Monday, January 7, 2019

Fallout 76 Review, Best Movies of 2018, The Haunting of Hill House Review, and Movie and IWSG news

Fallout 76 Review

The premise of the game – you are among the first to leave the vaults to wander the wasteland after a nuclear fallout that has wiped the planet clean. It actually takes place before the other versions of the game.

I was on the fence about this game. I’m a huge fan of the series, but multi-player online games are not my thing. Fortunately, I was pleasantly surprised!

The game certainly feels like Fallout. It builds upon the ideas brought forth in Fallout 4 of establishing a base camp that you can build up. (It’s where all of your junk is protected.) There are objectives you must complete which help you level up. But the true joy lies in the ability to wander anywhere and find new things.

The game has no more than twenty-four players in one map area. The world is so big though that it’s rare I run across anyone else.

The weirdest thing - no human NPC. (Non Player Characters) Everything you encounter is either robots, super mutants, or computers.

The West Virginia scenery is spectacular. It’s detailed and complete – in an abandoned town, you can enter any open building and explore.

There have been some glitches. The server has kicked me off a few times. Higher level players traveling through the map spawn higher level creatures. (Translation – run away!) And after a player visits an area, it’s wiped clean of creatures and junk rather than restocked.

Minor problems aside, this game has received a lot of flack and I don’t understand the haters. I’ve enjoyed my time wandering the wasteland. If you’ve enjoyed the other games in the series, there’s a lot of fun to be had in this one.

Highly recommended! Now, pass the Nuka Cola.

The Haunting of Hill House Review

From the IMDB - Flashing between past and present, a fractured family confronts haunting memories of their old home and the terrifying events that drove them from it.

Just finished watching this series on NetFlix. And it’s probably one of the most unconventional horror stories I’ve ever seen. It works just as well as a drama as it does a horror series.

Each episode shines the focus on one particular character, revealing the scarring effect Hill House took on their lives. The actors do a fantastic job portraying a family fractured and broken. I enjoyed the series, although it was difficult watching people struggle and deal with deep, emotional pain.

While the horror aspects are creepy and disturbing, this is more of a series for people who like deep family drama. Think Ordinary People meets Poltergeist and you have a good idea about the type of ride you’re in for.

The house setting is amazing. It has a life of its own, almost like the house in del Toro’s Crimson Peaks. And indeed, the house is alive, and hungry…

Highly recommended

Movie News


Aquaman's worldwide grosses were $940 million as of Sunday morning - and it's still number one at the box office! 
It will easily sail over one billion in the next day or so, becoming the number one DC movie ever made, overtaking The Dark Knight.
Take that, haters!


Watch for an extended trailer of Captain Marvel during the College Football National Championship game on ESPN on January 7. Considering who is playing (yet again!) it’s the only reason to watch the game…

There will be a sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Karen Gillan all return to reprise their roles. Jake Kasdan also returns as the director. Plus Danny DeVito will join the cast – read more at JoBlo’s Site.

JoBlo also posted his Top Ten Best Movies of 2018 list. A couple I haven’t seen, but he has some great picks.

IWSG News

The #IWSGPit Twitter pitch is once a year now – and the next one is on January 15!.
You have a week – don’t miss it.




Here are the prompts for January over at the IWSG Insgram:


Best of 2018 - Movies

Lists are popping up everywhere. Everyone has an opinion. Some go with favorites, some with Oscar quality, and some use the box office to guide them. I’m going to give you a list of what I thought were some of the best films of 2018 and also some of my personal favorites. Let’s start the countdown…

10 – Black Panther – Black Panther was cool but it’s the two female leads who steal the show.

9 – Deadpool 2 – Very funny sequel – I so want Domino’s super powers.

8 – Solo – Crap on it all you want, this was an incredibly fun and entertaining movie!

7 – Bumblebee – My favorite 80’s film that came out in 2018 – so much fun.

6 – A Quiet Place – Tense, powerful, and surprising.

5 – Ant Man and the Wasp – The fun factor in this one was turned up to eleven.

4 – Mission Impossible: Fallout – I was literally on the edge of my seat for the last thirty minutes of this film!

3 – Aquaman – This is the film the ten-year-old in me always wanted to see about my favorite superhero!

2 – SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse – The most surprising entry on this list – this film is incredible with ground breaking animation.

1 – Avengers: Infinity War – What else can be said about the most spectacular ensemble of superheroes and set pieces ever put together?


