My Top 5 Favorite Movies (500 View Special)

For almost a century, the motion picture has become a powerhouse of the entertainment industry. For all, a movie is an extremely popular and respected form of art. For some, watching a movie is a fun little pastime. For others, a film is an experience. For others still, its an activity they do every so often to pass the time. For me, it’s much more.

People watch their first movie in near instants after we exit the hospital from birth. What starts out as an enigma in a big black box that we can stare into would become a go-to activity for me. In my family, gathering around and watching a movie is our version of family bonding time. It’s always common to see movies where we are. Hell, we have 3 large bookshelves filled to the brim with DVD’s, Blu-Rays and VHS’s. It’s never exactly been just a hobby with us or for me. It’s the glue that brings us together. That’s why I have such a passion for film and owe a lot to the artform.

I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time. So many films of so many genres, eras, and qualities. And that’s why I want to count down my personal top 5 favorite films of all-time. This will be in commemoration of my 500th view which occurred Sunday afternoon. This will be a hard list to make, but I’ll try. So sit back and enjoy as I list them off. Continue reading My Top 5 Favorite Movies (500 View Special)

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My Quick Thoughts: The Big Bang Theory Season 8 (First 5 Episodes)

Oh the wonderful season of Fall, how I love thee! It has all the good stuff in it: The beautiful colors of nature, the two most fattening holidays of the year, the refreshing cool breeze. Unfortunately, I’m too old for trick-or-treating, Thanksgiving is more than a month away, and Florida has a restraining order against all signs of Fall in terms of weather and nature. (The Florida version of Fall is the same as all the other seasons: Summer). So what am I left with? TV shows of course!

The Fall season is when the big summer premium shows quiet down, and when the sitcoms and regular cable shows come out from hibernation. If you like TV and were twiddling you remote-flicking thumbs all summer, you’re bound to have something to watch now.

It turns out that I have quite the bevy of TV shows on my plate this year. There’s a lot of ground to cover in so little time, so let’s get crap started. The first show we are covering is Big Bang Theory!

I can definitely say that a couple of my predictions were a tad off so far, but no matter. My favorite sitcom is back in my life now, and I like it well enough so far. I’ll admit that they aren’t the funniest episodes the past couple of weeks, but Big Bang will always give me a smile or two no matter what.

The naysayers who were just months ago predicting that Sheldon was gone this season have already digested their words, so no need to say I told you so. I’ll admit that I wish they would’ve done something more creative with Sheldon’s return, but you can’t stray too far from the formula I guess. Everything is just business as always.

In fact, not much has changed at all. I thought this was going to be this dramatically changed season considering all the stuff we were left with back in May. Leonard and Penny’s wedding has been mentioned just in passing so far, and I thought that was going to be the big thing this season. There really is no “big thing” this season. I guess it’s for the best, though.

I do like this one new subplot involving Penny as a pharmaceutical assistant at Bernadette’s firm. I can see some great jokes coming from that. So far Bernadette is giving the impression of the little ball of sunshine that can and will blow up if set to.

I was getting worried about the Raj and Emily plot for a second. She finally made her appearance in episode 4, and I’m glad they did. It’s a shame that it looks like Emily and Penny aren’t getting along, and that probably means that Emily may be gone this season. Hopefully that’s not the case. Emily’s character hasn’t been entirely explored yet, but if they expand a bit on her, this whole Penny vs Emily thing could work for some decent comedy, especially with Raj in the middle.

The one story arc I was kinda right on was Stewart. He is becoming a bit more primary as a character, and I’m all for that. I didn’t expect the confrontation between him and Howard, but that works, too. It’s a great dilemma. Stewart gets along with Howard’s mom and tends to overstep his bounds. Howard is still a mama’s boy and gets jealous. That may have some of the funniest material this season.

I wish they kept going with the Sheldon teaching Howard physics thing. That episode was actually the funniest this season in my opinion. It would’ve been awesome, but who knows if it’ll find its way back.

Episode 5 so far is the only episode to stray from the central plot. I found that episode to also be one of the funnier this season. I liked how the guys try to make the next big thing and get constantly pulled into things like Back to the Future 2. I also like the role reversal with the girls, putting Penny in the position of the nerd with Amy and Bernadette as the wild party girls. It was probably the funniest this season.

It may sound like I’m undermining the main story. I don’t intend to do that. I do like the storylines being presented so far. Like I said, there is potential in the new subplots. If they can play the rivalries being set in the correct manner, we can have some of that hillarious character interaction that I always praise the show for doing so well. The only remaining subplot from Season 7 is the wedding. However, I still believe that this will be the main element of the season. With that said, they’ll have plenty of time to expand on that arc.

Really this season is starting off kind of slow, but I feel it’s just trying to build up. You have to set the pieces before you can play a mean game, and I believe that episode 5 was the start of that game. I look forward to seeing how everything will play out. They can go anywhere they want to at this point. So, let’s hop aboard this train and never forget to observe the stations. I think Sheldon would approve of that plan.


One show down, and several more to go. Expect a good bunch of television-related content from me the next couple of weeks. The shows I plan to cover in the future are: Selfie, Supernatural, Once Upon a Time, Gotham, and Red vs Blue (finale). Stay tuned for those.

To my fellow Big Bang Theory fans, what are your thoughts on Season 8 so far? What’s your favorite episode of the season so far? What are your predictions for this season? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be glad to discuss it with you.

For more Big Bang Theory content, you can check out my Season 8 Predictions from a while back, and my Top 5 Big Bang Theory episodes!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update (10/12/14): TV Shows, Dogs, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps!

