Friday, October 09, 2015

Movie Review - Hotel Transylvania 2

Hotel Transylvania 2

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Key, Asher Blinkoff, Fran Drescher, Molly Shannon, Megan Mullally, Mel Brooks, and more.

Directed by: Genndy Tartakovsky Written by: Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler Art Direction by: Steve Lumley Music by: Mark Mothersbaugh

Premise: Now that Drac's daughter, Mavis, has married Jonathan, the crew at the Hotel Transylvania  move to a new phase in their lives when Mavis gets pregnant. Drac loves his grandson Dennis and knows he will soon show his vampire heritage (his just a late fanger), but everyone else thinks Drac might just have to settle for a 'human' grandson. But if Dennis is human, Mavis wants to move to California so he can grow up with others of his kind. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Adam Sandler is a total hoot as he reprises his role as Dracula. (Blah blahblah!) Asher Blinkoff is adorable as Dennis (aka Dennisivich). Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, and David Spade are too much fun as Drac's partners in crime.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: One of the fun things about the Hotel Transylvania films is the artwork. How they take such iconic figures like Dracula, Frankenstein, etc. and make them into average older folks. A mummy with weight gain and back issues, potbellies, slouching, and having to deal with the fact they are all getting too old for all the antics. And all of it just makes them all the more enjoyable to watch for it.

Kudos for Dennis' hair. It must have driven the animators nuts, yet they also have so much fun with it. The Batman scene is hilarious. And watching the feral, piranha like werewolf kids is a blast. There are a ton of visual jokes. Also tons of lovely artistic touches.

We also get even more old horror film homage sprinkled through the film. How many of these monsters will you recognize? :)

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up:  Just like the first Hotel Transylvania, the film deals with several themes and family oriented issues. Now that the humans and supernaturals are mixing together, the fact Mavis has a half breed child has opened up a whole slew of new possible problems.

Though at first look it seems obvious, possibly painful, and definitely cliche, Mavis as the overprotective mother is a lot more than you see at face value. As a vampire, she's still very very young, and in the film we see her struggle with the dichotomy of being a parent and needing to be an adult versus still wanting to be a kid and have fun. Deeper still is her worry that Dennis will be human rather than a vampire as the 5 year threshold approaches. Though she denies it, it becomes obvious she has her own doubts as to his survival out in Transylvania if he turns out as she suspects. And though it interferes with her relationship with her husband and her father, her fears very much come to rule her life.

Another fun theme will strike home with the older of those viewing the movie - mainly that things never stay the same - and the places of our youth and recollection can be quite different from what we remember.  The park and the vampire camp are perfect examples. Poor Drac just could not catch a break. lol.

4) Music - Total Thumbs Up: Mark Mothersbaugh does a great job with the soundtrack. The opening music was sublime and totally reminiscent of the old black and white horror films. It perfect for the creepy castle (hotel) entrance scene. Kudos!

Conclusion: If you enjoyed Hotel Transylvania, you should very much enjoy Hotel Transylvania 2. Some emotional angst along with some visual and audible humor. Fun for both kids and parents. No extra bonus at the end of the credits though.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Picture Kaleidoscope 10/7/15


Life is overfull again. Quarter end close at work. Oi!
I so totally dislike the way the iPhone now parcels pics in the folders. I can never find anything!
Anyway, torturing you with my own stuff this week. :P

Eye in the Sky! 

Clouds were moving fast this day. I never remember this thing has a video function. DOH

So many cloud filters...

Clouds painted on like brush strokes! 

Buddy at work found her dog chewing on this. On the lower part of the shell there's blood. Turtle did not take kindly to getting her shell chewed on. They found the poor thing a safer home. :)

Good Morning!

Fencon was this past weekend. Not a lot of costumes, but this one was fab! Hello, Time Lord!

Cool lighting/transporter/force field mechanism. Done by one of the ConCom guys. Fab work! There was another set they made but I never remembered to go find it. :( 

How did it get to be October already? Winter is Coming! Heh heh

Monday, October 05, 2015

Mind Sieve 10/5/15

Happy Monday!
(or is that an oxymoron?) :P

Fan Fun

Found these guys by accident. They have a Kickstarter for the game called "Essence" - looks fab! Here's a peek. Hope they make it!

The Revenant Official Trailer - looks rough~! People are gonna pay! Heh heh

A Christmas Horror Story Trailer - LOL! Santa and his bro in mortal combat! lol. 

Pay the Ghost Official Trailer #1 - guess that time of year is coming!

Social Media/Author Platform

Branding and the Brain—What We Post On-Line Matters by Kristen Lamb.

How to Manage Your Facebook Page Effectively by Kristi Hines at the Social Media Examiner.

Writing Advice

The Risks of Offering a Freebie by Jami Gold. Some great insight on why and why not to offer free stuff as an author.

