Did you watch the Dirty Dancing remake?


Last night, ABC debuted its remake of the iconic Dirty Dancing, this time featuring a star-studded cast including Abigail Breslin (Zombieland), Colt Prattes, Debra Messing, Nicole Scherzinger (The X Factor), and even Katey Sagal (Married With Children).

It started out with an all-grown Francis ("Baby") going to a theater, though we don't realize it's her or why she's there until the end of the movie. As the curtain rises, we're taken to the summer at the Catskills resort, where, of course, Baby meets Johnny Castle and she tries to help Penny and Johnny figure out what to do once they realize that Penny is pregnant, so she hires Johnny to give her lessons and she falls in love with him.



I love the original Dirty Dancing, so I went into this with an open mind, just as I did when FOX aired Rocky Horror Picture Show last year. This remake, however, left me with mixed feelings.

Why?

The actors were good, especially when it came to Nicole Scherzinger's dancing (which was amazing), but it didn't have the same kind of passion you would expect from Dirty Dancing, even a remake. When it comes to dancing and love, you want passion. You want to feel like a hopeless romantic when watching it, and that's where it kind of fell flat.

One scene that I absolutely LOVED was when Baby and Penny were dancing in the studio because Johnny had a private lesson. Penny was trying to get Baby to loosen up with her dancing because Johnny had told Penny that Baby kept trying to lead, when she puts on a song, (I think it was called Shake It Loose, but I can't be sure. If anyone knows, let me know!), and starts dancing with Baby. Baby is apparently still holding back. A few seconds later, Baby starts "loosening up", and eventually starts having fun with Penny. They're dancing like they're best friends, and at that moment, you see Baby gaining a little more confidence - not only in her dancing, but herself as well. It kind of made you want to jump in and join them. (Or at least it did to me!)

The ending, however, is the only thing that left me baffled. It ends with Baby still in the theater. Apparently, she was there to watch Johnny perform on Broadway... And as she gets up to walk away, Johnny sees her and thanks her for believing that he could perform on Broadway, though he is clearly surprised as he sees Baby's daughter run up to her with her husband in tow. I don't know how that fits into everything, and it seems to have left a lot of viewers either confused or mad.

It was a hit or miss remake, and it kind of did both. But it was enjoyable for the most part.


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A Complete Look At Guardians Of Ember: Immortal Edition

Thanks to Runewaker for the partnership. All thoughts/opinions belong to the reviewer. Your experience may differ.


Guardians Of Ember review
Guardians Of Ember Waypoint

Released on December 13, 2016, Guardians of Ember is the newest hack-and-slash MMORPG game by Runewaker. Runewaker is the maker of the games Runes of Magic and Dragon's Prophet.

(Much thanks to Leigh for the review!)

I was given a chance to play Guardians of Ember in its fullest by getting its Immortal Edition, which does give you a lot of interesting items to enjoy the game with. I also looked in depth at each race and class although I did primarily stuck with three classes through-out my gameplay experience due to my play style. I tried out many of the games features including the dungeoning system, Party system, and PvP battlegrounds.

The Different Races
Guardians Of Ember races
Races (left to right): Dwarves, Neia, Elf (Female), Elf (Male), Human (Female), Human (Male)

In Guardians of Ember there are four different races: Human, Dwarf, Elf, and Neia.
  • The Human race has a small story to how they are part of the campaign and look as you would expect a human to look and you can choose whether you want to play a Male or Female Character. 
  • The Elves also are accompanied by a short backstory and have what we would call Elvish characteristics with being tall with long hair and pointy ears, and you can also choose to be a Male or Female character. 
  • The Dwarves, although are short and stubbly with beard like you would expect, are restricted to only playing with the Male gender and their short background doesn’t explain why that is. 
  • Like The Dwarves, the Neia also have a sex restriction but it is restricted to Female only. The Neia also look like very short versions of the elves but their background story is very extensive when compared to the other races. 

With each race you do have a wide assortment of ways you can change the way your character can look by changing the color of their skin, eyes, hair, and lips, and the color pallet is very large compared to some games. Other than the sex restrictions given to both the Dwarfs and Neias, one other thing was missing which you can find in almost any type of MMORPG, the RNG or Random Name Generator. I love to just pick a random name for my characters instead of having to deal with a message saying, “That name is already taken.” every time you try to make one up yourself. I hope that some of these issues such as the gender restrictions and the RNG are implemented in future updates for the game.

