Why (500) Days of Summer is the Geekiest Film You’ve Never Seen or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Get Excited About Spider-Man

By Matt Peters

After much convincing by my friend John Castro, I finally sat down and watched the 2009 movie (500) Days of Summer. I’m not a big fan of romcoms, and I was determined to avoid yet another film that features the typical formula: the guy is a bumbling, macho fool who changes his ways thanks to a strong-willed independent woman who softens her man-hatin’ stance and eventually swoons for the still rough-around-the-edges schlub. Why would I waste my time watching that kid from 3rd Rock from the Sun fall in love with a girl with cartoonishly huge eyes?

Mark Webb directed the film who, at the time, didn’t have much feature-length directing experience under his belt. The movie feels a little like Scott Pilgrim vs. The World without all of the game and comic references in the sense that the characters are very well spoken and have depth beyond what’s immediately shown on the surface. Webb’s directing style, combined with various slapstick elements and a witty script make for a comedic experience that may surprise some viewers. He even went so far as to direct a short to accompany one throwaway line featuring the stars in a Sid & Nancy parody. (more…)

How I tried to play Hunted: Demon’s Forge, but couldn’t take it

By Bill Jones

Hunted: Demon’s Forge mostly flew under the radar for me until its release, but once it got here I was strangely compelled to play it. The characters and art style did absolutely nothing for me, but the idea of a more melee-centric co-op experience akin to Gears of Wars but placed in the realm of a fantasy dungeon crawl sounded like it could have been awesome. Not to mention, Bethesda, the game’s publisher, was kind enough to send along two copies for review, to cater to the title’s co-op nature.

So when I asked who else wanted in, Eric took the bait. It took about a week to coordinate, but we both hopped online one night and decided to give it ago. And based on the preliminary results, I’ll be happy if we never decide to play it again. (more…)

No matter what happens at MITB, Punk rant was brilliant

How WWE is playing a hometown, the internet and more

By Bill Jones

No matter what happens at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view in Chicago this Sunday, there’s no denying that the already infamous June 27 Monday Night Raw rant was an absolutely brilliant move. And its impact is already readily apparent. More people are buzzing about the world of professional wrestling than they have in years; WWE is likely to get great buyrates for a PPV that otherwise might have been considered second-rate and gone largely under the radar; people were chanting CM Punk’s name on Raw tonight; and there is the setup for some great shock value in Punk’s hometown.

For those coming to this story unfamiliar with the situation, CM Punk came out at the end of Monday Night Raw June 27, cost John Cena a tables match against R Truth, and proceeded to sit at the top of the ramp and cut a promo that had many wondering whether it was scripted or whether CM Punk had really just gone off the hinges. (more…)

Wii U – Impressive tech, destined for failure?

By Bill Jones

So by and large, the biggest news to come out of the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year was the announcement of Nintendo’s successor to the Wii, the Wii U, followed in a close second by the debut of NGP, er, PS Vita. With an unexpected controller design offering another new way to play, the floor at E3 was buzzing with excitement over the new console, but the announcement left this writer wondering whether Nintendo is destined for failure this round…and not just because of Wii U’s horrible name.

Don’t get me wrong — I was as impressed by the technology as anybody. When I first saw the controller — which features a 6.3-inch touch screen in the middle of a large unit that has two analogs, a D-pad, face buttons and triggers — I was immediately, and happily, whisked back to memories of the Four Swords set-up in which gamers used Game Boy Advance as a controller to have a second screen for some unique gameplay. I also, of course, thought about the screens on the memory cards for Dreamcast. And both evoked unpleasant thoughts. (more…)

The Electronic Entertainment Expo meant a few things for a few different reasons for me, but mostly it was NINTENDO. To paraphrase Ralphie from A Christmas Story, it was total “electric sex.” And sure, much could be said about Nintendo still having trouble, if you can call it that, developing new intellectual properties. However, I wouldn’t call it that. I’d say it’s them smartly sticking to what works, and why not?

