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Jason Panella

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Everything posted by Jason Panella

  1. I'm really thankful I never got into his books, but there wasn't much of a chance. When I worked at a bookstore, his rear jacket author photo scared me away:
  2. Jason Panella

    Blue Ruin

    At one point I thought, "This is economical filmmaking." I love how much attention is paid to little details, too; getting a handgun for revenge would be simple in another film, but that's not the case here.
  3. Jason Panella

    Blue Ruin

    Wow, this movie.
  4. Jason Panella


    I think 24: Live Another Day was easily one of the best seasons in the show's run. I've seen a fair number of genuinely good shows over the past years, but the last few episodes of this seasons had me riveted unlike anything I've watched in quite some time.
  5. This past weekend I brought out Arkham Horror, the first time I've played the game in about two years. I've been reading some of Lovecraft's longer, better-known stories recently, so I thought a game of this old gem was appropriate. Some people play with all of the expansions, but I think that's a certain one-way trip to Lovecraftian madness. When I was playing the game frequently a few years ago, I developed a system of using one big expansion, one small expansion, and select elements from Miskatonic Horror (the expansion for the expansions...no joke). Since I had just read the story "The Dunwich Horror," I used the big Dunwich Horror expansion and the smaller Goat of the Black Woods expansion, as well as some of the cards that tie the two together from Miskatonic. It ended up being a lot of fun. The set-up and tear-down portions are tedious, but I have things organized well enough that it's not a whole-day event. There is certainly flawed—the ebb and flow is drastically different from game to game, which results in chaos or tedium. This game leaned slightly toward the latter, but I really had fun. I think what I like best is that this game is focused primarily on the characters. Each is different, each has a backstory, and each character has some motivation that makes them feel more like an RPG character than an interchangable board game widget (this last part especially comes through with the "personal story" option available in one of the expansions...it gives the characters something more personal to shoot for besides "beat big evil thing"). While Eldritch Horror seems like it smooths down many of AH's knobby parts, it also seems more focused on the thing you're fighting. Which is cool! But that, plus the broader expanse of the story, makes me cling more closely to its flawed (but lovely) predecessor.
  6. Thanks. This isn't the first time I've made this error, either!
  7. I'm excited. I kind of wanted to listen to this at work, but...I might just wait 'til I get home.
  8. I'm wondering how well this will work. I'm not a Magic player, but I've always had the impression that there really isn't much of a setting. Even if the various movies were garbage, D&D potentially has a number of settings with plenty of lore, characters, and narrative opportunities to use. I know there were some Magic books and comics, but...were they good?
  9. That's my favorite collection by him! The professor who taught the amazing creative non-fiction course I took as an undergrad had us read Diane Glancy's Pushing the Bear, which I remember bowling me over at the time. It's a novel, but the professor used it (and Tim O'Brien's The Things They Carried) to illustrate how close fiction can get to non-fiction.
  10. I can't believe I missed this the first time around. West has been tweeting a fair bit about the picture, now in its second week of shooting. Some things I've learned: It's not horror, at all Also involved in the picture: James Ransone (Ziggy from The Wire!), Karen Gillan, and Taissa Farmiga. West is shooting it in 35mm
  11. Jason Panella

    The Warriors

    No. Yes, in the best possible way. YES.
  12. I think Pandemic might be my most-played game ever. So much so that my wife and I have gotten worn out! I still like to use it to introduce new gamers to co-operative games, though. We have the old version of the game, and I've been hesitant on spending money on the new edition (or even getting an upgrade pack). The In the Lab expansion does look like a lot of fun, so maybe some day. (And yes, On the Brink might be one of my favorite expansions for any game ever.)
  13. Nine times out of ten, these people (or non-people) will unfollow you on their own within a few days. Most likely they followed you because you tweeted something remotely relevant to them, or because you're recommended to them through that little sidebar. After they see you're either not tweeting a thousand times a day (and thus not a "influencer," or whatever), or if they don't like what you're saying, they'll bail. Happens to me all of the time.
  14. Haven't played it, but I read some reviews and the game looks like a lot of fun. Have you had a chance to play it yet?
  15. Trust me, you're in the majority thinking that.
  16. Bingo! I love Radiohead, I really do. But I've respected more than liked most of their recent stuff. Anyway, back to favorite albums! I can't believe I forgot Guilty of Everything from Nothing, which might be my favorite release of the year.
  17. Me too! The All Songs guys were so high on this album, but I thought it felt pretty shallow. Radiohead and others were doing better bleak futurism long before this record. It'll probably be the first album to fall of my list when I hear better stuff, so I get what you're saying. I'll say this, though—while I love Yorke and company, Albarn's music interests me far more than three of the last four Radiohead albums.
  18. I saw him in concert a month or two ago (I was the youngest person there by far!), and he played a bunch of New Agrarian tunes. They were all quite good, though a little bit more bluesy than his usual stuff.
  19. Favorites so far, in alphabetical order: Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots Joe Henry – Invisible Hour Mastodon – Once More 'Round the Sun Jessica Lea Mayfield – Make My Head Sing... Nothing – Guilty of Everything PUP – PUP Sun Kil Moon – Benji The War on Drugs – Lost in the Dream Sharon Van Etten – Are We There Wussy – Attica! I'm also kind of embarrassed to say that I genuinely enjoy the new Pixies "album;" it doesn't stack up favorably to their older albums, but a few spins of the record made me appreciate the tunes as (mostly) solid slabs of catchy Frank Black weirdness. Also disappointed by the new ones from Drive-By Truckers, Wye Oak, Mogwai, and The Afghan Whigs. Of course, there are plenty of records I have yet to hear.
  20. Not at all. And it does feel like a hit piece.
  21. Jessica Lea Mayfield has been releasing music for almost a decade, which isn't that big of a deal. What is a big deal, however, is that she's only 24. She recorded her debut EP White Lies in the bedroom of her brother (the folkie David Mayfield) and released it when she was 15. Dan Auerbach heard it, loved it, and went on to produce her debut With Blasphemy So Heartfelt and the follow-up Tell Me. I dig those albums, especially her sophomore release; they're based in American roots music, but have a live-wire intensity that clashes nicely with Mayfield's delicate, droning vocals. So now she released her third album, Make My Head Sing. Gone is Auerbach in the producer's chair, and gone is the Americana strum. Instead, Mayfield strapped on a sparkly Danelectro and unleashed some fuzzed-out grunge tunes. She loves Nirvana and Foo Fighters, and this new one is a big nod to loud alt. rock, complete with a heavy flange effect that's straight out of Cobain's playbook. Reviews haven't been as strong as they've been for her previous albums, which I totally understand. But for some reason, this album really got its hooks into me: the guitars are loud, percussive, and wonderfully simple. There are some nods to other bands here—the Cure and some '60s psychedelic acts come to mind. Her lyrics are a little less ornate here than on her previous albums, which is both good and bad, and some of the songs end abruptly. But overall? Love it.
  22. Right on, Kevin. I really dug their set in Pittsburgh, even more than the solo Wilco stuff Tweedy pulled out. The songs were stripped down, for the most part, though that doesn't mean they were simple songs.
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