There are two conventions I always look forward to attending once a year—New York Comic Con and PAX East. Spring is always PAX East season, and I closed out the month of March with a weekend trip to Boston to go to the convention for the fourth time. My impression of this year’s PAX is…well…a bit disappointing.
Marvel films are always a big event. People flock to their local theaters to see their favorite comic book characters come to life on the silver screen and settle in for cool choreographed fights, stunning special effects, and keeping their eyes peeled for Stan Lee’s standout cameos (RIP). While those may be some of the reasons to catch a Marvel movie, whether you’re a diehard comic book fan or a casual one, what shouldn’t be overlooked are those quieter, intimate moments that pull you into the hero’s or heroine’s personal life to discover what makes them the humans behind the legends. The tight friendship between Captain Marvel and her best friend Maria Rambeau is one of the best takeaways from the newest Captain Marvel movie. Warning: Contains some light spoilers about Captain Marvel.
Anime has a plethora of options to choose from to suit your mood. The most recent ones to come out focus on friendships and odd duos. Last year’s anime How to Keep a Mummy, about a teenager’s sweet friendship with the mini-mummy his archaeologist father ships to him from Egypt, falls into the category of odd couple pairings. This year’s newest anime series My Roommate is a Cat continues this trend of surprisingly sweet and unlikely friendships.
Smartphones are pretty nifty devices. All the conveniences and ease you could ever want is at the touch of your fingertips thanks to the millions of apps out there seeking to make your life that much simpler. Apps are changing the way we do online shopping, ordering food, or even paying for in-store purchases with a quick tap. The tricky part is wading through the overwhelming amount of options users have to find the hidden gems of the pack. One of those standout apps, especially if you’re an avid reader, is the Goodreads app.
One of the biggest reasons I got into gaming are the well-crafted stories behind the cool graphics and fun gameplay. Stories with an emotional heartbeat and memorable moments that will remain with you even after the last credits have rolled. It’s a connection I seek out in much of the video games I play. So what do you do when you encounter a game that has a potentially mind blowing story, but to get there, you have to slog through gameplay that’s less than what you expected?
Watching the seasonal trends year after year I’m always fascinated when certain styles come back in fashion. Styles, especially evergreen ones, never really disappear. They just sort of get tucked away in the closet until their time to shine comes once more. I march to the beat of my own drum when it comes to the clothes that I wear, though, I do keep a careful eye on what’s trending in fashion right now. One of the styles that never really go out of fashion, but is emerging more prominently this spring, is animal prints.
Netflix’s Sex Education is a show that’s quite frank about its approach in talking about…well…sex. From the teenager who gets anxiety about jacking himself off to showing the proper way to give a blow job, there’s really nothing that’s off limits in this series. Amidst all the talk about getting down and dirty, the show has characters who aren’t written as caricatures of high school teen stereotypes. Each one are wonderfully unique and complex individuals going through some of the same hang ups and awkwardness we may have gone through as teenagers. One of the main bright spots about Sex Education is the heartwarming friendship between Otis and Eric.
The phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” can apply to a lot of the movies and television shows being considered for a remake or reboot. While Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime give us a plethora of original content to binge watch whenever we want, big wig studios will still find a rhyme and a reason to want to take what was a hit back then and redo it all for a new generation of entertainment watchers.
I’ve been against most of the remakes and reboots I’ve seen or heard about. Why revive something when it already had a good ending? The reboot of The X-Files, while nice to see David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as agents Mulder and Scully, was a huge letdown overall during its two season run. Some shows are better off staying finished. Then there’s the remake of Roswell, the 1999 WB TV show that aired for three seasons before concluding in 2002. When the announcement was made about a whole new Roswell airing on the CW, now known as Roswell, New Mexico, I had no intentions of watching it. Eventually, I caved after a friend caught it and curiosity got the better of me. And now? I’m hooked.
In the land of sequels, reboots, and remakes it’s beginning to be difficult to see anything having a definitive and decisive ending. We stretch out experiences for as long as we can. At times it can enhance a story to build upon what’s already there. Or it can be at the detriment of an already solid experience. Video games are the perfect entertainment medium to keep coming back to for new missions and boss fights to face at any time. Games like Destiny, Overwatch, and Fortnite are wildly successful because they’re games that don’t have an “ending” in any traditional sense of the word. Instead, they’re video games that are great for short bursts of gaming with the occasional new maps, characters, or events to participate in every few months or so. But as huge and popular these games are, does this mean we’re beginning to move away from video games that are mostly singular and conclusive experiences?
Concluding a video game can come with an array of emotions. There’s a sense of completion and satisfaction when you finally get to the point of seeing how the journey ends. You can be filled with a pang of longing and a bit of sorrow that there’s nothing more to do, except say goodbye. Or you can feel shock and anger over a conclusion you did not expect, a pay off that can feel like a colossal waste of time. Endings, especially in video games, can provoke a strong reaction from players. Far Cry 5’s two endings have made such an impression that I’m still unsure how I’m supposed to feel.