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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 24 Sept 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Sep 24th, 2012 by Dan

Ron Swanson from Parks & Recreation Lino Block Print

Ron Swanson and friends are back! (Photo by andyrama)

Not everything’s back yet, but TV! It’s back!

Movies

Cabin in the Woods – Watched about 20 mins while Scarlett was napping. I wonder what Danielle’s gonna end up thinking of the movie. I’m a huge fan. Love Fran Kranz

TV

The Daily Show – The Romney gaffe-fest made for some interesting commentary this week. Love the bit about how being Latino would make everything easier. Yeah, try being a minority for real Romney…

Fashion Police – Thought it would be milder because it was being filmed in front of a live audience in NYC, but they didn’t hold back as much as I thought. Still happy to not have to see Giuliana Rancic. She’s a weak link on this show.

Project Runway – Designing for the Rockettes seems tough. Turns out I was right because everyone was really shitty at it. The pandering, “NY is Awesome!” design won because, duh, haven’t you ever seen this kind of thing before? How was Christopher the only one to think of that?

NTSF:SD:SUV – Robots! Bob Odenkirk! Decent ep.

Childrens Hospital – British episode! Absolutely brilliant. I’d watch that version every week too. Great writing.

SNL Weekend Update Thursday – It’s election season. Can’t pass up SNL mocking the election.

Up All Night – Lot of changes, wow. No more Ava show, new supporting character (Reagan’s kid brother), no more Missy (sad, but she belongs on the broader UAN from last year), new film stock or something (it looked really different), and a new direction for Chris. Talk about a massive retool. The show is, for all intents and purposes, a completely new animal. I’m not sure if this will benefit it…

Parks & Recreation – Loved all the DC stuff. Didn’t care so much for the Pawnee BBQ stuff. I could watch Aubrey Plaza be Aubrey Plaza all day long.

Glee – Is this season less bad than last year? I think it is so far. Will it remain so? Not sure…By the way, I bet Rachel hooks up with what’s-his-face next episode and Finn returns in E4.

SNL – Hypnotist sketch was hilarious! Liked Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s monologue too. The cold open and the Finer Things sketches left me a little cold.

Sherlock – When your series are only three episodes long, do you have to spend so much time reminding everyone of all the dynamics and situations? I love that these are little Sherlock movies since they’re 1.5 hrs long. If you took a shot every time Irene Adler said something along the lines of, “I know what they like,” you’d be dead by the midpoint…That character is just a little too much. Still, I found myself fascinated with the Holmes brother relationship and I rather enjoyed the first episode.

Music

New Oneups disc. The PvZ track is solid

Also this more experimental album by Sweet Valley is a rather fantastic/challenging listen:

Books

This week. For real. I’ve got a flight and everything.

Video Games

FTL: Faster Than Light – Filmed a nearly two-hour episode on Sunday. Look forward to it by the end of the week. Still love this game. Can’t wait to try some new ships.

Mark of the Ninja – Still working on that S-Rank. It’s just perfunctory playing now. So close, about two levels left.

Borderlands 2 – It’s like Borderlands, but more. I like it, but it’s lonely without Min and Lee.

Torchlight 2 – Ok, to be completely honest, I didn’t actually play this. I just tried to create an account for an hour while chatting with Min and his cousin. That was arguably more fun.

Devil Survivor 2 – TRPGs get bogged down when you get stuck on an encounter. DS2 has a rather conventional (for SMT games) anti-grinding mechanic, so I’m at an impasse. I’ll break through on the flight, I bet.

Theatrhythm Final Fantasy – Everything I wanted it to be (and more!). Play with headphones because the music is incredible. I’ve been putting off getting to FF VI because I love that music so much.

Kirby’s Dream Collection (Kirby Super Star) – One of the best SNES memories that I’ve got is playing Kirby Super Star with David. This game still holds up. Min and I beat Spring Breeze and Dynablade, but I’m going all the way, man. Gonna get to the Boss Rush.

