How The Next Generation is Going to Destroy Our Economy (and it isn’t their fault)

So, a story today in the news was how Congress, our lovely and completely incompetent legislative body, couldn’t make an agreement on student loan interest rates for subsidized Stafford loans.  So, the interest rate is going to double to almost 7%.  This means that for the average undergrad, their lives are going to get even harder.

I have already resigned myself to the fact that I am going to be living paycheck to paycheck when I am done with college.  I am a journalism major.  That market now is so low, given the down-sizing of the institution itself (aside from the corporate slave networks who pander to corporations, while calling themselves “news.”).  So, when this is all said and done, I have NO idea where I am going.  Given that I am coming up on the home stretch this coming academic year, this question is biting at me more and more as time goes by.  I honestly don’t know what to do.

This question is faced by a metric ton of students these days.  And this isn’t just the students who are getting degrees like Liberal Arts.  The common joke among my friends and I has always been that the Liberal Arts majors will be eating Top Ramen for the rest of their lives.  But the sad truth is that they aren’t the only ones.  I have a friend who graduated from MIT, in the top 20% of her class, and now is working in a run-down diner on the interstate in Nevada, because her field just doesn’t have any work that she can find.  Getting a degree simply isn’t enough anymore.  It has to be an amazing degree.  I am going to be graduating with a Bachelor’s, but I am aware that that won’t help me much.  A Master’s or higher gets you decent jobs.  And it can’t just be a Master’s.  It has to be a Master’s with some AMAZING grades and internships and a ton of other things to go along with it.

We have an interesting society.  There is a term that is making the rounds about America’s job market – degree inflation.  Every job now requires degrees.  Even jobs that should in no way need one.  Paralegals in big cities are now having to have pre-law or other such degrees, when their job entails making copies, answering the phone, keeping appointments.  They are called paralegals for a reason – they are glorified secretaries who do a lot of other random bits and bobs for the law firm they are employed by.  Are any of these people going to be in a court-room?  Are any of them going to be disarming a nuclear weapon?  No, they won’t.  But, every job that isn’t fast-food or being the night-stocker at Wal-Mart requires a degree.  And degrees cost money.  The worst part now is that they cost money, and the interest rates are going to be going up.

A point that was raised in the news story I linked above is that it is cheaper now to get a loan for your home than it is to be a student in this country.  That tells you something about what America values, doesn’t it?

Look, here is some cold truth – student loan debt in this country is out of control.  It is over $1 trillion and getting bigger every day.  With the job market becoming so tooth-and-claw, with most opportunities going overseas or just disappearing altogether, how are student expected to pay this back?  I can already hear several people going “well, if they can’t afford it, they shouldn’t have gotten the debt in the first place!”  Yeah, you clearly have NO idea what is going on in this world and should probably just remove yourself from society.  Or get informed.  Either way works for me.

This generation is being called lazy and narcissistic and entitled so often that you can practically making a fucking bumper-sticker out of it, couldn’t you?  Yet we are very soon going to be in an interesting position of being the people who can save or destroy this country’s economy.  But with no jobs and the cost of living sky-rocketing out of control, along with medical costs (the #1 way that people go into debt in this country), insurance costs and a thousand other costs, how are we supposed to do better?  We didn’t ask to be in this situation.  We were put here by ignorant people who don’t understand how the world works.  Who saw a way to make money for themselves and didn’t care about the rest of us.

Here is what I see is going to happen – the job market is going to get worse and worse.  I’m not the only person who sees this coming – student loans defaulting is going to be the next bubble that bursts.  Same as the housing bubble.  People couldn’t afford the unbelievably-rigged loans and so they defaulted.  That is going to happen again.  My money is on the next 10 or 20 years being when it does.  My generation is going to destroy America’s economy, and it isn’t our fault.  We are trying to make something good out of the lives were are given, but we are all given a bad hand.  Sure, luck plays a damn-big factor in it all, but there is no opportunity for us.

As I said in a previous post, my generation does have a lot of problems, and not one of them is our fault.  The ground-work for it was laid by you, parents and grand-parents.  I hope you are proud.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time…like tears in rain.”  -Roy Batty, Blade Runner

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: Oblivious Men

So, here is a little story from work.  At first, it made me laugh at the idiot who was involved.  But the more I thought about it, I was kind of annoyed.

At my job, we check out study rooms to students who are looking to study or do online tests or what have you.  On today’s shift, I opened a study room for two people, and I very quickly got a clue to the situation.  See, the first person was a guy.  Typical, run-of-the-mill guy.  The other person was a young woman, and I got a bit of a clue about something from seeing her.  See, this girl was dressed in a VERY low-cut shirt, and it was clear that she was wearing no bra.  Her boobs were perking and I could see that this was intentional.

Work at my job leads me to walk by the study rooms from time to time, and a couple of times I caught something about these two people – they both wanted VERY different things.  See, the girl kept on leaning over the table, and this guy’s book in ways that Helen Keller couldn’t miss.  For real, there were times that she was getting so forward about this that the boobs were practically falling out of the shirt.

But you wanna know that weird part – this guy did not notice!  For real, he was completely oblivious to this.  And it wasn’t in the trying-not-to-stare way.  You can spot that pretty easily.  No, this was in the “I am so happy studying!” way.  He seemed very content with his studying.  I can already hear some of the more romantic women in my audience going “well, maybe he has a girlfriend and is being loyal!  Awwww.”  Yeah, for all the men in my audience, we know better.  Knowing the male animal the way we do, we understand that if a woman is going that far out of their way to make themselves understood as being sexually available, it doesn’t matter how in love you are.  At the very least, you will take notice.  And my bidar (a sub-unit of gaydar) is a little rusty, it still is pretty good.  This dude is straight as an arrow.  Just totally oblivious.

A few hours later, they are headed out of the place, and it is clear that the dude NEVER took the hint.  Ah, hell, it wasn’t even a hint.  It was a fucking invitation.  As they left the front desk, the girl looked PISSED.  They got to the corridor and then she went one way, he went another.  The look on her face said it all – “I just wasted my Saturday here.”  She wasn’t there to study.  She was there to get this guy to have sex with her.  Presumably at another location.  This was just a convenient way to get him to understand her intentions.  Pretense, if you will.

When I first saw this, I thought it was funny.  I mean, how dumb is this guy?  How do you not see that she was clearly wanting to jump your dick?  This kind of obliviousness is kind of hilarious.  But as I was headed home, I felt myself getting annoyed at this guy.

