Thursday, December 26, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 6 - WYS Raiders

This week, we discuss one of Kendall's all time favorite decks.

2x I'll Take The Leader
1x BoShek (V)
2x Chewie With Bowcaster
1x Dash Rendar
1x Ellorrs Madak, Pilot Instructor
1x Lando Calrissian (V)
1x Leslomy Tacema (V)
1x Melas (V)
1x Mirax Terrik
3x Palace Raider
1x Talon Karrde
3x Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi
1x Captain Han Solo
1x Obi-Wan Kenobi (V)
1x Wedge Antilles (V)
1x Anger, Fear, Aggression (V)
1x Insurrection & Aim High
1x Relatively Unprotected
1x Squadron Assignments
2x Tatooine Celebration
1x Wokling (V)
3x All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin
2x Control & Tunnel Vision
1x Escape Pod & We're Doomed
2x Fallen Portal
1x Free Ride & Endor Celebration
1x Heading For The Medical Frigate
1x Houjix
2x Nar Shaddaa Wind Chimes & Out Of Somewhere
1x Rebel Barrier
2x Rescue In The Clouds (V)
1x Smoke Screen
1x Home One: Docking Bay
1x Kessel
1x Spaceport Docking Bay
1x Tatooine
1x Tatooine: Cantina
1x Tatooine: Docking Bay 94
1x Tatooine: Mos Espa Docking Bay
1x Watch Your Step
1x Millennium Falcon
1x Outrider
1x Pulsar Skate
3x Patrol Craft
1x Luke's Lightsaber

Here's the episode!

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Top 10 Films of 2019

Jackson A. Dunn in Brightburn (2019)
The creepy kid from Brightburn

I went to the movies 37 times in 2019, and saw a handful of other new releases on various streaming services and things.  At times, I felt like I was a grumpy old man, disliking everything I saw, but there were a number of films that were able to get through my thick, jaded skin.  Please keep in mind that I haven't seen a number of big deal movies like Little Women and the Mr. Rogers movie whose title I always get wrong.  Anyway, if you've been living under a rock or waiting for stuff to come to Netflix, here are some movies worth checking out.

10.  Star Wars:  The Rise of Skywalker

Honestly, this movie probably would be higher on the list if I trusted my objectivity, but Star Wars is Star Wars.  Listen to the Star Wars Round Table review for more detailed thoughts, but suffice it to say, this film told a simple story and acted as a satisfying ending to the trilogy.

9.  Brightburn

What if Superman was a sadistic, creepy 12 year old?  This horror comedy went largely under the radar when it was released this summer, but it is definitely worth seeing.  In between grotesque scenes of borderline torture porn, we get a disturbingly believable character study about a kid with problems way too big for the small town school psychologist to deal with.

8.  Detective Pikachu

Next, we've got a slightly more family friendly film.  Check out the Beyond Bulbasaur special edition review.  Detective Pikachu succeeds where so many previous video game and anime adaptations have failed.  The visuals are spectacular.  The story is fun and compelling.  Ryan Reynolds's performance is terrific.  If you have any affinity for Pokemon in any form.  This is a must watch.

7.  Judy

Hollywood has a habit of intentionally poorly casting historical figures.  Then through a combination of prosthetics, weight gain, and method acting convince us that it's an amazing performance.  Clearly, I'm not usually a fan, but Renee Zellweger pulls it off here.  The film tells a simple story from late in Judy Garland's life with a few flashbacks from her childhood peppered throughout.  This is another film that felt like it went under the radar.  I would love to see Zellweger get nominated for an Oscar for her performance.

6.  Yesterday

Last year's Bohemian Rhapsody got a fair bit of backlash suggesting that we're past self-indulgent formulaic rock and roll biopics.  In response, we got a few movies this summer that celebrated classic rock without being traditional biopics.  I loved how Yesterday was completely about the music.  We've all already heard the stories of The Beatles and don't need to hear them again. This film was sweet, original, and at times hilarious.  It's the first of three movies on this list that, had I seen it as a 17 year old, would likely end up forming my tastes for years to come in the vein of Superbad and Little Miss Sunshine.

5.  Blinded By the Light

The next movie that could be shaping the next generation of teenage Kendalls is about Bruce Springsteen.  Even as a thirty something, I remember being a teenager, discovering great music, and at least in my mind becoming the biggest fan in a weekend.  For me, it was The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Buffalo Springfield, and a few other bands from the 1960's.  I grew my hair out and started wearing tie die just like the kid in this movie wears jeans and sleeveless denim.  In addition, this film educated me about what it was like for a Pakistani kid in Margaret Thatcher's UK.  It's just a perspective that I'd never seen before.

