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Fantastic Fest 2016

  1. The Handmaiden – A masterpiece by Park Chan-wook.
  2. A Dark Song – A study in building atmosphere and suspense.
  3. A Monster Calls – An ent teaches a young boy about fairness and healing.
  4. Colossal – Two childhood friends hash out their differences. There are also giant monsters.
  5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – X-Men First Class with churlish British kids.
  6. Science Fiction Volume One: The Osiris Child – Extremely confident indie sci-fi with an unnecessarily precise title.
  7. Raw – Girl tries meat for the first time. Likes it a lot.
  8. The Autopsy of Jane Doe – Wait,  don’t cut open that corpse! Too late.
  9. My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea – Wes Anderson-y animated high school drama.
  10. Assassination Classroom: Graduation – Students are conflicted about whether or not to assassinate their teacher.
  11. Arrival – Scientists try to crack an alien language before the rest of the world does what it always does when aliens appear.
  12. Don’t Kill It – It Follows, but with guns.
  13. Age of Shadows – A police drama about shifting loyalties.
  14. Buster’s Mal Heart – Rami Malek marginally expands his acting range, which is still awesome.
  15. We are the Flesh – The Gom Jabbar and Voight-Kampff tests in one convenient package.
  16. Shin Godzilla – Neon Genesis Evangellion without the EVAs.
  17. The Void – Who let this Shoggoth into the hospital?
  18. Aloys – A portrait of loneliness.
  19. Salt and Fire – Michael Shannon talks crazy using a measured, reassuring tone.
  20. Re: Born – Metal Gear Solid fan film.
  21. The Girl with all the Gifts – The Last of Us the movie, but without Joel.
  22. Nova Seed – Heavy Metal-inspired animated sci-fi created by one dude over a span of four years.
  23. High Frontier – Father takes two sons to remote winter cabin for a bonding experience.
  24. Zoology – Woman grows a tail. Some people notice.
  25. Fashionista – British filmmaker tells Austin all about how it has changed in the last ten years.
  26. Sweet Sweet Lonely Girl – There’s a really hot girl in this one.
  27. The Red Turtle – Guy gets stranded on island. Finds red turtle. Decides to stay. The End.

Fantastic Fest 2015

  1. The Brand New Testament
  2. Love and Peace
  3. Too Late
  4. Anomalisa
  5. Liza the Fox Fairy
  6. April and the Extraordinary World
  7. High-Rise
  8. The Martian
  9. Crimson Peak
  10. Klovn Forever
  11. Men and Chicken
  12. The Devil’s Candy
  13. The Keeping Room
  14. The Club
  15. The Wave
  16. Assassination Classroom
  17. Zoom
  18. Green Room
  19. Lovemilla
  20. Bone Tomahawk
  21. The Witch
  22. Coz ov Moni 2: Fokn Revenge
  23. Doug Benson Movie Interruption: Roar
  24. Dangerous Men
  25. Victoria
  26. Tale of Tales
  27. Demon
  28. Camino
  29. Sensoria
  30. Belladonna of Sadness
  31. Gridlocked
  32. In Search of the Ultra-Sex

Fantastic Fest 2014

  1. Horns
  2. Free Fall
  3. It Follows
  4. Jacky in the Kingdom of Women
  5. Nightcrawler
  6. Horsehead
  7. John Wick
  8. Housebound
  9. Tale of The Princess Kaguya
  10. Duke of Burgundy
  11. Open Windows
  12. The Incident
  13. Goodnight, Mommy
  14. The Hive
  15. Babadook
  16. I Am Here
  17. V/H/S Viral
  18. Force Majeure
  19. Everly
  20. The Absent One
  21. Let Us Prey
  22. The Editor
  23. Redeemer
  24. Tusk
  25. The Town that Dreaded Sundown
  26. Realiti
  27. Wastelander Panda
  28. From the Dark
  29. Tokyo Tribe
  30. The Stranger
  31. Darkness by Day
  32. Norway
  33. Local God
  34. Tombville

Fantastic Fest 2013

Here’s what I saw at Fantastic Fest 2013, in order of how much I enjoyed the films. I really only disliked “Fatal.”

  1. Mood Indigo
  2. Coherence
  3. Afflicted
  4. The Dirties
  5. Machete Kills
  6. LFO
  7. A Field in England
  8. Why Don’t You Play in Hell
  9. Hentai Kamen
  10. Rigor Mortis
  11. Eega
  12. Proxy
  13. O’Apostolo
  14. Zero Theorem
  15. Borgman
  16. R100
  17. Witching & Bitching
  18. The Congress
  19. She Wolf
  20. Ragnarok
  21. Nothing Bad Can Happen
  22. The Fake
  23. Man of Tai Chi
  24. Grand Piano
  25. Nightbreed – The Cabal Cut
  26. Detective Downs
  27. Patrick
  28. Almost Human
  29. The Resurrection of a Bastard
  30. Gatchaman
  31. The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
  32. We Gotta Get Out of this Place
  33. Fatal

Fantastic Fest 2012

  1. Cloud Atlas
  2. Holy Motors
  3. Antiviral
  4. American Mary
  5. Tower Block
  6. Wrong
  7. Black Out
  8. Aftershock
  9. Lee’s Adventure
  10. Flicker
  11. Bring Me the Head of Machine Gun Woman
  12. The ABC’s of Death
  13. Fuck Up
  14. Outrage Beyond
  15. Tai Chi 0
  16. The Warped Forest
  17. Come Out and Play

At the closing of the year

This will be my last weekly post for the One a Day project. While I veered off course during the last few months, I think the important thing is that I followed through to the end. Finishing something after making a commitment is important to me. I haven’t completed the Dune game yet. In the coming year I need to figure out how to partition off time for creative projects in my post-single life. I think I will actually make new year’s resolutions for 2012. I want to lose some weight, figure out some other life stuff, and re-prioritize.

