Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Loot Crate: Doctor

Just got another package in the mail, squee! Again not filming an unboxing, so hopefully you enjoy this pic post with both sets of my feelings as I go through the awesome prizes(as always) in this month's box. Sorry in advance for all the non-words and extreme or excess punctuation, trying to get my enthusiasm on paper as simply as possible without a ton of huge words.
Funny side story, the mailman doesn't knock when we have packages delivered. So I'm sitting here watching something with Tayron when the mail comes. I hear the outer door open and close after something is put down. I quickly open the door to see the Loot Crate box there, and the mailman, still going down the stairs, turns and semi-apologizes for not having anything else for us today. Here I'm looking at him like, 'wha-? This is all I want.'
First shot, the unopened box.
Nice new black box this month.

Open the box and you get tips for sharing your awesome prize with the internet.
Also everything is covered by a nice colored blue shirt. Whatever could the shirt be hiding? 

Eeee! The Tardis Prime shirt I've been eyeing online for a while now. Love it!!!!
Tayron holding it up for the camera, unable to look away from the television. Still loving the bowtie and sonic gun, so awesome! I'm thinking even though it's my size, Tay will be sneaking it out of my closet to wear. Shirt courtesy of GraphicLab tees.

Underneath the shirt, the first thing I saw was this beauty. Mega Man Cool Rush scented air freshener. 
Trying to figure out where to hang this, freshener from Epic Scents.

The next thing I saw was this Tetris Wall Heart, so cool!



My second reaction almost distracted me from the rest of the box, as I tried to figure out where I can put this. Graphic from Walls360.

This one had initial mixed reactions. I pick it up, and see the LootCrate side first. Turn it around, and it's a shark with a frickin' laser beam on it's head, oh my goodness and more squeeing.
Awesome Shark Drink Cooler from Loot Crate Labs themselves. Already know what I'm using this for, going to put it around the can holding my paintbrushes, so it's right in a sweet spot on my crafting table.

These next two items had me laughing so hard. 
The Bacon Lip Balm from J&D sounds delicious, as do all of their other products. I don't wear lip balms or lipstick, but I'd make an exception for this one. The Caffeinated Brain Bits from Harcos Labs struck me as hilarious and would be a neat accessory or add-on for a zombie event like cosplay, movie night or game night.

As always, in every Loot Crate is this card explaining the items, the connection and where they came from. I love the writers behind this marketing tool with their descriptions of the items and stories.

Final shot of everything.

Final thoughts? The theme is fantastic with the Doctors of Who, Light and Evil being represented and Loot Crate just keeps getting better and better with more amazing items every month. I can't say how much I love this company and the marketing behind it, this box introduced me to some new shops/sites with great products that I'll be getting in the future. If you haven't signed up already you definitely should.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Beautiful Creatures

One of the things I'm starting to like about my goal for movies this year, is that I'm taking risks and chances I normally wouldn't take. The past 3 movies I've seen, would normally be ones I'd wait and catch on dvd if a friend said it was any good. This time around, I'm the one catching the good movies and it makes me happy.
On to the Trailers!
Admission
Looks like an interesting movie, on my possible see list.

World War Z
Nothing to say here that hasn't been said already.

Dark Skies
Tayron will probably end up seeing this one, I'm not so sure myself.

The Last Exorcism Part 2
Another Tayron movie. We'll have to see if he'll want to put his two cents in.

Oz the Great and Powerful
Nothing to say here, I knew I'd be going to see this the moment I saw the China girl, I knew this would be a legit movie.

The Great Gatsby

Jack the Giant Slayer
This one looks insteresting, another I'll be seeing in the theater.