4.  Booksmart

This movie is Superbad for Generation Z.  I'm so glad to see it showing up on best of the year lists, since it also seemed to fall under the radar when it was released.  A moment from the film that's stuck with me comes when the perfectionist overachiever learns that the kids she sees as slackers and delinquents all have futures just as bright as hers.  She realizes that she could have gotten into Harvard and still had fun as a teen.  Honestly, this is something I wish I'd known when I was her age.

3.  Marriage Story

This film is a bit of a gut punch.  It's not a feel good film.  Scarlett Johanson and Adam Driver play a couple going through an increasingly messy divorce.  He wants to live in New York, where they lived during most of their marriage.  She wants to live in Los Angeles, where her family and support network lives.  They both love their son.  The film does not take sides, but things spiral out of control and lead to both of them hiring high priced lawyers who only make things worse.  I cried even more at this film than I did during The Rise of Skywalker.

2.  Knives Out

What a crazy film!  Who knew that a simple whodunnit about an old rich guy being found dead and fowl play being suspected could simultaneously make a statement about white privilege.  I don't want to dive too deep, since this is a film that really benefits from its viewers knowing as little as possible.  Even if you predict one twist, another will be right around the corner.

1.  JoJo Rabbit

How is a comedy about Nazi Germany the best film of 2019?  One early review I saw of this film described it as "Wes Anderson's Schindler's List."  This film is told from the point of view of a little boy in the Hitler Youth whose mother is hiding a young Jewish girl.  It does a great job of painting racists in a comedic light without making its own racist jokes or minimizing the tragedy of it all.  In addition, I love the innocence of the main character.  He's not a Nazi.  He's just a kid that wants to be a part of a club.

There you have it!  My top 10 films of the year, and most of them weren't even super hero movies!  Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!

Friday, December 13, 2019

Star Wars Round Table Wrap Up

We made it!  Now that we've discussed every movie, we make our definitive list and talk about or expectations for Rise of Skywalker!

Here's the episode!

Also, here's our The Last Jedi review from 2017

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 5 - Dark Deal Capture

Matt takes Johnny Chu's First Order Deal, removes the good cards, and adds a capturing theme.

Here's the episode!

Deck: 1x We're In Attack Position Now 2x Boba Fett, Bounty Hunter 1x Bossk (V) 1x Cad Bane 1x Dengar With Blaster Carbine (V) 1x Djas Puhr (V) 1x Dr. Evazan & Ponda Baba 1x Jango Fett 1x Jodo Kast 1x Mara Jade With Lightsaber 1x Zam Wesell 1x IG-88 With Riot Gun 1x Kylo Ren With Lightsaber 1x Admiral Chiraneau 1x Admiral Piett 1x Darth Vader With Lightsaber 1x General Grievous 1x Asajj Ventress With Lightsabers 1x Darth Maul With Lightsaber 1x Deflector Shield Generators (V) 1x Interrogation Array 1x All Wrapped Up 1x Cloud City Occupation 1x Dark Deal 1x Death Star Reactor Terminal (V) 1x Endor Shield (V) 1x Imperial Arrest Order & Secret Plans 1x Knowledge And Defense (V) 1x No Escape 1x Tarkin's Bounty (V) 5x They Must Never Again Leave This City 1x You Cannot Hide Forever & Mobilization Points 1x Force Push (V) 2x Hidden Weapons 2x Imperial Command 2x Lightsaber Parry 1x Prepared Defenses 3x Sonic Bombardment 1x Bespin 1x Bespin: Cloud City 1x Cloud City: East Platform (Docking Bay) 1x Cloud City: Security Tower (V) 1x Cloud City: Upper Walkway 1x Executor: Docking Bay 1x This Deal Is Getting Worse All The Time 2x Colonel Jendon In Onyx 1 1x Executor 1x Onyx 2 (V) 1x Laser Cannon Battery
Links to Johnny Chu's versions of the deck:

An Open Letter to KendallCast fans and contributers

Image result for robot chicken nerd typing

Greetings brothers and sisters in podcasting,

2019 was another big year for the network.  By my count, as I'm writing this, we've released 70 podcast episodes(hopefully we'll hit 75 or 76 by the end of the year).  We hit episode 37 of "Beyond Bulbasaur", episode 53 of "That's What We Called Music?" and episode 64 of "The Pull List."  In addition to the three established shows, we started the "Star Wars Movie Round Table," with 11 episodes discussing every Star Wars movie to date.  We also are 5 episodes into "Bad Deck Breakdowns," and produced a handful of one off special edition podcasts.  Perhaps the most impressive thing to me is that I count 16 total people who contributed to one or more of the shows.

