PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ Reaches 2 Billion Views

Gangnam Style 2 Billion ViewsI though that this phenomenon had run it’s course a while ago.  Apparently this is not the case because on Friday, PSY’s ‘Gangnam Style’ reached a monumental milestone of two billion views on YouTube, the first video in history to do this.  When you think about it, that is an insane accomplishment.

When the video came out about two years ago in 2012, everybody and their dog seemed to watch the video time and time again.  People would gather around a computer scene and gawk at the madness that was unfolding on the screen.  To this day I still don’t know how the video was so appealing.  I myself watched the video a fair share of times, but I don’t know why.  It was almost mesmerizing.

PSY’s successor to ‘Gangnam Style’ was ‘Gentleman’ which has a measly 689 million views.  Still extremely impressive when you think about it.  The  only video that seems to be kinda close to Gangnam Style’s success is Justin Beiber’s ‘Baby’ which has about 1.04 billion views which is impressive but pales in comparison to Gangnam Style.

gangnam style

Ever since ‘Gentleman’ was released, PSY has been pretty dormant in the states.  There was probably a realization that no matter what single he puts out, it will never live up to the expecations set by that sensation we call Gangnam Style.

And just in case you haven’t gotten extremely tired of all the madness…enjoy what follows below…

 

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Review: The Wolf Among Us – In Sheep’s Clothing

Before I start, I just want to warn anybody who hasn’t played the game up to this point yet.  Even though I try to avoid big spoilers, there may be a little bit of spoilers here and there.  You’ve been warned.

I had some mixed opinions going through my head while I was playing the fourth episode of The Wolf Among Us: In Sheep’s Clothing, the adventure series by Telltale based of the Fables series.  My thoughts were generally positive but I couldn’t help but notice some glaring missteps that need to be corrected before the final episode.  Although I enjoyed the episode, I can’t say that it is anywhere near the series’ best.twou ep 4 2

The one thing that I liked about the progression of the story this time around was the scope.  During the first couple of episodes the story focuses on the murders and the suspects; and nothing else.  By episode four, it’s now easy to see the real scope of the story that Telltale is trying to tell.  Fabletown is more corrupt then I once thought.  It is now clearly apparent that the Crooked Man is working with more people that once originally thought.  I like that Telltale is trying to tackle bigger themes, but they have to make sure that they keep the story in focus.  There is only one episode left, the finale, and they can’t afford to lose players in their ambitious story that they are trying to tell.

There were also some tough decisions that I had to make this time around.  Although they may not seem big enough to affect the story (which was kinda disappointing), they were still hard to make.  There is a decision early in the episode involving Colin, the pig that is staying in your apartment.  Snow, brings up her new position in Fabletown and demands that Bigby sends Colin to the Farm, where Fables go if they can’t afford to use glamours.  It was a tough decision to make considering I liked Colin as a character, but I also didn’t want to go against Snow’s wishes considering that I like her as a character twou ep 4 4too.

Other decisions including a ribbon that is on the neck of Nerrissa and a choice of where to go in the investigation proved to be a little tough, but still not big.  I hardly even believe it matters which location you go to first during the investigation.  It still seemed that I got all the information I needed to finally meet the Crooked Man.

The major thing that I didn’t like about the episode was the twou ep 4 5abruptness and randomness of some of the story lines.  I mentioned before the conversation that Snow had with Bigby in his apartment about the Farm.  It was a rather random conversation considering that Bigby was almost killed and bleeding out a couple of hours before the conversation.  It’s hard to believe that the topic of the Farm and Glamours was that important to Snow to bring it up in Bigby’s apartment.  He obviously had other things to cater to…like his battle wounds.  It just seemed a little weird.

There was also the case of Toad and Bluebeard in the deputy’s office.  They both came in and were instantly complaining about their different scenarios.  Toad was asking for money so he could afford glamours.  He didn’t want to go to the Farm.  Although I tried to work it out with him, it just didn’t seem important at the moment.  We were in the middle of an important murder investigation. Why does this topic of the Farm keep coming up?  I admire Telltale’s decision to broaden the story but the situations never felt right.

twou ep 4 3The last thing that we see at the end of the episode was the Crooked Man himself.  It seems like he will be an intriguing character, but also a predictable one at the least.  He almost seems like your typical mafia boss.  He seems to be helping everybody in Fabletown, but it is apparent that he is ruthless and cold-blooded on the inside.  We didn’t really get to see too much of him though since we were left with a rather good cliffhanger.  We were left with an option to either listen or detain him right away, but no matter which option you chose, the screen quickly faded to black.  We will have to wait till next episode to truly see who the Crooked Man is.

