Category Archives: Movies

shane plays podcast title 12-31-2016

Rogue One! – Radio Show / Podcast Ep. 82

shane plays podcast title 12-31-2016

Podcast for the Shane Plays radio show from 12/31/2016:
Rogue One!

Highlights: Carrie Fisher tribute; Rogue One: A Star Wars Story deep dive with Michael Brown and Stephen Chenault including likes, dislikes and easter eggs.

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1:05 PM Central on 96.5 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at http://965fmtheanswer.com and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher (and other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

patreon logo in fieldLike what you hear?
Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1 Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
http://kryptonradio.com/

Direct MP3 Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_12-31-16_podcast.mp3
Listen Here via Embed:

SHOW NOTES

NEWS ITEMS

Carrie Fisher, ‘Star Wars” Princess Leia, dies at 60 | CNN
http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/27/entertainment/carrie-fisher-obit-star-wars/

‘Rogue One’ Set to Close Out 2016 With Third Straight Weekend at #1 | Box Office Mojo
http://www.boxofficemojo.com/news/?id=4254&p=.htm

Lucasfilm Responds to Rogue One CG Character Backlash | Movieweb.com
http://movieweb.com/rogue-one-tarkin-leia-cg-character-backlash-lucasfilm/

27 Secrets You Probably Didn’t Catch In “Rogue One” | BuzzFeed
https://www.buzzfeed.com/awesomer/rogue-one-easter-eggs?utm_term=.lkd9yBZAP#.dm74MmvVG

 TOPIC: ROGUE ONE

Deep dive into Rogue One: A Star Wars Story including spoilers, easter eggs and likes and dislikes.

Recurring guests Michael Brown of Brain Trust with Michael Brown and Stephen Chenault of Troll Lord Games join.

rogue one good guys and bad guys

NEXT WEEK: PIXELMETAL

PixelMetal is a strong, independent videogame company
located somewhere in New York City.
http://site.pixelmetal.com/

Gritty Gets Pretty in Spaghetti Western Sombrero | The Escapist
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/binging-indie/14811-Pixelmetal-Sombrero-Indie-Local-Multi-Western#&gid=gallery_4885&pid=1

Sombrero: Spaghetti Western Mayhem on Steam

sombrero game art

shane plays podcast title 10-29-2016

Movie Composer & Sound Designer Alan Howarth! – Radio Show / Podcast Ep. 74

shane plays podcast title 10-29-2016

Podcast for the Shane Plays radio show from 10/29/2016:
Movie Composer & Sound Designer Alan Howarth!

Highlights: Movie Composer & Sound Designer Alan Howarth (Halloween series, Big Trouble in Little China, They Live, Star Trek series, Back to the Future series, more).

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1:05 PM Central on 96.5 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at http://965fmtheanswer.com and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes, Google Play Music and Stitcher (and other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

patreon logo in fieldLike what you hear?
Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1 Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
http://kryptonradio.com/

Direct MP3 Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_10-29-16_podcast.mp3
Listen Here via Embed:

SHOW NOTES

TEMPORARY STATION CHANGE STARTING OCTOBER 8th for six weeks due to football:
Same time – Saturdays at 1 PM on temporary sister station of 99.5 FM, then rebroadcast Sundays at 5 PM on our regular station of 96.5 FM.

NEWS ITEMS

New Kickstarter from show sponsor Troll Lord Games!
Castles & Crusades Adventurers Backpack (the Unearthed Arcana of C&C)
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/676918054/castles-and-crusades-adventurers-backpack

Shane Plays Podcast Extra: The History of EN World & The ENnies With Founder Russ Morrissey
http://shaneplays.com/en-world-the-ennies-with-russ-morrissey-shane-plays-podcast-extra/

GUEST: ALAN HOWARTH

alan howarth

https://www.alanhowarth.com/

Magic Leap: https://www.magicleap.com/

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Howarth_(composer):

Howarth’s collaborations with John Carpenter include: Escape From New York, Halloween II, Halloween III, Halloween IV, Halloween V, Halloween VI, Christine, Big Trouble in Little China, Prince of Darkness. and They Live.

His music been featured in films like The Dentist and The Dentist 2, Boo, Evolution, Basement Jack, Hansel and Gretel, Zombie Night, and Brutal.

His award-winning sound designs have appeared in Star Trek I, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Poltergeist, Back to the Future Part II, and Back to the Future Part III, The Little Mermaid and Total Recall. His team received Academy Award awards for Best Sound Effects for The Hunt for Red October and Bram Stoker’s Dracula directed by Francis Ford Coppola.

