What I’m Playing, Listening to, Watching, Reading, and Looking Forward to for February.

So another month come and gone, and very quickly as well. I did get to watch a lot Netflix in January as well as getting to finish off the Harry Potter series. I’ll sum up a bit because I’ve been pretty lax with the updates and summing up adds some perspective.

I’ll start off with audiobooks, I started listening to the Harry Potter series in late December and finally finished it up on the 28th of January. It was worth listening to (or reading) and they do indeed stop being strictly “kids” books at book 4 (The Goblet of Fire) with a definite tilt around the middle of book 3 (The Prisoner of Azkaban.) I found the books to be entertaining and will written, the narration by Jim Dale becomes endearing over after a couple of books, and it ended quite well. Ending a series satisfactorily is quite difficult to pull off and most series seldom end well or even decently. I enjoyed the series more than I would have thought but so far I still prefer the Hunger Games in my limited experience of Young Adult fiction, although that might change when I get around to Joe Abercrombie’s Shattered Sea trilogy. Back on topic, I can see why many feel the books were not suitably adapted into movies to their tastes. A lot was left out, changed, and streamlined. I quite enjoy reading books (or listening to the audiobooks) of series and see how well done the adaptation to a movie format was done.

I definitely watched a lot Netflix in January as well, I started off with Daredevil because Vincent D’onofrio was in it and I heard/read a lot of good things about it. Daredevil definitely delivered on the hype and I enjoyed it very much, can’t wait to see what season 2 is like. After Daredevil, I watched all 8 episodes of The Last Kingdom and I extremely liked it. I liked it so much that I named the Siberian Husky puppy I got in late January (of the reasons I haven’t been posting a lot) Ragnir, inspired by Ragnar Ragnarsson AKA Ragnar the Fearless from the show. If you are looking for a show to watch, check out The Last Kingdom is worth it. I also watched numerous anime/animated features, all of the DC related. Batman: Assault on Arkham was the very first one I checked out because it had the suicide squad in it and featured them heavily, I enjoyed it and liked it. I then checked out Batman Year One which I also liked very much, in particular the voicework by Bryan Cranston and Eliza Dushku. I moved onto The Dark Knight part 1 and 2, and both were extremely good. I also checked out Son of Batman and thought it  was ok. I was hoping Canadian Netflix would also have Mask of the Phantasm, Batman vs Robin, Batman: Under the Red Hood, and Batman: Bad Blood but sadly the Canadian Netflix does not have any of them.

Now that the summing up is done, I can get down to the real “bidness.”

Most of January and most of February I will be still playing World of Warcraft, why? JUST DON’T ASK QUESTIONS OKAY? I plan on completing another legendary in February, Dragonwrath (on the last part of the questline) with my Frost Mage Traya.

Frost Mage Traya

Frost Mage Traya

The new Conquest Point Hotfixes have made the game extremely easier to gear out in PVP gear. 225 conquest for the first Random Battleground win of the day (up from 150) and 125 points for wins after the first. 270 for a rated arena match win. Ashran Quests: Slay them all reward 300 conquest (up from 200) and Dominance awards 750 conquest (up from 500.)

Those changes make it extremely easy to cap out quickly and with little fuss, and if you like you don’t even have to enter ashran. Although if you need a off piece or a stat trinket, ashran and rated battlegrounds are still the only options.

So WoW still has a lot of replay value for me. At the moment, I’m enjoying taking a break from my Death Knight, Shaman, and Hunter by playing my Assassination Rogue Shylo, Shadow Priest Valeris, and the aforementioned Frost Mage Traya.

I’m also playing a lot of Diablo 3 season 5 in between WoW sessions. I rolled a Demon Hunter because I liked the changes to their sets the most. I also leveled up another seasonal Demon Hunter to mess around with my off sets like The Shadow’s Set and Unhallowed Essence. I plan to complete the seasonal journeys but I do not have a burning need to do so right now, I’ll get around to it eventually.

I may also go all in on blizzard games and pre purchase Overwatch this month.

As a break from Blizzard games, I’m slowly making my way through Final Fantasy 13 and enjoying the game so far. It’s changed a lot from what I’m used to but I’m liking it so far.

I’m going to make more of an effort to play The Witcher 3 this month (possibly around the 20th to coincide with my audible choices for February, more on that later in the post.) I want to try out of the Hearts of Stone expansion and the Yennefer Romance.

I have many other games to play since I’ve added a lot over the christmas steam sale. I plan to play the Assassin’s Creed games I picked up (Rogue and Unity) whenever the feeling hits me. Same goes for Crysis 2 and 3. However, I plan to play Sunless Sea a lot and often. I was going to pick up the Tresspasser DLC for Dragon Age Inquisition but I have enough games on the docket at the moment, perhaps in the summer though.

