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Movie Review: Valerian

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets: The film that proves there's big demand for visually stunning sci-fi, If, you can get the casting and script right... It's painful, having to recall this film and write this review. Valerian came so close to being a winner, like a final high jump attempt in which your muscular butt cheek grazes the bar and knocks it off. Why I have olympic sports on the brain is beyond me. Maybe it's because attempting to create great science fiction in any format is much like training to be an elite athlete. Good isn't good enough, as 2017's lackluster box office has shown us. So many movies have missed their mark this year, as well as the revenue goals their res

Movie Review: Justice League

Justice League was supposed to be WB's version of the Avengers—Superhero cash-cow soup. But instead, it further proved that without a super shakeup at Warner Bros, the DCEU is heading nowhere, quickly. Expectation is one thing. Hope, is another. Although I expected Justice League to be mediocre at best, I Hoped it would be great. The first truly proper DC Comics-based film since the conclusion of the Dark Knight Trilogy. After several flops at the box office, we figured Warner Brothers had surely learned their lesson, and would employ every resource possible to ensure the unison of some of their most popular characters would be the cinematic home run they so desperately needed. NOPE! Justice

PPTQ Dominaria

We're Magic the Gathering whale hunting here at the Hachem household, as one of my local gaming stores is hosting a Preliminary Pro Tour Qualifier this Saturday, and my Mardu Midrange deck will be there, ready to attack! A couple weeks ago, I took first place at a local Standard Showdown. After making only one tweak, (1 Master Trinketeer out, 1 Aethersphere Harvester in) I feel like my home brew is ready for the spotlight. It combines aggro, tokens, and artifact synergy, to form a deck that can go fast, go wide, and go fast some more, courtesy of synergy-based pumps and anthem effects. I haven't had a deck perform this well since I built Mardu Warriors back in the Khans block days. I don't m

Movie Review: The Dark Tower

The Dark Tower leverages obnoxiously rapid pacing and a horrible script to create a box office weapon of mass destruction, and not in a good way. We'll just pretend this one didn't happen. Haven't seen a genre-fiction film this shitty since Batman vs. Superman. Hit that eject button bout a third of the way in and never looked back. Some of the cheapest dialogue I've ever heard. Elementary in its linguistic execution. You Jane, Me Tarzan. Okay, maybe not quite that bad, but still pathetic verbiage for a $60M feature film based on a Stephen King novel. I'm sorry, Stephen. It had all the potential. Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Stephen King, etc., but even Hollywood superstars and living lit

Movie Review: Thor: Ragnarok

Thor: Ragnarok puts a hefty crack or two in the superhero/comicbook movie glass ceiling. The latest Thor film is solid. It feels expensive. Great size, scope, scale, grandeur. I looked up the production budget out of sheer curiosity, and was expecting to see something in the $225-$250M range. They certainly did a good job of making this movie seem high in quality. Lots of great costumes, CG, and the roster is pretty star-studded, too. That said, there's nothing groundbreaking about a Marvel film at this point. It's really difficult to execute one and make it feel new, special, different. Guardians did a pretty good job with this. The Avengers movies seem to have it a bit easier, with all tho

Movie Review: War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes combines thoughtful cinematic execution with emotionally-adept storytelling to produce a notable film worthy of concluding this trilogy. This was a film I originally planned on seeing in theatres, but one thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was waiting for the DVD/Blu-ray release date. Now that I've seen it, I wish I had seen it in theatres! Two components of this film really stood out to me. The first element is the decisions that were made regarding some of the pivotal action scenes. They're so beautifully done. The shots, the timing, the angles, some of the slow-mo elements, what's happening in the foreground, what's happening in the background, et

Cover Reveal: Bash Bash Revolution

Here's a sneak peek at Bash Bash Revolution, by Philip K. Dick award nominee Douglas Lane. Available March 6th, 2018 from Night Shade Books. Fans of Artificial Intelligence, Video Games, and Social Media, keep your eyes peeled for this one! Here's a closer look at the cover art, as well as the text from the back cover: All Images: Night Shade Books A Compelling Coming-of-Age Post- Singularity Novel from Philip K. Dick Award–Nominated Author Douglas Lain Seventeen-year-old Matthew Munson’s a high school dropout, still living with his mom, doing little with his time but playing an outdated video game called Bash Bash Revolution and hanging around Dairy Queen with his girlfriend Sally. That is,

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