Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Book Review: The Art Of Splatoon 2

Splatoon 2 is one of the most wildly popular games for Nintendo Switch. And at Nintendo Philly Meetup, a group I founded and run, we play Splatoon 2 all the time at our monthly meetups at TAP Esports in Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Why? Because the multiplayer modes in Splatoon 2 are highly addictive. There’s something about the crazy art style, whacky music, and frenetic action of this game that keeps us, and millions of Nintendo fans worldwide, coming back for more. With this in mind, Dark Horse published a book, The Art of Splatoon 2, that is dedicated to providing fans with a deep dive into the art and design of this instant classic.

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Allentown’s Farewell KISS

On February 4 I attended my fourth KISS concert during the band’s End of the Road tour. It was the second date of this leg of the tour, and one of only two times that KISS is coming anywhere near Philadelphia this year. I already got a ticket for the other show, which takes place in Atlantic City in August. While seeing them in Philadelphia last March was spectacular, this concert may have surpassed it. The band was on fire in Allentown, and David Lee Roth’s killer opening set made the night even more fun.

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Nintendo Switch Review: 198X

198X is a new arcade epic for Nintendo Switch. It’s a coming-of-age story told through multiple games and genres. It provides players with the opportunity to experience the thrill of shooting, driving, jumping, fighting, and role-playing in five full-blown arcade stages, combined with cinematic pixel-art storytelling. For $9.99, you get access to the first installment of this game on Nintendo Switch. This consists of 90+ minutes of intense gameplay and pixel-art storytelling. Speaking of which, it took nine expert pixel artists to deliver the larger-than-life old-school sprites present in this game. 198X also features 20+ music tracks from the likes of Yuzo Koshiro and Swedish hit-duo Sinephony. The second and final installment for 198X is coming, but the release date is TBD.

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Book Review: The Art of Super Mario Odyssey

Super Mario Odyssey is my favorite game on Nintendo Switch. Why? It’s quite simple. I was born in 1985, which is the same year the Nintendo Entertainment System was released in the U.S., and I have fond memories of playing every entry in the Super Mario Bros. series. Some of my favorites include the original Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 3, and, my all-time favorite, Super Mario World. Super Mario Odyssey continues the innovative evolution of Nintendo’s signature character, while simultaneously paying tribute to the entries that preceded it. It’s a fantastical journey that can be enjoyed by those young and old, and The Art of Super Mario Odyssey by Dark Horse takes a deep dive into how this masterpiece was made.

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Movie Review: Scream Queen! My Nightmare On Elm Street

Scream Queen! My Nightmare on Elm Street is the best documentary I’ve seen this year and in a very long time. This film sets the record straight about the controversial sequel to A Nightmare on Elm Street, which both launched and ended Mark Patton’s acting career. This film is about him attempting to make peace with his past and embrace his legacy as cinema’s first male scream queen. Scream Queen! also finds Mark confronting the Freddy’s Revenge cast and crew for the first time, including co-stars Robert Rusler, Kim Myers and Clu Gulager, as well as Freddy Krueger himself, Robert Englund.

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10th Annual DDP Yoga Retreat

Hosted by TravelSmiths, this July is the 10th annual DDP Yoga Retreat. Picture it: six nights in Mexico at an amazing resort with clean, healthy food, group activities, excursions, pool parties, and morning DDP Yoga workouts led by the man himself, Diamond Dallas Page, on a pier overlooking the water or on the beach. I don’t know about you, but that sounds amazing to me! Read more…

Movie Review: The Fanatic

I just watched a movie that I feel compelled to review: The Fanatic starring John Travolta. Released on August 30, 2019, The Fanatic didn’t have much of a fighting chance. It had a limited theatrical run, followed by a release on digital platforms. Here’s the film’s description: “On the grimy streets of Hollywood, a celebrity-obsessed man feels slighted by his favorite movie star and embarks on an unhinged quest to get a response – leading to a home invasion and a very long night that changes both men irreparably.” This premise fascinated me, primarily because I’m a passionate fan of all forms of entertainment. Not only have I had the pleasure of attending countless concerts, movies, and star-studded events, I’ve interviewed almost all of my celebrity heroes and befriended a few of them along the way. So, a film starring John Travolta as a fan that takes things too far was something I couldn’t pass up. I’m glad I finally watched it because it’s the best film I’ve seen this year and, in my opinion, John Travolta’s greatest dramatic performance to date.

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My Favorite Books Of 2019

I read 53 books in 2019, which is more than the previous year. I enjoy consuming stories as audiobooks on Audible, eBooks on my Kindle, or as old-fashioned physical books. Thrillers, autobiographies, self-help books—I love them all! Below are five my favorite books that I read in 2019 and my thoughts on them.

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Teaching DDP Yoga To Senior Citizens

Today was my first time teaching DDP Yoga to senior citizens, and it was my best class ever! The entire workout was done while seated in a chair, and it took place at Atria Center City. Nearly 25 residents took part in the workout, which is almost a quarter of the entire population of the building. I was floored by the large attendance. I was told that some of the residents who attended normally don’t take part in other programming, so I’m glad that I was able to pique their interest. The workout ran for 30 minutes. However, I spent a significant amount of time getting to know the residents better before and after the workout.

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Audible Review: The 64th Man

Audible has consistently raised the bar when it comes to audiobooks. With The 64th Man, the bar has been raised yet again. Starring professional wrestler and actor John Cena, this Audible Original is an excellent, slickly produced, humorous tale about an athlete trying to find himself and his place in the world. Despite being a casual sports fan, I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook.

I was impressed by John Cena’s excellent voice over work, and the supporting cast is wonderful too—especially Jane Curtin as Mildred. At a little over five hours in length, this story blows by and it has a satisfying conclusion. While some audiobooks have incorporated sound effects in their production, The 64th Man takes everything to another level. It felt like listening to a movie or TV show, which made for a highly enjoyable and immersive experience. If this is the future of audiobooks, then the future is bright.

 

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