Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Avengers: Infinity War REVIEW spoilers!


AUDIO version.


VIDEO version.











Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes. Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com ..Thanks for watching/listening!


My anticipation for this film was high. Characters from separate movies interacting with each other for the first time was exciting. I've read some of the Infinity Gauntlet story(published in 1991). I knew going in, the power Thanos wields with the Gauntlet is immense. This film follows a combination of this narrative and the Infinity storyline(published in 2013). There is a YouTube channel called 'Comics Explained.' This youtber has video re-caps of both of these stories. I will link to them in the description/show notes for this episode.

This film had many 'WOW' moments. The discerning fan of the MCU will have questions. Where was Hawkeye, Ant-Man, Valkyrie? Where did the Black Order come from? What was the motivation behind Thanos army? Who or what was Thanos army? Here are other random observations(in no particular order). There are spoilers.

- Great pace. The movie starts off running.

-If they bring everyone back(who passed away in this film)in Avengers 4, it lessens the impact of this movie as a whole.

-Thor's Stormbreaker hammer was incredibly cool. He was the MVP here. I feel he is one of the most fleshed out and likable characters in this franchise.

-Red Skull; it could've been anyone villain who's passed on in a previous film. Not that impactful.

-Higher body count than Last Jedi? Yes.

- This was Thanos film. Josh Brolin humanizes this character. The actor's motion capture performance was phenomenal. He has excellent entrances in certain scenes. Specifically in Titan and Earth.

-Seeing Nick Fury in the end credits scene with a link to Captain Marvel was great! He uses a souped-up beeper to contact Carol Danvers. Is she similar to Star-Lord? Has she been displaced from Earth for some time, and isn't aware of current events?

-The balance of levity and darkness was well done. Thanks to comedic beats from the Guardians, Iron Man, and Thor. The clashing of egos between Stark and Strange made me smile.

-During some of the space sequences, I got a Star Wars vibe. Can the Russos' do something in that sandbox?

-Peter Dinklage's dwarf character looked like a Jack Kirby drawing. Nice.

-Does the gauntlet still work after the deadly finger snap? It looks badly damaged.

-Avengers 4 speculation: will Quasar show up?

I've seen this movie twice to date, and I know I will revisit it in the future. What a thrill ride! Love what the MCU is doing connecting all these films. Other movie studios have attempted this, not successfully, not like this.

Want to learn more about Thanos? The Geek History Lesson podcast recently profiled the 'Mad Titan'. Find the link in the show notes for that episode.

LINKS
Comics Explained 'Infinity Gauntlet' https://bit.ly/2KqI1PG
Comics Explained 'Infinity' https://bit.ly/2KDZTXo 
Geek History Lesson podcast 'Thanos' https://bit.ly/2jxFfMf
Enjoyed this?   Find all of my content on the website at http://improveandhavefun.com

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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Dead Rising: OFF the Record game REVIEW






AUDIO version.


VIDEO version.








Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes. Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com ..Join the conversation on the blog (and find the full show notes)..Thanks for watching/listening!
There is an affiliate link in this post.

I fell in love with the first Dead Rising. When the sequel's demo was released(Case Zero), I played through that with the new protagonist Chuck Greene. He wasn't as fun as Frank West(the hero of the first game). Mr. West is the man! I'm so glad I waited to play this version. The initial game was released 2010. This version was released in 2011. This game mixes intensity with an abundance of fun. Here are my pros and cons. There are spoilers.

Pros:
-Variety is fun.
-The game doesn't take itself too seriously.
-The map never got boring. Still discovered new areas late in the game.
-Sandbox mode saved me from starting my game over. A feature not in the first game.

Cons:
-Number of survivors brought back to the safe house or psychos defeated doesn't change the game ending. No incentive to fight them all or save them all. Unless you're a completionist. Doesn't give me much motivation to replay the game.
-The game is mainly fetch quests with a story.

I admittedly used GameFaqs and their walkthroughs to finish the game as I did get stuck in parts. In the past, I'd feel guilty doing this. Presently that shame is gone. There are loads of games I'd like to play and using this info saves time! This is a seven-year-old game; it still holds up!

