Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! As we gather with family, we seek a way to bond. Nothing beats gathering on the couch with full bellies and watching some heartfelt classic films. Here are our Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies. 

Grumpy Old Men

Legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau unite once more to tell the story of two old rivals competing for Ann-Marget’s affection. Grumpy Old Men is full of hijinx and “grandpa jokes” that will have every generation laughing. 

Jingle All the Way

Yes, this is technically a Christmas movie, but let’s be honest, for many, Thanksgiving is the start of the Christmas shopping season. Jingle All the Way sees Arnold Schwartenager running around Minneapolis in search of the year’s hottest toy, Turbo Man. Simbad joins in the hunt, leaving a trail of destruction and mayhem behind the two. Believe it or not, Jingle All the Way is a movie about a bygone era. The father bounces around from store to store, similar to Black Friday madness. Today, we have become accustomed to shopping online. Although, with this year’s supply shortage, the hunt for Turbo Man may seem familiar for some anxious parents. 

Addams Family Values

If your family is in for a touch of the macabre, check out Addams Family Values. Uncle Fester is tricked into kicking the rest of the Addams Family out of the house by his new wife. The family has to unite and find comfort within each other to carry on and regain their home. The film also has one of the most iconic Thanksgiving ever, a camp play. Check out this play-gone-wrong below. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

The Peanuts gang is back at it! Truth be told, this actually has the most iconic scene, Lucy pulling the football at the last minute from Charlie Brown (third animated appearance of the gag). In this story, Charlie hosts a second Thanksgiving for all his friends. Possibly the first Friendsgiving? A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving shows the love we have for our chosen family. Be sure to gather the kids for this Thanksgiving classic!

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is required viewing at my Thanksgiving. Steve Martin and the beloved John Candy are on the road trying to reach Chicago by Thanksgiving. Martin strives to see his family while Candy creates and solves problems along the way. The pair start as poplar opposites but along the bumpy road, become friends. An abundance of heart and humor makes Planes, Trains, and Automobiles the best Thanksgiving movie. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Transformers: Beast Wars Coming to the Big Screen

Autobots, Roll out! Transformer 7 is nearing production, and we now have a title and some details.

The film will be called Transformers: Rise of the Beasts. Signally the emergence of the Beast Wars version of the Transformers. Beast Wars first appeared in 1996 as a Canadian-developed animated series. It was one of the earliest computer-generated shows that led to a fad of CGI cartoons in the early 2000s. It took place 300 years in the future with Maximals and the Predacons as the warring factions. For many 90s kids, this was Transformers.

We also learned the film takes place in Brooklyn in 1994. That’s after Bumblebee but for the Micheal Bay franchise. Transformers: Rise of the Beasts will star Anthony Ramos, Dominique Fishback, and Luna Lauren Velez. Creed 2 director, Steven Caple Jr., is at the helm.

With the soft reboot of Transformers following 2018’s Bumblebee, we will likely see the Transformers head in a different direction. Bringing in Beast Wars will be a clear divide between both the old franchise and the new.

Top 10 Thanksgiving Episodes

Thanksgiving is a time for the family to gather around the TV. Shows often embrace the holiday more than films. Sitcoms, dramas, animated shows all make specials for Turkey Day. The stresses of the day are ripe for comedy and bound to bring out tensions amongst the family. Here are our Top 10 Thanksgiving Episodes!

10. That 70’s Show- “Thanksgiving”

That 70’s Show captures the hectic home during the holiday. Eric fails his attempts with his sister’s friend, getting in his own way as usual. Kitty scrambles to create the perfect dinner while her mother-in-law criticizes her.

9. American Dad- “There Will Be Bad Blood”

Stan learns his half brother is rich from inherited land. He kidnaps his brother and family and tries to “swap” lives. The key to the episode is Stan learning to appreciate what he has. He also learns a lesson about stereotypes of Native Americans. The episode is a good mix of fun and ridiculous. What we would expect from an American Dad holiday special.

8. Modern Family- “Three Turkeys”

Pure shenanigans! Modern Family is at its best in this Thanksgiving free-for-all. Each family tries to handle dinner their way. Shifting responsibilities and trying to save face create a Three Stooges type mess of early comedies.

