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Funkhouser

KSR’s take on recent non sports related happenings

The Funkhouser Situation E39: Duets

Is there a better place to get all of your pop culture news and commentary than The Funkhouser Situation?  I think not.  Lee Cruse and Chris Tomlin provide a surprising reaction to Venom, break down the Captain Marvel trailer and…

— Michelle Williams, is she famous?

— Don’t go see a horror movie with Lee.

—  There’s a live action Aladdin, would they have cast Will Smith as Genie?

— Kenan Thompson’s take on Kanye West’s SNL appearance.

—  Married at First Sight is a real television show. Wow.

— What about all of the Pulp Fiction knockoffs?

—  Is there a Saved by the Bell revival in the works?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by Jake’s Cigar Bar. 


Image via Sony Pictures

Venom Movie Review: A Surprisingly Fun Ride.

Image via Sony Pictures

Venom has been a bit of a puzzle since it’s announcement almost two years ago and it’s place and audience in a already huge superhero dominated landscape has never been clear. Who is this for? Is it a part of the ever popular Marvel Cinematic Universe? Does Sony have any idea what they’re doing here? After two misleading trailers that didn’t get a lot of positive buzz, it seemed like the start of Sony’s own superhero universe was going to be a….turd in the wind. While it’s far from perfect, I had a lot fun with Venom and it leaves the door open for some exciting possibilities for future films.

The film follows Eddie Brock, an edgy journalist (think Vice News but with 100% more scruffy Tom Hardyness), whose antics have run him out of New York City and into San Francisco where he lives with his fiancé Anne (Michelle Williams). When he’s sent on an assignment to cover the Life Foundation, headed by the villainous Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), he upsets all the wrong people, asking questions about unethical tests the foundation conducts on people. After losing his career and through a series of twists and turns Brock learns more of the foundations experiments and gets infected with the iconic symbiote and chaos ensues.

So what works? First and foremost Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock, a character I’m not sure anyone else could play as well. Many fans, myself included, still have terrible memories of Topher Grace’s campy take on the character almost 10 years ago in Spider-Man 3 that ruined the villain’s movie aspirations for more than a decade. Hardy is not only playing a likable jerk whose selfishness leads to his professional downfall, but also the insane and funny alter ego Venom. It’s a very weird line that he toes very well and I’m positive the film would crash and burn without him.

 

Image via Sony Pictures

 

Going off Hardy’s performance, the single most important aspect of the film that really makes it work for me is the dynamic between Eddie and Venom and in many ways the movie gets exponentially better when Venom finally shows up and takes over. You get your stereotypical “discovering your powers” scene and it’s a lot of fun and a bit of a twist on the superhero trope and you get some genuinely funny results through the entire experience. In fact, the most surprising part of Venom is just how consistently funny it is once Eddie and Venom become one. Not just their kick-ass action scenes together, but there are some really stand-out scenes including one involving Eddie’s friend, Dr. Dan(An all around great guy and someone I would want to grab a beer with), and a lobster tank that left the whole theater laughing hysterically. In many ways the dynamic between the two has a real buddy-cop feel to it that adds to the story.

The core actors involved are doing their best to make the film work and and the entire cast works well together. The talent here is really impressive. Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, and Riz Ahmed alone could make any movie great and I think they really committed to their respective parts. The inclusion of Jenny Slate as Dr. Dora Skirth and Reid Scott as Dr Dan were also welcome additions and added depth to the narrative.

The action throughout, particularly the impressive chase sequence seen throughout the trailer was a lot of fun and entertaining, using Venom’s powers in fun and unique ways that could have just been another bland car chase seen in almost every action movie. Once again, I was pleasantly surprised with how much fun these big action set pieces were.

Now as I said at the beginning, this movie is far from perfect and there are a couple of aspects that don’t work particularly well and some of them are seriously cringey. There are some obvious script problems riddled throughout the movie that lead to a lot of questionable lines as well as some weak motivations and plot holes. Riz Ahmed’s Carlton Drake in particular really feels like a villain that’s evil for the sake of being evil and even when Riot, the other version of Venom takes him over, he’s just a stronger,  evil version of Venom.

