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what if episode one was good?

So, this guy spend 12 minutes telling us how Phantom Menace could have been good. I really wish there was some way to go back in time and make this so. His take would have been sooooooo compelling. You should watch this.

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of gods and men.

This movie is staggeringly beautiful. I literally had no words after it was over. It got inside my skin, it seeped into my soul and helped me to realize that I’ve forgotten myself and the world far too much over the last few years.

Based on a true story, the French film centers on a Trappist monastery, where the monks served a Muslim community in peace in Algeria, until conflict between extremist forces and the Algerian government changes everything. The film won the Grand Prix at Cannes in 2010.

It’s a quiet film of tremendous power. A story of courage, faith, charity, friendship, tragedy, and humanity. It humbled me, and made me want to be a better person.

I’ve shared the trailer before, but here it is again.

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full 2.5 minute ‘prometheus’ trailer.

Just up today. Ho. Ly. Shit. This film is flying up the list of movies I’m most excited about this year.

In other Ridley Scott news that’s getting me excited, I read this on Dark Horizons today: “Then comes word that Brad Pitt is said to be circling the small but crucial role of business associate ‘Westray’ in Ridley Scott’s upcoming feature “The Counselor”.┬áCormac McCarthy penned the script for the film which stars Michael Fassbender. Jeremy Renner and Javier Bardem remain front runners for the role of the main villain.”

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mass effect 3. [things i’m thankful for #30]

This makes ME3 something I’m doubly thankful for, in that I previously posted that I was thankful there were only 17 days left until the release. As long as things continue to go well, there will be a third ME3 post on its way in the future. There have been some complaints out in the world of ‘gamers’ about the game, which I am willfully choosing not to look into, so that I can experience the game fresh. For the most part, I don’t take gamer complaints very seriously anyway. Gamers are infamous for being remarkably abusive, over tiny details, toward the people who pour their lives into making the things that gamers love… games. However, that is best left for another post. Suffice it to say that, for now, I’m not taking the complaints too seriously.

I’m not as far into the game as I would like to be. That’s a good thing. I have been good about keeping myself away from turning it on, knowing that it will suck me in once I do. The game had its slow, awkward moments getting started, but once things got rolling it got really good, really fast. While strong sales will probably be enough to bring forth a Mass Effect 4, this was designed as a trilogy, making ME3 the end of the story arch.

The end could be woefully terrible, but so far it has been genuinely satisfying as a closing chapter in the story. For those who know nothing about the series, the game forces the player to make decisions throughout the game, and those decisions not only have repercussions later in the same game, but your save data carries over from previous games so that Mass Effect 3 begins somewhat differently for everyone who played the first two games. The decisions I made in ME1 and 2 are coming home to roost in ways that I never could have predicted. At times, having done the right thing in the earlier games is making for really tough decisions in this game. I already saw the eradication of an entire species because of a call my Commander Shepherd had to make.

As a video game, there will still always be parts of the story that are overly simplistic, and the romance is really unsatisfying and silly. However, with that being said, so far, the story has been smart, coherent, and engaging on a character level. As would be expected in a story about the impending doom of the entire Milky Way, not everyone is going to make it out alive. No matter what decisions you make, some characters are still going to die. I’m not going to lie, even though it is just a video game, I’ve had a hard time making some of the decisions I’ve had to make so far, wondering what the implications might be for my favorite characters as a result.

Not only is Mass Effect 3 worth a playthrough, but the first two games hold up fairly well, so it would even be worth checking out the first two if you haven’t. At least play Mass Effect 2. Good times.

I’ll report back once I beat the game to let you all know what I think after all is said and done. As always, without spoilers, unless otherwise noted.

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american born chinese. [graphic content.]

Easily the best graphic novel I’ve read in a very long time. Gene Luen Yang’s tale of a young boy who moves from San Francisco’s Chinatown to the suburbs is nothing short of a masterpiece in the medium.

It weaves between three strands: the story of Jin Wang (mentioned above), the tale of the Monkey King, and a fake sitcom about a character named Chin-kee, who embodies the many hurtful stereotypes Chinese Americans are subjected to.

Yang’s novel offers heartfelt messages about racism, faith, identity, and the pain of being rejected as the other, and thus trying to change oneself to match the dominant paradigm and blend in.

Moving and engaging from beginning to end, Yang tells a story as beautiful as it is important. There should be more books like this one.

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