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What I’ve Been Doing 15 Oct 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 15th, 2012 by Dan

XCOM is a cruel, but addictive mistress… (Photo courtesy Giant Bomb)

From last week’s embarrassment of riches we arrive at this week’s slim pickings. It’s not like there was nothing on, it’s just that I played 39 hours of XCOM this week. So…yeah.

Movies

The Lucky One – The things one does for love, right? This movie is pretty much a romance novel. Logan walked (WALKED!) from Colorado to Louisiana to woo this girl. He is a whiz with machines, plays piano, reads philosophy, is a marine…what isn’t he? It’s like Nicholas Sparks got lazy. Anyway, we had fun making fun of it at least.

TV

Homeland – So glad this show is back on the air. The reveal at the end with Brody’s suicide note? Amazing. I hope they don’t drop the ball on this revelation.

How I Met Your Mother – This season has been subpar so far. The nanny stuff was passably funny, but the Robin/Ted stuff was just bleargh. At least I can make jokes about Robin dating a cylon…

Music

Silky smooth…

Books

After the Quake – This collection would be a great freshman survey for Murakami. Jazz, surreal overtones, lots of sex (both appropriate and inappropriate), father issues…Only need to have a bit about cats to complete the Bingo card.

Video Games

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Watch me play or read my impressions for deeper info, but goddamn I love this game. Super fun. Firaxis really nails that “one more turn…” thing yet again. I hope they never put their powers toward evil.

Pokemon White Version 2 – Didn’t play a whole lot (got distracted by the much lower time-investment requirement from Layton), but this is the best version of pokemon yet.

Professor Layton and the Curious Village – Wanna know what this game is like? Penny Arcade will tell you.

What I’ve Been Doing 9 Oct. 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 9th, 2012 by Dan

Pitch Perfect -0

I love a capella so there was zero chance I wouldn’t see this (Photo courtesy lissamabcd)

Thanks to the long weekend this is posting a little later than usual. I also jammed a ton of TV in this week thanks to all that extra time.

Movies

The Guard – Irish movie about an Irish policeman who is one of those curmudgeonly old man types. Funny, but ultimately not that substantive. Worth seeing if you’ve got a free afternoon.

Pitch Perfect – I loved most of the music in this movie and I always enjoy Anna Kendrick on the silver screen. Mostly I found myself impressed by how well she inhabited her role. The other two movies I saw her in, Up in the Air and 50/50, had her in a much more professional, trying to be respected role. Here she’s aged back to 18 and everything about her performance reflects that. Good, fun stuff. Go see it.

TV

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – Kind of unnecessary. Barely any politics either.

Up All Night – Not digging the new setup. The new brother character is just not that interesting. I did laugh at the trapeze part in the most recent episode.

Glee – Knocking Tremé is not cool. “Celebrity Skin” not that good. The election episode was so boring. The breakup episode, on the other hand, had a lot more emotion and a lot more going for it. Dug it a lot more.

NTSF::SD:SUV: – The time slide episode was so good that everything afterwards has been a bit disappointing. The SDCC episode was meh as was the Dragon Shumway redux.

Childrens Hospital – Ladies Night! Man, Lake Bell is hot. This show is consistently hilarious/awesome.

Homeland – Danes seemed off early in the episode, but that’s probably intentional since her character is supposed to be off her rocker. Loved the way that Damian Lewis is playing this. As for the plot, this season is shaping up to be very cool. Liked the way they pulled Danes back in and I liked the father/daughter bonding over Islam.

Tremé – The included murder mystery doesn’t quite fit in with the rest of the show, but everything else is going well. Nice and slow-paced.

Sherlock – That Reichenbach Falls episode was SO GOOD! I wonder if Moriarty is actually dead (Sherlock isn’t!). Hard to see where the next series goes from here, but that was astounding. It didn’t have the same pounding pressure as Moriarty’s time-limits from last series, but it was still quite tense and fun. Loved the part where Moriarty was pretending to be an actor.

Key & Peele – Not as good as the season premiere, but I really enjoyed that dubstep sketch. Also dug the Luther sketch and the concept of the guy who had to follow MLK’s speech was funny, but it wasn’t executed particularly well.

The Mindy Project – You know what? This show is a lot funnier than some critics are giving it credit. Mindy Kaling has a really sneaky sense of appalling humor that really works. I think this is my favorite new show I’ve seen (so far).

Four Weddings – Sometimes your girlfriend watches stuff that you don’t want to.

Giuliana and Bill – See above…The worst part here is that she thinks this show is dumb too! There just wasn’t anything else on worth watching.

Halloween Wars – Another Food network thing. This has got the Cupcake Wars crew, but they’re carving pumpkins and making Halloween scenes. It’s ok.

