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Borderlands 2, Looper, Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!

Read: Borderlands 2

Technically you don’t read Borderlands 2, you play it. I’ve been playing this a lot. If you’re at all familiar with the first iteration of this role-playing game/first-person shooter mashup, then you can expect more of the same, only better. The first game set a Guinness World Record for having 17.75 million guns in it. Borderlands 2 claims to have significantly more than that.

Should you play it, you will spend a lot of time reading what items give you the most damage, accuracy, rate of fire, best statistic bonuses for your character class and an awful lot of time doing micro calculations in your head based on the numbers displayed in front of you.

This cel-shaded game never takes itself too seriously, and with a wicked sense of humour to boot makes for a very entertaining ride. I’m nowhere near finished with this game and can’t see myself putting the controller down over the next couple of months. With four character classes (more via downloadable content) and up to four player co-op (online) there’s plenty of guns and fun for all.

Watch: Looper

Rian Johnson has done a splendid job with this film. Easily one of the best sci-fi offerings in recent memory, this tale of time travel and telekinesis has set tongues wagging. Watching this film will raise a number of questions and lead to discussions about potential interpretations of the theories presented, but part of its charm is the ambiguous nature of the plot.

Made on a modest budget compared to most films today, Looper takes a number of twists and turns you wouldn’t expect based on the action-heavy marketing angle the distributors chose. This thinking person’s action film is also peppered with some genuinely funny and heartfelt moments, which makes it stand apart from recent offerings in the genre.

Several nods to seminal pieces in the genre show that Johnson took the time to appreciate where he fostered inspiration for this film. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis deliver strong performances as the same man at different points on his own path. Along for the ride is a very strong supporting cast, with a special mention to Pierce Gagnon.

Check it out and see what you think. Perhaps steer clear of the internet discussions surrounding this film unless you want to confuse yourself further.

Listen: Ben Folds Presents: University A Cappella!

This album came out in 2009, but I’m very glad I got around to hearing it. Some people refer to a cappella as ‘ear rape’ and I can’t help but feel that shows like Glee are partially (read: largely) responsible for such claims. Ben Folds is an advocate for a cappella as an acceptable art form, and perhaps my listening to this album was driven by witnessing Ben Folds work on the talent show The Sing-Off.

There are some seriously slick covers of some Folds classics on this album, and I would highly recommend giving it a listen for anyone who is a Ben Folds fan or interested in listening to some great a cappella.

Personal highlights: “Not the Same”, “Brick”, “Fred Jones Part 2”.

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