This Hardwick Situation

Late on the evening of June 14th, Chloe Dykstra posted an unlisted essay on Medium entitled Rose-Colored Glasses: A Confession. In the essay she recounts an especially painful period in her life which was the result of a relationship that she was in with an unnamed man. Besides being an online personality, talented cosplayer, actress, and daughter of special effects master John Dykstra, Chloe is also known for having been the girlfriend of 90's has-been turned nerd icon, Chris Hardwick. 

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In the essay, Dykstra goes out of her way to never mention Hardwick by name but leaves enough clues that made deciphering the easy even for the most casual of ID10T (formerly Nerdist) podcast fan. In the essay she refers to the former companion as a "sober" "man almost 20 years [her] senior" who is "a powerhouse CEO of his own company... obsessed with celebrity, being famous, [and] famous people". All signs point to Hardwick.
It was my intention to approach this article giving her the respect of not pointing any fingers at the former Nerdist CEO but once Hardwick released his statement countering her accusations, I believe his given anonymity was pulled off the table. So with that here we will examine that accusation, past actions, and fallout.

THE ACCUSATION

If you read Chloe Dykstra's essay, the accusations are very upsetting and reminicent of the first act of any abusive husband movie. The reason I say the first act is because it seems that though Hardwick was allegedly controlling and manipulating emotionally, and verbally abusive, he never got physical. She recounts rules that were set up for her including; not going out, not drinking alcohol and not having male friends. The essay escalates to a point where an anorexic Dykstra found herself ectopically pregnant and afraid of his reaction. Because of the pregnancy's potentially dangerous/fatal outcome, it was decided that she would have the fertilized egg surgically removed. After her recovery, in front of her mother, Hardwick allegedly (and I assumed jokingly) asked the doctor when he "could have sex with her again". 

In his counter he says that her essay "blindsided" him and contains "serious allegations and not to be taken lightly". He confirms that the "three year relationship was not perfect - [they] were ultimately not a good match and argued" but concluded in saying that did he "at no time... sexually assault her". The final half of his official statement alleges that "Chloe had cheated on [him], and [he] ended the relationship" and that she "asked to get back together... wanted to have kids." As true as that might be the accusatory portion of his defense took up a larger portion of the statement than his shock and reflection on the essay. Often a troupe of the guilty, and a bad sign in a statement of an innocent man. 

PAST ACTIONS

The Nerdist Podcast was one of the very first I ever listened to regularly. It introduced me to many comedians and other podcasts that I would have never heard of otherwise. Like a web, from them I found WTF with Marc Maron and from WTF to You Made it Weird and so on. As my tastes changed and Chris Hardwick became more successful, I stopped listening. He became more and more warped and egotistical with his rediscovered popularity and it became hard to listen to; a host who often times felt, himself, more important than the guest. Often comparing the person's accomplishments (sometimes scientists and astronauts) to those of his own. The beginning of the end and the end came, for me, in the clips below:

When working on a podcast with other funny people, a lot of times people on mic will step on eachother's feet. It happens with us all the time and the key is to wait until there is an opening and continue with your thought. In this clip it seems that Hardwick and his two co-hosts, Jonah Ray and Matt Mira are enjoying the riffing until it is obvious they are not. After Hardwick's outburst the things are tense and it comes across in the audio. FULL EPISODE HERE.

The next three clips are all from the same episode and cover the same subject; a cancelled appearance on Comedy Central's @midnight by Jonah Ray. The gameshow, that ended last year, was hosted and produced by Chris Hardwick. 
Beyond being co-hosts of the Nerdist Podcast, the three are friends. It would only seem logical that you would want your friend to succeed by acting in one of 49 episodes of a TV series than be buried in one of the 500 episodes of a late night game show. FULL EPISODE HERE.

Further evidence can be seen in his actions regarding his opportunity to get Vin Diesel for a special video promoting the 2015 movie The Last Witch Hunter. A little bit of a backstory; back in the day Chris Hardwick would play Dungeons and Dragons with fellow comedians Brian Posehn, Blaine Capatch, Patton Oswalt, Gerry Duggan and a few others. In 2012 Posehn started his D&D podcast Nerd Poker along with Capatch, and Duggan. During gameplay they discussed how Vin Diesel was a fan of the game and started to pitch the idea of getting him onto the podcast to play a game. Through Twitter and other means they attempted but unfortunately nothing came of it. Jump to 2015 when Nerdist was approached by the studio responsible for The Last Witch Hunter, instead of including his old fellow dungeoneers, Nerd and Sundry (a sister site to Nerdist) did the exact same thing Nerd Poker had been attempting to pull off. A decision that serves only to prove that success trumps friendship when it comes to Chris Hardwick. 

