- Tweets from 2015-07-12 to 2015-07-18 http://t.co/zCvbxHzpfH 10:01:09, 2015-07-19
- @tastyminstrel Whenever I see "TMG" I think of TMZ or TMBG. Have you considered making games about tabloid journalism or novelty music? 12:42:54, 2015-07-19
- @sawbones Just listened to the seasickness episode. Great as always! I was very skeptical but SeaBands totally block my son's car sickness. 18:19:59, 2015-07-19
- #GameLog a couple fun games at the in-laws house: one #MachiKoro and two games of #Guillotine. 18:21:37, 2015-07-19
- #GameLog a round of #Citadels to round out the evening. Fun times! 20:05:51, 2015-07-19
- Arrived in Montreal. Kids in pool, sitting on lounge chairs, reading in the sun. Also, gamers next to us playing portable dice Catan. 17:16:54, 2015-07-20
- "@dancpharmd: Strangely obsessed with this Ashley Madison story." Just waiting to see if all the user info leaks. Will be epic if so. 07:37:17, 2015-07-21
- Got #Fluxx years ago and never really played it. We had a couple games last night in Montreal, and it was pretty fun. 04:33:38, 2015-07-22
- Re: Montreal Biodome, Avery says otters are the cutest. Finn counters that "the most adorable things in the world are baby sheeps." #KSTDT. 08:03:03, 2015-07-22
- @FreshBananasHea Are you working a banana stand on Saturday? If so, when/where plz. 17:33:27, 2015-07-22
- @hodgman My family and I are in ME right now. I can see why you vacation here. 17:41:48, 2015-07-22
- "@FreshBananasHea: I have been working 3-11 pm lately." Alas, our paths shall not cross. Perhaps next time. 21:48:40, 2015-07-24
- Tweets from 2015-07-05 to 2015-07-11 http://t.co/EGL2e3TkIU 10:01:08, 2015-07-12
- RT @loyk85: @tabletop @MediGrad_Games hahah yes! http://t.co/rbvRJEk41c 18:10:47, 2015-07-12
- Every time I hear #UptownFunk on the radio, I have a secret hope for a moment that it will be #DarkLordFunk instead. https://t.co/vPnoHxLBqI 09:51:19, 2015-07-13
- #GameLog A fun first game of @LudiCreations #PocketImperium with Avery and Finn. He won, so he liked it. http://t.co/BzqyxXcqkA 17:41:12, 2015-07-14
- RT @jfdubeau: I just backed Icons of Awesomeball – tabletop game on @Kickstarter http://t.co/MaUOaWE7Iy I own you now @Nic_XL 18:46:34, 2015-07-14
- Writing about zombie cinema, the JAWS soundtrack makes me feel quite invigorated. 06:45:26, 2015-07-15
- "@pbooth81: Had a blast playing @PlaidHatGames #BioshockInfinte & #CityofRemnants & @Zmangames_ #Agricola w/ @digital_sextant today" ditto! 17:19:20, 2015-07-16
- Really enjoyed @OnBoardGames OBG161 with @3haresgames and @ben_draper. Enlightenment about emergence! 18:35:17, 2015-07-16
- @IsaacsAshes Tried #CityofRemnants today. It's great! A thinky area control deckbuilder. Also, barely squeaked out a win vs @pbooth81. 18:44:20, 2015-07-16
- RT @BitchMedia: Three cheers for Tatiana Maslany of #OrphanBlack, who plays more than a dozen complex women. http://t.co/XiF3CtUChG http://… 19:20:09, 2015-07-16
- @BitchMedia: Potential @theonion article:Tatiana Maslany needs to stop taking all the great roles for women. 19:26:45, 2015-07-16
- Watching John Wick. The shark-like blank malevolence in his eyes is amazing. 20:42:46, 2015-07-16
- Sometimes you just need a kaiju battle. #KingofTokyo #GameLog 21:20:44, 2015-07-16
- #GameLog A fun first round of the light filler #MachiKoro. Built lots of blue cards and had a fun win. http://t.co/2piMcFLtUp 18:37:24, 2015-07-17
- RT @Scott_Almes: This city is about to get remodeled. http://t.co/K5AfwxrP2Q 21:56:40, 2015-07-17
- Tweets from 2015-06-28 to 2015-07-04 http://t.co/MIt98GYazN 10:00:32, 2015-07-05
- #GameLog a tense game of #LostCities this afternoon. Whoooo fun. http://t.co/LeAb7r71R0 17:49:34, 2015-07-05
- @thechriscormier #WhatDidYouPlayMondays This weekend it was #Agricola, #GhostStories, #LostCities. Fun times. 11:46:52, 2015-07-06
- You know you're tired when you Google a website URL rather than just typing it in the address bar. 07:09:04, 2015-07-07
- Fun game night with @pbooth81 & @KatieRBooth. Played #Redacted and #Chaosmos. Both were super fun! http://t.co/me0RcSx2NJ 23:06:47, 2015-07-08
- "@LudiCreations: @pbooth81 @KatieRBooth Is that Chaosmos in the pic? It looks beautiful!" It is! A very fun, intense game. Also lovely. 06:37:56, 2015-07-09
- @mrmatthew I am some of those things. Pm me if you like. in reply to mrmatthew 11:04:45, 2015-07-09
- Tweets from 2015-06-21 to 2015-06-27 http://t.co/tTubaPb3Cw 10:00:34, 2015-06-28
- "@TheGoodMariner: Happened upon one of my Top 10 favorites #huzzah http://t.co/JsqSdTrfqr" I have very fond memories of playing this game. 19:50:04, 2015-06-28
- #GameLog A fun round of #SheriffofNottingham with the kids. Finn decides how much he thinks he can sneak by Mom. http://t.co/Tcji7SqfZm 21:01:58, 2015-06-28
- Today was another bottle of my special birthday soda. Tonight it was Americana Honey Cream. http://t.co/DGSjJ1XSEq 21:06:12, 2015-06-28
- I don't know why people didn't like #AsAboveSoBelow . I am loving it so far. Maybe the last 30 minutes suck. I'll let you know. 16:43:21, 2015-06-29