NEXT WEEK: MATT BARTON

vintage games 2.0 book

Video game professor and author Matt Barton.

Vintage Games 2.0: An Insider Look at the Most Influential Games of All Time
https://www.amazon.com/Vintage-Games-2-0-Insider-Influential/dp/1138899135

MattChat YouTube channel:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE98xefVUXmbvQfe-wNS8oA

Matt’s Patreon:
https://www.patreon.com/blacklily8

matt barton

Captain America Spoiler Free Reaction Review youtube thumbnail

Captain America: Civil War Reaction Review – Spoiler Free!

What did Shane think of Captain America: Civil War??? Is it a dud or a major milestone in comic book movies? Is Shane Team Cap or Team Iron Man?

Check out this reaction review video for some spoiler free views on both the quality of the film and the philosophy involved!

Also: was it a Captain America movie or an Avengers movie?

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Superman and Batman stare down

Batman V Superman Spoiler Free, Knee Jerk Review

Batman V Superman Dawn of Justice Superman and Batman stare down

I caught Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice Thursday evening during the so-called advanced showings (what does that even mean if it’s been known it will open on Thursday night for a while, anyway?)  and here’s my spoiler free, knee jerk review:

Spoiler free because, well, there are no spoilers.

Knee jerk because it’s my initial thoughts within a couple of hours of seeing the movie for the first time, and without reading any other reviews to avoid biasing my own opinion and expectations.

Don’t want to watch the video review? Here’s a very quick summary:
*The video above has a lot more information and thoughts, not just the below summary points

Should you see it? Yeah of course, if you’re an action movie or super hero movie fan. There are several good scenes and of course some big action and it’s good to see the so-called DC trinity go into action on the big screen.

Otherwise, meh not so much. I don’t think it has the same general appeal for the average movie goer that the Marvel movies do.

It’s rough and uneven and almost two different movies pacing wise. The first half is uneven and ponderous, while the second half pulls together much better.

If any movie ever needed re-editing, it’s BvS.

Rotten Tomatoes currently has BvS at 29%. I wouldn’t go that low but it’s not as good as what Marvel’s putting out these days, that’s for sure.

shane plays podcast title 3-12-2016

The Case of Evil! – Radio Show / Podcast Ep. 41

shane plays podcast title 3-12-2016

Podcast for the Shane Plays radio show from 3/12/2016:
The Case of Evil!

Highlights: Geek news; Neal & Jana Hallford of Swords & Circuitry studios and their award-winning horror short film The Case of Evil.

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1:05 PM Central on 96.5 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at http://965fmtheanswer.com and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Like what you hear?
Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
http://kryptonradio.com/

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes and Stitcher (and other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

SHOW NOTES

NEWS ITEMS

Man demands ‘Magic’ cards in attempted robbery | Comic Book Resources
http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2016/03/comics-a-m-man-demands-magic-cards-in-attempted-robbery/

Captain America: Civil War – Trailer 2
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dKrVegVI0Us

Supergirl renewed for 2nd season | Polygon
http://www.polygon.com/2016/3//11179418/supergirl-renew-second-season

Luke Cage premieres on Netflix September 30 and Daredevil returns March 18 | Polygon
http://www.polygon.com/2016/3/11/11206546/luke-cage-premiere-date-marvel-netflix

CW renews The Flash, Arrow, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow and iZombie | Newsarama
http://www.newsarama.com/28362-flash-arrow-dc-s-legends-of-tomorrow-izombie-renewed-by-the-cw.html

DC Comics’ SCALPED Will Be Adapted into a TV Series | GeekTyrant
http://geektyrant.com/news/dc-comics-scalped-will-be-adapted-into-a-tv-series

The Tick Returning With Amazon Pilot Order | Comicbook.com
http://comicbook.com/2016/03/10/the-tick-returning-with-amazon-pilot-order/

D&D Curse of Strahd Review
http://shaneplays.com/dd-curse-of-strahd-review/

Ravenloft setting now allowed in DMs Guild
http://support.dmsguild.com/hc/en-us/articles/217029298-Content-and-Format-Questions?affiliate_id=237976

The history of Dungeons and Dragons video games from youtuber 90sgamer92 (2 hour video)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgoonTyjKoc

GUEST: THE CASE OF EVIL

Sword & Circuitry’s Neal & Jana Hallford and The Case of Evil.

