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)
Okay, movie review time, and I'll make this short and not entirely sweet...

Transformers: Age of Extinction. It was like this...

- Too long.
- For a "semi-reboot", it seemed like just a whole bunch more of the same.
- Did I miss something, or was the main non-human bad guy never actually named?
- And was the same true for the remaining Autobots?
- SPOILER Did we really need a THIRD Transformer faction, and all this "Creators" stuff? Is all that "canon"?
- SPOILER Did the non-beautiful human HAVE to die - and in all things, as part of a Michael Bay signature "run from the explosions" gag?
- SPOILER The Seed. Just when did it suddenly become a non-threat? Sloppy writing!
- And just when did Optimus Prime learn to fly?

It wasn't awful. It just wasn't ground-breaking enough to truly make me gasp with excitement, although there was a small punch-the-air moment when Bumblebee arrived. I'll give it 7/10, and leave it at that, except to say that maybe this franchise has run its natural course - some hope of that when the movie had a $100 million opening day...

P.S. The international GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY trailer lacks OOOMPH, as in "Hooked On A Feeling" and "Spirit In The Sky" OOOMPH. The movie will still rock some, though.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Three movies in three weeks? I'm pretty sure I've never managed that before, but here we are with barely a week in May not dominated by a trip to the "pictures". This time, something a little unexpected: Edge Of Tomorrow...

WARNING: Possible spoilers ahead! )

The Final Verdict... A non-franchise, and a "done-in-one", but still an enjoyable experience - and yes, you can watch Tom Cruise die a whole bunch of times... ;-) 8/10
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Thursday was May 22nd, the day I annually celebrate as Spiritwalk, and I usually try to do something (semi-)special for it, such as buy myself a special present, or go to the movies. The plan was to do both this time around, but the former simply didn't happen. The latter, however, was set in stone - a viewing on a decent-sized screen for the latest X-Men offering: ...Days Of Future Past.

Here's what I thought of it...

WARNING: Spoilers! )

Angel...! Noooooooooooooooo!

Ahem... sorry about that. Back to business... )

Angel...! Noooooooooooooooo!

Uhmmm... yeah. On with the review... )

The Final Verdict... It could have been an awful train-wreck, but Bryan Singer delivers a worthy successor to both his two X-movies, and X-Men First Class. The future, I hope, is in his hands - or at least the 80s. 8.25/10

This Just In... And finally - Doctor Who returns in August! Yes! Now, if only the weather was to be as goooooood...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
I was seriously tired when I got home last night, so this review - and yes, the linkage to another Ace Of Thorns video - have been delayed a bit. But first, and regretfully belatedly...

Legends We Lost... Dammit. Another inspiration passes from this increasingly bland world, this time the eldritch genius that was H. R. Giger. Taken from us by, of all things, a fall down the stairs at his home, he was truly unique, and impossible to replace. I mean, how many generations of special effects artists have channelled his work since Alien...?

Guess I may have to get my Harkonnen chairs second-hand, now...

And so, to our main feature...

Review: GODZILLA...

So here it is - quite possibly, and literally, one of the BIGGEST movies of the year, and one with SO MUCH to prove...

WARNING: SPOILERS... )

The Final Word... So long, G. I. N. O. - the real King is in town! Our faith has been well repaid! 8.25/10
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Okay, I admit it - I have been pretty piss-poor at posting entries recently. There's been a bunch of crap screwing with my routine, and I will try to sort that out, over the Easter weekend.

For now, there's more from the Ace Of Thorns channel. Tuesday's video...



...and tonight's...



I'm also due readers another movie review - Amazing Spider-Man 2, from Wednesday. Short version: better than the first offering from the "reboot", worthy of a solid 8/10.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
A big day for incoming post - that's a big bit of Christmas shopping done... and I am now in possession of a pretty sweeeet new pair of boots, in prefect timing for Patent Saturday. Excellent!

Yeah, it's been another thin week on the blogging front, but The Stargazer Project - Season 2: The Edge Of Chaos has been getting, and holding, the majority of my attention. It doesn't help that the Doctor Who 50th Anniversary Special is TOMORROW, and that next week - and the week following - will be dominated by "PatSat"...

Excellent viewing last night: An Adventure In Space And Time, dramatising the origins of the phenomenon that has been - and, I am certain, continue to be - Doctor Who.

What's that? A Gravity review? Oh crap, I have rather dropped that ball...

...ok, a quick one: A good reality-based space disaster movie, that makes the silence of space a character in its own right. Somehow, I was expecting MORE, such as 3D that would genuinely dazzle, but that was not to be. Movie Of The Year? Naaah - a solid 8/10, but all-out space opera (Star Trek Into Darkness!) wins out in that respect.

Look for the tie-in short movie that's going around, which provides an insight into the other end of a conversation in the main movie. It's very effective.

