Skin Trade, American/Canadian/Thai Movie (2014)

In the 80’s there was a particular action movie genre that was very popular: the buddy cop movie. There were ofcourse the classics, such as Lethal Weapon, Beverly Hills Cop and 48 Hours. Ah, those were the days. Thinking back on those movies, all I can say is that they definitely don’t make them like they used to. Rocky IV star Dolph Lundgren, also made a buddy cop movie that some people might remember. It dates back to 1991 and it was called Showdown in Little Tokyo, also starring the late Brandon Lee. I can’t really call it a classic, but it was a pretty enjoyable action B-movie. Now, 25 years later, Dolph Lundgren is still making action movies, and in 2004 he starred in another buddy cop movie (well sort of) called Skin Trade.

In this movie Lundgren plays the role of a police officer called Nick Cassidy. He is trying to bring down a bunch of human traffickers spearheaded by the ruthless Victor Dragovich. When Nick suffers a personal tragedy orchestrated by Victor, he pretty much loses it. In his quest to find Dragovich, Nick travels to Thailand where Victor was last seen. However arriving there, Cassidy soon get’s into trouble with the local law, when he is framed for a crime he did not commit. Nick finds himself at the wrong end of the gun, and it seems that his mission to bring down Dragovich might end before it has even started. There is a small chance that Nick might be able to get some help from Thai detective Tony Vitayakul. The only thing that he needs to do is prove his innocence to him, but that is easier said than done….

This film is a B-movie, but I dare say it is a very enjoyable one, and it really has the feel of an 80’s action flick. It also features a pretty impressive cast, with the likes of Ron Perlman and Peter Weller, who have small, but enjoyable roles. The action however comes from Lundgren himself, and Thai superstar Tony Jaa. This lastnamed actor has some impressive martial arts at his disposal, and if you haven’t already, check out the movie Ong Bak, to truly see what he is capable of. The story in this movie is not particularly noteworthy, but ofcourse the reason you watch a movie like this, is for the action, and it does deliver on that front. Even though Lundgren is in his late fifties, he can still make a mean action flick, and I always have respect for something like that. Sure, this is not an A-grade movie, but if you like to travel back in time for a while to the simple action days of the 80’s, this movie will definitely be entertaining enough.

I give Skin Trade a 7 out 10 score.

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Eden of the East Movie 1: The King of Eden & Eden of the East Movie 2: Paradise Lost, Japanese (Animated) Movies (2009/2010)

Don’t you just hate it when your favorite tv show get’s cancelled or ends, and you are left with a lot of unanswered questions? It is something that happens very frequently and I think it is pretty much an insult to the fans of a show. At least resolve a storyline, and give fans closure. Last week I saw a briljant Anime series called Eden of the East (you can find my review of it here). I liked it very much, but at the end everything was left pretty much wide open. Luckily the story was continued in two movies, that resolve the story and should end the series on a satisfying not. The question is, do the movies succeed in that mission? I usually review movies one at a time, but since these two movies are pretty much one continuing story, I have decided to review them together.

The first movie, The King of Eden, kicks off about six months after the final events of the Anime series. Saki Morimo is back in the United States, where she is desperately trying to find Akira Takizawa. Is he still alive? Meanwhile the game continues between the remaining Selecao. The enigmatic Mister Outside, continues to be every bit as mysterious and is still pulling the strings behind the curtain. Will the game end in a positive way for Japan, and is the future of the country assured? And even more importantly, what will that future be, and who will be the Selecao that wins the game? The answers to this question, and many others, are given in movie 2, Paradise Lost.

So….are these movies as good as the Anime series? I unfortunately have to answer that question with a no. Let’s start with the positive things first though. The animation, especially in the second movie is very good, and even though it is not very different from what you were used to in the Anime series, I still found it to be better. The music is once again provided by Kenji Kawai, and I keep saying it, this man is just simply amazing. And now for the bad things. The movies do provide an answer to every remaining question, but the time it takes to reach the conclusion, is just too long. Where the series had a lot of humour and exciting stuff that took place, what we get here, is a very bleak and political story, that at certain points was just way too longwinded. At times I really felt my mind wander off, something that never happened during the Anime. I think it would have been better to make a second series of 11 episodes, where there would have been more room to add in some comedy and tension. Maybe my expectations were just too high, as I loved the Anime so very much. Still, even though the movies are not as strong as the Anime, they are a definite “must watch” for the fans of the show. It was still great to see all the familiar faces of the Anime again, and the storyline does get wrapped up in a very nice and satisfying way. Also, stick around for the after credits scene at the end of the second movie.

