Sunday, August 31, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 8/31/14


Jagged Coast

Tree outposts with bridges and you can climb them! Woot!

View from one of them.

No clue what I was taking a picture of here. DOH!

The newest set of armor. 

Pilons in the jungle road.

Weirdest looking pirate ever! But what a spiffy golden skull accessory!

A bad guy village

Down in the bad guy village

Innocent seeming path

The giant crab that will tear you a new one on the seemingly innocent path! (THose crabs are BAD!)

View off the seashore.

More evil crabs!!!!

Have a great one!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Movie Review - Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Jessica Alba, Josh Brolin, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Rosario Dawson, Bruce Willis, Eva Green, Powers Boothe, Dennis Haysberth, Ray Liotta, Christopher Meloni, Jeremy Piven, Christopher Lloyd, Jamie King, Juno Temple, and more.

Directed by: Frank Miller and Robert Rodriguez Written by: Frank Miller Based on the Graphic Novels by: Frank Miller Cinematography by: Robert Rodriguez Music by: Robert Rodriguez and Carl Thiel

Premise: Sin City means different things to different people, but they all have a story to tell - the dancer trying to shore her courage to get revenge on the man who killed the only one who ever tried to protect her; the young buck trying to make a name for himself and ends up getting in too deep; the old lover drawn back by the femme fatale who broke his heart when she comes asking for his help. And all the stories tied together by the one man who knows the city best, except when his mind forgets - he has a condition. (Rated R)


1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Many familiar faces grace the screen -- several reprising roles from the original "Sin City" film, while other make their mark in the city for the first time. Mickey Rourke is still a total hoot as "Marv". Bruce Willis reprises his role as Hartigan, back from the grave. Jessica Alba definitely proves the nine years between films have not slowed her down, and she gives a great performance on multiple levels as Nancy. Josh Brolin is "noir" to his core. Eva Green, though, steals the show, proving once more her tremendous and hypnotic range.

2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: As in the original "Sin City" there's a lot of play with black and white and flashes of vivid colors or flip flopping contrasts -- they all looked great. Some subtle storytelling also went on with the colors, which added some nice flavor to the tales. The women were being their true selves when their hair, eyes, lips, or face had color, otherwise...

The characters with the larger than life faces or bodies were expertly done. The power player Ava talks to during her party looked so realistic I couldn't believe she wanted to be that close to him. And the few shots of Dwight's face after some of his troubles, and of Johnny's hand, had me twitching in sympathy in my seat.

The visuals and sweeps during Nancy's nightmare scene were very nice.

3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: It's been nine years between films, but "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" picks up not far from the end of the original, so those who've not seen the first movie either recently or ever, will have a hard time connecting with the characters. While they do give information on what has gone before it's not enough to deepen the experience. (So be sure to watch/rewatch the first one before seeing this one!)

There's three stories, all of which connect through Marv or the bar. You see a piece of each one in turn, the middle one running on through to its end, then back to the others in reverse order. Because they don't have much to do with each other, and the Dwight storyline was so involving and long, by the time they got to the other two, I'd totally forgotten about them - so it was almost a jolt to realize there was more.

There were also a couple of bits they threw in at the beginning with Marv that were never actually resolved - you knew to whom Marv's jacket and gloves belonged to, but not how he got them. So that made things seem a little disjointed, especially after so specifically drawing the audience's attention to them.

4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Gun battles, car chases, knives, jumping and being thrown through windows, and lots of fists totally fit the films "noir" feel. Add in some crossbows, samurai swords, and tough girls, and there's plenty of stunt fun to be had by all.

5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: Real or imagined, the locations for the different scenes worked beautifully. Merging reality and CGI as well as playing with shadows and moonlight made for some lovely cinematography.

Conclusion: I'd definitely recommend making sure to see the original "Sin City" before venturing to see "Sin City: A Dame To Kill For" - this should definitely fill in some of the gaps to make the film have more impact and get you as the audience more vested in what's going on. There's lots of lovely visuals and plenty of fist action. The R Rating should be taken seriously for younger viewers - this is not for kids. But the adults should have an entertaining time.

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)  

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 8/27/14


Another World by Joshua Zhang at So Surreal!

Close Quarters by Rudi Van Den Heever at Cool composition, no? He's got some really nice landscape and animal pics at his site as well. 

3X2 Kirkjufell by Erez Maron at - all those lovely blues!

Erez Maron even does photo workshops

Guess I will stop here. Have an awesome Wednesday!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Mind Sieve 8/25/14


I missed last week as Animefest was four days and so things have once more slid to the pit. (Connectivity issues didn't help either.) But that's last week! This week, it's all back on! Booyah!

Fan Fun

Houdini - History channel 2 day event. Looks great!

Young Ones Official Trailer - could be interesting.

Social Media/Author Platform

How to Combine Text and Visual Content for Better Social Media Engagement from the Social Media Examiner article by Keith Quesenberry.

12 Twitter Marketing Tips From the Pros at the SocialMedia Examiner - article by Cindy King.

Writing Advice

Let's Talk About Margin by Craig Mod. One of my publishers shared this with the authors. Really brings to perspective a side of the book business authors sometimes don't think about. Quite fascinating and eye opening, too. :)

Three Tips For Self-Publishing Success - Guest Julie Musil at Jami Gold's Blog -and the advice is good for more than just self-pubbers. :)

Have an awesome Monday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Virtual Tourist - TERA 8/24/14

Life has once more been conspiring against me. Hubby had to do a cutover Friday so no movie. Saw two yesterday, but no time to do the reviews~! Wheee!



I keep finding areas I've not taken pics of in the big city. Heh heh

Love this town!

Val Aureum

Some of the weird flora here. 

Ruins all over the place.

Colorful and super weird fauna.

Giant super scary fauna! Can only get so close to take pics though.

Here's one of all three. Heh heh.

Crazy rock formations and plants

View as we leave the zone.


So green!

This place was super cool.

You can never go wrong with roses!

Amazing beach, no?

You can climb up into the tree stations!

That is one nasty looking fish.

Have a ton of fun today!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Picture Kaleidoscope 8/20/14 - Animefest 2014

Greetings, all!

This past weekend was Animefest! A couple of weeks earlier than normal, but they still went for a four day convention. Lots of amazing costumes abounded all over.

A couple of panoramic views from our corner of the Dealers Room. 

Tried to put a little more of us into this one. Heh

That is one large umbrella. 


Great place to watch from, but if I blinked I missed stuff. Doh!

Threatened by a horse head on a stick. Heh heh.

Too cute!

She'd bought her corset from our neighbor but hours before. She did amazing things with it! Looked fabulous!

Sailor Moon and three Tuxedo Kamens! Woot!

Isn't she adorable?

Teddy too. Hee!

My pic does not do his outfit justice. He has led lights, tubes, and more.

Even Death must wait for the elevator like the rest of us. 

Great Dragonball Z Costume. Even has his tail.

Such nice costumes!

The Foot Clan! See how their evil ninja skills blurred my pic? Heh heh

Could never get a good angle on this one. He had eyes on the wings. Looked super cool.

The Tick's sidekicks for the win!

See, I tried again. lol.

A gaggle of Deadpools. He was super popular. Still have no idea why some of them had on bikinis.

Doesn't he look ominous?!

She was so cute! Paws, ears, and a tail! 

And a friend to hug as well. 

Heroines a plenty

Look at that giant weapon. Impressive.

Ruby Rod and Lilu Multipass! Woot!

Look at the super detail in this costume. Wow!

Demons in leather and chain - Oh my!

Have fun!

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