Skull – Beautiful to Behold, Cut-Throat in Play

Immediately, Skull will Grab your Attention or Turn you Away

The artwork for this game is absolutely stunning but don’t let that fool you. Skull is one tense, cut-throat bluffing game that is simple to play but hard to master. I haven’t done a board game review in awhile, so let’s dive in and take a look at this gem of a game! Continue reading “Skull – Beautiful to Behold, Cut-Throat in Play”

Jon Spencer Reviews now on Patreon

I Need Your Help!

Real talk guys. As some of you may know, I finished University at the start of the summer and have been looking for work. I used to have a pretty great job, but they couldn’t keep me once I was no longer a student. Long story short, I haven’t had much luck in finding a job. Please take a moment to read this and spread the word as much as possible.

Jon Spencer Reviews started out as a passion project in 2015. I wanted a platform to discuss, share, and critique the various things that I enjoy. We started off with just me. I primarily did anime and board game reviews. Since then, there have been over 300 articles written by myself and contributors and growing! It all started off with an article series I did for the anime Last Exile (which you can view here).

There have been some truly fantastic people who have worked with me, for absolutely free, on the site. Some of you may know Jacob, and more recently Frank, as they are currently active contributors. We’ve had other writers who have since moved on such as Dana and Origamillama. No matter how large or small the contribution, these wonderful people who have (and ever will) given to Jon Spencer Reviews their time, work, and dedication I thank you.

The site has also undergone some major improvements since we’ve started. I have a custom banner, added more advanced and useful features to the site, and much more! I hope to be able to continue bettering the site as we move forward. Truly, this has been one heck of a ride so far.

This brings us to today; I am in need of your help. I sincerely cannot find a job that will work for me at this current juncture in my life. This may seem a bit sappy, but I was born with something called Cerebral Palsy and as a result some aspects of day-to-day life can be difficult for me. One of these things is driving; I just can’t safely do that. Unfortunately, the transit system where I live is not very accommodating and there are a variety of other factors related to my Cerebral Palsy that have prevented me from considering moving very far a viable option.

I’m taking a risk by asking that you help support me. One of my close friends, Mrs. K (for those who may recall her), said that I should try turning to this site to earn a living. I understand that this may be a big ask, and it’s a huge step for me to take, but I’ll never know if I don’t try. Writing is an ideal job for me, so maybe this dream really could happen.

Don’t think that I’m just asking for your money because I’m not. In exchange I will work my hardest to produce quality content that will be available to everybody, regardless of if they support me or not. A percentage of the money will be distributed to my contributors as well, regardless of how much, or how little that is, because without them I would not have seen nearly as much support as I do now. Money that I don’t need in order to exist will be used to help the site. This may mean something as big as making a YouTube channel at some point, but right now I just don’t know yet.

Here’s how you can help me out. Follow this link (just click this sentence) to get to my Patreon. There you will see varying options of suggested donation levels. Different options allow for different rewards. For example, at $1 you can have your name, and if provided, link to your own site/YouTube listed on a Patreon supporter tab that will be added to the front page of the site. At higher rewards you may suggest a topic for me to discuss, a show to review, etc…

Being a Patreon of mine means that you will pay me the amount of money that you pledge each month. You can change the amount or cancel at any time though. I don’t want anybody breaking the bank on my behalf here. Along with the reward tier chosen, Patreons will have a greater say regarding the direction of Jon Spencer Reviews, access to special content (that will eventually be made free to everyone), and more. I’m new to Patreon, so some stuff may change as we go but I think this is a good start.

For the first 30 days, so from 8/17/17 to 9/16/17 anybody who supports me on Patreon will also be helping out fellow blogger Karandi at 100 Word Anime. As part of Patreon’s referral program, by supporting me, Patreon will also give some money to her as well. Karandi has been a HUGE supporter of mine and I wanted a way to give back, so this is my way of doing so. It doesn’t cost you anything extra, won’t negatively impact what is donated to me (in fact I get a bonus!), and is a great way to help somebody else out at the same time. We need 30 people minimum to pledge their support for me in order to receive the benefit, but I know we can do it!

