Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Picture Kaleidoscope - AllCon 2015

Two weekends ago was ALLCON!

And the costumes were everywhere and fantastic ones at that! Here are the ones I got to take snap shots of.

Big Hero 6!

From Gravity Falls - Wendy and Dipper!

Tried to catch him like 3 times. He had a mouth beneath the mask part - he looked great! 

He looked very dapper!

Loved this umbrella! Looked like fluffy clouds. 

Nice detail.

This hat was FABULOUS!

Look at all that awesome detail!!!!!

He Who Shall Not Be Named after seeing the Face Off guest for a little touch up. :)

She looked great. Didn't get her cool back hair in the pic though. 

Zoom in on this dress. Let them eat cup cakes!

Chuck! (Aka Prophet, aka God?) 

He came out very well! X-Men, better get ready!

Tim Burton would be proud. :)

A gun totting, western Medusa! Check out her arms! Awesome detail!


What I totally loved was the ship in the wig being attacked by Kraken Tentacles. Sweet!

Isn't she adorable?

Gruncle Stan and WADDLES!!!!  OMG he's so cute!!!!!

Beeker and the Chef - flashback time! 

Our bud across the aisle, after getting worked on by the guest special effects lady. Nice Beast!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Mind Sieve 3/23/15

Morning all!

Fan Fun

Con-Man Teaser - Campaign by Alan Tudyk and Nathan Fillion - this looks like so much fun!

Pixels Official Trailer - this will either be a lot of fun or a big bomb. lol.

Inside Out Official Trailer #2 - this is going to be a wild ride. Heh heh

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation - would not let me share the video. Waaaahhh! Look great!

Social Media/Author Platform

Make Your Videos Even More Interactive With Cards by YT Creators.

Should We Change Our Blogging Style by Jami Gold. Food for thought!

Writing Advice

Want to Start a Writing Related Company? guest post by Kathryn Golman at Jami Gold's blog.

The Flip Side to my Writing Tirade by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.

Heck must be about to freeze over. I did a full post! *pumpsfists*
If you guys only knew all the stuff that has NOT been working out. Bwahahahaha

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Virtual Tourist - Sherlock Holmes Crime & Punishment 3/22/15

Let's get touring!

Sherlock Holmes Crime & Punishment
Half Moon Street Case

Sherlock in disguise!

The circus's main building. I thought we were going to do a lot in this area, but...

What some would call an opportunist. Heh heh

House where Sherlock's new chums plan to rob the last of the three pieces of jewelry. Sherlock has his own plans for the place.

The place is in pretty good shape despite being boarded up.

Using what presents itself to make some traps. Heh heh

Mycroft and his views on the current matter.

The game is done... Some cool visuals in the credits

Showing crime scenes with see through perpetrators

Rather neat!

Ah! Look at the light rainbow! Nice touch guys!

Sherlock pondering how he will entertain himself next! :P

I want to go back and get take the Roman pics! Now just need to find time to go do it! Wheee!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Movie Review - Insurgent


Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Jai Courtney, Mekhi Phifer, Ansel Elgort, Daniel Dae Kim, Octavia Spencer, Naomi Watts, Zoë Kravitz, Cynthia Barrett, Ashley Judd, and more.

Directed by: Robert Schwentke Screenplay by: Brian Duffield, Akiva Goldsman, and Mark Bomback Based on the Novel by: Veronica Roth

Premise: Having escaped Jeanine after foiling her plans, Tris finds her inner self conflicted with all that's happened, especially the loss of her mom. And a new wrinkle presents itself, Jeanine found a vessel that contains a message from the Founders, but only a Divergent can pass the tests necessary to open it. And she very badly wants it opened - as she believes it will give her a way to get rid of all Divergents once and for all. So she's more than willing to break even more rules than before to reach her goals. (Rated Pg-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Shailene Woodley did well as the unbalanced Tris. She and Theo James oozed chemistry throughout the film. Miles Teller was fun as bad boy Peter. Kate Winslet was cold as ice as Jeanine. Naomi Watts as Evelyn was rather interesting. Very hard to tell what side she's truly on.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The cool effects start with the credits. The Summit Entertainment and Red Wagon Logos looked amazing as they introduced them in the 3D and morphed them into Jeanine's image. The visuals were very good - like late in the film, when the city is coming totally apart during two of the sims.

There's one scene with Four where the image falls slowly apart that made for a great visual. Also the weird nano spider things looked very cool.

3) Story - Neutral: Sadly, the film makers forgot some basic rules: a) Not everyone has read the books b) Not everyone will have seen the first film c) Those who did see it, have probably forgotten a lot of details by now.

So instead of doing a quick recap of events, the audience is thrown into things with nothing to guide them. While it's easy enough to remember the main characters, the details behind Peter and Caleb were not as memorable, so it made it incredibly hard to understand some of what was going on or the feelings being kicked about at the beginning. Very bad move. The excitement that could have been built right off is instead hampered and made twice as hard to light.

As happens in a lot of science fiction movies and some books, they can never seem to find a balance between the science level indicated vs. other tech used. If you can make nano machine spiders that are intelligent enough to try to fight against you taking them out, then why can't you make them good enough to heal your wounded hand? Through the entire film, Jeanine is cradling her bandaged hand. This from a culture with science that can make virtual reality feel real, put living nano technology inside you without any drawbacks, and use other tech to take over your mind. Yet no tech to help your booboo? Right...

There were some definitely good moments -  some snappy zingers cropped up here and there. But they were only moments. The whole concept of the 'secret in a container' seemed out of place and contrived, as I don't believe it was ever mentioned in the first film. The leftover bad guy from the first film had to reach useless heights of depravity just so there would be sufficient reason built to shoot him while he was helpless with his hands tied. Which pretty much overrides the act, making it wrong as well. (Though it will uncannily resemble a later act by his mother...)

