Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 2 "The Lion and the Rose" Review

I stand silent in admiration. After “Blackwater” and “The Rains of Castamere”, no one could seriously doubt the skill of this crew, but they really pulled if off again. The sheer balls it took to fit such a world-shaking event in the second episode of a ten-episode-season alone! And then the neatly construction from start to finish. In several ways, the episode was a mirror to “The Rains of Castamere”, with – for book fans – the terrible mounting of suspense for a climax you know was coming and – for newcomers – a shocking event just at the end of the episode where least you expect it. I don’t know about you, but after Tyrion was seized and the credits were rolling, I didn’t feel like an hour had passed – I was genuinely surprised by the end of the episode, and isn’t that saying something.
Everyone loves a wedding!

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Flight of Links

- 5 most insane lessons to learn from famous movies
- 25 fellonies movie heroes are committing
- Destined for Disappointment, part 2 
- Is Game of Thrones the best TV show ever? I'd say it at least runs close. 
- The Wolf among us episode 3 review. Great stuff, I totally agree.
- Triple-A ain't what it used to be
- Stormsongs reads Arya IX
- And the episode 4.1 of GOT
- The second part of the Jagged Alliance review.
- Game of Thrones as a classic sitcom
- Captain America 2 is a great action movie
- Soviet SciFi
- 12 Monkeys gets a 12 episode series
- 10 things in the Marvel cinematic universe that don't make sense
- Captain America and the Fate of the superhero movie
- There's a BSG movie coming. Seriously? I'm not impressed.
- Cultural Learnings reviews GOT 4.1
- Esquire asks about Jaime Lannister's new character arc.
- LotR family sigils, GOT way. 
- GOT 4.1 review by Mary Sue
- Hilarious GOT 4.1 review
- A very dedicated person made a geolocial history of Westeros. 
- 5 hilariously failed attempts at realism in video games
- 5 weird weather phenomena on alien planets
- Some really minor details about Guardians of the Galaxy
-  It's astonishing what details can enrage some fans
- MovieBob reviews The Raid 2
- Funny review of GOT 4.1
- Stormsongs rereads a Jon chapter
- Wot I think Wolf Among Us 3
-Is Superman Fascist? Including these two rebuttals.
- Why are all House of Cards journalists so bad at journalism?

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Sons of Anarchy Season 3 review - The dumbest thing ever

Spoilers for the first three seasons of Sons of Anarchy coming. 

After the abduction of Jax' son Abel, the club needs to get him back. Unfortunately, it soon turns out that the IRA brought him to Belfast, where the club can't go because of the bail they posted after their attack on Zobel's church back in season 2 - before the trial is over, no one is allowed to leave the state. The trial will in all likelihood lead to a long sentence for the members involved, including Jax, which means no chance at finding Abel. Jax takes desperate measures, striking a deal with Agent Stahl, who's still prosecuting them but would prefer the career-making case of taking on the IRA. Of course, under the rules of the club, working with the police carries a death sentence under all circumstances. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 22

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 22 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Katie, a member of the community.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Game of Thrones Season 4 Episode 1 "Two Swords" Review

You know what the most awful spoiler machine of all is? “Previously on Game of Thrones”. Seriously, the short recap practically tells you the most important plot details in advance. Or were you surprised that Arya met Polliver in the closing scenes of the episode after we saw him murdering Lommy again, in that recap back to season 2 (a long time ago, in a television set far, far away)? But let’s get serious. Last Sunday’s season opener for Game of Thrones’ fourth consecutive season, “Two Swords”, was all about establishment. Establishment of plotlines, of characters and of locations.
A little sun, a dragon, a new dress - ya know, the usual.

A Flight of Links

- Destined for disappointment
- Hilarious GOT ending game.
- Totally agree with this and this.
- And with this. 
- Captain America 2 seems to be awfully good. 
- Jagged Alliance Flashback...donnu. 
- Dark Souls 2 extended review 
- More unnecessary discussion about Turtles. 
- Captain America 2 review
- And another one. 
- Reich Friends is hilarious
- How to win a SJ argument

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sons of Anarchy Season 2 review - Nazis speed any plot along

Spoilers for Season 1 and 2 of Sons of Anarchy. 

