Monday, April 30, 2012

Mind Sieve 4/30/12

It's Monday!!!! (Yeah, I know. Sad news. Let us mourn for a moment.) :P

Saw this trailer at the theater. Looks Awesome!!! Loopers a time travel tale. Hee!

Just when you thought they couldn't cram more testosterone - Expendables 2. Chck Norris! Van Damme! Schwarzenegger! Dang!

Cosmopolis - looks funky! Lots of great actors in it. Wonder if it will be a modern interpretation of Metropolis?

From the History Blog - Lost Portrait of Cross-dressing Chevalier d'Eon Found. The Chevalier's story is fascinating!

Weyland Industries has posted a video of David 8. Disturbing. Heh heh heh. The whole site is fascinating. Ties to the movie Prometheus.

Designing From Bones - Troglodyte Housing from Gene Lempp. So that's where Tatooine got their home styles from. Heh~!

Picture Perfect - The Importance of Images in Social Media Marketing. This is for companies, but the facts still work for us author types.

What Publishers Do That Authors Can't from Books & Such Literary Agency. Gives one hope! :)

Jeff Goins - One Sure Sign You're A Professional.

Chuck (NSFW) Wendig discusses his writing journey in 25 Things I Learned While Writing Blackbirds.

10 Ways To Boost Your Odds Of An Acceptance from Write It Sideways.

Prepping For The Publishing Doomsday more wise words from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.

The Key Ingredient For Dramatic Tension - Understanding the Antagonist from Kristen Lamb.

Till next time! Have a great week!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Virtual Tourist - Star Wars The Old Republic and Minecraft 4/29/12

Might be slim pickings this time around. Life got in the way last week.

For SWTOR it's all Imperial Spy POV today so all you get is Tatooine shots.

Some nasties that popped up out of the sands if you went to look at a dead body in the sand. (You can see him way in the back - the bait.) Escaped mutations perhaps?

A sea of sand. And always the evil balloon! :P

A Sand People oasis. One which they stole from the Empire. Guess who's here to take it back? :P

Sand People decor.

Ah the double suns! You don't see them much. 

My new pet Taumtaum! A reward for the 1.2 update for players who've stuck out the game. He's so cute!

Actual plant life on Tatooine!

Now for Minecraft!

Road creation through the jungle and also switching biomes.

Yes, the crazy world took me from steamy jungle to winter wonderland. Then I hit a desert! Temp whiplash anyone?

While I've been on the other side building roads, hubby and Perelay have been super busy.

Some of the floor lights flick on and off in a pattern. Dang!

Hubby's homemade waterfall and pool. Looking good!

Hope you all have an awesome week!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Movie Review - The Raven

The Raven

Starring: John Cusack, Luke Evans, Alice Eve, Brendan Gleeson, Kevin McNally, Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Jimmy Yuill, Sam Hazeldine, Pam Ferris, and more.

Directed by: James McTeigue Screenplay by: Ben Livingston and Hannah Shakespeare Original Music by: Lucas Vidal Cinematography by: Danny Ruhlmann

Premise: Author Edgar Allan Poe is drawn into a criminal investigation when a serial killer uses his stories as the basis for the string of crimes. But just having Poe involved is not enough for the killer, who raises the stakes to force Mr. Poe to write again. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: In my opinion, this might just be one of John Cusack's best performances ever. Backed up by a cast of veterans, the whole ensemble shines. Alice Eve was great as the spunky Emily Hamilton. Luke Evans was delicious as Detective Fields. Great job by all involved.

2) Special Effects - Thumbs Up: Grisly deaths abound, but not too gory, though blood was used in abundance. The pendulum effect was specifically poignant. You could almost hear Vincent Price cackling in the background.

The added wide city scenes of  Baltimore and Paris were detailed and beautiful but not as convincing as other efforts in the same vein. But otherwise the special effects and CGI team did a great job.