New Super Mario Bros. 2 – Why does everyone hate on this game so much? It’s more Mario. That’s fun, guys. Remember what fun was like? It’s playing Super Mario Bros.

What I’ve Been Doing 2 April 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 26th, 2012 by Dan

Goon

Seann William Scott is so innocently dumb in this movie, but it's actually quite good. (Picture courtesy nxusco)

Guys, Goon was really good. More later, but you should check it out. This week was a real scattershot weekend as I tried to play a bunch of games I didn’t give much time to before.

Movies

Martha Marcy May Marlene – The cult in the movie is an interesting contrast to the fundamentalist Christian society in Higher Ground and the hippie commune of Wanderlust. This movie really ratchets up the tension of not knowing what’s real and what’s not. Ideally they would have made Patrick a scarier presence, but the movie is still on pretty solid ground with what it accomplishes. Congrats on the fantastic part, Elizabeth Olsen. Keep it up!

Goon – This is a mostly sweet movie about a guy who had no place in life other than to fight on the ice. It’s done pretty well and it’s funny and it’ll definitely win you over. Alison Pill, who played Kim Pine in Scott Pilgrim, is great as a Canadian hockey girl and Seann William Scott is endearing. The violence of hockey and hockey fights is really the thing that might put you off the movie. It gets pretty brutal if you don’t like it.

TV

Mad Men – Last week’s premiere was amazing and I totally loved it. Can’t wait to see yesterday’s episode tonight!

Breaking Bad – Finished the first season. The six episode arc they had to work with never went anywhere with any definitive statement, but I think they’re playing the long game for all the seasons. Doesn’t mean that it was bad, just that I’m used to a more dramatic season arc. The progression of Walter White from teacher to meth cooker has definitely been interesting as is the seething anger that lurks beneath hsi outside personality.

Happy Endings – A great tribute to all the sitcom tropes of old. Some really good jokes in there that helped keep it from being too hack-y (like it was when the episode started). Elisha Cuthbert’s Ellen was hilarious.

New Girl – I liked the episode, but I’m rather chilly on New Girl at the moment. It’s not bad, but it’s not amazing either.

Justified – Another table setter. The final two episodes of this season are going to be bananas. I’d like for Limehouse to continue to be a force in S4, but we’ll see if he survives the next two eps first.

Community – It’s entirely possible that this episode contained the first “boner” joke I’ve laughed at since I was 13. The Subway corpo-humanoid is the highlight of the ep. Also a highlight: “Put it in a letter, Jane Austen!”. Alison Brie is so awesome.

Up All Night – This show is kind of meh to me too. At least it’s enjoyable meh. I’d rather watch New Girl because Zooey Deschanel is cute, but this is the better show.

The Wire – Finally finished S1 and the commentary of S1. Can’t wait to get moving through S2 because S3 is amazing. I love the attention to detail in The Wire and the devastating verisimilitude of it all.

Music

“Heaven” is one of the best tracks on the Persona 4 soundtrack, but it’s also pretty awesome to listen to any time. Don’t believe me?

Books

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – I’ve got like 10 pages left. So tired of this book.

Video Games

Ghost Trick – Weird ending to this game. Just plot twist upon plot twist. Still one of the better story games I’ve ever played and excellent practice for my Spanish.

Devil Survivor 2 – Still haven’t caught the entire breadth of this story, but I do dig it. Interested in seeing where it goes, but my major play time will probably come when Min and I go to Vegas (he’ll probably sleep through the flight)

Mass Effect 2 – Slowly tearing through this a few missions at a time. For some reason I can’t stomach playing it for long periods of time. I think it’s because ME3 is clearly better and they’re so similar.

Poker Night at the Inventory – Put in a few mins to get some achievements and just play some poker. Still fun.

Jamestown – Was feeling like finally putting some time into the weird quasi-historical/quasi-sci-fi version of the Jamestown settlement in Virginia. Fighting the Spanish conquistadors and the Martians is weird, but fun. I like all the different ship types.

