The CW's The 100 is…

...Lord of the Flies. The 100 is about a far future where humanity lives on a space station and they send all the delinquent youths back to Earth to determine is the planet is habitable. … Um, they’ve proven they can’t be trusted so you send them on an important mission to see if earth was survivable? Good plan.

Murphy’s Law
Kill the pig!

All the 100 have these wristbands that monitor their vitals and let the folks up on the space station know they’re alive and thriving or dying slowly. Of course the take-charge psycho realizes you can just take the wristbands off and  let the people who “sent then down to die” think they’re dead and dying.
There’s like one black guy and he’s the noble voice of reason. While their leader is all “they’ll make us prisoners and poor again.”
But reason, neither heartfelt nor rage-filled, won’t do much when they have to face Grounders! Whats? People who stayed on Earth and survived by adapting and becoming something no longer human…
Murphy’s Law
We have fundamental, moral differences. Being good is right! Being bad is fun!

So there are a bunch of youths running around on the surface being total assholes while monsters lurk. Some want to be good, some want to be bad. That’s essentially the plot. Also, that’s essentially the plot of Lord of the Flies.
They’re nerds, bullies, brats, and followers. There’s cool kids picking on losers, noble and strong kids trying to do the right things, and a bunch of expendable others to either punch or defend.
There isn’t a conch … actually, the one guy who decided to be in charge has a gun and everyone else has shanks.
We're up here, and they're down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live. I disagree...
We’re up here, and they’re down there. We should kill people up here so people up here can live.
I disagree…

The unique (and only interesting) aspect is the people on The Arc (Get it? like Noah’s.) trying to survive and figure out what’s going on. The council keeps talking able a culling and the engineers are noticing that that drop ship that was ejected because of a serious malfunction didn’t leave any damage and no one’s heard from any of the prisoners who are under some mysterious quarantine.
Humanity is screwed from above and below. I’m currently rooting for the Grounders to kill the 100 and the engineers to use the fact that they’re THE ENGINEERS on a SPACE STATION to their advantage.

 Here’s the super-long official summary of The 100:

 

Because The CW...
Because The CW…

Ninety-seven years ago, nuclear Armageddon decimated planet Earth, destroying civilization. The only survivors were the 400 inhabitants of 12 international space stations that were in orbit at the time. Three generations have been born in space, the survivors now number 4,000, and resources are running out on their dying “Ark” – the 12 stations now linked together and repurposed to keep the survivors alive. Draconian measures including capital punishment and population control are the order of the day, as the leaders of the Ark take ruthless steps to ensure their future, including secretly exiling a group of 100 juvenile prisoners to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. For the first time in nearly a century, humans have returned to planet Earth. Among the 100 exiles are Clarke, the bright teenage daughter of the Ark’s chief medical officer; Wells, son of the Ark’s Chancellor; the daredevil Finn; and the brother/sister duo Bellamy and Octavia, whose illegal sibling status has always led them to flaunt the rules. Technologically blind to what’s happening on the planet below them, the Ark’s leaders – Clarke’s widowed mother, Abby; the Chancellor, Jaha; and his shadowy second in command, Kane – are faced with difficult decisions about life, death and the continued existence of the human race. For the 100 young people on Earth, however, the alien planet they’ve never known is a mysterious realm that can be magical one moment and lethal the next. With the survival of the human race entirely in their hands, THE 100 must find a way to transcend their differences, unite and forge a new path on a wildly changed Earth that’s primitive, intense and teeming with the unknown.

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First Impressions: MARS: War Logs

[wpspoiler name=”First Impressions vs. Reviews” ]First Impressions are based on demos while Reviews are based on entire games.[/wpspoiler]
MARS: War Logs is set in the war-torn, waterless future of Mars. Surprise, you colonized Mars and its supply of one gallon of water didn’t last to sustain a whole planet full of people.
According to the Purple Prose introduction narrated by the most pathetic grunt in the Water War, there’s a war on and there are Water Gangs fighting for control and—I don’t think there’s a society anymore. I think this is like post-apocalyptic anarchy on a colonized planet. Deep.
Well, our grunt is in a truck with other folks heading to elsewhere. Apparently he’s been captured and is a POW (prisoner of war) being shipped off to the enemy camp.
(Keep in mind, all this is being told through Purple Prose and cinematics. Try as you might, you don’t get to play in the train, in the loading bay, in the gen pop area… No playing for you.)

