By: Justin Hopkins
I have a lot of love for Deck Builders. Ever since I started picking up the hobby. Gravitated toward them right away cause of my love of cards in general and lead me to buy my first deck builder, Resident Evil Alliance and had a blast with it. Adored the cards and way the gameplay was. So, much so, that I was quick to pick up a new one, in the form of DC Forever Evil. A game where you play as one of many DC Rogue Gallery to take down the Justice League. About all it took to sell me on it. With us in a brand new year and desire to mix up what I talk about. Couldn’t think of anything more that I wanted to then this, so with that said, let’s dive in shall we.
The game starts up with you picking your oversized Supervillain and passing out the cards to 2 to 4 players. Consisting of 7 punch cards and 3 Invulnerability one. That is your deck. In the middle of the table, with the top five spread out in a line, making up the lime-up. With a vertical stack next to it. Stack of Kick cards on top, weaknesses on the bottom, and stack on Superhero Cards in the center. Should have at least 8, but can add any up to 12, or more in some cases. Shuffle them up and put them facedown, except for The Flash. He always lines up first and face up. From there you are ready to begin. Shuffle your deck of ten, and draw five. Count up how much power in your hand. Total being how much you can spent one the line-up, buy a kick, or if you have enough, take out a superhero. You can spend up to the number of power or less in your hand. Say if you have 9. Can spend up to or less than nine. Once your turn is over, any cards you used, acquired or still in your hand goes into discard pile. Replacing any empty spot in the Line-up that you took, so as to always have at least 5. If you beat a Superhero, that card goes to your discard as well. Keeping the next one in line, until the end of your turn and everyone resolves their First Appearance attack and move on to the next person in line. Play continues till there are no more Superhero cards left or you cannot make a Line-up consisting of five. Collect all of your cards and count the Victory points in the bottom left side of each card. Along with any Victory Point Tokens you have acquired along the way. Highest number wins. In case of a tie, the players who has the most Superhero cards is the winner.
I have had such a blast playing Forever Evil. At this point, my favorite Deck Builders and top three favorite games in general. It can start off a bit slow, as Deck Builders do, but things pick up very quickly, because this game gives you so much to do. Setting up on-going cards, location cards, destruction cards to get rid of negative ones and Vulnerabilities and defensive cards. You still need to collect Power, because once Superheroes start falling it can go quick from there, but these cards early on, will not only go a long way to help in that cause, but also protect your stuff from your friends.
One of my favorite aspects of this game is how much it values being on offense. Not just with going after Superheroes, but messing with other players around the table. Being a general nuisance and screwing up what they have built and have in there hand. Freezing cards in The line-up that you know they need, sending ongoing cards back to their discard to a card that will allow you to commander any ongoing cards they have and use them for yourself for a turn. As trolly as all of this sounds, and it can be, there is legitimate strategies to run with this style. If you don’t have enough power to take a Superhero down, and you are worried they might. Any one of these moves can buy you another round to try and get the cards you need.
Forever Evil almost welcomes expansion packs to be added and I have added more then a few. The likes of Birds of Prey, Arrow and a few others to make a bit of a chaotic deck. Adding new ways to play, dynamics, cards to play as, and go against. A long with a rather tricky Rotation Mechanic. Really making each game feel unique and different from one another because of the way you chose or character you are playing as.
Forever Evil is a fantastic game, with some beautiful cards, and a ton of replay value. It is a game with a lot of different strategies to play around with, and never feels like you are sitting around waiting for what you need to start making progress. Easily lends itself to add expansion packs to flesh out the game more. Definitely makes me want to check out bigger box sets like Teen Titans and Heroes Unite. As far as Forever Evil goes though. Would gladly suggest picking it up yourselves and giving it a shot.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
So, I was a bit hesitant going into this one. With anthologies, you can get some good stuff, but have to sypher through a slew of bad to get to them. Kind of mixed on the idea of the Colonial Marnie’s taking point. Sure they were fun, but thought it might get bland following them throughout 18 stories. But, I do love me some Xenomorphs and the idea that they would be mixing in some new aliens and strange tales was enough to sell me on giving it a shot. Before we do the dive in routine, let me say one thing. I was really torn on how to do this. Debated on breaking this up into multiple bits, but that would cause me to go more into spoilers then I care to. So, I will break it down as a whole. Things you can expect and go into more detail on a few later down the line at appropriate moments. Sparing the big twists and turns when I can. Okay? Okay, sounds good. Let’s dive in shall we.
