I Heart Taika Waititi

I’ve been trying to put into words the wonderfully ethereal sense of happiness that consumes me whenever I think about Taika Waititi.  It started with watching What We Do in the Shadows and has continued through Boy and Hunt for the Wilderpeople (more on that HERE).  It will hopefully continue with Thor: Ragnarok.

But I still need the words.  Thankfully some of those blurb reviewers did it for me…

“Totally fresh…heartwarming…hilarious…zany…sentimental…remarkably insightful…”

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What I’m Watching – Stranger Things

My husband and I started watching Stranger Things this week.  I was initially skeptical that the show would be able to live up to the hype.  I’m not as attracted to the 80’s nostalgia thing as some.  Happily, I can report we’re completely sucked in to the show.

For me, the appeal is all about the casting and characters.

First…those kids.  Just amazing.  I hate lumping them all together in some anonymous blob of acting talent.  They deserve to be called out for their individual prowesses:

  • Finn Wolfhard as “Mike Wheeler”
  • Gaten Matarazzo as “Dustin Henderson”
  • Caleb McLaughlin as “Lucas Sinclair”
  • Noah Schnapp as “Will Byers”
  • Milly Bobby Brown as “Eleven”

And David Harbour.  A lot has been said about Wynona Ryder, and I agree with all the rave reviews.  But I’m more interested in the riveting performance by Mr. Harbour as Chief Jim Hopper, which I hope results in the kind of career rocketing boost he so richly deserves.  Let’s give this guy some headlining roles!

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And NetFlix just keeps hitting them out of the park.

What I’m Playing – LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens

I’m not sure what my exact percentage is, but as of today, I’m about three quarters of the way through the LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game.  Frequent readers here or listeners to the Fanbase Weekly podcast will know that the LEGO series of games are a constant staple in our household.

Here are some of the highlights of playing Force Awakens:

  • Arena Air Battles and Dogfights – There is a significant increase in the number of aerial battles in Force Awakens compared to other LEGO games, and the overall length and quality of the battles are hands down the best I’ve experienced in this franchise so far.
  • Cover Shooting  – A newer feature in the LEGO series of games, there is a section of covered shooting in nearly every level of Force Awakens.  I was sceptical at first, mostly because these felt like they were going to be somewhat difficult sections, but quickly warmed up to them.  The designers offered interesting variances in several of the levels (anti-gravity cut scenes, getting to shoot down Tie Fighters with surface-to-air heavy artillery, etc.) that kept things interesting in a sequence that could have otherwise ended up feeling restricting and repetitive.
  • Maz Kanata and Captain Phasma – I usually end up gravitating towards one or two of the quirkier side characters who I end up playing over and over.  In Force Awakens, these were Maz and Phasma.  Maz is…well, Maz.  Cute and sassy.  Like playing as Yoda, but with spunkier dialogue.  And Phasma carries a huge-ass gun.
  • Rey – As she should be, Rey is definitely featured as a primary character in the game play, and SHE IS AWESOME.  Light saber, gun shooting, acrobatic skills…she’s got it all.
  • Extra-Play Universe Locations – This regular feature of all LEGO games is one of the key factors in my enjoyment or lack of enjoyment of a particular title.  It’s the reason Marvel Superheroes is my favorite title (massive environment complexity that eclipses all other titles); it’s one of the primary reasons the Harry Potter series suffers a bit in my ratings (the extra play is restricted to the Hogwarts castle and it’s fairly difficult to navigate around, even with the assistance of maps).

Overall LEGO game rankings.  Unofficial and very personal.  I reserve the right to change my mind frequently.  The takeaway here should be that they’re all awesome:

  • Marvel Super Heroes
  • Lord of the Rings
  • Batman 3: Beyond Gotham
  • Harry Potter: Years 1-4
  • The Lego Movie
  • Marvel’s Avengers
  • The Hobbit
  • Star Wars: The Complete Saga
  • Batman 2: DC Super Heroes
  • Jurassic World
  • Indiana Jones
  • Pirates of the Caribbean

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Star Wars Everywhere

I’ve been immersed in Star Wars in recent days.  From excitement over the latest Rogue One trailer to early casting news about the Han Solo movie to hours of LEGO Star Wars: The Force Awakens video game play, there’s been a lot of Wookie roars and droid beeps in our house.  As there should be.

This may all result in a new cross-stitch pattern soon.  Maybe with a little BB8 action? 🤓
Digital pattern and Kits available in the Unexpected Hobby Etsy store.