Innocence in a box
Innocence in a box – That’s him in the corner. That’s him in the spotlight.

Finally this sad little lad with the emotionless reading voice telling me of all the horrors of war arrives at the enemy base. Yay, I get to play! PSYCH!
The kid’s introduction to the POW is a foul-mouthed gang of other POWs who wish to make passionate love to his butthole. The portly gang leader is Fatso. Literally, his name is Fatso.
Our idealistic little runt fearing for his rear-virginity? His name is *Le Sigh* Innocence. Yes, his name is Innocence.  Take a minute to eye-roll and regroup.
So Innocence is all, “But I don’t want to be but-raped.” And Fatso is all like, “But I’m a villain and this is prison and you’re new so… Dibs!”
(You still not playing the game yet.)
So then this dude comes up and stands at the edge of the argument with his arms folded and I’m like, “YES! Finally I get to play, I’m gonna brawl this Fatso!”
NOOOOPE.
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “Whadda you want?”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “This doesn’t concern you.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “The Boy is Mine.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “You’re Crazy!”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “Let’s get out of here guys, this guy’s crazy.”
Dude stands there with his arms folded and his eyes narrowed. And Fatso is like, “This isn’t over.”
WHAT THE FUCK!? (Pause for head shaking and or eye rolling.)
Okay, so whatever, you finally get to play now. Now that nothing is happening, you get to play.
And by play I mean you talk to Innocence and decide if you want to be a hard ass or a nice guy (your reputation matters). Apparently Innocence is just an introduction and Roy is our main character. He’s like, “I’m Roy.” And Innocence is like, “Ohmigawd, ROY? The Roy?”
Roy, local badass and side burn aficionado
Roy, local badass and side burn aficionado

Roy’s like, “Yeah, The Roy.”
So by now it’s very clear that the writing is not good and the voice acting ranges from cringe-inducing to pretty good. However, since I only started actually playing the game a minute ago, I powered on.
Uh oh, Fatso and his gang are waiting for Roy and Innocence in the courtyard ready to pin down Little Buddy and slip it in the back. (There’s a lot of swearing and Fatso is really keen on rape).
Tutorial fight time! I like tutorial fight time. I get to play the game and beat up bullies. X to hit. RT to distract them. A to break their defenses.
Cool got it. Let’s punch more people!
Nope. Time to sit and chat with Innocence. Go hither and fro. Chat with dudes.
Okay, this is an RPG so you’re not going to just side-scroll style fight through the world until you hit a boss. Roy is running around (with Innocence in tow) exploring the base with a surprising level of freedom for a POW.
Mutants are sad
Mutants are like people only mutated and sad. And oddly spiritual.

They fight a few other prisoners and a beast and meet the mutants. The story and the game really start to take off. The dialogue stays horrible but the story is fascinating. In this war-torn world, there are people called Technomancers who control electricity, underground monsters called Moles that make it really hard to dig for water, and possibly mysterious ruins from the colonists who first settled on Mars.

Developer(s) Spiders
Publisher(s) Focus Home Interactive
Platform(s) Microsoft Windows, Xbox Live Arcade, PlayStation Network
Release date(s) Windows
April 26, 2013
XBLA
July 26, 2013
PSN
August 13, 2013
Genre(s) Action role-playing
Mode(s) Single-player

Mars: War Logs Pros:

A mysterious technomancer
Mysterious technomancer is mysterious.

1. The story is interesting a possibly unique. With all the hokey dialogue and waiting around, the story is what kept me around.
2. Innocence fights with you instead of acting as another obstacle to keep track of. He doesn’t finish any off on his own but he’s definitely more partner than package.
3. The game world is large and the menus are extensive creating  a deep and interesting experience for just $9.99.
Mars: War Logs Cons:
I assume this is a boss.
I assume this is a boss.