As it says on the back of the book, we got 18 stories from across the Alien Universe. Following mostly Colonial Marines, some new, such as Corporal Sykes and London to some names we know, like Hicks and Hudson to name a few. Along with a few others who are in desperate fights against Xenomorphs, other alien creatures and various messes created by the always wonderful Weyland-Yutani. To stories that diverge straight into very strange, very bizarre direction that I respect way to much to give anything away and as short as this is, where I am leaving off for the time being.
Lets get the shoutout and round of applause out of the way. First one going to Jonathon Maberry. Can’t imagine how hard it was to narrow it down to these 18 stories, but to get it in the right order to keep the pace moving along at just the right pace. Then you get the authors, Paul Kupperberg, Dan Abnett, Rachel Caine, Yvonne Navarro, Christopher Golden, Matt Forbeck, Ray Garton, Weston Ochse, David Farland, Larry Correia, Keith R.A. DeCandido, Brian Keene, Heather Graham, Mike Resnick and Marina J. Lostetter, Jonathon Maberry, James A. Moore, Scott Sigler, and Tim Lebbon. Can tell they really care about this universe and put some serious thought into their stories and they weaved some really fun stories. Since we are dealing with an audiobook, we got to give the narrators their roses as well, James Anderson Foster, Eric G. Dove, Chris Andrew Ciulla, Nicol Zanzarella, James Patrick Cronin, Suzanne Elise Freeman, Andrew Eiden. Michael David Axtell, Grover Gardner, Priya Ayyar, Peter Berkrot, Emily Sutton-Smith, Hilary Huber, and R.C. Bray. A audiobook lives and dies on narration and they all did great. Even when they were more monotone then it might have should. Somehow works for the story in question and adds that much more to it.
What really helped out was just how different each story was. Mixing up the plots from rescue missions to scientific research. Worlds that were at peace before chaos broke out. In some cases we got to listen to the carnage breaking loose to being dropped right into the middle of it. From Xenomorphs and different variations that a Xeno’s impregnated, I will never get the words, Blue Moon Centipede out of my head, and just different alien lifeforms in general. Making each story feeling fresh and exciting. But that wasn’t the only way they kept you on your toes. Good endings were not a given and at anytime, heroes could fall and some, there were none of those to be found.
While we got plenty of new and interesting characters and settings. When they did go to the well of characters and places we do know. They handled them with care. Really showing there love of them as a whole. Which is good in some of their cases because they got real bold in some of these. Like in, No Good Deed. Which is in my top three favorites from this set. Along with, Dark Mother, played it real gutsy and both of them worked.
Then we get to the weird ones. Dangerous Prey, Episode 22, and to a point, No Good Deed. No Good Deed not going to far off, just a character, but the others go way off the wall compared to the rest of the stories. Dangerous Prey, did it beautifully. My favorite of the lot. Catching me completely off guard by what is happening and just hanging on to every moment of it. On the flip side of that, was Episode 22. On my first listen to it, when not much a a fan. Have warmed up to it, but still not really for me, but that doesn’t make it bad.
