities to the fourth episode; however, be it intentional or not, A New Hope is a great movie and The Force Awakens is equally as amazing.

I WANT TO WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY HOLIDAYS! 
I HOPE YOU ALL ENJOY THE TIME WITH YOUR LOVED ONES, YOUR FAVOURITE GAMES, AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT MAKES YOU HAPPY. 
ALL THE BEST!

James Bond is back and he's out for revenge. It's no secret that I'm a big 007 fan. I've watched every movie, I have some of the songs on my iPod playlist, and I even (occasionally) do a feature here on the blog about the book series. It's hard not to be a fan since growing up with the films. However, I do judge the sequels with a critical eye as each film is different and offers something new. If the film isn't amazing, I will tell you why with no bias. The latest James Bond film to be reviewed is the inter-conspiracy film: SPECTRE.

The Premise: MI6 is dealing with the backlash after another one of James Bond's (Daniel Craig) misadventures to take down a criminal. As the 00 program hangs in the balance, Bond is on the hunt to stop the menacing SPECTRE organization that has been causing him hell since Casino Royale.

The Results: 3/5!
SPECTRE tried to accomplish an ambitious goal - it tried to connect the three previous movies together for one satisfying conclusion. And while it successfully created a web that seem connected, it failed to deliver a powerful payoff. The villain, while nefarious and dangerous, never came off as terrifying; he was merely a bad guy in a business suit. James Bond, as well as other characters like Q, M, Moneypenny and Madeline Snow to name a few, delivered a stellar job as part of the growing ensemble cast. The stunts were great, especially the first opening sequence. However, one of SPECTRE's biggest faults is that the action, the drama and the anticipation never built up to a climatic finish. The ending felt too mellow and calm. (This is a 007 film after all!) If you're a fan of James Bond movies, I would recommend checking out the next flick in the series.

With James Bond's latest adventure heading to the big screen next with SPECTRE, I decided to dust off an old favourite feature of mine for my next piece on the blog. I will skip over the formality of mentioning how long it has been since the last post. Suffice it to say: I'm terrible! (We all know it, but you love me for it.) 

This will be a short edition of The Big Bong Book Club. I finished this novel awhile ago and I watched the movie shortly after then, but I'm currently writing the piece now. For those of you unfamiliar with this feature, I read the 007 books in chronological order (those who have a movie counterpart) and then I watch the film shortly afterwards to do a comparison between the two. You can check out the previous features on this blog (Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds are Forever, and From Russia with Love). 

For this edition of the book club, I will be taking a look at James Bond's first adventure, according to the movie franchise: Dr. No.


The Story (novel): After recovering from poisoning, James Bond is set on a simple assignment to Jamaica to learn about the disappearance of an MI6 agent.

The Story (movie): James Bond is sent to Jamaica to investigate a British Intelligence Station Chief's disappearance.

THE COMPARISON
Since Dr. No is the "first" James Bond movie adventure we're introduced to as viewers, a few details are changed to accommodate this new timeline. References to past characters and actions from the book series are omitted and the history of certain characters with 007 are changed to be new introductions instead. It's nothing major that alters the main theme of the story (Dr. No is still menacing and he is a member of SPECTRE), but it is a noticeable difference after reading the first few books and connecting these characters to past scenes in the previous novels.


My Favourite: The Movie! (...barely)
Similar to my conclusion from Diamonds are Forever, I wasn't particularly fond of either pieces. Be it that Dr. No was the first film from the '60s and the series was still finding its way OR the book coming off as James Bond's "relaxed" adventure, Dr. No didn't captivate me as a story. The certain aspect which could have pulled the movie ahead compared to the book is potentially the iconic scenes from the movie. Honey Rider rising from the sea, James Bond driving his car for the first time, Dr. No wearing the suit - there are many moments any 007 would love to see on film. These are all small cosmetic points, but they did help lean toward my ultimate decision.

Final scores:

Dr. No (the book) - 3/10
Dr. No (the movie) - 4/10
 
NEXT: The next blog piece will be tackling the (arguably) best James Bond story. I'm not going to confirm if it is my favourite, but many fans love this story compared to the others. If you're craving gold then be on the lookout for the next post: Goldfinger!

Not all adaptations are a recipe for success. For every comic book movie blockbuster or new TV hit series, there are a few misses that pop up. Changing the source material, miscasting, the editing, the acting or the script itself could be one of the reasons the adaptation just didn't work. It's not to say the piece is completely bad - it needs to be viewed under a different lens. Adaptations, at its core, are never as great as the original source material. For this edition's movie review, I take a look at an '80s musical adaptation: Jem and The Holograms.