The Classes
There are now six different classes which are Knight, Priest, Arcanist, Engineer, Ranger, and Dark Knight. 
  • The Knight class is your typical sword swinging, shield wielding, tank/damage class. 
  • The Priest is more of your support healer who can damage at range with spells. 
  • The Arcanist is a magic casting damage dealing squishy. 
  • The Engineer uses guns ether 2 pistols or 1 rifle for damage and uses machines to help buff or heal the party. 
  • The Ranger is your bow and crossbow wielding ranged class. 
  • The Dark Knight is also a duel-wielding damage/tank whose abilities can enhance their weapons. 

I personally like the class system which brings iconic classes to be played in a much different environment.

Gameplay
Guardians Of Ember arcanist
Arcanist Gameplay screenshot

The gameplay is what you would expect from these types of games. You collect your quests from anyone with a yellow exclamation point above their head and turn them into the people with a blue question mark. You go around completing quests buy collecting items, killing certain creatures, or achieving certain objectives. I just wish they had a way to tell the difference between Main storyline quests and optional side quests, especially since you have to read everything with no voice-overs even in cinematic scenes.

As for the graphics for the game I would say a good 3 out of 5 on the “World” graphics and 4 out of 5 on the cinematic graphics. 
Guardians Of Ember cutscene
Cutscene

The normal party system is average. All you have to do is find someone or a friend who you want to party with and send a party invite. The dungeons are a bit liner with MOBS every so often and there is no dungeon party making system, but it’s not really needed because you can solo these dungeons, even if you’re a squishy Arcanist, as long as you know how to “kite” the bosses. The PvP, in my opinion, is where the most work is needed. All the PvP is either 1v1 or 3v3 and it’s you killing the other team on a 2 tier circular map. I would have liked a more objective based PvP Battleground.

Guardians Of Ember boss
Guardians of Ember Boss


The Immortal Edition
The Immortal Edition of the game costs $50 and entitles you to many different perks. These perks include Exclusive Permanente mounts, items for visual fireworks, Bag expansion, experience boosts, and much more. There is however one very big downfall. The code given to you so you can get these Items can only be applied to one character and in my experience, when you buy a special edition of any game, including MMORPGs, it is implemented to all characters you have or make in the future and unless it is fixed in future patches, I do not think it is worth the price you pay.

Guardians Of Ember engineer
Guardians Of Ember Engineer


After playing the game for quite a while I have learned that there are features that I really like about the game and a few features which seem mundane. Overall I would give the game a 3 out of 5 the way it currently is, but if some of the thing I mentioned were fixed, I would say 5’s across the board. I will definitely continue to play the game because it is a fun play through and I can’t wait to see what changes they have in store for Guardians of Ember.

You can find Guardians of Ember on Steam for PC. Editions available are the Mortal Edition ($19.99), Demigod Edition ($29.99), and Immortal Edition ($49.99).
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So Now There's a Smart Pillow That Wakes You Up Gently

Smart Pillow features
Imagine waking up one morning, feeling refreshed, like you just got the best rest of your life. Hard to imagine that, right? Most of us stumble out of bed and to the nearest thing with caffeine, hoping it'll make us feel halfway human.

If only our pillows could help us wake up more naturally, instead of a blaring alarm on our phones that we constantly put on "snooze".

Wait, there might be a solution for that! I was on Twitter one day when I came across the Sunrise Smart Pillow, currently being developed by Mode Modern. (Check out their Kickstarter.) Touted to be the first ever "smart pillow", it's supposed to bring a better way of falling asleep and waking up.

Here's the how:
Smart Pillow app
It comes with an impressive 18 features including:
  • Sleep Tracker
  • Smart Alarm
  • Sunrise Alarm
  • Wireless Music
  • Fan Sounds
  • Blue Light Technology
  • Deep Sleep Mode
  • Custom Wake Messages
  • Sound Conditioner
  • Audio books
  • Directional Speakers
  • Binaural Beats
  • Reading Lights
  • Breathable Fabric
  • Premium Memory Foam
  • Ergonomic Support
  • Cooling Technology


Using Bluetooth and technology,  the lights this smart pillow sports wake you up when it’s time. All you have to do is set it up on their mobile app.

The pillow also incorporates a gyroscope and accelerometer to monitor how often you toss and turn. Need guided meditation? Yep, it has that, too. 

To say that this packs more gadgets than Iron Man's suit is an understatement.


You can pre-order the Sunrise Smart Pillow on Indiegogo starting at $129.

We'll wait to see the reviews on the Sunrise Smart Pillow before we decide if it's worth giving up our favorite $10 pillows from Walmart.
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Zombie-Opoly - When Monopoly and zombies collide.