Penny Arcade Adventures: On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness Episode 1 – I played and beat this many moons ago, but I wanted to play ep. 2 and that required playing this. Decent RPG and pretty funny still.

Sine Mora – Tried it out on XBL. I might pick it up when I finish a few other games. Seems interesting.

Pac-Man CE DX – Um…best game on my Xbox. Period. This game is so good I had to force msyelf to stop to play…

Galaga Legions DX – I was tired of only having like two achievements in this so I went and got to 11/12. Might not get the last one (more annoying than tough), but I’ll probably cave and just do it. Not as good as Pac-Man at all, but still fun.

Shadow Complex – Cave Story + made me think the same thing this game does: Why don’t game companies make more Metroidvania-style games? They’re really addictive and fun. Weird. Also weird: Nolan North in a half-tuck role that’s NOT NATHAN DRAKE! I think the shooting is a little awkward with the right stick because they added the whole 3D aspect to it, but otherwise fun.

What I’ve Been Doing 26 Mar 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 26th, 2012 by Dan

Draping

Season 5, y'all! (Photo courtesy Roman Skrada)

Mad Men is BACK…but shhhh! I haven’t seen the premiere yet. Trying to finish S4 first and I’ve got about three episodes to burn through. I’ll get it tonight. Don’t worry.

Movies

Was supposed to watch one, but…didn’t get around to it.

TV

Persona 4: The Animation – This show continues to be awesome. The Nanako stuff was really emotionally tough to watch, wow.

Archer – Oh man, the space stuff was so great. This show is so zany and awesome.

New Girl – I haven’t been able to enjoy this show as much since I started watching Happy Endings. That show just seems to do the same thing a lot better.

Fashion Police – My girlfriend makes me watch this. It was great when it was a half hour…now it’s always an hour long. At least Joan Rivers is kind of funny.

Community – Back to weird for Community. The impersonator stuff was hilariously odd. I wonder what they’re setting up with all the Dark Abed and Chang stuff.

Happy Endings – This week’s episode was weaker, but I went through the whole series with Min again. Can’t wait to catch the first half of S2 because the show is a lot better in S2. Not that it was bad in S1, but they’re a lot crazier and funnier in S2.

Justified – the old lady with the milkshake was awesome. The animosity toward the outsiders is pretty amazing. The standoff between Quarles and Raylan was great. Loved when the bartender got into it too.

Up All Night – The Chris on the show thing was pretty obvious, but it had its funny moments.

Mad Men – S4 was pretty great, wasn’t it? Just saw “The Beautiful Girls”. An astounding episode. The scene in “The Summer Man” where Joan tells off the men with respect to Vietnam gives me chills every time.

Music

La Vida Boheme – Check it out.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – If I don’t finish this book this week I’m burning it.

Video Games

Mass Effect 3 – Still enjoying the multiplayer, but I want to unlock some Krogans and Asari already!

New Super Mario Bros. Wii – Still pretty brilliant. The Yoshi level was fun since Min and I were antagonizing each other a bit.

Super Street Fighter IV – Min and I fought for a long while. Lots of fun playing one of the sharpest fighting games out there. Reminded me how out of practice I was.

What I’ve Been Doing 19 Mar 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 19th, 2012 by Dan

They are a group of six friends evenly split among men and women. Haven't seen this formula before! (Photo courtesy Screened.com)

I’ll get into it more later, but despite it being pretty standard fare for a sitcom, Happy Endings is actually hilarious and kind of awesome. I blew through season 1 this weekend (half on Netflix, then I bought the entire season on DVD).

Just catching any TV is impressive considering that I haven’t watched a second of it since Mass Effect 3 came out. Now that I’ve beaten that I had a chance to catch up on all the TV I’d missed.

Movies

The Descendants – Picked up the movie at Best Buy this weekend too. Great flick. I think Tiffany liked it despite its Oscar film plot meanderings.

