Game of Thrones- “And Now His Watch Is Ended” Recap

23 Apr

A DRAGON IS NOT A SLAVE

...that is all.

Read the recap here.

WithaBang Now Live

19 Apr

I am very pleased to announce the launch of the website I've been working on with my fiancee Alison, http://www.withabang.net. We've been working on it for some time and have accrued a group of very talented writers to help us make it one of the best blogs on the web. WithaBang strives to give a unique perspective on pop culture, something more attuned towards hardcore fans than casual web surfers.

Right now, we only have four articles, but have a slew of content lined up for next week.
-Hannibal Eps 1-2 Impressions
-Hannibal- "Potage" Recap
-"Maybe Not So Lucky" -impressions on the new Daft Punk single featuring Pharrell written by Zach Shuster
-Comic Book Reviews for 4/17/2013

As I am now turning my focus to this new site, my personal blog will start to ramp down and turn into more of an online portfolio. Expect a redesign at some point. I may write some more personal posts from time to time, but anything pop culture related will be on withabang.

I hope you enjoy it.

Game of Thrones- “Walk of Punishment” Recap

15 Apr

Head over to the ZEFR-U blog to check out my latest Game of Thrones recap. Last night's episode, "Walk of Punishment" was absolutely awesome. It was a great tribute to the novels on which it is based, but also struck a very unique tone that made the episode feel almost like a standalone, one-off story were it not for all the big plot developments. It reminded me of one of my favorite Farscape episodes, "Scratch 'n Sniff," though it was obviously far less wacky.

Follow this link to read the recap and stay tuned every Monday for new recaps.

How to Destroy Angels Makes Me Feel Like an Old Man

12 Apr

This Wednesday, at the beautiful Fox Theater in Pomona, I stood beside a thick-necked dudebro while we waited for the lights to dim and How to Destroy Angels to take the stage. He spoke of how awesome it was to listen to Nine Inch Nails at the gym and didn't seem to realize that "Dead Souls" is actually a cover of a Joy Division song. He made me feel a little ashamed to be an NIN fan and was clearly not on the same level of fandom as I was. I'm the biggest NIN fan I know- I own all the Halos, have gone to seven concerts and was even a member of the fan club before it was disbanded. That being said, there seemed to be even bigger fans at the Fox that night, fans in the truest sense. Their undivided love for Trent and everything he does was palpable, and I realized I had simply become too cynical to ever be that much of a fan of anything anymore (except maybe for my new love, Game of Thrones).

But there's no cynicism behind HTDA, and that's why I think it resonates with fans more than other super groups and solo projects. It's not a cheap cash grab or some desperate, clawing attempt to stay in the limelight. It's just Reznor wanting to give his wife and friends the same chance he was given when he first entered the music scene twenty-five years ago. It's almost touching because it's a very famous musician extending that fame to the people he loves, people who never broke out on their own or achieved the same level of fame he did. So even at its most mediocre, its hard to truly hate How to Destroy Angels. (more...)

Evil Dead Review

9 Apr

Head over to the ZEFR-U Blog to check out my review of the remake of Evil Dead. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie despite its paper thin plot and weak characterizations, and was also thoroughly grossed out by its ridiculous gore. Best horror film to come out in years, and well worth the price of admission.

You can read the review here.

And if you haven't seen the film yet, you can read my less spoiler-y preview here.

Game of Thrones- “Dark Wings, Dark Words” Recap

8 Apr

George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series is an extremely complex and complicated collection of novels, so much so that by book four they cease to feature any central narrative or arc and kinda just tell you what's going on in Westeros in real time.

It's kind of astounding that a television adaptation was greenlit in the first place, but all things considered showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss are doing an impeccable job with their version. Part of the problem with these first two episodes of season three is that they felt like two halves of one two-hour season premiere, so I think TV fans were just a little bummed last week that they didn't get to see Jaime, Brienne, Arya, Bran or Theon. "Dark Wings, Dark Words" was definitely better than "Valar Dohaeris," and now that all the principal characters have been reintroduced, the story can move ahead in earnest. Next week is gonna be awesome.