None of these are bad stories. They can take Alien: Bug Hunt and use it as the script for an awesome show on any streaming service. Sure I didn’t like Episode 22 or Dark Mother as much as I did, Zero To Hero or Hugs To Die For, but they are not bad in the slightest. Episode 22 could easily be someone else’s favorite very easily, just not for me, and that is why I will gladly suggest anyone to check this out. There is a ton of fun things to appeal to not just fans of the movies, but those who just like Science Fiction in general. Final Grade – S
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
BY Paul Anthony
I had been wanting to do this blog for a long time now but decided to wait until we were out of the spoiler zone for the Spider-Man fan base. We now know that Spider-Man: No Way home is killing it at the box office even when it finally dropped to second place it is still making money, even as this blog is being typed. We saw both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield return as Spider-Man. Which shocked the world in some ways because there were so many rumors regarding the both of them. We of course now know that everyone came back, and it made me wonder who I consider my Spider-Man to be? Afterall, I have seen all the modern Spider-Mans. However, before my time there was one actor who played Spider-Man for the television movies from the late 70’s to the early 80’s. His name is Nicholas Hammond and if you have seen his films then you might consider him your Spider-Man and if you do than that is fine but since his films weren’t in the theaters sadly, he won’t count for this blog.
we will first start with the first of them all and that would Tobey Maguire who was cast as the hero in the summer of 2000 and even manage to beat out the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio, Freddie Prinze jr, Chris O’Donell, Jude Law, Chris Klien, Wes Bentley, Health Ledger, James Franco, Scott Speedman and even Joe Manganiello. Though James and Joe would still be cast in other roles. Nevertheless, Tobey won the job and filming was set to begin in November of 2000, it got pushed back to January of 2001. Though we didn’t have insight to contract details back then we do know he was offered 3-4 million and higher salary for two sequels. In this time frame there had only really been a few successful comic book movies outside of Batman and Superman. No doubt this was going to be a challenge. Now it’s lifetime the film managed to gross 825 million dollars and managed to spawn two more films with Maguire starring as Spider-Man. The series ran from 2002 to 2008. At this point we had nothing to compare to Maguire’s performance as Spider-Man because there really wasn’t another Spider-Man. Sadly we never got a Spider-Man 4 for a number of reasons regarding contracts and creative direction, at this point the series that was a big hit was left for dead. Until just four years later a reboot came out titled The Amazing Spider-Man.
Here we now had a new actor taking the role from Maguire and that was none other than Andrew Garfield who got the role just two years after Spider-Man 3 came out. Now the film was released in the summer of 2012, and it seemed like that film series wanted to show Peter Parker true intelligence by having him design his own web shooters which did go more towards the comic book. This film series wanted to keep Spider-Man in high school though he was already 17 and in his junior year. At first, I know was bitter about the reboot, I so bad wanted to see part 4 and not see a reboot but I have to admit Garfield sold me on it. His performance gave us a nerdy but funny Peter Parker and a Spider-Man that truly moved like a Spider-Man. two years later we got the sequel and it seemed like that Maguire/ Spider-Man was a thing of the past. Though Sony failed to learn from their mistakes with adding too many villains and changing Parker’s parents’ deaths and so forth, though the lone bright spot was for the first time on the big screen Spider-Man failed to save Gwen. Now No one knocked Garfield’s performance, but this film managed to become the lowest grossing spider-man film and had very high budget which was around 293 million and you knew what was coming and that was a reboot and another failed ending.
Now at this point just a year later in a shocking turn of events Sony worked out a deal with Marvel to Allow the character to return home as long as Sony gets something out of the deal. This shocked the world because we knew that at this time the MCU was in full swing and killing it at the box office and we knew Sony own the film rights, but we didn’t know was that Sony needed to release a spider-man film every 5.75 years to keep the film rights. The original plan was to find a way to bring Garfield’s Spider-Man in the MCU but both Sony and Marvel agreed to go a different direction and that was to reboot the character once again and truly make a film series of Peter Parker in high school, but they needed a young actor which they found that in Tom Holland who was 17 at the time of the casting to play a 15-year-old Peter Parker which was close enough. Tom made his appearance as Spider-Man in 2016 hit film Captain America: Civil War and Marvel did a good job at introducing him and getting away from the beginnings that we saw Sony do twice, instead we see him, and he has only been Spider-man for 6 months and just been doing the small things well the Avengers fight Aliens from Space. a Year later we get Spider-man: Homecoming, which I loved the title and found it Ironic. This was Tom Holand’s first full film as Spider-Man, and we managed to make it a third solo film and with a bright future and maybe a part 4!! In all Tom has played Spider-Man for 6 films, Maguire 4 films and Garfield in 3 films, the latter two also starred in Spider-Man No Way Home. Now it is time to ask ourselves, who is your Spider-Man?