There. Not my best, but it's that or nothing!
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)
The gig review... right. How about this...?

Where to begin... well, how about that rarity at shows I attend - the support act? Local "sci-funsters" (use that and I insist on royalties ;-)) Nanobots were a complete unknown to me, but their half-hour set was in fact quite entertaining, gaining increasing support throughout from a crowd clearly eager for The Greatest Party Band In The World. Good work!

So, the stars of the show weren't long in following, and what an opener: classic and serious fave Planet Claire, setting the tone for the evening as Athens, GA's finest turned the clock back and dug into the first album on several occasions - we also got Lava, the truly splendid Dance This Mess Around, and self-confessed "punk song" 6060-842 - and of course one song no show could ever be without, but that's the other end of the set, stopping off along the way at (in no particular order) Girl From Ipanema Goes To Greenland (solo vocals from Cindy Wilson there)... Is That You Mo-Dean... Whammy Kiss... Love In The Year 3000...

Personally, the highlight has to be Roam, one of my all-time favourite songs, and an absolute JOY to sing along to. It's always so good when a band seem to realise that there's something they can do to completely make your night, and they go ahead and do it. Crazy, I know, but hey.

Most people will probably know the band from the major hit that was Love Shack, and that was what ended the set proper, getting perhaps the biggest reaction of the night - and a "Tin roof - rusted!" from everyone at the appropriate moment. An encore was inevitable, for one song was conspicuous by its absence - and I don't mean Party Out Of Bounds, with which the band returned to the stage. Rock Lobster (See? Got there in the end!) was the song to end the evening, and it wasn't until the lights came up that you remembered you were in a much more... intimate venue than I usually frequent.

An entirely unfamiliar venue which had something of an unwelcome surprise on hand for Yours Truly - which I will most likely expand upon tomorrow...

The Final Verdict... Brilliant. A wonderful opportunity to see a great band, and in no way short-changing my expectations. THANK YOU. 8.5/10
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Movie Review: The Wolverine - so, has the ball been dropped just short of the goal-line with this latest addition to the X-Men franchise? Step this way, and find out...

Potential spoilers ahead! )

The Final Verdict... A far better Wolverine movie than we've had before (I'm looking at you, ...Origins), and way better than The Last Stand. Praise indeed, and well earned! 8/10

And that's all he wrote for tonight, suckas.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
ITEM! The windows are "in progress"! The fitters were true to their word, starting on Friday and just coming in "under the wire". The Office should be done slot after next...

ITEM! Saturday saw the "can't miss" opportunity to see Despicable Me 2 a week before the official opening! Matinee showing, VIP seat - the verdict...?

The original was always going to be hard to follow, and it shows a bit. Some elements are a bit predictable (but hey, it's a children's movie, right?), and the central villain isn't exactly awe-inspiring - but you want the new relationship to work, the Minions are maybe the best part of the whole thing - although...

Ssssh - spoilers... )

The Final Verdict... Maybe not as tight a story as the first one, but the second installment has enough of the first one's charm to keep it going. Great fun! 8/10

ITEM! And finally, there's a new lodger in Minecraft...

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)


Shelling out for a "Hot Ticket" package, I found myself with a pretty sweet seat, (18 rows from) front and centre. The band hit the stage pretty close to the official curtain-up, with Subdivisions, but it took Limelight to get the first big crowd response of the night, and for the SECC to find full voice. It was good to get to hear The Pass live for the first time - for this correspondant - and the songs I didn't recognise, due to niggling gaps in the collection, are already having me on the hunt - Grand Design, Territories - where are you, now...?

As far as more recent albums go - that's Vapour Trails and Snakes And Arrows to the uninitiated - there was little to be heard, just a quite explosive (literally) Far Cry from the latter, and no Workin Them Angels (a personal favourite), but you can't please everybody every time. Not that I'm complaining, for the best was yet to come...

After the now customary mid-set break, it was time to roll out the new material - almost all of the Clockwork Angels album. The previous two tours have been done along similar lines, with much of Snakes And Arrows dotted around that set, and the full anniversary performance of Moving Pictures on the Time Machine tour. Caravan got a strong welcome, but that was easily surpassed by the reaction to Clockwork Angels, with the multiple video screens "flying" in the light-rig, and present throughout the new material. This part of the set, featuring the "Clockwork Angels String Ensemble" as the first performers to share the stage with the band for an extended period, was the most spectacular I'd seen from them in the four shows I've attended - the end of Carnies came very close to surpassing Kiss for pyros! Even so, the real highlight of this set-within-a-set had to be the anthemic Headlong Flight - surely this will feature in sets to come for quite some time!

