South-Park-23

“South Park: The Stick of Truth”

I spent the weekend trying to nurse my wife well from another cold caught while she worked her leader of all that is educational magic with the children of Salem Oregon. While being the excellent husband I am(points scored and stored for a future nerdcation … any Comic Con anywhere babe if you’re reading this)  I spent my down time playing through “South Park: The Stick of Truth”.

The last “South Park” game I experienced was “South Park: Rally” (released in 2000, Nintendo 64), and before that “South Park” (1998, Nintendo 64). I was not impressed by either of the games and those two hits and misses left me thinking that “South Park: The Stick of Truth” would be another farmed out pile of crap. Boy was I surprised by the fully immersive RPG it turned out to be.

Off the bat you start out as “The New Kid” and get to pick your class Thief, Fighter, Mage, or Jew. I chose Fighter and from that point on I was treated to an RPG set within what seemed to be a hilarious “South Park” movie. With **SPOILERS** appearances from every character you could think of Mr. Slave, Mr. Hankey, the Girls, Mr. Marsh, the Country of Canada (including the great Terrence and Phillip), and the big **SPOILER** Chef.


I applaud the folks at IGN for this making of short.

The comedy is crass and over the top and I for one enjoyed the laughs wholeheartedly. Hell ** SPOILERS** killing Khloe Kardashians aborted zombie Natzi fetus was one of the highlights of the game. The crassness wasn’t there too simply offend you it was used to further the storyline and brought something new to an RPG genre that I think needed a change of pace. I applaud the “South Park” team including the creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker for bringing the public a game that wasn’t a simple license the property to X and leave story to Y and receive money no matter how terrible it is. The “South Park” team took the bull by the horns and made the game they wanted with Obsidian Entertainment really taking South Park Studios ideas and animation and making a working world for “South Park” and RPG fans to enjoy.

I encourage anyone who enjoys a good game to pick up “South Park: The Stick of Truth” today. Play “South Park” like you never have before!!

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The Comfort Movie

What is your comfort movie? I asked this question of my social media followers and received some great responses. Everything from action films like “Die Hard” to classic dramas like “Casablanca “or Sci-Fi films like “Dune” and epic awesomeness like the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.  I was pleasantly surprised by the wide array of films. I really appreciate the input.

To start I found my love for movies by watching a litany of films with my mom who was stricken with Multiple Sclerosis and confined to our home for a good portion of my younger years. Her tastes in film were so eclectic our library (in the thousands) had everything in it. Romantic Comedies, Dramas, Dramadies, Originals, Remakes, and every niche you can drum up. They offered her a chance not simply just to escape her problems because to be honest they were very apparent to her; they offered her a chance to feel excitement, fear, happiness, love, and hate. They offered her a chance to feel emotions not influence by pain. They offered a pathway to the human condition through someone another persons eyes. Films offered a great deal of comfort to her and now to me.

I remember “An American Tail” being my first comfort film. Who could not fall in love with “Fievel Mousekewitz”? The character made every kid yearn for an adventure. This was the first film that made me feel for the main character.



Then there is “Emperor’s New Groove”, just a silly children’s film that is so David Spade it makes me laugh every time I watch it. I would not call it great. I call it fun and sometimes fun is just what you need after a hard day.\


Nothing picks me up after a rough day than an epic blockbuster. “Iron Man”, “Dark Knight”, “Thor”, “Lord of the Rings”, “Die Hard”(the original and “Vengeance”), and of course “Ghost Busters”. I love movies that are made to make you smile. There is magic when a movie can turn your mood from depressed, stressed out or angry as all hell, to chill and joyful for at the very least a few hours.


Comfort movies are great because they don’t have to be good. They can be delightfully bad. Some people love “Sharknado” simply because it is so bad it makes fun of itself. My sister loves horror films. She introduced me to the original “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” and she watches these films as comfort movies. In my eyes these movies are funny in her eyes they get her mind off her day and the fear simply gets the blood flowing. Who am I to argue with that?

My wife enjoys a good documentary film. Ancient Egypt is a popular topic; along with space, murder, and anything Roman or Greek. Documentary film making is such a great thing. Such an art to make the past relevant in a world filled with instant gratification. To make history exciting is a talent all its own and one this very brief history major really appreciates.


So no matter your comfort film I say to you simply enjoy them. Bask in the artistry that is film. Go to that happy place you only find so often.

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“Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

Marvel in all its wisdom took what I believe was its weakest film franchise in Captain America and made him into one of its strongest assets. “Captain America: The First Avenger,” was a slow film that seemed to miss its first step. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” flipped the script completely bringing the audience elements of not only a popcorn action film but a spy thriller filled with all the espionage goodness you would expect from Jason Bourne.

