Monday, June 18, 2007

Bite-Sized Reviews

Games

My Father's Day gift from my boys was Pirates: Quest for Davy Jones' Gold, which is a board game version of the CCCG (constructible collectible card game)... so far, with only one playing under our belts, I'd have to say it's a decent little game. It's miniatures combat, but the limit of one order per ship (move, shoot, explore or repair) leaves you with some interesting decisions. I'd like to try this with 3 or 4 players and see what happens.

We've also picked up 4-5 packs of Pirates: At Ocean's Edge... I hope to get a game of that in tonight.

Burg Appenzell continues to be enjoyable & fast-paced as a 2 player game - I'm curious how it will do with more players on the board.

Books

Ridley Pearson has written some very good thrillers (I particularly liked The Seizing of Yankee Green Mall)... but The Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark isn't particularly thrilling. It's an attempt to cross the streams ("'Scuse me Egon? You said crossing the streams was bad!") of Disney fandom & Harry Potter - but the writing is boring & there's very little Disney feel to the story. Except for the extraordinarily cornball legends about Walt & The Stonecutter's Quill (don't ask... sigh), this could be any amusement park. (BTW, despite my tepid review, there are multiple sequels planned.)

Of course, it doesn't help that I'm re-reading the Harry Potter saga (I'm currently starting Book 4) in preparation for the release of Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallowsas well as reading the Chronicles of Narnia to Braeden a chapter at a time as bedtime stories (we're in the real Book 2, btw - Prince Caspian - I still think the more recent publishers are complete numbskulls for re-ordering the stories into chronological order.)

Films

Continuing on the Narnia vein, I am officially NOT excited about the film version of Prince Caspian While Lion, Witch & the Wardrobe had some spectacular moments (Lucy meeting Tumnus, dinner at the Beavers, Aslan's sacrifice), it added silly battle sequences & majorly downplayed the Christian symbolism.

OTOH, Shari & I saw Ocean's 13 on Saturday night & really enjoyed ourselves. It's not Oceans 11 (possibly the best caper film since The Sting) but it's quite good. Part caper movie, part film school experiment (it's Steven Soderbergh directing), part Rat Pack flick as reimagined by Clooney & Pitt - the thing works like a charm. Adding Al Pacino to the mix only makes it sweeter.

DVDs

We also saw Stranger Than Fiction, which is a very thought-provoking & delightful small film. I recommend it highly to those who don't mind odd-paced dramatic comedies that are more interested in making you grin than guffaw. (No plot spoilers here - part of the charm of the film is approaching it with very little idea about where it's going.)

2 comments:

Jason S. Epperson (JasonEpperson@aol.com) said...

This is quite a coincidence. I also live in the Fresno area, I also have a son named Braeden, I also can't stand that modern publishers have reordered the Chronicles of Narnia, I also am reading my son the Chronicles of Narnia as bedtime stories right now, and Braeden and I are also currently on Prince Caspian. About the only thing you and I disagree on is that I greatly liked the movie version of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I agree that the Christianity wasn't portrayed as strongly as it might have been, but I was pretty pessimistic going in, so I ended up pleasantly surprised that at least something of Christianity remained.

Mark (aka pastor guy) said...

OK, Jason, it's official. You are freakin' me out.