Sunday, September 02, 2018

Mind Sieve on a Sunday!

Morning, ya'll!

I figured I'd go for something a little different this week. Give life some variety and what not. :) So this week is:

Mind Sieve on a Sunday!

Mini Movie Review

KIN

KIN - This is a family drama with super cool effects and science fiction elements. Eli's adopted mom has died. He and his father are trying to cope. Then his brother Jimmy is released from jail. He's been gone six years. To compound the problem, we find Jimmy owes a lot of money for protection in prison. Eli, who's been stripping wire from old buildings, comes across a bloodbath in one of them. He also finds a strange weapon.

Matters escalate quickly on multiple fronts, and it's just a question of when the train wreck will happen.

Gorgeous cinematography, great effects, great acting, and mystery bits leading us towards the finale. It's about family, belonging, getting past the things that pull you down. Definitely open for a sequel! Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Bag Man - Sci-Fi Short Film - This 10+ minute short film is what the movie KIN is based on. Several elements made it from here to the movie. (The owl!) A little abrupt and with 0 explanations, but it was fun seeing the correlations.



Cool new song (to me!) I thought I'd share. Would be a lovely fit with the boys from Supernatural. :)

No Roots by Alice Merton. Super catchy!



Prepare to be Disturbed!!!!  Guardians Inferno from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. (Most of the cast is in this! You just might not recognize them! lol!) Talk about an 80's flashback. lol.




2Cellos - Thunderstruck - love the set up for this one. These guys rock!





Okay, got to go. Hope you have a wonderful Labor Day!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Virtual Tourist - Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 8/26/18

Morning all!

Mini Movie Reviews

Alpha

Alpha - There is a lot of gorgeous cinematography in this film. They start out us out with the crisis point then go back a week earlier. It's a gimmick they could have left out and made a better film due to it. It was nice to see some of the culture of the tribe, though the whole beating of the kids was not explained and didn't make much sense, especially the night before a long excursion. Several instances of anachronism, which were odd. Several cases where the boy had a chance to make things better for himself and didn't. (Hunter tent, sabertooth tiger pelt.) Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Continuing the dog theme...

A-X-L

A-X-L - Adorable premise, blossoming AI escapes and gets adopted by a boy after getting bested by him. (Alpha dominance also showed in Alpha.) But a lot of problems with doing things for convenience and plot manipulation. Example: We see AXL use intelligence in evading pursuers and not being found, yet later he doesn't move back even though we see in his sensors he is aware of the weapon the person is pointing and the pool for gasoline at his feet. He claws things, but we never see the claws. Lots of little things that added up to take away from the film. Rating: 3 out of 5 Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.

One funny thing was that in A-X-L they show pics of man and dog over the years and of course had one for ancient man and dog. Tying it back to Alpha. Heh heh. Oh, and today is National Dog Day! So you have doggie movies you can see to celebrate. :)

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - GARM

Left for dead, Jensen has made his way inside the GARM facility where the trap was spring. 


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Inside GARM 

View of the inside of GARM.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - GARM bridge 

Moving from building 1 to building 2 of the GARm facility. It looks so cold out there!


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Waterfalls at GARM 

There be waterfalls at GARM. Used for power generation?

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Slowly working my way to possible escape from this place.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - Helipad view

View of GARM from the helipad.


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided - GARM from a distance

View of the whole compound as I make my escape. Impressive looking, no?


Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Good to be back.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Crime waits for no one. 

 On the book trailer news - I've picked three possibles for the music for the trailer. As I've done in the past, I look to Kevin MacLeod for excellent royalty free tracks. Will I use Black Vortex, Phantom from Space, or Voltaic? Too soon to tell. :P

Sunday, August 12, 2018

The MEG and Starting on a Book Trailer for Alien Redemption

Morning, all!

I am going to go in a different direction this week. Since my SF novel "Alien Redemption" will be getting published in 2019, I need to start now in getting the word out and doing things to promote it. (With my lack of time, this will be tough! They always say you should start at least nine months in advance. Oi!)

So I figured I would occasionally share what I'm doing to prep for that. Before that though, let's do our weekly Mini Movie Review! :P

Mini Movie Review

The Meg

The MEG - The beginning of the film was really well done. They set up the hero, give us a glimpse into what has scarred him and then we start five years later. The Mana One and the mini-subs and our descent below the frost level are fantastic. Seeing the first view of this hidden underwater world was great! The whole section there, including the rescue, etc. was well worth it. It's only once that's over that it goes into what you initially expected, contrived situations to get people in the water. :P Meiying (Sophia Cai) was super adorable! She also adds much to the film. There are loads of familiar faces. Red herrings, weirdness, and more abound. It also has loads of JAWS in-jokes/homage. A million times better than Sharknado. :P

Rating: 3 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Alien Redemption - Getting pieces for the Book Trailer pt 1

(And realizing I have not made a page at the website for this one yet. DOH! Something else for the To-Do List! :P)

So the first thing you have to do is try to find photos that somewhat resemble your vision. This could mean hours trolling through the different photo sites to locate those you can purchase rights on to use. I got pretty lucky yesterday and found a lot of what I needed at Adobe Stock.

