Posts Tagged ‘90’s’

Board games are quickly becoming the new videogames, that were once the new Board Games? Does that work? I think it does. Either way, with the popularity of board games on the rise again, it’s common for gaggles of people to congregate together again, in a small room / medium sized room, around a table and play some good old fashioned board based activities. Many find an escape playing these kinds of games. How do you wreck this escape?

1989’s Jason Donovan: Straight From The Heart board game. That’s how.

A game for 2-6 players. Straight From The Heart tasks you with working your way round a board answering questions about Jason Donovan, while collecting jigsaw pieces of his face. The aim is to complete one of the heart shaped puzzle and claim victory over everyone else.

That’s easy I hear you say. Not so, says I.

Each time someone correctly answers a question about Mr Donovan they have a choice to steal pieces from another player. That s right. You can screw over other players big time. It also doesn’t help that when you aquire pieces from the box you do so at random. This means you could technically be working in all the pictures. The group I played with preferred the stealing off another player method because it’s more annoying.

Each section on the board has a ifferent type of question but I can quite happily say that any answer that requires a song title will either be ‘ten good reasons’ or ‘too many broken hearts’. They were Jason’s biggest hits when the game came out so it stands to reason they would be the answers.

Each time we’ve played the game its been with 4 adult males, who I believe, are not the target audience. I say this because many of the questions regard the other players boyfriends. If you are playing with a group of males you may need to skip a couple of questions.

The other popular question choices involve Jason himself, his likes, dislikes and loves. Trivia such as ‘What’s Jason’s favourite food?’ And ‘what’s Jason’s favourite kind of food?’ The answer to the latter doesn’t 100% match that of the former but that’s ok. All this trivia will stay with you like a happy dream/scary nightmare. At least I can now say I know his favourite food. Although I imagine it may have changed in almost 30 years. It would be useful to find out.

A personal favourite question is ‘does Jason believe in nuclear disarmament?’ The answer is a non surprising yes but it’s the randomness of the question that is pure brilliance.

It just kind of springs from nowhere, considering the lightish tone of other questions. It’s a good thing to know I guess but it really isn’t the bit of trivia I would have read up on before playing.

The playtime is a little on the longer side considering one time we played it took around 2.5 hours to eget to completion. Another time it took around 5 hours. 5 hours is a lot of Jason and a lot of time answering very similar questions. As you can see from the picture below, enjoyment was being had by all.

With more diversity in the questions and a more complex winning strategy it could be a classic game. (Well maybe not). It was quite enjoyable in a tongue in cheek way. I’ll also say that I somehow own 2 copies of the game making we could technically play a 12 player game. But alas finding 11 other people to play is not easy. I also imagine it may increase the playtime by quite some length.

Now would be the perfect time for a sequel covering the years between 1989 and 2018. I think someone needs to tell Jason there is a market for more board games about his life. It could even cover questions like ‘which character did Jason play in Jeff Wayne’s new war of the world’s?’ Or ‘what are Jason’s views on the current political climate?’

I have to say that in my group, that the game is a running joke. I had lots of fun plating it, but some if not all of it was from the sheer hilarity of playing it with adult males.

Until I can convince more people to play I guess it’s going to sit gathering dust.

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What happens when you mix the director of ‘Clueless’ with 2 of the stars of ‘American Pie’? The answer is a film that is not quite as good as either but is far better then a lot of the teen rom-coms that were released around the late 90’s / early 00’s.

It all revolves around Paul (played by Jason Biggs) and Dora (played by Mena Suvari). Paul has just moved to college and is the odd one out. He’s shy and awkward. Dora is more outgoing but is struggling financially, so is doing everything she has to to keep going. Their paths meet when Paul sits next to Dora in a lecture. She is the first person who is nice to him since moving o college. This moment sets off a series of events which ultimately lead to the usual deatination.

Although formulaic, the film does enough to make itself stand out. The acting on the whole is great even if Biggs is playing a similar character to his one in American Pie. Mena Suvari is on top form in a role that is surprisingly multilayered. The onscreen chemistry between the 2 leads is fantastic with some truly heart-tugging moments. It s hard not to feel that both were hired on the back of American Pie, but that doesnt detract from their performances here. The only characters whom I really didn’t get on with were the 3 roommates. They both felt unnecessary and 2d.

It’s a shame that the film has slipped into the jumble of similar films as it is one of the best. Most may only know about the film through the ideoto the Weezer song ‘Teenage Dirtbag’ which features footage from the film and I believe was written for the film. When it came out th film was pretty big and was well received but I’m guessing the fact it had no sequels meant it just vanished.

I really like this film and have since it was released. It stands in the upper tier of teen rom-coms only falling narrowly behind the very best of the pack. I urge anyone who likes this sort or film to check it out.

A terrorist threatens to launch a nuclear missile at the United States unless they put $1 Billion into his Swiss bank account. Jack Tannen (Frank Zagarino) is sent to secure the missile and disable the terrorists.

This is your typical mid-nineties action film. There is nothing about it that really makes it stand out, but then again there is nothing fundamentally wrong with it.

It’s very low budget which shows at times but it does look like they’ve squeezed everything they can out of it (mainly on explosions and bullets I expect). The action is competent with a pretty good action scene on a bridge around half way through in which Zagarino’s team gets ambushed. It’ a nice set piece which moves at quite a good pace.

The overall pace of the film isn’t too bad. It kinda drags a little towards the end but I didn’t really expect it to be perfect. The acting is above par for this kind of movie with Zagarino standing out as the best on show (not really saying much).

It’s OK I guess if there is nothing else to watch. Even if you usually like this sort of film I’d approach with caution as it’s not good and it’s not ‘too bad to be good’, it sits in that middle ground of being simply ‘MEH!’ 5/10