• Micro Blog

    The headline? “Southwest Airlines is getting rid of open seating” The reality? Southwest Airlines is going to start charging more for specific seats.

    Thursday July 25, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    As someone who is a semi-professional comedian…what the fuck are you even saying, Marc Andreessen?

    Wednesday July 24, 2024
  • Blog

    Yep, The GARDEN STATE Soundtrack is 20 Years Old

    Matthew Jacobs, The Ringer:

    If a single quotation can distill an entire subset of pop culture in the 2000s, these 12 words work pretty well: “You gotta hear this one song. It’ll change your life, I swear.”

    Most millennials can immediately identify Garden State, Zach Braff’s indie phenomenon from 2004, as the source. For some, the quote is a nostalgia portal, bringing their bygone youth into focus. For others, it’s naive, cringe-inducing corn. But two decades ago, it was kind of the hipster way to trumpet a semi-obscure track like the Shins’ “New Slang” as a metamorphic experience. It was the heyday of Pitchfork, MisShapes, mix CDs, and Seth Cohen. You gotta hear this one song epitomized a generation transitioning from the sovereignty of MTV to the curatorial power of Myspace. Braff loaded Garden State with the sort of in-the-know music recommendations that had become currency.

    It’s really hard to communicate how much of a moment this album and movie was for millennials like myself. I can self-aggrandize by saying “I knew most of these bands before this soundtrack”, but to hear these songs and see them used so well justified years of MP3 blog diving.

    The movie itself I saw in theaters multiple times with countless friends, and watched the DVD regularly, but I haven’t revisited the film in well over a decade. I wonder how it holds up. I can at least say that the trailer holds up as something special.

    Wednesday July 24, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    The Olympics kick off shortly (though the Opening Ceremony is Friday), and I am unusually pumped. Here’s to two weeks of unbelievably necessary distraction.

    Wednesday July 24, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    I sure would love to – for the first time in my adult life – live in precedented times.

    Sunday July 21, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    Just when you thought musicians had figure out all the clever ways to release an album, Jack White throws a new one out there. Pretty cool stuff.

    Saturday July 20, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    There’s a massive global worldwide IT outage… …and the new Los Campesinos album isn’t up on Apple Music yet.

    Can you guess which one I’m more bothered by?

    Friday July 19, 2024
  • Blog

    The Russo Brothers to Return to Marvel, As Avengers 5+6 Get Relaunched

    Borys Kit and Aaron Couch, The Hollywood Reporter:

    The Russo Bros. are in early talks to return to Marvel Studios to direct not just one, but the next two Avengers movies, sources tell The Hollywood Reporter.

    The hiring ends a months-long, high stakes search by the studio for filmmakers to oversee the fifth and sixth Avengers movies. Multiple names were in contention, including Deadpool & Wolverine director Shawn Levy, who was offered the gig. Sources say the talks are in the early stages.

    Thanos, Avengers: Endgame (2019):

    You could not live with your own failure. Where did that bring you? Back to me.

    With just a week until San Diego Comic Con 2024 kicks off, Deadpool and Wolverine hits theaters, and Marvel Studios begins its attempt in earnest to turn things around with fan sentiment after the spotty output since Avengers: Endgame, it’s no shock that word is officially getting out early about who Kevin Feige has appointed to turn this bus around.

    Look, some of the issues are not of their own doing – Disney certainly didn’t expect that their next big villain would end up having such high profile issues with the law – but I do also wonder if this is a safe, “Lets Play The Hits” sort of move from the Mouse House.

    Again, I really adored what the MCU was through Endgame, and since, there have been projects I liked, but on the whole, it’s felt shaggy and lifeless.

    Maybe next Saturday, in Hall H, the comeback begins. Let’s hope.

    Wednesday July 17, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    DC Comics announced that they’re reuniting the Daredevil duo of Mark Waid and Chris Samnee for Batman and Robin: Year One. The preview art looks gorgeous.

    Wednesday July 17, 2024
  • Blog

    The Snuffed Out Promise of the CAPTAIN AMERICA: BRAVE NEW WORLD Trailer

    Marvel Entertainment / YouTube:

    Enter a brave new world.

    Marvel Studios' #CaptainAmericaBraveNewWorld, only in theaters February 14, 2025.

    A bit earlier than I expected, the first trailer for the 4th Captain America has hit the web. I expected it to be attached to, say Twisters or, of course, Deadpool & Wolverine, but instead, its on the web a smidge early.

    Let’s ignore that the movie has a crazy budget, tons of reshoots, has had its release date moved multiple times (shout out COVID and two strikes), and got somewhat spoiled by a McDonald’s Happy Meal in May…this looks…or looked… promising.

