“Firewatch”: A Beautiful Exploration of Love, Commitment and Isolation

When we were kids, playing games on our lovely Sega and Nintendo consoles, did we ever imagine there will come a time when gaming will become a medium as deeply impactful and moving as most great books and movies are?

Well ladies and gentlemen, we are living in that time now. And Firewatch is the perfect (living) proof of it. I don’t remember being so profoundly touched by a game in my entire life. And that’s saying something because I’ve been gaming since I was 5 years old.

Firewatch Poster
Image Courtesy: http://www.blurppy.com

The Plot:

Excerpt taken from IGN.com

Firewatch is a mystery set in the woods of Wyoming, where your only emotional lifeline is the person on the other end of a handheld radio. You play as a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot and dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor, a woman named Delilah, is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio – and is your only contact with the world you’ve left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the world, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making interpersonal choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

My Take on the Game:

The only thing I knew about Firewatch before starting it was that it’s based on exploring wilderness. I didn’t read about the story, or the characters. I went in completely blank. I thought it was a National Park Ranger Simulator. And well, that was reason enough for me to be excited about it because 1. I love nature, and 2. I love nature VERY MUCH.

So when it started off, I rubbed my hands together all giddy like a child, thinking “This is gonna be so exciting walking around the woods.” And then suddenly in the very first 5 seconds, a written narration starts. Telling me about a clumsy but charming guy (Henry), and a sweet and confident girl (Julia), and their meet-cute in a bar. And at this point I say to myself with sudden realization “Oohhh, I think I’m gonna fall in love with this game.

Now the question arises; if this guy has such a perfect life with Julia, why would he move to a dead-end job as a lookout out in the woods?

Wanna know the reason? Please purchase the game. This game deserves to be purchased IMMEDIATELY.

[The screenshots I’ll be sharing in this post are of the actual gameplay. Yes, the beauty of it leaves you speechless.]

Firewatch Sunset
Image Courtesy: http://www.superbwallpapers.com

Firewatch is perfection in every single aspect. The way this game deals with adult issues through world-class storytelling with the support of a hilarious and heart-wrenching script along with some of the most amazing voice-acting I’ve ever heard in my life makes Firewatch easily my most memorable interactive gaming experience. And how can one forget the perfection of the art direction and gorgeous visuals. It literally blows away your mind.

As I’ve already discussed, the game is completely narrative driven. You, as Henry, work under your supervisor Delilah, and 95% of Firewatch is based on the dialogues of these two individuals over the handheld radio. And that’s where the beauty of this game lies. Just like when reading from a book, you get to enter the minds of these two people who have both run away from something from their life back at home. Along the way, you do run into some trouble. Firewatch goes from something moving to something harrowing in just a couple of chapters, and there are times when you are scared to go out in the dark because of the lurking danger and the terrifying conspiracies surrounding you.

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Deadpool: Marvel’s Finest Creation Yet

A movie that starts of by saying that it is produced by “Asshats” and directed by “An Overpaid Tool” is a total winner in my books. 😀

I really shouldn’t admit this, but I enjoyed Deadpool way more than Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Mad Max: Fury Road. Please don’t hurt me. *hiding under the bed*

This is hands down the MOST entertaining movie experience I’ve ever had in my life. No hyperbole intended.

[Note: The following review is SPOILER FREE]

Deadpool Poster

Movie Synopsis:

Excerpt Taken from Rotten Tomatoes:

“Deadpool tells the origin story of former Special Forces operative turned mercenary Wade Wilson, who after being subjected to a rogue experiment that leaves him with accelerated healing powers, adopts the alter ego Deadpool. Armed with his new abilities and a dark, twisted sense of humor, Deadpool hunts down the man who nearly destroyed his life.”

Deadpool

My Take on the Movie:

Before starting my review I’d like to applaud the Marketing Team of this movie. That whole department alone deserves a special category in the Oscars. I’ve read a few Marvel and DC Comics over the years but I never planned on reading Deadpool. I don’t know, I just wasn’t into the “Merc with a Mouth”. But the adverts and marketing of Deadpool swept me away! Seriously tho, that is the only reason I was excited to see it. Not only its trailers, TV spots, outdoor and print ads; its Social Media game was on point. I mean, just look at this!

Deadpool this Valentine's Day

If you wanna learn how to sell a hardcore, violent, raunchy, action-packed, comic-based movie at a time of the year when girls are squealing to their boyfriends to take them to a sappy rom-com, then please contact the person who made this cover 😛 Simply genius 😀

Coming back to the review.

