‘The End of the F***ing World’: Should it end?
Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the first season of ‘The End of the F***ing World’ season one.
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Disclaimer: This article contains spoilers for the first season of ‘The End of the F***ing World’ season one.
by Matthew Yapp
If there’s one thing video game enthusiasts can agree on, it’s that live-action film adaptations of video games are usually pretty bad.
by Mason Kupiainen
Story and Photos by Eben Griger On Wednesday, Cardinal Esports hosted a conference with Paul Todkill, a project manager, producer, and caster for ESL. ESL is the largest official eSports organization, hosting tournaments across the globe. Using Discord video chat, Todkill was able to sit down and talk with Cardinal Esports about how he got involved with esports, what his job at ESL entails, and then took questions from various members of Cardinal Esports. Todkill talked extensively about the pros and cons of being in the esports business. “I would say one of the easiest parts of the jobs is that it’s something… we’re super passionate about. I don’t think there’s a lot of people here where its not something they care about deeply. But that’s sort of a double-edged sword in a lot of ways because, because its such a passion project for so many people. People are out there grinding nonstop… we are working our butts off all the time, every project... Because that’s how you do it. The second you stop, there’s somebody younger, there’s somebody hungrier who wants to come and take your job.” [ngg src="galleries" ids="32" display="basic_thumbnail" thumbnail_crop="0"]Todkill also talked about how to set yourself up for success on the casting side of eSports. “I think the single biggest tip I can give somebody starting out is to find a good co-caster. Because there are so many bad habits you develop when casting on your own.” Todkill explains. “The second most important thing… you are a storyteller. You are there to tell the story of the match, the story of the players, to say why this is important.” Todkill went on to say that anyone can look at the screen and recognize a good play, but it is the casters job to add to it by giving context to things that happen in the match. The biggest audience for eSports, in Todkill’s opinion, is people who already understand the game and are trying to get better. According to Todkill, one of the most important skills for an eSports broadcaster to have is the ability to “break [the game] down to the audience in layman’s terms, but without belittling their intelligence.” Todkill also touched on the importance of being able to learn and take constructive criticism, knowing your way around both sides of the camera, and his favorite flavor of PopTart (which was strawberry).
Welcome to this week’s episode of Remixed! This week, we discuss the latest album from Caroline Polachek. How does the artist explore their own story within these new tracks? Also in the news, Amazon has started making their own concerts? Find out all of this and more on this week’s episode of Remixed!
[embed]https://soundcloud.com/user-519363288/remixed-s4e2-the-atmosphere-of-pang[/embed] Welcome to this week's episode of Remixed! This week, we discuss the latest album from Caroline Polachek. How does the artist explore their own story within these new tracks? Also in the news, Amazon has started making their own concerts? Find out all of this and more on this week's episode of Remixed! Hosted by: Jack Gillespie, Brad Killion Edited by: Katherine Simon Graphic by: Jack Gillespie Thumbnail by: Katherine Simon
by Trevor Sheffield In my history of covering film, I’ve sometimes had to confront a prominent subject of my past endeavors that always seems to catch up with me: the theatre. Sure, I did my fair share of high school drama (I was even a tree!), and in a way, that experience led me down the path to where I am today. I’ve always had a sincere respect for the medium, if only by the effort required to properly do it. However, we live in a complicated age for the medium, where the internet and bootlegging make it easier to actually see these shows… and harder for said shows to actually make money on seats. Compound that with an increased presence by licensed works and acts intending to capitalize on an emerging teen market to get that sweet Hamilton/Be More Chill virality, and it could cause one to question: in 2019, what does it mean to make true theatre, let alone art? Enter stage right, Guest Artist. Directed by Timothy Busfield and based off a true “incident,” it's an odd couple story taking place in a train station late one Christmas Eve. Joseph Harris (Jeff Daniels) is a has-been playwright, coasting off his own legacy and finding solace at the bottom of a flask. Kenneth Waters (Thomas Marcias, in his feature debut) is an overeager writer’s apprentice hoping to literally write the next great American play… and idolizes Joseph to no end. When Joseph begrudgingly decides to write a play for a no-name theatre company in the quaint town of Lima, Kenneth finally gets an opportunity to meet his hero. Getting off on the wrong foot, Kenneth now has to confront the real Joseph and convince him not to take the first train back to New York. Shenanigans and the ultimate debate as to what “art” and “theatre” ensue in the modern day. Except, it’s none of that. While the premise I have just described to you may come off as a breeding ground for a unique back-and-forth between the old and new, filtered through a medium potentially as old as humanity itself, it simply isn’t. What Guest Artist truly amounts to is a needlessly cliche redemption story, scored entirely by public domain Christmas music and featuring two main performances that seemingly set out to create the gritty, “real” Rick and Morty episode no one wanted. Daniels’ performance is the best of the entire film, even if his character is