Dec 7, 2016

[Books] vN (The Machine Dynasty Book 1)

Buried at the back of my review queue was this title, one that I had managed to forget about long enough for me to get a legit Kindle copy of assisted by a Daily Deal sale. But hey reading is still more of a hobby that a job and free books won't pay my rent. But I still do my best to work through all the different books I've committed to review

So here we have vN, a book that may feel a little dated by now since it has been over 4 years since its initial release but I'm glad that I finally read it. And it's quite the interesting title indeed, one that explores a lot of ideas related to identify, sentience and purpose.

A lot of the book reminds me of older "hard sci-fi" as many have come to term it. It's a book with big ideas and challenging concepts but also a direct narrative and a little girl trying to find her way. The fact that this little girl is actually an artificial intelligence and stops being little a few chapters into the book is but a side detail versus the longer narrative at work.

Dec 6, 2016

[Movies] New Teaser Trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


A new teaser trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and it seems they're really pushing the humor element. Batista's Drax the Destroyer seems to be making a serious effort to get in touch with his emotions more and while the first trailer had him hugging Star-Lord, now it has him laughing his head off.

But more than the new shots of the Guardians fighting a giant space monster and more scenes with Baby Groot the big thing that really got me excited was the inclusion of Mantis in the trailer, an alumni from the Guardians of the Galaxy comic. She may not speak precisely like how we know Mantis to be in the comics, it's still nice to have her involved in the movie. She was nearly part of my Guardians of the Galaxy nitpick blog post on my personal blog, but I can be a patient man.

2017 can't come soon enough, guys.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Teaser Trailer

And wait, did you miss the first trailer? HOW?

Well here it is for those who came in late.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Sneak Peek

Dec 5, 2016

[Movies] Moana (2016)

I'll admit that I don't consciously keep close tabs on upcoming Disney releases as much as I used to. And it's not that I don't like them anymore but they just seem to slip under my radar as I focus on other things with the rise of so much genre entertainment across books, movies, and TV shows. But the buzz around the movie in its first week was too good to ignore so we made sure to squeeze in time to see it amid all of our gaming schedules.

Moana is a gem and probably one of the best Disney movies to be release in quite a while. It has a wonderful story, rich characters and beautiful music all coming together in quite the visual spectacle. It's such a solid cinematic experience all around.

And I do appreciate the direction that Disney seems to be headed for with movies like this. There's still the desire to celebrate the "Disney Princess" narrative in a way but they're also making sure to evolve the genre and make sure that they continue tell stories of empowerment and strength that can act as an inspiration for future generations.

Dec 2, 2016

[Movies] Yojimbo (1961)

There's a weird void in my film history where I realize I have not seen all or even most of Akira Kurosawa's movies. Like many other movie enthusiasts, I'm generally familiar with his work and I have a decent memory library of different clips of various movies but for one reason or another I haven't had a chance to start ticking these items off my bucket list.

Our recent efforts to play the samurai RPG Blood & Honor led to a desire to refresh our memories of various samurai movies and TV shows. To hit two birds with one stone we sort of addressed both by sitting down to watch Yojimbo. It seemed as good a place to start as any - it offered both serious samurai period drama and mix of light humor as well.

So how was my jidaigeki experience? It was totally awesome and it was everything I had hoped for and more. And this only reaffirms for me that I need to make time to watch the rest of Kurosawa's movies sooner rather than later.

Dec 1, 2016

[TV] You Can Now Download Netflix Videos


In a surprise announcement, Netflix has added the ability to download videos to your mobile device for offline viewing. Rival streaming services like iFlix have had this option for a while and it's nice to see that Netflix recognizes the need to support folks with more expensive mobile data or who travel a lot. Just make sure to update to the latest version of the app for your device - check the help article linked above for more detailed system specifications.

Of course it's not like the entire Netflix library is available for download  - only certain movies and shows will have the download icon enabled when you view it. But thankfully they've added in a quick filter to show only titles that are available for download that still appear in the automatic categories based on our recent viewing.

So take your favorite Netflix shows on the go! Happy (offline?) streaming!
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