Archive | November 2012

The rather late Lucasfilm gets sold post!

So a few weeks ago Lucasfilm got sold to Disney. Most posts that start like this are going to turn out terrible for two key reasons…

1) It is something we all already know

2) You never use So to start a sentence (I know I have done that but it is for dramatic effect alright!)

Anyhows, as a Star Wars fan I thought I better put my waste of time nobody cares view into the mixer. Unlike other people’s views I have not bothered to research anything, I only know what I know from hearsay and the odd facebook comment. Basically I like Star Wars but don’t have time to surf the net for other people’s’ views. Actually I don’t really care what other people think because what I have heard through hearsay is the biggest load of twaddle (see how I censored myself there) ever. Firstly I would like to say that I think this is a good thing, the George Lucas marketing bandwagon has gone far enough so lets let someone else have a slice of the pie, plus Disney really need it, it’s not like they are a massive corporation or anything! As far as I am concerned this can never be a bad thing, look at Episode 1 and 2. Nothing Disney  can do will ever be that bad! Loads of fans have said they disowned the second trilogy (looking at it from production not storyline, no-one would ever disown 4, 5 and 6!), well if you didn’t like them you’ve got nothing to lose, you can simply disown this new trilogy too. The thing is that everyone knows that when Lucas outsources his ideas good films get made (please don’t mention Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull!). When Lucas tried his hand at directing and writing we got Jar Jar Binks and acting that made even Hollyoaks fans shudder. I have heard that the guy who wrote Toy Story is writing the new ones aka were on to a winner already, we just need a good director. But not Steven Spielberg, everything he does has aliens in….oh…wait! P.S. Sorry for spoiling the surprise twist in 97.3% of Spielberg’s movies!

The other thing that annoys me is people stating, and some in all seriousness, that Mikey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy are going to be in it. There was me thinking that Disney made other films like Pirates of the Caribbean, Tron and The Chronicles of Narnia. These are all good Sci-Fi/Fantasy films (ok I haven’t seen the new Tron but I am trying to prove a point!) and I don’t remember Mickey’s gang ever popping up in those. Stop being silly!

There are others saying let it lie, let the films be. Well to those I say that the toys, cartoons, books and general other merchandise  never stopped when the films ended. Lets just allow them to produce three more two hour long adverts to help them shift that stuff! I for one will be buying in with a sense of irony until I realised I just spent £20 on a Chewbacca Angry Bird Plush Toy.

Really, what I am trying to say is it’s probably going to be bad but it can’t be as bad as before and Disney do have a good track record so lets all sit back and forget about it until 2015 when we can spend £6  to £8 to get into the cinema (probably about £20 by then) and sob slowly into our popcorn thinking how the cinema has fleeced us once again and our love for Star Wars has diminished to so minute proportions you would miss it in a post-mortem!

Angry Birds is making me…well….um….you know….ANGRY!

I was never one to jump on the Angry Birds bandwagon, as a man who is turning 30 next year I feel a little embarrassed to mention my interest in computer games. I think it is actually quite sad that I won’t admit who I am some times, in fact computer games is the only thing I tend to hide. Right, it’s out there on the internet I can now go into a corner and weep in shame!

Anyhow, back to the irate avians. I had played crush the castle games on the internet in random periods of boredom so when Angry Birds came out a few years back I thought it was just another boring rock flinging type game. But those guys at Rovio had other ideas! The marketing executives took a somewhat stupid move in my opinion and decided to give Angry Birds Seasons away for free. Finding it on the app store I thought I’d see what all the fuss was about. In my opinion games apps are only for short-term play when your waiting for someone at the train station, have five minutes free before you need to leave the house, are on the toilet or are waiting for the wife to try on the sixteenth pair of jeans that day whilst you stand in that awkward imaginary sheep pen around the changing rooms whilst men hide behind smart phones trying not to make eye contact. But clever, smarmy, smart arsed Angry Birds had other plans. Damn it with its array of different locations each with unique and beautiful designed background art, each with different sorts of blocks and fiendish design. Damn it with its large array of different birds with varying abilities which continues to expand. Damn it with its clever hardness curve that starts easy but builds up to rather difficult. Damn its choice of levels so if I get stuck I can move to a different world and come back later. Damn it with its star system that makes you want to go back and complete levels with three stars. I want a life but you sir, you just wont let me! I even hate it when my wife says, ‘are you playing Angry Birds again?’ I feel like a scolded child, I feel like I am somehow doing something wrong, and worst of all I feel like I have been demoted to the lowest common denominator like I am a contestant on Big Brother or am appearing on The Only Way is Essex. In short it makes me feel dirty.

