So last week Amazon did their Prime Days, and like normal, the board game sales were suspect at best. While Amazon can be a decent spot to find a smaller business selling stuff through Amazon to get good board games, Amazon’s selection and sales are …
New series of posts, when I get stuck on what to write about, I’m going to go through and see what Kickstarters I’m waiting on, talk about why I backed them, and if I’m still excited for them, or what makes me excited about them. …
So, one of the interesting things from the Covid-19 pandemic is that we’re seeing some movies that wouldn’t have hit streaming nearly as quickly get a streaming release, and one of these films, Onward, was one that I had been planning on seeing, not in theaters, but checking out later because of the subject matter being so nerdy. It’s a magical world mixed with technology and D&D, kind of up my alley. So was it a good film now that I got a chance to sit down and watch it on Disney+?
Onward is a story that focuses around two Elven brothers, Ian and Barley. Their life is pretty normal for their world, a world in which magic has existed but when technology became easier than magic, the magic users and magic in the world kind of faded away until everyone forgot about them and just saw it more as a legend. However, when a magical mishap happens, Barley convinces Ian that the only way to fix it is through magic and that they need to go on a grand quest, somewhat based around Barley’s favorite role playing game, so that can fix what went wrong.
Now, it’s hard not to go more into the story as that really drives some of the themes of the movie, which Pixar, like normal, does a good job of creating meaningful and real moments. I’ll just say that the biggest one is loss and kind of overcoming emotions and baggage around that loss, not by pushing it down but by exploring and questing through that loss to see what came come out of it, what new things can be found and explored. I think that it handles it really well and handles it in a way that I don’t see many other movies handle it, some of that is because delving into grief and loss can be hard for movies and doesn’t really drive a plot, though they made it work well in this one. I think it’s actually important to have a movie that does this right now though, because a lot of people, whether they fully realize it or not are going through the grieving process of their normal routine and life as we knew it. And really, there’ll be many moments outside of Covid-19 that this is true for people as well, it just stands out as a world we’re going through it together.
As for the other parts of it, the story is not complex, however, I think that is to it’s benefit. There are some decent jokes, but mainly it’s about that feeling of adventure and exploring on this grand quest and how that pairs with the theme of loss and grief and dealing with that. The jokes in this film are fine, I don’t think that they are amazingly funny, but they are generally pretty good callbacks to previous references. Also, just the concept of the world is really interesting, that idea of there being magic in the world is something that I think is meant for more than just the story as written but about finding the magic in our actual world versus just having technology for everything. But that is a much lighter and subtle theme on everything wrapped up in Onward’s versions of D&D.
The acting in the film is good as well. The main two characters, Ian and Barley are played by Tom Holland and Chris Pratt respectively. They both do a good job with the voice acting and portray emotions very well. It is a little bit funny as Ian just has that same feel and almost a bit of a look as Tom Holland does in real life. Those are the main two characters, but the others in it are good as well, there aren’t really any humdrum performances, but everyone else generally steps aside to let those two characters really drive the story. Laurel, voiced by Julia Louis-Dreyfus, has her moments to shine as well, so it isn’t just only the two of them, Ian and Barley, all of the time.
Finally, how does this compare to other Pixar films? There are a lot of Pixar films out there at this point with the Incredibles, Cars, Up, Brave, Wall-E, Toy Story 1-4, so on and so forth. I actually put Onward pretty high up on the list. I think it does a better job than some at telling a story with a complex theme without the theme being as blatantly laid out. Now, there are still moments that make it obvious what the theme is, but I don’t feel like it’s quite as forceful as it could have been portrayed if they hadn’t been careful with the story. I also like it a lot because it is nerdy, it has that interesting fantasy twist to it and the nods to Dungeons and Dragons. I don’t know that I’d say it’s the best, but the ones that I for sure like better, Up, Wall-E, and The Incredibles, I think that I’d want to watch Onward more than some of them just because it has a higher fun factor to it.
Have you had a chance to checkout Onward? What are your thoughts on it, where does it fall in your Pixar rankings?
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Even with another light news week for Marvel properties, I have some to talk about in the news, as I talk about the projects had to be paused and Black Widow being delayed. Then I take a look at Marvel Unlimited, Marvel’s comic book repository …
Arev travels further into the world of Tainted Grail: Fall of Avalon. I continue my journey into the grim dark fantasy setting that is the land of Avalon and the Wyrdness that is pushing humans off of the land. Can Arev figure out where to go next now that he’s found the secrets of driving back the Wyrdness, with Menhir, if only for a short time?
