The Blogging Dead: Castle Rock – Episode 4: The Box

The mystery of this show went deeper this episode. Henry Deaver may have met the person who possibly kidnapped him back in 1991. Molly came close to telling Henry the truth about his father’s death. Dennis finally snaps…….

I want to go into detail, but I feel anything I say getting more specific would be spoilery. I know if someone has read this far into my review series they’ve likely either seen it or doesn’t care about spoilers.

There’s going to be ten episodes in the season, and I’m not even halfway through. New episodes air every Wednesday on Hulu, and episode eight went up yesterday. I’m way behind, yet can’t seem to catch up. I’m wanting to space it out, but also wanting to know what happens in the rest of the season. If they’re revealing this much only four episodes in, where does the rest of the season go?

But I will say that the way this episode ends was very shocking, and seriously will effect how the rest of the season will go. Up until that moment, the shows been kind of a low-key story, but something happens that would have made the national news in that universe. So I’m really interested where this is going.

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Nostalgic Books

I just thought I’d share a list I’ve been hoarding on Evernote for years. These are books I grew up reading, whether just once or over and over. They’re all very important to me, and I was adding Goodreads links to all of them and thought I’d post the list here. It’s not any particular order, I just added them as they came to mind years ago, and have slowly been adding to it as I’ve remembered books I read when I was younger. The most recently added was the Larry trilogy, which I added over two years ago, so I think it’s safe to say I’m probably not going to be adding to this list any time soon. This isn’t every book I read as a kid, just the ones that I have distinct memories of, and/or were influenced by in some way.

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
Heck Superhero by Martine Leavitt
So Yesterday by Scott Westerfeld
Full Tilt by Neal Shusterman
Hammer of Eden by Ken Follett
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds
Shiloh Season by Phyllis Reynolds
Saving Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds
Change the Locks by Simon French
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
The Pigman’s Legacy by Paul Zindel
Ida B. by Katherine Hannigan
The Space Machine by Christopher Priest
The Exiles Trilogy by Ben Bova
Vote for Larry by Janet Tashjian

What are some books that influenced you growing up?

IGDB

Below is a question that I half sarcastically asked my friends on Facebook…

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I was kind of joking, because a couple days before I’d asked if there was an IMDb for books (forgetting that Goodreads exists).

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So when I posted this question, it was mostly as a joke referencing that.

But to my surprise, there actually is such a thing. It’s called IGDB (which you could have guessed if you saw the title of this post).

If you know what IMDb (Internet Movie Database) is, you’ll understand what IGDB is. But incase you don’t, it’s an attempt to collect data about every movie (IMDb) and game (IGDB) ever so everyone has one place to find out everything about each. Like how people link to an actor’s IMDb page to see what all they’ve been in, or a movie’s page to see who all is in it. That’s the goal with IGDB.

However, this isn’t a spinoff of the movie site or even affiliated in any way. It’s an independent site created by a small team of gamers who wanted a database of games. I really mean small, the name of the company who started it is called 8 Dudes In A Garage AB.

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The copyright at the bottom of most of the pages on IGDB

The site is incredible, especially for a small team. It’s well put together, and everything does what it’s supposed to. I went looking for an obscure game I love but never see anyone talking about, Sphinx and the Cursed Mummy, and they even have that! So they’re doing an awesome job at collecting data on every game. I doubt they have every game (yet), but for the short time they’ve been up, they have a pretty impressive collection already.

It really helps that you can add titles and edit ones that have already been added, like Wikipedia. And like Wikipedia, the additions and edits have to be approved before they go live, so you can’t go on the page for No Man’s Sky and completely change everything because you didn’t like the game. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be approved, and no one would ever see it except for whoever reviews it for validation.

I’ve had my account for five days and I am already a huge fan of it. It has social elements, like adding friends and posting updates. In fact, I’ve been posting about all the games I’ve been playing since starting my account, instead of posting them on here. I just did a post addressing this, which led me to want to make this post. Both to advertise this awesome site, and also to announce that I’ll be doing most of my posts I was wanting to do on here on there. I’ll still post on here, but I’ll do more on there. Like, if I have a long post to do and don’t want to post a novel on there, I’ll do it on here. Or maybe even expand on a post or something. I posted this the night I did the review of Metro: Last Light;

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As opposed to the blog post I did on the game

Now, tonight I did this post on there about a game I’m currently playing.

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As opposed to the fact that I didn’t even post about it in this blog.

 

But as I said above and in that post, I’ll still post on here. And when I do, instead of linking to Wikipedia, I’ll link to game pages on IGDB.

Also, if you create an account, feel free to add me.

The Blogging Dead: Castle Rock – Episode 3: Local Color

With the third episode of Castle Rock, smaller story arches and characters are beginning to become more important. In the first episode, there was a moment where someone (Molly) sees Henry and drives the other direction. It’s clear the two have a history together, but we don’t learn what it is until now.

In fact, this episode almost exclusively centered on her. We finally learn why she did certain things in the previous two episodes. It’s actually a little hard to tell what’s real when it focuses on her. She has essentially the same thing Carrie had (and seeing as this is Stephen King, I wouldn’t be surprised if it is the same thing).

