Sunday, 24 July 2011

I'm still alive! Transformers 3 review, Bioware TV and Comic Con!

Can't believe its been two weeks since I last posted! I've just been so busy that the time has gone too fast!

At least that means that Auto Assembly is now less than three weeks away! :-)

Speaking of Transformers, I went and saw Transformers: Dark Of The Moon last weekend, in 3D no less. I didn't get a headache from the 3D for once, although my brain did feel a bit weird when I took the glasses off after!

So... a quick review for those who haven't seen it... SPOILER ALERT - if you don't want to know any more about the movie STOP READING NOW!!

Ok so...

I'm going to divide this into good and bad points. I like to finish things on a positive note, so I'll start with the bad points first!

The BAD points:

The character of Shockwave, for all the billing he got, is hardly in the movie. He has a very brief appearance at the start and then reappears during the big battle towards the end. He looks similar to his G1 incarnation (well he has the single eye) but that's where the similarities end. He doesn't speak (well, nothing intelligible anyway), instead he just growls a lot. This is a disappointment as G1 Shockwave was a super-intelligent being of cold logic. Here, he's just a growling badass that commands a robotic snake thing and smashes stuff.

The character of Wheeljack: what the..? That was my initial reaction. G1 Wheeljack is cool - a scientist that creates awesome stuff. Dark Of The Moon Wheeljack looks like a guy doing Transformers cosplay... badly! While I think about it... what the hell is the deal with the fibre optic hair in this movie? I like most of the robot deisgns in DOTM but Wheeljack is just a fail!

The screaming: The first 40-odd minutes of the movie seems to have lots of people screaming. Sam's screaming, then some Japanese guy is screaming, scream, scream, scream! Luckily, this doesn't happen throughout the whoel movie (well, not in as irritating a manner as at the start).

Now... the GOOD points!

Story elements from the G1 cartoon: there's elements of Megatron's Master Plan and The Ultimate Doom in this movie! First, the bit with the Autobots leaving on a spaceship is very similar to their exile in the formerly mentioned episode. The bit with pulling Cybertron through the Space Bridge is straight from the latterly mentioned ep. It's cool to see these elements in live action!

Lazerbeak: my God - what a creepy bastard this character is! The scenes where he appears and people end up 'committing suicide' are actually quite disturbing and certainly take things in a darker direction.

Sentinel Prime: a very cool character! Ok, so his motivation for changing sides isn't entirely convincing but he's voiced by the great Leonard Nimoy (Galvatron from the G1 animated movie!) and he's a badass! His vehicle mode is cool (a fire truck) and there's a good reference to Spock in Star Trek II in one scene too.

Overall, this movie is in no danger of winning an Oscar - what you expect is pretty much what you get - giant robots smacking the crap out of eachother for a couple of hours. The humour doesn't invade the story quite so much as the previous instalments and it's entertaining enough. As TransFan myself, there's a few niggles but I enjoyed watching this and will be buying it on Blu Ray in November.

The 3D worked well and added to the enjoyment of the movie. Oh - the last thing I will just add is the cavalier way in which characters are killed in this movie. Poor Ironhide in particular!

I'm hoping that the next director for Transformers 4 will perhaps concentrate a little more on the characters and treat them a little bit better instead of just killing them off in such a throwaway manner!

So, Transformers 3 is a fun movie but don't expect anything too deep... I'm not sure why you would - but don't!

So, what am I doing now? Well, while I'm typing this, I'm watching Bioware TV. What's that? It's a live stream from Bioware at the San Diego Comic Con. Right now, there's a panel discussing Mass Effect and Dragon Age stuff. Sounding very cool!

I definitely want to go to San Diego Comic Con one day. For now though, I shall probably be going to the London Comic Con!

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Remembering my Dad

Today has been a bit of a difficult day for me. It would have been my Dad's birthday so that's been playing on my mind all day. Something like that is always a bit difficult - I always find myself thinking about what things would have been like if he hadn't died, what he would be doing now and the like.

I'm not a particularly religious person but I'd like to think that he is out there somewhere celebrating today.

Wherever you are, Dad - happy birthday.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Apology accepted, naughty mod! ;-)

Just got an apology off of them. I should think so too! Still, at least they said sorry and you can't say fairer than that! Naughty mods, eh? ;-)

Apparently this is a dating site? Ummm... what?!

Just been banned from a forum because apparently this is a commercial site or a rival to a dating site...? Um... did they actually look at this site? I'm thinking no. Someone's made themselves look rather silly! And the moral of the story? Try looking at websites first before getting too excited and banning people.

