Dave Chappelle: Collection 1 – Review

Image via instantwatcher.com

Still hilarious after all these years.

Dave Chappelle had been absent from the comedy stage for years but he is back in triumphant fashion delivering humor as only he can. Beware that Mr. Chappelle makes generous use of a certain racially divisive word but if you have ever heard or seen him before you are well aware this fact. For those that are not familiar with his previous work then you best be prepared.

The first episode, entitled The Age of Spin: Dave Chappelle Live the Hollywood Palladium, takes Chappelle to L.A. for his first stage performance there in ten years. He takes the time to regale the audience with tales and jokes on every topic from O.J. Simpson to his own run-ins with the law. The second episode, entitled Deep in the Heart of Texas: Dave Chappelle Live at Austin City Limits, takes Chappelle to Texas. No topic is safe as he talks about his family, drug use, and having snowballs thrown at him.

Dave Chappelle is a unique man in the world of comedy. Many people get turned off by how much he talks about racism but I don’t. It much reminds me of the way Mel Brooks portrayed itin Blazing Saddles. Some consider that the most offensive movie of all time, however how racism is played out in that film shows how faulty and unnecessary it really is. This is how I view Chappelle’s use of racism. He as a successful black man, a public figure,  surely has been subjected to his share of racism. Rather than let it bring him down he stands in front of us all and puts it on display in fantastic fashion. Never is it done in the prose that he should be felt bad for the things that have happened to him. Rather, it is more in the stance that we need to recognize it and do something about it.

Chappelle is one of few voices willing to be bold about his stance. Perhaps he is too bold at times for some to stand. I kind of cringe when he uses certain language but I don’t think he is using to offend anybody. On the contrary, I think he may be using certain words in order to exhaust them. If there ever were a more socially conscience and aware comic, I must have missed that person. Chappelle seems not only to want to entertain but enlighten. His absence from public life could have questionably been caused by his own feelings of trying to make things better in his own way but being ostracized for it. Seeing him back in action and still in form is a welcome site.

Please Dave Chappelle, keep doing what you are doing.

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Better Call Saul, Season 2 – Review

Image via amc.com

This show makes me want to be a lawyer for all the wrong reasons.

Following the events of the first season, Jimmy McGill is seemingly becoming a success. Having obtained a dream job at a prestigious law firm, things should be going well but Jimmy’s own sense of discontent may be his worst enemy. Constantly bending if not outright breaking the rules puts him in the dog house of his friends, peers, and bosses. Through it all he has to be true to himself and what he believes, even if it will cost him everything he has built.

The series continues it’s quirky roots. Bob Odenkirk’s delivery of the main character makes him lovable yet insufferable at the same time. Jimmy is constantly conflicted with wanting to do the right thing but going about it in the wrong way. Many times this is ultimately his undoing. Learning to recover or hide his tracks has become a highly tuned skill for him. Those around Jimmy are also conflicted with how much they can trust him. Regardless of what has transpired they almost always come back to him.

The story doesn’t take a backseat to the characters. It rides right beside them and keeps the show flowing. At times the shows bounces between the arcs of multiple characters but there never feels to be a time where they are away from any one for too long. The story lines constantly cross each other to keep all the characters involved and on screen. What helps further to keep things interesting is the unpredictability of the plot. There are times where you will think you know where it is going and what they will do only to have it veer off in a different but not totally oposite direction.

Season three has some great things set up from season two. There are several story arcs that I was disappointed not to see completed but where and how they left them still felt satisfying. Knowing that these lines will be picked up in season three has my curiosity peaked.

Without having seen the parent series, Breaking Bad, I only have a general sense of what happens to Jimmy McGill in the long run. Having watched Better Call Saul kind of makes me not want to watch Breaking Bad until this show concludes.

 

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Westworld, Season 1 – Review

Image via hbocanada.com

Brilliant, yet broken. Guess that describes many things.

In a seemingly far flung future the rich have a playground that surpasses any other theme park. Westworld offers, to those than can afford it, a place to live out endless fantasies in a wild-west environment. These guest get to live among the hosts of the park and interact with them in numerous ways. Fighting, frolicking, living and dieing.

