Preparing For Marvel‚Äôs Infinity War

Although it’s a few months away I’ve began my watch through of the Marvel Cinematic Universe movies for when Infinity War is released. My plan is to have watched all of the movies that are available on BluRay by the time Black Panther is released.

I love these movies, the way each one works on its own but is also part of that bigger picture. It’s quite exciting to be on the brink on what has been building for the last decade.

Building My Blu-Ray Collection

Just before Christmas my parents replaced their Samsung 32-inch HD LCD TV with the latest equivalent so to my joy they gave me the old one and for Christmas they gave me a Blu-Ray player. My brother brought me Pacific Rim on Blu-Ray and I’d treated myself to a copy of Dredd in Blu-Ray but I watched Pacific Rim first and WOW!! How cool is Blu-Ray?

Anyway, I already had Dredd on DVD and it’s one of a few that I was willing to replace with a Blu-Ray copy, there are a few others that I’m planning on upgrading, Avatar and The Avengers are the two main ones that I will be buying, and maybe The Matrix films but I’m not sure on those.

I know some people replace their entire collection when a new format comes out but as long as the Blu-Ray player plays DVDs I see little point in upgrading my 350 plus library of movies. If for no other reason then the cost alone prevents me from doing that.

From now on I will be mainly buying Blu-Rays simply because the picture quality is stunning.

Grand Theft Auto also looks gorgeous in HD as well.

Diving Into Unknown Fiction

I’ve only just started reading Stephen King’s The Gunslinger and I have not really had much chance to sit for more then twenty minutes at a time to get into it but its pretty good so far ūüėÄ One thing that is exciting me is diving into a whole new universe. I have no idea what type of story this is or what genre it’s in or much about any of it to be honest, except it is supposed to be the beginning of a great story. That is what is exciting me at the moment. Quite often I wish I could erase all knowledge of a TV series like Battlestar Galactica or the Phase 1 movies of the Marvel movies building up to The Avengers. This is because I have no hints as to what any of them are building up to or may contain. This is what I have with this Book, for those of you who may not know The Gunslinger is the first book in a series called The Dark Tower, and this is a world that I have no idea of. Before I started reading The Gunslinger all I knew of it was the gunslingers first name, the first line of the first book, the series name and who wrote the books.

I know nothing else at all, I’ve not wiki’d it, I’ve not read any reviews of it or goggle’d it. I am going to discover this story with each sentence read, each turned page. This is how we should discover fiction, totally blind.

Movie Monday: My Top 5 Movies Of 2012

I have seen some very good movies this year, and some very bad ones too, but lets not focus on those but let’s look at what was good.¬† Some of these movies may not have been released this year, but if I say the movie for the first time this year then it is eligible.

I’m going to start at the top;

  1. The Avengers (or Avengers Assemble¬†here in the U.K.):¬† This is by a long stretch¬†my favourite¬†movie of the year.¬† It had everything, action, drama, plot, great characters, humour, breath-taking¬†CGI.¬† Joss Whedon put an amazing movie together here and I’d go as far to say this is close to being my favourite movie of all time.
  2. The Dark Knight Rises: Christopher Nolan’s epic conclusion to this Batman Trilogy was not perfect, but it was close.¬† It felt rushed in places and some of it felt a little strained but that is easily forgotten as the drama and the enormity of the plot gains pace.
  3. Dredd: I have a dirty confession here, I actually quite like the Stallone version but I can see the cheese factor¬†of the movie.¬† This version felt a lot more raw and I¬†loved the fact that it was a simple storyline and not Dredd¬†trying to save the world.¬†I’ve never read the comics that the film is based on, but I doubt that each episode has Dredd saving the world or something as grand.¬† It was just two cops trying to solve a crime, and stop a wider crime wave.
  4. The Hunger Games: I have just started reading the book, but I saw the movie when it first came out and it did really impress me. The changes that¬†I¬†have noticed¬†have not bothered me and I’m looking forward to the next movie, although I am¬†disappointed¬†that Director Gary Ross will not be returning¬†to¬†direct the second film.¬†Dredd only just pipped it to¬†the 3rd place.
  5. Rise OF The Guardians: This is a late comer to the list as it only came out a few weeks ago and gets in by the spirit the movie had. It’s a really great family film which I think deserves its place here.