Whether it is industry veterans like Robert Redford and Samuel L. Jackson or the youth filled energy of Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Scarlett Johansson,  and  Chris Evans this cast has enough talent to fill an ensemble flick like “The Avengers” much less a standalone “Captain America” film. I was impressed with what was a very well-paced and well-acted Marvel Studios production.

*SPOILERS*

So what is next for the Captain? Will Chris Evans leave following “Captain America 3”? Will Steve Rogers be killed off to make way for the Bucky Barnes Captain America? What is next for the Black Widow? Quicksilver? The Scarlett Witch?

If you are not excited for “Guardians of the Galaxy” you should be. I’ll buy anything Marvel/Disney touches. I am very excited to see what the ties are between the Guardians and our earthbound heroes.

“Avengers: Age of Ultron”is setting up to be big and I mean gargantuan. So many heroes are being teased. So many cool rumors are floating about. Now is truly a time for nerds. Only if Warner Bros could get its ish together and bring us “Superman vs Batman” when they promised it in 2015 instead of 2016. Things are heating up!  I love that we live in a time where  studios are pushing each other to make quality films. The feuding has yet to begin!!

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Wolverine

I remember watching the first episode of “X-Men: The Animated Series”. The struggle of the characters was something a teen during the 90’s could identify with. The quintessential teen in Jubilee. The debonair ladies’ man in Gambit. The skilled leader in Cyclops.   The ever conflicted and epically powerful Jean Grey. These characters simply touch the surface of a cartoon that introduced me to such a great group of Marvel characters.

My favorite “X-Men” character by far has and probably will always be Logan/Wolverine. Wolverine is such an iconic character. I remember how intense he was in the early 90’s series and could have never imagined such a mercurial character could ever translate precisely to what my imagination expected on the big screen. Then came the year 2000 with the live action Bryan Singer helmed “X-Men”. I was blown away by this unknown (at least to me) actor in Hugh Jackman. He nailed the swagger and pure rage of Wolverine perfectly. He has embodied the character for believe it or not fourteen years in seven movies (this includes a brief appearance in “X-Men: First Class”).

So when Hugh told IGN that “At some point, someone will close the door on me” immediately my mind went on the defensive. I mean Hugh could play Logan for another 10 years right? I did the math and in ten years Hugh would be 55. Not exactly the prime age to play the ageless superhero Wolverine. That got me to thinking who could replace him? Who has the right amount of roughness and look of shear intimidation that Mr. Jackman has pulled off?

Chris Pine (33)?

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I mean he has some bravado but can a man be Kirk and Logan? I am not too sure he could pull off Wolverine’s body.

Karl Urban (41)?

Karl Urban

He’s only four years younger than Hugh and really is only thrown in here because I think at one time he fit the role and played a similar anti-hero in Judge Dredd well.

Sullivan Stapleton (36)?

Sullivan Stapleton

He was great in “300: Rise of an Empire” and plays a badass well.  I think he would be a great choice but I am biased since I loved his performance in 300.

Liam Hemsworth (24)?

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Landing Thor’s brother could really steal some headlines but there is something about his look that screams to pretty for Wolverine.

Tom Hardy (36)?

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He made Bane scary just with his eyes imagine what he could do if he could act in a Superhero film using his entire face!!

Who do you think could play the next incarnation of Wolverine? Hell think outside the box maybe good ole Logan won’t be a buff badass maybe the next version of him will be a young sensitive emo “Twilight” looking kid. Only time and some hopefully smart studio decisions will tell.

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300: Rise of an Empire

“300: Rise of an Empire” was a great action film. Talk about a romp worthy of 3D glasses! There are not many films out there truly meant to be seen in 3D. This is one of those films. Eva Green who plays Artemisia is worth the price of admission. One, she is breathtakingly beautiful in this film. Two, she plays an angry vengeful bitch well. Three, she is in I believe the first tastefully cinematic fighting sex scenes ever. That and she really makes the film what it is which is many words is a violent testosterone filled romp through several epic Greek battles.

My only real gripe is that “300” had a much better pace than “Rise of an Empire”. “Rise” seemed to spend a great deal of time reminding the viewer that “Hey look there is Leonidas dead, he was in the movie see we brought him back. Technically we brought him back.” No technically you used footage from the last movie and really only needed it once out of the handful of times Xerxes axe was shown hurling toward Leo’s head. Go watch the film you’ll see what I mean.

Is “300: Rise of an Empire” better than “300”. No. No. Nooooooooo! “300” had an aura about it. It was different. It changed the game in the action genre. It was a breath of fresh air in a world wanting the next “Matrix” experience. It is a shame it took eight years for something to come from such a success but “300: Rise of an Empire” could really be the start of something special. I am not going to spoil the film for you but I can say that it sets the table for something awesome.

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