Film Review: Weird Horror Mashup “Ouija Japan”

Horror films often revolve around fears and desires, generally with dire consequences for anti-social or blasphemous beliefs. As a genre, they reinforce community standards and behavioral norms, which is one reason that audiences perpetually ask “what did they do to deserve this?” when someone is possessed, haunted, or otherwise experiences evil. With a sort of evil spirit realm paralleling our own, sometimes all it takes is opening the wrong door, unsealing that basement cupboard, even…Read More

Parents! Here’s How To Talk With Your Teens

In the movies, teenagers are all estranged from their parents, sullen, prone to one-word answers, and typically found hiding out in their bedrooms, surrounded by their possessions. While there’s an element of truth to this portrayal, the fact is that what most teenagers really seek is a sympathetic listener, not isolation. I know this first hand as I have three children, the youngest of which is 17. I’ve made it a habit to listen respectfully…Read More

Film Review: Mostly Plodding “The Addams Family 2”

New Yorker cartoonist Charles Addams created The Addams Family, a delightfully weird and wacky family of macabre cartoon characters, back in the late 1930s. He continued offering up strange and darkly humorous cartoons of his popular clan until his death in the 1980s. The Addams family was a surprise hit, inspiring a live-action TV series in the 1960s, another live-action series in the 70s, two live-action movies in the 90s, an animated series in the…Read More

Film Review: Bond’s Back in “No Time To Die”

Based on a series of thrillers written by former spy Ian Fleming, there’s no more successful film franchise than that of James Bond. The master spy of the British MI6 service with the license to kill denoted by his double-oh identifier – 007 – he’s long been the epitome of Western masculine cultural values. The franchise has also had its ups and downs with Sean Connery, Roger More, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and, for one…Read More

Game Review: Out-of-This-World Tile Placement “Luna Capital”

What if our exploration of the moon didn’t stop with Apollo 17 but actually revved up? By 1977 we could have had colonies on our lunar neighbor, all ably managed by the popular Lunar Colonization Authority. That’s the premise of Luna Capital. Manage your colonization efforts, create the most appealing colony, and your region of the moon will be selected as the Luna Capital. Luna Capital is a new game is from game publisher Devir,…Read More

Series Review: “Foundation” on Apple TV+

It’s millions of years in the future and the Galactic Empire spans hundreds of planets and trillions of people. It’s been surprisingly calm and stable for thousands of years, but psychohistorian Hari Seldon (Jared Harris) is convinced that something terrible is about to happen. Seldon, a mathematician, has invented the science of psychohistory, an amalgamation of psychology and statistics that allows him to analyze humankind across eons to predict future events, both large and small….Read More

An Afternoon at the 2021 Denver Gem, Jewelry & Mineral Show

Every couple of years, I round up a friend or two and head to the Denver Gem & Mineral Show. Historically it’s been at the Denver Merchandise Mart but since that facility went bankrupt last year (another victim of the pandemic, alas) the show’s moved to National Western Complex in Denver, a couple of miles away. Well, it might be the same show or it might be a new, replacement expo and show since it…Read More

Top Down, Sun Out with the 2021 BMW 430i Convertible

BMW has been generous with its vehicle loans and I actually wrote extensively about the 2021 BMW 430i just a month or two ago. You can check out my review and road test commentary here: A Week With the 2021 BMW 430i xDrive Coupe. In summary, I observed that it was sleek, comfortable, fun to drive, but marred by the “beaver teeth” front grill and some acceleration problems from a full stop. The acceleration problem…Read More

Montalo’s Revenge: The Expansion to Solo Puzzle Game “Relics of Rajavihara”

Sliding solo puzzle games like Rush Hour can be great fun, challenges that require you to plan long sequences of moves, along with an element of physical playing piece manipulation. It’s very satisfying to solve a level and move to the next one! About a year ago, I had a chance to review a prototype of an entirely new entrant in this category called Relics of Rajavihara, a shifting blocks puzzle. I really liked it…Read More

1500 Miles in a 2021 Honda Accord Hybrid TRG

I just got back a few days ago from my summer road trip: Boulder to Kansas City and thence the Lake of the Ozarks, where I relaxed for a week with my kids and enjoyed both the summer heat and the cool indoor air conditioning. I wrote about the Lake trip elsewhere – see Summer Vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks – but what I didn’t talk much about was the transit. Honda kindly…Read More

I Assemble The Mandalorian Out Of Jigsaw Puzzle Pieces…

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with jigsaw puzzles. Most of the time I enjoy the slow, detailed process of puzzle assembly, but every so often there’s a moment when I swear that a piece is just missing and that somehow the company omitted that piece from the box. Of course, somehow it does all work out in the end and I’ve never yet had a puzzle actually missing a piece, but the…Read More

My Late Summer Holiday at the Lake of the Ozarks

It’s been a long summer. Heck, it’s been a long pandemic, during which time both my older daughter’s boyfriend and my younger daughter (who lives with me full time) both tested positive for Covid. He had an easy go of it, but my girl had a rough weekend of flu-like symptoms, followed by a loss of taste and smell for a few weeks. It’s also been a year of very little travel for me when…Read More

Film Review: Fun, Mythic “Shang-Chi And The Legend of the Ten Rings”

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is enormous, encompassing dozens of superheroes and hundreds of characters, all tied together through vague and mysterious organizations like SHIELD or Hydra. SHIELD was created when boss-man Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) realized how fragile our world was to outside threats, then a subset of them created The Avengers. That covers about twenty movies and a couple of TV series, I think. But Marvel has had other secret organizations throughout its…Read More

The 2021 Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (Part 2)

Note: This is part 2. Please start here, as needed: The 2021 Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (part 1) I’d enjoyed driving the 2022 Nissan Frontier with Derek, the Nissan product specialist, but generally speaking, I prefer to drive these vehicles solo so I can screw with settings, crank the stereo, stop if I see something interesting (or a good photo backdrop), etc. Next up in the driving queue was a solo drive of the… 2021…Read More

The 2021 Rocky Mountain Driving Experience (part 1)

It’s been a few years since the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press team pulled together a Rocky Mountain Driving Experience event for us auto writers and media types. You can guess why, but suffice to say it was great to get back with the group just a few days ago and take over the roads above Morrison, Colorado. Most famously, that’s where Red Rocks Amphitheater is, but our base was just a few miles away at…Read More

Film Review: The Creepy Dreamscape of “Come True”

It might be because Halloween is coming up, but there are a lot of horror films hitting the streams and theaters right now. Some of them I can’t make it through, but others turn out to be sleepers, really good movies that demonstrate a terrific verve and sense of style. The indie horror film Come True is in the latter category and proves a good, creepy watch. It’s the kind of oppressive horror film that’s…Read More

2020 Kia Sportage SX AWD: Yet Another Compact SUV

I’ve been driving a number of different Kia vehicles recently, finding each a solid option in its class with lots of nice design touches and external design. Most recently, the sporty Kia K5 GT sedan, but I also liked the Kia Sorento X-Line too, which is, yes, a compact SUV. When I had the chance to drive the entry-level 2020 Kia Sportage SX AWD, I expected something quite similar to the Sorento. But I was…Read More

Film Review: “6:45”, Horror Foiled By Its Ending

The idea that we might have already experienced a moment, an event, or an entire day is endlessly fascinating for filmmakers, Most obviously, the wry Groundhog Day (1993) starring the inimitable Bill Murray in one of his most famous roles. The Matrix (1999) dabbles with time loops ingeniously in its explanation of déjà vu. Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt offer a high-tension iterating day in the terrific, albeit poorly named sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow (2014)….Read More