Kevin Fox, Jr.

Freelance Writer for Games, Movies, TV, Comedy, and Tech

United States

Freelance entertainment/culture writer, reporter and analyst. BA and MA in History. Fan of many sports teams. Lived in four of six U.S. time zones.


Critical thinking in public.

P.C. Vulpes | Kevin Fox, Jr | Substack

Movies and shows I've seen, games I've played, my journey as a writer, and more. Click to read P.C. Vulpes, by Kevin Fox, Jr, a Substack publication. Launched 4 months ago.
Earthworks Audio Icon: The Do-Everything USB Microphone

The EarthWorks Audio Icon is a sturdy, elegant microphone made of high-quality materials. It's great for recording talk, music, or even ambient sound. It's a perfect plug-and-play mic that doesn't require drivers or external software, and works with software such as Audacity, GarageBand, Teams and Zoom.


Paste Magazine
Classic Sci-Fi and RTS Themes Combine in the Thoroughly Modern Chaotic Era

It's common for games to invoke the late-20th century history of the medium while building something new, but how often do those efforts result in an unqualified success, something truly brilliant and engaging? It's often the indie circuit taking the most vibrant swings at that ball, and Chaotic Era is hoping to hit a homerun.
Need for Speed Unbound's Here and the Time Is Right for Racing in the Street

According to my Xbox I've logged 35 hours in . I think that's a glitch caused by the Quick Resume feature, but even at between 15 and 20 hours, it gave me a lot to think about. When I fired up Need for Speed Unbound, 2005's Need for Speed: Most Wanted immediately came to mind.
New Mockumentary Players Is The Last Dance of Esports

Like their previous show, American Vandal, Tony Yacenda and Dan Perrault's new mockumentary casts a satirical eye on the documentary industry. Instead of applying true crime techniques and tropes to fictionalized high school vandalism, though, Players turns toward esports to mock the style of The Last Dance, the ESPN-produced docuseries about Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls basketball team.
Trek to Yomi Is Another Stab at a Kurosawa-Aping Samurai Game

Trek to Yomi is a side-scroller parry-based samurai fighting game set in Japan's Edo period, shot in black-and-white with artificial screen aging effects added to evoke Akira Kurosawa's samurai films of the 1950s and 1960s. It's a relatively straightforward action game that nonetheless provides exploration opportunities and multiple, eventually convergent, paths through its world.
Choice, Immersion, and Substituting the Real for the Illusion

One of the reasons people play videogames is because they promise meaningful choices and immersive worlds. It's all an illusion, of course, but it still has some degree of power. We might not be able to change our real world, but we can make an impact on a fictional one, briefly forgetting whatever anxiety we might feel over our general powerlessness.
Vodeo Games Workers Unite in the First Videogame Union in North America

The first videogame union in North America belongs to the workers at independent developer Vodeo Games, whose workers span the U.S. and Canada. Formed this year, the studio released turn-based pinball RPG Beast Breaker in September. Nicole Carpenter at Polygon reports that the union, Vodeo Games Workers United, will include in membership all 13 of its salaried and contract workers.

What Elden Ring's Story Could Borrow From Game of Thrones

FromSoftware's new game, Elden Ring, can combine Game of Thrones' moral and political complexity with the combat and drama of the Souls games. could gain a lot by borrowing from the story toolbox of Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.

How GTA 5's Ending Differs From Grand Theft Auto 4's

GTA 5's best (and most likely canon) ending sees Franklin, Michael, and Trevor succeed without consequences - a stark contrast to GTA 4's ending. differs from its predecessor, , in many ways, including its use of player choice.

The Best Mechanics For A Loki Video Game

The ideal Loki video game would include modular worlds, procedural generation, and an emphasis on thinking things through rather than all-out action. The early 2000s saw the release of Raven Software dungeon crawlers X-Men Legends and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance, but in the thriving comic book movie marketplace of the 2010s and now 2020s, Marvel characters have been largely absent from AAA video games - aside from mobile releases and tie-ins with existing game franchises.