After a number of E3s having passed with Nintendo not really announcing much aside from the more “productive” gaming peripherals and casual games, I was happy as a pig in shit to see not only a new Zelda, but a killer new Metroid trailer, Donkey Kong Country Returns – a big “wow” moment for me – Kirby’s Epic Yarn, a new Mario Kart, and that’s just the few that really stuck out to me. (more…)


I might actually be becoming a vampire… As I write this, it’s after 3 a.m. and just about every sane person that doesn’t have to be awake has long since gone to bed. Why am I awake at night and sleeping during the day? Despite my strong aversion to the works of Stephenie Meyer, I may be becoming what I most hate.

As far as I know, my skin doesn’t “sparkle” in sunlight yet, so that’s good. (more…)

Confessions of a Min-Maxer

By Jason King


There’s probably a reason why I teach math; I’ve been chasing numbers in video games for a long time. As far back as Dragon Warrior I thought excessively on whether or not it was better to begin with the club and clothes than to buy the bamboo pole and save some money. I know I’m not alone in thinking about this kind of stuff; long, detailed “optimization” threads now exist for most RPGs, complete with complex math behind determining how to deal the most damage or which piece of equipment to use. The first Final Fantasy had character roles that haven’t changed much – the Tank, the DPS, the Healer, and the Crowd Controller were all there. (more…)

The Xbox 360 is a malfunctioning piece of crap

By Bill Jones

Hear me out. I don’t play favorites when it comes to consoles. I don’t consider myself among any of the console fan boy camps. Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Nintendo Wii, PC, iPod Touch, DS, PSP…whatever. All of them have their strengths and all of them have their weaknesses. If they work and I can play a good game on them, I’m happy. But going back to that first point – if they work – I’m having a major problem with the way Microsoft is doing business with the Xbox 360.

I’ll make a few more disclaimers here before getting into things. First of all, this is not necessarily the overall opinion of this website or all of its writers. It is an opinion piece, and this is my opinion on the matter. It is anecdotal and it is in the heat of dealing with a problem, admittedly, though I do think you’ll be hard pressed to disagree. Second, as a gamer, I like the idea of what the Xbox 360 offers. I’m definitely not a hater. Despite having to pay $50 for it, I like the Xbox Live service. I like the Arcade. I like the community aspects of the console, and despite the fact that a lot of what I play nowadays is multi-platform, I’m usually playing it on the Xbox 360. But none of these disclaimers change the fact that the Xbox 360 is a malfunctioning piece of crap. (more…)

As I write this, I have been up since 2:30 in the afternoon yesterday. It is now 8 a.m. Such is typical for me, as I haven’t really seen a “set” schedule in about 3½ years. However, it’s these types of days that really put me into a state where writing and ranting blur together and…pondering…just tends to flow. It might come across as eccentric to some, but for me it’s just par for the course.

So anyways, I’ve been kind of upside down the past couple days, and will continue to be so the next couple of days. It kind of makes it hard to really stay focused on much, especially when there’s a whole lot to be focused upon. I started watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy on Blu-ray the other day, but feel that when I’m not sleeping much that I can’t really put much attention on watching anything. It just makes me drowsy. Not to say that the Lord of the Rings movies are boring, but I could pretty much fall asleep watching anything if I stop long enough to sit still and pay attention. That’s how I got through much of the last couple of semesters at community college. Go academics! (more…)


Roger Ebert is one of the most renowned film critics alive. He’s an encyclopedia of film, ready to drop a reference whenever needed. No one is going to agree with everything he writes, sure, but what makes him a fantastic critic is that he works hard to support his arguments, and the background knowledge he has of the medium makes what he does special. But every once in awhile he ventures outside his realm of knowledge to make a statement, and in all likelihood to attract viewers to his blog. Ebert recently decided to slam video games in an article titled Video games can never be art. I disagreed with him, and decided to send an email telling him so. In the interest of conversation, I thought I’d repost it here as an open letter. Read his article first, then my response, and feel free to share your opinion. (more…)

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