Why Editing (By an Editor Who Isn't You) Matters by John Adamus at Great info peeps!

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Virtual Tourist - Final Fantasy XIV 10/4/15

Morning all!

Final Fantasy XIV

Old Gridania
Lancer Guild

This guy has different views on how Lancers should be. He might just become my characters future boyfriend. If he doesn't get me killed. lol.

That's my sensei in the background. First met the rival when he came to challenge everyone in the dojo. My master would not rise to his taunts. Heh heh

Central Shroud

Riding my first Chocobo! Woot! What's truly hilarious is they play a Bonanza like song when you ride the Chocobo from station to station. Hee!

Some Aardvark like creatures that have been causing trouble. Nifty little tents!

Though the local tents are also cool. And new armor!

Hah! A closeup!

Hubby is staring up at the Mail station. The mail guy looks so cute! 

Pet Caster's pet. Cutest things ever!

I so love all the lovely detail!

Wharf area at night

Some mound burial crypts out in the Shroud zone. 

Inside one of them. Before we got mauled. Heh heh

Our first view of the Adventurer's housing area. Really cool. And so expensive! Gack!

Have a super Sunday!

Friday, October 02, 2015

Movie Review - The Martian

The Martian

Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Mackenzie Davis, Donald Glover, and more.

Directed by: Ridley Scott Screenplay by: Drew Goddard Based on the Novel by: Andy Weir  Cinematography by: Dariusz Wolski Music by: Harry Gregson-Williams

Premise: When the Ares III Mission on Mars is aborted due to a massive storm, Mark Watney is left for dead after being hit and swept away by a large antenna. Alone and stranded on the red planet, Mark tries to find ways to survive on what little he has left, knowing help is at least four years away. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Matt Damon does an awesome job as the stranded, humorous and somewhat egotistical, Mark Watney. Strong performances from Jeff Daniels and Jessica Chastain. I also loved the little subtle bits of acting by Kate Mara. Donald Glover was a lovely treat as Rich Purnell.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: From the burning wood chips to the amazing landscape of Mars, the special effects department did a fantastic job. The more we saw of the planet, the more awesome the work got. Make sure to pay attention to the skies too! Lots of little touches to proclaim we are not on Earth.

They also got to have some fun with disasters - from minor to large! And the first storm was just too darn cool! So much to love from the special effects teams! If you don't wince or cringe as Mark fixes himself after coming conscious on Mars... alone... you're not human. Heh heh.

And wait until you see the super cool dust devils and other neat weather phenomena. The views from space are awesome.

Not as visually stunning as Prometheus, but with a much better plot, so the tradeoff is so worth it. :P And the 3D adds a lot to the film.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: I've not read the novel the movie is based on yet, though my Mom and Richard totally adored it. Looking forward to that!

Movie wise, most of the plot is pretty straight forward and the ending no surprise. While much of the film is just Matt Damon alone, his little quips and jokes make watching him a lot of fun. The science is pretty solid, too, and they explain things so even laymen can understand but done in such a way they're not talking down to the audience. There's also enough politics and maneuverings back on Earth to add some nice tension.

The most fun though is seeing how inventive Mark and those back on Earth get in trying to solve all the different problems they keep running into. Some true ingenuity happens here.

Also impressive (and disturbing) were the visual hints of the effects on Mark's body from having to rough it on rationed food and his having to wear a spacesuit for weeks/months on end.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Several lovely stunts, mostly at Mark's expense. Some real nice smooth maneuvering by Kate Mata on the Hermes. She made moving around in zero G seem like a ballet.

5) Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: This film is definitely worth seeing on the big screen and in 3D. The awesome cinematography of Earth, space, and Mars is so totally worth it. Beautiful sweeping views of Mars from any number of angles. Some agle play was done as well with the closer views of the characters - wall mounted cams or those in the suits and vehicles made for some interesting perspectives, but not done so much or so long it becomes bothersome rather than neat.

Conclusion: "The Martian" is a gorgeous film with solid science and a ton of ingenuity. Definitely worth seeing in 3D.

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

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/30/15


Dragon's Back by Tom Jackson at Neat idea~! Mr. Jackson has a ton of truly impressive prints at his site as well. 

In Search of Ancient Spirits by Yegor Malinovskii at - he's got a lot of other lovely photos at his site. :)

Kirsty Mitchell’s ‘Wonderland’ Finished After 6.5 Years and 74 Photographs by Michael Zhang at PetaPixel. Photography by Kristy Mitchell. These have to be seen to be believed! I can see how it took 6.5 years! Dang! So surreal. She has even more photos of Wonderland on her site.

Mystery of the Well by Ed Mooney - pics of a Holy Well in Cork, Ireland. 

Have fun!

Monday, September 28, 2015