Depending on how you look at it, I got a lot more done in the back half of January than I did in the front end.
By that, I mean that I watched a lot more movies per day and played a lot more video games. I read a bunch of comics, too. Well… a bunch of issues of one title.
But did I do any actual work? Writing? Podcast prep? House work?
But I changed the layout of the site here! I tend to get very bored very quickly, so in just a few months of existence, the Stew World Order site here has undergone several redesigns. But you know what? I like the current one. Let me know what you think; I could always mess around with it some more.
On topic: To be fair, January isn’t over yet. Today is the 31st, so there’s always the possibility I could sneak in another film or so, but honestly? Tonight is the Royal Rumble, so most of my day is going to be mentally preparing for that. The fanless, piped-in noise, 2021 Royal Rumble. That’s gonna be weird.
Man, I know Alita Battle Angel has this enormous cult following of rabid fans, but… it’s really not that good. It looks great, sure, and has some standout action sets, but the story is a mess, it feels longer than it is, and even the best actors involved are pretty much sleep-walking through it. The best thing I will say about it is that after about the 40 minute mark, I FINALLY stopped staring in dread at Alita’s god damn eyes.
I’m not kidding, though. It’s a 120 minute movie that I swear to go was actually 400 minutes long.
I finally rewatched Game Night, and I can honestly say I laugh throughout that movie, from beginning to end, non-stop. One of the most underrated comedies of all-time.
The main difference in the 1.5 stars for Never Too Young To Die and Before The Fire are that one was well-made, but tedious and not enjoyable (Before The Fire); the other was woefully constructed, but silly enough to be entertaining (Never Too Young…). Before The Fire just needed to cast John Stamos!
(For more thoughts on each of these, feel free to check out my Letterboxd page)
Since our first article here, two more episodes of WandaVision have come out. I see that opinion is somewhat split on this show–not a lot of middle ground, though; there is “I love it” and “It’s weird and boring” in equal amounts.
I’m all in on it at this point. I mentioned after the first two episodes that I was invested, but I wasn’t sure if I “liked” it. Episodes three and four brought me all the way in. I love the mystery of it all, and even though the fourth offering seems to have resolved a lot, I bet there’s a lot more we don’t know about yet.
WandaVision is allegedly supposed to beget the sequel to Dr. Strange, which is supposed to beget the MCU’s third Spidey movie, but we aren’t QUITE seeing anything having to do with multiverses yet. So that will likely (hopefully?) tie in with the remaining episodes.
I swear to god, for the last two-plus months, I couldn’t STOP seeing ads online for Alan Tudyk’s new SyFy vehicle, Resident Alien. And those ads had their desired effect because I was highly anticipating the show by the time it premiered on 1/27. Every time I was on FB and it populated a new ad, I watched it and grew more eager.
Was it worth the wait? I always tend to think pilots are hard to judge a show by, but I did enjoy this one a great deal. Tudyk is his typical genius self, and I’m positive I’ve never NOT enjoyed him. What seems to be the long-term plot feels a bit reheated (our protagonist is not actually a good guy, but he’ll learn to be and ultimately make some kind of sacrifice), but the characters and the writing have me hooked well enough that I’ll stick around. And like I said: pilots, man.
Kudos to SyFy for having another show besides Face-Off for me to watch.
Speaking of reality TV competitions! My wife is STILL powering through Hell’s Kitchen! She is in season 18 now–All-Stars vs Rookies–and we watched the first few of that. The promo for the last episode we saw promised the All-Stars were going to fight dirty and start sabotaging their competitors, but then… that didn’t happen at all? Not even a little bit. It was the falsest advertising ever. This is why I have trust issues, reality TV. “The Blue Team sabotages this dude’s pork chop!”. No they didn’t; he just didn’t take it out of the oven.
Additionally, I don’t typically mention YouTube stuff here (and by “typically”, I mean… in the one previous entry, I guess?), but I watched the UpUpDownDown Royal Rumble this past weekend, I am am 110% more invested in Tyler Breeze’s reign of terror as the champion there than I am in anything else WWE is doing. Long may Prince Pretty reign!
Seriously, UUDD continues to be solidly humorous. I look forward to everything Austin Creed and his friends do.
I haven’t read many comics in the last two weeks, but I did finally catch a LITTLE bit up on Nick Spencer’s run on Amazing Spider-Man, having read issues #14-24, which encompasses the “Hunted” storyline.
It’s still good, and I still dramatically approve of Spencer over the years and years of Dan Slott that came before him. Kraven stories all feel a lot like “Kraven Stories” to me, though, and in a few years, I will be completely unable to tell you the difference between “Hunted” and the previous Kraven story from back in… whenever that was. What was it called? The Grim Hunt. And both of those so badly wanted to be Kraven’s Last Hunt all over again.
I will be honest, though… the pairing of Kraven and Acrade is not one I thought I’d ever see. It’s unique! They don’t seem like they have anything in common, but it totally works here based on what Kraven is trying to accomplish. I’ll dig up some more ASM trades to keep going on Spencer’s run.
I’m still playing the Final Fantasy 7 remake whenever I can get the wife to come watch (she generally enjoys spectating on games that have a good story, though I think the frequency of attacking bad guys is a bit boring for her). I’m a little over 3 hours in, and I enjoy taking the time to savor this. It’s a bit frustrating that they threw in a bunch of new side quests (go became a famous merchant by killing rats and finding cats) instead of giving us the whole game…
But then I remember the “whole game” had a terribly dated snowboard mini-game in it. So it’s FINE, I suppose.
And YES. Aside from FF7 and Madden, I’ve started playing Skyrim AGAIN. Skyrim and Pokemon, man. I always come back to those. I’ve beaten Skyrim two or three times, but ever since getting my PS4, I’ve only done a bunch of start/stop plays to fidget around with downloaded mods. I wanted to play a game where I modded up to the point of being high level and high power right away; Skyrim is a deep, enjoyable world, but I distinctly recall how much I hate the Smith/Enchant grind to level up that I always fell into. So screw that! I’ll just read a bunch of books right off the bat and make broken items.
I may have gone too far… I think I accidentally made my character invulnerable, and that isn’t fun. I want to be REALLY STRONG, not literally unstoppable. I just stood still and let a bear maul me for a few seconds, and my health didn’t drop at all. I should recraft my items to fix this.
Also, I’ve never really played the DLC much to know what I think of it. But right now, I’m vampire hunting for the Dawn…guard? Dawnstars? DawnTon? Definitely Dawn something.
And yes, I’m covering Skyrim in my monthly recommendations column, but eh. It’s what I’ve been playing. “Might I interest you in an eleven year old game that literally everyone on Earth has played and knows about?” Real cutting edge stuff here.
And that wraps up the first month of 2021! Old video games and new TV shows. I forgot how addictive Skyrim is, so when June comes and my Gaming section is just “Still playing Skyrim…”, please forgive me.
Meanwhile, let me know what you’ve been experiencing to kick off 2021! What’s been good for you? And what hasn’t?
Until next time… take care!