7. Seinfeld- “The Mom and Pop Store”

In this classic Seinfeld, George buys “John” Voight’s car. Jerry loses his sneakers to elderly conmen. And Elaine gets her boss in the Macy’s Day Parade. Things fall apart for the gang rather quickly, creating some wonderfully funny moments.

6. King of the Hill- “Happy Hank’s Giving”

Watching this episode is a Thanksgiving tradition of mine. Hank and his family wind up stranded in an airport, missing the holiday with extended family. Hank Hill’s friends and neighbors are also stuck in the airport. They eventually gather in the food court to create their own makeshift Thanksgiving dinner. This is a heartwarming episode, and one of the best of the series.

5. It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia – “The Gang Squashes Beefs”

This episode of Always Sunny is a real treat for die-hard fans. The gang decides all the bad blood created over the years is getting in the way of their lives. They attempt to remedy the situation by offering them all a Thanksgiving dinner. The combination of the series’s most notable adversaries and the gang’s terrible ideas inevitably leads to disaster. If you need a good laugh, this is your pick.

4. Friends- “The One With All The Thanksgiving”

This iconic episode jumps back to their past Thanksgivings. We see the early relationship between Chandler and Monica. The changes over the years are hilarious. In the end, their relationship moves to the next level. The memorable “Turkey on the head” scene has become TV history.

3. South Park- “Black Friday”

This timely episode sees the kids go to war over Xbox and PlayStation. In a Game of Thrones parody, they try to decide which system to get during Black Friday. Meanwhile, Randy gets a job as mall security for the sale. The position quickly becomes a Night’s Watch situation where he must defend the mall from wildling shoppers.

2. Everybody Loves Raymond- “No Fat”

Marie attends a health fair and decides the family needs to change their eating habits. Unfortunately, this is right before Thanksgiving. She makes a health-friendly dinner and a big tofu turkey. Watching Marie’s family try to eat this unfamiliar food will have everyone laughing. The credits scene in particular is the best.

1.How I Met Your Mother- “Slapsgiving”

Ted and friends gather for Thanksgiving dinner. Lilly tries to make the perfect dinner, but nothing seems to be going right. Worst is a “slap-bet” between Marshall and Barney. The tension of coming slap drives Barney crazy. The episode ends perfectly with Marshall delivering a well-deserved slap and a song to boot.

We hope you find a show you haven’t seen yet. Let us know if your favorite didn’t make the list. Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies

Thanksgiving is a time for the family to gather and enjoy yearly traditions. Turkey dinner, the Cowboys game, and Grandpa taking a nap on the couch. After a long day, it’s best to cap things off with a good movie. Here are our Top 5 Thanksgiving Movies.

5. Grumpy Old Men

Acting legends Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau are rival old men after the same women. The war between these two friends brings a ton of laughs. There is even a Thanksgiving dinner that quickly goes off the rails.

4. Paul Blart: Mall Cop

One of my favorite traditions is pouring over the Black Friday ads in preparation for the following day. Paul Blart is a fun way to get you in the shopping mood. It follows Blart, the mall cop, as he thwarts a heist in his mall following the Black Friday sales. This is a funny movie the whole family can enjoy.

3. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving

Charlie Brown has to be the most iconic Thanksgiving movie. The Peanuts gang learn the true meaning of Thanksgiving after Peppermint Patty and friends join “Chuck” for dinner. She ends up berating Charlie for the subpar meal. Later, she realizes she should be grateful for being invited. They all have dinner at Charlie’s grandma’s and end the day as closer friends than ever.

2. Addams Family Values

This movie has the best Thanksgiving scene ever. The kids are sent to a camp where their odd antics put them in charge of a band of misfits. During the Thanksgiving play, they take over the camp and burn down the set. The rest of the movie is a blast. Uncle Fester is seduced by a black widow, while the rest of the family is forced to live in a terrible motel. In the end, they reunite, putting family first.

