[Music Review] Fang Island “Major”

Fang Island MajorI first stumbled across feel good anthem band Fang Island in 2010 shortly following the release of their self-titled album, and they quickly climbed to the top of my most listened to bands. Their overly awesome riff-heavy, guitar-driven sound — accompanied by an overall lightheartedness — was just something that clicked with me. Two years later and they’re still one of my favorite bands for summertime drives, with the windows down and no destination in mind.

Their follow-up, Major, is an equally awesome collection of rambunctiousness that I was highly anticipating. After a few days of nearly constant listening, I’ve found that my eagerness for Major — which has its flaws — was certainly warranted. Continue reading

[Movie Review] Ted (2012)

Ted is the relatively simple tale of boy and toy, seen through the sometimes perverse, but often hilarious eyes of Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, American Dad). MacFarlane, who directs and provides the voice of the title character (a teddy bear brought to life through a young boy’s Christmas wish), gives us a comedy that stands out not only because it’s MacFarlane’s first live action directed feature, but because it also ironically takes what would seem to be the plot of a G-rated movie and converts it into R-rated glory packed with MacFarlane’s signature brand of pop culture laden crude humor. Ted is exactly what you’d expect– funny and simple– but with a surprising ability to blend its fantastical premise with some genuine emotion.

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[Book Review] “Dead City” by Joe McKinney

Dead City by Joe McKinneyDead City opens with odd reports of survivors attacking rescue workers after five powerful hurricanes have pounded the Gulf of Mexico and left the surrounding cities absolutely devastated. Just out of reach of harm’s way, San Antonio, Texas has become a popular safe zone for emergency shelters and evacuees from the destroyed cities. This is where our story begins. Following local police officer Eddie Hudson, Dead City wastes very little time establishing anything aside from a very basic setting and quick introduction of the main character (just enough to let you know that he’s a cop with a wife and new baby son), and instead throws readers into the opening scenes of the zombie apocalypse right away.

Early on in the book I was very unsure of how much I would enjoy it because of how quickly the author puts everything into motion. I don’t mean that it happens too early in the book, but he chose for the first event to pop up suddenly, but had the destruction spread too quickly to be considered logical.

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[Food Review] Cinnabon Breakfast Cereal

Cinnamon Rolls and cereal seem to come at polar opposite ends of the breakfast spectrum. When one finds time to eat cinnamon rolls, a good day is more than likely on the horizon, while a bowl of cereal generally indicates you’ll once again be subjected to texting your mom to let her know you got to work safely, even though you’re 26 and only commute 15 minutes.

Well, perhaps in an attempt to create some middle ground, the people at Cinnabon have molded the two sides together with a new, multi-grain cereal creation, and in a way they succeeded. If cinnamon rolls are ecstasy and cereal is agony, than middle ground would have to be apathy, which is exactly what I felt after two bowls of this stuff.

One area of success for the Cinnabon cereal is that when you open the box, you are greeted with a fairly accurate Cinnabon smell which is, of course, rather nice. It doesn’t have to sharp, hobo-lifting aroma (look it up, dammit. I’m tired of having to explain all my references) one gets when taking a hot tray from the oven but it’s pretty close for a cold cereal.

But I’m afraid from that point on, the experience becomes a bit lackluster. On early bites it has sort of a stronger and less enjoyable Cinnamon Toast Crunch taste that disappears rather quickly. Once given the opportunity to soak, you aren’t left with much of anything in the taste department.

Read the rest of this review.

[Energy Review] Barium Energy Powder (Black Cherry)

I am sad to say  I have been poisoned. Yes, poisoned. By Barium.

Oh wait… Are you telling me it was just a candy? Well then! Nevermind. I’ll be perfectly fine. Barium Energy Powderis one of the newer flavors ofpowders made by Harcos Labs. I have had a lot of horrible-tasting powders just like my fellow reviewer has had horrible mints.

I was a bit sketchy about trying the powder from Harcos Labs because of these previous experiences. So, I just ordered one tube and I am wishing I had ordered more. Find out why in a second…

Read the rest of Kat’s review!