I really hope that Telltale can keep focused in the finale of the series.  The story arc has had it’s ups and downs and even though this episode had a lot of cool ideas, I still would consider it a down.  But this only means that the final episode will be an up, right?  We can only hope.  Telltale just needs to finish strong.  This episode tied everything up pretty well and it was just a setup for the final episode.  Now they just need to finish it.twou ep 4 1

Review: The Wolf Among Us – A Crooked Mile

It’s a good thing the third episode of the Telltale Series The Wolf Among Us is really good.  After the first episode I was really on board with where the story was going and then the second episode dragged out and left a lot to be desired.  Things weren’t looking good for the episodic series after the second entry.  Luckily A Crooked Mile, the third episode, does a lot of good things.

twou ep 3 3It starts up right after the second episode.  After a rather stunning discovery at the end of the episode, Bigby and Snow have to quickly get to the bottom of the case.  After their prime suspect does his best to try to escape unnoticed, Bigby and Snow still discover some intriguing leads that take them all over Fabletown.

The one thing that stands out in this episode is the choices that you have to make.  Although the first two episodes had their fair share of choices, it seemed that this episode’s choices had more weight behind them, which is an extremely good thing.  I found myself thinking and stressing about a lot of the choices that were given to me.  Some where easier to make than others but they all made me think a little.  Every single decision seemed to affect the story in some way.twou ep 3 1

The final act of the episode also offered some of the best moments in the series so far.  There are a lot of twists and turns and you also get to meet a new character that gets thrown into the mix.  Now I am not going to reveal who this character is (to avoid spoilers) but I will say that this character is sassy and seems to be a little rogue with how she goes about her business.  I am genuinely excited to see more of this character and what greater part she has in the overall story.

We also get to see more of Bigby’s beastly side in the final portion of the episode.  Just when I thought I saw all of what Bigby was hiding in him, I got to see much more in the final part.  There is also a big decision that you have to make in this beastly form (which involves life or death).

twou ep 3 2I almost expected the third episode in The Wolf Among Us to be this good.  It’s almost like the guys at Telltale heard the criticisms behind the second episode and fabricated this episode to bite away at the criticisms and then go above and beyond what it was expected to do.  Instead of a bad taste, I left with a very good taste and I am extremely excited for the fourth episode.

Review: X-Men Days of Future Past

x-men dofp posterThere have been a fair share of X-Men movies up to this point.  There have been sequels, prequels, and everything in between.  Marvel has had a lot of success with the X-Men franchise.  With X-Men: Days of Future Past, Bryan Singer creates another masterful installment in the series that leaves me fairly satisfied, but scratching my head at the same time.

The premise this time around is the mutants, and humanity, are in danger of an impending doom, brought on by the Sentinel project, a project created by Dr. Bollivar Trask (Peter Dinklage).  The Sentinels are specially designed robots used for tracking and destroying mutants.  The program, introduced in 1973, goes rather awry 50 years later.  The robots not only hunt down the mutants, but they also start to hunt down humans who aid the mutants.  Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and his team of X-Men can’t fight the Sentinels due to their adaptive abilities, thanks to Mystique’s (Jennifer Lawrence) DNA.

With their doom rather imminent, Charles is forced to send Logan xmen dofp 5(Hugh Jackman) back 50 years to find young Charles, as well as Magneto (Michael Fassbender).  They have to find Mystique and stop her from seeking out Trask and killing him. This is because she is considered responsible for the Sentinels.  In the past she ends up killing Trask, but they capture Mystique and harness her shape-shifting abilities into the Sentinels, making them almost unstoppable against the mutants.

With all of the time travelling that takes place in the movie, there happens to be a lot going on in terms of plot points.  With this being the case, Bryan Singer does a good job of making everything flow together rather easily.  I never really found myself lost during the movie; everything seemed to make sense.

xmen dofp 1One of the things I liked the most about Days of Future Past was it’s emphasis on the characters rather than the action.  This is fairly non-typical in a summer blockbuster action movie but I can’t find myself to knock the movie because of this.  In fact, there were hardly any action sequences at all, besides the X-Men getting their ass kicked and the remarkable kitchen scene that takes place in the Pentagon involving Quicksilver (Evan Peters).  The movie focuses more on the characters, especially Wolverine, Charles, and Mystique.   We get to see their relationships fleshed out and there is a lot of emotion as Charles tries to get back Mystique, who he lost to Magneto.  It was a breath of fresh air and it really made this superhero flick stand out from a lot of it’s predecessors.