1. Planes, Trains, and Automobile

A masterpiece of comedy. John Candy and Steve Martin are on a road trip across the country. Steve wants to get to his family by Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, John’s misguided attempts to help prove more harm than good. Their misadventures eventually lead to a new friendship. This film is hilarious and is actually in my Top 5 Comedies as well.

We hope these help you enjoy your holiday a little more. From all of us at Geek Freaks and AEE, Happy Thanksgiving!

Top 5 Military Movies

It’s Veteran’s Day in America, and we take this time to honor those who fought for our freedom.

Today we are looking at our Top 5 Military Films. From the decimation of war to the comradery of brothers, these films give us a peek of the veteran’s sacrifice.

5. The Messenger

This film follows two Casualty Notification Officers played by Woody Harrelson and Ben Foster. They must inform the families of fallen soldiers of their loved one’s death. We see the toll it takes on the families and the messengers themselves. This heartbreaking movie greatly expresses the sacrifice of our soldiers.

4. Courage Under Fire

Denzel Washington is tapped to investigate the life of the first woman to win a posthumous Medal of Honor played by Meg Ryan. Washington learns of Ryan’s brave career and the family she leaves behind. This film does an excellent job depicting the fog of war and its effect on our soldiers.

3. Fury

A Sherman tank crew band together to survive the brutal World War 2 battles. Fury excels in showing the comradery of men from different backgrounds. It also has a stellar cast with Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena, and Logan Lerman.

2. The Hurt Locker

This Iraq War thriller shows the lives of soldiers taken with disposing of bombs and IEDs. Jeremy Renner’s character shows the great strains of insecurity and constant loss. The Hurt Locker picked Best Director and Best Picture at the Oscars in 2010.

1.Saving Private Ryan

This is a masterpiece from Spielberg and features Tom Hanks as Captain Miller. His troops are sent into World War 2 ravaged Europe to find Private Ryan. This outstanding cast is bar-none the best portrayal of a band of brothers. Hanks as their leader shows poise yet vulnerability. A man just trying to finish his duty and return home. Saving Private Ryan is a must-watch movie.

Top 5 Video Game Movies

*Re-edited

It’s a well-known belief that video games do not make good movies. And yet, in many conversations, the phrase “It would be a great movie” and “I wish it was a movie” is commonly used when reviewing games. Well, I believe there are some decent films out there that either captures the feel of the game or take the familiar world and expand on it. Let’s check out my Top 5 Video Game Movies.

5. Warcraft (2016)Film Title: Warcraft

As a die-hard World of Warcraft fan, I anticipated this film more than any other game-based movie. The hype was high but the expectation was low. They had to combine a CGI faction with a human faction. They also had to show only a slice of a massive lore filled universe. And somehow get past the “Warcraft is for nerds” stigma of many mainstream viewers and gamers. When I went to see this film (with my guild) I was pleased with a solid story and decent CGI. Overall the movie was…okay. But the reason it made the list was the attention to the gamer base. The warring factions represent two halves of the player base. They successfully showed heroes and villains on both sides. There were also a plethora of Easter eggs for the WoW community like a summoning stone, Murlocks, and guard’s armor. All within the first five minutes.

4. Rampage  (2018)

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Rampage took the limited idea of the original arcade game and expanded upon it with a story of friendship persisting past an experimental monster destroying a city. George (Gorilla Giant) and Davis Okoye (Dwayne Johnson) work together to stop a giant wolf and reptile from destroying the city. All while trying to protect George from the military that is on a shoot first mission to bring down all the beasts. This film reminds me of the summer blockbusters I loved as a kid.

3. Tomb Raider (2018)

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This film struggles to shine in the shadows of Angelina Jolie. The original Tomb Raider films were based on the early games and showed a pro-raider that rivaled Indy with her skills. But this film is based on the rebooted games with a Lara Croft focused on survival and uncovering a mystery in spite of greedy corporate pressures. The smaller budget of this film was a benefit as well with the use of practical effects and character-focused plots. This was a solid movie for gamers and non-gamers alike.

2. Sonic (2020)

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The crew behind the 2020 Sonic movie strives to make the audience happy. Notoriously they completely redesigned sonic after the negative reactions from the first trailer. The new sonic looks awesome! The story was a fun journey that was tailored for the whole family to enjoy.

