Short thoughts 2: The Dark Tower, Gears of War: Judgment and Ant-Man

Here’s the second installment of short thoughts! On todays edition, I give you the rundown on Marvel’s latest installment: Ant-Man. I also tell you why I’m hooked on Steven King’s ‘The Dark Tower‘ Series and finally how I’ve renewed my love for the Gears of War series!

Gears of War: Judgment

I love Gears of War. The heavy fulfilling combat, the visceral, engaging story. Yes its grey at times and obviously it hits a level of testosterone, only usually available through a needle in the arse, but it’s fun.

That being said, I did put off playing Judgement for a number of years. Maybe it’s the lack of Marcus Fenix, or the fact that it’s no longer directly in Epic’s hands. But Judgment has really surprised me. Of course it’s more of the same, the changes aren’t massive, but I never thought they needed to be. The addition of the ‘declassified’ missions, that add little extra challenges to each mission, like being restricted to certain weapons, or reduced vision, is really rewarding. I’m not usually one that likes the hard modes on a game, I prefer to play for story, but give me that extra little dialogue or extra unlocks, without the need to commit for the entire game, and I’m all for it.

I also really like the way that People Can Fly have handled the story. It does still feel like filler for the series, but the switching of perspective between the new characters, on each level, is interesting and refreshing.

The Dark Tower

Stephen King considers ‘The Dark Tower‘ his Magnum Opus, and for the writer of The Shining, Misery and The Green Mile, among other great novels, that’s some statement. What sets apart ‘The Dark Tower‘ from other novels, is the fact that its many years in the making and it encompasses many of King’s other works of fiction, including recurring characters and themes.  As the reader, you find yourself on a journey, not too dissimilar from Roland’s own journey, as you acknowledge the breadth of time it will take to really maximize your enjoyment of the series.

I’ve only read the first two novels of the series so far but I’m already very attached to Roland and his band of companions. The first novel ‘The Gunslinger‘ is a bit convoluted at times, a bit overly philosophical, but Roland’s relationship with Jake is very much rewarding and one you’ll invest into. The second novel ‘The Drawing of the Three‘ is wildly more accessible, down-to-earth and is hard to put down. The introductions of Eddie, the brave, naive Junkie; Odetta the calm, wheel-chair bound, muse and her vicious and vindictive, split-personality; Detta, are brilliant and bring an extra dimension to the story.

If you’re on the post Game of Thrones lull, and you want another masterful series, then you’d be wise to pick up ‘The Dark Tower‘.

Ant-Man

ANT-MAN - 2015 FILM STILL - Photo Credit: Marvel  © Marvel 2014  ©Marvel 2015

ANT-MAN Р2015 FILM STILL РPhoto Credit: Marvel © Marvel 2014 ©Marvel 2015

When Avenger’s first hit our screens, Marvel Fandom skyrocketed, fans wanted every fledgling superhero and villian to get their own film. Well for the most part, fans got their wish and recently it seems to be the case of, be careful what you wish for.

Not to say that any of the recent Marvel releases have been bad, far from it, but there is a feeling these days of over-saturation. Ant-Man comes riding that wave of over-saturation, but doesn’t feel it. It handles itself with humour and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which really balances the machismo that has come to dominate the superhero market recently.

It, at times, is a bit cheesy, though Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas and Evangeline Lilly do a commendable job to handle the dodgy science. Overall though, Ant-Man is funny, exciting and very watchable and worth the price of admission.

That’s all for this week, thanks for reading, let me know what you think of Ant-Man, The Dark Tower or Gear of War: Judgment.

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