As an HBO production, you get what you pay for.  With actors ranging from well-known to familiar to “who is that”, the cast is varied but grand. Actors like Sir Anthony Hopkins and Ed Harris deliver to and beyond expectations. Familiar faces like James Marsden and Jimmi Simpson pull off solid performances once you get past thinking “hey it’s Liz Lemon’s boyfriend and the McPoyle brother”, respectively.  However, it is the lesser known actors that are the meat of the story most of the time. People like Evan Rachel Wood and Thandle Newton not only show their grit but push the storyboard along.

Through ten episodes, the show weaves an interesting tapestry that in the end somewhat folds in upon itself. Much of the idea of Westworld is left in ambiguity.  To keeps its own secrets the show doesn’t give any direct lines. While this leaves it open to anything happening it oddly makes it predictable. Within the first few episodes one can point in the direction the show is going and find it there very quickly. For something trying to be so complicated, it is a disappointment to see it be so simple.

If you were expecting Games of Thrones you won’t find it. You’ll be better off just to watch Game of Thrones instead. But if you want to see Dollhouse meets Deadwood take some time to stroll through Westworld. You’ll need to forgive some of the inconsistencies in order to enjoy the walk but it can be a fun little trip if you take the time.

If you let it get a little weird you get this

dudewantshisrug-profile

Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 2-23-2017: I’ll Let You Entertain Me

Image via Fanpop

Image via Fanpop

This week was slow on news but I did manage to watch a lot of stuff. I guess that is all I really got accomplished with my extra day off from work.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Finished all six seasons that are on Netflix. Sort of sad that there is no more available to me. I know season seven is out there but I don’t have access to it anywhere within a price range I’m willing to pay. Seems that my desire to be a cheap ass is out-doing my desire to see more of this show.
  • Batman: The Killing Joke – I enjoyed everything about this one, with one exception. The animation was great and having the traditional voice actors for the leads, Conroy for Batman and Hamill for the Joker, made it feel like it had all the fixings of Batman. Where if failed was right at the end, it just didn’t payoff as well as it could have and left me somewhat disappointed. I don’t know how true or close this was to the original comic but it gets didn’t work for me at the finish.
  • Safehouse – I like watching movies where Denzel Washington plays the badass.
  • The Nice Guys – Russel Crowe and Ryan Gosling have great chemistry in this flick but the overall movie just doesn’t have it. As much as the duo plays off of each other the film just lacks story and ultimately lets you down.
  • Criminal – I think they were trying to make Kevin Costner into Matt Damon in this movie. The way they played things out had a Bourne style to it but it wasn’t nearly as good. There were big names associated to this film, like Tommy Lee Jones, but they were barely present in the film and contributed even less.
  • Hudson Hawk – This a classic. It was one of those movies that become noted for how bad it was when it was released but has garnered somewhat of a cult following over the years. All these years later I still long for a sequel.
  • Point Break – I tried watching the remake but couldn’t get more than 30 minutes with it.  The original was contrived and silly but this one just felt awkward and forced to point that it was unbearable.
  • Halo Wars 2 – Confused? It’s a game but I have it under entertainment. That is because I watched the cutscenes via YouTube. After having watched the story line of the game I’m even more glad that I didn’t buy the game since the story wasn’t that interesting and I already wasn’t interested in the combat.

Games

  • Overwatch – Didn’t spend much time in the game this week. Grinded out a couple of levels to get loot boxes but didn’t care for the game modes in arcade so I didn’t manage to snag any of that loot.
  • Paragon – I gave the MOBA a go this weekend just to see what it was like. Doubt that I will be putting more time into the game but you never know.

News

  • Ghost Recon: Wildlands open beta – You get the chance to play for free if you haven’t already in the closed beta. I’ll likely just skip this but would encourage other to play especially if they are unsure about buying the game.
  • Nintendo Switch early reveals – Well, obviously Nintendo is not happy about the hardware leaking early so much so that those involved may be facing criminal charges associated to theft. I guess this is one of those times being on the cutting edge involves getting cut.
  • Horizon: Zero Dawn has a 250MB patch – Really? That is the smallest day-one patch I have seen in years. The fact that it is so small is shocking in the day and age of patches clocking in with GB’s after the numbers.