1. Holy shit the dialogue is bad. It’s outright laughable at some points and not helped by the fact that a lot of the voice acting is sub-par.
2. Can I say the fact that it’s not a book is a con? I truly like the story but didn’t feel like I was a necessary part of it. Maybe that’s because it was a demo so it was just a teaser of what’s to come. I just didn’t feel moved so much as curious.
3. The demo felt long. If a game is truly engaging it should steal hours of your time and have you looking around in surprise because you didn’t realize how immersed you were. Mars: War logs felt like it was taking too long. I wasn’t pushing forward but trudging. I found myself annoyed when I accidentally retraced y steps because UGH I just want something interesting to happen.
Overall, what I think of Mars: War Logs:
Moles are not your friends. But if they were you wouldn't dig through their home and then murder them indiscriminately...
Moles are not your friends. But then again, if they were you wouldn’t dig through their home and then murder them indiscriminately…

During a time where games aren’t launching and tax season may or may not leave you broke, Mars: War Logs is definitely something to look into. It seems like it will provide hours of entertainment with an interesting story.
I realize I’ve mocked it relentlessly but that’s because the game does manage to stumble into a writing trap where things are described too beautifully or characters aren’t dimensional enough. Paired with the voice acting, that would be fine for reading aloud in class, it gets a bit laughable.
The silliness though, doesn’t detract from what is a pretty solid game with decent graphics and a large, interactive world. There are side missions, craftable weapons, upgrade trees and a lot more. For $9.99!
Try the demo and see if you can live with the writing and reading.

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Pacific Rim Review

Pacific Rim is not a hollow, soulless film about big stompy robots. Pacific Rim doesn’t treat the audience like idiots. Yet, none of you are going to see it. This is a crying shame.
Pacific Rim is an impeccable summer action film. It is beautifully shot and well-told. There is nothing groundbreaking about it but if you wanted groundbreaking you wouldn’t be watching films about big mechs battling battling monstrous aliens.

I Like Big Mechs and I Cannot Lie.

Idris Elba at a 2007 American Music Awards aft...
Idris Elba at a 2007 American Music Awards after-party (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I don’t know what else you want from a film. I don’t know what more you could want from a summer blockbuster. You have perfectly choreographed fight scenes, excellent CG and tons of explosions. You have a genuinely well-written plot with some rather good acting. You have monsters that are beautiful in their terrifying ugliness. You have Idris Elba, managing to make a Dad Moustache look sexy. Idris Elba should be in everything. You have back story that isn’t narmy. And you even have a couple of interchangable white men with sandy hair, for those of you who can’t bear to see a film without one of them present.
Your basic plot is that these huge, ugly monsters are coming through a crack between universes, lodged deep in the pacific. After they kill millions of people, all the worlds governments come together, share their resources, and build the Jaegers to combat them. However, stronger ones come through, and after a while the Yaegers can no longer do the job. The last few Yaegers and the director come up with a plan to stop the Kaiju once and for all.
I’m missing out a lot of context. As always, I can’t remember anyone’s names, which doesn’t help. Suffice it to say there’s a nice subplot playing with mind-melding – the Yaegers require mind-melded pilots working in sync – and some stuff about recovery, love of all kinds, bravery and self-sacrifice.
You have gigantic robots run by two people, beating up Kaiju. You have fight scenes between giant robots and terrifying monsters, through the glittering streets of Hong Kong. You have a fully-realised, beautifully shot world waiting on the brink of Apocalypse. Pacific Rim has everything you want, everything you wanted from all the films that disappointed you. If Transformers broke your heart, if World War Z makes you want to cringe, then you should see Pacific Rim.
If there’s a flaw it’s that I wish there’d been more time spent on some of the teams piloting the Jaegers. We didn’t really get to know them, and that was a shame.
Quite simply, if you claim to love big robots, and you don’t see Pacific Rim, you are a liar. If this fails, and Uwe Boll’s next butchery of a film succeeds, it’ll be your fault.
It’s directed by Del Toro, for gods sake. DelToro, borrowing heavily from Anime influences.  Pacific Rim is Evangelion without the incomprehensible philosophy and teen angst. Pacific Rim is Transformers, crossed with Godzilla, directed by someone competent.
Pacific Rim is what would happen if someone looked directly into your nerdy heart, plucked out all the things that bring you joy, and slapped them on the screen. I can’t remember the last time I had so much fun watching a film. I really can’t. I can’t remember the last action film I watched that didn’t leave me feeling hollow, or manipulated, or like the director thought I was a moron.
Until I saw Pacific Rim.
I can’t think of a better way to spend two hours in a dark room this summer. Well, I can, but that also involves Idris Elba.
4.5/5
 

