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The Earn This Podcast, Episode 21: Reviewing Zootopia

Download link (you may have to right click and “Save As”) Dan and Kevin of Taestful Reviews check in on the latest animated hit, Zootopia, praising its themes and evaluating its place in recent animated canon. Notes/corrections: We couldn’t remember the name of the studio behind the upcoming The Secret Life of Pets — it’s Illumination…

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Dan’s Top 100 Everything: #6 The Simpsons

“Television: Teacher, mother, secret lover!” – Homer Simpson, “Treehouse of Horror V” There are about fifteen reasons it feels impossible for me to write about The Simpsons in any objective, cohesive manner. It’s the greatest TV show of all time, and also the most formative on my life outlook. It’s responsible for some of my…

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Songs of the Summer Mixtape Draft, Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 Dan (Feb. 2016) Dear Colton, How time flies! Six months ago, in the middle of the July heat, we brainstormed the idea of a Billboard-based summer mixtape fantasy draft. One month, thirty songs, and 12,000 words later, we sent our mixtapes out to judges for assessment. Another two months…

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Songs of the Summer Mixtape Draft, Part 1

Intro from Dan (Feb. 2016) As I write this, February snow falls, the heat of summer far from my mind. But the long-brewing project I’m about to share with you comes from warmer times. Last July, Colton and I came up with the idea of a summer pop fantasy draft, and spent the next couple months…

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First Impressions Review: The Life of Pablo by Kanye West

The most important thing to remember when thinking about TLOP and the insane lead up to its release is the one thing that’s remained constant throughout the rapper’s whole career: Kanye West is full of contradictions. It might be infuriating, but it’s true: The moment you think you can generalize something about Kanye, he’ll swerve. How…

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Songs of the Summer Mixtape Draft, Part 2

Read Part 1 Dan We’re halfway through our summer songs fantasy draft, and I have to say my thoughts on my roster are a mixture of delight and disappointment. Curiously, it seems our early picks were the least competitive, most strident with each other: You certainly could have waited several rounds to nab “Let Me…

One of three board game shelves in our house

I Played 365 Board Games in 2015

In 2015, I played 365 board games, and kept fairly detailed logs of what I played, when I played, who I played with, who won (when relevant), and how much I liked the game. I usually get about this far in the explanation before people start bombarding me with questions, so I suppose I should…

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2015: The Year in Superlatives

Most Overrated Movie: Spotlight Grant says: The kind of movie that always gets overpraised. Chronicling the exposure of the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church in the early 2000s, Spotlight is a ‘talky’ without particularly good dialogue, which is a bit of an issue. It also feels dated (imagine if ‘Margin Call’ or ‘The Social…

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15 Thoughts on The Force Awakens

SPOILERS AHOY! If you haven’t seen Star Wars: Episode VII, I recommend that you do so before reading this. I do not shy away from spoilers in the following comments. 1. This is a good movie, and a great movie-going experience Breathe a sigh of relief, o fellow nerds! The franchise is redeemed! Our worries were…

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My Ten Favorite Songs of the Decade So Far

10. Jessi J, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj – “Bang Bang” I would call this my “guilty pleasure” selection, but, as Colton and I have repeatedly noted, there should be no guilt in the pleasure of a finely-crafted pop number. The Max Martin-produced “Bang Bang” is probably my favorite pop radio staple this decade, with a sizzling beat,…