Happy New Year & some 2017 Stats

Well, a very happy 2018 to everyone. Before we start 2018’s blogging duties proper, a momentary time-out to review some stats from 2017 now that it has shuffled off into the past, if only to chart some intentions for this coming year.

2017 was my most prolific year yet. Quantity is no indicator of quality, to be sure, though I’ve always done my best to make my posts entertaining and possibly informative. In 2017 I managed to write and publish 190 posts. This compares with 159 posts in 2016 and 68 posts in 2015, so you can see its going in the right direction at least. The hardest part isn’t so much finding something to write, but rather finding the time to write it. I expect this will continue (married life and a job and all that, and oh, finding time to even watch anything, let alone write about it).

In any case, I’m pleased to have managed that many posts. It took some time and effort but clearly it’s my best output yet. I was rewarded with the most views yet, too (and it doesn’t necessarily follow that the more you post, the more views you get). My blog managed 6,103 views in 2017.  In the grand schemes of the internet, such a number is so low it’s pretty much a big fat zero, but its my highest annual figure ever so thanks to all of you who have visited this blog- particularly those of you who took the time to comment, which is where the real reward from blogging comes into it- the social aspect. We may never meet but I consider you all freinds and feel lucky to have met, online, people from all over the world. It’s a crazy and sobering thing to someone like me who remembers the pre-internet world.

So anyway, that was 2017. As far as 2018 goes, I am obviously intending to try pass that 190 posts figure, and to that end, I thought I’d try make this blog more of a journal this year. Whilst I’ll still be writing ‘proper’ reviews etc as usual, I thought I’d also try posting more commentary and reflections/notes about what I’ve been watching/reading. So there will hopefully be more entries, even if they are shorter, but hopefully they may well chart the year as it passes and its twists and turns, and be a fun read for me someday. Well, we’ll see how that goes (you may recall 2017 started with the intent of daily posts and that got beaten out of me by February). But New Year, New Intentions and all that.

In any case, I wonder what lies ahead for 2018? Thinking back to this time last year, I could not have ever imagined BR2049 turning out as well as it did, or me not rushing to the cinema to see the latest Star Wars movie (maybe next week). If nothing else, 2018 has one particular credential- it is going to slowly and inexorably take us to the year 2019, a very special year for a very particular geek such as I. For obvious reasons, I’m sure- and it’s not the final season of GOT either.

What? You’re more excited that 2018 is going to bring us a Han Solo movie?


2017 Selection Pt.7

2017gWell, after a  year of some success regards curbing my disc-buying, everything went out the window towards the end of the year. I mean, just look at that haul above, which dates from around Sept onwards I think. This 2017 selection update is clearly way overdue, and with so many additions I almost gave up on it, but I suppose that would have defeated the point of all those preceding posts so here we are.

So a quick run-through seems in order. The sales caught up with me with The Walk and Nocturnal Animals. You can’t go wrong at about £4 each. Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was my favourite cinema experience up until BR2049 swept me away- I may be in the minority, but I do think Galaxy 2 is superior to the original. Wonder Woman didn’t particularly fill me with wonder but it was still cheaper than a cinema visit and I’ll inevitably rewatch it sometime.

While I quite enjoyed Alien:Covenant at the cinema, it fared less well on disc, but I chiefly bought it for the Ridley Scott commentary, which unfortunately I haven’t heard yet (come on Ridley, explain it to me, what’s going on with the Alien franchise?).  The Vikings, meanwhile, is a great catalogue release- it’s a brilliant film brought to HD with a beautiful picture quality and worthwhile extras. Brilliant. Then of course we come to one of  the releases of the year- the simply gorgeous Arrow edition of The Thing, here in its LE variant- a lovely matt-finish hard box with the Amaray slipped inside with a book and artcards and poster. Regardless of the package, it’s the remaster of the film that is the big draw- it’s perfect. I almost dread the inevitable proper 4K release one day- I’ve really brought this film too many damn times already.

Then Indicator’s Hammer box (the first of four, I believe) heralded the Autumn of big releases coming up. I just cannot resist Hammer, and while the Sony Hammers that Indicator have access to are not exactly the Premier league of Hammer their treatment is exemplary and I really rather enjoyed them all. Some nice surprises in this set.

So here we come to the start of the spending madness.2017h

In My Mind was an impulse purchase, a great documentary about The Prisoner, celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Season three of The Leftovers was another import due to there being no HD release here, which was followed by the exact opposite- a release that tempted me with one too many HD options. HBOs Westworld really impressed me when aired and was a disc release that I was looking forward to all year, and it turned out to be my first dual-HD format purchase, as I bought the tin with both 4K and blu-ray discs. Of course, I don’t have a 4K telly yet and have no idea when my current perfectly-fine Bravia will fail and cause any 4K replacement. Months? Years? It feels a bit silly but already future-proofing is on my mind. That slick packaging likely swung it.

La La Land was another sale purchase, and I really enjoyed it- I only hope I won’t regret not waiting for the 4K edition to come down in price. The Farthest is a simply brilliant doc about the Voyager space mission and Captain Scarlett in HD needs no explanation for anyone like me who grew up on a diet of Gerry Anderson magic.  Then of course two blockbusters I didn’t see at the cinema- Spiderman Homecoming and War For the Planet of the Apes, both great movies. They look great in HD but again, should I have stretched out to the 4K editions? I have a feeling that question will be a routine one going forward.

2017g (2)So then we come into Decembers offerings. Two more tv series boxsets follow- season 7 of GOT and the sublime wonder that is the Twin Peaks series three set. When in the world I will actually get to watch them I don’t know (the last three sets of GOT have sat on the shelf waiting for the past few years- I love the show and having only seen them on Sky Atlantic over the in-laws are surely ripe for proper viewing without breaks etc but somehow it never happens). A few more sale buys follow- 4K/Blu-ray of the notorious marmite flick Valerian that might prove to be a disastrous purchase (haven’t seen it yet) and two anime titles from a Christmas sale at All the Anime; the tv series Terror in Resonance (actually in a deluxe set in a huge box that’s hardly shelf material) and the twin set of Genius Party/Genius Party Beyond, two rather curio films that I have been interested in for years but never seen.

Finally, last weeks Arrow release of The Apartment, one of my top ten fave films in a lovely set with some new extras and a book, and the extended 4K/Blu-ray release of The Martian. The latter has been on my radar for ages but was in one of those flash-sales at Amazon last week (I bought it whilst surfing on a break at work, and the price had already gone up again by the time I got back home later in the day). Bit daft really, I wanted it mostly for the commentary and addl extras but figured if I was double-dipping I might as well go the 4K route whilst doing it.

Christmas presents/festive sales may yet add to the selection and require another post. But clearly I already have my work cut out for me regards the to-watch pile. Breaking the barrier into 4K purchases is a troubling event that may prove to be a trend next year (I already have the 4K BR2049 pre-ordered) which frankly feels a bit silly knowing a 4K telly and Ultra HD player may yet be over a year away. But double-dipping is so frustrating maybe it’s the only solution. Will 2018 be the year I buy discs I can’t even watch yet? Shudder.