What a glorious day we are having right now! I hope everyone is having a great Sunday, and I hope you all had a great week. My week was pretty good. Academically speaking, I am technically 2 % away from having straight A’s. All I have to do is kick some major butt on Tuesday with these 2 tests and try not to screw up the A’s I already have. This is the last week of the first quarter, so this is my last chance. Also, I just filled out my first college application yesterday.

As far as everything else, it’s been a pretty odd week. This week we have been dealing with my puppy going through her… um, cycle. So, Thursday we brought her to get that problem… um, fixed. It went well. To keep her from pulling apart the stitches on her… um, dorsal area, we have her wearing a neck cone. We also have her in a diaper for “I think you know why” reasons. And hilarity and difficulty ensues. We get the stitches checked in about a week, and it will all be over. In other news, I purchased my cap and gown and got a whole bunch of merchandise with it in the mail yesterday.

That’s the more interesting part of my week. Anyway, let’s talk the blog.

Last week was fairly standard in terms of production of posts. 3 posts is the usual standard for a week. This week I have a good amount planned, especially in terms of TV shows.

Last week, I made the decision to gather all of the TV shows I picked up from the past couple of weeks. That was a good idea only until I saw that one TV show was already near 1,000 characters. To give you perspective, I have 6 shows to talk about give or take a few. So it’s best to go about it individually, as planned. This works out as each show approaches the 5 episode range. So this week, expect a decent amount of TV related content. However, in order to maintain a decent pace, I will try to cover 2 shows per week.

This week, expect a Big Bang Theory post for absolute certain. Just one more revision to account for Monday’s episode, and we’ll be golden. Next I will cover the season 12 finale of Red vs Blue.

The other shows of which may or may not be covered include Once Upon a Time, Gotham, The Voice, Supernatural, and Selfie. I want to give these shows at least one more week so I can give a more detailed post for each show. The only one that could end up being pushed back further is Supernatural so that I can get 3 episodes represented. The only one that flat-out might not happen is The Voice since there’s not much to discuss. Either way, there’s plenty of TV show coverage coming.

Just to go one step further into the topic of TV shows, I have finally seen a show I’ve been curious about for a long time: Doctor Who. I started with the first season of the new series with who I believe is the 8th doctor (don’t quote me). I might talk about my experience with the show somewhere down the road, and I think I know of a way how. I’ll keep you posted.

As for movies, I have a couple plans in terms of movie related content. There’s the Frozen post that I still have as a draft. There’s a couple more Disney related things I want to do. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers still has some news in the making. There’s a more general topic of film that I’ve been considering for a while now. That will probably be really soon. I also want to cover something related to Harry Potter. And there are several review ideas that are on movies (probably not Annabelle).

But we still have one other aspect to consider. I’m getting close to another milestone. Some of you know what that means. That means I will be making a Top “X-number” list to commemorate what will be 500 views. I believe it will be my Top 5 favorite movies. That could change because that’s a hard list to make.

As for gaming, nothing in particular is planned right now. You see, unlike the other 2 topics I cover, gaming is something I can write very impromptu. Basically, whatever happens to come up in the near future, I’ll sit down and cook something up for you guys.

However, I will promise you guys that 7th Gen In-Review will be continuing. Once I have the results of the poll found in Part 1, I will start Part 2. There is just one more topic on Super Smash Bros I want to cover before the Wii U game comes out on November 21, and that is on the potential of DLC characters. And I want to start covering a little more of Microsoft and Sony related topics since I’ve been mainly focusing on Nintendo for a while. All of this and more will be coming.

One last thing to note, The Ranting SBox will begin to have a few design changes in the coming weeks, which include a brand new logo I will be adding with a potential banner. Just a heads up.

That’s it for me. Thank you all for sticking with me through another successful week. Please don’t stop being awesome, and let me know if there’s anything I can do for you. Thank you for supporting my hobby.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

7th Gen in Review: Part 1 | Generation of DLC

Was the 7th generation of gaming the “Generation of DLC”?

Welcome to Part 1 of my new segment. Here, we will discuss and analyze the many aspects of what is now the previous generation of video game consoles. The goal is to find out what will this generation be remembered for most. Today’s topic involves what might be the 3 most hated letters among some gamers: DLC.

Now, DLC (Downloadable Content) was technically not introduced in the 7th generation- at least not in the nature we know of it today. The act of adding content to an already released game, while not commonplace and extremely difficult to pull off, goes all the way back to the Atari 2600 with their GameLine service. DLC was also part of several personal computers, phones, and consoles including the Genesis, Dreamcast, and Xbox. Then there was the Xbox 360.

Downloadable content in its most modern form was born and popularized by the 3 consoles of the mid 2000’s. It soon became commonplace to buy extra skins, avatars, characters, modes, upgrades, etc. Or you could buy entire games in digital form (which I will cover another time). This push was brought about by services like the Xbox Live Marketplace and PlayStation Network as a way to tout their new online capabilities and ease developer struggles.

It was a novel idea. Perhaps it was one of the most important byproducts of the 7th gen. It’s main purpose is to allow developers the means to add new features that could have not met time constraints or were thought about after release. This allows games to be released much faster and for the consumer to get more content on their game. What made DLC such a gray area was the way some developers started using this tool.

Suddenly, developers thought of ways to gain more profit with these means. You suddenly had developers charging for any single thing they could get away with passing off as DLC. Content that was planned from the start was held back from the initial launch in order to make a quick buck. That means you’ll be forced to pay for content that is most times already on the disc to begin with. This gives the concept of DLC a bad name in to some gamers.

Debate aside, DLC as a concept became mainstream by these systems and would become a heavily used asset for both its good and bad qualities. This would be carried into the 8th generation consoles with little to no changes made.

