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)
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)
By the time I wake up these past few days, it's past midnight, and I go "Not much point in blogging now".

Naughty boy.

Anyway, this is an extended weekend, as I'm taking Monday off. I'll probably be working to clear my stuff from other rooms, where it's either been since The Move, or has been TEMPORARILY relocated, and building up a bigger stock of Dungeon Master videos, so that I can post something every week.

So, without any further ado, let's get the weekend going...!

Holy crap, how could I forget...? Yeeeeeesssss! Channel 4 is going to show the new Agents Of SHIELD series, having won the rights out from under satellite TV's noses!

Also... Ben Affleck is our next Batman (as in Superman/Batman, coming 2015)? Interesting... and, it seems, not entirely popular. Could be a classic case of "wait and see".
patentdragon: (unexpected)
*bonus points for recognising the source of that title!*

It's been a hard few days, staying awake-wise, 'cause of THE HEAT! It's great to have something approaching a d-e-c-e-n-t s-u-m-m-e-r, if only for a couple of weeks, but something a little less intense for August 12th would be welcome. Sooooo, what else has there been of note this post-deficient week...?

THIS JUST IN...! Holy crap - a Batman/Superman movie???? Did DC jump, or were they pushed? Sounds like a bit of a rash move - kinda like a Simpsons/Family Guy crossover episode...

Personally, I'm still reeling from how PACIFIC RIM seems to be struggling to make a mark. Is the world INSANE?

I will continue to stand up for this movie. It deserves to be massive. Now, if only my local cinema would put it on the big screen, even just for ONE NIGHT...

Time to buy the soundtrack.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
It seems that Man Of Steel is a bit of a divisive production, stirring up all kinds of resentment amongst the comic-buying audience, and probably not helping their image very much. So, what's the story...?

WARNING: spoilers ahead! )

The Final Verdict... An excellent choice of leading actor, a skillful retelling of the hero's origins, and a climax to challenge Iron Man 3. DC at last give an answer Marvel's movie supremacy, and it's a strong one. 8.5/10

Elsewhat... Does a 20 minute Minecraft video REALLY take FOUR HOURS to upload? That's most of my evening, and it started not long after I got in!
patentdragon: (unexpected)
"...and it's caught in the end-zone for a TOUCHDOWN! Man Of Steel wins...!"

Yes, cats and kittens, I am delighted to report that Justice League can work.

I give Man Of Steel the edge over Iron Man 3 - 8.5/10. A full review follows in the next day or so.

Meanwhile... Another two days of window-waiting, with nothing relevant to report. "Next week" is fast approaching...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
No window news. So, with that out of the way...

Meanwhile... Okay, boys and girls, here it comes - DC's "Hail Mary", namely Man Of Steel, which I am now booked to see on Saturday. Will it be enough to fire up interest in a potential Justice League movie? Will that movie stand a chance against the machine that is Marvel Studios and the Marvel Cinematic Universe?

And... how much more crazy can the talk surrounding Guardians Of The Galaxy get? Doctor Who alumnus Karen Gillan is the latest addition to the cast - and could she be playing one of the more contentious characters around right now, that being Angela, formerly from the Image stable and (very) soon to be slotted into Marvel's continuity? With just over a year to go before the movie's release, things are getting rather... hectic...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
No sign of any window fitting yet. *sighs* The waiting continues...

...and yes, this time, I am most definitely counting.

Meanwhile... Blockbuster Season continues! The release date is fast approaching for Man Of Steel - and only a couple of weeks after that, Despicable Me 2! Guess which I'm looking forward to most...?

"Knocked oooh-ver, Superman!"
patentdragon: (unexpected)
The monthly comics delivery arrived today, and featuring pretty heavily in this consignment was the latest Marvel event "Age Of Ultron" - but three issues in, I'm saying ENOUGH. Please stop with the "put the heroes through the wringer" CRAP. Yet again, their backs are against the wall - quite literally, if you're Captain America. Issue 2 is mostly the silent recounting of Spider-man's tale of woe... and at the end, Cap actually gets up and says something. As issue 3 of this multiple issues a month tale opens, I feel my enthusiasm waning...

Meanwhile, DC's latest Green Lantern epic, "Wrath Of The First Lantern", continues, and whilst it's the most recent in a seemingly continual series of GL events that are increasingly lacking in "wow" factor, this one has a whole bunch more ooomph than what Marvel are doing right now. Yes, our heroes are also, "going through the wringer", this time at the hands of the aforementioned First Lantern, but that wringer is a more psychological dismantling of who the heroes - and anti-heroes - are, and who they MIGHT have been. Only the main Green Lantern title actually advances the main story - combating a potentially reality-altering villain - but the whole thing is a damn sight more intriguing and interesting than "AU".

This is, of course, a personal opinion that some may not agree with - but I think everyone will agree that the new outfit for Gamora of the Guardians Of The Galaxy sucks bollocks. Less "most dangerous woman in the galaxy" and more "generic video-game heroine in a tight space suit".


