Sunday, July 24, 2016

Virtual Tourist - The Vanishing of Ethan Carter 7/24/16

The Vanishing of Ethan Carter
Crossing the bridge into town. Is that not an awesome sky?
 Cascading waters
About to hit town
Looking back the way I came
Entering the first home and about to enter a weird puzzle. Loved the little sailboat plaque.
The doorway on the right has become a portal. Truly a creative puzzle.
Balcony on the same house. Another cool plaque. (The plaques are just cool and are not part of the room puzzle. :P)
There is a large building a ways down by the cascading river. But the way there will remain a mystery for a while.
Plants, dirt, and more can be found in the attic. :P
Figuring out the rooms puzzle will reveal a secret room! This is where everything started to go wrong for Ethan.
Is that not the most quaint and cutest thing? (Yes, I'm weird. But details so matter!)
Have a fabulous Sunday!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Movie Review - Star Trek Beyond

Star Trek Beyond

Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoë Saldana, Simon Pegg, John Cho, Anton Yelchin, Idris Elba, Sofia Boutella, Joe Taslim, Lydia Wilson, and more.
Directed by: Justin Lin Written by: Simon Pegg and Doug Jung Based on the series by: Gene Roddenberry Cinematography by: Stephen F. Windon Music by: Michael Giacchino
Premise: Three years into their five year mission, Kirk is wondering if he doesn't need a change. While visiting the new Yorktown space station, the Enterprise gets an unexpected mission. They are tasked to go rescue a stranded crew in an uncharted nebula. But the mission turns out to be something else entirely. (Rated PG-13)
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: The gang is back! And Karl Urban is too awesome. lol. I do love me some Dr. McCoy and he is so good at it! lol. Chris Pine does a nice job showing Kirk's drifting as he internally loses his way. Zachary Quinto continues to deliver those great flat line punche. And also we get some surprises from him as well. Anton Yelchin truly puts his stamp as Chekov this time around, which will make us miss him all the more. Sofia Boutella adds a nice extra layer as Jaylah. 
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Some amazing stuff this time around with the special effects. Yorktown is super cool. Though I wish they'd slowed down the fast panning when we get our first look - it went way too fast. Which is a pity since it was so awesome! Let us enjoy your work! 
Kudos on making the bad guys' blasters/energy discharges look different. The energy had a funky shape, which was neat. The buildings and machinery of the ancient dwellings were rather neat. They definitely spoke of it being a different culture.
Though they were all still humanoid, we did get to see a whole range of new species in the film, which was awesome. I could not take my eyes off of Tyvanna and her cauliflower like layered head.
The swarm ships were rather nifty and looked cool. They way they were employed was rather brilliant. The Federation needs to get ahold of this metal!
If you see the film in 3D, the credits are a super treat as they show different planets, nebulas, and other gas fields. (Keep your eyes peeled for the giant green hand! I kid you not! lol) Lots of lovely work throughout the film.
3) Plot/Story - Thumbs Up: I've pretty much given up on the science making sense in this franchise anymore, so I don't even try. So if you can turn that part of your brain off, the film can be quite enjoyable. 
This is the film that bridges the old with the new. It's like we are at the cusp of them being at the point where we first meet them in the original series. They merge the new theme music with the old theme music even more than in the past. Snippets and lines get thrown in that are well known and even in-jokes allude to the old series. And at the end they wrap it up with those words we all know so well.
Kirk and Spock finds themselves at a cross-roads. It is for different reasons, yet the decisions they are poised to make can change everything. Kirk's ends up resonating as a recurring theme for several characters and even the main plot. There are some unexpected layers to why things are happening. So some things will seem odd until the explanations finally reveal what is not yet known. 
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of phaser combat on the ship and on the planet. Explosions, gravity shifts, and more get people thrown all over the place. Nice job!
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: As I mentioned earlier, they took the pan views of Yorktown way too fast. For the rest of the shots, however, you get some great views of the areas. The shots in space of the hive, the station, and the general mayhem in the first attack were fabulous.
Conclusion: Star Trek Beyond ties the old and new together. They still have issues with bad science. But if you can ignoring those, the film moves well and has plenty for audiences to enjoy. Some lovely in-jokes too!
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again)

Monday, July 18, 2016

Mind Sieve 7/18/16

Another week, another wave of chaos! :P
Internet problems are fixed for the moment. Had to have people come out 5 times! They've pretty much replaced everything from here to two blocks down. lol. Weirdest thing ever. The whole family got to find out how truly dependent we are on it. Heh heh.

Seth Savage - Bad Girls - hubby of one of my buds at work! Country sound with a touch of folk music? Hope you enjoy!

Star Wars Rebels Season Three Official Trailer - Ezra - bad hair choice. lol. 

