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Sam has loved, and loved to hate, movies and board games since he was a wee lad. He has been schooled in the ancient art of critique from an early age, reading every review (especially the bad ones) that he was able to get his hands on. Starting in the Golden Age of the early internet with Hollywood.com and advancing through the years with Rotten Tomatoes, IGN, and RedLetterMedia, he is hard-pressed not to remember a rating or particular comment about a movie released in the last 15 years. He has dreamed of the day when he could add his voice to the discordant chorus, and finally that day has come...

Game of Thrones S6 Ep 5 Review: “The Door”

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Full analysis and spoilers to follow. Hodor?  Hodor!  Hodor… Game of Thrones was in an unusually revelatory mood in “The Door,” giving us both origin stories for the White Walkers and Hodor.  First, the White Walkers. Bran spent much of this episode gallivanting (thanks for the vocab lesson, Theon) through the past and present.  He […]

Game of Thrones S6 Ep 4 Review: “Book of the Stranger”

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Full analysis and spoilers to follow. Ladies’ night!  Game of Thrones is rounding the bend of its sixth season with its female leads riding high.  Let’s get right into “Book of the Stranger” and dig into this female-empowering episode. Sansa Jon Snow is dead inside.  And, well, outside as well to some extent.  The cost […]

Game of Thrones Season 6 Ep 3 Review: “Oathbreaker”

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Author’s Note: Spoilers Ahoy! “Oathbreaker” was great in that it introduced many new and interesting dynamics to explore amongst our favorite/least favorite Game of Thrones veterans.  The show has focused a lot on its roots recently, with large amounts of time spent reminding us that the Stark kids once had dire wolf pups, parents, and […]

Game of Thrones s6e2 Review: “Home”

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Author’s Note: First off: this review is Spoilerific, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Game of Thrones is now off-book.  As a reader of the series, this season represents the first real set of “surprises” beyond consolidations and cuts from the massive cannon. Episode 1, “The Red Woman,” set the tone of the […]

Review No One Asked For: Victoria

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Victoria is an ambitious film.  If Birdman (ignoring the stuffy sub-title) got critics and viewers jazzed-up for a roving camera that follows characters from scene to scene, wait until you get a load of this: Victoria is a film taken in one shot.  Not artfully designed to appear like one shot.  It’s a feature length, […]

The Walking Dead: Season 6 Review

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With the release of “Last Day on Earth,” The Walking Dead finally passes fully into the age of Negan.  Season 6 has been a time of transition: our heroes have finally found a place to settle for more than 1 season (I’m looking at you campsite outside Atlanta, Herschel’s farm, the prison, and Terminus).  This […]

Board Game Review: Lords of Waterdeep

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Lords of Waterdeep, published by everyone’s favorite nerd empire Wizards of the Coast, claims to be a Dungeons and Dragons game.  Inspired-by: yes.  Mechanics-wise?  Well, not so much.  And that’s not a bad thing.  The game is inspired in its ability to encourage friendly competition without ruining the relationships of its players. Lording Over Waterdeep […]

Board Game Review- Coup: Rebellion G54

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Ready to rely on your wits to see you to the end of a fast-paced political struggle? Then Coup: Rebellion G54 is for you. Coup: Rebellion G54 is a sequel/expansion to COUP: City State, both of which were created by Rikki Tahta of La Meme Games. In both games, the basic rules are the same. […]

In Defense of a Three Star Life

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There’s been a pervasive trend in recent years pushing us all towards exceptionalism. I speak, of course, of the ratings given to everything in our lives. It began with movies and restaurants and has spilled into literature, music, TV, and, for about two terrifying seconds, our social circles. Who hasn’t found themselves standing outside a […]

A Review of ‘Hunger Games 3: Mockingjay, Part 2’

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That’s really too many numbers. But, while the title is indeed clunky, the movie itself was fine. Not great. Fine. It’s hard to structure a review for a story that is half a story. That was really my first problem with the film. It’s half a film. This is the same problem that dogged the […]

Formula D: Race for Your Life!

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Formula D is a Formula One racing board game. Okay, now turn off that little warning signal in your brain that just made you yawn. This game is surprisingly engaging and dramatic, mostly thanks to the game’s natural tension between speed and stability. On the one hand, you want to be going as fast as […]

Until Dawn Review: You’ll Be Squirming and Screaming All Night

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Until Dawn by Supermassive Games is, at its most general, a horror adventure game. Specifically, it is a game about eight friends reuniting at a private mountain lodge where two of their friends had gone missing one year prior. As the player, you control each of the characters in turn as they navigate this labyrinth […]