what I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for February 2017.

So, another month quickly gone by. I’ve already posted the movies I’ve watched in a post cleverly called “Some Movies I saw last week, part 2” (the first part being like a moth to flame for random spammers to make comment posts for some reason.)

Anyways, gonna start out with movies because I always start off with audiobooks or games, so I finally picked up The Star Wars Complete Saga Bluray edition and the Lord of the Rings Extended Edition Bluray, literally years later. I picked up star wars because Rogue Fucking One was good enough to make it my favorite star wars movie, above the original trilogy, well past the prequels (of which I do not hate like most people do), and definitely more than the Force Awakens (although it is pretty good.) I know you are gonna make me rank this shit, so let me do that right now. Save your flustered mouth sounds, or as Ari Shaffir calls it “the sound of white injustice”, until the end of the list.

  1. Star Wars: Rogue One
  2. Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back
  3. Star Wars: A New Hope
  4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
  5. Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
  6. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
  7. Star Wars: Attack of the Clones
  8. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

Ok, now you can make your flustered sounds and mutter to your screen about how wrong I am.

I picked up picked up The Lord of the Rings Extended edition because it was only 39$, which I thought was a pretty fucking good price and I was tired of watching it in DVD Quality. I also made the conscious decision to pick it because I did not want to wait around to get in 4k or 4k with HDR, both of which are although cool as fuck are crazy niche right now. 4k and HDR are have such little content and so little people have both or even one that it qualifies being categorized as esoteric.

So, with both series, I will be doing a re-watch, starting with Star Wars Original trilogy first, then the Prequels, then the Force Awakens, then into the Lord of the Rings, followed by the Hobbit trilogy that really should have been 2 movies (although still decent, not hating on it.) Also, a leaked time frame for Rogue One bluray release date is around the end of march, which seems pretty fucking early but I sincerely hope it is because I wanna re-watch it so bad right now.

On the audiobook side of things, I am currently listening to P.N Elrod’s very entertaining “Vampire Files.” I was kinda hesitant picking something up completely new and little research done on but I was pleasantly surprised by it. It has everything I like: a decent story, compelling or interesting characters, decent dialogue, and Vampires. Mostly Vampires though, it can’t be just anything with vampires though, it has to be vampires done well or at least interesting (that means no twilight for me, I’m more of a Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel dude.) I liked the story enough in the first one and liked the Jack Fleming character enough to get the next two books in the series.

I also had a Jules Winnfield type moment of clarity, I don’t have to read every book in the series before moving onto the next one. Which is of course what I’ve been doing so far, I read (listened to rather) all but the last book in the Saxon Stories/Last Kingdom series (which is pretty good, Uhtred of Bebbanberg is such a good character and it’s refreshing to see a non romanticized or idealized historical take on Christianity.) I have the last book in the series so far, The Flame Bearer, but was craving something different so I jumped into the Vampire Files. From there I had my Jules Winnfield “moment of clarity” about reading or listening to audiobooks in a series. It’s a big change for me because up until now I fucking devoured every series I picked up and read/listened until I finished every book in a series before jumping into something new or different.

This approach is a refreshing change because I was kinda losing interest in keeping up with my 2 books read or 2 audiobooks listened to per month new years resolution I made a couple of years ago, and this sort of renews my interest as I will probably just listen to what I like or please to in the future. The timing on the “moment of clarity” is also fortuitous as Neil Gaiman’s new book “Norse Mythology” is out on audible next week, I am extremely looking forward to listening to it. It also lets me check out some other stuff I’ve been looking at for a while like from this reddit post from Joe Abercrombie, some other related books or series based on Abercrombie’s recommendations (like Richard Matheson’s  Shadow on the Son or Bernard Cornwell’s Warlord Chronicles), why am I doing this the long way lemme just link my audible wish list. Out of the all the books in my wish list, I am looking forward to checking out the Expanse the most, it will probably be next series I will jump into.

Gaming wise, I’ve been slacking on my 1 week in or out shit, as I should probably already finished Assassin’s Creed Syndicate by now, but I’ve been gone for a couple of days on a trip this month, being sick the last few days of and currently still a little under the weather. I’ve played about an hour or so of AC: Syndicate and liked it so far, it’s crazy how long it took ubisoft to make a female assassin playable and a main character.

WoW has been taking up the majority of my time, as usual, because the changes in 7.1. I was able to level a Demon Hunter to 110 and get my artifact knowledge up to 25 quickly because of the catch up mechanics and also get an Ilevel of 874 in less than a month or so, which is pretty crazy because my it’s the same Ilevel as my rogue which I have played for months now. My Death Knight is approaching geared levels as well thanks to mythic plus 10’s.

