Are Named Actors Important?

Last night I watched Serenity, the movie that finished off the show Firefly even though it only ran for one season. That stars Nathan Fillion, who I’m much more familiar with starring as the eponymous writer in Castle.

I then really wanted to watch Once Upon a Time. However, I’m watching that with someone else and they are away for a week. Any episodes I watched now, I’d only have to watch again when they got back, so I might as well be patient. It’s only a week right? Well, yeah but when I really like something I want to watch it a lot. What I do is watch whatever the show is exclusively until I’ve seen it all, I then swap to another show and do the same. That’s why dvd boxsets are never wasted on me, I go back and rewatch entire seasons when I have a ‘season’ of that show.

Unable to watch Once Upon a Time I started browsing my Netflix queue for something I did feel like watching. That’s when I saw Stargate Universe. I am a mega huge fan of Stargate, I watched all of SG-1 and loved it, I watched all of Atlantis and loved it. I then went on to Universe, got four episodes in, and went back to start watching SG-1 from the beginning. I really did not like Universe at all. However, Stargate Universe stars Robert Carlyle, who plays Rumpelstiltskin/Mr Gold, aka my favourite character, in Once Upon a Time.

This made me think about the importance of named actors. Big movies like to put the stars names on the posters, to make a big deal about certain people being in it. True sometimes unknowns get to headline things but for any film that possibly can afford it, there’s a well known name cast somewhere.

That’s important to the studios but is it important to the viewer?

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Once Upon a Time

To save my friend from my endless walls of text on skype, I just had to write a blog post about the TV show Once Upon a Time. This isn’t my usual kind of show, over the past few years I have broadened my tastes and now I like a lot of Sci-Fi. However, this is fantasy, not something that would usually get my attention.

I subscribed to Netflix for the free month, I wanted to watch Marvel’s Daredevil. To give Netflix their due, they know what they are doing as I’m now past my free month. We even got an Amazon FireTV box, in the sale, to make watching streaming services easier. As I was now subscribed I went through their catalogue looking for other shows to try.

The first episode made me want to watch the second, within a couple more I was safely hooked. I’ve now watched all of season one, and the first few episodes of season two. Really Netflix is a good fit for how I watch TV, as I binge watch everything. I don’t watch anything live, as I live in the UK. I’m used to getting the dvd’s, now with the FireTV box, Netflix works just like a dvd.

Anyway, the show itself, where do I even begin? Fair warning, it might seem like I’m complaining. Although it might not seem like that, the more I like something, the more I pick fault. I think it’s because I care enough to bother, I actually think about it rather than just accepting it for what it is and moving on.

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Ant-Man: This time, embrace the change

I saw Ant-Man at the movies Monday night. I always go to the cinema for Marvel films, they are the films that I just can’t wait for to be released on dvd. I made the subtitle for this review a quote from Season 1 of Agents of Shield. Fitz says to Simmons, “This time Simmons, embrace the change.” and that just came to mind.

I know I still haven’t written about Age of Ultron. To be honest I’m now thinking that I saw it so long ago, I should wait until the dvd is released to remind myself of what I thought. I didn’t mean to miss reviewing the big Avengers mash-up, climax to phase two but I was ill and lazy.

Anyway, onto Ant-Man which has topped the UK box office, though it’s not done nearly as well as other Marvel films. Although, considering it’s still likely to make a good profit given it’s smaller budget, and the fact that it’s numbers could go up with word of mouth reviews, it’s not exactly bad news. It’s a bit like complaining you got an A on the test rather than an A* but Marvel is used to galactic success.

So what did I think? Oh and in the words of Coulson – “Spoiler alert.”

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A Writer’s Interview: Part Three

This is the third and final part of the ‘Writer’s Interview series’ of posts. It’s been interesting for me to answer them, even if it’s not been quite so interesting for anyone to read them.

I fully admit that writing these last couple of posts has been pure procrastination. I want to write my novel but I’m having real trouble focusing, it’s incredibly frustrating. It reminds me actually of this t-shirt I would quite like from Red Bubble. It’s titled ‘life as a writer’ and the front of the shirt says 45% procrastination, 30% coffee, 15% self-loathing and 5% writing. Obviously the person that created it was a writer, and not a mathematician, as that only adds up to 95%.

Anyway, on with the last questions, then I’ll have no more excuses about not working on the novel. Except who am I kidding? There’s always excuses, I suspect I’ll get up and start cleaning in a minute, that’s the last bastion of desperation. This really does puzzle me considering I like writing, it’s not like I hate it and want to avoid it. Oh well, I suppose if nothing else I’ll have a blog post written and a clean place to live.

