June 26, 2017

"The Philosopher's Stone" 20th Anniversary


On this day 20 years ago, The Philosopher's Stone, the first book in the 7-book Harry Potter series was published.

I cannot say what others have already, or say it any better. I'm just going to acknowledge that thought in my post.

There really is nothing to say; other than thank-you to my sister, for persuading me to give them a try, to Jo for writing 7 amazing books, and for Bloomsbury / Raincoast for publishing them (and for putting out those nice, sleek, black dustjacket editions).

And:
 



If you never read the books before, or are in dire need of a complete set, let me help you: (search by copying + pasting these ISBN's)

- 7 book paperback boxed set ISBN:  9781408856772
- 7 book hardback boxed set ISBN: 
9781408856789

Do Not Buy This: "The Name of The Wind" 10th Anniversary Edition

Hey all.

So, this is sort of a pet-peeve of mine: anniversary editions of books in an incomplete book series. This isn't targeted at any series or author in genera;, but today I'm going to showcase one such example: The Name of the Wind 10th Anniversary Edition by Patrick Rothfuss. Here's why. And, no, it's not because "it's not book 3."

Pat has outlined the details about the book in his blog post here: http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2017/06/10th-anniversary-edition-cover-reveal/ . My problems with books like this, come from three different angles, as someone who likes complete and matching sets:

1) Will the second book, The Wise Man's Fear, also be release din this format?? If not, why have a book that will stick out like a sore thumb, compared to the other two?

2) Why not wait and do an anniversary set for the entire series? If there's an anniversary edition of The Lord of the Rings, guess what - you'll get all three parts in that style! Although, here's hoping the publisher of those also does The Hobbit and The Silmarillion, and maybe Unfinished Tales, as well...

3) Will this content only be available as the anniversary edition, or can we expect it to come later, possibly in another form? Possibly in the complete boxed set? Possibly in a 'collected' volume that includes short stories related to the setting the main trilogy has taken place in etc.

So I'm not trying to dissuade you from buying, or reading Patrick Rothfuss books; or even donating to his various charities - by all means, donate if you wish! And the original version of The Name of the Wind hasn't gone anywhere. If you want to read the books, pick that instead. I'm just trying to convince you not to buy this product in particular. Besides - you know something sweet will come along once the trilogy boxed set rolls out...

Oh, and if you're wondering what the other instance of a similar scenario of a book like this that I try and convince people not to buy, it's the 20th Anniversary Edition of A Game of Thrones. So far there seems to be plans to publish the other books in the series in that style. And, again - who knows what they have planned for the complete series boxed set? Buy the original editions, or wait for the complete set.

Whether or not you agree with me, I hope you understand what I'm getting at.

June 24, 2017

It's Not "The Elder Scrolls VI" But.....


The Elder Scrolls VI is still a ways off. By now, most likely anyone who has had an interested in Skyrim (The Elder Scrolls V) will have played it by now. It seems that Bethseda has been giving that game everything it's worth.

The game originally launched in November 2011 on PC, X360 and PS3. It followed with DLC later on with Dawnguard, Hearthfire and Dragonborn. And, not to mention the hi-res texture pack for PC as well. Naturally, all this was eventually collected into a 'complete' release; as is usually common with games once developers are completely finished with them. In the fall of 2016, to celebrate its 5th anniversary, the game was remastered. This was primarily for the console players, as the game out on XBONE, and PS4. Steam users that already have the game and all of its content got the remaster added to their library free of charge. Because the PC users had the hi res texture pack (plus, not to mention mods) the remaster seemed unneccesary for PC gamers. But still, there it was.

Now, Skyrim is coming to Nintendo Switch, as well as getting a VR release.

If, however, you are tired of Skyrim, and want The Elder Scrolls VI, I sort of have a middle-ground suggestion: the MMO known as The Elder Scrolls Online

The game was made without the intention of being a main entry in the Elder Scrolls series (sort of like the Final Fantasy games and their online games, despite the fact the online Final Fantasy games are numbered...). It isn't a "proper" Elder Scrolls game BECAUSE it's an MMO. And then there's the issue of Zenimax.... but if you are truly hankering for more romps through Tamriel, give The Elder Scrolls Online a shot.

It's free to play (however, if you want to you can subscribe to get more out of the game but it's not neccessary), and is available for XBONE, PS4 (although I should add that yo need XBOX Live or PS Plus for it) as well as PC.

And it's great time too because the first major expansion has just come out recently: The Elder Scrolls Online: Morrowind. That game requires the 'main' Elder Scrolls Online, which you can get in the redesigned 'base' game called The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited or The Elder Scrolls Online: Gold Edition. There are numerous bundles, and deluxe editions etc, as you can see from looking it in the Steam store, for example.

