Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/31/13

Actually got to take my own pics last week! Woot!
(Been a while)


Some beautiful flowers planted at the work annex. What's really neat is when I get there in the morning, these are all wrapped up. But in the afternoon, they're all open and looking lovely.


Decided to try a funky angle view of the fountain in our parking lot. :P


More awesome flowers outside our building.


Had to go to a doc appointment last week and the sky looked so amazingly bizarre I took pictures. I was heading in the direction of the mess, so made for some cool stuff.


The dark was very dark.


Loved this weird striation. Think of how a split roof looks when they have a shelf for indirect lighting. And this line went from one side of the open sky to the other.


You can see the weird diffused lighting effect and the line of it very clearly in this one.


Too cool for school! 


Very turbulent skies this week.


New construction by Stone Briar Mall. No idea what this is. It looked like a giant announcement set up, but it's more than likely some kind of giant air-conditioning system. They had huge round fans on the ground.


Have an awesome rest of the week!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Mind Sieve 7/29/13

Good morning all!







This looks awesome! Sleepy Hollow from FOX for the fall!



47 Ronin Trailer - not exactly like I remember the legend, but I'm all there all the same. :)




Hunger Games: Catching Fire Official Theatrical Trailer (New one!) - getting pumped now. lol.



The Grandmaster Official Trailer 2 - looks like it will have some great fight scenes. 








Linked In Sponsored Updates: This Week On Social Media by Cindy King at the SocialMedia Examiner.

Great Idea! From Chuck (NSFW) Wendig - How Indie Bookstores Can Add Value By Partnering With Authors.






A ton of links to posts on writing and more from Gene Lempp on his post Writing Resources 27 July 2013.

Controversial Writers topic - so some great info in here - A Prologue Will Help Our Story When by Jami Gold.


July is almost over! How did that happen? Eek!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Virtual Tourist - Star Wars The Old Republic and Neverwinter 7/28/13

Morning!
Weird weather flip flops have been affecting mine and hubby's allergies. Makes it hard to play stuff. Waaaahh.

Star Wars The Old Republic
Jedi Consular
Planet Makeb


The new Hutt story line starts you out at the orbital station over Makeb. Here's some of the decor at the facility.


Nice little pond and plant decor. Gave the place a little spice.


Planet Makeb! We made it down just in time to log out. (Though we did take a detour to go get him a new speeder. I'd gotten lucky and got one in a Cartel pack, but not him.) :P


Neverwinter


Exit magical door at the end of the mission


Really nice glass.


Now we're off to a new zone of the map. First time out in the country.


Broken Crown Inn. 


Raven Cliff Beach - lots of lighthouses.


Reason why they need lots of lighthouses! Bandits keep snuffing them out just to have this happen. The shame...

Okay, guess that's it for this week. Hope all of you are feeling great and have a marvelous Sunday!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Movie Review - RED 2

RED 2



Starring: Bruce Willis, John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, Byung-hun Lee, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Neal McDonough, Brian Cox, David Thewlis, and more.

Directed by: Dean Parisot Written by: Jon Hoeber and Erich Hoeber Based on Characters Created by: Warren Ellis and Cully Hamner Cinematography by: Enrique Chediak Original Music by: Alan Silvestri

Premise: Retired CIA agent Frank Moses is enjoying 'normal' life, though his relationship with Sarah has come into some trouble. Her exposure to the thrills and dangers of being pursued have left her wanting more, but all Frank wants is for her to be safe - from everything. So when Marvin shows up with portents of doom, Frank isn't thrilled. But when Marvin's car explodes, and Frank confirms at the funeral that his odd friend really might not be faking it this time - he hits the start of an emotional rollercoaster. To make matters worse, agents show up outside the funeral to take Frank into custody to grill him over a project he's never heard of - Project Nightingale. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: If you enjoyed "RED" back in 2010, you'll be thrilled to know all those wonderful retired agents are back! Bruce Willis is just too much fun as the emotionally repressed, relationship bumbling, retired CIA agent Frank Moses. John Malkovich is a riot as Marvin. And yes, Marvin is still crazy, but now even dispenses love and relationship advice! Helen Mirren reprises her role as Victoria, more deadly and fun than ever. Catherine Zeta-Jones brought the heat up as Katja, Frank's one and only weakness. Mary-Louise Parker was hilarious as Sarah, craving the adrenaline and vying to prove she can be a better spy than the rival Russian hottie.