How I Met Your Mother – Caught the first two episodes of the season. I’m still kind of bummed that Victoria isn’t the mother. She was the original plan if the show had been canceled. I like her.

30 for 30 – “Broke” wasn’t as good as the other documentary I saw, but I still dug it. This series is worth checking out.

The Daily Show – I’m glad that Stewart went and eviscerated Obama for his debate performance because it was shameful. Not a bad week of episodes.

Parks & Recreation – Two words: Lucy Lawless. Please and thank you.

Saturday Night Live – A lot of bad sketches in this episode, but I did like the lesser known Bond girls one. Daniel Craig can do better? Was it the material?

Music

The Pokemon Reorchestrated project is coming out with fully licensed reorchestrations of Pokemon game music. Pretty cool stuff, if you ask me.

Books

After the Quake – Murakami really likes writing about Jehovah’s Witnesses. I really enjoyed “All God’s Children Can Dance”

Video Games

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – I was wrong. There are way more hidden worlds than I realized and they’re pretty fun. Liking this game even more.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – I technically “beat” the game, but there’s tons more content to enjoy.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter – This series reminds me of Detective Conan. One of the puzzles really stumped me. I’m dumber than I thought I was, haha.

Pokemon White – Wanted to catch the last few legendaries I was dilly-dallying on. Got that done before 2 arrived.

Pokemon White Version 2 – The package here has gotten so much sharper from year to year, but the nearly identical mechanics keeps a lot of people away. I’m playing with a Nuzlocke Challenge: Defeated pokemon must be permanently retired, you can only catch the first pokemon you see in an area, and, one of my rules, you must use pots to heal. Only one pokemon center visit per town. So far I’ve lost a Patrat permanently in my gym battle with Roxie. Tragic stuff.

XCOM: Enemy Unknown – Just started it this morning. Played two missions. Loving it! Look for a Dan Plays series to start soon.

What I’ve Been Doing 2 Oct 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Oct 2nd, 2012 by Dan

Sunny Isles Beach, FL.

Fun times. (Photo by kow626)

Summer’s gone and the regular baseball season ends this week, but that doesn’t mean the fun is over.

Movies

Almost, but no.

TV

Sherlock – The Hounds episode was terrible. I like Sherlock when his mysteries are solved with thorough detective work and deduction, not the kind of gobbledegook that we had with the hallucinogens and the weird hound. Very disappointing episode, way more so than the Chinese smuggler episode from the first series.

Tremé – Really happy to have this back on tv. Underrated, if you ask me. Fantastic music and fantastically real stories.

The Daily Show – The King Abdullah interview was spectacular. I loved seeing a regent talk about policy in a serious way. Kind of funny to go from that to Olivia Wilde the next day.

The Mindy Project – A lot of up and down on this in the critical scene, but I thought this show had an exceptionally strong comedic voice. Funny and I’m down for more.

New Girl – Not sure if I find Schmidt still hilarious or if they’re overdoing it or if it’s just that I know that he’s a breakout character. In any case, the season came back in strong form. Remember when Jess used to be scared of sex? That was not the Jess we saw in the second episode. I’m all for half-naked Zooey Deschanel.

Parks and Recreation – I’m not sure I buy Leslie’s crisis of conscious considering how strong a voice she normally is, but I still enjoyed the ep.

EDIT: Key & Peele – Forgot to mention this one. They had two brilliant sketches about post-win sports interviews and literally/metaphorically and an amazing one about Confederate reenactors. Good stuff.

Music

The Alabama Shakes are pretty cool, y’all.

Books

The Woman in the Dunes – Told you guys I’d read this weekend. The book was a very Kafkaesque look at a man trapped in an absurd situation who eventually loses the will to fight. Very Japanese, but also very interesting. I dug it.

After the Quake – A short story collection by Murakami containing vignettes following the Kobe earthquake in 1995. I bet a bunch of people came back to this at some point this year. Very Murakami so far (read two of the stories), which means it’s very interesting so far.

Video Games

Mark of the Ninja – S-Rank! Finishing off New Game + kind of sucked.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – I’ve been slowly pushing through the main series while completing dark notes each night. Last one I did was FF IX.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Managed to beat it last night. Kind of too bad it’s so short. Haven’t played a six world Mario game in…ever? My favorite part was Tiffany watching over my shoulder and laughing every time I died in Bowser’s Castle.

FTL: Faster Than Light – Course I’ve still been doing these! Gotta get back in the groove of it tonight.

Professor Layton and the Last Specter – No matchstick puzzles yet. This is my first Layton and, chronologically, the first Layton. So far so good, but I wish the DS screen resolution was better. It makes solving some of these puzzles unnecessarily difficult.

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