The Premise: Jerrica (Aubrey Peeples) is a shy and talented musician who lives with her aunt, sister and two foster sisters. When her sister Kimber (Stefanie Scott) uploads a video of Jerrica singing, going under the name of "Jem", her popularity skyrockets as the video becomes an internet success. Catching the eye of record label mogul Erica Raymond (Juliette Lewis), Jerrica, as well as her sisters, are signed as a new band - Jem and The Holograms - and deal with their newfound success.

The Results: 1.5/5!
Jem and The Holograms isn't as bad as everyone initially claims it to be. There are some highlights to the film, like primarily with its soundtrack and themes of sister unity. If you're the type of person who enjoys adding new tracks to their playlist, Jem offers just that. Unfortunately, the positives do end there. Jem and The Holograms suffers from an identity crisis. The film doesn't know what it wants to be! Is it a cheeky parody based on the cartoon? Is it a serious indie flick exploring the music industry and internet trends? The film jumps back and forth between both ideas, essentially confusing viewers of the main plot. In terms of the cast, much of the cast was simply doing lip service - barely showing emotion and merely reading lines. On top of that, the film was never outrageous. (Seriously, Jem was never truly, truly outrageous!) If you're a diehard Jem and The Holograms fan, I would not recommend watching this film as it is a departure from the series. However, if you enjoy musical films and a nice feelgood movie, this could be for you.


The world is about to be "smize"-less with today's latest cancellation news. After 22 cycles on the air, America's Next Top Model is walking down the runway for the last time. The modeling competition, created by former supermodel Tyra Banks, is ending its longstanding run this year on The CW at the end of their current season. The gem that brought us "no neck", "booty tooch" and an endless array of GIFs is officially over.

Launched in 2003 on UPN, America's Next Top Model (also abbreviated as ANTM) found a home with fans and aspiring models during the early reality TV craze. Viewers connected with all the cattiness, drama and aspirations of competing to be in the modeling world. While ratings have fallen since its early days (the show now averages around a 0.3 rating), ANTM still launched the careers of many models and lasted on the air for an incredible 22 seasons.

ANTM will forever be known for its GIF-worthy scenes and iconic reality TV moments. Especially for this perfection that most remember:



Are you going to miss America's Next Top Model? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
It has been said before and I will say it again: I love horror movies! I don't know why after all this time it has kept a place as my favourite movie genre. Most of the people I know are scared of them, but I find them exciting and thrilling. It could be the anticipation of trying to survive, the creepy atmosphere (I do love Halloween too, after all) or it could be the concept of the good characters ultimately winning over the evil serial killer. Regardless of the specific reason, I'm a fan and I've seen my fair share of horror movies throughout my life.


Scream. A Nightmare on Elm Street. Friday the 13th. Black Christmas. The Cabin in the Woods. These are just a few that come to mind. The genre and tropes have changed throughout the years, but the '80s hold an iconic quality to the horror genre, especially with the slasher movie. They're campy, cheesy, poorly written and yet they're also quite funny! You can't help but laugh a few times as you watch the film. As Scream and Cabin explored, the genre can be turned on their head to become a parody. One of the horror movies I've recently watched is a parody about the '80s slasher movie trope - it is also the movie I will be reviewing today: The Final Girls.

The Premise: Set years after the tragic death of her mother, Max (played by Taissa Farmiga) is invited by her friends to attend the anniversary film screening of her mother's iconic B-horror movie, Camp Bloodbath. When a fire erupts in the theatre and the group makes their escape, they wake up in the fictionalized world of Camp Bloodbath where a serial killer is hunting down the movie's cast - including Max's mother (Malin Åkerman) - one-by-one in true '80s movie fashion.

The Good: The Final Girls understands what type of movie it is: It's a horror-comedy. As compared to other horror movies which focus on fear and terror, this one is about humour, jokes and being lighthearted. Due to this change of approach, more attention was placed on the relationship between Max and her late mother (her "mother" through the eyes of her Bloodbath character, Nancy) - and I'm glad the movie focused on this. Max had a great relationship with her mother before her death and it was touching to see her reconnect with her loved one again, even if it wasn't really her. The true positive highlight of this movie is that is focused on the relationships and history of these characters instead of mindless gore and murders.

The Bad: While the movie did foster the relationships between the characters, it didn't answer many questions regarding its plot. What magic caused them to enter the movie? Did their actions in Camp Bloodbath affect the sequel and the real wold? Are they part of the official movie now? A lot of questions were left at the end and it seemed as viewers we're expected to just be fine with it because... you know, it's a "movie" or something. I don't need everything to be answered, but it would've been nice to tie up some loose ends.


The Results: 3.5/5!
The Final Girls is a cheeky and witty horror-comedy parody that offers more than generic horror. Instead of focusing on blood and guts, the movie highlights the relationships between the characters and the touching relationship between a daughter and her late mother. The jokes are funny and the horror tropes it showcases will bring back nostalgia to any horror movie fan. While I personally loved the movie, the lack of answers and a defined plot could leave some viewers scratching their heads or thinking that this is just another cookie-cutter horror movie. If you're a horror movie fan or like a good comedy, The Final Girls is a good treat for you.


I am a big James Bond fan. I love the action, the gadgets, the conspiracies and, of course, the opening theme songs. Many of the tracks are currently on my playlist for repeat listens. Who could not love tunes like "Skyfall" or "Live and Let Die"? The right song can tie the whole movie together and excite fans for the adventure to come.

For Bond's latest adventure, British superstar and crooner Sam Smith was tapped to sing the next track. His contribution would be the next tune to join other James Bond history singers, like Adele, Madonna and Carly Simon. His song, "Writing's On The Wall", was released earlier on Spotify and iTunes. However, the accompanying video for the track is now available to be viewed today.

Check out the video below to see Sam Smith's official music video for the James Bond track. SPECTRE is hitting theatres worldwide on November 6, 2015.


I haven't abandoned all of you incredible people. This blog is still alive and kicking! I refuse the gravestone.

Summer came in and filled my schedule with a few pressing things that I needed to get done. I mentioned in a previous blog post that something came up that was weighing on my mind and I needed to focus on. I've definitely worked towards it since then. This summer was a time for relaxation, rest and recuperation! For those of you who have been following my Instagram feed, it has been a busy few weeks.

This summer wasn't only about the events and moments that I experienced. I also branched out to write more and contribute about my favourite topics. On top of my work for Entertainment Weekly's The Community, I've now also become a writer at The Young Folks. I just finished my fourth post; third overall about Big Brother 17. While I might not be writing a lot on this website every or so often, I'm still here and will keep writing for you all. You can absolutely check out my other work as well.

Here are a few pieces from TYF:

A ‘Resident Evil 2’ Remake Is in Development

TV Review: Big Brother 17 (Week #7 & Rankings)

TV Review: Big Brother 17 (Week #8 & Rankings)

TV Review: Big Brother 17 (Week #9 & Rankings)

Not every romantic comedy is by the book. The plot, the hero, the setting - it can break the formula to do something different. Instead of the typical "man-meets-woman, man-dates-woman, drama ensues, man-loves-woman-forever" archetype, the formula can change things up to make viewers think about love in a new way. The latest movie to hit theatres in the rom-com genre comes from the dirty-minded, current queen of comedy Amy Schumer: Trainwreck.

The Premise: Amy (played by Amy Schumer) is a monogamous-hating men's magazine writer who lives life each day without being committed to one person. She drinks, gets stoned and sleeps with as many men as she wants. As part of a new assignment for her magazine, she interviews a prominent sports doctor Aaron (Bill Hader). What starts as a one-night stand soon becomes a relationship for Amy as she enters into the world of monogamy and dating rules.

The Results: 3/5!
Trainwreck is a guilty pleasure comedy that features the fun quips and jokes that Amy Schumer does so well. She thrives in this style and gives viewers plenty of hilarious moments into the world of dating from her point of view. While the comedy aspect was there, Trainwreck did fall into its own self of cliche. Much of the film made fun of dating rules and the typical roles people played, yet the film still found itself following the same formulaic route. Amy still let herself fall in love with the rom-com world. Also, some of the jokes were cheesy and a bit overdone. Amy Schumer is a great talent and I wouldn't be surprised if Trainwreck is just her film to come.

Wanderlust. It's the call of a trip or an adventure that just pulls you in. I love movies and books where the characters set out on a journey. A drive, a trip, a challenge. Whether it's searching for a mysterious love or the final goodbye between friends before heading to college, it's the adventure - not the destination - that makes me smile. The latest movie hitting theatres is based on a young adult book that combines both of those ideas together for a heartwarming coming-of-age flick: Paper Towns.