I’ve got a couple of honorary mentions here.¬† The first is The Rocky Horror Picture show, Dead Silence, Sinister, Ted¬†and¬†The Women In Black.¬† All good movies which I wanted to mention as they left a lasting impression on me.

The Christmas Period 2012

I hope that you have all had an amazing Christmas? I know that I have had my best Christmas since childhood, by a long way if I’m honest.¬†¬† It was pretty relaxed and there¬†was a lot of fun had¬†ūüôā I managed to knock out about sixty pages of The Hunger Games Christmas Day.¬†It was nice to be able to just sit down and read¬†without thinking about having one of a dozen other things to do. I did get Stephen King’s The Dark Tower books for Christmas as well so I want¬†to¬†get started on them¬†as soon as I can.

I’ve watched a few good movies (Ted,¬†The Avengers (Avengers Assemble here in the UK) The Dark Knight Rises and The Rocky Horror Picture Show), had a Nerf gun fight, ate some really good food.¬† Spent time with my nearest and dearest¬†and all in all it was a really good couple of days ūüôā

There’s little time to rest though as I’ve been back at work today and for just a few days things will be back to normal, till New Years Eve at least.¬†This is always an odd time of the year. Unless you’re lucky enough to have the entire Christmas and New Year period off then the days feel¬†odd.¬† Like today for example it has felt like monday all day.¬† Weird.¬† I do love this time of year but I hate how it knocks me off my mental calendar.

Before New Year I’ve got a few days of work and I’m hoping to get down to Owen’s because he has a few notes for Project Apollo which in turn are a few notes for The Space Watch (Project Apollo). I’ll let you all know how that goes.

Movie Monday

I love movies, I mean I absoluetly love movies and if you have been reading my blog for a while you’ll have noticed that I talk about movies quite often so (hopefully) each Monday I’ll be putting up¬† a post about the movies that I really want to see or am about to watch, or have just watched.

Resident Evil:Retribution

 

I saw this one when it came out and have been thinking about it here and there.¬† It’s not bad, but it’s not anywhere near as good the previous four films.¬† It left me feeling a little unsatisfied if I’m honest.¬† Nothing was tidied up from the last film, no answers were given to questions from the last film, or how Jill Valentine ended up where she was.¬† The best part of the film was the ending because it set up the next film.¬† Although it did create a lot of questions but hopefully the producers will answer them in the next film.

 

Prometheus

 

I saw this one¬†when it came out and found that I was annoyed at how it’s meant to be an Alien prequel, but they had better technology.¬† If there was no Alien element to it then it would not have made any difference to the movie.¬† It’s the simple thing of technology though.¬† In this film the technology the crew have is far superior to that of the original film, but I’ll see how it plays out when I watch it sometime this week.

 

And has anyone seen the images of the¬†new Robocop? is it my imagination that it looks like a cheap knock off of Iron Man? I’m thinking that it might have been an idea for the producers to have kept it under wraps for a while because a still picture never shows how it will look in a movie.

 

Top three movies of the year so far:

  1. The Avengers (Avengers Assemble)
  2. The Hunger Games
  3. The Dark Knight Rises

The Avengers vs. Transformers

This¬†is not¬†a post looking at who would win in a smack down between these two forces, although that’s a damn good idea.¬† I could quite easily see the Hulk tearing six shades of metal out of any of the transformers, but that’s¬†not what this post is about, it’s about the movies that have graced cinema screens over the last few years.¬† Now if you’ve been reading this blog you’ll know my opinion of the Transformers movies and The Avengers too, but this blog post comes from a simple thought that I had the other day ‘Is The Avengers the movie that the Transformers movies should have been?’

Before I get into this I just want to say that I am a fan of Michael Bay, he makes good movies, they may not be what the critics want but the movie goer keeps coming back for more.¬† Now, I wont say he’s movies are perfect.¬† The second Transformers movie, Revenge of the Fallen, in particular has issues.