http://www.swordsandcircuitry.com/

http://www.thecaseofevil.com/

For a limited time, Shane Plays listeners and followers can watch The Case of Evil 50% off using the promo code XCPCVPPHC!
https://selz.com/item/5674c62f6edca00e788f7485?code=XCPCVPHC

TWEET OF THE WEEK

@OutofContextDND
The second room is unremarkable except that it is on fire

NEXT WEEK:

Michael Tierney, comic book industry expert and creator / publisher of The Wild Stars.

http://thewildstars.com/

The Wild Stars comic book covers

 

Shane Plays Game Goblins Guest Promo Banner

Gaming Christmas Gift Ideas! – Radio Show / Podcast Episode 30

Shane Plays podcast title 12-19-2015

Podcast for the Shane Plays radio show from 12/19/2015:
Gaming Christmas Gift Ideas!

Highlights: Geek news; non-spoiler Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Game Goblins and gaming Christmas gift ideas.

Shane Plays airs on Saturdays at 1:05 PM Central on 96.5 FM The Answer in Little Rock. It can also be heard online at http://965fmtheanswer.com and on the Tune In Radio app and iHeart Radio apps. Call in at 501-823-0965 or tweet @ShanePlays during the show!

Like what you hear?
Support Shane Plays Radio on Patreon!
https://www.patreon.com/shaneplays

KryptonRadio1Shane Plays is carried on Krypton Radio!
Krypton Radio is SciFi for your Wifi.
http://kryptonradio.com/

Listen to the Shane Plays podcast on iTunes and Stitcher (and other fine podcast directories) after the live show.

Podcast Episode Direct Download:
http://traffic.libsyn.com/shaneplays/Shane_Plays_12-19-15_podcast.mp3

Listen Here via Embed:

SHOW NOTES

NEWS ITEMS

Inaugural Arkansas ComiCon: Free at Laman Library in North Little Rock today from 1-5 PM
https://www.facebook.com/events/499956160173058/

Hideo Kojima Is Starting His Own Studio, Partnering with Sony | Den of Geek
http://www.denofgeek.us/games/hideo-kojima/251386/hideo-kojima-is-starting-his-own-studio-partnering-with-sony

Dragon+ is now on the web in addition to being a mobile app
Newest issue out now
http://www.dragonmag.com/

Independence Day 2 Resurgence trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbduDRH2m2M
Here’s what happened to Will Smith’s character after Independence Day | Polygon
https://t.co/dxwGufWGmP

Star Trek Beyond Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XRVD32rnzOw

X-Men Apocalypse Trailer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=COvnHv42T-A

Ghostbusters’ new cast is raring to go in first official look | Polygon
http://www.polygon.com/2015/12/16/10288244/ghostbusters-reboot-first-official-pic-2016

Mad Max: Fury Road may get black-and-white theatrical release in 2016 | Polygon
http://www.polygon.com/2015/12/14/10105238/mad-max-fury-road-may-get-black-and-white-theatrical-release-in-2016

Jar Jar Binks is not the worst thing to happen to #StarWars | Polygon
http://www.polygon.com/2015/12/14/9873064/jar-jar-binks-is-not-the-worst-thing-to-happen-to-star-wars

Star Wars Countdown: -2 days!

GUEST: GAME GOBLINS

Shane Plays Game Goblins Guest Promo Banner

Gaming Christmas gift ideas!

http://gamegoblins.com

TWEET OF THE WEEK

@AshSevilla: Sometimes when older people stare at me from a distance I wonder if it’s a time traveling relative checking out their gramps in the past.

NEXT WEEK:

The Christmas show.

Star Wars The Force Awakens poster wide

Spoiler Free – Star Wars: The Force Awakens First Reaction Review

Star Wars The Force Awakens poster wide

This review is spoiler free.

I’ve been out of the theater for about two hours now. All that build up, all that waiting, all that wondering… will it be good? Is it Star Wars? Can we dare hope?

Rest easy. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens is good, even great at times. Han Solo says “we’re home” in the trailer, and I think for the most part that’s correct.

Does it reach the Joseph Campbell mythic journey heights of the original trilogy? Will it smash in to pop culture the way that A New Hope did? Only time well tell, although my first reaction is it doesn’t quite hit that point.

Let’s also keep in mind that no movie, no matter how great, can match the hype and expectation that The Force Awakens has had heaped on it. The original Star Wars: A New Hope couldn’t live up to the hype. No movie could. It’s already blown away ticket sales records before it even opened for goodness sake! Having said that…

The shoulders of The Force Awakens are strong, far stronger than The Phantom Menace. It carries the weight of the Star Wars universe effortlessly and there’s no forcing yourself to accept it as Star Wars because you’re a fan. It’s Star Wars right out of the gate, right from the text of the opening crawl.

It looks like Star Wars. It sounds like Star Wars. It feels like Star Wars. It’s fun like Star Wars.

The actors, and therefore the characters, have chemistry. For me this is a really important point. It’s something that the prequels lacked in spades, only seeming to find it in Revenge of the Sith, and even then Anakin and Padme still lacked it.

It’s also exciting and refreshing to see beloved characters and Star Wars icons such as stormtroopers, TIE fighters and X-Wings even if they might be slightly updated (or older, in the case of the characters). To be honest it actually made more of a difference than I would have thought, as I went in thinking that The Force Awakens would live or die by the story and the chemistry alone. But no, so great to see marching troopers, dog fighting fighters and that fantastic sleek black and red Imperial interior design.

For the story itself, it didn’t play out the way I had put together in my head from the trailers (this, in Shane’s world, is a good thing). It flowed well and I only have a true beef with one main plot point (a really big one) that I won’t get into here but may revisit later once it’s cool to get into spoilers. The beef is along the lines of “again?” but… that’s as far as I go at this point. In general there were many intense moments, great action scenes, some laughs and all around decent writing and dialogue.

Rhythm-wise, it had a very strong first act, a second act that was good but that bogged down just a bit, a tad mind you for maybe 10 minutes, and a third act that kicked back up again quite nicely thank you very much.

Other non-spoilery things:

I really, really liked BB-8. I feel like they 100% created a great new Star Wars character. It’s hard to have a droid folks will like as much as R2-D2 but they did it.

As mentioned above, several great action scenes plus that signature Star Wars humor.

The Millennium Falcon is in the house. Like, way up in the house.

My friend who watched The Force Awakens with me didn’t really like Kylo Ren. I rather did, felt Kylo was a good villain and not just a Vader clone. And that lightsaber, hoo boy it’s pretty cool. You’re also going to be treated to some force moves you definitely haven’t seen before.

Luke Skywalker. What’s the deal with Luke? Is he even in the movie? Muah ha ha ha ha, I know and I ain’t tellin’!

Get ready for at least one “oh, no they did not” moment.

Family again plays a very important role, as it should in Star Wars.

The actor for one major, returning character seemed to give a bit of a phone it in performance. Felt just a bit off.

I felt like we didn’t really get good insight into the structure of the galaxy’s culture and political makeup for a payoff of the ending of Return of the Jedi. That’s one area The Force Awakens seemed a bit uncertain of itself.

As recent headlines have announced, there is no mid-credits or post-credits bonus scene. I sat through them anyway because, you know, it’s Star Wars. I was the last dork out of the theater, literally. No bonus scene. Trust me.

There. No spoilers. As promised. It’s good. Very good. Out of 4 stars? 3.75 probably. Go see it. I know I will more than once while it’s in theaters. Set coordinates and make the jump.

One last observation: it feels kind of weird to see a new Star Wars movie in December instead of May. Star Wars has always kind of had an association of air conditioning on a hot day in some part of my mind.

Justice League: Gods and Monsters Review

I’m not going to play that game where I make you wait until the end of this review to get my overall take of the newest DCU Animated movie – Justice League: Gods and Monsters.

I’ll get it right out in the open.

Instant fan. Loved it.

I’m not usually the type to be an instant fan of things because I respect the test of time. In this case, between the previews, what I’ve read in articles leading up to the release, the animated shorts on Machinima and the animated feature itself, I’m cool with it.

What follows is my spoiler-free review, or at least any major spoilers.

If you’re of the mind to watch Justice League: Gods & Monsters, be aware that it’s probably the most “adult” of DCU animated movies so far with a possible exception being Batman: Assault on Arkham. Bruce Timm (yes, that Bruce Timm) wanted to tell a more mature story than what he has in the past with DC animated universe fare and in fact did so.

Bruce Timm lets us see a little of his dark side with Gods & Monsters

Bruce Timm lets us see a little of his dark side with Gods & Monsters

The violence is turned up a notch, death is a natural result of engaging super powered beings with deadly force and a few harsher profanities are tossed around. The PG-13 notes also list nudity, but to be honest when said nudity appeared it took me a bit to realize that’s what it was. I never quite felt anything was gratuitous other than the profanity (and the so-called nudity didn’t seem to serve a purpose thematically or story wise, more of a character design choice).