LINKS
More info on this game here: https://bit.ly/2JtDGtB
Check out this game for yourself here: https://amzn.to/2wkJbJJ
Used this website to finish this game: https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com

Enjoyed this?   Find all of my content on the website at http://improveandhavefun.com

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Thursday, May 3, 2018

Bingo Love graphic novel REVieW


AUDIO version.


VIDEO version.








Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes. Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com ..

There are affiliate links in this post.

I wanted to give my eyes a break from looking at screens all day.   I also wanted the same from all the violent video games, movies, tv shows.

I thought to buy a few graphic novels at my nearest comic book shop.   Midtown Comics in NYC by 40th st and 7th ave. was the place to go.   The three books I purchased were Snotgirl volume one, Black Science volume one, and Bingo Love.

Bingo Love was the slimmest of the three.   The cover tells you it's a lesbian love story between two black women.   On a recent Sunday night after work, I caught up on the most recent episodes of Ash Vs. Evil Dead and the Walking Dead.   I didn't want to go to sleep with zombie images on my mind.

I picked up this book and began reading it.   Bingo Love had me quickly emotionally invested.   Smiling, crying, laughing.   All within a 40-minute read.   What a beautiful love story.   The comic book format is a fantastic medium to tell a(written)story you'd find in a traditional book.

The main characters are Hazel and Mari.   I found myself rooting for their forbidden love to be recognized.  The art style is a mix between an anime style and the Scott Pilgrim comics.  It fit the story well.

I don't want to give away too much of the book's story but if you want a feel-good graphic novel?  Bingo Love is it!   Whatever author  Tee Franklin does next, I'm in.   I hope it's in a similar format. 

LINKS
Bingo Love graphic novel.   Pick it up here https://amzn.to/2wfd6TE 
Previous Episode: Life Update https://bit.ly/2w9ZVTU
Ash Vs. Evil Dead TV Show https://amzn.to/2JQk6Io
Walking Dead TV Show https://amzn.to/2w8cPl4
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Friday, April 27, 2018

Black Panther Vs. Klaw - ARTWORK-VIDEO




I was working on this for the last couple of months. In celebration of Avengers: Infinity War, here is a drawing I put together of Black Panther vs. Klaw. Enjoy!
Enjoyed this?   Find all of my content on the website at http://improveandhavefun.com

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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

LIFE Update







Here's the VIDEO version.



Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes. Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com ..Join the conversation on the blog by going here  ..Thanks for listening!

There are affiliate links in this post.

I wanted to talk about what's been going on with me lately.

1. I've contemplated leaving my current job and working from home.
....I like the people I work with. The job itself is excellent. I"ve been doing front desk work close to 20 years, so the work is pretty much the same. The commute from home to work is the quickest it's ever been. A few months ago I discovered the Rat Race Rebellion website. They promote various work-from-home opportunities. This intrigues me. I want to try this for a time. I'm contemplating leaving my current situation now or waiting a year, then making the jump. Everyone says it looks better on the resume if you stay at a place for at least a year. I'm leaning towards waiting a year. The pay rate of the jobs offered on Rat Race Rebellion does not pay as much as my current job. But my transportation and dry cleaning costs will be significantly reduced. Looking to work from home? Check out this site. (All links below)

2. My mother and I haven't been talking as much
...My mom had a health scare recently. She was in the hospital for a couple of days. My older brother and sister live in Arizona(that's where my mom lives). There were by her side along with my niece. My younger brother who lives in Yonkers flew out to be by her side. I didn't go. I took solace in knowing they were all present. I thought 'with everyone there will she need me there?' I kept phone contact with my siblings throughout this time. I spoke with her a few days after she was released.

She was upset I wasn't there. We both said hurtful things to each other. It didn't help that shortly after this medical scare I went on my trip to Jamaica. A trip I planned for months before. She made me feel as if I chose that over her. Because of this, we haven't been talking as much lately. This hurts.

Our relationship on the whole; we get along, but we disagree often. We can both be very stubborn. I have some resentment towards her, but on the flipside, I'm very proud of her. She did so much for us(my siblings). But isn't that what parents should do? Do I have to repay her back for what she's done for me? I tried justifying this current situation with her by secretly surveying co-workers. I'd asked them 'in your death bed, who do you want by your side? Your mother or your wife and kids?' My male co-workers chose the latter.

I love my mother; I want her to be happy and healthy. But I've never been one to call family(or friends for that matter)every week or spend every holiday together. I'm ok with seeing family and friends every once in awhile. While my mother and I were going back and forth, she did say something that I do want to explore further. Seeing a therapist. She said that I have a lot of stuff I have to get off my chest. Unresolved issues from my parent's divorce when I was a child. An appointment to see a therapist been set.

3. I've begun tattooing motivational quotes on my body
......With all these great books and podcasts I listen to, I'm attempting to remember these incredible lessons. The two I've done so far; 'Ego is the Enemy' inspired by Ryan Holiday's book(of the same name). The second tattoo I've gotten says 'I Love You So Much.' This was influenced by Kamal Ravikant's 'Love Yourself' book. More to come.

4. Backpage has been shut down. Variety in escorts is way down.
.....As of this writing, Backpage has been shut down by the FBI. I miss using it for escort services. Various reports I've read online said it was closed due to accusations of child and sex trafficking. From the time I spent on the website, I never saw anything that dealt with either. Was it done covertly? Maybe. The sex workers I met through the website were not underage, One of my goals for the year was to not have a girlfriend. To solicit sex workers and get my intimacy needs met. So far so good there. Other websites are available, but with fewer options than Backpage.

5. I once again re-purchased most of my video equipment.
...Within the last year, I've purchased and sold the same stuff several times. My justification at the time, 'I'm not using it right now, sell it.' I'm on this minimalist kick where I think 'I should get rid of anything I don't regularly use.'Listening to a recent interview with Monica from the 'You Wanna Do What' podcast; she said we're often told to do the thing that we're most passionate about. On the flipside, she has many passions, not just one. She wants to pursue all of them. I loved this because I thought 'I'm the same!'

Recording video is fun. But I don't always get around to doing it. Having my creative tools on hand when inspiration arises is convenient. I'm now in the process of(once again)acquiring all the video equipment. I will make sure to keep all of it this time.

6. With the spring here I've become re-invigorated to try new things once again.
...When it's cold, wet, snowy outside, all I want to do is stay inside. Because of this, I got back into video games by purchasing a PS3 and playing old games I never got to experience. As of this writing, I'm finishing up Dead Rising 2: Off the Record. What a phenomenal game! That being said, the weather is improving. I don't want to stay indoors as much. New things I recently experienced; go-kart racing in Jersey City and a nearby bowling alley right by my place. Also rock-climbing in Hoboken. I thought I could add the rock-climbing and bowling to my workout regiment. I'd love to go check out a shooting range in the nearby future.

7. I realized that this podcast is part blog.
...Lately, I've been putting up a lot more video on the podcast. I want to add dance, vlog, art, photography videos. Maybe more of these life updates as well. This podcast is essentially me documenting my life. I want to delve more into the personal stuff. I'm excited.

LINKS

-Rat Race Rebellion https://bit.ly/2GyF0dx
-Dead Rising 2: Off thce Record https://bit.ly/2JtDGtB
-RPM Raceway Jersey City https://bit.ly/2m7q6lX
-Bowling in Union City https://bit.ly/2Hsw0LW
-Rock climbing in Hoboken https://bit.ly/2FhsqOG
-Kamal Ravikant's 'Love Yourself' https://amzn.to/2FjZ6qY
-Ryan Holiday's 'Ego is the Enemy' https://amzn.to/2I0Nlsi
-What is Minimalism? https://bit.ly/22SKyWL
-Videos of my Jamaica Trip 2018  https://bit.ly/2HOI0ql
-Bingo Love comic https://bit.ly/2HZGkaZ
-Dave Jackson interviews Monica from the 'You Wanna Do What' podcast https://bit.ly/2vMb3Wz



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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Ready Player One-REVIEW-spoilers!




Thoughts? Comments? You can contact me by calling or texting 201-429-0274. If you leave a voicemail please be aware, you only have 3 minutes. Email me at improveandhavefun@gmail.com ..Thanks for listening!

-This article has an affiliate link.

This transcript has been summarized, compared to the audio which is longer.

PVP: It's the Improve and Have Fun podcast. We just finished watching "Ready Player One." I'm here with Mr. David and Jason G.

(Read or listen to the Ready Player One book here https://amzn.to/2JUrzXy )

Jason G: Hey!