THE FALL OUT

In the days following Dykstra's essay and as of the writing of this article, Chris Hardwick has been scrubbed from the Nerdist website (a site he started but was no longer associated with), had both The Talking Dead and his AMC talkshow suspended, dropped out from panel hosting at this year's SDCC and has NBC reevaluating their relationship with him and the show The Wall. 
The fall out reaches far into the nerd community with geek icons who are also friends of Hardwick being forced to ride the fence with tweets or going the Jonah Ray route and remaining quiet on the situation until all the cards fall.

The other part of the fall out is the numerous projects that Hardwick is/was the face for that are now either in limbo or never again will be. If the ID10T podcast was to end the talent will land on their feet but unless the people behind the scenes are still on with Nerdist in some capacity, they will now be out of work. The same issue arises with the TV shows where he is the face of the show. Chris Hardwick has spent a lot of time and effort making himself more of a brand and less of an individual. It is evident through Chloe Dykstra's essay and through his response that the Chris Hardwick Brand is more important to him than others and even maybe himself. 

IN CLOSING

There are always two sides to every story and somewhere in between is the truth. I won't say that Dykstra's account is 100% true but from Hardwick's own action in the past (beyond the examples given above), actions that he doesn't try to hide nor does he think there are any problems with, her story is very believable. In the coming days and weeks I am sure additional accounts will come to the surface and this story will continue to develop unveiling more issues and examples from people both big and small who have crossed path with the nerd community's once shining and now tainted star. 

This article was written by Andy Carl Valentin and in no way represents Reservoir Geeks as a whole. The opinions and statements are that of Andy Carl Valentin alone. 

Posted on June 17, 2018 .

When Fish Fly

Recently I tried a handful of times to run through Super Mario Bros and beat the game.....it didn't go well. Yet I realized a few things through this play through that I hadn't as a child. The first thing was, HOW THE HELL DID I BEAT THIS LIKE IT WAS NOTHING AS A CHILD?  Seriously, I remember flying through this game (with the help of warp zones) in under 30 minutes. I would time myself when everyone sat down to watch Home Improvement (so that way I wouldn't miss The Simpsons). This time I was way dead before that time period.

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One of the other things that I noticed actually impressed me this time, most of my muscle memory of the game was still there. How far and how high Mario jumps, the timing of the enemies, and where the hidden items are. It was like riding a bike really, the first few goombas I crushed instantly brought a smile to my face, that didn't last long.

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So after beating Bowser for the first time in World 5 stage 4 (5-4) and enjoying the black and white colors of the background in world 6 I noticed the next thing I haven't as a child, that flying fish are hard. I reached this stage each time I played, and died every time. I'm not sure if it was the having less then 3 extra men when running into these bastards or how hard these flying fish sticks actually were. Seriously by about the 5th time of dying at this exact stage I was about ready to call it quits.

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I'm sure if I tried a few more times I could have passed it and even maybe beat the game but I was just straight annoyed by it.  I'm sure as a child it was a mixture of practice and not having other games and things to play that made me so good at the time, but now as a 30 year old man playing it I decided it was time to try again in a week or so. I'll keep you guys posted with the outcome. 

Posted on June 16, 2018 .

Netflix's Image Issue

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While perusing Netflix I, like I am sure many others, took note of all the strange images from movies and TV shows they chose for certain selections. Often times they make no sense when taken out of context. Like the Friends image is Ross wearing a very small "Frankie Says Relax" shirt or for Face/Off it's just Nicolas Cage screaming in prison. If you have no exposure to either of those, you'd assume Ross body swapped with a woman or child and Nicolas Cage is... Well the picture really does sum us Cage in all his glory.

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But take certain lesser known project like The Gift or Inconceivable. They look as confused as the perspective viewer as to what the movie is about. Now sure, you have the description you can refer to but it's the initial image that piques your interest and in comparison Next looks like a cop film while the Departed looks like Marky-Mark is making eyes as some lady. It's bizarre.

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I thought that perhaps it was a copyright issue with whoever makes the posters maybe but no, Netflix themselves fall victim to the vagueness issue with their own properties. I have no idea why that girl is sitting on a football field but I suppose by the end of it I'll have 13 reasons. 

