Things That Were Good: July Edition

Things That Were Good: July Edition

Due to some unexpected interference from an organization known to us only as "KS," this month's excuse for content had to come late. We apologize for any disappointment we may have caused to you. However, it is unlikely to exceed the disappointment of seeing another round of Things That Were Good.

Terminator Genisys Conro: Terminator Genisys

Terminator Genisys is a sequel/reimagining of the Terminator series, set in the future, the past, and then the future again. For those of you blissfully unaware of anything to do with The Terminator, because if you aren't then you already got spoiled on the plot twist, Terminator is about a rogue computer network called Skynet that takes over our nukes sometime in the future, e.g. 1997. The resistance against Skynet is led by John Connor, who eventually defeats the network. However, before it died, Skynet sent former California governor Arnold back in time to kill John Connor's mother, Sarah Connor. The movies are all about John and Skynet sending various people and robots back in time to either kill or protect Sarah Connor.

So, Genisys. Genisys takes the idea of this arms race of time traveling robots and points out that, if they started going back EARLIER then when they did in the movies, Terminator wouldn't really exist. Which is exactly what happens: a Terminator sent back when Sarah was 9-years-old immediately intercepts and fights the Terminator from the first movie, e.g. himself.

I have to admit, the young Arnold is fantastic looking. I know it's partly CGI, but it really looks damn like he did back in the 80s. Anyway, Kyle Reese—the soldier sent back in the first movie—gets intercepted by the T-1000 from T2, which obviously shouldn't be here, but whatever, everything is fucked up. For plot reasons, they go to the future of 2017, as Skynet's creation has now been pushed back to becoming the ctOS from Watch_Dogs called Genisys, blah blah blah. Essentially, this is a Newgrounds Flash movie where every Mario character shows up in a string of references and cameos, except good and with a budget. It's no horror movie like the first, no emotional ride like T2 (though it does have its sappy moments near the end). It's also not the third one, and has more respect for plot than The Sarah Connor Chronicles, so that's worth it alone.

Also, it has J.K. Simmons as a disheveled cop who remembers these time travelers from the 80s, so that's worth, like, twice the price of admission.

Ant-Man Brandon: Ant-Man

It should be of no surprise the quality of the next Disney MCU movie. It's good. No one expected otherwise.

Ant-Man follows the story of Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), a super genius burglar who's just gotten out of prison and renounced his burglaring ways until Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) decides Scott would be perfect to replace him as the new Ant-Man. Hank manages to lure Scott into sneaking into his home and taking the Ant-Man suit, which Scott then puts on in his bathroom and accidentally activates the shrinking ability, forcing him into a trial-by-fire to learn how to utilize his new power. Hank convinces Scott to help him steal another shrinking suit in development by his former protogé, Darren Cross, because his shrinking suit is gonna be used for evil.

Just about every actor in this film brings an awesome performance to the plate. Edgar Wright's involvement definitely didn't hurt it either. The banter between the three mains is always at least chuckle worthy, and Michael Peña's delivery as the silly yet surprisingly competent Luis had me in tears.

The film's strongest aspect is its fight scenes. The way the director uses the environment could only be possible with a shrinking man. Ever seen a fight where they're on a moving train? Was that train Thomas the Tank Engine? Did any of the fighters throw one of the cars at the other dude who then blows it up with laser tentacles? Even fights with normal sized opponents become interesting when you can't see or even touch him because he's no bigger than an ant (hey would you look at that). The film stands close to Guardians of the Galaxy on a scale from comedic to serious.

Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward Evan: Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward

Even though Final Fantasy XIV: Heavensward ('14' for speakers of sermo barbaris) released last month, we at Anime Night could only gain access to it recently, so we'll talk about it here.

Heavensward begins with your character entering to the even further north land of Ishgard, where even more plot awaits you. From there, you'll be uncovering conspiracies, fighting a lot of dragons, avoiding the mere thought of freezing your ass off completely, and leveling up about 10 more times—all while a new and even more beautiful soundtrack graces your ears, so begin preparation of your vibration interpretation stations for absolutely obscene amounts of pipe organ manifestation. Basically, for $40 you get enough content to fill almost a whole other game—though well worth it to some, to others it may feel like a hefty price tag alongside a mandatory monthly subscription.

Speaking of things that may or may not be drawbacks; even though the voice acting for FFXIV thus far has been a small step in the right direction, let's face facts: this is a Square Enix game, and unfortunately there will always be bad voices in a Square-Enix game. Heavensward is no exception.

Even more unfortunately, I regret to inform everyone that I have yet to see eye or ear of anything resembling Hildibrand in this expansion. I apologize deeply to players looking forward to even more of Eorzia's gentleman inspector extraordinaire.

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