The universal truth about this world is that any woman can get sex anytime, if she wants it.  There are so many horny guys in this world that women have their pick of the litter, except with the unbelievably shallow.  And that number is far smaller than you’d think.  But there are a ton of guys, like me, who cannot get sex no matter how hard they try.  So, when I see people like this guy, who is literally having a girl who was damn-good looking using blunt body language to give this guy a fucking clue that she wants sex, and he is totally oblivious to it, that just makes me realize that even the oblivious are more lucky than people like me.

I resigned myself to loneliness a long time ago, but it is days like today when I realize that decent guys will ALWAYS finish last, because even the oblivious are more wanted than us.  I know a ton of guys who are good people, maybe a little socially awkward, but they still are good people.  Then there is me, a titan, who has a natural look that is unpleasant and generally imposing, which, paired with my realist attitude, leaves me with no options.  I accept it, but damn if it isn’t hard some days to live with.

Until next time, a quote,

“I hate stupid people.  They should have to wear signs that say ‘I’m stupid.’  That way, you wouldn’t ask them nothing.  You’d come up to them and be like, ‘Can you help me – ah, I’m sorry.  I didn’t see your sign.'”  -Bill Engvall

Peace out,

Maverick

Top 10 Sad Games

While lots of games that I have played are filled with frolicking adventure, sometimes you come across a game that is filled with some of the darker aspects of our emotions.  The places that hit you right in the feels.  There are lots of games that have tried this.  There are lots of games that have failed.  But I thought that I would focus on the games that stuck out to me the most.  The ones who made me feel all kinds of levels of sadness.  Some made me think.  Some made me reflect.  Some made me cry.  Here are my top 10.  Oh, I should mention that there are a lot of spoilers here, so if you haven’t played some of these games, then you may want to skip this list.

Legend of Zelda Majora's Mask10. Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask
Now, on the surface, this may make you think – wait, what?  How can you call this a sad game?  Well, this didn’t occur to me until I got a little older and played the game again, but there is a LOT of really grim things associated with this game, if you read between the lines.  Think about this – you have the power to go back in time.  The moon crashing into the world is something that you can avoid.  But think about this – each time you do that, it is happening.  Over and over again, the people of that land are dying.  After all, your going back in time doesn’t stop what happens.  It just means that you aren’t there for when it does.  And since your activities are able to go through timelines, that means that you can’t argue this away.  Each change in the timeline is something that you help destroy.  This dark undertone is something that a lot of people missed, and it is another reason why this game is a surprising turn of events in a franchise that has been about good vs. evil, with not a lot of subterfuge.  While I love Ocarina of Time most, this game comes in a close second, after I got old enough to appreciate just how dark this story was.

Heavy Rain9. Heavy Rain
For those of you who think that this game should rank higher, I would agree with you.  The problem is that while the story of this game was so unbelievably dark and sad, the gameplay mechanics of this game were awkward as hell in a lot of places.  And I can’t get past that.  But, with that said, this game and the darkness associated with it are simply amazing.  The perspective that sticks out most to me is the story of the father of the boy who was kidnapped.  The killer is forcing this man to mutilate himself, suffer to no end, for their own enjoyment.  Making this man brutalize himself, it involves the player in a spectacular way, because it makes you feel like you are doing this to him.  You are torturing this man.  It’s a grim mechanic to work with, and made this game all-the-more intense.  And depending on if you do well or not, there may be no catharsis to how it all ends.  It’s a grim game, and makes you stop and think about what you have done.  Lots of feels.

Shadow of the Colossus8. Shadow of the Colossus
This is a game that is another one that is subtle about how sad it really is.  It begins with a man going to a foreign land.  He is carrying the body of the girl he loves.  He lays her on an alter, and makes a deal with the deity force of the land to kill the Colossus, in order to bring her to life.  As you kill each Colossus, you see a black mark tear into this man, and it is clear that this is agonizingly painful for him.  He is suffering immeasurably in order to bring the woman he loves back.  And what is his reward for all that suffering?  Well, he is not only betrayed by the deity of that land, but he never gets to be with the woman he loves again.  Not only that, but in his mission to save her, he also watches his horse fall off a cliff.  It is clear that these two have a powerful bond, and the scene where the horse throws him off to save him before collapsing into the abyss is a tear-jerker.  It isn’t blatant with its sadness, but it is there all the same.

Bioshock Infinite7. Bioshock Infinite
Another game whose sadness is subtle.  The reasons that this game is miserably grim are not apparent and don’t just come right out.  You find out that Booker has been living a lie for a long time.  A mission that he undertook to wipe out his debt, it turns out, is a red herring.  Unbeknownst to him, he is battling his inner guilt in a memory he blocked out.  He not only sold his daughter to Comstock, but also is the reason that Comstock exists in the first place.  It is a miserably ugly experience when Booker realizes what he has become and what he will have to do.  Even his best efforts to save the girl who he comes to care about are all for naught.  No matter what he does, Comstock still wins.  In the end, the only way that he can beat Comstock is to kill himself, and therefore deny Comstock the ability to ever exist, since they are both the same person, connected by a decision he made ages ago to reject baptism.  The ending to this game is one of the few that has stuck with me and that I still think about.  The Bioshock brand has a pedigree of great games, but this one stood out among the rest.  While the story did seem rushed at points, it hit all the right notes when it needed to.

Final Fantasy X6. Final Fantasy X
Another game where you are asking – wait, what?  The story of this game was classic good vs. evil, right?  Wrong.  Dead wrong.  This game had a massive undertone of sadness throughout its entirety.  I think that Auron’s statement about the state of the world said it best – “Ah, the spiral of death.  Summoners challenge Sin, the bringer of death, and die doing so.  Guardians give their lives to protect their Summoner.  The Fayth are the souls of the dead.  Even the Maesters of Yevon are Unsent.  Spira is full of death.  Only Sin is reborn, and then, only to cause more death.  It is a cycle of death, spiraling endlessly.”  This game has a VERY dark tone.  Your character is thrown 1000 years out of his time, only to find out that he never existed at all.  His whole world is a dream of the Fayth.  The woman he loves is condemned to die.  Everything around him is death.  The darkness of this game is part of the reason I like it so much.  It is definitely heavy on atmosphere, taking the time out to look seriously at the ugliness of it all.  I like that a lot.