The thing that, for me, let the Transformer movies down was the¬†lack of a continuing storyline between the three films, and how annoying Sam Witwicky¬†(Shia LaBeouf)¬†and his storylines were. The visuals were stunning and the battle sequences, especially in the third movie, Dark Of The Moon, were spectacular, but the movies were too adult. They had that edge to them that steered them more towards the adult market in my opinion. Mainly due to adult language and the way that sex is at the front of the movies. I guess you can blame Bay for this as he as director shot the scenes, but we did not need to follow the¬†character of Carly (Rosie Huntingly-Whitely) up the stairs as she is wearing just a shirt and some underwear. Theres a fair bit of over acting in the movies as well which I found more annoying than¬†amusing. I’d have liked to have seen more of Lennox (Josh Duhamel) and the military side of the movies myself.¬† The humour in the films isn’t¬†bad, but it doesnt seem to sit well¬†at times, almost like it was forced into the script.

Now The Avengers is a totally different kettle of fish.¬† For me Marvel Studios have made a much better job of putting their movies together.¬† The Avengers has been built up after five other movies, each one was pretty¬†much a stand alone film but all of them are tied together, and watching all of them makes a richer experience.¬† No these movies are not perfect but they have had a hell of a lot of attention put into them and unlike the Transformers movies there is no huge¬†continuity issues.¬† ¬†I think this is the correct order of the film sin this universe; Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man 2, Thor, Captain America : The First Avenger and then The Avengers.¬† Yes there is the odd adult joke, but it’s very¬†subtle.¬† I can’t¬†recall any instances of bad language.¬† The rest of the humour is pretty much perfect in my opinion.¬† I think part of that is Director Joss Whedon.¬† From Buffy The Vampire Slayer, to Angel and then Firefly/Serenity he has always had some very good humour in what he has worked on.¬† Whedon’s¬†skill with working with big ensemble casts has to be up there because he gets the best out of all the actors in this film and in his other works that I mentioned.¬† At a time when cinema goers seem to like the movies with ensemble casts like this I think that’s a great talent to have.

I think the big difference between the two franchises is in the spirit that they have been put together.¬† The Transformers films have this big blockbuster feel to them and look amazing, but the depth of the movies just are not there.¬† Dont get me wrong, seeing giant robots smashing each other to pieces is wicked, but as someone¬†who is becoming a hard-core¬†movie fan I’m looking for that little bit more in my movies.¬† The Avengers has that.¬† It has the intelligence within a movie that I crave, but that intelligence does not take away the blockbuster spectacle that I love in this type of movie too.¬† This film has no pointless characters, it doesnt¬†force plot points or jokes through.¬† The Avengers has the right¬†spirit¬†in it, it has that special quality that few movies have that truly makes it a great film.¬† It’s got sincerity, honesty and heart.

In my humble opinion I consider The Avengers to be the best film that I have ever seen.

The Avengers (Avengers Assemble)

*Geekasm Blog Post Warning*

I went and saw Avengers Assemble and can I just say, WOW!  This film lived up to my expectations, and then some, it was epic.

For those of you that do not know The Avengers is about a group of superheros who are brought together to fight off a pending alien invasion.¬† The invasion is being led by the fallen Loki (see the movie Thor) and he has this alien army to lead so they can take over earth, and he will have rule over earth as the aliens. The Chitauri¬†will then invade the rest of the galaxy, but they cannot do that until Loki opens a portal using the Tesseract¬†which is a power source.¬† While he is giving his mind controlled scientists the time to make the portal stable he causes The Avengers chaos, first tearing them apart, but his actions, one in particular pulls them back together and that’s when it gets FUN ūüėÄ Before that happens Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) brings The Avengers together.¬† Iron Man, Captain America, Hawkeye, Black Widow and Bruce Banner, also known as The Hulk, form The Avengers.