Even though this movie is largely character-driven, there is still lots ofxmen dofp 2set piece moments and sequences that still made the movie fun to watch.  For example, the RFK scene and the plane scene, as well as the scenes that take place in the present offer a lot of nice visuals and action sequences for those who came to this movie looking for them.

????????????The whole “going back in time to change the course of history” part of the movie left me a little torn though.  The events that take place are very interesting, but they basically render the first three X-Men movies pointless.  Days of Future Past will most definitely revamp the series, making it last longer, but it erases all of the events of the past movies like they never happened.  Some people will probably not mind (for they will get to see more X-Men movies) but it made me step back and scratch my head.  There is almost no need to go back and watch those previous movie because by the end of Days of Future Past, those previous events never even happened.

xmen dofp 4The movie despite it’s head scratching moments here and there still left me with good tastes for the rest of the movies.  The announced X-Men Apocalypse should be an interesting addition to the franchise when it comes out.  Hugh Jackman is also nearing the end of his contract, as well as Jennifer Lawrence.  This means that some new mutants will have to step up to the plate in the future to lead the franchise.

Also make sure to stay after the credits because, as always, you get some footage of what direction the X-Men movies will be going with Apocalypse.

 

 

Review: Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft

hearthstone coverAs a kid, I was pretty big into collecting trading cards.  I was pretty big into Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon.  I recall having binders full of these cards, and I played with them a ton, especially with friends that shared the same interest.  However as I got older, my passion for trading cards started to dwindle and I soon found myself selling the cards or giving them away to the younger folk.

I was big into the physical trading cards, but I never found myself playing trading card video games.  The only game I can remember playing is Yu-Gi-Oh: Forbidden Memories, an old Playstation One game that came out a while back.  I had a lot of memories from that game, and none particularly good.  The game was pretty challenging and soon became a grind.yu gi oh forbidden memories

Then comes Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, a free-to-play trading card game from Blizzard, the makers of the massively popular Warcraft and Starcraft franchises.  Who would have thought that they would make a trading card game.  They do have a lot of lore to pull from when you consider the entirety of the Warcraft series, but it was still hard to imagine that they would make a trading card game.

At first I was a little skeptical of the game.  It was a while since I played a trading card game and I doubted that I could ever get back into another one.  It it wasn’t for the free-to-play aspect of the game, I probably would never have given the game a look.  But since it wouldn’t cost me a cent, I started to poke around with the game and see what was happening.

hearthstone 4The game prides itself at being deceptively simple and a lot of fun.  I started by picking a mage deck and I started to blast through  the tutorials.  The first thing that I noticed was how simple the game was to pick up, just like they advertised.  The cards have two stats on them, attack and defense.  Some other cards have some special effects that can alter your play-styles.  Another stat that you have to keep track of is your mana.  Mana is what allows you to play cards.  For example, if a card has four mana, you need four mana crystals to play it on the field of play.  You get one mana crystal added before each turn to prevent players from playing their best cards in the beginning.  It’s almost like there is a constant build-up in each match.

As you level up your decks, you get access to more cards with a wider range of abilities and you also gain weapon cards that allow the player to attack without any cards.  There are also special powers that cost two mana that are specific to each class.  The object of each match is to lower your opponents defense to zero.  The premise was pretty simple and easy to get into but there is a degree of strategy that allows for a more complex experience, and that usually comes through deck building.hearthstone 1

I have not gotten too far into the deck building experience, but it becomes a vital skill to have if you want to get anywhere in online play.  The beginners decks that are given you can win you matches if your lucky, but having your own strategy-infused deck is where the wins are at.  The deck building seemed pretty daunting at first.  I had to use a lot of online help from various websites to build a deck that was acceptable and able to win.  There are a ton of cards featured in the game and in order to build a good deck, you need to utilize all of their abilities to your advantage.  I’ve only build one deck on my own, and it has been doing alright.  But this leads me to a complaint about the game…it’s steep online difficulty curve.

