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  • Total Runtime: The Netflix Marvel Shows Are Almost 3x Longer Than All The MCU Movies

    1 month ago

    BlackPenguin Guardian x8; Panel Lead

    No one can deny just how crazy and ground-breaking the MCU movies have been.  You love them, I love them, everyone loves them.  That universe is a feat of filmmaking to marvel at.

    But personally, I have found myself getting more miles out of the Netflix series.  I'm not saying they're better (they're not), I'm just saying that I get more enjoyment out of them.  Maybe it has something to do with how I watch movies versus how I watch tv.  Maybe it’s the binge factor.  Maybe it’s the more personal and slow-burn stories.  I don’t know.

    The news of Netflix canceling both Iron Fist and Luke Cage was very disappointing.  Some say it has to do with Disney starting their own streaming service, and their desire to remove Marvel properties from other services.  Some speculate that the two titular characters can still live on in the other existing Netflix series.  I would also add to the speculation that both series could be saved by a Heroes for Hire crossover show.

    But back to the point.  I just find the Netflix series more enjoyable, for some reason.  I was wondering why, and then I realized that I have probably spent more time immersed in the Netflix series than the movies.  More time with the characters, and therefore more time to get invested.

    We like to think of the MCU movies as this huge saga which takes days to watch.  Like some gargantuan near-bottomless well of media.  Well as it turns out, when it comes to actual runtime, the Netflix series blow the movies out of the water.

    As of October 2018:

    Number of MCU Movies: 20 (Phases 1, 2; 80% of Phase 3)

    Number of Netflix Series Episodes: 134 (11 seasons across 6 series)

    Runtime of MCU Movies: 42 hours, 56 minutes

    Runtime of Netflix Series: 119 hours, 11 minutes

    Difference of Runtime: 76 hours, 15 minutes

    The Netflix series are longer in total runtime by over three days.  That’s a lot of time!  In the time it would take you to watch all the Netflix series, you could watch all the MCU movies over two and a half times.

    I think this is why I like the shows better than the movies.  Maybe I’m more of a long-form person than a short-form person.  I mean, I love movies.  Like, a lot.  But television—especially internet-based platforms— benefit from being less constrained by time and content, and are able to produce a more intimate and detailed story than movies are able to.  The MCU movies are these great, vast stories defined by fantastic moments and huge moving pieces.  Undeniably fun and enjoyable, for sure.  But in contrast the series are these smaller-scale stories taking place mostly in one city, more gradually, and with more focus on the process.  Which is probably why I was looking forward to The Defenders as much (or more) than any Avengers movie.  There was a lot more fabric to weave together.

    So, I think that’s the crux of it.  It really is a tale of two mediums.  Admittedly though, the Netflix shows have had way more low points than the movies.  Luke Cage Season 1 was a tad lackluster, and Iron Fist Season 1 was actually pretty bad.  But both shows greatly improved in their second seasons.  And other than those two cases the other shows have been fairly decent, with Daredevil and Jessica Jones being especially good.  I really hope they all continue.  The third season of Daredevil did really well, and there’s another season of both Jessica Jones and Punisher on the way.  Unfortunately, beyond that, it appears that the whole universe is in jeopardy.

    If you’re thinking of getting into the Netflix Marvel series, check out my suggested watch order (which is the same as the release order, as of October 2018):

    1. Daredevil Season 1

    2. Jessica Jones Season 1

    3. Daredevil Season 2

    4. Luke Cage Season 1

    5. Iron Fist Season 1

    6. The Defenders

    7. The Punisher Season 1

    8. Jessica Jones Season 2

    9. Luke Cage Season 2

    10. Iron Fist Season 2

    11. Daredevil Season 3

  • This Week At ScrewAttack - 7/5/18

    5 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Top 10 Pixar Movies - Co-Writer & Editor Notes 


    • This was the Top 10 I was born to (co)write. 
    • #10 Seriously, I know these movies so well I could have drawn storyboards for this edit filled with actual shots from these movies. 
    • #9 Scratch what I just said! I just realized that this entry doesn't show a single frame of Kevin! I'm a fraud. 
    • #8 Finding music to fit each of these movies was A JOY. Usually it's a pretty tough aspect of the job but each of these movies has such a distinct sound and score that I knew exactly what to look for each time. 
    • #7 The final line of this entry + Nick's delivery + the music drop out + the clip = me so happy. 
    • #6 Suck it, Star Trek Into Darkness. 
    • #5 We produced this Top 10 before The Incredibles 2 came out and with our one per franchise rule, it was either going to be Incredibles 1 or 2. We were nervous about Incredibles 2 potentially blowing the first out of the water but I think it's safe to say Incredibles 1 deserves the spot on this list. (The sequel was really fun though!) 
    • #4 I love Coco so much. That is all. 
    • #3 The scene in this movie where he turns on the light and there's a ton of rats in the kitchen, FREAKS ME OUT. Still does. Great movie though. 
    • #2 Toy Story is my all time favorite movie. I have Toy Story toys on my desk at work, I have a sizable Toy Story collection, I own all of the movies and once when I was 19 I started crying while explaining to my mom what "You've got a friend in me" means. 
    • #1 I'm so happy with how this entry came out. I had vision for it, Nick knocked it out of the park and I practically scored it myself haha. It's 4 different songs cut and arranged to ebb and flow with the V.O. I was nervous that I was being a little too ambitious when I wrote it and it would end up feeling cheesy if not just contrived but I'm happy with the final product. 



  • RWBY Anthology Readthrough

    5 months ago


    After seeing Action Point last Saturday at the Sunridge Spectrum, I went into Chapters to look around for a few minutes & when I get there (at the manga section), I come across the RWBY manga anthology book that revolves around Ruby Rose & after getting it, I promised to get the other 3 books that revolve around the other 3 main characters in RWBY (Weiss, Blake & Yang) & read through them as well, & on the weekend, I'll finally read through the Ruby book (& give myself a head start by reading the coloured part of it), like I did back in March with the manga book that I got before the manga anthology came out & since the Weiss book (anthology book #2) won't be out until August, I'll be reading the original Yu-Gi-Oh! manga again, which I did before the official RWBY manga anthology came out in 2018 in English format (from 2015 - 2018) which I enjoyed & will again over the summer in the same way I will as I read through the RWBY manga anthologies from book-to-book for the next few months.

  • Pilot Month Thoughts

    6 months ago

    papajohn56 Dulator

    So when Pilot Month was announced the only series I had heard of was Achievement Haunter. Everything else was brand new. I think the advertising for Pilot Month itself was well handled. Before seeing any of the shows, I was most excited for Achievement Haunter and Murder Room. But the promotion definitely got me hyped for all without giving too much away. As a fan, I think all 5 series could be given more time to develop a voice and audience. I don't think there are any stinkers out there. But I'd still like to give a critical review/thoughts on each series. 

    <<Spoilers for all shows from here on down.>>

    Branded. Pilot: 4/5 stars; Potential: 4/5 stars.

    I went from not knowing what this was to being pleasantly surprised. The Joel Heyman thumbnail was a decent misdirection, but after enjoying the pilot as much as I did, I'm sad he was basically a cameo. I think this is one of RT's best acted shows ever. Casting the show mostly from outside the company really shines a light on how much professional actors can bring a project. I don't mean this as an insult to RT employees, but there are very few professional actors in house and most of their content is personality or improv driven. Aside from the cameos and the obvious influence on the premise of the show, this series is something I could see being aired on a major network. The writing is solid, the characters are well thought out and developed on camera, and the humor has a broad appeal. I honestly think this might the most fully realized series out of the 5 pilots shown. 

    However, I don't know if RT First is the best platform this type of show. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I think this show is too broad to drive a consistent audience on such a niche platform. The closest comparison I can think of to Branded is CrunchTime. Granted CrunchTime had a much more unique premise, but the bones of the shows are very similar. Comedy show staffed by non-RT regulars with a premise that skewed toward demographics that the RT community has in high numbers. I loved CrunchTime and was disappointed when it didn't come back for another season. Sadly, I think Branded will suffer a similar fate, despite it's obvious quality.

    Prediction: Picked up for 1 season, or potentially shopped to another distribution platform. 

    GORQ's Quest. Pilot: 2.5/5 stars; Potential: 3.5/5 stars

    I love Todd Womack as GORQ and Chad James as host. I think they deserve to be more central RT personalities. But overall, I didn't really feel strongly about this show. The sassy robot is fun. The game show aspect seems unnecessary and scattershot. The questions/topics were hit or miss. 

    I think this show wants to be a live in person version of the Jackbox games. Which is a solid premise. I think the show might be improved by moving a little quicker between segments and loosen up on the gameshowy aspects. Like move to a more Whose Line Is It Anyway format. But that might overlap too much with On the Spot. I don't really know if this shows has a quick fix. I think it's going to be loved by some, hated by others, and most will be indifferent. 

    Prediction: Might get an extended pilot run, but not picked up long term.

    Achievement Haunter. Pilot: 3.5/5 stars Potential: 4/5 stars

    I was very excited about this after hearing about it. And while the pilot was entertaining, I don't think it quite lived up to the hype. I loved seeing AH personalities outside of games, but I think my biggest issue was the balance between pre-scripted bits and live interaction was off. I loved the little snipets in the intro. My biggest issue, I think, was with the pacing or the editing. The live stuff seemed to jump between serious/scary and funny/prank-y too quickly or too much. It felt inconsistent and never let me get comfortable with the show. I wanted to like this more and I think it has potential, but something was just off. 

    Prediction: Picked up for more episodes, but probably doesn't have more than a season or two long run. Great merch opportunities though. 

    Million Dollars, But Animated. Pilot: 3/5 stars Potential: 3/5 stars

    I don't have a lot to say about this show. I simply think this should just be part of the regular MDB series. Maybe confine it to having episodes where all the scenarios are animated versus jumping back and forth between live action and animation within an episode. Animation opens up a bunch of scenarios that just can't be filmed live. So that's fun. But honestly, I think the viability of this show lies in its costs. Is animating a given scenario cheaper in dollar cost than live action? Is it more cost effective in terms of time, given that RT has a huge animation department? Does RT Animation have idle work hours outside of all their other projects? If those metrics are favorable, than yeah, make some more. If not, revert to live action. 

    Prediction: Not picked up as a standalone series, future MDB episodes may include animated segments.

    The Murder Room. Pilot: 4.5/5 stars Potential: 5/5 stars

    The promotion got me hyped. I wanted this. I was ready. I love escape rooms, whodunnits, puzzle games. I was so ready to go all in on this show. And for the most part I was right. But like grains of sand in shellfish or an itch you just can't reach, there were a couple of things that keep this from a perfect rating. So I'm going to list some nitpicks, but overall this show is great and I love it.

    Nitpick #1 - I love Blaine, but I think he was definitely trying too hard to forcibly insert comedy. The premise and fanfare that was built around the show lends the show to be serious. And, while humor shouldn't be outlawed, the #jokes stuck out like a sore thumb and took away from the overall experience. 

    Nitpick #2 - This comes directly from my experience as a DM for tabletop RPGs, but it felt like the cast didn't know the rules of the game well enough. I understand you might not know what you should do in a situation, but you should know what you are able to do. As a DM, I hate putting hours of work into a session only to have a player sit down and ask me how do I attack, or not know what the character they built is capable of doing. 

    Nitpick #3 - I like not having RT "personalities" as the callers, but I think tapping some people with more improv experience would be beneficial. The callers, I believe, were all from the broadcast department and spoke as if reading lines to deliver facts versus how an actual individual on trial for their life would sound. I'm not sure the fanfare of the trial is strictly necessary but if you keep that, then having the suspects nonchalantly answer questions is a big disconnect.

    Again, these are minor things that I think can, and will, be cleaned up if the show is given more time. Overall, I think it's awesome.

    Prediction: Picked up, runs on a non-regular schedule a la Immersion or RT Life.

    Overall, I think Pilot Month was a success. I don't think RT produced the next Red vs. Blue or RWBY, but all the shows were solid and I wouldn't be surprised if any of them got picked up for an extended run. Kudos to everyone who worked on these shows and the rest of RT for the promotion and distribution awesomeness!

  • More Halo Action

    6 months ago


    Due to my growing interest in Red Vs. Blue (since late-2016), I've decided to play more Halo (through Reach & the Master Chief Collection) during my spare time at home & while I decided to switch to a Steel/Violet armor colour sheme for Halo 2, 3 & 4 (on the MCC) & a Cobalt/Cyan armor colour schele for Halo 2: Anniversary multiplayer, I'll still stick to my classic Red/Gold armor colour scheme for Halo 2, 3, ODST, Reach & 4 like I've done since I started to get more into Halo right around Grade 10 (2007 - 2008) back when I started High School, & of course for Halo 5, I'll stick to the Black/Purple colour scheme for that as well & for June, I'm gonna play through the 1st 3 Halo games for a week (Combat evolved on Monday night, 2 for Wednesday night & 3 for Friday night) & when I do, I'll use my original Halo campaign playlists & have a hydro monster (Melon Manic for #1, Tropical Thunder for #2 & Mean Green for #3) to get set-up for how I plan to make the most of my free time at home over the summer more exciting & to help out with what else I expect to do more of in the future in order to move ahead.

  • Selling Assassin's Creed Origins PC (UPlay) code

    7 months ago

    Cambosa FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold I write stuff

    So while getting some new equipment as a part of my effort to get back into YouTube/Twitch, I bought a Blue Yeti microphone that came with a Windows PC code for Assassin's Creed Origins. I already have the game on my PS4, so I figured this is my chance to get some money back while also maybe getting someone a cool game for a cheaper then normal price.

    Required System: Windows PC 

    (Here is a link to the system requirements for the game, according to Ubisoft)

    Required Software: UPlay

    Price: 30 USD

    Payment Method: Paypal

    Method of Sending Code: Once paypal tells me the payment has been received I'll send you both a picture of the voucher with the code and I'll type out the code in a message on whatever platform we were communicating on. I won't be sending the code before the money is sent

    Warning: I don't know if UPlay region locks game codes, so to play it safe I'm just gonna say this is a US code and might only work for a US Uplay account. 

    Warning #2:  Since this is a digital code and I'll have no way to confirm if it's been used or not I won't be offering a refund if you find out the code doesn't work for your account for whatever reason (That's why I brought up the first warning)

    So interested either slide into my DMs on Twitter or email me at Also comment down below that you sent the message so I know to look out for it. The code is first come first serve, but if there's a problem with who's ever first I'll move down the list. 

    I will delete this post after selling the code

  • This Week at ScrewAttack - 04/26/18

    7 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Top 10 Avengers That Should DIE in Infinity War - Writer & Editor Notes 


    • #10 - Vision - I LOVE the MCU. Let's just get that out of the way. But honestly, I have this strong (and concerning) desire for this movie to be a gruesome blood bath. Like I would love if Thanos just walks up to Vision and effortlessly rips the Mind Stone out of his head ... all within the first 10 minutes. I may have a problem. 
    • #9 - Drax - Sincerely, I think this would be a good death. What more is there for Drax beyond Thanos' death? Perhaps Infinity War will set something up for him or of course something in Guardians V3. 
    • #8 - Star-Lord - I do miss chubby Chris Pratt and Parks and Rec in general - that doesn't justify his death. Please accept my sincerest apologies. It funny doh. 
    • #7 - Pepper Potts - Again! I think this would be a legit death! If Pepper dies, what does Tony have to live for? maybe it'll push Tony to finally "lay down on the wire" 
    • #5 - Hawkeye - Seriously, where is he? DON'T ANWSER ME UNTIL AFTER I SEE THE MOVIE ON FRIDAY NIGHT!* 
    • #4 - Phil Coulson - I legit miss old school Coulson. He is one of my favorite parts about Phase One. I guess in a sense he did really die in The Avengers because the character he is in Agents of SHIELD is so different. Also, just FYI, I have seen the first three seasons of AOS and have a love/hate relationship with it. 
    • #3 - Captain America - Okay, seriously, I meant every word of this entry. When I finally saw the finished project with the music, the footage and Nick's performance, I got emotional, like for REAL! I love Cap! 
    • #2 - Tony Stark - Get to the chase Marvel and just kill Tony and make him an AI assistant to the next Iron Person. Like the new JARVIS. We know it's coming. 
    • #1 - Iron Fist - Lol
    • #11 - Nick Fury - Lolol 

    *Story Time: In 2012 I was insanely excited about The Avengers (like every good American) I bought tickets to the midnight screening and gathered a big group of friends. Unfortunately my best bud couldn't make it (his GF's birthday was the same day) He asked me to wait to see it with him and I DID NOT. Instead, I went into our dorm room when he wasn't around and I grabbed HIS Avengers masks for me and my friends to wear. #NOREGRETS. Flash forward to now. I live in Austin and he lives in Dallas. I told him to drive down to see it with me but he made me promise to wait to see it with him as payback. SO I WONT BE WATCHING IT TONIGHT AS SOON AS I COULD BE! I'll be waiting until Friday night like a chump. #SQUADGOALS  

    Watch the video: RT | YT

  • A Decade Later...

