June in Review

      6 Comments on June in Review

Books Acquired:
Slam by Nick Hornby
Songbook by Nick Hornby
Saga, Volume 2 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
Saga, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughan, Fiona Staples
The Unwritten, Vol. 6: Tommy Taylor and the War of Words by Mike Carey, Peter Gross

Books Read:
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
The Time Machine by H.G. Wells

It’s been another slow reading month. I got a little distracted by video games, to be honest. Steam had one of their big sales, and while I didn’t really buy much, the talk around it put me in the gaming mood I suppose. I also wasn’t really feeling my current audio book, and since I’m unable to do the smart thing and stop a book I’m not enjoying without finishing it, I usually just let that block all reading (or in this case listening) until I power through. Let’s just pretend the two books I read this month weren’t novellas. They were huge, you guys. And one was, like, super old.

In the meantime, I thought it might be fun to go over some other media I’ve enjoyed this month.

Movies watched:
Edge of Tomorrow – This was a fun science fiction Groundhog Day. It’s exactly what a big budget Hollywood action film should be. Funny, interesting, and it had explosions and exoskeletons. And I didn’t even find Tom Cruise annoying.

Veronica Mars – This was basically just a long episode of the show, which is a good thing. The entire cast, even minor characters, returned for this, and they managed to not make it feel like an awkward queue of cameos. Definitely watch this if you enjoyed the television series.

TV watched:
Wallander, Season 1 – Each episode, and there’s only three in a season, is an hour and a half long, so it gives them time to let the story and characters slowly develop. It’s a crime series, very Rebus-esque I think, set and filmed in Sweden (although everyone has English accents). Kenneth Branagh is fantastic in it, the plots are interesting, and the cinematography is beautiful. It can be fairly slowly paced at times, but I find myself enjoying the calm moments as much as the tense.

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Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Season 1 – I’d heard a lot of bad things about this, but by the end of the series we were really enjoying it. The first quarter of the episodes felt very ‘meh’ and monster-of-the-week, but by the second half my girlfriend and I were watching multiple a night. I think Joss Whedon series are often like this, and they’re always worth the effort. It’s also really interesting how they tied it in with the latest Captain America movie. That’s quite the accomplishment for Marvel, to be able to create this interacting universe that spans both film and television. No one could have thought that would happen when the first Captain America movie was released in 1990. I mean, he had rubber ears on his hood. Look how far we’ve come.

Games played:
Infamous Second Son (PS4) – Yes, I bought a PlayStation 4. No, there’s not enough games out yet to justify this. This is really the only AAA game that’s been released for the system so far, but it’s pretty great. The story was interesting, the voice acting was well done, and it didn’t feel full of filler. I don’t have a lot of patience for long games these days, and this didn’t feel stretched out for the sake of it. I even finished all the optional side quests, I was enjoying it so much.

Transistor (PC) – One of my favourite games a few years back was Bastion, and this is that studio’s second game. The art direction and music in these games are spectacular (both soundtracks are worth buying actually), and combat in this was a blast. Here’s the trailer:

 
Mount & Blade: Warband (PC) – A friend of mine, my girlfriend, and I all picked up a copy of this in the Steam sale. It was cheap and looked like it might be fun, and we’ve had a great time with it. There’s apparently quite an extensive single player campaign, but we bought it for the multiplayer. It’s a medieval action game in which you run about and bash people on or about the head with swords and sticks. Or you can shoot them with arrows. The controls are a bit bizarre and the player actions are slow, but once you get the timing down it’s a really fun combat system. We basically just die a lot at the hands of people named ‘Big_Dick’ or ‘AnalInvador’, but it’s a hilarious time. The Napoleonic Wars DLC allows you to play as a bagpiper, which is just fantastic.

6 thoughts on “June in Review

  1. Lady Disdain

    This is cool – a review of all the media you’ve consumed. I’m not much of a gamer but both my siblings are really into it and it’s always fun to read about it.

    Are you going to be reviewing the books in the near future? I’ve been meaning to read The Time Machine since I did a paper on dystopian texts last year and a lecturer recommended it. Sci-fi isn’t quite my thing, though I’m slowly warming up to it, but I think it’d be really interesting to see the take on the genre from that period. I guess Jules Verne is the one who really started it all huh?

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      I should be reviewing both of them in the upcoming week! The Time Machine was fantastic, though. I’ve only really gotten into science fiction in the last few years, and the classics are a great place to start I found. They have the big ideas associated with the genre, but read a lot like adventure novels, and if you’re still hearing about them a century later they tend to be quite good.

      I think there’s probably traces of science fiction before Verne, but I’m sure he was a huge early influence for the genre. I’ve only read Journey to the Center of the Earth, and I’ve been meaning to read more, but I’m wary of picking up random books by him without a bit of research. Apparently there are some truly awful translations out there that are widely used due to their licensing.

      Reply
  2. Geoff W

    I need to re-read H.G. Wells’ works! I read them all in high school and thoroughly enjoyed them. Your response to Edge of Tomorrow is exactly mine and I loved the video game aspect of it: learning and re-doing until you finally get it right; and I’m SO glad you stuck with SHIELD! I almost didn’t with how strange/off the first six-to-seven episodes were but was really glad by the end.

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      I never thought about Edge of Tomorrow as a video game, but that’s perfect!

      We recently watched Dollhouse, another Joss Whedon series, and it was similar in pace. It took a while to take off, but then it was really great.

      Reply
        1. Rob Post author

          I put it off for the longest time after not liking the first episode I saw, but I’m so glad I went back to it.

          Reply

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