Anyone else playing Fallout 76? Watched The Haunting of Hill House? Ready for #IWSGPit? And what are your favorite movies of 2018?
Next week – another best of list, board games, and some trivia!

82 comments:

Francis Lee said...

I totally agree about Solo!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - glad I'm back reading your posts ... I've seen loads of films - but none of these. I saw The Favourite last week - that was excellent. I'll write about a few others I've seen - as the year progresses ... Canada still rings out to me ... cheers and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to all of us - Hilary

nashvillecats2 said...

It's surprising what they make games about these days........a far cry from snakes and ladders.
I haven't been to the cinema in years so can't comment about the oscars.

Have a great New Year.
Yvonne.

Pat Hatt said...

Sure a fine list indeed. I still haven't watched hill house, heard it was good but depressing. DeVito should be a fun addition.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

I started watching Hill House...until I got scared! Need to try it again in the daytime. I did read that there were a lot of 'hidden' ghosts in the background and that it was fun to find them all.

Love your movie list! That will help me when these are available for streaming.

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

I tried watching H of HH but it failed to grab me. Perhaps I should give it a little more time to sink in. I'm happy to see Aquaman doing so well at the box office. (On the small tube, I noticed that the series Daredevil, Luke Cage and Iron Fist have all been canceled.)

Your Best Movies of 2018 list is helpful and I will refer to it for viewing ideas. I enjoy Stranger Things because it is laced with 80s Spielberg references and techniques. For that reason I am eager to watch Bumblebee.

Thanks for the reviews, good buddy, Alex!

Michelle Wallace said...

One week until the #IWSGPit...
There's so much going on that I haven't found enough time in the day to include Instagram in my hectic schedule. They say it's one of the fastest growing social media platforms at the moment. My Instagram account has been sorely neglected.
If we were forced to choose ONE platform, I'd stick with my blog. With all the changes happening, seems like your blog is the only truly authentic platform that really belongs to you.
Happy New Year to you and yours, Alex!

Joanne said...

Not a gamer at all, so can't comment. Hill House looked way to creepy for me. I agree 99% on your best movies. Put Green Book in there too and I'll give you 100%. Overall it has not seemed like a great movie year, and yet..I've been entertained. We'll see what 2019 brings - more Marvelous stuff.

Mason Canyon said...

Some on the list I haven't seen that sounds like I should.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, it's a difficult watch but worth it.

Elizabeth, watch for the clock guy!

Shady, you will like Bumblebee's heavy 80's stuff. And yes, all of those series are gone.

Thanks, Michelle! I am sticking with my blog.

Joanne, I hope to see that one soon.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I wanted to like Hill House, but I found it so slow. I gave it about 3 or 4 episodes before giving up.

I enjoyed A Quiet Place. I did think, though, that there were some missed opportunities to do some different things with the storyline.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Glad you like the new Fallout Game. I have heard about the glitches. Don't play but my boyfriend does. He's waiting till it goes on Steam to get it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved most of those movies. A Quiet Place still unnerves me when I think about it.

Carol Kilgore said...

I've heard the Haunting of Hill House is very good, but I haven't seen it. Yet. Hope you have a great 2019!

Steven Arellano Rose Jr. said...

I'm not much one for TV horror like I am movies, but if they can do a good job with a Gothic horror drama (ghost opera or goth opera as I like calling them) like Haunting of Hill House then I'm willing to give it a try. Thanks for sharing!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I haven't watched a movie for ages...mostly been catching up on my reading over the holidays when there's little on TV.

Heather R. Holden said...

Intrigued by The Haunting of Hill House. I've seen so many people in the horror community rave about it. Glad you enjoyed it!

Carrie-Anne said...

I imagine my little brother might play Fallout 78. He loves his video games, though our parents are aghast he's still deeply into them at 32.

Andrew Leon said...

I still need to make it to Bumblebee!
I didn't really prioritize it because of the last couple Transformers movies (and no one is interested in seeing it with me), but it's sounding like they did a great job with it, and I'm going to be bummed if I miss it in the theater.

Arlee Bird said...

Fallout sounds fascinating. If I played computer games other than solitaire this sounds like something that I might like.

Out of your film list I've only since A Quiet Place and I must say that I was surprised by how good it was. The only other film that I have on my to-see list is the Mission Impossible movie. I think the Oscars this year might be a bigger bore than ever with--as usual--a lot of films that I've never seen and might never see.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Natalie, I can live with a couple glitches.

Steven, try the first couple episodes and see what you think.

Carrie-Anne, I'm in my fifties and play them, although not like I did twenty years ago.