TV

Community – Oh god, so glad it’s back! So glad! This week’s episode was pretty solid work for Community. Everyone showed up and was great. Even the Britta stuff was hilarious. I loved that she was a wizard with domestic stuff and wedding planning. Then of course she Brittas the entire thing by getting too drunk with Jeff.

Archer – Space! Pretty excellent episode of Archer. Can’t wait for the finale next week

New Girl – “Did you just Fredo kiss me?” The singing part was kind of “eh”. “Are those cannons on your back”. After watching a lot of Happy Endings later on in the weekend, I think that New Girl is a less good version of that. Bummer. Still, it’s coming into its own and I dig it. Max Greenfield’s Schmidt is hilarious.

Parks and Recreation – The Ron stuff was great. I guess I’m pretty tired of the Ann and Tom stuff too.

Bob’s Burgers – Kristen Schaal and Eugene Mirman are HILARIOUS! Footloose warehouse dancing is great! “No more lick foot”. “If guys had uteruses they’d be called duderuses” Great episode.

Justified – The show knows how to make things seem real bad. “I found the gun.” “Did you touch it?” “What am I, an asshole?” I think Winona’s great! Is she gone for good? Good to see Ava returning to prominence. I like her too. Boyd’s got a real firebrand preacher streak and that’s always fun to see. This season is about to get more real quick and I love it!

Up All Night – Maya Rudolph is great. Spitting the scotch back out was pretty hilarious. The stinger with “gift” and “seed” was the best part. I kept wanting to use that as a line, but it’s so gross.

Happy Endings – Not too bad. Wow. Extra Hot Great turned me on to this show and I spent all weekend watching as much of it as I could. I thought it was pretty hilarious. It’s got a modern Friends vibe, but with the jokes pace of a Community, 30 Rock, or Arrested Development. Just BAM! BAM! BAM! Jokes, jokes, jokes. I really enjoyed it. If you know me I hope you don’t mind me making you watch it.

Music

Just listen to more Rhythm Heaven music, guys!

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Ok, Martin Vanger is dead already. Why does this book still have like 100 pages left?!

Video Games

Mass Effect 3 – Finally finished this sci-fi epic and…I loved it. Naysayers out there will tell you that the ending is terrible. They’re kind of right, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t fantastic.

Ghost Trick – This is another one like Dragon Tattoo that I’m getting closer and closer to beating and I just need to put time in to finish.

Mass Effect 2 – Coming back to this after 3 is rough. Combat is slower, the engine is not optimized for PC, it’s trying too hard to be edgy…Still good, but I like 3 and 1 better.

What I’ve Been Doing 5 March 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Mar 5th, 2012 by Dan

207

I don’t think it’s possible for you all to understand how pumped I am for baseball to come back this year. It’s been a long, hard offseason, but spring training is off the ground and I’m super pumped.

Movies

Higher Ground – Vera Farmiga (and her sister Taissa) stars in this intelligent movie about a woman constantly seeking religion, but unable to arrive at the faith and two-way relationship she so desperately craves. It’s beautiful and slow and it’s fantastic work by Farmiga.

What’s Your Number – Oh, the things we do for love. Seeking something to watch together, Tiffany and I stumbled upon Anna Faris’ ill-received romantic comedy that is simultaneously all about slut shaming and also about finding love before your friends continue to slut shame you. I’m injecting way more importance into this light, breezy romantic comedy than it deserves. As far as these types of movies go, you could find worse. It’s alright.

TV

The Walking Dead – So tired of the non-zombie plots. “Waaah waah, I’m suicidal! Waaah.” Pretty sure they’re setting up a mega-swarm headed to the farm. Not sure.

Life’s Too Short – The tumor stuff was predictable, but funny. I don’t think the Johnny Depp stuff was half as good as the Liam Neeson stuff from last week.

Parks and Recreation – Ginuwine jokes, haha. Oh man, the part where he read out the image URL for Leslie’s campaign poster! The water fountain visual gag was also hilarious.