You'll have to wait a bit, but Brian Cox also returned as the ever romantic Ivan. He is well worth the wait!

Three other newcomers complete the headliners of this fun puzzle - Byung-hun Lee, who plays Han, a super cool assassin (at least until someone steals his plane), Anthony Hopkins as the somewhat unhinged Dr. Bailey (he's so good!), and Neal McDonough as the heartless Jack Horton. So there's tons of awesome talent for viewers to enjoy!

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: "RED 2" is full of great pyrotechnics. From the explosion of Marvin's car to the fantastic visuals used for a large sky detonation, everything looked wonderful. Throw in the gun battles, car chases, and especially the escape from the Fed holding facility, and your action quota will reach maximum.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: The comedy for "RED 2", much like in "RED," is very low key. It's much like reading the great works of Terry Pratchett - serious topics presented with just a bit of ridicule to make them that much more poignant. The characters are all contradictions of themselves, amazing in their element, but almost clueless when dealing with the mundane. Frank Moses is the focal point of most of the odd duality - on the one hand he's a retired yet still incredibly competent superspy, on the other he's a poor fool who can't even tell his overprotectiveness is driving away the very woman/companion he's craved his whole life for.

There are lots of great twists and turns as Frank, Sarah, Marvin and their friends try to unravel the mystery of Project Nightingale. Sarah's jealousy of Katja and how far she's willing to go to try to prove she's better were hilarious just from her undaunted drive to succeed.

Loved the way they tied "RED 2" back to "RED" with little mentions or tidbits that while not hurting the film if you didn't catch them, added a lot for those who did. We caught several of them after the fact, as we had so much fun with this one, we went and watched the original again - and then loved them both that much more.

The only real weak point in the plot was the fact something about Bailey was not mentioned or made clearer earlier (though I could have conceivably stepped out when they mentioned it, so it could be that I just missed it). But on the same vein, hours after seeing the film - I realized the bit about Bailey's pipe and where he finally found it actually singled out a profound and chilling statement of what he was feeling and really doing at that particular time thirty two years before. (And no, I can't tell you what it was! You'll have to see the film and figure it out for yourselves...)  

A couple of recurring jokes also peppered the film. I loved the one about the airplane. The one with "I didn't see that coming" has been used in other films before, so didn't work quite as well, in my opinion, though it was still fun.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Spies, governments, and exposed secrets means we get a ton of action and a ton of stunts as well. Two beautifully filmed and choreographed car sequences tied right back to the original film in their orchestration as well as look and feel. Scene after great scene of gun play and hand to hand combat. Han's introduction to the story was marvelous - and all the scenes with hand to hand combat with Byung-hun Lee were just fantastic.  

The long chase scene through Paris was a great deal of fun.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: While the first "RED" film took us to all sorts of locals in the US, "RED 2" is international. (I did miss seeing the whole postcard motif from the first film, but the red slashes worked pretty well too.) Great shots of places like London, Paris, Moscow. The long chase scene I mentioned before took great advantage of the locale with great shots of the area.

6) Costuming/Makeup - Total Thumbs Up: Great work by the makeup department, especially as the story goes along and some of the characters get into scuffles without much time to recover.

Conclusion: If you liked/loved "RED" you will like/love "RED2"! All the great, quirky characters are back and getting into even more trouble. The film is full of action, quirky humor, and great stunts.

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

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/24/13

I actually worked on this early this week! Woot!



Hubble Images a Swarm of Ancient Stars from NASA. Totally awesome!




Marla Sunrise by Kristian Pletten. Those marvelous colors!


Amazing Lightning from TotallyFreakingAwesome.com



Stunning Macro Photographs of Animal Eyes - photos by Suren Manvelyan - article by DL Cade at Peta Pixel. Uhm some of these kind of creeped me out! Eek! 




Happy Wednesday!






Monday, July 22, 2013

Mind Sieve 7/22/13

Greetings!







Last Vegas Trailer #2 - this looks hilarious!



