The honorable Nick Diamon presides over a legal battle among animals in Tooth and Tail. Then Tom Chick and Jason McMaster get to lord over him the fact that they’re playing Destiny 2 while he’s faffing about in some Bethesda MMO.
In Lovecraft Country, being called a nigger, refused service at a restaurant, harassed by the police, or treated with contempt by an elite coven of warlocks is just another day. This cast of black characters living in Chicago in 1954 is accustomed to America. They have learned to navigate it. Literally. One of the main characters publishes a travel guide called The Safe Negro Travel Guide. It steers black people around — or, if necessary, through — the more virulent racism in America, especially where Jim Crow laws are still in effect. Which restaurants will serve black customers? Which highways should you not be on after dark? Which garages can you call if your car breaks down?
So the characters in Lovecraft Country don’t seem terribly surprised by the idea that maybe the universe is a vast and ancient expanse of indifference at best, outright hostility at worst. Why would someone go insane from learning what minorities know every day? If you look into the abyss long enough, you still have to ride in the back of the bus on your way to work. Continue reading →
After Prometheus, Noomi Rapace’s “save the world” track record took a real hit. Let’s see how she fares now that Unlocked has come out. At the 1:22, we discuss sexual assault in movies.
Next week: Mother!
I’ve spent many hours with R. Eric Reuss’ game. It’s only fair that he spends one with me. Join us for a wide-ranging talk with the creator of this brilliant co-op/solitaire boardgame.
We already knew Taylor Sheridan could write. But what if what he really wanted to do was direct? At the 1:21 mark, the podcast erupts into a highly combustible discussion of exploding people.
Next week: Unlocked
Tom Chick presides over this week’s face-off between Jason McMaster for Conan: Exiles and Nick Diamon for Ark: Survival Evolved. May the best open-world survival crafting/grinding game win! Then a lot of talk about the new War of the Chosen DLC for XCOM 2.
We would like to apologize to both Virginias for things Kellywand says on this podcast. At the 1:14 mark, we talk about our favorite transsexual characters. A lot of what our country knows about alternative lifestyles is what it learns from movies. What are they telling us about transsexuals?
Next week: Wind River
From watching The Sandbaggers, I have come to appreciate two things. The first is Garth Marenghi’s Darkplace. Matthew Holness and Richard Ayoade’s ode to bad British genre TV from the 70s is hilarious even if you don’t know bad British genre TV from the 70s. What else would it be with Holness, Ayoade, the incomparable Matt Berry, and the even more incomparable Alice Lowe? But now that I’ve seen Sandbaggers, which has the same style, tone, and production values that Darkplace lovingly mocked, I get the joke even better. So this is what it was like to watch TV in the UK!
But then there’s the second thing I’ve come to appreciate. Continue reading →
Tony Carnevale, Tom Chick, and Bruce Geryk dive deep into the reprint of Victory Point Games’ solitaire classic, Nemo’s War. What’s new, what’s better, what’s worse? And what’s the deal with these rules?
Consider a wilderness, lightly populated by natives. They have pagan sites dedicated to local nature gods. They worship a river or mountain or clouds or nighttime or something. Some sort of quaint animism. Now here come European explorers from across the sea. They set up small towns. The towns coalesce into entrenched cities. Culture spreads. The holy sites are abandoned and the natives are assimilated. The wilderness is now tamed. Settled. European. Probably Christian.
Aliens is one of the easiest templates for a low budget sci-fi thriller. Just gather some sci-fi props, secure a shooting location, and figure out what to do for your monster. In the case of Armed Response, these are, respectively, an RV, a warehouse and, uh, they’re invisible. The invisible monsters bit is a great way to save money. Or you can also just pretend something infects or haunts some of the characters. Now they can be your monsters. To its credit, Armed Response splurges on a couple of bad CG sequences late in the movie involving ghostly arms. Literally arms. Not weapons. But actual arms. That’s your reward for sticking with it. Continue reading →
This week’s meeting of the Charlize Theron Fan Club shall come to order. At the 1:38, after a couple of closing Atomic Blonde comments that end at 1:40, we look both ways before discussing scenes of people crossing streets.
Next week: Logan Lucky
I’m not sure what I expected, but it wasn’t this. I thought the first season would feel like a complete experience from A to B to Z. But just as I think it’s wrapping everything up, it instead resets everything. It goes from A to B to A-point-one. The situation has not changed substantially. Some of the characters’ lives have certainly changed, but the overall situation might as well be a reset to the beginning of the season. Continue reading →
We resolve the burning question that haunts everyone playing Agents of Mayhem. Daisy or Scheherazade? Fortunately, you can have both on your team. You probably should. We also talk Tacoma, Blood Bowl 2, and the Atlas Rising update for No Man’s Sky.
When writing about Agents of Mayhem, it’s tempting to call out the obvious similarities and influences. The amped up cartoon charm of Overwatch. The infinitely customizable character classes of Diablo III. The gratifying doo-dad hunting of Crackdown. The intricate combat and character interaction of League of Legends nee Defense of the Ancients. The cheery superhero team spirit of The Avengers. The breezy vulgarity of Archer. The purple hues of Saints Row.
But none of that tells the whole story. None of that gets at why Agents of Mayhem stands mightily on its own. This is not just an open-world Overwatch. This is not just Saints Row with superheroes. This is a masterpiece that’s been waiting for 30 years to bust out from the collection of talent at Volition. For a number of reasons, it demands a place among the best of the best. Twelve reasons, to be precise. Continue reading →