1. Detective Pikachumaxresdefault

My favorite video game movie is Detective Pikachu. This film did an excellent job showing us a world where humans and Pokemon could exist together. It even set up a city where the two can coexist. It really addressed every plot hole and gave us a pile of treats for the gamers. Of all these movies, Detective Pikachu is my most re-watchable.

Did we miss any of your favorite? Let is know in the comments or on our socials!

Want to hear more from the Geek Freaks Podcast? Check them out!

Top 5 DC FanDome Reveals

Today we had DC’s FanDome, a virtual convention focused on all the hottest new projects coming our way. We have been disappointed with conventions this year as companies attempted to adapt their announcement plans to a virtual world in light of the pandemic. But this one had me excited. The lead up was well advertised and the rumors of what will be shown were stirring. It felt like a real convention. Here are my Top 5 DC FanDome reveals:

5. The Suicide Squad Teaser

Part sequel, part reboot. The Suicide Squad brings little from the first movie and reinvents superhero film. Described as a “70’s action movie”, this set looks more like Rambo than Justice League. And best of all, James Gunn is at the helm. This is going to be a blast to watch!

4. Black Adam Featurette

I went into FanDome most excited for news about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Black Adam. This is a complicated and dynamic villain that does not fit the mold of others. He is bad but for possibly the right reason. He becomes worst, but can you blame him? He can hold his own against the Justice League and join them when there is a more dangerous threat. Black Adam is the least utilized badass in DC. The Rock is going to fix that.

3. Cheetah from Wonder Woman 1984

We have been speculating since casting reveals on what Cheetah will look like in the upcoming Wonder Woman. DC tends to either go big like Aquaman or toned down like Christopher Nolan’s Batmans. With this new trailer, we see that for Wonder Woman 1984, they are going BIG. Cheetah is CGI heavy and looks similar to the comics. The whole film is very bright with vibrant colors fitting the 80’s era. I look forward to seeing Kristen Wiig bring Cheetah to life.

2. Gotham Knights

Let’s do some gaming! We had two new games revealed with Suicide Squad and Gotham Knights. Suicide Squad looks good but we are amidst a bounty of amazement and it couldn’t make the list. Gotham Knights, however, had the number one spot for a while. This is what I want out of a Batman game, The Bat Family. The team around the Dark Knight are varied and heroes in their own right. Here we have four of the best: Nightwing, Batgirl, Red Hood, and my favorite Robin, Damian Wayne. They all have unique abilities and playstyles as they try to fill the shoes of a missing Batman.

1.The Batman!

I’ve been a Robert Pattinson supporter since his casting announcement, but not everyone was on board. This trailer gave us the best look yet at what a Pattinson Batman would be. This is a rough, early Batman. His attacks are fast and aggressive. He is more vigilante than a hero. And a serial killer is leaving him clues. I am excited for this one! There should be no doubt in Pattinson’s capability to play Batman after this trailer.

Who Watches the Watchmen?

Who Watches the Watchmen? This phrase has become famous in Geekdom as Alan Moore’s motto for his ‘Watchmen’ comic series. In the comic, it’s a multi-layered metaphor meant to make the reader uneasy about unchecked powers over our society. The original term is “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” which is Latin comes from a 1st-century Roman poet who wrote about corrupt law enforcement. Apt words for our latest events.

After the murder of George Floyd, the world watched the Watchmen as they used excessive force and killed a man. The impact sent waves worldwide and most gathered under the Black Lives Matter banner. We at Geek Freaks are under that banner.

We will never truly understand the struggles that our black neighbors, friends, and family face every day. But we need to listen. Listen to the stories of those we’ve lost to senseless racism. Listen to the daily life dilemmas of a big portion of our community. Listen to the history that leads to a system that disenfranchises. While many of us will never truly understand, we must listen.

If you can’t protest then try to give to those fighting the good fight. We suggest your local Black Lives Matter chapter. You can find the directory here. You can support other local funds helping like the Oakland Black Business Damage Fund. They are close to their goal and you can donate here.

Need inspiration? Take a moment to watch John Boyega give a passionate speech at a London rally.