    10 months ago

    Larcher Chunky Monkey

    ... and I'm still here. 

     No joke I'm struggling to find words to describe what I'm feeling. I might have officially joined ten years ago but I've been in the deep with Rooster Teeth ever since they started. This is going to be a long one folks so grab a coffee and get comfortable. 

     I remember the first time I stumbled upon Red vs Blue. I was this chunky, pimpled filled nerdy teen who couldn't talk to girls, feared authority and was beyond socially awkward. My friends and I all had the same computer class and one of them was on I as for as I knew at the time it was just a website that hosted a bunch of content from around the web. Although I'm sure they were more of a ebaum's world, just stealing things and never giving the proper credit when it was due.  

     Fast forward a few years (2008) and I've graduated from high school (2007) and I am working at the hospital as a Linen/Patient porter. It pays really well but something was missing, I felt like I wasn't going anywhere and the I didn't see this as my final destination in life. Now I've never had the best memory but it was roughly in the summer of 2008 when I started working with a new friend named Paul. 

     He had this goal to start a news site that covered many different facets of pop culture. I signed on because I thought why the hell not I got nothing better to do. I remember hearing reading a journal of either Burnie or Matt talking about the community and these events the members host. The one that really caught my was RVBTO for a few reasons. #1 I only lived 4 hours away from the event. #2 The site members that hosted this were constantly interacting with other site members. #3 They had garnered such attention on the site that actual RT staff members would attend the 2-3 day gathering and hang out with the fans there. 


    Gathering all the confidence I could muster I contacted both the head even organizers and the RT staff that was going to attend and see if we could set up some interviews for HBHT (Halfway Between Here and There. The news site I helped grow). Much to my amazement both RVBTO and RT crew said yes. 

    Now this....this is where all the shit I talked about comes into play. I was beyond nervous and was sweating buckets. I was always a goof with my friends and in the final year of Highschool I just let it all out. I became the base blocks of who I am now. Only thing was that was MY pond. Those were MY people. I was about to stand in front of a camera talk to A) total strangers (RVBTO) and B) be talking to three members of what I would said and still say are the most influential people in my life. So the situation got real for me, fast.

     I can safely say that if it wasn't for @Brittewater and her fiance at the time Ryan (wonder what's going on with those two. I know they had a kid together) that I never would have been able to stand in front of Burnie, Matt and Joeland start talking to them for the camera. 

    It was that day that a few things start burning inside of me. I realised that no matter what happens in life my goal, my desire, my bucket list item would be to work for Rooster Teeth. I wanted to start something that would entertain a mass audience and knowing that it would be done with online content. Finally that there was no better place to be than with a friends/family, a group of individuals that would support your creative ideas, just want to sit down and shoot the shit or give free advice and tips on how to attain your goals. After coming back from that event I quickly immersed myself into the everything Rooster Teeth. 

    I might have gone quiet during those ten years on the site but I was always more than happy to come back and even more so to connect with old/new friends. It's this place that helped me conceive some of most bonkers ideas for shorts. This website destroyed any kind of social anxiety I had about speaking in public or strangers. Thanks to this home we have, I've made some of the greatest friends I could have ever asked for. @pak78 @baggins316 @malduck All people I talk to even outside of this website. Hell with all three they've helped me try things Creatively online, Pak helped me create I believe what was the first episode of a podcast, Baggins and Mal helped create Select Start Network. That's still standing and we're releasing content to this day! 

    I have met up with some of the most passionate people here @Dopp @Fireball @john. We used to have the longest chats on Barbara's Tinychat nights. I helped Kickstart John's short film because I knew what that dude could accomplish and thanks to meeting up with him at my second RTX outing planted the seeds in my to what I needed to do. 

     I am in college right now at the age of 29 (soon to be 30) in a program for Television and Film productions (and Broadcasting) because of these people, because of you, because of Rooster Teeth. This home has given me so much in my life even more than what has been written. I just feel like it's time I give back. I started with finally getting my fat ass into school to actually get the proper experience and knowledge to be hired at this company because that goal in life has not drifted or waivered in the slightest. These last few months here in college has just stoked the fires even more. 


     I've said it before and it will be said again. This place has given me the greatest home a fat kid from Northern Canada could ask for the last 10 years. I am going to return the favour, get hired and let everyone know that you can achieve what you strive for. 10 years of friends, love and family. I am ready to give back 100 more. 

    Love you guys. 

    - Larcher

  • Top 10 Magic Weapons - Editor Notes

    10 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    One thing I've learned after editing together my first Boomstick Top 10 is that he has a type. 

    #10 - Lt. Col. Kilgore - So what's the deal here?? Did they really name these weapons after a character in Apocalypse Now? Is the character in the movie based on a real guy? Why? Why any of this? 
    #9 - Master Sword - I was watching a lot of videos about the Master Sword in prep for this entry. I came across a fun pronunciation of the weapon. I won't name names but now I can only hear it as "Massa Swwurd" 
    #8 - Hellfire shotguns - I would definitely rack my brain for every non-lethal way to use these guns. You could create pillow-fort-esque fortress in your living room but made with nothing but Hellfire Shotguns. You could have a unlimited source of income if you sold them. You could do professional magic. YOU COULD THROW UP GUNS AND TRY TO SHOOT THEM OUT OF THE SKY BEFORE THEY HIT THE GROUND. Endless joy. 
    #7 - Icebreaker - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon. 
    #6 - Blades of Chaos - Gerardo did this one too but I still have a question. How hard would you have to spin magic blades chained to your forearms before you lift off the ground like?
    #5 - Sniger rifle - I could listen to Boomstick say "tigers" for days. 
    #4 - Caster Gun - Gerardo. But also, yes. Wand gun? Yes! ACCIO WAND GUN. 
    #3 - Mjolnir - Again you could use this weapon in so many fun ways. I PUT MJOLNIR ON MY DAIRY,  TRY READING IT NOW WHOSOEVER BE WORTHY! 
    #2 - Sword of Omens - Gerardo actually helped me edit this one! Thanks, Gerardo! I don't know anything about this weapon. 
    #1 - Green Lantern Ring - This entry is the exact reason the movie was so bad. You could have made anything but you made guns and stuff. Yawn. 
    #11 - Voltron < Megazord 

    Watch the video: RT | YT

  • Top 10 Worst Dragon Ball Characters - Editor Notes

    11 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    Here we goooooooo! (again) 

    #10 - Garlic Jr - Not only is his name Garlic but he's a JUNIOR. Someone thought this name was so good they needed to use it TWICE? Okay. Can't wait for the next DB villain, Oregano III. 

    #9 - Cooler - Okay, wait, actually the next villain is The Coolest.

    #8 - Hercule Satan - I hate Hercule! Never thought he was funny. For me he only ever distracted from what I was interested in seeing. 

    #7 - Bio-Broly - I didn't know this existed before this episode. It's an odd feeling to realize you've missed out on something completely inconsequential.

    #6 - Majuub - Nick asked me this when watching back the first cut of this episode and I want to clarify for all of you. I didn't alter Aladdin or Uub's skin color at all. It just worked.

    #5 - Pan - I....really liked...Pan. (but don't ask me why. I couldn't tell you/don't remember) 

    #4 - Yamcha - The woooooorst

    #3 - Para Para Bros - So, they got the gang to dance. Was it a lethal dance or something? What's the problem here? "Oh no! We look ridiculous and now we're melting because of it" 

    #2 - Chi-Chi - These last two entries are the most insightful entries on the whole list. I couldn't agree more. 

    #1 - Adult Gohan - Gohan was the best and they squandered his potential. 

    #11 - Is there a way to tell Maron and Bulma apart by just looking at them?

    Watch the Video: RT | YT 

  • Top 10 Terrifying Mascots - Editor Notes

    11 months ago

    JoshuaKazemi @joshuakazemi

    We're back! 

    Intro - I'm not Torrian 
    #10 - Krinkles - What was Post thinking? This isn't their only terrible mascot. Just do a quick google search for "So-Hi Post Cereal" 
    #8 - Senhor - Sorry, Jonah. I saw an opportunity, which was a cheap shot, and I took it. The internet is cruel. 
    #7 - Monokuma - Who is this bear fooling? You're clearly evil. 
    #6 - The King - C'mon it's 2018. Where's the Burger Queen?
    #5 - Freddy Fazbear - This Top 10 Entry brought to you by Achievement Hunter.
    #4 - Stubhub Ticket Oak - So it's absurd. That doesn't equal funny. At least the spongemonkeys are funny sometimes. This is just odd. 
    #3 - King Cake Baby - So..... THIS BABY IS JESUS ISN'T HE?!?! 
    #2 - Spongemonkeys - Yeah, I like them. You wanna fight about it?
    #1 - PuppyMonkeyBaby - That's John Mayer at 6:41 right? It has to be. 
    #11 - Mario has some great games obviously but is he a good character? I don't know and I've wondered about it my entire life. 

    Watch the Video: RT | YT | UT

  • Day 1462: Finishing Games

    11 months ago

    topham DHYB

    Today I finished Hexcells and it felt good. I have played a whole bunch of games that don't have a defined ending, but recently I've been wanting to play games that have a proper ending, or a way to complete them. 

    Hexcells is a simple puzzle game that is similar to minesweeper and it's all made of hexagons. It's an enjoyable game, and the achievements are related to completing the stages and perfecting every level. Overall the game took me about 4 hours, but my puzzling skills are sub-par at the moment, and now that it's complete my games completed list has grown by one. 

    I'm going to be keeping a log in my book of games that I've completed and hopefully I'll have a decent list by the end of the year, and it's certainly something that's motivating to play different games. 

    I played some PUBG today, made it to #2, just had no idea where the last person was, and they crested the hill and got me. I'd been doing real well up to then as well, got #7 in the previous game with 4 kills, and 2 kills in the game I came second. I'm getting better and maybe a chicken dinner is on my horizon. 

    I don't know what game to pick up next, I'll likely play Hexcells Plus, and maybe OneShot or another fun game from my library. It's going to be a good year for games.

    Have an excellent day! You're all my favourites! 

    Peace -x-

  • What I Did On The First Day of the year

    11 months ago

    bloodcal-cal7 Im Callam Hi

    #1 Took my time vomiting blue out after 1am

    #2 Went to my joke of a job that a monkey could do

    #3 Listened to loud repeats of Beautiful Trauma By P!nk

    #4 Wrote this

    Man my New Year is awesome!!!!


    11 months ago



    Live. From not Los Angeles on the Discord thread on which these episodes are made, its the 4th Annual Screwvie Awards. Sponsered by Schik Hydrobot (not really) and New Years hopes and dreams. Welcome as always. Guys, how excited are you for these awards?

    STICKMAN: Eh. I hear there's this really cool thing called the Gimpy Awards next door, we should go watch that instead.

    LARRY: Ooh you gotta snag me a ticket.

    MADHERO:Well why do I even bother turning up then? Goddamnit I was really hoping for some excitement. You know what I am excited for? The new year. New chances, oppurtunities, and most importantly MOVIES!


    LARRY: I'm excited to start my 2018 in Poland, there's that. What are movies again?



    Its kinda hard  to pick a film that isn't an MCU film as Most Anticipated, but leave it to Alex Garland to deliver the goods. A long time writer of scripts like 28 Days Later and Dredd, he really burst to the scene with Ex Machina, which was one of my favorite movies in 2015. So needless to say I'm extremely excited what he can bring to Annihilation, a film that seems much bigger in scope and decidedly weird, and based on an acclaimed novel. There's been a odd bit of distribution shenanigans going on thanks to Paramount not doing so hot, with the film not becoming a Netflix film internationally 17 days after its theater release in the US/UK and China. That and a public fight between 2 producers, one of whom who wanted to dumb the movie down, but ultimately Scott Rudin stepped and kept the film as is. Cool, I guess, but I would've loved to have seen this on the big screen. With it coming out on February, we don't have to wait very long to see this, so I'm done pretty quick



    Now...full disclosure, my pick was also gonna be Annihilation, but Mad already nabbed it so...I'm doing The Predator. Now there's a lot of love for the original Predator movie, it's considered one of the best 80s action films of its kind, but the jury is decidedly out on the cocaine fueled fun of Predator 2 and the division inducing most recent entry, Predators (Which I rather liked).  It'll have been 8 years since that films release by the time this new entry comes out, and there's a lot of hopes riding on it. Shane Black is a highly respected action/comedy director, the cast is solid, and Fox have put a lot more money into it than they did the decided lower budgeted 3rd film. There's concerns it won't remain true to the 'core principals' of what made people fall in love with the original, but personally I'm pretty keen to see someone do something new with the franchise, after a couple of attempts to do the same sorta thing within different eras of action movie tonally and visually. Shake it up, make it a great time, and one that resurrects the franchise, please. I'm excited to see what's coming for this one.


    I personally can’t say I’m particularly pumped for that many films coming in 2018. However, when a masterful filmmaker like Wes Anderson has a release planned, it’s hard not to have that be a clear standout. ISLE OF DOGS not only looks to have the offbeat humor and charm that every Anderson project keeps at the forefront, but it is also a return the stop motion animated stylings last seen in FANTASTIC MR. FOX, which is always a breathe of fresh air amidst the wave of 3D CGI contenders. You also have a ridiculously star-studded voice cast, featuring both Anderson mainstays (Bill Murray, Edward Norton, F. Murray Abraham) and newcomers to his rolodex of stars (Bryan Cranston, Greta Gerwig). I am always a proponent of original, fresh stories over the, while fun and exciting, often tired and tedious blockbusters; with that in mind, ISLE OF DOGS looks like a strong contender for one of the year’s most memorable films.

    STICKMAN: A unique sci-fi movie and a stop motion indie film...meanwhile I got a Predator movie. What fun.

    LARRY: Hey, that movie sounds fucking awesome.

    MADHERO: Well now, that Predator has the director of The Nice Guys involved. No need to beat yourself up over it. I think that could be a really neat film

    STICKMAN: We know very little about it at this stage, but I'm excited to get a first look at it soon,  I hope.

    LARRY: Yes, I can't wait for the teaser trailer.

    MADHERO: We only have a motion poster and not much else. Larry and ours have full trailers, both of which makes them look pretty out there

    LARRY: Annihilation also looks like quite an experience. I loved Ex Machina. Alex Garland has my attention.

    STICKMAN: I've been a huge fan of Alex Garland for a long time, so it's really fun to see him step out of the shadows of other directors and make his own films. Shame about the Netflix situation.

    MADHERO: Its weird how its a Netflix movie now in my neck of the woods. Would've probably seen in in the theater regardless, but oh well.

    STICKMAN: Isle of Dogs is a film I'm only excited for because it's stop motion, I'm not a fan of the director especially, but he suits that medium pretty well.

    LARRY: I'm definitely checking out Annihilation on a big screen if I can.

    MADHERO: I like how Wes Anderson is returning to stop motion, especially since Fantastic Mr. Fox is probably my favorite Anderson film

    STICKMAN: I'd check out all of these on a big screen if I could, and hopefully I will get that chance. We made good choices, GENTLEMEN. I'm excited to see them all.

    LARRY: Isle of Dogs has an amazing voice cast. Great pick with Bryan Cranston in the lead especially. I can just imagine Bill Murray and Edward Norton as like a posse in real life. But now they're dogs so it's IMMEDIATELY better.

    STICKMAN: Everyone's better as cartoon dogs. Except Louis CK.



    It was a good year for trailers. Sure, some of them sold a completely different movie than many were expecting, like It Comes At Night, but we saw the record for Most Watched Trailer broken twice (for IT and Infinity War), but for me personally, I gotta go with my gut feeling and go with the trailer I've probably rewatched the most, which would be the very first trailer of Thor Ragnarok. It already has one huge advantage: Led Zeppelin's Immigrant Song, which can make everything seem epic, but its backed up by some amazing imagery, especially Cate Blanchett's Hela  fighting off the Valkyries (which sadly is about all we get in the film). At the end though, it teases the laugh riot it actually is, with the now infamous "he's a friend from work" line. It excited, it made me laugh and got me stoked for a Thor movie, which seemed hard after The Dark World


    As always, there were a ton of great trailers this year, some great trailers for films that ended up sucking, some great trailers for films that succeeded even our wildest hopes and dreams...some great trailers for films we've yet to even see at all. Skull Island was a good film...not great, but certainly highly enjoyable, but oh man did it nail its trailer. Playing as a highlight reel of just some of the most staggeringly scaled, colourful and vibrant shots from a very pretty film, in addition to hosting some exceptionally fun looking action sequences, with an acting cast that the trailer manages to make it seem aren't completely wasted. Everything about this trailer is splendid, the punchy editing, the killer soundtrack, the sense of energy and fun it conveys....hell, I've seen the film already and this trailer still makes me excited to see it again. 


    There is no question for me: the best trailer of 2017 is SPIDER-MAN: ENTER THE SPIDER-VERSE, mainly because it’s the only one that genuinely surprised me in how god damn good it looks. Naturally, not every film has that luxury, but holy fucking shit, this trailer is incredible. It’s visuals take a comic book composition and fuse with a neon, flashy aesthetic that is pure eye-candy. The action looks large in scope and cinematic in design. But, beyond all that, we are FINALLY getting to see a cinematic iteration of Miles Morales. I think we can all agree that, while I did enjoy HOMECOMING, we need new blood in this character’s veins, and based on the “Spider-Verse” title, it looks like that is exactly what we are getting. What all of this amounts to is the first time in countless years that the Spider-Man franchise looks to finally have a true breathe of fresh air in its sights, and I couldn’t be more excited.

    STICKMAN: Ah man, another great lineup. Still can't get over how much fun a Thor movie of all things looked after that teaser trailer.

    LARRY: I will definitely say Kong Skull Island had amazing trailers. Just the reveal of how huge Kong is was enough to sell me a ticket.

    MADHERO: Its a really epic trailer. Not sure how much it really spoils, but its such a hyperkinectic trailer. Even more so than the movie

    STICKMAN: We've got two teaser trailers for comic book movies, and the very final trailer for Skull Island. All of them really sell their films quite fabulously. I went from 0 to 100% interest in Spider-Man after that teaser, so can't argue with those results.

    LARRY: RIGHT???? That's why it's here, man!!

    MADHERO: I feel like my trailer sells a more serious movie than it actually is, but its super effective from the use of Immigrant Song to the intro of Gladiator Hulk

    STICKMAN: I think Thor Ragnarok's teaser was pretty fun rather than serious, personally. But there's not a huge deal of comedy lines, sure.

    MADHERO: Plus Goth Cate Blanchett

    STICKMAN: It had it all, man. IT HAD IT ALL. It was also the only one (that we know of at least) to use the music of the trailer in the film great effect I may add.

    MADHERO: I'm still more on the wait and see side on Spider-Verse. But it certainly made an impact on you guys

    LARRY: Mad stop spoiling our fun.

    STICKMAN: Who knows if Spider-Verse will actually be good, but that teaser. OOH. Tingles.

    MADHERO: I'm not saying its bad. I'm just not as hyped as you guys are. It has a great style. Just too bad we still have to wait a whooooooooole year

    LARRY: Laaaaaaaame.



    Honestly, I could've picked basically any scene from Blade Runner 2049 and it would probably be eligible for my Scene of the Year. The syncronization, the memory creation and even the very end. Eventually though, I settled for the Vegas meetup between the blade runners, K and Deckard.  The scene beforehand, showing a destroyed and very Las Vegas is already gorgeous, thanks to Roger Deakins' stellar cinematography, but it really reaches its apex when the actual meeting/fight happens.  We see flickering neon lights, holograms of Elvis and Marilyn Monroe with audio cut in, and it just represents Blade Runner 2049 in a nutshell. Its tense in its encounter, haunting in its use of deserted scenery and an visual stunner throughout


    Now....full disclosure again...Mad stole my pick for this one too. That said, it gives us a chance to talk about one of the most brilliant fight scenes of the year, in a 12 months that also featured the likes of John Wick 2 and The Villainess. Atomic Blonde was a great film that turned into a bad film towards the end, but this sequence, kicking off the events that lead into the bad turn, are far from it. Designed to come across as one continuous shot, which is always really fun for a fight sequence, we follow Charlize Theron as she works her way down the stairs of an apartment building, out the door, into a car and then crash. Simple enough...but oh no. There's guys with guns, and guys with big ol fists in her way, and she's pretty haggard by this stage of the film. You feel every blow, and unlike a lot of similar action sequences, you can really tell how much pain is behind and directed by every punch, kick and gunshot. It's like a scene from MCU Daredevil but turned up to 11, the scene scored only by the sounds of violence, and featuring some spectacularly brutal choreography to boot. It's a fantastic scene in general, but it's definitely the most brutal fight of all cinema in 2017, and for that has my respect.


    Few movies were more emotional gut-wrenching than STRONGER, David Gordon Green’s biopic on Jeff Bauman, a victim of the horrific Boston Marathon bombing that left him with both legs lost. Sadly this film didn’t get a lot of attention due to a smaller release and not much word-of-mouth, but hopefully this scene can convince you to at least add it to your watchlist. The scene I chose involves Bauman, played masterfully by Jake Gyllenhaal (bound for snubbery again), having the bandages taken off of his freshly amputated legs. While I absolutely love both Mad’s choice and Sticky’s choice, neither of those scenes literally made me almost turn away from the screen. At this point in the film, we have come to deeply sympathize with Bauman, so I don’t think it’s surprising that seeing him experience what is likely to be extreme pain is devastating for the audience. This scene reflects the compelling, powerful story that STRONGER tells, and it will not be leaving my head any time soon.

    MADHERO: Leave it to Larry to not pick a fightscene like us commonfolk

    LARRY: Again, just waaaaaaait until that Top 5.

    STICKMAN: To be fair Larry, a great scene shouldn't make you want to turn away, it should make 

    you want to stick your face into the screen and go FUCCKK YEAAAAHH.

    LARRY: I disagree. If that turning away is a result of investment and emotional conviction, I don't see it being a bad thing.

    MADHERO: Ehhh. Doesn't have to. I don't think my scene is a big "Fuck yeah" moment. More of a "oh wow"

    STICKMAN: I mean, fuck yeah in the sense that it's awesome, not a Team America way.

    LARRY: To be fair, I like both of these scenes as well. In fact I would've chosen Atomic Blonde if Sticky didn't.

    STICKMAN: I think a hard to watch scene can be very compelling but I'm not sure I'd ever put it as a best scene of the year, but I haven't seen Stronger so heeyooo.

    MADHERO: Its a great fucking fight. Think you hit the nail on the head with calling it a Marvel/Hallway fight x11. I haven't seen Stronger either, so I can't commenct on the scene itself, but I'm familiar with the story and of course the famous photo

    LARRY: I swear there are like 17 individual epic moments that just get me. You guys really need to see it. One of the year's most engaging dramas.

    STICKMAN: Me and Mad went for two completely different fight scenes. Atomic Blonde is a no punches held, full on, visceral fight for survival, whereas 2049's fight is so drenched in artistry and visual flair. Also Harrison Ford punched Ryan Gosling by accident in the scene and there's a picture of it.

    LARRY: God that orange. I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF IT.

    MADHERO: Its amazing. Both the scene and the picture. I'll put Stronger on the list. We've had time to praise things. Now lets  talk about some...... not very good things.



    Good news for movies in 2017: I didn't see something I outright hated like Terminator Genisys and Suicide Squad. That does mean bad news for Ghost in the Shell, a film that just edges the new Pirates for me, but only cause there's so much baggage than just another meh Pirates film.  I went up to bat for this adaptation more times than I care to admit,  with the internet ready to hate this from the start due to the whitewashing of the Major. I wanted to like this movie, but the sad part is that its a dumbed down version of the original anime, which can be overly convoluted, but at least felt smart and  philosophical as opposed to this surface level adaptation. That and a plot twist so misguided that just made things even worse. A film that tackled all of its themes better was the final nail in the coffin. Its aint Dragonball Evolution bad, but good it sadly aint.


    I mean...who saw thiiiis coming? The 6th installment in a franchise that never managed to surpass anything more than stupidly entertaining. From the 4th movie on things went more and more downhill, despite having more and more money until everything just went to shit in the FINAL CHAPTER, which follows the franchise tradition of quietly killing off every character established from the previous film, be they random nobodies or beloved characters from the games. This time around it also promptly ignores the ludicrous cliffhanger from the fifth in favour of opening on a completely different, never explained scenario, and from that point onwards it's poorly lit action scenes, annoying jumpscares, bad dialogue, bland characters and a few groan inducing attempts at adding emotional stakes to a franchise devoid of any emotion since day 1. The CGI RE movie that  came out this year managed to be leagues better, which is really saying something when that involves a laser cannon that destroys 5 skyscrapers, which is never brought up again. It better bloody be the finally chapter of Alice's shitty story nobody cares about, that's all I gotta say.


    Thankfully, 2017 hasn’t had too many duds for me. Sure, some films were a tad underwhelming, like JUSTICE LEAGUE and POWER RANGERS, but even those had good ideas that they ran with. BATMAN AND HARLEY QUINN has semblances of good ideas that are not just completely ignored, but simultaneously overwhelmed by a ridiculous cacophony of bad ones. This is a Batman story that strips away everything that makes the universe so compelling or entertaining, opting to go in a more comedic and outlandish direction that makes for some of the strangest, most embarrassing scenes I’ve ever seen in a superhero film. All of these bizarre choices stem from Harley Quinn being a central character in the story, which is actually a great idea in theory; However, here she happens to be poorly written, gratingly unfunny, and overtly over-sexualized, so her as an emotional crux is all but a dead end, and her attempts at breaking down Batman’s stoic presence are even worse. Add that to basically no thematic subtext, minimal character progression in any form, standard animation at best, and an insultingly abrupt ending that wastes one of the best twists you could’ve implemented, and you have what is easily one of the worst Batman films of all time, and one of the worst DC animated films of all time. Fuck this movie.

    MADHERO: Guys I think we all picked a movie with a female lead. Are we......SEXIST?!

    LARRY: See mine has multiple ass shots, so possibly.

    STICKMAN: Mine doesn't, but is also terrible. So oops.

    MADHERO: Mine has Scarlett Johansson in a bodysuit that's skin colored, but that's part of the anime as well. ANYWAY! I'm surprised by your entry, Larry. I haven't seen the film, but really? One of the worst Batman films ever?

    LARRY: It's just so stupid dude. One scene literally involves Harley Quinn singing a rock number in a villains nightclub. Another scene involves Harley Quinn farting in the Batmobile to pressure Batman and Nightwing into taking a pit stop.

    STICKMAN: Okay well. I'm out.

    MADHERO: A shame, because it looks like its part/a revival of the DCAU and that's usually quality

    STICKMAN: I never had much hope for either Harley Quinn or Resident Evil, but I'd hoped for more from Ghost in the Shell, especially after I defended it for the many stupid reasons people shat on it prior to its release. Sucks when you fight for somethings right to exist and then it's a load of shit.

    LARRY: I never had any interest in the film honestly. I just had a feeling it wasn't gonna be good.

    MADHERO: I as really hopeful for Ghost in the Shell. I desperately wanted it to be good, and while its not bad and visually beautiful, the film feels like a very ehh blockbuster and I can't get over that plot twist/reveal

    STICKMAN: GitS was just really boring I found. And that twist was...oof.

    MADHERO: It just made that conversation so much more awkward. As for Resi.....well what did you expect?

    LARRY: Yeah I never even TOUCHED those movies.

    STICKMAN: I expected nothing and I was still disappointed. I enjoy stupid movies, and it's Resident Evil so I have a soft spot for it...but yeah. That was not a good. PM Didn't help the screening I saw had the volume up to like 5000% so every annoying jump scare was like being kicked in the nuts.

    MADHERO: 2017 in a nutshell. Anyway, we also caught up on a bunch of movies, so lets talk about those and give them their time in the sun

    BEST 2016 FILM SEEN IN 2017


    Being from Europe, I don't see the Oscar contenders until January/February, and while Moonlight and La La Land definitely struck a cord with me, The Handmaiden was the one that absolutely blew me away. The film that would probably be nr. 1 on this list if it was eligible. Set in the 1930s in a Japan-occupied Korea, it follows pickpocket Sook-hee as she's helping a conman to  seduce a Japanese heiress to marry him and take her inheritance. Things get far more twisted after that. Really, really twisted. To say anything more would be a spoiler, but Park Chan-Wook (Oldboy) delivers similar goods (including an octopus) that had me mouth agape and on the edge of my seat. Somehow it wasn't nominated for Best Foreign Language film, but that doesn't matter anymore . GO SEE THIS MOVIE!


    When it comes to indie animation, and just...animated films that aren't blockbuster family hits from Disney or Dreamworks, you either have to wait a good long year for a UK release, or you never get them at all. The Red Turtle was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the 2017 Oscars  and got unanimous acclaim from a wide variety of filmgoers and critics, and when it finally turned up in my was clear why. A wordless, quiet tale of a man washed away at sea who's attempts to escape are frequently scuppered by the titular turtle, the film can be watched by any age, and enjoyed in any part of the world. It's truly one of the most accessible animated films made for a long long time. Co-produced by Studio Ghibli, it has their trademark attention to detail, heart and warmth, but Dutch director Michaël Dudok de Wit brings a quiet, action-light quality to proceedings, with a focus less on some grand adventure as it is the passing of time, and life itself, including the highs, the lows, the moments of pain and doubt, but also moments of great love. It's a beautiful, unique film, not so much sentimental in its emotion  as it is at times almost literally, silently tragic. 


    It isn’t often you find a new favorite film of the year about a month after the year is already over, but here we are. Last year, I ranked THE NICE GUYS are my favorite film of 2016, but that stance began to sincerely waver after sitting through HACKSAW RIDGE, a masterful reminder of just how talented Mel Gibson is despite his more-than-tarnished ethical presence. Andrew Garfield gives what is easily his best performance as Desmond Doss, a pacifistic Christian who enlists in the army during WWII, but is immediately ridiculed for refusing to hold a weapon. Nonetheless, he persists as a combat medic, and becomes a war hero in the process. It’s a powerful story, and it is all heightened by some of the best and literally most explosive war sequences I’ve ever seen in a movie. The stakes are high, and the tension is thick. But Doss’ determination and strength make for a likable and well-written lead character, alongside other strong performances from Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn of all people. Add that to some genuine family and romantic drama, a beautiful score from Rupert Gregson-Williams, and incredible sound work (which it won Oscars for, and rightfully so), and you have one of the most intense and inspiring films of the year that I just happened to miss in 2016. Aw well. It happens.

    MADHERO: Its weird how Hacksaw Ridge is probably the most mainstream thing on this list

    STICKMAN: Handmaiden's been on my list for a while, should get around to watching it.

    LARRY: Same, I've been hearing great things.

    MADHERO: Its almost 3 hours but its absolutely worth those. The cinematographer of the film went on to do IT, so that's neat

    STICKMAN: Can't say Hacksaw Ridge takes my fancy, seems like a  needlesly over the top war film in terms of gore.

    LARRY: I'd give it a chance, seeing as the whole point is that the character doesn't fire a weapon.

    MADHERO: Hacksaw Ridge has been on my watchlist but hasn't been a film I've gotten around to. Have seen Red Turtle though and that's an amazing piece of animation

    STICKMAN: Red Turtle is pretty dang great, well worth the long wait. Plus a Dutch director and that's an automatic win in my book

    LARRY: I have Red Turtle on my watchlist, mainly because of Sticky.

    STICKMAN: Dutch and Ghibli combining to make ART. This is a very diverse selection of films, two of which are 'world cinema' so that's fun.

    MADHERO: Alright. Time for the moment we've all been waiting for. 2017 has been a great year for movies of all different genres and cultures. Where does the Boss Baby rank? What type of Oscar bullshit is Larry going to throw at us? All those questions and more you'll find out....about now I guess

    STICKMAN: Don't spoil my number 1, Mad. That's just not fair.

    LARRY: HEY...myoscarpicksarentbullshit.



    I've said it so many times that it became kinda boring to repeat myself, but 2017 was a surprisingly weak year for animation. Sure Lego Batman was fun, and Larry can vouch for Captain Underpants, but otherwise it was pretty dire. So leave it to Pixar (granted, after Cars 3) to make it all look easy with Coco, a film I wasn't particuarely excited for, but that grew and grew as time went on, and I came out really impressed. There's just something extremely life affirming about the film, even if you don't believe in a afterlife.  Its theme of family goes so far and beyond the usual kids movie formula. That and the Pixar heart and soul that they've crafted to a tee. And while I didn't cry, its ending did leave me quite emotional, but in a good way. Coco is a emotional rollercoaster of a movie and one of my favorites this year


    So my pick for No 5 is maybe an oddball, I guess we'll find out. A little film called John Wick Chapter 2. The sequel to the very enjoyable but tonally uneven original installment, this follow-up pretty much fixes everything wrong with the last one, and throws in even more stylish visuals and tons more creative fight sequences, unlike the first, pretty much every fight in this film has some sort of unique flair to it, be it Keanu using his suit as a bullet shield, or two assassins popping silenced shots at each other across a busy, unaware train station. It's really entertaining, the journey of the main character is genuinely interesting at times, and the ending packs a memorable punch that sets things up really nicely for the 3rd chapter in a couple years, hopefully. I'm a big action fan and this was my favourite action film of the year, great stuff.