The ending was odd as well. The message in the container did not surprise me, but the mass exodus of the population did. They all know there's at least thirty miles of desert out there - we had some awesome shots of it in the first film! - so where do they think they're going without transportation or water?

There are two more films coming out for the series - but the ending of this one, made us think there this was it. Only found out there's two more while doing research at IMDB. Would a tiny hint have hurt? "The Maze Runner" did that much at least.

4) Stunts - Thumbs Up: There are fights in several parts of the film, but most were the usual. The fight on the train was very nice though. Some explosions and decent stunt work, but again nothing overtly unusual.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Somewhat outdone by the sims, there were still some great shots of the real city. The collapsed areas and people having to traverse them by foot were definitely impressive. The dried up river with the half drawn bridges was definitely a nice visual. (Though why in 200 years you'd not done some renovating seems rather weird - especially with some of the grandiose buildings in some of the sectors.)

Conclusion: With the lack of a recap putting the viewers off center, the film never heats up as much as it could have with the audience. Some cool sims, some snappy lines, but really nothing much to get really excited about. Which was a pity. You'll think this is the end, but there's two more movies coming. But no hint of it in the film at all. Too bad.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Virtual Tourist - TERA 3/15/15

Trying to slap this together before starting the final day of All-Con.


Citadel of Torment

Huh, did I share this one already? Oh well!

More evil denizens of the place!

So roomy!

A nice forbidding doorway.

Shshshshsh we're hiding...

He looks like he's gonna tell on me.

Isn't he gruesome looking?

I do love these hallways!

Now this is a library~!

Looking down into the next level

How cool is that!

Uhm, flowers fed by blood? Not so cool. I like to keep my blood on the inside. Heh heh

Have an awesome Sunday!

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Movie Review - Cinderella

(Running late! Have Allcon this weekend and after the movie it was way late!)


Starring:  Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera, Holliday Grainger, Derek Jacobi, Ben Chaplin, Hayley Atwell, and more

Directed by: Kenneth Branagh Screenplay by: Chris Weitz Cinematography by: Haris Zambarloukos Music by: Patrick Doyle

Premise: Years after the death of her mother, Ella's father remarries a widow with two daughters. The rocky relationship between the new members of the family escalates when Ella's father also passes. Bereft of most of their income and imbued with jealousy, Ella's step-mother and step-sisters slowly but surely relegate Ella to the role of a servant rather than a family member. Things continue to deteriorate and are brought to a boil when the small kingdom holds an open ball for all eligible your maidens. (Rated PG)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The casting on this film by Lucy Bevan was great. Lily James does a lovely job as Cinderella. Richard Madden and Lily are adorable together and the chemistry between them felt real and fresh. Cate Blanchett was fab as the evil step-mother. She was very expressive and gave depth to the character, showing her bitterness at her lack of power and socially forced dependence on men to assure a comfortable existence and fear she might not be able to give that certainty to her daughters. Sophie McShera and Holliday Grainger were perfect as the clueless and mean step-sisters. Helena Bonham Carter put her own twist to the Fairy Godmother and did a grand job as the story's narrator.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of lovely and subtle special effects enhance the film to give it just the right amount of magic, yet kept it within the bounds of something that could happen in reality. The CGI for the mice and other animals was very well done. Lots of humorous touches, especially with the goose, that make the film transcend to a possible new Disney classic.

The pumpkin transformation scene was changed with a cute twist, but the payoff is totally there when it starts reverting back to what it originally was on the mad dash away from the castle at midnight. Totally worth the wait and they give you a fun and funny conversion for the mice and lizards to satiate the audience until the later midnight reversion payoff.

The enhancements to the real castle and even the manor that is Ella's home definitely make the places magical. The stag in the forest was fantastic as well. The stag's expressions when he first meets her and then when he realizes she means him no harm, were exquisitely done. Also loved the use of the blue birds, which tie back to the animated film.

3) Story - Thumbs Up: The original tale gets expanded a little, making the whole more robust. Some of the actions and reactions are based on realities, thus giving more depth to the situations. The need for women of certain social status to marry to ensure they have money to live on as their skills are only useful in the management of a home or entertainment, rather than on ways to make a living. The pressures on monarchs to make advantageous alliances through marriage, and more.

They even plug in a couple of issues with the original, like why the step-mother and step-sisters do not recognize Cinderella at the ball.

There's also a little more interaction between Ella and the prince, making them more both more multidimensional. And Ella's conversations with animals and their reactions to her totally fit.

Incidental characters add a lot as well - used for comedic moments or for adding flavor. Both animals and people love to peek in at all sorts of places.

4) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Great work on both fronts! Loved everything they did with the step-sisters - the horrid patterns and matching fabrics, the hair styles making them closely resemble their animated counterparts. The beautiful dresses and fashion for the step-mother, making a definite contrast between her talents and advantages and the utter lack of same by her daughters.

Cinderella's dress for the ball was fantastic! The gorgeous blue color and the layers and layers of fabric beneath made the dress seem to shimmer in different shades whenever she moved. Lots of prime colors for the other ladies at the ball, giving the scenes the same brightness of the animated version.      

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: A lot of the filming locations are real places in England, enhanced by CGI. The combinations works fabulously. The cinematography took advantage of this as well, for lovely sweeping shots of the palace and the country manor. The Old Naval Royal College used for the palace interiors looked awesome all on its own.

Conclusion: This live action rendition of the old classic is definitely good enough to be a new classic. No singing, though they do have two of the songs play through the credits. The extra depth and detail given to the characters make for a better film. The animated short before the main film is a Frozen short and it is utterly adorable and very well done!

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