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    Pinned / Featured

    Ability Cards

    Here's a complete list of the Ability Cards and what they do (all listed at level 1)
    Dead Eye Abilities
    A Moment to Recuperate: While Dead Eye is active you slowly regenerate health. Taking any damage will cancel Dead Eye
    Focus Fire: While Dead Eye is active you and your team members deal a little more damage. If more than one member of your team has this ability active the effects do not stack.
    Paint It Black: While Dead Eye is active you can paint target onto enemies. Fire your weapon to shoot all marked targets. Each shot drains a small abount of Dead Eye.
    Slow and Steady: While Dead Eye is active you take a little less damage and headshots do not kill you outright. You cannot run or sprint.
    Quite an Inspiration: While Dead Eye is active you and your allies slowly regenerate health. If more than one member of your team has this ability active the effect do not stack.
    Slippery Bastard: While Dead Eye is active enemy players cannot lock onto you, and you cannot lock onto them. Other enemies are a little less accurate when shooting at you. The rate at which your Dead Eye drains is dramatically increased.
    Combat Abilities 
    Horseman: You deal a little more damage while on horseback.
    Necessity Breeds:As you get closer to death you start to do a little more damage
    Landon's Patience: Waiting for up to 15 seconds between shots slightly increases your damage.
    The Short Game: You deal a little more damage to targets closer to you but less to target farther away.
    Hangman: Your lasso chokes your enemies, dealing a little more damage to them for every second they are lassoed.
    Winning Streak: Each consecutive shot on the same target does a little more damage than the last.
    Recovery Abilities
    Come Back Stronger: Your health begins regenerating a little sooner after you take damage.
    Peak Condition: You inflict a little more damage if your stamina bar is at least 75% full.
    Eye for and Eye: Headshots restore a little Dead Eye.
    The Gift of Focus: Items and abilities which restore Dead Eye have their effects slightly improved. You deal a little less damage.
    Strange Medicine: You regain a little health whenever you inflict damage. You health otherwise regenerates at half the normal rate.
    Cold Blooded: After killing an enemy you will regain a little health over the next 5 seconds.
    Defensive Abilities
    Hunker Down: You take a little less damage while in cover.
    To Fight Another Day: You take less damage from bullets while sprinting.
    The Unblinking Eye: Your Dead Eye and Eagle Eye drain a little slower.
    Take the Pain Away: Whenever you revive someone you both take a little less damage for the next 8 seconds.
    Of Single Purpose: You take a little less damage from bullets while unarmed or using a melee weapon.
    Never Without One: Your hat will block one headshot and then fall off. While not wearing a hat you take more damage.
    Pinned

    Weapons Guide and Locations

    Click Here To Join The Discussion Thread
    All weapon stats can be found here. In the spoilers is how to get the secret weapon.s If no spoiler then nothing special other than going to gunsmith (many are mission locked and need to have a mission completed to access, natural game progression) or it is given at some point in the story as required. Ratings are on a 0 to 5 scale
    Damage - The amount of damage each shot will deal
    Range - Maximum lock on and firing range
    Fire Rate - Number shots per second
    Accuracy - Denotes how accurate you aim is
    Reload - How long it takes to reload 1 bullet
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Revolvers and Pistols
    Weapon  Damage   Range   Fire Rate   Accuracy   Reload   Price/Location Algernon's Revolver     1.5    2.0   3.2   2.8   2.0  See Spoiler #1 Calloway's Revolver     1.8    2.0   2.8   2.5   2.8  See Spoiler #2 Cattlemen Revolver    1.8    2.0   3.0   2.8   2.8   $50 Double Action Revolver     1.5    2.0   3.2   2.8   2.0   $65 - GTAO Version see Spoiler #3 Flaco's Revolver    1.8    2.0   3.0   2.8   2.8  See Spoiler #4 Granger's Revolver    1.8    2.0   3.0   2.8   2.8  See Spoiler #5 Micah's Revolver    1.5    2.0   3.2   2.8   2.0  See Spoiler #6 Otis Millers Revolver    1.8    2.0   2.8   2.5   2.8  See Spoiler #7 Schofield Revolver     1.8    2.0   2.8   2.5   2.8   $84 Mauser Pistol    1.5    2.0   3.2   3.0   2.5   $250 Midnight's Pistol    1.5    2.0   3.2   3.0   2.5  See Spoiler #8 Semi-Auto Pistol    1.2    2.0   3.5   3.2   2.5   $210 Volcanic Pistol    2.2    2.0   2.0   2.2   3.0   $150 saved for DLC    TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA  TBA CLICK THIS SPOILER TO OPEN THE OTHER SPOILERS
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Rifles, Repeaters and Sniper Rifles:
    Weapon  Damage   Range   Fire Rate    Accuracy   Reload  Price/Location Bolt Action Rifle    3.2    3.0   1.5   2.2   3.2   $180 Springfield Rifle   3.2   3.0   1.2   1.8   3.2   $120 Varmint Rifle   1.5   2.8   2.8   2.8   3.2   $72 Carbine Repeater    2.2   2.5   2.0   3.0   3.0             $90 Lancaster Repeater   2.5   2.5   2.0   2.5   2.8   $135 Litchfield Repeater   2.2   2.5   2.2   2.8   3.0   $145 Carcano Rifle    3.0   3.5   1.5   3.0   3.5   $190 Rare Rolling Block Rifle    3.5   3.5   1.2   1.5   3.5  See Spoiler #1 Rolling Block Rifle   3.5   3.5   1.2   1.5   3.5   $187 saved for DLC   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA #1 - Rare Rolling Block Rifle
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Shotguns:
    Weapon  Damage   Range   Fire Rate   Accuracy   Reload   Price/Location Double Barrel Shotgun    2.5   1.5   2.5   1.8   1.2   $95 Pump Action Shotgun   2.2   1.2   2.0   2.5   1.5   $148 Rare Shotgun   2.5   1.2   2.5   1.5   1.2   $95 Repeating Shotgun   2.2   1.2   2.0   2.2   1.5   $185 Sawed Off Shotgun   2.5   1.2   2.5   2.0   1.0   $85 Semi Auto Shotgun   2.5   1.2   2.5   2.5   1.2   $225 saved for DLC   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Bows:
    Weapon  Damage   Range   Fire Rate   Accuracy   Reload   Price/Location Bow   3.2   1.5   1.2   3.2   1.5  Free, In Mission saved for DLC   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Throwables:
    Weapon  Damage   Range   Fire Rate   Reload   Price/Location Ancient Tomahawk    2.2    1.0   0.5   1.0 See Spoiler #1 TomaHawk   2.2   1.0   0.5   1.0   $4.00 Throwing Knife   2.0   1.0   0.5   1.5   $2.50 Fire Bottle   2.8   1.0   0.5   1.0   $0.75 Dynamite   3.5   1.0   0.5   1.0   $1.00 saved for DLC   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA #1 - Ancient Tomahawk
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Melee:
    **denotes a matching available hat
    Weapon  Damage    Range   Reload   Cost/Location Antler Knife   2.0    0.5    0   See Spoiler #1 Broken Pirate Sword **   2.2   0.5   0  See Spoiler #2 Civil War Knife   2.0   0.5   0  See Spoiler #3 Cleaver   2.5   1.0   1.0   $8.00 Double Bit Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #4 Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  $4.25 Hewing Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #5 Hunter Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #6 Hunting Knife   2.0   0.5   0  Start of Game Jawbone Knife   2.0   0.5   0  See Spoiler #7 Machete   2.2   0.5   0  $10.00 Rusted Double Bit Hatchet    2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #8 Rusted Hunter Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #9 Stone Hatchet   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #10 Viking Hatchet**   2.5   1.0   1.0  See Spoiler #11 Wide Blade Knife**   2.0   0.5   0  See Spoiler #12 TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA   TBA Click spoiler to open all the other spoilers (this is done to eliminate alot of scrolling
     
    Modifications:
    Note - if any weapon has a spoiler attched to it above then it likely can not be modified
    Long Barrel - Increases accuracy
    Improved Rifling - Increases weapon range by 10%. On shotguns it increases the spread by 10% for wider cone of fire but decreases accuracy
    Improved Sites - Increase accuracy
    Scopes - Increase accuracy 
    Wrap - Reduces weapon degradation by 10%, stacks with other similar effects
    Stock and Grip mods are cosmetic only
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ammunition: (excludes regular base ammo)
    Most Pistols, Revolvers, Repeaters, Rifles and Sniper Rifles:
    High Velocity - Damage +5, Range +10
    Split Point - Damge +5, Accuracy +10 (crafted - regular cartridge + hunting knife)
    Express - Damage +15
    Explosive - Damage +25 (crafted - express cartridge + animal fat
    -------------------------------------
    Shotguns:
    Slug - Range +5, Accuracy +20
    Incendiary Buckshot - Damage +15 (crafted - regular shell + moonshine)
    Explosive Slug - Damage +25, Range +5, Accuracy +20 (crafted, regular shell (not sure here, may need slugs) + animal fat)
    ---------------------------------------
    Throwables:
    Volatile Dynamite - Damage +10 (crafted - dynamite + animal fat + high velocity cartridge) (can be purchased)
    Improved Throwing Knife - Damge +10, Range +5, Accuracy +5 (crafted - throwing knife + eagle/hawk feather)
    Poison Throwing Knife - Damage +10 (crafted - throwing knife + oleander sage)
    Improved Tomahawk - Damage +10, Range +5 (crafted - tomahawk + eagle/hawk feather)
    Homing Tomahawk - Range +5, Accuracy +10 (crafted - tomahawk + owl feather)
    -----------------------------------------
    Arrows:
    Improved Arrow - Damage +15 (crafted - arrow + flight feather)
    Small Game Arrow - Damage -20 (crafted - arrow + flight feather + regular shotgun shell)
    Poison Arrow - Damage +5 (crafted - arrow + flight feather + oleander sage)
    Fire Arrow - Damage +20 (crafted - arrow + flight feather + animal fat)
    Dynamite Arrow - Damage +40 (crafted - arrow + flight feather + dynamite_
     
     

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    • By JustHatched
    • 149 views
    • 0 comments
    Pinned / Featured

    All 178 Animals

    Click Here To Join The Discussion Thread
    Here's a list of all 178 animals in RDR2.
    They should be listed in the same order as they would appear in your compendium, from left to right.
    Should make it easier to track which ones you need as the blank spaces in the compendium do nothing to help.
     
