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NEWS (LAST 200)
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5 things to know before the bell
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UK could hand back millions from Harrods...
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Top Russian official in Crimea says the ...
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Saudi investigation team arrives at cons...
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Indian government minister steps down, t...
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Real Madrid protest to Spanish FA over L...
Russian censor ban
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Nikon Z 35mm f/1.8 S Review
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Explosive device caused blast at Crimean...
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REVIEWS & PREVIEWS (LAST 60)
Venom Movie (2018): Every Easter Egg And...
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SoulCalibur 6 Review - Transcending Hist...
Its 1-1 going into the bottom of the nin...
We go to extra innings
Dodgers 1, Brewers 1 after seven innings...
NBA: Celtics beat 76ers 105-87 as Haywar...
Brewers starter Gio Gonzalez leaves game...
Ducks Ryan Getzlaf is poised to return t...
FIFA 19 Nintendo Switch Review - Offside...
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Nonfiction: Michael Lewis Wonders Who’...
Angels opt out of their Angel Stadium le...
Man Booker goes to Anna Burns Milkman, a...
Mary Bono abruptly resigns as head of tr...
Angels tell Anaheim theyre opting out of...
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DNA testing raises a delicate question: ...
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Trump calls Stormy Daniels Horseface in ...
DCs Pennyworth Show Casts Its Young Alfr...
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Gavin Newsom should be Californias next ...
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President Trump offers an escape hatch t...
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Little Boy Review


Like the final girl at the end of a teen slasher movie, the “Halloween” franchise is a survivor. Since Jamie Lee Curtis first faced Michael Myers in 1978, the series has been bloodied by multiple bad sequels and overwrought remakes.

This weekend, a back-to-basics follow-up to the John Carpenter...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

President Trump has criticized the global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the case of a missing journalist.

TOP STORIES

On Saudi Arabia, ‘Here We Go Again’?

President Trump has warned of a rush to judgment as suspicions grow that Virginia-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed on orders...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

The two men who could determine whether Los Angeles teachers go on strike sound almost as if they inhabit different worlds. They don’t even agree on a set of basic facts, which makes negotiation difficult.

L.A. schools Supt. Austin Beutner speaks of a school system teetering on insolvency and failing...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

Consumer groups scorched nearly every fast-food burger chain in the country for continuing to buy beef raised using antibiotics in ways that make them less effective on humans.

Only two small but up-and-coming chains, Shake Shack and BurgerFi, received A grades in an annual report card issued Wednesday...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:00:00 PDT )

Venom has already broken box office records


Venom is now in theaters, and although it may not be officially part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, that doesn't mean it's lacking in comic book shout outs. Eddie's symbiotic alien adventure isn't as crammed full of Easter eggs and nods as his web slinging pals over in the MCU proper, but there are certainly some. So, of course, we're going to count them down. Be advised, Venom spoilers abound here, so proceed with caution.

Venom is a totally reimagined origin story for Spidey's obsessive alien enemy, set in Sony's isolated Spider-Man free Spider-Man universe. It focuses on Eddie Brock as an intrepid investigative journalist in San Francisco as he tries to uncover the truth about a shady biochemical firm known as The Life Foundation. Unfortunately, in the process of digging for dirt, Eddie crosses some lines and winds up disgraced, alone, and desperate for a break. Thankfully, one comes in the form of a Life Foundation scientist, Dr. Skirth, who finds herself in a crisis of consciousness over her job's unethical methods. Eddie becomes embroiled in the strange, parasitic world of the Life Foundation's alien pet projects: the symbiotes, tar-like aliens that require a biological host to survive.

It doesn't take much effort to start connecting the dots from that point. Eddie winds up saddled with a symbiote named Venom who can engulf him in black goo and puppeteer him around for all sorts of wacky, violent hijinks. Naturally, the Life Foundations' shady motivations become clear and the whole thing culminates in a full on oozified splatterfest as Venom clashes against a fellow symbiote for the fate of humanity.

Look, the Venom story is a weird one even in the comics, OK? If you were expecting high stakes moral quandaries, you're looking in the wrong place. That doesn't mean it's not worth seeing--as Venom's box office results clearly show, fans are eating it up. Now read on for all the Easter eggs and references you might have missed.


1. Eddie's New York Past


One of the first things established about Eddie Brock in Venom is that he was, effectively, pushed out of New York City after losing his job at The Daily Globe, which just so happens to be the The Daily Bugle's biggest rival over in the comics. He's currently living and working in San Francisco. This is a directly indirect nod to Eddie's comic book history with the one and only Spider-Man, who he developed a powerful grudge against while working as a photojournalist in NYC. After Eddie bonds with Venom and the two of them set some of their differences with Pete aside by coming to a tenuous agreement and they return to San Francisco to act as the "lethal protector" of the city.


2. Yellow Symbiote


While Venom and Riot may be the only two named symbiotes in the Life Foundation's possession, they're experimenting with one that is distinctly yellow in color. This is a reference to one of the comic book Life Foundation symbiotes called Phage, who set himself apart from his siblings with his bright color and--well, not much else.


3. Blue Symbiote


Like Phage, another original comic book Life Foundation symbiote made a stealthy cameo during the experimentation scenes. The blueish green blob that goes on to kill Dr. Skirth is, we can assume, a nod to Lasher, another one of the original five creatures who Carlton Drake hoped to reverse engineer.


4. She-Venom


During her very brief stint bonded with the symbiote, Anne becomes a female version of Venom known in the comics as--wait for it--She-Venom. She-Venom was introduced in the comics back in 1995 during the awesomely named "Sinner Takes All" arc. She and Venom bond when Anne was fatally shot, which wound up saving Anne's life--though not for long. She eventually killed herself in the comics as a direct result of her life's Venom-related chaos.


5. Carnage


Venom's first post credits scene reveals Woody Harrelson playing a prisoner in a maximum security facility. He never properly introduces himself, but comics fans will clock right away--even before he utters the telling "there's gonna be carnage" line--that he's playing Cletus Kasady, the insane killer who goes on to become Carnage. As one of Venom's most iconic foes, Carnage is a hulking bright red symbiotic beast who has none of the moral qualms Venom does about Eddie's general resistance to killing. As a serial killer and sociopath, Cletus and his symbiote are only interested in spilling as much blood as they can.


6. Eating Brains


Venom's cannibalism is a pretty prominent feature of the film, sometimes as a joke, sometimes as an earnest threat. This isn't a new thing, however, nor is it live action sensationalism--but it's probably a weirder callback than you might expect. The real origin of Venom's brain-eating isn't the comics, but the Venom action figure released in the 1990s shortly after Venom's introduction. The cannibalism eventually did make the leap to comics, but it was always a bit of a non sequitur (why does an alien blob want to do the zombie thing, anyway?)

Now, some 20 years later, the brain eating tradition continues in full color on movie screens everywhere.


7. Eyes, Lungs, Pancreas


The line "eyes, lungs, pancreas--so many snacks, so little time!" may be cheesy, but it's also a direct reference to the comics. And not just a reference--that exact dialogue was lifted straight from Amazing Spider-Man #374. Naturally, this was after the whole "eating brains" thing became pretty well established.


8. Spider-Eyes


As you could probably imagine, a blob of black alien goo could basically look like anything at any time, so over in the comics, Venom's humanoid form is based entirely upon his origin in which he spent some time disguised as Peter Parker's black costume.

Of course, in the live action universe, Venom hasn't actually met Peter so he has no real reason to riff on the look. That's why he doesn't have a big white Spider-logo on his chest--but there's still one major Spidey shout out in the design, and it's all in the eyes. Venom's eye shape subtly implies a Spider-Man connection--whether or not there really is one.


9. The Life Foundation


Carlton Drake's Life Foundation isn't an arbitrary plot piece for the movie, it's actually one of the biggest comics call-backs Venom has to offer. The Life Foundation has some deep roots in the Marvel Universe, but they're most famous for being the first organization to purposefully create symbiote spawns. They were responsible for the propagation of five Venom "children" named Agony, Scream, Phage, Lasher, and Riot who they then bonded to Life Foundation volunteers to create their very own symbiote task force. Sound familiar? That's because they do basically the exact same thing in Venom with only a few little tweaks to make it work in the movie universe.


10. Eddie the Journalist


Eddie's career as a journalist was anything but an arbitrary choice for the film. Eddie Brock's comic book origin story revolves around his career as a journalist who broke a bad story and, naturally, decided his mistake was all Spider-Man's fault. His career was ruined and he was forced to sink to tabloid levels just to make a living, all while bodybuilding to reduce the stress. The end result was a super jacked, super angry ex-journalist who just so happened to be the perfect host for a vengeful alien symbiote.


11. Carlton Drake


While Jenny Slates' Dr. Skirth isn't actually a direct reference to any comic book character, Riz Ahmed's Carlton Drake definitely is. He was lifted directly from Marvel's pages as the ethically questionable leader of the Life Foundation. His comics counterpart never bonds with the symbiote Riot, so there are certainly some differences, but Carlton's name and corporate role are as true to the source as can be.


