[BLOG] Microsoft, Activision and Blizzard… OH MY!

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Hey all, PCR here.

A great disturbance was felt through The Force recently when Microsoft announced they were buying Activision/Blizzard in an all cash deal.  As a (former) long time World of Warcraft and Hearthstone player, I have a bit of a soft spot for Blizzard…  I met many amazing friends, some of which have become “in person” amazing friends I’ve had for years… and, (as one of those friends said recently) “I don’t regret one minute of the time I played.. but I also don’t regret the day I walked away”.

I have far less history with Microsoft (gaming).  I don’t have GamePass, and as far as consoles go, I had an OG XBox and a Series S (both of which I sold).

That said, this merger COULD be good for gaming, it could also be bad.

Here’s my thoughts…

Pros : With chip shortages still making consoles amazingly hard to find, this is going to get a LOT more games into a LOT more hands quicker.

: The offerings on GamePass are about to get a LOT more interesting and varied.

: Microsoft could do a lot to mitigate thoughts they’re becoming (more) of the “all-controlling, evil empire” by cleaning house at Activision and removing the personnel and other elements that plagued the company over the recent years

Cons : There’s ZERO guarantee Microsoft will clean house from problematic elements of Activision, which could/would be seen as rewarding that kind of behavior/environment as long as bottom line numbers are met.

: Could create a far bigger ‘Exclusively on…’ rift in the gaming industry.

: WIll Microsoft having that kind of control in the gaming industry stifle developers?

There’s a LOT that’s unknown, and I am far from having professional insight in the gaming community, but it will be interesting to see how this affects the overall landscape of gaming/cloud gaming.

What do YOU think?

[THE WHEEL] Mysteries of the Somethingverse – A.I.

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We’re back with The Wheel – and where it stops, nobody knows… well, I mean.. we do, because we recorded it.. and you do because you can see the episode title. Look, work with me, ok?

Anyway, what do you think about artificial intelligence? What do you think about the idea that computers out there will one day take us over completely and we will be slaves to their machinations? Did Asimov have it right about making sure they can’t hurt us? Or is it all just a bunch of claptrap hooey for sci-fi writers and the 5g chip embedded in your mind?

Join us as we take a dive into a topic we honestly have very little right talking about, but that’s never stopped us before. It’s time for Mysteries of the Somethingverse: Artificial Intelligence

Ok, here we go – if the overlords allow us…

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[BLOG] A Little Something Extra, Hatton Returns to Nostalgia…

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Happy New Year everyone!  It’s my first blog of the year, and given the entertainment I’ve absorbed the last couple of weeks, I thought I’d revisit the topic of nostalgia.

In the last week, I got a chance to see Ghostbusters: Afterlife as well as the most recent season of Cobra Kai and they are interestingly connected in that they both were born into the world in 1984 and here we are, over 35 years later, revisiting that well of ideas and pulling on the heartstrings of those that grew up on them. Yes, there have been tons of revisits to shows and movies over the years ranging from the campy (The Brady Bunch films) to the not good (Car 54, Where Are You) and a thousand of good and bad ideas in between.

Ghostbusters and Cobra have knocked out that formula we have gotten used to, but do so in two very different ways – both successful – but, I won’t lie.. I think one of them does it much better.

So here’s my reveal – I enjoyed Ghostbusters: Afterlife, and I sat there engaged with it in the way people my age were meant to. Giggling at the sly retelling of jokes, reminded of the scenes from the original that I loved, tearing up at seeing artifacts of the past… but tears aside, I don’t know if I will watch it again any time soon. Maybe it was simply because it only had 2 hours to fit so much in, but it felt like it didn’t have its own voice as much as it let the voice of the past dictate its journey. It had a list of things to check off, and each time it did it, it was fun, a giggle, a reminder, a wistful past-oriented sigh of memory, and we’re on to the next one on the list. It’s written well, but it feels like it would need another movie for me to even begin to understand who these characters actually are.