Have a great one!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Virtual Tourist - Final Fantasy XIV 7/17/16

Morning! (It didn't post! DOH!)
Final Fantasy XIV
La Noscea
Mist (Player Housing Are in La Noscea)
Beachfront player home locations. Sweet!
Nice white beach too! Nice gazebo area as well. 
A really nice area. Too bad we can't afford player housing yet. :P
Nice night view.
God's Grip
Looks super cool, no?
A shipyard in La Noscea's God's Grip
Guiding light!
Oh! The sun about to make an appearance!
These are quite neat! Not only do they warn/guide you into the bay, but they could be used to house lookouts in times of trouble. 
How cool is that? Wolves' Den Pier.
Lovely arena/training space.
Such a cute little place! Have always had a thing for tiled roofs. :)

May your Sunday be a peaceful and fruitful one. :)

Virtual Tourist - Final Fantasy XIV 7/17/16

Final Fantasy XIV
La Noscea
Mist (Player Housing Are in La Noscea)
Beachfront player home locations. Sweet!
Nice white beach too! Nice gazebo area as well. 
A really nice area. Too bad we can't afford player housing yet. :P
Nice night view.
God's Grip
Looks super cool, no?
A shipyard in La Noscea's God's Grip
Guiding light!
Oh! The sun about to make an appearance!
These are quite neat! Not only do they warn/guide you into the bay, but they could be used to house lookouts in times of trouble. 
How cool is that? Wolves' Den Pier.
Lovely arena/training space.
Such a cute little place! Have always had a thing for tiled roofs. :)

May your Sunday be a peaceful and fruitful one. :)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Movie Review - Ghostbusters


Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Neil Casey, Karan Soni, Bill Murray, Ernie Hudson, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and more.
Directed by: Paul Feig Written by: Katie Dippold and Paul Feig Based on the film written by: Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis Cinematography by: Robert D. Yeoman Music by: Theodore Shapiro
Premise: Erin Gilbert is on the cusp of gaining tenure at her university when the past comes back to haunt her. An old colleague has republished the paranormal book the two of them wrote together. A book that might cost her everything, as it isn't seen as being real science. Trying to get Abby to take the book off the market, Erin ends up going with her to a historic house in New York. And comes face to face with the supernatural. (Rated PG-13
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: One of the things that made the original 1984 Ghostbusters film fun were all the quirky and memorable characters. The new film has a basket full. Kriten Wiig did well as the socially awkward and insecure Dr. Erin Gilbert. Melissa McCarthy was fun as the gutsy Abby Yates. While hard to out do Egon, Kate McKinnon did things her own way as the unique, happy-go-lucky Jillian Holtzman. Chris Hemsworth had way too much fun as Kevin, the brainless, and I mean brainless, receptionist. lol. Bill Murray as the debunker Martin Heiss was a brilliant choice for a multitude of reasons.  And a lot of the original cast is back for some awesome cameos too!
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: If you get a chance to see the film in IMAX 3D, I would definitely recommend it. The special effects are well worth the higher price. The first and second ghosts were super detailed and the 3D made their lack of a corporeal body that much cooler to look at.  
Lots of great gadgets and fun looking machinery. Rowan's machines had a strong steampunk feel to them. Our favorite proton streams are back and used in all sorts of new ways. 
There's lots of slime and even Slimer! He has a grittier, more substantial look, and he still knows how to party. The balloon ghosts were creepy. And Rowan's mirrors were fab!
3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: The original Ghostbusters film is one of my husband's all time favorite movies. He's been frothing to go see it. And was quite happy with the results. 
A lot of the main players in the original cast do cameos in the film! Awesome! And what's really neat about the cameos is how they have more substance to them than you normally get from such things. A tons of in-jokes in those little snippets as well. Sadly, Harold Ramis passed a couple of years ago, so he did not get to appear. Though a bust of him shows up in one of the scenes. It was a nice touch. 
Like in the original, the story begins with a paranormal incident. The build up to it was great. Not only is the tour guide full of bizarre commentary, but he's also a charlatan of sorts, until... (That whole beginning sequence was great!) 
From the moment the film starts there are 'winks' and 'nudges' heralding back to the original film. They were made up of all kinds of bits - visual, vocal, and musical. If you loved the first film, you'll love this one just for all the awesome homage!
Though the story parallels the original in certain aspects. (It even pokes fun at it.) It's also a whole new tale on its own. A lot of themes get thrown in to go along with the humor and nostalgia - friendship, family, as well as daring to believe in yourself and others. 
Stay all the way through the credits! Not only were they a blast, but several more bits are throw in. The last, if you've seen the original, was priceless! Speaks of possible things to come. :)
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: Lots of great gags. Felt sorry for the people dealing with the 'Saturday Night Fever' pose. lol. Bodies get thrown around, and there's even some hand-to-hand. 
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The original Ghostbusters was filmed for the most part in New York. This time around, they recreate several places in NY City, but most locations are actually in nearby Massachusetts. Even so, we got some lovely scene sweeps and neat shots.
6) Music - Totally Thumbs Up: They sneak in the original theme here and there. The first time gives a great jolt of nostalgia when they bring it in right after the starting sequence. The snippet of new songs and background music all worked quite well.
Conclusion: Despite all the negativity before the film's release, hubby and I loved the heck out of it. A ton of homage bits and all the awesome cameos added a lot to the film's overall fun. Sit through all the credits! They're a ton of fun and have more added bits. :)
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Great visuals and all that homage! Woot!) (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mind Sieve 7/11/16

Greetings all!
Now that I figured out how to help with my upload issues the internet provider is having problems. Am I cursed? o.O
So needless to say this will be a short post.  Enjoy!

Inferno Official Trailer - should be fun!

May your week be fruitful and calm. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Virtual Tourist - Grim Fandango 7/10/16

Morning all!
Still slowly killing myself at the day job. Wheee!
Grim Fandango
Year 1
Oh noes! Shifty eyed forger is trying to turn the tables. The gun there is one of those flower ones that kills the dead. Eek!
At the lighthouse for a rendezvous! 
Someone got to her first! 
Not quite gone yet. But it is spreading.
What a nasty way to redie.
Back at the tattoo artist's place. Still icky! :P
Oopsie! Someone go beddie bye. Heh heh. The plan is one step closer to fruition.
The law is displeased. The plan continues apace!
Such a fancy uniform for a 1 cop town. :P
He's played right into my hands! Bwahahaha! He's shutting down Manny's club.
Opulent office no? And so quick to hear of cash drying out.
Now my buddy is out of the VIP lounge and we can move to the next step. Bwahahahahahahahahahaha!

Hope you have a lovely Sunday!

Friday, July 08, 2016

Movie Review - The Secret Life of Pets

The Secret Life of Pets

Starring: Louis C. K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Ellie Kemper, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell, Dana Carvey, Hannibal Buress, Bobby Moynihan, Chris Renaud, Steve Coogan, Michael Beattie, and more.
Directed by: Yarrow Cheney and Chris Renaud Written by: Cinco Paul, Ken Daurio, and Brian Lynch Art Direction by: Colin Stimpson Music by: Alexandre Desplat
Premise: Max loves his owner. She is everything to him. Then one day she brings home a huge dog named Duke. They don't get along. Each tries to get rid of the other until they get in a situation they can't escape, except by relying on one another. If they survive, maybe they will make it back home. (Rated PG)
1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Illumination picked a great cast for the film. Louis C.K. does a great job as Max. His love for his master and resentment at the intruder Duke rings clear. Eric Stonestreet also does a good job as the new dog, Duke. His warring need to fit in and be top dog was well played. 
Kevin Hart was a ton of fun as the rebellion leading bunny, Snowball. But it was Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, and Lake Bell that brought the most fun to the table as Gidget, Tiberius, and Chloe. Gidget totally rocked! Dana Carvey was a hoot as Pops.
2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Illumination did awesome work as usual. The Minions Mowing story short at the beginning will have Minion fans rolling. One bit that was too cute was how the lawn gnome in the short ends up also being used during the main feature. 
They did several other cute segues to other Illumination films. The radio playing "Happy" which tied back to "Despicable Me 2". The poster on the back of a city bus for their next film "Sing". There are doubtless more of them to discover. :)
The film pays lovely homage to the city of New York. The lovely pan across Central Park and the amazing night views from Max's apartment are but two of many amazing recreated sights. 
Nice work on the textures as well. They dealt with fur, feathers, scales, long hair, short hair, and even hairless. And there were plenty of lovely visual gags. Several will catch you off guard and you will find yourself laughing out loud. As that's normally rare for me, I was quite pleased. (The end of the viper sequence was a riot!)
3) Plot/Story - Total Thumbs Up: Despite all the jillion commercials we've been pounded with for six months or more - they didn't give everything away. In fact, the story takes some unexpected sharp turns several times. And they didn't spoil the best jokes or moments. So there was a lot to still be discovered. Which was great!
Max and Duke are rather nasty to each other when they're first forced to be together. So much so you almost don't want to root for either one. Eventually we get to know more about their true selves and we get on board. Much more surprising though was how the big heroes of the film aren't Max or Duke. The biggest hero is actually Gidget! Once she realizes Max has disappeared she is the driving force to finding a way to go look for him. Sweet puppy love! :)
The Flushed Pets Rebels were a fun bunch. So were the feral cat gang. There were a lot of elements from the streets, older films/musicals, and pet behavior. It's amazing how it all came together so well. 
The Wiener King nirvana sequence will touch older audience members with weird psychedelic nostalgia. Even the song was perfect for the scene. 
Conclusion: The Secret Life of Pets is quirky, fun, and full of surprises. Lots of great laugh out loud moments for the kids and adults. There's a extra bit of fun during the end credits. :P
Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

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