Up All Night – The stuff with the godparents reminds me of David since Eric just had his baby. Steven Pasquale was pretty hilarious in his Army vet role.

Justified – Not every episode has to be super exciting/awesome. Still some good acting in this episode, but not as sharp as the rest of the season has been.

Archer – “You make me sound like some kind of chubacabra, but for dicks.” Pretty good ep.

Portlandia – The Eddie Vedder tattoo stuff was brilliant. About 1/3 of the Battlestar Galactica sketch (featuring James Callis, Edward James Olmos, and (the real) Ronald D. Moore) was excellent as well, but it strongly relies on you knowing what Ronald D. Moore looks like (Hint: He’s not the guy who played Adama or Baltar and he’s not the guy with his name.)

Houston Astros at Washington Nationals – Stephen Strasburg’s curveball looked sharp. It was missing a little bit of placement, but otherwise looking great. Too bad Tom Gorzelanny came in and stunk up the joint. Still, baseball! Spring training!

Music

Rhythm Heaven Games – Go out there and get your hands on Rhythm Heaven soundtracks. The music from these games is super catchy and fun and I’m pretty sure they include perfect versions of the songs that have all of the sound effects in them.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – I swear I’m making progress, guys. I really am! He’s actually working with Lisbeth now. It took half the book to get them there!

Video Games

Devil Survivor 2 – Devil Survivor was one of the best DS TRPGs (or normal RPG or games) out there and DS2 is more of the same. New characters, broader setting…I dig it. So much so that it’s supplanted…

Ghost Trick – Used to have a steady slot in my DS, but I’ve sidelined it for a little DS2 action. Gotta finish it because I’m nearly done, but DS2 is sooo fun.

The Old Republic – Nothing like getting a little Bounty Hunting in, but the stupid TOR people haven’t announced the legacy stuff so I’m at a stalemate with getting more playtime in with Min.

What I’ve Been Doing 27 Feb 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 27th, 2012 by Dan

qrtgr

Man, nothing else on television is close to as good as this show is right now. (Photo courtesy flipittyjupe2)

It was a hectic, busy weekend that resulted in me becoming an uncle. So glad that the delivery was ok, but now I’m crossing my fingers for everyone to get healthy soon.

Movies

Almost watched one this week! Didn’t though.

TV

Justified – The stuff with the organ thieves was awesome. Also the scenes with Limehouse have been stellar. Tensions are running super high in Harlan County and I can’t wait to see what happens. Definitely the best action drama on air right now.

Childrens Hospital – This week they aired the rerun of the 70s episode. I still love the lines about Ken Marino’s character being a baby killer. Great stuff.

Up All Night – “I know you’re kidding, but why put that out there?” Oh man, the Lennon-McCartney of hip-hop and the Simon and Garfunkel of hip-hop. SO GREAT! Alanis Morissette is quite the capable actress. All that terrorist and TSA stuff was great. Beeping out profanity is way funnier than profanity most of the time.

The Walking Dead – This show is kind of on a roll. The violence and gore was pretty impressive this episode.

Glee – Whaaa…? Suicide attempt and a car accident ripped straight out of 80s soaps. Weirdly fluctuating tone, mediocre songs. What was this episode?

Archer – Decent episode with some real great lines. Loved the WV stuff.

My Strange Addiction – Got stuck watching this with Tiffany. There was a dude who was in an intimate, sexual relationship with a car. I watched a show about an actual, real person who is in love with his car. Shoot me next time, please.

New Girl – Jess being bullied by one of her students? Makes a lot of sense as a plot point to me. Good fun this episode. Schmidt is still the best character so far.

Fringe – Finally returned to season 2. The case of the week episodes that don’t advance the narrative are less fun, but this one was still pretty neat. Poor Broyles.

Music

Enjoy St. Vincent’s “Cheerleader”:

Books

Probably read Dragon Tattoo. Can’t remember if I did.