Only God Forgives Trailer #3 - I believe this may have just been released. Looks interesting - a surreal mafia movie. 



Austenland Trailer - this looks like a hoot! lol.



The Fifth Estate - Benedict Cumberbatch! Film about Wikileaks



ComicCon Trailer - Metallica Through the Never - looks funky!



There really is a Godzilla movie coming 2014! Listed at IMDB. Sweet.









From Kristen Lamb - The Power of Facebook, Friendship & Why We Shouldn't Use A Nail Gun To Slice a Pot Roast.

9 Creative Ways to Use Social Media to Launch a Product by Michael Stelzner at Social Media Examiner. (Some of these can definitely be used for books! Ooo! Need me a plan for "Jewel of the Gods" for next year! Woot!




Hope your Monday ROCKS!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Virtual Tourist - Dishonored 7/21/13

Morning all!

Dishonored


The land of chaos once again. Short visit only though. Before I wake up in the flooded zone of the city


The assassins collection of wanted posters. lol.


View from the outside of an old whale oil refinery.


New weird plants to deal with. They are motion sensitive and shoot acide balls. Luckily only in the area before them. Can't kill them with a knife, have to blow them up. But surprisingly, you can get money from them! 


One of the dilapidated buildings around the oil refinery.


This area is really not doing well. Which is okay as I've come across more documents on how they conduct business and it's EEK!


View from the oil refinery tower. The docks are virtually gone.


Loved the look of this inside the refinery. Very Jules Verne.


Have a fabulous day, ya'll!

Friday, July 19, 2013

Movie Review - R.I.P.D.



Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ryan Reynolds, Kevin Bacon, Mary-Louise Parker, Stephanie Szostak, James Hong, Marisa Miller, Robert Knepper, Mike O'Malley, Devin Ratray, and more.

Directed by: Robert Schwentke Screenplay by: Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi Story by: David Dobkin, Phil Hay, and Matt Manfredi Based on the Dark Horse comic by: Peter M Lenkov Cinematography by: Alwin H K├╝chler Original Music by: Christophe Beck

Premise: Having succumbed to temptation, Detective Nick Cruz and his partner took some gold they found during a police raid. Later regretting the impulse, Nick seals his fate when he informs his partner he's decided to turn his share in to the evidence department. Soon dead, Nick's soul is sucked towards the sky, but then gets diverted sideways into the R.I.P.D. - the Rest In Peace Department. They want him to help bring back the souls of the dead which have fallen through the cracks and remained on Earth rather than move on to Judgement. These dead's corrupted souls will affect the living world, turning it toxic, so they must be brought back or eradicated. So Nick has his hands full and in the midst of it reconcile himself with the fact he's dead. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting - Thumbs Up: Jeff Bridges in his role as Roy will make you laugh, cringe, and want to smack him all at once. These emotions are clearly and nicely reflected by Ryan Reynolds as Nick. Kevin Bacon was fun as Hayes - sweet, friendly, and evil. James Hong and Marisa Miller looked to have had a lot of fun playing Nick and Roy's earthly avatars.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: The first minute or so after Nick's death were awesome. I loved treatment of that whole scene. Then there's the sequence as he leaves the ground and is pulled heavenward only to be shunted sideways into jarring normalcy  - also nicely done. Some of the CGI movements of people were a little too flexible to pass as real people, but could be considered a 'nitpick'. Though this same flexibility served them well later with the 'deaders'. 

The holes in reality and the collapsing parking garages came out great. The bank vault and the casefiles area were truly superb. Even better is the scene at Hayes' house when a truth is revealed.  

3) Plot/Story - Neutral: For readers of the Dark Horse comics, the details of how Nick died and how he came to be employed by the Rest In Peace Department are not the same. In the film Nick is well aware of who killed him, while in the comics he possessed no idea on who had done the deed. A point which proved a major factor on why he signed up for the department.

While the set up and plot were believable and worked overall, there were several spots that didn't quite work or where explanations were bypassed. Roy calls attention to the fact that one of the 'deaders' is exhibiting powers he's never seen before but nothing is ever done to reveal any information on why he could do it. A reference is made to special talismans late in the film, but nothing ever ties them back to the particular character. There were also no explanations for the intensity of decaying power of a recently deceased person - so this was yet another items left unresolved.