3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: Since Poe is dubbed as the inventor of detective fiction, it seemed only apt that he would become embroiled by a serial killer into solving said killer's string of crimes. Better yet was the use of the few facts which are known about the great author's death and weaving them into this fantastical recreation of what may have been the great author's final days.

Bits and parts of many of Mr. Poe's works are woven into the film as well as different aspects of his life. This was obviously written by people who have studied Poe and his works in detail as well as the time period itself. Great job!

The mystery is pretty straight forward with several false trails that still lead forward. Minuscule clues are dotted throughout the tale, but like the protagonists, the viewer must put them together to get a hint of the culprit before all is revealed.

4) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The theater, Poe's home, the Captain's home, the paper, all the indoor locations were fabulous. The shots of the moon and the raven shown close to the beginning of the film were poignant.

5) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: The period costumes looked authentic from the people on the street, the aristocracy, to the Baltimore police. I also was very pleased to see that Miss Hamilton did not appear as a freshly pressed flower while she was under duress, giving the film even more authenticity.

Conclusion: Totally worth watching. Between the atmosphere, the acting, and the story itself, well worth your time.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Movie Review - The Pirates! Band of Misfits

The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Starring: Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman, David Tennant, Imelda Staunton, Jeremy Piven, Anton Yelchin, Brendan Gleeson, Ashley Jensen, Salma Hayek, Lenny Henry, Brian Blessed and more.

Directed by: Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt Screenplay and Book by: Gideon Defoe Original Music by: Theodore Shapiro Cinematography by: Charles Copping and Frank Passingham

Premise: Captain Pirate has decided he wants to win the Pirate of the Year award, but is laughed out of the contest signup and despite all efforts ends up failing miserably at finding booty. Then he runs into Charles Darwin, who realizes the captain's parrot is actually a dodo bird. He convinces the captain that riches await in London as there is much booty to be had by winning the Scientist of the Year award. But all is not as promised and trouble ensues. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: I couldn't believe all the awesome names that scrolled on the screen for this film. Put them together with the great skills of Aardman and Sony Animation and all the characters felt very real.

As tends to happen in animated films though, there's normally a non-speaking character that will steal the show. For me, it was Mister Bobo. He was the straight man in this great comedy of errors. Added an extra level of fun to the film.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: I was quite surprised at the utter beauty of several scenes. With a comedy like this one, you don't normally expect that extra push, but they did it and it was gorgeous. Close to the start there's a scene of the ship on the open seas which was utterly breathtaking.

Everything was open to comedy and they took advantage of in every way possible. The adults should pay close attention to all signs and store fronts - filled with jokes left and right.

Many movies have previously drawn planes or ships on a map and shown them moving; Aardman Animation took this to the next level. Not only do they show the ship on the map, but it interacts with it and whatever is drawn upon it. It's made even more amusing when you see the crew actually throwing out orange floaters to create the trail on the map.

The 3D aspect was not overused and did enhance the feel of the film for some very nice effects on occasion.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Plot was the weakest of the sections, but was still fun and worthwhile. While the overall outcome of the story is never in doubt, it was quite pleasant when they threw in an unexpected surprise or two.

Conclusion: Fun family film with lots of little bits for the adults to discover.

Rating: 3.7 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Picture Kaleidoscope 4/25/12

Let's see what I can find to feed your eyes this week.

Sunspots and Solar Flares from NASA. Big one from March 13th.

Photography Cliches by Peter Timko.

Puerto Rican Potato Salad made by yours truly. It contains potatoes, apples, eggs, and mayonnaise and that's all. (You mix the cooked egg yolk with the mayo.) Easy and so Yummy!

Daughter's No-sugar Carrot Cake. We found the recipe online. I thought it came out pretty good!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Mind Sieve 4/23/12


Mammoth Attacked By Lions, Butchered by Humans from the History Blog. What's quite cool about the post is the info on the mammoth itself and its strawberry blond light hair! 