Video Games

Final Fantasy XIII-2 – Continues to be a JRPG-ass JRPG. I still like it though. Interested in seeing more of the plot.

Ghost Trick – Getting close to the end! I was proud of myself because the Spanish I’m learning from playing it in Spanish has actually been put to use. For example, a basement is a sótano, a word I didn’t need in Florida, but I needed yesterday.

Rhythm Heaven Fever – Got a few quick rounds in with David. Lots of fun.

What I’ve Been Doing 13 Feb 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Feb 13th, 2012 by Dan

Samurai Champloo DVD Cover

The journey is over. (Photo courtesy Sold Out Activist)

Big TV week for me. A lot of huge episodes and great acting made me a very happy viewer.

Movies

I was supposed to watch Hanna this weekend, but I never got around to it.

TV

Samurai Champloo – Turned out to be a show about transition and the end of things. About an age where Japan was forced to move forward and accept the great wave washing over it. Combining that with hip hop was a great idea. Mugen’s final battle was annoyingly unsatisfying. With Jin and Fuu at least the fight had something to do with the plot. The guys Mugen fought were not plot-relevant at all to anything that happened in the series. Also, everyone took ridiculous amounts of abuse and damage and then just lived to tell the tale?

Glee – What the heck was that? All of the numbers were embarrassing, Ricky Martin was used to pathetic effect, and none of the music was that interesting. When you make your episode focus Latin music, but you only really highlight pop crossover Latin stuff it’s kind of insulting to me in the same way all of that was insulting to Santana.

New Girl – For a show that gets a lot of grief, New Girl has been bringing it the past few weeks. Playing chicken with the proposed three way was hilarious. The show still has nothing for Winston to do

Up All Night – “Everyone hates flan!” Preach.

Justified – Whoa, what an episode. That last scene with Devil and Boyd…wow. Not to mention the stuff with Dickie and Limehouse. Awesome stuff. Can’t wait for more!

Breaking Bad – Everybody’s been talking about how great this show is for three years. Guess what, guys? They’re right. It’s awesome. Only saw the pilot, but it was impressive. Can’t wait to see more. Glad it’s on Netflix Instant.

Grammy Awards – Tuned in for the back half with Tiffany. I’m bummed that I missed all the Rap categories (I was pulling hard for Kanye’s stuff. Looks like he did quite well), but it was a fun show. I hadn’t realized that there were so many performances or I would have watched it in the past. Paul McCartney was pretty great, Nicki Minaj was appropriately bizarre (just rap, Nicki. Your flow is unstoppably awesome), and it was generally a good showing. Adele cleaned up, holy cow.

Music

The Weeknd – Aside from the Grammys, I’ve been listening to The Weeknd like crazy. His stuff is totally awesome and 100% free here. If you’re looking for some red hot R&B, look no further. Particular props to “House of Balloons/Glass Table Girls” and “D.D.”

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Get a couple pages in here and there during breaks. Such absolute wish fulfillment writing…Bloomqvist is a weenie, but he gets laid like crazy.

Video Games

Saints Row: The Third – This game is so hilarious and awesome. I spend most cutscenes hitting the Print Screen button to try and cap the ridiculousness. Well-deserved props from the Giant Bomb folks. I’ll probably beat the main campaign this week.

Ghost Trick – Still clever and fun gameplay. I think Min is playing this on his iPad now. He might catch up and beat me!

The Old Republic – Haven’t had a lot of time to work those alts (Min’s been busy), but it’s still fun. The news that Dave might be willing to play soon is awesome and encouraging.

What I’ve Been Doing 30 Jan 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jan 30th, 2012 by Dan

Balrog

Here's a suggestion: If you're playing Cave Story for the first time, don't pick hard mode (Photo courtesy escaped.monkey)

Busy weekend with lots of media consumed. That kind of thing happens when I hang out with Min.