12. Down with the Sickness


If any motif, you know, aside from tar-y black goo, is repeated over and over in Venom it's Eddie having to go in and out of medical facilities. He's put through MRI machines, he's sweaty and feverish, he's worried about having a "parasite," he's talking with doctors--you get the idea. While this isn't an explicit reference to any one particular thing, it is potentially a shout-out to Eddie's rather unpleasant history with doctors back in the comics. In the early 2000s, a story called "The Hunger" retconned Eddie's origin story to give him deadly cancer prior to his bonding with Venom. It was the symbiote that kept Eddie alive and rid him of his disease--which sort of plays out on screen. It's just that in the movie, Eddie's not actually sick, Venom is the thing that is both hurting him and saving him.


13. John Jameson


This one is blink-and-you-miss-it, but if you're paying close enough attention to the beginning of Venom, you might catch a name dropped in reference to the catastrophic crash that brings the symbiotes to Earth. One of the scientists in the clean up crew mentions that the craft had been piloted by "Jameson," which, in any other circumstance would probably just be a throwaway line--but not here. The name Jameson is actually a shout-out to comics character John Jameson who, in addition to being the son of J. Jonah Jameson (yes, that J. Jonah Jameson) was also the astronaut famous for bringing the symbiotes to Earth.


14. Meanwhile, in another universe…


The second of Venom's post-credits scenes doesn't actually have much to do with Venom at all. It's a teaser for Sony's other Spider-Man movie, the fully animated Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which is heading for theaters this fall. Though Eddie and Venom have nothing to do with Miles Morales and his cartoon adventures, the title card does put Venom the movie into an interesting context within Sony's not-actually-shared universe of movies. If the "Spider-Verse" encompasses any and all forms of Spider-Man stories, then Venom is most definitely part of that web somewhere, right? We're not recommending you hold your breath for a Tom Hardy shout-out or cameo in Into The Spider-Verse, but hey, stranger things have happened.


Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 05:15:00 -0700)

Why ship 3,600 tons of sand to Las Vegas? High-quality sand, not Mojave Desert grains, is needed to create courts for the city’s first Las Vegas Open beach volleyball competition, which begins Thursday.

Team USA’s Kerri Walsh Jennings, winner of three Olympic gold medals, leads the list of elite...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 03:45:00 PDT )

This is proving to be a week of wrapped Marvel productions. Only a few days after Joe and Anthony Russo announced that they have finally finished shooting the still-untitled Avengers 4, Spider-Man star Tom Holland has confirmed that Spider-Man: Far From Home has also wrapped.

Holland took to Instagram to mark the ending of shooting on Far From Home. He posted an image of Spidey standing on a New York street alongside co-star Zendaya, with the simple caption: "THATS A WRAP." Check it out below.

View this post on Instagram

THATS A WRAP #farfromhome

A post shared by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

This image follows last week's on-set footage showing Spider-Man swinging through New York holding Zendaya. We've also had recent images from the set in the Czech Republic, that gave us the first look at Jake Gyllenhall's villainous Mysterio.

Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 5, 2019. The cast also includes Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Cobie Smulders, and Samuel L. Jackson. Spider-Man: Homecoming's Jon Watts returns as director.

While specific plot details are still under-wraps, editor Dan Lebental recently hinted at what fans could expect. "I can't say much about the new Spider-Man, but I will offer up that it will be both grander in scale and even funnier than the last one," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "The rest of the story will have to wait."

We do know that the movie will start immediately after the events of Avengers 4, which arrives in May. Last year, Marvel boss Kevin Feige spoke about how the film will kickstart the next phase of the MCU. "So much happens in [the third and fourth Avengers movies], as you can imagine, and so much is affected by it, that we felt what better person to hold your hand and lead you into the next incarnation of the MCU, in a grounded, realistic manner, than Peter Parker?" Feige said. "So, coming out two months after Avengers 4, [that's what] much of what the next Spider-Man film will be about."

In related news, it was confirmed last week that the Marvel Netflix show Iron Fist has been canceled after two seasons. Season 1 was met with a poor critical response last year, and while Season 2 was better received, the show's cancelation comes only a few weeks after it hit Netflix.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 04:15:00 -0700)

DC fans waiting to see Ezra Miller reprise his role as The Flash from last year's Justice League are going to have wait a while longer. It has been reported that the troubled Flash movie has been delayed once more and is unlikely to hit theaters until 2021.

According to Variety, the movie was expected to commence shooting in March next year ahead of a 2020 release. However, the script is still being worked on, and it is unlikely to be ready in time to hit the production start date. The problem is that star Ezra Miller is also a key member of the Fantastic Beasts series cast and with production on the third Fantastic Beasts movie starting in July, the DC film can't start until late 2019 at the earliest.

The Flash movie has never been formally greenlit and has been through a number of directors and delays since it was first announced back in 2015. Original director Seth Grahame-Smith was replaced by Rick Famuyiwa, who himself quit in 2016, citing "creative differences." Warner then hired Joby Harold to rewrite the entire script, and at one stage, Back to the Future director Robert Zemekis was in talks to direct. In January, Spider-Man: Homecoming writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein were announced as directors.

Although it seems unlikely that we'll see the Flash film any time soon, there are plenty of other DC projects in the pipeline. Aquaman, Shazam, and Wonder Woman 1984 are all due over the next 13 months, with the Joker prequel movie now in production as well. Beyond that, Margot Robbie is set to reprise her Suicide Squad role as Harley Quinn in the female supervillain team-up Birds of Prey, which hits theaters in February 2020.

It was also recently reported that James Gunn, who was fired from Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3 in July, is a writing a Suicide Squad movie for DC. A direct sequel to 2015's Suicide Squad was expected to start shooting soon, but it has now been reported that Gunn's script will be "a whole new take" on the story. Although Gunn has only been hired as a writer, it is also possible that he might direct the film.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 04:15:00 -0700)

There is no love lost between Manny Machado and the Milwaukee Brewers. On the night Machado nearly tripped up their first baseman, and the night after Machado twice grabbed the Brewers’ shortstop in trying to break up a double play, the Brewers’ players wasted no words in expressing their anger...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 01:15:00 PDT )

What truly distinguishes SoulCalibur from its genre contemporaries is a pervading sense of adventure. It tells a grand tale of knights and ninjas, axe-wielding goliaths and pirate warriors, all struggling over mythical weapons of good and evil. It accents this with a rousing orchestral score and grandiose narrations about entwined destinies and inescapable fates. Sure, deep and rewarding mechanics are at the heart of every good fighting game--and SoulCalibur VI certainly has that--but for this series, adventure has always been the soul.

That spirit of adventure is most evident in SoulCalibur VI's two story modes. Libra of Souls is the meatier of the two and takes inspiration from SoulCalibur II's beloved Weapon Master Mode. It's part fighting game, part role-playing game, part Dungeons & Dragons campaign; you create your own unique fighter using a creator that, while serviceable, isn't nearly as robust as the one in Bandai Namco's other fighter, Tekken 7. From there you embark on a journey that will take you across the world, and along the way you'll cross paths--and swords--with both named characters and generically named bit-parters.

Libra of Souls tells its story primarily through text, but it's all surprisingly engaging, with dialogue and descriptions setting the stage for the inevitable fight and giving even its throwaway opponents a bit of flavour. The story's conceit for making you travel around the world is that you're "malfested" with an evil energy and must absorb Astral Fissures to stay alive. Although you're ushered between main quest missions, various side-quests pop up around you, with NPCs asking for a hand solving their problems. Naturally, the solution each time is a sword-swinging contest, but the game does a valiant job of world building along the way to give texture to its fantasy universe. You'll learn that Ceylon is a major producer of cinnamon, which is favoured by royalty and thus very precious, and that hamlets are being decimated by a rampaging Azure Knight with a thirst for souls. You'll meet a would-be entrepreneur who, while affable, is mostly after handouts; a weaponsmith who is looking to impress the royal family to win a contract; and a priestess who doubts her abilities, among others.

Completing these missions rewards you with experience that levels you up, and this is where the RPG hooks are strongest. As you grow, you'll be able to use stronger weapons that have different visual styles and properties. Enemies also become hardier and, on top of that, special battle conditions spice up fights. These may make one type of attack more effective while decreasing the strength of others, thus forcing you to diversify your skillset within the battle system. Another wrinkle to the RPG mechanics is the ability to select a food item to take into battle. These bestow bonuses such as increased counter damage, a boost to health at the start of a new round, or extra experience for a win, to name a few. If you’d rather let someone else do the dirty work, you can visit the Mercenaries Guild and hire a fighter, outfit them with a weapon and food, then send them into battle. At best the AI will secure a victory; at worst they’ll knock off some health from the enemy before you step in.

There are also little touches in Libra of Souls that reinforce the idea that you're a wandering warrior on an epic journey. One of them is an indicator at the top of the world map that ticks down the years as you progress, establishing a passage of time as you bounce between locations and fights in rapid succession. Another is the decision-making moments, some of which will simply dictate how you act towards a character, while others will weigh your soul towards good or evil, impact the story, and decide how the ending battle plays out. The eventual consequence of your actions is small, but it's a neat way to give you a tiny bit of authorship in the story.

The main issue with Libra of Souls is the ratio of storytelling to actual gameplay. The mode is very text-heavy, which would be less of a problem if its battles weren't so quick. In the hands of a capable fighting game player, many enemies can be dispatched within as little as 10 seconds, which means time spent in Libra of Souls is heavily skewed toward reading over fighting. And although the loading screens before and after battles are quite short, they can become increasingly tedious. The mode is also lacking in variety, so beyond the occasional battle condition, it does very little to keep you on your toes. For the most part, applying an aggressive strategy will see you emerge victorious.