Even if you can’t donate, or don’t want to, please share this article to as many people as you can. Twitter, Facebook, email, etc… anywhere you can think of. It would be extremely helpful and I’ll be forever in your debt. There’s a chance that my dream to make writing work for me will fail, but I know with your continued support that we can make it happen!

If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to wish me luck on my endeavor here, feel free to leave a comment below. Alternatively, you can email me here:  jonspencerreviews@gmail.com

Thanks a million,

-Jon Spencer

Ben-To – Taking Things too Far

Ben-To Has One Great Premise

People come together at the local grocery store to beat the tar out of each other for half-price bento boxes. It’s just a totally normal thing in this show. After one episode, I was sold. I then sat down and watched the whole thing in one sitting.

Unfortunately, Ben-To slowly began to lose its charm as time went on. Had it stuck to its premise while only dabbling in occasional fanservice, the show would easily have been a lot better. So what was the problem exactly? Ben-To‘s go to joke was to sexually assault, and in some cases, borderline rape its cast. That just isn’t funny. Furthermore, some of the fanservice was tied up into that mess, which is not a good idea. Ever. Continue reading “Ben-To – Taking Things too Far”

‘Detroit’ Film Review

Grade: A

If there is a lesson we should all take from ‘Detroit’, (A.K.A. Kathryn Bigelow’s newest attempt at an Oscar.) it would be the phrase “History repeats itself.” You see it in the news more than ever – reports of rioting, racial tension, and police brutality – whether it be as a trending topic on Facebook, on the newspapers delivered from city to city, or your television. This type of negativity is really hard to escape, but these are not new problems, they have become social issues for decades; causing the connection between racism and police matters to become debatable among those who hear the news. It happened in the 60’s, and it is still causing discussion now; which is why Bigelow decided to bring this true event to light. 

Continue reading “‘Detroit’ Film Review”

Music Review: Alice In Chains – Facelift (1990)

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The birth of legends

It’s 1990, and the music world is in the midst of a metal domination, with such acts as Slayer, Metallica, Cannibal Corpse and Sepultura playing for sold out shows across the countries of the world and blasting through the speakers of a younger generation of kids and adults. But as with the turning of the decade new things surface, and the 90’s emerging trend is a new genre of music known as Grunge. Combining elements of both Pop and Rock, Grunge had all the elements to appeal to a younger generation of listeners. The birthplace of the genre is commonly considered to be in Seattle, Washington, with up and coming bands like, Nirvana, Soundgarden and Mudhoney. Alice in Chains is another such band to pop up from Seattle with a grunge sound, but with a major difference, whilst most of the other Grunge bands had Rock or Punk influences, Alice in Chains had an unmistakably metal sound to it. Appearing on the scene with their debut full length album Facelift in 1991; opening our ears and minds to this strange new style for many years to come. Continue reading “Music Review: Alice In Chains – Facelift (1990)”

‘The Dark Tower’ Film Review

Grade: F

It looks like ‘Pet Sematary’ is not the only terrible Stephen King film adaptation I have seen yet. Yes, Mary Lambert’s 1989 horror – Ahem! – classic was a nonsensical and grotesque piece of camp, but there was something entertaining in its cheesy demeanor. In Nikolaj Arcel’s adaptation of ‘The Dark Tower’; King’s 8-part series of books, however, the entertainment factor goes down to zero. This movie had potential to be a great epic, instead, it fell flat from the word “Go!”. I had more fun trying to spot the many Easter Eggs hidden throughout than I did sitting through this badly acted lackluster. Excuse that understatement! “Bad” is no way to describe the experience of watching this film; let’s go with “Boring”. Not since ‘Twilight’ have I seen actors feel like they wanted to collect their paychecks and wanted to go home from another day of work, hence a few alright performances from Idris Elba and Matthew McConaughey, who at least try; being huge names and all.

Continue reading “‘The Dark Tower’ Film Review”

Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season

I Love Ballroom Dancing

When I found that there was going to be an anime about one of my favorite activities, ballroom dancing, I was super excited! Unlike last year’s Yuri!!! on Ice, there is a layer of relatability that Welcome to the Ballroom, or Ballroom e Youkoso, has for me. Now that we are a decent way into the Summer 2017 anime season, why am I so disappointed with a show that should have me jumping (or should I say dancing?) with joy? Continue reading “Welcome to the Ballroom – My Biggest Disappointment with the 2017 Summer Anime Season”

Progress Report – 2 Weeks into a Schedule

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We’ve Certainly Been Busy!

