This week I started watching the popular (and possibly controversial, if Facebook posts such as “Don’t let your kids watch… are to be believed) Netflix drama ’13 Reasons Why’, and I can’t help but think back to my time spent playing Life is Strange with every moment. I think a lot of it has to be the way that the characters interact with each other. The playful dialog, specifically between Hannah and Clay, reminds me a lot of the way that Max and Chloe talked to each other in Life is Strange.
The style and the way that music is used in ’13 Reasons Why’ has also been reminding me of the wonderful soundtrack from Life is Strange. I’m only on the third episode of the show, but after I’ve finished each episode I’ve found myself logging onto Twitch to see if anyone is streaming Life is Strange (luckily, so far there have been plenty of streams). I think by the time I finish the show I’ll end up playing through the game once more to relive the wonderful journey.
I’ve enjoyed the show a ton so far, and I’m excited to continue watching (though I tend not to binge watch so it’ll probably take me a few weeks). I don’t really have much else to say, but was kind of curious if the show has reminded anyone else of Life is Strange, or if I’m just crazy.
Last night Vanessa and I watched the first episode of Netflix’s new series, “Stranger Things” and it was amazing. We were hooked as soon as the opening credits hit, with its mesmerizing music that reminds me a lot of the opening credits to The Wolf Among Us .
The show kept us on the edge of our seats throughout, and the first episode is a wonderful thrill ride from beginning to end. By the time it ended I immediately wanted to start watching the second episode (I don’t usually binge watch), however it was past midnight and we both needed to get some sleep. I can’t wait to continue watching the series later today, and if the second episode is as good as the first it’s very possible that we’ll end up finishing the entire series this weekend!
If you haven’t checked out “Stranger Things” yet, I highly recommend it! You won’t want to stop watching!
So I made it to my first day off of the deployment. Exciting! I don’t have anything video game related to write about, but I just wanted to check in so that this blog doesn’t just fade away into nothingness. How would I describe the first week? It’s been hot, exhausting and chaotic. That said, it hasn’t been as bad as it could be. I’m very fortunate to have so many luxuries in this environment that many people years ago didn’t (and even those today in worse environments don’t have). I have a great connection to the WiFi in my tent and the air conditioning works so well that at night I’ve almost been too cold to sleep (had to buy three blankets and sleep in a hoodie and sweatpants).
My awesome LEGO Movie sheets
I haven’t done much, as working twelve hours a day, six days a week doesn’t leave you with much free time. I’ve started watching Sons of Anarchy on Netflix after work and have been fascinated by it. I just started the second season and it’s been a wild ride.
I’ve only really fired up my Xbox once since I’ve been here, but I hope to get some Forza 6 in today, and possibly some more Metal Gear. The GAEMS G155 15.5″ gaming case has worked out pretty well so far. It got my Xbox One here in one piece and is great for storing it when I’m not using it. All I have to do is throw it up on my bed, crack it open and plug in the Xbox and monitor and I’m ready to game. I’m certainly glad I decided to buy it before heading over here, even if I won’t be playing as much Xbox as I had hoped. The 15.5″ screen is the perfect size, and I’m actually glad I didn’t go with the 19″ version like I originally planned.
There are many weeks to go, and I hope to be able to post at least weekly. I’m looking forward to playing Fallout 4 when it releases (I’m sure I’ll sacrifice too much sleep when the time comes), and I’ll probably end up buying a Wii U while I’m here to play Mario Maker. For now, I’m going to spend the rest of my day off relaxing before I start another work week.
Missing Vanessa 😉
If you’re stuck trying to figure out what to watch on Netflix, drop everything right now and watch “Comet.” The film is Sam Esmail’s directorial debut and stars Justin Long and Emmy Rossum as unlikely lovers in a parallel universe very much like our own.
“Comet” is a visually stunning throughout. Every scene is colored and shot so perfectly its almost hypnotic.
Every scene in the movie is so beautiful it’d be almost as enjoyable to watch the film without any sound. There are so many scenes I absolutely fell in love with, I just can’t help wanting to share them all.
“Comet” takes place over six years and tells the story of the relationship between Dell and Kimberly, starting from their unlikely meeting.
The story is told from Dell’s perspective and is told out of order, much like “(500) Days of Summer” but in a unique enough way. You’ll see turning points in the relationship before the film finishes telling you how it all started, and its absolutely wonderful. Every scene takes place during a different time in the six year story, yet it all feels perfectly placed. I couldn’t imagine watching the story unfold any other way.
The soundtrack of the film is just as stunning as the visuals, with Coeur de Pirate’s “Fondu au Noir” being a particular favorite of mine.
I can’t recommend “Comet” enough. If you liked “(500) Days of Summer” you’re sure to enjoy “Comet” just as much, if not more. It’s a wonderful film, I’m so glad I happened across it.
Last weekend we watched Iliza Shlesinger’s Netflix exclusive comedy special, Freezing Hot. I loved her War Paint special and Freezing Hot is just as great. Iliza is smart, clever, original and outrageously funny! There isn’t a dull moment, and I was left wanting more.
Luckily there’s a great way to get more Iliza Shlesinger in the way of her weekly podcast, Truth and Iliza. There are currently 24 episodes on iTunes featuring guests such as Joe Rogan, Bob Saget, Diablo Cody and Jay Leno. I’m looking forward to adding it to my podcast feed and going back and listening.