I reached out to Netflix to inquire as to how they pick the images they do for certain shows and by the time I'm writing this piece, I have not received a reply. In the event they do let me know, I will make sure to update with their response. In the meantime, why do you think they do this and what have you found while going through Nextlix that had you perplexed? Let me know. Until then, happy streaming!  

Posted on June 13, 2018 .

7th Annual Oak Cliff Film Festival

This week South Dallas will play host to one of the best events the city holds, the 7th Annual Oak Cliff Film Festival. If you’ve never had the pleasure of attending, it’s a great excuse to see some of the historic theaters that pepper the south side of town.

Posted on June 12, 2018 .

Happy 25th Birthday Jurassic Park!

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I'm not quite sure what came first; my love of dinosaurs or Jurassic Park. Either way, the dino-obsession started early and has yet to fade. I first read the book Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton right before the movie came out in 1993. I vaguely remember being attracted to the book because of the dinosaur on the cover and they were literally everywhere because the movie was about to be released, and well, that's just how marketing works. I was in 3rd grade and I begged and begged for the book and I think I finally got it for my birthday. Not implying that my parents didn't want me to read, they just thought it might be too advanced for a kid that age. I'd be lying if I said I fully understood all the science and technical jargon in the book, but even as an adult and having read my fair share of other Michael Crichton books I can't say I fully understand it all now. 

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I was instantly obsessed! I probably read the book two or three times leading up to the release of the film. Sadly, I wasn't able to see the movie in theaters. Understandable though as I was only 9 years old at the time. Since I couldn't see it in theaters I had to settle for playing with the toys and hearing about the film from my adult neighbors and parents friends. One of them mentioned that a guy got eaten while he was on the toilet. What?!? My tiny child brain exploded. I HAD to see this movie! 

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I finally got my chance to see it when the movie was released on VHS. I plopped on the floor in front of the TV and...I couldn't watch it all the way through! I was too terrified when the raptors corner Lex and Tim in the kitchen that I had to "get a drink" and watch via peeking around the corner. Other than that brief moment of terror I was floored. I couldn't get enough. I was officially hooked. And not just on JP, but on dinosaurs as a whole. My aspirations to become fighter pilot (obviously after watching Top Gun) went right out the window and I was convinced it was destiny that I become a paleontologist. If you though it was weird that I wanted to read Jurassic Park in the 3rd grade just imagine my parents faces when I started requesting college paleontology textbooks for Christmas. 

  This book became my dino-bible as I drew dinosaurs EVERYWHERE!

This book became my dino-bible as I drew dinosaurs EVERYWHERE!

When the subsequent films came out I was there. And I loved them all. Sure, they all pale in comparison and get a little bit ridiculous at times (ahem, Jurassic Park III) but, they've got that magic ingredient that keeps me coming back: dinosaurs! Spielberg did such as amazing job with the first film that it makes it almost impossible for me not to find some kind of enjoyment in any future JP film. As long as they sample just a sliver of the originals perfect mix of action, comedy, and tension they'll find my butt in a seat. Oh, and they've got to at least reference Dr. Grant or Dr. Malcolm and the original park. 

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I was actually quite happy with the reboot. I'm also looking forward to the latest installment. However, I don't think any future film will live up to what the original Jurassic Park is to me. Even upon rewatching I still find myself in awe at times. It is a wonderfully constructed film filled with incredible performances. The drama is real when you still find yourself tensed up for an outcome you've seen 20 times before. In preparation for this article we rewatched the movie and tried to recite the lines from memory. I was actually quite surprised by how much I knew. I mean, I know a lot of the lines because Andy and I are constantly quoting them back and forth ("Don't get cheap on me Dodgson. That was Hammond's mistake") but, in playing back the recordings we made it's pretty funny how closely our delivery matches up. 

So, I'd just like to say Happy Birthday Jurassic Park! You're my all-time favorite movie. You still fill my heart with glee when I hear your trademark "thump-thump" and raptor screams. You're the covert can of shaving cream to my Dennis Nedry. 

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Posted on June 11, 2018 .

READ THIS: I’ll Be Gone In The Dark

Oh, hey, did you know that I’m a librarian? Did you know that one of the biggest myths about librarians is that they get to read all day? Man, I wish. I barely have time to read a few pages on my lunch break, let alone hours on end amidst helping patrons on the computers, attending meetings, and shuffling all the paperwork around.