I give Eden of the East movies 1&2 a 7 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents: Merchandise

It has pretty much become a fact of life that whenever a certain franchise becomes popular, the merchandise is never far off. And why not? Certainly for fans it is pretty cool to own something from a beloved movie or tv show. It ofcourse also has a downside, and that is it usually is not very kind to the contents of your wallet. When there is money to be made, they usually know how to cash in on something that is very popular. I’ll be honest, I can be highly influenced by advertisements. Especially if I like a movie franchise or tv show a lot, I pretty much begin to collect stuff from it. Ofcourse there are certain lines that I don’t cross. If I have to cough up an amount of money that I have to work a year for (yes, I like to exaggerate lol), than I say thanks but no thanks. But if it is something that I really like, and the price is right, than I really like to add another piece to my collection. Showcased below, for your enjoyment, are three franchises that I enjoy collecting stuff from.

Star Wars

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Ever since seeing Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, I have been a massive Star Wars fan. I love science fiction, and without a doubt Star Wars will always be my favorite galaxy, far, far away. Over the years my collection has been growing a lot, and it contains novels, action figures, trading cards, artbooks, comics, and games. We are about a month away now from the latest installment hitting the theatres, and I am already looking forward to it immensely. The problem with Star Wars merchandise is that there is so much to buy and collect, that it is almost impossible to keep track of it all. Still, with no end in sight to what is on offer, there is a lot to enjoy for fans.

The Walking Dead

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What can I say, ever since first seeing the first episode of this incredible tv series I have been hooked. After learning it was based on a comic book, I started with collecting those, and when the tv series became popular, the merchandise train got on board as well. The Walking Dead has some truly awesome action figures on offer from McFarlane toys, as well as novels that expand the story, and some very cool boardgames. Though the range is not as wide as Star Wars, there is still enough on offer for fans, to start collecting stuff.

Sword Art Online

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Earlier this year a friend of mine told me to start watching an Anime series called Sword Art Online. Honestly, at the start of the show I did not enjoy it. Sure, the storyline was interesting, the animation looked cool, but I just could not get into it. However I did continue to watch, and I am really glad I did. This series has become one of my alltime favorite Anime shows, and as is usually the case with things I like, I just had to start collecting some stuff. A few months back at the Amsterdam Comic Con (which is pretty much the same as the American version, only smaller) I found some truly cool items, which are on display at the picture above. This collection is at the moment pretty small, and I don’t think it will grow as big as my Star Wars or Walking Dead collection. Still, if I come across something interesting, I will probably add it to the existing pieces.

Final thoughts

Merchandise can be a lot of fun. As long as you can contain yourself and don’t go overboard with spending money, I see absolutely no harm in starting a collection of cool stuff. The biggest problem I think is that whatever you start collecting, there is usually way too much on offer, or too little. Some movies or shows, that are a little bit less popular, have almost no merchandise to collect. That can at times be frustrating, especially if you are a fan. On the other hand, with too much on offer, it usually comes down to what should I buy? You can only spend your money once (duh) and with so many cool items on display, it can become very hard for a fan to make the right decision.

So what are your thoughts on merchandise? Do you like it, hate it? If you are collecting stuff, what are some of your favorite pieces? Let me know in the comments section. As always, thank you for reading, and see you at the next post!

Creed, American Movie (2015)

I have never liked sports. I was never good at it, I did not have the stamina for it, and basically I never cared for it either. Yes, I know that sports can be good for your health and stuff, but why do something if you don’t like it. As such, I never watch sports on television either. After a weekend when I get to work and people start talking about this great soccer match they saw, I basically zone out. That being said, Hollywood has produced it’s fair share of sports movies, and I honestly have to admit that I occasionally do like watching those. Especially when it features some great actors, or a storyline that I can relate to. Last year the movie Creed was released, which is a spin-off movie, from the popular Rocky series. When people first heard about this project, it was pretty much predicted that this movie would be a total bust. However, not only did this film prove them all wrong, it pretty much served as one of the best  performances of Sylvester Stallone’s career.

