Friday, May 31, 2013

Movie Review - Fast and Furious 6

(A-kon is this weekend - so I prepped early :P)
Fast and Furious 6

Starring: Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Jordana Brewster, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Sung Kang, Gal Gadot, Ludacris, Luke Evans, Elsa Pataky, Gina Carano, Clara Paget, Kim Kold, Johannes Taslim, and more.

Directed by: Justin Lin Screenplay by: Chris Morgan Based on the Characters Created by: Gary Scott Thompson Cinematography by: Stephen F Windon Original Music by: Lucas Vidal

Premise: As each member of Dominic Toretto's crew move on with their lives and try to settle down after their last job, the group gets called back together when Agent Hobbs informs Dom that Letty, Dom's old sweetheart who they'd believed had been killed after going undercover for Brian O'Conner, is not actually dead. but though she's alive, it seems she's tangled up with an international that's crew willing to kill to steal parts for a device capable of dampening electricity for 24 hours on a huge scale, something which would cause untold chaos and death if applied in a large city and which would go for a very high price in the open market. So Dom and his crew will need to work with Hobbs to bring Shaw down and try to get Letty back before things go too far. (Rated PG-13)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: I love Michelle Rodriguez and she really outdid herself in "FF6". The first time she and Dom meet face to face, it's obvious from her expression she's never seen him before. She did an awesome job separating things she'd lived through in the other movies and acting like she'd never done them. Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Dwayne Johnson are just too fun to watch as they pick at each other. Tyrese Gibson as Roman will make you roll your eyes one moment and laugh at another. Sung Kang and Gal Gadot are a blast to watch together. Luke Evans was deliciously bad. Great job all around.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The special effects were slick and awesome. Shaw's escape sequence close to the beginning of the film will make your jaw drop. Cool electronic gadgets added some nice extra dimensions to several of the physical stunts. Great stuff.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: While the ending is never in doubt, the script still managed to have a lot of surprises. (And there's a big one at the end of the film!) Moves created counter moves which made for more moves - two smart groups going at each other trying to anticipate, diffuse, counter, and get the upper hand.

I was even more excited that while Mia had a kid, they didn't do the usual with her that Hollywood has done with other action female characters who've given birth and set her to the side as if she had nothing to contribute anymore. Though it took a bit to get her involved, when her time comes, Mia proves once again she is as capable as any of the guys.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: The trademark of the "Fast and Furious" franchise is the awesome car stunts. "FF6" is no different and totally delivers. If anything, they 'raise the bar' even further with the amazing 'gags' in  the film.

The hand to hand combat was also fantastic. The subway section fights were great! I also loved that the women fought as hard and with as much skill as the guys, if not more. On a strange reversal, that only enhanced things, two of the guys fought one of the bad guys, and got totally trounced, the skill level difference incredibly obvious. And it was a great move! Made the good guys seem human. Especially as they agree not to let anyone know about the manner of their defeat.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Several international locations as well as a few old familiar places grace the screen during the film, which gave it a great variety in the look and feel of the shots. The cinematography was great as well, giving all sorts of angles on the fast driving as well as overhead shots of major events. It definitely added the 'wow' factor to the at least the Shaw escape scene.

Conclusion:  "Fast and Furious 6" is a great, wild ride! "Raiders of the Lost Ark" with wheels. Lots of action, great stunts and fight choreography. The film will definitely get the adrenaline pumping. If you've seen some of the other offerings for the franchise, you will not be disappointed.

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

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Picture Kaleidoscope 5/29/13

With the holiday, work, and A-kon coming up this weekend, this week is insane!
But I do have some pics to torture with anyway. Heh heh.

Beautiful flower arrangements at HQ's Baby Shower for one of the accounting peeps.

Close up of the gorgeous blooms!

These I found at the satellite office. They always make me nostalgic for Puerto Rico, as we have these there all over the place.

Funky decor at the local Cheesecake Factory. (Wish I liked their cheesecake but nooo)

They have a weird mixture in the decor. Some of it fab, like these - others almost comical. 

Rosebud at home.

