Oct 202014
 

Gone GirlsReviewing Gone Girl is a difficult proposition.

If you have read the book, you know how the story ends and speaking about certain things in the movie will not spoil anything. If, like me, you have not read the book, then certain things will ruin the movie for you.

Even with this hurdle, I still want to talk about Gone Girl.

The reason is simple, It is a excellent movie that I did not enjoy. I know that this may not make sense, but stay with me. I write about things that I enjoy that aren’t good. I also write about movies that are good and I enjoy. I would be doing my audience a disservice if I ignored a good movie that I didn’t enjoy because maybe some of you out there may like it.

Gone Girl is the story of Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck and Amy Dunne Played by Rosamund Pike. The story begins with Nick being called home after going to work one morning to discover Amy missing and the signs of a struggle. Amy is famous for being the main character of a series of books written by her parents. This event triggers a nation wide movement to find her. What follows is the story of everything spiraling out of control as the eye of suspicion falls upon the distant husband.

The performances in this movie are excellent. One of the problems I tend to have with Ben Affleck is that he comes of as disconnected from whatever part he plays. In this movie, this disconnectedness is essential to the role and makes him the best man for the part. Rosamund Pike’s performance is just fantastic. She has to maintain two almost diametrically opposed facades and she does this with aplomb. It would be easy for her character to come across as stark-raving mad and she avoids this trap as well. I am a fan of Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris and though their roles in this movie are small, they turn is stellar performances as always.

The movie uses an interesting storytelling device. Amy has a diary. We get scenes from the diary interlaced with the action that is occurring. This sets up a set of expectations and then provides a new set of expectations. I have seen it done before but never so well.

The acting in the movie is stellar, the cinematography is on point, and the storytelling is top-notch. Despite all of these things coming together to create an excellent movie, I didn’t enjoy it. It has several pieces that I would expect to enjoy but they don’t come together in a way that hooks me. In thinking about the movie, I would almost call it Suburban Noir. It has the that element of noir where there are no good guys in sight but covers it with the suburban veneer of striving to keep up appearances at all costs. This, though done excellently and with flair, just leaves me cold.

Gone Girl is an a good movie with great acting and wonderful production values. It has early Oscar buzz which it definitely deserves. If the idea of Suburban Noir  appeals to you, give this movie a viewing. Otherwise, wait for the video as it is worth watching but not at full cinema pricing.

 

Oct 152014
 

Houston, TX – October 8, 2014. Artistic Justice Games announces Dragon Tides, a officially licensed miniatures game themed after classic and modern action movies, where Bruce and Brandon Lee team up with other heroes to infiltrate the inner workings of the powerful Tiger Organization, and bring them to justice.

Designed by Kevin G. Nunn and Luther Bell Hendricks V (Sentinel Tactics, Schlock Mercenaries), Dragon Tides is a story driven, semi co-op game using custom dice to evoke the feeling of martial arts action/adventure as well as a card element that focuses on how well you read your opponents. Each character has a unique set of signature moves that showcase their personal techniques. Dragon Tides introduces a unique cast of characters that are iconic to the Action genre, creating the roster for the Tiger Organization.

Dragon Tides emphasizes non-linear play, where your decisions during narrative or from the success or defeat from a scene, guides you to the next location and part of the story. Each scene has different objectives for both the heroes and the Tiger Organization making the game more than just a beat-em-up. Components include 6 double sided hex maps that are interchanged based on the scene setup; Miniatures of Bruce Lee, Brandon Lee, Viktoria Jovovich, Luke Elba, and the 4 bosses/sub-bosses; 10 Action Dice; 6 Player Boards; Henchmen and item tokens; Signature Move Cards and Attack Cards specific for each character; and health counters.

The Miniature figures are sculpted by Greenbrier Games, LLC.

Dragon Tides is for 1-5 players and is currently running a Kickstarter campaign here:

http://bit.ly/DragonTidesKickstarter.

It is expected to be available in retail by September 2015. The retail price is $60.

About Artistic Justice Games

We humbly entered the gaming industry as consultants of artwork production for upcoming game developers. Our team has always been passionate in gaming since the early days of AD&D and Magic The Gathering (Alpha). Since then, the lot of us were determined to go from supporting companies to creating universes of our own, concentrating on rich characters, epic storylines, and games that would be fun for all to play.

We began our first venture to crowdfunding through our first game, Martial Arts: The Card Game. It was a great experience that led us to better understand and connect with backers and what they expected. As the industry grew, our following campaigns created a buzz as we had the opportunity to develop an intricate game called Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale and a miniatures series that captured the essence and personality of its interwoven storylines.

Moving forward, we take pride in cross-collaborating with companies in the industry to help expand the experience that fans and backers will come to enjoy.

Thus far, we are currently working on or in production of the following exciting games/spin-offs:

1. Martial Arts: The Trading Card Game
2. Fairytale Games: The Battle Royale
3. Fairytale Games: Horror Edition
4. Fairytale Games: Steampunk Edition
5: Fairytale Games: Zombie Edition
6: Fairyale Expansion
7. Legend of Time Expansion
8. Super Fairytale Fighters 2 (Round 1 and 2)
9. Rumplestiltskin
10. Fairytale Lores
11. Trinity Ball
12. Dragon Tides

Where you can find us!

www.artisticjusticegames.com

www.facebook.com/artisticjusticegames

www.twitter.com/artjusticegames

Oct 132014
 

the-equalizer-poster-630x690I saw that Denzel Washington had a new movie based on an old television series. I had never watched the Equalizer when I was young. The only thing I knew about it was that it featured and old white guy helping those in trouble. I was impressed that a studio had chosen to remake the movie and feature Denzel as the hero. This alone garnered my interest. I am a fan of most of the stuff that Denzel does which guaranteed that I was going to see this movie.