The Premise: Quentin (Nat Wolff) is an awkward boy going through his last few boring weeks of high school before graduating. He's kept a low key life thus far, that is until his neighbour and former childhood best-friend, Margo (Cara Delevinge), surprises him one night with a plan for an infamous Margo adventure. The former friends have a memorable night but soon Quentin is pulled into another mystery: Margo disappears. Quentin and his rag tag group of friends set out on a mission to solve the clues and find the elusive Margo Roth Spiegelman.

The Good: Paper Towns does well with giving depth and emotion to its group of cast and characters. Most times when a book is adapted to the big screen, the words and the feelings written into the novel aren't translated well to the final movie. The script did a great job with making each character their own, albeit a little cliche at times. I came to care about these characters and I felt the emotional backstory of why this trip was important to Quentin and his friends.


Four words can describe the next point best: Cara Delevigne is amazing! While her character didn't have a lot of screen time (she is missing after all), every second that she WAS on screen is perfect. Her character is captivating, she has effortless timing with witty dialogue, and she felt like a breath of fresh air in terms of character types. I understood Margo as a person yet felt completely out of the loop about who she was. Cara Delevigne did a great job and she's a good addition to an already great cast.

The Bad: Did the movie's plot seem small to anyone else? With exception to the beginning adventure and the resulting trip, I'm not sure if anything else really happened in Paper Towns. It could be from the book-to-movie adaptation process or just the plot itself, but Quentin and his friends didn't do much in their hunt for Margo. The stakes didn't feel real except for a looming prom deadline. Also, as I mentioned this before, there were a few points in the film where the dialogue did feel cheesy and cliche, especially when it came to the character of Ben (Austin Abrams). I get that this is a coming-of-age flick, but it didn't need to be too on the nose.

The Results: 3.75/5!
Paper Towns is exactly what a teen flick should be. It's fun, it's cute, the characters try to shake off their former personas to grow, and there's a mysterious character pulling them into a new adventure. I liked the film and as a book-to-movie adaptation, it did a good job. The dialogue was a tad cheesy and the plot did tread familiar territory with the typical "coming-of-age" tropes. Seriously, how many party, virginity, and finding lost love storylines can there be? There wasn't anything new added to the genre. Though, if you're a fan of the book and enjoy a story about friends heading out on an adventure, Paper Towns could be your type of flick.


Hey all!

Sorry for the delay in uploading a new post. There are just a few things happening in my life right now that I need to focus on and think about. The break might be for a short while, but I will be back soon and I will try to get a new post up soon. Don't worry! I'm fine and everything is good; it's just one of those months.

Until then!

I grew up watching reality television. I became hooked on the many TV shows of people competing to win a prize - it may have been the reason I grew my love of TV and lead me to where I am today. Like, for instance, I write this blog! 

When I was a child, I spent most of my time watching cartoons and young adult shows like Digimon, Power Rangers, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But, as I grew into the double digits, reality TV was just being introduced and I couldn't help but follow shows like Survivor, Big Brother, and The Mole. UnReal on Lifetime sounded like a great concept and a perfect show to recap for its first season.

This week on UnReal, the hit reality dating show Everlasting begins production on another season, Rachel returns to set after last year's breakdown, and the production crew pick early favourites.

THE QUEEN OF DRAMA RETURNS
It's lights, camera and action for another season of the popular dating show, Everlasting. As the production crew watches from their office, a carriage arrives bringing the first contestant - Shamiqua, a clerk for a Supreme Court Justice - to meet British bachelor (and hotel-chain heir) Adam Cromwell. Quinn, the executive producer, calls cut as she is in disbelief that the first contestant revealed is African American; she thinks the first girl should be "wifey" material and she doesn't think Shamiqua has a chance. She wants to see the remaining girls for potential.

Rachel, the disgraced former producer who had a nervous breakdown last season, returns as a freelancer with five more girls. Everyone on set has seen Rachel's breakdown on TV and they're shocked she's returned, even her competing producers Shia and Jay and her former boyfriend Jeremy are surprised she's back. Quinn has faith in Rachel and agreed to drop the charges if Rachel came back to work. Unfortunately, Rachel has no choice in the matter - she needs to work and not go to jail.

