Fireside 2.1 (https://fireside.fm) The Rick & Don Show Blog https://www.rickanddon.com/articles Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:00:00 -0600 The Rick & Don Show Blog en-us Game of the Year 2017 Review - Persona 5 https://www.rickanddon.com/articles/goty-2017-persona5 Thu, 15 Feb 2018 09:00:00 -0600 rickanddonshow@gmail.com 16b176af-1ecd-4b58-9d9f-de50c0744a5f It was about 3pm on a Saturday, in the middle of a record hot summer, when I decided to play Persona 5. Recently unemployed and beaten down by the scorching heat, I was unsure what to do with the seemingly ever-growing amount of free time ahead of me, I needed to find something to do. I found myself staring at my game collection, much like one stares into a refrigerator when bored, realizing that not one of those 1000 games I own would save me from the anxiousness caused by unemployment that was slowly consuming me. I had heard good things about Persona 5 from every video game podcast I listened to, so I decided to tackle it. The one good thing about losing your job is that you find yourself schedule-free and without the need to report to anyone, your 9 to 5 time frame becomes free, and you start to experience the part of the world that you had been missing because you were stuck in a cubicle, slowly banging your head against thumbtacks wondering what you’re going to do with your life. In a way, my new found freedom mimicked the main story in Persona 5. It was about 3pm on a Saturday, in the middle of a record hot summer, when I decided to play Persona 5. Recently unemployed and beaten down by the scorching heat, I was unsure what to do with the seemingly ever-growing amount of free time ahead of me, I needed to find something to do. I found myself staring at my game collection, much like one stares into a refrigerator when bored, realizing that not one of those 1000 games I own would save me from the anxiousness caused by unemployment that was slowly consuming me. I had heard good things about Persona 5 from every video game podcast I listened to, so I decided to tackle it. The one good thing about losing your job is that you find yourself schedule-free and without the need to report to anyone, your 9 to 5 time frame becomes free, and you start to experience the part of the world that you had been missing because you were stuck in a cubicle, slowly banging your head against thumbtacks wondering what you’re going to do with your life. In a way, my new found freedom mimicked the main story in Persona 5.

In this installment of Altus' Shin Megami Tensei series, you find yourself in the role of a high schooler accused of committing assault against an affluent member of society. In reality, your character was trying to stop that unknown person from drunkenly forcing themselves onto another person. You take the wrap, because as Rza says "cash rules everything around me", and find yourself uprooted from your hometown and transplanted into Tokyo with your court-appointed guardian, Sojiro. While in Tokyo, you try to do your best to live your life as a typical high school student at Shujin Academy. But soon enough, strange things start happening and your find yourself in another world. These two different worlds, the normal and the abnormal, is where Persona 5 really shines. Part life-sim, part dungeon explorer, Persona allows you to change something in one world and see how it affects the other. Many of your influential acts in Persona 5 are acts of rebellion, and through these acts of rebellions, you help people find freedom. You free them from their bonds.

This breaking of chains, is so integral to this game, that it resonates in every single aspect of this game. The art style is bold, unabashed in themes of thievery and righting injustices, strong uses of red and black, and beautiful jazz music, Persona 5 sells you on its version of freedom and self-acceptance. The unabashed style of Atlus' magnum opus looks you dead in the eye and tells you “I'm cool”, and as you find yourself exploring the world that it builds, you believe it. Play time is spent watching your teammates grow, bettering yourself, and developing relationships with characters. Before you long, you will find yourself immersed in a richly detailed world, trying to improve the world around you, and finding ways to better yourself. It was sort of a surreal experience, as I sent my days playing Persona 5 and my nights looking over my manuscripts, trying to better myself and find some kind of direction in life, while playing a game that focused on helping people be honest with themselves.

I fully believe that Persona 5 is the best game that Atlus has ever developed and one of the best games of 2017. I guess you can say, Persona 5 and the cast of characters stole my heart.

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Donald Reviews Movies Poorly - Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children https://www.rickanddon.com/articles/drmp-miss-phfpc Thu, 08 Feb 2018 09:00:00 -0600 rickanddonshow@gmail.com e72c94af-a8e8-4915-9ce6-58a27552b00a Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is what I can only assume to be a biographical picture, based on Samuel L. Jackson's quest to eat the eyeballs of children. Mrs. Flamingo's House for Weird Looking Kids focuses on our main hero, Jake, who constantly obsesses over the stories that his grandfather tells him. Jake's grandfather, Abe, is found eyeless in the middle of a forest. I think in like Wisconsin or something. That seems like the type of thing to happen in Wisconsin, since all they have is cheese and the Packers. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is what I can only assume to be a biographical picture, based on Samuel L. Jackson's quest to eat the eyeballs of children. Mrs. Flamingo's House for Weird Looking Kids focuses on our main hero, Jake, who constantly obsesses over the stories that his grandfather tells him. Jake's grandfather, Abe, is found eyeless in the middle of a forest. I think in like Wisconsin or something. That seems like the type of thing to happen in Wisconsin, since all they have is cheese and the Packers.