Andrew, it's nothing like the others and worth it for the big screen.

Lee, the Oscars bore me with all the political nonsense.

Lisa said...

I've seen Aquaman and want to see it again. A fun ride and I liked them making ocean pollution a big deal.
I even went to see Once upon a Deadpool, the PG-13 rated version of Deadpool 2! It was still good without the cussing and added violence. Ant Man and Wasp was great, as was Black Panther! Can't wait to see MI Fallout, The Quiet Place, and Avengers: Infinity War, no I still haven't seen it as my daughter told me to wait till right before the next one comes out.

M.J. Fifield said...

I approve of all the Marvel films on your Top 10 list. I'm surprised I actually made it through A Quiet Place because it was so intense!

Spacer Guy said...

Isn't Bumblebee the name of the car in transformers and its an 80's film, well thats creative. Happy New Year!

Cherie Reich said...

Love your top movies' list! I still need to see Solo and SpiderMan: Into the SpiderVerse.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lisa, I want to see it again! And I was curious how they could do a Deadpool without the language, and well, Deadpool stuff.

Spacer Guy, this movie is where he gets his name.

XmasDolly said...

The Haunting of Hill House sounds just like the kind of movie I'd be interested in. Believe it or not, but I just finished watching Jumanji II - I LOVED IT. My taste in movies is totally solo I'm sure. Thanks for stopping by and you have a great day and a very Happy & Healthy New Year for you & yours in case I didn't tell you already. You're the best, my friend!

Sherry Fundin said...

I don't watch a ton of movies, more of a TV addict. lol But, I do want to see Aquaman.
sherry @ fundinmental

Mark Noce said...

Pass the cola;) And yes, Solo was fun :)

J E Oneil said...

I kind of get the haters. I heard that on January 1st they accidentally deleted nukes from the entire game. Bugs like that are frustrating. When do they ever release a completed game that doesn't immediately need a patch?

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm just waiting for most of those movies to hit On Demand so I can watch them.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I agree with your first pick for favorite movie. I've rewatched it so many times. My daughter told me The Haunting of Hill House was really good. I wish I was ready with my next fantasy novel for the pitching session next week.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Marie!

Mark, it was!

JE, never. And this game is so incredibly massive. So many opportunities for a mistake.

Susan, I wish you were as well.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

As usual, I'm afraid I have little to contribute to this conversation. But I do like looking at Aquaman.

Have a great week and new year, Alex.

Liz A. said...

I missed the boat on video games. Glad you enjoy this one.

Wow, I've barely seen any on your list of favorites. Solo and SpiderMan. I couldn't abide the first Deadpool (I know, everyone loved it, but I just didn't get it). But I'll get to Black Panther and Avengers when they end up on TV.

Truedessa said...

Hi Alex,

I was never good at video games. I recently watched Ant Man and the Wasp and truly enjoyed it. So many great lines filled with humor. A very entertaining movie. Aquaman, what can I say I loved that film and my number 1 choice. A Quiet Place was filled with suspense. I've never seen a film quite like it before. Mission Impossible another top 10 for me.

Have a great week!

Tonja Drecker said...

No horror movies for this chicken! I loved most of the movies on your 2018 list (the others, I didn't see :) ) Happy New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, I'm going to fly out there and take you to a movie!

Truedessa, it was tough to pick my top three.

Leslie S. Rose said...

Hooray for you giving SOLO a shout out. I loved it. In fact, the bluray appeared in my stocking this Christmas.

Rhonda Albom said...

I didn't see enough new films this year to have an opinion on the Oscars. I can see I have a lot of movie watching to do this year.

The Cynical Sailor said...

I really liked Solo too. I can't figure out why so many people panned it.

Sandra Cox said...

Ha! Take that haters indeed. The critics have been rather hard on Aquaman haven't they?

Birgit said...

Glad you like that game..not for me:) I have not seen many new films which is a crime but I want to see all of the ones you mentioned except maybe Bumblebee. Haunting of Hill House sounds quite good and it reminded me of a movie with Roddy McDowall but it is called The Legend of Hell House.

joylene said...

One rainy day, I'd like to sit down and watch all the Avengers movies. I have a sneaky suspicion I missed one. Or I've watched them out of sequence and it's messed up my brain. Hi Alex. Happy New Year!

Christine Rains said...