RUNAWAY PRINCE
There is one thing clear as the cameras film: Adam doesn't look happy. Adam is bored with the reality show process; it's beneath him and he's doing it merely for an image improvement. As the cameras turn away for a split second, he makes a run for it and leaves the set, abandoning everyone in disbelief. Quinn pulls Rachel and forces her to find Adam - it turns out that their bachelor didn't sign the season contract, which means EVERYTHING they filmed is useless and they can't force him to film. Rachel is shocked, but she knows she has a job to do.

She finds Adam sitting next to a lake; he's refusing to return. Rachel calls him out for his media reputation and knows why he's really doing the show - it's not to find love but to restore his image for his family. She bluffs about having a back-up bachelor ready to take his place and reap the rewards. However, after a quick negotiation, Adam signs on board for the season.

THE GAME BEGINS
With Adam returning to the set, the competition resumes with the remaining girls meeting the suitor. Quinn and the production team have early season favourites for inciting drama: there's Britney, their potential villain, Grace the vivacious model, Mary the cradle-robbing mother, and obvious first elimination Faith. The team has (for the most part) planned out the rest of the night for the first episode.

With a little bit of manipulation, the producers (Rachel, Shia and Jay) start interacting with the contestants to cause some TV-worthy drama. Britney takes the idea and comes onto Adam a bit too strong, openly flirting and seducing him sexually in front of everyone. Rachel coaxes Mary into sharing her daughter's bear while Shia upsets Faith by discussing her virginity. Rachel ends up saving the day and gets Faith some alone time with the British beau.

A WRENCH IN THE PLAN
Before Adam begins his first elimination of the season, he strolls out for a chat with Rachel. He can tell that the production team is merely using Faith as a joke character for the first episode; he isn't a fan of that. Rachel comes up with an idea to stick it to Quinn and the entire show.

As the first Everlasting elimination commences, Adam must eliminate five girls from the show. The drama is really between Faith and Britney (sorry unknown extras!) - the team is positive Britney will be saved while Faith will get the boot. Unfortunately for them, Adam saves Faith and eliminates Britney from the show - Quinn is pissed! She heads onto the set and confronts Adam and Rachel, knowing full well that they planned something. Now that their villain is eliminated, they NEED footage from Britney to save the first episode.

WHO'S THE REAL VILLAIN?!
Britney is upset and nearly in tears from her surprising boot. Rachel pulls the camera crew and tries to get her to do her exit interview, but Britney isn't taking the bait - she isn't saying anything mean about Adam. In a feat of pure manipulation, Rachel convinces Britney to have a few drinks with her and starts saying negative comments about her. Britney, now aware of Rachel's true intentions, calls her out with vile words and spits in her face. Everyone is shocked (but impressed) that Rachel could get the dramatic scene they needed. It's going to be a great first episode.

Will Faith survive the next episode? Who will be the villain now that Britney is gone? Is Rachel doomed for another dramatic Everlasting season? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

In honour of the day that spans the galaxy, I'm going to be doing a short post today for Trailer Madness. It's May 4th and all the Star Wars fans out there are sharing their favourite pictures and tweets on social media. This is going to be a big year for Star Wars fans! Everyone is excited for the latest installment set to premiere this year. I'm a fan of the movie series, but there are definitely large quantities of people who are more ingrained in the fandom and nuances.

Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens isn't coming out for a while now. But, for all the fans out there, here's the latest teaser trailer again to relive the magic.



Today's edition of Tuesday Tunes will be a short one. Instead of the usual format of showcasing three videos that are inspired by music, I will simply be using one video. It could be my love of TV or the nostalgia I'm feeling at the moment, but I've been having random singing fits of old TV theme songs. I'm constantly humming or singing a song to myself that pops into my head. Trust me when I say that I'm not the best singer!

The one that is currently playing the most is the theme song to Hey Arnold! Never heard of the show? Hey Arnold! was a cartoon about kids living in the city and the adventures surrounded a football-headed kid, named Arnold. It was one of the cartoon I loved to watch when I was younger. There unfortunately wasn't a real ending to the series, except for a movie, but even then it didn't tie up all loose ends. It's the downside of the TV world: Potentially never getting an ending to a show. But that's in the past...

For the time being, you can enjoy the theme song and hum along to it like I am. Have fun!


A good multiplayer video game can be so hard to find. Sometimes it's simply tacked on to a primarily solo story game with little care or it holds a multitude technical problems that prevent the experience from growing. I've played plenty of multiplayer video games through my console and PC gaming history. But when I find a really great game with an amazing multiplayer experience, I always come back for more. And the video game I will be reviewing today is definitely on of those games. On this video game review article, I'll be reviewing the first-person shooter multiplayer video game: Evolve.

