Sunday, September 21, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 9/21/14

Morning all~!

Pirate Grotto

Ship inside Pirate Grotto

Some lovely pirate decorating touches. :)

Latests costume?

Looks like I totally forgot to take the UI out. 


Really is hard to get pics of the bad guys. lol

Water so clear you can see the gold at the bottom.

Back of one of the ships. So fancy!

Yep, skulls in ALL their decorating. Hee!

Treasure room of DOOM.

Upside down ship on the ceiling!

View from the wooden rope bridge hanging above the Pirate Grotto

They even have housing in the cliffs!

There be GOLD!

Totally cool floor, no?

Ship entry and exit for the grotto.

Back at the Capitol

Nice outfit!

New cool little corner in the Capitol. Such a gorgeous place!

Have a great Sunday~!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Movie Review - The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

Starring: Dylan O'Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Dexter Darden, Chris Sheffield, Patricia Clarkson, and more.

Directed by: Wes Ball Screenplay by: Noah Oppenheim, Grant Pierce Myers, and T.S. Nowlin Based on the Novel by: James Dashner. Cinematography by: Enrique Chediak Music by: John Paesano

Premise: A young man's first recollections are waking on a rising elevator and being greeted by a bunch of eager boys. He doesn't remember who he is, but the rest tell him not to worry - they don't remember who they are either. Their home is the Glade. And surrounding it are giant walls with only one way out. The way leading to the Maze. And in three years, they've yet to find a way out of it. (Rated PG-13)


1)  Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Dylan O'Brien does a fantastic job as the terrified and later curious newcomer to the Glade. Aml Ameen had great presence as the Glade's leader Alby. Ki Hong Lee was a lot of fun as well in his role as Minho. Kaya Scodelario brought a nice bit of zest to the all male Glade. Thomas Brodie-Sangster and Blake Cooper added a lot of heart with their great performances. And kudos to Will Poulter, who played Gally, a bad guy who really wasn't a bad guy, just protecting the tribe in his own way. Nice change from the typical bully. Well done!

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Sound is the first effect used, sound and darkness - and it was a great intro into the film, grabbing the audience immediately and shooting directly into the story without making us wait.

The maze itself is super cool. From the giant walls, to the closing, creaking giant doors, to the moving walls. As if that weren't enough, there's the huge cyborg spiders who hunt the hallways of the maze at night - super creepy.

Loved, loved, loved the scan and alarm sequence and the consequences thereof. Especially the giant panels breaking the concrete and rising upwards. Major thumbs up guys!

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: I knew nothing about the movie before seeing it, aside from what I'd seen on previews, so can't say how faithful it is to the books. But I totally loved the way they went about it.

The movie begins immediately - grinding sounds amidst darkness, then a sliver of light as you realize there's a boy puking in a mesh elevator as it rise upwards. It instantly captures the audience's' attention. And as Thomas comes to learn of his situation, we, too, get to learn about the Glade and those living there.

I personally thought the plot had a good pace, giving us enough info to get us involved, and enough things happenings to keep it moving and highly interesting. The use of Thomas's weird dreams to show hints of things not yet remembered did much to intrigue.

Lots of ingenuity and plenty of surprises. Just when you think it's done, they throw out one more punch. And the punch after that one is even more unexpected. And this left the audience with even more questions and the promise of future trouble.  I think they did themselves a disservice by not adding a teaser to the credits! (Yes, "The Scorch Trials" (Book 2) is already in production. Sweet!)

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Maze running, climbing, leaping, squeezing through quickly tightening spaces - lots of physical stuff. Add in crazed cyborg spiders and you get frenzied running, bodies flying through the air, and combat. Oh yeah!

5) Locations/Cinematography: The place chosen as to represent the walled in glade was perfect. The cinematography did a great job in making the walls of the maze seem immense and the size of the entire thing daunting. The whole shifting view for the sequence for the section 7 alarm was almost mind blowing.

And the final view of the the entirety of the maze at the end - priceless!

Conclusion: "The Maze Runner" is totally worth going to see. It has cool effects, a mystery premise, and unexpected surprises. Looking forward to the next one!

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

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/17/14

Morning all!

Photographer Turns His Lens on Cute and Sassy Alley Cats in Japan at PetaPixel. Article by Michael Zhang. Photography by Alexandre Bonnefoy. Love the cat's expression. LOL. 

Time Sends War Photographer to Shoot Zombies in a Video Game at PetaPixel. Article by Michael Zhang. Photography by Ashley Gilbertson. LOL. This is awesome! Virtual Photography is catching on. Hee hee!

Awakening Torres by Artur Stanisz at Ooooo!

He does lovely landscape work! Go Artur Stanisz!

May your Wednesday be a quiet and productive one! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mind Sieve 9/15/14


Fan Fun

Serena Official Trailer - more 20's coincidence streak. :P

The Homesman US Release Trailer - this looks fab! Weirdest premise ever!

Sniper: Legacy Official Trailer 1 - Oooo! Guns, explosion, and Sarah Shahi!

Miss Meadows Official Trailer 1 - This should be a weird one. Woot!

Social Media/Author Platform

Twitter Buy Button: This Week in Social Media from the Social Media Examiner - article by Cindy King. (Okay, the Swarn Leatherbord is kind of creepy, IMHO, especially with the awards...)

Writing and Social: Why the Written Word is Your Marketing Advantage from Social Media Examiner by Michael Stelzner. Lots of info here in text (if you've no time for a podcast (like me!)) and the cheese video is precious.

Writing Advice

Feedback: Finding Problems vs. Fixing Problems by Jami Gold. Good advice! Have definitely run into this before, and have probably done to others. Doh!

The sinuses are speaking in tongues today, so this will be it for this round. :( Have a great Monday!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 9/14/14

Morning, morning, morning... :)


Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.

 Azarel's Labyrith

The confrontation room with the traitor to the Federation

I helped - see, I'm in the background. lol

The goddess appears to belay our fears and give us hope.

Upstairs view of the final room.

Gorgeous ceilings

A birdie statue! Really a great room!

Back in the Labyrith

Jagged Coast

Nice little outpost. Lucky so-and-so's!

Cliffs across the Jagged Coast

Beach turtles. They get red when aggroed. Not happy about being attacked at all. 

Pirate Grotto

Grounded pirate ship. Pretty far inland too!

Entrance to the Pirate Grotto

Funky look for an NPC. Heh heh - Pirate Wench Maid? :P

That is an Entrance!

Water barrels. Really a neat look.

Open hall in the grotto.

Poor slobs that got played with in the grotto. Eek!

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/10/14

Morning all!

Oh yeah, look at that sky! Go, Texas!

Muted colors of morning.

Some nice contrast going on.

Even better!

Some of the ladies at work really know how to decorate. :)

That glitter will be with her for the rest of the year. lol.

Too cute!

Was trying to catch the clouds in the distance. They looked like a giant wave.

You can see it better on this one. Sometimes pictures don't do RL justice. 

Have a great Wednesday!