I want 2020 to take what we've established and grow as a network.  Honestly, I have no idea how to go about this.  The "Star Wars Movie Round Table" is going to become the "KendallCast Movie Round Table," where we discuss a different classic film each month, but that's the only idea that I have set in stone.  I'm open to any suggestions for how to improve the network, whether those are things I can do, things others can do, or things I can do to encourage others.  I did have a few, possibly pie in the sky, ideas that I'd like some feedback on.

  • Social Media:  Would the network benefit from a Slack, Discord, Facebook Group, or other social media presence?  
    • Currently, we have the website and share episodes on our personal Twitter and/or Facebook accounts, and I share our episodes with a small number of groups that I'm a part of.  
    • A more formal social media presence like the ones I mentioned might help folks from one podcast get to know one another and encourage collaboration beyond the stuff I personally think of
    • This also could lead to making life more difficult, since some people may not adopt the particular platform.
  • KendallCast as a network:
    • Currently, I host, edit, post, and am generally the guy in charge of every show.  This means that, while I might put out 6 or 7 shows in a month, we might only get one or two episodes of "Beyond Bulbasaur."  If others took on additional responsibility, we might be able to be more consistent.
    • Would others be willing to take more responsibility if we changed the name of the network to not make it my name?  I'm not particularly attached to the name, and it's not like we have an impossibly huge audience who could not adjust to a name that suggests a group effort, rather than a vanity project(which the network has admittedly been up to this point).
    • Would it be helpful to collaborate with other independent podcasters, perhaps making KendallCast the foundation for a completely new network?
    • Alternatively, would it be better to submit some or all of the shows to an existing network?
I'd encourage everyone who reads this, whether you are a direct contributor to the network, a listener, or just someone who stumbles upon this to reach out however you can.  Although I've been doing this for many years at this point, I have no idea how to successfully grow a network or create a community.


Thursday, December 5, 2019

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Beyond Bulbasaur - 36 - Cubone

This week we talk about the Lonely Pokemon and argue about the skull thing for a long time.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 4 - Interview with Matt Carulli

On this episode, we interview Matt Carulli about the new Pittsburgh Limited Format.

Here's the episode!

Beyond Bulbasaur - 35 - Pumpkaboo

It's still technically Halloween!  Today Kendall, Joe, Jessie, and Jordan discuss the cute little pumpkin with a bat on its head Pokemon!

Here's the episode!

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 3 - Jawas

On this episode, we discuss our first Dark Side deck, Jawas!

Here's the episode!


2x Bib Fortuna
2x Boba Fett, Bounty Hunter
1x Chall Bekan
1x Daroe (V)
1x Dathcha (V)
1x Gailid
1x Greedo (V)
2x Jabba The Hutt (V)
1x Jango Fett
2x Jawa
1x Lady Proxima
2x Mara Jade With Lightsaber
1x Nebit
1x Prince Xizor
3x Wittin
1x 4-LOM With Concussion Rifle
1x IG-88 With Riot Gun
1x P-59
1x Probot
1x Hutt Influence
1x Jabba's Haven
3x Jawa Pack
1x Knowledge And Defense (V)
1x Power Of The Hutt
1x Presence Of The Force
2x Sandwhirl
2x Scum And Villainy
1x Wipe Them Out, All Of Them
2x Abyssin Ornament & Wounded Wookiee
1x Cease Fire!
2x Ghhhk & Those Rebels Won't Escape Us
1x Imperial Barrier
1x Oo-ta Goo-ta, Solo? (V)
1x Podracer Collision
1x Prepared Defenses
1x Sith Fury (V)
3x Twi'lek Advisor (V)
1x We Must Accelerate Our Plans
1x Jabba's Palace: Audience Chamber
1x Nal Hutta
1x Tatooine: Desert Heart
1x Tatooine: Jabba's Palace
1x My Kind Of Scum
1x Jabba's Space Cruiser (V)
1x Zuckuss In Mist Hunter

Monday, October 14, 2019

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 2 - Y4 Ops Squassin V

On this episode, we discuss Matt's Yavin IV Ops deck that utilizes Squadron Assignments V and some dudes in the War Room.