David: Yes.

PVP: Alright Jason, what did you think about Ready Player One?

Jason G: Oh my goodness. This movie was incredible. I had an extraordinary amount of fun. It's probably going to be in my top five movies of the year. We saw it in 4DX; I cannot imagine a better way to experience this film. We saw "Ghost in the Shell" in 4DX, that was incredible. This is the best movie I've ever seen in this format. I recommend people to see this movie in a theater with the biggest screen. The 3D is awesome, but 4DX is the way to go.

(What is 4DX?  check that out here https://rol.st/2Hy7WpT )

David: Jason, how many movies have you seen in 4DX?

Jason G: I've probably seen around five.

David: Want to list them?

Jason G: I saw "Rogue One," "Ghost in the Shell," "Ready Player One," and a couple more. But I forgot the other two; I'll have to look.

(Here is a link to our review of 'Ghost In The Shell' https://bit.ly/2qDbVqS )

PVP: I haven't seen too many movies in 4DX. This is the second movie I've seen in this format. The first one was "Deep Water Horizon'. I want to cosign what you said. This is probably going to be one of my favorites of 2018 as well.

I was sucked into this world. There were points where this felt like a Universal Studios(park)ride. With all the references to movies of the past, pop culture, cartoons, and video games; you'd have to see it two to three times just to catch everything. What a ride.

This was a combination of old and new. A mix of things that we enjoyed in our youth, and modern-day VR entertainment. Phenomenal. I very much enjoyed it. Thank you, Steven Spielberg. You took me back to when you were making movies like "E.T.," and 'Crystal Skull.'

David: "Indiana Jones"?

PVP: Exactly. This is a big adventure movie.

Jason G: He said this was the third hardest movie that he's ever made, with "Jaws" being number one.
Boy did he do a good job.

No one makes a movie like Spielberg does. This man made "Jurassic Park." The adventure, the danger, the fun. He's really good at what he does.

David: I echo both of your sentiments. You notice a Steven Spielberg directed movie; this didn't look like his technique, but it was great.

You guys fooled me. I didn't know what I was getting into with the 4DX. Wow, my back feels great. Looking forward to seeing other films this way.

PVP: We universally agreed we would see this again.

David: And the Easter eggs. There's so many.

PVP: 100%. What were some of the standouts for you?

David: There's one image I noticed in the very beginning. It was a billboard showing a film, a superhero film. And I didn't know what it was. Was it a future Spider-Man movie or something?

PVP: The billboard I noticed in the distance, was promoting, the VR suits the characters wore.

David: Maybe that's what it was.

PVP: Regarding the Easter eggs I noticed; "Krull," "Mecha Godzilla," "Gundam," "Battle Toads," "Halo," "Overwatch," "Street Fighter," "Batman." I saw Joker in there; I saw Harley Quinn in there.

David: TJ Miller was great in the movie, by the way.

Jason G: I don't even know who that is, but he was very, very good.

PVP: You've seen him, he was in "Deadpool".

Jason G: Oh, okay.

If you grew up in the 70's and 80's and maybe early 90's, and you're between the ages of 30 and 50, this movie will make you smile.

PVP: We can spoil it, these reviews always have spoilers.

Jason G: My favorite part was where they go into "The Shining" movie. I enjoyed this film growing up. It scared the shit out of me.

David: That was an homage to Kubrick, right?

David: Yeah. I also noticed the pod from "2001: A Space Odyssey". I couldn't believe nobody saw that.

PVP: I did notice that.

Jason G: Yeah, yeah I saw that.

PVP: Other references include Iron Giant, Freddy Kruger...

David: Yes stuff from the 70's and 80's.

PVP: Exactly.

David: Even from the 2000s.

PVP: Yes! Game characters from Overwatch, Halo, Gears Of War. There's a lot in this movie.

Jason G: I saw a poster from "Back to the Future." It was of the mayor of Twin Pines or whatever the town's name.

PVP: Not Biff Tannen.

Jason G: No, no, no. The guy who became mayor, the black guy who was sweeping up the shop.


PVP: I do want to go back to that Shining scene. It was one of the best in the movie. I can see studios re-releasing these older films in VR. Where we the audience are in the theaters with VR headsets experiencing things in a completely different way.

