The Ant-trasting Ant-Man

*** YES, I KNOW THAT’S A SH!T PUN AND THERE ARE SPOILERS…PROBABLY. ***

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photo credit: LEGO Ant-Man via photopin (license)

First things first, despite the title of the this piece, I actually really liked Ant-Man – which is saying a lot as I have a really serious bug issue. Probably not surprisingly, I don’t have an overabundance of Ant-Man knowledge, so I didn’t really know what to expect going in – but that lack was in no way a deterrent. The movie handles the backstory and plot in true Marvel need to know fashion; you know what’s up without being bogged down, and that leaves you with plenty of time to appreciate the sarcastically hilarious dialogue and unique visuals.

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photo credit: Paul Rudd via photopin (license)

The most surprisingly enjoyable thing about this movie for me though  was actually Paul Rudd. I’ll be honest and admit that though I really appreciated him in I Love You, Man I was not at all sure he could pull off a headliner superhero. But man, was I surprised. Just like Peter Quill was kind of made for Chris Pratt, I feel like Scott Lang was maybe tailor made for Paul Rudd. He’s every bit the lovable underdog and makes the good guy crook a believable and relate-able; The cat burglar you could take home to mom, if you will. Yellowjacket, played by Corey Stoll, however I felt was a little lackluster for a villain. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly I wasn’t thrilled to pieces with him, but there just seem to be a lack of dimension in his character and he was crazy just for the sake of being crazy. Plus he looked exactly like Lex Luther if Lex Luther was a gym rat with pronounced emotional problems, which was somewhat distracting for me.

The supporting cast was pretty stellar though, so that made up for a lot of my misgivings with Yellowjacket. Team good guys, which consisted of Michael Douglas (Grumpy Original), Evangeline Lilly (ass-kicking instructor), Micheal Pena, David Dastmalchian, and I.T. (who make up the comedic technical support crew), and really well casted in my opinion, and though some of these were obviously only added for comedic effect, that effect is really appreciated in the second half of the movie.

As for the visuals – which I referred to as unusual, if you remember – were quite something. I can’t say that any other super hero movie has attempted to do what they managed to pull off – which is maybe the best argument for an Ant-Man movie? Anyhow, they somehow managed to blend serious action with simplistic silliness in a perfectly entertaining combo, which I really enjoy very, very much.

Final thoughts? I’d have to say not surprisingly, Marvel is probably the only studio that could have pulled off this title to begin with, but they did so much better than anticipated. I feel like any other studio would have taken a much campier route, which with a plot as absurd as this to begin with would have come out looking like someone’s extremely dorky third cousin who gets avoided at family reunions rather than the good natured, fun guy afternoon outing that it is.

 

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Rocket Punch Radio Episode 21: Year Behind Year Ahead

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So, it turned out that 2015 was a pretty bang up year! The RPR pilots and crew reflect on this past year and spend a lot of time talking about the year ahead in movies! Talking points include Star Wars (again), Travel Advice, and unexpectedly great videogames of 2015. We also predict the future and let you know what movies are going to be great in the coming year. This extra long episode is our late gift to you, to chase those post holiday doldrums away!
The Rocket Punch Ultrabot can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

photo credit: New Year’s Day Display via photopin (license)

Dinner for One

What happens when an English comedy skit doesn’t catch on in Britain but becomes a New Years tradition and cultural icon in the non-English speaking world? You get “Dinner for One”.

This 11 minute skit is one of the hidden gems of the internet. Between the James’ the Butler’s impressions of the missing guests, and a horribly placed tiger skin rug, and the large amount of alcohol, pure comedy is bred.

To be fair telling too much about this video would only ruin the charm. If you’d like to know more after watching the video, click here for a great run down from local.de on the details of how this video came to be and how it came to be a cultural icon.

So sit back, enjoy, and let this become your procedure for every year. Oh and Happy New Years.

Rocket Punch Radio Episode 20: Star Wars The Force Awakens

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A new saga begins in a galaxy far far away, but does it hold up? Do we have a rebirth of the original trilogy, or the failure of the prequels? Perhaps it’s something in between? Perhaps… There’s another! The pilots gather with RPR listener Kaitlyn to discuss the new movie now that we’ve all had the chance to see it. Tell us in the comments what you think!
The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

What I’ve Been Listening To…(The Extended Week Edition)

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Meanwhile at the podcave

I recently got a new job! A job which allows me to listen to music or programs during my shift. Sometimes all 8 hours of my shift (if I so desire). So I thought I’d share with you the best things I heard during my last week (and a half) of listening to podcasts (sorry no music, bug Sam or Ally for music).

During my week and a half I was able to finally get caught up on my backlog of podcasts I had accumulated. Partly due to the Thanksgiving Day weekend, and partly due to my last job only having a two hour block of time where I could listen to stuff. As such, I had quite a few different things to select as the best of the best.

I only wanted one best episode per podcast since some had more episodes then others due to me backlogging more serious shows. Rocket Punch has no entries on here because if you’re here reading my articles you probably already listen to our podcast. Enough with the explanations, on to the champions.

