Monday, May 23, 2016

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #146 - Reviewing Uncharted 4: A Thief's End


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link.

After taking a week off due to Jonathan being under the weather – and to thus spare our listeners from a podcast filled with wall-to-wall coughing – we are back to discuss a few stray topics, including the Assassin’s Creed movie trailer and Sean’s initial thoughts on the fantastic new Doom game, before jumping into an in-depth review and analysis of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End (with lots and lots of spoilers – if you’d like a spoiler-free take, Sean reviewed the game for the site last week). Even as big fans of Naughty Dog in general and the Uncharted series in particular, neither of us were quite prepared for just how great Uncharted 4 turned out to be, nor for the many ways in which it challenge both the medium and the genre to which it belongs. This is a great game, maybe even an all-timer, and it makes for an extremely fun discussion.

Enjoy!






The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman is a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: "Uncharted 4: A Thief's End" is a reflective landmark in video game design and storytelling



Editor's Note: 
This review is written by Sean Chapman, co-host of The Weekly Stuff Podcast. While this week's episode is delayed - I'm currently out of commission with a nasty cold - Sean has put together this written review - spoiler-free! - of Uncharted 4, which we will talk about at length in our next episode. 


There is perhaps no game franchise in recent memory that is so beloved and yet so beleaguered by popular criticism than developer Naughty Dogs’ Uncharted series. While the sharp dialogue, cutting edge visual design, and groundbreaking performances have always cultivated a passionate audience, the unsettling juxtaposition of goofy one-liners and endless killing on the part of series protagonist Nathan Drake has made the franchise a particular black sheep among critics. It was in that environment that Naughty Dog made their previous game The Last of Us, which clearly took the cry of ludonarrative dissonance seriously by making the violence brutal and impactful for the main characters. Now, three years later, Naughty Dog has taken the lessons learned with The Last of Us and levied them at Uncharted with unusual effect. Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is a fascinating game of self-criticism which takes Nathan Drake into an adventure far more quiet and intimate than its bombastic predecessors. And you know what? It might just be a damn masterpiece.

Continue reading after the jump...

Monday, May 9, 2016

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #145 – Persona 5 Trailer, Overwatch Beta, and Reviewing Captain America: Civil War


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link.

In what is probably the longest episode we’ve ever recorded, we hit on a host of interesting recent topics – such as the open beta for Overwatch, news of Han Solo’s casting in the upcoming Star Wars spin-off movie, and the newest trailer and Japanese release date for the highly anticipated Persona 5 – before diving into an in-depth review and discussion of Captain America: Civil War. We both agree this is the finest hour of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to date, but just what makes this movie so wildly impressive, so moving from a thematic and emotional standpoint and awe-inspiring in its visuals and staging? This is a dense, complicated, incredibly rewarding movie, and while our discussion might be long, it’s one of the best we’ve ever had devoted to a single movie.

Enjoy, and come back next week as we review the upcoming Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End.  




If you have questions, comments, or concerns about The Weekly Stuff, or would like to write in to the podcast to have your questions read on the show, please e-mail dinochow@jonathanlack.com.

The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman is a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Ranking the Films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe


Captain America: Civil War is set to kick off the summer movie season tonight, and perhaps more significantly, it is kicking off the third and by far most ambitious phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. This is the company’s thirteenth film, and it is amazing to me how many of those movies so far I outright love – and how unabashedly excited I remain for their new movies this far into things.

With that in mind, I found myself doing the requisite thought-exercise of ranking all the MCU movies earlier this morning – and before I knew it, had written an entire list. So in preparation for Civil War, let us take a trip down Marvel memory lane, ranking from least-good to most-good (as I don’t particularly dislike any of these movies) the films of Marvel’s cinematic universe. I have included links to my original reviews of each of the movies (for those where written reviews don’t exist, I have included links to podcast episodes where we discussed them), so you may see how my thoughts have evolved over time.

The countdown begins after the jump…

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Weekly Stuff Podcast #144 – Whither Nintendo? Plus Call of Duty, Doctor Who News, and much more!


It’s time for another episode of The Weekly Stuff Podcast with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman, a weekly audio show that explores the worlds of film, television, and video games. You can subscribe for free in iTunes by following this link.

With big media events like Captain America: Civil War and Uncharted 4 on the immediate horizon, this week is the ‘calm before the storm,’ as we tackle a variety of topics – including Sean’s final thoughts on Dark Souls III and Jonathan’s continuing adventures in the world of Digimon Story: Cyber Sleuth – before diving into a week’s worth of news. A new Call of Duty was announced, we met the new Doctor Who companion, and Nintendo…well, Nintendo is in a strange, sad place, and we have lots to say about that.

Enjoy!




If you have questions, comments, or concerns about The Weekly Stuff, or would like to write in to the podcast to have your questions read on the show, please e-mail dinochow@jonathanlack.com.

The Weekly Stuff with Jonathan Lack & Sean Chapman is a weekly audio podcast, and if you subscribe in iTunes, episodes will be delivered automatically and for free as soon as they are released. If you visit www.jonathanlack.com, we also have streaming and downloadable versions of new and archival episodes for your listening pleasure.