But this is where audiobooks come in and save the day (yes, listening to audiobooks counts as reading - ask any librarian and you’ll get an earful, no pun intended). My library offers (free!) downloadable eBooks and audiobooks and I also have an account with Audible, so I’m well-stocked in setting the mood for my daily commute. And over the last few months, the mood has been decidedly dark. I’ve always been interested in true crime and murder, but recently I’ve fallen down what I call a “murder hole,” exclusively reading/listening to dark, gruesome tales of death, deception, and destruction. It keeps me balanced.

The last three books I’ve read have been macabre explorations of humanity: The Devil in the White City (about the 1893 World’s Fair and the murder mansion of H.H. Holmes); The Alienist (definitely read the book before watching the TNT series, if you haven’t already); and The Stranger Beside Me (true crime master Ann Rule’s exploration of the brutal mass-murderer Ted Bundy… who was also her friend).

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Needless to say, I’d been looking forward to reading Michelle McNamara’s posthumous publication on the then as-yet-to-be-identified Golden State Killer, I’ll Be Gone in the Dark. I purchased it via Audible the day it was released and I finished the almost 10-hour audiobook in less than 24 hours. That’s the equivalent of staying up all night to read a book you just can’t put down. Because staying up all night to learn about one of the most chilling and brutal serial rapist-turned-murderers in American history isn’t exactly something that lends itself to a peaceful night’s sleep anyway.

I’ll Be Gone in the Dark is the product of true crime writer McNamara’s obsessive search for the identity of the Golden State Killer (GSK), a moniker she coined to encompass and expand upon the previous names for the serial killer whose elusive actions terrified the state of California from 1974-1986: the East Area Rapist and/or Original Night Stalker (EAR/ONS). Sounds like a cheery fellow, eh?

McNamara, who was married to comedian Patton Oswalt, spent years researching the movements and mindsets and tracking suspects and leads in the GSK case, documenting her progress on her blog, True Crime Diary, and in various magazines. Sadly, Michelle passed away unexpectedly and never got to see her book make it off her laptop. Her research assistants (she also worked with the police for years) couldn’t let her investigations go unread and finished the book by pulling excerpts from published stories and crafting chapters from notes and drafts. And the final product is chilling.

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As if this all wasn’t enough to recommend the book on its own, in late April of this year, after more than 40 years of searching, police identified and arrested the Golden State Killer: Joseph James DeAngelo. And I have no doubt, nor could anybody who reads the book, that McNamara’s work was a driving force in solving the case. In fact, after following the news of the arrest (obsessively, I must admit), I re-listened to the entire book and felt so many emotions knowing McNamara wasn’t with us to see the GSK being brought to justice for his heinous actions. 

If you’re into true (or even fake) crime, this book is a must-read, even more so now that the identity of the GSK has been revealed. Questions and theories outlined in the book are now being answered in real time, as it were. It really is quite an extraordinary situation.

Also, you know, go to your library every once in a while. We have good stuff.

Posted on June 10, 2018 and filed under READ THIS.

It's Time For E3

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It’s that time again. The annual Electronic Entertainment Expo or E3 is the premier gaming expo to see what the next year or more in games has to offer. Starting on May 11, 1995 it’s the largest gaming news expo of the year in North America. In years past it has lost some of its momentum but it seems like in recent months I’ve been hearing more hype around the show with developers holding press conferences before the expo I.E

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EA – June 9 at 11am PT As you would expect from EA you will get announcements for your normal sports fair such as Madden 19, FIFA 19, NHL 19 and NBA Live 19. A new Battlefield is coming to the forefront. The next iteration will take place during World War II and includes new features such as fortifications, and a return of co-op modes. Also another title is Anthem EA is describing it as "a shared-world action RPG where Freelancers challenge the wilds past the wall, exploring a vast world filled with savage beasts and ruthless marauders, but also teeming with amazing technology and forgotten treasures".

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Microsoft – June 10 at 1pm PT. Microsoft is primed to show a new Halo, Gears of war, Forza, and maybe a glimpse of the delayed title Crackdown 3.

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Bethesda – June 10 at 6.30 pm PT besides more Fallout 76 footage who knows what we will see. Maybe a new Elder scrolls title?

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Ubisoft – June 11 at 1pm PT It would seem we will get to feast our eyes on the new Assassin's Creed Odyssey. Who knows what else Ubisoft has to offer.

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Square Enix – June 11 at 10am PT. The Keyblade is back in the wildly anticipated 3rdinstallation of the epic crossover that is Kingdom hearts 3. Its Final fantasy meets Disney. Speaking of Final Fantasy maybe we will get the FF7 we have all been waiting for.

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Sony – June 11 at 6pm PT. Shawn Layden has confirmed that the presentation will focus on four main Sony exclusives: Death Stranding, Ghost of Tsushima, Spider-Man and The Last of Us Part 2, and brand new PS4 and PS VR game called the Tetris Effect, and upcoming zombie survival title Days Gone.

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Nintendo – June 12 at 9am PT. Nintendo has confirmed that Smash Bros will be a big focus for the show. Metroid Prime 4 could appear as well as a new Switch-based Pokémon. We now know that this core Pokémon RPG on Switch will launch in late 2019. So lets hope we can catch a glimpse of this at E3. With maybe some more info about Pokemon Let's Go Eevee and Pikachu.

What are you most excited about for E3? Let us know down below! Personally I can’t wait to see the new Switch Pokémon title until then I’ll guess we will just have to wait and see.

Posted on June 9, 2018 .

The Worst Movie I've Seen, Lately: Beyond Skyline

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Disclaimer: I am not a movie expert. Don't expect an in depth analysis of the film.  I'm just a guy that like to watch movies. Sometimes, they’re good, sometimes they’re bad.

The other day I got an email from Netflix letting me know of some new additions available. Since I have a penchant for sci-fi, I was recommended Beyond Skyline. I figured it was a sequel to the 2010 dumpster fire of a movie Skyline. So, I watched it. Wow, was it bad. Hardly watchable. It wasn't so much a sequel and a concurrent storyline. At least I think that's what they were going for. I’ll save you the trouble and give you the play-by-play.

We open with some random scene of what looks like a field hospital. I don't really know what it was. I guess it was meant to be in the future, but didn't sell it well. It had a voice over monologue that i'm sure was meant to be profound, but i can't recall a single bit of it.

I didn't get invested enough to learn anyone's name so I will just call them by what they are.

We open with a dude in a truck using mouthwash. Typical scruffy type you know is meant to be the hero/good guy. You can tell he is troubled by something, cuz that's obviously the cookie cutter protagonist they are going with. I'll call him sad dad. Oh yeah, he is a cop. We learn he has been on leave because his wife died. He is at the police station because his son got in a fight. Wow, didn't see that coming. Where his dad is sad at the world, he is mad at the world and keeps getting in fights. So, we’ll call him mad son. Some pointless argument happens and the truck wont start so they take the subway.

We cut to the train car and you have a perfect sampling of random people. Right on cue, there is a crash and the train comes to a halt. How original. So, sad dad goes and talks to the train conductor, we’ll call her subway, and she tries to take control. Of course more crashing sounds happen and they immediately say to hell with procedure and take off down the tracks. Subway pretty much lets sad cop take over without hesitation.

Now we see a police station and everyone is gone. A guy we learned to be the sad dads partner, now called partner cop, comes out of the bathroom like nothing happened. Now, there is no damn way he wouldn't have heard all the commotion, yet he is clueless. He runs into another random cop and they see a bunch of people outside looking at some blue light. Next thing you know, the people are flying into the air and we see they are being gobbled up by a spaceship. So, they decide to run and hide in the subway.

What a coincidence! Sad dad runs into his buddy, partner cop in the very same subway because of course they do. This movie writes itself.

So, they are walking down a tunnel and the Airforce nukes the spaceship. Obviously, when confronting a superior, alien force, nuke a major city.

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The subway collapses and kills a bunch of the random subway people. Then an alien jumps out and eats partner cop. Mad son is mesmerized by the blue lights and his eyes get all weird like Lady Gaga did his eyeliner so sad dad shoots it, like 20 times, at least. Partner cop isn't dead and is just being held by the alien so sad dad cuts him out. LOOK OUT! Alien isn't dead so they climb up a car to get to the street. So, sad dad takes a road flare, and puts it in the cars gas tank. Somehow, he has enough time to climb up the car to safety before it blown. That's not how fire works. So stupid.

Anyway, now they are all running around and I notice subway is wearing capri pants. In what version of LA is a subway conductor allowed to wear capris? Capris are dumb, this is dumb.

I kinda checked out for a while and don't remember what happened, but they end up getting sucked up into the ship. Now we see the aliens are ripping the brains out of people and tossing the bodies aside. Somehow, sad dad still has a gun that never runs out of bullets  and starts shooting things. That makes boss alien mad and he sends other bad guys after him. Somehow, sad dad seems to get flushed out of the ship only to get his leg impaled on a spike. Next thing you know, he pulls himself back up and you see him parkour his way back up, bad leg and all. Suuuure….

Now, sad dad is wandering around the ship, where everything is wet and slimy (why would it be wet and slimy?) and he runs into a blue eyed bad guy. Que obligatory human vs alien fight. In comes a red eyed alien who starts fighting blue eyed alien and kills him. If 90’s rap videos taught us anything, its that red and blue hate each other so it makes sense.

Sad dad follows red eyed alien and they find a pregnant lady. Lady gives birth and wouldn't you know, red eyed alien turn out to be the babies father. Oh, and the mom seemed to die for no reason whatsoever. Turns out the family was sucked up and the dads brain got put into an alien robot body thing and now they are back together. At least I think thats what happened. I was up getting a beer by this point.

Sad dad makes a deal with red eyed alien that he will keep his daugher safe if he helps him find his son.

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Now, sad dad and red eyes are fighting more blue eyes and sad dad get an alien weapon arm. Sure, why the hell not. At some point in the fight they find mad son and to save them all, mad somn sacrifices himself and gets his brain sucked out.

Then red eyes blows up the ship.

Now they are in Laos. Not a major city like Tokyo or Hong Kong, but the middle of nowhere Laos.

The ship crashed and sad dad, subway, baby and the blind guy escape. Oh yeah, they have had an old blind guy with them up till now. Not really important.

Let flip to the section called racial stereotypes in the Movies For Dummies book. All the Laotians know karate!!!

They run into a couple bad guys with motorcycle helmets and get into a huge, i'm going to kill you as quick as I can fight. Its american brawn vs asian martial arts. Of course, they seem evenly matched. THEN, they see a worse bad guy and become friends. Instantly they team up.

Oh, I almost forgot, one of the motorcycle people find an egg thing and puts it in her bag. It will be important later, cuz thats how movies work.

After I come back from getting another beer, I see they are in some big temple thing. Asian guys says something profound about The Vietnam War and they go inside.

Well wouldn't you know, the temple is being used as a rebel base where they process drugs!!! It is so bad with the stereotypes it's insulting.

There just happens to be an American hippie/junky there that is the chemist for the drug lab. He uses his desktop computer and seems to sequence the babies DNA somehow and they find out she is growing super fast and needs blood because she is running out? Why would she be running out of blood? Oh, and now she is part alien herself, or something like that. Since sad dad had the alien arm thing his blood is the only one that works. She sleeps through the night and now she is a toddler.

They talk about how it doesn't make sense that our DNA is compatible with the alien and not only decide we are being harvested, that it's happened before. Oh and the aliens put us here for that purpose. Whatever…

Here is a great line. “But they didn't count on one thing, evolution.” SO DUMB!!!

Ok, after yet another beer, we see subway and one of the motorcycle helmets setting up a claymore mine in the jungle. Then a giant alien starts chasing them. Really, its a normal alien inside a giant robot thing. Think Pacific Rim. Motorcycle helmet runs into a minefield and sacrifices herself when the big guy chases her.

Now, there are tons of rebels and villagers booby trapping the temple and everyone gets a gun.

They come up with a plan to use the babies blood, to infect the egg thing since she is immune.The logic is it will somehow free everyone who is being controlled by blue eyes bad guy. Turns out the majority of the blue eyes aliens they are fighting are actually shells with an infected human brain running the show. If they can “free” them, they will return to normal. Well, as normal can be living in an alien robot body thing.

Anyway, sad dad climbs onto the ship with a syringe of baby blood and injects it in one of the egg things, which turns out is a bullet for a big light gun? I know...just go with it.

Well, sad dad end up fighting a blue eye and his wedding ring falls out of his pocket. Blue eye sees it and his eyes flicker to red. Guess what, blue eyes is mad son!!!!!

On the ground, there is tons of hand to alien hand fighting. It seems like the aliens know karate at points.

Sad dad puts the bullet in the big light gun and i guess shoots it? Its starts to turn red and boss alien freaks out and rips the gun out of the ship.He is in another Pacific Rim robot thing at this point so it's easy for him.

Alien boss shows back up and is just about to kill everyone when mad son gets his own big robot and they fight.

Now we see the baby, now toddler wandering around in the maylay and touches the busted egg gun and is able to activate it. It turns red.

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Mad son is getting his ass kicked by boss alien and sad dad shoots it with a rocket that was laying around. Convenient! Amiright?

Now, boss alien is pissed and goes after sad dad and at the last second, mad son/red eyed alien saves the day and shoots him with the red egg gun. Boss alien is dead and the others turn to red eyes.

THEN, the sad dad and mad son/alien do what any dad/ alien son would do. They fist bump.

Jump to the future I guess and the half alien baby/toddler is all grown up. I think that's who was in the field hospital thing in the beginning, but it doesn't make sense since she isn't injured. She is the leader of the resistance. Oh, and they are on a spaceship taking the fight to the blue eyes.

The end. Thank God thats over.

Wait, theres more!

To top it all off, what do they show during the credit cut sequences? OUTTAKES!!!! How in the hell can you try and pull off a serious movie and end with outtakes?!

Watch it if you want, but don't say I didn't warn you.


 

Posted on June 8, 2018 and filed under The Worst Movie I've Seen.

Confessions of a First Time Competitive Eater

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I must’ve been pretty hungry when I saw the announcement of the Mr. Gatti’s Pizza challenge; within the same minute I stumbled upon it, I put out the call to my fellow RG’s to see who would go into battle with me. Before I’d even fully come to the realization of what I was signing on for, two of them had enthusiastically stepped up and just like that it was already too late to claim I'd  been only kidding. 5 pizzas, 3 men, 1 hour- the prize: Free Pizza for a year for any teams that could finish. It seemed tough but doable.

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As the runt of the would-be trio at 5’10”, I issued the disclaimer that I thought I’d personally max out at 1 pizza, maybe a few additional slices at best. Being the troopers that they are, Doug and Brimmy agreed to take the brunt of it and our gameplan was in place.
...soon we'd find out Mr. Gatti’s had other plans.

When we got there it was packed. The contest was part of the Mesquite location's 1st anniversary celebration and likewise, it seemed to be the first time they were figuring out some of the details. After signing waivers that we forgot to even read, we were instructed to pack-in between a row of tables and the wall and form lines behind our “Primary Eater”.

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I believe it was my brother who snagged a picture of my face as I realized that the phrase "primary eater" meant only one of us could eat at a time. As more of a "endurance eater" I was not enthused by the development; I'd been banking on the slow and steady approach and this was a harsh blow.

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Next the pizzas got carted out, and more stipulations along with them.
SURPRISE - the pizzas weren’t sliced.
SURPRISE – they were far thicker than standard Gatti’s pizzas
%^&$@#*'n SURPRISE – There weren’t just the advertised 5, but 6 pizzas.
Mr. Gatti would not be giving away his year’s worth of pizza without a fight.

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Despite these added hurdles, Doug wanted first stab at it and he'd earned it by prepping the most of any of us. Brimhall's coach-like certainty that we could still win this thing didn't waiver despite the introduction of that 6th 'za. I followed their lead knowing if I could fake half their confidence we still had a shot.

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Adding to the already claustrophobic situation we squeezed into the mostly undersized free t-shirts they handed out and started in.
Once the cheese began to fly things were largely a greasy blur. Doug's method of folding the pizza in half like a giant taco seemed the way to go. It made me all the more glad he led things off and displayed a successful strategy for me to follow. When Brimhall wasn't killing 360 degrees of crusts he was staying vigilant refilling our water cups which became more and more essential as the pizza got colder. During my turns, my personal method was to let my eyes glaze over, block everything out and stare off in the distance as I chewed. The enthusiasm of our small cheering section kept the dream alive.

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A bespectacled girl who looked about twelve was parked directly in my sightline several times just intensely staring at me and as I slipped into pizza madness I started to become unsure if she was really there or if I was hallucinating the Bee Girl from the Blind Melon music video. Nevertheless I kept rhythmically tapping my foot along with my chomping to keep my pace up and tilted my head every direction trying to get all that crust down my gullet- I looked and felt like a baby bird on speed.
A bootleg Ninja Turtle action figure I brought sat shotgun throughout as our pizza-scarfing good luck totem. Anything to tip the scales of the Pizza Gods in our favor.

