Fourteen: Chris’ “Phablet” fits in his pocket, he swears

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We report on the Apple announcement of the Iphone6, 6Plus and Apple Watch.  We establish Christopher likes batteries.

Seen:

“The Leftovers” Season 1 Finale delivers on multiple levels.  Storytelling at its finest.  It brings all the Feels.
Andrew is re-watching “Arrow” Season 1 with his lady.  She probably has a thing for Stephen Amell.

Christopher and Patrick discuss most recent “Doctor Who”.  Mixed feelings all around.

Read:
We all slack on “Batman Eternal”
Christopher is through “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon” #6
While reading “Ready Player One” Patrick reflects on his own gamer experience.  We feel this is a good thing.
Andrew reads the newest book in the Emberverse series.  Its good adventure.
Played:
“Destiny” is played by all
Reviews are good to great, Andrew has no idea what he is doing.  Just likes shooting stuff.
Chris and Patrick have more nuanced reactions.
Trivia:
Andrew bungles it.  The Boys give him appropriate amounts of grief

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Titus Pullo Says “Episode: Thirteen!”

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We report on The Rock’s casting as Black Adam in the upcoming “Shazam” film from the DC Cinematic Universe.
We approve.

Seen:

We all discuss “The Desolation of Smaug”  It’s bloated and silly but Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug is fantastic and the Dragon himself is amazing.

Chris discusses “Homeland”, we all recall our love of “Band of Brothers”.

Patrick and Christopher find this new “Doctor Who” interesting and is glad for the new direction

Read:

Batman Eternal #22 and the series as a whole is discussed.

Andrew reads a NON YA book. “The Queen of the Tearling”.

Patrick finishes “A Feast For Crows”.  He is spent.

Christopher continues to enjoy “Iron Fist: The Living Weapon”

Played:

Christopher kicks Andrew’s tail in “Mario Kart 8″.  Andrew needs more track time.

Patrick and Christopher play “Diablo” for the Xbox360 and PC respectively.  Their love for the game is strong and not at all excessive.

Destiny arrives on 9-9-2014  All rejoice.

Trivia.  Total minutes of running time for Original Theatrical “Lord of the Rings” films

Both brothers undershoot the actual number.

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Twelve: True Blood Sucks (See what we did there?)

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We discuss the record $3.2 million dollar sale at Ebay auction of “Action Comics #1″.  We are not Collector Geeks but if we had a billion dollars…. still probably not.

Seen:
“True Blood” Series Finale is decent and discussion of the series as a whole ensues.  It stayed too long at the party.

“The Leftovers” is TREMENDOUS.  We find it really really hard not to spoilerize it.  But we didn’t.
Patrick hopes for another season of “Legend of Korra”.  Don’t cancel it Nickelodeon!

Read:
Andrew gives his honest opinion on Batman Eternal #20.
Christopher is digging on Book#1 of the “Powder Mage” trilogy.
Patrick will rest his brain and heart for a while after he finishes “A Feast For Crows”.

Played:
Andrew is thoughtful and plays nothing so Patrick can speak at length about “Diablo III: Reaper of Souls” for the Xbox 360
Chris plays lots of games.  He’s a gamer.

EPL update:

Chris’s Tottenham Hotspur are top of the table… for now.

Trivia:
The Boys are challenged to name two of the four “Outstanding Drama Series” with four wins.
They succeed!
“Hill Street Blues” “LA Law” “the West Wing” and “Mad Men” are the answers

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The Leftovers “The Garveys at Their best”

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By Christopher Schmaltz

 

“The foot feels the foot when it feels the ground.”

That is a quote focused on, and slightly puzzled over, in the most recent tremendous episode of The Leftovers. This will be a spoiler free comment, so if you are behind in watching the show, no worries. I was struck by this quote and its usage in this current episode, and its commentary on the show as a whole.

So let’s examine the quote first. It suggests that a thing isn’t aware of itself except in relation to something else. Going further, it offers the viewpoint that the thing, namely “the foot,” needs feedback from an outside force or resistance in order to be that thing. This concept seems totally contrary to the “I think, therefore I am” classical philosophical proposition by Descartes. Or is it? The fascinating use of the “foot” quote in the context of this show continues the show’s deep exploration of emptiness, loss, and the meaning of existence.