I will need to do a lot of work on the pics I found, but it's one step closer to getting the book trailer done. :)

Here's the original I decided to use for the Holiday (Captain Ricardo Bennet's ship - and the location where many things happen in the first half of the book).

spaceship

I was looking for something that looked like a merchant class ship, and this one filled the need famously.

I needed to add stars and the name of the ship to the photo. Luckily I was able to find a tutorial for how to add a starry sky! Yay!

The Holiday - merchant class

You can't see the stars on this one. Too shrunk down. You should be able to click on it to get a bigger view. Let me get a different cut as well.

Side Cut of the Holiday

You can see the name and the stars.  It was bizarre how the artist had tapes with H's on different areas of the hull. Almost like this was destined. No? :P

Next is Turbic Station:

space station

Not the exact vision in the book, but close is good! It will give you an idea of the place. Turbic Station is at the edge of the Dominion in what is called the Fringes. The last bastion of civilized/charted space. They know it too, and you pay for the privilege. :P

Currently, I've only added stars to the background. May add some neon for the upper area where the exclusive part of the station serves rich clientele wanting to get away from all the restrictions of the civilized worlds.

Turbic Station at the Fringes

Lovely, no? :)

I have a ways to go! Had hoped to have a gif ready of the Holiday dashing across the screen, but I need to work on the angles. Maybe next time. :P

Next week ChibiChains and I will be at Animefest! If you are there, please come to the Dealers Room and say "Hi!".

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Virtual Tourist - Wolfenstein II 7/29/18

Morning!

Mini Movie Review

Mission Impossible: Fallout

Mission Impossible: Fallout - the film is a rollercoaster of non-stop action. They also throw in nostalgic bits which were excellent. Loved the mission recorder, which was a mix of super new tech (DNA matching) and original TV show (tape wheels and smoke!). Twists and red herrings abound. They also added things going wrong, annoyances to the protagonist, and other bits making this feel more like real life. Many things come back full circle. Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again.)

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus

Yeppers, finally playing the third installment. Hubby finished it way back, but I'd not gotten to play. I bit more dizzying than the previous two, which is why I stayed away for a bit.


Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Blazkowicz Mom

Blazkowicz's Mom - he's having a dream/nightmare. Not a good family life as it turns out.


Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Save Blazkowicz

The game picks up moments after the end of Wolfenstein The New Order. Blazkowicz is messed up. It's a miracle he's alive at all!

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Resistance Leader

Our ragtag team's leader. The suit allows her to walk and fight. 

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - doctor

Blaskowicz wakes up fully when the stolen ship gets boarded. Finally finds one of the others. B has mad skills with his wheelchair. Lol. This boat is not made for the disabled.

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus

The Doc has set up some nasty traps for the soldiers. Very nasty traps. :P

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - posters

They always have such lovely details! B pics up bits of info about Nazi America as he wheels himself through the sub.

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Anya

A bittersweet reunion with Anya! 

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus

B isn't doing good. Half hitpoints are the best he gets! But he's still tougher than anything out there. :P

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Anya 2

She has so much faith in him. Got to cling to what you can. 

Wolfenstein II The New Colossus - Kissing

Love in the midst of carnage. :) Pregnant she still kicks buns! Heh heh.


Hope your weekend has been fab! Next week I will be at ArmadilloCon! Hope to see you there. :)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Mini Movie Review Catch Up 7/22/18

Greetings!

Yep, I once more fell off the face of the planet. This is never intentional, but sometimes life's plans don't match mine. (Busted pipes, rabid bat and consequent pet quarantine, vet bills from quarantine fallout, back muscle issues, tons of day job work, etc. Life has been interesting. Not always a good thing!) :P Money is tight right now, which hasn't helped matters any.

Figured I would try to catch up on mini movie reviews since it's summer and it's movie watching time! Lots out there to see right now. (Had to do some catching up on that too!) These are in order of older to newer.

Mini Movie Reviews

Incredibles 2

Incredibles 2 - after a super long hiatus, the Incredibles are back! And we get theme songs! Lol. Yes, the older superheroes had theme songs, and we get to hear them. You have to wait for  Elastigirl's in the end credits, but worth the wait. :P

Befriended by a brother and sister who want to bring back the old days when superheroes were free to do what they do best, everyone has to deal with changing roles in the household as Helen become the focus of the hero campaign.