I received Zombie-Opoly from Late For The Sky games to facilitate this review. All thoughts/opinions are my own. Your experience may differ.


Zombie-Opoly game

I'm a gamer - board games and video games, you name it. Granted, I'm not a hardcore gamer like some of my friends, but I love gaming. It makes my little geeky heart squeal with happiness. Plus, I'm a little competitive, depending on who I'm playing with (or against). But I learned a very valuable lesson when it comes to competitiveness when you play against a very good friend (a hardcore gamer called L.C.) and your twin sister.

The three of us, thanks to Late For The Sky Games, were able to try out Zombie-Opoly. What exactly is Zombie-Opoly? Think of Monopoly but with zombies. We like zombies so we were intrigued.

 Here's a quick run-down of game:

Player pieces (6) - a shovel, Severed Ear, Femur Bone, Lethal Weapon, Zombie Boy and a Human Remnant
Zombie-Opoly player pieces
These are not all the player pieces. Just the ones we chose for our game.

Properties - Properties have a zombie-theme like The Horde (also known as Boardwalk in Monopoly) or Goodbye Kitty (also known as Mediterranean Avenue). These are interesting! They include interesting facts and cute little jokes on the back.
Zombie-Opoly deed

Houses/Hotels - Houses are Boxes of Flesh and Hotels are Screaming Humans.

Play Cards - What would be Community Chest and Chance are now Stagger and Crawl. They're a lot like Monopoly play cards, except there is one card that kind of takes the game a little further.
L.C. had no problem doing a "zombie walk". (We were at a public board gaming place and the last thing you want is to be crawling around on the floor. We may upload the video at a later time!)

Time - You can play the normal version or an hour version.

Gameplay
It plays just like Monopoly. The only difference is that it is zombies and maybe a little more fun. (See "Crawl" card above.)

Most Monopoly games can go on forever, unless one person has a very good strategy. We all started out as we normally would, but within 30 minutes, my sister and I realized that it was going to get extremely competitive. About 45 minutes to an hour in, I was the first person out, with L.C. being the person who took me down. It didn't take long for the realization to sink in that L.C. knew what he was doing. About 30 minutes later, he had an empire near the "Shamble to Buried" (also known as Go To Jail), which eventually took out my sister, declaring L.C. the winner.

The only problem we saw was that because of the design of the game board, it made it sometimes difficult to see the silver player pieces.

Other than that, it was fun and if you love zombies, Zombie-Opoly might be the game for you.
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4 Things You Must Do While in Waco, Texas

Magnolia Market Waco, Texas

Waco in Texas has become a hot spot, thanks to the HGTV show "Fixer Upper". I was born and raised in Waco, and when I saw the first episode of "Fixer Upper", I never imagined my hometown would become so popular.

Thanks to the show's success, Chip and Joanna Gaines created Magnolia Market, a shop for those who want a little taste of "Fixer Upper" located downtown and within walking distance of Indian Springs Park and the Suspension Bridge. It is now considered THE spot for visitors of Waco.

But don't let that fool you - Waco has some other great places to visit and check out!
Cameron Park Zoo elephant
Waco boasts its own Cameron Park Zoo, right in the heart of Cameron Park. Animals include White-Handed Gibbons, cougars, giraffes, meerkats, and even a Komodo Dragon! I've been several times, but my favorite animal exhibit will always be the orangutans! They just look so cuddly!


I don't know how many of you are history buffs, but I totally am! The Waco Mammoth National Monument is kind of a cool look into the paleolithic era with the nation’s only recorded discovery of a nursery herd of Columbian mammoths. You can actually view the fossils, just as they were found! For $5 for adults with kids ages 3 or under getting in for free, not a bad way to spend a few hours!


Who wants candy? OK, this one might be a little biased, but I have yet to come across a small-ish city that has an actual candy shot filled to the gills with every sweet you can think of, including candy that our parents grew up with. Hey Sugar Candy Shop even has ice cream and floats! It's one of my favorite hang out spots.

No trip to Waco would be complete without visiting the Dr Pepper Museum. You can find an extensive collection of memorabilia and history in Dr Pepper's first bottling plant. The most popular exhibit is a continuous loop of old Dr Pepper commercials. You can end your visit with a Dr Pepper from an old soda fountain.

There's also the Texas Rangers Museum, Mayborn Museum (which kids will LOVE), and the ever-impressive Baylor University campus, but take it from a Wacoan - the hidden gems are so worth it!
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