How does it do that? IMO, the whole show to this point has been a close examination of the people who remain, and their response to the void that is created (it too remains) when they have lost someone to this unexplained event. It is the existential crisis of all existential crises. A person (or multiple people) that helped define who you are abruptly vanish. The serious theme being examined here is that the people who have lost loved ones (via the event, or because of it in its aftermath) are struggling to come to grips with themselves. The absence of their familial feedback has set them adrift. That void, contradictorily enough, provides strong feedback too. Is the absence of the “ground” also feedback for the foot, when it expects feedback from the ground, or “remembers” the feedback?

“I think, therefore I am” is about knowledge, awareness. It isn’t about feeling/being/living. Knowing you exist and existing are 2 very different things. The show continues to effectively explore that difference. But to what point? Navel gazing for its own sake is a feedback loop to nothing. The payoff is in growth – we’ll see if The Leftovers manages to communicate growth for some or all of the characters by the end of this season.

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Eleven: Palate Cleansers for Your Frontal Lobe

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We remember the great Robin Williams, “Mork and Mindy”, “Aladdin”, ‘Dead Poets Society”, “Good Will Hunting” and “Jumanji” all showed us his wild genius
Seen:
Christopher discusses lighter fair this week, he has started “Legend of Korra” as he has realized how dark most of his viewing choices are.
Patrick and Andrew talk “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”, decide its just stupid fun.
Read:
Andrew is current with “Batman Eternal” and “Invincible”.
Christopher is finishing “The Strain” Book One.
We encourage Patrick to finish “A Feast for Crows” simply because “A Dance with Dragons” is so good.
Played:
Christopher geeks out and builds a car from a crap movie on “Forza 5″
Patrick plays “Diablo” with his buddies
Andrew plays more Spartan Ops.  All agree crushing crawlers with a Mantis foot is good clean fun.
Barclay’s Premier League returns this weekend.  Patrick’s Manchester City is defending League and Schmaltz Cup Champions.

Trivia.
Boys attempt to name the top 5 Animated films in terms of Box Office.  They get very close.

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Ten: Andrew Actually Plays a Game!

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We discuss Marvel’s Studio’s new film “Guardians of the Galaxy”  Try to place it the Pantheon of Marvel Cinematic Universe Films.

Which is better Avengers or GoTG or C.A. The Winter Soldier?

Seen:

The Leftovers is all three of our choice for most compelling show

True Blood needs a stronger villain

Read:

Chris is the only one who is current with “Batman Eternal”.  We are all committed  just slacking.

Andrew will finish “Storm Front” and continue the Dresden Files.

Patrick and Andrew are going to read “Ready Player One”  Chris thinks this is a good idea.

Played:

ANDREW PLAYED A HALO 4 SPARTAN OPS MISSION!  Discussion ensues of Halo franchise greatness.

Chris plays Forza, solves his Divinity issues with a “hack”  MK8 is still great fun

Patrick plays GTA, does crime, flies a helicopter gunship, is a mass murderer.

Trivia:

List all Marvel Cinematic Universe Films in order they are released.  Both Chris and Patrick get achievement.

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Nine: SDCC Return Achievement Unlocked…for some

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Chris and Andrew report on San Diego Comic Con International 2014
First impressions and most memorable experiences after being away for five years.
Chris and Andrew discuss Comic-Con Masquerade.
We debate the “Cult of Personality” aspects of Comic-Con.
Huge shout out to Samurai Comics from the hook up for Badges this year.
Seen:
The Leftovers
Batman: Assault on Arkham watched at Comic Con by Chris and Andrew.
True Blood, Extant, The Strain
Read:
A Feast for Crows ,Storm Front
Superman Doomed #1  Chris downloads on Comixology app at Con while attending Superman comics panel at Con.  Andrew will start on Jon Romita Jr. and Geoff Johns’s run on the title.
Played:
Divinity is beloved by Christopher but tech issues persist.  He also watched  DoTA 2  tournament.  Discussion ensues on Noob Channel aspect of experience and how DoTA has a high “penetration point”
Andrew plays nothing and is lame.
Destiny Beta played by Patrick.  Patrick wants to have its babies he loves it so much.  Normal beta bugs exist but gameplay is wonderful.  Patrick is salivating to play more.
Andrew presents Hercules 12 Labors trivia question in honor of the Rock’s fun, goofy movie.  Patrick and Chris earn partial credit for nearly achieving the required 6 answers.