I've since created a new account and straight off the bat received a 'first and only warning'. Um... aren't you supposed to give warnings BEFORE banning someone?

Let's see where this goes before I say any more... do the mods have the stones to apologise for their mistake? Let's do what they didn't and give them a chance and see...

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Silverstone F1 GP

Just watched all the Silverstone F1 GP coverage on BBC (including the F1 Forum) a little while ago. It was a good race - no British drivers on the podium sadly but Mark Webber managed third (although you could argue that it could have been second had it not been for the infamous team orders) and at least Fernando Alonso was first and not Sebastian Vettel for a change!

It's a pity about what happened to Jenson Button - I think he could have done well had it not been for mistake during his pit stop. If you didn't see the race - the lollypop man (is that really his job title?) told Jenson he could go but his right front wheel hadn't been secured as the guy securing it was reaching for another gun to secure a bolt on there when Jenson got the go ahead. Needless to say, Jenson just got up a little way up the exit from the pits when the wheel started to come off so that was the end of his race!

I've no doubt someone is going to be in a lot of trouble for that!

Other than that today, I've changed my pic on my profile as the old one was a bit too dark and moody. Now you get a nice shot of smiling face instead!

Oh - and I've decided I shall definitely be going to Silverstone next year! :-)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

For the love of Gord!

Yes - it is a pretty crap pun, I know! It actually comes from a joke that started at a place I worked at a few years ago. Gord is obviously just a shortened version of my full name. There was a lady in the office who used to manage all the admin side of the IT Department (not IT admin - literally the forms, paperwork, holidays, etc.) and one of the things she had to do was let people know who was out of the office and when.

Well, I was taking a Friday off so a couple of days before, a standard email went out to everyone informing people of this fact, except it had a typo on my name instead of Gord, it said God. So we were all informed that God was out of the office on Friday.

Well, I was flattered she thought so highly of me! ;-)

Anyway, it sparked off a series of puns such as "for Gord's sake" and so on. And she never really did live that particular gaff down.

So now you know. Tell all your friends! :-P

I'm back!

I know I say this every week... but where the heck did that week go? Before I kenw it, it was Friday! I tried logging in last night and earlier today and couldn't... loks like there was some maintenance going on or something. Well, I've got lots to talk about so I'm sure I'll be posting some more stuff today!

Today has been a nice day - I've watched the qualifying for F1 at Silverstone... looks like it's going to be interesting! A well deserved pole start for Mark Webber and all three British drivers there are in the top 10! :-)

I know Mark Webber's Australian and, of course, I want to see Jenson, Lewis and Paul do the best but Mark always seems to have such bad luck and he tries so hard - it would be good to see him win!

Apart from that, I've been attacking my garden again. It's looking clearer but it's going to be a while before I can feel like it looks at least half tidy.

I've postponed my original plan to watch Star Trek Nemesis last night. Firstly, I couldn't get on here and wanted do my pre and post thoughts on the movie like I did for Insurrection.  Secondly, I just didn't have the time top watch it in the end. If I don't get to do it tonight, I'll try and do it next week.

I've also started watching season 6 of 24. Yes - I really am THAT far behind! I was watching that season when my Dad passed away so I never finished watching it and I lost interest in it for a while. Then, by chance, I happened to listen to the remix they did of the theme tune for the soundtrack of CD of 24. It made me remember how much I liked watching that show so now I'm catching up! I'm watching season 6 from the beginning again. I'm on episode 4 now.

Well, more from me later. I'm really hungry from all that hacking and slashing weeds so I must go and eat now!

Friday, 1 July 2011

Tonights movie: Star Trek Insurrection - Post movie analysis!

Ok - so this is a bit later than planned. I ended up watching a programme about asteroids afterwards! :-)

Well, memory is a funny thing. Sometimes you remember something as being better than it actually is, other times you remember something as being worse.

I was surprised by how much I'd forgotten about Insurrection. I actually quite enjoyed watching it and remembering various things as it went along. I was surprised at how much action there was in it - I remembered it as not having much at all!

So how much do I agree with what I wrote earlier?

Well, I stand by my remark about it feeling like an extended episode. The storyline feels very much like something that could have been done on the TV show. Don't get me wrong - I love the Trek TV shows so an extended episode feeling is no bad thing but at the same time you expect a Trek movie to perhaps do what wasn't achievable in the TV series. Going back to what I said in my last post, the extended episode accusation was made at Generations when it was released but I couldn't really have seen them pulling off the Enterprise saucer crash sequence in the TV series - certainly not as convincingly as they did in the movie. Also, I guess Captain Kirk could theoretically have appeared in the TV show and been killed off in that... but a meeting of two captains (and subsequent death of the great Captain Kirk himself) like that really needed a more epic canvas and a movie certainly provided that.