Silent Hill 25. Silent Hill 2
It was SO close between this game and its predecessor.  Both are incredibly dark games.  But for me, this game seems the darkest.  While the previous one had a dark look at the character, this game is totally invested in the main character, because everything in Silent Hill, the monsters he faces, are reflections of his own subconscious.  The lusty creatures are reflections of his cheating heart that was unfaithful to his late wife, even as she died.  Pyramid Head, one of the greatest icons of the series, reflects his inner desire to punish himself for what happened.  He also is paired with a woman who looks exactly like his wife, who he has to watch die, over and over and over again.  Then, the spirit of his wife tries to kill him, to make him suffer for what he did.  This game is so heavy on the dark, and not the action.  It is a journey into a man’s mind, and it is damn-near perfect.  I still get chills playing it today.

The Walking Dead4. The Walking Dead
This 5-part adventure game was a tear-jerker if I have ever seen one.  A game that follows much in the same vein as Heavy Rain, this game forces you, the player, to make a lot of choices.  And all of those choices have lives riding on them.  The hardest part of the game was when Clementine dies.  I felt my heart being pulled out during that scene.  The personal angle of this game, along with the amazing character development makes this game an amazing experience that I still have with me.  What makes it all the harder is that there is no way to save everyone.  Me and all my friends tried and tried to save everyone, but it was all for naught.  We were destined to be helpless to watch characters we came to care about die, often in horrifically cruel ways.  The kind of story-telling that we could stand to see more of, if you ask me.

Batman Arkham City3. Batman: Arkham City
Another game where the sadness of it isn’t apparent, but if you read between the lines, this game is miserably depressing.  For starters, you have Batman being faced with his own mortality in a very serious way.  Yet he seems pretty okay with that.  One of the best parts of the game is when the Joker hears him say that he is okay with dying, and he is intrigued.  What’s more, Batman loses so much.  He is faced with a choice between protecting the woman he loves or saving the scum of Gotham, and when he tries to abandon them, he is forced to do the right thing, by his butler.  The rage in his voice when Alfred tells him that he won’t let him neglect his duty is amazing.  Then, the only woman who will ever love him is shot and killed in front of him, by a monster who he needs.  And when the Joker dies, it is him that Batman carries out of the theater.  Not the body of the woman he loves, but the body of a monster who he should hate.  This game’s bittersweet ending left me with a lot of complicated emotions.  And it confirmed something I have always believed – Batman needs the Joker.  He is a thug, as bad as those he puts away.  And now, he has to own up to that.  It was an amazing conclusion to an awesome game.

Journey2. Journey
Man, this is a game that did something I didn’t think was possible – it let me get emotionally invested in a character that I never get to know, in any way.  I never get to know what the wanderer of the sand’s story is.  You never hear this creature speak.  You don’t know what gender it is.  You know nothing about it.  Yet, seeing the cruelty of the journey that it has to take, to a goal that has clearly killed so many before it, is hard to watch.  The most emotionally gripping point was the trek up the slop of the mountain.  You get out into the open.  There is nothing to hide you from the brutally cold wind.  You see this character getting beaten around by it, destroyed by it.  Finally, the blizzard is going to overtake it, but it does not stop.  The creature keeps going, limping along, until it collapses into the snow.  Oh my god, I still feel my heart getting pulled when I see that.  But the real tear-jerker is after that.  Risen from the dead, you are given a way to go to the summit, and to go to your final destination.  To rest.  When you make the summit trek with another player, who you never know and never get to talk to, it is so emotionally compelling.  This game hit emotional levels that most games haven’t been able to, and it is sad but beautiful at the same time.

And the game that gave me the most feels is…

The Last of Us1. The Last of Us
This game is a work of art.  The emotional levels in this game are unbelievable.  Taking little moments to give us a human look at the two main characters, Joel and Ellie, it then brutalizes you with some unbelievably sad moments.  For real, right from the start, it is sad.  The death of Joel’s daughter, seeing it destroy him inside.  There is just emotionally impacting moment after moment.  The final act of this game is the absolute pinnacle of this.  Seeing Joel reject what his conscious tells him to do, and to go fight to get the only person he matters back, not caring what happens to the rest of humanity, is incredibly.  Naughty Dog has done something truly amazing.  I have already gushed about this game in another post, so I will keep it at this – this game will make you cry.  If not, then you are missing a part of the human condition.  And that is all I have to say about that.

So, what games have hit you in the feels spot?  Feel free to comment them below.  Add a link to a trailer if you like, so we can see it, if we don’t already know what it is.

Until next time, a quote,

“Joel, I want you to promise me that everything you told me is true.”  -Ellie, The Last of Us 

Peace out,

Maverick

Why the F*ck Do We Care About Paula Deen?

Alright, I am about to do something that the internet doesn’t like – I am about to defend someone the internet doesn’t like.  I am about to defend Paula Deen.  Apparently, Paula Deen is in trouble for a comment she made where she used the word “nigger.”  Several bits of her word usage and the things she has done have come to light.  She apologized, but it didn’t matter.  The Food Network has gotten rid of her as fast as they possibly could, not wanting to be there when the shit hits the fan.  They didn’t want to have to get covered in the internet’s wrath.  And the Internet has definitely had wrath.

Look, I am not going to say that Paula Deen isn’t racist.  She is.  I won’t argue that for a second.  But here’s the thing – she is an old woman who was born and raised in the south.  This is something that we need to keep in mind, but don’t, here in America.  If you go back to the time when she was a kid and see how people in the south were raised back then, you will understand that her kind of racism is not active hatred, but merely a product of her environment.  The racism she displayed isn’t hateful, but merely her being old and not getting how the world has changed since the days of her childhood.  She said what she did in ignorance.

So, what has been the cultural response?  Well, we have shamed her, turned her into a pariah, stripped her of her lifestyle and made her the subject of everyone in PC culture’s hate.  You know what’s funny?  I remember reading about how the oppressed minorities who were actively hated up were treated back in the day.  There are a LOT of similarities between how they acted then and how we act now.  And don’t come back at me with the lynch mobs.  That’s extremism.  Horrible, true, but those cases were not the norm.  The cultures of those time periods were just as big into shaming and stripping someone of their ability to live.  I guarantee you that someone who was outed as being gay back in the day would be in a very similar situation.