all but entirely one note. Meanwhile, Marcias, bless his heart, is stuck working with a script that casts him as a practically incompetent fanboy, doing a perpetual “Russel from Up” impression. He sucks up almost nothing but abuse from his counterpart’s drunken raging against how the people of today don’t understand true art. Speaking of, anybody in this film who doesn’t qualify for an AARP card is seemingly depicted as stoner-like and ignorant, either totally obsessed with their phones or being spooked at the very thought of theatre. In fact, the film’s only character of color literally remarks at how musicals “aren’t natural”, and Kenneth’s perfunctory love interest literally asks him if theatre is something she can get on her phone. I could tear further into some of the rather “ambitious” leaps in logic it takes when trying to accurately depict the current generation, but it’d take all day. All of that said, the most reprehensible moment of the film comes at the very end, where Kennith confronts Joseph about the secret play Joseph somehow conveniently had in his luggage the entire time, and Ken reads from it to inspire Joseph to not duck and run. Now, under normal circumstances, a moment like this could be a genuine culmination of narrative tension, allowing our characters to finally reconcile their thoughts in order to finally achieve enlightenment. However, this is Guest Artist, and therefore the climax must include the reveal that Joseph’s greatest work was a play about how we deserved 9/11. As a sadly triumphant piano rendition of “Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas” plinks along, Joseph cries as Kennith reads the elder’s thoughts threadbare, saying that he didn’t cry because of all the death and destruction that went down on that day but “because of how beautiful the art coming out of it would be.” So much could be said for the moral reprehensibility involved when we’re expected to sympathize with a drunken, morally questionable man who can’t get his play about how 9/11 was good for our country published because people would surely be so triggered at such a thought. Yet, this film was based on a true story, and if the end title cards are anything to go by, this godlike theatrical work was eventually published and staged regardless. So, effectively, all of this melodrama and raging against the dying of the cell phone battery was pointless. If I haven’t made it painfully obvious enough, I wouldn’t recommend this film to anybody below the age of fifty, let alone anyone with a pulse. Guest Artist is a wholly unwelcome visitor, selling you the inane ramblings of that one uncle at Thanksgiving dressed up like an issue of The New Yorker. It thinks that it knows what it means and what it takes to be a true artist, to create true “theatre,” but it just simply doesn’t. There is nothing here of value that hasn’t been done better elsewhere, from My Dinner with André to The Dead Poets Society to even the lightly incompetent technophobia of Jerry Bruckheimer’s G-Force. You know that when the flipping guinea pig spy movie somehow manages to do an arguably better job at critiquing modern society than your prestige drama, you’ve screwed the film beyond the point of no return. Images: IMDb Featured Image: Heartland
by Trevor Sheffield In the ever-shifting landscape of modern indie cinema, no distributor has left a greater mark on the landscape than the infamous A24. It struck out the box office with titles ranging from mind-benders like Swiss Army Man and this past summer’s Midsommar, to deep psychological horror like It Comes at Night and the infamous Hereditary. It even goes on to Oscar contenders like The Florida Project and 2016 Best Picture Winner Moonlight, which shows the bench of hits under this no-longer-fledgling studio’s belt are insane achievements. Now enter another one surely for the record books — Waves, directed by Trey Edward Shults, follows the Williams family: the headstrong Tyler (Kelvin Harrison, Jr.), self-reliant Emily (Taylor Russel), their stepmother Catharine (Renée Elise Goldsberry), and the patriarchal Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) as they live their way through the American Dream in South Florida. Tyler is fighting desperately to live up to his father’s growing expectations for his wrestling career. Emily is still trying to cope with the death of her mother… and the antics of the family cat. However, after a catastrophic series of events throws the family’s unity into peril, they’re forced to confront their worst fears about not just the people around them, but themselves. Coming into my screening of the movie, a common descriptor I heard from members of the House was that Waves was effectively the cinematic equivalent to This is Us. For clarification, This is Us is an NBC dramedy series known for two things: soap opera-esque melodrama, and the ability to turn people into sobbing puddles of fleshy emotions. While this comparison isn’t entirely wrong, the devil lies in the fact that Waves has a sense of sincere pathos that I feel wholly surpasses the show by the guy who unleashed the dreaded Life Itself upon humanity. You genuinely root for and sympathize with the family at the core of this narrative, even as things escalate to an extreme degree. Harrison and Russel make for charming leads whose characters go to interesting depths (if Harrison doesn’t get any awards for his work as Tyler in this movie, it’ll be the crime of the century), and Brown gives a knock-out performance in what is, at its core, a very reactionary role. Everything in this film oozes some level of humanity, from the score to the movie’s trademark 360-degree car shots, to even the aspect ratio. Much like the film’s namesake, everything in this movie has some level of motion and some level of life running independent of everything else around it. It’s utterly trance inducing. When it comes to any cracks in the proverbial armor, it