Here's the Episode!

Y4 Ops Squassin V

1x I'll Take The Leader
2x Commander Luke Skywalker (V)
1x Commander Vanden Willard (V)
1x Derek 'Hobbie' Klivian (V)
1x General Dodonna (V)
1x Incom Engineer
1x Princess Organa
1x Red Leader
1x Wedge Antilles, Red Squadron Leader
1x Ello Asty
1x Poe Dameron
1x Anger, Fear, Aggression (V)
1x Echo Base Garrison
1x Evacuation Control (V)
1x Haven
1x Honor Of The Jedi
1x Insurrection
1x Leia Of Alderaan (V)
2x Projection Of A Skywalker
1x Relatively Unprotected
1x Squadron Assignments (V)
1x Wokling (V)
1x Restore Freedom To The Galaxy
3x All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin
2x Corellian Slip (V)
1x Effective Repairs & Starship Levitation
1x Heading For The Medical Frigate
1x Jedi Levitation (V)
2x Organized Attack
1x Perimeter Scan (V)
1x Quite A Mercenary (V)
1x Rapid Fire
2x Rebel Artillery
1x Home One: Docking Bay
1x Hoth: Echo Docking Bay
1x Nar Shaddaa
1x Yavin 4 (V)
1x Yavin 4: Massassi Ruins (V)
1x Yavin 4: Massassi War Room (V)
1x Yavin 4 Operations
1x Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V)
1x Green Leader In Green Squadron 1
1x Red 1 (V)
1x Red Squadron 1
1x Red Squadron 4
1x Red Squadron 6
1x Tycho In Green Squadron 3
2x Rogue 1
1x Luke's Hunting Rifle (V)
1x Power Harpoon
2x X-wing Laser Cannon

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Bad Deck Breakdowns - 1 - This Galaxy May Need A Podcast

Introducing a new Star Wars CCG Podcast from Kendall Halman and Matt Lutz.  On this first episode, we discuss Kendall's "This Galaxy May Need a Legend" deck.

2x Chewie With Bowcaster
2x Solo
1x Threepio With His Parts Showing
1x Luke Skywalker, The Last Jedi
2x Qui-Gon Jinn With Lightsaber
1x Corran Horn
1x General Calrissian
1x Obi-Wan With Lightsaber
1x Anakin Skywalker, Padawan Learner
1x Admiral U.O. Statura
1x Finn
1x General Leia Organa
1x Poe Dameron
2x Rey
3x Rose Tico
1x Vice Admiral Holdo
1x A Brave Resistance
1x Anger, Fear, Aggression (V)
1x Projection Of A Skywalker
1x Rebellions Are Built On Hope
1x Wokling (V)
1x A Jedi's Resilience
1x All Wings Report In & Darklighter Spin
1x Clash Of Sabers
1x Escape Pod & We're Doomed
1x Fly Casual
1x Force Projection
1x Grimtaash
1x Heading For The Medical Frigate
1x Houjix
1x I'm Getting Pretty Good At This
1x Life Debt
2x Rebel Barrier
1x Rebel Leadership (V)
3x Rescue In The Clouds (V)
1x Weapon Levitation
1x Were You Looking For Me?
1x Ahch To: Saddle
1x Ahch-To
1x Ahch-To: Luke's Hut
1x Maz's Castle: Antechamber
1x Maz's Castle: Hidden Recess
1x Takodana
1x Takodana: Maz's Castle
1x The Galaxy May Need A Legend
1x BB-8 In Black Squadron 1
1x Gold Leader In Gold 1 (V)
1x Profundity
1x Tantive IV (V)
1x The Falcon
1x Anakin's Lightsaber (V)

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

That's What We Called Music? - 49 - Hey Leonardo(She Likes Me For Me)

Whatever you do, don't call this week's song a "Wendy's Song!"  If you don't know what that is, you need to listen to our review of the classic by Blessid Union of Souls!

Here's the episode!

Monday, September 2, 2019

Beyond Bulbasaur - 31 - Tropius

This week, we discuss the Pokemon that Jessie suggested who somehow flies with palm leaves as wings!

Here's the episode!

Friday, August 30, 2019

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

12 Games, 2 Byes, And Too Many Mistakes

I drove for 14 hours to get my butt kicked at a tournament for a card game that's been out of print for 20 years.  Here's 40 minutes of ramblings on the 2019 Star Wars CCG North American Continental Championship John Anderson Memorial Tournament.

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Thursday, August 8, 2019