But there is one aspect that needs to be looked at and isn’t – who the fuck cares?  Why are we making a big deal out of this.  TJ Kirk, my favorite YouTube vlogger, recently made a video about this very issue, where he talked about how Orson Scott Card, a great sci-fi novelist, is having probably his most well-known books, Ender’s Game, made into a movie.  Orson Scott Card is a great author, but something people should know is that he is also an avid and blatant homophobe.  He hates gay people.  This man has made NO secret of this.  His malicious bigotry is something that those of us who pay attention understand.  So, how many people are throwing his name into the fire and saying “fuck you!” to his movie?  I doubt any.  And if any are, I am amazed.

I don’t think that there is a great artist who exists who doesn’t have some form of prejudice to their name.  Stanley Kubrick, one of the greatest filmmakers who has ever lived, was absolutely horrible to the women in his movies.  His sexism was the stuff of legends.  His mistreatment of Shelley Duvall in the filming of The Shining is a film legend.  He had every single person on the set brutalize this woman.  She was constantly afraid, all the time.  Made filming her fear that much more believable.  Yet this is regarded as one of his best films.  He is a great filmmaker.

Gandhi was a racist.  Some of his writings from his time in Africa were amazing, talking about how stupid and inferior the natives were, needing his people, who were far more enlightened.  This is a man who I challenge you to find a person who has one bad thing to say about him.  If we are going to lose our fucking minds over one relatively-innocent comment that an old woman who is from the deep south, raised in a time when racism was the norm, then why are we giving all these people a pass?

The reality is that nobody should care about this.  Nobody.  Let the old racist back on her show and have her life back.  I mean, we let Martha Stewart off the hook, and it has been shown how bat-shit crazy that woman is.

It is my belief that we are all a little racist or sexist in some way.  It is often not malicious.  There are just some groups of people we like and some we don’t.  And it is almost-always a product of the home we grew up in or the place we live.  I have a friend from California who doesn’t actively have a problem at all with Hispanic people, but she just doesn’t like them.  She doesn’t go out of her way to be rude or make an issue of it.  She just has issues that she keeps to herself.  I think that everyone has that in some form.  If we are going to combat racism, we need to do it in the form that has been shown to work – open dialogue and the free exchange of ideas.  That is how it has been declining so far, and how it will continue to decline.  Public shaming and turning people into a pariah and stripping them of their whole lives will just breed resentment.

But hey, maybe I am just too mature to fit in with PC culture.  After all, like racism, when you look at how crazy people get over it, it is all very childish.

Until next time, a quote,

“Good weed = no stress.”  -Stoner Quotes

Peace out,

Maverick

The NSA and Obama Apologists

I have been taking a few days to gather my thoughts on this issue before I gave my two-cents.  The reveal of the massive invasion of privacy that has been spear-headed by the NSA, under the name “Prism,” is not only a violation of constitutional rights, but it also reflects a dark vision of what America thinks of its people.

The rule in this country is supposed to be that when a person is charged with a crime, they are innocent until proven guilty.  Anyone who pays any attention at all knows that that isn’t how the world is.  The public and the internet are quick to socially convict anyone that they don’t like.  And thanks to websites that publicly put out the names of convicts and their offenses, it never ends.  You do your time, you are shamed by society forever, even if you did change for the better.  And now, with Prism, we have a program where the government has decided that every single person in this country is guilty before being proven innocent, too.

Back in 2008, when presidential nominee Barack Obama was campaigning, he swore that he was going to get rid of the authoritarian policies that Bush Jr. put in place following 9/11.  Anyone who looks at those policies can see how disgusting they are.  The abandonment of Habeaus Corpus, the throwing away of the 1st and 4th Amendments, these are all disgusting and should not be tolerated by the American people.  Now, over 11 years later, we are learning of a man who swore that he was against this kind of action expanding them.  Obama has expanded what Bush laid the ground work for in unimaginable ways.  Corporate America has played ball (of course) so that they don’t have to stand up for anything.

The thing that really shocks me is just how fiercely the Obama administration is defending this.  He used the EXACT same reasoning that Bush used when he was talking about this garbage.  Stuff like “we have to choose between privacy and security.”  Or there is the always classic, “those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.”  Yeah, the public has the same mentality.  It is like the reality of this is lost on them.

And that is what really irks me about this.  There are SO many liberals who I was friends with who were outraged to no end with what Bush did following 9/11.  The Patriot Act is an egregious document that spits in the face of this nation and the people who it claims to defend.  Rights are being thrown away as fast as they can be.  People should have been outraged.  But, these same people who were mad then are defending Obama now.  What the fuck?!  You can’t call yourself someone who stands up for the rights of the people and then defend a policy that blatantly throws them away.  You simply cannot do that.

Obama apologists are the most annoying people currently in the zeitgeist.  There was a very profound article written in a magazine call The New Statesman called “On wiretaps and drone strikes, it’s time for liberals to accept that Obama is worse than Bush.”  This article is spot-on accurate.  Obama has done things that Bush didn’t dare.  He has legalized the murder of American citizens without trial or charge.  He has drones spying on his own people every single day.  He gives tax breaks to the rich that Bush didn’t dare try.  But the worst part is that the Obama administration is wiring the offices of the Associated Press, controlling his media coverage and now has a backdoor into every single Americans’ lives.  How can you possibly defend this?  How can you rationally say that you are a progressive or a liberal when you are choosing to allow this sort of action to happen unopposed?  Where are the riots in the street?  Where are the protests?  Where is any reaction at all?!  No-fucking-where, that’s where.

For years, Obama apologists have been defending all the horrible things he has done.  At the beginning, their go-to line was “the Republicans are blocking him at every turn!”  Yeah, that made sense up until we saw clear places that he could have stood his ground.  Like the health care reform bill.  He didn’t even try there.  Or the countless times he capitulated to the GOP about the budget when he clearly had the upper hand.  Or maybe we can talk about him saying that he is going to downsize Social Security, essentially robbing blind from the poor of this country.  The same kind of austerity that is destroying the EU.  How can you possibly defend this?  The line now is that Obama is better than Bush.  But that simply isn’t true, and it is time for the left in this country to accept that.

Edward Snowden is a hero, in my books.  He threw away a gorgeous girlfriend, an amazing job that would have left him financially safe for the rest of his life and everything in his life in order to bring the truth to us.  He could have just leaked this stuff and disappeared, but he instead came out in public and said openly that he is in danger of being taken in or killed by American intelligence groups.