    My #5 is, wouldn't you know it, STRONGER! I already talked about a lot of why I love this film, but I'll just once again reiterate it. This is one of the year's most heartbreaking yet inspiratonal dramas, made something truly remarkable thanks to performances from Gyllenhaal and Maslany. Like the bandages scene, certain moments make you truly feel the pain the characters feel, and few movies this year captured that same kind of visceral reaction from me. Thankfully however, this film does sprinkle some humor in between the drama, and that also soars. One scene in particular involving a swingset perhaps made me laugh harder than any other film this year. However, what I love most is that it isn’t your typical martyrdom story. Our main character isn’t inherently likable, but his journey in the story shows him learning to accept who he has become and what he means to other people. That is so refreshing for a film of this kind, and I hope that this film is seen by more people in the years to come because it is sincerely underappreciated.


    LARRY: I'm probably gonna miss Coco this year and I hate myself for it.


    STICKMAN: So, Larry...I hear Stronger got a mixed reception, but I guess you really dug it huuuuh?

    LARRY: Did it? I didn't know that. I loved it.

    STICKMAN: It's been called a bit cliche by some, and there's some controversy about having Jake play a disabled person.

    LARRY: Well, I loved Gyllenhaal's performance in this film, so I honestly don't agree with that criticism. I am praying each and every day that it gets just the tiniest bit of Oscar love. More people deserve to see this film.

    MADHERO: I feel like that might be a very small subset on Tumblr. First time I've heard the complaint at least. I saw a poster for it after coming out of Blade Runner and thought it had a mixed reception as well, and then it had like a 90 on RT, As for John Wick Chapter 2.....yeah I can see that. I want more of this bullshit crazy world

    STICKMAN: It's my kinda bullshit. John Wick inspires me to be stronger with my pencil usage.

    LARRY: Still haven't seen either John Wicks.

    MADHERO: You'll never look at pencils the same way again



    Unless your name was Justice League, 2017 was a good year for superhero movies. Logan matured the more comic book era of the genre, Wonder Woman captured the cultural zeitgeist in a way not even DC couldve expected and Thor Ragnarok made the Thor movies not a slog to go through. With all that said, the one that ended up really sticking with me was Spider-Man Homecoming. If I were to use 2 words for this film, it would be 'relief' and 'nice.' A relief to finally have a genuinely great Spider-Man movie in over a decade, and nice in just how....pleasant it was. Jenna Nicholson described it as a superhero movie version of Hey Arnold, and that's more accurate than expected. For a 180 million dollar superhero film starring one of the most popular characters in the world, it just feels small scale and nice. Plus its really funny and Tom Holland is the best Spidey to date


    At number foooour for me is the closing chapter of one of the most underrated cinematic trilogies of recent times. War for the Planet of the Apes, whilst not quite to the same level of consistent quality as the stupendously good Dawn, is still an engrossing, visually arresting and emotionally engaging trilogy-capper, with yet another outstanding, no doubt soon to be consistently ignored  performance by Andy Serkis, who's taken us through Ceaser's life from childhood to the grizzled leader of an army. It's been a hell of a ride, and War delivers pretty much all that you'd want from it. Maybe it could've done with a better ending, maybe certain characters weren't needed, and maybe the villain isn't as compelling as Koba from Dawn, but it's still a fucking excellent slice of blockbuster cinema, and proof that you can remake films and make them not only great, but also completely distinct from the originals in the best possible ways.


    To be frank, I haven’t watched this film in about 11 months, so its placement as #4 is incredibly susceptible to change. But I think it says a lot that a movie from February had such an impact on me that it stayed in my head all year. GET OUT is a breakout masterwork from Jordan Peele, who lends his fresh voice to a political state that couldn’t be more in need of it. Its dissection of racism in the post-Obama era of American culture is one that is so intelligently thought-provoking, but to dress in a horror film’s clothing makes for a visceral, truly chilling experience, propelled by excellent performances, smart cinematography, and writing that feels all too real. There’s a reason people are still talking about this film; it’s breaking into the collective consciousness is undeniable, and GET OUT deserves every bit of that praise.

    MADHERO: I don't think any movie captured the zeitgeist quite like Get Out did. That movie IS 2017

    STICKMAN: Heeyyy, I've seen all of these and liked them. Nice.

    LARRY: And so have I! I would like to point out that Get Out is a great film even without the zeitgeist factor.

    MADHERO : Get Out was suuuuuuuuper close, but Coco just edged it. Same goes for War, which I liked more than I loved

    STICKMAN: I feel Get Out was a tad overrated, I get why people were so on board with it, but I think maybe in the future the response won't be as electric. It came out at the right time and captured people's imaginations in a big way, so I gotta give it credit for that.

    LARRY: I see Get Out as a genrebender, more of a psychological thriller with comedic moments. That sunken place scene, man. Incredible. That could've easily been in our best scene of the year discussion.

    STICKMAN: As was Spider-Man Homecoming, easily the best Spidey we've had on the big screen, even if it's possibly not the best Spider-Man film.

    MADHERO: God it was so good to like a Spidey film again

    LARRY: I liked Homecoming, though probably not as much as everyone else did.

    STICKMAN: I think how much you love Homecoming depends on how attached you are to the character and how  relieving it was to have a good portrayal of him. And how about my movie, ahh...AHH? Mine had apes in it.

    MADHERO:  I liked how that was a much more intimate affair than that title would assume. And a great showcase for Andy Serkis once again

    STICKMAN: He is amazing, and the special effects were beyond incredible. And used to tell a compelling story, which is the most important part.

    LARRY: WftPotA was an excellent film as well. Takes Caesar to some incredible places dramatically. I feel like it maybe tries to incorporate one idea too many, but I'd be lying if I said they all weren't fascinating and great for world-building.

    MADHERO: I think when we look back, that trilogy will be seen as one of the best blockbuster trilogies out there.



    Edgar Wright has consistently proven himself as one of the best comedy directors working in the industry, but Baby Driver might just prove him to be one of the best working directors PERIOD. A stunningly original piece of direction, playing almost more like an album than a film, capturing so many different moods and able to carry you throughout. No film has used music quite like this. Oh, and the action is pretty spectacular too tied to that music, from the opening getaway set to Bellbotoms, immediately telling you what you're in for,  to the footchase set to Hocus Pocus (by Focus).  Its so fun that not even the recent revelations around Kevin Spacey can sink it.


    Nummberr threeeeeee is going to please all the Nolanites out there, because it's a little film called Dunkirk. I'm not sure how big a deal this was outside of the UK but it's definitely one of the most talked about films of the summer round these parts. And for good reason. After a couple of big, ambitious but very messy epics in the form of TDKR and Interstellar, it was fair to say Christopher Nolan and his various movie tropes were wearing a little thin. Along comes Dunkirk and reminds us why he's so well loved, because fucking CHRIST, what a movie this is. A non-stop thrillride from the get-go, with a soundtrack engineered to make you increasingly tense. It's visually stunning, the cold, silent atmosphere even during the heat of  the more intense scenes is unique and refreshing for a war movie, and It all gets pretty powerful towards the end. Featuring the Nolan polish and cinematic flair you'd expect, but applied to his most stripped back, simple, yet deeply engrossing film in years. It's really great stuff, and there's a reason why it's one of the few summer blockbusters genuinely in contention for big awards in the coming months..maybe.


    Alright this is where we get to my true, cemented favorites of the year. At #3, we have DUNKIRK, the only film I saw this year that I can truly call a wholly unique experience, and that’s not just because of the stellar 70mm IMAX screening I went to. Dunkirk has Christopher Nolan playing at his strengths, that being tone, atmosphere, and emotion. Right from the very first gunshot, the film grabs you by the throat and doesn’t even slightly loosen its grip, what with its ear-piercing sound design, impressive score from genius Hans Zimmer, and gorgeous cinematic beach landscapes. With grounded performances from everyone in the cast, genuine but thankfully minimal dialogue, and an ending that will make you want to stand up and cheer, Nolan has created a movie completely its own. Will I ever watch Dunkirk again? I’m not sure to be honest, but I’m sure as HELL glad I watched it once, and in the proper way.

    STICKMAN: Me and Larry are Dunkirk bros, what are you, Mad? Baby Driver? HAH. FUCK THAT MOVIE, Y'KNOOOW?

    LARRY: Baby Driver would've easily been in my Top 10. Loved watching that film.

    MADHERO: So while I think Dunkirk is a stunning achievement in filmmaking and a return to from from Nolan, I didn't put it in my Top 5. I didn't quite love it enough. Its in the Top 10 for sure though

    STICKMAN: It was a fucking experience in IMAX I gotta tell you, I wish 70mm had been an option here.

    LARRY: But that sheppard tone thooooo. THAT SHEPPARD TOOOOONE. Every now and again Hans Zimmer proves why he's one of the best in the business. He's not all just BWAAAAAAAAAHS

    MADHERO: I couldn't really connect with it the way you guys did it. The Zimmer soundtrack was great though. Will agree completely

    STICKMAN: I heard a lot of people say it lacked an emotional  connection but towards the end I was getting pretty fucking into it. The 'Home' moment was up there for me with the best scenes of the year.

    LARRY: It wasn't meant to be personally emotional, but it was meant to just put you in the war. Obviously I didn't connect with the characters as much as other movies, but that wasn't the point.

    MADHERO: The ending does do a good job delivering the emotion, and before that it was a real thrillride. That scene in the stranded boat? Oof

    STICKMAN: Oh god, what a great film Dunkirk is. And I mean Baby Driver's okay I guesssss.

    LARRY: That ending had me FUCKED. With Churchill's speech? Amazing. I did really love Baby Driver. The music was its own character, and I'm a sucker for that shit.



    Sometimes there are those movies that just......stick with you in a way that you don't really expect. You watch it, you think "yeah, that was pretty good" and then you think about it some more and go "o wait, I actually loved that." I experienced that with Last Jedi, but even more so, I experienced that with Okja: The South Korean Netflix Original from Bong Joon Ho. Okja is a weird movie right from the off, with a jarring tone that never really lets go. Sometimes its a fun boy and his dog type story (or in this case girl and her superpig), then its a Amblin style adventure, and then it can delve in straight up horror territory that will make you never want to eat meat again. The more I thought about it, the more I admired its boldness and direction, even if that didn't work out (I did not care for Jake Gyllenhaal in this). Its a good time to remember that for every Bright, Netflix also provides oppurtunities like Beast of No Nation and Okja, my 2nd favorite film of the year


    So my number 2...after a lot of soul searching, because this has been one of the hardest selection of films to rank in Baby Driver. Baby Driver is a fucking delight, showcasing the amazing talents of Edgar Wright as both a director and a visionary. On a basic note it's just your standard crime drama, partially innocent guy gets caught up in crime, falls in love, wants to get out, but they keep pulling him back in. It's been done, and done really well. But what sets Baby Driver apart is just how warm the whole film is, oh...and yeah, the music...the editing, the action scenes. It's like a glorious cinematic ballet of  burnt rubber, featuring a coffee collection scene that the film students of the future will be forced to rewatch time and time again for just the sheer number of brilliant little touches.  Beyond the obvious, it's a sweet, funny and charming experience from start to finish, and one of the most memorable crime capers for a long time. Edgar Wright has always been an amazing director, but this is him at the height of his cinematic powers.


    Sometimes, you just sit down in a movie theatre, and you know a movie is gonna be your #1 favorite of the year. Well, this movie didn’t exactly score that luxury in the end, though it got damn close. THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI is Martin McDonagh at his best, with sharp and witty retorts in spades but strong, emotionally riveting characters at the forefront. Frances McDormand hasn’t been this good since FARGO, and Sam Rockwell hasn’t been this good since ever, and the two of them together makes for one of the most fascinating on-screen pairs of the year. Its discussion about the relationship between the police and the public is striking, and some of the most multi-dimensional work to come from McDonagh. However, what I love most is how it takes an immediate tension and consistently pushes the envelope with every new twist and turn, with some moments leaving my mouth wide open. I was almost about to miss this one, and thank fuck I didn’t because it was some of the most fun I’ve had in a movie theatre.



    STICKMAN: I was not big on Ojka, it was sweet and looked nice, but I didn't get into it really.

    MADHERO: As a big fan of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths, I know I'll probably love Three Billboards, but I have to wait till next year for that.

    LARRY:You guys gotta get back to me THE SECOND you finish.

    MADHERO: It's fine if you don't care for Okja, Sticky. Its a very acquired taste, and you have to be on board on some pretty major tonal shifts

    STICKMAN: It is the very definition of an acquired taste, I can at least appreciate the appeal, even if I didn't dig it especially. The tonal shifts were very jarring, but I guess that was the point.

    LARRY: I agree tonally it was a tad off but I liked how it sorta tackled so many different angles of the topic in question.

    MADHERO: You will belief that a hippopigthing with floppy ears is destroying a mall

    LARRY: Also, Jake. Fucking. Gyllenhaal. He gave his most polarizing performance and I couldn't help but love it.

    STICKMAN: What was he doing in that film. And heeeyy, Baby Driver. Cars and such.

    MADHERO: Yeah its neat I suppose. Only the 3rd best of the year if we're being honest

    STICKMAN: Oh shit. Discourse.



    I'm not even going to beat around the bush here: Blade Runner 2049 was the best film of the year and I can't believe I'm even saying that. Even now, revisiting Blade Runner is such a profoudly bad idea that you have to wonder what spurred then to do it other than to make a cashgrab now thet the film is seen as this important touchstone. But leave it to Denis Villerneuve (making my favorite film for the 2nd time in a row after Arrival) to not only match the quality, but in some ways exceed the original. 2049 is an absolute treat from beginnning to end. Unapologetically high-concept and artistic, a slow burn that you keep watching just to take in more of the world. Great acting from everyone involved, and sequences that will take your breath away with its beauty. Its a shame a lot of the conversation has been how it disappointed at the boxoffice, but give it a decade and it will rightly regarded as a science fiction masterpiece, and one that we'll talk about for a very long time.


    Okay so...this has been a tricky one to decide. Baby Driver is great, I've rewatched it...but my number 1 pick I've only seen once...but man, what an amazing time I had. We were all hoping and praying this film wouldn't let us down, it had so much promise in its director, cast....legacy. But at the same time could a sequel to Blade Runner, a somewhat rough, flawed movie that's developed one of the biggest legacies of any sci-fi film in history...could that really work? Well, it did, it did more than work, it surpassed the original quite easily, I feel personally. It took what was great about the original, the world, the feel...the music, the tone....the premise, and it just....made it all so much better, far more engrossing, interesting and fucking beautiful. This is one of the most beautiful films ever made, and I do mean that just beyond the basic's a beautiful film in its characters, and the sequences and concepts it explores. It's not afraid to go to dark, dark places, but it's also not afraid to revel in the beauty of the world and the good that can be found within it. I had to wait 30 minutes for this film to screen properly after an IMAX malfunction and I still sat wide eyed and open-mouthed for almost 3 hours as I sat through this masterpiece of a cyberpunk neo-noir delight.  Easily the best I've had in 2017 at the cinema.


    Just mere days ago, this film was #2. But the more I kept thinking about it, the more I, TONYA represents what I love about storytelling and the art of filmmaking. Let’s forget the fact that it’s superbly acted (Margot Robbie deserves to win best actress, as does Allison Janney for best supporting actress), kinetically shot, perfectly soundtracked, tightly written, excellently edited, and hilarious from start to finish. What really makes I, TONYA my favorite film of the year is that how it tells its story and what it has to say about public outrage and scandals. The film is told through multiple, contradictory perspectives. This initially just sounds like a way to be funny, but it is actually a larger comment about how everyone has a side to the story, and no one in particular is right or wrong. We think we know everything about the stories that circulate around the media, but unless we were actually there, none of us really now what went down, And even then, with those involved, different perspectives muddy the waters. This is an idea I strongly resonate with, and to see a film tackle it was such strong direction and direct consequence is staggering in the best way possible. This film is about to make a big splash as it releases more widely thanks to its inevitable awards buzz, so you better go see it when it does. It is, without a doubt, my favorite film of the year.

    LARRY: Well now I just feel left out...

    STICKMAN: God damnit Larry, we coulda had something special, a SHARED BOND.

    LARRY: I loved Blade Runner 2049. That is also in my Top 10. The length was a bit of an issue for me though. Just a taaaaaaaaad too long. But damn does it make every second of those three hours visually STUNNING

    MADHERO: I probably could've sat there for 4 hours and still not feel like it was too long. I wanted more of that shitshow of a world

    STICKMAN: I could've climbed through the screen and spent a week in that world, honestly. I was absorbed for the entire running time in a way a nearly 3 hour movie very rarely accomplishes.

    LARRY: Roger Deakins better win a FUCKING OSCAR.

    MADHERO: Yeah. It a slow burn, but I honestly never felt like it was too long. And yeah, GIVE THE DEAKS HIS DUES!

    LARRY: Shame we can’t really talk about my film.

    MADHERO: I wish I could say something about your nr. 1, Larry, but I haven't seen it. Going to be a 2018 watch for me

    STICKMAN: You'll never believe it Larry but it's not out here yet.



    MADHERO: Its a fascinating piece of history, and its interesting to hear about the conflicting narratives in the film. I imagine you're all in on Robbie and Janney being Oscar contenders

    LARRY: Fuck yes I am, though I’d be happy to see McDormand get it too. I am ALL IN FOR JANNEY THO. Believe me when I say it; every line out of her mouth is comedy gold.

