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Written by Rob Schultz (human).

#2,381: Spider-Man: Homecoming

Alien: Covenant - ★★★☆☆
This is a movie that draws a lot from its heritage. Even the disappointing stuff like killing off the non-returning cast off-screen is kind of in keeping with the traditions of the series.

I was on board for the chunk that's just a re-telling of Alien (and all of them, really). The part where we just throw away all of the ideas from Prometheus is a little bit of a drag though, and I'm not sure how it's all meant to connect to the other movies anymore. I know it's nerdery to worry about inter-film continuity, but I'd rather think that if someone's going to go to all this trouble that it's done with intention. If everything in the other movies is still true, it could be that David is just plain wrong, that he's not shaping the monsters, they're taking their inevitable form.

The movie itself ends up in a way that is not so much surprising as inevitable.

War for the Planet of the Apes  - ★★★★☆
I think I said this about the last one, but this doesn’t feel at all like a summer movie. I wanted to see it because I knew it would be good, but I also had a little bit of dread because I knew it wasn’t going to be fun.

Dunkirk - ★★★☆☆
The further away I get from this movie, the more I like it, I think. I understand why the layering the stories works better than telling the whole thing chronologically, but I still found some bits in the middle confusing. I think the trouble is that the stories don't cross one another at the same point in the movie. I bet there are good practical reasons for this, but I think that's what tripped me up. (Also, I don't understand why the pilots would rather land in untenable situations than bail out. Maybe jumping from those lower altitudes is super dangerous.)

Spider-Man: Homecoming - ★★★★★
This might not be a perfect movie, on a second viewing it leaves me excited for the future of the MCU. It's an odd thing to say, but I'm really excited about the possibilities that are in front of us for a sequel. We skipped the origin story, right? So this is already kind of like a "part two" movie, which of course, is the 'oops, lost my powers!' movie. BUT! We've already done that too! And we improve on the concept when Peter doesn't lose his powers, he loses that Stark suit, and uses his powers to the max. So we a) get around that boring trope and b) don't have to put off a potentially interesting story until the third movie, in which the cast is bored, expensive, and ready to move on. Bravo!

Escape Room Reviews: Bugsy's Nightmare

Company: Xterious Escape (Las Vegas)
Room: Bugsy’s Nightmare
Date Played: 7/13/17
Player Count: 7, 2 of us and a group of 5 strangers
Success:  Success! (Although perhaps a bit overtime)

Premise: It’s Las Vegas, 1945. You must steal some macguffin documents from your boss the mobster before he comes back from his errands!

Immersion: The room was nicely built, if a touch plain. The puzzles were more of the game show variety. 

Highlights: A lot of the puzzle mechanisms were things I have not seen anywhere else. Some of the object interactions were pretty satisfying. A few of the people in the group that joined us called my dad “Pops” a lot. 

Lowlights: There was one puzzle that, even with a hint and then an explicit answer, I have no idea how we were supposed to solve. The customer service wasn’t great - it seemed like the few employees there were spread pretty thin (and that this is why my group and another were combined, even though the other group reserved a different room). On the plus side, their inattentiveness gave us a couple of extra minutes to finish things up...

And Finally: With the exception of that one puzzle, this room is pretty well-designed, and bigger than I expected. Our team consisted of a couple of experienced players and a couple of first-timers that . I think my usual group would have come out of this one satisfied and smiling. Out of 29 games, I rate this one #16.   

How to book this room yourself: Visit http://www.xteriousescape.com/game/3