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Divinity Original Sin

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By Christopher Schmaltz 7-18-14

I’m old. Well, old-ish. Old enough in this geeky world I and my brothers inhabit to have played pen and paper Advanced Dungeon & Dragons (AD&D) as a kid when it was released (split from regular Dungeons & Dragons) in the late 70s and early 80s. Some of my best childhood memories involve all nighters at my friend Brandon’s house in Crookston, MN, playing video games on his sweet Atari 2600, and playing AD&D. Brandon was also the first of our group to have an Atari 5200 too, so we gathered at his house a lot.

 

Anyway, one of my adult gaming pursuits has always been to find a game that evokes all those great memories of role playing and all around creative fun in those long nights of AD&D in Brandon’s (finished) basement. (Clichés are clichés because they contain a kernel of truth.) Baldur’s Gate and its kin (BG II, Planescape Torment, Icewind Dale), and Neverwinter Nights were the first amazing recreations of that experience for me in video game form. Of course, once I was introduced to World of Warcraft, it was very easy to feed the memory of that AD&D hunger, although WOW falls short of the AD&D creative adventure experience for me.

 

I kick myself that I missed out on being a Kickstarter backer (see what I did there?) of Lirian’s Divinity: Original Sin game. That being said, when it was released in late June, I was all over it, buying it from Steam, and firing it up. It is an action role playing game for 2014, updated and improving on everything that made Baldur’s Gate great. This will be an ongoing series as I am able to play through it…which highlights the game’s main issue so far.

 

You ever want to do something so bad, and are prevented from doing it by issues inherent in the thing you are trying to do? Divinity has that issue – its current bugs with crashing due to saves (and lost saves) and video card issues are stopping extended play for me. This is fatal to an action RPG, since the immersion in the story and ability to improve your characters over time are the core elements of a successful game. Lirian is patching the game like mad. And as these glitches get resolved, you can expect more from me as I am able to play deeper into the game. First blush however – Brandon , those old friends, and younger Me, would be pleased.

 

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Penny Dreadful, Worth it

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By Andrew Schmaltz 7-18-14

Let me establish from the outset that I am not a fan of “cop shows”. And, of course, there are exceptions to the rule, I love Castle (for Fillion), I very much enjoyed SouthLAnd, and the short lived but excellent The Chicago Code. I do not enjoy “cop shows” because they tend to demand so little from the viewer. The CSIs and NCIS’s and Blue Bloods’s (which I admit I have never really watched but seems to be cut from the same cloth as its on CBS and stars a well-known, handsome male lead in his late 50s or early 60s who is competent, straight forward and very handsome) all appeal to the lowest common denominator. Tune in, watch a 42 minute mystery that is always the same. The heroes do their thing, are very smart and attractive and the killer gets caught in time for helpful wrap-up scene.

Penny Dreadful is not a “cop show”. It is a Historical/Supernatural/Mystery/Family Drama. This show not only requires an engaged viewership willing to endure the emotionally wrenching trials of the characters but a working knowledge of Classic English Language Victorian Horror Literature. The characters of Victor Frankenstein, his Creation(s), Dorian Gray, Abraham Van Helsing, Dracula all are included to varying degrees in this intriguing Showtime drama. To crib Aaron Sorkin, “this is Advanced Television Viewing”. Not easy but demanding is part of the point.

I came to this show late and binge watched which made for immediate pay off. I am normally an Event Watcher. I pay for HBO so I can watch Game of Thrones every Sunday, and True Blood and the Newsroom (I’m a life long Sorkin fan). I will watch The Walking Dead and Mad Men every week when they return. Penny Dreadful in season 2 will become Event Viewing for me. I will revel in the 7 days between episodes to talk about and theorize over the episodes. This show demands and deserves that kind of attention. I am happy to pay that price.

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