So could we go as far as to say this generation will be most remembered for DLC? Can this epitomize the entire generation?

I would say no. DLC was certainly an important part of it, but I doubt that this is the very epitome of the generation.

I believe that DLC has certainly changed the industry as well as the gamers’ perspective of it. The way that games are developed, the condition of which some games are produced, the financial shift brought about, and the impression it makes on companies who utilize it in certain ways have definitely changed because of DLC.

It’s very hard to say if it has exactly benefited the industry more than it has also caused a stir. It really depends on what individual consumers are willing to spend their money on. I personally don’t bother too much with DLC unless it’s something I deem worthwhile, but to each its own. The kind of gamers that buy all of the alternate costumes and the expansion packs are still in good numbers. That means DLC isn’t going anywhere and may be the permanent standard for the industry.

However, the main reason I say this is not what defines the seventh gen is because it technically isn’t a new thing. It’s because of this time period that it has become commonplace, but it’s been around long enough to not be considered new. This generation more popularized the practice by easing the use of it.

You can’t deny that DLC was a game-changer, but it’s not what made it special. There were much bigger changes, more controversial topics, and more newly made features that were probably more vital than this.


 

And that, my friends, is the first installment of 7th Gen In-Review. Thank you all for your patience with this series. I know it’s been a long wait. Keep in mind this series is in its developmental stages, and may change depending on the topic I cover.

Now I want to hear from you. Do you agree with my statement? Was DLC one of the things that made this generation stand-out most? And when do you commonly use DLC in your games? Let me know in the comments and we can discuss it together.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I cover another aspect of the 7th generation? To make things more interesting, I want you to decide what I cover next. I have 4 options below. Whichever you decide will be the next topic.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBR First Impressions: PlayStation 4

Monday afternoon I come home from a pretty good day at school. I’m getting my haircut, and my dad steps out to pick up my little brother. After I’m done my dad comes back with my mom and picks me and my other little brother up. Randomly, they tell me if I want to get the PS4 now. They told me that since I’ve been saving up for so long that they would just pay it off for me. And so we went, and I come home with a brand new PlayStation 4 console and a copy of Infamous Second Son.

So, it’s been almost a week and I have been playing the crap out of the system. I thought I would give you guys my first impressions on the console from what I’ve experienced so far. Keep in mind that this won’t cover everything about the system. The point of a First Impressions review is that it’s not as in-depth as a regular SBR.

Anyway, my PS4 experience is pretty positive so far. While I’ll argue that there isn’t much change from the PS3 to 4, it’s still a good piece of hardware.

Ecstatic-wise the console is pretty much a rhombus with 2 flat sides for if you choose to place the console upright. I have the system lying horizontally in the middle of my console shelf. Surprisingly it isn’t as heavy as I thought. I’d argue that my 160 GB PS3 is heavier than the PS4. It’s easy enough to hook up, requiring no more than a source of power and HDMI.

As far as the deign, the only complaint I have is with power button. Before I turned the system on, I hadn’t the slightest idea where it was. The power button is actually found where the plastic shell meets the gloss finish at the mid-left of the machine. It’s a thin, straight line with the world’s smallest power symbol. It’s so small it’s hard to see at first. When you find it, it works fine enough, but the only other nitpick is that it’s not too easy to turn off without using the controller. You have to press and hold the button to turn it off completely, otherwise it’s on stand-by mode and emits a yellow light. Doing this also causes you to get prints on the glossed area.

Again, just an irrelevant nitpick, but I feel it should be stated.

Once you turn it on, it asks you to connect your controller via the provided USB charger and begin the set-up process. Set-up is actually impressively quick. Earlier this year I had to set-up my Wii U which took a good time longer to set-up in comparison. As of this post date, the system update is extremely fast- lasting no longer than 10 minutes. It may become longer as the PS4 gets older, but for the time being its relatively fast.

At last we reach the main interface of the system. The layout looks nice and organized. I’m sure everyone knows how it looks like by now, but it strays a bit from the PS3 and PSP’s interface by utilizing 2 lines: one for your apps/activities and one for your system/profile options. You couldn’t get anymore user friendly if you tried.

You’ll notice that everything runs fast and near instantaneous. I especially noticed this when going to the PS Store and then going back to the menu. The PS3 would’ve taken upwards of a minute trying to launch and load the PS Store, but with PS4 you’re there in a heartbeat.

I will admit that launching and running games could be a bit faster, but I shouldn’t say that too soon since I need at least one more game to confirm that there is an issue.

An additional feature of the PS4 was its built-in gameplay capture device. This allows you to upload pictures and gameplay footage to the web at your desire. There is also an editing tool for your recorded gameplay. You can even broadcast gameplay which can be seen on Sony’s personal hub. It even includes quick broadcasting to various services like Twitch. All these things are done easily by pressing the “Share” button on the controller. It’s a great feature to have and I’m very excited to try this out… unfortunately I can’t.

As of right now, the PS4 will not allow me to demonstrate or try this feature because my main PSN account is a sub account. Regardless of whether you access the master account and set the sub account to allow this feature, a bug in the PS4 will stubbornly insist that the sub account not be able to Share anything at all. And no, you cannot change the date of birth on the sub account to work around that rule; at least I don’t know of a way. Hopefully this will be fixed soon so I can give it a try. However, I turn 18 in March, so I guess it won’t be my problem for very long.

If anyone knows how to counteract this bug, please let me know.