Champions of the Week:
What’s the Point – Building Pixar’s Landscapes: 12/3/15
An interview on how Pixar used data sets from the US Geological Survey to create the backgrounds for their upcoming movie The Good Dinosaur. Leading to backgrounds that are sweeping and familiar, and the use of more data in one scene (of The Good Dinosaur) then was used in the entirety of Cars 2.

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Mmm…water?

Freakonomics Radio – Food + Science = Victory!
Is it really the water that makes New York pizza so good? This question is definitively answered finally. I have many questions like this. So finding out that there was someone out there who approaches food from the scientific method is really exciting.

Undisclosed – Episode 9: Charm City

Undisclosed is a podcast for people who didn’t think Serial (first 1:30 for a quick description of Serial) went deep enough. This podcast really gets into the details of the case, and unveils more upsetting things about the legal system of Baltimore (if not America in all.) This episode deals with some of the more scandalous methods used by the Baltimore Police Department. And how they relate to the case against Adnan Syed.

Radiolab – Birthstory
Find out how 2 men + 4 women combined to make 3 babies. Oh yeah the story also involves 4 countries and 4 different languages. The difficult path of those seeking out surrogate mothers. And the odd story of the birth of 3 children. It’s a hell of a ride.

The Adventure Zone – The WHOLE Petal to the Metal story line
The Adventure Zone is a Dungeons & Dragons podcast by the brothers of My Brother, My Brother and Me, plus their dad. The most recent story line culminated in a massive car chase competition a la Death Race 2000, or maybe it reminds you of Fury Road (either way). The families oddball humor and sometimes bumbling characters, really adds to the fun. A great listen even if you’ve never played a pen and paper Role-Playing game.

The Nerdist – Kelly Carlin
I’m a fan of The Nerdist Podcast, and it got me in to Podcasts in general. Chris Hardwick’s interview style is more conversation then interview and is extremely humanizing. And it was really interesting to hear from the daughter of George Carlin. A physiologist and stage performer herself, I wasn’t sure what to expect. As a fan I knew her childhood had not been normal, or easy (from reading her dad’s memoirs.) But she was intelligent and funny, and fun. She’s also (not-so) surprisingly casual with her usage of the f-bomb. (Would this be nature or nurture?) Also in this episode “The pitch for the best movie ever conceived”.

The Total Soccer Show – Star Wars Soccer XI
In what has been this week’s biggest Reese’s moment for me, someone got Star Wars on my soccer and I discovered that Soccer names, are sometimes indistinguishable from expanded universe Star Wars names. This one was a lot of fun to listen to while listening to Taylor and Daryl pick their starting lineups using Star Wars characters, and debate who and why. By the way if you are interested in soccer, TSS is my choice for best podcast for soccer analysis and news.

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All ready for the sweet Sega Channel Cartridge.

Giant Bombcast – 12/08/2015
I haven’t finished this episode when I started writing this article, but at about a quarter of the way through was a story about how Eastern European pirates (tech, not seafaring) in the old days of tape technology would broadcast the audio code of video games on the radio. People would actually record these broadcasts and “download” video games this way. As my friend Jondar put it “It’s the Cro Magnon version of Sega Channel.” The only down side to Giant Bomb’s video game themed podcast is that it clocks in at two and a half to three hours long per episode. Might be a long commitment for some people.

Runner’s Up:
Lore – The Whole Damn Podcast
Since my wife introduced me to this podcast, I promised I wouldn’t write much about Lore before she could. That’s literally the only reason why it’s on the Runner’s Up for this week. (Ally will be writing more about it this weekend.) Do you like scary stories, mythology, monsters, superstition? Any or all of the above? Then you should probably be listening to Lore. My wife and I listened to this podcast while driving to and from Texas this Thanksgiving (hey Dad), and I finished up the last few episodes on my own at work. My only complaints are that it’s only biweekly and that it lost some ambiance when not driving through the middle of nowhere at the dead of night.

Freakonomics Radio – Am I Boring You?
The science behind boredom and how humanity really hasn’t done a ton of research into this topic despite it being a huge factor in so many peoples’ work, leisure, and social lives.

Sawbones:  The Woman Who Gave Birth to Rabbits
This is a show about medicine and all the oddities that it entails. I won’t spoil the surprise here, but this story made me once again happy to live in society where science and medicine are rigorously tested and not just educated guessing. Plus this was an interesting story I’d never heard.

Radiolab – The Cold War
What happens when an ice cream truck rivalry goes south? The Cold War. A look at how conflicting takes on business and rules can make for a rough situation.

This is not your trophy. Sorry.

Freakonomics Radio – Ben Bernanke Gives Himself a Grade
You may not care about an interview from the guy who was the Fed Chairmen when the financial crisis hit, but I find long-form interviews often humanize the famous, and this interview is no exception. His obsessive interest in the Great Depression, and FDR’s policies (despite appointed chairman by a conservative president) were surprising. Add to that the story of his wife responding to his appointment with tears (that were not of joy), and you may soon find yourself enjoying an interview that is partially about monetary policy.

Have I missed any of your favorites? Please feel free to send in any podcasts (or just single episodes) I should be listening to. I’m always looking for an interesting story.