Lastly, the father of Marvel Comics, Stan Lee, used to write an editorial at the end of his comics called Stan’s Soapbox! I want to leave you with this Soapbox entry from 1968:

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom. Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children.    -Stan Lee 1968Stan Lee

 

#BlackLivesMatter

 

Top 5 Avatar: The Last Airbender Episodes

Frank’s Opinion

This might be the hardest Top 5 we’ve done. This Nickelodeon series has a massive following after its short three-season run from 2005 to 2008. The series has just landed on Netflix, preempting the live-action version they are developing. Fans and new watching are binging Avatar and gaining a new appreciation. To celebrate, let’s talk about our Top 5 episodes.

 

5. The Blind Bandit

Still searching for an earthbending teacher, Aang and his friends stumble across a small earth village. When they hear about an underground earthbending tournament, they decide to go to it. Aang finds a teacher that fits the description of King Bumi. Her name is Toph Beifong, a blind, 12 year old girl who is tougher than she looks. When they meet, Toph is at first reluctant, because her parents don’t know how good of a bender she is. After her parents discover her secret life, she decides that she wants to join the Avatar gang to help him master earthbending.

The episode was pivotal for Team Avatar. Aang needed an Earthbending master, and the new member needed to blend in well with the team’s personalities. Toph was a rugged spitfire that made her blindness her greatest asset. She was able to sense her surrounding through the ground and would later use this to discover metal bending. She’s an aggressive fighter and loyal friend, perfect addition to the team. Personally, Toph is my favorite character and the inspiration for my gamer tag.

 

4. The Firebending Masters

Zuko has joined up with Aang’s group and is now ready to teach Aang fire bending. Unfortunately, Zuko has found out that he has lost his ability and must now relearn it. Zuko and Aang travel to find the source of fire bending so that they both can learn from The Firebending Masters.

Up to this point in the series, the Firebenders were generally the villains. Uncle Iroh and a growing Zuko proved they could be good people but the nation and their fighting style were very aggressive. In this episode both Zuko and Aang journey to firebending origins. They discover an ancient civilization and the first fire benders, a pair of dragons. The hidden culture explains that Firebending is not about unleashing someone’s inner rage, but expressing the heat of life. This was an exploration of the past but gave us a path to the future, when the Fire Nation would be at peace with the other nations.

 

3. The Blue Spirit

When Aang is captured by the Fire Nation, his only hope is a mysterious masked figure.

This series boils down to two protagonists, a young Avatar tasked with saving the world and Prince Zuko who slowly growing from an ambitious war-hungry heir to an honorable leader of his people. For those unfamiliar with the story, Zuko seems to just be part of the team. The Blue Spirit is the first string sign that Zuko can be rebellious and make the honorable choice. It’s this episode that tells the audience that Zuko is our other hero.

 

2. Sozin’s Comet

Aang’s moment of truth arrives. Can he defeat Ozai, the Phoenix King? Will he be forced to take a human life? All the characters face their greatest challenges.

This 4-part finale is on every Top 5 Finales lists. While all of Team Avatar do their parts in this last-ditch effort to stop the Firelord, Aang has to balance his duties with him as an individual. The result is a new form of the Avatar, proving the Aang is one of the best version of the Avatar to date and giving the fans a satisfying ending to three-year story.

 

1The Tales of Ba Sing Se

A series of short stories covering some of the time spent by Katara, Toph, Iroh, Sokka, Aang, Zuko, and Momo as they live in Ba Sing Se.

My favorite episode has a series of small stories in the city of Ba Sing Se. At this point, the team is trying to lay low for it bit, and we get to see them in “normal” life situations. The highlight, and most referred to story, is that of Uncle Iroh. The Uncle to Zuko and original intended Firelord, Iroh is an old school Firebender who embraced the other nations as a whole to become a wise philosopher. This city was once sieged by his forces when he leads the Fire Nation military. During this campaign he learned of his son’s death. That news changed his life, and he began his enlightened journey. During this small tale, we see Iroh at peace in Ba Sing Se. He collects some items from vendors on his way to the park. When he gets to the park, we see what Iroh’s intentions were. He places a portrait of his son against the try and begins to remember his fallen child on the anniversary of his death. This episode might be the best moment in television.