I have nothing against Marvel movies – I’m a huge die hard fan – but we all know that they are popular for their big budgets, the big names, big-time superheroes, loud mind-blasting action, over-usage of CGI and their snarky but cute humor here and there. Ant Man was a very fine exception from that rule, and I love that one to bits; but what I loved the MOST about Deadpool (another movie with a tight budget) were it’s unique style of storytelling and script.

My goodness, this is how you turn a painfully overdone superhero formula into a BENCHMARK for all other comic-book films.

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November 9 by Colleen Hoover: “Crippling, Debilitating, Paralyzing Love”

Let me start this review by sharing what happened to me when I finished this book. It was 4:20am, I was lying in my room in the dark and everyone else at home was fast asleep. The moment I finished it, I got up from my bed – my knees shaking – closed my bedroom door, and right then and there I fell to the ground and starting crying as if these tears were held inside me for years. I cried so much I couldn’t breathe anymore. I crawled to the bed, lied face down into my pillow and bawled as loud as I could.

I was a complete mess.

Those weren’t tears of sorrow. They were tears of joy. :’)

I love you Colleen Hoover, for making me believe in love again. :’)

Image courtesy: www.goodreads.com
Image courtesy: http://www.goodreads.com

I usually read a book’s Goodreads review before starting it. I need to know what others think about it, because I hate it when I realize I’ve wasted my time with a lame story. But with November 9, I went in completely blind. I had no idea what it was about, what rating it got, how “bestselling” it was. I avoided reading anything about it like I avoid reading Game of Thrones spoilers. I only knew that it was written by CoHo.

And I would advice you to do the same.

I promise you, it will be worth it.

As for my review, it will be completely spoiler free. Yeah, there will be a few quotes here and there, but they’re only for the purpose of convincing you to read this book immediately.

Okay, now I’m just gonna rant on like an idiot about WHY I loved this book so much.

My Take on November 9:

“You’ll never be able to find yourself if you’re lost in someone else.”

THE ROMANCE:

November 9 has the most engaging and one-of-a-kind romance I’ve read in a long, long time. The formula CoHo used has been done before – obviously – but how she executed it, how she dealt with those characters and the purity of love between them (I haven’t swooned so much in YEARS), and that mind-boggling twist near the end, HOLY GUACAMOLE, it left my head spinning.

It made me feel ALL THE FEELS!!!

“You left with my soul in your fists and my heart in your teeth, and I don’t want either of them back.”

I have plenty of experience with romance novels but this time there was something different. You know when you read/watch an amazing love story and you say to yourself, “Yeah right, THAT’S never happening to me. I’m gonna become a cat-lady and die alone.”

Abeeha the Cat Lady

But in November 9, Ben and Fallon’s love seemed too real. So real that it made me believe that one day I too can have something like that. Do you remember what I said in the beginning? About me crying like a baby? It was because I suddenly knew it in my heart that I WILL find my Ben someday :’)

“I’m in love with her. Like, really in love with her. Crippling, debilitating, paralyzing love.”

Laughing-Crying Matthew

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“Until Dawn”: Another Breakthrough in Survival-Horror Gaming

If I had to summarize Until Dawn in one sentence it would be that this game is the perfect blend of all those Hollywood movies that are the pinnacle of psychological horror cinema; movies like Psycho, The Shining, Scream, The Descent, Saw and Cabin in the Woods. This game is all of them rolled into one!

Image Courtesy: www.videogamesblogger.com
Image Courtesy: http://www.videogamesblogger.com

Before proceeding any further, I would suggest that you play the following Theme Song of Until Dawn. Yeah, you’re already in love with the game, aren’t ya? 😉

The Plot:
Taken from Until Dawn Wikia

“When eight friends become trapped on a remote mountain getaway gone wrong, things quickly turn sinister and they start to suspect they aren’t alone. Every choice the player makes while playing as each of the eight friends – even the seemingly trivial ones – will carve out a unique story. The player’s actions alone determine who survives until dawn.”

My Take on the Game:

Let me be clear, I don’t appreciate games in which you’re just this big badass with a massive gun and you just run around shooting people (or creatures) and stuff without any solid purpose in mind. I crave a meaningful plot and characters that I can relate to. The last time I loved a game this much was when I played “Heavy Rain” back in 2010.

I’m not a pro gamer; that’s why I won’t get into the technical nitty-gritty details. If you want that, stop reading and go to Gamespot or Metacritic or something. The forthcoming rant is all coming from a gal who just adores classic horror.

Enjoy the Horror

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5 Lines (or less) Movie Reviews: Southpaw, Spy and Fantastic Four

Hi guys, I’m introducing this new category called “5 Lines (or less)” for those reviews in which I don’t want to ramble on for a thousand words. This typically happens when I’ve seen lots of movies or shows in one go and it’s nearly impossible for me to discuss them thoroughly. So in this category I will give one basic outlook on the movie (or show) in 5 lines or less, declare my rating for it and then tell you to “Watch It If” (a reason describing whether you should watch it or not.)