    AmericanAlligator
    American Alligator (small)
    Nine-Banded Armadillo
    American Badger
    Little Brown Bat
    American Black Bear
    Grizzly Bear
    North American Beaver
    Blue Jay
    Wild Boar
    Whitetailed Buck
    Whitetailed Deer
    American Bison
    Angus Bull
    Devon Bull
    Hereford Bull
    American Bullfrog
    Northern Cardinal
    American Domestic Cat
    Cedar Waxwing
    Dominique Chicken
    Dominique Rooster
    Java Chicken
    Java Rooster
    Leghorn Chicken
    Leghorn Rooster
    Greater Prairie Chicken
    Western Chipmunk
    California Condor
    Cougar
    Double-crested Cormorant
    Neotropic Cormorant
    Florida Cracker Cow
    California Valley Coyote
    Cuban Land Crab
    Red Swamp Crayfish
    Whooping Crane
    Sandhill Crane
    American Crow
    American Foxhound
    American Shepard
    Bloodhound
    Bluetick Coonhound
    Border Collie
    Catahoula Cur
    Chesapeake Bay Retriever
    Siberian Husky
    Laborador Retriever
    Poodle
    Mutt
    Rufus
    Standard Donkey
    Mallard Duck
    Pekin Duck
    Bald Eagle
    Golden Eagle
    Reddish Egret
    Little Egret
    Snowy Egret
    Rocky Mountain Bull Elk
    Rocky Mountain Cow Elk
    American Red Fox
    American Gray Fox
    Silver Fox
    Banded Gila Monster
    Alpine Goat
    Canada Goose
    Ferruginous Hawk
    Red-tailed Hawk
    Rough-legged Hawk
    Great Blue Heron
    Tricolored Heron
    Desert Iguana
    Green Iguana
    Collared Peccary
    Common Loon
    Pacific Loon
    Yellow-billed Loon
    Western Bull Moose
    Western Moose
    Mule
    American Muskrat
    Baltimore Oriole
    Hooded Oriole
    California Horned Owl
    Coastal Horned Owl
    Great Horned Owl
    Angus Ox
    Devon Ox
    Panther
    Florida Panther
    Carolina Parakeet
    Blue and Yellow Macaw
    Green Macaw
    Scarlet Macaw
    American White Pelican
    Brown Pelican
    Ring-necked Pheasant
    Chinese ring-necked Pheasant
    Berkshire Pig
    Big China Pig
    Old Spot Pig
    Band-tailed Pigeon
    Rock Pigeon
    Virginia Possum
    American Pronghorn Buck
    American Pronghorn Doe
    Sonoran Pronghorn Buck
    Sonoran Pronghorn Doe
    Baja California Pronghorn Buck
    Baja California Pronghorn Doe
    California Quail
    Sierra Nevada Bighorn Ram
    Sierra Nevada Bighorn Sheep
    Desert Bighorn Ram
    Desert Bighorn Sheep
    Rocky Mountain Bighorn Ram
    Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep
    Black-tailed Jackrabbit
    American Raccoon
    Black rat
    Brown rat
    Western Raven
    Red-footed Booby
    American Robin
    Roseate Spoonbill
    Herring Gull
    Laughing Gull
    Ring-billed Gull
    Merino Sheep
    Striped Skunk
    Red Boa Snake
    Rainbow Boa Snake
    Sunglow Boa Snake
    Diamondback Rattlesnake
    Fer-de-Lance Rattlesnake
    Black-tailed Rattlesnake
    Timber Rattlesnake
    Northern Copperhead Snake
    Southern Copperhead Snake
    Midland Water Snake
    Cottonmouth Snake
    Northern Water Snake
    Scarlet Tanager Songbird
    Western Tanager Songbird
    Eurasian Tree Sparrow
    American Tree Sparrow
    Golden Crowned Sparrow
    American Red Squirrel
    Western Gray Squirrel
    Black Squirrel
    Western Toad
    Sonoran Desert Toad
    Eastern Wild Turkey
    Rio Grande Wild Turkey
    Alligator Snapping Turtle
    Easten Turkey Vulture
    Western Turkey Vulture
    Gray Wolf
    Timber Wolf
    Red-bellied Woodpecker
    Pileated Woodpecker
    Legendary Bull Gaor
    Legendary Bharati Grizzly Bear
    Legendary Beaver
    Legendary White Bison
    Legendary Tatanka Bison
    Legendary Boar
    Legendary Buck
    Legendary Cougar
    Legendary Coyote
    Legendary Fox
    Legendary Elk
    Legendary Moose
    Legendary Panther Giaguaro
    Legendary Pronghorn
    Legendary Bighorn Ram
    Legendary Wolf
    • By DavidCore89
    • 259 views
    • 0 comments
    Pinned

    Online awards

    Click Here To Join The Discussion Thread
    I found these fun and a good way to level up faster (thanks for the tip @DavidCore89) I could not find them on the site, or a thread dedicated to them. Here are the 425 awards:
     
    Sharpshooter Awards (121)
    Master each weapon to complete Sharpshooter Awards:
    Kill enemies with a pistol (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a revolver (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a repeater (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a rifle (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a sniper rifle (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a shotgun (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a melee weapon (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a throwing weapon (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a bow (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a pistol headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a revolver headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a repeater headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a rifle headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a sniper rifle headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a shotgun headshot (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies with a bow headshot (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill enemies from horseback (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill players from behind (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Get executions (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Get hat-shots (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies using Dead Eye (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill 2 players in a single use of Dead Eye (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill 10 enemies in a single use of Dead Eye (10)
    Get assists (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill 3 enemies with a sniper rifle headshot in 10 seconds (3)
    Kill 1 player with a bow from 100 meters (1)
    Kill 50 enemies consecutively with the same weapon (50)
    Kill 6 enemies with a revolver without reloading (6)
    Acquire 19 guns (19).
     
    Combat Awards (55)
    Skillfully take out enemies to complete Combat Awards:
    Kill enemies (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies by firing from the hip (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Run down enemies with a coach (5/25/50/75/100)
    Trample enemies to death with a horse (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill enemies with fire (5/25/50/75/100)
    Counter while brawling (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies after you died (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill enemies with mounted weaponry (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill enemies while drunk (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill enemies who incapacitated/killed a Posse Member (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill enemies as a coach passenger (5/25/50/75/100).
     
    Hunting Awards (42)
    Hunt and track wild animals to complete Hunting Awards:
    Kill animals (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill flying birds (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill 1 flying bird with an arrow (1)
    Kill 2 animals in a single explosion (1/5/10/15/20)
    Kill small animals with the bow (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill medium animals with a knife (5/25/50/75/100)
    Collect animal parts (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Kill animals from a moving train (5/25/50/75/100)
    Kill 100 types of animal (100)
    Kill animals who incapacitated/killed a Posse Member (5/25/50/75/100).
     
    Survivalist Awards (12)
    Gather herbs and craft recipes to complete Survivalist Awards:
    Pick herbs (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Taste herbs (20)
    Craft items (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Learn unique crafting recipes (20).
     
    Crimes Awards (20)
    Test the Law to complete Crime Awards:
    Lasso enemies from horseback and hogtie them (5/25/50/75/100)
    Drag an enemy with a lasso from horseback (5 miles/25 miles/50 miles/75 miles/100 miles)
    Survive a wanted level (5 mins/10 mins/30 mins/60 mins/120 mins)
    Lose a wanted level (5/25/50/75/100).
     
    Travel Awards (39)
    Travel far and wide to complete Travel Awards:
    Travel by train (10 miles/50 miles/100 miles/500 miles/1000 miles)
    Travel on foot (10 miles/50 miles/100 miles/500 miles/1000 miles)
    Travel by canoe (5 miles/25 miles/50 miles/75 miles/100 miles)
    Travel by horse (10 miles/50 miles/100 miles/500 miles/1000 miles)
    Travel a total of 1898 miles (1898 miles)
    Jumped from a horse onto a moving train (5/25/50/75/100)
    Ride on horseback from Valentine to Strawberry in 3:30 mins (3:30 mins)
    Ride on horseback from Emerald Ranch to Braithwaite Manor in 3:45 mins (3:45 mins)
    Ride on horseback from Colter to Adler's Ranch in 1:30 mins (1:30 mins)
    Travel by coach (5 miles/25 miles/50 miles/75 miles/100 miles)
    Travel as a coach passenger (5 miles/25 miles/50 miles/75 miles/100 miles).
     
    Trade Awards (34)
    Buy and sell items to different shops to complete Trade Awards:
    Visit 50 shops (50)
    Purchase consumable items (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Purchase 100 unique clothing items (100)
    Spend cash in shops ($10/$50/$100/$500/$1000)
    Sell an item to 3 shop types (3)
    Sell herbs to a Doctor (5/25/50/75/100)
    Earn 100 gold nuggets (100 nuggets)
    Collect items from your delivery box (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Sell animal products to a Butcher (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Sell valuables to a Fence (10/50/100/500/1000).
     
    General Awards (13)
    Complete Treasure Maps, collect Ability Cards and more to complete General Awards:
    Reach maximum dishonor
    Reach maximum honor
    Find treasure using a Map (5/25/50/75/100)
    Loot enemies (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Collect 16 "Tier 3" Ability Cards (16).
     
    Horse Awards (3)
    Modify and bond with your horse to complete Horse Awards:
    Achieve maximum bond level with your horse
    Purchase unique horse breeds (5)
    Survive a fall of 10 meters with your horse (10).
     
    Posse Awards (17)
    Lead or join a Posse and play as a team to complete Posse Awards:
    Spend time as a Posse Leader (100 hours)
    Spend time as a Posse Member (100 hours)
    Revive Posse Members (10 revives/50 revives/100 revives/500 revives/1000 revives)
    Get Posse assists (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Complete Posse Versus Challenges (10/50/100/500/1000).
     
    Free Roam Awards (13)
    Complete Free Roam missions and clear out hideouts to complete Free Roam Awards:
    Complete Free Roam missions from 10 characters (10/25/50/75/100)
    Complete Free Roam missions (10/50/100/500/1000)
    Complete 4 Free Roam missions in a day (4)
    Clear 4 hideouts in a day (4)
    Clear hideouts (5/25/50/75/100).
     