Speaking of plot holes, there’s one scene involving Michelle Williams where I could hear the internet blow out a collective sigh in frustration. Throughout the entire film they’ve set up the rules for the symbiote and then they kind of just throw those rules out the window for the sake of convenience and to rush the story to the end. I understand you have to move the story forward but it just seemed a little forced as well as overtly sexualized.

I’d briefly like to mention the horrible press that the movie has been getting over the past couple of weeks and in particular it’s current rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As of this moment it sits at 28%, an absolutely terrible score and one that I think is unwarranted. So many critics had clearly made up their minds about this movie before it came out and didn’t give it a chance. I’m confident in saying that Venom is on par or better than most Phase 1 MCU films including The Incredible Hulk and Thor. If you give this movie a chance, like I did, I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Don’t forget to stay after the credits to see a small tease for what could be coming next, you won’t be disappointed.

Rating. 7/10

Follow me on Twitter @StarWarsBill


The Funkhouser Situation E38: Hot, Locked and Ready to Cock

Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse are back for another exciting edition of The Funkhouser Situation. Before the terrific tandem dives into the world of pop culture, they talk about the highs and lows from and exciting sports weekend.  Highlights:

— Does Lee play golf by the rules?

— If The Good Place overhyped?

— The greatest Robert Zemeckis films.

—  There’s a new Halloween movie with Jamie Lee Curtis.

—  Secret celebrity marriages in the news.

— A celebration of The Simpsons on the anniversary of its inception.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.

Today’s episode is brought to you by Jake’s Cigar Bar. 


The Funkhouser Situation E37: Hot Cheeto Problems

After an extended hiatus, Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse are back for another exciting episode of The Funkhouser Situation.  They talk about a few fantastic new Netflix shows, Maniac and Norm, what they’ve been doing since their last discussion and…

— The world is burning and Lee’s show is a casualty.

— Tiffany Haddish’s authenticity.

— The anger Lee experiences when he “A Star is Born” crosses his path.

— Does size matter?

— What is wrong with Chevy Chase?

— Why Katy Perry is a hot mess.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


©CBS Broadcasting

The New Survivor Features One of Eastern Kentucky’s Finest

©CBS Broadcasting

It’s probably been a while since you tuned into Survivor.  Nick Wilson will give you a reason to watch the 37th season of the CBS reality show.

The UK graduate is a cast member on the show tabbed as “Davids vs. Goliaths” that will premiere tonight at 8:00 on CBS.  Nobody fits the “David” archetype better than Wilson.

Nick and his five brothers and sisters grew up in Williamsburg, Kentucky.  They lived off food stamps and shuffled between a trailer and government housing.  “I definitely grew up poor,” he joked.  “I guess maybe I didn’t realize how I was living until I went other places.”

After graduating from Whitley County High School in 2009, he took his talents to the University of Kentucky, just in time to see John Wall at Big Blue Madness.  Once his undergraduate career ended at UK, Wilson went to law school at the University of Alabama,  Upon graduation, he returned home to work for the public defender’s office in McCreary County.  His latest adventure took him to Fiji. He spoke about the Survivor experience with KSR.

Team David via ©CBS Broadcasting

KSR: When I think of Fiji, the first thing that comes to mind is Appalachia.  How much did growing up in the mountains prepare you to survive for 40 days in Fiji?

Nick: I think growing up in the country and doing country things is an advantage.  Someone like me has an advantage over someone who’s a Wall Street or L.A. executive or something, because we go camping for fun.  We go fishing for fun growing up.  I had no problems with fires.  I just instinctively know how to keep and maintain a fire.  I like sleeping outside.

I think it was an advantage. I was never really freaked out about the survival aspect of it.  I wasn’t intimidated or worried about bugs, getting cold or sleeping outside.  We’ve been there and done that.  I’ve been camping my whole life.  It was fun for me to be camping all the time and sleeping outside.  There’s nothing like sleeping under the stars.  The stars out here in the mountains, the stars in Fiji, it’s beautiful.