Moving over to the movie now
As someone asked yesterday, this movie does seem like something right off the CW, with their lineup of teen shows, but seeing as I don't watch the CW, and don't normally watch teen flicks, I can't say if it's similar to other movies or not. Also, blank slate going into movies, remember?
If you want to know more about the story, I'd recommend reading the book like I'm doing, or you can go here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beautiful_Creatures_(novel)
So the movie opens up with our main character Ethan providing an opening monologue about the setting they are in, Gatlin SC, and what he wants from life. He talks about dreams and dying, and at times the monologue is quite humorous. He meets up with his friend to go to school, and even though I'm not a teen anymore, I hear them talk all the time at my work and their dialogue does seem natural for two teen boys, even with them spouting more exposition. The girls talking on the other hand, is still believable for where they are and how they were raised, I just find all the Christian preaching, complaining, and yelling out prayers in the movie annoying and obnoxious.
After some hilarious dialogue with our other main character Lena, where he talks about what could have happened at the end of the Titanic movie, they go to her house. Here we meet the reclusive uncle, Macon Ravenwood. From the dialogue in the trailer, and from early dialogue here, I thought his reasons for keeping her away from him were stupid. It's like, your dark side wants to kill humanity, so let us keep you away from them, and keep you only around crazy-butt casters so you choose to stay god and protect humanity? That sounds stupid. The movie redeems itself later though, giving more info and dialogue that she shouldn't fall in love with a human based on some crazy ancestor who couldn't keep her marbles together.
And the uncle used to be a dark caster, what? So Male Casters can be in control of themselves, while Female Casters don't have control over themselves? But they are more powerful because of it? I'm a bit confused, to be honest I never read the books, just picked the first one up after the movie yesterday and reading as soon as possible, maybe it's explained more there.
Serafine is totally on the crazy train to awesomeness here, no lie, I was sure she'd 'die' in the movie, but actress Emma Thompson went all out and and was totally convincing as an insane caster who left her humanity behind long ago. Now we come to the dinner scene from the trailer, and it is amazing. The practical effects were superb, and no green screen which is impressive. I love the one relative is just sitting there eating like this happens all the time.
Another joke I loved was when Ethan has this whole big speech about how you can change your fate, and destiny doesn't control you, you control your destiny. Then they go on a date to see 'Finale Destination 6.' Most of the rest of the notes here on out get spoiler-y, so I'll end the thoughts here. All in all, it's a good movie, the few bad things I thought about it were done on purpose to prove a point like Ethan's ex-girlfriends character and how she's annoying all the time. If you have a chance, check it out in theaters, or at the very least, grab the dvd. I'd be interested in watching the sequel since there are a series of books in this line.

edit: I've finished the first book and moved on to Beautiful Darkness. I liked the book, the movie is very different at parts with some things changed to edit for time constraints, but some things were completely invented just for the movie it seems. I'm going through to try and finish all the novels in this series in case they're borrowing from other books again, like in the Hobbit.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Zelda Special

Right before Tayron and I left to go to the movies, the mailman came and gave us a nice big package containing this!

I don't have much to say on this yet, I just finished writing the post on the movie and haven't been able to do more than skim it, but here's one of my favorite pages so far.

Oracle of Ages Nayru concept art.

My love affair with the Zelda 'verse began with the Oracle of Ages. Same goes for my love of Nintendo, it all started with that game. Up until around my 15th or 16th birthday, I only really had a pc for gaming. We did have a gameboy, but it and the games we had for it were somebody else's. (It's complicated) I never had consoles to be nostalgic over these days, since the only experience I had with them were from a game here or there at a friend's house. I wasn't that interested in any of the games or consoles back then to tell the truth, I had a state of the art pc and most of the latest and coolest games for it at the time. Then the Christmas right after my birthday, I got a Gameboy Color. No games, just the system. Using some of the money I had gotten for the holiday, I went into the local EB Games store to look at games available to play. Out of all the new games there, Oracle of Ages caught my eye, looking like the most interesting game out of a seemingly boring lineup. So I bought it and took it home. About a week later I was back to buy Seasons, since I had so much fun playing through Ages. From there I moved on to other Nintendo games, getting into Pokemon as hard as Zelda, and lesser into Mario and Kirby, but still into Nintendo games.
So I'll be spending the rest of the evening reading this book and looking into it, but As a erson who loves the art of cosplay, I have to say the detail they show in the pictures is a great for helping with creating a cosplay from the Zelda universe.