    Competitive Awards (56)
    Compete in Showdowns, Races, Free Roam Events and Feuds to complete Competitive Awards:
    Win Posse Feuds (1/5/10/15/20)
    Win Horse Races (1/5/10/15/20)
    Win Showdowns (5/25/50/75/100)
    Win Posse Races (1/5/10/15/20)
    Win Feuds (1/5/10/15/20)
    Place 1st in a Posse Versus (1/5/10/15/20)
    Place 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in a Free Roam Event (5/25/50/75/100)
    Win Free Roam Events (5/25/50/75/100)
    Win 5 types of Free Roam Events (5)
    Stop a rival Posse or player from completing their Free Roam mission (5/25/50/75/100)
    Get the first kill in a Shootout (5/25/50/75/100)
    Get the last kill in a Shootout (5/25/50/75/100).
    Pinned / Featured

    Combat Guide (Aim Settings, Weapons & Tips)

    A combat guide was requested so I'm gonna try to explain the reasons behind my aim settings and give my two cents on the different weapons since I dabble quite a bit with virtual guns. It has to be said that I'm still not sure about a lot of the settings so I mess around with them quite a bit to see what works, and what works for me might not work for you. With that said, below is how they look at the moment. Also, feel free to post your thoughts, tips & tricks in this thread.
    Aim settings:

    Lock-On Mode (On-Foot and Mount/Vehicle) are both set to wide. Only started using it the other day after DC's shout and have yet to notice any difference compared to normal, but in theory it should allow you to lock onto enemies faster as you don't have to turn all the way to face them directly. Downside can be that instead of targeting the enemy in front of you, it will target another enemy in the peripheral which wasn't an uncommon problem in GTAO. There's also the chance that I'm taking it too literal. There's not a lot of info on this setting.
    Aim-assist (On-Foot): Again, not quite sure about this one. During story mode I turned it all the way down when trying out free aim to build up muscle memory, and I forgot all about it until yesterday when I turned it back up (which is default if I'm not mistaken). I felt like it helped but it's hard to tell tbh. Definitely didn't hurt so I'll leave it maxed out.
    Aim-assist (Mount/Vehicle): This should without a doubt be set to max.
    Look Sensitivity can be turned up quite a bit without overshooting and the picture getting too distorted when moving the camera. It allows you to look and turn around quicker.
    Aim Sensitivity is a tricky one but very important for quick headshots. It really depends on what you are comfortable with and I'd suggest raising it bit by bit. Once you are comfortable with a new setting try raising it again. If you can't get the hang of it then lower it back down and you have found your spot. Another thing to keep in mind is that a high sensitivity will make it harder in other areas like hunting, shooting of horseback, etc. So it very much depends on what you value the most.
    Aim/Look Acceleration: This is how quickly your cross hair accelerates when aiming from when you first move the analog stick and how quickly the camera accelerates when not aiming. I'd say it's the same as the above. It can hurt you in other areas.
    Aim/Look Dead Zone: Assuming this is the same as in GTAO, dead zone is the time between when you move the analog stick and when the movement happens on-screen. So definitely turn that all the way down so there's no delay. No idea why this setting is even in the game.
     
    Weapons:
    Gonna focus on which weapons it makes sense to buy money-wise while still being properly geared up for a fight. Main goal is to not spend money on unnecessary shit.
    Sidearms: This is purely going off the stats and might prove different in practice, but I'm looking to get the Semi-Auto Pistol. It's cheaper than the Mauser and beats it in fire rate and accuracy while only losing in the damage department. And since headshots are so important in auto aim, I'll rather take fire rate and accuracy over damage. A headshot is a kill no matter the weapon so it's better to have the higher accuracy to land the shot and the quicker fire rate if the first shot doesn't land. 
    Whether you've have started out with the free Volcanic Pistol or High Roller Revolver, I wouldn't recommend buying anything before having enough money for the Semi-Auto/Mauser. It's not worth the upgrade IMO.
    Another option is to go with the Sawed-Off Shotgun and free up the long gun slots for a rifle/repeater combo. It only holds two bullets but with an off-hand holster you can rock a pair of these bad boys.
    Recommend: Sawed-Off Shotgun, Semi-Auto Pistol
    Repeaters: The Lancaster seems to be the weapon of choice in this class. Compared to the Litchfield it has superior fire rate, reload and accuracy at the cost of a little fire power.
    Recommend: Lancaster
    Rifles: The Bolt is a must-buy. For now it's the best rifle in the game for longe range killing and big game hunting, and it comes at a decent price so there's no reason to buy a bit cheaper rifle first. It was the first weapon I bought and upgraded.
    The Varmint Rifle is also a must-buy for hunting small game. Very cheap and works fine without upgrading it in any way. And with it's low recoil it's deadly with those headshots, both against the AI and in PVP.
    As for the snipers it's not really a contest. The Carcano is by far the better gun. It doesn't unlock before level 50 but the Bolt can be equipped with a scope so you don't have to waste money on the Rolling Block while you wait for the Carcano to unlock.
    Recommend: The Bolt, Varmint and Carcano
    Shotguns: Since I've the Ultimate Edition I started out with the Pump-Action Shotgun. If I hadn't, it probably still would have ended up in my armory as a shotgun is a must-have in my book. It's considerable better than the cheaper options and also 300 bucks cheaper than the Repeating Shotgun. No reason to spend that much money when the superior Semi-Auto Shotgun unlocks at level 42.
    Recommend: Pump-Action and Semi-Auto Shotgun
    Bow: Mandatory! Great for stealth missions and just overall a lot of fun.
    Modifications: I'd would say save your money and only buy upgrades for the weapons that will be the main ones in each their classes for a considerable periode.
    Tips:
    Like in GTAO you can do the quick 180° turn, though it's not quite as effective as you keep on going in the same direction as before you turned around if you don't press down and then up on the left analog stick. The turn is done by holding down the right analog stick (without aiming), then quickly aim to make your player turn around. It's comes in handy for when you spot an enemy behind you on the mini-map.
    Don't know if it has a name but let's call it the combat dive. It's common knowledge but some might have wrote it off completely because it's not the combat roll from GTAO. While it's not anywhere near as effective, it's actually still pretty useful in situations where an enemy gets the jump on you. It's not OP like the combat roll as the enemy will quickly be able to lock on again but it will be a tough shot going for the head and that can buy you time to get one off yourself. It has to be said that if you are already really low on health or the enemy is carrying a shotgun the dive isn't of much use as they can easily get off a bodyshot before you get back up. The dive is done by pressing square while aiming and pointing the right analog stick in the direction you want to jump.
    The option to expand the mini-map for good is there so why not use it? It doesn't take up at lot of space on the screen and you don't have to press down on the d-pad all the time for a better look.
    Also giving a better look is going for the third person view that is furthest away from the player. It gives you a bigger chance to spot enemies coming from the sides and helps you scan around corners more efficiently all while the aiming zoom remains the same as in any other third person view, though it still might take some getting used to.
     
    Guess that is it for now. Might cover the ability cards in the future. I hope you'll find some of this useful. Again, if you have some combat tips & tricks of your own and/or thoughts on weapons, post them here.
     
    Videos of the turn and dive:
     
    • By Banketelli
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    Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

    Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

    The Awesome: Whether you wanted one or not, we got a Han Solo film. All the characters we see throughout the film are just cool, like the ones around the Sabaac card games. The sets are pretty cool along with the props and the technology all around us. Just being in the Star Wars universe is always a fun time. We learn how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) meets Chewbacca the Wookie (Joonas Suotamo) and it's pretty cool when it happens. The train heist sequence was very entertaining and really appreciate the filmmaker for not choosing the regulation shaky-cam and disorienting camera movements that usually rule those types of sequences and instead we get clear images and can understand what is happening although the scene did make me ask a logic question at one point, it was beautifully shot and was just a good time. I liked the cinematography as it wasn't all bright sci-fi sets and I always found Han Solo to be a bit dark character, so I prefer his film not to use bright saturated colors. The Chewy shower scene was full on hilarious.

    The Good: Chemistry between Han and Chewy was there and that was very important being that the film is an origin story and I was expecting those two to click immediately and they do, even enjoyed how the Chewy nickname comes from a genuine emotional moment. The sets were all Star Wars worthy and there was no mistaking what world we were in from the opening shot. The Cloud Riders looked cool and I want them to get a movie of their own. I found the character of Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) intriguing and mysterious; I like how they wrote her character as she kept me guessing what she had been through and what her motivations and her actions were going to be and I was not disappointed. The entire flying through the Maw and it's cluster of black holes sequence was highly entertaining as there was so much peril and that intensified everything. A good character twist really clarified things for me at the end since we learn about the manipulating force behind the character and it's not who you thought it was and call me naive but I wasn't even considering some of the twists in the last act, perhaps it's just the Star Wars universe where I don't care about trying to figure out things and instead I just unplug my brain then just watch and react. Surprisingly heartbreaking separation scene in the first act really got to me, I really felt for the main characters as I believed their relationship and mutual dream, perhaps I liked it so much because when a film uses the 'Slumdog Millionaire'-ish thematic element at the start which hooked me immediately. 

    The Bad: I was not a big fan of how the entire Cloud Riders thing was handled. I usually don't like when a movie does things like that with the characters because it left me asking questions such as: "Why didn't they reveal that in the first place? Why risk lives without doing any research. The coaxium seems to be very powerful and very valuable so I wanted to know more about this multi-purpose liquid and why isn't EVERYONE in the galaxy going after it, just my personal view. I thought one particular sacrifice was quite dumb and POINTLESS (especially when some things are revealed later relating to that situation), plus the sacrifice didn't affect me the way I'm sure the filmmaker was hoping it would as I wasn't invested in many of the characters, maybe except Chewy, never want to see him die, ever. What was up with the dice thing? I know Qi'ra gives it to him and the dice seems to be a lucky charm but I don't remember the dice being critical in the originals. One of my fave sequences is the train one but it also made me ask why Beckett (Woody Harrelson) an experienced smuggler doesn't have equipment to make the train heist easier for them, I mean, that was some shitty planning because I got the impression you could buy anything in the galaxy so why not have what looked to be very useful footwear for the situation. I know I mentioned the cinematography in the awesome section but there were many scenes that were just too dark for us to enjoy what the character was seeing, like when he gets to the Millennium Falcon for the first time, that scene was so poorly lit that it took away from the excitement of seeing the MF for the first time and what was it with trying to connect Han Solo to everything for sentimental reasons, like when we find out his father used to build MF's....I mean, come on, really? There was no need for that mini-reveal since I always have associated Han Solo with two things....Chewy and the MF. I don't need Han Solo to be emotionally attached to shit because of his childhood, you are taking up script room for more interesting exposition. I had a tough time feeling convinced that I was watching a young Han Solo as the actor nails the orginal Han's charm and delivery only occasionally and the more I tried to convince myself the more the actor looked like a young Jack Nicholson instead so i kind of ruined the illusion on my own. 

    The Ugly: If you expect me to discuss the accuracy of Lando Calrissian's (Donald Glover) cape colors and fabrics or the accuracy in the Mandalorian armor seen in the film, you have come to the wrong place for that since I'm no authority on all things Star Wars, I just know the basics. The L3-37 droid (Phoebe Waller Bridge) was obnoxious because she beats us to death with the robot rights theme and I felt when you use things like that in your film you have to either take it serious or make it funny and here they tried to make it both and it just doesn't work either way, I don't mind films trying to send a message but at least do it well so it doesn't come across as something you sprinkled in to show you have a heart without really having any clue what your message is you are trying to convey and giving L3-37 sex jokes like the "good luck finding it" line when a character threatens shutting her down by her off switch just unfunny because robots/droids shouldn't be sexually conscious, I love a good tip touching joke but not in a Star Wars movie. Another thing was how much Han Solo tells us he wants to be a pilot, I mean, every other scene he is talking about being a pilot that it started to become a distraction. Implied robot anal, at least that is how I interpreted a particular moment of dialogue. The film bombed at the box office and I don't think it deserved that as it was not The Predator awful or story-telling issues like in Halloween (2018), remember in that one MM is 65 years old and seems to lose his superhuman elderly strength from one scene to the other. 