KSR: After earning your JD, instead of venturing to private practices in urban areas, you decided to return home to help the people of Eastern Kentucky. Why?

One thing that made me want to be a lawyer was the prospect of going somewhere, making a lot of money and maybe moving to Cincinnati or Lexington or Louisville.  But I went to Tuscaloosa for law school and the longer I was away from Eastern Kentucky, the more I realized that this is my home.  To go away to law school for three years, that was one thing.  It was awesome and I’m glad I did it, but the longer I was away I think the more I felt a sense of community and a duty to the area I’m from.

I’m a person in a unique position where I grew up with these people.  I grew up the way they grew up.  I live the way they live.  Now I have the education and the opportunity to be in a position of power.  I could be a judge or in government somehow.  I didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth.  I know what people go through and I know how times can be tough for people sometimes.  I just felt like I could use my opportunity in life to help more people than just myself getting rich.

Also, I had some personal struggles with my family.  When my mother passed away (suddenly in second year of law school), my family was going through struggles that a lot of people go through in Eastern Kentucky.  I think it really opened my eyes up to the drug epidemic that’s going on here, the addiction problem a lot of the community in Eastern Kentucky has and for me to go through that and see how much pain it is, that’s what people are going through everyday here.  If I can help somebody, even if I just help a few people along the way, I think it will be worth in a change of career for me to try to do that.”

KSR: Now that you’ve spent time playing Survivor on a deserted island, which former Kentucky basketball (or football) player would you like to have with you on your side?

Nick: Right now I gotta say Benny Snell because he’s a beast.  He’s talking trash, he’s getting trash talked to him and he’s just taking it and showing people up.  He’s backing up what he’s saying.  As a competitor, even if he was my opponent, I would respect that so much and just want him out there.  I want to see somebody like that play Survivor.

Who I would want to be with is Big Cuz (DeMarcus Cousins).  I would want him to be my No. 1 man.  He’s got an attitude.  He’s a big, strong guy and he’s a beast.  If he was my No. 1 ally — in Survivor you call it a meat-shield — he would be the guy if anybody ever wanted to vote us out, me or Big Cuz, they’re going to take out Big Cuz.  You’ve got to get him out of there when you have a chance.

He would be my perfect sidekick to talk trash.  Remember call me against Mississippi State?  He’s the guy who’s saying call-me when we’re winning immunities.  Whenever everybody else is mad at us, they’re going to take it out on him.

(more…)


The Funkhouser Situation E36: Raw and Delirious

Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse are back for another exciting episode of The Funkhouser Situation.  The two reminisce on an exciting weekend, serenade the listeners with their beautiful voices, and…

—  Why there is a mob of angry people after Lee.

—  Will the Roseanne spinoff work?

—  John Goodman opens up.

—  Louis C.K. is already attempting a comeback. Is it too soon?

—  Website readers rank their 20 favorite artists from the 80s.

—  Everyone’s favorite new segment, Hot Goss.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


The Funkhouser Situation E35: JLo, Movie Presidents, Jack Reacher

After Chris Tomlin’s thrilling trip to the Ohio Valley Emmy Awards, he is back in action with Lee Cruse on The Funkhouser Situation.  Tomlin shares stories from his adventure that included an exciting magic show and a spectacular appearance by Lee.  Other highlights:

— Is there a better comedy duo than Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn?

— JLo won a VMA Vanguard award, but does she even have a real hit?

— Who are the Best Actors to play the President of the United States?

—  Questions from listeners are answered.

—  A new Tom Cruise game is debuted: “Is Jack Reacher better than (fill in the blank)?”

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


The Funkhouser Situation E34: RIP Mrs. Garrett

Surprised to see Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse? The Funkhouser Situation is on your podcast feed a day earlier than normal to provide takes on the latest in the world of pop culture.  The guys are back with another edition of Hot Goss, they try to figure out Omarosa, and…

— The podcast got a significant TV plug.

— Lee Cruse has a lot in common with Freddie Mercury.