I catch myself asking that question over and over again and I have to keep breaking things down, since this one a few cases where there have been three actors in one generation which most cases its one actor per generation. Now With Maguire I believe he was the better Peter Parker; he was quiet but innocent at the same time, he was very smart but not enough to brag about it. Him as Spider-Man almost was the same as Peter Parker which goes against the alter Ego situation. Now we have Garfield and his Spider-Man. What stands out to me is when he is under the mask, he seemed to become the spider and his movements were based on an actual spider, we can argue that the technology wasn’t fully there for Maguire to do this but then again that series went away from a few things regarding the comics. Garfield performance as Peter was hilarious with his jokes but sometimes came off as a creep regarding Gwen, it was one thing to be nervous because we all have been there but being a little creepy wasn’t a Peter thing. Then we have Tom Holland. who seemed to have blended the two previous spider-man’s together which might have been the right thing to do? He moves like Maguire with hints of Garfield in it, He does show his intelligence but at times seems to be a fan boy and amaze at the same time, which can go overboard at times and that is both as Peter and Spider-Man, Now the good thing is that the character was able to grow as the series went on which makes me more excited to see where the character goes from here at No Way Home.
Now who is my Spider-Man? Well with watching all three and knowing I am only in my early 30’s, I would have to say now it is Holland because he has the time to keep evolving the character and that is something we didn’t see from the other two. Now Maguire is the OG and no one will take that away from him and Garfield proved he could step out of Maguire shadow and cement his legacy and of course Holland proved that he respected those character of the past. In The end Holland is my Spider-Man, so now who is yours?
By: Justin Hopkins
Being excited for Scream was almost a given. They’ve never really had a miss. I even really liked Scream 3 which is often pointed to as their weakest entry. Which is something to be proud of. Seeing how bad some other franchises have gotten. Scream has a lot going for them going in. The best final girl in Sydney, an iconic costume in Ghost face, and the way they weave meta and where the horror scene is at today all building intrigue. There is some worry, since this is the first one since the loss of the great Wes Craven and new team coming in, but after four hits under Scream’s belt. Had no reason to doubt. With that said, lets dive in and see how they did.
The movie kicks us off with, Tara. While Texting her friend Amber gets a call on the landline, from who turn out to be the killer, and another round of questions kicks off. To save Amber’s life. Revolving around the Stab movie Franchise, despite her only knowing Elevated horror. She knocks out the first two, but trips on the third. Tara tries to run for the door. Wanting to save her friend, but opens the door to the killer. Who gets a slice in. Backing her into the house, but is only safe momentarily before she is attacked again, and we cut to title screen. Coming back we meet Sam and Boyfriend Richie. When Sam gets a call. Informing her that her Sister Tara was attacked. She is okay, but in the hospital, and Sam and Richie are off to Woodsboro. While we meet the friend group. Liv, Mindy, Chad, Amber, and Wes. None of which are happy with Wes for calling Sam. After a brief conversation, calling each other out and addressing Liv’s Creepy Stalker. They had of to the hospital. We join up with Sam and Richie, with Sam getting caught up on the history of the town since he doesn’t know and never saw the Stab movies, before we get the happy reunion at the hospital. Friends leave the sister’s alone and we go off to the bar with them. Amber is not happy with Sam being back. She was a troubled teen and left abruptly in the middle of the night. The conversation is cut off by the stalker arriving and getting into an altercation with Chad. Threatening them on his way out, but is taken out by Ghostface in the alley. Back at the hospital, we see Sam waking up. Richie watching Stab movies for research reasons and she says she is going to get some food, but is really going to take anti-psychotics and we see the deceased Billy Loomis appear in the mirror. Talking to her about family secrets. Phone call snapping her out and it is the killer. Who says they know about her secrets and she calls him out and Sam is attacked from behind. Managing to fight them off and get away. Gets interrogated and told to leave town by Hicks. Sam returns to Tara and openly tells her the truth. About why Dad left and why she went off the rails when Sam learned that Billy Loomis was her real Dad. To which, Tara throws her out. For bringing up all of this now of all times. With nowhere else to go, Sam and Richie turns to the past for help and leads them to Dewey and where I will leave this for now.