brings us back to the This is Us comparison. While I personally didn’t mind how the film plays out (largely due to its shifting forms of presentation and the performances on display), I can very easily see how that brand of storytelling could turn off some viewers, especially near the end. However, from my perspective, Waves manages to overcome that hurdle in such a manner that, melodramatic or not, still feels true to not only the characters, but the overall narrative as a whole. Waves is a cinematic balancing act that just as easily confronts you with the psychological terrors of the modern day as much as it proves that life is worth living again. While it isn’t hard to see how some could interpret the movie’s twists and turns as melodrama, it just as easily accounts for that with a cast firing on all cylinders and a unique visual language that stands out from all the dramas we’ve gotten this year. Without any hesitation, I’d say that this movie stands to become a shiny new jewel in A24’s crown, a surefire hit when it releases worldwide on November 30, and a total achievement for all parties involved in putting this wonderful film together. It’s an utter tsunami of palpable passion. Featured Image: Heartland
by Mason Kupiainen When Breaking Bad wrapped up six years ago, viewers were left wondering what would happen to the character Jesse Pinkman as he drove away after being held captive. The show ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, not really giving any clue as to where his character would go next. It was frustrating not knowing what happened to him, yet also satisfying because it left his character open to a world of possibilities. Once El Camino was announced, some people, including myself, were a bit worried that it would undermine the ending of the show. I'm going to say that this movie is the best possible follow-up to the series that we could have gotten. The movie follows Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) immediately after the series finale. We go along with Jesse on his journey where he wants to forge a new life for himself. However, in order for him to have a new future, he must come to terms with his past. Along the way, he faces a variety of tasks and threats that stand between him and his new beginning. Fan service done right What made this film work was that it didn’t concern itself with forcing fan service into the movie, and it didn’t force characters or references from the series just to get a reaction. Take, for example, Entourage. Four years after the series ended, they released a follow-up movie that showed what happened to the characters after the finale. With that movie, they forced many cameos and unneeded throwbacks to the series that didn’t make it a better movie. Those things actively got in the way of the story. El Camino successfully avoids such traps. There are cameos and a few throwbacks to the series that will excite fans, but those things were very minor and felt necessary for the story they were telling. This movie focuses all of its attention on telling Jesse’s story and not anyone else's. Another home run for Aaron Paul This movie wouldn’t have worked as well as it did if not for Aaron Paul. He once again gives a fantastic performance as Jesse, and this movie is able to showcase his acting range. One of the things Breaking Bad did best was show the evolution of the characters. When you take the characters from the first season and compare them with to where the show ended, they’re completely different characters, which is exactly what happened in the movie as well. The Jesse we see at the beginning of the movie is not the same Jesse we get by the end. El Camino opens with Jesse in a broken state, not wanting to talk about what he went through. Through a series of flashbacks, we’re able to see the evolution of Jesse from his past self to his current state. A pace that doesn’t slow down El Camino keeps a fast pace by jumping around the story. There is a series of flashbacks throughout the movie that help explain certain things the character is doing. Because of this, we don’t spend too much time on one thing and are constantly craving to see what’s going to happen next. Viewers feel the urgency of the situations in which the characters find themselves, which adds an extra level of entertainment. However, there are a few times when you can feel the stress of the character and you can’t wait to see how the situation will play out, only to have the movie cut away from that moment. You’re then left wanting to go back and see what’s going to happen, instead of focusing on the movie explaining something else. Luckily this only happens a few times and doesn’t take away from the movie itself. Brilliant storytelling Just like Breaking Bad, the story is great. The show did a great job of setting up things in the beginning that eventually have a pay-off in the end. The movie follows that same formula by using flashbacks to set up current events and throws in some twists and turns to keep you on the edge of your seat. Overall, the story is brilliantly executed as you would expect to come from the Breaking Bad universe. Writer and director Vince Gilligan once again shows how talented he is at crafting a story, characters, and paying attention to detail. Images: IMDb Featured Image: IMDb
Digimon, as a series, can be best described as always being in the shadow of Pokemon but never being forgotten by the hardcore fans. Many would be surprised to learn that the series has many different projects coming out soon. These projects include a movie to wrap up the original story of Digimon Adventure, a re-release of the 2015 Digimon Cyber Sleuth on PC, and a whole new survival role-playing game called Digimon Survive. There’s a good chance you may not even know that Digimon has created quite a few successful mobile RPGs, such as Digimon Links. Now, Bandai-Namco has released a new game worldwide called Digimon ReArise.
