Lethal Weapon: Episode Two Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

Though the series will most assuredly move away from Riggs’ grief eventually, the manic cop was no less disturbed and dangerous this week as news of the potential sale of his Texas homestead drove him to drinking and brawling. Which, in turn, drove Murtaugh to wonder if he could survive being this guy’s partner for more than one case.

The “case of the week” element in “Surf N Turf” didn’t matter all that much — though there was a pregnant woman at the center of it who helped Riggs invest emotionally — as this chapter was more about exploring how Murtaugh and Riggs move forward, after causing over a million dollars in damage, as partners and friends. Also, was Riggs even psychologically capable of being a cop?

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Pokemon Go Players File Complaints With FTC

Over 70 Pokemon Go players have filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission since the mobile game was released in July.

Polygon reports that of the 72 complaints, 56 were directed at developer Niantic Labs, with the rest aimed directly at Nintendo and The Pokemon Company. Players have a few different grievances, with the largest revolving around money.

One player noted that their account got banned without any warning after they spent nearly $450 on Pokemon Go, as Niantic began blocking third-party apps, and accounts that were using those apps.

The player expressed interest in having either their money refunded or “my account returned to me so i can continue to play their game.”

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Yo-kai Watch 2 Fleshy Souls/Bony Spirits Review

Yo-kai Watch returns with a Pokemon-style set of dual sequels and one journey that aims to deepen the series’ lore while retaining its quirky charms. And while Fleshy Souls and Bony Spirits certainly succeed in that regard, they reuse both the same boring battle system and they both open with an unnecessary retread of the first Yo-kai Watch’s plot. Though this sequel certainly adds plenty to the overall experience, it never really takes any steps to fix the gameplay issues that hampered its predecessor.

Splitting the sequel into two games with only minor differences (like unique Yo-kai to collect in each version) reflects a civil war going on in the world of the Yo-kai. Unfortunately, though the opening foreshadows that battle with an argument over doughnuts — yes, pastries are the crux of the conflict — the actual fight doesn’t kick off until late in the 17-hour main campaign. Even then, the battle is over so quickly it made me question why the two factions were deserving of the title spots.

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American Horror Story: Roanoke – "Chapter 3" Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

American Horror Story improved over last week’s ho-hum chapter by effectively turning the season into a supernatural mystery. Of course, the scares still aren’t there. The twice-removed docu-format has sort of robbed the show of more than a few horror elements. There’s room for gore and occasional gross-outs, but no true terror.

But “Chapter 3″ managed to give us a lot of information and character play that worked to make things more interesting. We’re listening to Shelby, Matt, and Lee tell us the tale, in hindsight, in front of cameras while they know how it all ended. I mean, we presume that Lee knows, while the red light’s on, whether or not Flora is dead or alive. She just has to talk in the past tense and re-live the trauma. “I was done playing games.” “For all I knew the cops were in bed with the hillbillies.” Doing this keeps us in the dark, sure, but it also keeps us safe – distancing us from the real scares while we watch actors play it all out on the “show.”

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South Park: "The Damned" Review

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

South Park has transitioned to a more serialized approach to storytelling over the last few years, which has generally worked to the show’s benefit. That said, these first few installments of Season 20 have me wondering if Trey Parker and Matt Stone are pushing their newfound love of continuity a little too far. “The Damned” certainly did a better job of juggling its numerous plot threads than “Member Berries” did two weeks ago. However, with so much emphasis on plot continuity, it’s beginning to feel like these episodes have no individual identity.

This season continues to cast a wide net in terms of what it spoofs. This week delivered the next chapter in the ongoing saga of Skankhunt42, the fallout of Cartman’s forced exit from social media, the rumblings of war in troll-averse Denmark, more tomfoolery in the US Presidential election and the return of those alluring Member Berries. Again, generally “The Damned did a better job than “Member Berries” of tying all these threads together. There’s now a clearer sense of how all of this is meant to fit together. Leave it to Randy to sum it up succinctly and eloquently – “Everything sucks.”

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Frostbite #1 Review

The ice age cometh, again, in Vertigo’s latest series, its chilling calamity brought forth by creators Joshua Williamson and Jason Shawn Alexander. Frostbite #1 is a familiar tale that makes good use of well-worn tropes. Its clear narrative and well-constructed characters make for a strong initial debut.

Williamson, somehow avoiding the bevy of ice-related puns at his disposal, does an excellent job of crafting a gripping narrative at the start. His opener is fast and moody, working in strong contrast to the frigid setting it’s framed in. That building sense of momentum carries on to the introduction of the book’s leads, Williamson using solid dialogue and situational circumstance as a way of establishing his lived in world. This proves especially important, as once the story gets going and the presumed focus is introduced, the world and its terrors begins to feel rather familiar. Such is the risk one takes with a genre tale, and to his credit Williamson appears well aware of the expected tropes, putting his own spin on many. It’s easy to tick off the book’s imaginary checkboxes – a dying planet, a mysterious cure, an unlikely hero in position to save humanity – but even for all its familiarity, there’s still enough to this first issue that stands apart.

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Saga #38 Review

Not all characters make it. It’s a sad fact known to any book lucky enough to go on for any sizable run, and it’s one already well known to Saga and it’s fans. With chapter #38, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples bid adieu to a long-running player, in turn opening the door for new and encroaching dangers.

The fact that the issue opens in downright hilarious fashion should have been the first sign that things were about to go wrong, but such is the way of Saga. It builds you up, it tears you down, rinse and repeat. And in some ways, that cyclical sense is emblematic of Vaughan’s approach to arc building in general. Hazel and her family have encountered quite the motley collection of displaced spacefarers up to this point, making their latest hangers-on none too surprising. What is engaging about this chapter isn’t how much Marko, Alana and Hazel have changed, but rather how much they’ve stayed the same. Despite everything they’ve been through, family is still paramount in their minds, and with each new arc their definition, and number, of family grows. That’s not to say that they haven’t evolved over time – Hazel, for better or worse, continues to come into her own – but rather that their circumstances haven’t changed their values.

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J.J. Abrams: A Portal Movie Announcement is Coming Soon

J.J. Abrams has confirmed the Portal and Half Life movies are still in development, and we can expect a Portal announcement “fairly soon”.

Speaking to IGN on the Westworld red carpet (Abrams produces the HBO show), the filmmaker said both films were “still very much in development”.

“We have a meeting coming up next week with Valve, we’re very active, I’m hoping that there will be a Portal announcement fairly soon”, said Abrams.

When we asked if the movies would follow on from the story-lines that already exist in the games, Abrams kept his cards close to his chest.

“We are having some really interesting discussions with writers, many of whom…once you said you’re doing a movie or show about a specific thing that is a known quantity you start to find people who are rabid about these things. As someone who loves playing Half Life and Portal, what’s the movie of this, it’s incredible when you talk to someone who just ‘gets’ it, it’s like, oh my god, it’s really the seed for this incredible tree you’re growing.”

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