What this administration is doing is wrong.  Obama is a traitor to the people he is supposed to serve.  This treacherous son of a bitch should be impeached.  His reputation should be shamed forever and he should be recognized for what he is – the greatest con artist in American history.  He got an entire demographic to believe he was a liberal when he has more in common with Fox News than he gives himself credit for.  Perhaps it is serendipity that Fox News is now totally on his side in respect to this intelligence leak.  For once, Obama and Fox News are on the same page.

There is a line that I read on my favorite YouTube vlogger’s Tumblr page, and I am going to end this sharing it with you.

Until next time, a quote,

“Anyone who was mad about the NSA spying under Bush but defends it under Obama is a moron that you should not respect on any level.
Anyone who was not mad about the NSA spying under Bush but is furious about it under Obama is a moron that you should not respect on any level.”  -TJ Kirk

Peace out,

Maverick

Self-Indulgent and Overstated Nerdlove: The Last of Us’ Plot

*Warning!  There are going to be metric ton of spoilers!  If you have not played this game, don’t read further!*

I love this game.  Having finally gotten all the way through the single-player campaign, I have seen what this game was trying to be, and I love it.  The plot of this game and how it is used is something that I think is going to be talked about for years to come.  This is a trend-setting game.  This is a game that is going to set the standard for great stories of this kind.  While I am saying that, let me point out that not all games should follow this format.  Some games, like the Mass Effect Series, don’t follow this kind of format of very centralized plot at all.  And for the better.  Free range of choice and learning about a world is a good thing.  But for this kind of game (survival-horror or action adventure, of which this game is a merger of both), this level of emotional commitment and emotional climax that leaves the player feeling so many things at once by the end should be taken to heart.

The thing that truly makes this story is that it isn’t large.  For real, for as heavy as some of the subject matter can be, it is never, ever large.  It isn’t about the world and this infection.  It isn’t about the fact that Ellie has the cure for it inside of her and what it can do for the human race.  It isn’t about the time that Joel has spent becoming part of the life he leads.  It is about the Joel and Ellie’s journey.  But the destination isn’t the point of this journey.  In fact, the destination is almost superfluous.  Truly, it is about the personal journey that these two characters take when they are heading toward a future unknown.

Let me clarify.  This game opens with Joel coming home from work.  His daughter is on the couch, up past her bedtime to give her dad a present for his birthday.  Where is the mother?  Who knows.  What is their relationship?  They don’t clarify.  You get the feeling that the two are close and get along.  Joel is doing his best to make a good life for the two of them, but it doesn’t go beyond that.  It just shows these two have a night together.  Very quickly, things go horribly wrong.  After his daughter is killed, the game jumps ahead 20 years.  What happened in that time?  While you are given bits and pieces of what happened, the total story is never given to you.  There is not a single point in this game where it goes into a broad exposition-dump.  Again, that isn’t what this game is about.

The reason that they don’t force these unnatural conversations is because the goal of this game was simple – making it feel organic.  I mean, who just talks about where their mother is if they don’t live with them anymore on a given night?  Almost nobody.  Who talks about what they have been doing for the last 20 years with a person they just met?  You see that Joel tells Ellie more and more as time goes by, but since these conversations would naturally happen at random times and wouldn’t be often, it is only natural that the player wouldn’t be privy to when they talk about all of this.  Again, it feels organic.

That is one thing that I absolutely love.  But the other thing is the emotional levels that they go to in this game, and they do it by not letting the game’s grim tone get lost.  Not for a second.  My personal favorite parts in the game were when Ellie gets kidnapped.  Alone, she doesn’t flinch.  She fights until she has nothing left, because she doesn’t want to die, and she doesn’t want to leave Joel, the only friend she truly has.  He is also something of a father-figure by that point as well.  The final scene in the restaurant when you kill the bandit leader, and you see how destroyed Ellie is by the fact that she is fighting for her life against a monster that wanted to kill and cut her up into parts to be eaten by the bandit group.  All of the ugliness of her situation, along with her inner desperation at what she faces, comes to a head at that point.  She keeps on striking and striking the man with a machete, crying the whole time.  When Joel pulls her off him, she sobs in his arms.  That scene was beyond powerful.  It was downright heart-breaking to watch.

The second scene that has stuck with me the most is (for real, if you haven’t finished the campaign, stop reading, right now.  Don’t let me spoil this.  You have to see this for yourself) when Joel and Ellie finally reach their destination.  Joel is confronted with the fact that the cure that Ellie has in her body can’t be made into a cure in a large-scale without killing her.  Now, Ellie has become the thing that makes his life worth living.  You have seen how broken and alone Joel has become since the death of his daughter.  You see him being given his reason to live back, and now he is faced with it being taken away and there is nothing he can do about it.  That is, if he wants a cure for humanity.  Without even a second thought, Joel kills the guard who is leading him out, then goes on a rampage, killing all the rest of the guards, to get the only person on Earth who matters to him back.  Now, I don’t know if you could have just taken Ellie when you got to the surgical wing, but I didn’t tempt fate.  I killed all the surgeons in there.  Blew away the first one with El Diablo.  Took out my small semi-automatic pistol and blew away the second.  The third is crying on the floor, but you get so caught up in how desperate Joel is, I killed her too.  She is on the ground, saying you are a monster when I shot her the first time.  I finished her off.  No reason to make her suffer.

But the thing that has stuck with me is after that.  Joel picks up the tiny body of his young companion on the operating table, hauling her out as fast as he can.  He gets to the base of the elevator and is greeted by the woman who paired them up.  She gave him this job.  She tells him that this is how it has to be.  She can save so many.  And what future is there for her if she doesn’t?  The future is vile, ugly and filled with pain.  What kind of life can this little girl expect?  She puts that to Joel, and you can see that he is wrestling with it.  But, in the end, he decides to kill the woman and take Ellie back to where his brother lives.

As they are are arriving, Joel is confronted by Ellie.  He told her a massive lie to get her to not question going back.  She is a smart kid.  She confronts this man who means everything to her about the fact that life has been nothing but death and pain, leaving her to wonder when her turn is coming.  Then she tells you to do something.

“Swear to me that everything you told me is true.”  Without missing a beat, Joel says that he swears.  He made his peace with what is happening.  Then, comes the single-greatest moment in the game.  You can see on her face that she knows he’s lying.  But, in the end, it is easier for her to be with the person she cares about and accept ignorance than to fight against it.  If that doesn’t make you think, especially about what you would do in her or his place, then there is something wrong with you.