If you think this film is just a sequel to another cliché zombie movie, you would be exactly right; however, this film did not shy too far away from the fact that it is exactly that, but it does come with a twist. This movie is unlike the dramatized zombie TV show The Walking Dead—which this movie throws some definite shade at—and World War Z,e starring Brad Pitt. This one introduces comedy, an awesome soundtrack, and new elements to the undead world.
by Erika Malone If you think this film is just a sequel to another cliché zombie movie, you would be exactly right; however, this film did not shy too far away from the fact that it is exactly that, but it does come with a twist. This movie is unlike the dramatized zombie TV show The Walking Dead—which this movie throws some definite shade at—and World War Z,e starring Brad Pitt. This one introduces comedy, an awesome soundtrack, and new elements to the undead world. The road trip from beyond the grave Zombieland: Double Tap, directed by Ruben Fleischer and released on Oct.18, tells all about the continuing adventurers of our beloved characters (named after cities around the U.S.) from the first movie, Zombieland. Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg), Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), Wichita (Emma Stone), and Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) are back at it again, roaming the countryside in search of a place to call home. After all these years, they have grown to be a family—if you consider a bunch of unrelated people who kill zombies to be a family. Tallahassee has developed a soft spot for Little Rock, who just wants to be an edgy teen with daddy issues and smokes weed all day, while Columbus and Wichita’s’ relationship goes to the next level...almost. Long story short: Wichita and Little Rock ditch the boys for independence, only for Little Rock to run off with pacifist hippy (Avan Jogia), who helps fulfill her marijuana dreams. Without giving away too much tea, the gang travel in search of Little Rock and meet some interesting people. For example, they end up meeting a dumb blonde (Zoey Deutch), who will have you laughing throughout the entire film, and Columbus and Tallahassee look-alikes. Their journey throughout the movie provides new challenges for the characters to face, like specialized zombies. Additionally, some references from the previous movie are brought back. Despite some minor problems, the cinematography, editing, and visuals do a good job of creating an action-packed, colorful movie—and that’s not even mentioning the awesome soundtrack. Classic rock that (usually) slays Speaking of the soundtrack, although the film uses classic songs from artists like Metallica, Bob Dylan, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, the placement of the songs within the movie was a hit or miss. For example, the opening credits show the group annihilating some zombies in a gruesome, slow-motion scene as Metallica’s “Master of Puppets” plays in the background. For some, this was a good decision by the producers; they chose a Metallica song for the sequel, since the first movie featured a different song, but by the same group. To others, it set a tone of repetition throughout the franchise. Another example is in one particular scene when the group gets back on the road. Lynyrd Skynyrd's “Free Bird” plays and, while it is a cherished song by many across all bars in America, the song seemed to be out of place for that scene. As the soundtrack to this film was found to be a hit or miss, the style of the movie had some flaws as well. For being a zombie movie, one would expect the right amount of blood and gore. Not too little to where it's boring to watch, but not too much to make people queasy. In this movie, the producers seemed to play it safe with the bloodshed, when it probably could have used a little more to make it more exciting. The opening credits, for example, during the slow-motion killing spree—which seemed to drag on a bit—showed a great balance of blood and brains, but then it seemed to just fade. Ultimately, it could have used a little more blood and gore. A refreshing message from a dying genre Despite some of the minor flaws with production, this zombie film works in contrast to other films and series about the same topic. Double Tap provides a comical side to an apocalyptic world that most zombie-related content does not. The Walking Dead reveals the struggle of surviving in an apocalyptic world with serious situations. Zombieland, on the other hand, doesn't really focus on the struggle of surviving, but instead pokes fun at survival strategies. For example, the only reason the dumb blonde is alive in this apocalypse is because she lived in a freezer. Double Tap even goes as far as ridiculing The Walking Dead by calling it "unrealistic." While providing comedy and a sense of reality in an undead world, this movie also provides a message for the viewers. Throughout the movie series, Columbus has always been in search for that place to call home and feel safe. He was in search of a family since he didn’t have his own anymore and, after the instances in this film, everyone learns something valuable. The sappy lesson in this movie is that even in an apocalyptic world, a home is with the people you care about. Overall, the film provides all viewers—old and new—with a comical storyline and a heartfelt message at the end, which seems unexpected for a zombie movie. The production in this film, although minorly flawed, kept the viewer's interest in the storyline, waiting to see where the journey would take them next. Images: IMDb Featured Image: IMDb