Lots of family issues to deal with as Bob tries not to be jealous and works at being a stay at home Dad. Nefarious forces are at work, however. In that respect, the new film repeats some of the plot complications of the first movie. Still, it was a fun ride.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)


Jurrasic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - The advertisements give a wrong impression of what the film is actually about. Yes, there is a volcano about to explode and destroy the island, but that whole segment is only the beginning of the film leading to the main section.

Dr. Wu (played by BD Wong) is a fortunate and resilient man, and the character connects the latest two films back to the original. The scientist has been a very busy and he has a new patron.  They want to build upon the success of their last creation and use the older animals to finance their ambitions.

Gorgeous film, loads of actions, quirky comedy, and more. The whole volcano problem is a little contrived, but if you can look past that, there's definite fun to be had. I find it funny how the old T-Rex is used much like Godzilla now. A very dangerous creature that still comes to your aid when you least expect. :)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)


Ant-Man and the Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp - Scott Lang is suffering the consequences of his actions when he went to the aid of Captain America in Captain America: Civil War. He's been under house arrest for two years as a result. His relationship with Hope and Dr. Pym lie in tatters.  His decision to help Cap had many consequences he'd not expected.

A few days before his house arrest is complete; however, he has a strangely vivid dream about Hope's mother and a little girl. So he leaves them a message, not sure how to explain it or even if it means anything.

It is this message that gets him kidnapped by Dr. Pym. Due to the things Scott saw during the first film when he shrunk himself into the subatomic levels, Dr. Pym and Hope have been working on a way to try to free his wife from there. They believe Scott is connected to Janet due to quantum entanglement.

But there are others interested in what Pym is working on. So Scott finds himself jeopardizing his freedom as they fight to bring Janet Pym back while keeping the tech out of other hands.

Everything I loved about Ant-Man comes back to the second film. Scott's relationship with his daughter (the maze adventure was awesome!), Luis and his dense but adorable childlike spirit, Hope and Scott's clashing denial of their feelings, and just all the fun of making things big and small! (Not sure you really could shrink and move a building around and have it work once you made it big again. All the power infrastructure and underground parts would not be there. But the concept is so cool! They could have easily explained it if they'd just taken a few moments!) :P Oh and the way they use the wheel-shaped Matchbox car carrying case is genius!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)



Skyscraper

Skyscraper - weird as it may sound, the biggest reason I wanted to see this film was because the protagonist had a disability. This problem added such a neat wrinkle to the plot. After reading the three book mystery series by J.K. Rowling and her hard-boiled P.I. and his issues with part of a missing leg, I wanted to see what they did with it here. Overall, I thought they did a good job!

The building was gorgeous! I wish they'd shown us more of it before the destruction began. The special effects were fantastic. The company logo was awesome! Loved how they used it in the company video. (Yes, I love dragons!)

Once you find out what the tower owner is hiding, the reasons behind the actions of the bad guy make sense, but not Mr. Ji's. If you have copies of the data, leave the original in the safe. It will either keep it or destroy it, but you still have what you need. Henry, Will's son, also disappears conveniently from the film when they need Will's wife, Sarah to be more involved. Loved that she helped, so the movie wasn't just one-sided, but... Another issue was the wiring needed for the final move at the end of the film to work. Most of that would have melted off so wouldn't have worked. If they'd spent a little more time on the building introduction, they could have covered that, but they didn't.

Overall though, it was a fun ride and worth watching for all the action and just the darn cool building!!!!  :P

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



Hotel Transylvania 3

Hotel Transylvania 2: Summer Vacation - These are always so cute! Great for families to see together. They always cover different aspects of being a family. This one is multi-pronged in that aspect as we see issues from multiple families being highlighted.

The writers had a lot of fun writing this one. A lot of the details and bits definitely came from people with kids. Lol. They also take some expectations and give you something entirely different. Loved what they did with the Bermuda Triangle and the lost city of Atlantis. I would go on this cruise! :)

Loads of family topics - tradition, loneliness, obsession, letting go, embarrassment caused by family members, and more. Ericka ended up being a much more faceted character than I expected. I loved what they did with her. I even guessed the song that was used to save the day! Bwahahahaha!

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

That should keep you all busy for a bit. :P

Here's hoping for a steady blog posting schedule!

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Virtual Tourist - My Time at Portia 6/3/18

Morning!

Windows did an update last week, and it took all the time I had to do the Sunday post. Boo! The update did warn me it would take longer than usual, but it went on way longer than I ever expected. Oh, well...

Mini Movie Reviews

SOLO

SOLO - Meh. That was the feeling we walked out with after the film was over. Just meh. With the millions of dollars they are spending on these movies, you'd think they'd make sure they had a decent script. This was another "let's grab scenes from the originals and use them again because fans are stupid and will watch anything." There's no reason for it. They pretty much lost me when they had Val commit suicide for NO REASON! They'd already been discovered, so blowing up the bridge was unnecessary by that point! Hello?