My husband hasn't gotten into Fallout 76 as he's been worried about it from the reviews, but I'm going to pass on yours. The Haunting of Hill House was spectacular. Yes, it had a creepiness factor, but it was definitely about the people. You've got a great list for the 2018 movies. I managed to see Into the Spiderverse and wow. It's amazing. Best SpiderMan movie ever for me. I think I might like it more than Infinity War! Have a great week. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Leslie, that's a great gift!

Ellen, who knows?

Sandra, some - it's still a fresh tomato on Rotten Tomatoes.

Birgit, I remember that movie.

Christine, tell him to give Fallout 76 a shot. And yes, best Spider-Man movie ever.

Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine said...

I still have to see Solo, and I think I'm finally getting to an emotional place where I won't be a sobbing mess watching it. I want to enjoy it for my brother's memory.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

As a West Virginian, I was excited to see WV was part of the game. My kids own it, but none have played it yet. I probably won't ever play it. I'm not the best gamer. I play Nazis Zombies with my guys and during one game, I had to be revived 35 times. I'm definitely the weakest gamer link in my house.

DMS said...

I have been hearing amazing things about Haunting of Hill House. Sounds like an interesting series for sure. I like your comparison- helped me picture what it is like. :)

Happy New Year!
~Jess

Magic Love Crow said...

Alex, do you ever sleep? LOL! Thanks for all this information! Thanks for all the reviews! I haven't seen all the movies you mentioned for 2018, but I did enjoy Deadpool 2, Ant Man and the Wasp and Mission Impossible! Congrats to Aquaman!!

LynNerdKelley said...

The Fallout game sounds really cool, though I can't play video games. If I did, I would want to check it out. Haunting of Hill House would probably give me nightmares. I can't watch the Walking Dead or Stranger Things without having nightmares! Now, Aquaman, that's a movie I want to see. Thanks for the scoop! Happy New Year, Alex!

The Happy Whisk said...

We saw that series the weekend it came out. Side note, I can't wait for Stranger Things to come back. Fun to read your gaming. It's fun. Cheers, boogie boogie and Happy 2019.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Patricia, watch it for him.

Elizabeth, that made me chuckle...

Crow, I love my sleep, trust me.

Lynn, go see it!

Ivy, I am really stoked for that series to return!

Fundy Blue said...

Hi, Alex! I do want to see Aquaman. Terry and I stumbled across the first Deadpool on cable. We quite enjoyed it, so I'll have to look for the sequel. I'm not much of a gamer, but I have a brother and various nephews who are so into online gaming. I'm still playing catchup after being gone for six weeks; but even if I'm slogging through a lot of mundane things, it's great to be home. I hope all is well with you! Take care!

J.H. Moncrieff said...

Still want to watch A Quiet Place. I can barely remember the movies I watched last year, and discovering new films used to be a huge thing for me. I was really impressed with Hereditary until the end, Beast was certainly memorable, and in terms of the simply enjoyable, probably Incredibles 2.

Happy New Year! Hope you had a great Christmas.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

The time I might play games, I should spend in the art studio. This one sounds appealing if only to see the W VA scenery. Thanks for the Hill House review.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The Haunting of Hill House spoiled me for most horror tales in that it was so well done. It inspired me to work harder on my 2 Halloween collections of short stories. When the characters become so vivid and real, it only makes the drama more heightened, your fear for them more palatable. Because of duties as rare blood courier, I have to wait for the films to come out on Blu Ray these days. Have a great New Year!

Sandra Cox said...

Glad you enjoyed Fallout.
Have a great one.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Momoa is so dang cute! And I'm not even talking about his physical looks (which are hot), but his personality. He's so fun to watch be himself.

John Wiswell said...

Looks like I'll get a chance to see Aquaman after all! I'm always up for a new James Wan joint. Critics weren't high on Furious 7, either, and that was a huge blast.

mshatch said...

I've played Fallout 3 and 4 but not the new on line version. Sounds like fun though! I very much enjoyed the Haunting of Hill House except for the very end for reasons I will not disclose (spoilers!). But I would still recommend it and your analogy (Ordinary people meets poltergeist) is spot on!

Mark Koopmans said...

Thanks for the review/tips re. Haunting of Hill House... Been humming and hawing about that series for ages!

Lynda R Young said...

I'm surprised you liked Fallout. I think I need more focus in a game, so I'm not a huge fan of open worlds, and I'm reluctant to get into them because they eat up way too much time ;)

I binge watched The Haunting of Hill House, I loved it so much.

Stephen Tremp said...

Hhhmmmmm ... with you being a guitarist and Bohemian Rhapsody released in 2018 and said film directed by Bryan May I'm surprised this is not on your list.

