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.

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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 5-4-2017: Doing Things

I’ve been taking some time, maybe too much, setting some things up. Being the techie that I am I find that I get lost in that rabbit hole of “what happens if I do this?”, “what happens if I do that?”, which ultimately turns into “great, why doesn’t it work?” to “why the #$% did that fix it?”.

Entertainment

  • Destiny – Hear me out on this one… I started watching MesaSean on YouTube doing “Crota Carpools”, which is what he and his mates decided to call their raid runs with viewers rather than calling them carries, and that got me into watching Raider_XOF on Twitch. Crota was the challenge raid for the week and seeing what Bungie has done is interesting. The subtle little changes and how the team approached them fascinated me. Guiltily I have to admit that I spent the majority of my weekend watching these runs.
  • Extraction – PLEASE DON’T WATCH THIS MOVIE!!! It is really really bad.
  • Breaking Bad – I broke down and started watching this series after not wanting to because of Better Call Saul. I’ve only watched four episodes but I’m hooked.

Games

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda – Still on the ban-wagon and feeling good about it. It is somewhat sad that I don’t miss being away from this game at all.
  • NieR: Automata – I’m only a few hours into it but I’m digging it. It started out well, then had a lag, but then picked back up.
  • Prey Demo – It was different but not something I am interested in.

News

  • New people at Giant Bomb – One of my favorite web sites is getting some fresh blood. Congratulations to those that are now part of the crew. Not that it compares well, I’m about one click away from subscribing to the site as a premium member.
  • The Division is free to play… this weekend – I’ve played enough of this game to speak both for and against it. Given that, I think it is worth checking out while it is free. Although it still has issues, it really has come a long way since it’s release.
  • Darksiders 3 – Really? Really??? I never finished the second game although I did love the first one. I guess since the third game is slated for 2018, I have time to get back to the second one.

Closing Arguments

What you see in the opening photo of this post is the streaming setup I’ve been working on. I used to stream, years ago, on a regular basis even though nobody watched. It was more for my own entertainment than anything. Understanding that I’m not the most dynamic personality, I don’t expect much but I’m interested in doing more video stuff. Like I stated in the opening, I get too far into the tinkering and experimental part of it and end up almost never actually streaming. The plan is to change that and try to stream or record on a regular basis. I feel like I’m in a place where I can do that now, so I just have to finalize a few things. Again, I do this for my own entertainment and sense of exploration, if anybody wants to come along for the ride it becomes an extra bonus.

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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.

Extraction – Review

Image via imdb.com

Remember when Bruce Willis made good movies???

A CIA agent nearing the end of his career is sent on one last secret mission. He has had a fall from grace and this is his last chance to redeem himself. In contrast, his son has been working hard to rise through the ranks of the CIA to become a field agent like his father but he keeps getting passed over for the position. The father/son duo have had a strained relationship after the wife/mother was murdered years ago. Now the pair have a chance to come together again when the father’s mission apparently takes a wrong turn and the son takes it upon himself to save him.

Normally I would try to say something nice about a movie and go through all the positives. Here is the only positive – see that graphic I used at the top of this post? That has a great throwback vibe to it and screams of an old Steve McQueen movie. There.

What this movie ultimately turns out to be is a total disaster.  Bruce Willis all but mails in his performance and given how little his is actually in the movie, he must have only been on set for about a week. The rest of the cast doesn’t do much better but maybe its not completely their fault. There is supposed to be a romance element in this movie but the pair involved in it pull it off in the most uncomfortable and unbelievable fashion as if they are step-brother and step-sister. As far as the dialogue overall goes, not only is it delivered poorly, it was written poorly. Maybe the delivery was bad because the actors were reading it during their takes thinking to themselves “is this right?”. If you are looking for plot just keep looking. The setup and rollout of the story is not only unbelievable but somewhat ridiculous. There is a machine capable of taking over major communications systems that can be operated by a common street thug. Kind of like the world’s most versatile smartphone.

This movie is a big step in the Nicholas Cage direction of films for Bruce Willis. I don’t think this movie ever had a theatrical release and it may not have even been direct to DVD. This one could have gone straight to forgotten and then Netflix got the streaming rights on the cheap. Granted that at this point in his career, Bruce Willis can make his choice of films. The question is why he would agree to do this film. There is no great direction in this film or deep meaning. The only passing thought is that he was trying to do a friend a solid by being in their movie.

