Taking Inspiration from the Marvel Cinematic Universe for Dungeons & Dragons

I wanted to write a blurb on using Marvel’s cinematic universe in D&D. I’ll either come back to this topic and inject some more specific examples and references…

Daemons & Deathrays

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Admittedly, I’ve been away from the boundless realms of graphic novel and comic books.  Whether it’s because I’m hesitant to try new series or because money is always tight, I haven’t really gone too deep into comic books, especially nowadays.  Now, I’ve caught up on a few series and read many of them after the fact, but I’ve never really gotten active within any fandoms… unless a handful of defunct and finished web-comics count for anything, that is.  That said, I’ve been slowly been brought back into the fold thanks to Disney and Marvel teaming up for the relatively recent series of films that have been mostly pretty damn good.  Save for a few sub-par installations, the films that have been released (sometimes more than) once a year have been fantastic.  At the best, an excellent journey of action and heroism… and at worst?  A good way to spend an…

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Ghostbusters the Video Game (2009)

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People have been asking me to check out the continuation of the Ghostbusters franchise for a while… so here it is!

In all seriousness, all of the attention the franchise has gotten recently has encouraged me to dig up Atari’s 2009 release for all major consoles and PC.  At the time, it was quite well received.  In fact, Dan Aykroyd himself said that this is basically the “Third Movie” that fans had been waiting for.  In those 7 years since then, this leaves quite a few questions.  Has it aged well?  Was it as awesome as we remembered?  Did we get the 3rd movie we wanted or were we clouded by nostalgia?  Let’s crack open the Terminal Reality version (for PC, in my case) and crack down on some paranormal activity!  More after the jump.

Author’s Note: Pardon the lateness.  When a tree slams on your house due to a storm, that takes a little bit of precedence over writing, which sucks.  In fact, malevolent ghosts could have been behind it, for all we know.  After all, they say my town is haunted… or at least the large historic hotel is!

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Film Review: Krampus

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For those who have been following me long enough, you can tell I’m quite the fan of Santa’s Satanic Helper!  Of course, I’m referring to the Krampus.  For those out of the loop, Krampus is a creature originating from Germanic folklore.  He trails Santa around the world to punish naughty children, while Santa takes care of the good.  Specifically, Krampus hits you with his bundle of sticks before sweeping you into a bag full of little hell raisers!  This holiday horror looks like a diabolic monster with coarse black hair all over him, usually with horns and cloven hooves.  For centuries, the image of this creature has haunted and fascinated countless people.

Needless to say, Krampus has slowly been catching on in the United States.  Whether it’s pop songs or animated parodies, the Christmas Devil himself has been popping up in public consciousness.  A couple of years ago, the creators of “Trick R’ Treat” had announced they were bringing this being to life in a new movie.  As of December 2015, that movie is out and the Krampus will punish all of those who dare act naughty during this season.  So, how does the movie itself hold up?  Read onward to find out. (Warning: Some spoilers ahead!)

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Movie Review – What We Do In The Shadows (2014)

How every Vampire the Masquerade game ends up.

Initially, this film slipped past my radar, as I’ve seen many contenders tackling the mockumentary genre, aspiring to be like some of the greats within the genre.  However, what I also missed was that it was from the creators of Flight of the Conchords, and that is by all means a favorite of mine.  Instead, we follow a group of vampires living within an eerie old flat in Wellington.  Each of them contends with their own problems, usually initiating more squabbles in the process.  But, the petty drama of long time roommates in a world they don’t understand is all part of the fun.  So, what can these flatmates teach us ignorant mortals?  Read on and find out!

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Cult Film Review: Grabbers

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Directed by John Wright and story by Kevin Lehane, Grabbers is a 2012 horror-comedy about small island town that faces off against tentacled horrors that dwell in the sea.  It follows two Garda officers as they’re deployed to the seaside community, only to discover their problems lie beyond rude dock workers, drunken fools and deranged scientists.  Teaming up with various survivors of “The Grabbers”, the motley crew does all they can to keep these monstrous horrors from consuming the entire island.  As one would expect, it’s campy and schlocky, but that’s what the film was intending to go for in the first place.

Author’s Note: I was originally planning on reviewing this for a magazine, but some things sadly didn’t quite work out.  As a result, I revisited what I wrote and used it as notes as I watched it again.  Needless to say, not many of my opinions have changed.  Enjoy.  Also beware, this review contains spoilers.  If ya wanna avoid spoilers, hop down to the smiling Erin Island sign! 

Image Sources – Grabbers Screenshots via Horrorhoneys, Bloody-Disgusting, Slant Magazine; Grabbing Arm – Amazon

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Film/Mini-Series Review: Over the Garden Wall

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Since this past year, I’ve been slacking off on watching various shows/movies.  Sounds kinda funny considering I’m all about reviewing movies and shows too, right?  Needless to say, I’ve been catching up on tons of content I’ve missed for a while; whether that be through video release or the divine gift to the masses that some people refer to as “Netflix”.  Among those things was a charming animated dark faerie tale called “Over the Garden Wall.”  This mini-series/movie (either works, depending on who you ask) involves two boys lost in a strange otherworld full of anachronistic people, horrible creatures, and some really catchy music numbers.

It’s not exactly easy to nail down what Over the Garden Wall is.  Is it comical or dramatic?  Is it merely an homage to the works of yesteryear or the expectation of tomorrow?  Is it a tongue-in-cheek folktale or something right out of The Twilight Zone?  And this doesn’t even cover a lot of the mini-series’ countless mysteries that countless fans are still trying to figure out.  That combined with the questions above, people are still coming back for more.  From a small cult hit to a recognized Emmy winning masterpiece, it’s likely one that will endure for a while yet.  But this begs the question, why?  Well, I’ll certainly do my best to try to figure it out!

NOTE:  This review contains heavy spoilers.  While this mini-series has been out for almost a year and was recently released on DVD, you have been warned.

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The Doc Speaks: Fantastic Flops

Originally, I was going to do a review of Fantastic Four.  However, I didn’t want to be like countless carrion eaters picking off the remains of absolute badness.  We know the film is terrible.  There are still tons of folks out there who don’t want to admit it yet.  I don’t blame them, I too wanted this to be a good movie.  However, that wasn’t the only disappointing summer film.  I know there’s many who were sad that Pixels didn’t live up to the immense hype, resulting in some undeserved vitriol and relentless hatred.  And of course, there’s that Paul Blart sequel…  but, I doubt anyone thought that would be good.  All in all, while the summer has brought some smash hits like Inside Out, Mad Max: Fury Road, Ant Man, Avengers 2, Spy and some others; there’s always the flop.  Let’s dive deeper at the sad side of blockbuster cinema.

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Movie Review: Ant Man (2015)

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It’s always refreshing to enjoy a summer film by Marvel.  Last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy remains one of my favorite films by the studios.  This year’s summer hit tries to recapture the somewhat tongue-in-cheek mood we saw last year.  They more or less acknowledge this within the poster itself. Granted, this film knows what it is and how absurd it sounds.  But hey, the New 52 reboot of Aquaman did that self-aware metahumor to excellent effect.  All in all, it’s finely balanced with some pretty intense drama and some genuinely fascinating sequences.  While I genuinely enjoyed the movie, does it stand up to previous films?

Note: Spoilers Ahead.

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Movie Review: Inside Out

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Sure, reviewing Disney films are a little out of character for me, but I love more than just cheesy horror movies and weird science fiction, ya know?  Plus, I’d consider this to be firmly planted in the fantasy genre.  Or at least, it’s the magical realism/mundane fantastic that Disney has become well known for.

No matter, 2015 marks the return of the big Pixar summer movie once more. While they’ve given anthropomorphic life to bugs, toys, and even the very monsters we dream of, this time Pixar tackles something a little bit different. By that I mean, bringing life to the very metaphysical itself. More specifically, feelings. The story focuses inside of the head of an 11 year old girl named Riley, on the move from some unnamed suburbia in Minnesota to San Francisco. As a departure from what we’re used to, this film is a slice of life with just a hint of Disney fantasy to add a touch of whimsy. Plus, after a lackluster series of trailers (including an upcoming Disney project that looks like it took the safe route), this film was quite the delightful change of pace.

More after the jump!  (Slight spoilers ahead)

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Movie Review: Jurassic World (2015)

Jurassic World, to many, is the sequel we’ve been waiting to see.  Following the footsteps of the first movie (and retconning the 2nd and 3rd out of existence), we see the park back and better than ever after rebuilding from the disaster that happened 20 years ago.  However, the park is bigger and better than ever, being more so a theme park than the original model.  Attractions and shows operate throughout the theme park, but yet the crowd demands more.  The result is a superior hybrid called the “Indominus Rex”, the ultimate hunter.  Through some adept cunning, it gets loose and mayhem is wrought on the park soon after.  So, how does it stack against the classic?  Is it one for the records or is it better remaining buried deep?  Let’s have a watch and find out!

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