I am not against Joel’s decision to take her away.  After all, humanity is already dead.  He chooses to fight for the friendships and the love he has, rather than embrace a hope that means nothing at this point, because without her, he has nothing.  They have taken care of each other.  They are all each other has, and it has made his life worth living.  The dedication it takes to fight and kill people you called allies in order to save the life of someone you love must be respected.  Similarly, I see where Ellie is coming from.

Let’s all admit that we embrace ignorance when it makes life better.  There isn’t a human relationship that doesn’t do this.  Romantic, family, you name it.  We all do it, and we all try and make it sound like it is noble.  It’s not noble, it is just better, for us.  I’m not hating on this, but I do recognize this.

This is a game that has stuck with me.  I am still thinking about it.  The scene when I walked in to the operating room and then saw all three surgeons look up in fear.  It literally was a reflex at that point.  I didn’t test and see if I didn’t have to kill them to take her.  I just blasted the first, then the second and finally the third.  Because this game connected with me.  I wanted to see Joel end up okay.  I wanted to see these two find some resolution.  And that is why this game is great.  That’s life.  We all want there to be some catharsis to it all.  We all want everything to mean something, because without that meaning, what do we have?  In a way, we are all Joel and Ellie, trying to get through life.

And that is my nerdlove for the weekend.  For all those who read this, I hope you enjoyed this game as much as I have.

Until next time, a quote,

“You’re gonna go in there?!” -Ellie
“I just wanna know what we’re gonna find.” -Joel
“You’re gonna find my body when I die from a heart attack.” -Ellie, The Last of Us

Peace out,

Maverick

Why Are You So Upset about This? (A Response to Salon Magazine)

Dammit, I didn’t want to do this.  I wanted to just get ready for bed and to go to sleep.  It has been a long day.  Tomorrow will be longer.  But no, you just had to put out an article that I find annoying.  This is the second article that I have written in a publication that I generally agree with that bugs me.  The article is entitled “Are straight actors in gay roles the new blackface?”  The idea behind this article is that by having straight people play gay roles, it is doing the same offensive thing that actors and actresses doing blackface did when that was something that a regular thing in cinema.

I will try and keep this short, but here is the big and small of it – why does this matter?  Apparently, in a lot of publications, actors who portray gay characters in films are often praised for taking some kind of courageous stand.  Now, I am partially with the article when I saw that piece of information.  I mean, really?  It is now a fact that the majority of American opinion is in favor of LGBT rights and their respective communities.  Somebody tells me that they’re gay, my only reaction is to wonder why they told me that if I didn’t ask.  While bigotry is something that will never truly be abolished, being openly hateful of the LGBT community is met with just as harsh of criticism by large parts of America as when a white man calls a black man a “nigger.” (now to see how many subscribers I lose because I said that word, instead of calling it “the n-word.”  Forgive me if I actually want to talk about something, instead of tip-toe around PC culture) We are offended by these things and stand against them.  So why are actors getting praised for playing gay roles if they are not gay?  That is a legitimate question, by the way.  If you have an answer, comment below.

But the article then goes on to say that we should have gay people telling gay stories.  I am all for that, but here is the thing – it all comes down to one simple question – are the stories being told good?  We can look back on blackface and mock it for the racist farce that it is, but think about this – how many black people were in cinema back then?  The reality is that while blackface is mocked now, we forget that there is a time period perspective that should be taken into account, and isn’t being.

Are the stories about gay people that are being acted by straight people bad?  If the answer is no, and it is not putting a prejudiced spin on the issue, then I ask you, writer of this article – why do you care?  The whole point of cinema is that we are seeing stories.  They are being told on screen for us, the audience, to judge.  So, are these stories good?  For me, that is the first, last and only question that I ask.  It is the reason that I am able to enjoy movies like “Eyes Wide Shut,” which has a blatantly sexist angle, if you think about it.  Movies are a product of their time period, and we can’t get past that.  We have straight actors playing gay roles because we have a lot of damn-good straight actors.  If the actors are doing their job well, and they make the story interesting, then why are you complaining?

From where I am sitting, it sounds more like they are just mad that their own group isn’t at the fore-front of these projects.  So, does that mean that we should have only Asian directors about stories involving Asian people?  What about having only women directing stories about women?  And before you go off on me, there have been excellent films about women directed by men.  And vice-versa.  Speaking of, should only men be in charge of stories about men?

I watch movies like Loving Annabelle and see games like Mass Effect 3, where a very straight man played a gay man who lost his husband, and I see good performances.  In the end, that is the only thing that matters.  So, I guess the point of this rambling response is – lighten the fuck up, man!  It’s a movie.  So long as it is a good movie that represents the community it is intended to, then what is your fucking problem?!

For real, think about it.

Until next time, a quote,

“I’ve got to let go.  For real, this time.  The refugees have put up a memorial wall.  They leave mementos of loved ones.  I was thinking, maybe.”  -Steve Cortez, Mass Effect 3

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: The Last of Us

The Last of UsRight out of the gate, this is a game that is designed to make you feel.  Given the bombastic nature of the last series that Naughty Dog worked on, the Uncharted series, this is a refreshing change of pace.  Though anyone who has played Uncharted will recognize a lot of elements.  Up front, this is a game that is intense and very, very fulfilling.  It is a game that starts out strong and doesn’t let up, throughout its entirety.  It takes its premise seriously and tries to make the story believable.  It isn’t massive in scope.  This story is small.  About one man and his young cargo, headed on a journey out of the center of madness, to what they hope is something better.

I don’t want to say too much about the story, for those who haven’t gotten to play yet.  The game starts out with the main character, Joel, getting home after a hard day’s work.  His young daughter is at his house, and you have a quiet moment with the two of them where you find out that it’s Joel’s birthday.  But very quickly, things start going wrong.  A massive plague has been unleashed, and it has turned so many of the citizens into mindless zombies.  Joel and his daughter rendezvous with his brother Tommy and try to make it out of the city.  They get cut off and something bad happens.  The game picks up 20 years later.  Now, Joel is a much older and much colder man.  He is a smuggler in a walled-off city that is trying to survive.  But all that changes when he gets a new job – smuggle a young girl out of the city.  From there, nothing in his life is the same.

Anyone who has played the Uncharted series will notice several similarities about the gameplay.  While those games were over-the-top in most places, it placed subtle emphasis on realism in little ways.  How you interact with people, how your character moves, how the characters talk.  This game is much the same, but since it is trying to create a realistic atmosphere, it tones down the over-the-top.  In fact, if I had to say anything about the gameplay, it is realistic.