The hour and a half I spent on this movie feels like a waste. As much as I love Mr. Willis and all he has done in his career, I cannot endorse this movie in any way. At least with the lower tier Nicholas Cage movies I can get some entertainment, this movie just left me sad about where Bruce Willis is at with himself. In hind-sight, I should have started watching Breaking Bad before watching this movie and then I would have never even seen it. (P.S. – Breaking Bad is damn good even though I’m only four episodes into it.)

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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.

Video – Prey Demo: Opening Hour

Image via prey.bethesda.net

Prey isn’t out yet but the demo is.

Having no familiarity with the original, this version doesn’t do much for me. Maybe I am not as into Bethesda games as others and this is just another case of that.

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 4-27-2017: Some Things Can Never Be Unseen

For this week, the chronicle will be a little bit different. I didn’t watch any tv shows or movies of substance. Most of my time was spent on YouTube and podcasts so I’ll hit some of the highlights, so to speak.

Entertainment

  • Giant Beastcast – This is the podcast from the East coast crew from Giant Bomb. I really missed Vinny Caravella when he went back East and I’ve been gleeful to have him doing a podcast again. This week they hit their 100th episode. Cheers boys!
  • Giant Bombcast – The original Giant Bombcast done by the West coast crew. The last few weeks, if not months, have been different since Dan Ryckert moved to the East coast early in the year and then Drew Scanlon left for other pursuits. Normally there are not a lot of guests on the show but to help fill in there have been many more. This has proven to be a nice change of pace and some different view points on topics.
  • Team GFB Radio – If you follow Giant Bomb then you know who Dave Lang is. He is head of Iron Galaxy Studios and along with his friend/employee Darryl Wisner they do a podcast. I would say Dave goes off topic regularly but as far off as he gets at times he usually has a point or at least a funny story.
  • DZR Engage – I’ve written about the DZR community before, from its roots a community for The Division to the public events they have held. This week’s episode was the inspiration for the graphic at the top of this post. They were describing the trailer for Ghost Recon’s Wildland DLC named Narco Road and all I could think of was Mad Max: Fury road. Their description seemed so odd and strange I couldn’t help but use my lack luster editing skills to make the picture.
  • Counter Attack Games – I started listening to this because I used to podcast with one of these guys. Brad from Cheap Boss Attack and I used to work at the same site a while back. It’s good to hear him again and I look forward to more. Check out the podcast at Counter Attack Games.

Games

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda – I’m holding true to my ban from last week.
  • Overwatch – Uprising is still going and as much as I enjoy it I sort of dialed back on it because people just want to go kill everything rather than hit the objectives. This makes the game more frustrating than fun at times because you end up failing when there is no real reason you should.
  • The Division – I lasted about two games of Last Stand and turned it off. Not that I hated the game or did poorly I just didn’t feel a desire to continue.

News

  • Twitch Affiliates – A lower tier Partner program that until some people get enrolled and some time into it there isn’t much to say. Looks like Twitch is trying to keep more revenue in house rather than having streamers use GameWisp or the like.
  • Nier: Automata DLC – Set to release on May 2. I haven’t gotten to play this game yet  other than the demo. That should give some lead time so that I can see if I want the DLC or not.
  • Overwatch maps – Apparently up to six maps are in development and three of them may release this calendar year. It is always nice to see Blizzard continuing to put content into this game and showing a long term commitment to keeping it fresh.
  • Delay to Resident Evil 7 DLC – Good to hear that free DLC is getting delayed to make sure the quality is up to snuff. As always, I’d rather see a game delayed than to have it come out broken and the fact that it is free gives little reason to complain.
  • Red Dead Redemption mod for GTA 5 canceled – This was all but inevitable.

Closing Arguments

Proving that communities are weird, wonderful things somebody in the Giant Bomb community made this site.  There are no explanations to some things.

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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.

 

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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.

Passing Thoughts – Lovers in a Dangerous Spacetime

Image via loversinadangerousspacetime.com

Lovers in love and the other run away.

I would describe the premise or the plot of this game if I had any grasp of it. You and other lovers are in space but somehow something like hate has made it into your world. Now your base is destroyed and you must fix your universe. I didn’t pay the greatest amount of attention when the game was going so I probably missed a lot.

What I did get was seeing an interesting and stylistic co-op game. Unfortunately I was playing solo and I think that hampered the experience. Although I will say the AI for the companion was one of the better ones I’ve played with. When I told it to go somewhere it went there, when I told it to shoot something it shot it.

 

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.