Hawkeye and Black Widow are already part of the organisation known as S.H.I.E.L.D This is the organisation the Fury is the director of.  Loki uses a spear/lance style weapon that has a power source similar to that of the Tesseract.  PArt of this weapons ability is to control the minds of humans, and Hawkeye succumbs to this mind control early on in the movie.

Agent Phil Coulson, another S.H.I.E.L.D agent, is sent to recruit Tony Stark, also known as Iron Man as Black Widow is sent to recruit Bruce Banner, also known as the Hulk.¬† Fury brings in Captain America who is having a little trouble coming to grips with being frozen for seventy years and everyone he knew having died.¬† Eventually Hawkeye regains the control of his body and joins The Avengers as the entire team comes together to stop Loki’s alien army entering through a portal that he has opened above Stark Tower in New York, and this is where all the build up pays off.¬† Dont get me wrong the build up wasnt boring in any way and it was great seeing how the team got put together and seeing the various personality clashes throughout the early parts of the film.¬†¬†When Thor arrives and has a smack down with Iron Man and Captain America that is especially impressive. ¬†But it is when The Avengers come together and become a team, that’s what I want to see.¬† To see The Avengers fight as a team and kick some alien¬†BUTT.¬† The final battle is epic, especially when The Hulk takes out the first of the alien crafts that has come through the portal,¬†that is well cool ūüôā

Joss Whedon¬†really puts a strong film together here.¬† It had the potential to be a tricky movie to create as there was so many different characters to put together.¬† Whedon¬†is very good with characters and dealing with big casts and add to that how he’s handled the structure of the story then Whedon’s done a bloody good job of knitting the film together.

I can safely say that this will be a film that gets added to my DVD collection when it comes out.¬† If you’ve liked the Marvel films that have led up to this film then I think you’ll like this epic movie.

I’m looking forward to seeing where Marvel take the franchise from here ūüôā

Needs Dynamite To Blow A Hole In This Writers Block

I’m finding that ideas are flowing quite well at the moment but getting them down onto paper is a different story.¬† The grey matter is still working and the ideas that I am having are mainly world building ideas which are making two worlds that I write in feel like they will have more depth when I go back to working on them.¬† Another idea that I have is that I have is gaining some ground because a TV series that I am watching on DVD is of a similar idea (Thanks to my girlfriend for getting me that for my birthday ūüôā )

This lack of being able to write is getting to me now as I am even struggling to write blog posts! I have three blog posts partly written which I just cannot wrap up.  Add in a writing partner argument which has come close to ending the partnership and a number of non-writing life issues I am more than a little frustrated at the moment (including computer/laptop issues), but it is the lack of being able to write (and Edit) that is driving me crazy.

As I’ve¬†said in previous posts I am still having ideas and the ideas are getting stronger which I think means the actual writers block is lifting and that I just need to beat the fatigue from a long working week before I am back to writing again.

In other areas I am still reading ESTRA Corp. by Christopher Stocking.¬† I thought I would have had this read by now, but falling asleep almost as soon as I get home has slowed my pace a little.¬† I have just got to a bit which has thrown a little surprise at me so I’m keen to see where Mr. Stocking is taking that little thread.¬† I’ll have a couple of hours where I can get stuck into the story today so hopefully I’ll have it wrapped up soon.

I recently saw The avengers or Avengers Assemble as its titled over here in the UK and I will just say “WOW” There will be a post about that in the next few days hopefully.

In the last week I’ve also re-listened to the audio books of The Caves Of Steel and I, Robot by the master that is Issac Asimov¬†which has been very eye-opening.¬† I think where I’ve¬†grown as a writer since I listened to them last I am finding much more appreciation for the skill with which they are written and the strength of content within them.¬† Asimov was truly a pioneer of the genre and I must discover more of his work.¬† I may readFoundationagain soon.