I also thought it was a bad idea making Han be in love as fervently as he was with Qi'ra. It belittles what he has later with Leia. And have you noticed that the farther back in time we go the smarter and more independent the androids get?  The only bright point was Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian - he was fab! Rating: 3 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

My Time at Portia

My Time at Portia - grave for dead station people

The gravesite for the people who'd been dead 300 years but had been Ack's companions up in the space station that fell from the sky.

My Time at Portia - Winter

Winter around the area of the Hazardous Ruins. 

My Time at Portia - Llama statue

Inside my Level 2 House - During the weekends the Commerce Center now has inspections rather than commissions. That giant Llama statue is one of the gifts you can get (they seem to be random) for helping out. Suckers are HUGE!

My Time at Portia

In winter, towards the end of the month, cute decorations and snowmen begin appearing. It is all leading towards a Hot Pot celebration. (The first year I did not realize when they said Hot Pot they meant hot pot! The spicier, the better. Eek)

My Time at Portia - The Cutton Llama

There are a couple of higher end animals that will randomly appear (often after a massive culling). This is the Cutton Llama. Note his spiffy sunglasses, antlers, and fake bunny ears. Lol.

My Time at Portia - field with sprinklers

The game has added a photo-taking mode so you can take photos of yourself, with NPC's, and also with no one in the frame. When you take the pic, you can add a caption, and the game puts it into a photo album you have inside the game. This is Sophie's Ranch wheat field after I've installed a sprinkler system.

My Time at Portia - construction for the new museum

Construction of the town's museum. Once built, you can donate equipment you've made for display and also reconstructed artifacts.

My Time at Portia - museum closer to final contruction

Here's the museum construction further along. You can also see Pinky the town's cat.

My Time at Portia - Museum construction is complete

The finished museum building. It went up pretty fast! (Martha and Carol are performing their morning exercises.)

My Time at Portia

The main room of the level 2 house after I've applied new wallpaper and flooring. You can see the red clock (found in mines), the reconstructed telephone (4 pieces from the mines), a tea set (huge!), the music box (built it myself!), a small painting, and the Rat Prince's ratty pink couch. You never know how big something will be. Always a surprise!

There probably won't be a post next week. Chibi Chains and I will be in the Artist Alley at A-kon! We'll be in booth I25. Drop on by and say hello!
Artist Alley A-kon 2018 - we're in I25

Have a great week!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Virtual Tourist - My Time at Portia 5/20/18

Greetings!
Hope all is going well for ya'll. I am still steeped in chaos. Bwahahahaha!

Mini-Movie Reviews

Batman Ninja

Batman Ninja - the first half of this was great! The second half was awful. Batman and several villains and heroes get sent back in time to Japan. Ignoring the fact everyone seems to know fluent Japanese; they did some lovely work giving them a Japanese flare. However, later, when all five castles turn into giant robots and monkey for up into a giant monkey, they just went off the deep end... Which was too bad, this could have been great. :( Rating: 2.5 out of 5)

Deadpool 2

Deadpool 2 - a totally fun ride. They sucker you in with something serious then whack you with unexpected commentary. A ton of in-jokes on all things Wolverine, other films, etc. All our old friends are back, and we meet several new ones. Not sure it surpassed the original but was a lot of fun all the same. Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)


My Time at Portia

My Time at Portia - Molly and view of ruins

The view outside the church, which sits on a tall spire of a hill. Molly is one of the kids from the town. 
My Time at Portia - looking down from the Church

The view down from the church. You can barely see one of the hot air balloons. 

My Time at Portia - winter!

Each month is a new season. So this is month four and winter. You can see a bit of the church straight ahead and up.

My Time at Portia - winter wonderland

A winter wonderland! A better view of the hot air balloons, too!

My Time at Portia - ruins side view

You can't get to those ruins, but this is a more detailed side view.

My Time at Portia - my house!

You can see my level 2 house sitting down there! :) (Currently set sideways so it would fit the yard! lol)


The fields owned by Emily's grandmother lay empty in winter. Also a view towards the entrance to town.

My Time at Portia - view from my porch

View from the upper porch of my house. All the snow and the waterfalls in the distance make it quite beautiful. 

My Time at Portia - part of a space station falling from the sky!

Part of an old space station as it falls from orbit! Eek!

My Time at Portia - Ack the AI

This is Ack and AI robot. He's been partially damaged. Had been in standby mode on the station that just crashed for 300 years. Luckily the town realized he was harmless and didn't destroy him. He's an excellent cook! :)

Have an awesome week!


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