On the other side of things, we have Cobra Kai. To be fair, it gets a lot longer of a runtime to play its nostalgia card since it has finished up its 4th Season, but it does something so dramatically different that sets it aside in the realm of ‘member the 80s? ..we do‘ and that is that it takes your expectations and changes them. A villain is brought back from the past in Terry Silver, and it explores precisely why he was such a madman in Karate Kid 3. We get a moment that feels almost exactly like the ending of the 3rd film, and your emotions are built to recognize what’s coming… and then it doesn’t – in dramatic fashion.  Every inch of retread ground it walks, it is because these characters have their own agency and they are retreading steps of the past, but not making the same decisions.

Ghostbusters relies on its source for its skeleton, Cobra Kai is building a new skeleton that just happens to look similar… if that makes sense. I loved both, but I really think one shows a much greater care towards the universe that came before it.

What did you think? You know where to tell us… @STSTCast and @RevVoice, and we’ll see you next week.

[SOMETHING IN REVIEW] Matrix: Resurrections

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…we have to go back….

No, not that island, you masochists – we have to go back to a land where computers fill the air, because computers invented the air.. and your desk.. and your headphones.. and possibly those hundreds of guys in nice suits running at you.  That’s right, we’re going back into the series that asked us ‘are we really here or are we actually in robot goo pods’ – THE MATRIX

Wire-fu, Bullet time, hot people in trenchcoats – The Matrix changed action movies forever, and made your friend with the wolf shirts look fashionable for a minute… does the new one hold up that high bar?

There’s only one way to find out – let’s go to the movies with Something In Review: Matrix Resurrections

Ok, here we …whoa… (i’m really proud of that one)

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[BLOG] PCR’s End of Year Faves!

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Hey Somethings!

The holidays have come and gone, James and I are rested up, and it’s time to get back to it!

This week’s blog touches a bit on some of my most enjoyable things from the end of 2021!

For starters, I got a new job.  Pay’s MUCH more than my previous job.  Feels like it’s even less stressful so… bonus all around!

I also did a fair amount of gaming towards the end of the year.  Forza Horizon 5 dropped and, while the launch was buggy, I still immensely enjoy the game and play it daily.  The big ‘sleeper hit’ for me was Inscryption.  Is it a deck building card/video game? Yes.  Is it SOOO much more than that? Yeeesssssssssssssss.  Can I say more without spoiling a lot of things for those who haven’t played?  Nooooooo.  What I CAN say, if you’ve listened to us, and you enjoy our style.. you get a good sense of the type of people we are and the things we enjoy.  If THAT entertains you, check out Inscryption… you won’t be disappointed.

For Christmas I set myself up with HBO Max and started going through a BUNCH of stuff I never got to see in theaters.  While “Matrix Resurrections” is the big one, I won’t discuss that here as we have an episode coming out about it in the very near future.  Besides Matrix, I also powered through “Godzilla vs Kong”, “Mortal Kombat”, “The Suicide Squad” and “Suicide Squad”.  All of them.. solidly “meh” to be honest, with the exception of “The Suicide Squad” (the most recent one).  Cena’s deadpan delivery as Peacemaker and Dastmalchian’s Polka Dot Man definitely elevated it above “meh” into ‘enjoyable’.

For TV?  End of 2021 brought us Hawkeye (which I loved, ranks 2nd tied with “WandaVision” for me in MCU D+ TV) and The Book of Boba Fett.  At the time of writing this, only the first episode has dropped so far but damn was it good and I loved how they connected it in to the greater Star Wars story and history.

We’ve got a bunch of new episodes lined up and we’re back to blogs every Friday.. stick with us!  2022 is going to be great!

– PCR

Snopes 2021

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DIDJA MISS US?  We missed you – but most of all, we realized in our Retrocast journey how much we missed looking at some of the silliness that has gone out on the internet waves over the last year and wanted to talk about them. 

Did you know if you click through these 45 pages, you can find the mysterious answer to a question after a thousand short and unnecessary sentences that don’t actually add to the whole of the story at all and are just a giant run on to get you to click to the end of the story? 

Yeah, that’s a thing…  but that’s not what we do – we are talking some of the biggest stories of Snopes for the last year, and the debunks you have to share with your Aunt who believes her Alexa Funtendo has cancelled her episodes of the Home Shopping Network she saved on her DVD Toaster to upload later.

Ready? Oh, we sure as hell are…. Ok, here we go, again!