There are many honorable mentions in this series. We will discuss them all in the next episode of the podcast. 

Descriptions from IMDB

Top 5 Netflix Intros

Frank’s Opinion

We may be given the option to skip, but I can’t pass up these excellent Netflix intros:

5. Marco Polo

Somehow this series went unnoticed until it was canceled. Excellent acting, writing, and quality but little viewers. The intro was an extension of the series with the artful spreading if ink over the parchment to form images related to Mongol history. The music is played with era-specific instruments and even features the unique Mongolian Throat Singing.

 

 

4. Peaky Blinders

This theme song sets the mood for Tommy’s badass antics. The song is also used within the series with small ques to emphasize a moment or highlight a character. It is similar to the ‘Reins of Castermere’ of Game of Thrones in that way. The tune is smooth with a Jazz-like beat that brings to mind every hero shot of the Peaky Blinders walking down the street.

 

3. Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt

From the first shout of “Unbreakable” to the last few beats, I find myself singing this song every time. Its a bright and upbeat song like Kimmy herself. I can’t help but smile just thinking of this fun intro.

 

2. BoJack Horseman

This show has the tightest writing on Netflix. It follows a former 90’s star as he fails to co-exist in a flawed society. Sounds like a downer, but this series is so well down that I find myself actually saying out loud, “Damn, this is good writing.” The intro music is an experimental rock sound that covers BoJack’s day to day life and culminates in a party where he is lonelier than ever. The beat is a bit skewed and on certain episodes it’s skewed, even more, giving us the blur of drugs and alcohol that Bojack lives in. Also, the Outro would be #1 on the outro list with a garage band feel that almost sounds like an intro to his 90’s sitcom.

 

1. A series of Unfortunate Events

This intro was an easy number one. The episodes are in pairs creating a series on two-parters. The intro not only recaps the series but also recaps each part differently. The sing-songy explainer by Neil Patrick Harris is even done in the voice of the character he will be disguised as in this episode. I will post a couple of examples to show how amazing the intro is.

This awesome video by “Big Ben” adds all the voices together:

Top 5 Things to do When Staying Home

Everyone is trying to do their part to stop the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). The 5 tools to help are: wash your hands, cough into your elbow, avoid touching your face, stay 3 feet apart from others, and if you feel sick, stay home. For more info, visit the WHO website with tips and tricks. Many of us are staying at home to reduce the number of people in public and protect the greater population. This can be pretty boring. Here are our Top 5 things to do when you stay home.

5. Catch up on your watch/listen/read list

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“You have got to check out (blank) on Netflix”- a friend at work. Now is the time for us to clean up those Netflix lists and finally get to those suggested shows, ones with amazing reviews, or had the cool trailer. We always put it off but if you select one, any of them, and commit to watching the first episode you can then at least say you’ve tried to watch it. If it’s good, enjoy the binge. If it’s bad, remove it from the list and move to the next.

If you’re like me, you have that pile of comics and books that sit on the coffee table. Time to knock a couple of those out. Same with the shows, first chapter or comic and see if you want to commit to the rest.

You can also take this time to discover a new podcast or catch up on an old favorite. I’m biased, but you might want to listen to Geek Freaks!

Here are some suggestions for each of these if your options are light:

Netflix

Comics

Books

Podcast

 

4. Try Something Out of Your Gaming Comfort Zone

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There are certain game genres we tend to lean into. Personally, I really like open-world games. Over time we start seeking out these games and ignore others out of our norm. Many unique or industry-defining games can pass us by. Take this time to explore what else is out there. Try to choose games that you would normally never play. If you have a friend join you on this choice then you can share the experience. Steam and Epic Games Store both offer many free games that will get you started. The consoles will often have demos that give you the feel for a game before purchase. And then there are subscription services like Game Pass and Stadia that give you a selection of full games as part of their package. Game Pass has a fun feature called the “Surprise Me” button. Click it and a new game pops up for you to download. You never know what you like, if you never try it.