Closing Arguments

I give up on Watch Dogs 2. No matter how many times I’ve tried I just can’t do it. Horizon: Zero Dawn drops next week and it is scoring well. That should give me something else to do.

dudewantshisrug-profile
Paul Novak

Owner, Proprietor, Typer of Words, Gamer, Jester

A self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing on the western side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet.

Dude’s Chronicles 2-16-2017: Gonna Be A Long One

eaglelrstageNo, this post won’t be long but I’m going into a long weekend… which is nice.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Made it into season six and will probably finish it this weekend.
  • Metal Gear SAGA – THE MOVIE – Finished watching all twelve hours of this and I still don’t understand the game any better. I’m convinced nobody understands this game and never will.
  • Halo 5: Guardians – Watching the YouTube film of the entire story didn’t make me like it any better. With Halo Wars 2 coming out I thought I could get myself back into Halo but this actually made me less interested.

Games

  • Overwatch – To show how little I still know about this game, I never realized you can get additional loot boxes by earning them in the arcade mode every week. I managed to clear last week’s wins for those loot boxes and this week’s for additional loot boxes. I even played the 3v3 mode to get the second set of boxes. Luckily I managed to group up with two other random players and we marched straight through three wins in a row.
  • For Honor beta – I appreciated the game but just don’t have enough interest in buying it. Playing the beta was all the time I needed with this game.

News

  • For Honor launch problems – Wait…a multiplayer game with server issues at launch? How could this ever happen? This is unfortunately something that I and just about everybody else expected to happen. Still doesn’t excuse it but it is nothing particular to this game.
  • PewDiePie – Apparently he made some videos with anti-Semitic content and did show much remorse about doing so. Even when he did try to apologize he made claims that it was the media attacking to discredit and devalue him. He has now lost contracts from both Disney and YouTube.
  • PlayStation Now drops platforms – The stream service will only be accessible on PS4 and PC after August 15th. So much for an open palate of platforms to play PlayStation games on.

Closing Arguments

For my three day weekend I’m trying to convince myself to play more of Watch Dogs 2. I purchased the game during PlayStation’s Holiday sale but I probably have less than two hours into it. Every time I start playing I remember all the bad things about the first game that I didn’t like because they are still in the second game. Hopefully I’ll give it another go but I can only image I’ll give up after about 20-30 minutes just like I do every time.

Dude’s Chronicles 2-9-2017: Snow Before the Roses

snow_roses

It’s a bit snowy here but that’s ok. It’s been a mild winter so far and we are well over due. Oddly that still doesn’t stop people from complaining.

Entertainment

  • Shameless – I’m most of the way through the fifth season but I needed a break. The show was getting a little heavy but still good.
  • Skarknado: The 4th Awakens – Yes, it is as bad as it sounds… if not worse but still one of those guilty pleasures to watch.
  • Metal Gear SAGA – THE MOVIE – Somebody painstakingly cut together all of the cutscenes and some game play from nearly all of the Metal Gear games in the chronological order of the story. It is interesting to watch the whole story and try to make sense of it. I recommend doing so but will caution you that he video is 12 hours long.

Games

  • Overwatch – A couple rounds here and there was all I managed this week. Really slow week for gaming.
  • Wildlands beta – Didn’t care for the game, so I didn’t play much of it either.

