Friday, October 24, 2014

Movie Review - The Book of Life

The Book of Life

Starring: Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube, Kate del Castillo, Hector Elizondo, Danny Trejo, Carlos Alazraqui, Emil-Bastien Bouffard, Elias Garza, Genesis Ochoa, Grey DeLisle, and more.

Directed by: Jorge R. Gutierrez Screenplay by: Jorge R. Gutierrez and Douglas Langdale Art Direction by: Paul Sullivan Music by: Gustavo Santaolalla

Premise: Some school delinquents on a trip to the museum get taken to a little known part of place by their tour guide, one dedicated to Mexico. There the kids learn about the Book of Life and the Day of the Dead as their guide spins a tale about a bet between the beautiful La Muerte and Xibalba for control of different parts of the underworld. The bet concerns two boys and a girl and which of the two of them she will choose when she becomes old enough to marry. (Rated PG)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: A really nice mashup of talent was used to fill the cast of characters for the film. Diego Luna and Channing Tatum made for fun friends and rival suitors. Zoe Saldana was spicy and entertaining as always. Ice Cube was quite amusing as the Candle Maker. Emil, Elias, and Genesis were adorable as the voices for the three children. Ron Perlman and Kate del Castillo as Xiblaba and La Muerte were also a ton of fun. Grey DeLisle as Manolo's grandmother added some lovely touches of fun as well.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Reel FX Animation Studios (from Dallas!) does some amazing work in the film. The 'real world' is done in a realistic CGI art style. The story of the bet is told using wooden dolls, so when it unfolds and comes to life on the screen, all the characters are wooden dolls. The dead too are wooden, yet at the same time have a totally different texture and look to them. Xibalba (based on Mayan lore) and the Candle Maker were different from all of the above.

And with the thrown in Mexican folklore and flavor, and Reel FX delivers something entirely unique that stands on its own.

The film gives lots to keep your senses entertained. Xibalba's eyes's red skull pupils were utterly fascinating! Loved how they used then in different facings depending on what he was thinking or feeling. The weird green glowing goo and tar like skin, plus the green flamed candles on his shoulders made him a great treat. La Muerte, too, was dazzling in her red dress and painted face, and her gorgeous glowing eyes.

Make sure to look closely at the center of the universe - loved the juxtaposition of the guitar, the skull, and the mustache. Tons of lovely little touches everywhere. And wait till you see what they do with the skeletal bulls!

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up:  The best stories are those with multiple levels and themes - and this one had plenty. From the pressures and expectations of family and duty, to parents realizing what they think "best" for their children might not be the case, there were plenty of lessons to be learned by all involved. 

While some of the direction the plot takes is expected, there were plenty of other places where it will surprise you. Lots of fun!

4) Music - Total Thumbs Up: The music department likes to play! While layered with a lot of traditional Mexican styles of music, pay close attention to the lyrics of what the characters are singing. If you do, you'll find several of the songs sounding eerily familiar. In a couple of spots, that recognition will make the hijinx going on even more of a treat! 

Conclusion: "The Book of Life" if a color filled, multi layered adventure with fun for everyone. The medium is unique, and the music/lyrics an extra layer of fun.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission to See Again)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/22/14 - Fan Days 2014 Edition


Took a ton of pics over the weekend while at Fan Days 2014. Lots of super awesome costumes!

The daughter and I have a new banner, one big enough to compete with all the artists in the artist alley section. Help us stick out a little more. Heh heh

The calm before the storm.

A furry, not only dressed up as a character from Attack From Titan but doing the actual salute! Floored me. lol. 

The CDC and Military were also in attendance. Playing the Happy song.

Terri was a bad boy.

Hah! Forgot I did this more than once.

Chill Dude, you make it!

Friend Jackie selling her cool hats and drink cozies. The R2D2 cozy is so cool!

Ladies of fantasy

The Three Faces of Cobra Commander! Decisive


Whimsical? lol

All sorts of heroes came on by!

Wizards too!

Don't they look awesome?

Zoom in on the two fairies. Weirdest hairdos ever. I should have a better pic farther down. 

The costume behind the shield was even more awesome!

School girl demons?

Spy vs. Spy with accessories. heh heh.

Everything is awesome!

Deep sea diver of DOOM. Didn't get a shot of his giant drill. Darn

Aha, here's the two funky fairies!

Captain American better watch out.

You have to zoom in to see the awesomeness of this unusual costume. She has mimicked the old fashioned art style with her own body. Too cool!

And she had a buddy!

Green Goblin and a Storm/Thor mashup!

The Kree came to visit. RUN!

This year's awesome Dalek mashup - The Baroness Dalek by Taylor Lymberry. Sweet!

I thought this one was fantastic! Looked beyond awesome!

Red Skull is in the house!

You'll need to see the bigger pic to see the super cool dots and makeup on her face. Too awesome.

A balloon, dancing TARDIS. Even had sound effects. lol

Davros the creator of the Daleks. He looked fantastic!

Vulcans and tribbles, oh my!

The Captain and friend? :)

And I probably only saw a small percentage of the awesome costumes. Dang!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mind Sieve 10/20/14

Spent the weekend at the Dallas Comic Con Dan Days 2014 so this will be a quick one. :)

In the Heart of the Sea Official Teaser Trailer - Moby Dick! Booyah! This looks GOOD!

Get Santa Trailer - this looks too cute!

Dying of the Light Official Trailer #1 - Looks good and messy. Should be exciting. :)

Have fun!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/15/14


This was a total surprise. lol. But looks great! Make sure to look at it with the bigger pic. Perfect for this time of year. lol.

This year has been great for sky shots. :)

Look at that gold!

Isn't he purty?

The sun being shy.

Love the different cloud layers.

Almost looks like a UFO. :P

Hm, wonder if this is what they mean by a "Tequila Sunrise"?

Like layered colors.

Have a great Wednesday!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Mind Sieve 10/13/14

Good morning, all!

Fan Fun

Tomorrowland Teaser Trailer - Ooooh this looks awesome!

Focus official trailer #1 - this could be fun. Looks very slick. :)

My daughter has bit into the latest streaming craze which is playing games and talking to people while doing it. She's doing the game "The Binding of Issac". Here's Episode 5.

Big Hero 6 Official US Trailer 2 - Oh this is going to be so much FUN!

Social Media/Author Platform

5 Ways to Benefit From Twitter Ads by Antonio Calero at The Social Media Examiner. Probably too high end for us authors, but it's nice to know the options.

10 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Marketing by Cindy King at the Social Media Examiner. If I only had the time to look at all this stuff!!!!!

Writing Advice

Frustrated With Slow Progress? Join the Crowd by Jami Gold. Realistic and unrealistic expectations for authors.

Dearest Writer: Nobody Owes You Shit by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig - more reality for us writerly types. :)

Have an awesome week all!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 10/12/14

Morning all!


Eldritch Academy

Isn't this just an awesome sight?

Ack, hate those giant spider things!

More cuteness!

Down in the cellar.

The reason for all this

Cool machine too!

Poporia (Yep, finally found the names!)

Aren't they CUTE?!?!?!

I so love all the detail. :)

Different angle

Back on the Pegasus

Love these things!

Aurum Road 

Pegasus shots.

So arid!

Central town for the section

Some definitely cool rock formations~!

Local bad guys.

Nifty looking ruins.

And that always awesome sky!

Have a great day!