The Story: Set on the distant planet of Shear, dangerous monsters have attacked the human settlements and nearly wiped out the population. No creatures are more so dangerous than the titans. They are the most powerful on the planet and they prove to be evolving at a rapid rate.


Players can take on the role of either a Hunter or a Monster. Hunters are from a crack team of military exterminators, specializing in roles like Media, Trapper, Support and Assault. There are plenty of different characters to choose from while Monsters, the sole competing enemy, is one of three different types of titans.

Where To Play: Evolve is available to play on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

The Good: Evolve sets its sights on delivering a good multiplayer experience, and it does it pretty well. The concept is simple: you're either the Monster plotting to defeat the Hunters or vice versa. Evolve features a collection of unique characters and roles to choose from for each match. Instead of the stale monotony of playing the same five characters over and over again, each role has at least three different characters with unique weapons, powers and features to help take down the competing side. Plus, each role and character is styled differently, such as one female Trapper has a pet animal who tracks the Monster down while another Trapper is basically a cowboy. Variety is a big strength for Evolve.

The environments in Evolve are also a big takeaway. Each location is visually beautifully and offers something different for the players competing in that specific location. Also, each location contains their own set of mini-monsters and obstacles that could kill a Hunter. You wouldn't believe how many times I did from being eaten by a plant!

The Bad: With any multiplayer-based game, there are always some technical problems and glitches around that could be fixed. Evolve has its few issues where I've noticed that it impacted my online experience. Sometimes a game would lag or crash and I would need to restart a match. I've had my character miss several important hits because of a technical snafu where my character turned around or attacked on its own. The issue wasn't because of my internet connection as I was able to reconnect in the next match. Those small little things just added up as the game went out.

Another point which I want to bring up, which could be viewed as good or bad, is that Evolve is a hard game. Whether you're a Hunter or a Monster, winning a match isn't easy. Depending on which Monster or which Hunters you're facing, it could become really difficult to win the game. I groan whenever I notice I'm facing against a Wraith or a certain Medic/Trapper character. It takes a lot of determination, evolving, team coordination (an absolute must!) and evolving to win.


The Results: 9/10!
I really liked Evolve. Evolve offered a change of pace for a multiplayer game and didn't over-complicate the experience with complex mechanics. The environments were beautifully created and each character was designed differently, albeit sometimes on the stereotypical or cliche side. The video game does have its fair share of tiny technical glitches that could ruin a good online match. However, these barely occur few and very far between. Evolve is a perfect game for gamers who love a first-person shooter or enjoy playing against other gamers online.


I grew up watching James Bond. As a child, I was captivated with the many adventures of 007. Everything from taking down a media mogul to stopping a satellite from destroying London - I've watched all the films and played most of the video games. I like a good secret agent film. While the latest film I'm reviewing today isn't a James Bond movie, it is another British spy comedy where the main characters are secret agents. This mini-movie review is for the spy flick: Kingsman: The Secret Service.

The Premise: Gary "Eggsy" (played by Taron Egerton) is a delinquent young adult living in London. After being arrested for stealing a car, Eggsy calls upon a favour from "Galahad" (Colin Firth) and is freed with a catch. He agrees to audition for a top secret group of British spies, The Kingsman, and join their ranks to stop the villainous Richmond Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) from destroying the world.

The Results: 2/5!
Kingsman: The Secret Service was a campy secret agent movie that featured plenty of action and comedy moments. Taron Egerton did a great job and Colin Firth never disappoints in whatever role he does. I wasn't exactly blown away by the movie. Nothing new was really approached and it seemed like another spy drama featuring a young guy, like Agent Cody Banks or Alex Rider. Before watching the flick, I wouldn't recommend going in with high expectations. However, it was an enjoyably fun film and a good popcorn movie to watch if you're up to seeing it.
Online By Design: POWER/RANGERS

I love the Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers (MMPR). When I was about three years old or so when the original series of Power Rangers aired on TV, I was OBSESSED with it! I watched every TV show episode, I played the video games, I bought the movie on VHS, and I even dressed as the Blue Power Ranger for Halloween during my first year of kindergarten. If you were a child growing up in the 90s, you watched the Power Rangers. It's like being a fan of Sailor Moon, Pokemon and Digimon - everyone watched it.