    STICKMAN: I have my hesitations about 2049's legs as an intensely watchable film in re-views, but for now...hooweee. The best.


    MADHERO: I think that about wraps up our awardsshow. Don't want the afterparty shrimp to go bad.

    LARRY: Ooooh shrimp.

    STICKMAN: Are we eating the shrimp or fucking it...because it's still 2017 as we're writing...and...well...

    MADHERO: Happy New Year everyone. May your 2018 be good


    LARRY: HAPPY 2018 EVERYONE. Please start it right and keep spirits high!

  • Christmas (SPOILERS)

    1 year ago

    GiraffePanda That Odd Kid Out

    This is the most excited I've been for Christmas because all the gifts I'm getting for my family/friends, are ones that I know will make them excited. Like, usually, I just kind of guess on what to get them, but this is the first time I'm like, yes, THIS is gonna get them to smile, and honestly that's the best representation of "good cheer" ever.

    Because I know that they're never gonna see this, here are what I'm getting my family.

    Dad: Incense

    Mom: A birdhouse in the shape of a caravan

    Brother #1: Actually, I'm unsure on his gift. probably like beer glass, or something.

    Brother #2: Oh. Ma, I don't know his either. Something Star Wars themed.

    Sister: THIS. I'm getting her this nice poster of an old movie she loves, and the new book from the guy who wrote the Martian. The book is about black markets, SPACE, and SPACE.

    Cousin #1: An Off Topic poster, he likes the podcast.

    Cousin #2: A behind-the-scenes book about the Princess Bride. He loves that shit.

    Cousin #3: A SP7 Hoodie and a poster of the X-files duo.

    Brother #1's fiancé: a little eos kit with lip balm and lotion

    Cousin #1's wife: A mug that says "Mommy needs her coffee"

    Cousin #2's girlfriend/my friend: A poster of Audrey Hepburn and an eos kit.

    B: We don't like to get each other expensive gifts, but she's getting this awesome cartoon looking poster that I also have, so we're matching.

  • At the Screwvies: Episode 96

    1 year ago



    MADHERO: Hey everybody. Happy Thanksgiving for you guys in the US. Hope your turkeys didn't burn and your dinner table convo didn't immediately go into politics. Maybe a good ol' fashioned  trip to the movies will take your mind off it. Surely your racist uncle doesn't hate Mexicans enough to snub a Pixar movie, right?

    LARRY: Ouch. That feels almost too accurate.

    MADHERO: I know my Americanisms from all the entertainment I have consumed. Those are the only sides I need. Fuck your gravy.

    STICKMAN: Roast Potatoes are supreme. GRAVY SUCKS.

    LARRY: HEY. Don’t hate on the gravy.

    MADHERO: Fine, lets hate on movie news instead.




    So HEY...who lovesvideo game mooovies? HEY NO WAIT, DON'T LEAAAVE. Who loves...Mario movies? Okay, they're gone. I'll just finish this story for my own benefit then. Due to a disastrous first attempt at a motion picture based on the iconic plumber, Nintendo have more or less avoided feature films up until very recently, where, as part of their grander plan to start making more profits in the wake of the Wii U's disappointing performance, they wished to license out their brands for various projects, including movies. We have a theme park area coming to Universal Studios in a few years' time, and a Detective Pikachu film coming from Universal naturally, they've turned to those guys again for a fresh try on making a  Mario  movie, this time from major moneymaker llumination, who you'll know best  for those...Minions. Yep. Those guys. Not much is known at this stage, but we can safely assume it'll be CGI animated, and if it does some to fruition, it won't be for 3-5 years or so, given it's not even technically in development yet. This is big news though, and whilst Illumination don't tend to create the highest quality films in terms of comedy, maybe they'll go out of their way to match the quality and tone of the highly regarded and loved games they're adapting. Either that, or Yoshi's gonna fart a fuckton.

    MADHERO: Calling it now: the Goombas are going to be replaced with Minions.

    STICKMAN: And you better believe they're gonna go BAN NANA NA

    LARRY: Oh it’s so obvious. If not goombas then literally any other creature in the Mushroom Kingdom.

    STICKMAN: If they make Yoshi annoying I will burn myself alive as protest on the streets of Universal Studios.

    LARRY: They’ll just cover it up as a Fire Mario mishap.

    MADHERO: Track record aside, I do think Illumination is the right home for Mario. They make really bright colorful and beautiful animation that I think will fit Mario quite well

    STICKMAN: Illumination are good at candy coloured child-pleasing films for sure.

    LARRY: Yes, I am surprisingly happy about this news. But it’s really gonna come down to the team behind it. Director and writer particularly.

    MADHERO: I have more confidence in this than I have in Detective Pikachu, but that's a whole other story.

    STICKMAN: Oh DON'T YOU START. I have more faith in Detective Pikachu but I'm more excited for Mario. I'm waiting for my METROID MOOOOVIE.

    LARRY: Yeah for real, now with Star Wars and everything.

    STICKMAN: NOOOOOOO. Metroid ain't no space opera, ya DING. NOW I'M MAAAAD.

    MADHERO: Obviously we don't really know when we'll get this movie. Besides Illumination, we don't even know who's in charge, but its happening. Will it go better than in 1993?

    STICKMAN: Can't go much worse.

    LARRY: ...MONKEY! Alright now I’m done.


    After the “ehhhh?.?.?” that was CARS 3, Pixar looks to be back on the up and up, with COCO tracking excellently well this holiday weekend, and a smashing new teaser for THE INCREDIBLES 2! Needless to say, this sequel has been hotly anticipated by several Pixar fans, myself included, and when Pixar announced a teaser would drop, the world freaked out. And then.........they certainly gave us a teaser. This short look at I2 doesn’t give us much admittedly, though Jack Jack fans are sure to be ecstatic. As director Brad Bird mentioned earlier this year, I2 takes place almost directly after its predecessor, meaning Jack Jack’s newfound superhero abilities still need to be honed. The teaser gives us a fun little animation of the many powers Jack Jack posses, including fricken laser vision, bursting into flame, and electricity for a hot second (hahaha ha haaa Hot puns). And we get Mr. Incredible for a little bit, BUT WHO CARES ABOUT HIM WE GOTTA MILK JACK JACK—ahem. Anyway. So yeah, not much to was cute and amusing, though I’m sure we are all waiting for something a bit more meaty. But it’s not coming out for another several months, so they’ve got some time.

    MADHERO: This sure was a teaser alright

    LARRY: Tease-y, yes. But nice to see the spirit of the Incredibles isn’t...lost I suppose.

    STICKMAN: I expected nothing and I'm still disappointed.

    MADHERO: You're kinda hoping to see something of an actual teaser but I remember the original Incredibles also having a small insignificant tease which extended Mr Incredible being overweight trying on his suit and all that

    STICKMAN: I'm in the minority of not thinking The Incredibles was all that hot but. It was okay. It's very likeable I just don't rate it super highly. Can't say I was chomping at the bit for a sequel.

    LARRY: See I love it. It’s definitely my favorite.

    MADHERO: I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE Incredibles. One of my favorite Pixar movies for sure. So I'm naturally excited for the sequel. All this teaser really does is show how the animation has been slightly updated since 2004


    LARRY: genuinely think that deserves a sequel more than INCREDIBLES?

    STICKMAN: No but I'd be more excited.

    MADHERO: Both are Brad Bird movies. COINCIDENCE? Yeh probably

    STICKMAN: Oh shit, someone's on form todaaay. As you can tell, I have nothing to say about this teaser, it sure was one. It did nothing for me.

    LARRY: I’m sure INCREDIBLES 2 will have an excellent teaser soon. I am willing to be patient. But it better be fucking GOOD.



    So one of the big fallouts in the big Harvey Weinstein bruhaha  is what was to happen to Tarantino's new movie. Quentin Tarantino had his start with Weinstein back at Miramax with his debut Resevoir Dogs and has made his all his movies there since. With the Weinstein Company having pretty much fallen apart, it was up to studios to fight over who gets that sweet Tarantino pie, and after a bidding war that has included Warner Bros and Paramount,  Sony has succeeded in acquiring the worldwide rights for his film. This apparently came to be with the director being very impressed with studio head Tom Rothman's knowledge of old films, which does seem a very Tarantino way of doing business. The 100 million dollar budget, full creative control and final cut probably help to.

    With that, we also learned more about what its going to be about, as we previously had a tease that it was going to involve the Manson Family (hey, how timely). Set in 1969 Los  Angeles, the film focuses on a male tv actor who wants to make it to the big leagues after being part of a successful tv show, something he tries to do with his stunt double friend. While that's going on, the Manson family is set loose in LA and partake in the horrific murder of actress Sharon Tate. We don't know how much that'll intersect, but it will somehow knowing Tarantino. No actors are cast yet, but Tarantino is very interested in getting Tom Cruise (with whom he hasn't worked yet) as the lead, Brad Pitt as his stuntdouble and Margot Robbie as Sharon Tate. Also there's a role written with Leonardo DiCaprio in mind, but that's all we know.  It sounds like the film is still far off, likely not out till 2019, but with Tarantino, you know what you're getting, and I'm definitely on board

    LARRY: Never underestimate the appeal of Tarantino. Ultraviolence always wins the day.

    MADHERO: Well, not always, but certainly when it comes to Quentin, and you can bet that 100 million will be spent on some gory goodness

    STICKMAN: Tarantino at his best is a fun dialogue writer  with really stylish and quirky sensibilities He's not THE best, but he certainly has his moments. At least behind the  camera.

    MADHERO: I really like most of his films, and though many copycats have come, there aren't many films that feel like Tarantino.

    LARRY: But Death Proof though… It’s not good

    STICKMAN: An intentionally crummy grindhouse tribute, and it's a fun one at that.

    MADHERO: That's one movie. Technically half of one. If Death Proof is your worst movie, you've done good. Will this replace it? I dunno, it doesn't even have a title yet

    STICKMAN:  Am somewhat relieved he's not focusing on Manson.

    LARRY: This is sure to ruffle some feathers.

    MADHERO: We know they're a part of it now, but they're not the focus which is good. Obviously Quentin isn't known for being accurate to history, so I expect to see some twists to the formula

    STICKMAN: I just hope his next film isn't 50 hours long, and actually plays at cinemas in the UK. Cuz...Hateful Eight....yeah...that didn't go so well in the UK.

    LARRY: I’m just looking for another quality film. And I’m sure that’s what this will be.

    MADHERO: Now you can only watch it if you have a VHS recorder



    Oh dear, here we are again. Shortly after the previous edition of Screwvies came out, the review embargo on Justice League was lifted and...well...things didn't go super well. The depressingly all-important Rotten Tomatoes score was withheld to be revealed in a live web-show, and then even after it was revealed it was kept off the website for the majority of the day after, leading some to feel concerns that the partly WB owned website was maybe holding off the negative score in order to potentially not harm the box office takings for what was hoped to be one of the biggest films of the year. As of now it stands at 41%, which isn't great, but hey, could be worse.

    Boxoffice wise, things got pretty bad. After initially being projected for a debut in the $110-120 million range, the film ended up having a disappointing debut of $93.8 Million in the US, against the $300 Million projected production budget...which doesn't include the extensive marketing campaign behind a film of this caliber. Globally, of which it debuted simultaneously in most major territories, it reached $355 Million, which sounds better, but is still disappointing for a film that’s meant to do Avengers business. At this stage Warner Bros could actually end up at a somewhat sizeable loss from this film, and whilst they'll no doubt recoup the money in merchandising and home media sales, it's not the runaway success they'd hoped for... Predictably fans of the DCEU have been warmer towards the film, but even they're not all that happy, requesting via...A PETITION (Dun dun DUUUUN) that Warner Bros release Zack Snyder's original, unaltered vision for the film, including the soundtrack which they believe was swapped out at the last minute for a divisive Danny Elfman replacement. All in all, not the success anyone wanted in terms of quality, but more importantly, not the Thanksgiving financial coup Warner Bros would've wanted, with the now acclaimed Coco from Pixar tracking to beat the league into the ground at the box office. Oh dear.

    MADHERO: Well, this is kinda unexpected.

    LARRY: L E T.  I T.  B U R N.  D O W N. Honestly this news makes me unrealistically happy.

    STICKMAN: It stinking like shit was expected, people  not lining up to sniff it was a surprise.

    LARRY: Maybe. Just maybe. Audiences didn’t wanna see a shitty movie.

    STICKMAN: Well they watched Suicide Squad. HEYYYYYYYYYOOOOO.

    MADHERO: I knew from the start this movie's RT score wouldn't be anything spectacular. Seemed a given with the messy production, but to have the lowest domestic opening for a DCEU film? That never crossed my mind

    LARRY: The DCEU is just a shit show in general. It’s one fallback, the money, is gone now.

    STICKMAN: All that merch will set them up nicely. But it's not been the gravy train they'd of hoped for.

    MADHERO: Something has obviously gone wrong here and I don't think the DCEU as a thing isn't necessarily to blame. It just wasn't the event movie WB obviously wanted it to be, and who knows, maybe it could've done better had all the other heroes had their own separate movies a la The Avengers. We'll never know.

    LARRY: But you can assume pretty strongly that it most likely would’ve done way better with origin movies building up.

    STICKMAN: I think people are a little worn out after a series of duds, barring Wonder Woman of course.

    MADHERO: We'll see how Aquaman does next year and with Shazam and Wonder Woman 2 next on the dock, the future may lie into smaller scale solo movies and maybe at some point they'll try the big crossover event again at some point.

    LARRY: Also, MAKE THEM GOOD. Jesus Christ.

    MADHERO: Larry, no one sets out to make a bad movie. Film production is really fucking hard. Also quick shoutout to the people on that poll demanding the Zack Snyder cut. Keep dreaming, you sweet children


    So hey, continuing our trend of sequel teasers, we got us another look at a film about a hero in tight red spandex. This one just likes to say Fuck a lot!! Yup, it’s Deadpool, and based on this new teaser, it looks as though the outlandish humor that everyone enjoys so much about this character is in full force. It turns out Deadpool has a secret side job as a Bob Ross impersonator, and most of the teaser is him just parodying the beloved painter, calming voice and all. He even paints trees!! YAY! After that, we get a kickass clip show, showing us plenty of characters old and new, followed by a revealed painting of the poster that was dropped earlier this week. Overall, I’d say that a film being able to drop a teaser like this just shows how confidently the sequel is marching along after the success of the original. Let’s pray this confidence equates to actually being good.

    STICKMAN: Adult Swim getting the big actors now.

    MADHERO: So with this and the Real Housekeeping magazine cover, you can say that the Fox marketing department is having a ball

    LARRY: And so they should. Keeps audiences on their toes.

    STICKMAN: I get the feeling maybe they're going to go insane and probably too far at some point. I'm going to MAKE A PREDICTION that at least one bit of Deadpool 2 marketing will be CONTROVERSIAL.

    MADHERO: its always a thing of OH SHIT, WHAT ARE THESE RASCALS DOING NEXT. Its pretty fun already

    STICKMAN: Anyway this sure was a teaser. At least some footage from the film was shown, even if it was wrapped loosely around a weird Bob Ross skit.

    MADHERO: The actual teaser looks fine, I guess. A bit too muted in color I feel

    LARRY: Yeah but some of these clips look dope. This is what you do for a fucking sizzle reel.

    STICKMAN: I still feel that Deadpool wasn't really all that groundbreaking, and I don't know if a sequel will have that same apparent FRESH FEELING people liked about the first. I just want to see Ryan Reynolds penis, and maybe...just maybe this will be the chance I've been waiting for.

    MADHERO: Deadpool coming out of a coffin is probably going to be fun. I really liked Deadpool, but a rewatch didn't do it much favors. Works much better in a crowd, which is the case for most comedies

    STICKMAN: Maybe that's the marketing stunt that goes too far, Ryan Reynolds breaks into my house and tea-bags me whilst screaming DEADPOOL 2 OUT IN CINEMAS THIS SUMMER.

    LARRY: That's dark

    MADHERO: Well there's a Deez nuts joke on that Housekeeping cover, so y'know, watch out

    STICKMAN: I'll make sure to leave my door...totally locked, yep.


    Video game movies have kinda taken a break this year, with only Resident Evil: The Final Chapter appearing in January, and I guess Pokemon: I Choose You counts as well, but nothing like in 2016, when we had 4 of them and they all kinda fell flat on their face. But hey, have no fear, CAUSE RAMPAGE IS HERE! Yes, the classic Midway arcade franchise, one that hasn't seen a new game since 2006, is back, and this time its personal. Sort of. Warner Bros got the license when they got Midway, and saw enough in there to make a dumb B-movie out of it, and that's exactly what we got.