How Early Decisions in Suzerain Affect The Path of Anton Rayne

Choice matters in Suzerain, even from the prologue, where players decide Anton's background and establish relationships that shape future challenges. In Suzerain , players control new elected president Anton Rayne, who rules the fictional country of Sordland, and while it may not be apparent at first, the early decisions made in Anton's youth during the prologue can have profound effects on the rest of the game.

How Assassin's Creed Succeeded Off Prince Of Persia & Splinter Cell

Assassin's Creed gameplay and setting drew on Ubisoft's work on the Splinter Cell franchise and Prince of Persia's Sands of Time trilogy. When Assassin's Creed debuted in 2007, Ubisoft had two other third-person action adventure franchises - and Prince of Persia . Like Rainbow Six and Ghost Recon, Splinter Cell was endorsed by military techno-thriller author Tom Clancy.

Rockstar's Bully Isn't Just Boarding School Grand Theft Auto

Rockstar Games are known to engender controversy, but 2006 release faced far more than its fair share before it was even released. Announced shortly after Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas' Hot Coffee mod and sharing a release window with GTA's second PSP spin-off, Vice City Stories, Bully came into the world with the red letter of being a Rockstar action-adventure sandbox game - with all of the positives and negatives that implies.

Grand Theft Auto D&D Campaign Ideas & Mechanics

There may not be two properties more synonymous with their medium than and Grand Theft Auto . When people think of tabletop roleplaying, Dungeons & Dragons is the name they're most likely to know. Likewise, there are few video games as popular and with as much critical acclaim in the last two decades as the Grand Theft Auto series.

How Liberty City Changed Between GTA 3 and GTA 4

Rockstar's and Grand Theft Auto IV are iconic games separated by a console generation and set in starkly different versions of the same fictional city. Both were released early in the life cycle of their respective console generations, setting the bar for what sort of functional design was possible for new hardware, and what kind of storytelling could be expected from a mayhem simulator.

What Ubisoft's Star Wars Should Copy From Far Cry & Assassin's Creed

Ubisoft is making a Star Wars game. Here are a few lessons they could learn from their own successful Assassin's Creed and Far Cry franchises. Earlier this year, it was announced that EA's exclusive Star Wars game license was coming to an end, followed by word that a new open world game is on its way from Ubisoft Massive, the studio behind The Division and which collaborated on Far Cry 3 and Assassin's Creed Revelations.


Blood Knife
REVIEW: Foe (2023) - Blood Knife

FOE (2023) is tense, emotional climate sci-fi that balances isolation and ennui with an intimate relationship drama-but doesn't quite stick the landing.

Vague Visages
Review: Adele Lim's 'Joy Ride'

Joy Ride Review | 2023 Movie | Film Director: Adele Lim | Streaming | Plot Spoilers | Cast Summary | Soundtrack Song List

Vague Visages
Review: Ari Aster's 'Beau Is Afraid'

Beau Is Afraid Review | 2023 Movie | Film Director: Ari Aster | Streaming | Plot Spoilers | Cast Summary | Soundtrack Song List

Paste Magazine
Nostalgia and Corporate Identity in Air

Two concurrent, often overlapping, trends in popular media come to bear on audiences in Air: Nostalgia and increasingly bald corporate advertising.

Vague Visages
Review: Chad Stahelski's 'John Wick: Chapter 4'

Vague Visages' John Wick: Chapter 4 review contains minor spoilers. Chad Stahelski's 2023 movie stars Keanu Reeves, Donnie Yen and Bill Skarsgård. Check out the VV home page for more film reviews, along with cast/character summaries, streaming guides and complete soundtrack song listings. * The John Wick films belong to a lineage of comic book-like productions.

Paste Magazine
The Best Movies Featuring Wrestlers

The pageantry, the style and technique which has made wrestling a marquee entertainment product around the world has allowed its performers to develop skills which, on occasion, lead to success in other realms. Some wrestlers began as martial artists. Some had brief football careers.
The Best Movies of the Year: Magic, Psychedelia, and Psychosis in The Northman

As 2022 wraps up, Paste's film team highlights their individual choices for Best Movie of the Year by writing about what makes each one so special to them. The Northman is my favorite movie of the year because-like The Green Knight before it-the film calls to a pre-Shakespearean literary artistic tradition and adapts it with modern film technique, all without attempting be overtly modern in its sensibilities.

Vague Visages
Review: Ryan Coogler's 'Black Panther: Wakanda Forever'

Vague Visages' Black Panther: Wakanda Forever review contains minor plot spoilers. Ryan Coogler's 2022 movie features Letitia Wright, Lupita Nyong'o and Danai Gurira. Check out more film reviews, along with cast/character summaries, streaming guides and complete soundtrack song listings, at the VV home page.
Sharp, Amusing, Unsettling Mister Organ Documents Mundane Madness

is a remarkable film: A comedic horror of a documentary, a simple piece of investigative journalism descending into madness and a spotlight on the human spirit's capacity for darkness. It's a drama and thriller created out of real-life footage of strange-as-fiction events.
Contemplative Body Horror Huesera Unpacks the Pains of Motherhood

Huesera is a body horror film about pregnancy and motherhood, but not in the ways that might immediately come to mind when tying that subgenre with those themes. It's not particularly interested in distended stomachs or bleeding tubes; "huesera" is Spanish for "bonesetter," and one of its marketing photos (a headless skeleton holding a skull in each hand, contorted to look like a uterus and fallopian tubes) indicates what's going to happen.
Olivia Wilde's Pedestrian Provocation Don't Worry Darling Wastes Florence Pugh

Don't Worry Darling is a movie about men imprisoning women, physically and metaphorically, for not meeting men's expectations about how they ought to act. The film critiques a brand of contemporary male chauvinist faux-intellectualism, including an antagonist (Chris Pine's Frank) that director Olivia Wilde says is based on Jordan Peterson.
Long Live The Woman King

Because is "inspired by true events" and stars a predominantly Black and African cast, telling the story of African women soldiers, it feels important before we even know if it's any good. That could lead to warping expectations or shaping the viewing experience.
Charming Yet Vapid Whodunnit See How They Run Is in Love with Its Own Genre

See How They Run doesn't claim to be deep or important, it's just a movie in love with the whodunnit genre, about which it comments frequently but says little of concern. A comedic mystery period piece about murders surrounding a production and movie adaptation of Agatha Christie's play The Mousetrap, See How They Run will not let you forget that it is about adaptation.
Day Shift's Vampire-Hunting Descendant of Buddy-Cop Comedies Is Chewy, Cheesy Fun

Day Shift's gory, cheesy, vampire-hunting comedy-action film starring Jamie Foxx and Dave Franco is exactly what you expect, and that's a good thing. The contortionist vampires are fun to watch, especially as they're used for grapple-heavy impromptu martial-arts matches, and the soundtrack is solid.

Nonstop Action Drives Korean Zombie Thriller Carter to Badass Heights

Carter is the proverbial nonstop action thrill ride that every blockbuster claims to be. When Scorsese compared Marvel favorably to theme park attractions, this is the experience he should have been talking about. Directed by Jung Byung-gil, this action movie stars Joo Won as Carter, a mysterious amnesiac that, depending on who you believe, works for either the CIA or the DPRK military. The main technical gimmicks are the utilization of drones for an artificially endless one-shot and a...
Bullet Train Is a Fun Action Ride That Barely Leaves the Station

What can I say about Bullet Train? Well, Hiroyuki Sanada is in it as a sage old warrior. Despite being based on a novel by Japanese author K?tar? Isaka ( MariaBeetle, which won the University Reader Award in 2010 and was translated to English by Sam Malissa in 2021 under the name Bullet Train), Sanada's presence feels like an analogy for the film's relationship with Japanese culture.
DC League of Super-Pets Is a Family-Friendly Comedy Super Enough to Tolerate

DC League of Super-Pets is a CG-animated film about Superman's dog learning to make and share friends that is much better than you would expect. From the studio that brought you the highs of The Lego Movie and the lows of Space Jam: A New Legacy, it's unsurprisingly technically competent and surprisingly watchable for adults.
Kid Detectives Navigate Beautiful Near-Future Cambodia in Karmalink

Karmalink is an earnest near-future sci-fi built around the thin line between memory and fantasy, with a plot centering on friendship, mystery and technological advancement. Set in Cambodia, Jake Wachtel's directorial debut revolves around children living at the underdeveloped edge of a technologically advanced capital city.

Blood Knife
Does Batman Have To Be Copaganda? - Blood Knife

Batman's complex relationship with law enforcement, on page and screen by Kevin Fox, Jr. // Illustration by Bhanu Pratap Batman, the billionaire vigilante, has been my favorite superhero since I was a toddler. His darkness-his typically black costumes, his tragic backstory and scarred psyche, the symbiotic and reflective relationship he shares with the aesthetic of his city-helped me define my early, dorky definitions of cool.
Men in Black Showcased Two Entirely Different Types of Musical Genius

Like most art, Barry Sonnenfeld's 1997 film Men in Black is a reflection of its time: Its imagery and ideas are decidedly of the 1990s, but what most stands out is its music. Danny Elfman's masterful orchestration combined the sounds of '50s and '60s sci-fi and spy movies with contemporary police procedurals and courtroom dramas for a score that perfectly complements the script and performances.
How Blade Runner Made Metropolis' Sci-Fi Vision Immortal

is an iconic film that has influenced cyberpunk and other sci-fi worlds over the four decades since its release while drawing on older speculative influences. This is thanks, in part, to the Philip K. Dick adaptation being a great example of the collaborative effort of filmmaking, of artists coming together to realize a shared vision.

Vague Visages
Femme Fatales in 'Batman Returns' and 'Batman & Robin'

The "femme fatale" is a classic trope of hardboiled fiction and film noir that's been repeated in spy movies, erotic thrillers and the occasional action comedy. The character archetype or trope is typified by a woman using her physical attractiveness and allure to manipulate men that they would otherwise be at the mercy of, due to their physical presence or personal status.
Informative Civil Rights Doc Civil: Ben Crump Reminds Us of the Movement's Limits

Civil: Ben Crump, a documentary directed by Nadia Hallgren, focuses on a year in the life of civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump. It follows several of his cases from 2020 to 2021, especially focusing on the civil litigation against the City of Minneapolis after the murder of George Floyd, and is in part biographical, tracking Crump's journey from the projects in North Carolina through law school.

People's World
'Top Gun: Maverick': Nostalgia, propaganda, recruitment

Top Gun: Maverick is part of the tradition of legacy sequels for properties from the 1980s that we've been seeing for the last decade-plus. Rocky extended through three decades before giving way to the Creed movies. Eleven years after the Star Wars prequels ended, the sequel trilogy picked up the narrative 35 years after the original trilogy left off.
Neptune Frost Seeks Liberation through Afrofuturist Anticolonialism

is a powerful film, clean and digestible while it traffics in metaphors and deploys poetry and philosophy. Directed by Anisia Uzeyman (a Rwandan actress and playwright that also directed photography) and Saul Williams (an American musician and multimedia artist who also wrote the screenplay), is extensively musical without ever being exhausting.
Conan the Barbarian at 40: Remembering the Movie that Made Arnold Schwarzenegger

As Conan the Barbarian reaches its 40th birthday, there's no better time to remember the cult classic epic fantasy that helped begin Arnold Schwarzenegger's acting career. It was peak 1980s fantasy action and it led to Schwarzenegger becoming the go-to hero for mainstream Hollywood action, usually with guns instead of swords.
Sam Raimi Peeks through the MCU Tedium in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Marvel still has a lot to figure out with how it handles its women, but it's getting the multiverse idea under its feet. starts its fast-paced but forgettable first act with dialogue that could be improved by a middle schooler before giving way to an emotional Elizabeth Olsen performance that holds down some eye-roll-inducing lines about motherhood, ridiculous cameos as plot conduits, and horror cinematography, sound and direction bouncing captivatingly between the grotesque and comical.
The Takedown Delivers Cops vs. Nazis in the French Countryside