Aaarrgghh!!! A quiet Place has alluded me all this time and wifey and kids have seen it and mock me.

Elsie Amata said...

I started watching The Haunting before the holidays and then promptly forgot all about it. I need to get back to it.

Oh and as for gaming online: not my thing either although I've enjoyed watching my kids play Fortnite. :)

Elsie

Tyrean Martinson said...

I love your list, Alex! I haven't seen a few of those (family has been on a tight move budget with one kid in college and one turning in college applications and prepping to go), but I'm looking forward to seeing them all - for the first or second time - on video. Now that Avengers: Infinity War is on video and streaming, I think I've seen it three or four times.
Prepping for IWSGPit right now.

Al Penwasser said...

I've only seen 4 out of the 10 movies. I think I need to up my game.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fundy, you do need to see the second Deadpool.

JH, as a horror writer, you need to see that film.

Roland, it did so well with the characters.

Donna, he does have charisma.

John, they were both a blast!

Thanks, Marcy!

Lynda, choose what we let eat up our time, huh?

Stephen, not much of a Queen fan.

Tyrean, many are even better the second time around.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I hear some snippets about Fallout from time to time, but nothing like your review here. It makes me think that I should play video games more, but I tend to start feeling anxious when I do, because of all the jump scares and whatnot. I'm more of a Mario kind of guy, but even Super Mario Odyssey causes me anxiety occasionally. I think I just need a friend who plays video games and would let me sit next to them and watch them play for a while. That probably works out better than me actually trying to play them.

Sandra Cox said...

Houses with a life of their own make me very nervous.....

Susan Kane said...

As we prepare to record the Oscars and then edit out the actors and their opinions, I am hoping there will be something on the other channels.

Didn't see A Quiet Place, but will. Ant Man is always fun. Good actor with great comedic timing.

Aquaman. What can I say?!

Infinity war--I have watched three times, and probably will a 4th.

Helena said...

Sorry I've been away for so long, Alex! But the holidays are now over and I've regained some semblance of sanity.

I missed way too many movies in the past year to even comment on your best of list; I hope to make 2019 a better year for me. And since I love ghost stories (when they're done right) maybe I'll be able to catch Hill House. I like that it sounds as if it has emotional depth to the characters, which is rare.

Lynda Dietz said...

I like your movie list! I'm much better at working from a "best of" list than trying to scout out all the things I've missed on my own.

The Haunting of Hill House sounds like it's right up my alley. I'll have to check it out.

Toi Thomas said...

Haunting of Hill House sounds better than I had imagined. Still not sure if I want to dive in, but I am curious now.
Glad Aquaman is doing so well. I enjoyed it.
Guess I need to consider my top films of last year. I like yours.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Michael, that's funny.

Susan, that's the best way to watch the Oscars.

Helena, welcome back!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I've never played any online games, and I probably never will. I'm a wee bit too competitive by nature and LOVE game-playing, so I'm afraid I'd get hooked on the experience and waste entirely too much time on it. Best if I avoid them altogether.

We don't go to all that many movies, but I did thoroughly enjoy "Black Panther." And "Book Club." (Yeah, I know, waaaay different kinds of movies.) We still haven't seen "Aquaman," but I'm still hoping to catch it.

Sherry Ellis said...

I tried watching the Haunting of Hill House because another friend had recommended it. I couldn't watch more than three episodes. I found it too disturbing. (The possessed kitty really creeped me out! And so did the whole morgue thing.) I guess if you like creepy things like that, it would be good. The house was really cool, though. It looks like a fun place to explore (if it wasn't haunted).

Yolanda Renée said...

I can't make a list of favorites because I didn't go the movies once. I'm such a dud. I don't want to go alone and hubby and I don't like the same things. LOL

mail4rosey said...

Yep, yep and yep on those top 3. :)
I can't watch the scary shows and be happy but I do like the adventure movies!

Jemima Pett said...

I didn't see any of those - although I saw all their trailers on the five minute 'charts' we get on certain channels over here! My favourite film of the year was First Man.

Happy new year, Alex!

klahanie said...

Greetings Alex,

I've not heard of Fallout 76. I'm glad you were pleasantly surprised. The last game I played was Sonic the Hedgehog back when Sega Master System was all the rage.

Interesting movie list. I might go and see Stan and Ollie.

Take care, my fine friend.

Gary

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, it can be a time waster.

Sherry, I can show you some really creepy films...

Yolanda, you need to find a movie buddy.

Jemima, haven't seen it yet.

Gary, that was indeed a long time ago...