In Charming, the Sons of Anarchy get competition by the rascist "League of American Nationals", a group of Neonazis committed to drive the Sons out in order to dominate the town and the business themselves. Their leader, a man named Zobelle (Adam Arkin), is outsmarting the Sons at every turn, using his facade as a respectable businessman to force the Sons into open conflict with law enforcement. In the case of a public attack, even corrupt Wayne Uncer couldn't save them. To reinforce the Son's attack, his right-hand-man Weston (Henry Rollins) rape Gemma, hoping to lure the club into an ill-thought retaliation attempt. However, Gemma knows the intent and keeps the attack to herself. 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Sons of Anarchy season 1 review - A promising beginning

Spoilers for the first season of "Sons of Anarchy" coming. 

Jax Teller (Charlie Hunnam) is Vice President in the Sons of Anarchy Motor Cycle Club, a violent and criminal organisation kin to the Hell's Angels. He's pretty content with his life of biking and the occasional violent outburst and mayhem. However, when he discovers the old diaries of his father John Teller, the founder of the club, he takes up his goal of transforming the club into something different. He doesn't know yet what it is, but it will surely bring him on a confrontational course with the club's president Clay Morrow (Ron Perlman), a war comrade of John Teller's. The situation isn't made easier by the fact that Jax's mother, Gemma (Katey Sagal) is married to Clay.

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 21

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 21 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Javi Marcos, a member of the community.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

BioShock: Burial at Sea review

A few days ago, the second and final episode of the "Burial at Sea" DLC for "BioShock Infinite" was released. The first episode was received with mixed reviews: while it was a blast to go to pre-fall Rapture, it was generally considered too short and gameplay-wise lacking. Let's have a closer look at the whole oevre, now that we have access to it. Just as a quick overview: The original BioShock took place in the underwater-city of Rapture, an Ayn-Rand-nightmare, while BioShock Infinite took place in Columbia, a flying city in which the idea of American Exceptionalism had gone overdrive. Both worlds are connected through a web of possible realities and dimension portals.
Not the Elizabeth we deserve, but the Elizabeth we need.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour 28

The Quality of Mercy: GeorgeRRMartin.com’s new “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapter

It is a weeping, and a moaning, and a gnashing of teeth: Hot on the heels of our last installment comes yet another BLAH about yet another Winds of Winter sample chapter! For all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is that it’s about Arya Stark, this one’s pretty clearly the most talked-about yet. Should we believe the hype, or is this often disturbing chapter chronicling Arya’s further Faceless adventures in Braavos edgy for edginess’ sake? And if we see it as the latter, who’s to blame — an author pushing the envelope, or an audience out for blood? It’s our most conflicted sample-chapter discussion yet. Bone up on some recommended reading referenced in the ep first, if you’re up for it, then tune in and see where you come down.

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

A Flight of Links

- This War of Mine seems strange
- Mothman Prophecies defense. I remember the movie as not being bad at all. Not oustanding, neither.
- New X-Man trailer
- The Winds of Winter Tyrion excerpt chapter
- Berlin after the war
- Ground Zeroes gets the intelligence right
- Stormsongs: Jon V, Tyrion II, Danaerys IV, Danaeys IV
- Religions in ASOIAF
- Prometheus 2 has a lot more Michael Fassbender in it. 
- There's a report from the first Turtles-Teaser. To me, it sounds good, except that father-angle.
- I agree with the questionator about Theon and other characters, not so much with the answer.
- Wertzone reviews House of Cards. He's more positive about it.
- MovieBob on the X-Men trailer. 
- Six episodes GOT have been titled. 
- This interview with Benioff and Weiss is really interesting, especially the parts about the original pilot. Seems like they really fucked that up. 
- Star Wars and race
- Burial at Sea part 2 Review
- Hilarious "review" of Transformers 4
- New Edge of Tomorrow trailer
- The Chinese obviously have a complex of some kind
- Assassin's Creed: Unity trailer
- And MovieBob about it
- Theory about Euron Greyjoy
- I still don't understand how someone can play Monopoly voluntarily
- Schwarzenegger really wants to be in the new Terminator. "The Terminator ages", my ass.
- Galactic Civilisations III preview 
- Diablo III Reaper of Souls review. Yeah, sounds like expected. 
- There was a Dr. Gay Hitler in Ohio. 
- The second part of the Tom Clancy series. 
- Noah review. Count me intrigued.
-Jupiter Ascended trailer. I'm unimpressed, can't say why.
- How we won the war on D&D
- Why Asimov's three laws don't help us
- Interesting Noah review
- More about the Turtles trailer
- Yet another Reaper of Souls review that confirms my Diablo III bias
- FTL Advanced Edition coming in a week
- Hilarious
- Stormsongs reads Jaime VI
- and Arya VIII
- And talks about Mercy
- War of the Roses and ASOIAF