    Honestly, it’s until the end of the trailer that I was totally in. This felt like a gritty return to the comic-book-movie-as-political-thriller vibes which made Captain America: The Winter Soldier arguably the best MCU movie.

    And then there’s the stinger at the end. With Red Hulk.

    Marvel isn’t hiding Red Hulk by any means, see the attached poster image, but the usage of the character feels so out-of-left field in this trailer, I can only imagine how it feels in the movie proper.

    With the movies since Avengers: Endgame being such a mixed bag, while watching this trailer, I was hyped to see a lower stakes, focused movie, less about “The Universe” and more a story which could stand alone.

    Instead, here comes CG Punching.

    As I’ve discussed recently with friends, the promise of the MCU as a long time comic book fan has become somewhat of a curse. They were giving me amazing, well told interpretations of characters and arcs I loved. And somehow, the entire world was loving it to. But now, like comic books themselves, even the best runs get snuffed out by crossovers and a need to have read it all.

    Perhaps I will eat these words come February 2025, but right now, I’m already bothered by the lack of Marvel’s convictions when it comes to this story.

    Friday July 12, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    Absolutely loving this tour of Aaron Draplin’s Backyard Studio this morning. Though my tastes go towards the more minimal, I love how its designed and his thoughts on organization.

    Friday July 12, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    I can’t get enough of reading stories about Peanut Butter, the Video Game Speedrunning Dog.

    Wednesday July 10, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    WWE signing Holey Moley’s Joe Tessitore as a new play-by-play commentator WITHOUT also signing Rob Riggle for color is a damned shame.

    Tuesday July 9, 2024
  • Blog

    A weird convention sensory memory

    I don’t think this would be relatable to too many people, but watching The Boy and the Heron last night, I was hit with a really strong sensory memory.

    When Otakon was based in Baltimore, they’d use some of the bigger panel halls as “Video 1”, and it’s where they’d show movies, sometimes even on 35mm. Understandably, I’d go there a lot. I got to see Seven Samurai and My Neighbor Totoro this way.

    You’d walk in to this cavernous room and wait for the movie to start. Sure, there maybe was a packed audience, but all was quiet. The only noise was the air conditioning kicking in. The lights were low, and the air was cold.

    You’d come out 2 hours later, to a warm, loud convention hall, people laughing, people having a great time. It was such a juxtaposition, you truly felt like you came out from underground to a new world.

    …I kinda miss that.

    Friday July 5, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    Clever move by LEGO, to announce their fantastic and detail-rich JAWS set on July 4th.

    Box art for LEGO Set 21350, JAWS, based on the 1975 Steven Spielberg film.
    Thursday July 4, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    We need to talk about how absolutely unexpected in style this new Childish Gambino (Donald Glover) single is.

    I know dude would name drop/sample indie-rock on his mixtapes, but, wow.

    Wednesday July 3, 2024
  • Blog

    Farewell, MTV News

    Andrew Liszewski, The Verge:

    The archives of the MTV News website, which had remained accessible online after the unit was shut down last year by parent company Paramount Global, have now been completely taken offline. As Variety reported yesterday, both mtvnews.com and mtv.com/news now redirect visitors to the MTV website’s front page.

    Truly sad, especially given that the upkeep of these archives must have been – at best – a rounding error for Viacom.

    For Gen Z, Alpha, and those to come, it’s both going to be odd to explain that, “Yes, MTV once played music videos, and was not wall to wall Ridiculousness.”, but also: “When this intro played, you knew that shit was about to go down.”

    Kurt Loder + Tabitha Soren forever.

    Tuesday June 25, 2024
  • Blog

    A Must-Read Profile on Conan O'Brien

    Jason Zinoman, The New York Times:

    Since leaving late-night television in 2021, Conan O’Brien, 61, has become more reflective about life (and death), given to philosophical flights of fancy that he compulsively alternates with comic tangents. O’Brien famously champions the intersection between smart and stupid, but in conversation, what stands out is how quickly he moves between light and heavy. In one of several interviews, I asked him if he was happier now than when he was on television and his response was to question happiness itself. “At best it’s a fleeting moment after a rainstorm when the sun’s coming out,” he said. “Being contented comes in little moments, here and there.”

    The only thing trickier than being a late-night talk show host is being a former one. Some relapse (Jon Stewart). A few vanish (Johnny Carson, Craig Kilborn). Most enter a more modest era (David Letterman, Jay Leno). Since he started writing for “Saturday Night Live” in the 1980s, Conan O’Brien has built one of the most consequential careers in comedy. And while his late-night tenure is beloved by comedy nerds, helping define a sensibility for a generation of comedians like Bill Hader, Eric André and Nikki Glaser, his postshow work may turn out to be more impressive.

    Besides being an influence to me and my sense of humor, especially for whatever comedy “career” I’ve built for myself, it’s funny how much I found myself relating to Conan and how his brain works – the light and the dark.