I wanted to take a moment to talk about the recent changes made here at Jon Spencer Reviews. If you follow me on Twitter (@JS_Reviews), then you may have heard that I switched to a regular posting schedule. We are two weeks into that now, but some of you may be wondering what changed.

The first change is the switch to a posting schedule. Previously, I had a no-schedule approach but now that I’m done with University and have some plans for the site moving forward, a schedule makes sense. Main posts will now be put up on the site Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 11AM PST. Content may still occasionally come out Tuesday, Thursday, or over the weekend from me as it has during these two weeks.

Additionally, we’ve gained a new contributor, Frank! He will have weekly postings every Tuesday which have already started. If you haven’t already, go and say hi! He’ll be doing some music reviews (and sometimes other things). I think you may just be pleasantly surprised.

Jacob will still be doing film reviews but his posting schedule is NOT fixed like Frank’s or for myself. Since Jacob covers a lot of films that are in theatres, it just isn’t practical to place restrictions on when his content can go up. He is also planning to possibly cover less recent films as well, but again, those will be posted when he sees fit.

I hope you all have been enjoying my increased activity here and on the various social media platforms. This should continue moving forward for the foreseeable future. With that said, let’s briefly discuss what else is new.

Some of you may have noticed that I updated the site some. I created a new “Film” menu for the site header. Additionally, I am now using a new and improved version of the theme I had been using earlier. This means that some stuff should look cleaner on the main page and when viewing.

A major change you should have already noticed is the site’s new banner for social media accounts. It was created by follower DaBoogie (check out his blog here). I greatly appreciate it! The new banner is so much better than the boring and plain grey triangle thing I was using before. I’ve been playing with a way to add it to the site as well, so hopefully that works out. I’ll be using it a lot for promotional material and a few other things, like these updates.

One change you should notice pretty quick is that the author now has a little bio that appears at the end of each article. There was some confusion about the fact that I have multiple authors on here and I want their work to be credited to them, not myself.

Next week’s articles are all scheduled, except for Friday’s, which still needs a bit of work. I hope you’ll be ready for everything I’ve got planned! That’s it for me, see you back here again soon!

Without continual growth and progress, such words as improvement, achievement, and success have no meaning. -Benjamin Franklin

White Day: A Labyrinth Named School – Why I’m Excited for the PS4 & PC Release on August 22nd

I’m Super Excited!!!!!!

Seriously, I love horror games. Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast, and even more Obscure (hehe, see what I did there?) titles like Scratches (sadly off the market T.T such a good game). Naturally, I spent hours scouring the internet to find even more titles as my well of excellent horror titles began to dry up. Rewind to 4-5 years ago, I discovered a little known horror title White Day: A Labyrinth Named School. Continue reading “White Day: A Labyrinth Named School – Why I’m Excited for the PS4 & PC Release on August 22nd”

‘Atomic Blonde’ Film Review

Grade: B-

With ‘John Wick’, and now ‘Atomic Blonde’, director David Leitch (who was a stuntman for actor Brad Pitt) has proven himself to be skilled at directing action. Don’t believe me? Look at the way the action sequences in this action-thriller are choreographed. Charlize Theron manages to give and take every blow to and from her adversaries with a Bing! Bang! Boom! Making you feel every hit; injecting you with an adrenaline rush fit for an action movie. In one scene, that takes place in an apartment in West Berlin, MI6 agent, Lorraine Broughton (Theron) is escorting a man named Spyglass (Eddie Marsan) to safety, when she is confronted by KGB agents, who come one by one as if they are re-spawning video game characters. She starts offing them in a long drawn-out sequence not set to music (almost all action sequences are stylishly set to 80’s New Wave, such as ‘Father Figure’ by the late George Michael, or ’99 Luftballons’ by Nena), albeit not as intense as the church shooting in ‘Kingsman: The Secret Service’, there is still a quiet intensity while watching people get stabbed, bloodied, punched, even kicked down the stairs; making it one of the greatest, and well-filmed action sequences.

Continue reading “‘Atomic Blonde’ Film Review”