Movies

The Descendants – Shailene Woodley was a revelation as Alex in this movie. Excellent acting. George Clooney was also quite good. Pretty chill movie and worth seeing, even if the land ownership subplot is kind of tacked on and not as interesting.

Evangelion 2.22 – I thought I’d seen this…but I hadn’t. I really missed seeing some of the fun/interesting battles of the old tv show. I mean, cutting Israfel in favor of a school drama plot about making Shinji lunch and a dinner party? I’d rather have that sequence instead. I also get that the movie doesn’t allow for the ponderous and deliberate psycho-analytic battle against Leliel, but it’s one of my faves so I was bummed about losing it too. Did not care for the new pilot, Mari, at all, and I didn’t love the business with mixing up who’s who in the battle against Bardiel, but, whatever, right? Some things are different. 2.22 makes me want to watch Neon Genesis Evangelion instead. The more relaxed pace allows for much greater character development and interesting concepts. We’ll see what happens with the rest of the movies and the new ending.

Tangled – Min hadn’t seen this, it was on instant, and we were bored. It’s pretty great, but I hate the video quality of the Starz movies.

Haywire – Went to see this on Sunday and it cut out 40 minutes in. We could have either stayed to watch it from the beginning or taken a voucher for a new movie. As interested in seeing this as I was, I couldn’t stomach watching the slow opening 40 minutes again. I’ll either try again or wait for Netflix.

TV

Childrens Hospital – Ward 8 and the children stabbing Nick Offerman with pencils was great. So was the Bob Seger joke to find out how old he was. Fantastic show. Can’t wait for a new season.

Up All Night – Megan Mullally and Shayna. So great. The bit about cheating on watching a TV show with your spouse was great. Super awkward.

Glee – Pretty interesting “Summer Nights” recreation, complete with the overlay in the climactic final note. I like songs like “Wedding Bell Blues”, but the processed voices sound a lot like they don’t belong in the show. I guess it was a dream sequence Wow, making Artie move/act like Mick Jagger is surprisingly effective even though he’s in a wheelchair. Whoa…what?! The thing about Finn’s dad came out of NOWHERE.

Justified – I’m cool with case of the week stuff when it’s this good. Sometimes it’s ok for Raylan not to be the absolute center. I hope they get Carla Gugino on the show more. The other new villain is appropriately scary.

Archer – “Cyril?” “No breakfast for you!” Another great episode of Archer this week. I miss Ray as a field agent, but I guess this has a lot of comic potential.

Parks and Recreation – The bit about Tom bowling like a grandma (and Ron begging him to have some decency as a man) was amazing. April being nice is unusual, but she’s been softening up a lot anyway. Still one of the greatest shows out there.

Scrubs – Just put it on for a few minutes to pass some time. Always a good show.

Sherlock – The middle episode about the Chinese smugglers is kind of boring, but the Moriarty episode is fantastic. I love how crazy Jim Moriarty is. So great.

John Oliver’s New York Stand Up Show – Popped this on during dinner for something to laugh to. Pretty good stuff.

Music

The Gregory Brothers – You know they put up a new Auto-Tune (Songify?) the News segment, so that got me listening to all of them again. I even dipped into their non-ATtN music because I love Sarah Gregory’s voice.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Slow and steady. Bloomqvist sure gets around with the ladies, doesn’t he?

Video Games

The Old Republic – The guild’s got Eternity Vault Normal on farm status so now it’s time to start working on Karagga’s Palace.

Ghost Trick – Making a lot of progress in this game. The mystery continues to deepen as my Spanish continues to improve. I love playing games in Spanish!

Earthbound (Mother 2) – Started up a new save file to play in between bosses in a raid. Fun times. Still very early in the game (haven’t explored the meteor yet)

Rayman: Origins – Min and I beat the game and started going for the prestige levels. Holy god the last one, Land of the Livid Dead, is about as punishing as the game can get. Platforming gets frustrating, but it’s also got a super satisfying feel once you conquer it.

