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Book Review: Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook
Waerloga69   |  

Player's Handbook Header

Player’s Handbook
Dungeons & Dragons
Hardcover
Wizards of the Coast
Release date: August 19, 2014

Two weeks ago, I arrived home to find a package from Wizards Of The Coast on my doorstep. Having just reviewed the Dungeons & Dragons Starter Set a few weeks earlier, I knew what this was. I immediately ripped the envelope open and found not one but two books inside! Today’s article is about the first one, the D&D D&D Player’s Handbook! The newest incarnation of a game book that I have been using for the better part of my life and it was all mine. If you are having trouble understanding how I felt, just imagine Gollum holding the One Ring and you aren’t far off. In fact, I probably cackled a bit without even thinking about it.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Midnight Tiger #1
Night Hob   |  

Midnight Tiger #1 review header

Midnight Tiger #1
Written by DeWayne Feenstra and Ray-Anthony Height
Art by Ray-Anthony Height
Covers by Ray-Anthony Height and Jerry Gaylord
Action Lab Comics
Release Date: July 30, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

There’s a term I’ve heard stand-up comedians use when trying to determine why a joke didn’t connect with the audience. It’s called “being too inside your own head.” It means that what the comedian thought was funny was too layered in personal experience that the audience didn’t have a way to access the material. Any story that ends with the phrase “I guess you had to be there” is a good example. So too is Midnight Tiger #1.

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TV Review: The Strain 1.6 “Occultation”
Olympus Athens   |  

The Strain FX banner

The Strain
Season 1 Episode 6: “Occultation”
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Justin Britt-Gibson, Guillermo del Toro, and Chuck Hogan
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Robin Atkin Downes
FX
Air Date: Sunday August 17, 2014, 10pm

Before my review of Episode 6 “Occultation” of The Strain, let’s recap Episode 5 “Runaways”….

Last week on The Strain (Stop right now if you haven’t watched! Spoiler alert!):

Bolivar’s (Jack Kesy) manager, Ruby (Regina King), brings over a urologist to address his manhood problem (that’s not a problem anymore!). Bolivar thought she brought over take-out. You know, the kind of take-out that screams, “Help! Don’t leave me!” as it’s dragged away and drained of blood from a giant tentacle. Ruby runs, twists an ankle, and limps out of there. She calls up The Strain‘s version of The Wolf to “make it go away” but he ends up as dessert.

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Streaming Review: Omnivores
Dr. Zaius   |  

Omnivores Header Image

Omnivores
Directed by Oscar Rojo
Written by Oscar Rojo
Starring Mario de la Rosa, Paco Manzanedo, Marta Flich, and Fernando Albizu
Netflix |
Amazon Instant Video
Not Rated | 84 Minutes
Release Date: September 20, 2013 (Spain)

Currently streaming on Netflix is Omnivores, a Spanish horror film that debuted last year. The film opens in a dingy cabin where a woman lays dying next to her young son. The boy, with no recourse, is left to cannibalism and is discovered in a gruesome scene.

We jump years later to Marcos Vela (Mario de la Rosa), a celebrity food critic. His next assignment: explore the world of underground clandestine restaurants. These aren’t your typical restaurants. They are gatherings of rich foodies who pay through the roof for the finest and sometimes strangest cuisines. Kobe beef with truffles, the dreaded fugu fish of Japan, nothing seems too expensive or off limits to his new gastronomical friends. It’s through these connections that he begins to hear rumors of a “restaurant” that serves the ultimate in rare cuisine: human flesh.

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Movie Review: Code Black
FamousMonster   |  

code black film review
Code Black
Director: Ryan McGarry
Writers: Joshua Altman, Ryan McGarry
Cast: Danny Cheng, Andrew Eads, Jamie Eng, Luis Enriquez, Dave Pomeranz, William Mallon
Hammer Film Productions
Rated PG | 93 Minutes
Release Date: June 2014 (Select cities)

In Code Black, physician Ryan McGarry gives us unprecedented access to America’s busiest emergency department. Amidst real life-and-death situations, McGarry follows a dedicated team of young doctors-in-training in C-Booth, Los Angeles County Hospital’s legendary trauma bay.

The birthplace of emergency medicine, L.A. County Hospital’s “C-Booth” – the critical booth – is a 20-square-foot resuscitation area where more people have died (and lived) than in any other square footage in the United States. Directed by McGarry, the feature-length documentary is a first-person reflection of his own experiences inside America’s busiest emergency department.

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Book Review: Scan
Olympus Athens   |  

Scan review bannerScan
Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle Edition | Audible
Written by Walter Jury and Sarah Fine
G.P. Putnam’s Sons/ Penguin Group
Release Date: May 1, 2014
Cover Price: $17.99

Tate Archer has been in training his entire life. For what, he has no idea. His secretive weapons inventor dad harps on “family responsibility” and “high stakes” but won’t clue Tate in on just what that means. All Tate needs to do right now is to follow his punishing exercise regimen, eat according to his carefully prescribed nutrition plan (protein gel, anyone?), and sharpen his ever curious mind (learned chemistry in kindergarten).