— Will Jack Ryan be a hit for Amazon?

— Was the Ross and Rachel storyline overplayed on Friends?

—  The Academy Awards has a new category: Best Popular Movie

— Lee and Chris share their love for the 80s television series Moonlighting.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


The Funkhouser Situation E33: Hot Goss

Chris Tomlin and Lee Cruse did not break their promise.  After a six-day break, The Funkhouser Situation is back for another exciting episode.  Today they introduce a new segment titled, “Hot Gossip.”  Other highlights:

— Han Solo vs. Harrison Ford

— How bout that Aquaman trailer?

— Are Musicals turned into Films Good?

— Is Lee related to Tom Cruise?

— Johnny Depp is out of control.

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


The Funkhouser Situation E32: The Honorable Sir Murda Beatz

After a brief hiatus, The Funkhouser Situation is back for another exciting episode.  The podcast fills you in on everything you’ve missed this summer in the world of pop culture, like…

— Reaction to the latest Mission Impossible movie.

— Lee Cruse loves Tom Cruise; Chris Tomlin, not so much.

— Who is lucky enough to enter Lee’s summer hot rotation?

—  Great Podcasting: someone eats their lunch while talking on the microphone.

—  The Funkhouser Situation’s Night Out

— Does Lee know any of the songs on Billboard’s Rap Charts?

You can easily listen on the KSR App, available on iTunes and Google Play. Streaming online is simple through Pod Paradise. You can also get it directly to your phone by subscribing to The Funkhouser Situation podcast feed on iTunes or via Android’s Podcast Addict app.


Ask a PGA Caddie: FAQ from the Barbasol Championship

Ask a PGA Caddie: FAQ from the Barbasol Championship

Hello, friends. Long time no speak. As you know, Lexington is currently playing host to the prestigious Barbasol Championship, which has brought top-tier golfers from all over the country to vie for, I don’t know, some money, or a trophy, or maybe some sort of “extra points” toward something. I don’t know.

As you may also know, my friend Aaron Flener, who is himself a former poster to this very site and longtime pal of KSR, is a professional caddie for the Professional Golfing Association and is at this very tournament. So this week we touched base for a few questions that I hope will shed light on this event and give us an insiders’ glimpse into the proceedings. Please enjoy.


CM Tomlin: Hi Aaron, it’s nice to talk to you again. I understand there is a big shaving exhibition in Lexington this weekend. Can you tell me a little about that?

Aaron Flener: I’m unaware of any shaving exhibition. I’m not saying there isn’t one because maybe there is, but I am here for the Barbasol Championship. It’s a golf tournament on the PGA Tour.

TOMLIN: Ah. Okay. I see. And you are working with this golfing party in what capacity?

FLENER: I am a caddie for [professional golf provider] J.T. Poston. Do you know what a caddie is?

TOMLIN: Nice try. Of course I do. I have two of them in my home. One holds my remote controls and the other holds my expensive regimen of luxurious shampoos and conditioners. I can presume that you carry this JT Poston’s remote controls and shampoos? Those don’t have anything to do with golf at all, Aaron.

FLENER Well Christopher Man, (I assume that’s what CM stands for) I guess in some stretch of the imagination I carry his remote controls. His golf clubs are what he uses to control his golf ball and I carry those in a contraption called a golf bag. Are you familiar at all with bags? If so, a golf bag is a bag that holds golf clubs.

TOMLIN: I’m not an idiot. I am familiar with the concept of a “bag” on both a fundamental level and as it pertains to golf and golfing clubs. So in your role as caddie, are you expected to impart information which could help Mr. Poston gain an advantage or “upper hand” in any situations? I would assume that as you are a professional caddie, your knowledge of the game is sound.

FLENER: I am expected to impart information which could give him the hand that is higher than the other hand. Thank you for asking. I try to say very helpful things like “whatever you do, don’t hit it in that water right there” and I’ll point at it and make him look just to make sure he’s thinking about it during his shot. They find that VERY helpful.