The minute I started getting into online play, whether it be the regular matches or Arena matches (I’ll get into those in a little bit), I noticed how much I suck at the game.  I was losing battle after battle and I didn’t know where I was going wrong.  At first I thought it was bad luck but I then noticed it was probably the deck I was using.  In order for you to win, you generally want to have a ton of cards on the battlefield.  It was only through deck building that I could accomplish this.

hearthstone 3In Arena play, you can really start to upgrade your collection of cards.  The thing about Arena mode is that you have to build a new deck every time you enter.  You will choose from three random cards until you get a full size deck.  You then take this deck into the arena against online opponents and you will want to get as much wins as you can before you get three losses.  The more wins you get, the better the prizes you will win from completing the mode.  The first entry into the arena was free, but then it cost gold for subsequent entries.  This is where the free-to-play element of the game rears its head.

If you want to advance quickly in the game and get more powerful cards to stack up against the tough online competition, you will most likely have to drop some cash into the game to get gold.  There are daily challenges that you can complete to get a meager amount of coins, but if you go down the route of not paying a cent, the game will slowly turn into a grind, just like I thought it would.  This isn’t my biggest complaint about the game, but it is something that will probably detract from the experience.hearthstone 2

I can easily see a lot of people putting in fifty dollars into the game, because that is how much this game is probably worth.  Even though the game can turn into a grind, there is still a lot of content for you to mess around with for a zero dollar price tag.  I enjoyed the time that I spent with the game and I will probably continue on in the game to see what awaits me.  There are legendary cards and the ranked matches that will most likely keep a lot of people playing for a long time.

 

 

A Look at the New Batmobile

After teasing a reveal of the new Batmobile to be featured in the new Batman vs Superman movie yesterday on Twitter, Zack Snyder, the director of the highly anticipated film, has finally revealed what the Batmobile will look like, as well as a sneak peak of Ben Affleck’s Batman.

The picture, shot in black and white, shows what looks like a gritty Batman, as well as a slick aerodynamic Batmobile behind him.  There has been a lot of positive response from fans so far on Batman and his Batmobile’s new look.  I personally love the new look and I can’t wait to see more looks at this new movie.

 

Some Movies to See this Summer

22 Jump Street (6-13-14)22 Jump Street Poster     

Your two favorite cops, Officers Schmidt (Jonah Hill) and Jenko (Channing Tatum) are back at it once again, except this time they have graduated from working undercover at a high school.  This time, the two buddy cops will find themselves in a deep undercover mission at the community college.  However, their relationship runs into a bumpy road when Jenko gets involved with the football team and when Schmidt gets into the bohemian art major scene.  There will be crazy college antics and hilarious situations that face the two as they try to iron out their relationship and go from freshman to real men.  21 Jump Street was met with a great critical reception and it soon got a massive fan following.  Frat boys and comedy fans alike will definitely crowd the theater to see this flick.

X-Men: Days of Future Past (5-23-14) x-men dofp poster

The mutants are fighting for the survival of their species across two time periods in the newest X-Men movie.  The current cast of characters from the previous X-Men trilogy will fight alongside a new class of mutants.  The movie stars a huge cast including the likes of Hugh Jackman, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, Halle Berry, Anna Paquin, Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewert, and more.  The movie is massive in scale as it will span two time periods as the mutants go back and forth through time.  As of recent there have also been talks about making the sequel to this movie, X-Men: Apocalypse, so X-Men: Days of Future Past will not be a movie you will want to miss.  It will be one of the most exciting action movies this summer.

Million Dollar Arm (5-16-14)million dollar arm poster

Being a pitcher at the major league level is the farthest thing from being easy.  It takes a lot blood, sweat, tears, and raw dedication.  Disney’s newest feel-good drama, Million Dollar Arm, is a true story about sports agent J.B. Bernstein (played by Jon Hamm) and his trip to India to scout new pitchers.  It was a reality show called the Million Dollar Arm, looking for prospects that could pitch at the major league level.  The two pitchers who win the competition are Rinku Singh and Dinesh Patel, played by Suraj Sharma and Madhur Mittal respectively.  Then, from there it is all hard work as Bernstein tries to prepare the pitchers for their first major league game.

Godzilla (5-16-14)godzilla movie poster

Godzilla has probably come to be the most iconic monster in pop culture history.  The very sight of the creature can frighten most, which is what will make this movie a unique one when it comes out this summer.  There have been past movies about Godzilla, but none have seemed to capture the true sense of terror that this monster can inflict.  This has been due to the lack of technology.  That is why the reboot should be a thrilling movie to watch.  The Godzilla that they have created is bigger, badder, and more terrifying than ever before.  Godzilla will mark only the second time that a Godzilla movie has been fully filmed in America.

Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (8-22-14)sin city a dame to kill for poster

Later this summer, Frank Miller will be releasing his follow-up to Sin City which came out in 2004.  Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, a crime-thriller set in a noir setting, will feature Dwight McCarthy (Josh Brolin) who is summoned by a former lover by the name of Ava Lord (Eva Green).  She wants McCarthy’s help to escape her abusive husband, Damian Lord (Marton Csokas).  However, McCarthy soon finds out that Ava’s plans are a little different from what they first appeared.  The movie will also star some newcomers to the series as well as some returning favorites like Jessica Alba, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lady Gaga, and more.  The movie will also feature some sub-plots based on some original stories by Frank Miller.

Review: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

asm 2 posterThe original trilogy versus the new trilogy.  This has been a constant on-going debate when it comes to the Spider-Man movies.  The original trilogy had it’s defining moments and the chemistry between Toby’s Maguire’s Spider-Man and Kirsten Dunst’s Mary Jane was unrivaled.  However,  the new trilogy starring Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man is making a pretty big case for why it’s the better trilogy.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 did a lot of good things.  In this go-around, Oscorp is going through a lot of changes.  Normon Osborne has passed away, leaving his heir Harry Osborne (Dane DeHaan) in charge of the struggling company.  At the same time, another unlikely super villain comes to fruition.  Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), a lonely maintenance worker at Oscorp, as well as a big fan of Spider-Man, is tasked with some work near the tanks of genetically altered electric eels.  He ends up clumsily stumbling into one of the tanks, getting shocked by the eels.  He ends up turning into the super villain we all know as Electro.

Spider-Man ends up meeting the very unstable Electro in Times Square, where all eyes are on him.  All of the jumbo trons and video screens feature Electro.  Electro notices Spider Man and gets mad whenever Spider-Man cannot remember who he is.  (Spider-Man saved him from an oncoming car earlier)  This is what causes Electro to become Spider-Man’s enemy instead of fan.asm 2 electro

Along the way, Harry Osborne finds out that he is dying, just like his father.  He finds out that Spider-Man’s blood could perhaps save him from his doom.  Whenever Spider-Man refuses to give him the blood, in fear of putting Harry in danger, Harry turns mad and soon becomes the Green Goblin, with a grudge against Spider-Man.

With all of that being said, there are things I like about the plot and there are things that I don’t like.  First off, I liked the amount of emotional moments that occurred throughout the movie.  Now, I am not one for mushy-gushy action movies, but it was a nice change of pace.  The moment where Peter Parker found out the truth about his father was a defining moment of the movie and it was very powerful.   The moments between Peter Parker and Gwen Stacey (Emma Stone) where also very intriguing to me.  They ranged from being awkward to tense to emotional.  One thing was for certain though; the chemistry between real-life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone is asm 2 gwenfantastic.   They really work well on screen together.

The other parts of the plot though, especially regarding all of the super villains, seemed random at times.  It was sometimes hard to follow all of the different super villains that were going up against Spider-Man.  It made me wonder if the movie would be better if it just perhaps focused on Electro.  Jamie Foxx played a really good Max Dillon/Electro.  He was actually one of my favorite characters during the movie.  It was somewhat satisfying to see Max Dillon’s transformation from lonely Oscorp worker to powerful Electro.  The movie would probably be so much better if it primarily focused on him.

Dane DeHaan did a good job with Harry Osborne and the Green Goblin, but it just wasn’t good enough.  His character seemed kind of lifeless in the beginning and I didn’t think all of the stuff that happened at the end was quite necessary.  The inclusion of Rhino at the end was really random and was definitely not necessary.  It was confusing as to why he was there and it just didn’t seem to fit in with the plot.

The ending dasm 2 osborneid do a good job of setting up for the final movie of the trilogy though, and perhaps the Sinister Six movie that is also in the works.  The movie left lots of room for the finale to the trilogy and I will definitely be interested to see how it all comes to an end.

The movie may not have had the greatest plot, but it did have some stellar visual effects.  There was tons of eye-candy to behold, making it the nicest looking Spider-Man movie yet.  Electro’s character had lots of work done on him to bring his character to life.  The action sequences were amazing and they kept things intense.  Plus, it never gets old seeing Spider-Man swing through New York City.  It’s what makes Spider-Man movies so breathtaking.

asm 2 clockworkThere was a lot of things to like about The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but there were also a lot of gripes that I had with it.  It was overall an entertaining movie to watch though.  I thought that it was a good set-up for the ending of the trilogy and that possible Sinister Six movie.  This movie was an exciting start to the summer blockbuster season, and it would be one that I recommend.