The Star Wars Holiday Special

The Star Wars Holiday Special was created in 1978 and directed by Steve Binder. It takes place after the events of Star Wars: a New Hope and is about a Wookiee holiday known as life day. Han Solo and Chewbacca need to visit Chewbacca’s family and evade the empire. His family waits for him to arrive and try to distract the empire.

Dear god, what has my life come to that I am reviewing this movie? It’s actually worse than the star wars, prequel trilogy. It’s actually kind of hard to describe what’s going on since the movie doesn’t have much of a plot. Right from the beginning, it’s easy to see that this movie’s production value is the lowest of any official star wars movie made at the time. Chewbacca’s family was hard to look at, especially his son. I, a 21-year adult male, found the character design for the family unsettling. I can only imagine how horrifying it must’ve been through the eyes of a child.

The story was rushed, and it lacked memorable characters. It did feature the cast from the original trilogy, but it felt like none of them wanted to be there, especially Harrison Ford. It seemed like he was just reading his lines so he could get as far away from the set as possible, and I don’t blame him. There were also the shorts that diverted from the main “plot” of the story. Most of which were musical numbers, to which I must ask, why? Every single time a song came on I felt the urge to fast-forward until the end, it was nothing but filler. The only short I liked was the one with the band, “The Jefferson Starship.” But it shouldn’t have been in a star wars movie. Every single shot and scene was too long; this movie could have been 20 minutes long, with the shorts being separated into other shorts.

If I had to rate the movie, I would give it a 2/10. It was so bad I had to put away my remote so I wouldn’t be tempted to pause or change the movie. After watching the movie, I can only think of this quote. “If I had the time and a sledgehammer, I would track down every copy of that show and smash it.” –George Lucas.

Fallout 4

Fallout 4 is an action role-playing video game created by Bethesda Game Studios, which was released on November 10th, 2015. It is a post-apocalyptic open world, as cliché as that sounds it’s actually a good game. It takes place in Boston and the environment surrounding it. You are the “Sole Survivor,” a male/female citizen of prewar America who is cryogenically frozen in an underground vault known as “Vault 111,” for 210 years. You emerge as the sole survivor of the vault, your son kidnapped, and your wife murdered; you must explore the commonwealth wasteland in order to find your son.

Before we begin this review I must mention that for the sake of time I am going to be skipping a lot of material for many reasons, but mostly it’s because the game is so massive and I do not want to spoil the game for anyone new to it. There will still be spoilers, so you have been warned!

With that out of the way, I’d like to talk about the game’s looks. It is safe to say that the game is one of their best looking games, but that doesn’t mean that it is without it’s flaws. For example, although I myself love the way the environment looks, from the lighting, to the land, to the buildings, the people still look ugly. Bethesda has certainly improved their character design, but sometimes I’ll come across someone like the minutemen’s “Mama Murphy,” and be shocked at just how revolting she looks. The first time I met her, I remember trying to pry myself away from the dialogue feature that locks you in place until the conversation is over. Besides character design, I would also come across buildings or junk on the ground that would look blurry compared to the rest of the game, which would really bug me since I look at that as a lack of consistency. That might be considered “nitpicky,” but Bethesda has made some of the best selling role-playing games of all time, and is one of the biggest game developers right now. They have the money, resources, and time to make a game that looks like it’s meant to be played on the newest game consoles and computers. But at the same time, they are also known for making games that have a lot of bugs and that crash a lot, which brings me to my next point.The User experience, the nice thing about the fallout series is that in the sense of the story you can have multiple experiences based off the decisions you make in game. But when talking about the game itself, you may run into some issues playing it. It is known by anyone who plays games from Bethesda that the games are going to crash, and there are bugs that can easily be fixed but simply aren’t when the game releases. Updates do make things better as time goes on but I still find that objects and people “clipping” into walls ruins the experience for me. And I’m not lying about the easy fixes, since there is a mod (user made downloadable modification) called the “unofficial fallout 4 patch” which fixes a lot of issues that Bethesda should have in the beginning.

There are 4 different factions in the game questionable morals (Minutemen, Railroad, Brotherhood of Steel, Institute), that you can align yourself with in order to beat the game, and either way, you’ll make a ton of friends and enemies as time progresses on. One thing I like in this game is that no matter which faction you side with, there are always two sides to them. Whether your companions/followers tell you how they feel or if you just hear people talking about them, the game will really make you think about your decisions. To be honest, the companion’s opinions alone made me rethink even the smallest of decisions, which is a great feature that makes the world feel more realistic.

Fallout 4 is one of my favorite games to come out in the past few years and I believe that there is a lot to it even with it’s shortcomings. Even though it’s the fourth installment in the series anyone new to the series can pick up a copy, and I recommend that they do. If I had to rate this game, I’d give it an 8/10. I look forward to what comes next for Bethesda, and the Fallout series.

