Friday, May 26, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

About a Boy, Season One:
Based upon the concept of the Hugh Grant movie of the same name, but as a reboot instead of a continuation, this show is about the friendship between a womanizing neighbor and the boy who moves in next door. A fun addition to the "good-hearted" humor type of sitcom. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: B+

La La Land (PG-13):
This movie was perfectly fine, but didn't stay with me at all after I finished watching it. As a musical, it has a few memorable tunes and is well-choreographed, but six Oscars seems a little excessive.

Final Grade: B

Cinematic by Illy:
This is the fourth album from Australian hip hop artist, Illy, and has a good balance of song-style hooks to rap breaks. Tightrope is a good, representative track.

Final Grade: B

Lucky's Tale:
This is one of the free launch titles for the Oculus Rift -- it's a simple 3D platformer in the style of Mario 64. The controls are tight and the gameplay is easy to get into if you've ever played a platformer before. The innovation here is that your head is the world camera, and it looks as if the game is played out on your kitchen table. You can look around the world independently of what the main character can see, which eliminates the frustration of "3D jumping in 2D", which is where most 3D platformers fall short. The game is only about 5 hours long, but it's polished and free!

Final Grade: B

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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Overwatch Day

Overwatch turned one year old yesterday. I started playing this game during the closed beta in February 2016, and it is the only game in recent memory that has retained my contiguous interest for more than a year. Even in the face of crazy VR games for the Oculus Rift, I still find myself coming back to Overwatch to unwind after a long day of work.

I haven't increased my stable of heroes that I'm good at playing, but there's still enough variety to make each game fresh and satisfying. Plus, the online community is "not awful", which is pretty high praise for any online community.

What games are you playing these days, and what upcoming games are you looking forward to?

tagged as games | permalink | 4 comments

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekend Wrap-up

This past weekend, we got out of town for our final weekend away before Small Child Uri arrives. We opted for Ocean City even though the weather turned out to be a few degrees too cold to actually enjoy any beaching. Also, it was "cruiser" weekend in town, which is where all of the Maryland meth consumers drive up and down the main strip in their souped up American cars, oblivious to all of the advances in sound suppression and mufflers over the past 50 years, while everyone else camps out on the side of the road all day for a parade of jump scares and carbon monoxide.

We shared a giant crab and cheese omelette at Bayside Skillet for brunch, and then checked into the swank Hampton Inn where we got a massive studio room with a king bed overlooking the bay. In the afternoon, we tried walking on the beach but hurricane-force winds chilled us and made it feel like we were walking through a swarm of tiny stinging insects. Sand was blowing around so rapidly that it felt like a time lapse of the tundra from Planet Earth.

The indoor pool was much more pleasant, and we hung out there until it was dinner time. For dinner, we wandered up the strip to Seacrets. Although beach season hasn't quite started yet, the place was packed with women in bikinis who used beer and sheer will power to avoid hypothermia as the temperature hovered around 60 degrees. I had a surprisingly good seafood quesadilla and some Dogfish Head beer followed by a chocolate milkshake at Dumser's around the corner.

On Sunday morning, we gorged on the traditional Hampton Inn breakfast buffet and then joined the single-lane crawl back across the state of Maryland to get home.

Rebecca is now starting Week 35 of pregnancy, and has to bend to see her toes. How was your weekend?

tagged as day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Bosch, Season Three:
The third season of this extended police procedural follows the same pattern as the previous ones -- a slow build with a few different plots woven together that's just good enough to keep watching when nothing else is on. I enjoy the gentle ribbing and friendship of the main characters even when not much is happening. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B-

Captain Fantastic (R):
This is a story about a family that takes homeschooling and self-reliance to a crazy extreme, contrasted against the real world that goes on around them. I really enjoyed it, although I felt that it fell apart in the last act in an attempt to reach an obligatory "movie" ending. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

Hell or High Water (R):
This movie was much better than the cover would suggest. What starts off as an oddball heist movie turns into a broader study of a Texan microcosm and the death of the rural way of life. The dialogue and warm banter between police partners and bank-robbing brothers reminded me greatly of Justified.

Final Grade: A-

Moana (PG):
This is a Disney movie with a slightly different, maybe more modern, feel than other musical Disney movies. The songs by Lin-Manuel Miranda have a fresh feeling that's more Avenue Q than Under the Sea in structure, and reduce any Disney cookie-cutter feel. I also enjoyed Alan Tudyk's dramatic role as Heihei the Chicken.

Final Grade: B

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