With some kind of plot foresight, Abe mails Jake a precious collection of photos and other plot devices that arrive just in time for his birthday and are given to him during his birthday party. Speaking of which, who decided it was okay to still throw a birthday party after this kid's grandfather was brutally murdered in the woods? And how come none of the other family members care? They all seem to have the attitude like “it was his time to go”. The old dude was murdered in the woods and found with his eyes missing! Is that like the third leading cause of death of old people behind heart attacks and spending cuts to Medicare?

So, the family takes Jake to therapy, not because he is having a hard time with the passing of his grandfather, but because they are basically tired about him talking about the bond he had with his grandfather and sharing the stories that Abe had told him. Like really? The therapist also seems fed up with Jake and tells him he should visit the places in the stories that his grandfather told him. Jake's father rolls his eyes so hard that they almost detach from his retinas, and decides to take the advice of Jake's therapist for some reason.

So, Jake and his father start their adventure to Whisper Island. That's not the actual name of the place, but that's what I call it, since the director told everyone to do their best impression of Christian Bale's Batman running a marathon, since all dialogue is spoken in panted whispers. Jake gets to the island and runs into some local kids, they lead him to a bog, which Jake proceeds to step in and gets his shoe muddy. I'm only mentioning this because the screenwriters thought this set up was mean and funny enough for teenagers to do. Have you met teenagers before? “Yeah, a muddy shoe that will show him who's boss”, said no teenager ever. A real teenager would have told him that he is living a fantasy world because his parents are most likely gonna get divorced, and the only person he connected with is dead. Yeah, but that doesn't have the same sting a a muddy shoe and wet sock.

Jake finds Mr. Magoo's Home for Misplaced Glasses, travels through time and starts hanging out with some folks with really lame super powers. We also see another adult making poor decisions with Miss Peregrine. She decides to start some kind of a time loop on the day her orphanage was bombed by the Nazis. They never really explain how these loops worked, but I know enough not to set one up when my home is being bombed by Nazis. Anyway, Sam Jackson and Quentin Tarantino find the home and continue to chase the kids all through time loops. Oh, and at some point Jake develops a crush on the one of the girls. That girl happens to the same girl Jake's grandfather was digging fifty years ago, or she might have had a crush on Jake's Grandfather. So, that's kinda weird.

Jake realizes he has, what could be considered the lamest power in history, the ability to see the bad guys. Jake and his merry band of not-mutants fight not-Voldemort AKA Sam Jackson and save the day. The movie ends with Jake and company sailing on a ship and exploring the world. Much like making out with a grandparent's sloppy seconds, Miss Birdman's Roles to Revitalize Micheal Keaton's Career leaves a familiar taste in the viewer's mouth that doesn't feel quite right. In the end, you witness a weird kid live out his fantasy, possibly become his own grandfather, and never quite understand what it means to be different. But, it does have Sam Jackson eating the eyeballs of children. So, there is that.

Rating: 2 magical eyeballs out of 5

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Donald Reviews Movies Poorly - Sully https://www.rickanddon.com/articles/drmp-sully Thu, 01 Feb 2018 09:00:00 -0600 rickanddonshow@gmail.com 3ea8f753-7a0d-41b8-ac99-3f8968eab8ac Clint Eastwood directs a movie where a pensive Tom Hanks thinks about flying a lot. Joining Hanks on this tale of non-flight is Aaron Eckhart's mustache, some poor CGI plane effects, and Katie Couric. This film, for those of you that don't know is based a series of events that happened at the beginning of 2009. Which is a fact my mother reminded about several times when I told her that I watched this movie. I know Mom, I was alive, I saw all the news coverage because it was the only channel my TV would get in my dorm room. I lost the remote, no my roommate didn't lose it. That was years ago, I don't even have that TV anymore. Yes, I know they make universal remotes. And I don't need a haircut! Clint Eastwood directs a movie where a pensive Tom Hanks thinks about flying a lot. Joining Hanks on this tale of non-flight is Aaron Eckhart's mustache, some poor CGI plane effects, and Katie Couric. This film, for those of you that don't know is based a series of events that happened at the beginning of 2009. Which is a fact my mother reminded about several times when I told her that I watched this movie. I know Mom, I was alive, I saw all the news coverage because it was the only channel my TV would get in my dorm room. I lost the remote, no my roommate didn't lose it. That was years ago, I don't even have that TV anymore. Yes, I know they make universal remotes. And I don't need a haircut!