Now, let's book GI Joe - Retaliation. Saturday lunchtime is looking good...
patentdragon: (Default)
I freely admit to being a Marvel fan of long standing, but that doesn't mean I don't want to see a DC Comics movie do as well as AVENGERS, or even better (and The Dark Knight Rises came pretty close). If the film's good enough, then the accolade is justly deserved... but I just feel that Justice League won't work.

A BIG opinion piece follows... )

P.S. Beasts Of The Southern Wild looks rather interesting...
patentdragon: (Default)
Oooooh-kay... we are reported to be getting a Justice League motion picture in 2015, now that the dispute about the rights to Superman appears to have been resolved.

Nice idea, buuuuuut where's the universe-building? So far, ALL the DC Comics-based movies have stood alone within their respective series - apart from that one time in one of the previous series of Batman movies that The Bat says "This is why Superman works alone." Sorry DC, but AVENGERS and the Marvel Cinematic Universe utterly NAILED IT, and any rush-job will look like a desperate attempt to cash in.

And that would be a BIG shame...
patentdragon: (Default)
So, where were we? Oh yes, the review...

The Dark Knight Rises sees the end of DC Comics's current foray into the motion picture world, helmed admirably by Christopher Nolan. Third movies are always problematic - see, for example X-Men: The Last Stand, Spider-Man 3 and Superman III - especially when they follow such strong showings as the frequently better second entries in those series. The Dark Knight very much follows the pattern, thanks a great deal to Heath Ledger. TDKR has, therefore, got a lot of work to do...

High risk of SPOILERS ahead... )

The Final Verdict... A far stronger final chapter to this trilogy than others have enjoyed. Not quite the soaring masterwork many had been expecting, but still quite satisfying. Catwoman movie please? 8/10
patentdragon: (Default)
I'll shortly be posting a review of The Dark Knight Rises, thought by some to be the ONLY movie that stands a chance of topping AVENGERS. I'm not so sure, even though TDKR makes a much better end-of-trilogy than Spider-Man 3, and is certainly one of the better movies this year...

Now, If you'll excuse me, I have a Primeval series finale to catch up on (or alternatively, I'll not fucking bother 'cause the ITV Player is knackered somehow - Borg, here I come...)
patentdragon: (Default)
Ah, hell no.

-o- Batman US cinema shooting: Fourteen dead in Denver

I've just heard about the shootings at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises in Colorado, and I'm dreading the fall-out. Someone is certain to blame the movie, and "violent entertainment" in general, and others will cry out for more gun controls - but one thing is, and will remain absolutely certain: you cannot legislate out of society anyone who single-mindedly goes out to kill the innocent, to the point of amassing their own armoury. Why this has happened, perhaps no-one will ever know, even though I have heard that the perpetrator is in custody - I think it's going to be purely an issue of personal power; he could take the lives of many in his hands, all in one place, and snuff them out.

As is always the case with such awful events, it could have been far, far worse - but for the families of those affected, nothing could be further from the truth. My heart goes out to them all.
patentdragon: (Default)
Yep, it's raining again, and making up in spades for the last few dry days. The car-park outside my window is turning into a shallow lake. At least the roof will be getting a proper test.

SERIOUSLY hope it passes.

I'm also back to lunch-time blog posts. It's a struggle to fit it in in the evenings, especially with all the new Fleet Starbase stuff in Star Trek Online. Players get to actively contribute to its construction, donating materials to whatever "tasks" are currently active - but almost every time I check on the progress of these, there's very little for me to do, and the only "materials" left to collect are "Fleet Marks", special "credits" only available from certain non-Starbase missions at certain times - as I discovered on Monday, after two and a half hour's "grinding" Tholians for basically nothing. Looking at the "leaderboard" for contributions, I am at the bottom of the second screen of five, but there's one clear leader WAAAAAY ahead with ten times the score - and therefore ten times the Fleet Credits to spend on special ships when the shipyard comes online...

It's nice that someone is dedicating so much effort to the whole project, and they deserve to be rewarded, but what about the rest of us, especially the European players? There's only one "production" server for the game, and it can sometimes be VERY hard to catch the big events when their time comes around - at 2 in the morning. That may be okay at the weekend, but what about the rest of the time? I may have to suggest to the fleet that some kind of "contribution cap" be put in place - I mean, I have very little in the way of Fleet Marks, but TONS of unused Expertise (Bridge Officer XP), and the Starbase is welcome to it...

And finally... it's really annoying to think you've achieved something, such as securing the Optional Objective for the Mirror Universe Incursion fleet action or the Khitomer Accord Special Task Force Space mission, only to find you only have missed something - such as the fact that surviving enemy ships will try to undo your efforts in the former if you don't stop them, and that you also have to destroy both the transwarp conduits within 15 minutes, not just stop any Borg probes going through the time vortex. Dammit!

On the plus side, I found out how to take screenshots without the game HUD. Cue some nice "beauty passes" for my ships!

Elsewhat... Must book the cinema for Saturday, and The Dark Knight Rises - and hope the cinema doesn't float away before then...
patentdragon: (Default)
This SHOULD have been posted earlier, like LUNCHTIME, but Livejournal took a tizzy...