    Instead of people turning into mutant creatures, we have The Rock chumming it with albino gorilla Gorilla who then gets subjected with a mysterious that grows him to monsterous size. Then he escapes together with his 30-foot wolf pal Ralph, and then giant alligator instead of an iguana Lizzie gets involved, and its up to the Rock and Naomie Harris to save the world. The trailer proudly touts its from the same director as San Andreas, and I'm sure they used archive footage they had left from that movie in here. Honestly though, it looks exactly like I thought it would. The Rock doing his Rock thing, Jeffrey Dean Morgan having a ball minus baseball bat, and goofy looking monster mashing. Just wish they STUCK TO THE LORE! HOW DARE YOU GET AWAY FROM THE REAL RAMPAGE LORE, WARNER BROS!

    STICKMAN: Get ready for an EMOTIONAL ROLLERCOASTER  with Dwayne THE ROCK Johnson and his best friend...a CGI ape.

    MADHERO: Hey now, we all liked CGI apes in those movies and Kong, so don't you be sassin' George. He'll fuck you up

    LARRY: Honestly this looks very well aware of what it is and I'm fine with it. Like... it looks like dumb fun.

    STICKMAN: I just want to know more about Lizzie, y'knooow. No bias or anything. I felt it took itself too seriously personally.

    MADHERO: Really? Maybe with the strong bond, but Jeffrey Dean Morgan mean mugging the camera while talking about 30 foot wolfs wasn't all that serious

    STICKMAN: Also it's funny you say it's  from the same  director as San Andreas, because some of the shots in this trailer were...literally from that film, I swear. Does the director have a...Dwayne in a chopper with a headset looking shocked out the side fetish.

    MADHERO: Some shots look really San Andreas, yeah.

    LARRY: I mean it looks like San Andreas with animals lol

    STICKMAN: San Andranimals.

    MADHERO: As the only one here that has played Rampage, the existence of this movie still baffles me.

    LARRY: Hey I've played Rampage! I love the arcade game.

    STICKMAN: I just want to know what Tyrese Gibson thinks of all this.

    MADHERO: He's probably still crying or something

    STICKMAN: I've scaled the sides of a building whilst breathing fire once or twice. I'm the real....Mr Rampage.

    MADHERO: It looks exactly what I thought it was going to look, so I can't say I'm disappointed. It'll come out, we'll talk about it, and then promptly forget about it until The Spinoff Doctors talk about it or something

    STICKMAN: Can't wait to not watch it. Really excited about that.

    LARRY: This looks fun albeit stupid. I'm down for a nice popcorn flick with giant animals.


    MADHERO: Alright, that's it for movie news, but we've got some excellent movies to talk about. Cause not only is it December. Its also time.....FOR AWARDS SEASON!


    LARRY: Heeeeeeeeeere weeeeee gooooooooo

    MADHERO: They all wanna win the awards? Will they be successful at it? Who knows, but lets talk about a film that can already reserve its award.



    DIRECTOR: Lee Unkrich (Toy Story 3)

    STARRING: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael Garcia Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Renee Victor, Edward James Olmos

    SYNOPSIS: Despite his family's generation-old ban on music, Miguel (Gonzalez) dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz (Bratt). Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel and his dog Dante find themselves in the Land of the Dead

    STICKMAN: Oh hey, the Best Animated Feature 2018 winner.

    MADHERO: And Pixar just saved us from a mediocre year of American animation. Good on them

    STICKMAN: I mean, it's rare a Pixar original movie disappoints...even if I felt this one would early on.

    LARRY: Certainly puts them on the up and up after two relative low-ballers.

    STICKMAN: The depressing thing about this movie being good is that the Oscar race for Animated Feature is DEAD. Don't matter who else gets nominated, doesn't matter if they're better or worse than this one. It's OVER.

    MADHERO: I gotta be honest: I wasn't really feeling this movie for a while. While it looked beautiful, something about it wasn't grabbing, but both the reactions of people who've seen it and watching more footage has made me really excited for it.

    STICKMAN: I can't say I'm excited, but I'm happy it's good. It's not out here until like...2025 here anyway, so never mind.

    LARRY: I agree, Mad. This definitely wasn't on my radar for a while, and now suddenly I keep hearing it's awesome.

    STICKMAN: Still wish the skeletons didn't have eyes. Looks weird. Also I can 100% guarantee the dog dies. Because fuck you Pixar.

    MADHERO: Would you do it Undertale style?

    STICKMAN: Undertale skeltons had eyes but sure.


    STICKMAN: Imagine the skeleton...the body has decayed away, all the organs. But the eyes are still gooping about inside the empty skull hole.

    MADHERO: Well they still have hair, so EXPLAIN THAT


    LARRY: And mustaches



    DIRECTOR: Guillermo del Toro (Pan’s Labyrinth, Crimson Peak)

    STARRING: Sally Hawkins, Doug Jones, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer

    SYNOPSIS: In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa's life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment (Jones).

    LARRY: Ahhhhh yeahhhhh

    STICKMAN: Fish Fucking 2017 #2. Del Toro even RT'd Prince Sidon fan-art of this film. He wants to fuck Sidon too, that makes it okay, people.

    MADHERO: Gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, I can't see this film up until January and that really bums me out.

    LARRY: I'm so ready for it. I'm just insatiably curious.

    STICKMAN: I'm really excited for this film but I can't watch it for fucking ages so I'm not going to get too excited.

    MADHERO: I know, that's so fucking crazy, but anyway this movie looks lovely. Critics saying that its some of Del Toro's best work, which just makes me even more excited to see it.

    STICKMAN: Del Toro has had a couple iffy films recently, beautiful looking, but iffy. Really glad he's back on form. Crimson Peak was a fucking gorgeous looking average movie.

    LARRY: Crimson peak was fucking weeeeeeird.

    MADHERO: Even in some of his lesser quality films, they'll at least still be beautiful

    STICKMAN: Crimson Peak wasn't weird it was just kinda generic. Looked amazing in almost every way but just...was

    MADHERO: Will be curious how this'll do come Oscar time. Can the new Academy approve of fishfucking?

    STICKMAN: I think if we can unite on anything in 2017, it's that fishmen are beautiful people who deserve to be fucked.

    LARRY: Damn. What a cause.


    DIRECTOR: Luca Guadagnino (I Am Love, A Bigger Splash)

    STARRING: Timothee Chalamet, Armie Hammer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Amira Casar

    SYNOPSIS: the son (Chalamet) of an American professor (Stuhlbarg) is enamored by the graduate student (Hammer) who comes to study and live with his family in their northern Italian home.

    STICKMAN: This film looks pretty gaaaaaaaay.

    MADHERO: I mean, I'd go gay for Armie Hammer. So this film is probably too classy for a show like ours. Its been highly regarded at pretty much every festival its been at.

    LARRY: This is making big waves and I wanna fucking see it.

    STICKMAN: You're one Armie Hammer away from being me. This looks good, not my kinda film but one I'll maybe check out on the DVds

    LARRY: Hey, its more representation and stories about LGBT people. That’s cool!

    STICKMAN: Would be nice to have LGBT repping in films not specifically about LGBT  but hey ho.

    MADHERO: Its a very beautiful movie that really captures romance quite well. Critics have been raving about it but I think you need to see it to really feel that. Don't really see what the big deal is from the trailers

    STICKMAN: Looks very nicely filmed and acted but yeah. Not feeling it from the trailers. I'd go on a nice sunny Italian retreat with Armie Hammer though.

    MADHERO: I'll give it a shot to see what the big deal is (which might be a bad mindset to go into the film with), but this is a film that seems all but confirmed a Oscar nom, so we'll talk about it more soon

    LARRY: Yeah but it's also good. So it's not like it's gonna be not worth it.

    STICKMAN: Hammer's no fishman though, let's face it.


    DIRECTOR: James Franco (In Dubious Battle, The Institute)

    STARRING: James Franco, Dave Franco, Seth Rogen, Alison Brie, Ari Graynor, Josh Hutcherson, Jackie Weaver, Zac Efron

    SYNOPSIS: A behind-the-scenes look at the making of Tommy Wiseau's (J. Franco) The Room

    MADHERO: How long till we get a The Room reference and start quoting it?

    STICKMAN: James Franco plays a repellent person you wouldn't want to see in a movie?! He must've worked really hard on that character.

    LARRY: Funny story: I went to see a film and this film's teaser trailer came before it, and my parents had noooooo idea what they watched or why I found it funny. Like I think we all forget just how insane it is that this film got made.

    STICKMAN: To be fair the book is very popular and Hollywood LOVES making movies about movies.

    LARRY: I wouldn't say the book is a household hit.

    MADHERO: Well, its probably not that expensive to make. I don't think you don't have to know what The Room is to enjoy this film. Kinda like how you don't need to have seen Plan 9 to appreciate Ed Wood

    STICKMAN: A24 ain't aiming for the big bucks I'd imagine. Know your limits, Master Bruce.

    LARRY: Yes, but the MARKETING I'm saying. Like the marketing is relying on your knowing it to get like why it's appealing.

    MADHERO: Its a small movie who's target audience will eat it up. I certainly will. I loved the book its based on and everyone who's seen it is really positive on it.

    STICKMAN: Exactly, I'm kinda interested, and know people who are super interested. So yeah, good on these guys I guess...even if James Franco is in it. Oh hi Mark

    MADHERO: Theeeeeeeeeeeeeeeere it is. Was wondering how far we'd come without that line

    STICKMAN: I was biding my time. Making you anticipate.

    MADHERO: Its for a specific audience. Its for dumb fucking nerds who'll eat it up like me and I can't wait, but I probably have to

    LARRY: Oh I will definitely eat it up. It's just odd to me that this exists.


    LARRY: Please stop.


    DIRECTOR: Greta Gerwig (directorial debut)

    STARRING: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalament, Odeya Rush

    SYNOPSIS: The adventures of a young woman  (Ronan) living in Northern California for a year.

    LARRY: Hey! I saw this.

    MADHERO: Oh shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit. Its actually been out in limited release for a while now and just included cause its going wider now and getting a ton of buzz, so I'd feel stupid if we didn't talk about, but now one of us has already seen it. What a weird situation

    STICKMAN: My favourite childrens book publisher. Glad they finally got a documentary.

    LARRY: Um. Who's gonna tell Sticky?

    MADHERO: So Larry, since you've actually seen it. How is it? Is it worth all the buzz its getting?

    LARRY: I don't think it's a five-star film, but I definitely enjoyed it. It has a big heart and is incredibly resonant for people my age. It captures a sort of youthful spirit that is necessary for the coming-of-age drama. It's just a little too long, and a tad too quick with the editing.

    STICKMAN: Sounds great Larry, really can't wait to see February....except that'll be a limited release no it in...July perhaps? Thanks A24, good stuff.

    LARRY: It IS very slice-of-life, but not in the Boyhood sense. It doesn't really drag...ever.

    MADHERO: Neat. It has really found an audience. Looks maybe a little too slice of life-y for me, but it comes from a personal experience, so I can see why that is. And hey, it aint out here till April

    STICKMAN: More like A2-4 years before it release.



    DIRECTOR: Joe Wright (Anna Karenina, Pan)

    STARRING: Gary Oldman, Ben Mendelsohn, Kristin Scott Thomas, Lily James

    SYNOPSIS: Winston Churchill (Oldman) faces a crucial moment against Adolf Hitler's army in the beginning of WW2.

    MADHERO: Gary Oldman delivering speeches: the movie

    STICKMAN: Gary Oldman does nothing but deliver speeches. He did it in every Batman movie, in Dawn for the Apes, and I mean...he certainly Bram Stoker's Dracula????

    LARRY: Honestly I just can't believe he went FULL ON makeup job.

    MADHERO: Apparently Oldman is so good in this that he's the frontrunner for the Best Actor awards, which is funny, because while he's had such a long career, he's only ever been nominated once.

    STICKMAN: I couldn't give a rats arse about this film but I'm really stoked about Oldman getting some awards love because FUCK ME is he a great actor.

    LARRY: He is. And I love WWII period pieces. AND I love Winston Churchill. So I reeeeeeeally wanna see this.

    STICKMAN: Remember when he was a wolf man and shagged Bram Stoker's Dracula.

    LARRY: No. Let's keep it that way.

    MADHERO: Good times. The movie itself looks a little.... I dunno, Oscarbaity? That's just due to the type of movie that it is, nothing wrong with that. Just the vibe I'm getting. And if it gets Oldman his Oscar, then by god I'll have all the bait

    STICKMAN: I'll take the bait if it gets Oldman an Oscar. Let's just hope they don't find...Bram Stoker's Dracula.


    MADHERO: Well, y'know what? We could be talking about awards movies all day, but we've got MOVIE OF THE WEEK TO DO!

    LARRY: Movies and weeks, my two favorite things!


    MADHERO: Well, we've discussed a whole bunch of awards movies, so why not wind down and talk about the films we saw on DVD or streaming? Can't all be heavy drama's right?

    STICKMAN: What if we watched a heavy drama.

    MADHERO: Why? Did you watch one, Sticky? DID YOU WATCH A DRAMA?!

    STICKMAN: sir.



    So yeaaaaahh, one of the fun surprises of the summer was Spider-Man Homecoming, the second cinematic reboot  of a franchise everyone was pretty worn out on after a decade of various levels of misfires. Homecoming ended up avoiding being a misfire by...avoiding most of what you'd expect from the Spidey films at this stage.

    The stakes were lower, the tone was lighter, the romantic angle was minimal. It was a whole new Spidey, and one far more in keeping with the light-hearted and sweet nature of the character from the comics. In the past he was the only superhero fighting for the safety of New York, now he's a street level amateur in a world full of gods and super suits. Seeing him tackle the woes of the little people, and struggle balancing his heroic duties with his school-life feels oh so very authentically Spider-Man, and the film delivers it all in a fun and energetic manner fitting of the source material. Michael Keaton also delivers a great performance as The Vulture, even if his suit falls into the pile of vaguely robotic looking, action figure selling  bad-guys for the MCU. All in all though, considering it was the 2nd of 3 big MCU releases this year? Surprisingly, it's pretty damn great. Not often you get so many films in the same franchise releasing so close together, and they all manage to not only offer a high quality, enjoyable experience but also ones massively differing from each other in tone and theme'ing. Been a good year for Marvel, and a great year for our boy Spidey.

    MADHERO: I really liked this movie. God it was like water after a trek through the desert

    LARRY: I like this movie too.

    STICKMAN: WE ALL LIKED THIS MOVIE. I'm something of an Amazing Spider-Man apologist because I feel those films had plenty of pros to weight against the cons, but this was a considerably more enjoyable take on the character.

    LARRY: Oh, yes, it's miles better than ASM 1 and 2. But I still wouldn't put this above the second Raimi.

    MADHERO : Well what I mean by that is that we were getting close to a decade of not particuarely good Spidey films. 3 was a mess, ASM is terrible, and ASM2 I didn't really care for. This film reminded me why I like Spider-man

    STICKMAN: It's the best Spider-Man film, whether or not it's the best film with Spider-Man in it? That's a different story.

    MADHERO: Its sat on my mind for a while, and I honestly think this is the best Spider-Man film as well, though maybe I need to rewatch to reaffirm those feelings

    LARRY: It was quite surprising how well they started with a completely fresh slate and managed to make it work. Holland is fun as Peter, and Keaton killed it as the villain.


    LARRY: Nope. Well...sorta. It's more of a comedy, frankly. My MOTW is Lady Bird, one we touched on earlier. I mentioned this briefly during our movies segment, but to elaborate: this movie really does capture the heart of what it's like to grow up in a dysfunctional situation in the 21st century.

    It's not this subversive awards contender that some reviews are revering it as, though it's certainly goes at a faster pace than most other coming-of-age dramas (to its detriment, in my opinion), but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that the script is funny and charming, the performances are excellent (easily the best Saoirse Ronan has been since Grand Budapest), and the story itself captures a large span of time while never feeling slow or unbalanced. The ending doesn't exactly hit the mark, but the film's heart is in the right place, and Greta Gerwig's direction feels autobiographical in a genuine, honest way. So, overall, it's a fun time at the theater. I'd definitely check it out if you ever get the chance.


    STICKMAN: They are really great children's books. It's good to see we're still talking about it.


    MADHERO: Saorise Ronan was barely in Grand Budapest. If you're going to highlight a recent great performance besides this one, do Brooklyn or something

    LARRY: I didn't see Brooklyn. And I loved her in Grand Budapest.

    STICKMAN: I haven't seen any of these. I'm a great movie guy.

    LARRY: What, you want me to say The Host? Or Hanna I guess.

    STICKMAN: Ooh, I've seen Hanna. Was she HANNA!?

    MADHERO: Yeh

    STICKMAN: Dang, she's a good actor ress.

    LARRY: ANYWAY yeah fun movie good jokes good times.

    STICKMAN: I think we need some...DRAMA. MAD?!? DRAMAMAAA?!