The second mode, Soul Chronicles, is a more typical take on a fighting game story but is still expansive and has an interesting approach to laying out its narrative. It features a main story that chronicles what happens with the legendary Soul Edge but supplements this with 19 character-specific campaigns, drilling down on what they're doing while the broader story takes place. Although they're heavily reliant on static artwork, they're fully voiced and the artwork itself has an eye-catching, sketch-like style. There's a microcosm of Libra of Souls' issues here too, though, as battles can be over in the blink of an eye, and that means more hitting buttons to advance text.

Nevertheless, Libra of Souls and Soul Chronicle make for a satisfying single-player offering, with the former lasting upwards of eight hours and the latter taking around four. Idiosyncrasies aside, both give you plenty to do and provide a comprehensive, engrossing story throughout. By the time it's over, you'll have travelled the world, met a variety of colorful characters, and fought all manner of strange creatures. Quite the adventure.

SoulCalibur VI doesn't demand hours of study and experimentation ... you can pick up a controller and feel like you're competent in no time

The beauty of SoulCalibur's gameplay is its simplicity, and in that respect SoulCalibur VI is a bit like rock-paper-scissors. At its most superficial, the rules of engagement are simple and the pace of battles means decision-making is based on instinct as much as considered tactics and being reactive. Admittedly, the same can be said of most fighting games, but unlike them SoulCalibur VI doesn't demand hours of study and experimentation to do this; you can pick up a controller and feel like you're competent in no time. Although there are complicated systems and techniques to consider, an inability to interact with them doesn't loom over you. Before long vertical attacks will reveal themselves as powerful but slow, you'll quickly realise that horizontal attacks interrupt sidesteps and are a safe way to apply pressure, and kicks are a nice balance of the two but with limited range. It takes little time to internalize those fundamentals, and so their intricacies become apparent quicker than in most fighting games. Throw in blocking and movement, both of which are intuitive, and the pick-up-and-play factor becomes a key strength of SoulCalibur VI.

The surface simplicity belies more complex systems beneath, and SoulCalibur VI is mechanically dense. It layers systems from throughout the series on top of each other so even veterans will need to examine the individual pieces and figure out how they fit together. Although each character has a relatively limited range of attacks, the eight-way run movement lets you modify them. Attacks also land at different heights--high, mid, and low--and in turn blocking becomes a three-tiered system. More confident players can react to an attack by executing a last-second Guard Impact to repel and leave their opponent open, but a staggered player can retaliate with a Reversal Impact--a reversal reversal.

From there it only gets more complicated. Reversal Edge is a special stance that will counter incoming attacks at any height. It's executed with a single button and the longer it's held the more attacks it can absorb. This makes defending against an onslaught of attacks really easy, but the ease of execution means it also steps on the toes of the more skill-based Guard Impact. Reversal Edge seems to be aimed at casual players as, while a successful Guard Impact places the initiator in a more advantageous position, Reversal Edge establishes a neutral playfield by initiating a clash. Here the action slows, the camera swoops in close, and the two fighters effectively bet on what the other player will do and counter it. This is a useful way to create some breathing room when being smothered, but the guessing game leads to a feeling of randomness that can be frustrating. The workaround here is to land an unblockable break attack to stop a Reversal Edge.

Beyond that there are Critical Edges, which are the game's equivalent of super moves. These are governed by the Soul Gauge, which is built up by attacking, defending, and taking damage. Once one level is attained, it can be spent on executing an incredibly powerful and outlandish cinematic attack. A Soul Gauge can also be spent on a Soul Charge, a comeback state of sorts that opens a separate set of moves up for a character to use, powers up normal attacks, and makes them cause damage to blocking opponents for a brief period.

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Those are just a few of the systems in SoulCalibur VI, so for those that want to become students of the game, it offers plenty to learn. However, at times it can also feel needlessly complex. This is likely a symptom of creating a collection of systems that give the hardcore fighting game players the depth they crave while also enabling casual players to stand their ground against them. On paper that might seem like a good approach, but the end result is a construction that is at odds with itself, as if built out of both K-Nex and Lego--the simpler parts undermine the complex ones, and although it works, it's inelegant. A good player with an understanding of all the systems will almost always triumph over someone only making use of the basic ones, so the biggest issue this superfluousness presents is that it makes the path from casual to expert a little less appealing to walk. That complexity is overwhelming when it doesn't need to be, and if there are simpler and easier options there's less incentive to dig beneath the surface.

SoulCalibur VI is a fighting game that's easy to recommend. Like all the best titles in the genre, it has a low barrier to entry and high skill ceiling. For those looking to get in a few games with friends it's welcoming and immediately enjoyable. For those committed to ploughing the depths of its systems to get tournament ready, it has plenty to unpack and understand. Better still, those that want to play alone will find SoulCalibur VI has some of the most substantial single-player content in any fighting game today.

At the time of writing, SoulCalibur VI's online servers aren't live. GameSpot will test the game post-release and update this review with an assessment of its online performance.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Wed, 17 Oct 2018 00:01:00 -0700)

Jayson Tatum had 23 points and nine rebounds, and the Boston Celtics outlasted the Philadelphia 76ers 105-87 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.

Marcus Morris added 16 points and 10 rebounds off the bench. Al Horford had nine points and five blocks.

The Celtics survived a lethargic...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 19:50:00 PDT )

Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf appears poised to rejoin the lineup after missing the last four games.

The center has been sidelined with a groin injury, but has skated four days in a row, including a full practice Tuesday. He was on the top line with Rickard Rakell and Troy Terry.

Getzlaf could return...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Tue, 16 Oct 2018 18:10:00 PDT )

While there have been many, many attempts to translate the tabletop roleplaying experience to the PC and console, more often than not it hasn't quite worked out. One of the biggest struggles in transitioning a traditional tabletop RPG into the quicker, imminently more binge-able video game form is incorporating a complex ruleset faithfully. Hypothetically speaking, with the right combo of spells and skills, a tabletop campaign can get utterly bizarre, with players collaborating to do things like using effectively unlimited ammunition to shoot through a mountain. These kinds of solutions are impossible in video games, where destructible environments and the difficulty of coding different possibilities necessarily limits the ways you can interact with the game. Pathfinder: Kingmaker is a partial exception to that rule, but it often fumbles with the execution.

Just about everything has been wholesale imported from the Pathfinder tabletop games; nearly all the mechanics, spells, skills, etc. make their way in, and so does a massive chunk of the lore and mythology. That's all well and good, particularly because Kingmaker offers plenty of options to help customize the difficulty and effectively put you in the role of Game Master. There are more than a dozen options for adjusting everything from damage scaling for foes--a handicap that makes you more resistant to harm in tougher fights--to how the AI will manage your (eventual) kingdom.

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Given that this is a hefty choose-your-own-everything adventure, your character is a blank slate. You can pick from many of the basic races--as well as the godlike aasimar--and a fair few of the basic classes, skills and abilities from the tabletop edition. Your companions are initially pulled from a crowd of heroes you meet in the game's opening, but it expands soon after with any number of additional friends and allies to bring along the way. For the most part, these serve as means to an end. Your allies are as much a part of the experience as your own character is, both in terms of party composition and roleplaying in the narrative.

This is reinforced by one of the few concessions the tabletop game doesn't make, but the game does: party-wide skill checks. Passing obstacles in the tabletop Pathfinder, for instance, can often separate the party, as those that don't have a skill like acrobatics won't be able to maneuver through a thicket. Instead, in Kingmaker, the party completes these tasks as a team. It behooves you, then, to really spread out your abilities and party to maximize coverage of options over making sure everyone has the same basic setup with slightly different modifications down the line.

Such concessions transition well into group cohesion in combat, as well. With such a diverse set of specializations, party management is exceptionally important--especially because of the intense base difficulty. By default, Kingmaker follows the rules of tabletop perhaps too closely; it's a system where simple combat with a few foes can take 30 minutes to an hour (or more), all compressed into a few seconds on-screen. That can be taxing as it requires tremendous familiarity with each classes' traits as well as the acuity to know how to pull them together.

Were everyone sitting around the table, each would have a couple minutes to look over their spells, consider all manner of responses, and then execute the plan on their next turn. In Kingmaker, though, combat largely happens in real time. Sure, you have a pause button and can quickly look over your characters to devise tactics mid-battle, but this absolutely grinds combat down and really hits the pacing of the game in the worst way.

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Perhaps a bit more troubling is the fact that within Pathfinder's ruleset, many monsters and creatures require very specific tools to kill. Swarms of small creatures like rats, for instance, can't be effectively fought with a sword and shield. Sometimes Kingmaker warns you, but other times it simply expects you to know how to handle the problem. Rust monsters, skeletons, ghosts, and so on all have specific tools that you need to understand and be able to use with relative ease. That's made easier by having a diverse party, but then you have to take far more time aside to learn the ins and outs of your band of characters than a traditional tabletop player.

This tension--between what Kingmaker is trying to be and what that looks like in practice--is at the heart of many of its missteps. With more than a dozen references and resources to draw upon, quite a few things have slipped through the cracks, causing issues of balance throughout. There’s the distinct impression that Pathfinder’s convoluted rulesets have led to oversights in how damage gets calculated by the game in this or that room, or whether you’ll face a much higher spell failure chance when squaring against a boss.