by Matthew Yapp Disclaimer: The following contains conversations of violence, rape, sexism, and racism. The opinions and views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the opinion of Byte or Byte’s editorial board. On Oct. 4, Todd Philips’ Joker was released worldwide. The film is an origin story of DC Comic’s infamous Batman villain, the Joker. The film was met with praise and success at several film festivals, including a massive win at the Venice Film Festival. Some critics, however, believe that the film was not only subpar, but even problematic. Certain critics felt that the film was glorifying violence. In an article for Time, critic Stephanie Zacharek stated that the movie portrayed violence as something that made the protagonist feel “more in control, less pathetic. Killing—usually with a gun, though scissors or a good old-fashioned suffocation will do just fine—empowers him.” She also felt that the film made the Joker seem less like a villain, and more like someone the audience was meant to feel bad for. “In America, there’s a mass shooting or attempted act of violence by a guy like Arthur [Joker] practically every other week. And yet we’re supposed to feel some sympathy for Arthur, the troubled lamb; he just hasn’t had enough love. Before long, he becomes a vigilante folk hero.” Fear resulting from this movie wasn’t just based on its content alone. The US Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation released a joint-intelligence bulletin to the police, later obtained by CNN, stating that there had been a number of violent threats posted online, including calls for mass shooting at showings of the movie. This led to the NYPD increasing police presence at several theaters. The Century Aurora and XD movie theater publicly stated that they will not be showing the film at all. The Century Aurora theatre was the location of the 2012 mass shooting, which occurred during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. The bulletin notes that the threats make references to the incel community. This may have to do with, as Zacharek stated, the film depicting the Joker as someone who could “easily be adopted as the patron saint of incels.” But what exactly is an incel? The term incel is an abridged version of the term “involuntarily celibate,” meaning someone who would like to be having sex but is unable too. Incels are an online culture centered around the concept that they want and deserve to have sex, but women are withholding it from them. Because of this, they believe themselves to be victims of society. Incels create communities on sites like reddit and 4chan, but are often removed for misogynistic language and attempts to incite violence against women. Below are several posts found on different online incel community forums. While I find them disgusting and disagree with them entirely, I am adding them to get across the severity of many incels' radical beliefs. Incels are literally the jews of the modern era. pic.twitter.com/AMPrq25FPt — Involuntary Celibate (Incels.co) (@IncelsCo) September 30, 2019 These communities hold almost shared beliefs and encourage men to “take the blackpill,” or adopt their way of thinking. This way of thinking, being that life is unfairly stacked against men who are not traditionally attractive, and being without the love of a woman, they have no purpose and therefore are useless. They’ve even gone so far as to develop their own language over time, which if read by someone who isn’t involved in their communities, it would seem like gibberish. Below is a short list of commonly used terms in the incel community. Incel’s toxicity has not stayed strictly online, however. Incels have been perpetrators of a variety of violent crimes in the past few years. In 2014, Elliot Rodger murdered six people and injured 14 near the University of California. Prior to the attack, Rodger uploaded a video onto YouTube titled “Elliot Rodger’s Retribution,” in which he explained his plan for the crime. He explained how he planned and acted on the crime in order to punish women for rejecting him and punish men who were able to have sex with women because he was jealous of them. He also sent a 141 page manifesto continuing to explain his incel ideology to his friends and family. Despite this horrific crime, incels actually praised Rodgers, coining the phrase “Going ER” to refer to folks who committed violent acts like him. It is not just a term; many incels actually did follow in Rogers footsteps. In 2018, a man drove a rented van into a crowd of pedestrians, killing 10 people and injuring 16. After his arrest, the perpetrator stated that he had spoken online with Rodger, describing him as the “founding forefather” of incels and saying Rodger’s crime was the inspiration of his own. The killer stated that the reason for this heinous act was for retribution against society and an inability to have sex. The police publicly released a video of the interrogation of