Then there’s general performance. The game I bought with my PS4 was Infamous: Second Son. It runs incredibly smooth. Seldom do I find any semblance of slow-down. The PS4 is capable of 1080p graphics at 60 FPS, which is the highest modern day setting as of right now (until 4K resolution becomes the new standard). The graphical output is definitely beautiful, though I wouldn’t say it’s that big of a jump from the PS3. Nonetheless it still makes games looks polished and new.

I should mention that I have yet to try out any multiplayer features at this time; neither gameplay nor private chat. So, I can’t exactly cover that yet. I will say that I like how Sony includes a mic and earpiece with the system. I will definitely utilize it when I get the chance.

Lastly, let’s discuss the controller. This is the first time in three console generations that Sony has changed their controller design. As a lifetime fan of PlayStation I was originally saddened by this fact and thought I was going to not like the new controller by comparison. Once I started playing the game, I was singing an all new tune. You’ll get used to the controller in no time flat, even with its new bells and whistles.

The PS4 controller is not all that different from past Sony controllers. Any previous adopter of a PlayStation will be right at home here. The D-Pad, face, and Home buttons remain relatively untouched as is the gyroscope for motion gameplay. The differences are only initially jarring, but eventually seamless.

The analog sticks now have a more defined nub which I actually find more comfortable. The triggers have only seen a difference in the R2/L2 triggers. They are similar to the Xbox’s LT/RT counterparts, but maintain the same width and bulk of a PlayStation controller. The handles have also seen an improvement with new rubber grips. This not only makes it easier to handle but is sweat resistant. No more stick gamepads!

Now to address the elephants in the room. The signature select and start buttons are now gone. In its place are 2 new buttons and a (approximately) 1×3 inch touchpad. I have already discussed the Share button which I can’t fully utilize for the next few months. The Options button acts as the start and select button and does that well. The touchpad may be the one thing you’ll have to get used to when first using the controller, but you’ll get the hang of it. It’s accurate enough and responds to touch extremely well. You can also press in the touch pad so that it can act as an extra button. Lastly you have a big, blue LED light emitting at the base. This is the point sensor similar to the Wii-mote. It also works really well in recognizing position.

Overall, it is a very good controller. I quite like it and thought I wouldn’t like it as much as I did. It fits the hands nicely, takes quick to familiarize with, and functions well. Even the new features work really well. Whether I would prefer the controller to the PS1, 2, and 3 controller I can’t yet say. If your skeptical, rest assured that it looks crazier than it actually is.

In closing, I quite like the system so far. It’s designed well, runs fast whether your streaming, playing, or shopping. There’s no noise issues, no major obstacles, and no technical issues. It does the job it has to do very well: play games. I’m impressed with the machine so far and hope to continue having fun with it in the future.

As far as recommendations, take a look at the game library and decide if there are enough games to suffice your game fix. When you reach a point where there is enough to last you a while, then pick up the system. It is certainly something you should pick up eventually.


And those are my early impressions of the PlayStation 4. To my fellow PS4 users, what are your thoughts on the PS4? And what games are you looking forward to most? Mine is Uncharted 4.

Also, feel free to drop your PSN name in the comments so I can add you. I have a PS3, too, so feel free to add me whether you have either system. My username is SBox180.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update (10/5/14): Baby Eggs, PS4, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps!

Admit it, I did much better this week than last week didn’t I? Anyway how are you guys doing today? I’ve had a pretty good week, I have to say. Between having just a little ways to go for straight A’s, talking to people I don’t usually get to talk to, going to the movies on Friday night, and getting a dang PlayStation 4 out of nowhere Monday afternoon, my week was pretty awesome if I say so myself. It was also rather eventful as I’ve been assigned a pretty demanding Psychology assignment. I’ve been lugging around a baby egg.

If you’re unfamiliar with it, a common psychology assignment is to have students make a baby egg or receive a doll and treat it like your child. I have named mine Gregg. (Get it?). So far this egg has changed the way I see public bathrooms, and this little bugger made me miss a day of school because I forgot him on my way to school. It’s been interesting to say the least.

That’s my life so far. Now let’s talk about the blog.

So last week I posted 4 posts, which is the most posts I’ve made in a week ever since the summer. However, I refuse to slow down now. As I said last week, my goal is to eliminate as many drafts as I can before I can move on. Currently I have about 3 more I want to post. One I can guarantee will come will come next week if not this one. The other I have to further research on. And one is the first installment to a segment I promised a while ago.

The first one is my Analysis of The Big Bang Theory Season 8. I’m considering this week will be the week to post it. I believe 4 episodes is more than enough for material.

The second one is my post involving the movie Frozen. Keep in mind the research isn’t exactly difficult to do. I just haven’t gotten to it yet. Also research for that is going to be in competition with a school project I also have to attend to. This ain’t no small scale project either. I have to make a 10 page research paper and a power point involving the economy of the 1920’s. Don’t worry, I will do this post probably during the week. Thankfully, I have an 11 page research paper involving the presidents alone to pull some info from. Expect this post some time this month.

The last one is the first installment of 7th Gen In-Review. This will probably be the priority of the week. It’s almost done, but I believe the post I made lacks focus. I want to make sure that this turns out right which is why it’s taking so long. No word yet, but I hope to get this out soon.

However, other than drafts in the making there are other things to look forward to on the blog.

We have a good bunch of reviews that could be/will be in the works. In fact, between today and tomorrow I will be posting another SBR review. This review is about the almighty PS4. I also have another review I might make. On Friday night I saw the new horror movie Annabelle. I’m not sure if I really want to review this movie or not, but we’ll see. If I can beat the game sometime soon, I might also review Infamous: Second Son. I also have PT to make some impressions on when I play it.