So that's an option for quenching your Elder Scrolls online thirst. However, if you thirst for beer (the main Elder Scrolls series, for example) and I'm suggesting wine (The Elder Scrolls Online) then I can understand not accepting the drink.       



June 16, 2017

I'll Netflix That: "Big Hero 6"


Next up on my "I'll Netflix That" series is a movie that I wanted to see in cinemas, but misse dout on. Maybe it was a busy time in my life? Maybe there were quite a few other movies in cinemas, and this one made the cut....either way, Big Hero 6 became a Netflix title for me. But not for the 'usual' reasons.

I quite enjoyed it! I'm somewhat glad I didn't pay the big bucks for the cinema experience but it was what I expected: the origin story reminded me of Iron Man a bit, the 'fun' element reminded me of The Incredibles or The Avengers, and the humor of Meet the Robinsons.

It's definitely a "Disney movie" in the truest sense of the word, while also being "Marvel Lite." If you enjoyed The Incredibles as well as Dragons from Dreamworks; you'll most likely find something to like here. There's something for everyone if you like animated films and / or superhero movies. It has an adventure element seen in such films such as the Dragons series by Dreamworks, The Incredibles, while brining the humor seen in Meet the Robinsons or Zootopia. It's not exactly ground-breaking, nor offers anything new or special we haven't seen before. The Disney charm has a spark in this one, and thus it's worth seeing. Just don't expect too much.

7.5 / 10  

June 15, 2017

E3 2017 Thoughts

Well another E3 has come and gone.

This is the big annual event where developers and designers get to showcase upcoming major releases for all the video game platforms. There were some surprises, both good and bad.

The systems I have, and follow, are PS4, PC (Steam) and 3DS. I have a wii u, but that's been discontinued in favor the Switch; which I don't have.

Nintendo has unveiled two upcoming Metroid games: Metroid: Samus Returns for 3DS, and Metroid Prime 4 for the Switch. We also got a look at some of the Zelda DLC. The first of two, coming on June 30, is called The Master Trials. The final set, The Champions' Balad, will be out "Holiday" 2017.

Of interest to me from Playstation, is the first set of DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn called Horizon: The Frozen Wilds. It's of interest to me because I'm looking forward to playing Horizon, but will await the 'complete' edition.

Bethseda has announced Wolftenstein 2, which will be a sequel to Wolfenstein: The New Order. Nothing whatsoever in regards to The Elder Scrolls VI. I wasn't much if there was anaying - about the same sort of tease or reveal we got for Metroid Prime 4.

So it wasn't an overly spectacular E3 for me, though it's good to know there's some good things on the way. I wish Bethseda would leave Skyrim alone. I realize it takes time and energy to work on a game, but enough's enough. All we need is a brief tease / announcement to say that you're working on it like what Nintendo did with Metroid Prime 4. Or that you plan to work on it. Of all the games Nintendo is bring over to the Switch that already exist on other systems, I was hoping Mario Maker would make it over. You never know, perhaps someday in a direct or something. I say this because, I don't intend to get it, but it'll keep the servers going longer.

So those are pretty much my thoughts. Looking forward to: Metroid on 3DS, The Legend of Zelda: The Master Trials and The Legend of Zelda: The Champions' Balad for the wii u (also will be for the Switch), Horizon: Zero Dawn tog et it's 'full' ("Game of the Year") edition, and Wolfenstein 2 to get likewise for PC - if there will be any DLC, that is.   

June 11, 2017

Birthday is Coming


Well, it's about that time again! One month to go!

In a few weeks I shall age. In fact, following Tolkien's custom of a hobbit, I will come of age [33]. I definitely don't think I feel, or act, that way....try closer to 27-29.

I've always been glad that my birthday is in the summer. Summer is generally a fun time, despite the occasional heat and humidity. I usually opt for something BBQ'ed in the traditional sense: meaty, sticky, and smoky! It's also about half-way through the year.

Anyway, I try not to make a fuss. I don't expect much. A few close people, some good food, some good drink.

Truly, I'm not fussy about the gifts. There isn't anything I "ask" for; but there are some things I have my eye on. I'm trying to move past making and giving out wishlists.

So this post will showcase a few items that I have my eye on' so that my readers may "connect" with who I am. Please note that I am saving up for, and intending to buy a stereo system with a turntble sometime this summer.

GIFT CARDS

- Netflix
- LCBO
- Chapters iTunes

I find I'm constantly buying from those sources. Not meant as a bad thing, but I would not object to a bit of assistance with some of the expenses.