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There have patches since release, and many of the adjustments definitely work. A slightly modified Story Mode (the name of one of the difficulty presets) is a solid entry point for many. Still, the rules and procedures can be labyrinthine--and that's even with tooltips that explain proper nouns and the requisite in-game encyclopedia to explain everything else.

For those willing to take on the challenge, however, what lies beneath the brusque exterior is a welcome return to involved roleplaying. The voice acting is spotty, and writing can be a bit cliché at times, but the game doesn't shy away from its subtitle. In relatively short order, you earn your barony and have the ability to build it out however you choose--hiring advisers and upgrading facilities to help you along the adventure. Kingmaker’s campaign cuts much closer to long-term tabletop campaigns and gives you a stable home base from which to plan your next outing. And, not to belabor the point, but most of your mini-adventures will definitely require prep.

These outings also constitute the bulk of your questing play and a good chunk of the ongoing narrative--an interconnected web of relationships and allegiances that lends itself to plenty of political intrigue and exciting adventures. Unearthing the mysteries of not only your “employers” but also the shifting factions of the Stolen Lands and how that plays into the world at large is definitely an extraordinary and rewarding endeavor.

For those willing to take on the challenge, what lies beneath the brusque exterior is a welcome return to involved roleplaying.

The interaction between the ruling bit of play and the rest of it is great. Having each of these systems--roleplaying, combat, adventuring, and what's essentially SimCity-lite--feed into and influence one another yields an experience that is as broad as it is deep. Your level of investment and engagement with each is largely up to you, but each of them matters and will require attentiveness to get the best results. But the opportunities it yields are exceptional. Having your roleplaying choices and character story and alignment all play into how you rule and who accompanies you on your trek is amazing. Working towards getting a well-crafted set of gear for your party after carefully maneuvering through hours of quests and adventures, all for the glory of besting a big bad using all the skills and abilities you've given your team, are high points of the adventure.

All-told, Kingmaker isn't a stellar outing, hampered by a litany of small issues, balancing, and the gargantuan knowledge base you'll need to play most effectively. But, for those with the patience, the rewards are well worth the investment.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:37:00 -0700)

If FIFA 19 on PS4 and Xbox One is a 40-piece orchestra with all the bells and whistles you can think of, then FIFA 19 on Nintendo Switch is the tribute band. The Switch version of EA's footballing behemoth purports to have all the same qualities--the Champions League! Ultimate Team! Career Mode!--but under the surface, each of its many facets lacks the depth and longevity from other versions. On the pitch the Switch port feels relatively smooth, if a little dated, but it's hard to shake off the feeling you're playing an inferior and incomplete version of this year's biggest soccer sim.

Some improvements from the PS4 and Xbox One editions carry over to the Switch port, such as timed finishing and the new Kick Off house rules options like No Rules and Survival Mode. Others, such as game plans--or any kind of tactical tweaks or player instructions--do not make the cut.

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Once you get on the pitch, things feel satisfying--sometimes. Passing still feels imprecise, even with the world's best players, but shooting and dribbling feel almost as good as what's available on other platforms. But this port also seems to pull from older versions of FIFA--many cutscenes and environmental cues like those read out by stadium announcers are from as far back as FIFA 10.

Additional problems crop up when you want to play a friend with one Joy-Con each. It works, but not particularly well. As with FIFA 18 on Switch, fewer buttons and sticks means there's no way to use finesse shots, threaded through balls, knuckle shots, manual defending, skill moves, or driven passes. Double-tapping the right bumper allows you to knock the ball ahead of you in a similar fashion to the right stick when playing with traditional controls, but similar workarounds don't exist for the other missing functions. Playing with one Joy-Con is possible but often ends up feeling like more hassle than it's worth. You are, at least, able to matchmake with friends when playing online, which was missing from last year's Switch port.

The Champions League license and standalone mode do form a part of the Switch version, complete with Derek Rae's Aberdeen-Atlantic commentary and UEFA's operatic anthem. Night games look impressive on Switch, even if the atmospheres don't quite live up to the sights and sounds of the PS4 and Xbox One editions, in part due to lower resolution. The standalone mode is essentially a stripped-down version of Career Mode, which itself is even more bare-bones on Switch than it is on home consoles this year. On Switch, neither mode contains the dynamic cutscenes or interactive transfer negotiations found on other platforms. Here, FIFA 19 really does feel very similar to 18, just with updated licenses.

Ultimate Team has a similar story in this version. FUT is easily FIFA's biggest and most popular mode, thanks in large part to EA's Squad Building Challenges, in-form cards, and more live services that keep things fresh. All those are present and correct on Switch, but the mode is lacking in ways to actually use your squad. Division Rivals, FUT's new sub-mode for this year on PS4 and Xbox One, is nowhere to be found, meaning you have to make do with standard old Online Seasons matches. Squad Battles, the primary method of play for offline players in FUT, is also absent--the more miserly Single Player Seasons are your best bet here. To make matters worse, you still need a constant internet connection to access even Ultimate Team's single-player sections, so playing FUT on the go isn't an option unless you tether your Switch to your phone signal. Oh, and the FIFA 19 companion app is not compatible with Switch versions of the game, so you're out of luck there, too.

All that's left is to lament the ongoing absence of The Journey, which of all FIFA's modes appears the best fit for Switch--a deep, offline story playable in small chunks--and yet it's omitted entirely from the port. And that sums up the Switch version of FIFA 19: a playable, competent game of football encased in a package of outdated modes and lacking the controls and features you really want.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 08 Oct 2018 12:08:00 -0700)
“The Fifth Risk” examines the crucial, often life-or-death, work done by officials in three government agencies. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 21:29:31 GMT )

The soft reboot that was Assassin's Creed Origins introduced a new approach to the series' brand of stealth-action gameplay, along with an expansive and vibrant open world with many dynamic systems at work. In this year's follow-up, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, developer Ubisoft Quebec builds upon its predecessor's pillars, and in the process shows greater confidence in the series' new direction.

Set in Ancient Greece, Odyssey predates the previous game by several centuries. During the Peloponnesian War in 431 BCE, you take on the role of either Alexios or Kassandra, siblings and former Spartans-turned-mercenaries. In keeping with series tradition, Odyssey features parallel storylines, with the main narrative taking place in the distant past and the overarching plot set in the present day. After pivotal moments dealing with political intrigue and wartime conflict in Greece, you'll jump back to the modern day to continue the story of Layla Hassan, introduced in Origins, who's working to uncover the secrets of the first civilization. Throughout your travels in Ancient Greece you'll uncover lost tombs, engage in naval warfare on the high seas, and assassinate the key members of a shadowy conspiracy seeking control of the known world.

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In your trek through the Greek mainland and the islands of the Mediterranean sea, you come across diverse locales that showcase lush environments that pay tribute to the old gods, while rubbing shoulders with the many historical figures of the era looking to make their impression in Greek society. The amount of detail packed into each location is impressive, tied together by an active and dynamic ecosystem where local wildlife and civilians keep their territory. But as you dive further, you'll see the many hardships and realities of life in Ancient Greece firsthand, including the horrors of slavery and the ever-present war between the military-driven Spartans and the bureaucratic Athenian army.

Featuring a map that's more than double the size of the previous game, Odyssey is built to be explored and has incidental content to reward your wanderlust. You get the sense that your actions will have a lasting impact wherever you go, and Odyssey offers up a wealth of content that fuels your growth at a steady pace. Though the issue of level-gating comes up occasionally, preventing you from actively exploring any region as you wish, you can take a break from the main story and dive into the breadth of side content at your leisure. Several side quests offer a surprising amount of depth and heart and feature some of Odyssey's more standout moments.

Throughout the main story and in side-quests, you'll make several key decisions that affect the game's narrative and your character's journey. While many of the choices you make are largely inconsequential and result only in slightly different endings for quests, the fateful decisions that do matter can lead to drastic turns of events, with some storylines and characters meeting their end prematurely. In moments you'd least expect, you'll see the payoff for decisions made early on in the story, for better or worse. With nine different possible outcomes at the main story's conclusion, there's a surprisingly large amount of cause and effect that can make the narrative feel all your own.

The different protagonists also offer up some of Odyssey's most endearing and entertaining moments. Despite the grim nature of the game, jokes and fun gags often break the tension, even during serious events. Though both Kassandra and Alexios share the same dialogue and story beats, their differing personalities, gender, and points of view offer unique flavor, making them stand apart--with some scenes and questlines feeling more appropriate with a particular character.

The Photo Mode in Assassin's Creed Odyssey allows you to capture some of the game's most breathtaking views.
The Photo Mode in Assassin's Creed Odyssey allows you to capture some of the game's most breathtaking views.

Romancing side characters is also possible in Odyssey. While some of these scenes can be amusing, they're mostly just bizarre shows of affection that have no real purpose. These scenes almost always result in a shallow aside during the conversation, with the characters slinking off-screen before returning to the conversation without skipping a beat. Most often, these awkward romance opportunities appear immediately after (or during) otherwise harrowing events. Aside from seeing some additional scenes with certain characters, there's really no benefit to engaging in romance at all. The inclusion of these scenes feels cheap and can sully otherwise interesting conversations.

