‘Occupation: Rainfall’ is a Fun Sci-Fi Opera Hindered By its Own Weight

Occupation: Rainfall is a confusing enigma. At moments, it feels at home in B-movie schlock delivering campy actor performances that chew on scenery and heavy action sequences drenched in CGI screen filters and explosions. Other moments, there’s a sincerity in its attention to detail in the story it weaves. Crafting interesting cinematography to amplify its thoughts on trauma, war, and moving forward.

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‘The Midnight Swim’ Dives Deep into Grief and Depression

The journey through grief, loss, and depression can often be a solitary one. A moment in time where a world full of the diversity of life, people, animals, and color, is swept to the sea and you are left with an isolating void of muted memories and half remembered thoughts. The Midnight Swim — a 2015 film recently made available on home video and streaming — written and directed by Sarah Adina Smith, dives deep into the nuance of these feelings through poetic and graceful filmmaking.

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‘Soul Hackers 2’ Overrides Predecessor’s Past with New Digital Identity

Atlus has released new story and character information about their upcoming RPG, Soul Hackers 2, a sequel to the twenty-five year old game, Devil Summoner: Soul Hackers. Following its cult-celebrated predecessor’s meshing of sci-fi aesthetic with the Shin Megami Tensei, Soul Hackers 2 aims to upgrade the concept by coding a new tale about humanity and its relationship with technology. 

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‘Bundle for Ukraine’ is a Stellar Deal to Support a Great Cause

Have you been looking for ways to help people in Ukraine? Do you also like playing interesting and unique games from indie developers? Then Necrosoft Games have the perfect bundle for you. The Bundle for Ukraine is a itch.io bundle hosted by Necrosoft Games with content from 732 creators containing over 1,000 games, tabletop RPGs, books, and soundtracks aimed at helping the people in Ukraine through this tumultuous time of Russian forces invading their country: all at the starting price of $10 with the option to give more for the goal of raising $2 million.  

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‘Soul Hackers 2’ Trailer Shows Off War, Fashion, and Demon Summoning in the Digital Age

Shin Megami Tensei fans rejoice for Atlus is showing no signs of slowing down on releases of their cult classic franchises. The makers of the Persona, Catherine, and the aforementioned Shin Megami Tensei series announced their latest JRPG, Soul Hackers 2

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‘Solar Ash’ is Introspective and Beautiful

Solar Ash on the surface feels ethereal yet familiar. The premise of trying to stop a world ending event has never looked so beautiful, and in conjunction with smooth controls and a haunting soundtrack, Solar Ash solidifies itself as a serviceable gaming experience on a console that has been in desperate need of unique games since its launch.

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‘Halo Infinite Multiplayer’ is a Breath of Fresh Air

After playing well over 300 matches of Halo Infinite’s multiplayer through my Christmas break, a Covid scare followed by an actual Covid infection, and a 10 day isolation period has left me with a feeling of nostalgia. Halo is back in its most traditional form with some modern sensibilities and missteps.

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The Best Magic Trick of ‘Mister Miracle: The Great Escape’ is its Heart

Mister Miracle: The Great Escape is a bit of enigma. Like the titular character himself, the book is an incredible romp of humor and excitement with a genuine heart at the center.

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Cheyenne Ewulu on ‘Shades of Cosplay’ and Artistic Expression

Creating an influential and resonating documentary that digs into the heart of cosplay and Geekdom from a Black perspective as her first film wasn’t exactly Cheyenne Ewulu’s plan to begin with. What was supposed to be more of an artistic catharsis to express the frustration with racism and lack of awareness she noticed in the community she called home, became a beacon for Black cosplayers to find hope and admiration in their work.

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‘Shades of Cosplay’ Makes Me Want to Cosplay

Cosplay is an enigma to me. The act of dressing up as one’s favorite character to an almost identical degree shows a mastery of craft-making, make-up, and acting that is rarely discussed in other mediums. Being a fan of a show or a character is no longer a passive experience when you cosplay, it becomes an active response to the work that inspires you.

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‘Shades of Cosplay’ Brings the Black Cosplay Experience Front and Center

Film director Cheyenne Ewulu directed the 2015 documentary Shades of Cosplay about four Black cosplayers and their experiences during the 2015 Anime-Matusuri convention. Using her background as a cosplayer, Ewulu weaves a story that interacts with the world of cosplay and its issues of racism and inclusiveness in the space. Now in the year 2022, the film is being released online for the first time on February 4, 2022 — to celebrate Black History Month.

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NOC Interview: Reed Shannon is a Voice of the Future

Reed Shannon is the very definition of a performer, and there’s a very good chance you have heard or seen him already. Whether it comes to his acting in the upcoming The Wilds season two, making music like his recent single “Bad Girl,” his stand-up career, or his voice acting as the voice of Cartoon Network and fan favorite Ekko from the hit Netflix show, Arcane, Reed has shown that he is able to do it all and more. 

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‘Nightshooters’ is One of the Best Action Films This Year

The trials and tribulations of indie filmmaking are taken to their absurd, action-y, lengths in Marc Price’s Nightshooter, a story about a film crew finding themselves at the scene of a harrowing gang (mob?) execution at an abandoned and soon to be demolished business center on the last night of shooting a zombie film.