Denzel Washington playsRobert McCall. Robert is a man that works at Home Depot and helps everyone with whom he has contact. We get see him go home and keep his house neat and tidy, to the point of obsessive compulsive order. He then gets up and goes to the all-night diner and reads a book, drinks tea and befriends the denizens of this small point of light in the darkness.

One of the denizens of this diner is Teri, an escort in the employ of the Russian mafia. She speaks with Robert each night and he works to get her to take up singing as a career and gives her advice that will put her on the path if she so chooses. One evening she ignores a call for her boss and Robert walks her home. Their walk is interrupted when her employers pick her up and leave a card with Robert. It turns out that Teri hits a client that tries to go far with her and she is beaten to the point that she is put into ICU.

It is this point where the mystery of Robert McCall, begins to unfold. We get to watch as he agonizes over what to do and then springs into action. He takes the card and goes to the posh club that houses this particular mobster. He attempts to buy Teri’s freedom but is rebuffed. He stops at the door and looks at his watch. He says “16 seconds” and turns around. He then terminates everyone in the rom with extreme prejudice. His only regret is that it took more than 16 seconds. He is getting slow in his old age.

What he has not realized is that this was just a small part of a large organization. The head of this organization sends a specialist to deal with the problem. What follows is an opera composed of violence that swings from the frighteningly brutal to stunningly over the top.

I loved this film. I know that the bits and pieces that make it up are ridiculous and impossible. Despite this, Denzel fills the roll with a quiet intensity that lends the film a gravity that one would not expect from an actioner like this. Martin Csokas’ performance as the villain is equally impressive. Yes, there are points where he chews the scenery like it is nobodies business. This is provides a stark contrast to the scenes where he carries himself with a quiet menace that just exudes from the scene. In particular, there is a scene where he is meeting with the Irish Mafia to see if they were responsible for the murder of his people. He quietly tries to explain his point but the boss is not having it. He then explodes into violence which is so brutal that I was cringing as to what was happening on the screen. This was horrible and brilliant all at once. It was so bad that every time his character threatened violence that it carried that brutality as implied. The brilliance was that none of the violence afterwards is near that level either.

The thing that I enjoyed the most was that this was an origin story. We were given a villain that was a dark reflection of what the hero could have been. He shows the path that was easy to take and that Robert chose a more difficult path, and we are all better for his choice.

If you have a chance to see The Equalizer at the theater, I recommend you do. It is well worth the price of admission.

Oct 102014
 

This weekend, October 10th-12th, the fine city of Berlin, Germany will be hosting the Settlers of Catan World Championship. Such a momentous event requires top-notch coverage, so in an effort to bring all the weekends tournaments, gaming, and breaking news straight to you, Oomba TV will be there to film it LIVE.

Simply head over to oomba.tv or oomba.com/settlers-of-catan-world-championship/tv to see all the latest on-demand videos of the event, along with the live broadcast of the final rounds on Sunday, October 12th!

From small in-town matches, to the final qualifying rounds at this year’s Gen Con in Indianapolis, contenders have played all year to make it to Berlin and claim the World Champion Trophy, along with a full 2 years bragging rights as the world’s best Catan player!

Don’t miss this landmark event – tune in to Oomba.tv and catch every move!

Want to get all the latest news about Oomba TV and the tournament world? Go to Oomba.tv for more. Want to try out Oomba’s new tournament management system? Apply at Oomba.com, and check out twitter.com/Oomba, facebook.com/Oomba, and google.com/+Oomba for the latest news. Challenge everyone!™

Oct 072014
 

For the second year in a row, Dungeons & Dragons will be returning to the Extra Life fundraising/gaming event! On October 25-26, members of the D&D team (and friends!) will run the second annual D&D game marathon, helping to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

 

The tabletop roleplaying game will be live-streamed on the D&D Twitch TV channel starting at 8 AM PST on Saturday, October 25. Senior Producer for D&D R&D, Greg Bilsland, will serve as Dungeon Master, running a rotating group of players through the recently released Hoard of the Dragon Queen tabletop adventure for 24 hours using the D&D fifth edition rules set.

 

Other members of the D&D Extra Life team include Rodney Thompson (designer for the D&D fifth edition tabletop roleplaying game rules set and the Lords of Waterdeep board game), Chris Dupuis (D&D game designer), Emi Tanji (D&D graphic designer), James Wyatt and Gavin Verhey (game & experience designers, Magic: The Gathering), all from Wizards of the Coast. Special guests include Keith Baker (creator, Eberron setting), Erin M. Evans (author of the upcoming, Fire in the Blood novel) Jeremy Petter (LoadingReadyRun) and Mike Selinker (president, Lone Shark Games).

 

Visit the Dungeons & Dragons Extra Life page for more information on joining or contributing to the team.

 

Every adventuring party needs a quest, and the quest on October 25-26 is to help kids!

Oct 062014
 

Angelo is back with Kaesi this week while Calvin is off looking for D.B. Coopers money so he can afford more boxes of Khans.  In this episode they talk about the pre-release and the event decks for Khans of Tarkir.  They go off the rails some but when do we not.

Calvin – @Zero_Layfield

Kaesi – @GirlOnNerds

Angelo – @Ganksuou

Check out ANgelo every week on the PittImps podcast on MTGCast.com