From the Great Land of Hyrule
Better with audio!
The Legend of Zelda would be nothing without its amazing sound design, and this mix of Breath of the Wild environmental ambiance has been carefully chosen to accompany this post. Please be sure to hit the play button!
We respect the creators’ intentions that some of these places aren’t canonically part of the Land of Hyrule, but we believe they all still encapsulate the spirit of exploration of the great land.
Each post contains links to the blogs of the incredible authors of their respective pieces. Please support their work by following/bookmarking them.
We recommend you start from the beginning, but you can click each link to jump to that location if you prefer.
I woke up this morning missing you. I’ve been away for a while, and I realize I’ve been far too wrapped up in my adventures to make my way back to the Island, back to Outset. Of that, I want to say I’m sorry. Courage may come in many different forms, but it almost always takes you away from the family and friends you love.
Mild trigger warning: this post briefly delves into the topic of emotional relationship abuse. If that is a touchy subject for you, you might prefer this quirky post on The McAl(l)ister’s Effect.
I left myself behind / Never knowing what I wanted, / Knowing what I needed you to do. / Reflections you used to see / Never looked alike to me.
– CHVRCHES, “Get Out,” Love is Dead
I’ve been listening to a lot of the band CHVRCHES lately due to the release of their latest album, which is just absolutely brilliant. Love is Dead — easily the best album of their career —immediately gives long-standing electropop favorites like Kye Kye and Purity Ring and run for their money. It’s one of those great albums that is incredibly hard to finish because I always want to hit the back button and repeat the tracks over and over again. Especially the tracks “Deliverance,” “My Enemy,” and “Wonderland,” but this isn’t an album review.
I told my wife Nikki about this amazing audio experience — about the 80’s inspired sound and the beautiful thematic consistency, the insightful lyrics and relatable topics, and about how the band is changing the face of pop music as we know it. And then she destroyed my enthusiasm with just one short sentence: “Her voice gets on my nerves.” Continue reading “Love Is Not Dead: Opposing Interests in Relationships”→
Is that the logical thing to do? No, but it is the human thing to do.
There’s never been another Star Trek film like Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, which is in my opinion one of the most fun films ever made. There’s a reason it absolutely destroyed the box office when it came out in 1986 — it was actually released on my birthday — and really wouldn’t be rivaled until the 2009 J.J. Abrams reboot. The movie is purely enjoyable on a pure visceral level, smart enough to keep the audience engaged, intensely gripping when the stakes are high, yet loose enough to where you can relax and have a good time.
This is the part where I briefly touch on the negatives. Voyage Home is, by nature of being a comedy, going to have some drawbacks. There are a ton of plot-holes and nitpicks, none of which I care to go into because they don’t bother me. Some don’t like the art film-style time travel scenes… I personally like them quite a bit. To me the biggest issue, though, is the soundtrack. This is likely because I’m spoiled. I’ve got James Horner on one side and Jerry Goldsmith on the other — two of the most celebrated composers of all time. I feel Star Trek IV goes way overboard (puns always intended) in it’s pursuit of comedic musical tone. I have a fantastic idea: let’s recut Voyage Home with Final Frontier’s incredible music.
Enterprise feels like a house with all the children gone. No, more empty even then that. The death of Spock is like an open wound. It seem that I have left the most noblest part of myself back there on that newborn planet.
One of my favorite moments in this film is actually in the opening credits at the beginning of a film. This was a time when most films, instead of jumping right into the action, ramped up the spectacle by featuring the primary actors, writers, composers, directors, and so on in very large text. After a flashback recap, the viewer is greeted with the opening credits as normal, but then something unique happens. After seeing “Starring William Shatner,” you instinctively expect to see Leonard Nimoy’s name, as is the case for both of the previous two movies. But this time, after Shatner’s name disappears, there is… nothing. For an noticeably long time nothing appears — just a gap — before proceeding to DeForest Kelley’s name. The audience, still reeling from the death of Spock, is forced right off the bat into a moment where the character’s absence is noticed.
Memes aside, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is my favorite film of all time. I consider it to be one of the greatest ever made. Here’s how to know if you should be friends with someone. Make them sit down to watch Wrath of Khan.
Oh yes, the epic movie noise! You may think 2010’s Inception is to blame for its popularity, but rest assured, the signature deep synth base movie “sting” has been around far longer. Star Trek: The Motion Picture from 1979 has so many of them, and it came at a time when the noise wasn’t quite as generic as it is today. I’m all about hearing some suitably epic soundtracks by the late Jerry Goldsmith – and this one could be his best work ever – but the sound effect, for good reason, is very noticeable.
As it should be, because I’d like to discuss finding epicness in everyday life. The biggest criticism for The Motion Picture is also its biggest strength. It’s slow, monotonous, and plodding, just like real life. It takes forever to get anything done, but at least you have time to stop and examine things. There is literally less plot in this film than any of the 50-minute episodes of The Original Series that came about ten years before. Continue reading ““Star Trek: The Motion Picture” and Finding Epicness in the Mundane”→
The most meaningful lyrics in my life – the ones that constantly ring in my head day after day – come from this album. Not even main lyrics, even, but background vocals from the song “Headphones,” sung beautifully by Grammy-nominated folk artist Katie Herzig.
I don’t wanna be the one who / tries to figure it out. / I don’t need another reason I should care about you. / You don’t wanna know my story. / You don’t wanna own my pain. / And even in this heavy, heavy world / There’s a pop song in my head.
Introduction (Lesson One)
Welcome to my retrospective of The Long Fall Back to Earth by Jars of Clay, one of the most meaningful albums in my life. My hope is that you’ll see the thematic genius behind this album by the end, but I’m optimistic at least that you’ll be able to feel the emotions I feel vicariously through me. I’ll be discussing a lot of very human occurrences in this piece, and these are things I think we all can relate with. Continue reading “Falling for Jars of Clay’s “The Long Fall Back to Earth””→
The film I discussed last time, 500 Days of Summer, was a runaway sleeper hit more successful than anyone imagined. Away We Go, the amazing movie I’m exploring in this post,didn’t even make it’s modest budget back at the box office. As much as I loved 500 Days of Summer and wish both movies had found success, this is the one more deserving. Away We Go is a little indie film starring John Krasinski (of The Office fame) and Maya Rudolph (a brilliant character actor who’s in literally everything).
Considering the massive resurgence in popularity 500 Days of Summer has seen over the past few years, combined with this film routinely taking the top spot on many “best of” romantic comedies lists, I’d be surprised if you haven’t seen it. The term “sleeper hit” doesn’t even begin to describe its success, and it is undeniably a cult classic.
All of that is to say that if you haven’t found yourself watching this, willing or otherwise, with a lovesick friend, you will in time. Just make sure it’s someone you’re comfortable crying and laughing with. And that’s fine, because 500 Days of Summer is stupid good. When my wife introduced it to me, I was blown away. I’m talking about La La Land levels of emotional vehemence, chemistry between the lead actors as spark-filled as American Hustle, and snappy dialogue that gives pause even to films like The Princess Bride. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “500 Days of Summer” and the Dark Side of Falling in Love”→
It’s Rom-Com Week! And I couldn’t be more excited to share my three favorite rom-coms and how they’re symbolic of real life relationship situations.
Today we’re looking at Chantry and Wallace in What If and how the film uses flirting to accurately develop a romantic relationship. If you haven’t seen the film, it’s on Amazon Prime Instant Video. You’ll derive more enjoyment, of course, if you go cuddle up with your guy, girl, cat, or dog, watch the movie, then come back here to finish reading. Continue reading “Rom-Com Week! “What If” and Bantering Towards a Proper Love Story”→