I want to do some more movie content in the future. I have one idea besides the Frozen post that I want to cover in terms of film. I also want to follow the Power Rangers movie once a substantial amount of news is released. Who knows? My impromptu mind-set could one day cross the movie part of my brain.

There will be more TV show content. Other than Big Bang, I also want to talk about Gotham, Once Upon a Time, and Supernatural. Supernatural’s Season 10 starts this Tuesday, and I think I’m going to make a post following the first episode. I feel Once Upon a Time has some writing potential as well. There’s also The Simpsons Guy that premiered last Sunday. I might cover that, too. By the way, I wanted to discuss Red vs Blue since it ended its 12th Season Monday. I still do, whether in regard to Season 12 primarily or to the show in general, I will cover this series.

And that pretty much sums it all up. Thank you all for keeping with my blog even now that we’re approaching month 3 for this site. It’s an honor to write for you guys. I hope to make this week another good one for this blog.

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Soapbox: List of Games That Would Sell Wii U’s

The Wii U is the current generation underdog of gaming consoles. Despite the Wii U still being in second place in console sales (as of this post date), the system has a pretty sour reputation, brought on by its bad start, odd controller, under-powered specs, and lack of compelling exclusives.

The Wii U does appear to be at a turning point starting this final fiscal quarter. However, what Nintendo needs to maintain a good fight in this console race is heavy-hitting software. And here are a couple of games that I feel will undoubtedly be system sellers.

This is in no particular order. I write it as it comes to mind. In the comments of this post, let me know which of these would convince you to buy a Wii U. If you do have a Wii U, let me know which you’d like to see most.

Super Mario RPG 2

Just say the word and at least half a million Wii U’s will be sold before your very eyes. Super Mario RPG was one of the most renowned SNES games in existence. It still maintains a wide fanbase to this day. Even Geno, a character exclusive to this game, has a cult following all his own. He was even one of the more requested characters for the upcoming Super Smash Bros.

A SMRPG sequel would offer a lot to the Wii U. For one, Square Enix hasn’t a single Wii U game on the shelves yet. Games like Final Fantasy XV and Kingdom Hearts III are too demanding to be ported. I don’t see a more fitting way to get into that market.

Sure Nintendo has two other RPG series for Mario currently, but this is by far the highest acclaimed. Nintendo also likes to appeal to nostalgia with their releases. This is considered a classic. Need I say more.

Earthbound

When I say this, I mean any use of the game. You can remake it, bundle the trilogy in an collection, or make a fourth installment.

All of the above are worthy of the RPG community’s attention. Earthbound is a beloved game that has potential.

Nintendo has been very timid with this series because it was commercially lacking when they brought it to the States. However, times have changed. Every Nintendo fan worth their salt knows the series now. If Fire Emblem can do well worldwide, why not Earthbound?

Metroid

Goes without saying, but it’s true. The triforce of mature Nintendo titles is almost conplete. There’s Zelda, Star Fox and Metroid. We have a new Zelda coming next year. Star Fox has been confirmed to be coming. Metroid is yet to be seen.

Other M did leave a lot of fans sour, but they’re salivating for more. I’m sure it’s on its way soon, but it should be stated that Metroid would be a system seller.

F-Zero

I do realize that Miyamoto has come forth and explained that he has no ideas for the series as of now. I am also aware that Mario Kart 8 has already stolen F-Zero’s antigravity shtick. However, you’d certainly attract attention when you eventually make a new installment.

I’ll admit that I’m not sure if it will be the biggest Wii U game ever. Though, I do know a lot of people who want a new F-Zero. So maybe this can sell a good number of systems.

Mega Man

Nintendo and Mega Man go together like bread and butter. Many Nintendo fans are Mega Man fans as seen by Mega Man’s appearance in Smash Bros. Put 2 and 2 together and you have a whole bunch of people giving you money.

This one is Capcom’s call though. I am obviously among the Mega Man fans who wants Nintendo to get the rights to the series. It’s far-fetched, but would be amazing nonetheless.

Mario vs Sonic

Notice the lack of “Olympic Games” in the title. Nintendo! Sega! We want a crossover in the form of a platformer. None of that minigame nonsense anymore.

Come on, how cool would that be? It’s practically seamless to create and would drive up sales like no one’s business. A platformer that fully captures the biggest mascot battle in all of gaming is totally doable. If you market it right and make it fun, you’ll have a hit.


Those are just my ideas. I think that any if these would spike sales of the Wii U to some extent, Let me know what you think though.

My Top 5 Favorite Big Bang Theory Episodes (400 View Special)

Greetings peeps!

I had the privilege of reaching 400 website views on Thursday, September 25. Such a surreal number that is. Let me take a moment an thank every viewer who has or is reading my content. Whether you have ever enjoyed any of the things I write or not, you giving me a click means the world to me. Please accept my gratitude as I couldn’t have done this without you.

I’ll admit that this time I was caught with my pants down as I intended to plan for this event back when I made my last milestone special. I didn’t know what to do next, but I established last time that I would make Top X-Amount lists for every hundred views I receive. The purpose is to give my viewers a little more insight on me as a person. Last time I made my Top 5 Favorite TV Shows. Coincidentally, last week saw the comeback of many shows including one of my favorites: The Big Bang Theory.

As previously stated, Big Bang Theory is my second favorite show of all-time. It’s the ideal modern sitcom that combines geek culture and general comedy into a genius mixture. And to celebrate the premiere of its eight season last Monday, I want to highlight what I believe to be the show’s greatest episodes. This won’t be that easy since the show is over 150 episodes long, but I’m doing it anyway.

Keep in my this is not “the” top 5 episodes. These are “my” personal top 5 episodes. Your list may be different than mine, so feel free to leave a comment telling me what you’re favorite episodes are.

So let’s get to it. After all, it all started with a big bang!

#5: The Peanut Reaction

Leonard reveals to Penny that Leonard has never had a birthday before due to his upbringing. Penny is committed to throwing Leonard a surprise “kickass birthday party” with the guys’ help. However, what was initially a simple plan becomes more challenging as Howard struggles to keep Leonard away from the house, and Sheldon struggles to find a gift.

This may be a bit of a personal one for me because this is technically the first episode I ever saw of the show. Regardless, this is still a funny episode. With a concept as simple as throwing Leonard a birthday party they managed to have some very lines. Everyone gets a great and memorable line, too. This is usually my go-to episode, because it never really gets old for me.

#4: The Panty Piñata Polarization

Penny and Sheldon go to war with each other after Sheldon banishes Penny from his apartment for committing three strikes against his household rules. This results in multiple acts of revenge between the two until either Penny apologizes or Sheldon halts his dictator tendencies. Plus, Howard and Raj attempt to find the residence of the America’s Next Top Model contestants.

This episode is definitely one of the most fun. Of course, the argument is very petty, but seeing them test each other’s limits is just so enjoyable. On top of that, Penny and Sheldon are obviously two very different people. This makes their acts of revenge so polar that it makes you more invested in the battle. The Next Top Model subplot was so-so, but still humorous enough.

#3: The Bath Item Gift Hypothesis

It is Christmas in Pasadena. Sheldon must search for the most appropriate gift for Penny based the indeterminate value of the gift Penny has for him. We also have Leonard partnering up with a renowned physicist who ends up dating Penny, who convinces him that she is a physicist much to Leonard’s dismay.

I placed this episode up there mostly for the ending. It is probably my favorite scene from the show. If you follow episodes prior to seeing this one, you will find the ending ten times better than you would otherwise. It’s also a pretty funny episode for the remaining duration. Plus I love Christmas, so yeah.

#2: The Infestation Hypothesis

We find Penny has acquired a new piece of furniture in her apartment: a red couch chair. Sheldon initially finds it pleasing until he finds out where Penny retrieved it from, setting his hypochondria off. It is his mission to remove the chair. We also find Leonard trying to find ways to maintain his long-distance relationship with Priya with a little help from Howard and Raj.

This episode I find to be the funniest out there. Some have clearly disagreed as I read, but no matter. This episode, in my opinion, benefits from derailing from the main storyline. And I just find this episode to contain some of the best jokes in the entire show. One after the other after the other, the show can offer a laugh a minute and never lose pace. It also has some of my favorite lines.

#1: The Love Car Displacement

In this episode, the guys and gals are invited to speak at a panel in a resort, which results in a road trip. While there, a confrontation between Howard and Bernadette causes a series of events to occur during the stay.

Not much of a plot to this episode I know, but going any further would only ruin some of the funniest jokes the series has to offer. Holy crap I love this episode! Just the simplicity of the initially happy situation turning into a whole big stink shows the most well-done example of what makes the characters and their interactions as a group work so well. It may not be the funniest episode ever, but I chose this one because it has the best episode-long running joke in the series. Without saying what it is, let’s simply compare it to a comedic domino effect.


 

And that, dear children, is my personal top 5 episodes of one of my favorite shows ever. If you have never watched the show, I recommend all of these episodes. At least 4 of the 5 are good starting points.

Once again, I want to thank you all for viewing my work what is now over 400 times. Sorry my little special took a bit long. If you want to read more Big Bang Theory coverage, here is my Season 8 predictions and I will be making an additional post soon regarding the new season.

In the comments below, let me know if like the episodes on my personal list. And what are your favorite episodes of the show?

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

SBox Recommends: Behaving Badly

Welcome to the my first WordPress review!

Foreword: (Skip to the review below the line)

I’ve been reviewing movies, games, books, and just about anything else for several years on several sites. It was always called “SBox Recommends”. I haven’t reviewed anything for almost a year now, but I believe now is the time to resurrect that aspect of my on-life. So I give you my review segment.

Note that despite the title “SBox Recommends“, I will not necessarily be recommending everything I review. “Recommends” is a blanket term for review. However, I do believe that everything can mean anything to anybody. So I guess that recommends is a fitting title. Just not in the context that you’d immediately think.

For more information on this segment of my blog, click here. Now, onto the review.


 

When I decided to start reviewing again there were two ways to go about this. Either I start reviewing something heavily known and popular or something rather obscure and weird. I decided that the only way I’m watching this movie is to review it. It certainly wouldn’t be from word of mouth, let me tell you.

Never heard of Behaving Badly? You’re in good company. This movie was released in August 2014 with a limited theatricality release and an immediate online release. It’s also based on the famous book While I’m Dead, Feed the Dog. This movie’s biggest call to fame is for it’s 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. (To make matters worse, Rotten Tomatoes is known to have a 1% margin of error).

It’s pretty clear that people aren’t very fond of this movie. But is all this hate warranted? Let’s take a look.

Synopsis

This movie follows a dysfunctional teenage boy named Rick Stevens (Nat Wolff) as he looks back on his two week descent into a living hell. It all started with a bet he made with the son of a notorious mob boss. For $1,000 he must ask out his high school crush, Nina Pennington (Selena Gomez), and have sex with her. To do this, he must receive help from a guardian angel who looks like his mother (Mary-Louise Parker), get intertwined with the local mafia, blackmail a couple people, run a strip club in his house, end up in jail a couple times, and have sex with his best friend’s mother (Elisabeth Shue) on the side.