TOMLIN: What if he pulls you aside, say, on the tenth hole and tells you that he’s considering quitting his job and opening a very high-end artisan pet toys boutique? What kind of advice would you provide him for that?

FLENER: First I would tell him I didn’t know what the word artisan meant. Then I would tell him that while chicks dig pets and their toys, they dig the long ball even more. That would probably keep him playing golf and keep me employed. Employment is important to me.

TOMLIN: If I come down to the golf tournament, can you introduce my to my favorite golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez?

FLENER: Despite almost every former champion on the PGA Tour getting into the field this week (including something called a Jay Don Blake), I regret to inform you that Chi Chi is not playing in the golf tournament. However, if you come to the tournament maybe we can go to a Chi Chi’s Mexican restaurant afterwards. Would that make you happy?

TOMLIN: It would. Didn’t Chi Chi Rodriguez give a bunch of people Hepatitis A in 2003? That’s why we don’t see him much anymore, right?

FLENER: Yeah, he can’t be in places where people know he’ll be. Much like people with gambling debts or unpaid child support he doesn’t want to be found.

TOMLIN: Aaron, you famously have a beard. Have you considered shaving it off and surprising everyone at the Barbasol Championship, and every time someone asks about it you can tell them about Barbasol’s quality line of products? Follow-up question: do you know someone in marketing at the Barbasol Championship who I can bounce this off so you don’t get all the credit when this idea is a massive success?

FLENER: Chris, I’ve only been clean shaven a single time in the last 5 years because I lost a bet. However, if Barbasol would like to pay me I’d surely consider clean shaving my face daily with their high quality razor and shaving cream products. As they say, “you haven’t solved your facial hair problems until you’ve barbasolved them.”

TOMLIN: Let’s say there’s a guy on my street who’s car alarm keeps going off in the middle of the night. As a caddie, what club would you recommend I use to smash his windshield?

FLENER: Definitely the sand wedge. The club head is heavy and has sharp edges. You’ll be able to do the most damage possible with this club. I recommend stretching before you do it, wouldn’t want you to pull a muscle while committing your crime.

TOMLIN: Good to know. Jim Thiernan’s 2005 Subaru Impreza is totes going down. Thanks for chat, old friend. I hope you have fun and do a good job at the golf party and that Mr. JT Poston does well this weekend. Tell him that all of KSR is counting on him. I’ll hook up with you at Chi Chi’s later tonight for some margaritas and Hep A.

FLENER: Lovely speaking with you Christopher Man. I’ll see you at Mr. Rodríguez’s place this evening. I might be late because that’s who I am as a person but you guys be sure and save some Hep A for me!

The Barbasol Championship is being held July 19-22 at the Keene Trace Golf Club in Lexington.


A Hands-on Preview of "Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr"

A Hands-on Preview of "Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr"

It’s already been a long night for you and the rest of the Palliative Care Team. The sun is rising when the Head Nurse calls you into a side ward. ‘This one’s tough,’ she says as you enter. ‘Here,’ – she hands you a chart. Patient’s name, Billy Kerr; age, 60; taken off a flight from Sydney to London following a massive heart attack. ‘A weaker man would be dead already. I think we have to be prepared for the worst. I want you and your team to make sure his remaining days are as comfortable as they can be.’

-Opening lines of the “Holding On:
The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr” rulebook


Very few times have I attended a gaming convention and felt the need to actually reserve a spot to demo a game. However, when I heard about the unique game “Holding On – The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr” coming from HUB Games, I knew I needed to give this a shot. The game looked to me as part “story discovery” and part “hospital simulation”. I was able to get a chance to sit down in a playable demo on Friday morning of the Origins Gaming Convention this past June. Michael, who demoed the game for us, stated that there are 10 parts of the story to play through, all being fully replayable. In a world where legacy games exist, with tearing up of pieces, as well as secrets/spoilable information, having a game with story that you can play with different people at different times is a great feature to have.

After getting a full play through of the first scenario, I thought I would share a little about how the game works, along with some of the features I thought really shined in the demo.