This game is NOT about action.  In fact, given the incredibly small amount of bullets you have in any given area, choosing to try and blast your way through a place is not a smart move.  Rather, this game puts your stealth skills to the test.  The worst is when you are against the infected.

See, the zombies in this game aren’t the typical zombies that we think of.  Modeled after a real-life fungus that infects animals, there is a fungal infection that turns humans into monsters.  As a person gets more infected, there are some changes.  See, early stages can run and you can actually fight them.  But, again, stealth is far more preferable.  However, there is a second stage that you must be absolutely-sure to be quiet around.  The second stage is when the fungal infection has blocked the infected’s eyes.  So, they see with sound.  The difference here is that if they catch you, it’s game-over.  That’s why you have to be smart.  Then there is the third stage.  The third stage is when these creatures are overtaken by the fungus and start growing into the walls.  They release spores, which can make more of them.

Along with the infected, there is also the human element to worry about.  Again, if you played the Uncharted series, then the mechanics of this should be somewhat familiar.  To help advocate for stealth, this game gives you lots of tools to be better at it.  The gameplay is simple enough to be accessible, so sneaking and using surroundings feels intuitive.  But since you have precious few bullets, wasting them is NOT a good idea.  So, you can sneak up behind enemies and strangle them.  This is quiet, but takes time.  It helps that, like Splinter Cell, you can walk with enemies.  It helps to have one as a human shield, if you get into trouble.  But it also mean that you can move them to a quieter place, to strangle them.  If you are in combat and sneak up to an enemy, it does an automatic quick-kill.  But if you want your work to be quicker, you can get a shiv.  But this is not a total blessing, because until you upgrade your shivs, they break easily and can usually be used only once.  You can also get weapons like boards and pipes, but you have the same problem.  Your guns can also be upgraded, and it is flexible in letting you choose what you want to do.

The best parts of this game, for me, boils down to two things.  The first is that there is almost no exposition-dumping.  The 20 years that passed, along with the characters and their relationships are gradually found out, over the course of the game.  You also get back-story to what happened in the world.  How things got the way they are.  The second is that this is a small game, focused on a few characters and their fight to survive against an unbelievably cruel world.  There is also Joel and his regrets about his past, and the secrets surrounding his young companion.

While we are talking about that, I think it is best to mention that this girl is in NO way Ashley from Resident Evil 4.  She is good at looking after herself, and she follows your lead.  So, if you are being stealthy, so is she.  If you are choosing to fight, so does she.  But she is smart about it.  That is the best blessing about this game.  Having to carry her for the entire game would be unbelievably tedious.

The graphics of this game are great.  They milked absolutely ALL of the potential that they possible could from the PS3.  The music is soft and sparse.  That is nice, because being able to hear is something that you will need.  But while it does take a lot of cues from country mellow strings, there is a definite spin to this music that is VERY reminiscent of the Silent Hill series.  It makes for some amazing quiet moments and some pulse-pounding dark moments.  Your surroundings are more important than you can know.  But it is amazing to look at.  The small details are given great amount of focus and you feel like this is a place that you could actual exist in.  For the fungus zombies, it is fucking terrifying to look at.  For real, they spared no expense making these things look intimidating.  And the environments can have their own terrifying quality.  The fear in this game isn’t shoved in your face, but it is definitely there when it needs to be.

This is an incredible game.  Naughty Dog has created one of the most emotionally-powerful games that I have ever seen, with all the intensity of a horror film.  This is the kind of game that is going to be talked about for years to come.  The emotional levels reached in this production are incredible.  This may just be their finest work yet.  This was the first time that I got to the end of a game and was secretly hoping that they don’t make a sequel.  That could only diminish this.  The same as if there was a sequel made to Cloud Atlas.  Naughty Dog should feel proud of their work.  The gameplay is accessible.  The story is intense and it never backs down from its intensity.  The characters are all engaging and all of them have their own issues.  The visuals are amazing.  All-in-all, Naughty Dog has done an amazing job.  If you are one of the people bitching that it is only on the PS3, well, I have one thing to say to you –

Nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah!

That’s right, I am that mature.

Final Verdict
10 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

Time: The Keeper of My Prison

I think that one of my favorite quotes in Mass Effect 3 comes from Garrus after the mission to Grissom Academy.  He points out that most good parents will raise kids telling them that the universe is a good place, with some rough spots here and there, but good overall.  They will grow up believing that things work out for the best, and things will be okay.  But then you have them face an ugly reality that burns this illusion to the ground.  What do they do?  It honestly doesn’t surprise me that most of my generation who is grown up is taking some kind of anti-depressant or mood-stabilizer.  We are raised to believe that the whole world is in front of us, but the truth isn’t nearly as pretty.

Hong KongTime is a companion.  You may wish it to move slower or wish it to stop altogether, but it is always with you as you go through life.  It will remind you of the good times, but it will also remind you of the bad ones.  It will show you the pain, but show you good things, when they happen.  It is non-judgmental, doesn’t take sides and does its duty.  It is the keeper of the world.

For me, time is the keeper of my prison.  The constant reminder of how little is happening in my life.  The companion who tells me what so many others have, and I don’t.  A girl I used to run with posts on Facebook that she is in a relationship.  It is with a guy that she was running with before me.  I have no ill-will toward that.  Not at all.  Given how little happiness there is to be found in this world, I am always glad that people can find something to make the long nights easier.  But that’s how it is with everyone.  Everyone is in love, everyone is getting what they want.  Everyone is happy.  But not me.

More time passes by, the more posts I see about friends getting into relationships.  It must come so easily to most.  I keep hearing about how love is so hard, but from where I am sitting, it doesn’t seem to be hard for most of the people I know.  They are in and out of relationships like it is nothing.  Sure, they hurt for a bit, but only after it ends.  For me, love was a fuck-ton of work that, in hindsight, wasn’t worth my time.  And yet, that is how it is.

A friend of mine told me that a former friend of mine is going to be running for a seat of government here in Anchorage.  Some city council or something.  I wasn’t listening that intently.  I tend to tune out sometimes.  I was thinking about the former friend.  His wife and I used to be incredibly close.  But, when her husband stopped liking me, she stopped liking me.  Monkey-see, monkey-do.  For me, I see time doing so many things for people.