And of course congrats to the podcasts which won, if you guys are in St. Louis let us know on twitter will meet up for a drink and hand you over your trophy.

Rocket Punch Radio Book Club: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

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In this, our second installment of RPR Bookclub, James, Samantha, Allayne, and our guest Dan discuss Chamber of Secrets. Join us in uncovering the real villain at Hogwarts and remind yourself why you don’t still have the same AOL username as when you were in highschool.
We have a giveaway running through December 31st to win an Amazon gift card. All you have to do is leave a new review on our iTunes page and post a screenshot of your review to our twitter @rocketpunchrdo. One review will be randomly selected to win!
The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

A Wild Amazon Giftcard Contest Appears!

itunes-contest

Now is your chance to win a free Amazon gift card worth $20 from Rocket Punch Radio! The details are simple. Leave a review over on our iTunes page between December 1st and 31st and we will select a winner randomly on New Years Day.

FAQ:

Q: How do you know that it was me that left the review?
A: First, get out of our head. Creepy. Second, tweet us a screenshot of your review before you post it, using the hashtag #RocketPunchContest. Alternatively you can leave the screenshot as a comment in this post, or over on our Grown-Ass Geeks group on Facebook.

Q: How will you get a hold of me?
A: We will DM you in Twitter using the handle you used to post your screenshot.

Q: When will you draw your names?
A: I told you. January 1st. Try to keep up.

Q: How will I get the gift card?
A: We can arrange that over DM once you’ve been selected.

Q: You used to read iTunes reviews on the podcast. Will you do that again?
A: If they’re funny or especially complimentary, almost certainly!

Q: I hate iTunes and Apple. Why are you using them? Why can’t I review you on an Android app? What if I don’t want to download iTunes?
A: Fact is, iTunes is the biggest game in town. Even a lot of Android apps use iTunes’ aggregation for their list. The more reviews we have there, the bigger a potential audience we could have. And the bigger the potential audience, the more likely you’ll be able to geek out over RPR with your friends instead of being called a hipster weirdo for listening to that dorky podcast. Also, you’re only supposed to have one question per one of these, so I’m not answering that last one. Ok. I’ll answer it. If you don’t want to download iTunes that’s your prerogative, and we’ll probably hold a contest in the future for other podcast services. But right now its iTunes. If you want a chance at the card, it’s for iTunes reviews.

Rocket Punch Radio Episode 19: RPR Trivia Quiz Night!

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The Pilots celebrate Thanksgiving and Ruth’s return with a fun trivia night. Each pilot picked a topic that was pertinent to their interest and concocted five questions. Who won? You’ll have to listen to find out!
Keep an eye on your feed for next week when RPR Book Club continues with Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. James’ short story Dragonfly Shadow is now available in The Dragon Lord’s Library from 18th Wall. Check it out today!

The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @HeyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com

photo credit: Concurso 1° Trivia LOTR 28 via photopin (license)

Randomizers, New Saviors of Classic Gaming?

Back in 1987 I got a NES and I really loved the NES but the first game that really captured my attention was the Legend of Zelda. Since we only had a few games my mom would rent games from our local independent strip mall video store. (I don’t remember the name.) The Legend of Zelda was the first game I wanted to rent two times in a row, and my mom said “If you like it that much we’ll just buy it.” Thus starting an multi system obsession.

But we’ve all played the Original and the 2nd quest, so what’s left? There is a version of the original (NES) Legend of Zelda where people have randomized the items locations.  (As well as entirely new quests made this way.) How did no one tell me about this?

I’ve watched a couple videos of people playing this game and I got to say I need more roms of classic games altered. Anything that has item collection and exploration elements. This seems to me like the ultimate mix of nostalgia and surprises. So far I’ve found that there is a Zelda and a Super Metroid Randomizer.

It seems as those these were originally created to breath new life into games for speed runners and completionits, who needed a new challenge, you can actually find races between speed runners trying to finish the game, but not knowing which items you’ll get.

Sorry this is a short post but this is a warning to stay tuned for streaming of these on twitch as I am going to need to play these.

Rocket Punch Radio Book Club: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

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In this, our inaugural episode of Rocket Punch Radio Book Club, Samantha, James and Allayne are joined by our guest Jenelle to discuss Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone! The book is old enough to vote (and drink in the UK) so we are looking back at a series that grew up with us.

Join us in looking too deeply into the text of a book written for eleven year olds, talking smack about wizarding culture, and unpacking the many lies of our beloved mentor Dumbledore!

The Giant Robot of Rocket Punch Radio can only be fueled by the ratings and subscriptions of faithful listeners like yourself. Hit us up on iTunes and Tunein and keep the fight going! You can join the official Rocket Punch community on Facebook on the Grown-Ass Geeks group.

Follow these crazy bastards:
Rocket Punch Radio: @RocketpunchRDO
James: @JpatrickAuthor
Samantha: @thekebabylon
Nate: @BladeofCreation
Allayne: @AhoyAlliOops
Kurt: @kspaz13

If you want to ask us a question in private you can email us at rocketpunchradio@gmail.com