the criminal, in which he states he was hoping to “inspire future masses to join me in my uprising.” And this seems to be the fear with Joker. Critics describe the film as something that incels would find relatable. In his article from The Guardian, Jordan Hoffman describes the film as “really just a drama about a mentally ill man with no friends who is targeted by bullies, lives with his mother, is ignored by the attractive woman down the hall and only finds purpose in mass murder.” There is an understandable fear that if Joker’s titular character has the same characteristics that fit a typical incel, and the movie centers around him invoking mass violence to feel in control, then this could inspire real-life incels to do the same. Not everyone is completely convinced, however. In her review, Kayleigh Donaldson stated, “In my opinion, Joker is not incel bait, nor do I think it is encouraging anyone to commit and celebrate violent deeds.” In Vulture Nate Jones also stated, “I’ll just say that, while this Joker could be taken as an avatar for the incel movement, the film does do away with one particular misogynist trope that popped up in the script. There is still a lot of masculine rage in Joker, but it’s directed more at society as a whole than at women in particular. Also, for what it’s worth, the majority of the Joker’s victims are men.” All of this to say, while it certainly plays with the themes of inceldom, not everyone seems to think that Joker is going to incite incel rallies. Others, myself included, felt after seeing the film that Joker created a clear portrait of an incel hero, that was something to be admired. That, coupled with the fact that we’ve already seen threats for mass shootings at showings of the movie, paints a very disturbing picture. Joker, intentionally or not, has managed to not only cast a sympathetic light on the disturbed madman, but also cause those whose ideologies line up with his to feel empowered. Sources: CNN, New York Times, Twitter, Time, NBC, The Denver Channel, The San Luis Tribune, BBC, Vice, YouTube, The Guardian, Syfy Images: Matthew Yapp Featured Image: IMDb
by Emily Guffey Digimon, as a series, can be best described as always being in the shadow of Pokemon but never being forgotten by the hardcore fans. Many would be surprised to learn that the series has many different projects coming out soon. These projects include a movie to wrap up the original story of Digimon Adventure, a re-release of the 2015 Digimon Cyber Sleuth on PC, and a whole new survival role-playing game called Digimon Survive. There’s a good chance you may not even know that Digimon has created quite a few successful mobile RPGs, such as Digimon Links. Now, Bandai-Namco has released a new game worldwide called Digimon ReArise. Return to the digital world and fight new monsters Digimon ReArise is a mobile RPG that takes place in an alternate universe, where Digimon are able to enter the real world via your phone to fight new monsters called Spirals. The gameplay involves picking a team of five Digimon to fight through waves of enemies. The player can choose skills for the Digimon or can let the game play itself. Personally, I found it much quicker and easier to select skills yourself. The player can line up three skills in a row, while the autoplay can only play one at a time. The gameplay can become repetitive, especially if you start grinding for certain materials. Most of the variety to be found is in picking different Digimon for your team, but even then the game can hold your hand and make you a team of your strongest Digimon if you want it to. The game has multiple different modes to challenge, such as Story, Clash Battle, and Vortexes, among other things. Story mode is self-explanatory; you play as an unnamed tamer with a partner Digimon named Herissmon. Along the way, you make new friends and fight stronger enemies. As far as I’ve gotten—about five acts—the story pretty much only exists to push more battles on you. This is often one of the worst parts about mobile games in general; sometimes the story takes a back seat just to have you play through the game as quickly as possible so you’ll pay for more energy. New game modes with a disappointing twist Clash battles serve as the primary way of getting materials to Digivolve your Digimon into stronger monsters. It works like a raid battle; there's one very strong enemy with a lot of health that you need in order to work a group to take down. Clash Battles are probably the best and worst feature of the game. On the good side of things, the fights are usually fast, and just participating in one gets you materials. On the other hand, nearly every crash I’ve encountered since release can be tied to a Clash Battle. I don’t have much to say about the Vortexes, since they're mainly used to gather other materials in the game. This includes materials such as equipment to level up Digimon, food to take care of them, and Bits, which act as a currency for upgrades. The problem I have with Vortexes is that they will only have certain fights unlocked at set times. Which could mean that the materials you need unlock at 2 o’clock in the morning lock back up in three hours. You can unlock keys, which will give you access to these fights for a period of time, but the problem still