They all seem to have direction.  I’m lucky if I can figure out what I am going to have for breakfast.  I know what my immediate obligations are, but five years down the road, ten years down the road, I don’t have a fucking clue.  What am I lacking?  It might be passion.

As I have become more and more walled-off from the world, I find my ability to feel anything is waning.  To avoid getting hurt, I just don’t care.  Sure, the next neat story that I see gets my attention.  I care about the superficial.  But what do I have to care about beyond that?  With my head injury, the family connections are gone.  They never did come back.  I kept hoping that they would, with time.  But they never did.  So, there are no family connections, even though the family tries their damndest.  I don’t begrudge them that.  It’s in their nature to be that way.  With no romance and no interest in romance, along with the residual resentment of being used and betrayed by love, I no longer feel anything for that.  With friends all going off in their own directions, leaving me behind (and given that I, a titan of a man, am quite forgettable), I no longer am feeling much for that.  With nothing to care about, I have been going out of my way to not care.  Easier, really.  But maybe that is what it is.

Passion just doesn’t exist in my life.  For anything.  Ever.  And time is still the ever-present companion through all of it.  It follows me down life’s pathways, never letting me go.  The people who work at the coffee-shop at my job joke that they never see me smile.  They are on a mission to get me to do so.  I do feel for their position.  I am being as cold as humanly possible, without meaning to hurt anybody.  I just don’t want to hurt anymore.

Salar de Unyne, IndiaTime is the keeper of my prison.  A girl that I was in kind of an odd position with told me that if I wanted something bad enough, I would find a way to get it.  Yeah, because money isn’t tight and I don’t have obligations, right?  If I could, I would pack up my shit right now and get out of this state.  I would go somewhere far away and find a place to call my own.  Pity that Seattle is so expensive to live in.  Rain and wind constantly, it is my kind of place.  Plus, no more winter.

Winters are brutal to me.  With no one to curl up with and to take the ugliness of the nights away, I am always at my loneliest in winter.  I want to go to a place where winter doesn’t follow.  Seattle would do nicely.  But again, expensive to live there.  And the job market sucks there.  I’m a journalism major.  I follow these things.  Had a friend suggest that her and I buy a run-down motel in Squaw Valley, California, and fix it up.  It wouldn’t be hard.  It is along a tourist route, and gets heavy business accordingly.  Fix it up and it would be a regular cash-cow.  Alas, she hasn’t brought that plan up again.  A small hope, never to be.

Time is the keeper of my prison.  The keeper of this stagnation.  The constant reminder of how everyone is going places and I’m not.  I hate living, but death sounds even more boring.  Boredom, more than anything else, keeps me here.  But this stagnation is killing me.  The same job, the same people, the same place, the same world, and nowhere to go.

Time is a real piece of shit.

Until next time (pun intended), a quote,

“I like to expect the worst.  There’s a small chance I’ll be pleasantly surprised.”  -Garrus Vakarian, Mass Effect 2

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Review: Star Trek: Into Darkness

Star Trek Into DarknessHaving the right company makes all the difference.  Going to see the film with a friend who I haven’t seen in FAR too long, who I know for a fact likes to watch shit blow up was exactly what was needed for tonight.  The sequel to the ironically divisive film (among Trekkies), this was J.J. Abrams back in his zone.  I loved watching this movie.  It was better than the original, in my opinion.

Before talking about what I loved about this movie, I will start with a couple little nit-picks.  For starters, the plot wasn’t any smarter in this movie.  It wasn’t nearly as ridiculous as the previous film, but it was still a dumb action movie, by all respects.  Also, some of the pacing was a little off, in certain sections.  Most of those were toward the beginning.  That’s all of my nit-picks.

While the plot of this film wasn’t any smarter than the original, like the original, the thing that saved it was the characters.  Every single role in this movie was better.  The chemistry between Kirk and Spock was great.  Leonard Nimoy made a cameo as the original Spock, and they tie that in in a REALLY cool way with the plot, contrasting the original series and films with these ones.  A credit to Abrams on that.  Simon Pegg was in his element as Scotty in a way that seemed more fun to watch than the first movie.  But the thing that stole the show in this movie was the villain.  Played by Benedict Cumberbatch, who I have absolutely adored since I first saw him on the BBC series “Sherlock” (that the American series “Elementary” completely ripped off), the role of Khan in this film was truly spectacular.  He stole the show.  Much the same as the Joker did in “The Dark Knight.”

This simply was the character’s films.  It’s the reason that I am forgiving of the slightly ridiculous plot.  The dialogue between Khan and Kirk made this movie for me.  It’s kind of ironic that Cumberbatch was so worried that he was going to crash and burn with this role.  He steals the show so completely with his cold confidence and absolutely certainty of his superiority of everyone.

The action sequences for this film was great to watch.  This movie has a gift at having just the right amount of enormous CG sequences with the same kinds of fun and quirky sets.  The ship battles were also on-par with the original film.  They even took some shots at the original with another manned-drop in space-suits.  They pointed out some of the flaws of the previous film, which was kind of cool.

That brings me to another aspect I loved – the references to the previous-generation of Star Trek which had Khan in it.  A LOT of great references, which I don’t want to spoil were made, contrasting what happened then with the fact that this is a new crew and a new set of rules.  I will say that Leonard Nimoy’s cameo has a lot to do with it, and it is just great.  It is kind of a pity that I don’t want to spoil anything, if you haven’t seen it, because there is SO much that I want to spoil for you.  Though I figure it wouldn’t be spoiling for many, because I figure that everyone I know and their brothers and sisters have seen this movie already.  But, on the off-chance you haven’t, I won’t.

Unfortunately, I can’t gush any more about this film without spoiling a ton for you, so I’m afraid that I am going to cut this review short.  This was a great follow-up to a fun movie.  A lot of Trekkies didn’t like how the previous film was a dumb action movie, but they need to mellow out.  For real, chill.  It’s Star Trek.  If you have actually watched the original series, I think that we can all agree that it is corny and campy fun in its own right.

Thinking about the Final Verdict for this film, I am given slight pause.  This movie was so much fun to watch, but I do have to admit that there wasn’t an especially large amount of brains to it.  The characters are definitely the saving grace of this movie, and it was great to see.  I also love seeing one of my favorite anti-heroes (Sherlock) become the villain for this movie.  So, what rating do I give it?  After much deliberation, here it is.  If you haven’t seen this movie already, do it.  You won’t be disappointed.

Final Verdict:
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick