Rise of The Tomb Raider

Hello faithful readers, I do have some news that may or may not surprise you but I have another Game Review to share! Shocking news!  Frankly even I myself am utterly stumped by this. Remember when I played Dragon Age Inquisition **Cough, Cough* and it took a me an entire year to play. Oops.

Rise of the Tomb Raider  was released on November 10, 2015 for Xbox One. Unfortunately I didn’t pick it up until we went down to Boise to visit a family member.  When the 12th came I was beyond excited, although doing so made me want to go back home from vacation and start playing. No offense to my husbands mom, I just had waited long enough for it to come out, it was definitely my game of the year that had me the most hooked. E3 broke the camels back and made it just that much worse. Thank the maker I am an Xbox Girl through and through, to the moon and back, otherwise I would be sitting waiting a whole other year for PlayStation to get it like so many people I know. I am deeply sorry you have to wait. Well Maybe?

I started playing as soon as I could and I put a lot of my heart and of course time into it until just right before Christmas when everything went crazy. I barely finished it two Saturdays ago. Basically what I did was what I like to call it a dry run, like in most games I play, focusing more on the story/action then the exploration. One of these days when I replay this game I’ll work on exploring and doing all of the optional Tombs and get more achievements that I missed. I am still waiting for that day when I actually complete a game one hundred percent, my closest is one of the Mass Effect games I would have to look to see which game it is.

imagesLara Croft has definitely grown into her tomb raiding skills unlike in the first rebooted game where she was in a fight or flight type of situation. I mean she really wasn’t thrown into the ringer as much, of course she has to go through hell and back to achieve what she wants to accomplish, but not like before. There is one character in all honesty from the previous game that’s not mentioned and I am beyond happy by that, I really didn’t want Sam to be Lara’s anchor again.

My only disappointment was, not sure if this would really be considered a spoiler, but Croft was unable to duel wield pistols AGAIN. One can only hope in the next installment Crystal Dynamics will rectify this issue for me, anyone with me?

As far as graphics go I believe them to be top-notch. My favorite thing to do is watch Lara’s hair move and her pulling her ponytail after getting out of deep water. I am pleased very easily as you might suspect. I am glad that they incorporated what they did in the Definitive Edition of the 2013 game. I couldn’t really think of a negative thing to say about the graphics.

To me the gameplay was pretty much the same but it made it easy to get used to considering the time difference between playing both games. Now don’t get me wrong there are some differences of abilities. Of course some of the bad guys could be a tad bit challenging but overall none were extremely hard that you couldn’t get past them like so many other games I have played in the past. My advice is make sure about halfway towards the end that your weapons and armor/clothing are upgraded because at a certain point you will face some harder foes and I shall leave it at that. I would like to add a small disclaimer I did like I usually do play on easy so I can only speak on that but if your into playing on the harder difficulty settings I sadly have no opinions. I imagine it would be tougher in may ways.

Lara Croft is still a badass and I hope everyone eventually gets to play this masterpiece at some point in time. I really hate these exclusives the gaming industry uses just let the gamer’s game, no matter what console they choose to play. Guess its time for this girl to restart and complete Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare since its been ages since I played and I cannot for the life of me remember what was going on in the campaign.
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The Force Awakens

If one is going to write about Star Wars anything, let alone a movie, one has to do it right. Plain and Simple.

AHT_star_wars_force_awakens_trailer_02_jef_150416_4x3_992 long time ago in a galaxy far, far away
there was a nerdy girl named Courtney, who was anticipating the release of Star Wars Episode Seven, The Force Awakens. The week before it debuted on the big screen the girl and her husband decided that it would be a great idea  to sit and watch the Prequel Trilogy and the Original Trilogy before going to see the new episode on the Sunday of its release. Courtney desperately wanted to see it but her fear of being in large crowds kept her from wanting to go on the first day, but honestly who could blame her. It was still pretty insane on that Sunday. She was so ecstatic on Sunday morning, so much so that she ended up injuring herself on black ice while she was at work.  ( I had a pretty gnarly bruise on my arm and some pain in my shoulder, the real reason I fell is because me and walking don’t agree 95 percent of the time.  It was not the first encounter of falling at work on the ice.) Despite the pain from her accident, all she could do to keep her mind off it was thinking about going to see the movie.

12341047_10153482819128052_9083975300707915661_nAll she had to do was go home, meet up with her older brother and husband, and change into her Kylo Ren shirt she bought months in advanced. After all this occurred they finally made their way to the movie theater and redeemed their seats that were booked a few days in advance. The three of them headed to find their spots up at the top of the theater. Courtney found it very hard to contain her excitement and anticipation. Finally that fateful moment began once the previews rolled through and the music began, she was mesmerized by the Title screen and couldn’t think of anything other than the moment that took so long to get there. Once the end credits rolled through her life was now complete. For Now…Until episode eight!

I am very pleased on how well The Force Awakens was I knew that it would be in good hands, Abrams did really well on the Star Trek movies, which led me to having faith that his hands were capable of producing something extraordinary in the realm that is Star Wars. One simply must not screw up a beloved phenomenon.

I loved absolutely every minute of it and to those who haven’t seen it yet I must tell you put away imagesUK9YX8JWyour doubts and go see it. You will be impressed. Now I’m sure someone, somewhere is going to point out its flaws but I am not that person. One of the constant things I have been hearing out in the airwaves is that it was too close to A New Hope. I mean sure I can see why you’d come up with that but honestly it’s so much more than that. Just give it a chance. Heck it was so good I immediately wanted to go back and see it again, which I actually did on my last week of Vacation, and boy it was even better the second go around!

tumblr_o03m8vEOBk1uatgcgo1_500I really enjoyed seeing the old cast back. I think I am in love with Harrison Ford even more than I already was. It was great getting to see Han and Chewbacca on-screen as a duo once more, they still had that chemistry we loved back in the original trilogy. I also loved the new characters that were introduced as well, one being a little droid named BB-8 he was just so damn loveable, watch out R2 you have your work cut out for you. There may be some new competition for ya. Scavenger Rey is the biggest mystery of the plot, who is she? Where does she come from? What is her connection to it all? And will we get the answers that we so desperately need?  I guess we shall wait and see. Kylo Ren is not quite the badass I had hoped he would’ve been BUT I see his potential of being one like Darth Vader before him. Something inside me tells me that I am going to love to hate him just as I did with Anakin/Darth Vader. What is his end game and what does Kylo Ren hope to achieve? The possibilities are endless.
rey-est-capable-de-tenir-tete-a-kylo-renI laughed, and I cried what more could one ask for.  I really have very high hopes that this generation will love Star Wars, just as my generation has and the generation before. I cannot wait to see The Force Awakens for the third time, maybe when it’s at the cheaper theater!
Please tell me you thought it was phenomenal as well!

Graduation. Part 2.

Welcome movie lovers to another rendition of Movie adventures of Courtney and Robyn! As promised earlier this month here is part two of 8 movies! Decided to put our first letter of our names in front of the movie title so hopefully its a little easier to distinguish our reviews especially if you miss out on a segment.

Any ideas for our next theme? Please comment below!
Once again follow us both on twitter @GeekyGamerChick and @Tenismoresonic! 

C-Hot Fuzz (2007)
hggghSimply put its Simon ***** Pegg, need I say more? Well That wouldn’t necessarily count as a movie review now would it? What can one say about Simon Pegg Movies, You know its going to be rude, crude and a knee slapping good time! Hot Fuzz is one of my favorite Pegg films to be honest next to The Worlds End! There are some pretty gruesome death scenes but they aren’t without a little bit of comedy.  Cannot forget to mention Nick Frost he is pretty badass as well, glad he appears in a lot of Peggs movies!

R-The Fog (2005)
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When reading the summary for this movie, it really does sound like a pretty interesting movie. I was drawn to it by the fact it takes place on an island, but not with the usual “lost at sea” scenario. However, I think the summary given by IMDB (and Netflix) pumps it up to be more than what it is. It turned out to be just another cliché ghost story. It basically just boiled down to revenge. It was still enjoyable, don’t get me wrong, but slightly disappointing. I really did like Selma Blair’s character, though.

 

Graduation Years

Welcome to Round two of Movie Adventures of Courtney and Robyn. This week our theme is the year we graduated I will be sharing with you two out of eight of our reviews the other six will come later on (two at a time). I want to spread the movies out a little bit instead of overloading the site with 8 movies.  Lets not waste any time and let’s get to our first movie. Robyn graduated first so she will be up first then it will be my turn.

(Please let us know if you have a theme you would like us to do! Just send me an email Thegamehuntress@gmail.com)

War of the Worlds (2005)

gakgajkgaI remember when this movie came out and hearing all about how when it was aired years ago on the radio, how everyone thought it was real and freaked out. To have such a huge effect on listeners, what an incredible thing to hear. I almost wish I had lived back then so I could experience that event (but I wouldn’t give up the technology I have now). I really like Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning in this movie. I’m not very familiar with the actor who played Robbie, but that character really did annoy me. Perhaps that would be a normal teenage boy reaction? Who knows. The entire movie was great, except for when it came to the ending. I was so disappointed with how it ended, I felt like there should have been this great climax. Aliens on our planet? There needs to be more action and drama and fear!

TMNT (2007)
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I Love Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles with a passion have since I was a little kid and has grown bigger into my adult life and is growing out of proportion each and every day. I honestly never saw the animated TMNT movie before until up about a month or two ago. I wish I had seen it sooner, it is possible I had seen it and just forgot who really knows with this brain of mine!

I loved the Cast of the characters
Raph- Nolan North (Eeek need I say more?)
Leonardo- James Arnold Taylor
Mikey- Mikey Kelley
Donnie-Mitchell Whitfield
April O’Neil- Sarah Michelle Geller
Casey Jones- Chris Evans aka Captain America!!!
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I thought that the animation was done really well and the storyline was really good as well. I truly believed that they captured each of the turtles personalities to a T. Of course Raphael and Leonardo butt heads about who is a better leader, Mikey is just Mikey that’s the only way to really describe his character, and of course Donatello is the brains of the group!

My favorite character in this film was of course without a doubt Raph, not only because he is voiced by the amazing Nolan North but because he has always been one of my favorites (I used to love Donnie more as a kid but after watching the Nickelodeon TMNT show I love Raph now cause he’s voiced by Sean Astin!) He is the hot headed temperamental one but if his brothers are in trouble he is able to come around and help out with whatever is going on. You can always count on him! I will watch and rewatch this movie over and over again without being bored.

Robin Williams. Take Two.

 Hello once again. As promised I bring you the other half of our Reviews. Hope you enjoyed our first debut post if you haven’t seen it yet go back and check it out!

I wrote a quick thank you even though i know he will never see this post i just wanted to thank a great man for all that he has given to each of us over the years.
Thank you for making such great movies. You will always be remembered for all that you did, it’s truly sad to see someone who made people laugh/cry for so long suffer from depression. It goes to show you how everyone, even people who seemingly have the life, struggle with the inner demons of depression. I will always be your fan!

May you Rest In Peace.

Courtney’s Flick Pick

Jumanji (1995)

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This is by far my ultimate favorite Williams film ever! I mean come on who wouldn’t love a movie about a board game that makes real stuff come out, including but not limited to, Lions, Monkeys, Giant Spiders, and much more! I could probably sit and watch Jumanji over and over again and be entertained each time.
I still remember watching it as a young girl and the awesome thing is I still have that same reaction that i once had. I was in awe of how well the special effects were for the times. I personally feel that Jumanji stands the test of time and that truly means something great and wonderful. Williams i will always remember you as Alan Parrish and the joy that character brought to my life. Thank you for making your character memorable.
I honestly forgot that Kirsten Dunst was in this film until I re-watched it on Netflix. I had watched it previously before Robin Williams passed away.

Robyn’s Flick Pick

The Birdcage (1996)

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The fact that Robin Williams (who was such a great, funny, inspiring actor) plays a gay man whom owns a drag queen bar is the best thing about this movie. To me that shows tolerance, acceptance, and no care for what people think. That makes me admire him more as a person. This movie was full of funny moments and no better actors could have been chosen. Nathan Lane was amazing in his role, hitting all of the gay stereotypes right on the nose (which I believe was intended and not because that’s how the writers view gays). I believe there are lessons to be learned along with the funny moments. We see how families with gay couples go to great lengths to please those whom may not agree with how their lives are lived. Isn’t that what many people do in real life? In the end, when the conservative parents learn of situation and are helped in their escape, I think they learned to be more understanding.

Our next theme is: Graduation Year.
Until Next time,
Get your movie on!

Pandemic Purveyors of Petulant Pop Propaganda: Aloe Blacc

Every time I hear this song it drives me nuts I swear he couldn’t come up with a better chorus then
“I’m the man I’m the man” “Tell Everybody I’m the man” Bad part is that the tune part of it can be catchy in the right moment where I find myself singing along with the radio (Not well might I add) and then once I start doing that the words are seeped into my brain for the next several hours even days. I kid you not!

Does anyone else dislike this song? Am I just crazy? I sure hope not!

If you have a song you think should be featured in this series please let me know what the song is and who sings it and you just might get a mention to go along with the song

Havent said this in so long because I was forget but: This is the Game Huntress signing off wherever there is XP or Achievements I will ALWAYS be on the HUNT

TGHMC PRESENTS: RED STATE

Welcome to The Game Huntress Lair! It’s the time you have been waiting for time to review our first movie! If you’d like to know more about the Movie Club Members please go back to a previous blog post that talks about different things that have been happening. Please leave us feedback and if you ever have a movie suggestion or just wanna share your thoughts tweet me on twitter @Game_Huntress. Without any further a due:

 

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Red State (2011)

Directed by: Kevin Smith

Starring: Michael Parks, John Goodman, Melissa Leo

Rating: Rated R

length: 1 hr 29 Min

Genre: Action-Adventure, Horror

Found on: Netflix

Game Huntress’s Review

Red State starts out with 3 male teenagers, who answer an online ad for woman seeking wild n crazy sex, they thought this was going to be the best night of their lives, instead it ends in disaster when they become kidnapped and taken hostage by a radical church led by Albin Cooper (Parks) called the 5 Point Trinity Church. This group is mentioned to be a bit of gun nuts which becomes apparent very quickly in this film, when a few people try to escape because their fight or flight instincts kick in. Sadly to no avail the situation goes  from bad to worse when Special Agent  Joseph Keenan (Goodman) is sent to investigate and an all out fire-fight ensues between ATF and the members of the church, and it clearly becomes apparent that this situation wouldn’t come to a close without both sides taking major losses. 

I found it severely disturbing, I believe this was what Smith was going for, and its crazy how people like the Cooper Clan could actually exist, such like the Westboro Baptist Church, which Red State is loosely based on.

I give Red State a 7.5.

Josh’s Review

Red State is a haunting look into what lies behind, radical groups and radical leaders. Kevin Smith took on a very grim subject in directing the 2011 film. While recent events leave most thinking the church group lead by Abin Cooper (Michael Parks) resemble the Westboro Baptist Church; the groups actions and dark secrets left a feeling, for those who can remember, more reminiscent of David Keresh. This church was molded to believe that the media and deviant choices of people, if not handled by anyone else, should be handled by their own hand.

In the beginning, no real protagonist is given. Three harmless teens are using the web to make a sexual conquest. However, upon meeting the woman offering, things take a very grim turn. Soon things become a very twisted and dark visual as they are taken hostage by the Five Points Church, led by Cooper. It becomes a struggle to survive. However once the darkness reveals itself, Special Agent  Joseph Keenan (John Goodman) is sent to the scene. This is where the film really begins to build up steam. A simple operation turns into a Branch Davidian-esque type battle filled with its share of shock and gore. Only in a twist does the bloodshed cease and the movie comes to an end.

Kevin Smith really showed with his camera work (short, choppy shots) and his quick dialogue that he was returning to a more simplistic style in filming. This also plays well as the opening sequences are not really important to the rest of the movie, so the watcher is not left to feel the need to focus on this. As tension mounts, the film score and tighter camera shots really build on that. John Goodman and Michael Parks do wonderful jobs as reluctant hero and villain respectively.

In that, this is what really hinders the film from being beyond mediocre. It does leave a feeling of confusion as the opening scenes did not really play later to anything more. The actors that are focused on do excellent, but at times they seemed to be shown bumbling around more than necessary. And also the quick wrap up really does left a lot to be left desired.

Overall, there did seem to be a directing conflict. Kevin Smith was trying to return to basics in film; however after a stellar career, it is hard to not rely on a bigger budget to solidify a movie. Certain quirky filming and a hauntingly excellent choice in subject could have made a superb cult classic. However, a choppy forgettable open and sudden closure leave it as a random find on Netflix. If you aren’t sensitive to the subject matter, I do say give this a go at least one time.

Rating 7.0

Shauna’s Review

Kevin Smith, can you do no wrong?! Oh well there’s Jersey Girl we’ll forget about that one, because Red State is seriously amazing! He’s really outdone himself with this one. We all know he’s capable of making those cult classic raunchy comedies like Clerks, Dogma, and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, but this movie is way out of left field for him.

A knock out cast only makes this movie that much better. Michael Parks leads with an impeccable performance as an extremist church leader, Abin Cooper. He mixes equal parts crazy and nuts to bring to life one of the most terrifying villains I have ever seen. Travis, Billy Ray, and Randy (played by Michael Angarano, Nicholas Braun, and Ronnie Connel) are perfectly convincing trailer trash teens just out for a good time. Though their stereotypical behavior can take you out of the seriousness of the film by making you giggle, the performances were top-notch. While I would have liked to have seen more of him, John Goodman’s limited screen time was nothing short of flawless.

Don’t let his past work fool you though, this is not a generic Kevin Smith film. Whether you are a fan of his or you hate everything he’s done so far, give Red State a try because I think you will be truly surprised. This movie is smart, mature, and gruesome on so many levels, and the controversy behind its subject makes it that much more intriguing. Short, sweet, and to the point, Red State will shock you and leave you both frightened and disturbed.

ShaunaOH gives this movie a 8/10!

Sean’s Review

    Red State is loosely based on the Westboro Baptist Church from Topeka, KS. In the movie, the Five Points Trinity Church is led by Pastor Abin Cooper. They are tormenting the town because their fundamentalist ideals dictate that the world is doomed because of society’s acceptance of homosexuality and a perceived “absence” of God in the media. They believe that God is not an all-loving being, but rather, an entity that casts out all others unless they specifically believe Five Point’s controversial doctrine.

    The significant difference between the real-life Phelps’s in Kansas and Smith’s Five Points Trinity Church is that Five Points are very pro-gun rights and have seemingly amassed an armory under their property.  Instead of picketing and suing, like the Phelps’s, Five Points is willing to murder innocent people to further their cause. They are seen murdering a homosexual in the beginning of the movie and even murder a Sheriff’s Deputy because he nearly discovers what they’re doing.

    John Goodman who plays Special Agent Joseph Keenan gets wind of some activity at the church and immediately goes to investigate. On the first day they are there, a firefight erupts. He receives orders that he needs to breach the premises and take control. The situation begins to feel like the real-life Branch Davidians and the Waco Siege in 1993. The situation quickly spirals out of control and options become very limited.

The twist in the film comes when loud, trumpet blasts reign throughout the fight. There’s so much chaos and destruction happening, but everyone stops what they’re doing. Five Points drops their weapons because it seems as if the biblical Rapture is happening. They walk outside and Special Agent Keenan and his team arrest the Five Points members. They figure out that the blasts came from a farm over as a retaliatory gesture from college students who’ve been pestered by Pastor Cooper. That single act saved many lives and ensured that most made it out of the skirmish alive.
   

Red State is one of Kevin Smith’s darker films and really shows what could happen when religious tolerance and gun-rights go unchecked. The parallels between the real-life Westboro Baptist Church and Branch Davidians are apparent and the fantasy that is created becomes very disturbing. The film is very graphic and raw and isn’t for everyone. The idea for the movie came to Smith after some exchange with Westboro Baptist Church’s Megan Phelps. Smith was always willing to invite Phelps and her family to his shows and even extended the church an invitation to a premiere of Red State in Kansas City which they accepted. They didn’t appreciate the loose comparison and did not watch the film to the end. The film is very powerful to those who are both familiar with the Westboro Baptist Church and the Branch Davidian tragedy in Waco. Fans of Smith, who are used to his usual comedic films, may not appreciate Red State and Smith’s twisted view on this subject.Rating 7.0

Hope you enjoyed each of our different takes/review styles on Red State. I picked this one and since Josh was the first one to join the group, has the second pick, so stay tuned for another round of GAME HUNTRESS MOVIE CLUB. Be sure to follow us all on twitter! Me (@geekygamerchick) Shauna (@xShaunaOH) Josh (@O_Mistah_J) and of course Sean (@guy_sean) Until Next time, Keep it Nerdy