NFL 2014 – Week 12 Preview

Yet another week without a power ranking. Look for it in the coming weeks.

  • Chiefs over the Raiders
  • Browns over the Falcons
  • Eagles over the Titans
  • Patriots over the Lions
  • Packers over the Vikings
  • Colts over the Jaguars
  • Texans over the Bengals
  • Jets over the Bills
  • Bears over the Buccaneers
  • Cardinals over the Seahawks
  • Rams over the Chargers
  • Broncos over the Dolphins
  • 49ers over the Redskins
  • Cowboys over the Giants
  • Ravens over the Saints

Game of The Year Watch 2014: Update 6

In today’s update I’ll be focusing on two titles that have actually sort of disappointed me this year. One of these aforementioned games comes every year, and the other had its debut. Let’s start with the latter. Shadow of Mordor.

So, I was really looking forward to return to Middle-Earth. I’m a big fan of the Tolkien-universe, a big fan of Troy Baker and I generally like Arkham-style releases. However. It really surprised me how little I cared. The story really tries to grab you, and it sort of does – but with little plot guidance early on, I felt that I had no reason to continue the story. Only battling orcs, goblins and whatnots felt good. Its nemesis system is great, for sure – and the combat is great as this hybrid of Assassin’s Creed and the Arkham-series. So, yeah, the game is great – but I just didn’t care about it. And that really shocked me.

Now, I am European – I truly enjoy soccer, football – whatever you call it. I’ve played FIFA for years, and though I liked the Next-Gen FIFA 14 version, I was very aware of the fact that it was lacking a lot of features (on purpose). Needless to say, with these features back it’s much better in FIFA 15. Another thing I really like is the goalkeeping, and the small touches on the game, like goal-line technology. The game is great for what it is, but it disappoints me somewhat – seeing as it’s the first FIFA game that I don’t want to play by myself.

In the next update, I’ll be tackling Far Cry 4 and LEGO Batman 3 – as well as addressing the two Assassin’s Creed-games. Do remember that remastered games cannot be considered in the hunt – so Grand Theft Auto V won’t be mentioned going forward.

Game of The Year Watch:

  1. Mario Kart 8 – 9.7 out of 10.0.
  2. The Walking Dead: Season 2 – 9.5 out of 10.0.
  3. South Park: The Stick of Truth – 9.5 out of 10.0.
  4. The Wolf Among Us: Season 1 – 9.3 out of 10.0.
  5. Child of Light – 9.2 out of 10.0.
  6. Valiant Hearts: The Great War – 9.0 out of 10.0.
  7. InFAMOUS: Second Son – 9.0 out of 10.0.
  8. Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor – 8.7/10.0.
  9. WATCH_DOGS – 8.5 out of 10.0.
  10. FIFA 15 – 8.5 out of 10.0.
  11. Destiny – 8.3 out of 10.0.
  12. Entwined – 8.2 out of 10.0.
  13. EA Sports UFC – 7.0 out of 10.0.

What Am I Reading? 6 of 6

The following post is the sixth of six revolving around what I am reading (mostly comics) in 2014. Every post will cover two months, and therefore this one will cover November and December. Do note that this bimonthly post might be discontinued after 2014.

As for books, I’m focusing on Netherland (pictured above), as for comics? Currently I’m trying to catch up on Scott Snyder’s Batman-run. I’m enjoying what I’m reading, but with UCPH I’m having a tough time catching up.

During November I’ve read parts of Perks of Being a Wallflower, and so far I am loving it.

In December I probably won’t read many books out of want, but rather out of need – i.e. a lot of exams in December (and January).

 

NFL 2014 – Week 11 Preview

No Power Ranking this week, so straight to this week’s predictions.

  • Miami Dolphins over the Buffalo Bills
  • Chicago Bears over the Minnesota Vikings
  • Cleveland Browns over the Houston Texans
  • Atlanta Falcons over the Carolina Panthers
  • New Orleans Saints over the Cincinnati Bengals
  • Washington Redskins over the Tampa Bay Bucs
  • Denver Broncos over the St. Louis Rams
  • San Francisco 49ers over the New York Giants
  • Seattle Seahawks over the Kansas City Chiefs
  • San Diego Chargers over the Oakland Raiders
  • Arizona Cardinals over the Detroit Lions
  • Philadelphia Eagles over the Green Bay Packers
  • Indianapolis Colts over the New England Patriots
  • Pittsburgh Steelers over the Tennessee Titans

REVIEW: Interstellar (2014)


Warning, expect some spoilers from the film following the premise description – however, for the good of the film I’ll do my best to refrain myself from discussing important scenes in-depth. The film follows Cooper, played by Matthew McConaughey, a father of two, as he attempts to secure a future for his children, who are living where no person should. Earth is falling apart, and the future of humanity is in question. When Cooper’s daughter discovers something odd, a journey begins, as Cooper is thrown into something much bigger than him and his family – interstellar travel to save humanity. But Cooper’s daughter, Murphy, doesn’t agree with his decision to partake in the journey – and then the story truly begins.

This could sound like Michael Bay’s Armageddon, but thankfully this film is much more than that. Don’t get me wrong, the aforementioned film can be enjoyable – but the small plot points of films like Armageddon are processed much better here in Interstellar by the Nolans. The themes in this film revolve around family, and also the point in which you break away from that – and partake in your destiny. The film stars Matthew McConaughey, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine and Anne Hathaway – and they’re all great in this film. So is Nolan. Nolan is a great director, and I really do love his films.