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‘You Can’t Kill Meme’ is a Genuine Attempt to Pull the Curtain on Meme Magic

Chaos Magic, 4chan, the 2016 election, and Egyptian gods were not the things I ever thought I would experience all at once but in You Can’t Kill Meme, a documentary film by Haley Garrigus that explores the idea of memes being magic and the magicians who use them. My third eye has been opened and I am looking deeper into the images I find funny and retweet on the internet.

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‘The Advent Calendar’ Proves to be Fun Holiday Horror

Christmas is a wonderful time of year. It’s a moment to reflect on one’s life for the past 12 months with the family and friends you cherish, and celebrate another year together. Patrick Ridremont’s new film, The Advent Calendar, however, delivers a deliciously macabre statement that rejects the Yuletide sentiments for horror and gore sensibilities wrapped lovingly in beautiful cinematography and terrible people. This French film gifts the audience with an Advent calendar of terror, each scene opening up to reveal heightening anxious dread, that will leave horror fans happy this holiday season.

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Daniel Park on Representation and Producing the K-drama, ‘IDOL: The COUP’

Success never comes easy and especially when the odds are stacked against you, but with an authentic voice it can shape a generation. Daniel Park knows this personally as he is most notably known for his work with Far East Movement and his production company Transparent Agency. Daniel Park has been pushing the boundary of Asian American media and music into the broader American culture for more than a decade. Now as we are starting to see more Asian and Asian American artists take center stage on the path he helped create, we got sit down and talk with him about his thoughts on representation, the music industry and producing the K-drama, IDOL: The COUP.

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‘Alan Wake Remastered’ Brings a Brilliant Cult Classic to a New Generation

It started like a dream. I never thought I would be playing Alan Wake again after 10 years. Most of the plot, gameplay, and characters felt like mere shadows of a half remembered dream I had. Moments of the sequences I enjoyed mixed with the frustrated “eh” feelings I had for the combat, left me wondering if revisiting this game now that I am closer to the age of the titular character would change the shape my thoughts from what I thought of it before.

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‘Halo Infinite Multiplayer’ and Other Surprises at XBox’s 20th Anniversary Stream

Xbox graced us along with 343 Studios and the rest of Microsoft with some surprise announcements at Xbox’s 20th anniversary special. The special itself was a simple enough stream that was quick to the point with its nostalgia bombs of the history of the console with a few surprises of what Microsoft’s immediate future plans are. 

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‘Madres’ Star Ariana Guerra on How Film Can Tell Stories to Inspire Change

Madres is a bit of an enigma as a film. Billed as a horror movie about a Mexican American couple in 1970 who move to California for better opportunities as the due date for their first born approaches, the film takes inspiration from a very real historical tragedy. In the years post WWII, California farm workers were subjected to hazardous working conditions which poisoned them with the deadly pesticides that were being sprayed over the crops. Madres aims to bring awareness to a forgotten disaster and Ariana Guerra wanted to make sure she was apart of this important story when she accepted the role of the film’s protagonist, Diana. 

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‘The Manor’ Director Axelle Carolyn Wants to Know Why Everyone is So Afraid to Grow Old

Axelle Carolyn has been a lover of the horror genre from the beginning of her career. Ever since her jump from sitting in front of the screen to being behind the camera as a director, Carolyn has honed her craft to tell human stories through the genre that scares us most. For her new movie, The Manor, premiering on Amazon Prime Video as a part of “Welcome to the Blumhouse,” we were able to sit down and talk with Carolyn about life, death, and the fear of growing old.

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Gigi Saul Guerrero on Campy Horror and Respecting Your Elders in ‘Bingo Hell’

In Bingo Hell, co-writer and director Gigi Saul Guerrero creates a world of horror that harkens to the campiness of early ’80s schlock with a tale that feels as old as time itself. But it’s also a labor of love and reverence for the people in our lives that came before but are often never the protagonist of our stories — our elders. 

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‘Tales of Arise’ Review: Rising to the Occasion Never Felt So Good

I have spent most of my life playing Japanese role playing games. From the Final Fantasy series to the Shin Megami Tensei series, I have enjoyed several different JRPG titles from Japan. But one in particular was always hit or miss for me, and that was the Tales series. I bounced off of Abyss and Beseria, never owned a Gamecube to play Symphonia, finished Vesperia and liked it, but never felt the pull of replaying it. So to say that Tales of Arise is one of the best JRPGs to date is an understatement. Tales of Arise captures what makes JRPGs timeless while evolving and creating a new vocabulary of play through its storytelling and combat that I hope other studios take note of. 

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‘Ouija Japan’ Summons Greatness but is Cursed with Being Decent

Something that has always fascinated me in horror movies is that through the sheer bombastic embrace of all things repulsive in society, it can often be the best mirror image society has of itself. Whether it be through nightmare dream logic, campy visual stylization, or an over abundance of gore, when you strip the horror genre to its core there is a meaning behind the madness.

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