The bright spots in his life are his girlfriend Christina, and sneaking into his dad’s high security lab whenever possible, with his makeshift replicant fingerprints. He “borrows” what looks like a scanner, triggering a shoot-out, which results in his father’s death. Now Tate is right in the middle of a centuries old secret alien war on Earth, and everyone wants that scanner. Tate and Christina are on the run, joined by Tate’s formerly-out-of-the-picture mom, and don’t know who to trust. All Tate knows is that the scanner is more than it seems, and he has to keep it out of everyone’s hands.

...continue reading »
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Comic Review: Dark Ages #1
Night Hob   |  

Dark Ages #1 review header
Dark Ages #1
Written by Dan Abnett
Art by I.N.J. Culbard
Edited by Daniel Chabon
Covers by I.N.J. Culbard
Dark Horse Comics
Release Date: August 13, 2014
Cover Price: $3.99

Dark Ages #1 is part medieval historical fiction, part Lovecraftian terror, and part sci-fi monsters from space. The story introduces us to a band of knights eager for the 100 Years War to start in Medieval Europe. While they wait, they travel the countryside looking for a good fight. The group is diverse; some pray for battles, others assume that prayer will do no good, as a godless world will provide many opportunities to fight. They each have their special talents, and some are more battle hardened than others.

One night, while sitting around the fire, they notice strange stars appear in the sky. The stars turn out to be meteorites that contain strange, and deadly, alien creatures. The aliens decimate the group, severely injuring the leader, and the group flees to a monastery. The monks bring in the group, but something doesn’t sit right with the captain’s right-hand-man and now de facto leader. We learn that one of the monks is not only aware of the alien’s visitation, but is eagerly expecting it.

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TV Review: The Strain 1.5 “Runaways”
Olympus Athens   |  

The Strain Logo

The Strain
Season 1 Episode 5: “Runaways”
Directed by Peter Weller
Written by Gennifer Hutchinson, Guillermo del Toro, and Chuck Hogan
Starring Corey Stoll, David Bradley, Mia Maestro, Sean Astin, Kevin Durand, Richard Sammel, Jonathan Hyde, Miguel Gomez, Natalie Brown, Jack Kesy, Ben Hyland, and Robin Atkin Downes
FX
Air Date: Sunday August 10, 2014, 10pm

Episode 5 review of The Strain coming right up. But first…..

Previously, on The Strain (Spoilers!!):

Episode 4 “It’s Not For Everyone” needs to be watched on an empty stomach. Eph (Corey Stoll), Nora (Mia Maestro), and Jim (Sean Astin) perform and film a secret autopsy on the late, former vampire monster Captain Doyle Redfern. They discover new ammonia fragrant anatomy, complete with a man-sized stinger. This proves too much for Jim who confesses his complicity. Nora and Eph don’t care about his reasons and cut him off both professionally and personally.

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Movie Review: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)
FamousMonster   |  

Leonardo in TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES, from Paramount Pictures and Nickelodeon Movies.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Director: Jonathan Liebesman
Screenwriters: Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, and Evan Daugherty
Cast: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Danny Woodburn, Noel Fisher, Jeremy Howard, Pete Ploszek, Alan Ritchson
Paramount Pictures | Nickelodeon Movies
Rated PG-13 | 101 Minutes
Release Date: August 8, 2014

Platinum Dunes. The production company created by Michael Bay, Brad Fuller, and Andrew Form came on the scene in 2003 with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, a remake of Tobe Hooper’s classic 1974 film. Since then, they’ve rebooted just about every popular horror franchise you can imagine: The Amityville Horror, The Hitcher*, Friday the 13th, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Somehow – through some sort of covenant with the Devil, I assume – Platinum Dunes obtained the film rights to Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the beloved franchise created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. Enter Paramount Pictures, who produced recent “name-brand” disappointments like G.I. Joe: Retaliation, World War Z, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Hercules. I say disappointment not because these movies were failures at the box office, quite the opposite actually. They’re just not good films. They’re lazy, generic blockbusters in a world where movies like X-Men: Days of Future Past, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, and Guardians of the Galaxy are thrilling audiences and critics alike.

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Album Review: Wovenwar’s Self-Titled Debut
Ides Bergen   |  

Wovenwar Debut Album Cover

Wovenwar
Wovenwar
CD|MP3
Metal Blade Records
Release date: August 5, 2014

2014 has been such an amazing year in the world of metal with so many exceptional releases that I was starting to think that I might never have to sit through a sub-par record again. Then, along comes this.

Wovenwar is the band that has risen from the ashes of one of Christian metal’s most prominent bands As I Lay Dying. In one of the biggest scandals to ever rock the metal community, AILD singer Tim Lambesis was arrested in May of 2013 for attempting to hire an undercover San Diego cop to kill his estranged wife. Lambesis was sentenced to six years in prison for that conspiracy earlier this year. For details on that story click here.

...continue reading »
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