I’m gonna start watching The Expanse season one soonish, as soon as I’m done my re-watches mentioned above, I had to stop at episode 2 because my internet was pretty shitty at the time and could barely stream with out multiple buffering  and quality shifts. My internet is more reliable now and I’m looking forward to continuing with the Expanse.

The Arrival is expected to be released on Feb 14th, and I am extremely looking forward to picking up and re-watching it, I may even pick up the short story it was based on by picking up this from audible.

Some Movies I saw last week, part 2.

So during my trip to Vancouver last week I watched a couple of movies, pretty good ones too.

Star Wars: Rogue One – Great movie, it pays homage to the look, feel and story of the original trilogy but really tell’s its own self contained story that I think surpasses anything and everything that the original trilogy offered. The original trilogy had the problem of relaying the “cost” and ethics/morality of a rebellion, and Rogue One really does capture the heroic freedom fighters type vibe the original trilogy had but also includes the end justify’s the means and at all costs type of personalities that also would be in a rebellion. The people who do the dirty work and get results but still remain likeable/relatable/identifiable as characters. My favorite character of the lot is Forest Whitaker’s Saw Gerrera, it was extremely refreshing to see a Star War’s character in the rebellion that is not a paragon of virtue/morality/ethics, but a militant extremist willing to do anything to get something done. The story was great, and it was satisfying to see an ending like that, one that did not need to be necessarily happy. In the first 5 minutes you get that isn’t going to be a Star Wars movie you would expect, and immediately draws you in with a compelling story and cast of characters.

Dr Strange – A good movie, one the better origin stories done for a marvel cinematic universe character. I had no real expectations for this movie, other that it was gonna probably be decent, funny in parts, with good actors, and witty dialogue, so I was rather still very impressed by it. It had a good story with some very strong actors. Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Tilda Swinton, and Mads Mikkelsen, all great actors and all put in great performances. Also, the whole white washing controversy with Tilda Swinton which I think is typical social reactionary bullshit, the internet makes such BS issues an echo chamber with a group of people who never consider the why of an issue/topic/idea first before jumping all in on cries of white washing or whatever the social topic de jour is, very similar to the same BS cries of white washing used against Matt Damon in the Great Wall. Kinda went on a rant there but whatever, if you don’t like it, please continue to not like it just fucking think about it. Benadryl Cucumberpatch is great in his role as Steven Strange and I’m interested to see him in other MCU fims.

Passengers – Similar to Dr. Strange, I went in with no real expectations and kinda misled on the premise of the movie by the shitty advertising but came out really liking the movie. I thought it told a good story with some good performances by Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence and Lawrence Fishbourne. A good movie in my opinion as you rarely get a science fiction movie where the conflict is a personal one and done with such a small cast. This is another movie where I don’t agree with critics or people’s general criticism or negative reviews. It most definitely is not a below average movie, I think it’s a good movie and basically I’m right and everyone else is stupid and wrong. You’ll get over my disappointment and judgement of you.

Arrival – This one is an extremely good movie, a scifi movie as well that has an excellent story with a great performance by Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. If you haven’t seen it, go fucking watching it. Stop fucking reading this and watch it.

Split – You just read my arrival shit right? Now fucking do the same for Split. The story and characters are extremely well done, James McAvoy is excellent in this movie and Anya Taylor-Joy is also great. Seriously, go fucking watch this movie now. If you are one of the people who doesn’t react at the end, count yourself in the unwashed masses crowd, you philistine.

Live by Night – I was excited to see this movie because I enjoyed the book by Dennis Lehane and the character of Joe Coughlin. While I enjoyed the movie and even liked it, I found it disappointing because a good book was adapted into a just a decent movie. I enjoyed the movie because a majority of my favorite sequences in the book were faithfully adapted and the characters were done well and acted well. Ben Affleck does a good portrayal of Joe Coughlin and also does a good job of directing this movie. The story and characters are well adapted, the visuals are good, and the pacing is good, so over all I think its decent movie that is bordering on being good one.

If I had to pick one favorite of the lot, I’d pick Arrival, followed extremely closely by Rogue One and Split. However, the movie that impressed me the most was Split, followed closely by Rogue One and Dr. Strange.

Really, do yourself a favor if you haven’t watched Arrival or Split yet, go and watch them both ASAP and thank me later.

Suicide Squad.

Another late to the party first impression or take.

