A Rain-Soaked Namesake: Reminiscing on 3 Seasons of the Killing

Linden: “So you think Homicide’s gonna be any different?”
Holder: “Well, at least you got a bad guy.”
Linden: “Yeah? Who’s that?”
Holder: “Is that why you’re running away, Linden? ‘Cause you don’t know no more?”
-Season 1, Episode 1: Pilot

In honor of the fourth and final season of AMC/Netflix’s The Killing (to be released in its 6-episode entirety in under just 15 hours ohgodI’mhyperventilating) this week’s Throwback Thursday is all about The Killing. I apologize ahead of time for sounding like a crazed fanboy in this post that’s because I truly, truly am. Let’s warm up with one of the greatest scenes in the history of television:

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All You Need Is Kill Review: Free Green Tea

OK, some of you may recall my recent review of Edge of Tomorrow (2014), and if you don’t, you can check out my Villainy verdict here. I mentioned at the end that I would buy the Japanese novel upon which the movie was based, and ta-da! I did. (However, sadly, I did not also buy the manga.)

Let me just say this: WAY more satisfying ending. Continue reading All You Need Is Kill Review: Free Green Tea

D&D Session 2: The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and . . . Spiders?

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.” -Robert Burns


It’s the only way to be sure.

The rasping voice startled Rapha, but the ranger did not hesitate for a moment longer. Once more, he looked over his shoulder to confirm his allies’ positions. Lo-Kag, fulfilling his role as guardian, led the party, with his lighter-shield held high. The sorcerer Alycstair followed behind with the tattooed Azai beside. A torch floated above Azai’s hand, held aloft by the psion’s telekinetic powers.

Judging their distance with experienced quickness, Rapha knew his allies’ light would not reveal him. Silently, he slipped into the storehouse, his felt footpads muffling his steps. Being an elf, his eyes were especially sharp. Even the faintest hint of light allowed him to see, and after climbing a nearby crate, what he saw was a ragged woman standing in the center of the storeroom. She smelled of fecal matter and spoiled meat.

Continue reading D&D Session 2: The Best-Laid Plans of Mice and . . . Spiders?

Final Fantasy-Themed Restaurant Grand Opening

Photos via Shamdeo, over at NeoGAF

It seems that every day Tokyo edges closer and closer to becoming the greatest place in the world, doesn’t it? Tomorrow, on July 31, Square Enix, in collaboration with Pasela, is opening Eorzea Cafe, a bar-slash-eatery-slash-internet cafe based on the popular MMORPG Final Fantasy XIV.

eorzea cafe
Those Order of the Twin Adder banners are gnarly, dudes.

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San Diego Symphony: A Taste of the Final Frontier


The wonder of hearing ̶ and watching ̶ a full orchestra bring these scores to life is something I will never forget. I am so happy that you get to experience this, too. I could not be more grateful to Michael, to all the brilliant musicians who originally brought these scores to life, and to those equally astounding artists playing here, live, tonight.”

–J.J. Abrams

Well. Hullo again. I confess my energy level isn’t quite back up to par yet. What my brother said is true: our San Diego excursion has ended. How was it? Honestly, our suffering in San Diego this past weekend remains heavy on our hearts. (Hey, YOU try wandering around the city surrounded by those lucky bastards people with their Comic-Con badges shining upon their bosoms while you remain the wishful outsider.)

All right, all right. Perhaps I exaggerate.

Being there was . . . smile-inducing, at the very least. The atmosphere alone during our jaunt around the Gaslamp Quarter had been enough to invigorate the soul. Rivers of people, dressed in sundry fan-driven regalia, flowed across the streets. Some stopped and bunched around the cosplaying stars for photos. Others rushed past, urged onto the next event (i.e. dinner). Everywhere were superhero T-shirts, faux wings, wigs, capes, and colored contacts. For a person who has always loved Halloween, cosplay is a god-send (because why wait for October 31 to walk around in disguise?).

Ah, but what this post must focus on now is the event we attended on Saturday evening, July 26, 2014 at the Embarcadero Marina Park South.  For those unfamiliar with the area, the park is connected by a thin land bridge to the shore that the (gigantic) Convention Center dominates. On three sides of the park lies rocks, water, and boats. Arriving at 6:45 pm and watching the sun set right before the show began at 8:00 pm was a beautiful start to the night.

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Villains On Vacation: San Diego Sans Comic-Con

Disclaimer: I apologize ahead of time for the annoying aspect ratio of my photos. Blame Apple.

Also: read the captions. I try to be funny :3

DAY ONE: Randomly Screened

As with all vacations, this one began with waiting.

still waiting for the plane
Brian and Jeremiah, ASV Staff Writers, awaiting the plane.

But before we were allowed to SIT ON THE FLOOR of our ultra-modern, incredibly luxurious (sarcasm) Mid-Continent Airport, we had to, of course, go through security. As we passed through the familiar gauntlet of metal detectors and prying eyes, Jeremiah was “randomly selected” to be screened. (Coincidence!? I’ll let you decide that) They took him aside, made him take off his shoes, and violated the shit out of him. No, just kidding, I think they just asked him some questions and gave his shoes a squeeze. I wasn’t quite paying attention–because meanwhile, my contact solution was being “tested.” Because, you know, contact solution is deadly.

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Redshirts Review: A Love-Letter to Science Fiction

“I don’t want to be happy,” Dahl said. “I just want to know.”

After being on the fence about John Scalzi’s Redshirts for months, I finally caved and bought it, wanting a good book to keep me company on the plane rides to and from Las Vegas. It didn’t disappoint.

In Redshirts, John Scalzi (of Old Man’s War fame) both parodies and praises the “science” of science fiction television. Fans of Star Trek and Stargate take note: this book is for you. And even if you didn’t grow up watching shows like these, the narrative will grab you as tight as it does its own characters, and you will be hooked.

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