As always feel free to follow and ‘Like’ me on Facebook and Twitter respectively, those links are on the right hand side of your screen¬†and hopefully the words will move from my head onto paper before too long ūüôā

Looking Back At 2011

Okay so I wanted to give a quick look back at the last year and what has happened to me and what I’ve learnt.¬† Firstly I hit my 1000 word¬†a week target.¬† I’ve started writing this on the 12th and I’ve written¬†77,839 words to this date.¬† I wont lie I’m quite cuffed about that ūüėÄ Despite failing NaNoWriMo it played a big part in building that word count and taught me a lot about my writing and where I want it to go ( https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/looking-back-at-nanowrimo/¬†) click the link to take you to a post where I talk about NaNo and what I learnt.

As for progress of my fiction I am disappointed¬†to say that I have not submitted anything yet.¬† I have no long fiction even close to being ready for submission but I do have a number of short stories which are very close to being ready to be sent out into the wide world.¬† Most of those form part of a series of stories that I’m not sure I want to set free just yet.¬† I have a couple of others that just need a little fine tuning before I search out the best places to submit them.

I do think that a couple of the ideas that I and my writing partner have look to be coming to life a little.  So those in the New Year they will get some serious attention.

I know¬†that I rarely speak of my personal life but here¬†I will, just not in too much detail.¬† I’ve had a few ups and downs this last year.¬† Nothing out of¬† what any one of us may expect to encounter during our lives.¬† I have had friendships pushed to the limits and have learnt who my real friends are.¬† I’ve been pushed to my breaking point on more than one occasion which has taught me a lot about myself.

BEST MOVIE I’VE SEEN THIS YEAR

This is quite a tough one for me as I’ve seen a lot of good films this year.

The Kings Speech deserves a mention.¬† Like many people I didn’t really think it would be my type of film but I absolutely loved it.

X-Men:First Class was better than I was expecting (and I was expecting it to be good) Heres my review https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/x-men-first-class/

Captain America : The First Avenger did also blow me away,  https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/08/09/captain-america-the-first-avenger/

Thor also impressed me a lot.¬† I liked how the humour worked in the film (and it has Natalie Portman in it ūüėÄ ) It was fascinating to see the world that Thor comes from and how some of the little sub plots and characters tie into the movie franchise that has been created which is leading up the Avengers movie.

And just for sheer enjoyment purposes Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/23/movie-review-tucker-dale-vs-evil/ This film was daft but very funny with a lot of heart.

BEST BOOK I’VE READ THIS YEAR

This one has to be Metro 2033 by Dmitry¬†Glukhovsky¬† https://petergermany.wordpress.com/2011/10/13/book-review-metro-2033-by-dmitry-glukhovsky/¬†This book really did blow my mind.¬† Even now new things about the depth of the book and all within its pages are coming to mind.¬† Once I’ve cleared more of my ‘To Read’ backlog then I’m going to read it again.¬† Theres not many books that¬†I can say that about.

BEST SHORT STORY

This one¬†is Conditional Love by Felicity Shoulders (http://felicityshoulders.com/)¬†which I heard via the Escape Pod Podcast ¬†http://escapepod.org/2011/02/11/ep279-conditional-love/¬†Its one of the few stories that made me actually stop what I was doing and say “Wow!”

BEST NEW PODCAST I’VE FOUND

This one goes to Adventures In Sci-Fi Publishing http://www.adventuresinscifipublishing.com/ This podcast has taught me a lot about how to approach some of the aspects of writing and how to go about publishing.  There are some fine interviews with various writers, editors and people within the writing community.  Shaun Farrell, Moses Siregar III and Brent Bowen are a fine team and very easy to listen to, although I do miss Sam Wynns.  I especially like the segments with Lou Anders (editor at Pyr  http://www.pyrsf.com/ ) and Tobias S. Buckell, http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/.

Since I’ve started blogging more frequently I’ve met some amazing people through blogging that I’ve got some very good support from and I’ve taken a lot from their own blogs.¬† It’s such a¬†strong and supportive community which is fantastically insightful as well.¬† Keep an eye on my Twitter feed for fascinating posts from other bloggers.

Now I am looking forward to next year and what I intend to achieve in the twelve months we are about to go into.¬† Christmas is upon¬†us and New Years Eve I think will be one to remember, but next year, I want that to be an entire year that I look back on and think ‘2012 was really something special’