iPhone X, 8,Watch and TV Event

So the annual event dropped and as expected Apple showed off the 8, 8 Plus, Watch Series 3,  Apple TV w/4K and of course the iPhone X. I thought it was a mixed bag.

The good:

Watch – Series 3 with upgraded chips and LTE. This should be pretty great assuming the battery life really is comparable to the first 2 versions. I think I won’t mind the 10$ a month I’ll be billed from my carrier, but I do wonder if the non-LTE Series 3 would work just fine instead.. TBD

Apple TV – The only real positive from this portion was that Apple managed to whine, beg, threaten, cajole almost all the studios to do 20$ 4K movies. That is actually really great. And the they will upgrade any HD movies you already bought for free. Awesome.

iPhone 8/8Plus – These were standard annual upgrades. They are fine. And would’ve been pretty ok until….

iPhone X – Even though everyone knew what it looked like and pretty much what the capabilities were it was still fun to see it rolled out. I’m pretty excited for it. I’m interested to see the FaceID in action and the screen. I know that other devices have had OLED screens for a while now, but I use an iPhone so its a nice addition.

The bad:

Watch – nothing really. Nice upgrades.

Apple TV – WTF Tim.. dat price. Why the heck would anyone use an AppleTV over a Roku or Firestick or basically any other streaming device that does 4K also? Because they like giving Apple twice what it should actually cost? The pricing on these is truly disappointing.

iPhone 8/8Plus – uh…the bezels?  Nothing was negative per se,  just boring and totally expected. Meh.

iPhone X – The notch is…a notch. Why? Why Jony? And here you would also see the complaint about pricing (999$ and 1149$ for 64GB and 256GB respectively) except its only really a 50$ “tax” over the Note 8 the natural comparison. I think its worth 50$ to not have to use Android or Samsung. Just a personal preference. YMMV.

All in all I think the event was one of the better ones they have had in the last couple years. Google is announcing the Pixel 2 in October and I’m interested to see how they compare.

Oh…and pre order for the 8/8Plus and Watch start in a few hours. The X won’t be available until November. And now I am sad again.. Thanks Apple.

 

The Magicians review

 

themagicians

So I just wrapped up The Magicians by Lev Grossman. I had heard really good things about it so I gave it a shot. The story is centered around Quentin Coldwater,  an outcast kid from Brooklyn who suffers from low self esteem and a distinct sense of self loathing. He is of course bright,  and “misunderstood” and not appreciated by Julia (one of a trio of pals along with James in which Q plays the 3rd wheel.). He ends up at a school of magic called Brakebills College of Magical Pedagogy.  The bulk of the book is him meeting a new group of friends and getting through his years there at the school.  Well, lo and behold,  magic is real and there ensues the usual discovery of a whole new world etc etc.  The books last half is Q and pals finding themselves in Fillory,  the fantasy world that Q has lost himself in while reading a series of books published in the mid 20th century. Think of them like the Tolkien books. There is a whole world there and after Brakebills, Q ends up in Fillory. There is some relationship drama with Alice and she ends up being the actual baddest motherf-er of the group and sacrifices herself to save them.  And the self pity, self loathing  and misplaced anger that pours out of Quentin taints the whole book.

The story is fine and the system of magic is fine and the writing is fine… The problem is that Quentin is a whiny,  ungrateful,  miserable dipshit. He is just too unlikable.  He thinks like a child,  acts like a child and is just a pretty terrible person all around. The fact that this series centers around him is pretty disappointing.  At least Harry Potter was a child.  Quentin is just an insufferable douche.  I can’t bring myself to continue the series.. I just don’t care enough about the characters.

Anywho.. TL:DR 2.5 out of 5 magic spells…

Winds of Winter Thoughts(spoilers)

GOT finale banner

First let me say that this finale set a new bar for the show.  It was packed with great scenes and hit all the right plot points to move this story, and what a story.  Great job by the cast and crew.  Now,  some thoughts from the episode..

  1. The Lady Mormont is a f*cking badass. She brooks no shit and embarrassed the other northern Lords.  And she is like 10. If she was 20 she would be eating Cerise’s liver while demanding Dany make sure everyone’s wine glass is full. 
    lady-mormont
    MVP

  2. Arya! She made it back to Westeros to start on her list and couldn’t have picked a better beginning.  Buh Bye Walder Frey,  you decrepit traitorous f*ckwit. 
    Arya finally
    Yassss!

  3. Ah Tommen… The gloriously inept sh*thead finally makes a command decision.*Note- pretty much acceptable all things considered. 
    tommen
    useless dipsh*t

  4. I’m torn.. We have lost the lovely and charming and *good* Margaery Tyrell. sniff. 
    Margaery
    I’ll miss you Nat..