My first attempt to bring something in my brain into actual reality. I'm not a crafts person, so this result did not surprise me. heh heh. Supposed to be a baby dragon. Hubby says it looks like a spicy pistachio. :P

Cool Chinese Dragon at the local buffet place.

Same rose bud now bloomed. Wind not helping in taking the pic!

The rose and orange tint on this bush have always fascinated me.

Have an awesome Wednesday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Mind Sieve 5/27/13

Happy Memorial Day!
Yeah, running late today. :)

The Tea Chronicles! They actually did it! Disturbing and hilarious. Hee!

Lone Ranger International Trailer. Looks like there's going to be some comedy bits.

Gallowwalkers - walking undead in a western! And Wesley Snipes! Sweet.

Resurrection - ABC Preview - looks like a funky one!

Intelligence CBS Trailer - a serious version of "Chuck"! lol. Welcome back Josh Holloway

Almost Human Fox Trailer - Karl Urban and Michael Ealy - Squee! I'm so there.

For Supernatural fans, here's an awesome article by Tor on the evolution of Dean Winchester.  Supernatural's Dean Winchester Dismantled His Own Machismo - and That's Why We Love Him by Emily Asher-Perrin

This Week In Social Media from Social Media Examiner. There's always so much new stuff. Argh!

11 Checks To Make Sure Your Facebook Page is Up To Date from Social Media Examiner. Ack! I need to do this!

Have an awesome day!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Virtual Tourist - Neverwinter 5/26/13

What an insane week it's been! Next looks to be worse. Wheeeee!


Ooooh! An elf!

Look at that gorgeous sunshine streaming down into the sewer. Nice work!!!

Coolest sewer grate EVER! I want one!

More awesome sunshine beams!

Look at those clouds and the misty distance. Mmmm

Does make Merchant Square look rather ominous doesn't it? This town has had it bad of late.

Into the breach!

Found us a secret room/area!

They use skulls in all their decorating!

Merchant area in the better part of the city

Love the dome on this building!

Hall of Justice overview.

Spawn point in town. Very busy spot.

Have an awesome Memorial Day weekend!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Movie Review - EPIC


Starring: Colin Farrell, Josh Hutcherson, Amanda Seyfried, Christoph Waltz, Beyoncé Knowles, Blake Anderson, Aziz Ansari, Chris O'Dowd, Steven Tyler, Jason Sudeikis, and more.

Directed by: Chris Wedge Story by: William Joyce, James V Hart, and Chris Wedge Screenplay by: James V Hart, William Joyce, Daniel Shere, Tom J Astle, Matt Ember Based on the book "The Leaf Men and The Brave Good Bugs" by: William Joyce Cinematography by: Renato Falcão Music by: Danny Elfman

Premise: Moving to her father's house after her mother's death, Mary Katherine is disappointed to see he's still up to the same strange research that led her mother to leave him years before. Her father believes there's an advanced civilization of diminutive people living in the forest. So when it looks like the solstice, combined with a full moon, has her father running about even more than usual, MK decides the new arrangement isn't going to work after all. But when the three legged, one eyed pug, Ozzie runs off into the forest, MK goes after him, and stumbles into the middle of a battle of good versus evil. (Rated PG)


1) Voice Acting - Thumbs Up: I've always enjoyed the work of Colin Farrell and Josh Hutcherson and their voice acting on this film was well done. Amanda Seyfried gave a great performance as the grieved and troubled MK. Christoph Waltz looked to have had some fun as Mandrake. Beyoncé Knowles came across as a great and wise queen. The comedy tag team of Aziz Ansari and Chris O'Dowd definitely did a lot to amuse. Though some of the different accents thrown in at different places and not always consistently so did jar a little in places.

Of course one of the most fun characters in the film had no voice at all - Ozzie - the three legged, one eyed, old pug.

2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Blue Sky Studios did an awesome job with the look of the film. From the gorgeous hummingbirds to the wilting of plants, the detail was astounding. Seeing the leafs and plants used as clothes, flying boats, and moving doors made the world of the forest really come alive with wonder. The scenes of Queen Tara arriving at the small lake in her flying ship and then stepping on the lily pads were gorgeous.