News

  • PS4 Pro firmware beta – External hard drive support and boost mode for unpatched games on PS4 Pro, Sure there is more but those two items seem like the bigger takeaways. Most people will be more excited about the external hard drive support including myself.
  • E3 open to the public – This show has lost most of its luster and prestige over the last few years as many long time exhibitors have stopped coming. It has been made more so by some of those that have left hosting their own events just before E3, like EA. If this is an attempt to start turning E3 into another PAX event then I don’t think it is a good move. E3 has also been more of an industry trade show than anything and bringing the public may only water it down.
  • Destiny 2 rumors – Is it coming this year? What will it be about? I don’t know and I don’t think anybody without an NDA does either. I bought big into the first one but don’t plan to do so with the sequel. Rather, I’m going to be a lot more tempered about my approach and probably wait until after it launches to purchase, if at all.
  • South Park: The Fractured But Whole delayed, again – Apparently it is now slated to release before March 2018. I hate to see this but the first game when through delays and came about to be a solid game. This may change some of my gaming plans going forward though.

Closing Arguments

The plan is to play some of the beta of For Honor this weekend. I don’t have much interest in the game and don’t plan on buying it but you never know. At the very least it will give me something different to play for a little bit.

P.S. – Happy Valentine’s Day

Dude’s Chronicles 2-2-2017: Two In A Row

And I’m back for the second week out of two. Still working through a few things and didn’t get to devote as much time to my entertainment and gaming pursuits but then again, how many of us get to spend the amount of time that we want to on the fun things?

Entertainment

  • Shameless – Finished the first three seasons and it still hasn’t let me down. Looking forward to the rest of the seasons on Netflix
  • Hitsmas – If you follow or are familiar with Giant Bomb’s video content and sense of humor you may like this. For the Christmas holiday they got four guys from their staff(Brad Shoemaker, Vinny Caravella, Dan Ryckert, and Jeff Gertsman) to sit down and play Hitman. The twist is they used what they called Mexico Rules by drawing variables of targets and takedown methods from a hat. What ensued was a comical mess-terpeice, especially Caravella’s run. It was so notable that it was released to the Hitman community as “The Caravella Conundrum”. Have yourself a good laugh and give it a watch. I know it was done for the holidays but it still makes me laugh.

Games

  • Overwatch – I did something in this game this week that I have never done before, I quit mid-game. I take no pride in that but when I am frustrated enough that I am screaming at the screen about how stupid my teammates are playing(I normally don’t wear a mic) it is time for me to step away. The match I quit was just a total mess with my teammates not even firing at enemies for parts of the match even though they were with-in range and completely visable. Normally I will play a match out until the bitter end regardless of the team’s performance but I just could not bear it this one particular time.
  • The Division – Like many others, I have taken a break from this game while the 1.6 PTS is ongoing. Not that I don’t want to play it I just don’t have the motivation when I know changes are coming. At least they aren’t changing the gear score again, yet.

News

  • $500 Million Dollars – That is what ZeniMax was awarded in their suit against Facebook/Oculus. This is a lot less than the $4 billion they were asking for and it will be appealed. Still that is a big chunk of change it says that the court did feel there was some level of wrong doing.
  • Nintendo online services price – The rumor is that it will cost $20 – $30 per year. While that is about half or less of Xbox Live or PlayStation Network, the value of the service will be determined in what it actually offers. If online play and monthly access to old games is it – that value may be questionable Then again, what else does the other services offer for their cost?
  • Wii U production stops  – This was rumored a long time ago and comes as no surprise. Not like they were selling a lot of these things anyway.
  • Overwatch’s Bastion buffs inbound – Remember when people complained Bastion was overpowered and shouldn’t get Play of the Game? I guess things change because now people think the character is a liability and are looking to make changes so the it is more viable.
  • Snap mode is going away – It was an interesting idea to be able to have another app open while playing a game on the Xbox One but the amount of screen real estate you had to sacrifice never felt worth it. There is also the argument that it took precious resources away that could have been used elsewhere. There have been mentions of picture-in-picture possibilities but nothing has been made certain yet.
  • For Honor beta – The game will have a open beta from 2/9 – 2/12, which is right before its 2/14 release. This feels like a marketing tactic more than a technical test given the short time between those two events.

Closing Arguments

Rainbow Six Siege is free to play this weekend but there is also a beta for Ghost Recon Wildlands. Think maybe the could have coordinated this better and not had two Tom Clancy games having events on the same weekend? I’ll like try out the Wildlands beta since I’m on the fence about buying and I have no interest in Siege