I was awoken just past midnight with the buzzing notification of my phone as it vibrated off my night stand to the floor below. What could possibly be going on? My thoughts immediately went dark: perhaps somebody was trying to contact me because of an emergency with a friend or family matter. I grab the phone and unlock it quickly, fearing the worst. I see text messages from my friend Cale, that simply stated: 9 Days to Go. It was ominous, but clearly not life threatening - unless he was counting down to something nefarious. I asked for some details, and he responded back with one word:
A small indie, fairly Canadian b-movie that takes a good, hard look at what happens when an out of control alcoholic small town cop collides with an affinity to turning into a bad-ass, face-ripping werewolf. Highly recommended.
Many moons ago, in the year 1997, a young Ryebone turned sixteen years old. A true milestone of greatness, celebrated across the country as a rite of passage for teenagers who will now take to the road in their parent's cars to cause vehicular mayhem. My sister is four years older than me, and in her time, getting a license in Ontario was looking pretty simple: go and write your test, here's your certificate and off you go. In the time she received her license and when I was going for mine, the provincial government instituted a graduated license program - still in place today - that would see you go through various steps before they deemed you road worthy. As part of this process, it financially beneficial to go through a registered driver's training course. Not only will it reduce your insurance cost, but it will also allow you to advance to the second stage in your license a few months early. It's also extremely beneficial as it teaches you how to drive. The time came, during this training, to go out with my instructor. I logged a few parking lot hours with my parents, but it was now time to tackle the roads with real traffic.
It pains me almost - but not completely - by how much I was dismayed and on the fence about Bungie's latest epic, Destiny, just a short two weeks ago. The game didn't sell me initially, but I persevered. Persevered mainly by my friends who were well advanced into the game: they confirmed some of my complaints, but they also intrigued me to continue onward. So I did, putting a few hours in over the course of a few days, then the flood gates opened and I was pouring myself in - all the way in.
The setup of the game is simple, but don't let that deceive you: we open on a small boy mourning over a grave, then a cut scene that tells us the grave belongs to his mother, who was lost at sea. He was there: he tried to help, but couldn't save her. The boy is interrupted by his older brother, who is with their father. The father has fallen ill, and now it's your first task to bring him home in a cart that requires the two brothers to work together to operate. This is where you're introduced to the game's core, innovative control scheme. The left side of the controller (that is, the left stick and left shoulder trigger button) control the older brother, and the right side of the controller belongs to the little brother. Your viewpoint is akin to a bird's eye view, but will zoom in and out as necessary and to always display the two brothers on screen at once.
The other day, I bought a PS4. It seemed initially to be a result of the perfect combination of peer pressure, (too much) disposable income, peer pressure and finally, peer pressure. While I'm eager and always willing to blame my friends for my seemingly absurd purchases, I have nobody to blame but myself. This allows me to step back and look at the long, storied history of factors that put myself in a Wal-Mart at 7:20am on a Thursday morning, asking for - and subsequently - purchasing the latest iteration of Sony's home video game console.
Another six months has gone by and I didn't even notice, hence the late nature of this post. It's not exactly a high priority either, but decided to get around to it. Instead of just giving boring old numbers, I figured I would provide some information on the movies I watched this past six months. But first, the numbers.
This year was going to be a bit different. Mainly, I wasn't going to lie to myself. Every year before The Expo, I tell myself that I'm going to inventory my comics, and create a list of "wants" for the show. It could be as simple as filling in some gaps to complete a run, or a hunt for a specific storyline that I'm interested in. One year, I actually did an inventory, one that I refer back to at times, but one that is also incomplete in both accuracy and details. Over the years, I've picked up a few items but have failed to update that inventory. The end result is often aimless wandering and random purchases - if I can bring myself to purchase anything at all. Twenty fourteen though, this year will be different. And it was.
You know what really sucks? Roger Ebert passed away over a year ago now. There are very few movie reviewers that I would actively go out and read on a regular basis, or hunt down their opinion on, but Ebert was the top. We didn't always agree, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for his writing, his knowledge and opinions on all things movies. In the past few movies I've watched, I make a cursory Google search for that film. I land upon the basic sites, like iMDB and Wikipedia, where I can gather some information. Then, I see just below those results, articles from other sites, including reviews. And Ebert's articles always seem to be on the first page. Reading his reviews on movies that I'm just discovering now brings about mixed emotions: sadness, that he is gone and can't hear his opinions anymore, but happiness as well, for the contributions that he shared with us. Cloud Atlas is the latest movie where I sought out Ebert's column, and was again pleased to find a well written article that didn't try to pick apart the film or attempt to explain how it all comes together. This particular quote stands out to me: