Half-Life 2

Half Life 2I recommended Half-Life 2 to Parny.

Half-Life 2 is one of those games that you hear a lot about (if you’re a loser like me. Which Parny is and, chances are if you’re reading this, you are too.) Mainly, you hear that there’s a constant, long-standing, undying desire for Half-Life 3. From this, you glean that 2 must be something special. It’s got a similar reputation and level of reverence as Ocarina of Time. Anything that’s this over-hyped tends to be a letdown, which is why I am attempting to give myself Star Wars Amnesia. Anyway, H2 lives up to its reputation.

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Fallout 3

Fallout 3I think that Ollie would like the videogame Fallout 3. I like it. After owning it for four years but never playing it, I finally gave it a go a couple of months back. I have since racked up an amount of hours that I am frankly too embarrassed to publish here. Writing about the upcoming Fallout 4 has me even more enthusiastic about the post-apocalyptic RPG series, so here’s why it’s great:

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I recommended the film ‘Frank’ to Parny. He said he has some spare time to watch it, but he’s probably forgotten so I am reminding him. Parny, watch Frank.

The film, which stars Michael Fassbeneder as the titular character, is based on the life of the the hero of Timpenny, Frank Sidebottom. This isn’t a biopic, it’s detached enough from the late Chris Sievey (the man behind / inside Sidebottom) that it doesn’t incur the controversy or disputes that standard biopics tend to. It respectfully takes the concept of Frank Sidebottom, removes the Sidebottom, and explores the character of the enigmatic genius musician ‘Frank’ who never removes his giant false head.

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PodcastsI have recommended podcasts to pretty much everyone I know.

Podcasts are brilliant. I’m so obsessed with podcasts, that I’m attempting to listen to one at the same time as writing this. It’s not doing wonders for my concentration.

Everyone likes Youtube, right? Youtube is great. You can watch all sorts of videos from all sorts of people about all sorts of things. You can watch proffessionally made content, stuff that’s previously been on TV, old films etc. There’s also a culture of Youtubers – it’s such an accessible medium that anyone can upload something they made, and some of these amatuers are bloody popular. They’re getting more views than mainstream broadcast television shows.

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Good Will Hunting

Good Will HuntingI recommended the film Good Will Hunting to Ollie and Parny because, following a discussion about The Martian and Interstellar, they both said that they weren’t keen on Matt Damon.

I can understand that he may get a bit dull if you think that he’s just action man Jason Bourne, but he is a lot more versatile than that. In Good Will Hunting he plays a disadvantaged young man from Boston, who has an incredible intelligence hidden beneath his smart alec, macho persona. Even more interesting is that Damon wrote the screenplay with co-star and school friend Ben Affleck. They won an Oscar and a Golden Globe for Best Screenplay, and it’s easy to see why.

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Operation Ivy

Operation IvyI’m right at the cutting edge here. I just started listening to Operation Ivy, a punk ska band who were together from 1987–1989.

I heard the name a lot, and it stuck in my head when it was included in the lyrics to The King Blues’ ode to punk ‘What if Punk Never Happened?’.

I recommended the song ‘Soundsystem’ to Luke because he likes punky stuff. He’s a big fan of Green Day, and Operation Ivy’s last official live performance was on May 28, 1989, the very same gig where Green Day first performed under that name. Green Day were also on the same record label and recorded a cover of Operation Ivy’s song ‘Knowledge’.

Soundsystem’s a bouncy foot tapper, which isn’t what you expect from punk. It’s like a happy tornado: raw and out of control, but smiling.  Have a listen here: