[BLOG] Hatton’s Little Something On Entertainment Undertow…

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♫ Superstardom overload
I need to get back on the road
Tune it all out and turn it up too loud
Do people still wave lighters in the crowd? ♫
                         – Dada: Information Undertow

I have to assume that it’s because of the pandemic.. the long hours spent in front of my computer or, at the very least, at home – where I no longer was driving 30 minutes to and fro my job, that I’ve found myself burnt out on entertainment. It’s surprising, but not shocking, if that makes sense. Between being furloughed and then working from home, I had a literal 8+ hours more of my life  that I had to find to dedicate to something. It took a few months to stop beating myself up over the fact I wasn’t creating art in some capacity… I beat a few video games… hell, even wrote a list about it. But now that we are sort of coming out the other side of things, painfully slowly, and yet I still get the chance to work from home – I find that I am less and less interested in diving in to nonstop television.

There was a great time where we had Mando and Lovecraft and Bucky and Watchmen and Wanda and… it was a buffet of high-budget entertainment that was literally catered to nerdy ol’ me – but other than my wife saying ‘hey, let’s watch a movie together’ or a few ‘I must see this’ bits, I find my desire to load up anything other than a podcast or some music to be dwindling.  Recently, in video gaming, I started to notice the same ADHD tendency my movie viewing habits had taken on… HEY NEW THING.. HEY NEW THING.. sale HEY 4 NEW THINGS.. and I’m curbing that and doing my best to not play 6 games at once, but one.. maybe two. Hell, I’ve read more books since January than I did in 2021.

My point is simply that I have been eating a lot of candy for the last three years, figuratively speaking (ok, fine, and literally) and my brain started begging for different kinds of sustenance. Eventually, I’ll get to Boba Fett.. and yeah, I’m still all about the new season of Westworld when it comes out, but I have no interest in binging Obi-Wan… I think I’d rather finish that Grady Hendrix book…

What about all of you – have you had a burnout experience during all of this?  Let us know in all the usual places.  Til then, I’m Hatton.

[SOMETHING IN REVIEW] Texas Chainsaw Massacre

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There is a movement in horror to bring back the classics. We went through the remake era with the 2000’s versions of Friday and Nightmare, but Saw and, most popularly, Halloween, has show us that there are stories to tell a few decades later in the same universe.

Now Netflix is getting in on the action with a late-quel? (is that a word?) of the horror classic, Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Does it have the same legs that Laurie Strode and Michael Myers had? I ask, because that’s clearly what they were asking in the scriptwriting room…

So settle in to a dusty little empty street in Texas where nobody notices anything and real estate is cheap – it’s time for Something In Review: Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Ok here we g.g.g.g.g.ggggooooOOOooo.. (that was a chainsaw noise)

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[BLOG] [PROMO] Livestream For The Cure 6 is coming!

James and I are, once again, honored and thrilled to be involved in this year’s Livestream For The Cure.  Mark your calendars and join us, it’s always an amazing time for a phenomenal cause!

And now…a message from Nicholas Haskins…

Hello one and all!

The page at the Cancer Research Institute site is now live. Early donations can be made up to and through the event on this page. Please share this with anyone you know who might be able to help spread the word. 
100% of proceeds go to the Cancer Research Institute and immunotherapy research, training the body’s immune system to fight against all forms of cancer. The donations are tax deductible. This year for the Livestream for the Cure we’re aiming for our biggest goal ever of $20,000, and we need your help to do it. Together, we can make a difference.
Together, we can ignite the spark of hope in a future immune to cancer. Please, help us fight for that future. The biggest question we always get about the event is, “How can I help?” Not everyone can donate,  but everyone can help to share the event on social media and spread the word so we can have a great shot of hitting our goal.
Please join us for the live event at https://twitch.tv/livestreamforthecure. We’ll be live May 19th – 21st from 9 AM to Midnight each day fighting for a future where cancer is a distant memory. I’ll be joined by creator partners from around the world, who are coming together to help put an end to cancer in our lifetime.

Follow the event on Facebook @LivestreamForTheCure.
Follow us on Instagram @LivestreamForTheCure.
Follow the event on Twitter @Livestream4Cure.

Thank you so much for fighting alongside me. Let’s work together for a better world. Let’s work for a future without cancer.

Nicholas Haskins
Livestream for the Cure

Best Cameos in Film

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Right now – if, all of a sudden, this opening introduction was interrupted by — hey! Look! It’s THE SMOKE MONSTER!