    Final Verdict...3/5..."AAARARRRGWWWH.", that's Wookie for Cool! I thought the film was fun for what it was as long as I don't do too much critical thinking. I'm sorry if I failed to mention things that changed or ruined the original canon or continuity as I'm not the authority on Star Wars and can only judge it by what I know about the expanded universe or whatever. I liked what it was aiming for and only wish there hadn't been a carousel of directors as I'm sure that didn't help the story-telling. I enjoyed some of the origin stuff but what I would have preferred was to have seen this young Han Solo almost unrecognizable to the adult version we have in our minds and then putting him in situations where sarcasm saves his life, being brutally honest gets him what he needs, etc, this way we can see young Han Solo starting to pick up the quirks of the Han Solo we all love. If I was not a fan of Star Wars, I'm almost on the verge of saying that the film, "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets" is a more fun film and in fact you could probably have made that into a "Solo: A Star Wars Story", as both films are similar when it comes to the central protagonist and come to think of it, Solo seems to borrow a lot from that film....hmmmm. Anyways, I do recommend Solo if you are a Star Wars universe fan and want to briefly see some cool aliens and want to learn where Han gets his blaster, MF, and dice? and honestly, I still don't get why they made the dice a huge deal in this movie. I was bored while watching the last few Star Wars films so I expected the same for this one but I have to say I think it's the best one, but that is not saying much for the franchise ever since Disney acquired the property. I had fun watching it but will forget most of it.

    (Yes, someone is using a cell phone in this scene!! )  

    Gran Torino (2008)

    Gran Torino (2008)

    The Awesome: So many themes to explore and discuss and not just the ethnic factors as the the themes of guilt, involvement, abandonment, trauma, redemption, tradition, family, loneliness, and consequences all add up to a unique film experience. I felt the film would have worked even if Walt (Clint Eastwood) wouldn't have been written as a bigot, because I interpreted the film to be one of sacrifice when it was all said and done. The Walt character was a well written angry persona and yet tolerable because while he was racists towards some people, he had hatred for everyone, including his own family. I love how this film will flow through everyone's mind differently depending on who you are or what you have experienced...and that alone is worthy of serious respectful discussion of the themes presented. Clint did a masterful job at playing this character of Walt Kowolski and especially as we go through the subtle character arc. I thought the themes approached here were gutsy and the controversial topics handled with good intent. Having the priest follow Walt around was always funny since we know how much he despises the young priest and sets up for hilarious interactions, I also found it comical that religion wants you to really love one another, except if someone gay, of course, which is basically the same attitude Walt has towards others that are different, meanwhile he has a priest chasing him around so he can confess his sins, funny stuff! The priest isn't in many scenes but I felt that the element of religion has many underlying implications like, how does a man confess to murder when it's in his job description?

    The Good: Cinematography is beautiful and the lighting in some scenes was superb. I liked that every scene whether well lit or dim, always gives you the impression that something is going to happen, especially towards the end of the film where tensions are high and you don't know who Walt has pissed off more along the way. The dynamic between Walt and Thao (Bee Vang) was amusing, especially after they both kind of let their guard down as you can see they both needed one another and how it affects them outside their association. I like that the film doesn't hold back with the main character's dialogue and bigotry because it rings true to how some people really feel about other ethnicities, as "Walt's" can be found in every human community under the sun. I liked that Walt's vocabulary never really changes when he begins to tolerate his neighbors, you hear the change in tone as it takes on more of the one he uses with his Barber Martin (John Carroll Lynch), and I will add that the banter between Walt and his barber is some of the funniest stuff in the film and interestingly enough works in softening up Walt's image for the rest of the film. I really liked how Walt tries to protect Thao from the mental and physical anguish of acting out in violence and all its consequences. 

    The Bad: The ultimate sacrifice just did not satisfy me, although I got the crux of the actual sacrifice, it rang pretty hollow for me since there is so much to cleanse in the community that made me feel that in the long term, change will only last for a little while and thought more could have been done but then that would have probably made this a different movie. Some of the acting is bad in how lines aren't delivered in a believable way...take the scene where Walt rescues Sue (Ahney Her) when she is walking with her boyfriend, Sue is given sarcastic dialogue but the actress just didn't have the attitude needed to deliver those lines, so instead of fist-pumping, i found myself saying, "meh" at that scene. Speaking of the gangs, Clint should have hired a gang consultant because every gang portrayed is a bad joke and all come across as wannabe gang members instead of actual gang bangers, none worst than the Asian gang, every time they came on screen I had to laugh because they were so unconvincing and that took away from the tension since I didn't fear them. I think the black gang was the most convincing and even their scene felt forced and seemed to just serve one purpose, to shame the character Trey (Scott Eastwood) because he was embracing a culture not his own. Again the gang members were weak and that scene were Thao is forced to go with them is just so dumb because I don't recall any gangs I was ever around that would literally kidnap someone to be in their gang, I laughed that entire scene when I was supposed to be fearing for Thao and his family.  I also felt that in general there was a missed opportunity with the gangs as we are shown their disdain for one another but that isn't fully utilized which could have led to a richer story and possibly ending. I thought Walt's hate was a bit thick in the first acts of the film that I had a tough time believing he suddenly would start to care for some foreigners. 

    The Ugly: The term lovable bigot was overused in many of the reviews I came across post-viewing, I found Walt tolerable but not lovable as he wasn't planning on becoming a different person nor was he seeking change. A lot of scenes looked like they were rehearsing and the filmmaker used that rehearsal footage instead as I found some scenes to have awkward blocking (like the actors didn't know where to stand), this could be attributed to the lack of acting experience by the cast but in a film that deals with such complex and controversial themes, better acting would have left me with the same impact the film "American History X" left with me with. The Asian gang member Smokie (Sonny Vue) was just awful, I basically cringed anytime the Asian gang shows up but when Smokie opens his mouth, I just want to tap out. The stereotypes were a bit heavy in places. Not giving using subtitles during the Hmong speaking scenes I felt was a bad move since we don't get insight on what's being said by them and I felt hurt their characterization since it really makes them come across as just  being obnoxious to give Walt something to snarl about. Now I have read about how the Hmong community felt they were portrayed and upset about inaccuracies or exaggerations of their culture and that may be true but they had to know this was a film, things have to be changed for dramatic effect and should not be taken so seriously. I mean, if you watch this film and walk away thinking all Hmong people don't speak English, are gang bangers, and rape their own cousin's then you are one dumb ass fuck, that being said, I will maintain my opinion that giving the Hmong subtitles during their lines could have helped them not come across as helpless and misinterpreted as the film left the real life community to feel. 

    Final Verdict...3/5...We all have our own prejudices and the key is seeking how to untangle them and never let them knot back up inside you. Now that is easier to do when your experiences have been mostly positive, but what happens when your experience is a negative one, do does it create generalizations and unwavering opinions about people? Although some people just watched this film and fist-pumped at Walt giving those minorities invading his "land" what they deserved, I saw a much richer film through the eyes of a character that probably never did any research on the contributions of others to the success of "his" country. I didn't grow up in a household where there was a tradition of hate and prejudice so disliking someone because of their race is a foreign concept to me and generalizing an entire group because of one negative encounter just never made sense to me. Which leads me to Walt Kowolski, where does his racism come from? Was he raised in a household where he was taught to look down at others? Was his service in the Korean War where he learned to hate other races and naturally, a hatred towards anyone appearing Asian? Well its that and the fact that he lost his Ford manufacturing job due to foreign cars growing in popularity in the USA...but I had to ask myself, whose ultimate fault was it that allowed the infiltration of these cheaper made foreign cars? Where immigrants forcing American citizens into buying cars made in Japan? I doubt that. I laugh at how time and time again us Americans always forget to look in the mirror and instead quickly look to blame the outside world. If no one bought a single exported car, guess what, guys like Walt Kowolski could have kept his job at the Ford plant, as I felt that the snow-ball effect of changes in his life forced him into bitterness. I recommend this film if you like discussing themes that no doubt divide and yet unite us at the same time. We always look for a common enemy when sometimes, it's just us that we need to find. Gran Torino is a cool character study that left me thinking about a lot of things one of them being when people say, "this movie couldn't be made in today's sensitive climate.", I don't agree with that at all because I feel it's only a small handful of people that actually get offended by something they see and get up and do something about it, a lot of people just go with the flow and media doesn't make money unless there is a buzz about something. This movie could have been made in any decade because not all of us have been sheltered from the real world. Another phrase that this movie made me think of was "...my generation was this and that." I mean, every generation has it's greatness, some generations were forced to fight in wars we had no business being involved in and how is that the younger generation's fault? This whole generational divide thing is silly to me because it all comes down to parenting the youth that are in reach. We can be taught to be compassionate and tough. Teach self-worth while having respect towards others. I think the greatest generations are the individual ones that every year have a full understanding of the past and teach unity when others are teaching the opposite. 

    Featured

    Effects of Eating (Overweight vs Underweight) and proper clothing (Stats)

    Note that the  rates were got with using the correct clothing for the temperature. 
    I started as underweight and ate 1 Prime Beef waited 5 minutes and switched lobby and repeat to gain weight. Weight is gained and lost in .75% increments.
    Underweight gives you from -7.5% to -5.25% Stamina Drain Rate and +7.5% to +5.25% Damage Absorption depending on how underweight you are (7.5% being a the lowest weight). Also gives you a 125% Core Drain Rate.
    Average (leaning to underweight side)  gives you -4.5% to  -.75% Stamina Drain Rate and +4.5% to +.75% Damage Absorption depending on how close to underweight you are. Also gives you a 100% Core Drain Rate.
    Perfect gives you a 0% Stamina Drain Rate and 0% Damage Absorption. Also gives you an 85% Core Drain Rate.
    Average (leaning to the overweight side) gives you a +.75%  to +4.5% Stamina Drain Rate and -.75% to  -4.5% Damage Absorption depending on how close to overweight you are. Also give you a 100% Core Drain Rate.
    Overweight gives you a +5.25% to +7.5% Stamina Drain Rate and -5.25% to -7.5% Damage Absorption depending on how overweight you are (7.5% being at maximum weight). Also gives you a 125% Core Drain Rate.
     
    Clothing 
    If you are wearing the correct clothing (Fair temperature for your toon) you get a All Cores Drain Rate of 0%. If your toon is Hot or Cold you will get a All Cores Drain Rate of +900%
    • By JustHatched
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    Venom (2018)

    Venom (2018)

    The Awesome: We finally get a Venom movie. The synergy between Venom and Eddie Brock (both played by Tom Hardy) was fun to watch as the dialogue between them enhances their conflict and I found to be a highlight of the film. Some of the set pieces and action really mimicked the comics and although a few times I had to tell myself not to criticize the exaggerated combat visuals. The moments Venom looks awesome in full CGI glory. Stan Lee cameo, although I wasn't thrilled with all his dialogue. That tease at the end credits. It does what it sets out to do in general and that is introduce Venom to audiences.

    The Good: Once the film gets going it has a nice steady pace and that helped it not feel the two hours plus. The relentless action after the first act was a surprise since it starts slow making sure we get invested in the main character and some of the people he cares for, so I was fearing more talking and less action but that was not the case once we get rolling. It was better than I thought it would be in some places. The scenes in the labs were eye candy with all the high tech equipment and did enjoy the science elements in the movie, sure they overused the science jargon but I like hearing stuff like "metabolic abnormalities that are making it hard for your body to maintain homeostasis." and "Why are all these hosts showing hyperacute rejection?", but that's just me. 

    The Bad: Some of the character arcs are just brutal and so disappointing because there is source material and I felt that some of what I was hearing felt like it was being "Disneyed up" to make some characters likeable and family friendly. The film tries to satisfy two different audiences at one time by restricting it with a PG-13 rating and that hurts the violent scenes because the lack of blood feels so odd, it doesn't match the gruesomeness of what we are being shown. This film had the feel of studio tampering as I can't imagine some of the director's choices as some things seem so rushed that it loses meaning. A climatic battle that should've had me on the edge of my seat with all it's CGI grandeur fell flat because I didn't care if everyone just died by that point since I had lost investment in the characters because of the odd things they ended up saying in the third act. Why does Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) make grunt noises throughout the entire film, it was so strange almost like manly whimpers at times. The real villain in the film is wasted and honestly there is no explanation to his knowledge. Inconsistent Venom powers pop up here, did the writers forget the abilities they show us and then suddenly go away?

    The Ugly: Some real bad wacky moments that contradicted the Venom character I had always interpreted from the comics and while they don't go full The Predator comedy route, it comes close with the buddy-comedy element though. There is one character that appears to take six months to get to its destination and there were so many issues with that subplot device because the director or writers should have given us some interesting flashbacks of that character's journey, instead of the cheap shortcut that left me confused as it contradicts one of the most important expository details. Many of the action scenes seem to be there just for the explosions and car wrecks which are usually cool but they are so generic instead of them creating unique action moments. Speaking of chase scenes, there is one involving exploding drones that completely convinced me that this project wasn't a work of passion for the filmmakers because a simple re-read of the script would have told them things in that chase won't make sense. The restaurant scene is one of the most cringe-worthy things I have ever seen in a blockbuster film, I understood it played for humor but the scene went on waaaaaaay too long even in a full length comedy. I mean, it is funny but then it just keeps going and going, like the "You're so pushy" scene in The Predator film (that film is becoming the measuring stick for awful filmmaking for me) and that restaurant joke gets plain stupid as it goes on because it just gets too silly. But while I despised the length of that scene there was one scene that also played for laughs but it just angered me because it went 1,000% against what Eddie had been showing us and what the film was saying about his heart.

    Final Verdict ...2/5... While not as bad as I expected due to the critic reviews but I also didn't find it as good as the 98% rating Google users have given it. If the filmmaker and the studio thought that just because I like Venom from the comics that just giving him his own film would be enough for me to overlook how bland the film is with it's senseless climax, almost like this movie was just supposed to be about Venom meeting Eddie but suddenly they realized the film has no payoff or climax, so they rushed some ending together, filled it with CGI, and waited for the sounds of the cash registers and they sure did sound....the film made almost $1B!!! The far superior film Upgrade made $14M worldwide and is why films like Venom will continue to thrive while flushing the source material down the toilet while make billions in profits while pretending they are giving us something good.  I wasn't planning on watching this and probably wouldn't have rushed to see it but after watching Upgrade and hearing about the parallels with that film and Venom, I had to see if the $100M film would entertain me like the $5M did and it's sad to say that in my opinion, Venom wishes it was Upgrade in almost every aspect. Even the Venom film's greatest strength (Venom/Eddie dialogue) is weak compared to what we get in Upgrade (Grey/STEM) and while I resisted thinking about Upgrade while watching Venom, when the credits rolled, it was clear what Upgrade got so right and what Venom got so wrong for me. Perhaps I was supposed to watch this like a comedy and overlook some of the plot points, too late for that. I guess I'll get ready for the sequel.

    The Bad & Ugly Explanation Spoilers: (click here if you have seen the film and want to know why I felt the film failed me)

     

    Upgrade (2018)

    Upgrade (2018)

    The Awesome: A real fun filled sci-fi action thrill ride. A low-budget film that does what the $200M blockbuster fails to usually do and that is deliver and fully entertain from the opening frame to the last. Logan Marshall-Green as Grey Trace was phenomenal...his facial expressions really sell the illusion that he has no control of his body when the STEM system (voiced by Simon Maiden) takes over and that is the most important part of his performance and he f'en nails it, he almost has to play two characters at once, I cannot overstate how fantastic it is to see a man watch in horror at what his body is doing to another human being and although self-defense was the intention, I f'en LOVED the internal and external conflict that created for our main character. Although some of the narrative borrows from other films like Robocop and John Wick, those similarities are combined and handled superbly to tell an interesting and engaging story. I really enjoyed the script and more notably the dialogue between Grey and STEM, their exchanges are realistic and hilarious as I found myself fully immersed in what was happening and looked forward to what was to come because it could only get cooler. The action scenes are amazing and the fight choreography was excellent and was really fun to watch in context and what really added to it was the dialogue between STEM and Grey before any of the fighting, so much f'en fun. Jeffries' death scene was one of the gory-best in the movie and while the film's deaths are a bit gory, nothing felt over the top and were shock moments that really worked. The voice of STEM is what I want all my devices to sound like...no disrespect to HAL 9000. Low-budget that exceeds the entertainment value proves that creativity and not just $100M thrown at a production is what actually makes things fun to watch. The fight choreography has to be mentioned again as it is absolutely brilliant in its execution as not one move is wasted and again sells the full illusion that the actor is not in control at the same time not making Grey just appear bionic, it was really well done. 

    The Good: The film is set in the future but not so far ahead that you can't recognize the technology, which seems rooted in realism from our not too distant future. The cinematography and production design was very good considering the budget and liked how I was never distracted by the tech around us and never became the focus and centered around the main character and STEM instead. Enjoyed the story overall and thought the ending was quite good. While the film enters an easily predictable formula after the first act, I felt that Grey's interactions with the bad guys already held a sense of unpredictability on their own and the twist at the end was satisfying and is where I also found the character of Eron (Harrison Gilbert) at his best. The "You now have full control again, Grey." moments are the cherry on top of some of the more intense moments. Time and time again this film made me put myself in the main characters shoes because I found what he was going through so interesting, especially once Grey begins to encounter serious conflict and threat. The hacker scene had a lot more depth than I gave it credit for as I did ask, "what was the point of that?", only to be unexpectedly filled in later. 

    The Bad: Where I feel this film is affected by budget is in the duration of the film, we are shown the catalyst appearing to involve many perpetrators but we only are introduced to four of them and I wanted more baddies gone because of the creativity in the encounters they do show us. Here is a film that wouldn't have bothered me if it was longer in order to flesh out some of the supporting characters as that is another place where the film weakens, the enemies are interesting on the surface and is probably why I wanted more substance, at the minimum with the Detective Cortez (Betty Gabriel) character who I felt had a strong presence and was heavily invested in learning the truth herself and her lack of backup also bothered me. Fans of the Venom film are saying negative things about this movie since they find parallels with the Venom story, but until I watch the Venom film, I cannot agree with them that this was a rip-off, but then again, what isn't a rip-off or spin off from something else, isn't that the essence in storytelling, how many new scenarios can mankind find themselves in these days, I cannot think of many, what is the last truly original thing you saw or read?

    The Ugly: The budget and time constriction fight against the film because it's not terribly original and could have used more time to explore some of the story details like when we learn about the group of people taken and forced to implant weapons and tech into their bodies since they pose the greatest physical threat to our protagonist. There is a small tease on how advanced some of the enemies are but that tech just leaves us wanting more but the film isn't about the lives of the bad guys. And here is also why the lines of dialogue by the enemies don't always work and just make them come across as cardboard cutouts. People that dislike this film because it has no theme to deliver on or message...(and yet there I was at the end juggling the various messages I got from the film, one which was particularly haunting and shared something with a film i watched earlier in the year whose ending also spooked me). The script isn't especially strong but at least the comedy works better than it did in The Predator (I will never forgive them for turning the Predator into a comedy attempt). 

    Final Verdict: ...4/5... Interesting revenge story that borrows from other concepts but does them all justice in how entertaining and how much it exceeded my low expectations as i usually expect everything to suck, whether big budget or not. I think the important elements of the story really worked and I liked how it handled giving our main character obstacles on top of him becoming a quadriplegic. The action and kills were done well and never felt like a slasher and I thought the relationship between Grey and STEM was handled intelligently and real as I didn't find myself rolling my eyes and instead thinking, "imagine if that happened to me", so the film did capture my imagination and I appreciated that. I'm giving this such a high score because there were many moments were I had no idea what was going to happen and even when I expected STEM to do it's thing, it always felt fresh thanks to how subtle both Grey and STEM each seem to be evolving...
     Just a real good time if you don't go in expecting a Matrix-like production and budget or some overly profound message or warning about our future, although like I mentioned before, I found my own message as the credits rolled.

    The House the Jack Built (2018)

    The House That Jack Built (2018)

    The Awesome: Explicitly intense. The balls it took to make film with such thematic violent content especially since the director is already on people's shit lists. The Dante's Inferno element was fantastic as I have always enjoyed that literary masterpiece. It also reminded me of one of my fave serial killer films, American Psycho, so having element of that film and Dante's Inferno had me glued to the screen. While the violence is shocking it never felt gratuitous as most of the time the camera turns away from the violent action and really only see gore in the aftermaths. The hunting scene was tremendous and one of the most controversial scenes as it is responsible for people walking out of theatres which i find an utter joke considering what occurs and has happened in real life massacres. The cinematography is beautiful and is in full contrast with the dark theme of the film. Matt Dillon as Jack is almost a revelation...his acting and the way camera angles are used really enhance his subtle moments and also manages to capture his humanity despite his behavior. The visuals of the third act really had me excited and I sat at the edge of my seat waiting to see where it was leading and I just found it tremendous. The film left me thinking, do we all end up in the same place at the end and how fractured will my bridge be. The setup of the amazing hunting scene was a highlight as I had no idea where it was going and when it culminates....holy fucking fuck. The metaphor of the house Jack is building is just brilliant as it had me expecting one thing and what we actually get is fucking tremendous.