If you think that synopsis is weird, trust me. The movie is even weirder. I want you to imagine the exact equilibrium between a normal dream and a night-terror; that unexplainable, nonsensical, unpleasant thought. That’s most of the movie.

A more fitting comparison is with Grown Ups 2. Both movies have an unrealistic, dysfunctional, cartoony tone with jokes usually pertaining to sex, drugs, or barf. Where these two break their similarity is in direction. Grown Ups 2 has direction and Behaving Badly does not.

Writing

It’s hard to put this movie into a genre, because it seems lost as to what it’s trying to be. The best bet is a dark comedy, but the movie is constantly walking the line between comedic and straight-forward. So, you really can’t tell what your watching.

Let’s assume for the time being that this is a dark comedy like the book it’s based on.

You’ll find that the movie can be funny at times. When they playback a scene with different dialogue to represent Rick’s train of thought, that’s clever. Even some of its actual jokes can get a laugh. Unfortunately, most of the jokes come off more disturbing than funny. Unless you’re into the kind of humor where a pervert likes the feeling of his genitals being crushed by Elizabeth Shue, the movie can be a bit too much at times.

The movie isn’t necessarily unfunny. It’s just a bit much even for people who like that kind of humor. Since the movie is very light on subtlety for the first two-thirds you’re just constantly hammered with gags that are likely to scare you off.

Don’t get me wrong. I can handle dark humor and toilet humor. South Park is one of my favorite shows. Even for me, the movie can be a bit too uncomfortable… at least at first.

What I found surprising was the final 20 minutes of the movie. The final act brings us back to present day. Rick has hit rock bottom and is deciding where he goes from there. He tries to correct his wrongs and better himself in the process. It is almost a different movie from that point on. That loud and disturbing film suddenly becomes more somber, subtle and intimate.

It’s like you were drunk for the first two acts and sobered up in the third. I really do wish the movie had a tone similar to the climax onward. What the ending did right was maintain its nonsensical atmosphere and portion it (By the way, I’m not talking about the VERY end).

The best way to say it is that the ending had charm. That’s what the rest of the movie lacked in my opinion. With these very uncomfortable, passe themes and jokes you should have a bit of charm to pull the audience in and make them want to stay. Too bad it took them an hour to do so.

Acting

The acting is a bright spot for the film. Say all you want about what was said or done in the movie, but the actors make the movie.

First you have Nat Wolff, who you may know best from Nickelodeon. Irony aside he is probably the best fit for this character. At first glance the performance seems wooden and lifeless, but I think that’s the point. Rick is supposed to be a desensitized character brought up by a crappy series of events. He is really good at showing just the right amount of emotion that makes sense for the character. That said, he is completely able to portray emotions like shock, happiness, and even sadness. Toward the end, you see Rick showing the first real signs of emotion, and it makes sense for that time in the narrative.

Unless the character was supposed to be livelier or emotional. In which case, I guess he didn’t do a good job, but did supply a decent alternative.

Then there’s Selena Gomez. She is completely fine in terms of performance. The problem is the character she’s portraying. Nina is the only character who is actually sane but overly so. She’s the pretty, religious, down-to-earth, nice girl who’s purpose is merely to be a contrast to the world around her and the center of the entire plot. The character is just uninteresting. Had the character had a bit more personality, then Gomez would have more to work with. But she does good with what she’s given.

Mary Louise-Parker also does a good job. I’m not familiar with her work and have nothing to base it on, but I do know that for both the role of Rick’s drunkard mother and guardian angel, she does a great job.

I am also not too familiar with Elisabeth Shue’s work, but she plays a really big part in this movie and does well in it. She plays Rick’s mother’s best friend who also happens to be the mother of his best friend. And she has a thing for Nat Wolff. Such an odd role to play, and she really owns the role. As insane of a human being the character is, she is memorable.

The supporting cast also does a good job in their respective roles. The friend does a good job, so does the mob boss’s son, the priest, the sister, the brother, the principal, etc. You will notice quite a few actors who you may know from other roles. Even Justin Beiber makes a cameo in the movie that lasts four seconds.

Cinematography

You can also commend the cinematography. Nothing about the movie looks choppy or cheap.

The camera work captures everything it has to. You get these really good shots of the town they are in. For example, the movie starts off speeding down the neighborhood where Rick lives, and that looks nice. The camera work is also commendable in scenes where the world freezes around Rick. You have very smooth and natural motions as Rick surveys the scene.

The editing is quick but not too quick. It knows when to let a scene breathe, but it will go fast and cut quickly when its time for something comedic. The cutaways between an event to his fantasy of Nina is one example. The editing actually does make some scenes funnier than they would otherwise be.

The music is mostly pop and some rock songs. There’s not much to note here in terms of a score, though.

Overall, it has traditional fair-budgeted production value throughout.

Overall

This is most certainly a bad movie. No doubt about it. However is it really worth that 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes?

I wouldn’t go that far. If the movie was really worth a 0% not only would it have given me a horrific parasite which would painfully haunt the rest of my days, but it would also have no redeeming factors. That’s just not true.

This movie has decent production value, good performances and decent humor in some places. Given that much worse movies like The Last Airbender have a 6% on RT, I feel the 0% is over-exaggerated. However the movie is quite awful.

The movie’s greatest sin is being a bad comedy. It tries so hard to be a smart, hard-R laugh riot- way too hard. What probably would be a clever dark comedy like the book it’s based on turns into an uncomfortable, unpleasant experience. Even if you love that fresh and disgusting humor, the jokes presented lack the charm to be impactful. The most accurate adjective for the film is “uncomfortable”.