Next, a return to the classics and semi-classics: Dreamline, with a nice video-screen tribute to Neil Armstrong; a pleasant surprise in the form of Red Sector A, the now almost obligatory YYZ - and no Rush show can truly be complete without The Spirit Of Radio. For encore material, another standard - the glorious Tom Sawyer - and a bit more of 2112 than usual: Overture, Temples Of Syrinx and the highly appropriate Grand Finale to conclude the evening... and a good time had very much been had by all!

Messers Lee, Lifeson and Peart have been in the business for decades, but they were on top form on Thursday night, and show little sign of flagging. It may be something of a challenge to match the recent studio material, but their shows continue to impress. A job well done, gentlemen, and I salute you!

The Final Verdict... An excellent show, maybe just slightly lacking in older and newer material, but showcasing the band's first true concept album in fine style. 8.5/10

Oh, and there was a fantastic surprise in my special package goodie-bag...





Just one more concert, and my "Gap Year" Task 90 can be crossed off the list - B52's, anyone...?
patentdragon: (unexpected)
I hate working on Saturdays - buuuut the money is better. Not quite the "fair trade" it might seem, but there you go...

Meanwhile... it seems that two hundred and ten American Doctor Who fans are to be congratulated for their restraint, and not one peep of secret information has leaked out concerning tonight's Season finale. A secret about The Doctor has been revealed - maybe NOT what was expected - but we did discover the truth about The Impossible Girl...

...and something more, that we DIDN'T expect, and which is clearly planned to feature BIG in the 50th anniversary continuation of this story. I'd say this episode is the best of this "demi-series", which has had several nice ideas, but a bit of a lack of "Ooooooh!" Splitting a season like this stops you from getting the absorbing "grand arcs" of previous years - although I would like to see more of Vastra, Jenny and Strax (Strax's weekend off in Glasgow was a good laugh).

Season: 7.5/10
Episode 8.5/10

Anyway.... that's Saturday dealt with. Now - at last - for Sunday, and two straight lie-ins.
patentdragon: (unexpected)
I will update this with a "screen-shot" at some point soon, but I'm too pooped to do it just now. Seriously. Updated with appropriate image(s)!



Anyway, back to the action: we may just have our Movie Of The Year...

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS is that trickiest of things - the sequel to a hugely successful movie. It might not help that this one took FOUR years to reach the screen, so is this one worth the wait?

HELL YES.

WARNING: DEFINITE spoilers ahead, from the very start! )

The Final Verdict... J J Abrams hits it out of the park. Again. Every major character has more to do, AND the visuals are just as stunning as before. A solution to a key event IS somewhat telegraphed, but that's a small flaw in an otherwise awesome package. 9/10

Oh, and PACIFIC RIM is going to be mind-blowing on the extra-big screen. It's going to need to be, now that it has SERIOUS competition...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Different town, different cinema, but I have the best seat in the house...



Blockbuster Season 2013 begins with the first installment of Marvel Cinematic Universe Phase II, namely IRON MAN 3...

WARNING: Possible spoilers!!! )

The Final Verdict... Phase 2 starts off strongly, as a new director does NOT mean a nose-dive for Marvel's REAL star. 8.25/10

Next, on Blockbuster Season: Kirk and his crew return, in Star Trek Into Darkness! Another IMAX visit, perhaps...?
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yup. Not even a week in, and I blew it. Going to the movies today messed with my schedule, and by the time I looked at a clock again, it was past midnight. Yes, I suck.

The movie was pretty entertaining, though, which I guess has to count as a "plus" - although I had expected it to be 3D, but it wasn't. Guess we don't get the version they delayed the release half a year to complete... 7.5/10
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".

SIGH.

Now, let's book GI Joe - Retaliation. Saturday lunchtime is looking good...
patentdragon: (unexpected)
Yup, it's that time again, as Blockbuster Pre-Season steps up a gear, and this time, maybe the movie was worthy of being a regular season starter...



Once again, Disney's banner is on something BIG: Oz The Great And Powerful. Now, are we due for another grim-fest...?

Potential spoilers ahead... )

The Final Verdict... A world that should've been revisited a loooong time ago - or maybe now was just the right time. Technicolour bright when it could have been all dark and grim - a shining light in the gloom. 8/10
patentdragon: (unexpected)
For the first time this year, it's movie review time!



First up this "Blockbuster Pre-Season" - Disney's Wreck-It Ralph. Now this was fun, in a Monsters vs Aliens way as opposed to a Toy Story way, 'cause there's no hope that you could ever really top Pixar's trilogy. However, the heart that seemed to be lacking somewhat in Brave last year is certainly in evidence here...

Possible spoiler zone - you have been warned... )

The Final Verdict... A simple concept, an engaging setting - all this, and a villain-cum-hero who's hard to hate. Very well executed, and accompanied by a fabulous short. 8/10

June 2017

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