The Hospital Simulation

via Boardgamegeek.com

Where this game initially clicked with me was in the rules regarding managing and staffing the hospital. I think this is one of the few medical “sims” that actually gets managing your shifts at the hospital correct. My wife is a doctor and medical resident, so I hear often about changing over on shifts, as well as the stress involved in the long days when you’re needed for more than you’re scheduled for.

In any given round/day (at least in the first scenario) of Holding On, one player takes the role of the shift manager. Each “day” consists of a morning, afternoon, and night shift. The shift manager will flip over the first card for the morning shift, and will have to assign 1-3 players to the shift, based on the severity of Billy’s needs. The players assigned to that shift are the only ones who can make the decision on how to treat Billy that turn, whether with medical or palliative care. Once per day, you must perform medical care on Billy, otherwise the hospital gives you a warning (two warnings and Billy gets transferred to another ward and you lose). Then, you do the same for the day and night shifts, assigning staff and performing medical or palliative care.

You care for Billy with Care Tokens. When performing medical care, you cover the necessary spaces with care tokens to prevent his health from getting worse. Sometimes Billy will be stable, and if you cover the stable markers with care tokens, his health gets better. You can acquire more care tokens during palliative care, being on night shift, or any for unassigned staff in the break room at the end of the day. When performing medical care, you need to be able to cover each red deterioration slot with a care token. For each one that you can’t cover, Billy goes down in health. If his health ever reaches zero, he dies and you lose the scenario.

Earlier I mentioned stress, which is a big feature in this game. If you are ever required to cover more than one shift in a day, you gain stress. Sometimes Billy has medical emergencies that need multiple nurses to even perform medical care… and you have to answer the call. When a nurse gains stress, a red ring is placed over the pawn, which physically symbolizes bearing the load of the stress on your shoulders. Such a small touch, but a wonderful visual representation. When you gain stress, you must get rid of care tokens, partial, or clear memories, setting you back in the game. If you ever become “overstressed”, at the end of that work day, you are sent home and are unavailable for the next day. If the person to be shift manager next round is sent home, you get a warning from the hospital.


Discovering Billy Kerr’s Story

via Boardgamegeek.com – m1ke_best

If the hospital management portion wasn’t already exciting enough, we do all of this work so that we can find out more information about the life of our patient, Billy Kerr. In fact the very first scenario objective is “Unearth some basic information about your new patient.” The goal of the objective is that we must find at least 1 CLEAR memory in each timeline (1-5) of Billy’s Collected Memories.

When performing palliative care (as opposed to medical), you are usually presented the option of either taking a care token, or talking to Billy. If you take the opportunity to talk to Billy, a different player other than yourself will take the deck of partial memories, which represent Billy reluctantly telling you about himself, with the cards bearing pictures that are hazy apart from the actual image of Billy. The player with the partial memory deck will shuffle the cards, draw the card from the bottom of the deck and keep it face down, but will read Billy’s quote of his recollection. These will be revealed at the end of the round, unless you have to give it back due to taking on stress.

At the end of the round, you will flip over any revealed partial memories, and place them in their designated timelines under the board in a 5×6 grid.  Each timeline represents a particular moment in Billy’s life. Throughout the game, you try and flesh out this grid with partial memories, until you feel comfortable enough to try for a Clear memory. Some shifts allow you to inquire about Billy’s partial memories to uncover the clear memory. If you do so, another player will take the clear memory deck, and after you you say which timeline you are trying to inquire about, they will take cards one by one until they find one from the chosen timeline. You keep that face down to the end of the round, at which point, you will secretly look at the clear memory, and if it matches with a partial memory you have already uncovered, you place it on top of that partial memory in the timeline. If it doesn’t match, you show it to no one and put it back in the deck.  There are other rules about continuing to inquire, or inquiring about other timelines.

Sometimes when uncovering Billy’s memories, an event will pop up. You must take the event immediately and based on Billy’s condition, it will tell you what to do next. Sometimes it allows you to draw another memory card, but sometimes Billy will have a quiet moment of contemplation, where it counts as a card drawn -OR- Billy refuses to talk, which stops your conversation or inquiry dead in its tracks. It was at this point Michael, who was demoing the game for us said “you really haven’t played a full game until you’ve either cried or you’ve sworn at Billy at least once. Like ‘damn it Billy, just keep talking.'”