How smart does an action movie have to be to be smarter than a Hollywood action movie? It doesn't have to be inaccessible. It doesn't have to be dull either. The quick-firing, quick-witted The Takedown stars Omar Sy and Laurent Lafitte (reprising their roles from 2012's On the Other Side of the Tracks) and is directed by Louis Leterrier.
Pioneering Resilience in Buck and the Preacher

Released 50 years ago today, Buck and the Preacher is a classic and iconic Western-brightly colored, beautifully assembled and channeling social issues through its plot rather than tacking them on in an obvious or distracting manner.
The Northman: Vikings, Nazis, and Historical Accuracy

The Northman is director Robert Eggers' biggest film to date, and its commitment to a form of historical accuracy contributes to its success while also providing fodder for the worst instincts of some people that really like Viking imagery.
The Godfather Through Osmosis: A Half-Century of an Inescapable Mafia Movie

In 1972 and 1974, Francis Ford Coppola collaborated with author Mario Puzo to adapt his best-selling novel The Godfather into two films. The first covered the parts of the narrative that take place in the 1950s; the sequel expanded that story and adapted the parts of the book taking place in the early 20th century.
Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy Shows the Hazards of Being Too Close to Your Documentary Subject

This review originally published on January 23, 2022 Directed by filmmakers Chike & Coodie, and produced in collaboration with Leah Natasha Thomas, Netflix's Jeen-Yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy is a three-part documentary focusing on Kanye West's rise in the hip-hop industry, the controversies he's courted during his time in the spotlight, and the long shadow cast on his career by his mother's death in 2007.
What to Watch If You Like the MCU

The perpetual box office dominance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe means that superhero comic book movies haven't quite run out of steam, even if they've felt a bit like they're spinning their wheels since the end of Avengers: Endgame. Right now, the new Spider-Man movie is dominating the box office.

How Does House of the Dragon See the Smallfolk of Westeros?

"George R. R. Martin doesn't care about the little people" would be funny to say, but categorically untrue based on how sharp a focus Game of Thrones had on contrasting the powerful and the meek-something its spinoff, House of the Dragon, is less concerned with.
Apple TV+'s Five Days at Memorial Struggles to Tell Its Weighty Story Well

Written and directed by John Ridley ( 12 Years a Slave) and Carlton Cuse ( Lost), and adapted from a book by Sheri Fink, Apple TV+'s Hurricane Katrina drama Five Days at Memorial feels emblematic of larger problems with the prestige TV format-sharpened contradictions made ever more apparent by the streaming system beginning to devour itself.
Halo, Witcher, Obi-Wan: Should TV Adaptations Bother Appeasing Legacy Fans?

Adaptation is a tricky business. When moving a story, world, and characters from one medium to another, something is likely to get lost in translation. When you're moving from books to film and television, for instance, you're taking what existed in people's imagination and creating an audiovisual canonical existence for a broader public that will likely cut away details or change the focus of some arcs.
The Pentaverate Shows Mike Myers Is Obsolete

could have been good, but that would have required restraint and revision, neither of which are on display in a show that is simultaneously overindulgent and toothless. The trailer might make you think, "Sure, this will be bad, but I've enjoyed bad things before."
How Russian Doll Season 2 Uses Time Loops to Confront Trauma-and Nazis

Russian Doll is a Netflix series about a woman named Nadia Vulvokov (Natasha Lyonne) who keeps getting caught in time travel paradoxes to deal with familial trauma. In the first season, she was stuck in a time loop that you might call "conventional Groundhog Day style."
Paramount+'s Captivating, Ambitious Halo Series Shoots for the Stars

This review originally published March 14, 2022. Written by Kyle Willen and Steven Kane, directed by Otto Bathurst, and counting Steven Spielberg among its executive producers, Paramount+'s highly anticipated Halo series is based on the juggernaut first-person shooter videogame series that started 20 years ago with Halo: Combat Evolved.
Big Mouth Spinoff Human Resources Is Big, Bawdy, and Surprisingly Emotional

The idea of personifying parts of the human experience, the urges and impulses that make us human, is a time-worn tradition; since time immemorial human beings have given living form to feelings, urges, and vibes, telling stories about gods and demons that convinced, helped, or tricked us into action.