Monday, December 29, 2008

Kung Fu Panda

Movie: Kung Fu Panda
Like/Don't Like: I laughed out loud a few times

I kind of feel like I'm the last person on the planet to see this movie so it seems a little ridiculous that I'm even reviewing it. But indulge me here, okay?

Jack Black made this movie. There were some pretty hilarious moments but I'm pretty sure that if it wasn't Jack Black reading the lines, they would have all flopped. So let us rejoice that he was in it. I had a good laugh from it. The animation was pretty cool too.

I have one complaint. There was too much slow motion. For me. Which is to say that everyone I've mentioned this to didn't notice it. But every fight sequence had a substantial amount of slo-mo and it was getting on my nerves. And now the next time you watch it you will notice it and then we can all sign petitions to Hollywood asking them to reign it in a little.

But other than that it was a great.

Monopoly - the Card Game

Game: Monopoly - the Card Game!
Like/Don't Like: So much more than the board game

I hate Monopoly. About once a year I think that maybe I can be grown up about it and play and then I remember, almost instantly, how much I don't like playing. This is because I grew up playing with my dad, the Hotel Tycoon. I don't mind losing games. In fact, if you play any game against my dad or Katie or Camille, you end up losing. So I'm use to it. But losing Monopoly makes me feel bankrupt inside. I get to a point in the game, about the time that Dad has three whole sides of the board covered in hotels, that I just want to hand over all of my properties and cash and head to debtors prison.

So you can imagine that I wasn't too keen on playing any other form of Monopoly. I was afraid it would be an even meaner form of the game. Like an evil twin brother. But it was so much better. Like a fun and sassy aunt. There's no board or dice or tokens, just the cards. And instead of having to give money away, you just collect it. It's the same concept as Bad Monopoly in that you try to collect matching properties, but then you get cash based on which properties you have at the end of a round. Plus, it's quicker and you don't end the game feeling like a penniless loser. Bonus!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ticket to Ride

Game: Ticket to Ride
Like/Don't Like: I'm kind of addicted

That's right folks, I'm not just about the movies and the books. I give to you a game! I don't normally come across new games but I feel like ever since Chris joined the family we have be introduced to a bunch of new ones. If anyone knows games it's Chris Witt. He also knows all the rules. And all the sub-rules. And where in the rules to find the one rule that will spoil your plans for victory. He will even quote it for you. Chris has revolutionized the way we play games at the Knechts.

And this game, introduced to us by Gina and Chris, has revolutionized Sunday nights at the Knechts. Sunday nights have been the same for decades. Hamburgers for dinner, chit-chat around the table, a joke about dad not doing the dishes, sometimes we'll catch Andy Rooney on 60 minutes and comment on his glorious eyebrows, then popcorn. Now it has become hamburgers, Ticket to Ride, then popcorn. I think we've played it every Sunday night for 2 months.

It's a pretty simple concept. Here's the web-site if you want a visual. There's a map of the US (or other places depending on which game you have) with all sorts of train routes, like Chicago to LA or Boston to Nashville. You choose a few routes then you start building trains. The trick is to get your route before someone else takes it.

I'm truly surprised at how much I like this game. I don't really like games that involve too much strategy and this one does. So I thought I was going to hate it the first time I played but I was hooked right away. I love planning out the routes I want to take, and then planning contingency routes if they get taken, which they always are. It helps that it's a game with a map, which my family are suckers for. Another Sunday night tradition is for someone to ask a question about some place and my dad will say, "Let's pull out a map." Now we can pull out a map and possibly be a winner. Bonus!