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[RETROSOMETHING] Cecil Hotel

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We did it! We got through December, and even as you read this, Rob and I are getting ready for 2022 episodes… so as we say good-bye to this year that was, overall, a year that occurred – let me just throw a couple of things out there. 
1 – Thank you to each and every one of you that have joined us on our podcasting journey
2 – Thank you Rob for keeping me on track in all things Something. 

Now, let’s get to my last retroepisode, which isn’t too Retro, but I couldn’t do a list of my favorite episodes without revisiting the little ball of hate that this episode brought to life. It is the Review of ‘Cecil Hotel’ a Netflix documentary that .. well.. it spawned some opinions.  From March 9th, 2021 – The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel, enjoy!

Our original post:
Do you dig murder?  I mean… not like that… but do you find yourself mindlessly addicted to documentaries about the horrible things that horrible people do to people?

Yeah, look, we all do. That said, there is a new one on Netflix, but the results aren’t precisely what you think they are. The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel takes a police procedural documentary and turns it on its ear with the focus moving from the important facts of the case and sliding on over to an entirely different topic.  

Is it good? Is it worth it? We have opinions…. oh boy, do we. And once you are done, be certain to check out Hatton’s article on Vocal.Media

Okaaaay here we go!

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[RETROSOMETHING] Flat Earth

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We are winding down our Retrocast Party, but we have this one and one more… and they are some doozies!  First off, Rob has chosen an episode where we tried something a little different, stick around though, the second half of the episode reveals all. It is a favorite for everyone except for those that have never seen the curvature of the globe… it’s Flat Earth, from April 30th 2019.

Our original post:
In the last month or two a documentary came out talking about one of the strangest theories of the last couple decades.. is it a sign that perhaps we were wrong about the make up of our universe or is it the inevitable problem of what happens when everybody finds a friend on the internet?

Well, join Podcast Rob and Hatton on Episode 134as they deep dive into the documentary Behind The Curve, available on Netflix, which discusses the possibility that this planet we all know and love (planet here meaning a celestial body moving in an elliptical orbit around a star.)

Two other notes – first, the end song of today’s show is “Turtles All The Way Down” by New Jersey legends A Halo Called Fred. You can find the whole song right here. And their YouTube Channel right here! Thanks for the assist, you crazy kids!

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[NEW!] Christmas Party 2021

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First – this is not, I repeat, not a RetroSomething… this is an all-new, all-special, all-Friday, all-Yuletide festive party.  Since it’s Christmas Eve, we thought we would let you unwrap a gift first – and it is the gift of Something!  

This year, we gathered with Rick & Sarah from Awesome Talk TV – we got Jeof Vita from Kung-fu Drive-In – and we got Becky & Matt from Pre-Rec Live all hanging out and talking about how the year 2021 has gone, the entertainment we ingest every holiday season, and how we, as a people, are all doomed….  You know, the sort of light stuff you can tinsel your tree with. 

So please, settle in with some nog and your newly unwrapped certificate to the jelly-o-the-month club (it’s the gift that keeps on giving, Clark) and celebrate your festivus spirit with the rest of us for this Somethingcast Traditional Christmas Roundtable, 2021 Edition!

Ok, here we go Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen…

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[RETROSOMETHING] Christmas Party 2016

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Sometimes the holidays are about gathering those that you care about and sharing in the festive season of giving… sometimes it’s about getting a bunch of your idiot friends together and throwing potshots while your one weird Uncle won’t shut up about how his E-Meter has discovered a record number of Thetans…. you get to decide what happened to us back in 2016 with our ‘Inside Joke: Outside Voice’ podcast party. 

Our original post:

♫ Oh you better watch out..
You better not cry…
You better listen to this episode
Or not.. whatever, I’m not your HR Rep 

Joining us from the IJOV – we have Marcus from Deadpan Fury, we have Eric from Two-Legged Tie, and we have Tony from Nyrdcast – and we decide to have ourselves a little Christmas Party.  What goes on from there is… well.. I would love to say it is an episode about our favorite Christmas memories and shows and movies, but it isn’t… it’s almost better.  It’s a bunch of idiots getting together and spreading some holiday buffoonery.

So enjoy everyone – and from Rob & Hatton, have a happy holidays.

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