    But we also now get to see The Lady Olenna – Off. The. Chain. 

    Olenna Black2
    Cerise’s not the only one in battle mode

  5. Oh yeah.. R+L=J is true.  Fire and Ice as foretold. 
    JonTargaryan
    Hi. I’m King of the North..plus some more. Where’s my dragon?

  6. Cersei went battle mode and dressed the part.  Sharp.  She also killed a sept full of people.. Ruthless..aaaaannd maybe a little crazy. 
    Bad Cersei
    Battle Mode Cersei

  7. Those murderous little street urchins! WTF..Although they did help finally rid the world of this douche:
    LancelDouche
    What a punchable face. 

  8. Seems to be a 4 party war now..  Team Dany – Iron Born + The Dothraki +Dorne + The Tyrells + Tyrion + DRAGONS vs Team Cersei – Uh,  house Lannister? + Jaime? + Whatever is left of the Freys. Hmm.. and up North Team Snow – The North + Wildings + The at present useless 3 eyed crow vs The Night King and the endless White Walker hordes + Winter.  Seems like one of those teams is pretty stacked.

  9.  No Lady Stoneheart.  Boo… I’m still holding out hope..stupidly.

  10. Bye Melisandre..I wonder where she ends up.. 
    Bye Felicia mel
    Bye Felicia

  11. Winter *finally* came.. There is a Sting joke in there somewhere I think..

 

So.. in conclusion Season 7 should be really spectacular. And we’re probably gonna see a bit of this guy:

Night King
This guy

And:

Drogon
And this guy

 

I can’t wait..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Battle of the Bastards + Leeroy Jenkins = GOLD

Seriously, the Battle of the Bastards episode of Game of Thrones was spectacular. The battle scene outside Winterfell was just breathtaking and I can’t wait for the finale tonight.

 

But…

John Snow falling for Ramsey’s shenanigans was just terrible.

But this almost makes up for it.  John Snow as Leeroy Jenkins

 

Game of Thrones S6E2 – Home (spoilers!)

GoTBar640Alright.. GoT is back!  This season has been killer so far.  They are mostly past the books,    (the Iron Islands stream is still within the book events), so apparently they have decided to get the stories moving a little faster than in previous seasons. D&D have done a really good job thus far into the season and I’m totally on board for now.

Dorne

First, there has been a hella bit of whining on the Interwebs about the Dorne storyline and what they did in the season 6 premiere.  I don’t get it.  What was the expectation there?  Doran Martell to engage in some long distance game of intrigue with Cersei? Hogwash.  Something needed to happen and something did.  Elia  and her Sand Snakes are going to be a problem and I hope she makes a right mess of things.

Kings Landing

I really love the character arcs in this show. Take for instance Jamie Lannister.  How can you not love the guy now?  A humbled Jamie is an awesome Jamie (sexual tastes and murderous history aside).  He gives Brienne a sword of Valyrian steel and a mission,  attempts to save his daughter, and in this episode has one of my favorite scenes with the Sparrow. Jamie is with Tommen at the wake of his daughter and Tommen’s sister and he patiently tells Tommen to go see his mother. The High Sparrow makes an appearance.  I love the barely restrained arrogance and feigned humbleness that Jonathan Pryce pours into the character. Its perfect.  Anyway,  Jamie and The High Sparrow have some words and it was fantastic. Jamie threatens to kill him and the HS suggests he could bring down the throne.  Sadly – Jamie makes the mistake of not bringing any help when the HS’s little birds surround the chamber holding clubs etc and generally looking menacing. To be continued I’m sure..

Speaking of the “King”. Tommen is just brutal. He is pathetic and weak and annoyingly so. What a tragic waste of a crown.  The worst part of all is that when he finally asks Cersei for  help, you actually felt good because you know something is going to get done.

Braavos

Arya is blind and quickly gets forgiveness after a couple beatings. That was fast. I think Jagen H’ghar might be sweet on her. I’m hoping they do her justice because I think she is gonna be awesome later one.  I mean even more awesome.  I miss the Hound.

Iron Isles

Finally they killed that crotchety old bastard Balon Greyjoy and now Yara (the best Greyjoy) can attempt to become the first woman leader of the Iron Isles.  She just needs to navigate the Kingsmoot.