Creed tells the story of the son of Apollo Creed, the longtime rival and former friend of Rocky. Adonis spent his youth living in foster homes, and pretty much going down a dark road, until he was picked up by Apollo’s wife Mary Anne. As Adonis grows older, he feels the urge to start proving himself in the boxing ring, against Mary Anne’s wishes. As Apollo had died in the ring, Mary Anne was scared the same thing might happen to his son. However headstrong as Adonis is, he leaves for Philidelphia to go and search for Rocky and have him train him. When he meets up with Rocky and asks him to help him become a better boxer, at first Rocky wants nothing to do with it. Balboa has left that part of his life behind him, and is fine with it. Eventually though, he relents and accepts Adonis as a student. As the opportunity arises for young Creed to go head to head against the world’s number one fighter, it is almost like a dream that has come true. Adonis has to get ready for the fight that may very well define his career. Rocky however, has a very different fight on his hand, one that might eventually cost him his life…..

There are some people out there that claim that Stallone can’t act. Well, in this movie not only does he prove he can, he got nominated for an Oscar because of it. Unfortunately he did not win it, but his portrayal of Rocky in this movie, is pretty much the heart and soul of this film. Don’t discount the role of young Michael B. Jordan though, as he also lands a very impressive performance. The movie takes a while to build up some momentum, but that does give it time, to provide a good background story and create a bond with the character of Adonis. This movie teaches us that no matter how hopeless a situation might be, you should never give up the fight. Some might call that pretty cheesy, but I don’t know I kind of like that message, and it is usually the truth. This movie is pretty much a love letter to all the Rocky fans out there, and gives us one final chapter in the life of that beloved character. It is a great film, and no matter how much you hate sports, it is hard not to cheer when Adonis get’s in the ring. One round at a time….

I give Creed a 9 out of 10 score.

Another, a horror/mystery novel by Yukito Ayatsuji (2009)

In the past decades there have been a lot of tv shows and movies based on books. Some of these adaptations have been, to put it mildly, not really living up to expectations. The big problem that usually occurs when adapting a novel to the big or small screen, is that there are deviations from the original story. Characters behaving differently, certain plotlines being omitted, the list can go on and on. Still, that being said, there are also examples of movies/tv shows that have truly done justice to the original, and on rare occasions even surpass the novel. A few weeks ago I have seen an Anime series that totally blew my mind. It was called Another (you can find my review for it here ), and it has been one of the best things that I have seen all year. If you haven’t already, you can check it out on Crunchyroll (which is kind of the Netflix for Anime) for free (if you don’t mind the occasional commercial). Even if you don’t like Anime, I can guarantee that this show might change your opinion. What usually happens when I really like something , is that I become pretty much obsessed with finding out as much as I can about it. And as such I learned that the Animeseries was based on the novel of the same name. Having just concluded it, here are my thoughts on this briljant book.

It is the year 1998, when a young transfer student from Tokyo named Koichi Sakakibara enters class 3 of the Yomiyama North Middle School. From the start Koichi feels a sense of unease around him. The students all seem to act as if they have just been awakened from a nightmare. And it is not only the students, but also the teachers who truly don’t behave like they normally should. And why is there a student in class, Mei Misaki, who everyone treats as if she isn’t there? It is not long when the first people start dying in truly horrific ways, that Koichi is beginning to realise that there is a terrible curse on class 3. A curse that may have it’s origins in an event that happened 26 years ago, at the same school, and also in class 3. Koichi will come face to face with a mystery, that might very well cost him his life…..

If you have seen the Anime, then this novel really does not bring anything new to the table. Everything that happens in this novel, except for one or two minor things is also in the Anime series. In fact the Anime has expanded upon the story in ways that have even improved it. Something that I think is very unique. The novel however is every bit as powerful as the series. It is only because I had already seen the Anime and pretty much knew what would happen, I got a little bit less enjoyment out of it, than I thought I would. So which is better? The Anime or the novel? It really is a tough question to answer. But I do think the Anime wins by a slight margin. Especially the ending is handled in a more spectacular way in the series. If you like mystery/horror novels, or Stephen King, than this novel is well worth checking out.

I give Another (the novel) a 8 out 10 score. If you first read the novel, instead of seeing the Anime you may add a point to the score I have given above.

I’ve been nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award

I feel very happy today ( well even more so than other days lol), as I have been nominated today for the Sunshine Blogger Award. I just think it is very awesome that people take time to read my posts, give some comments on them, and even hand out an award. When I first started this blog almost six months ago, I would have never thought that I would like this so much. Part of what makes it great is you: my fellow bloggers, and everyone who takes the time to read some posts. I have had a lot of fun reading the posts on other blogs myself and it has really become a part of my life that I would not like to miss for one moment.

I want to very much thank the creators of Little Anime Blog , Elisabeth and Dominic for nominating me for this award. If you haven’t already, check out their blog. It is filled with all kinds of awesomeness on the world of Anime and beyond 😀 Once again, you both have my thanks!

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Rules

  • Thank the person(s) who nominated you in a blog post and link back to their blog
  • Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo on your post and/or on your blog

And these are the answers to the questions I got asked….

What got you interested in blogging? 

Honestly it was a bit of an experiment for me. I used to write small reviews on Facebook, but that was pretty limiting. As such I wanted to write bigger reviews, and that is how I got into blogging. I had no idea that I would grow to like it this much, and that it would become a part of my daily routine😀

What do you wish people knew about you without you having to tell people?

That is a pretty tough question to answer, so I have been wracking my brain about it a bit. I would have to say, that even though sometimes I can mask it well enough, I can be a pretty shy person. But then if I had to tell people that I would probably be to shy to admit that lol.

What first got you interested in Anime and/or Manga?

In 1985 I saw an animated show called Robotech. It was made up of three different unrelated Anime series, and to date I am still a big fan of that show. When I became older and found out more about the origins of Robotech, I discovered there was a whole world out there filled with Japanese animated shows. And to this day, I am still discovering new and different Anime. Especially since I started blogging, I keep receiving new and wonderful tips for new series, on a variety of different blogs I follow, which is awesome 😀

Are you an early bird or a night owl? 

To tell the truth: I am both. I don’t really have a time of day, I can be active both in the morning as well as in the evening. But then again, if I have an offday, that usually means that I am not an early bird or a night owl 😂 Luckily that does not happen very often.

Do you plan or wing your blog posts? 

I don’t really have a plan in advance, but when I am watching a movie or series I am going to be reviewing I do try and think of some things I want to put in my post. Some posts are easier than others I have to admit. It pretty much depends on the subject matter as well.

If you could save three things from a fire in your home, what would they be? Ps, size, weight and quantity don’t matter. 

Hmm….my box filled with original Robotech comics, my enormous dvd collection (hey, size, weight and quantity did not matter right?😀), my Star Wars collection.

Do you have any Anime merch? (This includes manga). If so, what was the first thing you bought? 

If I don’t count Robotech (which technically is not Anime), I think the first thing I bought is the Asuna figure from Sword Art Online. And I did not even buy that years ago, but just recently. I still think it looks awesome though 😀

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How open are you in the real world about your feelings towards Anime?

I very open about it. Honestly I pretty much live by the philosophy :” just accept me for who I am. And if you don’t like it, tough break 😀”. So yeah I don’t mind telling people that I like Anime, or any of my other hobbies for that matter. It is a great way to spend time, and there is nothing better than also sharing things about it.

Have you ever cosplayed or wanted to? If yes, what character and why that character? 

I have never cosplayed, and I probably will not do that anytime in the future. I do think it is great that people do it, and I have big respect for the people who put time and effort into making their costumes, which quite frankly are sometimes completely awesome.

If money was not an issue, what is the one thing that you would do for yourself? 

There is one thing on my bucketlist that I definitely want to do someday, and that is make a trip to an Asian country. I have always had the utmost respect for everything Asian, the customs, the history, myths, it is all so incredible, that I want to one day see it for myself. There is unfortunately, one thing I do have to conquer for that though, and that is my fear of flying. But oh well, I am sure I will manage one day 😀

What is your favorite post that you have written on your blog, and what is the most popular post on your blog? 

My own favorite post, at least the one that was so far the most fun to write was : Special Features Presents: “To rewatch, or not to rewatch….?”. It was a very interactive post, and I had to think about the movies that I have watched way too many times. (And I still managed to forget a few important ones lol). As for the most popular post, it was a pretty recent one : Special Features Presents:Solo Boardgaming. This last post has gotten a lot of views after I posted it on the Google+ boardgame community, of which I was pretty surprised.

My nominations:

Thank you all for making such wonderful posts, which I enjoy reading every time that you post them. Keep up the great work you are all doing, and keep spreading the sunshine 😀

And now for the questions. As not every blog that I nominated deals with Anime exclusively (my own doesn’t either), I have tweaked the questions above a bit, and added a few new ones, so that everyone might be able to answer them. So, here they are, and ofcourse I look forward to your answers 😀

The Questions

1. How long have you been blogging, and what made you get started in the first place?

2. Say that you could interview someone on your blog, who would it be, and why him/her?

3. What is your favorite Anime/Movie/Tv show of alltime?

4. Do you own any merchandise? If so, what is the thing that you like the most in your collection?

5. Is there anything you would like to do someday, but just have not yet been able to accomplish ?

6. What is the post you are most proud of, and why is that?

7. Has there ever been a post on your blog that you have regretted writing? If so, why is that?

8. Why did you get interested in Movies/Anime?

9. Do you have any goals that you would like to ultimately achieve with your blog?

10. What if you could star in your own Anime/Movie? What kind of Anime/Movie would it be, and who would you play?

11. What was the worst Anime/Movie that you have ever seen?

 

Batman: The Killing Joke, American (Animated) movie (2016)

Every person who loves to read comicbooks, knows that there are certain storylines that are considered to be groundbreaking. A graphic novel that is so important, that it pretty much changes everything that has come before it. An example of this is The Death of Superman. With the comic book sales for Superman reaching an alltime low, DC comics devised an ingenious plan to boost the sales: Why don’t we kill him? And that resulted in an uproar throughout the comic book world at the time. Superman’s long time friend Batman, has also had his share of acclaimed graphic novels. One of the most important ones was a story that was released in 1988 called the Killing Joke, and is by many considered to be one of the best Batman comics that has ever seen the light of day. This year an animated movie has been released, that is based on that comic book.

Batman the Killing Joke tells the origin story of one of the most important villains of the Batman universe: The Joker. Through a series of flashbacks, we get to see how The Joker came to be the man that he is today. Meanwhile in the present, Batman has to deal with another diabolical scheme devised by his longtime nemesis, one that has pretty dire consequences for one of the people closest to him. Batman has to face the fact that to end the conflict between himself and The Joker, one of them might have to die…

This animated movie has created a lot of controversy when it was released this year. Some fans argued that the relationship between Batgirl and Batman in this movie was handled in poor taste. Another argument that was heard, was that this movie was just a pretty bad adaptation of the original material. Honestly I can’t judge this myself, having never read the Killing Joke. In my younger years, I was always a Marvel fan, and I pretty much still am. Lately though I am getting more appreciative of DC comics, and am catching up with some of their more important comic books. So I am sure I will get around to this comic one day. As for this film, I thought it was pretty good actually. It is certainly one of the more darker animated movies of Batman, and as such is definitely not one to watch with your children. Some of the material is pretty gruesome indeed, and certainly a few scenes were hard to watch. Mark Hamill returns to give a voice to The Joker, and I think it is safe to say that he just simply is the best Joker ever. His chilling and maniacal voice is absolutely amazing. The animation was pretty much in line with the Batman animated series, and as I liked that style in the first place, I thought it looked very decent. Overall I have to say that I enjoyed this very dark chapter of the Batman story, and would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in the Caped Crusader.

I give Batman: the Killing Joke a 8 out of 10 score.

Eden of the East, Anime tv series (2009)

If you look at the world we live in today, there are definitely some things I would like to change. Don’t worry, I am not going to change this blog into some kind of political statement. But let’s be honest, the world we live in today has it’s good things, but also things that should absolutely be different. What if you somehow had the power to change things? What would you change, and if you changed things, would it really be better? Intriguing question are they not? The Anime series Eden of the East, takes this interesting premise for a spin, and it has resulted into one of the most unique Animeseries I have seen to date.

Saki Morimi, a young Japanese woman, has travelled to the United States for her graduation trip. When she is standing in front of the White House, the place she thinks of as the centre of the world’s power, she is about to get into some serious trouble. When she is trying to throw an object into the fountain in front of the White House, she catches the attention of the police. Just as she is about to get arrested, a young man intervenes. But this is no ordinary man. For one thing he is completely naked, except for holding a gun and a mobile phone in his hand. The man introduces himself as Akira Takizawa and claims he has lost all of his memories. Meanwhile, back in Japan, 11 missiles strike the country. Was this a terrorist act? And more importantly, how does this event connect to Takizawa? Young Saki will soon find her world turned completely upside down, as she is trust in the middle of a conspiracy that will have dire consequences for the future…

I don’t think there is another Animeseries out there, that I can compare with this one. At least not one that I have currently seen. The storyline of this series is highly unusual, combining action, suspense, mystery, conspiracy and humor into a refreshing cocktail. Right from the start I was sucked into this show, and I really had no clue as to where this series was heading. By the end of the 11th episode, a lot of questions were answered, but a lot of them remained as well. Luckily this series was followed by two movies, in which I hope the rest of the answers can be found. The music of the show was provided by the master Kenji Kawai, and he always manages to elevate a show to higher standards by his music alone. Not that this series needed it. Special mention must be made of the opening tune done by Oasis. I absolutely loved this song, and I have included it down below for your viewing (and especially listening) pleasure:

This Anime series is without a doubt the most original series I have seen so far. I highly recommend it, especially if you like Animeseries that are different from the usual ones.

I give Eden of the East a 9 out of 10 score.

Special Features Presents:Solo Boardgaming

For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, something must be pretty clear by now: I have way too many hobbies. As such I always have too little time on my hands, but I am also never having the problem of being bored. I used to be a very fanatic online gamer, but those days are pretty much behind me now. These days I am back into one of my older hobbies: playing solo boardgames. When I tell people that I play boardgames by myself, I usually get asked the questions: How does that work, and is that any fun? Let me start by answering the last question first. Yes it can be a lot of fun. It really isn’t all that different from playing a computergame on your own. These days, a lot more fantasy and scifi boardgames are coming out, that have solorules included. There are even games being released that have been designed for only a single player.

As for the first question, how does it work? Well, there really is not an easy answer to that question. With so many games on the market these days, every game works differently, though some have overlapping features. Starting below, I have made a personal top five (okay, six) of Boardgames that I really enjoy playing by myself. This list is by no means complete, and it just contains some of my favorite games, but there are a lot more games out there that I enjoy playing solo as well.

1. Legendary Encounters

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There are currently three Legendary Encounters sets out, Aliens, Predator and Firefly. Being based on a few of my favorite franchises definitely is a plus for me. Basically what you do in these games is play through a movie (or in the case of Firefly an episode), where you try and complete a number of objectives. You start with a deck of weak cards, and as the game progresses you acquire more powerful ones. Hence the name deckbuilding game. With these cards you try to beat the enemies the game throws at you, as well as complete the missions. Being an enormous Predator and Alien fan, I absolutely love these games.

2. Fighting Fantasy gamebooks

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Though technically I guess you could say it is not a boardgame, it is a game that uses dice. The best way to describe these books, is a novel in which you are the hero. Every gamebook contains a story that presents you with a choice you have to make at certain points. For example, will you head off in the dark tunnel to the right, or take a safer path through the forest? These books are a lot of fun, and if you love reading this is definitely something you might want to check out.

3. Xenoshyft

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Xenoshyft is another deckbuilding game, but a really tough one. You take command of a group of heavily armed soldiers that are trying to protect a mining corporation from bloodthirsty aliens. The artwork in this game is absolutely spectacular, and it also presents a really tough challenge. You have to plan very carefully and protect your base at all cost. If you lose your base, you lose the game. With the aliens growing in power every round, the game also get’s more difficult by the minute. Even though I have lost a fair amount of games with this one, I still love playing it.

4. Star Trek Expeditions

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One of my favorite franchises combined with a boardgame, nothing get’s better than that. In Star Trek Expeditions you take on the roles of Captain Kirk and his crew, as they try and overcome challenges on a planet that is considering to join the Federation. This game has all the things you expect to find in a Star Trek television episode: starship combat, political intrique, espionage and some very interesting missions. The only downside of this game is the lack of expansions, something that this game would definitely benefit from. Still, it is a lot of fun to play, and with some very cool miniatures included, this game looks the part as well.

5. Fortune and Glory

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Having recently done a review on this game (you can find it here ), this game has turned into one of my alltime favorites. It comes as close to starring in your own Indiana Jones movie as you can get. You are an adventurer racing around the world to recover ancient artifacts. In your journey you will encounter a lot of things, from ancient temple traps, to vile people who are trying to stop at nothing to prevent you from reaching your goals. This game oozes atmosphere, and is a blast to play.

6. Elder Sign

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The last game on my list, Elder Sign is a dice/cardgame based on the Ctulhu mythos. You take on the role of an explorer who has to prevent an ancient evil being from rising up, and plunging the world into darkness. Searching in a dusty and ancient museum, you try to find and locate Elder Signs, that will stop the Ancient One from rising. Along the way, evil creatures, traps and other horrors will try to prevent you from reaching your objective. And….you may not be able to hold on to your sanity, as the increasing horrors you witness, might take their toll on your mind. Great stuff, and another one of my alltime favorite games.

Final thoughts

A boardgame will always be the most fun with more players. I definitely won’t deny that fact, as the fun of interacting with each other, can never be matched by a solo game. Having said that, I do think that solo boardgames have improved over the years. As such they are still a lot of fun to play, even if you are on your own, and especially with games driven by some kind of storyline, you feel a sense of satisfaction when you manage to beat the game. Luckily there are more games arriving every month (not that I did not have enough games yet already lol), but this does keep things interesting. If you have never played a sologame before, a few of the games in my list, might be worth checking out. Thank you for reading, and see you on the next post.

The Siege of Jadotville, Irish/South African movie (2016)

What sometimes amazes me about movies, is that they at times tell us true life stories, that you have never heard about before. Little bits of forgotten history that mark very important events, but somehow never made the news. This could happen for very different reasons, for instance the event occurred in a place that was not deemed important to the rest of the world. Or, it was covered up by government sources for political reasons. It is sad that things such as the latter happen, but occasionally the record is set straight through the power of a movie. Especially if that movie is executed in the right way. The Siege of Jadotville is such a movie, and it tells the tale of a part of history that I myself have never heard of before.

It is the early 1960s when Irish commander Pat Quinlan is sent to the Kongo by order of the United Nations. At the time a conflict was going on in the country that endangered both American and Russian mining interests. Unfortunately the U.N was definitely not welcome there, and when a tragic incident cost the lives of innocent civilians, an attack is ordered on the Irish troops. The attack is carried out by French and Belgian mercenaries, in support of the illegitimate prime minister Moise Tshombe. Commander Quinlan soon finds himself under siege by overwhelming odds, and he has to hold out with a bunch of completely untrained soldiers. However, the mercenaries will soon find out what the expression “we will not go down without a fight” truly means…..

This Netflix original movie, is a very solid warmovie with some very decent performances. Quinlan is played by up and coming star Jamie Dornan (who most people will know from the British tv series The Fall). He delivers a cool and outstanding role as the desperate commander who has to face down an enormous army. The cinematography for this movie is outstanding, and the siege really feels like a siege. I don’t really know what the budget for this movie was, but it looks almost like a Hollywood blockbuster. The most amazing thing about this movie is the end. It will leave you speechless as to how all of this was not widely known to the general public. This movie does a great job at setting the record straight, and is a tribute to the men who played such an important part in it, all those years ago. No matter how many times mankind says: “This can and must never be allowed to happen again”, history unfortunately tells us differently. That is a sad, but honest truth. If you like warmovies, this is definitely one you want to check out.

I give the Siege of Jadotville a 9 out of 10 score.

Michels Book/Boardgame/Movie review Blog

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