Cave Story + – Thought I’d boot up something different while Min was napping. This game is pretty fun and pretty solid, but deciding I should play it on hard mode may have been a mistake. I’m stuck on Monster X because he’s a beast. Every one of his purple projectiles kills me in one hit, so I’ve got to be perfect. On the good side of the spectrum, the machine gun mechanics are amazing. Love that gun and the ability to float with it.

What I’ve Been Doing 23 Jan 2012 [FB/IB/F/BT/GO]
Jan 23rd, 2012 by Dan

This is a French video game for sure. (Picture courtesy Giant Bomb)

Movies

Evangelion 1.11 – Min has never seen Evangelion all the way through, so I figured the movies would be the best/easiest way to watch them.

Ip Man – I ran into this movie as a “Watch It Again” recommendation on Netflix, so I thought I’d show Min the aggressively pro-Chinese/anti-Japanese parts because I find it funny how blatantly nationalistic this movie is. Also the kung fu is pretty great to watch.

TV

Up All Night – For some reason the runner about Missy being mean to her incredibly good-looking British boyfriend she met off of J-Date is absolutely hilarious. This show is pretty solid. Not amazing, but solid. Good for a few guaranteed laughs.

The League – Finally caught the last three of the season. Allison Williams is hot. WOW! My favorite line, from Kevin to an ex-con: “How were the pick-up basketball games?” “Violent.”

Justified – Strong return. Holy cow that was awesome. The tension in the draw scene was awesome. Best line: “You didn’t have to do that, Ava.” “Of course I did. Otherwise I wouldn’t have done it.”

New Girl – “Frankie Munoz’s” was a great, silly joke. LIZZY CAPLAN! Why is she so skinny?! Too skinny. She punched the guy who played Todd in Community! Pretty good episode, but I wish Lizzy Caplan could stay for longer.

Childrens Hospital – Best line: “I would slit my wife’s throat to be with you”. For Malin Åkerman? I think I might too.

Sherlock – Min didn’t catch this when it was on PBS last year so I thought I’d share. Fantastic update of the Sherlock Holmes mythology.

Parks and Recreation – “Bobby Newport” “Bobby NEWport”. Anyway, Paul Rudd was fantastic in his role as a stupid opponent to Leslie’s campaign. I liked the part where he was upset about them smiling after besting him. Great line. The Andy/April stuff was kind of dumb, but I still laughed a bunch at it.

Project Runway: All Stars – Yeah, yeah…Tiffany makes me watch these with her sometimes. They’re not as terrible as other reality shows, so I don’t complain that much. This one had Miss Piggy on it and all the contestants were talking about how awesome it would be to design a dress for her. Um…I’m pretty sure they were paid to say that because it was a pretty ridiculous show concept.

Archer – Burt Reynolds! Pretty good episode. Strong return to form for the show. I like the maintained continuity with Ray and the wheelchair.

Music

Zelda Step – I got a fever. The only cure, more (Legend of Zelda) dubstep.

Books

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo – Still slowly reading it during lunch breaks. Still kind of dry.

Video Games

The Old Republic – Making progress as my Bounty Hunter. He just stole a spaceship for himself! As my Sith Inquisitor I’m making good money playing the Global Trade Network and our guild downed Soa in Eternity Vault on Normal.

Rayman: Origins – Been waiting to have Min over before I played this. Super fun! It reminds me of the fun times playing New Super Mario Bros. Wii, but in HD. I hope I can get Eric and Danielle over (or go over to their place) to play it. It’s lots of fun and I think they’d like it.

Chrono Trigger DS – I don’t know why I keep forgetting to mention I’m playing this. Beat the bonus boss and got the “new” ending. I might NG+ it to get the other 9 or so…might not. We’ll see.

Ghost Trick – Finally dug this up to give it some more playtime. Still absolutely hilarious, even in Spanish! That’s right, guys, I’m playing this game in Spanish to practice my reading skills. Tons of character, fantastic animation, and great humor.

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