patentdragon: (unexpected)
Right: time for some catch-up. Esssential if I'm going to get back into this blogging business...

Movies: Since last time I reviewed any movies, I saw Interstellar and The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies. Both merit a worthy 8/10. The former had hints of 2001 to it, but they didn't impede the story at all, whilst the latter entertained, but lacked a sense of conclusion - proimarly because it leads straight(-ish) into the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

I actually saw fewer movies this past year than in 2013, partly because some never got to us here, or had decent screenings, and three movies on the list either got postponed (Jupiter Ascending) or ended up with a 2015 release date over this side of The Pond, those being Monsters: Dark Continent and surprisingly Big Hero 6, which could have been a Christmas hit. Guess Disney surrendered to the power of The One Ring...

This year, however, is starting to shape up VERY nicely. There are two Marvel movies, of course, and a Star Wars. There was a "15 Movies To See in 2015" list somewhere, but some of those just didn't "float my boat", or feature on my radar. Oh, there's also a Jurassic Park in there somewhere, which might be fun. I'll throw together a "must-see" list if I happen to have nothing better to post about.

TV: 2014 was the Year Of The Twelfth - Doctor, that is - and Peter Capaldi did a pretty fine job of sweeping aside the "pretty boys" of the past: he really COULDN'T have been any more different (unless, of course, he'd be a Diversity Darling*, of different gender and ethnicity). The scripts had their ups and downs, but there was some really good stuff in amongst it all. Even the Christmas Special got pretty cerebral!

The other Big Deal on TV in 2014 was the return of Agents of SHIELD, for the first half of a second season - and boy did it turn things around! Now that Marvel Studios have Phase Three all planned out, the show can stretch its legs a bit, and grab some much-needed room to breathe - as in breathe [SPOILER] Terrigen Mist [END SPOILER]! The second half of this season will be "must-see" - as will mid-season "special event" mini-series Agent Carter. If the buzz (ahem) surrounding Ant-Man is anything to go by, the "glory years" of SHIELD will have a significant part to play in how things shape up from here!

Also worthy of note:
- Gotham: a different take on the Bat-world. Some liberties may have been taken, but hey, it's been worth seeing just to see where it'll go next...
- The 100: a show that didn't seem to have much potential, but which has since proven me wrong. Season 2 is due to commence on Tuesday, and that cliff-hanger certainly got my attention...
- Homeland: You'd have been justified in querying whether this could go any further after the final events of Season 2, but the recently ended Season 3 actually managed to keep things going... except for the last, and rather anticlimactic episode. I think a Season 4 is on the cards, and I'm happy to give it the benefit of the doubt when the season premiere comes around!

Okay, that was a bit longer than I planned, but sometimes, that's how these things go

* Oooooh, bit risky there, but I do hope that 2015 isn't another year of making creative types feel guilty for not pushing non-males or non-whites to the fore. This is something else I need to address on it's own...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Why? Because of THIS:-

"I've Got No Strings" will NEVER sound the same again.

Tomorrow, things get even better, 'cause AGENTS OF SHIELD returns to UK screens at last! Wheeeeeee....!
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Next year's Fantastic Four movie sounds more and more like a freaking train-wreck the closer it gets to release. Just read recent news material...

Miles Teller Promises a Less ‘Kitschy’ ‘Fantastic Four’

‘Fantastic Four’ Costumes Aren’t ‘Cheesy Superhero Outfits, Michael B. Jordan Says

People have been pretty brutal about Ben Affleck playing Batman in Superman v Batman - Dawn Of Justice, but THAT movie already looks and sounds several degrees of better than the Incredible Suicidal Fantastic Four movie, which hammers another nail into its own coffin every time one of its cast opens their mouth online.

Instead of supposedly giving people the "realistic" movie the filmmakers have convinced themselves "people" want (which people?), they will instead be eating a huge slice of humble pie come next August - several months AFTER Joss Whedon and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON show them - and all of us - how it SHOULD be done...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yesterday, at least two years of waiting came to an end - and blew any doubts about MARVEL Studios's ability to keep the Cinematic Universe going beyond The Avengers clean out of the water.