In a game of Holding On, you’ll never fully see an entire timeline of Billy’s memories, and all scenarios are fully replayable, as you’ll probably see different memories each time you play.


via Boardgamegeek.com – m1ke_best

After demoing the first scenario, I walked away from the table very interested in playing this through the entire 10 scenario campaign. Part of it had to do with how pleased I was with just the day to day shift management of the nursing staff. With the options that appear throughout the shift, each day always looked different, and was a unique challenge in staffing your nurses. On the other side, the puzzle of trying to figure out what was going on in Billy’s life was intriguing enough to want me to learn more. You really don’t learn TOO much about Billy in the first scenario, but you see little threads of what you might find out in the future. I’ve certainly bought in to the story enough at this point to see it through to its conclusion. While I did swear at Billy a few times in the first scenario, I’ll be interested to see what will make me cry later on in the campaign.

Holding On: The Troubled Life of Billy Kerr will be releasing in October at Essen, I believe, but should also be available worldwide at that time. If this has interested you at all, check out HUB Games at their Website or on Twitter.


Movie Review Friday: Uncle Drew

Movie Review Friday: Uncle Drew

Here in the heat of summer, breaking news in the world of sports slows down in a major way. UK basketball, football, and baseball games have come to a close. The only professional sports are MLB and golf, with the World Cup being thrown in there this year (without the United States, nonetheless). We have the NBA Draft, free agency, and the summer league, with BBNBA members sprinkled throughout.

Beyond that, the vast majority of UK-specific news comes from AAU basketball events, football recruiting, and whatever practice updates we get from John Calipari and Mark Stoops.

We always strive to pump out quality content here at KSR, but sometimes we have to put on our creative thinking caps to make that happen around this time of year.

So with that, I bring you my latest and greatest idea… *unnecessary drumroll* Movie Review Friday.

Thanks to the most beautiful invention in the world, Movie Pass, I usually see at least one movie in the theaters per week, sometimes two. When I’m bored, I like to Google “best movies of all time” and go down the list to see what I agree with, and which “masterpieces” actually sucked. (I’m looking at you, Shape of Water)

I’m no self-proclaimed movie connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I dabble in it a good bit for fun. And so I feel less awkward in social settings when hit movies are topics of conversation.

On Thursday night, I went to see the premiere of the Uncle Drew movie, featuring Boston Celtics superstar Kyrie Irving and former NBA legends Shaquille O’Neal, Reggie Miller, and Chris Webber, among others.

Let me preface by saying my expectations going into the film were not high. At all. I’m a diehard Celtics fan and adore Kyrie’s on-court abilities (he kind of freaks me out off the court), so my hand was forced. I’d be a bad fan if I DIDN’T see it on opening night. I knew it was probably going to be a mediocre film, and I was cool with that.

If you don’t know the plot, it’s essentially about a group of old men trying to relive their glory days as streetball legends by winning the Rucker Classic tournament in Harlem, New York. The head coach of Uncle Drew’s team is in need of money and has eyes on the $100,000 prize.

The idea comes from Irving’s “Uncle Drew” character developed back in 2012 when he would disguise himself as an old man and destroy the competition at local street basketball venues.

And after leaving the theater, it’s exactly what I thought it would be.

It’s not a sports classic like Remember The Titans, Rudy, or  The Blind Side. It wasn’t even a light-hearted fan-favorite like Space Jam.

It was, however, an entertaining basketball movie with a “meh” plot, carried by star athletes with (surprisingly) decent acting skills. Irving was polished and stole the show, O’Neal and Webber had several funny moments, Nate Robinson was solid, and Lisa Leslie was an impressive sidekick. Reggie Miller wasn’t good, though. At all.