Inversely, watching the rot arrows deform the tree limbs, wilt leaves, and other destruction were also quite impressive. Mandrake's home was the essence of decay.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: Overall the plot of the film worked, but wasn't necessarily outstanding. There were a few small surprises, though not many. We barely got a glimpse into the culture of the Leaf Men and those they protect, or even the structure of life in the forest, which would have given the plot more depth and context. The whole side business of betting and fixed bird races didn't mesh well with what little the audience was shown of the culture. Even the problems with Nod seemed forced and without any real substance. Late in the film, we find where Nod lost his father, it made no sense why Ronin and Nod's dad would have been there in the first place and it was never discussed. (If anything, it lent a dark undertone to what the two might have been up to at the time.)

I found the use of Ronin's name rather odd. Since the Leaf Men obviously followed many oriental ideals in the way they fought and lived, the fact they would give their commander a name meaning 'masterless samurai' seemed strange. Though with what happens to the queen, perhaps it was apt.

Another odd point was a thread pursued in three different prongs - the act of loving someone yet there being obstacles keeping you apart and no solution ever becoming apparent - the queen and Ronin, Grub and MK, MK and Nod. It's rather a depressing theme and seemed out of place in what was advertised as a combination action and comedy animated film.

Conclusion: EPIC wasn't so epic. And its name if one of the worst for a film ever. The animation is totally well worth watching. The film definitely had its moments, but it won't have you running off to tell all your friends about it. With all the birds, Grub and Mud, and Ozzie, there might be enough there to entertain the younger kids.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Better For Matinee)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Picture Kaleidoscope 5/22/13 - Dallas Comic Con 2013 and more

This past weekend was the Dallas Comic Con!

I had 3 close encounters with STNG peeps, but never had the camera when I did. o.O (Levar Burton, Brent Spiner, and Gates McFadden! Woot!)

Anyway, I did get a few shots, though there seemed to be less costumes than last year for some reason.

Inspector Gadget, Penny, and Brain. Couldn't get a better pic which is sad because they'd really gone all out on the costumes! Brain even had the little microphone and speaker inputs. Totally aodrable!

The sky was on FIRE on our way home the first night. It was awesome!

Fire! Fire! Fire!

Sideways back shot. We were trying to see if different angles showed the burning better. 

Our neighbor and entertainment was Taylor Lymbery - and this is one of his custom toys! 

A great costume of the psychic cop in Judge Dredd

Love how her Star Wars tentacle hair came out! Nice!

Some cool puzzles my daughter found. Came out upside down for some reason. Hmmm

Bane and Bane vs Batman. Noooo!

Darth Maul and all his gory darkness. 

Hawkeye - how he really looks! heh heh. I love how the baby is totally watching him.

Coolest Borg Queen Ever! 

Flying Monkeys! 

Not quite lifesize but still way cool Stargate!

More of Taylor's cool toys!

Last time we were together we started out with Queen Amidalek. This time we got Wonder Dalek! What will we have Taylor mutate next time? Bwahahahahaha!

Crappy pic but awesome costumes!

This was so cute!

The Riddler ala Steampunk! 

Some yummy sugar cookies given for charitable donations.

And such was this years Dallas Comic Con madness!

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mind Sieve 5/20/13

Spent the past weekend at Dallas Comic Con so this may be a shorter post than usual. But we'll see!

The Tea Chronicles Trailer - I really do hope he did make a short film on this because we NEED psychological thrillers about tea! Yeah! 

Riddick Official Trailer #1 - Oh yeah. Playing in the dark again. Heh heh.

About Time Official Trailer - This looks adorable! Romantic Time Travel Comedy! I am in! :)

As I Lay Dying Official Trailer - not too sure about this one, but it has a lots of actors I recognized.

Pacific Rim Official Main Trailer - pieces of old and new bits! This should be fun!

Once Upon A Time In Wonderland - new show in the fall. Looks fun!

Marvel's Agents from SHIELD trailer - ABC is cooking up all sorts of treats! Sweet!

Dracula Official Trailer NBC - Oh! Oooooh!  This looks delicious!

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