At the end of the episode, Henry and The Kid finally meet face-to-face after all this time. Thanks to Molly, He’s going to be able to have him as a client.

Where the first episode set up the story and characters, and the second episode felt like it was playing around with references and pacing things out (not to say it was a filler episode, it was just developing the characters more), this one really began to dive into the story more.

The Elder Blog: Metro: Last Light Redux

While I’ve been a lifelong gamer, there’s a ton of franchises and series I have never played. I’ve probably heard of them, and might even have a general idea what they’re about, I just haven’t played them. Metro was one of them. Except with this one I merely knew the name. I had no idea what it was about.

Last night, I found Metro: Last Light Redux on Xbox Game Pass and decided to give it a try. Going in knowing nothing, I was quickly filled in on the previous game during the introduction so I wasn’t lost. For a minute there I was starting to not like it, because there was an interactive cutscene every couple minutes where you had to slowly walk with someone as they talk. I just wanted to play the game!

But after awhile, you’re finally able to run around and play at your own leisure.

There’s some interesting unique aspects to this series. For one, the ammo is the currency. You can use all your bullets mowing down the enemy, or you can use stealth and save the ammo to buy better stuff. I always use stealth when it’s possible (I even tried using stealth in Halo. You can’t use stealth in Halo).

Speaking of which, I’ve played countless stealth games, but this is one of the few games I’d consider “true stealth”. It’s hard to truly explain it, but this is the sort of experience I’ve only dreamed of. I was sneaking around taking out all of the enemies and they never knew I was there. It’s not like Skyrim, where you’re stealthing around, get noticed, and only the enemies right there react. You get noticed in this game, everyone is on alert and comes after you. So you really have to be careful.

It feels like my actions really matter in this game. In one of the earlier areas, you pass a bunch of hostages in cages, and they all beg you to let them out. They tell you the release switch is in the control room. Finally, near the end of the level, there’s a room off to the side with someone at the controls. I took him out, and flipped a switch. You can see all of the cages opening and everyone running out. That was a side room, you didn’t have to do that, and it doesn’t effect the outcome of the mission, other than getting an Xbox achievement.

I’m only six missions in, but I am already really enjoying this game. This is only the second game in the series (the first being Metro 2033 from 2010), but it feels like a series that has been around a long time. With the next game coming out in 2019, Metro: Exodus, it seems this is a series that will be around a long time.

The Blogging Dead: Castle Rock – Episode 2: Habeas Corpus

Where the first episode of Castle Rock sets up the story and characters, the second episode expands on them. I feel this will be a show with no filler episodes. In fact, there appears to be multiple stories going on at once. So much happened it’s actually difficult to summarise it all in one post.

One thing I noticed and absolutely loved was the references to other Stephen King stories. It’s not just inconsequential things, like a clown doll in the background that might represent Pennywise or something like that. These references are part of the story and adds to the believability of this world.

There’s a flashback where the narrator of the episode says, “It was the year after the body of that boy was found by the tracks”, referencing The Body, which when it was made into a movie was renamed Stand By Me. During another scene, a character is flipping through newspaper clippings and one of them mentions a rabid dog ravaging the town, which sounds an awful lot like Cujo. There could have been more references in the news clippings, but that’s the only one I noticed.

But if it was just a show of references, it might not be very good. The original stories they are telling here make it more than worth it to watch. They do a great job at showing that the town itself is cursed, much like Derry. I really can’t wait to find out where this is all leading. They’re giving us a bunch of plot threads, and if I know Stephen King as well as I think I do, I know he’s not just going to leave us hanging. He might let us dangle for a bit, but he’ll eventually pull all the threads together.

The Blogging Dead: Castle Rock – Episode 1: Severance

I haven’t even finished reviewing my first Stephen King Hulu Original, and here I go starting another. I haven’t even done the second episode of 11.22.63. I plan to, believe me. But I have really been wanting to watch this series ever since I heard about it.

Castle Rock is based on the world of Stephen King. Not based on any particular book or anything he wrote, but basically the world itself. You know how people talk about the Stephen King Universe? Well, this is basically that idea turned into a show.

What’s kind of funny is that I’ve been planning on watching this series so much that I kept telling myself that I am currently watching it. To the point where I even told Kim Kardashian that I was currently watching it.

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After I sent that tweet I realised that I actually hadn’t even watched it at all, so decided I may as well change that.

Even though I was expecting it to be good, I was for some reason expecting it to be over-the-top. Like the acting in Langoliers  or something. But luckily, it wasn’t that kind of entertaining. They opted to go the “good writing” route this time. And it pays off, because the first episode was great. It basically sets up the story and characters, which is all a first episode should really do.

Honestly, I was kind of hoping for a Stephen King anthology series, like a Twilight Zone or something. That way, they could branch out and tell some of the more over-the-top stories without ruining the more down-to-earth stories. But this works as well.

The show includes several actors from past Stephen King films. Most notably Sissy Spacek (Carrie from the original Carrie) and Bill Skarsgård (Pennywise in the 2017 remake of IT).I recognized others, but those are the two biggest ones I knew.

Unlike 11.22.63, I plan on finishing this one soon. I think the reason I haven’t continued that one is because I just watched it a couple years ago and only watched the first episode again because I was bored. I will finish that review someday, though.