    The Good: The craft of taking violence from a script and turning it into something visually interesting through beautiful cinematography allows those moments not to come across as just gore-porn like we see in films like Hostel. Diving into the mind of serial killer has always been interesting for me so watching Jack's story unfold was cool because in the end it all made sense, his motivations, his thoughts, his past, all which explain his violence. I enjoyed the stock clips used to further explain the metaphors, some people didn't enjoy those elements but I really appreciated them, take the wine explanation, yes they can come across as self indulgence by the filmmaker but I found they all worked really well in the context they were used. The film is almost three hours but for me it didn't feel like it since I was fine going along for the ride as I wanted to know if Jack was going to get what he deserves or was he going to get away with everything, which I find terrifying in itself. I watched the third act in awe as I recognized many of the imagery and those scenes were done so masterfully that I would love to see the inspiration of the third act have it own film but shot in that style we see in this film. The The balance of the horrific and subtle moments of comedy, yes, there are some well placed moments where you will chuckle because Jack shows signs of humanity and that at times conflicts him and leads to much needed light moments. I felt the interview/narration element was used expertly as I wanted to know who Jack was speaking to, was it himself, a counselor, a psychiatrist, or his own conscience, but it never gets in the way and when it is finally revealed, I was fully satisfied. One of the reasons I say viewers need to have an interest in true crime and serial killers is because if you don't have some knowledge of incidents involving serial killers you will find Jack's victims and police as plain dumb and unrealistic. But a lot of what I saw mirrored real life stories I have read about, like one Jeffrey Dahmer story where his victim managed to escape into the street right into a cop but because the victim was drunk and gay, the cop dismissed his cries for help and actually handed him back to Jeffrey who easily convinced the cop the victim was his drunk lover just being upset. So knowing that sometimes situations and plain luck have allowed killers to go unsuspected is a very realistic element used in this film, so when I read reviews that claim things like "real cops wouldn't behave like its portrayed in the film", it gets me a little upset because they assume they are right. 

    The Bad: People that don't do their research and go into films like this one without knowing what they are walking into...in other words, if you go to a Quentin Tarantino film and hate the film because of the filthy language, then you didn't do your research on his body of work. This is what has happened to this film, yes, the director is known for fucked up movies that usually feel like he just threw some scenes together and added controversial themes, but I felt the narrative really worked and was cohesive, and while some parts are a bit artsy and self indulgent, I think people need to get a grip and research what they are spending money on. The film jumps from the present to the past to stock footage and that can be disorienting. There was one short scene where the camera spins and spins while dialogue is being said and it bothered me because the camera spinning went on too long and I only tolerated it in the hopes it would freeze on some creepy shit. This film is not for everyone. It isn't for the squeamish and it isn't for sensitive viewers. You really have to want to know what makes a serial killer tick and why so many get away with so much before being caught. One of the "incidents" I had a problem with was one where Jack talks himself into a home and i felt that scene was a bit contrived because i felt the dialogue could have been mixed up a bit to make the victim's choices feel more realistic since I felt Jack had really ruined his chances of being welcomed to enter the home. The movie is longer than it should be in some places and I think that is why the filmmaker is accused of self-indulgence not to mention that he uses images of his previous films in flash cuts. 

    The Ugly: People that walked out of this film at the Cannes Film Festival get a pass from me because it's France and they aren't used to violence against children like we see in school shootings and mass shootings in the USA, so I can see why scenes depicting the slaughter of children could turn the European viewers off. But knowing I'm watching fiction doesn't give me the same disgust that real life incidents do so I was not angry at those scenes the way some American audiences have trashed the film, but they are missing the value in that part of the storytelling. I didn't think the occasional stock footage of animals being destroyed was needed to move the story forward as after the first act we had a good idea what that metaphor was implying. There is one brutal flashback scene involving the mutilation of a duckling and the outrage it has received is fucking laughable to me because while the scene is really fucked up, it is still fictional and is a realistic, tonally correct, and clinically proven early behavior of all serial killers as 100% of them start by torturing and mutilating animals before they move up to human prey and while the scene will upset animal lovers like myself, I found it easy to separate fiction from reality and that's probably because I have seen plenty of industrial & laboratory animal cruelty videos and know that what happens in real life to animals in industries is far more horrific than the special effect in that scene. Some critics have also attacked the film for being misogynistic but again that has to come from people with no clue about the material since there is a reason why serial killers prey more on women than men. It's just common sense for them and it's not necessarily because serial killers find women weaker, it has more to do with women being more open to helping people in need and letting their guard down around men they don't feel could pose as a possible threat to their lives. Now if the critics are basing their opinion on the filmmaker's past films, well then they must have been watching this movie while thinking of the other films by the same filmmaker that had nothing to do with this one. 

    Final Verdict: ...4/5... I cannot apologize for really liking this film. Yes it gets artsy in some places and our main character gets long-winded at times but it never distracted me and really liked how the artsy imagery was used in the third act because once we arrive at the end it just seemed fitting considering the material that inspired it. Serial killer films like Zodiac follow many characters including the killer, but here, just like in the American Psycho film, there is an underlying darkness to it thanks to the unhinged main character we are following around. I laugh at the outrage and people walking out of this film, I mean you are told it's about a serial killer...what are people expecting to see??? If you are like me and just enjoy diving into the darkness of man, the psyche, mental instability, or disconnection required to operate as a serial killer, then I recommend this fully. If you don't do well with films that focus on a character's violent tendencies then you should probably skip this one. I found The House That Jack Built to be an interesting take on the serial killer genre with it's visuals, superb performance by Matt Dillon, throw into the mix some haunting set pieces, moments of curious metaphorical exposition by the main character, unapologetic violence, a narration element that is clear but has you guessing until the very end, and what I felt was a fantastic ending to it all. Did I find this disturbing? No, i did not because while what is shown is based on things that have happened in real life, I was far more disturbed and physically ill watching the film Spotlight about the Boston Globe Newspaper exposing the pedophile priests and their enablers, basically an ignored child molestation ring. Spotlight, now that is disturbing cinema.

    Saddle Stats/List/Guide

    Stats for Red Dead Online Saddles. (S) means Stock and (I) means Improved. The saddles without S & I are Special Saddles and come with one stat
     
    Saddle Stamina Core Drain Rate Health Core Drain Rate Stamina Regen Rate Stamina Drain Rate Kneller Mother Hubbard S -4% / I -12% S -6% / I -14% S +4% / I +12% N/A Lumley Ranch Cutter S -4% / I -12% S -8% / I -16% S +6% / I +14% N/A Kneller Dakota S -8% / I -16% S -4% / I -12% S +6% / I +14% N/A Stenger Roping S -4% / I -12% S -10% / I -18% S +8% / I +16% N/A Garden Trail S -10% / I -18% S -4% / I -12% S +8% / I +16% N/A Lumley McClelland S -6% / I -14% S -4% / I -12% S +4% / I +12% N/A Garden Vaquero S -8% / I -16% S -6% / I -14% S +8% / I +16% N/A Boar Mother Hubbard -20% -22% +20% -50% Bear Dakota -24% -20% +22% -50% Beaver Roping -20% -26% +24% -50% Panther Trail -26% -20% +24% -50% Cougar McClelland -22% -20% +20% -50% Rattlesnake Vaquero -24% -22% +24% -50% Alligator Ranch Cutter -8% -8% +8% -20% High Plains Cutting -12% -12% +12% -20%  

    Stirrups will add a Stamina Drain Rate to saddles which do not have it already. Stirrups can not be changed on saddle that come with them by default (Special Saddles).
    Baroque -5% / Slim=line Iron -10% / Slime-line -15% / Deep Roper -20% / Belled Oxbow -25% / Oxbow -30% / Bell -35% / Safety -40% / Tapaderos -45% / Hooded -50% /
    Note - Blankets, Bedrolls and Horns can not be changed on Special Saddles
    Featured

    Horse Stats/List

    The Stats and Prices for Horses in Red Dead Online
    Breed Stamina Health Speed Acceleration Type Kentucky Saddler Grey - $50 20 30 30 20 Riding Kentucky Saddler Black - $50 20 30 30 20 Riding Kentucky Saddler Chestnut Pinto - $50 20 30 30 20 Riding Kentucky Saddler Silver Bay - $50 20 30 30 20 Riding Morgan Bay Roan - $55 30 20 30 20 Riding Morgan Bay - $55 30 20 30 20 Riding Morgan Flaxen Chestnut - $55 30 20 30 20 Riding Morgan Palomio - $55 30 20 30 20 Riding Tennessee Walker Red Roan - $60 30 30 20 20 Riding Tennessee Walker Black Rabicano - $60 30 30 20 20 Riding Tennessee Walker Chestnut - $60 30 30 20 20 Riding Tennessee Walker Dapple Bay - $60 30 30 20 20 Riding Tennessee Walker Flaxen Roan - 6 Gold 50 40 30 30 Riding Suffolk Punch Red Chestnut - $120 40 30 30 20 Draft Suffolk Punch Sorrel - $120 40 30 30 20 Draft Belgian Blonde Chestnut - $120 30 30 30 30 Draft Belgian Mealy Chestnut - $120 30 30 30 30 Draft Shire Light Grey - $120 30 40 30 20 Draft Shire Dark Bay - $120 30 40 30 20 Draft Nakota Blue Roan - $130 30 30 40 30 Race Nakota White Roan - $130 30 30 40 30 Race Nakota Reverse Dapple Roan - 18 Gold 30 30 70 50 Race Thoroughbred Blood Bay - $130 30 30 40 30 Race Thoroughbred Dapple Grey - $130 30 30 40 30 Race Thoroughbred Brindle - 18 Gold 30 30 70 50 Race Thoroughbred Black Chestnut (Ultimate Edition Only) - Free 30 30 70 50 Race American Standardbred Black - $130 30 30 40 30 Race American Standardbred Buckskin - $130 30 30 40 30 Race American Standardbred Palomino Dapple - 6 Gold 30 30 50 40 Race American Standardbred Silver Tail Buckskin - 16 Gold 30 30 50 40 Race Ardennes Bay Roan - $150 40 50 30 30 War Ardennes Strawberry Roan - 18 Gold 40 50 30 30 War Hungarian Halfbreed Flaxen Chestnut - $130 30 40 30 30 War Hungarian Halfbreed Piebald Tobiano - $130 30 40 30 30 War Hungarian Halfbreed Dapple Dark Grey - 6 Gold 40 50 30 30 War Andalusian Dark Bay - $150 40 50 30 30 War Andalusian Rose Grey - 18 Gold 40 50 30 30 War Dutch Warmblood Sotty Buckskin - $150 50 40 30 30 Work Dutch Warmblood Seal Brown - $150 50 40 30 30 Work Dutch Warmblood Chocolate Roan - 18 Gold 60 50 40 30 Work Appaloosa Blanket - $130 40 30 30 30 Work Appaloosa Leopard - 18 Gold 60 50 40 30 Work Appaloosa Leopard Blanket - $130 40 30 30 30 Work Appaloosa Brown Leopard - 18 Gold 60 50 40 30 Work American Paint Tobiano - $130 40 30 30 30 Work American Paint Overo - $130 40 30 30 30 Work American Splashed White - 6 Gold 50 30 30 30 Work American Paint Grey Overo - 17 Gold 50 50 40 40 Work Missouri Fox Trotter Silver Dapple Pinto - $950 60 50 70 50 Multi Missouri Fox Trotter Amber Champagne - $950 60 50 70 50 Multi Mustang Wild Bay - $130 40 40 30 20 Multi Mustang Grullo Dun - $130 40 40 30 20 Multi Mustang Tiger Striped Bay - 14 Gold 40 40 30 20 Multi Turkoman Gold - $950 50 70 60 50 Multi Turkoman Dark Bay - $925 50 70 60 50 Multi Turkoman Silver - 38 Gold 50 70 60 50 Multi Arabian Black - 42 Gold 60 60 60 60 Superior Arabian White - $850 60 60 60 60 Superior Arabian Chestnut (PS4 Early Access Edition) - Free 40 30 50 40 Superior

    Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

    Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

    The Awesome: Production and design lived up to the hype, considering they were going to have to pull off convincing us that this family was ultra-rich and they succeeded because everything looks and feels expensive once we enter the lives of those wealthy families. The energy of the film is electric and that is attributed to the spirit the actors brought to the film. I loved that the themes in the film are so universal that I barely noticed the all-Asian cast. The cast did a great job moving the story along and many brought depth to what could have been irrelevant characters. I especially related to one thing that Rachel (Constance Wu) goes through when she arrives in Singapore, being viewed as a 'foreigner' in the motherland. Enjoyed the cultural elements presented in the relationships, like arranged marriages and pre-planned families, things my culture does not practice directly, I say that because at the end of the day, every parent wants their children to marry the most financially secure candidate. Rachel's last lines of dialogue to Eleanor at the Mahjong table basically saved the film because up to that point there was nothing spectacular in the script until the "...just a daughter of an immigrant and a nobody, who made it all possible." line blew the roof off. One thing i appreciated was there were No martial arts moments. Another thing I appreciated from the design was that although we were in modern mansions and opulent locations, they still breath traditional Chinese culture and tradition. 

    The Good: Although the rom-com conflict isn't anything we haven't seen before, I thought Eleanor (Michelle Yeoh) and Rachel truly captured the tension needed in their relationship for the film to work. The character of Eleanor was hypnotizing and the subtle touches that made her vulnerable and dominating all while staying in super classy form really made her come to life. I found her dangerous, like she could call some people to deal with you but prefers doing it herself...she was a solid antagonist. The Chinese/American Vogue dress joke was hilarious. The film served to show that regardless of your race or culture, we can't escape the universal human element and themes regardless of how much you think you are different from everyone else. Really related to Rachel when she arrives in Singapore and is told she won't be considered full Chinese because she was raised in the USA. I had a similar experience when I visited Central America...although I was born there, being raised in the USA since the age of 4,  somehow made me less Central American and was told that i even spoke spanish differently even though I'm fluent in all aspects of the language. Feeling semi-rejected by your own hometown was not something I expected, just like Rachel experiences. While not a huge fan of the Astrid (Gemma Chan) and Michael (Michael Teo) sub-plot, I did love how they gave the wealthy Astrid a point-of-view and brought out the unapologetic humanity in her character. I thought I would miss out on the regional inside jokes but didn't feel there were any references that went over my head.

    The Bad: Early on we see Rachel and Nick (Henry Golding) at a cafe in NYC and two women snap a pic of both of them, these women work for a TMZ-ish site called Radio1Asia and the pics go viral.....but just in China??? and if that is true, then how the F' doesn't Rachel's best friend in China, Peik (Awkwafina) become aware of the relationship?? Peik only learns of the relationship after Rachel arrives in Singapore and visits her. That bothered me that everyone in Singapore knew about the relationship except the hometown best friend. At times the film came across as just a set up to future sequels as I found it to have a lot more flash than substance. The story was predictable as they usually are in this genre. The rich are better than us because they say so. The fact that it took Hollywood 25 years to once again, get out of the comfort zone and show us that we all share the same life themes and experiences and they are not limited to just one culture or part of the world.

    The Ugly: A lot of cuts and edits were so disorienting that I found myself on a few occasions wondering if we had changed country locations. Like the Mahjong scene...i honestly thought that was happening in NYC. I thought it would have more comedy and wanted to laugh out loud but only Peik's character is consistently funny and she almost steals the entire film. The Astrid and Michael sub-plot was a bit muddled and could have used more scandal and I hated how the two wait for the most inopportune time to discuss their situation, i rolled my eyes because I was like, "right now, ya' gonna do this right now? more important shit going on you two"... and is why having their story surface here and there with no real meaning mad e me feel like their story is only there to setup the sequel, hence turning my interest in their story to a minimum, although i did appreciate giving Astrid's side of things a voice when their story is resolved. 

    Final Verdict: ...3/5...  I was hoping it was going to be a real funny rom-com but it was actually more serious than I expected. Although I appreciated them keeping any slapstick and physical comedy out of the film, I thought the script had plenty of opportunity for some serious belly-laughs and that is not to say the film is without it's funny moments, I was just expecting to laugh a lot more. I was impressed with the balance in set design between the modern wealth and the rich historical culture and how you can see both in every scene once we arrive in Singapore.  I really enjoyed the cast and the messages from both the regular and wealthy point of views. The film has a stylish-classic feel to it and from the starting credits, it makes you feel like you are going to watch something from 1960 and the film benefits from it. One thing I could not get over was the notion that some cultures control the family path to such extreme degrees. Nick is the heir to all this wealth and he still has to yield to his mother's desires and expectations, that is just so strange to me. It was a cool rom-com because it wasn't too sappy or heavy on the sentiments. We didn't get a lead that cried the entire time and I loved her toughness. I'm not impressed by material wealth so the opulence throughout the film gets boring and I even laughed at the wedding with the water flowing down the aisle...lmao...I thought it was silly. All that money and you want to have a swamp wedding. lmao. I am looking forward to the next RCA film and hope they take the characters and elements that worked and make the entire sequel out of those things. 

     

    Annihilation (2018)

    Annihilation (2018)

    The Awesome: The visuals are spectacular, from the cinematography to the color palettes, it just works, especially once we enter "The Shimmer".  I found some of the images rather original and certain set-pieces really wanted me to pause the movie and just enjoy what I was seeing. The acting was solid and kept me engaged in places where the dialogue was thin. Made me think of the universe as this one huge cell that just continues to divide and replicate like cancer cells do and I had never considered that analogy of the universe before. Tingled my inner-space nerd with what appears to be a random galactic act in which the filmmakers give us a different version of an often used sci-fi alien situation.

    The Good: I liked that not everything was spelled out for us in the film which can lead to it having different meanings to each one of its viewers.  The conceptual theme of the entire thing was very profound and leaves many open and valid interpretations. I love the filmmakers use of the science behind atoms and cells of all things combining as one and then adapting and evolving regardless of the origin and value of the organism impacted. Special effects were superb and always took a few seconds for the brain to catch up with what was on screen. A few  moments of tension and thriller elements were done well and just wished there was more of that than there was unnecessary talking scenes.  Really made me think profoundly about the sci-fi themes presented.

    The Bad: The themes of duplication, loss, mutation, change...are used to beat us on the head way too often, not only through exposition but also with the character backstories. It just felt heavy-handed throughout the entire film. Some scenes kind of come out of nowhere and can be really confusing as to what you are watching is it a character dream or vision??? which frustrated me and i think that is a flaw in the story-telling. One scene we are lead to believe a person is gone forever and then a few scenes later, they appear and its just confusing because the characters seem more confused than I was about what the fuck was going on....and this is before the movie gets really confounding. The filmmakers decision to intertwine the character psychological states with the phenomenon happening around them really weighed the movie down as I felt everything was becoming needless exposition into the lives of characters that I became disconnected from since not even the main character had a realistic valid reason to venture into "The Shimmer"... I didn't get her purpose to go on that journey, to find a cure??? but for what exactly, when they didn't have a diagnosis (almost like, hey lets go to this strange world and find a pharmacy or something), it just didn't work for me. 

    The Ugly: I just didn't enjoy elements of the storytelling because for me it didn't really go anywhere. The payoff didn't impact me the way it probably should have and that is due to not finding myself fully engaged in the main character's plot. I really didn't understand the pacing and order the story was told. By showing us survivors interviewed in the first 10 minutes of the movie, it really takes away from the tension and the climax of the flashbacks since we know who makes it and who doesn't and thanks to the slow pacing of the second act, I really didn't care how the other characters died. And that is what i mean by it felt like the story needed to be edited better as it felt out of order. The scene where the team is introduced comes almost out of nowhere and was kind of cut and paste since I was not convinced by the passion and reasoning of these women to go on the assignment, how could I when we are told early on that for three years several military and otherwise well-trained teams have been sent and no one comes back. No drones, no robots, no elite special operation teams....no one has come back, but maybe if four psychologically damaged females go, perhaps they can find something?? And also the lack of other scientists and military personnel around "The Shimmer" was kind of odd, almost like after three years of this thing growing, no one cared anymore except this military installation? I just felt like the film was forcing me to look at the psychological parallels and not the amazing science elements they had introduced. 

    Final Verdict: ...3/5... I really wanted to love this because of the interesting take on the sci-fi element but it just didn't do it for me thanks to what I felt was the heavy-handed analogy of self-destruction and relationship drama. I didn't get how this team of women was chosen to enter the area and discover what was there, unless I missed the correlation in the last act since what I understood was that these women were fractured and is why they were a better choice, and that just came across as filler instead of story. While a lot of the scenes with the flora and fauna were fantastic, I felt that there weren't enough of them and some of the best moments involved the mutations, I wanted more of that than the human drama which for me, really didn't add significance to the story. It felt like two movies of different genres in one, and a more interesting story line for our main character would have elevated this for me since I enjoyed the mystery of "The Shimmer" and the way that part of the story is told and the deep thought inducing results. 

    Halloween (2018)

    Halloween (2018)

    The Awesome: Best of the sequels. Michael Myers looks good in every scene. The kills get more brutal as we move forward. The music is perfect because thankfully we have John Carpenter handling the music which is better than some new guy creating some other imitation. Great atmosphere in some scenes. All the easter eggs nods to the previous sequels, I mean, we even get to see a van with the name "Resurrection Church" on it. I loved Michael's first on-screen kill as I didn't expect it. Jamie Lee Curtis does a great job returning as a granny-Laurie Strode and I appreciated exploring her PTSD from what she experienced back in 1978, the dynamics of the resulting mental anguish and how it affected Laurie as a mother raising a daughter after her near death experience. The scenes where we follow Michael around the neighborhood were superb and highlight of the direction. Some of the cinematography was slick and very effective, like the gas station scene from the trailers, that lighting and gritty color palette really adds to the grimness of the scene. The other scene that was great was the light sensor scene, really one of the bright spots. There was one kill inside a home that was pretty damn traumatic and most of the kills we get to see are pretty intense.