As you unravel more of the world and advance in the main story, new gameplay mechanics and side opportunities will reveal themselves, adding even greater incentive to explore. When the conspiracy that threatens Greece makes itself known, you'll be able to keep track of the major players through a large interconnected web in the game's menu, showing their connections to other targets and how to find the intel to track them down. But in one of Odyssey's more involved quests, you'll encounter several mythological beasts hidden within the world, offering up some of the game's most inventive and memorable encounters, where brute force isn't always the answer.

The world in Ancient Greece feels much more reactive compared to previous Assassin's Creed games, and you get the sense that your actions will have a lasting impact wherever you go. When you start causing too much trouble, you'll attract the attention of rival mercenaries looking to collect a bounty. Similar to Shadow of War's Nemesis system, though not as sophisticated, Odyssey presents a seemingly endless set of antagonists with their own backstories, strengths, and potential loot. If you find yourself with a bounty on your head, mercenaries are often quick to appear--leading to some annoying encounters where they arrive at the worst possible time, even during some story missions. If the heat from the encroaching mercenaries feels too much, you can lay low long enough for the bounty to clear, assassinate another wanted criminal, or pay off your own bounty in the game menu.

With nine different possible outcomes at the main story's conclusion, there's a surprisingly large amount of cause and effect that can make the narrative feel all your own.

One of Odyssey's more clever features is the new Exploration Mode. With this optional mode enabled, you're challenged to use your observation and deduction skills to find your next target, without the support of icons or waypoints. By engaging with quest-givers and friendly NPCs, you'll learn details about your surroundings and slowly piece together your next steps. Exploration Mode heightens the pride that comes from solving puzzles, and this makes each step of your investigations feel all the more rewarding.

When it comes to combat, Odyssey keeps up with the recent trend to incorporate stat-based mechanics into its core gameplay. Compared to previous games, there's now a greater focus on allowing you to customize your character to approach the challenges ahead. You can also build your character to specialize in stealth, long-range, or melee combat, and you're able to respec at any time. If you want to build your character as a powerful Spartan warrior wielding a legendary spear and use your Spartan Kick to boot enemies off cliffs, you can, but you are also free to stick with the traditional Assassin archetype.

This opens a lot of opportunities to experiment with special moves and gear, the latter of which can also be customized with special perks that offer unique bonuses. Odyssey no longer features the shields introduced in Origins, and as a result, combat flows at a brisker pace. By placing the emphasis more on dodging and parrying incoming blows from enemies, fighting feels more involved and dynamic. While there are times where Odyssey can run right into the awkwardness of its RPG mechanics clashing with the action gameplay--such as being unable to assassinate enemies outright due to being under-leveled--it makes up for it by giving players the options to avoid such clumsy engagements.

Your ship, The Adrestia, can be upgraded to deal greater damage and move faster while out on the open waters.
Your ship, The Adrestia, can be upgraded to deal greater damage and move faster while out on the open waters.

Naval combat and sailing make a return in Odyssey, opening up exploration on the high seas. As you build up resources and find new members to join your crew, you can customize and upgrade your ship, The Adrestia, to take on more daring challenges. Much like in Black Flag and Rogue, seafaring offers up some of the more exciting and visually pleasing moments of the game, finding lost sunken ruins in the oceans depths or facing off against increasingly aggressive rival ships. Over the course of your travels, you'll be able to recruit new lieutenants to add buffs to your ship, giving you more of a fighting chance against the sea's greater threats.

The scope of Odyssey is enormous, and for the most part, it's presented well. But some of the new innovations that seek to fit within the scale of the world, however, feel somewhat lost in the grand scheme of the game. With the ongoing war between the Spartan and Athenian army, you can choose to take part in the conflict and dismantle a faction's influence in a region. In these Conquest battles, you'll pick a side and cripple an army's hold by assassinating their leaders and taking their resources--culminating in a large-scale battle against their forces.

While this is a solid way of gaining resources and improving your standing with a faction, the mechanics and implementation into Odyssey's general systems make it feel half-baked at best and pointless at worst. In some of the more bizarre cases, the game and its narrative don't seem to take Conquest seriously, especially when the main story has you helping a particular faction, despite the side content in the area actively hurting them. This in turn can create a jarring and noticeable feeling of dissonance throughout your adventures. The game often struggles to make sense of the actual war gameplay within the context of its core narrative, which is disappointing.

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When looking at Odyssey in the bigger picture, it can often feel like too much game for its own good. There are numerous moments where the loop of exploring, completing missions, and traveling can slow the pace significantly. This is exacerbated by the expansive map, which can sometimes feel excessively big and a chore to travel through. There are also some notable bugs and hitches that crop up throughout, including those that prevent progress in missions to outright crash the game. Several times throughout my journey, progression was somewhat exhausting, which made some of the more impactful and exciting moments in the story feel like a drag.

Despite this, Assassin's Creed Odyssey's ambition is admirable, which is reflected in its rich attention to detail for the era and its approach to handling the multi-faceted narrative with strong protagonists at the lead. While its large-scale campaign--clocking in at over 50 hours--can occasionally be tiresome, and some features don't quite make the impact they should, Odyssey makes great strides in its massive and dynamic world, and it's a joy to venture out and leave your mark on its ever-changing setting.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 08 Oct 2018 11:11:00 -0700)

The Angels opted out of their lease with the city of Anaheim on Tuesday, setting the stage for another round of negotiations over whether the team remains in their longtime host city or finds a new home elsewhere in Southern California.

“As we look to the future, we need the ability to continue...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:35:00 PDT )

Anna Burns won the Man Booker Prize for her novel "Milkman" on Tuesday, becoming the first author from Northern Ireland to win the award, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for fiction. She is the first author from the United Kingdom to win the prize since 2012.

"Milkman," Burns' fourth...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 14:45:00 PDT )

Former U.S. Rep. Mary Bono abruptly resigned from USA Gymnastics on Tuesday, less than a week after being named interim president and chief executive of the embattled organization.

Bono had come under immediate fire from two-time Olympian Aly Raisman and others concerned that she had worked for...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 13:55:00 PDT )

The kickoff to a new NHL season isn’t the only reason Las Vegas Knights left winger Max Pacioretty has to celebrate. The 11-year veteran has sold his Baca Raton, Fla., home, which has a saltwater swimming pool and a sports court, for $3.1 million.

The closing price is down $350,000 from Pacioretty’s...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:45:00 PDT )

To hang on to state funding, Los Angeles will eliminate a disputed requirement that gave city politicians the power to block funding for homeless housing in their districts.

The decision ends a longstanding practice that has drawn criticism from nonprofit groups that assist poor and homeless people:...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:40:00 PDT )

The Angels opted out of their lease with the city of Anaheim on Tuesday, setting the stage for another round of negotiations over whether the team remains in their longtime host city or finds a new home elsewhere in Southern California.

Angel Stadium, which opened in 1966, is the fourth-oldest...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:35:00 PDT )

If you've tried logging onto PlayStation Network or playing an online game on PlayStation 4, you may have found yourself unable to connect. That's because PlayStation Network is suffering from various outages at the moment, without any indication of when they'll be resolved.

The PSN status page lists two important categories as experiencing trouble right now: Account Management and Gaming and Social. PlayStation Now, Video, Vue, Music, and the PlayStation Store, all of which previously had been listed as out, have now gone back online. The details underneath the Gaming and Social category state, "You may have some difficulty launching games, applications, or online features. Our engineers are working to resolve the issue as soon as possible, and we thank you for your patience."

True to form for such an all-encompassing outage, the details also list PS Vita, PS3, PS4, and web applications as down. It gives no indication of how quickly the outage will be resolved. Sony's official Twitter account is equally quiet on the timing. As always, it could be a matter of minutes or hours. We'll report back as soon as we receive any more information.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:56:00 -0700)

With the results of Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test stirring up controversy in the White House and beyond, the definition of what it means to be Native American has come into the spotlight. In this 2005 report, Times staff writer Karen Kaplan explores how the then-new commercial availability of...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Вт, 16 окт 2018 11:45:00 PDT )

The most remarkable—and remarked upon—fact about Mexico’s “drug war” is the staggering number of homicides in the country. Indeed, according to official figures, more than 240,000 people have been killed since this “war” began in 2006. 

Less frequently remarked upon—but also staggering—is how little is...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Вт, 16 окт 2018 10:45:00 PDT )


We're living in a golden age for horror on television, with cable networks and streaming services taking a chance on content that in the past may have been deemed "too much" for audiences. Thanks to networks like AMC and FX catering their content to a specific audience, these channels become the go-to place for action, comedy, and even horror.

Whether you like a classic ghost story, a murderous rampage by some slasher in a mask, something spooky from space, or a story that shakes you to your core, there is something currently on TV for you. And with the rise in streaming services, there are new budding shows from Netflix, Hulu, Shudder, and more you'll need to add to your queue.

We took a look at television series dating all the way back to the 1950s to find some of the best horror shows that have ever hit the airwaves. Here are the 13 best, listed in no particular order.

If you're looking for more spooky content and horror thrills, check out Movies That Every Horror Fan Needs To See and Awesome Short Horror Films you can watch online for free.


Are You Afraid of the Dark? (1990-2000)


Many episodes may have not aged exceptionally well, but the Nickelodeon series Are You Afraid of the Dark managed to scare a whole generation of kids during the '90s. The show followed the Midnight Society, who told each other scary stories by a campfire. As you can see above, some of the imagery from the series is hard to forget.