Why didn’t people like this movie? I thought it was a great adaptation of the comics and characters that stayed pretty faithful to the source material. It was kinda flimsy with the sorceress and her brother as the enemy but it did provide the framework to tell and sell the story. Every member of the suicide squad was interesting and compelling, excellently and faithfully adapted into characters for film. Deadshot and his daughter was captured pretty well, the great take on the relationship between Harley and the Joker, really showed commitment to the source material while still being adapted well for a movie. I particularly enjoyed El Diablo, as there is massive lack of mexican ethnicity characters in any super hero movie or comic, his character and his backstory was extremely compelling.

The story, while predictable in some parts, I thought was enjoyable. The backstory flashbacks were done very well, in fact the movie started off pretty strongly because of how well they were done. I thought the movie did well to connect the DC universe starting with Batman vs Superman, which I also liked, and did well enough to be “it’s own movie.” Meaning it wasn’t DC’s version of The Avengers or the X-men, or even similar to Nolan’s Batman, Snyder’s Man of Steel or Batman v Superman.

The special features are also pretty good. Although short and not many, it provided some nice background on characters and their gear. I particularly enjoyed the character inspirations and motives part, it gave me more reason to like El Diablo and Waller.

I seriously don’t get why the movie isn’t more popular at all or how anyone would rate it disappointing in any way.

What I am playing/listening to/watching/reading/looking forward to for January 2017.

Totally have check and re-check if I correctly put 2017 as the current year now.

I’ve been listening to the Last Kingdom/Saxon stories the last couple days, really it started immediately after I finished the re-listen to the Dark Tower series just around December 20th. I am nearly finished Death of Kings, and that leaves me The Pagan Lord, Empty Throne, Warriors of the Storm, and The Flame Bearer left to listen. Each book is about 10-12 hours in length, and usually narrated well, however, the narrator changes nearly every books and is quite jarring. It looks I’m in for 2 more narrator changes but at least it looks consistent for the last few books.

I’m hoping to finish off the series by 15th or so, earlier the better, so I can listen to The Aeronaut’s Windlass by Jim Butcher and Bloodlist by P.N. Elrod. Both books are something I’m looking forward too as a change from historical fantasy. If Bloodlist is something I like, I will probably use my credits to pick up the following books in the series, as I am hooked into anything decent that involves Vampires and Werewolves.

During the christmas/new years steam sale I picked up Deus Ex: Mankind Divided on a pretty good deal. Definitely looking forward to playing that, I really liked Human Revolution aside from the mess up with the boss fights and I hope Mankind Divided has similar gameplay and playstyles.

The next game in my queue is Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate, of which I have low expectations and hope it is better storywise than Unity was. I will probably go back to my tried and true 1 week on and 1 week off playing time for games in my queue.

I’m playing The Division again, the changes since 1.1 have been for the good and I like new modes of play. I also got back into WoW and leveled my Demon Hunter to 110. I’m going to leave it to let my artifact knowledge get higher before trying to gear out.

I also picked up a new Monitor, a 2560×1440 resolution monitor with a refresh rate of 144hz, and Headphones, Beyerdynamic DT 990 premium 250 ohm. The headphones are very good, I’m using them primarily for gaming but it’s also good for movies and music/audiobooks. I thought my ROG Xonar Phoebus would have a hard time driving the headphones but I was pleasantly surprised that it drives them just fine. I got DT 990’s for 219$ CAD, which is about 60$ off the normal price, I feel like I got a good deal and some good headphones.

This month I will be watching the rest of The Expanse, I’ve only watched the first episode so far and what I saw I liked. It was impressive enough that I will definitely start picking up the audiobook versions of the book series.

I’m looking forward to my trip to Vancouver and watch some good movies.

This is a smaller post than usual because I’ve already posted some lengthy posts detailing what I’m reading/listening/playing/watching.

Anyways, hope you have a good 2017.

 

2016 year in review. Gaming/Movies/TV/streaming.

This year was more gaming focused for me this year rather than last year, a first since I started listening to audiobooks 2 years ago. I played an insane amount of the The Division, World of Warcraft: Legion, Overwatch, and The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine. I also played a decent amount of Civilization 6, Battlefield 1, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, and Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

The game that surprised me the most was The Division, the leveling experience, the game-play, and the coop experience were all very well done. It had a huge drop off in play for a couple of months because of the very lax response to cheaters and exploiters, the nerf to crafting, and the reliance on the Dark Zone as endgame. Since 1.5 patch, however, it has been changed for the better. It’s extremely easy to gear but still very satisfying to do because there are numerous path’s to get good gear, and the are interesting play-styles that are enjoyable to play. I’ve been playing a lot recently as it is a nice break from WoW mythic+’s.