I highly recommend watching Freezing Hot if you’re in the mood for some great stand up comedy.
I recorded this video the other week and just got around to uploading it. In it I take a look at the new Netflix app that’s available on Dish Network’s Hopper. The app is a convenient way for many to access Netflix if they don’t already have a way of using the service (such as a Roku, Chromecast, smart TV or video game console).
This past week I watched two movies on Netflix that I didn’t think would be that great but actually turned out to be pretty entertaining.
The first was Pain & Gain, starring The Rock and Mark Wahlberg. Going into it I had no clue what it was about, and although I like Wahlberg, I never really thought The Rock was a great actor. He proved me wrong in Pain & Gain. His character was quite amusing and portrayed quite well throughout. The story kept me entertained as much as the characters did and I’m glad I ended up giving it a chance.
Last night, on a whim, I decided to watch The Art of the Steal, another movie I had never previously heard of. At first it seemed like a typical B action movie, but it had something extra that kept me from turning it off. I like movies with a bit of mystery and the potential for a plot twist and I ended up riding it out to the end and found it to be quite rewarding. Is it a movie I’d recommend renting? No, but if you have Netflix it’s worth turning on if you can’t decide on anything else to watch.
Yes, in fact you can.
If you for whatever reason wanted to subscribe to Netflix using a Visa Vanilla Prepaid gift card, it is in fact possible. I had a hard time finding a definite answer to the question while searching Google, so I decided to answer it here, once and for all. You can, indeed use a Visa Vanilla gift card to pay for a Netflix subscription.
I decided to try it out since I’m away from home and happened to pull out cash to use while on “vacation”. I purchased a $25 Visa Vanilla gift card, went to the website listed on the back of the card and registered the card with a zip code. This is important, as these cards tend not to work for online payments unless you register them first.
After that I entered the card information into my Netflix account and was able to restart my membership without any issue. Many answers on various websites including Yahoo Answers have stated that this will not work, but I’m here to confirm that it does work and it’s essentially the only way to pay for Netflix using “cash” instead of a debit or credit card.
Just thought I’d clear that up.
For $35, the Google Chromecast is a great Christmas gift. The Chromecast acts like a Roku player (or similar streaming media player) however it’s controlled by your smartphone or computer over WiFi. Once it’s set up you use apps on your phone or computer to stream content to your TV. However the Chromecast doesn’t pull data from your phone or device, it will connect to the content on it’s own and stream it from the source so you’re free to use your phone for whatever else once it starts streaming.
For example, you can launch the Netflix app on your phone and hit the Chromecast button to start up the Netflix app on the Chromecast. Once you select something to play it’ll begin loading on the Chromecast and you can close out the app on your phone. You can use the app on your phone to control the content by fast forwarding or pausing if you like.
Recently Google added a few more apps to make the Chromecast more versatile. Originally it could only stream from a handful of apps such as Netflix and Google Play. Now there are more options including HBO Go, Hulu Plus and Pandora (and several more that I’ve never used such as VEVO, RedBullTV and RealPlayer Cloud). The HBO Go and Pandora apps are my favorite additions. I’d like to see a Dish Anywhere app sometime in the future, but HBO will do for now.
You can view the video below for a look at the new apps and to see the Chromecast in action. For $35 it has a great, easy to use design and I love using it. Sure I have all of the same apps and more on my PS3, but the ease of controlling everything seamlessly through my phone is great. I can start something playing on Netflix while I search for something to watch on HBO and switch between the two in a matter of seconds. On the PS3 the time it takes to exit one app and enter another is painful.
Last week, seemingly out of nowhere, Google announced Chromecast. It’s an HDMI dongle that allows you to stream content to your TV from the cloud using almost any device connected to the same WiFi network (yes, it works with the iPhone and iPad as well as Android devices).
You simply plug the device into an HDMI port on your TV and plug it into a power source (my TV has a USB port right beneath one set of HDMI ports which is quite convenient. It also comes with a power outlet adapter) and you’re (almost) ready to go. Once it’s set up you’ll see a Chromecast button in supported apps and you simply click the button and Chromecast will begin streaming the content on your TV. You can control the content with your device, but you can also exit whatever app you launched the video from and continue using the device while the Chromecast continues streaming.
The only annoying thing about the Chromecast for me was the setup. It wasn’t as simple as it should’ve been. For some reason you have to change the name of your WiFi network to the name of your Chromecast device (ie. Chromecast9999) in order to connect to the Chromecast and get it set up. Then you can change your WiFi network back to it’s original name before you save the connection settings for the Chromecast.
I have yet to discover if that’s a process you have to go through everytime you use the device on a new WiFi network or if it’s simply for the initial setup. I hope it’s the latter because otherwise it won’t be as convenient of a device as it could be. Sure you don’t have to carry around an HDMI cable, but fooling around with router settings every time you go somewhere new would be a chore.
Overall I’m impressed with the device and for $35 it’s a steal. It initially came with 3 months of Netflix, however due to overwhelming demand Google had to remove that offer (luckily I got in before it disappeared). I’m also impressed that it works so easily with iOS apps, though as of right now you cant use it with the Chrome iOS app (it does support the desktop version). At the moment you can use it with YouTube and Netflix on iOS (I’m not sure if there’s a Google Play app on iOS, but I assume if there is that would work as well) and there should be more content to come in the near future.