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3 Free Comic Previews – Post Apocalypse

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the saying, “if it’s free, it’s for me” doesn’t always ring true. See, on Comixology.com they’ve got more free comics than you’ll know what to do with. Literally, you’ll have so many options and so little time you might find yourself overwhelmed by the selection and possibilities. This is similar to the Kindle quandary: How do I know if this item is worth the time or dollar it takes to check it?
Never fear, I love apocalyptic comics, like trying new things, and don’t like wasting money. So, I’ll let you know which preview comics (not full-length issues) I checked out and if I think you should too – or if you should avoid them like the plague. Continue reading “3 Free Comic Previews – Post Apocalypse”

Winter Apocalypse Movie Round Up

Sometimes, here in the northeast, we have snow days. No, not just for school children, we get them for adults too. Another strange northeastern behavior: Every winter we act like it’s the first time we’ve seen or driven in snow. We have headlines comparing the weather to the apocalypse and news stories about what records the current cold or snowfall is breaking.
This year, we had almost no snow and nearly no days with the temperature below freezing. I didn’t mind it, not in the least, but it was a strange perspective to have on the months of November through February.
Well, due to our underwhelming and mild winter and the start of daylight savings time I thought it appropriate to log some hours indulging in other people’s winter-related misery.
Unfortunately, most of these movies are really bad made for TV SyFy channel movies…
The one-sentence summaries are provided to help set the scene. But, I didn’t summarize the movies because, honestly, for some of them, there are just no words. They’re generally inexpiable thing you have to see to believe. Continue reading “Winter Apocalypse Movie Round Up”

Lollipop Chainsaw's Newest Villain is…

… I tell you who it is in a minute. You should know, before I update you on the villain, what Lollipop Chainsaw is. Right? Well, then skip down to that spoiler down below to hear the news. Otherwise, let me tell you about Lollipop Chainsaw a no-holds-barred Funpocalypse!
The game stars a high school cheerleader, Juliet, slashing her way through her classmates and faculty in a effort to get to answers about what on Earth is going on. Why are people always so dead set on finding answers in a zombie apocalypse? There are monsters trying to eat your face, focus on that and not starving in the process rather than who manufactured the T-virus. Unless, of course, you’re a scientist…
ANYWAY.
Juliet wields a chainsaw (impractical but so wonderful) and keeps her boyfriend’s talking head (don’t worry about how) strapped to her very, very small skirt. Continue reading “Lollipop Chainsaw's Newest Villain is…”

First Impressions: Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon

[wpspoiler name=”First Impressions vs. Reviews” ]First Impressions are based on demos while Reviews are based on entire games.[/wpspoiler]
Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon  is a video game based on Ugly Americans, which is a sitcom on Comedy Central based on a New York City where all manner of monster lives in harmony– harmony being the same crazy, terrible, apathetic way the city is at present. In the show, Mark Lilly is a nobody in a dead end job with a zombie named Randall for a roommate. Continue reading “First Impressions: Ugly Americans: Apocalypsegeddon”

Apocalyptic Movie: MONSTERS

I like rummaging through the slush on Netflix streaming and seeing if there’s anything I can sit through. Sadly, it’s not often I can find something in the apocalyptic genre worth sitting through much less worth recommending. The bucket seems to be heavily populated with made-for-TV movies that couldn’t make it on TV and what seem to be student projects. But sometimes I find a gem.
Monsters was one of these gems. The film is beautiful in a way that only science fiction and fantasy can manage. The characters are deep and real, and the environment is immersive. Continue reading “Apocalyptic Movie: MONSTERS”