I love how they put this “Requel” together. The way they brought in the new characters, by having a few of them being related to the older characters who are gone now. Such as Randy’s Niece and Nephew being Minx and Chad. Along with creepy stalker being a relative of Stu. While it is a bit of a stretch for Sam being Billy’s kid. I am willing to go along with it because we got Skeet Ulrich back and it did play well in the climax.
I always love the conversations in these movies where they break down the rules in play for the movie. The class room conversation in 4, to Randy in one through three. Only fitting that it6 fell to his niece here and she knocked it out of the park. Loved the flow of the conversation and her frantic energy bounced off everyone’s questions really well. Creating a really fun scenes in the process. Speaking of fun..
The murders were brutal and I loved it. There is a simplicity with Ghostface that I just adore. Not a lot of crazy traps or elaborate deaths. Just using a knife for majority of the time. Quick attacks to the neck or rapid shots to the body. Only making it look more brutal. Lingering on the blade stuck in ones neck or the quick little jab when they took out the stalker, while Red Right Hand played. Chef’s kisses and round of applause all around.
While, I won’t be talking about who the killers are quite yet. I do want to talk about the motives, cause there motives made me laugh way to hard, in a good way. Having it be two toxic fans of the Stab movies, who were upset over the direction the film series went and were attempting to force it to go back to basics by giving them true story material to work with, that is just excellent and how it feels dealing with a toxic fan. Bravo to those who worked this out.
On to the cast and crew and they did a good job. Jasmin Savoy Brown being my favorite of the bunch. Her and Chad, played by Mason Gooding were the movie knowledge characters of the group, and Mason was good, but Jasmin brought the manic energy of the two and stole the scenes she was in because of her obsession on the topic. Jenna Ortega did a lovely job as Tara. She kept taking a beating throughout and felt really bad for her and Jenna did great portraying that. Mikey Madison, Dylan Minnette, and Sonia Ammar did a solid job rounding out the rest of the friend group. Although we did get more of Sonia. We didn’t get enough Liv. Going off the scene with Mindy where she was snapping over constantly being accused of being the killer only to be called to boring to be the killer. She was real creepy in that scene and loved it. Wish we got more following it. It was fun to see Heather Matarazzo back. Neve Campbell is still the best finale girl of all time. She is taking none of this. Just opening fire on closed doors. Telling off the killer and it is wonderful. David Arquette had a great send off to his character and Courtney Cox was there. She felt like Gale, but did not have a lot to do. Now, lets talk about Melissa Barrera.
I am still torn on what to think about her performance as Sam. The things she did right, was fantastic. Her just coming out with the secret and telling Tara the truth. The ending when she was taking out the one killer and wiping the blade clean, just like Papa, was one of the best moments in the movie. She felt like a strong but flawed character, but felt like they only scraped the tip of the iceberg here and left a lot on the table. Would like to have seen them play up suspicion around her a bit more and dive more into it. Need to see this one again before I can say how much I like the character or not, but they have set the table perfect to really explore this character more in sequels.
They really failed on the mystery part of this. You can easily piece this together pretty quickly. We will start with Richie, the boyfriend who knows nothing about any of this and is assertive about this. Only character who is downed by a light shove to a door. While every other character is tanking bullets and stab wounds. While Amber is just so confrontational and dirty looks. This was the least effective reveal in the series.