- Okay, the last half hour is pretty damn weird. #AsAboveSoBelow. 17:03:15, 2015-06-29
- Meh. The last 30 didn't live up to the first 60. #AsAboveSoBelow. 17:09:35, 2015-06-29
- Watching episode 9 of #Psych where we discover that Victoria from #HIMYM is #Robocop Clarence Boddiker's daughter. 18:42:57, 2015-06-30
- I inadvertently took June off from blogging http://t.co/2PDzIU5kbi 11:31:10, 2015-07-01
- How to tell you have too many spam emails: your inbox opens with 144 new emails, the junk filter runs, you have 29 new left. 14:36:19, 2015-07-01
- #GameLog #Ghost stories for family game night. -23 points. Sigh. Darn ghosts. http://t.co/E7rOHgPD0c 20:18:02, 2015-07-01
- Film review: As Above, So So http://t.co/gdnxUu1fEf 11:31:24, 2015-07-02
- A blast playing #LadiesAndGentlemen w/ Pam & Phil. Finn ended up belle of the ball, via Jenny's financial acumen. http://t.co/oXRpwDN4GQ 22:09:33, 2015-07-02
- Just listened to ep 25 of #OnBoardGames with @InsertStrawHere insertstrawand @KindFortress. Enjoyed it immensely. Keep up the good work! 16:52:36, 2015-07-03
- #GameLog Wow, a tough game of #GhostStories with the kids! Check out those dead Taoists. http://t.co/Kj5FsJXxEZ 21:32:59, 2015-07-03
- #GameLog #Agricola was more fun earlier tonight. http://t.co/quHqzBBs39 21:33:47, 2015-07-03
- Finn, upset with us for punishing his poor behavior: "NO ONE WILL HAVE FUN WITHOUT ME!" 11:57:16, 2015-07-04
- #GameLog A fun family round of #Agricola, complete with some tears when Finn took the cattle Avery wanted. Harmony on board game night. 21:41:07, 2015-07-04
As Above So Below
This film follows a group of renegade explorers as they dive into the Paris catacombs looking for buried Alchemist treasure. It’s a creepy movie that plays on the extraordinary claustrophobia of underground spaces, and makes excellent use of the first-person camera genre (though it never proposes the means by which the audience came to see this footage). A few thoughts:
- I wish screenwriters would look up the name of another Alchemist. Nicholas Flammel is probably sitting somewhere right now scowling at the way he gets brought up over and over again.
- The first hour of this ninety-minute movie was great. It had a growing sense of dread and creepiness that really works well. The last thirty minutes, not as much.
- The film’s best points are its great use of the first person cameras. The limited view we get is excellent, and makes for a frightening experience as we try to understand what the people are seeing behind the person whose camera we’re using.
- The spiritual component of the film is interesting too — the idea that the movie makes the alchemist’s philosophy a key component of the story is great. There are some moments that are downright weird, but you come to understand why they happened the way they did. That said, the film isn’t as precise about the nature of the metaphysical haunting stuff as I’d like it to be. When they propose a ‘system’ for how things work, it feels to me like they should really work that way.
- This film reminded me a lot of The Descent, another excellent ‘trapped underground’ movie with an even weirder ending. (In 2007, here’s what I wrote about The Descent: “A surprisingly enjoyable horror movie that became startlingly LESS scary when the monsters showed up. Disasterous spelunking and solid character development don’t need hungry Gollums to spice things up. I haven’t felt such claustrophobia while watching a film since DAS BOOT.”) Both films figured out how to make being in an enclosed space scary, but didn’t figure out that they could leave out the creepy supernatural stuff. Being underground is scary enough.
Ultimately, As Above So Below is a fine B movie with a creepy premise and solid execution. It doesn’t really stick the landing, but you’ll enjoy the fall.
Here’s a trailer you can watch if you want to spoil literally every key plot point.
It’s been a busy month around here, working on writing projects and creative projects and, well, work. In all that time, I’ve just fallen off the blogging train. Sorry about that!
Not much reading this month. I read Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood. It was good.
Plenty of gaming. It was my birthday this month, which became a gameapalooza, and should keep me sated for a while. Here are the games I got, along with my impressions of them:
- Gates of Arkham expansion for Elder Sign. Wicked hard, but fun so far.
- Titanic the board game. Haven’t played it yet. Looks like it will likely be fun as a novelty more than as a game to play a lot.
- Ladies and Gentlemen. Funny game that will be great in a big group.
- A Netrunner expansion. Haven’t had a chance to dig into that yet.
- Galaxy Trucker. Really fun so far — looking forward to more plays of this.
- Agricola. I can’t wait to try this one.
- Cthulhu’s Vault, a kickstarter that showed up right around my birthday. A storytelling game that looks cool.
Wow. Lots of great gaming ahead. I’ll try to get back to blogging more regularly.