exists. An odd thing I want to point out is the addition of something called “Digiwalk,” which works as a pedometer, measuring your steps and giving you gifts. It feels really, really dated, like an app you would have gotten in 2015. Don’t get me wrong, the pixel sprites of your partner Digimon are adorable, and the widget add-on that shows them on your phone screen is also super nice. But since we live in a world with Pokemon Go, this addition doesn’t feel as fun as it should be. You can’t interact with your partner, nor does it really do much. Honestly, the most fun to be had with this addition is the fact that I know there’s multiple people on this campus playing the game. Gotta Gacha There’s been a very big elephant in the room that I’ve been sidestepping this entire article, but I feel I need to say it. Yes, this is a Gacha game. For anyone who doesn't know what a Gacha game is, it's a game in which to gain more characters, you must use an in-game currency, which can be either earned or purchased. Even then, you’re never guaranteed the character you want, and more than likely you’ll get duplicates of characters that you don’t want. There’s no other way of getting Digimon, aside from hatching random Digimon from Digieggs you can find. Let me just say, Digimon ReArise has one of the most—well, let’s call it interesting—summoning systems I’ve seen. They are currently running something called a “Step-Up Summon.” You have to pay a certain amount of the in-game currency, Digirubies, to unlock a certain number of summons. For example, 100 Digirubies equate to five summons, then 150 for eight summons, etc. This means that, overall, if you want to do the maximum summon of 10 for 200 Digirubies, you first have to pay 370 Digirubies before you can even attempt that. One dollar equals around six Digirubies, so to get 370 Digirubies you would have to pay around 61 dollars, not counting any deals for the Digirubies or any pre-owned Digirubies. I hope this is just a one-off event, and not foreshadowing something far worse for the game. Images: Touch Arcade, Segment Next, GamePress.gg Featured Image: Android Police
by Rex Meyer Disclaimer: This review contains spoilers for this episode and previous episodes of American Horror Story: 1984. In an unexpected turn of events, American Horror Story: 1984 gave us an episode that could have very well been the finale of the season. This episode, titled “Red Dawn,” saw the campers learn more about the secrets lurking at Camp Redwood, while two characters faced off in a deadly battle. But with most of the cast murdered and many of the loose ends actually explained, it looks like AHS: 1984 will be taking the second half of the season in a different direction; unfortunately, we will have to wait till next week to see how these last five episodes unfold. So, without further ado, it's time to get into all the twisted, gory details of AHS: 1984’s “Red Dawn.” The episode begins as a flashback to the year 1980, in which Donna spies on her father seemingly cheating on her mother with another woman. She gets out of the car to catch them in the act, but instead makes a horrific discovery of the woman’s corpse. Donna realizes her father is a serial killer, then witnesses his suicide when he figures out that she has learned of his crimes. This explanation for Donna’s obsession with Mr. Jingles was graphic but very effective because it exemplified the personal demons within her character. Angelica Ross wonderfully portrayed the devastation and frustration Donna felt when she learned about her father’s murders. We flash forward to 1984, where the revived Richard Ramirez tells Donna that he was—unsurprisingly—brought back by Satan and knows all about her misdeeds. The scene conveys the guilt Donna carries because she couldn’t help her father before, and now she can’t help Mr. Jingles either. The rest of the episode mainly consisted of characters getting killed off one by one. Margaret takes Chet on a boat and confesses her role in the Camp Redwood massacre of 1970. Chet screams in agony as she slices his ear off and drowns him by chaining him to an anchor that falls to the bottom of the lake. While it was sad to see Chet go, his character didn’t really have much importance. He didn’t have a huge backstory, and the only notable things he did were admitting to obvious steroid usage and serving as a potential love interest for Brooke—which never went anywhere. His death wasn’t very impactful, but I don’t think it was intended to be. Since the deceased have been reappearing as ghosts, this probably won’t be the last time we see Chet. Afterwards, Donna flees from Xavier and Montana after she admits to both of them that she freed Mr. Jingles. During her escape, she begs Mr. Jingles to kill her so she can be free of her guilt. He denies her plea and leaves her to suffer. This looks like it will be the end of Donna, as her story has come full circle. The ambiguity of this fate seems fitting since Donna was a bit of an enigma herself; however, considering how this episode ends, she could reappear later in the season. Not knowing Margaret is the real killer, Xavier saves her from Mr. Jingles by killing him with a bow and arrow. She scores another ear for her collection—which is probably her 50th by now—when she stabs Xavier to death. Similar