On to the fun stuff. Here we have a mini collection of Zelda themed crafts and Etsy listings for your enjoyment.
First up we have a cool chess set from tomo-chi on deviantart

I love Liyolabs on Etsy, she has lots of awesome jewelry like this Legend of Zelda Ring.

I like writing ideas and thoughts in little notebooks to create things with them later, this notebook inspires me to paint one of my own. Hylian Notebook from YumeStyle.


Finally, bringing it all back together, we have a gorgeous Zelda Book Locket Necklace, featuring the Hyrule Historia, courtesy of junkstudio.


Warm Bodies

I lucked out again with choosing this movie to see this week. Trying to see at least one movie a week this year, I'm bound to see some not so good films, but luck still holding out. Preview time! In addition to the previews linked to below, we also had A Good Day to Die Hard, Beautiful Creatures, and Safe Haven, all linked to and talked about in last week's Hansel & Gretel post
Monster University
This one looks interesting, not much to say about it, I'm probably going to see it when it comes out.

The Host
To be honest, I haven't read the book, and so far I'm not interested in seeing the movie.

Oblivion

This one looks intriguing and one I'm also going to try and see.


Now You See Me
I have this feeling that the story shown in the trailer isn't really the main point of the movie. That being said, I look forward to seeing this movie and finding out what really happens.

Tyler Perry's Temptation
I'm not sure what to say about this one. It looks very well done with a solid story and some great actors,  I just normally don't like or watch movies in this genre. If you do, you should definitely go see it when it comes out, it looks like a very good movie and worth the money.

And now onto Warm Bodies.

Now when I go to watch movies, unless it's a sequel, prequel, or direct remake/reboot of another movie, I don't go in connecting it to anything else. I have seen zombie movies before, and have read countless stories of zombie lore, so I know how there are many different interpretations and reboot points in time where certain stories originated and other pieces of lore fade into obscurity. The point I'm trying to make is that I'm going into this movie with brand new eyes, and not mad that they retcon or change how zombies think, act and change. People shouldn't compare it to certain other movies which 'originated' the zombie tropes in movies these days. If you go into this movie thinking like that, I know you're going to hate it. If you go into this movie thinking anything at all, think of it as Zombie Romeo and Juliet. I had suspicions when I found out their names are R and Julie, but didn't think anything else into it.
So the movie starts with R monologuing about his life, glossing over the fact nobody knows how it started or what happened to cause the zombie outbreak, and how losing hope turns you into a Bony. Some of his insights are hilarious and true to life as we know it now, going through life. For some reason most of the zombies shown in the movie wander around the airport, and R lives in an airplane much like Ariel's grotto, full of human things like records and a record player, bobbing head dog, and for some reason a Stereoscope. He collects these things when he and a pack of zombies go out hunting to find humans to eat. I found it interesting when he explained why they eat humans and why zombies always go for the brains. I know a lot of people didn't like that they see the deceased's life and regain a bit of humanity for a few moments, to feel alive again before going back to the existence they knew before. I'm going to take a step away from not connecting the movie to anything else to make a connection. Sorry. I like that they connected the new zombie meme of eating brains with the older zombie meme of eating salt to bring back your memories of your former life and death, to make something new in zombie lore. 
So we get to the part where he meets Julie. Her 'party' is tasked with going outside the safe zone and bringing back medical supplies for the rest of the humans within the walled off city where they live. I like the gallows humor graffiti in the wall outside the doors into and out of the city. Music features heavily into the film, with R liking to listen to records, and most of the music is actually being played in the movie universe by the characters and not something chosen to make just us the audience get more into the movie and feeling certain things. For instance when R fist meets Julie, in his head he's hearing the song he was listening to earlier, John Waite's Missing You. Cue hilarity when the boy'friend' Perry shoots R in the back, stopping the song abruptly, and 'challenging' R to fight and kill him. Here's where the Romeo and Juliet references and parallels start beating you upside the head, going 'See what I did there?'
I thought the next section of the movie was cute, after eating Perry's brain and finding out she misses airplanes, he takes her back to the airport, saying he wants to keep her safe, but I think it's really because he wanted to give her something she wanted, kind of as a weird gift. Seemed like a really sweet move and gives the movie time for them to get to know each other and for her to get over the conditioning her father gave her for the undead. Several times she tries to escape, the first time's hilarious when he saves her and mimes being dead, doing the 'hands out in the international zombie symbol*' to get her back into the plane and safe again until her next breakout attempt.
After eating the last piece of Perry's brain, he decides to take her back home where she wants to be. We see more of the zombies starting to become more human like R, and some hilarious moments with his friend Marcus. Just like Mercutio, Marcus has some of the best one liners in the movie, with witty responses to things happening around them.
Of course on the way to the safe city, Julie runs out on R after being told he's the one who killed Perry. On his way back to the airport, R runs into Marcus, who tells him about the changes happening and that the bonies are coming to kill him and Julie since they don't want there to be a cure. R breaks into the city using an abandoned tunnel he saw Julie and Perry going down before in his memories. Cue balcony scene where R waits outside for Julie to perhaps wander out when she's talking to her bff Nora. They make plans and cue makeover montage, which is hilarious. Stopping here since the movie's almost over at this point, and you'll have to see it for yourself to see if they continue with the Romeo parallels or twist it into a different and new ending.
All of the actors in the movie were fantastic, never once was I pulled out of the movie due to something being bad, I believed they were their characters the whole movie, which is always something I like in movies, the believability factor. Nicholas Hoult and Teresa Palmer have great chemistry in the movie, and I look forward to seeing movies either of them do in the future. This has to be the best variation on Shakespeare's play I've seen yet. Took the story, gave it a zombie twist, and made it awesome.