[Movie Review] Shame (2011)

Usually when a film gets tagged with the dreaded NC-17 rating it’s largely swept under the rug by the mass movie going public, only to be seen by those who go out of their way to seek it out. Whatever the subject matter that is contained within the film that warranted the severe MPAA restriction is usually enough to keep all but the most ardent cinephiles from taking the time to seek it out. Shame is a 2011 film that did receive that rating, but for mature filmgoers it packs a simple concept into one of the most remarkably moving packages in recent memory.

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[Restaurant Review] Stockholders

 

I’m back with another review to dish out.

My mother’s birthday was this week so as tradition in our family we dine out that night. My family is quite a picky bunch of eaters, my sister and dad are happy with simpler food or a steak but no seafood, my grandmother has to have seafood that is soft enough for her to eat, and my mother can be a tad selective as well. This time we decided to try out a new restaurant in Weymouth, Massachusetts.

Stockholders is a seafood and chophouse that has a price range between $13 – $25 per entrée. The exterior of the restaurant is the first thing you’ll notice if you park in the back lot. The overwhelmingly delicious smell of burning oak wood pours into the street. The interior was nice. It included two giant crystal fish tanks, Wall Sreet themed wall decoration and neutral colors on the floors and walls.

Read the rest of David’s review!

[Food Review] Banquet Cherry Berry Pie

Here’s a portion of a review on DIHTS.com:

The first problem I had with my Cherry Berry (I also spotted Apple in the frozen section of my local grocery store) was that it was leaky and made a puddly mess in my microwave. Seeing as how the product was made by Banquet, the margin of error was ultra-thin and being forced to take six seconds out of my five hour work day to wipe up a small mess made my mood less than jovial.

Also, I’d be lying if I said the ultra-thin crust made my mouth water. The box would lead you to believe the structure was thick and durable, when in reality it’s so meager it’s virtually transparent. It’s hard not to be apprehensive about eating something that looks like cheap drywall you’d find scattered about the floor of a Habitat for Humanity project house (I once spent three days on a volunteer work crew with my church’s youth group. Am I a hero? Probably, but that’s not what this review is about).

So with all these obstacles in the way, does it taste as awful as you’d expect? No, not really, which is really just to say it didn’t initiate the gag reflex I was expecting as I pensively stared over it several minutes after microwaving.

Read the full review on our sister site, Does it Hit the Spot?

[Game Review] Kid Icarus: Uprising (Nintendo 3DS)

Kid Icarus UprisingFor years now, rumors have been running rampant about a radical revival for one of Nintendo’s forgotten franchises. Most of it stemming from the hopeful wishing and constant speculation of a select few big time video game journalists, the rumor mill was almost constantly buzzing with talk of Kid Icarus making a comeback every time the Big N announced it would be revealing any kind of news.

The reason for this is very unclear to me, because I’ve always felt that both the original Kid Icarus for NES sucked pretty hard. Frustrating controls and garbage gameplay mechanics really irritated me every single time I tried to play it. Maybe it was just the fact that I sucked really bad at it, but for whatever reason I just hated the original. So why would anyone want the franchise to make a return?

Luckily, when it was finally confirmed and shown off for the first time, the painfully boring vertical tower climbing gameplay mechanics of the past looked to be completely thrown away in favor of radical aerial combat and action-heavy ground battle segments. For the first time in my life, I was excited for Kid Icarus. And now that the finished game is finally available for the Nintendo 3DS, I am happy to say that it doesn’t disappoint.

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[Flash Game Review] Spikes Tend to Kill You 2

Spikes Tend to Kill You 2 is a flash skill platformer.  You are a steaming square with a dot in the middle, and you must navigate a series of screens.  Each screen is filled with spikes or turrets that shoot yellow pixel bullets.

The bulk of the gameplay is…well what I described in the previous paragraph.  It hearkens back to other skill jumping games like of maddening insanity like I Wanna Be the Guy or the nightmarish disappearing blocks from Mega Man.  The major difference though, is that with I Wanna Be the Guy it had bits of old Nintendo games and nostalgic graphics.  It was pretty much a self-aware parody of the platformer genre.  With the Mega Man series, the invisible blocks were only part of Dr. Wily’s nefarious plan.  You still get to fight robots and earn different weapons.

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