Ok, he’s gone, but wasn’t that crazy and sort of ironic given we have a previous relationship with him so it makes sense, but ultimately is more of a meta commentary than an actual one about the contents of the show and the surprise of a guest who didn’t even get a word in.. or, in that instance, a chain rattling?

So, since that happened – why don’t you settle in with Hatton and Rob as we discuss our favorite cameos in film — ROBERT DeNERO!? What are YOU doing here?

Oh, Bob.. that scamp… Ok, here we OHHH IT’S PERD HAPLEY!

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[BLOG] Hatton Wants A Wrestling Game…

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The announcements of WWE’s new video game are out, and I laugh and laugh every single time because at the end of the day: nothing changes. To be fair, if there is a WWE game that ever deserved an eyeball, it will be this year, but I don’t expect a lot. Why this year? Because the last WWE game was a trainwreck beyond trainwreck that damn near destroyed the studio that was building it.

It was not only a dramatically similar game to the year prior, it was a buggy mess.. and when it comes to games, like most sport-oriented games, where year to year they just slap a new coat of paint and update the year, it was shockingly funny – especially when they ask a top dollar price for these games and offer at least 6 months worth of DLC.

So, with that in mind, I thought I’d talk about a few features I would love in a wrestling game.

But Hatton, tons of wrestling games have had this – and they do, but never the way I want.. and I think that’s because wrestling sits in this strange ‘liminal’ sport. It isn’t a REAL sport, so it isn’t as simple as putting two teams against each other, but in a video game it isn’t entirely SCRIPTED. That means that you have this mix of an action game and The Sims, where your results are based on vague numbers like ‘Audience’ and ‘Rating’.

I want a much more story driven GM mode. Literally, the fictional GM in a fed where putting good wrestlers into nonstop bad matches gets them mad at me or creating shows of 5-star classics gets me a raise. Where I can slowly make bad wrestlers into main eventers, and I can make people thrilled with Hogan is defeated by Barry Horowitz.

There is one game that does this – and if you’ve talked to me about wrestling games, I’ve probably apologized for loving it.. and that’s Rumble Roses. Do heel stuff, you go bad guy. You save good guys, you become a good guy. Yes, in Rumble Roses, the good guy is a sexy librarian and the bad guy version is a dominatrix librarian… but the idea is still badass.

Bring on your hate. No Mercy for the N64 isn’t a good game… want proof? How did you beat the APA in a NO DQ Handicapped match? I’ll tell you how – you stood outside and threw stairs at them until one of them was knocked out because it was impossible to win by wrestling them.

No Mercy, though, has one of the greatest storylines in wrestling gamery.. the story has branches, and tells you where the branches are. If you win this match you’ll go discover THIS plot – if you lose, THIS plot. If you knock out the ref, DIFFERENT plot. It was so unique and such a great way to show the avenues wrestling can go in, I am shocked nobody has tried it since.

In the end, I just want a wrestling game that feels engaging to me, a guy who likes playing video games alone. I don’t care about online play, and I don’t want a stat-grinder.. I have Disgaea for that. I want what wrestling really is – and that’s interesting stories – albeit, interesting stories told by men in shiny underpants.

Send all your scathing disagreement about No Mercy to @RevVoice and @STSTCast, and we’ll see you next time!

[THE END] Cowboy Bebop

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Three two one.. let’s jam..

Do those few words blow your mind out with a brass section? Do you immediately start thinking about bloodshot eyes, gunplay, and corgis?  Well, if not, then you are probably going to be very confused about this episode, as we are talking about the end of the Netflix live-action of Cowboy Bebop.

Bounty Hunters against the world – and we are only watching the last episode… does it hold up? Was the show worth another season? Is anime even possible to do right on the bigger screen?

Let’s talk about it here – on The End: Cowboy Bebop

Ok, here we go, space cowboy…

Full Episode

[BLOG] Are Lovecraft’s stories too (love)crafty for movies?

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Yes, it’s a terrible joke….

…but not as terrible as seeing between the veil and dealing with The Old Ones and the Elder Gods and non-euclidian geometry….

I love me some Lovecraft.  Yes, Howard Philip was an amazingly troubled individual whose views on politics, class, and race were questionable, but this blog isn’t here to dissect the man.. more the medium of his works.

I recently watched “Color Out Of Space” and… two things struck me…

1) Nicholas Cage will say “yes” to anything.

2) Lovecraftian movies just… aren’t that great.

The closest thing I’ve seen to a TRUE “Lovecraftian Movie” was “In the Mouth of Madness”.  It conveyed not only the weird waking-dream-slash-blurring-the-line-of-perceived-reality-and-what-really-the-fuck-might-be-going-on but the slowly seeping in horror/madness of many of Lovecraft’s works.

Unfortunately, movies like “From Beyond”, “Dagon”, and “The Void” are the usual offerings which either feel like they’re dancing around the edges of the story, or diving in with such gusto that a 5 page short story is turned into a 2 hour movie adding so much more than the original story did, that it’s just as ‘different’ but from the other side of the coin.

I think the problem with many Lovecraft translations stems from the fact that, through writings and notes… Lovecraft himself stated he wasn’t very good at writing action sequences.. so he largely avoided them… which.. makes for slow-paced movies.  Also, his descriptions were either fringe and minimal to let your imagination fill in the blanks (which oft-times can be far more horrifying) , or such a psychedelic fever-dream of description that it’s not something that translates well to film.

I know Alan Moore often complained that he wished people would stop making movies out of his works as they were intended to best be told correctly on in the medium he presented them in (I think he’s wrong…), but from what we’ve seen in movie adaptations from the works of H.P. Lovecraft…  Moore might be right.  Just.. not about his own works.


[THE WHEEL] Bottom 5: CGI

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The Wheel has returned… and the narrative of the Wheel takes a new turn!  Get it? Nevermind…

Anyway, there are some new topics on the Wheel, and we have been hit with one of them.  You know how Rob and Hatton are always talking about their favorite things? Well, this week they are talking about the Bottom 5, the worst, the shameful, the hysterically bad, and the ‘wait what?’ in the realm of computer generated graphics and green screen in film.

So gather round and think back to all of those horrible aliens, blood splatters, and technological marvels that were clearly added in post, just like your hosts on BOTTOM 5: CGI

Ok, here we go!

Full Episode

[BLOG] Hatton on games that deserve relaunches…

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Well dip me in chocolate and gift me on Valentine’s – one of the games that I love that nobody really mentions, Chrono Cross, is getting the Square Enix video game remake treatment. I’m elated, although that is tempered by the fact that Squeenix are notorious for giving “important” games a notable spit and polish, while only giving games like Chrono Cross – games that didn’t move the needle – a visual upgrade, but then never go back to fix the new bugs or UI issues they’ve created.

With that in mind, I thought I’d drop three more games here that I would be ecstatic over if they got an out of nowhere remake – games that I’ve sunk a dumb amount of time into that have been lost to shruggable sales figures so not as many people are willing to part with their nostalgi-bucks.

I’ve mentioned this game at least once before, it was a single screen puzzler where you were a little blue ball trying to collect hearts. It was 100% a game for puzzle nerds, but it was, at times, gruesomely hard. You could call it simply a revved up sokoban-style game, and it is, but there were so many wonderful additions, power-ups, monsters, and evil mechanics in that game, I’d be on line day one to get a copy of something new.

If you know this game – you already are hearing the sound of small colorful bricks slapping against each other. Klax looks like you took Guitar Hero and made it makeout with Tetris. A match three game with colorful bricks clacking down a chute.. I don’t know why I played this every time I found it at an arcade.. I don’t know what weird itch it scratches in my brain – but Tetris Unleased shows you can take something simple and give it a fresh coat and have it be amazing. Klax deserves that very treatment.

I hear you, if you are a nerd of a certain vintage, ‘Do you mean Deadly Discs or Light Cycles’ and the answer is – yes, obviously. We live in an era of VR – of big arena games – of Battle Royale games – we live in an era where a series of Tron games, whether alone or in a Fall Guys style ‘the last 10 people don’t make the next round’ would be astounding. All I’ve asked for in this world since I was 8 was a good modern light cycles game. (There have been attempts, none have been given the Hatton seal of approval) — but why not Deadly Discs? Why not firing your disc against a spinning MCP? Why not flying a Recognizer over the Grid to escape? WHY – NOT!? ANSWER ME!?!??!

…sorry. What are some games that you think deserve some re-thinking? You know where to let us know!
– Hatton

[SOMETHING IN REVIEW] Shang-Chi w/ Geoff Vita!

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It has been a long time since we have tackled the world of comic book swashbuckling, so we’re doing it with style by inviting one of our ol’ friends to talk funny books and martial arts – the maestro of Kung-Fu Drive-in Podcast, Geoff Vita!

We’re heading off to Ta Lo to discuss some of the bigger pictures of the new Marvel Phase, discussing representation in the new run of Marvel movies, and of course how much kickass is the new MCU butt-kicker kickin

So join us as we head to a mystical land, and remember, ‘kick, punch, it’s all in the mind

Ok, here we fu!

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