Anyway, enough about Generations - we're talking about Insurrection here!

There's little in this movie that couldn't have been achieved in the TV show. Yes, the movie budget allows for a lush location - and the scenery for the on-planet stuff is truly gorgeous, particularly in HD! The effects sequences are also above what would have been achievable on a weekly TV show budget (in the 90s at least), particularly in terms of scale.

The real area that the movie scores in is the character side of things. Everyone gets a decent amount of screentime. Often in Trek movies select characters get the bulk of the time and the others are reduced to minor roles. Insurrection seems to get the balance right here - perhaps a lot better than any of the other movies.

I'd forgotten about the humour in this movie too - just about everyone gets a laugh at some point! Worf's Gilbert and Sullivan remark still makes me laugh!

Which seems to sum up the tone of the movie nicely. I was right that the movie is definitely a lot lighter in tone than First Contact. I guess that one was always going to be difficult to top and I suspect that those in charge of the decision making on these things realised this and decided to go the opposite direction.

I certainly enjoyed watching this movie a lot more than I remembered enjoying it before. It's a fun Trek outing with a moral message about forcibly relocating a group of people - even if there is the best of intentions behind it.

I have to admit that I like just about everything Star Trek so I was never going to be come back and say anything overwhelmingly negative about this anyway, but re-watching this was a pleasant hour and forty odd minutes. It may not have the depth or darkness of some of the best Trek movies (First Contact and, of course, Wrath Of Khan) but it's still a fun Trek outing!

So... the next Trek movie is the final Next Gen one... it's also one which seems to bring out mixed reactions from a lot of Star Trek fans. I'll save my opinion on it until I plan to watch it, which I'm hoping to do next Friday. Yes, the next one I shall be watching will be Nemesis.

Tonight's movie: Star Trek Insurrection

Way back at Christmas (which actually doesn't feel as long ago as perhaps it should - this year just seems to be flying by!) I got the Star Trek movies on blu ray. I watched most of them up to Insurrection. I've been meaning to finish watching the last two Next Gen Trek movies but I have to admit that, of all the Trek movies, Insurrection is probably my least favourite followed by Nemesis.

I saw Insurrection back when it was released at the cinema and have watched it once again on VHS and then once again when I got it on DVD. It's not a terrible movie but I've always felt it wasn't as good as the other Trek movies.

So I'm posting my thoughts and opinions on it BEFORE I watch it. Let's see whether I feel any different afterwards!

I think part of the problem for me was that Insurrection came after one of my favourite (if not my favourite, full stop) Star Trek movies - First Contact.

First Contact is brilliant - it has everything, action, adventure, a great storyline in which the whole of Star Trek itself is under threat as The Borg travel back in time to stop first contact with extra terrestrials (I won't spoil it for you but if you know Star Trek then chances are you know who it is anyway).

The problem with Insurrection is that it tries to be different. That's not a bad thing but I remember it feeling a bit light after its more intense predecessor. The criticism 'extended episode of Next Gen' was levelled at Generations (which I like and felt was perhaps a little bit unfair) but I remember feeling that Insurrection felt a LOT like it could have been a two part Next Gen episode.

Don't get me wrong - I didn't hate it. I guess I was hoping for more of what First Contact gave us rather than the more gentle storyline that Insurrection had.

Anyway, let's see whether I agree with my past self after I watch the movie. Then I'll come back here and post my thoughts. Ack! Time travel and interacting with my past self - now my blog is getting a bit Brannon Braga! ;-)

See you in a couple of hours!

Another week over with!

Whew! Well that's another busy week over and done with! I spent most of today cable tidying - it's all done now and looks very good indeed, if I do say so myself! It was surprisingly hard work but it really did need to be done!

I also managed to leave WH Smith earlier without having bought a single magazine or anything at all! That has to be a first for me! lol

So, my plan for this weekend is a bit of boring stuff like tidying my garden (I want to be able to sit out there without getting annoyed at all the stuff that needs doing!) and also starting watching my Lord Of The Rings blu ray box set which arrived last weekend. Haven't watched those in a while so it'll be good to watch them again... and in HD no less!

In between that I plan to put the shopping away and also play some more Dragon Age II!

Looking forward to it already! :-)