    Heck of a read.

    Tuesday June 25, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    People who drink Caffeine-Free, Diet Coke: Why? What are you getting out of it at that point?

    Tuesday June 25, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    Thank you, Baltimore Banner, for shouting out Super Art Fight as one of the Things to Do this weekend!

    Thursday June 20, 2024
  • Blog

    Why Nintendo Is Who Nintendo Is

    Nathan Grayson, Aftermath:

    Nintendo knows what works for it, and over the years it has stayed that course, at times to its own detriment. But when it works, it really works. The Switch has been a smash success, which has allowed Nintendo to stick to its guns even as it navigates an industry that’s doubling down on fewer, bigger games. It is notable that Nintendo hasn’t laid off hundreds or thousands of workers in the past couple years, nor has it jumped aboard the forever game bandwagon (unless Mario Kart 8 counts). I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the former is a result of labor law as much as it is anything else, but there’s also a hopeful truth at the core of Nintendo’s approach: If you create something good and dependable, people will appreciate it. You don’t have to trick or trap them to build a successful business.

    I mean…this is why Nintendo is able to do what it does so well. They play the long game. Sure, they’ve had their bumps and bruises (Wii-U, Virtual Boy), but this article – along with the latest Nintendo Direct – illuminates why they’ve been able to cut out a market for themselves and ultimately side-step the console wars.

    It’s funny, I can sit here right now in 2024 and say that I will for sure be picking up a Switch 2 (or whatever its called), but I am already skeptical – without a game or acknowledgement of it existing! – about what a PlayStation 6 will bring. That is the confidence Nintendo has built.

    Thursday June 20, 2024
  • Blog

    After the Nintendo Direct, My Wishlist is FULL

    After this morning’s Nintendo Direct, I’ve got about 10 new games I want to pick up.

    I’d already wanted to check out Luigi’s Mansion 2 HD, but, I also find myself excited for…

    • Mario & Luigi: Brothership
    • Nintendo World Championships: NES Edition
    • Donkey Kong Country Returns HD
    • Dragon Quest III HD-2D Remake (along with the I & II remakes announced)
    • Marvel vs. Capcom Fighting Collection: Arcade Classics (Though I may pick it up on PS4 instead)
    • Super Mario Party Jamboree
    • The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom (Turns out, Zelda’s the girl.)
    • And, of course…Metroid Prime 4: Beyond, which I can’t help but feel like is the cross-generational game, a’la Breath of the Wild for the Wii-U/Switch transition.

    For a system which just past its seventh birthday, that’s pretty amazing.

    Tuesday June 18, 2024
  • Blog

    Turns Out: Gamers Get Old, Too.

    Kyle Orland, Ars Technica:

    In a wide-ranging interview with Windows Central, Blizzard's general manager of Diablo, Rod Fergusson, said that they launched Diablo IV under "the assumption that D4 was meant to be more D2-like." That meant, in part, increasing the length of time required to discover the game's most valuable items after post-Auction-House Diablo 3 made rare item drops much more common.

    "One of the assumptions was that people were going to be okay with the long grind for the Unique or an Uber Unique in particular, because in Diablo II, it can go years," Fergusson said. "You can go three years before you find the Uber you're looking for... and so we were like, okay, this is what people love about the progression of D2, that idea of that very long chase."

    Once the game launched, though, Fergusson said the development team was surprised to find players complaining of how long it took to get some items—our own review expressed concern about the "'loot treadmill' approach to the endgame" and "loot drops [that] seem tuned a bit low for my taste." "We found out very quickly that if you don't give me my Uber in my [months-long] season, then I'm upset," Fergusson said. "And so we're like, oh, wow, okay."

    Just a fascinating little bit to note here, as game developers learn that the age of their average player has gone up, and the hours available to game have gone down.

    I know I’ve spoken in the past on here about my “I’m Old, I Have Limited Gaming Time, Let Me Select Easy Mode” opinion, and this feels like an extension of that.

    It’s not that we don’t want to enjoy the game — it’s that we can’t dedicate ourselves to it the way we once did.

    It’ll be interesting to see how game developers address this moving forward.

    Weirdly enough, I’ve been addressing it by playing older games via emulator, and cheating the crap out of them (shout out Gameshark and Action Replay codes!), but I don’t think that’s gonna be everyone’s favorite way of handling this.

    Saturday June 15, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    Tonight’s Phillies / Orioles game has been one of the most incredible live sports viewing experiences of my life.

    I wish I could’ve been there live!

    Friday June 14, 2024
  • Micro Blog

    The new RJD2 album, Visions Out Of Limelight, is good working music, if you’re looking for some on this Friday.

    Friday June 14, 2024