David: This year 2018 there has there been a convergence of culture regarding time. Kids are into stuff from decades past. 'Stranger Things' as an example.

There are people right now who are into living as if they were in the 80's.

PVP: Style-wise.

David: Yeah and culture.

Jason G: In Japan, there are groups of young dancers, who will put on shows with dance styles from the 80's or early 90's.

David: Breakdancing?

Jason G: More 90s style.

PVP: Blazers with the big shoulder pads?

Jason G: Yeah, a lot of stuff is coming back.

PVP: Alright gentlemen, we're wrapping it up. Any cons with the movie?

David: Some of the effects in the theater were overkill.

PVP: You're talking about the 4DX effects?

David: Yes. But not even enough to complain, compared to how great it was.

PVP: Jason?

Jason G: "Back to the Future," the original one, is a flawless movie directed by Spielberg. You can not say that about this. I would say the story could have been a little more clever. It was a little on the simple side, but it made up for it in so many other ways.

PVP: My only nitpick with this movie was how the kids came together in the game. How one guy got the key, then they all get the key afterward. It was very convenient. I like their chemistry when they're all together in the real world.

I also wanted to add, Mark Rylance was great.

David: What was that? Who was he?

PVP: He was the old guy who made the oasis.

Jason G: So let's talk about numbers now, I guess?

David: You guys think it's gonna beat "Black Panther"?

PVP: I don't know.

Jason G: Are you talking about regarding box office money? I would say no, I think "Black Panther" will probably beat it. Now let's go to the numbers. I would say this is a nine.

PVP: That's great. I'm with you right there. Nine all the way.

Jason G: People like when Spielberg's on his game. These types of adventure movies don't always hit, but I still appreciate them. He's always working. He'll do some dramas like he just did "The Post"
with Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep. He has so much range.

David: I'm gonna give it an eight.

PVP: David, Jason, thank you so much. If you the listener/viewer/reader saw this movie, what are your thoughts? Please let us know below or through any/all of the contact info in the show notes. This is the Improve and Have Fun podcast. The summer(?)movie season is just beginning. Very exciting. See you on the next one.

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Rate, like, leave a review! I will shout you out for sure!

If you've enjoyed this, please support this podcast by doing any, all your shopping through my affiliate links:

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or my Amazon link: http://amzn.to/2dRu3IM

Any shopping through these links will be at no extra cost to you. Thank you!

Find more of my movie reviews at http://www.paulreviewsmovies.com

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Here's the video version.





Wednesday, April 11, 2018

AshKay Nanavati's Fearvana-MY BIGGEST TAKEAWAYS






Thoughts? Comments? Call the voicemail line, email me. Comment wherever you see this on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube or the blog at www.improveandhavefun.com.

These show notes do have an affiliate link.

I discovered this book while listening to Mr. Nanavati on the Read to Lead Podcast. You can find that interview here http://bit.ly/2pjWUJX ..I wanted to read this book early on in 2018, to get additional tools on dealing with fear for the rest of the year. Through listening to other podcasts and reading different articles, I've learned that fear is a powerful learning tool to not shy away from. It's an emotion that can allow us to grow and live our most exciting life. This book was a slow burn. The beginning chapters weren't sinking in for me. As I got later into the book, the information being presented started to make me think. These are my biggest takeaways from Akshay Nanavati's

Fearvana. Here are quotes from the book with page numbers.

1.-'I learned to shift my mental patterns to loving myself, forgiving myself, and allowing myself to focus on making progress, instead of reaching the perfection of a destination.'
pg 63

2.-'When I shared some of these stories during my first public speaking engagement at the Verizon headquarters; someone asked me how I became fearless. I told her I'm not. I've felt fear every time I did anything worthwhile in my life.' pg 86

3.-'We live in a world constantly trying to make our lives easier, but if you want success and meaning in your life, don't avoid struggle. Welcome it. Seek it out every day.' pg 151

4.-'Earning success is hard. The process is laborious, tedious, sometimes even boring. Becoming wealthy, influential, and world-class in your field is slow and arduous.' pg 175

5.-"The words that we attach to our experience become our experience, regardless of whether it's objectively accurate or not' states Tony Robbins." pg 84

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