WARNING! Spoilers ahead! )

The Final Verdict... A cosmic work of sheer GENIUS. Has to be seen to be believed - and you WILL believe a raccoon can cry. 9.5/10
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Struggling to get into a blogging mood. Maybe I should try and do it at the start of the evening, INSTEAD of the end...

News, news, news... is there any? Oh yeah: we ARE getting Thanos in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (57 days to go), played, or at least voiced, by James Brolin - but how big a part that will be remains to be seen. In the meantime, there's one less big movie between then and now, as Jupiter Ascending slides from July to next February, apparently to allow more work on the SFX (probably some tinkering with 3D conversion (sighs)...?). It could be that the makers are afraid that the "not a franchise" tag is going to hurt their product, like it seems to have impacted on Edge Of Tomorrow (unfortunately).

Meanwhile, and this may be hard to believe, I appear to be finding my way back into Star Trek Online, at the cost of any serious involvement in Minecraft. Crazy...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Huh. I really struggle to even consider blog posts right now. It hasn't helped that I've just had a week and a half of messed-up schedules, and that was all a bit more screwed-up than usual (yes, exams, I'm talking about YOU), due to some management issues. All in all, the whole exam period went by with absolute NO conflicts of personality OR procedure - but *sighs* there were other matters, such as unexpected additions to my timetable, and a sore heel that messed with my down-time...

Yeah, I just seem to be running into a stream of "negative input" at the moment - the early mornings, the long work-days, the heel pain, a domain host that has given me grief with making payments for as long as I've been with them, Stargazer Season 5 doesn't really have a direction - and I really don't feel like fighting the current just now. I still have to post a review for X-Men Days Of Future Past (which was really good - and sadly the only thing about Spiritwalk '14 that worked out), but that, and other stuff, will just have to wait for the right moment, probably another couple of days down the line.

I need to change down several gears after the exams, and get back into my previous routine for a full week, I think.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Exams are all done (for me at least), and I can at least try to relax for a bit. A shopping/cinema trip tomorrow, in celebration of Spiritwalk (1). It may rain tomorrow, and I have a bit of a sore foot :(, but I shall try and make the most of that, and the subsequent extended weekend. Hooray!

Just hope X-Men - Days Of Future Past is worth the early start...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
But for today, or more correctly the day before yesterday, a new video:

Now, about that Amazing Spidey 2 review... I have really fallen behind on that one, for which I have to apologise. I don't really have the time to do anything about it tonight, unless I really cut back to the bare minimum - kinda like this (spoilers "whited out")...

Amazing Spider-Man 2 - The Potted Review

- An improvement on the first, now that the obligatory retelling of Spidey's origin is out of the way
- The 3D actually WORKS this time, although it's still more of the "DUCK!" thing rather than the Avatar "added immersion" deal
- They really are piling on the pain for our hero!
- Thankfully, this one isn't overly "villain-heavy", as one of the expected bad guys (SPOILER) only appears in full at the very end of the movie, in an fight scene that is truncated by the rolling of the credits (END SPOILER)
- Negative points: 1) a villain's "previous life" is such an awkward misfire, harking back to the rather regrettable Superman III era of superhero movies; 2) (SPOILER) did Uncle Ben just get written out between movies? Hardly a fitting end for Spidey's greatest inspiration, unless I'm not remembering the first movie correctly (END SPOILER), and 3) the use of an X-Men - Days Of Future Past teaser was a bit misguided, as it seemed to suggest a "shared universe" that Fox now say wasn't ever going to happen (careless!)
- Final score 8/10 for a much more worthy addition to the Spidey reboot than this writer expected.

Hmm - not too cut-down after all...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER is excellent stuff. See it. Watch ALL of the credits. Now, I go to bed. Review tomorrow.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Ooops. Distinct lack of posts this week, after what's been a more consistent month, but what can you do?

ITEM! I'm onto Book "Five" - or more correctly Book Four, after a two-part Book Three of A Song Of Ice And Fire a.k.a. The Game Of Thrones books. Damn these are GOOD - no, make that EXCELLENT, as in the best reading experience I've had in YEARS. Hooray for my local bookshop , running a "Buy One, Get One Half price" promotion at present, 'cause it's saving me £5 a time when I get two volumes of the series. I just got Parts 1 and 2 for (the actual) Book Five, and I believe those purchases bring me up to speed.