It didn't help that when things were at their lowest point, and Nick has finally had his fill of Roy, he stuck around with him. Sadder still was the lack of follow up once the main ordeal was over. Did the Eternal Affairs department set everything back as it had been or was the footage of all the 'deaders' now forever in the internet? We never find out one way or another.

I will say there was one piece of genius in the film - setting up a rough and tough man of the west with a beautiful woman avatar. Someone obviously was hoping to teach him a lesson. 

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: CGI or real, the stunts worked well. The setup when Nick realizes time seems to have stopped was great - kudos for the number of explosions and flying debris frozen in time and space.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Some interesting angles and sweeping looks at the city of Boston. Really neat shots in the Rest In Peace Department areas too.

6) Music - Total Thumbs Up: The film had some nice background music tracks by Christophe Beck. There is also a song Jeff Bridges helped write and perform that will have your eyes rolling. They play a more professional sounding version during the credits.

Conclusion: Though "R.I.P.D." feels a lot like a "Dead Like Me" meets "Ghost Busters" and "Men in Black" mix, the problems with skipped explanations and lack of real follow up at the end, kept it from being an awesome combo. Still, it was definitely entertaining. You'll never think of coyotes in the same way ever again.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/17/13

Running late again! Sadly, it seems to be way too prevalent of late. DOH!


Double rainbow! Caught this as I was backing out of the garage yesterday. The light that morning was way strange too. A lot more orange tint than usual.


And talking of gorgeous mornings...On the Ice by Steve Mattheis from Earthshots.org. Look at that sky! Steve has some really cool looking animal pics at his site as well. 


Fire and Water by Joshua Zhang from Earthshots.org - Gorgeous! 


He has even more gorgeous work at his site! And he's only been doing this for 2 years?!?! Go, go Joshua Zhnag!


More of his amazing talent!

Okay, that's it for today. Gotta go!







Monday, July 15, 2013

Mind Sieve 7/15/13

Greetings!

Let's do this thing!













Seventh Son Official Trailer - booyah! This looks awesome!



Saving Mr. Banks Official Trailer - Tom Hanks gets to be Walt Disney! Story of how the troubles to make Marry Poppins. lol, Looks super cute.



Mazarin's Lost Golden Chest Was Being Used as a Bar - from The History Blog. The life of this gorgeous piece is fascinating!








Instagram Web Embeds: This Week In Social Media by Cindy King at the Social Media Examiner. Also has info on Twitter Synching and more!







Tons of writing sources from Gene Lempp in his Writing Resources 13 July 2013 post!

What Star Wars "A New Hope" Can Teach Us About In Media Res by Kristen Lamb. A MUST READ! An excellent post.



May your week be cool and comfy!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Virtual Tourist - Dishonored and Neverwinter 7/14/13

It's an oven here in Texas. Though they say there'll be relief this upcoming week. *fingerscrossed* Anyway...


Dishonored
Not the final mission like I thought. DOH!


Leaving the tower after a successful mission


Celebration of my victory and of getting the Empress's daughter her throne back. Though something I overheard had me raising a brow.


Turns out my spidey sense was right. I've been poisoned! Nooo! (Betrayed!)


Face to Face with the man who took the Empress from me.


Neverwinter

Apothecary's shop - nice carpet! Lots of lore books there.


Side view at the Apothecary shop.


Yes, bad things are going on at that tower.


The merry band of adventurers!


Funniest Rat Shopkeeper ever!


Rat lair


Big Cheese's place


Some seasonal content.


She's got the weirdest mask ever!


Time to track down the evil sorcerer at his lair.


Yes, he's definitely up to no good in there.


A statue puzzle to open up a secret entrance. Kinda neat.


Loved the look of this hole, the light vs darkness, the vine. Nice work!


One of the baddies in our way.


Giant broken statue inside the staircase. 


Isn't it pretty?


Different shots of other parts of the broken statue. Totally awesome even in pieces.


Stained glass window/door


The broken statue's face.


Evil elf sorcerer and his spell in progress.


He does have flare!

Running way behind this morning. Wheee!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...