On Punch Club and Poverty

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Punch Club becomes a trap of seemingly inescapable poverty. Fighting earns limited income—a tattered ring and 15 or so odd spectators won’t pay bills. There’s no money in scrub leagues and no way to become a pro without ranking up. Pizza delivery pays better, but siphons happiness. It’s a miserable existence. Punch Club rapidly becomes a cycle of eat to work and work to eat. Anything in between is luxury.”

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Limited Run Games Preserves Physical Media

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“It sounds alarmist, but therein lies a key appeal to physical media: true ownership. If a manufacturer of music CDs shuts down, their discs continue working. Nothing changes. If a digital music provider meets their financial demise, there are no guarantees purchases will be useable. Physical games for the Atari 2600, released in the late ‘70s, still work. Some digital games released for the original Xbox in 2007 do not. It’s a potential preview of our all-digital future.”

Read my full feature on Limited Run Games at Playboy

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Fantastic Four (2015) Blu-ray Review

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“Integral to the Fantastic Four as characters is acceptance – being okay with differences, making the most out of what you are, even if that is “fantastically” unique. Here being different means being confined to rooms or being forced to hide out in a secluded forest until an inter-dimensional madmen opens a black hole. For what they were, the mid-2000 Fantastic Four films made the title heroes superstars. They were loved and appreciated by society at large for their unique qualities. The reboot reviles their existence, treating them like disabled animals in cages to serve an agenda of authoritative paranoia.”

Read my full review of Fantastic Four at DoBlu

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review

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“Unlike Lucas though, Abrams is strung up in a system. He’s not independent. At least, not independent enough. His ideas never feel like his own. The film lacks a definitive signature. Force Awakens is often suffocated by an array of hurried nostalgia and inorganic reveals. They become a running joke in and of themselves. These incidences are less connected to a story than they are to merchandising. Spaceballs continues to be right.”

Read my full review of The Force Awakens at DoBlu

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Need for Speed Defines the Internet Generation

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“Every driver is trying to stand out. They’re drifting through events, breaking time challenges; whatever is needed to be noticed. The culture feels crowded, racers bumping into one another for a chance to be seen or skim even a small fragment of fame. Races are less about who wins than they are about whose showmanship would rank higher in views. Need for Speed is a clean metaphor for internet content (and probably by total accident).”

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Aladdin Blu-ray Review

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Aladdin would likely (and sadly) bomb in 2015 given its setting, even if this story is catapulted by a slew of American additions. Aladdin (Scott Weinger) finds success on his own, without family. Each key character is espousing American values of freedom – Aladdin to escape poverty, Jasmine (Linda Larkin) to leave her castle, Jafar (Johnathan Freeman) to rise above his crooked underling status. Even Genie wishes for a life away from a master commanding him to grant wishes.”

Read my full Blu-ray review of Aladdin at DoBlu

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On Rainbow Six Siege

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“By excising a narrative (Siege is stuck almost entirely online) UbiSoft insists they’re avoiding politicization. Instead, it’s the opposite. They’ve turned suburban shootouts nameless and faceless. Terrorists wear masks so they cannot be identified. Victims are as ignored as they are in mainstream media. Brief video interstitial segments note “orders and protocols are irrelevant,” a powerful line which in five words frames much of American police saga.”

Read my full review of Rainbow Six Siege on Medium

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