That is the things about Angry Birds, it is absolutely amazing. It takes a simple genre of game and makes it not only aesthetically pleasing but clever, difficult and diverse. I am constantly playing levels wanting a certain type of bird but not getting it only to take a step back and look at how my current menagerie could solve that dilemma. I can really see why it is such a big hit.

But then you see I though that was it, one free game that I play on a bit. I have times where I play it a lot, I have times where I don’t play it at all. Then Rovio hit me with a bombshell, they raised my annoyance. It was as if they looked straight into my chest grabbed my heart and started manually pumping it so the blood went round my body really fast. Yes you knew Rovio, you knew I was a Star Wars fan, you knew that despite Lucas making Episodes 1 and 2 I still love it, you knew that I was happy with the galactic world in spite of the Disney fiasco (actually not a bad thing in my opinion), you knew I’d buy it. It just kept flashing up, that little banner when I was on Angry Birds Season….’buy angry birds star wars, buy ANGRY BIRDS STARS, BUT ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS!’ It was only 69p, I should not be annoyed. But marketing doesn’t work on me! Actually what is really frustrating it that it does but I know when it does. I could feel it taking over my body and I was aware. There I was on the app store, ready to download, oh wait I’ve got a new phone, I need to re-register my credit card details before I can purchase, I’ve won. Yes, no 69p loss for me. The next stage was a blur, my credit card was in my hand, what was I doing? 69p gone, but I tell you something it was worth it! I though Seasons was good but Star Wars is amazing! Little red Luke Skywalker bird with his lightsabre, Black Obi-Wan bird with his force push, Yellow Han Solo bird with his laser shot and big hairy Chewbacca bird. And the space levels with planets with gravitational pull, oh I’m in heaven.

I still don’t think it is right. I don’t want my phone to take over my life, but at least I know what all the fuss is about even if I feel like a hypocrite. Like the man who doesnt eat cake and the next minute is tucking into a slice of victoria sponge who the person who says wrestling is stupid and not real then is caught watching WWE Smackdown (that has actually happened to me). All I really want to say is that Angry Birds is not as good as everyone says, it’s better and it blows all my principles out of the water and thus makes me angry and overjoyed at the same time. Lets just hope they don’t bring out Angry Birds Pirates of the Caribbean or that’s another 69p I’m down!

National Short Story Week

National Short Story Week

Why not join in and write your own short story.

Super Lizard Cover

Cover for Super Lizard Begins, but should I keep the characters going for another short story?

As some of you may know, but probably not many, this week is National Short Story Week in Britain. As a teacher it is an opportunity to promote literacy amongst pupils. As an avid reader and someone who likes writing (but is pretty bad at it!) it seemed like the perfect opportunity to write something small and witty (neither of which I can actually do!). Anyway I thought I would make the challenge a little more difficult and use a silly plot generator, which can be found here. If your curiosity is piqued you can check it out on wattpad. I am actually a lot happier with it than I thought I would be! So much so that I may even write another short story with the same characters, let me know if you would like to read more Super Lizard stories.

When does this quick tech actually fit into our daily lives?

Just a quick post to apologise to anyone who follows me and actually wants to read what I write about…right no-one…anyway I will carry on.

Really just saying that life (and in particular work) is getting on top of me. I have post titles ready about the film triangle, my wonderful honeymoon safari and my views on the old Disney Star Wars debate amoungst others (I want to do something on the Wii U when I get it at the end of the month as well), yet don’t have time to write them. I though all this technology like blogs, wikis, twitter, facebook, youtube etc. was supposed to be quick easy access and save you time. It’s hard to save time when there is no time available to be saved. Just imagine our favourite movies like that, Nemo is lost but his father can’t make it as he has to complete that data analysis spreadsheet for the morning, or the Empire are about to take over the galaxy but the Jedi Council have a 2pm deadline on that report detailing the waste systems on Coruscant that reduce emissions by 20%, or the dark lord Sauron is searching for the One Ring to rule them all but Frodo and Gandalf have to do a presentation about marketing strategies to the elves at Rivendell regarding how they can increase income from the Shire. It wouldn’t happen in films so why does it have to happen in real life!

Safe to say that I’m busy so will blog when I can. Which seems at the moment like never! That saying I hope to get another blog up tonight about a short story I have written for National Short Story Week 2012, it’s a cracker if you like lizards who are turned into superheros and fire laser beams out of their eyes! Actually that’s just made it about 74% more exciting than it actually is.

Right, I’m going back to do some work now!