3. Join a Community

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Today, communities can be found online in many different forms with different shared interests. We are a part of a podcast community on twitter where we share ideas, suggestions, and support. I’m also part of a community of gamers through Discord. We chat many nights as we play games and discuss daily life, politics, or geek topics. You can always find friends that want to talk about your interests. An emerging location for this is Facebook Groups. They exist for just about anything. There are also Discord channels and Twitter lists. To get you started, here is our Discord where we talk about all things geek.

Geek Freaks Discord

2. Learn Something New

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There are now free online courses you can take that would teach you something you have been wanting to learn for ages. Coding, a new language, maybe even freshen up on the basics. All available online and free through course sites or youtube. Even the paid courses will offer free trials so you can see if it’s worth your money. You can come out of this isolation period as a more educated person and feeling even better about yourself. Khan Academy is a FREE resource with multiple courses, all listed below.

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1. Create Content!

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You live in a world of content creators sharing their passions. Geek Freaks started with one guy who loved podcasts that approached his friends and said “key, let’s talk about geek stuff and record it.” Two years later we have many wonderful listeners and have made so many awesome friends. Nobody needs to give you permission to make content of any kind. If you have a passion, share. Someone has that same passion and will want to see or hear your work. It may go nowhere, but who cares. It’s all about expressing yourself. Don’t keep your joy inside, tell the world. Below are places to get started and if you make anything that PLEASE share it with us! We want to celebrate together!

Podcast: Use your phone and first and post the MP3 to a free server like Anchor.fm. If you need more help than reach out to us on the social site or our email.

YouTube: Again, your phone. Record your thoughts or a funny sketch and get it out there. You can download the YouTube Studio app to better control your youtube channel through your phone. There is also the growing TikTok. I some times kill my battery laughing at Tik Tok till the late hours.

Art: I LOVE fanart! Even if you don’t think it looks good, get it out there. Someone will like it, and you will get the opportunity to share your work. You can draw on paper and either scan or take a picture. Just share it!

Storytelling: Ever have the itch to write a book, but you’re scared. Well just put together a short story and share it with a friend. I personally have a friend that writes short stories and only sends them to me. She gets to write and I get to give feedback and express all the parts that I love. There are a few twitter hashtags dedicated to new writers that will only give positive support.

Website: WordPress offers completely free sites that are blogged based. another place to share your thoughts or work.

If you have any other ideas about passing the time, let us know!

Image from Home Alone

Top 5 Disappointing Games

Frank’s Opinion

The next Top 5 out of the Tupperware of Topics is Disappointments in Gaming. This is one of those topics that should actually be considered the Worst 5 but are always fun to think about. As for disappointing games you could really go year by year or talk about each genre. This is heavily due to the hype behind the games once announced from lofty features announced and cinematic trailers that set up a world that is begging to be explored. There are many not named here that everyone can agree were massive disappointments like Mass Effect 3 and Sim City but these are Frank’s Top 5. Feel free to respond on our socials with what game disappointed you the most!

5. The Order: 1886pBmi82rqGp9hG8ivoAbnPU

This game had a cinematic trailer that built so much hype that could never be lived up to. It takes place in 19th century London and you are a member of a secret society tasked with hunting down vampires and werewolves. It sounds awesome! Unfortunately this game was essentially a series of cut scenes with terrible controls in between. The Order: 1886 was trying to set up an entire franchise before developing a solid first game.

4. Perfect Dark Zeroapps.35337.63613604984995316.d403620a-54b7-4a68-9850-e3bfda4c2552

This was the sequel to N64’s Perfect Dark, which was a spiritual sequel to the legendary Golden Eye. The pedigree this game boasted before launched had the preorders coming in. But what we got was a sloppy shooter filled with terrible AI enemies and partial ideas. The campaign felt like a basic Steven Seagal flick and the multiplayer was painfully lackluster. Especially since the multiplayer for Golden Eye was game changing.