What I’m listening to this month is going to be shorter than expected or at least compared to previous months, as I already finished all 7 of the Harry Potter books in the last few weeks and I have A Knight in the Seven Kingdoms by GRRM and read by Harry Lloyd (the actor who excellently portrayed Viserys Targaryen in Game of Thrones) to listen to. I am planning to pick up 2 books in the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski when my audible credits roll over, The Last Wish and the Sword of Destiny. I am also contemplating buying 3 extra audible credits that I would use to pick up Market Forces by Richard K Morgan, and pre-ordering the Steven Pacey narrated versions of Joe Abercrombie’s Best Served Cold and The Heroes.

What I’ll be watching is Mission Impossible 1-3 in reverse order, don’t ask why it makes perfect sense to me. I’ll also be watching Jessica Jones and Sherlock. I’m extremely looking forward to watching Jessica Jones and if I like it enough I will probably pick up the graphic novels that were recently released to take advantage of the Netflix series’ popularity and hype. I’ve watched the first episode of Sherlock and going to continue until I’m finished with all 3 seasons. I plan not to binge watch over a week or two, my non binding intention is to check out 1 episode every couple of days, 5-7 episodes max per week. I really want to enjoy both series and take my time watching at a more reasonable pace rather than watching 1 whole season over a couple of days.

I’ll be continuing to read the Fables graphic novels, this month it is still Fables Volume 9: Sons of Empire, Fables Volume 10: The Good Prince, and Fables Volume 11: War and Pieces. I did not get around to reading them when they arrived around new years but I will get to them this month.

What I’m looking forward to is upgrading my CPU to an Intel i7 4790k which should be a decent improvement over my AMD FX 8350. I’m also looking forward to picking up the Steven Pacey narrated versions of Best Served Cold (due out on Feb 16th) and The Heroes (due March 15th). Spectre which is out on blu ray Feb 9th and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay part 2 which is due out on blu ray March 22nd.

 

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Val’anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings

I finally got around to completing this legendary today. I stopped doing ulduar for a couple of weeks and what would have taken months to do instead took over a year. The collection of fragments is what took the most time, the quest however was pretty easy to do and complete. It was probably the easiest of all legendaries to do. Either way, it takes one more legendary off my list of things to do in WoW.

Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings Val'anyr, Hammer of Ancient Kings achievement Hammer of Ancient Kings acheivement Hammer of Ancient Kings 2 Hammer of Ancient Kings

 

In a week or two I will probably also complete the legendary staff questline to get Dragonwrath, Tarecgosa’s Rest for my mage.

Altered Carbon to be a 10 episode Netflix series.

Netflix Orders ‘Altered Carbon’ Sci-Fi Series From Laeta Kalogridis & Skydance

Definitely the best way to handle a book adaptation, to make it a series of episodes rather than cramming into a 2 hour movie. I picked Richard K Morgan as my favorite author in 2015 largely because of how good Altered Carbon, Broken Angels, and Woken Furies were, as well as Thirteen, and I’m definitely gonna check out the series when it’s available on netflix.

“Right is what all this is about,” Roland said. “But if you look to long at the small rights, Jake—the ones that lie close at hand— it’s easy to lose sight of the big ones that stand farther off. Things are out of joint—going wrong and getting worse. We see it all around us, but the answers are still ahead”

“Right is what all this is about,” Roland said. “But if you look to long at the small rights, Jake—the ones that lie close at hand— it’s easy to lose sight of the big ones that stand farther off. Things are out of joint—going wrong and getting worse. We see it all around us, but the answers are still ahead. While we were helping the twenty or thirty people left in River Crossing, twenty or thirty thousand more might be suffering or dying somewhere else. And if there is any place in the universe where these things can be set right, it’s at the Dark Tower.”

  • Stephen King, The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands.

What I’ve watched this week, January 3-9th 2015.

So instead of making a bunch of little posts about the different shit I watched the last couple days, I decided to make post summing up my last few days of what I’ve been watching.