If you had to guess, you could probably come up with the overarching themes without watching a minute of the movie, and the ending was laughably predictable. But not in a cringey way, if that makes sense. Most of the characters were likable and put on solid performances (more on that later), Aaron Gordon of the Orlando Magic was a solid final level boss like we see in the video games, and the basketball talent was fun. The rims in this film may or may not have been a full foot shorter than regulation size, allowing for guys like O’Neal, Miller, and Webber to still dunk aggressively, but who’s counting.

Kentucky head coach John Calipari also made his major acting debut in the film, a pleasant surprise as a Cats fan. At the end of the movie, Coach Cal approaches Uncle Drew (Irving) and asks him if he has any college eligibility remaining.

“You should have four years (of eligibility) left, right?” he says.

Calipari followed it up with a question about whether or not Uncle Drew would be interested in playing for the Wildcats and what his SAT scores looked like, an obvious jab at the Derrick Rose scandal at Memphis.

Irving responded with an unfortunate hat-tip to the Duke program, saying, “I’m more of a Blue Devil guy, myself.”

Coach Cal even has an IMDB page now for his efforts (and an acting credit on something called N-Secure released back in 2010).

Calipari sent out a few social media posts back in September when he was on the set during filming.

The man himself, Uncle Drew.

A post shared by John Calipari (@ukcoachcalipari) on

Calipari may have a future in this acting thing.

As far as things I didn’t like about the movie (beyond the predictable and cliché writing), Nick Kroll’s villain character easily took the cake. He is meant to be the childhood rival of Uncle Drew’s head coach, a guy who will do whatever it takes to get under his skin and win the tournament. Almost immediately, though, he reeks of arrogance and try-hardness. Very unlikeable character. Very punchable. Very weasely. Easily would be Coach K’s favorite character in the movie.

If you love basketball and have spare time on your hands, go see it. If you have Movie Pass, go see it. If not, it’s probably worth waiting for on DVD/rental/Netflix/cable television.

I was entertained and I had fun. But it didn’t exceed my expectations, nor did they fall short of them.

Overall score: 6/10

That’s all for this edition of Movie Review Friday. If you have any other movies you’d like to see reviewed, let me know in the comment section.


@JustJared

Jon Snow Marries Ygritte, Which Fictional Couples Should Wed?

@JustJared

They found love in a hopeless place cave.  Now Kit Herrington and Rose Leslie are husband and wife.

America’s favorite couple north of The Wall, Jon Snow and Ygritte had quite the fling on season three of Game of Thrones.  Their love produced on off-screen affair that turned into a marriage, and the greatest YouTube mash-up in the history of the show.

Game of Thrones nerds love to see the short-lived on-scren relationship survive, even though it’s probably the least entertaining match in seven seasons of HBO television.  One’s heart is warmed to see Herrington and Leslie make it outside of the show, but there are other pop culture couples that deserve it more.

Zack Morris and Kelly Kapowski

Kelly was the peanut butter to Zack’s jelly.  Even though they had an off-and-on relationship at Bayside High, every person who watched Saved by the Bell knew they were meant to be together forever.  Besides, who else could keep Zack in line?  Nobody, that’s who.

Cory and Topanga

Fred Savage wishes he could land a girl as good as Topanga.

Will Smith and Jackie Ames

The Fresh Prince had quite a few girlfriends.  The playboy was eventually tamed by Lisa, but she can’t hold a tee to Jackie.  Tyra Banks’ character was the first female to play hard to get, and it drove Will absolutely nuts.  No other character on the show could bring the same amount of sass to combat Will’s hysterics.

Uncle Jesse and Aunt Becky

It took 25 more years before John Stamos could finally be tamed.

Marshall and Lilly

The best relationships have a ying to the other’s yang.  This couple from How I Met Your Mother had all of that and more, as well as the best nickname since Bennifer, “Marshmallow and Lilly Pad.”

Jim and Pam

In hindsight, the world has revealed Pam to be a complete fraud, but The Office wouldn’t be the same without the tension between this cute, semi-awkward couple from Scranton, PA.

Kelso and Jackie

Actually, that did happen.