Ryan Alves And Ron Beek III Dole It Out With Suitably Extreme Prejudice In “The Punishment : Social Justice”


Ryan C.'s Four Color Apocalypse

The super-hero spoof/send-up is, at this point, quite likely as tired as the notion of the super-hero itself, so trust me when I say that someone needs to have something unique, provocative, or both to say within the confines of this shop-worn genre in order for this critic to pay attention to it himself on the one hand, and to draw your attention to it on the other. Ryan Alves’ intelligently revisionist take on Ba*man, Moustache, was one such all-too-rare diamond in the overcrowded rough (in fact, if memory serves me correctly I reviewed it on this very blog), though, and so when he told me he was going to be offering up his own slant on a certain bloodthirsty skull-bedecked Marvel vigilante, I immediately found myself something I’m usually not with regards to this sort of thing — interested.

Admittedly, his collaborator and co-publisher on the just-released The…

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E3 2021 Trailers, Part Three: Salt and Sacrifice, S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl, Starfield, Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands, WarioWare Get It Together


Here are the last of the major trailers from this year’s E3!

21. Salt and Sacrifice

One of the best games of 2016, Salt and Sanctuary, is getting a sequel!  Salt and Sacrifice will be released in 2022.

22. S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl

12 years after it was first announced and 5 years after development officially began, we have a gameplay trailer and a tentative released date for STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl!  That date is April 28th, 2022.  It’s pretty much standard operating procedure to complain about how long it can take to develop a good game but, after what happened with Cyberpunk 2077, I’m all for developers taking their time.

23. Starfield

Right now, Starfield has a release date of November 11th, 2022.  I hope they make it!

24. Stranger of Paradise: Final Fantasy Origin

I am not totally sure that I’m interpreting the trailer correctly but I think Jack wants to destroy Chaos..  This is set to be released some time in 2022.

25. Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands

The latest game to come out of the Borderlands franchise, Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands’s trailer features dragons, stallions, and, of course, Tiny Tina.  This game is due to be released in “early 2022.”

26. WarioWare Get It Together

Finally, we have the trailer for the new Wario game.  You can’t have Mario without Wario!

I know that, even though I shared 26 trailers from this year’s E3, there’s still a few that I missed or that I chose not to include that maybe others would have.  All four days of this year’s E3, with all of the presentations and trailers, can be found on E3’s YouTube channel.

 

 

 

E3 2021 Trailers, Part Two: Halo Infinite, Jurassic World Evolution 2, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of Wind 2, Mari + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope, Metal Slugs Tactics, Metroid Dread, The Outer Worlds 2, A Plague Tale: Requiem, Rainbow Six: Extraction, Redfall


Here are some more of the big trailers from this year’s E3!

11) Halo Infinite 

The adventures of Master Chief continues in this, the 6th main entry in the Halo series and the 16th Halo game overall.

12. Jurassic World Evolution 2

The thing I like about the entire Jurassic World franchise is that, even though things always go wrong with the idea of bringing the dinosaurs back to life, everyone still keeps trying to do it.  We all know it’s not a good idea but no one can resist dinosaurs.

13. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Watch as Link falls through the air.  This eagerly anticipated game will be released sometime in 2022.  At that time, we will also learn the actual title of this game.

14. Mario + Rabbids: Sparks of Hope

As long as its got Mario, it’ll be a hit.  People love that guy.

15. Metal Slugs Tactics

Metal Slugs gets another makeover.  This one looks pretty cool to me.

16. Metroid Dread

After 16 years of development, we finally have a trailer for Metroid Dread!  The Alien-influenced trailer is a good one too.  Metroid Dread is due to finally be released on October 8th.

17. The Outer Worlds 2

The only game to based on an alternate history where William McKinley served two full terms as president is getting a sequel.  The trailer for The Outer Worlds 2 wins a lot of points for having fun and being honest.

18. A Plague Tale: Requiem 

A Plague Tale: Innocence was one of the most underrated games of 2019.  Judging from the trailer, it looks like the sequel will do it justice.  Requiem will be released in 2022.

19. Rainbow Six: Extraction

It just doesn’t feel like E3 without something from Rainbow Six.  This time, the battle is taking place in a San Francisco music venue.

20. Redfall

Take on cults, vampires, and probably anyone else in this open world shooter!  Redfall will be released in summer 2022.

To be continued!

E3 2021 Trailers, Part One: Advance Wars 1+ 2: Re-Boot Camp, Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Babylon’s Fall, Cruis’n Blast, Dead Island 2, Death Stranding Director’s Cut, Elden Ring, Evil Dead: The Game, Forza Horizon 5, Guardians of the Galaxy


Another E3 is in the books.  After being canceled last year due to COVID, E3 returned this year as a purely virtual event.  Hopefully, next year, E3 will again be both an in-person and a virtual event.

This year, several new games were announced.  Here is part one of some of the best and biggest trailers from E3:

  1. Advance Wars 1+ 2: Re-Boot Camp

Advance Wars is back, re-imagined and rebut for the Nintendo Switch!

2. Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora

With a 2022 release date, this game should be coming out just in time to either capitalize or contribute to the success of Avatar 2.  The trailer looks good but it doesn’t really tell me much about the game, other than it’s a playable version of Avatar.  That should be enough for some.

3. Babylon’s Fall

This was a strange trailer for me.  It looked good up until the combat started and then it didn’t look good at all.

4. Cruis’n Blast

A good racing game is something that I am definitely looking forward to.

5. Dead Island 2

After seven years of development, Dead Island 2 is finally coming out!  Or is it?  It’s hard to tell from this Jack Black-narrated trailer, which features a lot shots but not any actual gameplay or an actual release date beyond “coming 2021.”

6. Death Stranding Director’s Cut

I still haven’t been able to get into Death Stranding.  During the lockdowns, I replayed SpiderMan, Miles Morales, Red Dead Redemption 2, and all of the Quantic Dream games multiple times.  I even replayed the old EA Godfather games (Don of New York, baby!) but, somehow, Death Stranding just hasn’t been able to hold my interest.  Maybe I’ll have more luck with the director’s cut.

7. Elden Ring

The trailer for Elden Ring looks great.  This is what I wish the Babylon’s Fall trailer had looked like.

8. Evil Dead: The Game

All the trailer needed to win me over was Bruce Campbell.  And it delivered!

9. Forza Horizon 5

‘As a fan of racing games, I’m definitely looking forward to this one.

10. Guardians of the Galaxy

If nothing else, this looks better than The Avengers game.

To be continued!

Mr. Baseball (1992, dir. by Fred Schepisi)


I watched Mr. Baseball last night because I was feeling depressed over the Rangers 25-42 record and I thought that watching a movie about baseball (it’s right there in title!) might cheer me up.

Tom Selleck plays Jack Elliott, an aging first baseman player who was once the MVP of the New York Yankees but whose best days are behind him.  Everyone realizes it but him.  Looking to sign a hotshot rookie, the Yankees put Jack on the trading block.  However, the only team that’s interesting in signing an arrogant veteran with a bad knee is a Japanese team, the Nagoya Chunichi Dragons.

Though he’s not happy about the trade, Jack move to Japan and takes his place as a member of the Dragons.  In Japan, he’s nicknamed “Mr. Baseball” and is told by the team’s owner that he’s expected to hit 54 home runs during the season.  However, Jack manages to alienate the team with his boorish attitude and his lack of understanding of Japanese culture.  With the help of another American player (Dennis Haysbert) and his girlfriend (Aya Takanashi), Jack finally sets aside his resentment, becomes a part of the team, and leads the Dragons into a pennant race.  He also learns how to improve his swing.

When Jack first arrived in Japan, I was worried that Mr. Baseball was going to be a culturally insensitive comedy, all about Jack teaching the Japanese players how to play baseball like the Americans.  I was dreading the thought of watching a movie full of stereotypes and cheap jokes about the way people talk.  Instead, Mr. Baseball actually treated Japanese baseball with respect and the emphasis was on Jack learning the importance of setting aside his ego, playing as a member of the team, and listening to the team’s manager, Uchimaya (Ken Takakurya).  Even though most of the film’s humor does come from the culture clash between the American Jack and his Japanese teammates, Mr. Baseball doesn’t really take any cheap shots at anyone and I appreciated that.  Instead, the theme of the film was that, cultural differences aside, everyone on the team loved the game of baseball.

Other than the fact that it was taking place in Japan, Mr. Baseball was a typical baseball film.  The plot did not hold many surprises.  Jack starts off as a star player, goes into a slump once he lets his ego get the better of him, and manages to come out of it just in time for the pennant race.  It’s predictable but Tom Selleck and Dennis Haysbert were convincing baseball players and I liked the film’s look at the culture surrounding baseball in Japan.  Mr. Baseball is hardly the greatest baseball movie ever made but it did cheer up this Rangers fan.

The Covers of Baseball Stories


1946

Baseball Stories was a biannual magazine that ran from 1938 to 1954.  As the title implied, the magazine was all about baseball, featuring both fiction and straight reporting.  With my Rangers currently having the worst record in AL West (25-44!) and only the Orioles preventing us from having the absolute worst record in the League, I have been enjoying looking at the covers of Baseball Stories and remembering back to those days when my team won the pennant twice and made me fall in love with the game.  (I still love the game and my team, even if it sometimes seems like I’ll probably be in my 80s before we ever make it to the playoffs again.)

Here’s a sampling of the covers of Baseball Stories.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the names of the artists responsible for any of these covers.  If you know who deserves the credit, please drop us a comment under the post and I’ll be sure to go back and add their names!

1938

1940

1940

1942

1943

1945

1946 (my favorite)

1948

1949

1950

1951

1952

Music Video of the Day: Name of the Game by The Crystal Method (2001, dir by Marcos Siega)


Awww, poor Nosey!

Despite that “to be continued,” at the end, the story of Nosey has not been continued. I can only guess that he’s either incarcerated and buried in the prison graveyard. It’s a sad story but at least he appeared to have achieved some sort of happiness before it all came crashing down.

Enjoy!