Firstly, Netflix (canadian Netflix specifically) is pretty sweet. A deal at 9.99$ per month. The much more limited library of movies/documentaries/stand up specials/anime/tv shows is somewhat disappointing but that is the fault of a bad system in place by the CRTC and the way big cable/satellite providers operate here. It is definitely worth it however, just for the access to netflix shows like Daredevil and Jessica Jones (the only shows I wanted to watch going in) but I’ve also been introduced (or reacquainted) to a couple of others:

  • The Last Kingdom – I’ve only watched the first episode so far but holy fucking shit is it good. Definitely hooked after the first episode. I’ve also added the books to my audible wish list.
  • Sherlock – I never got around to watching this but was definitely interested, I’m a huge sucker for a good crime drama on tv. IF Canadian Netflix had Law and Order: Criminal Intent I’d be watching the fuck outta that.
  • Hannibal – I watched the first season but eventually stopped watching because it seemed like it would’ve been a better show on hbo. Now that I can watch it at my leisure though, it’s definitely on my watch list.
  • Sense8 – I’ve heard a lot of good things and want to check it out.
  • Narcos – again, heard a lot of good things and want to check it out.
  • The X-Files – I was going to pick up the series on Blu Ray or Dvd, and it being on netflix is icing on the cake for me.

Now that is out-of-the-way, lemme tell you about my impression of the Daredevil series so far, I’m definitely hooked and it delivered on the hype. I’ve watched the first 6 episodes and I gotta say Vincent D’Onofrio is, in my opinion, stealing the show. His portrayal of The Kingpin Wilson Fisk is great and I’m starting to agree with a tweet by Joe Abercrombie here.

Even though I haven’t watched Jessica Jones yet, saving that for after I finish up Daredevil, I’m in definite agreement with LordGrimdark here. It’s like that for the X-men as well with Magneto/Mystique/Apocalypse/Sabretooth.

I’m also liking the roles of Rosario Dawson, Deborah Ann Woll, and Elden Henson as well. Charlie Cox as Matt Murdock/Dardevil is also quite good and convincingly plays a blind man. I also enjoyed the small role Gideon Emery had as Anatoly Ranskahov. So far the show is quite impressive and I think on par with other critically acclaimed shows like Hannibal, Game of Thrones, and True Detective. I’m hoping the show continues to deliver and will eventually have characters like Black Widow show up, as they do work together in Black Widow: The Things They Say About Her.

The most impressive 1st episode I’ve ever seen is definitely The Last Kingdom, I’m hooked completely after 1 episode and gonna start watching one episode a day just like I’m doing with Daredevil now. I’ve also put the books on my audible wishlist for future pick up as I love checking out how well adapted it was or wasn’t and getting into the details that sometimes escapes the adaptation to a visual medium. Either way, it was most impressive and extremely well done.

As I said in a previous post, I checked out Batman: Assault on Arkham which lead me to check out Batman: Year One. I enjoyed it and especially liked the voicework by Bryan Cranston and Eliza Dushku. I never read the graphic novel it was based on and I may add it when I’m done with the Fables series.

I checked out 2 comedy specials so far both by Tom Segura aka T-nutz aka Tommy Bunz aka White Mahogany. Both were really funny and also worth the subscription for Netflix. I’m also looking forward to watching Tony Hinchcliffe’s special coming out on the 15th. It’s also important realize that humor is the most subjective of things, so your mileage may vary here.

Over the last week I picked up a couple new blu rays, Sicario and Mission Impossible 5 movie collection. I’ll start with Sicario first.

Sicario was quite worth the wait, I also had no choice in waiting as my trip to vancouver a few months back was to watch Sicario in theatres but that changed when it went into limited release and by that time everything for the trip was locked in, so I had to wait til it was on blu ray to watch it. I’ll repeat, it was worth the wait. It was well paced, had a good story, and compelling characters. Benicio del Toro was great in it and I also liked the character portrayed by Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin. I really enjoy any movie that is a realistic crime drama and Sicario delivered on that.

Mission Impossible Rogue Nation, as I said in a previous post a couple of months back, surpassed my low expectations and grew on me as the movie progressed. I really liked Rebecca Ferguson’s character a lot, as it showed me that I could definitely see a Black Widow movie work if only Marvel would take a chance on it.

I’ll also get around to watching Mission Impossible 1-4 this weekend some time in between WoW and Netflix.

Batman: Assault on Arkham

I watched this on netflix earlier and really liked it, this being my introduction to the suicide squad and DC Universe Animated Original Movies, I was surprised that it had even more of a darker tone than I expected. While the movie is light on plot and development, it more than makes up for it with the antics of the Suicide Squad and the Joker. It really felt like it could have been a plot for a Batman: Arkham game but it definitely delivered on the entertainment factor. I hope when Batman: The Killing Joke is done and released that it too will surpass expectations.

I went ahead and added other Batman titles to my watch list, and look forward to watching:

  • Batman: Year One
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 2
  • Son of Batman

It’s pretty nice to have an internet connection that can finally stream video and even better that I finally got a subscription to Netflix.