Next time anyone mentions global warning, they better be wearing a full-face helmet, 'cause they're gonna need it!

*...deep breath...*

Okay... think of something else. Movies - yes, movies. The Amazing Spider-Man is around the corner as Blockbuster Season continues in the wake of AVENGERS and Prometheus. I'm actually looking forward to this latest installment far more than I first expected, thanks to some pretty sweet trailers... but let's be honest, I'm really looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises...

Catwoman. In thigh-high boots. Book me a VIP seat for opening day.
patentdragon: (Default)
In Today's Episode... PIRATES OF FREEPORT continues, and Mane-of-Night gets more "up-close and personal" with her audience, and some of them have more than watching dancers on their minds. Our heroine may have a more complicated job to do than she expected...

Release Notes... I would've had this blog post in "under the wire" if I hadn't wanted to get the story post in on time. Oh yeah, and the stupid spelling checking in Open Office. How do I tell it just to use the UK dictionary?

Elsewhat... I really, really hate this stupid split-season of Formula 1 coverage. Canada is one of those races getting full coverage on what I would NOT call a public channel, and not only did I miss the start of the "highlights" package, I barely saw any of the race. Why can't the satellite channels take the sodding European soccer championships instead? That's going to be wall-to-wall for about a month, on TWO of the "terrestrial" channels. FFS...

And Finally... I may just have lost interest in DC Universe Online. I took on a different, lower-level mission, but here we go again - an "end-mission" than I can't beat. That gets "old" very quickly - especially when you're having to run away to get gear repaired - and PAY for it - after three attempts. Just TOO frustrating.
patentdragon: (Default)
First Impressions... So I finally got DC Universe Online installed and patched, created a fairly satisfying heroine, and dived in. The first part of the game - its tutorial "level" - was a lot of fun, as was the first mission once you escape to Metropolis, featuring one of my favourite DC characters, Zatanna. Mission Two, with another favourite, Raven of the Titans, at its core, started off well enough, and even my first defeats were no game breaker...

And then I got to the point of reaching the captured heroes - Raven's team-mates. "Outclassed" is the word, I think. I don't have the powers, or the skill with the controls to stand much of a chance. I did defeat my first opponent at about the third attempt, but he was absolutely NO HELP, just when I really needed it. Cue a frustrated log out, and a search for a source of "inside information"...

My character is Level 8. In the video I finally located, the player was at Level 13. I think some serious training and grinding elsewhere is necessary before I can try this again, which is a damn pity, as it somewhat breaks the "feel" of the game. I shouldn't be able to run away, and come back several weeks later to kick the ass of this mission.

I didn't really get into Star Trek Online until someone showed me how to equip and manage my ship. Seems like this is the same deal, of sorts...

Sorry, Raven - a rescue will have to wait.
patentdragon: (Default)

, as Darkhawk and The Unified Response try to overcome The Emperor's impossible barrier - and the past offers an intriguing potential solution. Meanwhile, Mystalorn struggles to come to terms with what they've lost - and what they're going to do in response...

Meanwhile... Oh, holy crap - there's another Green Lantern trailer, and they're not holding back. Kilowog speaks, we get our first glimpse of the Guardians of The Universe, the symbol of The Yellow Light appears prominently - at this rate, we may just have seen everything before the movie actually gets released!

Oh, and there are character-related mini-trailers for X-Men First Class, which is increasingly looking like a bunch of fun. Gonna be such a busy summer!

Now, was there something else...? A semi-imminent Episode 3 for Doctor Who, Season Six? Incoming "self-pressies"? Oh wait - there was some kind of election today...

The big news about that is that we're not just voting for a new Scottish "parliament", we're voting on switching to a different system of voting in UK-wide elections. The proposed system would do more harm than good, I'd long ago decided - what we need is "first past the post" as we presently have, but with compulsory voting and a "none of the above" option. A damn sight more simple, and far fairer, than the "alternative" on offer, with which an unpopular incumbent can cling to power by cannibalising votes from extremist parties...
patentdragon: (Default)
But first, this.

Development News... There it is - ground is officially broken on TDD-612 REIGNFALL. Chapter 1 ties up things from TDD-611, and lays the foundations for the battle to come...

And now - comics... DC, you have a major motion picture just a few months away, but why is Green Lantern failing to entirely grab me right now? I know there are matters spinning off from Brightest Day to cover, and further important events brewing, but come on, you need to inject some urgency, some momentum, and a whole bunch of talking doesn't cut it. Brightest Day is the stronger title at the moment, and that has an actual climax just three issues away.

For Marvel, the highlight right now seems to be Avengers Academy, in which plans to prevent young dysfunctional superbeings from going off the rails are hitting a rough patch.

Elsewhat... Dammit, why is the Saturday matinee showing of Battle: LA not on the big screen? Every other showing is, and early Saturday's the only time I can fit it in. Some people do actually work during the week, y'know - please don't make a habit of this as we head into Blockbuster Season, okay?

And finally... I've been enjoying web-series The Guild. A lot...

June 2017

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