Apr 18, 2014

[Movies] The Way We Were (1973)

My family was always pretty big on movies and over the years we have maintained sizable home video collections on VHS, VCD and DVDs predominantly. This is not to say that we didn't dabble in Betamax and Laserdiscs - believe me we've been around the block a number of times, so to speak. And thus my childhood is rich with different memories of various movies that we watched together as a family or just happened to be playing in the background while I was playing with my Transformers or something.

The Way We Were is one of those timeless movies that always ranks rather highly on various lists of movies that you need to see at least once in your life. It's one of the more complex romance stories that may seem simple in terms of core concept but end up being pretty complicated when fully realized. And as far as movies go, this was definitely quite the entertaining piece.

And we'll never get away from the fact that it is essentially a major blockbuster in terms of the cast that it brought into this movie. The lead stars are pretty big even today and to have them together in one movie at the time must have been a major coup for the studio, if only for the media mileage and publicity alone. But better than that, this is a pretty good movie all around.

Apr 17, 2014

[TV] Fringe: Season 5

So it was only while reviewing the Fringe tie-in novel, The Zodiac Paradox that I realized that I had never gotten around to writing a review of the final season of Fringe. I thought I had addressed it, but repeated searches of this blog reveal that no such post exists. So I guess not.

So this is my effort to finally rectify this gap in the Geeky Guide record to complete my reviews for what remains to be a pretty awesome show. My partner Tobie and I became major Fringe fans over the course of the show and while there were a number of arguments against the manner in which the show wrapped up.

Now just because we're fans doesn't mean we can't look at the show with a critical eye. I understand that the show took a rather unusual direction in this final season. But it still made a pretty good resolution to things. And with a show that reached the geeky heights that it did, I doubt there would have been any ending that would have truly satisfied fans.

Apr 16, 2014

[Games] Gratuitous Space Battles (PC)

I'm a bit of a Humble Indie Bundle junkie for one reason or another. As long as I'm interested in a few of the games in the bundle, I'm pretty likely to dive right into things. Plus those addictive bundles come with soundtracks for some of the games, which make for rather fun listening at times.

I had picked up Gratuitous Space Battles as part of the Humble Indie Bundle 6, along with a number of other interesting games. But I sort of forgot about it at the time since I didn't have a gaming-capable computer at the time. So I finally found the time to play the game recently and was rather surprised at how things turned out.

Apr 15, 2014

[Books] Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox

I rarely get into tie-in books for most TV shows that I watch. Sure, I have dabbled in Star Trek books and I have a ridiculous collection of Star Wars books, but for most shows I've generally stayed away from the medium. Such books are rarely considered "canon" from a story perspective, plus there are those instances when the stories are just...not great. They're passable and they use the characters from the show decently enough, but at the end of the day it doesn't quite feel right in terms of the original show.

But I took a gamble on Fringe: The Zodiac Paradox, primarily given how much I enjoyed the show and I was curious as to see what they would do the explore the characters further. And while it would be rather controversial to try and continue the Fringe story beyond the final episode (side note: why haven't I posted a review for the final season???), it was safe enough that they opted to explore the Fringe world before the show.

Admittedly I wasn't expecting all that much from this prequel adventure but the end results were pretty awesome. Certainly made for an enjoyable read and a nice glimpse at what their lives might have been like before all the science madness of the main show.

Apr 14, 2014

[Movies] The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (2013)

When I was a kid, I was rather into magic tricks. I'm not sure why this particular Transformers-obsessed little boy also diverted into the whole magic thing, but it happened. And thus I asked my parents to buy me those little pre-made magic trick sets and even a few books on magic. I even hosted a few magic trick performances at family events and even at school. It was a rather serious thing.

Thus on some degree, the story behind The Incredible Burt Wonderstone sort of resonated with me on some level given it's core premise of a boy being inspired to aspire to the life of a magician. In this case it took things further to that of a Las Vegas magician with an actual theater named after him.

At first I thought the movie would just sort of exploit the tropes of these Vegas magic shows and how they were extremely popular in the 80's. But apparently the goal of this movie was to explore a little beyond that and how our definitions of "magic" have changed over time and sort of resolving the differences between the "traditional" and "modern" styles.

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