In the meantime, check out my recap over at the ZEFR-U Blog.

Game of Thrones Season Premiere Recap

1 Apr

Head over to the ZEFR-U blog to read my take on last night's season three premiere of Game of Thrones. There's so many characters now that the show feels a little all over the place, but it's still amazing and solid. Not jumping the shark, and a lot of surprises for people like me who've read the books.

Follow this link to read it.

To Troll or Not to Troll?

28 Mar

A few days ago I wrote of Evangelical Ben, a former coworker who I have been arguing with on Facebook for some time. At the behest of my fiancee, and using my own good judgement, I decided to block him- not to avoid any harassment from his end, but rather to stop myself from reading the crazy shit he posts on his wall and get into further arguments.

Our Facebook debates and the somewhat trollish manner in which I sometimes engaged him, drove Alison insane and I've started to see her side. Now she's a little less confrontational than I am, but nonetheless I think she's probably right that treating Ben like the asshole that he is really doesn't do anything but make me look like an even bigger asshole. It's one of the most important philosophical questions in recent history: if you troll an asshole, does that make you an asshole? What came first, the troll or the asshole? If you troll someone on a message board and no one's there to read it, did you even troll at all?

I'm not really a fan of trolling. It's juvenile and stupid and not usually very funny. It also goes along with the whole notion that you don't have to hide your racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry or general douchebaggery on the internet because you know, it's the internet and people don't get to look you in the eye while you're shitting all over them. In a way, psychoanalyzing Ben on my personal blog is tantamount to talking shit about him behind his back, which is why I decided to omit his last name (also because I wouldn't put it past the guy to sue me for libel or something). I kept making the argument to Alison that he deserves it and he does... but is it really worth my time to tarnish my own image in my quest to muddy his? (more...)

In The Game of Gay Marriage, You Win or You Are Fabulous, There is No Middle Ground

26 Mar

Back when I was a slave for worked for Sleepy Giant Entertainment, there was this guy named Ben. He left for another QA job at the now-bankrupt and nonexistent THQ shortly after I started working at SGE back in the fall of 2011. I knew very little about him, and what I did know came from a friend and coworker who had attended USC with him. He was a conservative and believed Fox News to be god's gift to broadcast journalism (hah!), and that was pretty much all I knew.

After we were laid off my friend David De La Rocha started texting me about the crazy shit Ben was saying on Facebook. Turned out the guy was also an evangelical, and had some pretty strong opinions. I'd gotten a glimpse of these opinions via another SGE employee's FB wall; he was also religious, but you know, not crazy.

I was very vocal about my disdain for the American political process during the November 2012 elections. I voted for the Green Party candidate Jill Stein, but couldn't help but feel relieved when Obama was reelected. I made a post on FB saying I wished I was friends with Ben so that I could see the whiny complaints he was no doubt spouting now that Crusty Old White Guy Candidate #5,801 had been defeated. David jokingly responded that Ben and I should be Facebook friends, and a few hours later a friend request popped up in my inbox.

I debated whether to accept it for several days then decided, fuck it, why not? It's only Facebook. What followed was several months of intense debate and heated argument and two instances where I defriended Ben. We are no longer FB friends, but I do regularly check his wall because I can't help myself and we recently communicated via messages to discuss a Huffington Post article, and subsequently gay marriage. (more...)

The Walking Dead- “This Sorrowful Life” Recap

25 Mar

Head over to the ZEFR-U Blog to read my latest Walking Dead recap. I expected the episode to be nothing more filler designed to further stall the inevitable showdown of Rick vs. Governor we all know is coming. It was actually pretty great and focused on one of my favorite actors on the show, Michael Rooker (Merle).

Follow this link to read it.