    MADHERO: Oh.....uhhhhhhhmmmmmm..........OK I ADMIT IT! I HAVE A DRAMA! O wait, actually I don't. I have a semi comedic documentary with some dramatic retrospection.  Jim and Andy (or if we want to use its full name: Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond – Featuring a Very Special, Contractually Obligated Mention of Tony Clifton) follows Jim Carrey alongside footage of the legendary shoot of his 1999 biopic Man on the Moon, in which he portrayed comedian/performance artist Andy Kaufman.

    We kinda knew how crazy how crazy that shoot was from actors like Danny Devito. Carrey had decided to go full method for the role, and the result is pretty bonkers (one of the oddest moments talking to Andy Kaufman's daughter). Its an interesting look at the craft and just how damn annoying it could be for everyone else (director Milos Forman famously nearly quit the film). And the funny thing is that it isn't a puff piece for Carrey, who if you've seen his recent interviews, is in a rather nihilistic state of mind. Its clear how much this affected him to an almost spirtual level. I kinda wish we got more people involved talking about their experience, but its a really good doc regardless

    LARRY: I fucking loved this documentary. Probably one of the most surreal films I've seen all year.


    MADHERO: Well Jim Carrey did play The Mask at one point

    STICKMAN: The Mask is a plague on society.  This documentary sounds interesting though.


    STICKMAN: I care not for green man and his loud voices.(edited)

    MADHERO: Oh noooooo. Lets focus. Yeah, its really fascinating stuff, and it just tows the line between a puff piece and something that criticizes him for his choice

    LARRY: I never saw it as a puff piece.

    STICKMAN: I think the method acting ..uh...method has been held in a negative spotlight recently thanks to people like Jared Leto, so it'd be an interesting to see a documentary about one of the most notorious examples.

    LARRY: I think it's a genuinely fascinating look back at what is arguably one of the weirdest performances in his career and how he got there. I personally take Jim Carrey pretty seriously in his current state, and I genuinely listen to what he has to say. I like his viewpoints on things and I think this documentary carries a lot of insight.

    MADHERO: Yeah. Would be interesting to see the craft through someone like Daniel Day Lewis. And giving a method actor the Joker was always going to be a bad idea

    LARRY: I loved every minute of it. The Tony Clifton scenes are bizarre and amazing.

    STICKMAN: I'm not a Jim Carey fan honestly, but I might check this out sometime when I can.

    MADHERO: I have my issues with Carrey as a guy, especially his anti-vaccine stance, but I can't help but feel a bit more respect for him as a performer and as a man seeing this film


    MADHERO: So hey, that's it for this show. Next week we'll only have like 4 movies to talk about. Guess all of them got scared of that John Cena animated bull movie or something. Glad this Star Wars is at least taking a stand

    STICKMAN: John Cena in an animation? That's a load of....shit.


    STICKMAN: Larry, you need to calm down. Goodness.

    MADHERO: Hey now, don't you diss the star of Surf's Up 2: WaveMania


    MADHERO: The Aporgalypse is upon us....

  • Star Wars: Battlefront 2

    1 year ago


         So the newest game from EA has come under fire which honestly I think we all expected. I pre-ordered the game and the first night actually wasn’t able to get into a game due to server connection. Sounds pretty familiar. But that being said the second day I was able to get into a game, and I enjoyed it. Even with all of the complaints I couldn’t help but get giddy when I’m running side by side into battle with 10 other guys in my favorite Star Wars locations. The micro transactions are a real problem I’ve experienced first hand. Because I pre-ordered I received rare cards for Kylo Ren. To explain cards, they are things you can get from loot crates that boost a characters skills or gives them new ones. Hopping into a game of Heroes vs. Villains I had a noticeable upper hand on everyone because of my cards. So if someone were to spend real money on cards then they’d be better off than someone who didn’t. But I’m still having fun in the game and have finished the campaign. I intend to keep playing until I get mad at it. Then I’ll put it away for a month or four and come back to it.

  • Google Play-ese

    1 year ago

    Sir_Anthrax FIRST Member Star(s) Indication of membership status - One star is a FIRST member, two stars is Double Gold

    When is Rwby s3 and s4 coming to google play? Also I know Lazer Team 2 just came to youtube red but when is that coming to google play?

  • RWBY reruns (DD #0002)

    1 year ago

    ZalieElizabeth Zeebeebee

    I apparently skipped an entire season of RWBY and instead of just picking up where I left off, my brain is telling me to watch the entire series again..

    ALSO: A few nights ago I hit my head hell hard on a speaker, as I was trying to turn off the electricity at the wall, and I got a little concussed. I feel okay now but I have a whopping bruise on my temple and it hurts when I chew.

    ALSO #2: There is a hella cute guy that works at my local video game store and I have been TRYING to facebook stalk him for weeks. Turns out I didn't have is name right. But it's all good because I finally found him and I am now in the process of looking at EVERYTHING!!

    How is your weekend going??

  • blog #2

    1 year ago


    Bryan Torres 



    blog #2

    The New York Times article is written in proper AP format. It keeps the most important details in the beginning and does not offer a conclusion at the end. 
     In my opinion, I believe The New York Times article is for the most part stays objective, but some details seem opinionated. First off, Wall Street Journal is a direct competitor of The New York Times, and as a result of that history, it is hard for The York Times to stay completely neutral.   That being said The New York Times uses facts and quotes from both parties to keep the article mostly neutral. 
    During the presidential campaign, the media outlets all seemed to have a strong opinion about President Trump. I do agree with Mr. Baker's statement about media begin to opinionated, but Mr. Baker is rather hypocritical of this statement. The article points out that Mr. Baker has a personal relationship with the Trumps, and will even go as far taking charge of how they are represented in the media. 
    In general, I believe that the media is becoming heavy opinionated. The news media after all is a business and less impressive sells create pressure to write opinionated articles.  

  • RWBY: Combat Ready - The Road So Far

    1 year ago

    Chelsea RT Community Manager

    Hey everyone!

    It’s been a crazy couple of weeks since the RWBY: Combat Ready Kickstarter Campaign launched on September 27th. Thanks to all the Backers and vocal supporters, the game and campaign have taken off faster than we could imagine.

    It’s only been 30 days, but the game has changed drastically since launch due to the unlocking of Stretch Goals. Those unlocked goals offered game component upgrades, additional content in the game, or additional content to be purchased!

    For those of you who haven’t been following along (or those who have but really want to know what you’re getting... ) here is a brief “The Road So Far” of RWBY: Combat Ready.

    September 27: RWBY: Combat Ready was launched!

    September 29: We clarified that shipping is INCLUDED for people who live in the USA, EU, AU, or NZ!

    September 30: We’re funded!  fireworks

    After being funded, it becomes a whirlwind of updates nearly every day as we started unlocking items. Here’s the quick low down with some links to their specific updates (as necessary).

    Items that are added to RWBY: Combat Ready - for all versions!

    • 6 Additional Objective Cards
    • The Rulebook was upgraded in Quality
    • +4 Additional Pages with a “Making of RWBY: Combat Ready” Chapter
    • The playing cards were upgraded to a high quality Black Core
    • MINIATURES! Miniatures replaced the cardboard player pieces of Ruby, Weiss, Blake,  and Yang!
    • Player Tracker Scrolls were upgraded to be double-backed with recessed squares to hold player cubes securely
    • Vacuum Trays were included in all game boxes to hold all the game components
    • Semblance Tokens were upgraded to be 3D printed pieces
    • Adam Taurus was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready (36 Card Deck, plus the White Fang Minion Deck with 18 cards and 1 Objective Card)
    • Game Box was upgraded to have UV Printing on the outside
    • Player Cubes upgraded from wood to colored transparent plastic
    • Cinder was added as a Villain into RWBY: Combat Ready
    • PENNY Is Included! (She comes with a 30 card deck, 1 player tracker scroll, 1 miniature, and 1 semblance token.)

    Backer Included Items - Free of charge to Kickstarter Backers at all Pledge Levels!

    • The 30 Card Heroine Booster Deck - a pack of 6 cards for each of the 5 heroines (Ruby, Weiss, Blake, Yang, and Penny)

    • Neopolitan’s Sub-Boss Deck - a deck of 18 cards and 1 Objective Card

    • The 30 Card Villain Booster Deck - a pack of 10 cards for each of the 3 Villains (Roman Torchwick, Cinder Fall, and Adam Taurus)

    Add-On Items Available to Add To Your Pledge (Here’s How you do it!)

    • Villain Miniatures for USD$20.00 (Includes a 30mm tall mini of Cinder, Adam, and Torchwick - Collectible Items Only, Not Integral to Gameplay)

    • Additional Copies of the Game for USD$45.00 (Each additional copy purchased through the Kickstarter will have all the Backer Included Items)

    • Emerald and Mercury’s Sub Boss Deck for USD$10.00 (Includes an 18 card deck and 1 objective card)

    • RWBY Starter Pack #1 for USD$60.00 (Includes the first four volumes of RWBY on either Blu-Ray or DVD.)

    • RWBY Starter Pack #2 for USD$40.00 (Includes the first four soundtrack CDs of RWBY)

    • New RWBY Character for USD$10.00 (An unknown new RWBY Character that will be premiering in RWBY: Combat Ready before they appear in the show, RWBY!)

    Developer Updates Explaining the Game:

    #1 - Objectives and How They Work

    #2 - Card Play

    #3 - Combos and Assists

    #4 - Experience

    I know, a lot of information to take in at once. Take a deep breath. Take a look. RWBY: Combat Ready has grown drastically since we launched it only 30 days ago. We’ve got just about four days left in the campaign so now is the time if you have interest.

    We’re expected to ship this game to Backers in July 2018 and then ideally it will go into the RT Store after the Backers have it in their hands. But remember - there are certain items here that Backers have included for their pledges that will be separate items when it's in the Store!

    We hope you’re as excited as we are to get our hands on it and play it with our friends!



  • Why Do You Play That?: World Of Warcraft

    1 year ago

    bloodcal-cal7 Im Callam Hi

    So I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on why I play certain games cause someone asked me the other day: "Callam why do you always play world of warcraft?" This being my 7 year old sister asking me this. And it actually got me thinking as to why I actually play it. So through some thought I decided to make some fo these journals sharing my feelings about these kind of games. First off: World Of Warcraft.

    Subject #1: The Story

    Yes I know, the story is the least of anyone's thoughts when playing this game, but honestly I love it! The story progression throughout WoW's world is flawless (to a certain degree) as there are some genuinely fascinating things involved in some of the quests, such as questing with Rexar on Draenor, or Sylvanas and Jaina in Icecrown, hell even Pandaria as a whole hade very interesting characters such as The Klaxxi. But as a whole, I love the world that Blizzard has made cause it really shows in the story development in each zone, like when you do The Siege of Ogrimmar raid there is some sense of grief for killing General Nazgrim. Why? Well cause he was a hero, you quested with him throughout Cataclysm and Pandaria, the same can be said with the Klaxxi. I honestly felt bad killing them cause they were so interesting, mainly because we got to see the perspective of the "bad side", the bad side being the old gods. And with the way that Legion has been going lately, there is no end to the amazing story progression that Blizzard has created.

    Subject #2: Collectibles 

    Yeah I have to say, one of the most fun things to do in this game is to collect stuff. Whether it be mounts, pets (I'll get to that later), hell even just outfits and toys, WoW has an abundance of things for you to do and goals to achieve. At most, mount collecting is almost everyone's goal in WoW, cause whats more amazing than transforming into a dragon and carrying your mate to the next raid! Blizzard even made two very unique ways to get mounts, The Riddler's Mind Worm which requires you to piece together 9 different pages that contain clues on the mount's where abouts, and the Lucid Nightmare which had the same concept but had a series of fun little puzzles to solve in order to find it, my favorite one being the endless random maze in Kung-Lai summit, easily took me three days to figure out. Even raiding has the goal of getting a mount through achievements, this of course encourages players to work together (ok to be fair, thats a bitch of a chore to do). Not to mention there are some pretty cool outfits for specific classes, even Blizzard made an mini event for it!

    Subject #3: PETS!!!

    I really didnt get too into pet battling when I first started playing way back in 2012 (I replayed Warcraft 3 multiple times before realizing there was an online world), but after a while I realized "Holy Shit its pokemon!" and it clearly shows that someone fought to have that concept in this game, and I LOVE IT!! Cause whats more fun than fighting with a mini-demon or a puppy covered in green magic? I just love it,

    Subject #4: PvP and PvE

    Yep, I enjoy slaying the Alliance in my free time. Do I gain anything from it? Not Really. Is there a reason? Nah its just fun! PvP can be annoying sometimes, but I enjoy it cause it gives you a sense of challenge. Cause I love hard shit in games, the more difficult the better (as long as the game is designed to be hard and isnt hard due to shitty mechanics. LOOKING AT YOU SONIC UNLEASHED!)

    So yeah thats why I play world of warcraft. Its fun, kills some time, story is interesting, killing shit is fun, and due to a certain level of nostalgia. 

    Not sure if I'll make more journals like this one, but really felt like sharing this just because. 


  • Day 250 Befores and Afters

    1 year ago

    SailorGirl81 Keeper Of Kittens

    I made some pours this morning that I really, really hope don't change during drying like the ones from yesterday did. 

    So, here are 3 pours from yesterday, first wet, then dry. 

    #1 Wet

    (This wasn't actually a pour, more like a smearing over)


    #1 Dry


    #2 Wet


    #2 Dry (It took me a while to decide this was the dry version)


    And #3 wet:


    And #3 Dry


    Obviously I poured a little more paint on the bottom, but still...

    I was using craft paint with sparkles/glitter in it and I have to say it didn't work at all. I'll probably pour over these canvas boards  in the near future. 

    FYI- I am going to the Adirondacks tomorrow  for a en plein-aire water color workshop and won't be back until late on Thursday. I doubt they have reliable internet up there so I will be making a catch up entry once I come back. 

    Hopefully I'll paint at least one or two decent pieces. I don't really consider myself a watercolorist-I just have fun. 

  • Designing Cooperative Games Around Cooperative Play.

    1 year ago


    A lot of people play games together.

    More than 50 percent of the most frequent gamers within the United States play games with other people (, 2015). Australian gamers also play cooperatively with 61 percent of Australian gamers reporting to play games with children and 44 percent of gamers also claiming to play with their partners (, 2015)).  It is clear with these findings that cooperative gaming and the genre of cooperative games is a huge part of the industry. Despite this however, there is not a huge pool of cooperative game design articles and research papers. This written piece will aim to discuss the customs of cooperative game design according to the findings and observations throughout the very few articles, GDC talks and the likes that do touch on the matter.

    Shared Intentionality.

    In Keith Burgun’s book, Game Design Theory it is said that any good game designer will benefit from learning about psychology as “psychology is the study of human behaviour, and games are machines for human behaviour to attach to”, when two gamers are in the mix and are playing cooperatively a designer must make many different considerations to ensure both players are getting the intended experience from the video game. Before considering what game design choices to make in cooperative game design it must be known why any two players would cooperate in the first place. In his 2011 GDC talk on cooperative game design (, 2011) Patrick Redding discusses some of the reasonings behind why players work with one another. One of the key discussion points to unpack from the conference was the idea of Shared Intentionality. Shared intentionality is a trait that allows people to collaborate in unique ways. Shared Intentionality it is a point of differentiation in humans among other species that allows for the ability to participate and collaborate with others in activities where a goal or intention is shared (South Eastern Louisiana University, 2017). Shared intentionality reflects on the basis that “players become invested in the success of collaborative partners” (, 2011).  This idea implies that “players can derive satisfaction from meaningful cooperation”, meaningful cooperation being cooperating in a way that is important or useful to the player’s success in the game and has “recognizable function in the logic of the game systems”.

    Cooperative games in the early Xbox 360 days.

    With the knowledge of Shared Intentionality and the consideration that players are more willing to cooperate if it is a key component of the game’s systems, it can be said that designing cooperative games extends further than simply adding a second player with an accompanying screen and adjusting opposition and resources/player’s tools to suit. The franchise Gears of War (, 2017) is often spoken within the same breath as the term co-op, this is because unlike developers such as Bungie, Epic Games approached their cooperative campaign with cooperative gameplay in mind rather than simply slapping on a second player to the campaign, which is what occurred within Halo 3(, 2017). It is with examples from these two core franchises and others that the elements of cooperative game design will be discussed to aid other game designers to not design a great video game, but a great cooperative video game experience where cooperative gameplay as its core focus.

    A greater percentage of players show interest in Gears of War Co-op than Halo Coop.

    The two games in question are incredibly similar, Halo 3 and Gears of War both released within a few years of the launch of the Xbox 360. They are both shooters, first and third person respectively and they have both earned an aggregate rating of 94 out of 100 on Metascore (, 2007). However similar, it is no secret that the Halo franchise is more popular than the Gears of War franchise, proven as the Halo franchise constantly out sells the other console exclusive (, 2016). An interesting finding is that despite the disparity in popularity, interest in the coop-ability of the games is far more existent in Gears of War players than Halo players. When running a Google Trends comparison on how many times the term “Halo coop” and “Gears of War coop” have been searched, Halo only takes this win by %40. This percentage may seem significant until it is realised that Google users show just under 5 times more interest in the Halo franchise.