Other Items

- Hyrule Warriors for 3DS

- The Penguin Book of Norse Mythshttps://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-penguin-book-of-norse/9780241953211-item.html

- A History of Wales: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/a-history-of-wales/9780140284751-item.html

- Exploring The Hobbit : https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/exploring-j-r-r-tolkiens/9780544106635-item.html

- The Languages of Tolkien: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-languages-of-tolkiens-middleaearth/9780395291306-item.html 

- Rumours by Fleetwood Mac on vinyl: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B004OKFISQ/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_img?_encoding=UTF8&colid=F68MQXZEZHSG&coliid=I3GNYI951Y316P 

- Quadrophenia by The Who on vinyl: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B005M17KFU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=F68MQXZEZHSG&coliid=I9YHHR15O7IA3

- Game of Thrones beer steins. I'd love to get both of these at once, which would complete my set. They are:

Lannister: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B00BFZ3O5C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=334OHARFDHZKQ&coliid=I3MEV33UR3HZL0

Baratheon: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B009Z07U40/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_ttl?_encoding=UTF8&colid=334OHARFDHZKQ&coliid=I2TJYH6U2I4T54

A decent mixed bag. There's a few books I'd like to receive that have peaked my interest. One or two vinyl albums; as I am intending to purchase a stereo system this summer sometime. I already have a few vinyls, as some of them may be harder to find over time; whereas the hardware equipment will always be around. Finally, a few more Game of Thrones beer mugs to close out my collection, which is fitting seeing as the show is headed towards its endgame.

June 7, 2017

"I'll Netflix That"



One thing that I'm doing, is starting up a blog series titled "I'll Netflix That." Whenever I use that expression on social media etc, some people take that as "that movie looks like crap." or "I don't want to see it." Neither is true...well, fully.

Here's the thing.

Cinema prices are expensive. (9/10, I see a movie with my lady. We usually do the IMAX version, and do snacks and/or supper out beforehand. Its fine financially every now and then. But for every single movie we want to see? Now it gets to cost a bit after awhile. So, we see the ones that we really want to see at the cinema, as well as the odd non-planned movie should we have enough Scene points.

The rest of the movies, I wait until they're available to download, or streaming on Netflix. Netflix's strength is some of its original shows (House of Cards, for instance).

I also don't have "TV", so I was able to watch some shows I was interested in thanks to Netflix. I'm currently watching Turn: Season 3 and will likely finish on Friday.

Here are some of the movies that I have on my Netflix list that I'll eventually watch and review:

- Ms Peregrine
- Big Hero 6
- Ice Age 5
- Fury
- Into the Woods
- Snowpiercer
- Turbo
- Captain Phillips
- Bridge of Spies
- Peanuts

And now for the 2017 films that I'll be 'waiting' on but still want to see:

- Underworld: Blood Wars
- Resident Evil 6
- The Great Wall
- The Lost City of Z
- The Circle
- Wonder Woman
- Despicable Me 3
- War of the Apes
- Valerian
- The Dark Tower
- Justice League
- Star Wars: Episode VIII 

June 6, 2017

Tolkien Tuesday: "Beren and Luthien"


Well, this is it - what could very well be the final Tolkien, and Middle-earth book (not counting anniversary or illustrated editions of existing material).

The announcement of the title surprised myself, as well as quite a few others. It seems that everyone involved with the book was keeping it under tight wraps. The very existence of it, I mean.

So, let's delve into the newest...and possibly final book.

The dustjacket features illustrations on the front and back, much like for The Children of Hurin. The texture is a matte / paper-y feel to it. Removing the dustjacket, the book itself is black with the writing embossed. Opening the book yields no frontispieces, anything on the reverse side of the boards, and no maps. Nothing folds out. Aside from the text itself on 'normal' paper, the colour plates are printed on glossy or plastisized photo-type paper. And that's it! I was honestly expecting the same fold-out map at the back of Beleriand and the Lands to the North, much like how The Children of Hurin had a slightly different variation of it. Ah well.

And that's pretty much all I can say about the book itself, in regards to how it's presented and any feature it may have. Just like The Children of Hurin, this one is somewhat of a judgement call, in regards to the material already existing elsewhere.

[my copy is nestled between The Children of Hurin and Tales From the Perilous Realm. I consider Perilous Realm to be a 'gateway' in, and out, of Middle-earth, because only story it contains is set there.] 

June 2, 2017

"The Joshua Tree" by U2 30th Anniversary



There they are: U2, in a reproduction of the cover from the monumental album The Joshua Tree.

This year, they're celebrating in a big way, with a Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary Tour. The album will most likely be played in its entirety, including additional B-Sides and bonus tracks. Find the details here: http://www.u2.com/tour/index/tour/id/79/ .

Today The Joshua Tree 30th Anniversary 7LP Deluxe Vinyl Boxed Set was also released [read about that here: http://insurrbution.blogspot.ca/2017/03/joshua-tree-30th-anniversary-edition.html . In short, anything and everything you could possibly wish for are included in that box.