New Fiction 2019 – March

Alita: Battle Angel dir. Robert Rodriguez (2019)

An artificial person like Alita is going to exist, I reckon. I’m going to fall into an armchair of the future and fail to recognize where I am, who I am. A person with a brain? A soldier or a daughter. I don’t think it would be so bad to dream of electric sheep.

Captain Marvel dir. Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (2019)

I’ve wanted to fly since 1990. A big, garish plane, capable of landing on water or land or ice and snow. All ports as home and no home at all. Danvers, denied the opportunity, breaks free of her roles to fly in the most amazing way. Her spirit is infectious, if well-familiar.

Us dir. Jordan Peele (2019)

The shadow of the shadow is the person. Somehow, the shadow wants to kill, and so it is suppressed and buried. A living burial is a horrifying, the most terrible thing you can do. Please don’t bury me, or anyone. Leave us out in the sun.

The Grand Budapest Hotel dir. Wes Anderson (2014)

A little window in the middle of the wall is the clearest view. Peer through it and see inside, then see inside, then see inside. The care of each of us is up to all of us, and yet you are remembered fondly, even as you live, even as you die.

Dragged Across Concrete dir. S. Craig Zahler (2018)

The long draw is an invention of the American Western. It’s the kind of story where a man is left standing, top of the heap. Knowledge of the law is, after all, the best way to break it.

The emotion is Janus-faced: we are torn between a nostalgia for the familiar and an urge for the foreign and strange. As often as not, we are homesick most for the places we have never known.

Carson McCullers, from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1940)


“Maybe when people longed for a thing that badly the longing made them trust in anything that might give it to them.”

Carson McCullers, from The Heart is a Lonely Hunter (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 1940)

New Fiction 2019 – February

Super Mario Bros. 3 dev. Nintendo EAD (1988)

A technical completion, if one considers previous playthroughs in which I reached the ending by using warp whistles to be cheating, and I do, dear reader. The full context of every world and level helps me to truly appreciate this landmark work, and when compared against my similarly thorough completion of Super Mario Bros. 2 (USA) last year, I can now see how this third entry in the series is the more engaging game. The worlds are more varied and lively, the characters still new and fresh to the end, and the short completion of each level is outdone by the number of them in each world. It’s a wonderful game and just fun to play from start to finish.

Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday dir. Adam Marcus (1993)

I chose this movie because I was once too scared to even attempt it–one of many such instances from my childhood. But it was on Netflix, and you know how one does. However, unlike some other previously avoided horror movies, such as Child’s Play, this was an embarrassing movie to have skipped so long ago. It’s the hackiest of eighties horror filmmaking brought forward into the nineties, and I was stunned throughout its runtime. Just, what is this? What’s happening to me? Jason’s a worm now?

The Jam Report: February 2019



The February brought us many amazing game jams, and so we recommended 52 entries made for 15 different jams. There are games about the meaning of love and home, but also best retro hack’n’slash action, mind-blogging puzzles as well as atmospherical exploration and narrative games. So have fun with our February issue of “The Jam Report”!

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New Fiction 2019 – January

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn (1989)

This novel was the sort of dissonant, well-performed journey that seems possible only in a dream, and yet, I think, here we are. We’re in this time of strange, unbelievable events, and sometimes it’s nice to imagine something could magically sweep through and end the madness.

Mary Poppins Returns dir. Rob Marshall (2018)

It’s more of the same, a safe bet by Disney, and I smiled more times than I could count. Blunt is a cheekier Poppins than fans of the original might be used to. I mean, she’s great, she’s your cool aunt, she’s all our cool aunt, so yes I’m glad she returned to shake things up and remind us to sing.

The Bone Collector dir. Phillip Noyce (1999)

At first you think, wow, Denzel, this is some boldass docility, but then you remember that Washington is the sort of actor with a movie star smile, and you realize ah, yes, of course this is perfect, it’s all smile and attitude. The murders are gnarly, the puzzles are weak, but it’s good to add another piece of Washington oeuvre to the lexicon.

American Gangster dir. Ridley Scott (2007)

So hey, why not another? It’s not the strongest turn by either lead actor, but an interesting story and the kind of thing you can’t believe was happening in this, our United States of America. But it did, and it does, and the notion of good cops and bad guys being complicated figures doesn’t quite matter when you see the bodies left in their wake.

Glass dir. M. Night Shyamalan (2019)

It was a bit of extra information, Shyamalan’s epilogue that ran too long. The premise is cool but it’d be better if it was a series of interviews until the end. An HBO series, maybe?

Escape Room dir. Adam Robitel (2019)

I thought, “damn, this is like watching a video game,” and I don’t like simply watching video games. Level one, level two, and so on. And now horror movies anticipate sequels? Ya don’t gotta do that.

Parks and Recreation (2009-2015)

I love The Simpsons, at least those episodes of my generation, and this was a nice take on the sitcom that builds up a town instead of just its core cast. Some jokes, especially those repeated comments about Jones’s beauty, fall flat, and will be among the takes people bring up about the show in the coming decades. Plaza is probably the one I like most for her character’s begrudging acceptance of kindness and sympathy.

The Punisher – Season 2 (2019)

Should I like this guy? I don’t want to, and so I don’t think he’s doing anything noble or worthy of a hero. But then, you don’t have to like someone to appreciate well-executed revenge. This is Revenge City and I’d hang out here again.