The North

Roose Bolton…Or should I say a poor Joffrey knockoff.  Clearly the guy they want you to hate.  The only problem is that he is a pretty cookie cutter psychopath. He doesn’t have the same spoiled brat throwing a tantrum vibe that really made you hate every fiber of Joffrey’s being.  He is vicious, cold, ruthless and obviously damaged. But actually kind of boring, even with the patricide and fratricide in this episode.

Bran makes an appearance and we see where he has gotten off to up North with the 3 eyed crow.  We also get a glimpse of Ned Stark as a child in Winterfell and his sister Lyanna. Which I think is leading up to a big reveal later.  Look up R+L=J if you’re interested.  Anyway,  hopefully Bran starts doing…something soon.  Anything.  Also – Willis!!

Was there anything else of note this episode… Umm,  the Wildings come back to save the Onion Knight and company in Castle Black from that total creep Allier Thorne.  A giant smashed a crossbowman into pulp on the wall in some comic relief.

Yada..

Yada..

Yada..

Oh yeah.. Boom.

Kit_Harrington_SDCC_2013_(cropped)
Hi, I’m awesome, and I’m back bitches.

 

Hateful Eight..

hateful-eight-banner-what
The Hateful Eight

I know its late,  but I just finished this little piece of cinema in all my spare time… Classic Tarantino.  Its almost like QT is the anti-Sandler.  They both have a clique of actors they constantly work with but instead of utter garbage, QT puts out generally decent,  and sometimes classic movies(Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs).  This was on the better end of the spectrum and Samuel L really made it fun.  It’s almost like he just has such a great time doing  these films that you can just see the joy in his eyes.  The whole cast did an exemplary job, actually.

Basically a bunch of folks end up in a remote rest stop during a blizzard in Wyoming, I think, and it all ends up in a world of shit.  That’s pretty much the film in a nutshell.  Its fun,  gory and worth watching.  3.5 out of 5 on the generic review scale.

Walking Dead Finale… sigh..(spoilers also)

Walking-Dead S6
WTF

Well..I’m torn.  I watched the season 6 finale and I thought it was really good and fine way to finish off what I thought was the best season in a while.  Until the last 10 seconds.  I’ll explain later.

The episode did an excellent job of  building the tension.  The interactions with the Saviors at each route they tried was a nice mechanism to turn the crank as they vainly tried to get Maggie to the doctor at Hilltop.  And the dialog really set up season 7 based on what I believe happened at the end.  A couple lines involving Rick really highlighted the almost arrogance that he has seemed to develop.  The first was when that dummy Spencer asked if they should try and negotiate if the Saviors show up and Rick gave that smarmy smirk and said to tell them to wait for him. The second really telling moment was when Maggie told Rick that she believed in him.  This was a critical line. (I’ll get back to this)

There was also a really nice moment with Abraham and Eugene when he sacrificed himself to let the others get to Hilltop on foot.  It really felt like a good bye and it was bittersweet.

Now to the really issue I had with the episode.  First, I thought JDM was fantastic.  He really pulled it off. And he certainly has the charisma (and I’m told the looks) to pull of the Negan character.  A great introduction…  And then the last 10 seconds happened.  What the F was that?  Awful is what it was. I truly think the writers took it a step too far. I think they would have been much better served and had a much more positive response if they actually showed who was killed and ended on say…Maggie’s horror stricken face?

Glenn
Dead Man Walking

It had to be Glenn who met Lucille at the end.  I think that’s the case because they gave us a couple clues.  Namely the faith shown by Maggie in Rick and the group earlier in the episode and the promises Rick made to her. It kind of highlighted just how tight they are as a group to show how impactful Glenn’s hopefully smashed face is to them.  With Glenn being the chosen one, it will break Maggie from the group and that leads to other events down the road.

I’m still looking forward to the next season but that last ten seconds really dampened my enthusiasm.  Even after hearing the rationalizations that Kirkman and Gimple both gave on The Talking Dead (an amazing show btw), I still feel like it was the wrong choice.  A lot of real fans of the comic and the show were disappointed.

 

The worst part of the whole thing? This waste is still alive!!

NoTalentCarl
The Worst Actor Alive

 

Walking Dead Finale Predictions

So Sunday will finally deliver us the 90 minute finale everyone wants to see.  There are a a bazillion predictions as to what will happen..  So here is another:

  1. Negan arrives. And it will be awesome.
  2. Someone we love will die.  (I’m guessing it will be Glen, or Daryl) – Either will make lots of people unhappy..
  3. Maggie loses/lost the baby.
  4. Lots of other people will die.
  5. Rick might lose something.
  6. Things are gonna be bad for our beloved group
  7. And of course,  that damned cockroach,  no-talent, awful Carl will survive.

 

negan