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A Writer’s Interview: Part Two

Yesterday I answered eleven questions in response to my friends blog post, where they did the same. Today, I’m answering another eleven questions, my friend will be doing the same but I don’t have a link just yet.

I’m supposed to be working on fiction right now, writing more of the sequel to my finished book. However, I admit I’m struggling a bit at the moment. Confession time, at the weekend I actually made myself a star chart. I know it’s juvenile but I figured a bit of positive reinforcement never hurt anyone. I don’t think I’m going to get a star for my work time today.

That being said I’m writing this blog post, rather than doing something unproductive like those facebook games. I figured if I wasn’t going to write fiction, then this is the next best thing. It’s at least forcing me to focus on something to do with the written word.

Anyway, this is part two of the interview, there will be a third and final part posted tomorrow or after that.

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A Writer’s Interview: Part One

This blog post was inspired by a friend of mine. I don’t know how to do a trackback, or pingback, or whatever it is that marks a blog post as a response. However, they are going to be doing a series of blog posts answering questions from a writer interview. I thought I would join them in answering those same questions. You can find their post here.

I know I haven’t blogged in ages. I was ill for a couple of months, since then I’ve struggled to catch up and get back into a normal routine. I did want to write a review of Avengers: Age of Ultron, possibly still will even though it was some time ago that I saw the film. I also had a post in the works about the Marvel Heroes achievement system, another about all the Swtor news, both the expansion and the 12x story boost in action.

Given circumstances I know better than to make any promises about when, or if, these blog posts will make it live. However, those posts along with the rest of the writer interview series, will appear at some point.

On with the interview.

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Diving back into Landmark

I have a few posts in the pipeline. One on Marvel Heroes which just added achievements! Another on the reality of the Swtor 12x boost, one on Age of Ultron when I eventually manage to see the movie (I can’t wait!) but it’s the newest post in the pile that has my attention.

I never really should have signed up for the Landmark Alpha but I was too excited about the game to wait the year or so until release. I wanted to try it out for myself. However, with having to gather all the materials, then losing them in wipes, I never really got into the game. I know it’s beta and that’s the whole point but I am a very bad beta tester, I didn’t want to waste my time gathering only to lose everything.

Well the devs have said that’s the last wipe, that they will only do claim wipes from now on. Given the template system, all people have to do is login and pick their spot and they are in the same position. From this point on, aside from more bugs and missing features, there’s little difference in my opinion between this and the eventual ‘launch’.

Right so what’s different from the last time I played? What are my ‘first impressions’ when logging in this time?

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Marvel’s Phase Two

Avengers: Age of Ultron is now out in Europe, it’ll be released in America on my birthday, May 1st. My twitter feed has been filled with #It’sAllConnected tweets regarding Agents of Shield. Now I haven’t talked about that show on this blog since the beginning of the season, I never even blogged about Agent Carter.

It would seem I have some catching up to do.

ABC still haven’t announced whether Agents of Shield or Agent Carter are going to be renewed for another season. There are also rumors that there could be a spin-off from Agents of Shield, more Marvel TV shows to geek out on, sounds good to me. There might be spoilers under the cut.

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Wary but Excited

In my last post on Swtor, where I talked about why I resubbed and what I liked about the game, I mentioned the 12x experience boost that had been available for a limited time to purchasers of Shadow of Revan. I said part of me was sorry that I had missed it, as the class quests were the best part of the game. The other part of me was fine with it as the planetary quests were good too.

Well, on May 4th aka Star Wars Day, the 12x boost is back for subscribers. No definitive word on when it’ll be over but the date given is ‘in the fall’ so it’s going to be around for a couple of months.

When I read that announcement my immediate thought was “I’m going to be playing a lot of swtor this summer” and that’s likely still true. However, thinking about it beyond the initial excitement I’m wary for what it means for the longevity of the game.

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Why I unsubbed to Warcraft

I was talking with a friend the other day, a friend who started playing Warcraft not long after it launched. He unsubbed partway through Mists, was persuaded to try Warlords but didn’t even make it to level cap. He’s done with the game. He said that was the nature of MMO’s, they change, and the game Warcraft is now, isn’t the game he loved and played.

That made me think. I’ve said repeatedly, here and elsewhere, that I didn’t know what to do with Warcraft. I’d invested so much time, effort and money into the game, that just turning round to leave and never going back was hard to contemplate.

However, games are supposed to be fun. Rather than spend time in a game I no longer like, let alone love, wouldn’t it be better to leave? Let the memories of the good times remain, and accept that the game has changed and it’s no longer the game I loved and played.

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