Tales From the Crypt (1989-1996)


Much like Are You Afraid of the Dark, Tales From the Crypt featured new horrifying stories every week, but because it aired on HBO, the series could get away with a whole lot more than the Nickelodeon show. The most memorable part of the series was the Cryptkeeper, who introduced each story in a ghoulish way.


True Blood (2008-2014)


HBO's True Blood mixed horror and romance with a bit of tongue-in-cheek quirkiness. The series followed a young woman who falls in love with a vampire and learns about his world. However, there's also a whole lot of death and gore to satisfy many horror fans. There's a whole season dedicated to werewolves as well.


Supernatural (2005- )


About to head into its 13th season, Supernatural is currently the CW's longest running series. The show follows two brothers who lost their mother to a supernatural force. The two join forces and hunt down monsters and other things that go bump in the night. If crazy monsters are your thing, then Supernatural is right up your alley.


Black Mirror (2011- )


Charlie Brooker's Channel 4 series--which now airs on Netflix--isn't about terrifying monsters or supernatural forces. It centers around technology that isn't too far off in the future and how it can change our lives for better or worse. Whether it's being hunted by a man in a black mask with a rifle (seen above) or being trapped inside a horror video game with no way out, Black Mirror plays to our deepest fears without the cheap jump scares.

You can check out our rankings for every episode in Season 4 of Black Mirror here.


The X-Files (1993-2001, 2016- )


Good luck sleeping tonight after seeing the picture of The Host from X-Files. While the Fox series primarily focused on government conspiracies, the show was filled with terrifying moments and monsters, like the 1996 episode "Home," which followed the inbred Peacock family and is by far the most disturbing episode of the series.


Stranger Things (2016- )


Season 1 of Stranger Things took the world by storm, following a group of kids during the '80s who are trying to find their missing friend, who is trapped in the Upside Down. With Season 2 coming to Netflix on October 27, fans can't wait to see what terrifying monsters the creators have in store for them next.


Penny Dreadful (2014-2016)


Showtime and Sky's series Penny Dreadful took well-known literary characters and presented them in a whole new, terrifying light. The series featured Dorian Grey, Dracula, Van Helsing, and more exploring the dark origins in Victorian England. Sadly, the series came to an abrupt end after Season 3, but luckily for you, every episode is currently on Netflix.


Channel Zero (2016- )


Syfy's Channel Zero was born out of creepypasta horror stories, and each season adapts one of the stories for television. The series has a dark tone that is frightening and unsettling. While Season 2 is currently adapting the story "No-End House," it's hard to forget the toothkid--seen above--that appeared in Season 1, "Candle Cove."


The Twilight Zone (1959-1964)


The first successful horror television series was CBS's The Twilight Zone, which originally ran for five seasons. Each episode featured a new story weaving fantasy, science-fiction, and horror together. The series had some iconic television moments, like a man seeing a monster on the wing of his plane.


Hannibal (2013-2015)


While Season 4 of the series isn't a sure thing yet, NBC's Hannibal took the lovable cannibal from Silence of the Lambs to give him a different type of origin story. Hannibal is a psychiatrist who manipulates the FBI--by working with them--so they don't find out he's actually a cannibalistic serial killer.


The Walking Dead (2010- )


AMC's The Walking Dead is one of the best revivals of the zombie genre. Based on the Skybound/Image comic series, the series follows Rick Grimes and his counterparts, as they traverse a world where zombies have destroyed mankind. The horror doesn't always come from the zombies though. It stems from mankind's struggle to survive in a wasteland, which usually leads to people committing horrific crimes.


American Horror Story (2011- )


Finally, there is FX's American Horror Story. Each season tells a different terrifying tale, featuring the same cast as brand-new characters. The series has covered ghosts, aliens, witches, and even freakshows in the past. Currently, the series title "Apocalypse" is airing, which revolves around witches and the end of the world.

Check out our interview with Cody Fern who plays Michael Langdon in the latest season.


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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 12:12:00 -0700)
“Good and Mad,” by Rebecca Traister, and “Rage Becomes Her,” by Soraya Chemaly, argue that women’s anger is unappreciated as a catalyst for political change. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Tue, 02 Oct 2018 21:44:49 GMT )
Though the traumatic events of Field’s childhood permeate almost every page, they do not define her. Read More

Source: The New York Times - Sunday Review (Tue, 18 Sep 2018 09:00:08 GMT )

President Trump called porn actress Stormy Daniels “Horseface” in a tweet Tuesday, an extraordinary provocation even for a man whose habit of denigrating the appearance of women draws frequent accusations of misogyny.

Trump’s insult came a day after a federal judge in Los Angeles dismissed a defamation...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews ( Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:35:00 PDT )

With the final season of Gotham premiering next year, the show's producers have already lined up the next Batman-related series to take its place. Pennyworth will focus on the early adventures of Batman's butler, and the show's star has now been announced.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Jack Bannon will play the young Alfred. Bannon previously appeared in the award-winning The Imitation Game, as well as David Ayer's war drama Fury and the acclaimed TV show Ripper Street. He joins Ben Aldridge, who has been cast as Thomas Wayne in the show.

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THR also provided a description for this new portrayal of Alfred, which sounds very different to the character played most recently by Jeremy Irons and Michael Caine on-screen. It states that Pennyworth's Alfred is "a boyishly handsome, cheerful, charming, clever young man from London. Honest, open-faced and witty, he's the kind of person people would never take for a SAS killer. Alfred doesn't know how to reconcile the kind-hearted boy he used to be with the cold, calculated killer he was forced to become. He's a man on the make, who doesn't know what to make of himself yet."

Although Pennyworth is written and produced by Gotham showrunner Bruno Heller, it is narratively unconnected to that show. It starts production in London next week and will premiere on Epix in 2019.

In related news, it has been confirmed that Gotham Season 5 will feature a number of time jumps. This final season will be based on the "No Man's Land" story from the DC comic books, and is expected to premiere in early 2019.

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Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 08:15:00 -0700)

Cruise and bike in the Aegean and Mediterranean seas on a weeklong tour of Turkey that includes sailing along the Turquoise Coast and cycling trips inland.

A pre-tour begins in Istanbul with participants exploring mosques and monuments. The group then flies south to Marmaris and boards a Turkish...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 03:00:00 PDT )

If Roseanne Conner taught her family anything over “Roseanne’s” multi-season run and recent reboot, it was how to overcome hardship.

They’ll need it because now the show’s title character, played by Roseanne Barr, is not part of the spinoff “The Conners,” which premieres Tuesday on ABC. Without...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 03:00:00 PDT )

The morning of May 29 was already expected to be a critical point in the timeline of ABC’s revival of “Roseanne.”

Executive producer Bruce Helford had gathered the writers on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank to begin work on the follow-up season to what had been a remarkable blockbuster return of...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 03:00:00 PDT )

Imagine that you have two finalists for a senior job on a bridge-building project. One of the applicants has more than two decades of experience in the field, doing exactly the kind of work required for this very project. The guy is smart, thoughtful and has well-informed ideas about improving...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Tue, 16 Oct 2018 03:00:00 PDT )
If you're new to this whole Call of Duty Zombies thing or just looking for some quick tips, we got you covered. In this video we break down the basic layout of the Voyage of Despair map, how to get the Pack-a-Punch machine, how to drain the water, and where the workbenches are to build equipment. Read More

Source: GameSpot Gaming Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:03:00 -0700)

[Editor's Note: We have updated this review to reflect our experiences with Armello's Nintendo Switch version]

Armello's hybrid of tactics, dice-rolling, and political intrigue has aged better than expected in the three years since its release, and on Nintendo Switch, the game is almost as formidable as it is on PC. Its charming blend of animal kingdom hijinks and turn-based strategy gameplay has yet to be replicated by a newer, flashier title; Armello has definitely held up well, and its uniqueness is undeniable. However, there are a few major differences between PC version and Switch releases, and not all of them are positive.

The most important distinction is the fact that the Switch version includes all of Armello's DLC content. The Complete Edition of the game includes a bunch of morally-grey heroes, seasonal effects, and a whole new clan to contend with. While the base game has a fair amount of material to keep you occupied, a criticism of the launch content was that particular victory styles were incentivized over others. At their core, the DLC packs attempt to address that by expanding your potential champion pool with heroes that operate very differently from the original ones in the base game.

Luckily, the champion pool increase is more than just a numbers game. The Usurpers DLC in particular has heroes which are brimming with devilish personality, along with playstyles that revolve around more than the just original victory avenues of skirmishing and keeping a death grip on the King's coffers. The Bandit Clan DLC adds around 50 new quests specific to this charismatic new faction, along with a thematically-appropriate follower that gives risk-taking players a second chance when taking up arms against their competition. The other DLC packs focus on mostly aesthetic and minor upgrades to dice variety, but they're still notable improvements on the range of material that was initially available.

The unfortunate change to the Switch version is the performance. Unlike the DLC additions that are, on the balance of things, a net positive, Armello doesn't run as nicely on Nintendo's console as it does on other platforms. It's not the sort of frame rate drop that makes the game unplayable by any means, but there's a clear disruption in the smoothness and timeliness of actions and animations that play out on the screen when you're in-game. This isn't something that you can attribute to online connection troubles either; some graphical degradation was experienced in playing against the AI in the Prologue segments, which in itself contained condensed elements of the game's mechanics. If you can put that to one side, then Armello's unique blend of strategy makes it a worthy pick-up on Switch. -- Ginny Woo, 10/16/2018

[Original review text follows below]

When you don't have three friends and some reasonably good beer to keep you engaged, a board game--especially a virtual recreation of one--has to work a lot harder to hold your attention. Armello accomplishes this and then some, and while it could use some fine tuning, it remains one of the best virtual board game experiences available.