Came across this article from Giant Robot on Otomo Katsuhiro (an awesome manga artist and story teller.) But better yet was the giant composite picture about the exposition here. Just keep scrolling down. 

Stranger Danger - A Cautionary Tale  - since this was written and directed by Misha Collins (aka Castiel from SPN) and he's a total HAM. This is not your typical story. lol.

The Future: Snap and Share Photos Using Augmented Reality Glasses from PetaPixel. Cool concept! But since the video made me a little dizzy, I'm hoping it won't be quite that jerky when worn. Several of the features seemed quite cool. The Future is NOW?

The Secret Service And It's Not-So-Secret Booty Call by Holmes. Nice insight into the Secret Service.

First 'Django Unchained' Poster Unveiled from The Hollywood Reporter. A new Quentin Tarantino film set in the 1800s! Could be fun!

American Animal Trailer - this sucker looks bizarre! Has several actors in it that I know though. 

The Host Gets A First Poster from Total Film. 

Designing From Bones - Fairy Chimneys by Gene Lempp. (Love that pic!) 

Found more info on Goreme, Turkey and the underground cities here. Hee!

From Chuck (NSFW) Wendig - 25 Reasons I Hate Your Main Character. Ouch!

How To Dish Out Backstory In Digestible Bites from Roni Loren.

A Long Look At Show Don't Tell from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.

Until next time!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Virtual Tourist 4/22/12 - Star Wars The Old Republic and Minecraft

Let's see what trouble I've been in the gaming world this past week, shall we? :P (New planet so the bombardment will be heavy! Hee!)

Last few pics of our Republic toons on Balmorra.

Imperial base we ran across. Intimidating isn't it?

Lots of bug flumes spewing green gas.

Close up of a bug flume. Seems more than just bug town have been infected now.

Finally tried to get some pics while in space. Not EASY! I am fighting for my life here. No time to do proper tourism. All space missions are timed. Fun too.

Hubby's smuggler got sent back to Tatooine for a personal mission. I joined him when he ran into some issues.

Loved how the sun was glinting off the sand crawler.

Dune sea. We also went back to the spot with the datacron we'd found before but could not reach. Still didn't find a way (but wait till you get farther down! Bwahahahaha)

Tried to take more space combat pics. 

Love the sun on this one.

We then traveled on to Quesh. Found the officers companion interesting.

Isn't that gorgeous?!

Quesh is a poisoned and polluted planet. Very dark atmosphere literally and figuratively.

Some local Quesh plants.

Yet even here there are things of beauty.

Freshly killed frog thing.

Nasty hunter thing.

Now for my Imperial Spy - she's on Tatooine.

Cool panel array.

Destruction R Us.

Imperial base inside a cliff side.

Ah, home sweet home! Or as my companion said - A piece of Nar Shaddaa.

This poor soul had been taken over by a nano machine infestation guided by a malicious intelligence. He glowed and had weird red vapor. If you click for the larger image, you should be able to see it. 

Ah, Sith guards. So very intimidating.

A field of debris from a crashed spaceship. 

A pissed off sand people mount. Shot him on accident. :( 

Thought this was a cool approach to the hideaway. 

Bwaha bwaha bwahahahaha! Was finally able to find the way over to this datacron! (It shone red when I saw it with my Jedi but white for my spy.) Had to sneak through a high level zone of Sand People and worse past a super nasty one at the final edge, but climbed some rocks to get by.

Finally! After staring off and on at this thing I find my way to you! Aim +3 X-620 Y -25 Z 479. Bwahahahahaha!

Tried to catch the cool graphics that appear when you hit the buttons for a pickup. Hee!

Only a couple of shots for Minecraft this week. Didn't get to play as long as usual.

Tunnel through the jungle. Easier than doing a road up top.

Road construction into a second tunnel. Vegetation is really thick in the jungle biodome. Dang!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...