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As we reached the 5 minutes remaining mark they informed us that NOW we were allowed to all start eating simultaneously. We had just slightly over 1 pizza left but it was too late in the game to matter much; for lack of a better term, the pizza was starting to push back. As time eventually ran out we looked down at what equaled about 2/3 of a pizza remaining in an ugly unfinished jigsaw puzzle of scraps. 10 of the 15 teams had dropped out along the way but we had stayed the course and reached our goal of beating the original 5 pizza challenge. It was a proud moment despite the pizza pregnant feeling. Only one team (who happened to be right next to us) finished all 6 and it took them every single second to do it.

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Luckily an even better prize than pride alone came soon after time expired - the Gatti's crew informed us the 6th pizza didn't actually count- all teams who finished their 5 would indeed get their year of free pizza. WE DID IT!
We were too lethargic to really celebrate at that point, the odd 6-for-5 switcheroo had robbed us of as fully victorious a moment as we deserved, but nonetheless, we won and no one could take that away from us. 

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Aside from the pressure brought on by all the unexpected twists, the Pizza Challenge was pretty fun stuff- (though I may have told you differently right as it ended) in any case it was definitely a day I won't soon forget. I'll be proudly wearing my "I'm Just Here for the Pizza" shirt until it disintegrates, happy to regale anyone who wants to hear the tale of how I became a Co-Pizza Eating Champ.
If nothing else, someday the story of that day should at least earn me some Cool Dad points.

  Pic Credits- Dustin Reuber, Sofia Reuber, & Andy Carl Valentin.

Pic Credits- Dustin Reuber, Sofia Reuber, & Andy Carl Valentin.

Posted on June 7, 2018 .

My Journey Into The Storm

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So recently my son downloaded Fortnite to our PS4, and I blame him for my new addiction.
He downloaded it to play with his best friend and after watching him play a few matches I decided it was my turn to shoot some people in the head.  MY first few matches didn’t go so well…… but after a few hours of playing i started to get the hang of it. The game itself plays a lot like any other 3rd person shooter that you would play expect the only difference is that it added the sandbox element to game play.  You see the only item you’re equipped with upon spawn is a harvesting tool (aka a pick ax or a number of other skins available for purchase) and you can use that to harvest 3 types of materials wood, stone, and steel. Once collected you can use them to build a fort of your liking.  This is incredibly useful when there's not cover to hide behind, you can instantly build your own.

The best thing about this game by far is that it’s free…...ish lol.  The game has many skins for everything, from your character to the items you use in game (a glider you drop in with, the harvesting tool, and your emotes).  The only thing I’ve used my hard earned cash on was for a battle pass. At the point I decided that it was worth dropping some cash on i had unlocked some in game currency (V-Bucks) already from leveling up in game.  So with just 5 bucks I had enough for a battle pass. A battle pass is a tier system that allows you to unlock something new for the game each level. Most of the time it’s a lame sticker emote but twice every ten levels you unlock 100 V-Bucks.  There’s also highly sought after character skins and dancing emotes, xp bonuses, but for me it was all about those V-Bucks.

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After acquiring my battle pass I started practicing building each time I dropped in.  This is the hardest aspect of this game and can also be the most important. You can literally throw up a clubhouse around you in about 20 seconds protecting you and your teammates from enemy fire.  With windows added with a quick edit on the structure you can then return fire without being exposed. With a decent team and the use of a port-a-fort ( a grenade like device that builds a steel fort around you instantly) the structures can get really unique while sometimes being a pain in the ass to navigate.

The object of the game is to be the last team (or person depending on the game type) alive while trying to survive a deadly storm.  The storm shrinks every few minutes meaning if you’re not in the eye of the storm it deals damage to you and you die. After shrinking down a few times it leaves the battlefield quite small and this is where the chaos lies.  If you survive the initial drop in by acquiring a weapon (which can be found randomly on the map or in treasure chests) it becomes a game of scavenging unless you know where to find enemies at. Most people drop in right away or wait until a large city to be able to loot a lot, which means they normally are just in front of the storm as it shrinks.  If you hangout around there you get a lot of action and will probably die but it’s hella' fun.

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It’s a really fun time waste that is cross platform and on mobile device so you can anywhere at almost anytime. So if you play on PS4 feel free to add me.  My user handle is Kingofnopants87.
We can waste some time together building a fort and shooting bad dudes in the head.

Posted on June 6, 2018 .