Friday, September 15, 2006

Convention - Animefest 2006

Animefest 2006

Yes, Animefest was over the whole holiday weekend on 9/1 - 9/4/06! Since I had no panels at this one, I pretty much manned my table all 4 days and hocked books. (Looking into the dealer's room is bad! Checking out any anime is bad! I am safer at my table. lol!)

Saw many familiar faces and even got to meet some friends again I hadn't seen in a while. Some fabulous costumes were making the rounds. My table was set at an angle to the Dealer's Room entrance so I had a wonderful vantage point of everyone coming and going.

Enjoyed my table neighbor, the Cosplay Lady, who was making cell phone danglies on demand and was quite good at it. She also won the Grand Prize for Best of Show for her costume recreation for Edward from Full Metal Alchemist. I got to see her after she got prepped and it was dang impressive indeed! She was truly meticulous in getting all the details right.

Parking prices were up this year and they locked the pedestrian entrance to the hotel so lugging my stuff was no fun. Did get lucky once and was able to go in by the garage entrance, and on the last day I brought hubby along to do the lugging. :P

Overall it was a good con and I think the con goers enjoyed themselves. Now to wait for next year! :P

Book Review -- Firestorm

Firestorm - Book 5 of the Weather Warden Series
by Rachel Caine

Premise: The culmination of troubles for Joanne, for humanity, is at hand. Mother Earth is waking and she is not happy! Not able to trust David, yet able to do anything but, despite the fact the Earth could turn him and all other Djinn into unthinking killing machines, Joanne set offs with little hope but lots of spunk on the one slim hope left to humanity. As Joanne heads out to try to save the world as she knows it, it becomes terribly obvious not all those around want it saved and are willing to do whatever it takes to try and stop her.

Review: Though I did not think it possible, this volume is even more of a whirlwind than the others! I was turning pages in a tornadic frenzy to see what would happen next. Everything happens in a short time in a very fast way (Making up for giving us a little breathing space in book 4! lol) and we feel Joanne's urgency in the tight way the plot was presented. Some very telling character peeks are inserted in there but don't blink or you'll miss them! Some hint at being very very important in my opinion! And when you reach the end, you will join me in thinking Rachel Caine is Eeeeeeevvvvvviiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllll! lol. We do get chapter 1 of the next book included, but I've heard we can't expect that release till June of 2007. (Wonder if I can extort an ARC copy from her at Fencon? Hmmmm) :P *** 1/2!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Book Review - A Clash of Kings

A Clash of Kings
by George RR Martin

Premise: Picking up where book 1 left off, we see the maneuverings come forth of the men now veying to take over the realm. War is now inevitable, yet all of them have totally forgotten the fact winter if coming.

Review: A couple of new people are added to the roster of the POV chapters, and all the ones from the first book are back. More death, more destruction, betrayals, quick thinking, and more. Magic is definitely on the rise and the wheels are turning on a higher plane than the struggles of the mortals below. Well worth reading! ***3/4!!

Movie of the Week - The Protector

The Protector
Staring: Tony Jaa

Premise: Kham, a Thai and breeder of elephants, has been brought up to believe in the importance of the animal and his role as its protector. So when his father is killed, and both the father elephant and baby son are stolen, he sets out to tract down those who've stolen his family and bring them back.

Review: What I found cool right off the bat was though I was expecting a Chinese martial arts film, this was actually a Thai release! So you get a nice slice of life in Thailand at the beginning of the film and some historical culture bits. Though a few of the fights are rather slow, for the majority (especially in the garage, at the church, and up in the buildind HQ) they are quite awesome and beautifully orchestrated. There is even a cameo by Jackie Chan! The story is rather straight forward and not a lot of insight is given to the main character or some of those involved, but for pure matial arts action and excitement, it rocked! ***1/2 !

Movie of the Week - The Wicker Man

The Wicker Man
Staring: Nicolas Cage, Ellen Burstyn, Kate Beahan, Frances Conroy, Molly Parker, Leelee Sobiesky, Diane Delano, Michael Wiseman, Erika-Shaye Gair, Christina Campbell, Emily Holmes, and more...

Premise: A motorcycle cop is trying to cope with a bizarre accident steeped in mystery, when he receives a letter from his fiance, who'd run away many years before without explanation. In the letter, she explains that her daughter has gone missing, and that the people who live on Summersisle seem to have no interest in helping her find out what happened to her. She begs him to come help her, that he is the only one she can trust.

Review: The film is full of images. Totally fascinating culture on the isle. Not for younger viewers as the images and topics could be disturbing. Good mystery film. Remake of the 1973 film by the same name. ***1/2!!

Movie of the Week - The Illusionist

The Illusionist
Staring: Edward Norton, Paul Giamatti, Jessica Biel, Rufus Sewell, Neil Burger, Michael London, Devid Levien, Brian Koppelman, Bob Yari, Carby Schulman, and Steven Millhauser

Premise: A stage Illusionist is momentarilly reunited with his noble, childhood sweetheart. After planning to get away together, she is found dead. Suddenly Eisenheimer is seen speaking to ghosts he brings up on stage. One of them ends up being his beloved.

Review: What a fun film! Some really nice effects and a great who-done-it mystery. Romance, politics, magic, class snobbery, and multiple level mystery! The clues are there, all you have to do it keep your eyes peeled! Loved the ambiance. ***1/2!!!
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