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 20

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 20 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Manu Mishra, a member of the community.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Boiled Leather Audio Hour #27

Wild Is the Wind: The New “The Winds of Winter” Sample Chapter in the World of Ice and Fire App

Once more unto the breach, dear friends: George R.R. Martin has unveiled a new sample chapter from The Winds of Winter, this time ensconced in the World of Ice and Fire app on your friendly neighborhood smartphone, and Sean and I are back to pick that sucker apart! The POV character is Tyrion Lannister, the place is Meereen, and the scene is a slaughter — the Battle of Fire is now fully underway, so via the Imp we get a picture of how the fight is going, who’s involved on what side (the Windblown! the Ironborn! the Second Sons!), and how Tyrion feels about it all. From the strategic situation to Tyrion’s own psychological battles, there’s a lot to talk about. And with GRRM promising much more ASoIaF material on the way at a pretty rapid clip this year, we’d better get cracking!

Mirror here.
Previous episodes here.
Podcast RSS feed here.
iTunes page here.
Sean’s blog here.
Stefan’s blog here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Board Game: Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition

One nerd-issue I deeply care about I haven't written about at all on Nerdstream yet, which is something I intend to remedy. So, let's start a new series of boardgame reviews that present you some of my all-time favorites. One warning in advance: the boardgames I am to present to you aren't exactly the family-friendly stuff. They aren't reaching the complexity levels that some tabletops and cosims do, but they usually run several hours and require a good understanding of pretty complex rules. That's being said, let's launch into the first issue of the new series and review a special favorite of mine: Twilight Imperium 3rd Edition, published by Fantasy Flight Games. 

Sunday, March 23, 2014

A callout to all "Supreme Court of Westeros" participants

Hi everyone, 

due to some...technical difficulties (the nice term for "I fucked up") we need to get in contact with you as soon as possible. If you were already published or sent us back your answers, we need the mails again that you sent us containing your answers, with the mail from us containing the questions attached. If you weren't yet published and didn't send us the questions (or received them), please send us an email stating as much. I apologize for all the trouble. 

Stefan

Friday, March 21, 2014

The Auction House, Blizzard's biggest brainfart ever

When Diablo III was released back in 2012, it contained a feature named "The Auctionhouse", in which you could sell your in-game loot for game money and, later, for real money. The idea seems to have been to capitalize on the in-game items trade that went over ebay and similar traders up to this point. What Blizzard seems to have totally forgotten is that such a feature, built in the game, would have massive consequences for gameplay. And those consequences really aren't placable in the "fun" column of gaming experiences. 
Unpracticable armor is a hallmark of Diablo III opponents.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Supreme Court of Westeros, ruling 19

Thursday is court day!
Welcome to the Supreme Court of Westeros! Every week, three pressing questions from the community will be answered by the esteemed judges Stefan (from your very own Nerdstream Era) and Amin (from A Podcast of Ice and Fire). The rules are simple: we take three questions, and one of us writes a measured analysis. The other one writes a shorter opinion, either concurring or dissenting. The catch is that every week a third judge from the fandom will join us and also write a dissenting or concurring opinion. So if you think you're up to the task - write us an email to stefan_sasse@gmx.de, leave a comment in the post, ask in the APOIAF-forum or contact Amin at his tumblr. Discussion is by no means limited to the court itself, though - feel free to discuss our rulings in the commentary section and ask your own questions through the channels above.
One word on spoilers: we assume that you read all the books, including the Hedge Knight short stories, and watched the current TV episodes. We don't include the spoiler chapters from various sources in the discussion, with the notable exception of Theon I, which was supposed to be in "A Dance with Dragons" anyway.
And now, up to ruling 19 of the Supreme Court of Westeros! Our guest judge this week is Adam Feldman, who runs the formidable blog of The Meereeneese Blot. If you haven't checked it out yet, stop reading right now and do so, because it's that good. He was a guest on the "Boiled Leather Audio Hour" with Sean and Stefan as well.