December in Review

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Books Acquired:
Dracula by Bram Stoker (audiobook)

Books Read:
More Baths, Less Talking by Nick Hornby
Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
Aquaman, Vol. 1: The Trench by Geoff Johns
The People Look Like Flowers at Last by Charles Bukowski

No physical books for Christmas! That might be a first actually. I’m not complaining, as I have a huge number of unread novels on the shelf (and currently no more shelf), but it’s just a strange feeling. My family is currently putting money towards selling the childhood home, so we decided not to buy gifts this year and just spent the day together, playing with the dogs and having a big meal. I also had an early Christmas with my girlfriend that included gifts, eggnog, and watching The Grinch. It turned out to be one of the more enjoyable Christmases I’ve had in recent years.

I usually don’t list audiobooks in the acquired section, but I felt like I should throw something in there. Everything I read this month was pretty tiny, and I’ve been listening to the same audiobook since the beginning of December. If I have one resolution this year, it’ll be to start reading during the day more again, instead of just leaving it until I’m in bed. I felt like I lost my ability to focus last year, so I’ll be re-learning how to stop squandering my quiet time.

Movies watched:
Robin Hood (2010) – Fun movie. Looked great, like every Ridley Scott movie, but would have been better if it wasn’t named Robin Hood. I went in excited for that story, and was given something else. Something good, but not what I was expecting.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) – The animated version is a staple in our house, but I’d never seen the Jim Carrey version. I did enjoy it, but I prefer the classic.

The Wolverine (2013) – This was a bit forgettable, but I didn’t hate it. It was at least better than the last Wolverine movie. I do wish they’d followed the original comic more, though. Wolverine should know how to speak Japanese. It really bugged me that he couldn’t here, probably more than it should have. The man’s practically immortal, he’s had time to learn a few things.

Love Actually (2003) – I really love how this movie is put together. It has some painfully cheesy bits, but it’s actually really great if you can look past those.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) – I think I was aware of what I was getting into this time, so I actually didn’t mind this as much. I actually quite enjoyed a few of the scenes. There was some awful, awful dialogue, though, and decisions that just didn’t make sense. Why was Bilbo able to kill orcs by throwing stones at them? Why does slashing someone in a breastplate, a piece of armour specifically designed to protect the wearing from being slashed with a sword, kill them? The trilogy is now over, so I’m afraid these questions will remain unanswered. Maybe there’s an unpublished Tolkien book that explains all of this.

TV watched:
Arrested Development, Season 2 & 3 – I was bored by the first season of this show, but it got fantastic after that. Season 2 and 3 were hilarious and smart. If you can sit through the first season (or skip it), this show is great.

Games played:
Tales from the Borderlands, Chapter 1 (PC) – A new one from Telltale. I love the humour of the Borderlands series, and they really seem to have nailed that here. I’m not sure how I’ll feel after the whole game, but I loved the first chapter. This feels fresh after their last games. And it has Chris Hardwick, Patrick Warburton, Troy Baker, and Nolan North as voice actors, which is a pretty stellar cast.

Dreamfall Chapters, Chapter 1 (PC) – I loved the last two games, so I’m excited to see where this goes. The first chapter was mainly introduction and, unfortunately, fetch quests, but the world looks and feels amazing. The dialogue is great too, so I’m just hoping they come through with the gameplay and plot in the later chapters.

Blackwell Epiphany (PC) – The final game in the Blackwell series. I was really sorry to see this end. Just a fun story and world to be wrapped up in, and they did such a great job in updating the gameplay of old-school adventure games to make it less tedious while still managing to keep the feeling of playing them the same.

The Novelist (PC) – It’s only a couple of hours long, but it’s a pretty interesting concept. You’re a ghost in a summer rental home that a young couple, a struggling writer and a painter, and their son are staying in. You have to listen to their stories, understand their problems, and whisper suggestions each night to them to try to guide their lives. You can’t make all three happy at once, as compromises have to be made, so it’s a game of balancing conflicting priorities. I feel like I ended up with a pretty good outcome, as everyone basically did great after the summer ended, but I am tempted to replay it and just completely ruin their lives.

2 thoughts on “December in Review

  1. Geoff W

    I actually love the cheasy bits in Love Actually, but that’s me being ridiculous.

    As for Bilbo killing the orcs, I’m not sure if he killed them or stunned them. In The Lord of the Rings novels, it talks about how hobbits have deadly accuracy with stones. I’m not sure if it meant deadly enough to kill or just deadly accurate, but I thought that was a funny little nod to Tolkien’s crazily detailed descriptions!

    Reply
    1. Rob Post author

      That’s interesting, I vaguely remember something about that now that you mention it, but when I was watching it I was just like ‘what is happening?’. I feel like it could have been introduced a bit smoother, maybe with just a single throw, as it was pretty jarring without context.

      Reply

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