Recently, a new "bootleg" fan-made version of MMPR called "POWER/RANGERS" was created that presented a more dark and gritty aspect to the franchise. The 14-minute film stars James Van Der Beek as Rocky (the second Red Power Ranger) and Katee Sackhoff as Kimberly (the first Pink Power Ranger). 

By no means is the film perfect, but it is an interesting take on a new tone to the superheroes we grew up with. I quite enjoyed it - I'll always have the memories of the original show/movie and I can distinguish between the original material and a separate creations. (I'm look at you Resident Evil movies!)  

There's word that the original creator of MMPR might try (or is trying) to remove the fan-made film. Hopefully he doesn't; it's a short film that's getting people to talk about Power Rangers again and be reminded of the nostalgic factor. Besides, with a new Power Rangers movie coming out in 2016 with Lionsgate, why ruin the free promotion and good PR?

You can check out the POWER/RANGERS bootleg film below:

Tuesday Tunes #17

A little music is always a great way to perk up your Tuesday. The Tuesday Tunes series is one I like to go back to every now and then. It's not a requirement, but a nice feature of songs to check out in case you've never heard of them before. I like music and I like finding new songs I can add to my playlist to play on repeat.

As a reminder about Tuesday Tunes, I find find three videos online that has music as a focus. It can be a music video, a parody, a clip from a movie or any other video where music is key part. You can check out the Tuesday Tunes tag to check out all the other editions of the series over the years.

Here are the three videos I choose today:

1. "Something Big" by Shawn Mendes
2. "Bat Romance" by OA Skywalker (a Batman and Lady Gaga parody)
3. "Love Me Like You Do" by Ellie Goulding




 


Top 10 Scariest Locations In Horror Video Games
A survival-horror video game is nothing without its environments. The music, the buildings, the creatures that lurk in the shadows - it all plays a part in how truly terrifying a game can be. Without the right creepy area for a hero to explore, you might as well just be going through the motions of the story. The extra touches make all the difference!

I have a guilty pleasure for a good horror video game. I can't resist finding a new game and getting into the story; battling the monsters and getting scared every once in a while. There are a few places in video games that have caused me to jump more than once and I couldn't help but think about which ones are my favourites. I've decided to rank my ten favourite scary locations in video games. Let's start with #10...

Note: This is a personal list of my favourite locations, so you may have your own choices. Also, I've excluded general locations of cities (i.e. Raccoon City from Resident Evil, Silent Hill) as they contain multiple scary locations. This list is set for specific places, buildings, areas and mansions.

10. Barrows Mansion - Clock Tower: The First Fear
A creepy mansion secluded in a forest is a bit of a cliche nowadays as a horror trope. However, when I was a young kid playing the original Clock Tower, I was petrified. The Barrows Mansion is an ominous and dilapidated building with many twists and turns that set out to kill the main heroine, Jennifer Simpson, at every turn. Plus, we can't forget the serial killer with the large pair of scissors! My teachers always told me never to run with scissors and this video game may be one of the biggest reminders why I never did.


9. The Forest - Slender: The Eight Pages
I'm not a nature person. I don't tend to hike through the woods or go out camping on a hot summer day; I'd much rather enjoy some time playing a video game or a night out. One of the reasons may be how creepy the woods are at night. Slender: The Eight Pages reminded me how scary it is to be out at night, lost and lonely in the woods with the fear that someone may pop out to scare you. Sure, playing a game of manhunt in the woods with your friends is all well and good, but finding pieces of paper with warning messages of a killer would freak me out.


8. Himuro Mansion - Fatal Frame
This may be a simple explanation for why Himuro Mansion made its way onto the list. There are ghosts...lots and LOTS of ghosts. You can see them. They come out of the walls, move through the hallways, stand on the rafters. There are ghosts everywhere and it's apparently a normal thing. The mansion has a sordid history with death and anyone who ventures there is practically destined for a gruesome murder. I mean the only thing that protects you is a camera and yet the ghosts keep coming. Fatal Frame is a scary game and for the first entry in the series, Himuro Mansion set the tone for more ghostly adventures to come.


7. Moyer's Lumber Mill - Deadly Premonition
Deadly Premonition is more of a quirky investigation drama than an outright horror video game. However, whenever Agent York would visit a crime scene and enter the Other World, the tone would change and the monsters would come out to play. From all the different locations, the Lumber Mill serves as the scariest location. It's where York encounters the Raincoat Killer, where he ventures deeper into the mystery, and a crime scene that was more bloodier than the first few locations in the video game.