3. Assassin’s Creed Unity7ddda6d50427793a211315615ce16a825efa99aa

This game had one of the easiest lead ins possible. After the miss step of Assassins Creed 3, Ubisoft bounced back strong with Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. All they had to do was take what worked and repeat the formula. Which is basically all Ubisoft does anyways. When announced they even added a co-op that looked fun and got friends to start working out schedules right after the E3 announcement. What we got was a game so filled with bugs, convoluted plot, and uninspiring characters that the game was almost unplayable. Ubisoft even gave the game away free twice. Once to say they were sorry for the bugs and again after the burning of Notre Dame. I have always enjoyed completing ACs in the past and still have not completed this game.

2. Fallout 7617f420c0b297519d0f4bdbe7d9366cddcebd1e57

Fallouts have always been bug filled, to the point that it’s almost charming. But when they announced a live multiplayer game, some of us chose to forget the past and instead look forward to the amazing possibilities. I was one of these poor fools. When Fallout 76 released, players found themselves in an empty world, with dated graphics, and of course endless bugs. This game felt much more like the indy games it was inspired by and less like the AAA title people were expecting. Much like the first place on this list, the company has been working quick to fix the problem but many feel this game should not have been released when it so incomplete.

1. No Man’s Sky19f982f28d736c878b323b2d78f7bd7d07d70c831a2f8b3244fcb1de41d75ae3_product_card_v2_mobile_slider_639

Few announcement trailers get me as excited for new IP as No Man’s Sky. This game promised endless exploration that would change the gaming industry. Coming off titles like Minecraft, this was something players were craving. Instead we got a very boring game with five rotating planets and creatures that felt like repeats with different colors. Hello Games has since gone through and completely renewed their game while with free DLC’s and providing some of the missing features. But no one will forget the huge disappointment of an industry changer that turned out to be an Alpha version of a basic mineral farming game.

Top 5 Disneyland Rides

Frank’s List

Hey all! Our friend Diana is down at Disneyland and share the pics. This is getting me hyped to return to the happiest place on earth. Until than I’ll have to do a Top 5 to hold me off!

5. Haunted Mansion

Haunted_Mansion_ExteriorThis is a classic! Not only does this ride bring me back to the best of Disneyland, I also always find something new in the line as I wait. You go on a tour through this Haunted Mansion and see what the ghosts are up to, mostly partying! Best time to visit is during the Holidays. Starting in early November the ride changes to Nightmare Before Christmas themed. This and main street are the very best of Disneyland during the Holidays!

4. Indiana Jones Adventures

indiana-jones-adventureMy very first ride. Our first visit to Disneyland when I was a child was the opening summer for the Indy ride. I hadn’t seen the movie, but that didn’t matter. As you explore farther into the temple the tension and excitement rise. Then you hop in your jeep and go for a thrilling adventure that ends with a narrow escape and ‘See you later” with Indy himself. This ride is very immersive and a must visit.

3. Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates-of-the-Caribbean-800x400If you asked people “What ride is a MUST at Disneyland?”, I have a strange feeling most would say Pirates of Caribbean. It really has it all. A beautiful entrance with a short but detail filled line. You board boats and begin your journey by passing through a Cajun style swamp setting. There is the misty cave with a couple small drops. The ride really starts when you emerge on the sea and find yourself between a ship firing on a fortress. The majority of the ride is you going through the canals of a free for all pirate town. This is gem of Disney animatronics. They may feel a bit dated today, but those were tech marvels of there time. If possible be sure to get lunch at the Blue Bayou; a restaurant nestled into the ride itself.

2. Space Mountain

q38op7ezjgw21.jpgWanna go fast? Welcome to Space Mountain! This is a fully indoor coaster that is known for one big feature, your in pitch black darkness. You can’t see the turn or the drops! This makes for such a fast paced thriller! They change up this ride as well making it Hyperspace Mountain. During this event you are in the midst of a Star Wars space battle bringing down the tie fighters that are projected on the normally dark walls. This is the peak of coaster excitement in my book!

1. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

sdkjfn38103Thunder Mountain is always my first and last ride when I visit Disneyland. It’s simply a very well designed coaster. You on a train going through a mining camp/town. This ride has moments when it’s VERY fast and and it’s falls are enough to be exciting without being “scary”. When I think of Disneyland, It’s Thunder Mountain that I’m picturing.

Lets us know what your favorite ride is on social media!

 

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