My personal best experience of the year is easily The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine DLC. It provided a great story with very compelling characters and interesting conflicts while also giving a nice closing of the series. I personally thought Heart of Stone was better story-wise but this year no other game I played this year has really had such a well done story that can branch out in drastically different directions.

The only game I found disappointing was Assassin’s Creed: Unity, as I’ve said in a previous post. In contrast, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue was a very interesting and well done game, it took what made Black Flag good and then added to it, and told an interesting as well as compelling story that also advanced the modern-day Assassins vs Templars story.

I’ve switched up how I buy games, unless it is a game or developer I have confidence in, I wait for a sale to pick it up. It’s a patient gamer approach and really manages expectation vs investment. Games that are bought at full price usually have some regret and disappointment involved, not to mention the current trend of Developers releasing buggy games at launch. Buying games later on sale really cuts through disappointment from buyers regret or from having high expectations from a game that does not deliver on the hype.

Here are my arbitrary and personal choices for best games I’ve played this year, some of these games are oldish but new to me, as explained above:

  1. The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine.
  2. World of Warcraft: Legion.
  3. Overwatch.
  4. The Division.
  5. Civilization 6.
  6. Battlefield 1.
  7. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue.
  8. Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

Here is a list in my to be played queue:

  • Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate.
  • Rise of the Tomb Raider.
  • Far Cry Primal.
  • Deus Ex: Mankind Divided.
  • Fallout 4: Far Harbor and Nuka World.
  • Planet Coaster.
  • Doom.

I also have fewer games in my backlog that I hope to get into or back into to replay eventually:

  • Dishonored.
  • Splinter cell: Blacklist.
  • Bioshock remastered 1 and 2.
  • Bioshock Infinite and it’s DLC.
  • Crysis 2 and 3.
  • Final Fantasy 13 and 13 two.
  • Vampire The Masquerade: Bloodlines.
  • Legacy of Kain: Defiance.

For Movies and Tv/Netflix or other streaming services this year, How fucking good was Westworld? My show of the year and very easy choice. I think its as good as, if not better than the HBO’s Flagship Game of Thrones. Can’t wait to see season 2. I also got to watch the Wire (seasons 1-5) this year and was very impressed. I was also very impressed with the various Netflix series, Daredevil season 1 and 2, Jessica Jones, Stranger Things. I still need to get around to finishing Luke Cage, which I enjoyed but The Division and Legion took my focus. Game of Thrones season 6 was also good, I was able to guess alot of what was going to happen but the show also threw some nice curveballs to my expectations.

My movie of the year is definitely Deadpool, it showed that a superhero movie could be successful with an R rating and it really did justice to my favorite X-man Colossus. I also enjoyed and liked Batman vs Superman, while many people didn’t like its darker tone and the change of character for Batman. X-men Apocalypse was also a favorite of mine. Captain America: Civil War was also decent. Hateful Eight and The Revenant were also stellar. Star Trek Beyond was also decent.

I have a trip to Vancouver next month, in which I will be watching the following movies:

  • Assassin’s Creed
  • Star Wars Rogue One
  • Arrival
  • Dr. Strange
  • Passengers
  • Live by Night
  • Fantastic Beasts and where to find them

Can’t wait to see all those movies.

What I’m looking forward to in 2017:

Gaming:

  • Mass Effect: Andromeda
  • Horizon Zero Dawn
  • Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands
  • Red Dead Redemption 2
  • Vampyr

Books/Audiobooks: Either coming out in 2017 or new to me.

  • Neil Gaiman’s North Mythology
  • The Vampire Files series by P.N. Elrod
  • The Black Company series by Glen Cook
  • Sandman Slim series by Richard Kadrey
  • The Expanse by James S. A. Corey
  • Lady of the Lake by Andrzej Sapkowski

Movies:

  • Logan
  • The Dark Tower
  • Ghost in the Shell
  • John Wick 2
  • Wonder Woman
  • Alien: Covenant
  • Guardian of the Galaxy 2

TV/Netflix/Streaming:

  • Daredevil season 3
  • Game of Thrones season 7
  • Jessica Jones season 2
  • The Expanse
  • Penny Dreadful
  • Luke Cage
  • Stranger Things season 2
  • Spectral
  • Westworld season 2

Again, if you read all of this, I hope you have a great 2017. Happy New years!

GHOST IN THE SHELL – Official Trailer #1

This is looking promising, definitely want to check it out. A shame that Scarlett Johansson and this movie got so much flak for white washing the role of the Major. Personally, I did not care as I’d just like to see this movie done well and have it be a good adaptation (meaning not source material or bust.)

I’m excite to see this and The Dark Tower next year.