to Chet, his death was unfortunate but not too gut-wrenching to watch. His death is not necessarily a detriment to the episode itself, since he will probably return in some capacity. The writers have already reincarnated most of the deceased characters thus far, so I highly doubt Xavier will be an exception. Mr. Jingles is subsequently revived by Ramirez while Brooke loses her virginity to the ghost form of Ray. Finally, Brooke learns that Sam, the best friend of her fiancé, was Montana’s brother, and Montana had planned to kill her as an act of revenge. As the sun rises, Montana and Brooke fight to the death while a bus full of young campers makes its way to Camp Redwood. The campers arrive just in time to see Montana being killed by Brooke, while an injured Margaret frames Brooke for the murders...and that’s how it ends. The night of terror is over and most of the cast is now deceased; however, Camp Redwood is known to have supernatural forces at work, so I’m sure the characters we saw die will be back soon. The real question is whether or not this is the last time we see Brooke. She’s in police custody now, so it is highly unlikely she’ll return to Redwood. It will also be interesting to see what Margaret does now that she has framed another person for murder. Based off of the preview of next week’s episode, some answers might be provided and some big revelations might be unearthed. After all, it is the series’ 100th episode. Images: IMDb Featured Image: TV Movie Fix
[embed]https://soundcloud.com/user-519363288/thecovens6e1-wicca-witches-and-witchcraft-in-media[/embed] Welcome to this week's episode of The Coven! This week, we talked about how the religion of Wicca is portrayed in media. Is it good? Is it bad? What can be improved? All that and more will be discussed in this week's episode of The Coven! Hosted by: Ashley Curry & Tanner Kinney Edited By: Tanner Kinney Thumbnail Graphic By: Katherine Simon
by Trevor Sheffield Directed by first-timer Simon Fink, Where We Disappear is an intriguing character piece with more tension than a wire fence. After knifing her husband to protect her son, the soft-handed Anastasia (Georgina Haig) is shipped off to a Soviet prison camp for a grueling twelve-year term. Justifiably wanting to get out as soon as possible, she inevitably butts heads with her newfound bunkmates, who have resigned themselves to their fate: the maternal-yet-struggling Svetlana (Osa Wallander), the shy, relatively kind-hearted Prushka (Vera Cherny), the injured Lubov (Katharine Isabelle), and at the top of the totem pole, the cold and hardened Masha (Jolene Andersen). With impossible odds, everybody at each others’ throats, and suffering around every corner, Anastasia ultimately fights to find a way to survive her new turmoil without letting it break her. While I won’t give away the film’s full narrative for the sake of spoilers, the best way I can describe this film is if Zach Snyder’s Sucker Punch put as much effort into actual characterization and story as it did CG smash-'em-ups and needless fanservice. All of the actresses are absolutely fantastic in their parts, with Andersen’s Masha stealing the show. Her performance gives what is effectively your “biggest guy in the yard” character a genuine sense of sinister depth and a cracked, rough facade hiding emotional trauma. Everything else in the film manages to work in turn, from the cinematography to the music, all accentuating the sheer discomfort of the prison camp and how Anastasia’s wounded psyche is trying to process this absolute nightmare. When it comes to negatives regarding the film, there are really only a few minor points and nitpicks, largely with the film’s proverbial pace in the third act. As mentioned prior, I will not divulge any specifics regarding what occurs; however, the actual reveal in execution could be confusing to first-time watchers who haven’t noticed key details throughout the movie. That isn’t to say that Where We Disappear doesn’t explain what is going on at that point, but it does call into question the subtlety of certain matters of foreshadowing from earlier in the picture. All in all, for a first-time effort from a filmmaker, Where We Disappear is a genuinely solid piece. For its weight class, it punches with the force of a much bigger feature, and largely manages to make its impact known. The cast is absolutely impeccable, the cinematography easily reinforces the rigid claustrophobia of the film’s setting, and while there are some issues with the third act’s big reveal, it still remains effective. While it may seem as if I’m going easy on this film in comparison to other first go-arounds I’ve covered prior, it is undeniable how much time and effort was put towards making this film look and feel desolate, hopeless, and yet somehow hopeful at the same time. I have a good feeling we’ll be seeing more of Mr. Fink’s work in the future. Images: IMDb Featured Image: IMDb
Welcome to this week’s episode of Input 2! This week, we talked about the Disney Vault and the sheer amount of content coming to Disney+. What sort of incredible movies are going to be available? Are there any trends that can be discovered by looking at their full catalog? And what even is 'Operation Dumbo Drop'? Find out these and more in this week’s episode of Input 2!