Let’s give it a go!

5 Lines (Or Less) Movie Review

Southpaw:

Southpaw
Image courtesy: http://www.thefilmstage.com

Take any typical boxing movie, shuffle up the characters, add some extra bit of family drama and lots of tears ‘n tragedy, include two intense fight scenes and one incredible performance by an ugly-looking/busted-up Jake Gyllenhaal, and there you have it: Southpaw.

Potahto Rating:

3 out of 5 Potahtos

Watch It If:

you’re a fan of boxing (or kick-boxing) movies like Rocky, Warrior etc and like to spend a quiet evening with your family watching a highly predictable but tear-inducing redemption story.

Spy:

Image courtesy: www.nypost.com
Image courtesy: http://www.nypost.com

Melissa McCarthy at her best (damn I love that woman; even her shitty movies make me chuckle)! Spy is a refreshing addition to the action-comedy genre, PACKED with profanity and insults (it feels like you’re watching a Comedy Central Roast), and brilliant performances by the supporting cast; especially by Jason Statham a.k.a. the new Chuck Norris 😀

Potahto Rating:

4 out of 5 Potahtos

Watch It If:

you’re looking for a good laugh and don’t mind listening to obscene (but hilarious) insults that you may find a tad bit cruel.

Fantastic Four (2015):

Image courtesy: www.comicbook.com
Image courtesy: http://www.comicbook.com

Think of the worst movie you have ever seen in your entire life. Now take that intensity of patheticness and multiply it to a hundred. Done? Yes, Fantastic Four is THAT bad. If you’re a serious movie-watcher who truly appreciates quality cinema, watching F4 is like you’re being spat on your face by the director. Even the original F4 movies seem Oscar-worthy as compared to this one.

Potahto Rating:

0 out of 5 Potahtos

Watch It If:

it’s the last existing movie on Planet Earth.

Age of Ultron: What’s up with the critics?

I don’t understand why people were bashing this movie so much. Especially the critics. Well you know, you start to truly enjoy a film when you set it apart from it’s prequels. See it as it’s OWN movie. I know that’s tough and no one does that. But when I went to watch Age of Ultron I completely wiped the first part from my memory and judged the flick on its own merits. So yeah, I had a pretty awesome time!

Note: This review is Spoiler Free! Yay!

Age of Ultron Poster

Plot Synopsis:

After the Avengers raid a Hydra outpost to retrieve “Loki’s” scepter, Tony Smartypants and Bruce McBig Softie discover an artificial intelligence within that scepter and decide to develop such a defense program by the name of Ultron that’ll keep the world safe from all sorts of threats (alien or human) so that the world won’t ever need Avengers again. And what movies like The Matrix have taught us is that AI is bad news. Nothing good will ever come of it. Want another prime example? Watch “Ex Machina“, that shit was creepy! Anyhoe, Ultron gains consciousness on its own and after spending precisely one minute on the internet he decides to wipe all of human existence. Yep!

Captain ManBoobs, Thor Goldilocks and the rest of the Avenger clan first dis Tony for creating such a monster but soon they gotta save the world of this evil menace and etc etc, you know the whole drill.

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“Spring”: A Breath of Fresh Air for the Romantic/Horror Genre

Want to see a creepy and haunting version of ‘Before Sunrise’? Then go ahead and watch ‘Spring’ right away. This is a HUGE compliment coming from me, as I am probably the biggest fan of the Before Trilogy. Of course it doesn’t come near to the excellence of what Mr. Richard Linklater created, but you can’t help but see the clear similarities between the two.

Spring the Movie
Nadia Hilker and Lou Taylor Pucci in “Spring”

Boy (Evan) and Girl (Louise) meet on a beautiful European journey, they feel that instant spark, form a close bond, fool around, share their life stories, explore the city together, fall in love, and eventually everything falls apart soon enough and broken hearts are right around the corner. But why do they have separate? This is where the story gets interesting.

[SPOILER ALERT]

The girl is actually a 2000 year old monster who transforms into a kind of grotesque creature every other hour, has to inject some hormones/pheromones type weird stuff to keep up her gorgeous looks, and to maintain her immortality a guy has to impregnate her every 20 years so that she can give birth to herself.

Hmm.

I know this sounds ridiculous but trust me, this isn’t a Creature Feature. It is a beautifully alluring romantic film. A movie that would be perfect for a date night! If only I had my hubby with me I would’ve watched it with him 😥  Continue reading