    The Good: This review is just my opinion and if you liked it the movie or want to see it, you should. This remake had that Halloween-movie feeling thanks to the soundtrack and some of the great nods to the other films although it ignores those in this new universe. Sound design was a highlight. The practical effects were pretty good. The Michael Myers mask looks cool after 40 years. Some of the scenes recreate the original almost frame by frame and I liked the nostalgia. Jibrail Nantambu as Julian almost steals the entire fucking movie because his acting is so good in the short time he is on screen and it was a moment in the film where I felt some actual script magic between him and the babysitter and felt that the film should have centered around them instead as I would have really cared for the both of them, they were that good! The subtle shots of the graphic violence at the start are cool as we get just glimpses of the bloody faces, etc. It's not full of needless comedy like we get in The Predator....thank the movie Gods for that. Michael Myers was menacing for most of the movie.

    The Bad: The opening sequence seemed so promising in the trailer and it is a tense scene, especially when they tell the podcaster he must never pass the yellow line, so we see his foot at the very edge and we get the sense that if you cross that line, you fucking dead. So tell me why as that scene goes on and the podcaster pulls out the mask and begins screaming at Michael and his arm holding the mask is WAY OVER THE YELLOW LINE and the guards just stand there?...I felt like the only person that noticed he was over the line and you wait for an awesome payoff to the scene and instead we abruptly cut to the opening titles, the sequence didn't work for me at all. Now the titles were cool because they tried to mimic the original credits with the black background and the orange letters but this time there is a deflated pumpkin that is inflated as the opening credits are rolling and my wife told me it was a decomposed jack o' lantern in reverse time lapse but I thought it was a beach-ball like pumpkin being inflated instead and I thought it looked stupid. The movie is filled with small scenes that are so unnecessary, like the scene with the doctor and sheriff driving around looking for Michael and the scene is written just so the doctor can tell the cop, Michael is property of the State and must not be killed or harmed. That line of dialogue could have been said in the previous scene that had Laurie being introduced to the new doctor by the Sheriff and what frustrated me was that moments before the doctor meets Laurie, Laurie is telling the cop why she wanted Michael to escape and it is in direct contrast to what the doctor wants and it was a perfect moment for the doctor and Laurie to have some tension between them and it's these missed opportunities that could have eliminated those short throwaway exposition scenes and in that case could have really added some flesh to the twist we are given that actually goes nowhere and came across as fucking stupid instead. Again there are so many tiny plot lines, like every character gets one and then most of them don't help in moving the story forward. The teen party break up scene was so clunky and only served to eliminate the cell phone element which could have been simpler and again, freed more time to dedicate to a Michael Myers kill scene instead. I wanted a minor character that was part of the city government to die because I just found him obnoxious every time he was on screen but I didn't get that satisfaction. 

    The Ugly: What appear to be some of the best kills are all done off-screen. The writers wanted me to dismiss the other films and interpret this as the direct sequel to the original, okay I'll bite, but then they carelessly give us exposition and narrative throughout but the biggest sins come against Michael Myers as they write his behavior so inconsistently and then flip-flop that inconsistency, making it even worse. Too many micro scenes with exposition that could have easily been delivered in a previous scene(s), which would free up time for more Michael Myers moments who I feel should be the main attraction of the series. I get what they wanted to do with Laurie Strode's character but they really turned her into Sarah Connor a bit too much. Because of the not fully developed new ideas and concepts, the third act seems to have been written in reverse to fit the narrative because I found it a bit absurd how the final confrontation is set up, since honestly, there was never an indication that Michael Myers was looking for Laurie specifically at all and Laurie seems to be the one with the obsession for the boogeyman instead. Why poke the bear? It made no sense and while some might enjoy the little role reversal moments, I wasn't a fan. I only want to see Michael doing Michael things in my Halloween movies. There is a major twist I was not expecting and I really hoped it was going to make it into my "Awesome" list but ultimately it's so bumbled and disjointed that had it been done right, it would have added some much needed explanations shedding light on not just the new Michael Myers personification. I hated that we have come to know Michael Myers not as a man but a force of nature, well According to this movie, Michael Myers is now 65 years old human being with no superhuman abilities, who has been sitting in a mental facility for 40 years---- I guess someone forgot to let the cells in his body know he had aged and that's thanks to the brutal inconsistent writing. I know you have to unplug your brain while watching slasher movies but when the writers bring something up making you pay attention to it and then expect you to just throw it all away, that shit is not good. The doctor's character was such a wasted opportunity in so many ways. The final act is so contrived and due to the mandatory sequel this film is designed to generate, it contradicts the heart of the movie itself. There was one moment during the film that I honestly felt like i was watching a crime show on the A&E Network, that is not a good thing AT ALL!! I felt that way because the way it's structured and shot just gave me that familiar vibe from those crime shows. I think making the entire community aware that a killer is loose takes away from why I loved the original...no one was aware a killer was loose and that added so much tension to everything we saw on-screen in the original. 

    Final Verdict...2/5... First let me say this...ask anyone that knows me IRL and they will tell you, no one gets more excited than me when the conversations are about the Predator, Friday the 13th, and Halloween films, so when I hear about these remakes I expect the worst but hope for the very best and I temper my expectations but what I don't do is force myself to like new things because I loved the old things. I didn't find the action in sync with some of the story elements and that really hurt my experience. I tried to just enjoy what was on screen as a fan of the slasher genre but as the audience don't ask me to think cleverly and then make things convenient for yourself. I went to Halloween for the mindless kills and thrills and while I did enjoy the effective suspenseful moments and violent kills and do appreciate the efforts on behalf of the filmmakers and writers to try and give this a fresh feel, I just couldn't get past the inconsistencies in their storytelling. Maybe on the rewatch the score might go up as I learn to appreciate what I did like and what entertained me. But going with no expectations and still being let down by the logic and while not as bad as in The Predator, I thought they made a mockery out of one of my favorite killers of all time and while I could look the other way while you tweak things I've come to know, the new Myers tweaks don't clarify anything and instead had me working to make sense of stuff when I should have just been enjoying Halloween/Michael Myers kills.  Danny McBride Says Michael Myers No Longer Immortal in “Halloween” 2018........well then write the consequences appropriately, Danny!!!

    Con's Spoiler Summary: This is for those that have watched it and want to know why my score is lower than theirs.... 

    Ghost Stories (2017)

    Ghost Stories (2017) 

    The Awesome: Scary. Genuinely unsettling moments. I usually don't allow myself to get spooked while watching a movie and it usually takes a lot for it to happen, everything has to be right, the music, the visuals, the story, and especially the realism that something like what is on screen can actually happen to me and this film gave me all those things at the most important times. Once the stories begin the atmosphere just cranks up to 11 on the dial! I watched this with headphones and couldn't help but go with the jump scares and full atmosphere,  I mean, the watchmen story, holy fuck...i was fucking on the verge of looking away a lot...I was unsettled despite being safe in my house and that is credit to the set design, direction, sound, lighting, and again the atmospheric elements. Also the end of the watchmen story creeped me out because it made me think profoundly about what a serious encounter might really be like and what could make it even creepier...well let's just leave that for the spoilers below. The very last shot in the film was a brilliant touch as I wondered the entire time what the significance of that particular recurring shot and it's really heartbreakingly good.

    The Good: Having myopia, I often see things in the dark that aren't there, so when they set up scenes where you think you see something and you are not sure what it is, it really hit home. The acting was very good and becomes even more impressive when everything is revealed. The way the story begins to unravel right in front of my eyes was just absolutely unexpected with twist after twist in the last act, it elevated this in score for the mind-numbing end that worked for me. The end is nothing we haven't seen before but i felt it was well done and it just ties all the creepy together. Cinematography is excellent as each scene pops and the locations are used to ultra maximum effect. While the first two cases are set in very creepy locations, I felt the most unnerved in the last Case as that gray sky of Yorkshire and the frigid setting adds so much character to the eeriness of the tale as it forces you inside when you rather really be outside. All the actors were great but kudos to Alex Lawther as Simon Rifkind, as his characterization makes the brief moments of comic relief natural and believable. The concepts and ideas are fantastic, like giving our ultra-skeptic main character three paranormal cases that no one has ever managed to debunk. The sound design got to me at times from notes being used as jump-scares here and there, but just the ambient sounds were clever and unnerving. I couldn't tell some of the actors came from comedy backgrounds at all. The makeup for the character Callahan/Kojak, (Jake Davies) was brilliant and the actor absolutely killed it with that performance...it's haunting at the perfect time, where your mind is trying to put things together but you can't focus because of that character on the screen.

    The Bad: Some will say the ending comes out of nowhere, but hear me out. I began watching this on a night where I probably underestimated how tired I was, so by the time the last case is presented, I only managed to watch fragments and then I woke up just in time for the end. I thought to myself, that looks like it made no fucking sense. My initial verdict.....Scary but blah. The next day, I remembered not really watching the last case our main character has left and i did like what had come before so I watched the full third act/ending while fully awake and while I usually despise endings like this, I can't this time. This time I loved this type of ending. But if you didn't pay attention and or lost interest halfway through the film, you might miss the fun devices sprinkled throughout that add to the unusual payoff. And maybe you caught everything and just hate the ending, well you certainly aren't alone, but I had fun with the ending. This is a movie that demands you pay attention if you really want to go along for the full ride. I've read reviews that I think miss what is the true and ultimate horror in this movie. If you are not paying attention at the end you could easily miss some of the exposition through dialogue, in other words, if you watch the last act on mute, the conclusion will make no sense. There is a moment in the last case where the full reveal probably wasn't needed as even a shadow would have sufficed instead, that scare didn't connect with me the way i'm sure the filmmakers intended and I would have done the following instead to make it more satisfying:
    Con's Director Spoiler:

    The Ugly: This movie is filled with jump scares of all kinds and I usually hate that crap but here, I think they are almost necessary at times just to keep you on edge, plus if you really want to be scared while watching horror, you have to leave the tough guy act behind and allow yourself to immerse your inner-child, but if you really hate jump scares because your heart can't take them, skip this. No gore, the film doesn't suffer for lack of it, but as a horror-hound, I cannot leave that unnoticed. Missing watching this in theaters when released here in the USA. 

    Final Verdict...4/5... It's a beautifully shot and told anthology. I just can't recall a movie that forced me to love the ending because it simply earned it. I loved that I keep typing things and deleting them as not to spoil anything which tells you that all the good things you have to watch for yourself. The movie certainly borrows elements from other films in the genre but does them very well. If you enjoy quality jump scares and want to test your inner tough guy or girl, check this one out. Have patience and hopefully and happily you'll have your mind sand-blasted for a few minutes. Turn all the lights off and phones off...and just immerse yourself. Special thanks to @LimeGreenLegend for the recommendation.

    Final thoughts spoiler: clicking here will absolutely ruin the movie and ending for you....

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