Sunday, September 30, 2012

Virtual Tourist - Star Wars The Old Republic 9/30/12

Life is still getting in the way, so not too many pics this week.

Imperial Spy

The evidence of destruction and ruin - just can't get away from it.

I was smushed in a corner and hit the heal button. Got a real nice clear image of my HUD routine.

A cat like race! The Cathar. 

One of the Imperial Outposts had several interesting looking NPCs. 

This guy has a cool tattoo on his face. 

Took some random pics while riding the taxi system back to base.

Darth Grievus - my current boss on Taris. He's got a lot of added mechanical work on one side of his face. His apprentice is a total hot head. 

Nature trying to slowly reclaim the planet.

Hope you're having an awesome Sunday!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Movie Review - Dredd


Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Heady, Rakie Ayola, Warrick Grier, Wood Harris, Domhnall Gleeson, and more.

Directed by: Pete Travis Screenplay by: Alex Garland Based on the Comic Strip developed by: John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra Cinematography by: Anthony Dod Mantle Original Music by: Paul Leonard-Morgan

Premise: The world is a nuclear wasteland, yet humanity survives in the confines of Mega City-One. Due to overcrowding and lack of resources, the legal system has become rigid and intolerant of deviation of the law. Dredd is a 'Judge', one of the lawmen enforcing the rules where all is chaos. When he's asked to take a rookie with him for evaluation as a possible Judge candidate, no one expected the triple murder they are sent to investigate to be anything but routine. Unfortunately, they arrest the one man clan leader Ma-ma can't afford for them to take in and interrogate. So she sets a plan in motion to contain the situation. A plan which  means death to Dredd and the rookie. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Karl Urban was fantastic as Judge Dredd. I loved all the feelings and emotions he was able to get across merely by his voice, his stance, and the set of his mouth. Olivia Thirlby did a great job as the psychic and evaluated rookie Anderson. Lena Heady is definitely making a name for herself as a bad woman. Ruthlessness and self interest poured from her in waves.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: I truly have to commend the special effects team for the Mega-City One setup. When the story begins and they are doing an overview of multi state spanning city everything looked like any other city in the 20th century until you notice the highways are bigger, with more decks and roads, and then the huge towering structure additions. What made this sequence so amazing was that unlike most movies where these mostrous buildings would have seemed out of place, or super futuristic, they actually blended in with their surroundings and looked real.

The effects for the Slow-Mo drug were awesome. The beauty experienced by the users was such a total contrast to the dreary, ugly lives around them, it was easy to see why it was in such high demand. The way several scenes were woven in from the point of view of those experiencing the time slowing effects were fantastic.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I'd had some minor exposure to the "Judge Dredd" comic series years ago, so I knew the few details that must be had for this film rendition to fit with the comic's established patterns - and they were there! The iconic golden symbol for the Judges, the telltale uniform/armor and helmet, and the biggest requirement, which they met, being the fact that the audience would never see Dredd without his helmet on.

The future in which all the comics take place is very dark and the film definitely shows it. (The R rating needs to be taken very seriously with regards to younger viewers due to the dark nature of the world and the ample servings of graphic violence.)

The plot takes a couple of twists and turns but overall is straightforward and pretty solid. There's also a hint towards the end (when Anderson sees something on the floor) that shows Dredd might have had a little unexpected help to make his theory with Ma-ma actually work.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Some of the routines had CGI help, but there were still plenty of physical action done by the experts. The film has a ton of gun play as well as explosions and fights. The body count is high.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Like I mentioned in the special effects section, the city scape was excellently done and was also introduced quite nicely with the sweeping views generated for the audience. Even more impressive were the shots of the Peach Trees building with its huge central shaft area and hundreds of floors (the building holds 75,000 people - it's humongous!). This was made even more impressive when the shielding protocols were activated.

Conclusion: "Dredd" was a very satisfying film full of action and gun play. Parents, however, should take the R rating seriously as the violence is graphic and dark subjects are explored. I think fans of the comics will be very pleased with this rendition.

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

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/26/12

Have several odds and ends this week. :P (The week after a con is chaos!)

Now that the season is changing, the sun is coming up and going down with better timing for pics! Heh heh

The sky was very funky this day.

You have to see the larger size (though it still didn't do it justince), but there was sap on the window and it was shining like diamonds in the sunlight.

Fencon was this past weekend. Missed taking pics of the really cute costumed kids. Doh!

It's had to tell, but the coat of the outfit was incredibly detailed. The whole ensemble was gorgeous!

Step father does woodworking. These two photos are of some of his latest creations. Won some awards too! 

I thought this one was super cool.

Hope everyone has a great rest of the week!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mind Sieve 9/24/12

It's Monday! Run for your lives!

Here Comes The Boom Trailer - looks funny and poignant. Also LOVED the Samsung commercial before the trailer went on. 

Jack Reacher Trailer - looks like action action and bloody action. :P

Lincoln Trailer - Oooo! This will be fun. Especially after as hubby and I hash it out, historically speaking. Bwahahahaha! (And it's Spieldberg - I am so there!) 

Wolverine 2 2013 Trailer. Don't know if it's for real, but this was really pretty cool.

Jack the Giant Killer Trailer - trailer says June 2012 but it's now slated for March 2013. Could be fun!

Darth Vader Therapy - ROFL. Loved, loved, loved his pick up song. lol

From Kristen Lamb - How "Personal" Should Writers Get On Social Media?

Building Your First Website: Resource List from Jane Friedman (Don't know if I agree with Wiodpress being the way to go with a website, but I know enough to get in trouble on my own - a lot of people don't. So this could work for them.)

The High Bar Of Finding And Agent Or Publisher by Jami Gold. So sad, but so true. Sniff.

Ask A Writer About Building A Better Character by Chuck (NSFW) Wendig.

Is Monday still here? Darn... :P

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Virtual Tourist - Star Wars The Old Republic 9/23/12


This week it is all Imperial Spy all the time. (My schedule and hubby's have been all over the place lately so haven't gotten to play together. Wah!)

Taris from the Empire side

Construction and destruction - that's Taris everywhere!

Republic gun - intact

Republic gun after I'm done with it. Bwahahahaha!

So much destruction but still such a beautiful sky.

Weird light?

Heading down to a trouble filled lab.

Yes, this is a little spooky. Rakghouls everywhere too. Not a good sign.

That's some set of pipes, no?

Dead Rhakghoul. Not a pretty sucker.

I thought this machine looked super cool. No idea what it does, but dang!

Did I mention I like the sky here? Heh heh

Nasty looking natural creature. Probably evolved to this from all the pollution and the bombings. 

Yeah, when you have to use a giant, broken pipe to get to it, it can't be good.

Rhakghouls have been eating well. Brrr.

Flickers of light would coalesce in the sunlight coming through the crack. Quite beautiful among all the devastation.

See you next time!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Movie Review - Premium Rush

Premium Rush

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez, Michael Shannon, Jamie Chung, Sean Kennedy, Kymberly Perfetto, Anthony Chisholm, Wolé Parks, and more

Directed by: David Koepp Written by: David Koepp and John Kamps Cinematography by: Mitchell Amundsen Original Music by: David Sardy

Premise: A bike courier working the busy streets of New York gets harassed about handing over an envelope he's picked up for delivery. Though he slips away, the guy who wants the envelope is persistent and keeps finding him again and forcing the situation to escalate. Going to the cops to report him, Wilee accidentally finds out the man gunning for him is a police detective. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: I have to give Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Dania Ramirez and Wolé Parks a well deserved round of applause. Not only were they acting in the film, but they also did most of the bike riding and some of the stunts as well. They trained hard for this movie and it shows. And giving great acting performances as well just made the movie that much better. I had no trouble believing the characters portrayed actually did bike deliveries for a living.

Michael Shannon did his usual best as the cop with impulse issues. Jamie Chung was great as well. Her emotions as she followed her path were contained and controlled for those around her in the film yet at the same time they were quite palpable to the audience. Very nice work.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: There weren't a lot of special effects, but the ones they had were a lot of fun. Colored lines would appear whenever the camera pulled up over the city to let you know the routes being taken, or where people were located at that point in time, which was pretty neat. They also added numbers representing the time to help the audience keep the time line straight and realize if the coming sequence was a flashback.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The plot wasn't too complicated, and all the pieces were shown and wrapped up nicely by the end. It even had a couple of subplots, some of which tie eventually back to the main plot. Unfortunately, while the flashbacks were enlightening, in a couple of spots they ended up detractring from the fast pace of the film rather than help it along.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: You will cringe several times while watching the movie with sympathetic pain. The fact Wilee can look at what's ahead and determine the outcome of each route before he takes it was really neat, yet also really painful. CGI helped create several of these simulations, but not all of them. And several of the spills were done by the actors themselves. There is one police bicyclist you will feel very sorry for by the films end. Ouch!

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Many decent views of New York, especially busy New York streets. Lots of shots from different angles and perspectives, which helped keep the act of following the cyclists very fresh and new. Some of the routes Wilee takes as he's being chased were unusual and a lot of fun.

Conclusion: "Premium Rush" is a nice, heart pumping action film. Go in, sit back, and just enjoy the rush.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: None - he was out of town)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Picture Kaleidoscope 9/19/12

Let's see how I can feed the eyes this week.

Escher II by Michael Toye. Oooo look at the gargoyles up the sides!

Jaisalmer Fort by J Z A Photography. 

What A Long Day by Stu Bowie at Earth (Made my jaw pop just looking at it.) :P

In The Morning Mist by Piotr Krol

Have an awesome day!
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