Tainted Grail: Fall of Avalon is a giant story driven game by Awaken Realms where you are struggling as an almost hero against the lands, the monsters, and the wary people who make up the land of Avalon. To do this you must hunt for food, but more importantly explore many a location in search for answers to the problems that are facing you. In exploring you delve into an Exploration Journal and make choices that will affect your story going forward.
I, also, always have a beer on hand. So last nights beer was Size 7, and IPA from Steel Toe Brewing in St. Louis Park, MN. I like it a lot because it’s a bigger IPA checking in at 7% ABV and 77 IBU. With it having a slightly higher ABV than some IPA’s, it isn’t too malty though, but unless you’re in MN, probably not an easy beer to get your hands on.
Finally, if you are enjoying the content that I’m putting out with my solo game plays, please consider giving me a follow and a subscribe. The first is for Twitch and the second on YouTube. For YouTube views, comments, and subscribers can all help more people find my videos and hopefully help more people learn about new games.
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I do this every year, some of it is state of the website and some of it is things that I want to do in the new year. I’m not a big person for resolutions, but I do like to put down some goals for the year so that I have something I can shoot for.
Just looking back at 2019, I streamed more than 20 times and I got 40+ books read. The watch 5 anime to end of their seasons or wherever they are, pretty sure I got to that one, but I didn’t get games I bought in 2019 all of them played. I think I have a few for streaming that I haven’t gotten to yet.
So let me make a new set of resolutions:
- Always be reading a book. What do I mean by that, I mean that I want to always have a book that I’m actively working on. If you don’t read for a week, that’s fine, but if it goes longer than that, I want to be reading more.
- To go with the first one, I want to get a big dent into the books that I own but haven’t read yet. Some of them are going to be fast to read, others are long, but I want to get through a number of them.
- Stream a game the whole way through. Not sure what it is going to be, but Folklore: The Affliction is high on the list, and so is something like Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle Earth or some of the games that I have coming in.
- Don’t miss a week of #10MinMarvel. This will be tricky to end the year, but I’m hoping not to miss a week, because I want to make it a successful podcast. So to do that, I need to be consistent in what I do, plus if I miss one week, I’ll make an excuse as to why I can miss future ones. And, I suspect there will be a lot of fun Marvel news this upcoming year.
- Finish the chronological Marvel watch through. We made it through a number of them and are up to Winter Soldier, but for #10MinMarvel, I want to get the rest of the way through them. Ideally before Black Widow, but we’ll see if that happens.
Then let’s talk about the Nerdologists website. We got moved over to a new hosting site last year and it has made a big difference in speed. I don’t know that we’ll see any massive changes on the site, though I might start looking at updating the design later in the year.
And let me look at some stats. I just want to say thank you to everyone who went through some of the hiccups that we had with the system earlier in the year and show off how the numbers are compared to last year through the same time period.
So last year we had 40950 users with a whopping 415% increase from the previous year where we had just under 8000. But more than that, we had 151,942 page views as compared to 27,751, over a 440% increase. The amount of time people spent on the site increased and the bounce rate, people leaving the site fast, decreased.
Malts and Meeples Youtube/Twitch Channels were started for solo gaming content. Only 3 subscribers so far, but I got up 33 videos and some of them have better than I expect view numbers. Still not many people joining live, but that’s one thing I want to get better at, having a consistent streaming time for people to join me.
10 Minute Marvel was also started. I’ve gotten a couple of ratings and reviews, and in the time it’s been up 278 listens. The listens are also slowly increasing which is what I was looking for. If you haven’t checked it out, please do so, and let me know any feedback you might have.
So what do I want to do new now in 2020?
A few of my resolutions are also for the site, keeping up streaming and podcast are the big two.
I hope that in 2020 I can do some new things as well in terms of content. Not sure what it might be, maybe interviews, maybe patreon, whatever it might be, it’s going to probably be a surprise for me as well as you. But If we can continue to see growth into 2020, that’s awesome. I doubt that we’ll see 400% increases, but I’m hoping that it’ll continue to increase.
But, let me wrap this up just by saying THANK YOU to everyone who checks out the site, I’m so glad that you do. Hopefully some of the new content, the streams and podcast interest you, and I look forward to writing a lot more content that hopefully you’ll continue to enjoy. If you have any suggestions for the site, please contact me one of the ways below, and I’ll consider it and dialog with you about it.
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Almost forgot to share this, it was a rush, but I go through nine different level 1 characters for Dungeons and Dragons. I was hoping that I could knock them out fast, but it took a little bit, but I got them done. And I …