At first glance, Armello can feel like a tangle of things--dice and cards and boards and coins and stats--but the quick four-part prologue does a good job of making sense of these pieces. Your primary actions include moving a character around the board to complete quests and avoid hazards. There are eight playable characters, and each character has different strengths, weaknesses, and abilities in addition to items they can equip to skew their stats in a slightly different direction. They also each have great-looking combat animations. Ever wish Disney's Robin Hood had 40% more bears punching each other senseless? Well, this game is for you!

As if you can't tell Brun means business, in a world full of anthropomorphized animals, he's wearingsomeone's head as a belt buckle.
As if you can't tell Brun means business, in a world full of anthropomorphized animals, he's wearingsomeone's head as a belt buckle.

To win in Armello, you have to either kill the king or have the highest prestige when the monarch dies due to a disease called the rot. Every full day--one turn for day and one turn for night--the King's health dwindles lower while his rot creeps higher, so no matter how things shake out, there are a finite number of turns that can be taken before the King will keel over on his own. It's also possible to defeat the King in combat, either by gathering four spirit stones from quests or tiles, or gaining a higher rot level than him. If a would-be assassin fails, the victory will automatically be handed to the prestige leader. Unless you're playing against clever friends, a prestige victory is almost always the easiest way to win. This can make the game feel unbalanced, especially when playing against AI opponents that frequently make ill-advised assassination attempts. That said, if you can resist the siren song of an easy victory or have other players wanting to spoil your plans, the varied win conditions provide enough variety to accommodate different play styles and keep things spicy through multiple sessions of playing with friends.

You also have a hand of cards--which are as well-animated as the characters themselves--that can be anything from equippable items and followers to spells and tricks that can be applied to yourself, other actors on the board, or specific tiles. Imagine if you could slam your Hearthstone deck down on a Clue board and swarm Professor Plum with Murlocs, and you have an accurate idea of just how neat this is in practice. Cards all have different costs to play, and crucially, they can be played regardless of whose turn it is. This allows for some tense moments and sharp twists in matches with other human players. On the other hand, when it comes to the A.I. opponents, the game tends to jump around a bit too fast to take full advantage of that ability unless you're particularly quick on the draw.

Long live the king!
Long live the king!
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What Armello suffers from most is a lack of customization options, something it could have stood to learn from more-traditional strategy games. There's no way to define whether you want a quick or a long game, A.I. skill levels are static, and when you're playing with friends, you're bound to a move timer whether you like it or not. Graphics controls are also somewhat limited, which means that you won't be able to turn off the haze of clouds in the sky, which would be dlightful if you didn't have to look down through them when you zoom out to see the full board.

Armello picks and chooses a variety of elements from board, card, 4X, and role-playing games without demanding either a familiarity with or a fondness for any genre. It also leaves a lot of room to engage as deeply as you want with the game's guts without feeling like you're floundering if you don't. Whether you're bumbling your way to the top or playing all your cards right, Armello makes regicide ridiculously entertaining.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 17:01:00 -0700)

Starlink: Battle for Atlas is a game about flying through space, exploring new planets, and shooting a lot of aliens. Set in a seamless open-world galaxy, it sees you pushing back occupying forces by battling enemies, setting up outposts, and completing simple tasks set by your allies. For better and worse, it's a distinctly Ubisoft game, from the huge spaces (seven separate planets and the vast depths of space that separate them) to the maps overloaded with activities. But thankfully, Starlink is not quite so full that it feels bloated--just full enough so that there's always something for you to be working towards.

Starlink is also Ubisoft's entry into the toys-to-life market--you're able to buy physical packs of pilots, weapons, and ships, all of which are interchangeable and have their own unique attributes and abilities. Constructing and attaching these models to your controller using a specialized mounting device will give you access to those characters and tools in-game, and while swapping between all these components isn't necessary, doing so brings distinct advantages.

Starlink's combat is fun thanks to simple controls and the two weapon system--different enemies are weak against or impervious to different weapon types, and swapping the two weapons mounted on your ship will change your methods of attack and the kinds of elemental combos you can perform. Using a stasis missile on an enemy so that they float helplessly in mid-air, then setting them alight with a flaming minigun, never gets old. Every weapon can be leveled up individually and augmented with mods that you collect, so by the end of the game, your most-used guns will likely be able to absolutely rip through certain enemies, provided you have the foresight to equip them.

When you're grounded on a planet, you'll be doing a lot of strafing and aiming for big glowing weak points, whereas fights in space are more freewheeling, with dogfights often pitting you against swarms of enemy fighters. These feel like all-range mode battles from Star Fox, and swinging around to land a precision assault on an enemy (often thanks to the game's rather generous auto-aim) is satisfying every time. The controls for each ship are the same, but there are minor differences between them; a light ship is better for maneuvering through a delicate situation on the ground, for instance, while a heavier ship can take more hits during battles.

Like weapons, each pilot has their own upgrade tree and unique special ability, and they even get their own unique script during missions, which is a great touch. There are only a few big story-driven missions, and in the back half of the game, you're given some freedom as to how you go about weakening the enemy forces. There's an order of operations in each sector of space--clear out mining sites guarded by enemies to weaken 'Primes,' which are big robot monsters on each planet. Killing Primes on planets that are near each other will weaken a related Dreadnaught, a giant spaceship that will, in turn, produce more Primes if you don't take it out too.

No Caption Provided
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The one drawback to this structure, though, is that you're essentially taking on the same kinds of fights with occasional difficulty spikes. Taking out the game's three Dreadnaughts will make the final boss easier, and you can theoretically take on a Dreadnaught at its maximum strength regardless of how under-leveled you are. It's repetitive, but you also get a good sense of your progression, and the feedback loop of loot and rewards hits a good balance where you rarely feel like you're stuck grinding. The battles might repeat a lot, but they're consistently entertaining, and figuring out the best way to take down a huge enemy with the tools you have on hand is a satisfying challenge. The Dreadnaughts are particularly fun to take down--every time you take out one of their mounted guns a swarm of enemy ships will attack, leading to the game’s most intense dogfighting, and each encounter ends with a Star Wars-inspired "fly into the center and destroy the core" sequence.

If you're playing on Nintendo Switch, you'll have access to Fox McCloud and his Arwing. He can call in one of the other members of Star Fox, complete with the Corneria theme from the original game, and if you're a fan it's very tempting to play as him the entire time. The Switch version consistently runs smoothly, although there's a visual trade-off. The planets are not particularly detailed, everything's a little fuzzier in handheld mode, and there's a lot of pop-in--it's weird to have an asteroid belt suddenly appear in front of you when you're flying towards a planet.

But the Star Fox fan service throughout the game is a great bonus, especially in the mini five-mission campaign in which the team hunts down long-time antagonist Wolf O'Donnell. Wolf is a much more interesting enemy than Andross, as it turns out, and while this campaign is short it feels true to the spirit of the series. Fox and his team get integrated into the rest of the game, too, popping up in cutscenes with the rest of the Starlink crew.

Unfortunately, the game's primary plot--which concerns a crew of adventurers trying to save their captured captain and take down the "Forgotten Legion" forces led by an alien named Grax--is much less exciting. Strangely, despite Battle For Atlas being the first and only existing game in the Starlink series, the script feels as though it's written for players who have a pre-existing relationship with these characters and their situation, meaning that there's not much in the way of pathos or catharsis to be found. Some of the characters are interesting, but even though the game is keen to throw lore at you there's little sense of who these characters are, what sort of universe they exist in, or even what their fundamental role is beyond needing to take down this enemy force.

Despite this, it's always clear what your overarching objectives are and how you need to work towards them. There's a lot that you can be doing at any given point--even in the vastness of outer space, there are wrecks to salvage gear from and enemy outposts to take down. Wrecks can be identified from their flashing beacons and usually contain loot, while outposts are added to your map as you chase outlaws from planets. Exploring the depths of space reveals plenty of neat loot and fun encounters and the thrill of taking off from one planet, seamlessly flying into space, and landing on another never gets old.

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But Starlink's proposition as a toys-to-life product is hampered somewhat by the comparative financial value of the digital alternative. The physical starter pack varies in content between consoles, but they each give you far less than both the starter and deluxe digital versions, which unlock multiple ships, pilots, and weapons from the get-go. If you get the physical starter pack and don't want to buy additional toys you can still finish the game, but you'll be at an enormous disadvantage.

Having multiple ships in Starlink essentially operates as having extra lives--if you get wrecked during a battle you can choose to either quit or replace the ship immediately. If you don't have a replacement, certain battles are going to be a real struggle, and progress doesn't carry over when you come back to them. It's easy to lose a ship, too, especially since your defensive options during fights are often limited--you can summon a shield or barrel roll, but both eat into your limited energy supply, which takes a while to recharge. The digital starter pack gives you four ships (five on Switch), which feels fairer and lets you worry less during big battles. Between ships and weapons (pilots are less vital), you'd have to buy quite a few toys if you wanted a varied and balanced experience.

