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Posts by Chris

16
Dec
Dark Knight Rises

What We Thought: Six Minutes of Bane

Last night, three members of the NNAR team went to see Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. Why, you ask? Because it was preceded by the first six minutes of The Dark Knight Rises! The third (and final) Batman installment will be released in the summer of 2012, a full four years after The Dark Knight, but we just couldn’t wait.

The first six minutes introduces Bane, a powerful masked villain who clearly has few qualms about crushing his enemies into oblivion, and hints at the epic scale of this film. Check out the video of our thoughts after the jump.

12
Dec
Agent of The Empire

Review: Star Wars – Agent of the Empire #1

You have to hand it to Star Wars. Thirty four years after its original debut, it’s still the basis for fresh content. The latest is a brand new comic series from Dark Horse entitled Agent of the Empire that hits stores on December 14th.

Focusing on the oft-maligned Imperial perspective, Agent of the Empire tells the story of Jahan Cross, a special agent of sorts. As the introduction reads:

… not every political problem requires military might; not every negotiation depends on a show of force. Sometimes all diplomacy needs to succeed is the right man, in the right place, with the willingness to get the job done.

It’s nice to see the creators focusing on a smaller scope when telling a story from the Imperial perspective. “Star Destroyers blow pirates into oblivion” doesn’t really make for a particularly compelling story, and given that Agent of the Empire is set before the Rebellion really comes into its own there aren’t many Imperial Navy size enemies floating around.

So how is it?

28
Nov
Marvel Spidey Book

Disney Releases Marvel Childrens App

iPads and other content consumption devices have changed the way we approach comics with the help of companies like Comixology. Disney has apparently caught on to that idea, with a twist, and is going to release a Spiderman themed children’s book on the iPad, iPhone, and iPod Touch today.

The ‘book’ is intended for kids, and is different from a traditional ebook in that it will be interactive. Apparently one of those interactive features is to have the book read to you… by Stan Lee! Now that’s badass. I imagine there will also be games and videos to accompany the story.

All in all, it looks like a pretty cool item if you have a couple of kids who like comics, although the price point of $6.99 is a bit disappointing. I’m also not entirely sure about the decision to make an entire app for a single book, but maybe they’ll manage to platformize it into something more like iBooks in the future.

 

22
Nov
Skyrim

Review: The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim

I play a fair number of video games. I’m pretty selective about the ones I actually want to bother spending money on, so while some are bad, most are good. However, it’s rare that I’d actually classify a game as dangerous. Skyrim might just fit the bill.

How can a game be dangerous, you ask? Well, I would classify playing a video game for over 10 hours straight a level of addicting that borders on dangerous. That’s what Skyrim does to you – you play and you play and you play until you just can’t any more. Then you decide you’ll just go to town one last time then quit, and along the way you run into a cave and go exploring. Pretty soon you’ve been playing for another hour in the blink of the eye. This happens repeatedly.

So what makes Skyrim so good?

9
Nov
The Alloy of Law

Review: The Alloy of Law

Brandon Sanderson had an interesting thought one day: why is it that fantasy worlds stand still chronologically? Sure they often have great and epic histories, but the world itself doesn’t seem to advance over time. As the Wheel of Time so eloquently puts it:

The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend. Legend fades to myth, and even myth is long forgotten when the Age that gave it birth comes again.

What if, instead of this kind of stasis, a fantasy world lived and grew over time just like our world does. How would the growth of technology effect magic? Would they become anathema to each other and cause wars that sundered the world, or would they combine harmoniously and create miracles never before considered?

It’s an interesting question, and it’s exactly what Brandon Sanderson has set out to explore with The Alloy of Law. Set in the same universe as his Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial, a world where certain people are gifted with the ability to transmute metal dusts into various powers, this book tells its tale hundreds of years after the conclusion of The Hero of Ages.

26
Oct
NYCC

NYCC: Too Big for its Boots?

In some ways, New York Comic Con has grown up too fast. It’s the smaller sibling of the world known San Diego Comic Con, and so sometimes I think people still think of it as small. Except it’s not. It’s huge. Read moreRead more

18
Oct
NY Comic Con

NYCC: Video Games at New York Comic Con

New York Comic Con featured a ton of video games this year (including Max Payne 3). It seems to me that some of the booths are even approaching E3-before-the-fall proportions. Admittedly, I’ve never been to E3, so I’m largely making that up as a way of telling you these booths were huge. Square-Enix in particular knows what’s what: they’ve got Deus Ex, Deux Ex: The Missing Link, Dead Island, and a couple of other games all set up to play demos on beautiful 56″ HD displays. Capcom was also running major tournaments of Street Fighter IV and Marvel vs Capcom.

I spent several hours trying to hit up as many of the games as I could. Most of the demos were multiplayer, but there were a couple single player as well. Some of the games were viscerally good, some of them were maddeningly bad, and some were potentially good but we’ll have to wait and see.

Here’s what I thought.

12
Oct
Animal Man #2

Review: Animal Man #2

Generally speaking, we’ve been quite impressed with DC’s New 52. When I checked out Animal Man #1 a couple weeks ago, I was really intrigued. Jeff Lemire and Travel Foreman did a really good job setting up a superhero who was also clearly a human being. At the end of that first issue, they had effectively established the hero and begun to set up a larger story arc – it was heading in an intriguing but pretty standard direction.

So I was surprised when the second issue took a bit of a turn into left field. Inevitably, I’m going to give up some details, so if you haven’t read Animal Man #1, stop reading this post and go read that issue.

Read moreRead more

28
Sep
Animal Man

Review: Animal Man #1

First off, I’ll straight up admit that I’ve never been a huge fan of comics in the form of issues. I’m not sure if it’s the irritation at not being able to finish a story in one sitting, or the fact that all of the existing issues have usually been running for years and I wasn’t interested in figuring out the back story.

I’ll also straight up admit that Animal Man #1 has changed that. Shout out to Tom who suggested I go read it, and to DC for rebooting the new 52. I had no idea who Animal Man was until about an hour ago, but none of that matters. I’m in on the ground floor and I’m hooked.

Why you should read Animal Man…

28
Sep
Terra Nova

Terra Nova Discussion

The highly (or not so highly, depending) anticipated pilot of Terra Nova premiered last night.  All of us here at NNAR went into the premiere with differing expectations.  Jon thought it was going to knock it out of the park.  Wade and Chris expected it to be horrible.  Third really, really likes dinosaurs, so… yeah.  And Tom… well, Tom went to go see Drive instead – a respectable decision.  So once the pilot concluded, the four of us and our fellow nerd Jacob convened online to discuss.  Below is our review of Terra Nova’s pilot – conversation style, and edited to save you from the abundance of childish banter, fart jokes, and Third-provoking comments. Read moreRead more