There are a lot of memorable scenes in this film, and for me – one of the most memorable scenes revolve around a message-in-a-bottle communication system. McConaughey is great in the scenes wherein he receives video from Earth. I love those scenes, but they are also very emotional – and this film really is, to be honest. This film, at its core, is about a simple man trying to save his children from doom – his mission is very personal, very much unlike the rest of his crewmembers, though.

The viewers should know what they’re getting into when watching this film though. I found that there were people expecting horror sci-fi going in; people expecting a lot of action – perhaps even aliens. Don’t. This is classic science fiction, heavy on science – theoritical to be precise. This is also, though, a space opera – and though it does a great job in building a relationship between a father and a daughter, I found that some relationships were not as strong as I’d like. Cooper’s son isn’t as developed as you’d hope, and I wasn’t happy with the introduction of Professor Brand.

I loved the story though, but if one is unable to properly relax in the film – through suspension of disbelief – then I expect a less than stellar experience. It is of paramount importance that you watch this film in a movie theatre – I cannot stress this enough. Nolan’s films are beautiful, and this is not an exception – perhaps this is actually the prettiest of all his films. As a side-note, I might add that there is an interesting surprise actor in the film – don’t look at the credited cast on IMDb – I repeat, don’t look at the credited cast!

I question whether this film would be better received if Gravity didn’t come out last year – for some scenes aren’t as fantastical to me, as they were in the aforementioned 2013 film. Finally, I’d like to mention the final act – which is imperfect. The story becomes too clunky in the final act, and though I actually like a lot of the final act, I was told by other theatre attendees that they found it confusing. The biggest problem I have with this film – which is bound to be unfairly overanalyzed, seeing as it is created by Christopher Nolan – is the ending. I would’ve liked for this film to end 3, or perhaps even 10, minutes earlier – as the ending became too Hollywood for my liking.

Ending on a high-note, I’d like to add that the scenes involving Michael Caine have a lot of weight to them – and there’s an overall message in those scenes (retrod in the scenes involving the special surprise actor). A message created by poet Dylan Thomas – and it is absolutely breathtaking, and at times emotional. Perfect use of a perfect poem.

Overall Score: 8.8 out of 10. Though the film has a clunky final act, with too much Hollywood-sweetness added to it, this is a great example of a proper space opera, and it goes where few great theoretical-science fiction-films have gone before. Teaching us to not go gentle into that good night.

NFL 2014 – Week 10 Preview

Pre-Week 10 Power Ranking

  1. Indianapolis Colts
  2. New England Patriots
  3. Denver Broncos
  4. Arizona Cardinals
  5. Seattle Seahawks
  6. Pittsburgh Steelers
  7. Dallas Cowboys
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Miami Dolphins
  10. Baltimore Ravens
  11. San Diego Chargers
  12. Buffalo Bills
  13. Detroit Lions
  14. Philadelphia Eagles
  15. Green Bay Packers
  16. Kansas City Chiefs
  17. New Orleans Saints
  18. Houston Texans
  19. Carolina Panthers
  20. San Francisco 49ers
  21. Minnesota Vikings
  22. Chicago Bears
  23. Cleveland Browns
  24. Atlanta Falcons
  25. St. Louis Rams
  26. Washington Redskins
  27. New York Giants
  28. Tennessee Titans
  29. New York Jets
  30. Jacksonville Jaguars
  31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  32. Oakland Raiders

Week 10 Predictions (64%)

  • Cincinnati Bengals over the Cleveland Browns
  • Buffalo Bills over the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Miami Dolphins over the Detroit Lions
  • Dallas Cowboys over the Jacksonville Jaguars
  • New Orleans Saints over the San Francisco 49ers
  • Baltimore Ravens over the Tennessee Titans
  • Pittsburgh Steelers over the New York Jets
  • Atlanta Falcons over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  • Denver Broncos over the Oakland Raiders
  • Arizona Cardinals over the St. Louis Rams
  • Seattle Seahawks over the New York Giants
  • Green Bay Packers over the Chicago Bears
  • Carolina Panthers over the Philadelphia Eagles

 

REVIEW: Artifact (2012 – Documentary)

The documentary Artifact, directed by Jared Leto (as Bartholomew Cubbins), tells the story of how his band Thirty Seconds to Mars fought the record label EMI. In what is an interesting tale of wronged people fighting back in real life – we are also introduced to the rest of the music world – and we see just how unjust labels are in today’s society.

Now, I’ve said multiple times that I’m a big fan of Thirty Seconds to Mars, but I’ve tried to remain as unbiased as possible in reviewing this documentary. I fully expected to see how their own journey was, but I was surprised at how encompassing their journey was. Not only do we follow the Letos and Tomo, but we also hear from leading musicians from Linkin Park, System of a Down and so on and so forth. It’s really interesting to get an idea of what they went through, and what musicians generally go through – getting bankrupt because of their record label. It’s a sad story, and as Jared reflects later – even if they win, is there really anything to cheer for.

The documentary touches upon David v Goliath, and the idea that you should ‘stick it to the man’ – but one thing that surprised me was how uncentralized the documentary was. What I mean is that this isn’t just the central story of them battling the record label, and other musicians struggling. A big part of the documentary is about showing everyone the origin of the band. I like hearing it, but I don’t think it’s the time or place for this origin story.

Overall Score: 7.7 out of 10. An entertaining documentary that showcases the frustrating lives of modern day musicians. While interesting, though, it does tend to veer from the theme at hand by showcasing an origin story.