This was a great year for me. I want 2012 to be a year where I shape and focus the potential energy from 2011.

Bye for now.

Happy Birthday 2011

I love my birthday. For me, it has lost that quality of a milestone that comes around to prompt reflection on the past year. Those milestones are happening throughout the year. My birthday is MY day. I get to do whatever I want, no matter how ridiculous. Usually this involves a party. This time around I had some folks over early in the afternoon to play the board game Talisman with almost all of the expansions. Later on, more people arrived to play Rock Band and enjoy beverages. My house was partitioned into the Rock Band Room, the Board Game Room, the Chill Out Room, and the Smoker’s Back Porch. While I did enjoy myself a great deal, I wish I could have had more time to hang out in each area.

Close to 30 people showed up, and that isn’t even all of my Austin friends. For me there is no fame, no heaven, no children, no inheritance, no stock options. There’s just my friends. They are my only reward in this life. Having a house full of them for just a few hours is the only metric I need to assess how I did this past year.

Thanks, guys.

BoardGameGeek.Con 2011

Here are some of the games I played at BGG this year.

Last Will – Your eccentric uncle has died, leaving you with a fortune. Thing is, the will stipulates you must spend your inheritance before the rest of the family in order to get the real inheritance. You can accomplish this by making poor real estate decisions, hiring expensive servants, going on expensive cruises and generally surrounding yourself with freeloaders. I liked this game enough to play it three times at the con. There’s lots of strategies to try once you get past the daunting list of special abilities the cards grant you.

Blood Bowl: Team Manager – I had initially blown this off as Fantasy Flight saying “Blood Bowl would be too expensive to re-issue, so here’s a card game knock off instead.” Thankfully, I was wrong. This is a fun game that distills an entire season of Blood Bowl into just the best parts.

Eminent Domain – Sleek, sci-fi deck building game with Puerto Rico-style role selection. Only got to play it once, but eager for another go.

Auf Achse – An older Wolfgang Kramer game about trucking. Think Ticket to Ride but with money and cargo. Only some of the cards had English translations, so I employed the magic of Google Goggles to do on the fly translations.

Panic Station – I really need to give this game another shot as I seem to be the only one who didn’t like it. The game aims to recreate the events of John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” Each player controls a human and an android who are searching through an abandoned science station in search of an alien hive. One of the players is secretly infected with an alien parasite, seeking to infect the other players. I found the game clunky and full of odd design choices.

El Caballero – The love child of Carcassonne and El Grande, two of my favorite Euros. Supposedly Rio Grande is putting this game back in print.

Lost Temple – Citadels Lite in the jungle. Fun, light game for people who have never played Citadels.

Kingdom Builder – Being the designer of Dominion probably gives you carte blanche to make any kind of game you want. This includes very light, Through the Desert-esque games. Pretty but not very fun. Good intro game, though.

I played a lot of other games, mostly short filler games, but these were the ones that stuck in my mind.


Rex Commeth

I have not touched my custom Dune board game project in many months. Mostly this is due to my weekends being taken up by Scare for a Cure and the overwhelming success of the Find a Girlfriend project.

This month, Fantasy Flight is releasing Rex: Final Days of an Empire, which is a re-themed version of Dune set in the Twilight Imperium universe. My plan is to play it (maybe at BoardGameGeek.con) and see if Fantasy Flight has any ideas worth stealing. They have an impressive track record for taking old classics and making them better.

Regardless of any game mechanic changes, I ought to return to making art for the game at some point. Anyhow, that’s all for now.


Storage space is a currency of potential for me. Whenever I move into a new place I look at the drawers and cabinets, thinking “What could I fill these with?” The more compartmentalized a storage array is, the more appealing it is to me. Large storage capacities with inversely sized cosmetic footprints are also coveted. Deep cabinets set into a wall, for example. The workstation I sit at retracts into a closet so I can close the doors and forget it is even there. Delicious!

Digital storage holds a similar appeal. My two terabyte external drive is a tiny black library of universes. Worlds drift inside it. Years are spooled about its cores. Will it ever be full? Time will tell. With the recent popularity of cloud storage I find myself with gigabytes of potential floating out there. Somewhere in the heavens orbits the crystalline webwork which contains my data. Or so I envision it. I have vaults at Google, A2 Hosting, Amazon, DropBox, Apple, and I feel the need to store particular data at particular places. My music is scattered between several locations. My documents as well. Some of these services are backup solutions. Some file sharing. I have a whole DropBox folder dedicated to board game rules! It is time to analyze each service and decide what goes where.

Beyond that, what *could* I be doing with all this space? What clever uses might there be?