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In the Heart of the Sea (2015)

In the Heart of the Sea, released in 2015, directed by Ron Howard. The movie is based off the events surrounding the sinking of the whaling ship known as The Essex, back in 1820 that inspired the novel Moby-Dick.

The story of the movie is told by the last living crewmember of The Essex, Mr. Nickerson years after it happened. Although Mr. Nickerson tells the story, the events surrounding The Essex followed Mr. Chase. Mr. Chase was known for his experience as a captain, but he was put on The Essex as first mate instead. The captain of The Essex was an inexperienced man named Mr. Polland, who only became captain because of his family and connections. They set off to hunt as many whales as possible, but with a mixture of bad luck, and Polland and Chase constantly arguing, they barely found any whales. Later they stopped at a port in Ecuador where a sailor warns them of a monstrous albino bull sperm whale attacking and sinking ships. The men decide to sail to this part of the Pacific to catch more whales and ignore the warnings of that sailor. This would prove deadly for the sailors of the Essex. They find more whales, but the albino whale finds them as well and destroys the ship. The sailors spend the rest of the movie trying to return home and survive. Which is easier said than done, only a few men survived the trip.

The aesthetics are amazing; the movie had a production budget of $100 million. The style of filming made viewers feel like they were there, along with the sounds and effects. Although the movie used CGI, it was only used when needed.

As stated earlier, the story was told through Mr. Nickerson, but shown through Mr. Chase. And although the story was shown as the events happened or were told, the movie would go back to the present to show the struggling Mr. Nickerson.

Some of the values that were shown were: bravery, friendship, leadership, and trust. Some of the social responsibility themes addressed were: alcoholism, and consequences, specifically after trauma.

There was little to no sexual content, the movie simply had no room for it. However, there was violence, the men that survived the whale attack killed some of their fellow sailors, but not by choice. Without giving too much away, they were just doing whatever was necessary to survive.

Women were barely portrayed in the movie, the movie’s story took place during a time where women were usually stay-at-home mothers; they just wouldn’t be seen on a whaling ship. There were minorities on the ship, but they were just sort-of, there. It didn’t seem to add to the story at all.

The movie was an interesting take on the events surrounding the sinking of The Essex. The use of CGI was only used when necessary, like when the whale destroyed the boat. The lighting and lighting effects set the tone of the scenes and the movie in general. The actors acted realistically to the situation, it felt like it was actually happening in front of the viewer. It’s a recommended film for anyone interested in the events surrounding the inspiration of the book, Moby Dick.

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Parks and Recreation, Pilot episode.

Parks and Recreation, or Parks and Rec, is an American political comedy that aired from April 9th, 2009 to February 24th, 2015. It ran for seven seasons and had 125 episodes total. The series stars Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, a mid-level bureaucrat in the Parks and Recreation Department of Pawnee, Indiana (a fictional town). The show was filmed and presented in a similar style to NBC’s “The Office.” Both were directed by Greg Daniels and were made in a “mockumentary” style.

The pilot episode follows Knope as she shows the “documentary crew” what her job is like. Later that night, she and Tom Haverford, played by Aziz Ansari host a public forum. In which, Ann Perkins, played by Rashida Jones states that her boyfriend Andy Dwyer, played by Chris Pratt broke both of his legs when he fell in a massive pit near their house. This pit was there because a developer had started to work on a housing lot and then abandoned it. After hearing this, Knope decides to make it her mission to turn the abandoned lot into a public park. She spends the rest of the episode trying to convince her boss, Rob Swanson, played by Nick Offerman to let her. It’s only after her colleague Mark Brendanawicz, played by Paul Schneider steps in that Swanson agrees to the park’s construction.

The aesthetic qualities of the show are great, considering the show was made fairly recently. The show really feels like a documentary, following the lives of these government employees. During most scenes, there is a gentle camera shake that makes it feel like the scenes actually happened and weren’t scripted.

The story was told through dialogue and location. Every part of the story was a step-by-step process. First, they had to have the public forum, then they needed to convince the boss to build a park.

The show focuses on people’s views towards the government on a large and small scale. There are many people that believe that the government simply won’t work with or for them. Swanson’s character works for the government but doesn’t like or trust the government. There’s sort of a “why bother trying” mentality found in the show. Perkins was surprised when Knope said she would actually do something about the abandoned lot near her house.

There was no violence in the pilot, and sexual content was limited but still implied. For example, the relationship between Knope and Brendanawicz. Knope said the relationship was complicated and then immediately followed that by saying they slept together. Brendanawicz didn’t remember any of that until asked in one of the show’s interviews.

There was no negative light shown on characters because of race or gender, the main characters show that. The show could be considered progressive considering the actor choices for characters.

Parks and Recreation was a show that showed working for the government in a comedic way. It’s mockumentary style and type of comedy kept viewers watching for 7 seasons. The show had a large following that may have had a new look on politics because of this political masterpiece of a show.

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