Now, the TV series...

ITEM! By this time next week, Blockbuster Season will OFFICIALLY be underway, as CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER opens in the UK on Wednesday. I have an IMAX showing booked for Opening Day - the first of several this year, including GODZILLA and (if it's out in IMAX) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY...

ITEM! Damn. Should've posted another video yesterday. I'm trying for 3 a week...

ITEM! I didn't mention it before, but AGENTS OF SHIELD is definitely on the up-turn with Friday's revelations - and it's going to get even better as Marvel Studios realise the show HAS to resonate with the movie and comic fans, or die in the attempt. The latter, I'm thinking, is hardly likely...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Next week: Agents of SHIELD continues on UK screens. The spoiler dodging can at last come to an end...!

Sorry I haven't been posting lately, but I've been lacking motivation this week. Dunno why. Hopefully I can improve on that over the weekend - I know I can devote some time to producing more "ready-to-post" videos... ;-)

I'd be more topical, but hey, enough people are already doing that.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Starbound seems to be saved. Yes, I still lost a bunch of stuff, including a full load of precious fuel, but the game works as it should once more. Chalk one up in the "win" column, I suppose - and right now, that one looks a bit lonely there.

I would follow this news with something about the casting of the next Fantastic Four movie, but all of a sudden, it's gotten late...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Hmm. Bit of a gap, there. So, what's new...?

ITEM! I've been busy with (you've guessed already, I imagine) Minecraft, producing more material for Season IV...

ITEM! ...aaaand I have finally got my hands on Saints Row IV, after missing it in several Steam sales over Christmas.

ITEM! I just finished A Game Of Thrones, and my bookmark is now tucked inside the first few pages of A Clash Of Kings... guess I'll have to get the TV series boxed sets now.

ITEM! I did a bit of shopping the other day, and the first of several items arrived yesterday, just when it was needed (unexpectedly)! Not the potentially essential device to aid my video production, but handy for crafting in the near future.

ITEM! Crap. Writing has not fitted into my schedule so far, since that bit of type-up I did in the wake of the exams and Christmas. I still want to have something posted by month's end, but that's approaching pretty quickly - could be that I may yet change my publishing plans.

We shall see...

And finally... Coming soon: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY LEGO. Niiice.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
ITEM! Didn't remember to mention it yesterday, but '60s heroine and icon Alexandra Bastedo died. She came to my, and many others' attention as Sharon Macready, one of '60s super-spy team The Champions... and so, the roll of legends lost continues into 2014. Fondly remembered, never forgotten.

ITEM! Hmmm - looks like Season 4 may be saved. What I suspected was some kind of bizarre mod error may be a simple case of wildlife reacting to a change in the "natural order", in that the "meteor impacts" I've had trouble with could be down to interspecies aggression: scorpion versus creeper. The scorpions are/were/may yet be again hostile to absolutely everything around them, be they an actual threat or otherwise - sneaky, invasive and fearless.

Worthy opponents...

ITEM! More information about the first of Marvel Studio's "Phase 3" movies is starting to come together, as we learn more about Ant Man - and I am rather liking what I am hearing. A bit of Marvel history is being "retooled" a little, but yet again, it seems to be

ITEM! Heeeheee! Little Inferno shouldn't be so much fun - but it is!
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Comics Day... and that means a larger than normal parcel containing some stuff I had expected before Christmas, such as the Minecraft Redstone Handbook, one regular and one special edition of the Star Trek Starships Collection, featuring the Defiant and Deep Space Nine - wheeeee, it's Christmas all over again!

Meanwhile... I may have gone past my depth in Minecraft - things have started getting rather crazy, with meteors plunging out of the sky and the landscape crawling with all kinds of new nastiness... Ender Knights, Emperor Scorpions, Water Dragons... *ulp* Attack Squid???

Of course, you realise this means four...?

Season Four. (and I haven't even finished posting Season ONE yet!)
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yeah, yesterday got mildly crazy, and I went into "weekend coma" mode last night - a day too early, 'cause right now, and against all the laws of common decency, I am AT WORK!