The ship models themselves look great, though, and while switching loadouts via the menus is always going to be the more convenient option, physically swapping out the components will pause the game the until your ship is completely decked out again. Changing pilots will require you to remove the entire ship first, but that's only a minor pain--the only real impediment is being able to remember which weapon does what by sight, but their designs are distinctive enough that this isn't an issue once you get accustomed to it to them.

Starlink is an interesting and enjoyable open-world game, one that fully understands the appeal of exploring new planets and dogfighting in the cold depths of space. With a small fleet of ships at your disposal, it can be a lot of fun to progressively assault and weaken the Forgotten Legion's hold on the galaxy. It's just a shame that if you're interested in the physical models, you'll have to spend more to get the same experience as the digital version.

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Source: GameSpot - Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 16:00:00 -0700)

Los Angeles police were searching a Highland Park high school Monday afternoon after an unidentified caller claimed to have shot a school officer and placed a bomb on the campus, officials said.

Just before noon Monday, police were notified that someone had made a call saying they had shot a school...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:55:00 PDT )

Stephen Elliott, an author whose name appeared on a list of men in media alleged to have perpetrated harassment or assault, has filed a lawsuit against the list's creator, writer Moira Donegan, seeking $1.5 million in damages. In three days, Donegan’s supporters have raised more than $100,000 in...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 13:45:00 PDT )

The State of Drew was different here this time around, but it was still interesting.

It always is when Drew Doughty and the Kings go to Toronto. Last year was especially frenzied because Doughty’s contract hadn’t been extended and, oh, how good would he look in Toronto Maple Leafs’ blue?

The topic...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:55:00 PDT )

Something is intentionally askew about the opening scene of “Fairview,” Jackie Sibblies Drury’s blazingly inventive new play, which is now at Berkeley Rep after setting New York abuzz last summer. But it takes a little time to figure out the nature of the theatrical mischief that’s afoot.

The production,...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:45:00 PDT )

The lead paint industry’s efforts to avoid a cleanup bill for more than $400 million has reached the end of the road.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to review California state court rulings finding Sherwin-Williams, Conagra and NL Industries responsible for lead paint contamination in...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mon, 15 Oct 2018 12:35:00 PDT )

Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and the Dodgers are seven wins away from … let’s not jinx it.

The NLCS

Wow, a lot happened in two games. Let’s recap.

--I was bummed about the Game 1 loss until I realized the Dodgers played a horrible game and still...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Mo, 15 Okt 2018 08:00:00 PDT )

How far the Rams have come isn’t measured in yards or air miles.

The application is they’re good enough to be discerning about how they win.

They ground out a 23-20 victory at Denver on Sunday, a week after doing so at Seattle — two of the NFL’s most inhospitable venues for visitors. Yet the undefeated...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 14 Oct 2018 18:25:00 PDT )
SERIES

The Neighborhood Dave (Max Greenfield) gives Calvin (Cedric the Entertainer) a key to his house, in case of an emergency, and is surprised when the gesture is reciprocated in this new episode. 8 p.m. CBS

The Voice The blind auditions conclude in this new episode. 8 p.m. NBC

Arrow The superhero...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 14 Oct 2018 20:00:00 PDT )

If it were a movie, it would be called “The Curious Case of Jeff Carter.” As he gets older, his linemates get younger.

For years Carter was, semi-jokingly, a father figure to Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. Lately, it’s Jaret Anderson-Dolan, 19, and Michael Amadio, 22, next to the 33-year-old...

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Source: Los Angeles Times - Restaurant Reviews (Sun, 14 Oct 2018 16:25:00 PDT )
2.5 stars out of 5: A little much.
The past few years have seen a marked rise in the number of Christian-themed films getting wide theatrical distribution, but to call it a "new wave" of faith-based cinema is probably inappropriate. That designation is usually reserved for a...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:27:52 GMT )
3.5 stars out of 5: Much Avenge About More Things
They're building a giant machine now, a machine made of movies. To participate in the machine's agenda of taking your money, it will not help to begin by looking at this perpetual motion installment and working backwards, trying to catch up. You...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 01 May 2015 00:39:50 GMT )
1.5 stars out of 5: History written by the winners.
First-time director Russell Crowe has stepped in it, probably without meaning to. But it's happening all the same. His film, entirely devoted to an exploration of the aftermath of a key, nation-defining battle in Australian war history -- the...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:26:41 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: Proustian mush
It begins with a shot of the Earth from space, and omniscient narration. (The voice of Hugh Ross, narrator of The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, whose low-key, somewhat conspiratorial, post-sincere, NPR reporter tone turns...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:25:37 GMT )
LMFAO's Redfoo and Sky Blu stay in character and play debauchery for laughs and fun at Staples Center as part of Sorry for Party Rocking Tour. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Wed, 06 Jun 2012 18:34:01 -0700 )
The Beach Boys reunited June 2, 2012, at the Hollywood Bowl for the band's first tour together in more than two decades. A review for the Los Angeles Times. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Sun, 03 Jun 2012 13:21:26 -0700 )
If you closed your eyes during the sold-out Santigold concert at Club Nokia Friday night -- especially at any point in the first half -- it’d have been easy to feel like you were at one of the Hollywood Bowl’s annual flashback concerts featuring ‘80s British bands. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Sat, 02 Jun 2012 13:49:57 -0700 )
Van Halen returned to Los Angeles to perform to a hometown crowd at the Staples Center, where band members David Lee Roth, and Eddie, Alex, and Wolfgang Van Halen performed during their "Different Kind of Truth" reunion tour. Times pop music critic Randall Roberts says the performance was often lackluster. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Sat, 02 Jun 2012 12:49:42 -0700 )
1.0 stars out of 5: Pursue a ticket to a different movie.
Allow me to mangle Tolstoy for a minute, and say that each good comedy is good in its own way, but that all bad comedies are alike. There's variation, of course, but they all limp along on sad, weak legs and confused direction. They're airless...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 08 May 2015 21:06:08 GMT )
1.0 stars out of 5: Stay home.
Although there is at least one earlier, less sexual, usage of the slang term "the d-train," referring to having a generalized bad experience, lately the expression has become more synonymous with the penis. That's because pop culture always needs...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Sat, 09 May 2015 01:33:01 GMT )
5.0 stars out of 5: Death to the patriarchy.
"Who killed the world?" yells a minor character in Mad Max: Fury Road. This outburst comes after an earlier moment where camera pauses on the question painted on a cave wall. And since it's one of only a couple dozen complete and comprehensible...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 15 May 2015 05:05:45 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: Songs about butts.
Pitch Perfect 2 begins with a crazy, performance-based, wardrobe malfunction, one that, in the film's words, exposes the "down under" region of one of the a cappella Bellas. For this accidental offense they are mocked, chastised, and stripped of...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 15 May 2015 05:04:29 GMT )
2.5 stars out of 5: You can fly. Eventually.
In your initial visit to Tomorrowland, you're not really there at all. That's what scientifically-named Casey Newton (The Longest Ride's Britt Robertson) discovers when she first goes there by touching a tiny, metal, "T"-emblazoned pin. She takes...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Fri, 22 May 2015 05:11:54 GMT )
0.5 stars out of 5: BOO-RING
It's hard out here for a ghost. Always having to think up new ways to scare suburban people in movies. You make the kids' toys come alive and play creepy music, and all the other ghosts hold up signs with straight 1.5s across the board. You're...
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Source: Movies.com - Dave White Reviews (Sat, 23 May 2015 09:29:13 GMT )
Nickelback has no official connection to the big-screen version of “Rock of Ages,” but on Friday night at Staples Center, it was hard not to think of the just-opened movie musical -- a flashy-trashy dramatization of the 1980s hard-rock scene... Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Sun, 17 Jun 2012 19:36:33 -0700 )
Now in its fifth year, Make Music Pasadena celebrates music at its most casual and community-focused, and has grown from a festival that once largely featured intimate, acoustic appearances in storefronts to one that can draw artists with national appeal. Boasting 149 performances and pop-up stages on Old Town's Colorado Boulevard and the Playhouse District's Madison Avenue, Make Music Pasadena is a large-scale event done on a budget. Ninety-nine percent of the artists appearing do not get paid, say organizers, and headliners such as electronic artist Grimes and peppy local rockers Grouplove were expected to bring at least 20,000 people to downtown Pasadena. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Sun, 17 Jun 2012 17:39:47 -0700 )
On day two of UCLA's annual JazzReggae Festival, Shaggy, Tarrus Riley, Collie Buddz, Alison Hinds and others showcased the many sounds of the Caribbean, from soca and reggae to reggaeton and lovers rock. Times pop music critic Randall Roberts offers an overview of the day. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Tue, 29 May 2012 12:25:57 -0700 )
Live: Lil Kim driven to give till it hurts: The hip-hop diva's ambitious if erratic show was almost too much for the compact confines of Key Club. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews ( Thu, 14 Jun 2012 17:51:14 -0700 )
Power 106 FM kept its annual summer hip-hop show, Powerhouse, old school and relatively orthodox, with rappers Snoop Dogg, T.I. and Young Jeezy leading a show that was light on the dance-oriented pop hits that dominate the airwaves. The Times' August Brown reviews. Read More

Source: Los Angeles Times - Pop Concert Reviews (Sun, 24 Jun 2012 17:40:41 -0700 )
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Fri, 24 Nov 2017 14:00:00 Z)
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Source: Depreview - All Reviews & Previews (Thu, 04 Jan 2018 14:00:00 Z)


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