I recently got back from my 4th time attending Chiller Theatre in Parsippany, NJ, one of the most popular pop culture conventions on the East Coast. Every year, I meet wonderful people, whether they’re celebrities or convention-goers like myself. Over the course of the past several years, I’ve learned several things about coming to the show. I feel that these can also apply to any other convention one may attend.
It’s been a little over two weeks since the 88th Academy Awards bought the film season of 2015 to a close. Although we’re now well into the 2016 film season, I didn’t want to move past the most recent Oscars without mention of a disturbing thing I noticed on the show this year. Long time readers of mine will recall that, about a year or two ago, I did an article called “Out Of The In Memoriam”, where I mentioned 10 former Oscar winners who were not included in the Oscars’ In Memoriam segment when they passed. Their passings were spread throughout multiple ceremonies, but this year, there were a whopping seven Oscar winners who died within the year, and who were excluded from the ceremony despite winning Oscars. I would like to give them a final salute before I think ahead to the 2017 Oscars.
This article will be a little different. Although today is Throwback Thursday, I’m not going back that far. Today, I’m recapping the 7 movies of 2015 that I saw. I don’t really get out to the movies that often, mainly because I don’t drive yet, although I plan on learning to drive within the next year or two. Despite that, though, I did manage to see several movies this year, mainly because my brother drove me to theaters to see most of them, sometimes with me and sometimes not. I saw 7 different movies this year, and I would now like to offer up my thoughts on what I liked about them. Although these are my opinions and this is an editorial, they aren’t quite reviews. Consider them more of a look into what I find appealing in a movie.
Although Xbox achievements have their critics, they have somewhat changed the way that many people play games thank to several benefits that they bring. Chief among them is that people no longer have to put up with outlandish claims from their friends that they have managed to beat a particularly tough game on the hardest difficulty, all we have to do is check their Gamerscore and see if they have unlocked the corresponding achievement.
As the video game industry has grown over the past twenty years to become one of the biggest entertainment markets in the world, there has been a rise in the number of developers working to create games for customers. Many have become household names for incredible titles they have developed, such as with Bungie for Halo and Rockstar with Grand Theft Auto.
When you think of the James Bond movies, what comes immediately to mind? Is it the villains? Is it the gadgets? Is it the Bond Girls? Is it the Bond character himself? For me, while all those things come to mind later, immediately, I think of the songs. Music is an important part of the James Bond experience. Whether it’s the instantly recognizable guitar riff that is part of the James Bond theme or the songs ranging from ballads to dance music that accompany the opening and closing credits, a large part of what makes the James Bond movies so appealing is their music.
Gaming crossovers are far from a rare occurrence in the industry. Developers and publishers long ago realized that they could take advantage of the popularity of two or more franchises and combine them together to create a game that is sure to grab attention and sell copies to multiple sets of fans. Precisely for this reason, we’ve seen plenty video games in the past 25 years feature characters from different series, with the final product often being a well made title. Prime examples include the likes of Kingdom Hearts, Street Fighter X Tekken and Sonic and Mario at the Olympic Games. However, not every single crossover turns out to be successful and for every good example there are several terrible ones.
Over the past few years, there has been a whole host of video games that focus not on fantastic gameplay but instead on the imagination of the player. Games like Minecraft and LittleBigPlanet put a huge emphasis on allowing gamers to make massive structures, buildings or anything they want. Also, many modern games also include level creators and customization modes that further give players the choice of building their own things within games. Many of the items built in these games are mightily impressive but some are so large or complex that they seem entirely crazy.
This generation has already seen some high profile games from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 be remastered. The likes of The Last of Us, Grand Theft Auto V and Halo: The Master Chief Collection are all examples of titles that have had or are getting enhanced editions for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, not only allowing new players to experience them but also giving them new life with upgraded graphics and much improved performance.
While the focus of most games tends to be on how good the gameplay is or how polished the visuals are, there is another aspect that is often overlooked but can de vital in shaping the overall experience – the soundtrack. When used effectively in games music can amplify emotions, create tension or drama and even immerse the player in the world in which they are playing. Some soundtracks are not just brilliant for video games but rival blockbuster films and hit television shows in accompanying the onscreen action with a beautifully composed original score.
Allow me to introduce myself. The name is Johnny Caps. From 2006 to 2013, I wrote for RetroJunk, where I was known for my love of 80s pop culture as well as my interviews with retro personalities. One of the things I often wrote were lists. Sometimes they were top 10s, and other times the lists would be bigger. Unfortunately, a redesign of RetroJunk in 2012 caused the site to lose a lot of readers. As such, midway through 2013, I started looking for a new site to write for, and I landed here. For my first contribution to Bilateral Warp, just as I started off at RetroJunk so many years ago, I wanted start off with a list article, this one being related to comedy albums.