Saturdays at work are not much fun, but at least I got to buy myself a fun lunch *BURP*, and I have plenty of time to relax(-ish) over the lunch break. Thankfully, it's one of the easiest days in a pretty gruelling schedule.

So, what else is there...?

ITEM! It's mid-season finale time for Agents of SHIELD, and could we be about to learn The Shocking Truth about our man Phil Coulson? Given the identity of The Big Bad in AVENGERS 2 (Age of Ultron), I have a strong feeling my suspicions may be about to be proved correct...

*Maybe SPOILER* Coulson isn't just an LMD (life Model Decoy), he's going to be The Vision - remember "Doctor Phineas Horton's Synthetic Man" from the fair in the early stages of Captain America - The First Avenger? That was the World War 2 Human Torch, later used by Ultron - in mainstream continuity - to create the android assassin and later Avenger, The Vision. Plus, with The Scarlet Witch appearing in AVENGERS 2, there's the love of The Vision's life... *end Maybe SPOILER*

ITEM! The 2014 blockbuster trailers are coming in quicker now, with Amazing Spider-Man 2 now hitting our screens in teaser form. The first one of the reboot movies was pretty good, but I get the feeling Sony Pictures are pushing too hard for the big-spectacle AVENGERS audience, totally missing the fact that AVENGERS was the pay-off for a multi-picture arc, not a once-every-two-years blow-out. This movie looks like fun... but maybe TOO MUCH fun?

ITEM! Oh great - Minecraft is being a laggy bitch right now, and that was directly responsible for my last in-game fatality. I may have to slim things down, even though I'm running on a high-memory allowance set-up, and I suspect some unused or non-performing mods may have to go. Or maybe flying around in airships too much is the cause, as my graphics card may be running rather hot recently. I may need a powered external USB hub so that I can fire up (hmmm, bad choice of words) my laptop cooler again...

And finally... Oh lovely; the exam room has been punishingly hot at times, with heating on to combat a cold snap that never fully materialised hereabouts a couple of weeks ago, but now the weather seems to be turning... turning cold and VERY windy. Yuck.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yay, it's comic delivery time again, and some pretty major events are either continuing or winding up, as I shall now report...

WARNING! High levels of spoiler contamination ahead! )

Meanwhile, more little snippets are getting out about the Guardians Of The Galaxy movie, and there seems to be a concerted effort to talk up the whole project, whilst keeping as many of its secrets as possible. I am still firmly behind this movie, and I cannot see Marvel Studios dropping the ball after SEVEN movies and a TV series. It's going to work - trust me on this - and "I am Groot" will be the catchphrase of next summer.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Review: THOR - The Dark World One question: can the THOR sequel match the original for quality and entertainment, AND keep Marvel's grand plans simmering away nicely?

One answer: YES. And this is why...

WARNING: Spoilers Abound! )

The Final Verdict... More Asgard, more background, more heavy-duty action - more foreshadowing. An excellent addition to Marvel's grand scheme - and watch for BOTH the "extras" during and after the credits! 8.5/10

Oh, and there's a great Captain America cameo!
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Hey, look at that: two in a row!

Today, a video posting update...

...and some thoughts on the progress Agents Of SHIELD is making. The show is a few episodes old now, with characters getting established, and just maybe the beginnings of a story arc, as more story elements don't quite get resolved in the regulation 43 minutes. Spoiler Soup ahead: Just who is behind the eye implants? Could this be another nod towards Arnim Zola, as in the second episode? What did the "formula" in the lab mean, and who wrote it originally? Someone - or something - the comics-savvy might recognise (it actually looked vaguely like Vulcan, tbh)? What's up with Coulson? And just who is Skye, and who's she working for? Dare I throw a name out there - Monica Rappanicci? Skye said she'd erased someone's identity before... so maybe it was her own...

Tune in next weekend for another SHIELD Wacky Theory Slot!
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yes. Oh heavens, yes.

Now, is that an AVENGERS-level "yes"? Not just yet, but you have to start somewhere. I mean, Buffy started with a movie that wasn't exactly stellar, right?

ALERT: Spoilers may follow... )

The Final Verdict... We have a hit, and a definite "drop everything" show for Friday night. I am most intrigued to see what else this show has to offer... 8/10

June 2017

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