[REVIEW] Paperback, Letters from Whitechapel, Battlelore 2nd Edition

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I haven’t done nearly as much board gaming in the past few months as I’d like. As a social hobby that generally requires the participation of people outside oneself, it too often falls victim to fickle adult schedules and/or the nonexistence of friends. That said, of the few instances mine ears hath enjoyed the sweet slap of cardboard on wood veneer in recent weeks, most of them have included the opportunity to try new games. This can be both a great pleasure and a dire gamble for an established connoisseur such as myself. How did my luck fair? Were these novel diversions worth the precious gaming time they depleted? Scroll on, dear reader… Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Her

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Bold, insightful, and remarkably positive, director Spike Jonze’s (Being John Malkovich, Adaptation, Where the Wild Things Are) latest offering is an unmitigated success. Her, the poignant story of one man’s love affair with his tech suite’s sapient operating system, is neither as whimsical nor as unsettling as its premise might suggest. Instead, the film cuts straight to the heart of the wonder and untidiness of personal relationships. Like all great science fiction, it presents our own world back to us, heightened, so we can examine the human experience with new eyes. Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Elysium

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This week, a meek freak ekes by with a bleak, somewhat tongue-in-cheek peek at sleek, badly-tweaked, creaky cinematic chic.

                                                                      

A slick sci-fi concept piece, Elysium left me feeling cold, underwhelmed, and more than a little preached at. Never quite able to completely mask a markedly propagandist slant behind its veneer of action movie tropes, its lack of subtlety shares something in common with Neil Young’s “protest” songs of recent years (e.g., “Let’s Impeach the President”). Director Neill Blomkamp’s previous sermon, District 9, held up because the originality and zaniness of the film’s story transcended its overt political commentary. Elysium has no such fallback because its adaptation of the typical Hollywoodized action hero’s journey fails to inject much freshness into the formula. Continue reading

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[REVIEW] Transmetropolitan

The winter holiday season and the first weeks of the new year are, unfortunately, crunch time in my current employment situation. As a result, the blog has suffered a bit over the past couple of weeks with breaks in what had been a fairly regular posting schedule. (Then again, maybe I’ve just decided to embrace the “semi” aspect of this blog’s title.) I can’t promise that intermittence will change in the immediate future, but I don’t want to leave Semigeekly dormant, either. While I endeavor to remedy my irregularity, then (wait, huh?), I’ll try taking brief looks at some of the geek-related media to which I’ve been exposed during my time away.  Continue reading

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From Board Gaming to Lovecraft and Beyond, Pt. 2

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“But I called, as we came near, to one who stood beside the water’s edge, asking him what men did in Astahahn and what their merchandise was, and with whom they traded. He said, ‘Here we have fettered and manacled Time, who would otherwise slay the gods.’ I asked him what gods they worshipped in that city, and he said, ‘All those gods whom Time has not yet slain.'” — “Idle Days on the River Yann,” Lord Dunsany

In case you missed it, click here for Pt. 1 in which I trace the path I followed through board games to Lovecraft fandom. This week, we’re going to follow that rabbit hole a little deeper. Continue reading

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