La La Land (2016)

Whoops, I guess I lied when I said I won’t be going to a theater anytime soon. Turns out I’ll be going out to the movies more times in December than I have all year. My family makes a tradition of going out to watch a movie on Christmas Day, and this year we were torn, so we all got together and watched the trailers for a handful of new releases and then voted on which we’d want to watch. The options were Sing, Moana, Lion, and La La Land. Based on the title of this post, I’m sure you’re smart enough to deduce what we ended up seeing.

mv5bmzuzndm2nzm2mv5bml5banbnxkftztgwntm3ntg4ote-_v1_sy1000_sx675_al_La La Land is the third full length film from writer/ director Damien Chazelle. “Hmmm… Damien Chazelle, how come that name sounds kind of familiar?” I hear you say. Maybe it’s because he wrote the cartoonish Grand Piano, or the dour and intense 10 Cloverfield Lane. Maybe it’s because his last directing effort was a little movie about drumming and throwing chairs called Whiplash. Chazelle has only been on the radar for a handful of years, but apparently he’s only able to crank out the hits.

La La Land is a very simple movie with a very simple premise. Ryan Gosling plays Sebastian, a jazz pianist aspiring to own his own jazz club and keep jazz alive and thriving in the L.A. scene. Emma Stone plays Mia, an aspiring but struggling actress who is trying to navigate her way through the Hollywood minefield to make a name for herself. They meet, and fall in love. Life ensues.



Rogue One (2016)

Woah! What is this? I’m writing about a movie released within the last week? It’s a Christmas miracle! Don’t get to used to it kiddos, because I hate movie theaters and probably won’t see another movie on opening weekend for a loooong time.

Remember way back when I said hit guerrilla film maker Gareth Edwards has been swallowed up by the corporate machine, I totally missed the fact that he’s the director for this year’s Star Wars film, Rogue One.

rogueone_onesheetaDisney’s Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: Episode 3.5: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is the newest movie in the yearly Star Wars output that Disney has scheduled for the next 500 years. Rogue One is a companion piece to the core Star Wars saga, showing how the Rebel Alliance discovers and steals the plans for the Death Star between Episode III and Episode IV.

Full disclosure: this review is going to be chocked full of spoilers. Also full disclosure: get a tall glass of something to drink, because I’m going to be real salty.

Go watch Rogue One before reading this. Or don’t. I mean, honestly, if you’ve seen A New Hope, I think you can figure out how this one ends.


Riki-Oh (1991) & À L’intérieur (2007)

I signed up for the horror streaming service Shudder (it’s pretty much Netflix for horror fans). I was hesitant to add yet another subscription based payment to by credit card every month, but at five bucks a month, I eventually caved and signed up. What really drew me in was their selection. Being one of the few remaining video store clerks in existence I’ve witnessed the ridiculous price mark-ups that are put on old out of print horror flicks or anything being re-released by Arrow Video, and seeing titles like The MutilatorBlood Rage, and Microwave Massacre on Shudder warmed my shrivelled horror geek heart enough to throw money their way. I’ve watched a couple movies using Shudder over the last few weeks that are worth writing about, so I’ll spare a review of Shudder itself for another post but until then, here are reviews of two of the goriest movies I’ve ever seen in my life (and they couldn’t be any more different). (more…)

Why You Should Start Playing RPGs Right Now

Well, maybe not right now. I don’t know your life. Maybe you’re reading this at 4am in a train station, or in a boardroom sitting through an impossibly long and boring meeting that you thought you’d attend because you were accidentally CC’d on an email about it. By right now, I mean as soon as you’re comfortable. The purpose of this post is to get people who have been hesitant or dismissive of RPGs to hopefully open up a little more about the subject. For them to understand why other people like RPGs and why they might like them too. This isn’t a post on how to actually play RPGs. This is just an introduction to RPGs and RPG culture as a whole. If you’re reading this and you already play an RPG, give it a read anyways and see if our opinions align enough for you to share it with a non gamer in your life. You’ve already given me the pageview, so there’s no point in turning back anyways. (more…)

We’re Expanding!

Hi folks! Long time no read.

As all three of you know, this is a movie blog. When I started Coffee and Illithids, I had no idea what I wanted to write about, but I decided to focus on one of my favorite art forms: movies. I also had an interest in writing about my longest-running hobby, tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs for short or RPGs for shorter), but I wasn’t really inspired to write about them at first. Now, the fire is burning bright, so I’m going to be expanding the scope of Coffee and Illithids to include posts about RPGs.

What about RPGs? I’m not sure yet. Tips and tricks on how to be a better player or Game Master (GM), my thoughts on different games, where I get my inspiration from, whatever tickles my fancy. I don’t have much of a plan, but I know that people who run and play RPGs always want to get better and improve their craft (myself included), and I think I can help.

So, why listen to me? Well, I’ve been playing RPGs for nearly ten years, for starters. I’m strongly rooted in Dungeons and Dragons, having been constantly playing one edition of it or another since I was in high school, but I’ve played games using systems including Pathfinder, Shadowrun, Dread, and more. I’ve run countless adventures for many different gaming groups, big and small, as well as played in many different games throughout the years. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly from GMs and players alike, and I’ve made my fair share total failures during my decade of Dungeons and Dragons. I’ve got a little bit of insight into how the hobby and the culture surrounding the hobby works.

So, grab your cloak of Elven windwalking and hold your Flame Tongue high, ’cause Coffee and Illithids is going to be getting nerdy nerdier.


Welcome to Coffee And Illithids!

I’ve got a confession to make. I’ve never seen Chinatown. Or Apocalypse Now. Or Gladiator. Or Bride of Re-Animator. I know. It’s shameful. So shameful, I’ve compiled an ever-growing list of movies I want to see (as of writing this, it sits at over 200 movies!) and I’ve decided to try to watch and write about all of them. It’s going to take a long ass time and I’m sure I’ll be adding movies onto that list faster than I can watch them, but I’m going to try, damnit. Hopefully you like what I write here, so please, feel free to stay a while.

Welcome to Coffee and Illithids.