Almost everyone owns a smartphone. An entire life, both personal and professional, resides in that slim glowing gadget in your hand. We use apps to manage our day-to-day or to keep us occupied when you’re stuck on a semi-long commute to work on a bus or train. When game apps, especially free to download ones, were a huge thing in the early days of smartphones, it was the kind of mindless distraction you wanted to have with a tap of a finger. Angry Birds, Candy Crush, and Fruit Ninja were among the earlier app games that were simple to play in 10 to 20 minute bursts. It achieved the goal these games were meant to do––make the time go faster when you’re in the middle of a not so fun task or situation. Now we’re overwhelmed by so many similar game apps that it’s hard to keep track of. Over time, you become less invested in these game apps until they start collecting digital dust on your phone from lack of use. I’ve come to the conclusion that I don’t really want to own mindless simplistic apps that serves no real purpose in my daily life. I needed an app game that’s entertaining but with a purpose. This is when Duolingo entered my digital life.
The latest movies to come out of the DC extended universe have been mostly disappointing. The release of Man of Steel in 2013 was about an average reception by both critics and fans, some critical about the direction the story took, specifically Superman’s big battle with General Zod towards the end of the movie. Last year’s releases of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice and Suicide Squad wasn’t any better either. Both films suffered from convoluted stories, terrible editing, and really bad plot holes. The only good thing both films seem to have going for them was the brief introduction of Wonder Woman in Batman v Superman and Margot Robbie’s turn as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad. With DC struggling to score a home run in the box office that its rival Marvel seems to be hitting without any real trouble, the only exception being Christopher Nolan’s Batman films, you almost had to wonder if DC’s time in the movie business may be over. Wonder Woman is the latest studio entry for Warner Bros. Pictures and DC Entertainment. A lot has been riding on this film to succeed and to pull DC out of its slump. Luckily for the studio execs and for the people who have been dying for a juicy female led movie that’s entertaining and more, Wonder Woman has pulled off what the previous roster of films haven’t.
Everyone loves a good mystery. The kind that entices you to figure out the reason or motive behind why someone did what they did. But what if the mystery revolves around a girl who’s already dead, committed suicide a few weeks before, and the only way to understand her reasons for taking her own life is by listening to a series of recorded cassette tapes she left behind? This is the basic premise of Netflix’s latest original series 13 Reasons Why.
When it comes to Final Fantasy games, most gamers will almost always tell you their favorite installment in the series, either debating or exchanging stories about why they feel Final Fantasy VII is the crowning jewel of the series or dismissing it as highly overrated in favor of Final Fantasy X. Final Fantasy is no stranger at trying to extend their property to film by creating an original story with Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within or extending an already established video game universe with Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children. The latest entry into the Final Fantasy movies venture is Kingsglaive: Final Fantasy XV.
Music is an emotional and universal experience. Its reach can be far and wide, has the power to bring people together, or it can inspire. Music gives us what we need in each moment. And just like music has the power to affect us in a meaningful way, so does meeting the right kind of people who will prove to be significant to us in some way, big or small. For piano prodigy Kousei Arima, music is the key to facing his personal demons and healing himself with the help of a fellow musician who brings back color into his life and a renewed passion for the piano.
Zombies are everywhere. It’s hard to escape stories about zombies in the shows we watch like The Walking Dead, or the video games we play, such as Left 4 Dead. Whatever our fascination is with zombies, most media I’ve consumed about zombies almost always focuses on survival or how once regular, every day citizens channel their inner badasses and start shooting zombies in the head as if it’s a blood sport. While I appreciate experiencing these stories on occasion, they tend to offer nothing new about what it’d be like to live during a zombie apocalypse. When I watched the movie Maggie a few weeks ago, I’m struck by how different this movie felt compared to other zombie movies.
Stories about time travel often have a certain appeal people like to come back to again and again. The idea of either moving backwards or forwards in time, either to redo something you’ve done in your past or knowing where you’ll end up ten years into the future, is an ability all of us at one point or another would love to have. We all make mistakes we wish we could go back in time and fix or the curiosity of knowing how your life will turn out if you choose one path over another may make you better equipped at making tough decisions easier if you knew what the possible outcome would be. In the anime Erased, Satoru Fujinuma has a chance to go back to the past to prevent a series of tragic events from happening, while also altering his personal life and future in ways he never thought he needed changing and sometimes for the better.
All good things must come to an end and this phrase couldn’t be more true when it comes to playing my favorite RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition. Last month, I finished up what remained of the extra content Bioware released for their 2014 hit video game. Spending more extra hours on Inquisition is something I can’t complain about if it gives me more time with my Inquisitor and the characters I have grown to love. Whether the DLC is worth the extra money to spend on is a matter of perspective.
What happens after we die and what awaits us in the afterlife? Is there an angel waiting in front of the pearly white gates in the sky to check off which souls have been good enough to gain entrance into Heaven or which of the bad souls get a one-way ticket straight to Hell? Or do the newly departed have to play games in a purgatorial type place for a judge to decide where their souls belong? The anime Death Parade has a unique take on what really happens when we die.
The world isn’t always a rosy place to live in. It can beat you down, drag you into the mud, and leave you feeling shattered. Dangers can lurk in any corner and stepping outside your house each day can be a risk in and of itself. But what if you stumbled upon the power to eliminate any wicked or despicable person (murderers, rapists, and the corrupt) from this earth by simply writing their name in a notebook and dictating the nature of their death as an accident or suicide? It’s a situation high school student Light Yagami encounters in the anime Death Note.