6. Bart's Department Store - Condemned: Criminal Origins
Mannequins creep me out. I don't mean the headless mannequins you see in most retail stores at the mall. It's the ones with the plaster heads that almost look too lifelike. As someone who has worked in retail and during the late shifts, mannequins are creepy and this level in Condemned: Criminal Origins still scares me. The video game as a whole is terrifying and this level in particular is one of the reasons why it took me years to finish this game.


5. Underground Facility - The Evil Within
The Evil Within is hard to pin down in defining a location. I won't spoil the major twist or plot points to the story; you can get a better idea from reading my video game review. But, if there was one place in particular, I would choose the underground facility where you encounter the sharp traps and the spider-like monster. Whenever I play survival-horror video games, I get uncomfortable when the character enters a sewer or a dark underground area because I know that things are about to become intense and the monsters are sure to come out.


4. Freddy Fazbear's Pizza - Five Nights At Freddy's
Who knew a pizzeria could be so scary? Five Nights at Freddy's takes place at a children's entertainment centre where a few animatronic costumes go haywire and set out to kill the gamer. It's not just the animals that make the game terrifying, it's the location. Let alone that you have to use a surveillance camera to watch every part of the building, but it's a dark and massive location with many unnerving posters and props hanging everywhere. Why couldn't someone just turn on a light?


3. The Spencer Mansion - Resident Evil
Resident Evil is one of the first survival-horror video games I played as a child. The zombies scared me to the point that I had to have my brother in the room to play the game. The Spencer Mansion is a large building located in the woods not far from Raccoon City. As compared to the other mansions on this list, the Spencer Mansion holds many traps and monsters popping up in every room and every hallway to stop the player. The building of the Spencer Mansion only scratches the surface of the true horrors it holds.


2. Mount Massive Asylum - Outlast
Similar to a large mansion in the woods, the asylum is a common trope in horror video games. Outlast, on the other hands, is a terrifying story in part to the sordid history, and recent destruction, of its asylum. Mount Massive Asylum is falling apart at the seams and the patients are running wild, either tearing the building apart or looking to murder the main character. Countless people are dead and it shows; the asylum is dark, menacing and it never lets you forget that there is no safe way out.


1. Toluca Prison - Silent Hill 2
Silent Hill is a scary video game series. No matter which entry, there are plenty of different locations and stories that are meant to mess with the mind and the senses. Since there are many locations within the town of Silent Hill that could be included in this list, I only chose the one that still gives me the creeps. Toluca Prison in Silent Hill 2 is home to many terrifying creatures and dark hallways that James Sutherland has to encounter. Silent Hill 2 is the best in the series and with horror locations like this, I can see why.

What are your favourite scariest locations in video games? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Let's Chat About TV!

I'm the worst. I couldn't keep my resolution for the year. Not even a week after proclaiming I would write 52 blog posts in 52 days straight, I stopped blogging and became preoccupied again. I really did try! I had the motivation, the determination, and the urge to prove myself wrong. What went wrong?! I think I just get too tired when I get home.

My time away hasn't been wasted. I did start writing again, but this time it was solely about TV shows. As of Monday, I started contributing to Entertainment Weekly's EW Community page. Two of my posts have already gone up: a piece exploring the relationship status of Revenge's Nolan Ross and Louise Ellis, and a recap of MTV's cyber drama Eye Candy. I love chatting about TV shows and I can't wait to cover more topics. Check them out and stay tuned for more to come!

Don't worry all, I won't be going away. This website is still near and dear to my heart. I will still be creating consistent content on entertainment news, video games, movies, and of course, TV. I'll try and come on here soon! I'm in the mood for writing a post about video games next.
Fox Renews 'Gotham', 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine' and 'Empire'

Quick entertainment news of the day. The future Dark Knight will be back to walk the streets of Gotham City on your television screen for another year! Revealed today at the Television Critics Association (and reported by TV Line), Fox has given early renewals to three of their TV shows. Two freshman dramas, Batman comic book origin story Gotham and hip-hop drama Empire, have both been renewed for a second season while sophomore comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine will return for a third season.

So far 2015 has been a great year for renewals on the TV front - and my TV show schedule thanks you! Though, as it's still early in the year, anything can really change and I probably just jinxed myself with that last line. (Oh no...must delete later...)

Did your TV show get the renewal treatment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.