    These findings may occur because “Co-Op play is top notch” (, 2017) and because “Co-op is a tremendous part of the Gears of War experience. (When) playing alone, it simply feels like half a game” (, 2017). In contrast, “Halo 3 is more traditional with its …co-op campaign that is fun, but not earth shattering.” (IGN, 2008). With this the conclusion can be made that out of all who play either game a far larger percentage of Gear of War players show interest in the cooperative gameplay of Gears of War than the percentage of Halo players that show interest in that respective franchise’s co-op gameplay. If the Halo franchise is so beloved, why is there so much more interest by players in playing Gears of War cooperatively? The simple answer must be in the way in which Bungie and Epic approached designing co-op play in each title.

    Designing cooperative play in cooperative games.

    When a cooperative game is released successful it usually does so if cooperative gameplay is considered throughout all aspects of the games development and design. The mechanics, the game’s story and level design decisions must all been made with cooperative play in mind.

    Within Gears of War the story and the mechanics not only support one another, but they also support cooperative play. Gears of War is a game in which the games characters comprise of a team called Delta Squad, the team must work together via cover-dependant tactics to overcome encounters and obstacles. The idea of cooperating is reinforced by it being an essential element within the game’s gameplay mechanics and the story surrounding it. In contrast Halo 3, like the two games before it, is a first-person shooter with Sci Fi elements, the main purpose of the game is to continue and complete the story of Master Chief, the franchises’ protagonist, unlike in Gears of War the mechanics and story of Halo revolve around one character, Master Chief. Despite encountering other characters, the focus is put on Master Chief’s story and his efforts rather than how well he works with those he teams up with.


    All design decisions in a cooperative game should be made with cooperative play in mind, as one of the core elements of a game is the mechanics within it, the mechanics themselves should support cooperative gameplay. Patrick Redding discusses (, 2017) the different types of “cooperative dynamics” that should be considered when implementing and designing mechanics in a cooperative game.

    Asymmetric Abilities

    Asymmetric abilities are, as the name suggests, a cooperative dynamic where players have access to different abilities. The most common way to implement this in the design of a cooperative game is through character/class selection and/or having customisation/skill trees.

    Board game developer Corey Konieczka states “that having unique characters really helps players feel like individuals (). If (players) have the same strengths and capabilities, then it is difficult for (them) to identify with anything on a personal level” (Mechanics & meeples, 2013). An example of a cooperative video game where this approach is prominent and often complimented is in Payday 2 (, 2017), “Payday 2’s skill trees and perk decks give players a wide range of defining a build that they can use” (Tim Klewitz, 2015). 

    Synergy (, 2017) between players is made possible due to asymmetric abilities as some of them may only work or will work better with one another. By designing abilities in ways where some work well and more effectively together, players will feel more inclined to cooperate in order experience the most fruitful results.

    One of the dynamics which Halo 3 had subtly implemented but Gear of War had not was asymmetric abilities. Although no perks or classes are present, in the Bungie title each player in the Halo 3 campaign spawns with different weaponry that is dependent on which character they play(, 2017). Unlike this, in Gears of War, all the players are provided with the same equipment and abilities despite playing different characters. In Gears of War, asymmetric abilities are not present until players pick up weapons as they progress. Similarly, so, the abilities only differ in Halo 3 with reference to the weaponry available that is provided to players. When this occurs and players have different weapons, the effects of asymmetric abilities are in place however “the divisions between a tank, a healer, or a damage dealer -- allows players to differentiate themselves and their behaviours from others” (Mathew Kumar, 2017) in a far more effective way than simply having different weaponry.

    Asymmetric abilities do not need to be a constant in cooperative game. When asymmetric abilities aren’t present all players are equally powerful, no one player is in more risk of death than another throughout gameplay. This may make players feel more unified. The strategies that tie along with cover based mechanics, such as those in Gears of War may allow for a lack of asymmetric abilities to not hinder the cooperative feel of the game as cooperative strategic play is still in place despite the similar move sets and abilities.

    Combined Actions

    Asymmetric abilities and differing skills are components that aid in implementing another dynamic known as combined actions. The premise of combined actions is designing encounters that can utilise multiple skill sets and/or abilities but ultimately it is designing challenges which one player cannot tackle by themselves or challenges which cooperative play compliments. (Mathew Kumar, 2017). In these scenarios, players will have to adapt to different roles. These roles may be based off the different abilities of each player’s character or are delegated due to each player skills.

    Implementing Asymmetric Abilities and Combined Actions.

    Act 2: Nightfall (, 2017) sees the players of Gears of War experiencing both asymmetric abilities and combined actions. At the end of this act the players find themselves driving an armoured vehicle with an ultraviolet light attached to it that Kryll (bat like enemies) are vulnerable to. With one player driving and the other aiming the light at the Kryll, both players have access to different mechanics (asymmetric abilities) that must be used in unison (combined actions) to progress through the campaign (combined actions). In this sequence players must divide power between the engine and the turret, this mechanic forces players to have to communicate and cooperate as they need to both murder the Kryll to avoid being killed and progress through the level.

    The final mission of the Halo 3 campaign (, 2017) finds players in a similar scenario where they must drive an armoured vehicle with a mounted weapon through a branching but linear path. The difference in this scenario is that both players can chose between the driver’s seat, passenger seat and turret, and can even separate into two vehicles if they wish. The main challenge of this segment is manoeuvring through the level, when this mission is played through separately the AI accompanying the player rarely do much and the only role the solo player can take is as the driver, in contrast when the aforementioned Gears of War mission is played through by one player, they have access to both shooting and driving as both roles are important in passing the segment.  Bungies approach to this type of mission lead to an absence of mechanic forcing players to have to cooperate, one player is driving through the level choosing the most optimum path while the other simply shoots at the Flood (swarming enemies) that they pass.

    The dialogue in this segment of game also enforces that the only real role here is driving. Even when playing through cooperatively, at the final jump the dialogue: “You’ve done it chief! Jump. floor it, right into the hangar” is heard. This dialogue not only addresses the 1st player’s character, Masterchief but it also shows no acknowledgment of the 2nd Players assistance or lack thereof.

    Exotic Challenges

    Exotic challenges are implemented when the normal camera and controls have been altered or replaced with something else.  Different and unique perspectives and controls allow for different types of gameplay, when implementing exotic challenges, the same risks and threats should still be applicable. If a player is by themselves they are at a greater risk of danger than they would be if they have an accompanying player to assist, protect and support them. A popular example of this kind of mechanic is in any situation where one player is immobile and undergoing a new type of scenario while their team mate/s protects their body. 

    Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 (, 2017) brings the introduction to a killstreak/reward known as the predator missile/drone. When a predator drone is earned, and used the player opens a laptop, briefly loses control over their normal mechanics in favour of the ability to direct the course of a missile from a top down perspective. After sighting a position on the map, the player directs the missile heading toward the ground and ultimately at their opposition. In Modern Warfare 2 there is a mission known as Sniper Fi (, 2017) as a part of their Spec Ops missions which can be played cooperatively. When done so the dynamic of the predator missile is vastly different and utilises an exotic challenge where a player is safer when cooperating. When one player initiates the predator drone their body is unprotected as their current perspective is fixed on the predator drone, for the brief time they are in control of the drone the only way their body can be defended is if their partner protects them.

    Buffing Systems

    “Sometimes games provide players with abilities that can only be used on another player” (, 2017) these abilities fall under the cooperative dynamic known as buffing systems. Buffing systems are one of the only types of mechanics that works exclusively in cooperative gameplay, be it cooperating with other players or AI characters. Buffing Systems are mechanics implemented in gameplay where one cooperative partner makes another more powerful. Buffing systems are often voluntarily used. By having one player literally supporting another, cooperative play is not only encouraged but it provides for a greater opportunity at success.

    Team Fortress 2 (, 2017) is a cooperative class and team based shooter. Players have access to a class called the Medic that’s sole purpose is to support their team mates. The Medic’s secondary weapon slot can only be filled with weapons that have zero adversarial ability but have buffing systems in place instead. The Medic’s stock secondary weapon is a Medi Gun, “Despite technically being a weapon, the Medi Gun's chief purpose is healing injured allies and boosting the total health of the target up to 150%, also called over healing or buffing” (, 2017). When a player is buffing a team mate, not only are they aiding them but they are also reliant on them for protection as they are occupied with healing rather than protecting themselves and inflicting damage to their opponents. Buffing systems are also present in multiple of the Medic’s unlockable primary weapons. The Medic’s primary weapon is the main way they can inflict damage on their enemies, however when primary weapons such as the Crusader’s Crossbow are equipped and a player shoots a team mate, their team mate is positively affected. When buffing systems are implemented cooperating teams are given a competitive advantage and cooperating is made almost a compulsory component of gameplay as a whole set of mechanics are reliant on cooperative play in order to be effective.

    Level design

    Cooperative games should be designed with cooperative play in mind. This contention is one that is strongly applicable to the area of mechanics, as the mechanics directly outline what cooperative play takes place. No less important are the spaces and areas that these mechanics are used, implemented and introduced in. In cooperative play, multiple players are moving throughout the level. The paths they take, enemies they encounter and resources they have access to must be designed to accommodate this. Level design decisions must also be made with cooperative play in mind. The job of a level designer is a “highly collaborative job (that) demands the designer work in sync with combat systems designers, mission designers” (, 2017) and all other aspects of the games development to ensure unison in the overall product of the game. It is key that the importance of cooperative play is at the forefront of all decisions, including the decisions of level designers.


    Cédric Hauteville defines gating as “a level design technique that consists in confining the player to a small area and/or blocking the access to another area, until the player completes a given objective or makes a specific action” (, 2011).  In a cooperative campaign, unlike a solo or single player one, two or more player controlled characters are interacting with the level and progressing through it. Each player with differing skills, different play styles and paces. Gating or tethering can be used as a method of ensuring that players do not separate too much. Gating can achieve this by introducing situations where one player cannot advance without the other player being present. No one player can proceed unless all players can proceed.

    In Halo 3, when the leading player reaches a new checkpoint or loading zone in the cooperative campaign, the other players that are far away from them are teleported there without warning or hesitation. Although this may bring players physically closer together, with this method pieces of gameplay can be skipped completely by those being jumped forward. In addition, this mechanic only supports players with the quickest pace/play style.

    “In Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory () and Splinter Cell: Double Agent (), dual actions enable players to do a variety of moves such as boosting or launching the other player across a large gap” (, 2017). Implementing the previously listed as well as situations where both players must be present at exotic doors in order to open them (, 2017) ensures that one player cannot advance through the level by themselves and that no player misses any of the gameplay or level. Progressing through the level is impossible without players playing cooperatively. When two players must work together to progress through a level, cooperatively play is ensured and supported. When one player is being skipped forward to the leading player such as in Halo, one player not only misses on some of the experience but only the quickest play style is supported.

    Separating Players

    In some situations, it may be advantageous to separate cooperating players to enhance cooperative gameplay. One type of Challenge that should be considered when designing levels and missions in cooperative games are Physical challenges “These challenges involve real-life physical effort. These can be used to promote cooperative play by making the challenges involve physical effort that can’t be done by a single player” (, 2017).

    The first time this type of level dynamic is introduced in Gears of War is in the aptly named level Fork In The Road (, 2017). In this mission players reach a point in the level with multiple routes, they have free choice over which route they take although they cannot choose the same one. In this mission, the split paths provide opportunities that enable players to access to angles where they can flank enemies that are preventing their team mate from progressing. If the Delta Squad didn’t separate this segment wouldn’t have been possible to pass as the path needed to be taken to unlock the doors was blocked by enemies with an advantageous view that needed to be flanked by those who took the opposing route. Both pathways were equally crucial in this segment, whether it was to flank enemies blocking the unlock button for the doors, or simply those who did unlock the doors once the enemies were flanked.


    Another way to enforce cooperative play when designing levels is via the inclusion of traps. Traps are devices or situations that “harm” or disable the player that triggered the trap. The way traps can be utilised in cooperative games is by ensuring that when one player is effected by the trap and ultimately becomes trapped they become immobile and/or defenceless. When this occurs, it will then have to be made the accompanying players responsibility and priority to help aid them and restore the trapped player’s full move set, normally this must be done so within a limited amount of time otherwise penalties, most commonly death will take effect.

    Traps are a form of punitive system (, 2017) that enforce cooperation by making it a necessity for success, punitive systems are also implemented when a player is downed but not out, such as in Gears of War. The player who is trapped (or downed) is being punished for getting trapped by losing access to mechanics, their team mate is punished if they do not aid the trapped player as this usually results in failure or will have negative effects on a team’s score. By making cooperation a priority and punishing the team as a unit, communication and cooperation become key components to ensure a maximum chance at success.

    Although also a mechanical implementation, it was a Level Designer’s role to dictate where Smokers would be placed in the game Left 4 Dead (, 2017). “Left 4 Dead is a single player and multiplayer cooperative survival horror FPS game” (, 2017) with many enemy types. Smokers (, 2017) are a type of Special infected, a greater variant of the main opposition in the game. Smokers are essentially AI with a trap-like ability. When a smoker grabs a player, the player loses access to many of their abilities and is slowly pulled toward the smoker to be either clawed at or choked to death unless they can escape its grip. When a player is caught by a smoker the quickest and most successful way the player can be freed from the smoker’s grip is by having a team mate kill the smoker or destroy the tongue, freeing the player.

    Mission Types

    The missions that take place within a game must be designed and implemented collaboratively with the designer of the levels that the mission takes place in. Some of the common types of missions that exist are protect and escort missions. Protect missions normally entail players holding down and protecting an area or the area surrounding a key object while waves of enemies attack their position. The design and implementation of missions and the types of missions in cooperative games must be done so with cooperative play in mind.


    In protect missions, one approach designers can take to encourage players “to cooperate together is by making players defend either a location, a character or even an item” (, 2017). When an area needs to be guarded from waves of enemies, having multiple players allows for multiple skills sets, at times different abilities (depending on the game) and most commonly different perspectives. In protect missions, if levels are designed where enemies enter form different routes, cooperation becomes an important component in increasing player’s chances at success. One player can only attack what is in their field of view, having two players increases the angle players have on opposition. If a player becomes overwhelmed communication becomes a key component in ensuring survival.


    Escort missions are another type of mission that can be carefully implemented to enforce cooperative play. Escort missions involve players escorting an AI character or an item across from one place to another. When items or characters are being escorted they are usually key victory conditions of the game or specific missions. The Escort archetype often coincides as a type of punitive system because often the player escorting a character or item is defenceless and therefore is reliant on their team mates for protection.

    Protect against those Escorting

    Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six Siege (, 2017) is a cooperative multiplayer first person shooter where two teams (attackers and defenders) must perform one another. One of the PVP game modes is Hostage (, 2017), in this game mode the defenders play a Protect type mission while the Attackers play a Hostage one. The Defenders have the hostage at ransom and obtain a victory if the hostage is not killed or extracted and at least one team member is alive before time runs out. The Attacker’s main objective is to extract the hostage and escort them to the extraction zone before time runs out.

    The Defending teams must cooperate in covering different angles, using different abilities and traps to outsmart their opposition. The Attackers must work together tactically as funnelling into the protected room one by one will often yield poor results.  Further, when a player is escorting the hostage their movement speed is lower and they only have access to their secondary weapon, because of this they are often reliant on their team mates to protect them as they escort the hostage to safety to obtain a victory. 

    In Conclusion

    The main factor that differentiates a cooperative game from others is its inclusions of cooperative gameplay. Because of this, when designing a cooperative game such as halo 3 or Gears of War, cooperative gameplay should be at the forefront of the game designers mind. The mechanics of the game should be implemented and adjusted to support cooperative play and the levels these mechanics are used within need to be designed with the knowledge that multiple players will be cooperating within them. The type of missions that take place in these levels need to also support the fact that multiple players will have to work together to play through them. When designing game that will be played through cooperatively with co-op gameplay in mind, it is the gameplay that will thrive and benefit. When players seek out a co-op game their focus is on cooperative gameplay, if a large amount of focus has been placed on it then the game too will be more highly regarded. When designing a cooperative game, cooperative gameplay needs to be a considered when making all decisions.

    -Dionisis Spindzos


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  • Bacrylic's Share / Squaretale Game Update

    1 year ago


    I know I dropped off for a while, but thats because I had landed some work working for another pixel game with a group local to my area. I don't have a day job so this was a nice turn of events to make some money for a change. I've only recently gotten some time to work on my own game, so here are some attack combos I'm working on. My partner and I are discussing our preferences for now. 











    Fun fact about these animations. These are all moves that I did while a friend recorded me for reference. Naturally I didn't look as epic. 

    For our purposes I'm favoring #4, but let me know which ones you like in the comments. 

    Recently seen a video discussing the importance of constant updates on social media for projects like this. I'll try to stay current. Our website still isn't up at the moment. I really need to light a fire under my partner's ass for that one.