If you’re not up to speed on Gods and Monsters‘s premise, it’s what we used to call an “Elseworlds” or “What If” but is now basically a parallel universe with a Justice League of three, a take on the DC “trinity” of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. In this case only the names are the same and the people sporting the names are quite different than those we know.

We took the names. Try and take them back.

Yeah, we took the names. Try and take them back.

  • Superman is a Kryptonian and the last survivor of Krypton, but he’s not Kal-El / Clark Kent.
  • Batman is a scientist who gave himself vampiric powers (and needs) through rash medicine.
  • Wonder Woman is a New God who wields an indestructible sword with a built-in mother box.

Two of them are existing DC comics characters that find different destinies in this universe. The third is a completely new character who to the best of my knowledge has never been seen before in any DC world.

When things begin, the three are already established as the Justice League complete with impenetrable fortress in downtown Metropolis. They seem to be on the side of good but their methods are brutal (and in many instances, deadly) compared to the Justice League we know. They’re also not afraid to let the government know exactly where everyone is in the pecking order and the relationship is at best an uneasy one. One wonders if they are at the tipping point of becoming complete outlaws or even dictators.

It’s best summed up by the scene of Superman and Wonder Woman high up in their tower, looking down at protestors on the pavement below with Superman enjoying a post-terrorist-killing drink and wondering if the “dots” below might be better off with the JL in charge of everything. When he says he’s serious, Wonder Woman remarks he’s become less sexy but doesn’t exactly quit the team in a huff at the suggestion. Batman meanwhile offers statistics as to how many people locally and worldwide would welcome such a change.

Regarding the plot itself, a mystery unfolds early on as brilliant scientists (names we’re already quite familiar with from mainstream DC) begin dying in quite nasty ways and the evidence starts pointing towards the Justice League. One thing I like about how things unfold is that the JL twinges very quickly to what is happening rather than missing the obvious fact they are being framed, and instead of appearing worried Superman is actually offended that someone would try to frame them. “Who would have the balls,” he wonders aloud.

The story that is told in this movie is quite good with the creators deftly working in three origin stories without jarring the flow of the movie. It’s an action / mystery story and I appreciate how the mystery is handled in the sense that when the inevitable third act “all is revealed” moment happens it’s all quite obvious in hindsight.

This being a DCU animated movie it can’t all be cerebral and there’s plenty of action and super powered punches and booms that lead to the obligatory (and let’s face it, hoped for) property destruction all around.

It’s a wonderful story with wonderful characters and dialogue. The character designs are also excellent and everything seems to click together as if this is an ongoing series in its second or third season that has found its voice rather than a first, experimental outing.

Things that I really liked or that stood out:

This Superman was raised by a migrant couple instead of the Kansas Kents. Not only does this resonate powerfully in today’s culture where legal and illegal immigration are a hot issue, but it also helps contribute to his outlook on life as opposed to the Superman we’re already familiar with.

Wonder Woman’s sword. I love this thing and I love how she uses it while fighting. It’s sleek, it’s black, it’s got cool techno designs on it and it can create boom tubes. It’s cool to me like stuff in comics was cool to me when I was 12. Nicely done.

I'm drooling. For the sword.

I’m drooling. For the sword.

Out of all of the character designs, I liked Wonder Woman’s the best. Great costume. My least favorite was Jimmy Olsen’s cameo. Seemed like they were trying too hard to make him Millenial.

Although I’m kind of jaded on the “Batman as vampire” thing, the voice acting and characterization of this take on Batman connected with me. He’s sort of deadpan but with a hint of warmth.

Without giving anything away, Gods & Monsters‘s Lex Luthor is really refreshing. There’s a real world, famous scientist they are obviously paying homage too as well.

A smiling Darkseid. I’ll say no more. You just have to watch it.

If I have to point out any negatives, and these are quibbles not major sticking points for me, I would say I hope future Justice League: Gods and Monsters material fills us in on why these three characters work together and why they landed on the side of good as they did. Those are basically just assumed in the movie without any real reason given.

As I said, quibbles.

Check it out, especially if you’re a DC animated universe fan. Check it out now, or this Justice League just might come for you. You really don’t want to meet this Batman in a dark alley.