From what I can tell from Sully, the Miracle on the Hudson flight was about five minutes long including the crash. Hanks and company conveniently fit five minutes of action into 96 minutes of run time. This movie struggles to find an antagonist to move the plot forward. From what I can tell there are several things out to take down the high flying Captain, like geese, a drinking problem that is brought up at the beginning of the film and never mentioned again, and some panel investigating why a seemingly functional plane found a new home in the Hudson River. There's a lot of manufactured tension between Sully and the panel investigating him.

Thank God for Aaron Eckhart backing up Captain Sully. A real modern day cowboy. Did I mention that Aaron Eckhart has a mustache in this movie? A stupid, sexy mustache, that never gets wet even though it is the co-pilot of a plane that crashed into the Hudson. Captain Sully overcomes computer simulations, and the trauma of the crash while being constantly bombarded by press outlets as he tours New York City.

For a movie that takes place in NYC, the background seems pretty light on diversity, it's like what I imagine a Nickelback concert looks like. I mean there some folks of color but, I swear in some scenes the camera actively runs away from them. Like in the very first scene of the movie there is a black guy on the panel, which is pretty cool, but he is never in frame, and what's even weirder, is that in coverage shots they block his face out, so some shots feel lopsided. It's almost the editor thought the audience can't handle both the trauma of a plane crash where everyone survived and be reminded that people of color live in New York. I guess they wanted to reduce the amount of potential trauma an audience member could experience, like if the last movie they watched about an aviation failure was Soul Plane. I suppose that makes sense, they did cast the affable Tom Hanks and Aaron Eckhart. They even went with an appropriate level of sass by casting Michael Rapport as a bartender and keeping his role small.

In the end, I believe that captures the essence of Sully, a movie based on true events, sends it's target audience home happy, and features a mustache so glorious it should have gotten top billing over Tom Hanks.

Rating: 3 mustache combs out of 5

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Donald Reviews Movies Poorly - Suicide Squad https://www.rickanddon.com/articles/drmp-suicide-squad Fri, 17 Nov 2017 09:00:00 -0600 rickanddonshow@gmail.com 986dfbd2-1a7d-4983-a1b6-63a870016020 Presidential candidate, Will Conway, leads a group of reluctant heroes to fix the mistakes of Viola Davis. Conway's Frank Underwood impression fails to rally his team the first couple times he performs it, but once Will Smith realizes that Conway, who is first introduced with a giant flag on his head, is prone to dying, he begrudgingly acknowledges that they will have to use teamwork to stay alive. Presidential candidate, Will Conway, leads a group of reluctant heroes to fix the mistakes of Viola Davis. Conway's Frank Underwood impression fails to rally his team the first couple times he performs it, but once Will Smith realizes that Conway, who is first introduced with a giant flag on his head, is prone to dying, he begrudgingly acknowledges that they will have to use teamwork to stay alive.

Strung throughout the movie, bits of cheese, I mean bits of character development are scattered and honestly, left me a bit confused. I feel like I was supposed to understand both Harley Quinn and the Joker through those snippets of scenes, like the one where Harley Quinn dives into a vat of pancake batter to show her love for the Joker. I get it, they are both kind crazy, but come on, did a movie about a group of people gathered together to fight super powered beings need a weird love story, how about two? Maybe it did, I don't know.

But, what I do know, is that there are a lot of elements scrambled in here like eggs. Scrambled eggs and bacon, I could go for bacon. Or breakfast in general. Someone should write a movie where breakfast assembles like these super hero teams. The enemy could be like brunch foods or, I don't know maybe pop-tarts. I would watch that. I would also eat that.

Speaking of people who need eat, how come Will Smith couldn't get DJ Jazzy Jeff a role in this movie? It is clear that they needed the Fresh Prince to feel like the star of this film, even though this is supposed to be an ensemble cast. I mean Common is wasted in this movie, that could have been Jazzy Jeff. Ike Barinholtz is also in this movie. Was Aries Spears not available? How about Michael McDonald? I would have settled for Artie Lang. I miss MAD TV. I believe that sums up Suicide Squad, it leaves me wanting breakfast and missing MAD TV.

Rating: 1.5 stars out of 5

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