So final thoughts on Scream 2022. Going into it, Scream hasn’t had a miss yet and that doesn’t change now. Forgot how awesome the Ghostface costume looks on the big screen. Some fun kills and great moment. Mixed the older generation well enough with the younger. Could have given Gale a bit more to do, but didn’t really take me out of it to much. Loved the retelling of scenes with slight alterations to them. The new cast of characters were a lot of fun. Especially Tara and Mindy. While setting up a good future and interesting story to tell with Sam. Future looks bright for this franchise and would suggest checking this out in theaters. Final Grade – B+
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
By: Justin Hopkins
Another trip back down the road. A calendar years worth of movies to weigh with invisible qualities that, only the one putting their list together can see. What movies made them feel something. Happiness, sadness, suspense and thrills. Fan favorites being taken off from the list cause of little tick. Making space for an unpopular one. Making a list that is uniquely your own. Which is what makes them so much fun. To see why they chose they way they did and pick up some that you may have overlooked or missed, because it was easy to do in 2021. So, with all of that said, let’s dive in shall we.
Style and creativity helps lock down the tenth spot on my list. Despite the fact I gave it a bit of a mediocre grade. Annabelle Wallis did a really good job as Madison. Which went a long way in paying off a climax that stays with you long after the movie is over.
9. Psych 3: This is Gus
I had to. I love this group so much and every time they put out a movie it is such a delight. James Rodriguez and Dulé Hill never fail to entertain. The fight in the bathroom was over the top in the best possible ways and Timothy Omundson can pull on the heart strings with almost ease. A must if you were a fan of the show and check out the show if you haven’t so you can enjoy this one.
I know, I am shocked to. Had given up on the Saw movies after 3, and was disappointed in that one. This movie was more then just look at the elaborate traps that the series had seemed to fall into. Presenting us with an intriguing story and mystery around it, and while there were a lot of solid performances, Chris Rock is the one that sealed it for me. He excelled in his performance and should stick to the genre for a while.
7. Ghostbusters: Afterlife
This felt like the sequel that should have come out a long time ago. Cast, setting everything was spot on and future looks bright for them moving on.
I love this movie so much. This was such a fun movie. From the fight sequences, colors, music. Mary Elizabeth Winstead was spectacular, by making you care about a character that you know is doomed.. I actually thought it would be higher on the list, but it’s been that kind of year.
They made fashion war entertaining. Took a character as vile as Cruella and made her a sympathetic hero. Not a small feat, but they managed to pull it off. Of course, having Emma Stone as Cruella, makes it so much easier for them.
4. Resident Evil: Welcome To Racoon City
The fanboy in me had an absolute blast with this. Loved the changes they made to keep those who know the story off kilter and had they not made Leon a joke. This could have been number 1.
3. The Suicide Squad
Hey look, a dark, mature Comic Book Movie that is actually fun to watch. Margot is still excels as Harley. Idris Elba and Daniela Malchior were amazing additions and can’t believe it took this long to get villain John Cena. Even Joel Kinnaman made us care about the death of Rick Flag and he was awful in the first go around.
2. Spider-Man No Way Home
What can I say that hasn’t been beaten to death the last few weeks. It has everything. Nostalgia, emotional thrill ride, excellent moments and scenes. They took you on a ride throughout and ended on a bittersweet moment. An excellent movie that nearly knocked off the number one movie.. or well movies.
1.Fear Street Trilogy
Is it a cheat putting all three of them together; maybe, but the three work so well together that I can’t ignore them. Had me on the edge of my seat and emotions swinging wildly. Characters that I couldn’t stand and swung wildly the other way and was pulling for them to make it. Cliffhangers that had escalated everything perfectly, and a reveal that was a hundred percent the opposite of what I thought I was expecting. Had me hooked and engaged and they even had great and gruesome kills. 1994, 1978, and 1666 came together and fit together seamlessly and made for a stunning story, and claims the number one spot on my list.
As always, I hope you enjoyed and….
Thank You For Reading!
With an hour left on my side of the globe. Want to thank everyone who has read our blogs throughout the past year. It’s been a privilege to bring you stuff that caught your attention and hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. Look forward to continuing on to the next year and I hope you all the very best for the new year ahead of you.