To its credit it eventually gets it right towards the end. But by that time a good bunch of the audience has probably turned the movie off.

Recommendations

This movie is probably suitable to some people with some very twisted senses of humor and a higher tolerance for the more disturbing aspects of this movie. I have seen that some people actually like the movie okay, though they are the minority.

To fans of the original book, don’t expect an accurate representation of the source material. Writer of While I’m Dead, Feed the Dog Ric Browde has publicly denounced the movie for faithlessness to his book. Even though I haven’t read the book, I have read his site’s content. Check it out, because it is very funny.

If you are in any way interested in the synopsis, curiosity can be a good motivation to see it. It’s not the worst comedy ever, but it is pretty bad. See it only if you absolutely need to know. Even low expectations can’t guarantee enjoyment, though.

Verdict: 3/10


 

Thank you all for reading my first WordPress review. I must say, it’s good to be back. Let me know what you thought of the review so that I can improve future ones. And if you saw the movie, what did you think about it?

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

Weekly Update (9/27/14): A Million Drafts, 400 Views, and Whatnot

Greetings peeps!

It’s time for the weekly update! Like the new name change? I figured the word “Update” by itself implied something a bit more intimidating. So we’re trying a new title. Hopefully it sticks.

So how are you? I’m good at the moment. This week was busy to say the least. Sorry you haven’t seen anything except the Smash Bros demo impressions. Every chance I had to post was met with a bunch of tasks to do before I could even get onto WordPress, and by the time I would get on I’d be too tired to write anything.

On Monday I made a draft in school and had a bunch of TV shows to watch which will be covered within the next couple of weeks. Tuesday I was out all day after school running errands. Wednesday I was going to make a mid-week update, but it got late. Thursday was my day off from school. I was able to get a good chunk of the SBox Recommends done after I did a bunch of homework and an anatomy project, but I had nothing to post. Friday I was out doing family stuff. And yesterday I was writing part of the SBR and this very update. (Fun fact: I write these updates on Saturday nights to post them the next morning).

So that’s what’s been going on outside of school. On the school side though, I’m doing so much better. I’m so colse to straight A’s! I haven’t had straight A’s since 8th grade, so this is awesome. The only other thing of note to mention is that I am getting the PS4 soon. I’ve been saving up for a while, but my parents decided to just get it for me anyway. I’ll be posting something regarding that one of these days.

And now for our feature presentation: the site updates!

Okay, here’s the deal, I have 6 drafts just sitting on my dashboard. 1 goes back to July, another goes back early this year, and the rest are from last week to this week. Believe me when I say I’ve been working on things for a while. My goal this week and next week is to clear all of that out one way or the other.

One post involves the Disney movie Frozen. The draft was made 2 weeks ago, and was put off because the subject I wanted to tackle involved a bit of extra research. I said it a while back, but this post will be finished no later than the beginning of November. I doubt we’ll be pushing that date, so expect it within the month of October.

There are 2 Nintendo related drafts in my arsenal. One of them I might not do, the other I most certainly will. The one I’m willing to do can be made very soon since its strictly opinion based. Keep on the look-out for that one most likely when the review and special is done.

Speaking of review the SBox Recommends of Behaving Badly, which will be the my first WordPress review, was my primary concern this past week. It’s almost done. What happened was that I didn’t know how to organize the review properly. Yesterday I found a solution that I am happy with, so it shouldn;t be much longer now. Believe me I’m not dropping this review for anything. I didn’t watch that movie for nothing.

As for the review of The Maze Runner, that is indefinite. Because of the first review, I put that one off for a while. Like an idiot I didn’t take notes on the movie like I usually do for most movie reviews. I’m not saying I’m not doing it just yet. I still do remember enough of the movie to make a decent review, but it might not be the most fresh opinion. For now, just know that the previous review is coming. Like I said before, these review do take time.

Now for the special. First of all I want to thank you all for being so supportive of me even in weeks like this. I reached 400 views on Thursday. It means so much to me that so many people have seen my work, so I thank all of you for taking the time to read my stuff!

So, last milestone I said I will make a top x-number list every time I reach a milestone. Last time I made my Top 5 TV Shows and it did surprisingly well. So I think I might do it again if that’s okay with you guys. I’m thinking my Top 5 Big Bang Theory Episodes would be good to celebrate the new season. I actually have a lot of options, but I’ll make that special after I’m done with the SBR.

While we’re on the topic, Last week Monday was the biggest TV show night ever. I myself watched 3 shows that night: The Big Bang Theory, Gotham, and Red vs Blue. That night I started writing an analysis giving my impressions on the episodes of BBT and Gotham. I decided soon after that I don;t have that much to talk about yet. Both shows are very early in their return/start, so I want to wait a couple of weeks to watch at least the first 5 episodes of each show. I will make separate posts for both shows. As for Red vs Blue, the season finale is tomorrow, so I will have a post regarding the show some time later. It may even be my next Top 10.

The last draft to mention is the first installment on 7th Gen In-Review. I feel so bad for making people wait for this segment, because people are definitely seeing the original post in spades. I promise I will get the first installment which will talk about DLC as soon as possible. If you don’t see it in your reader, refer back to the intro post to find a link to the first post once it gets made.

Anything else? Well I still am keeping my eye on the Power Rangers movie. I’m waiting to see enough information to comment on, and will make a second post when I am ready to further comment on it.

That’s all I have for now. I would like to as always thank you guys for sticking with me for so long. I know this week has been slow, but I will try my hardest to get back on track. And thanks again for 400 Views! Every time I reach another milestone, it makes me feel so accomplished. It’s great to have viewers like you!

I’m SBox180. Thanks for reading!

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