*Reference from one of Jessie Cox's Minecraft videos, you should watch his stuff, he is one hilarious gamer.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Reality TV

I'd like to take a moment to talk about competition reality shows right now. I know I'm not the best person to talk about reality shows in general, seeing as I only watch a few and I want to give a bit of backstory before going into this one. The first one I got into was 'America's Next Top Model' since a friend watched it, and I thought it was hilarious. I stopped watching it after a while since I'm not into modeling or fashion outside of cosplay. I stayed away from the reality pool for a while until a different friend told me about 'I Survived a Japanese Game Show'. This one I liked, but only watched the first season. Apart from not having access to a tv to watch it, the second season people would generally know what they were getting into, and again, the same hilarity wouldn't be there. Also I was totally jealous at the time that these stinking lucky people got to go to Japan. This next one is a bit weird to see how/why I'm into it. I love RuPaul's Drag Race and subsequent spin offs. It's hard to pin down precisely why I like it, considering my background, but somehow all the disjointed pieces fit together perfectly into a show I will always tune in to watch.
This brings us to today's topic. A new reality show has come out, King of the Nerds. After all the rants people have gone on about with Big Bang Theory, I went into this with hesitation. Not much though, considering the hosts are Robert Carradine and Curtis Armstrong.
It's three episodes in right now, and so far I'm liking it. Before we get on with the awesomeness the show contains, want to mention something not that cool. So there has been tons of promotional info on this show, and lots of advertising, so I couldn't help but read the bios on the people appearing on the show. The first episode, I found half of it a bit boring since it was introductory time, but there was nothing new. It seemed like everything they said about themselves, had already been said multiple times leading up to the show, there was nothing new to learn about them. Maybe if it gets a second season (one can only hope), they maybe dial back on the bios so the whole episode is interesting and not something that feels like a rerun you're listening to in the background while you play a game. Harsh, I know, but that's what it felt like to me. I'm not going to be going over every detail in the episodes since I'm both not really qualified for that, and I want you all to tune in and be as surprised at some of the things as I was.
Onto the second episode. This one cemented my love (so far, we'll see what happens) for the show, the main nerd-off being a cosplay challenge. I love going to conventions and just seeing all the people dressed up and so in character it's awesome. And then they name the judges and one of them is Yaya Han? And George Takei? Any negative things I was thinking about the show and the audience they were trying to get just blew away in the wind. These guys know their audience, and aren't trying to pander to all to get a wider audience base. One more thing about this episode, being a D&D player and what I said above about cosplay, it's no secret I was rooting for a specific team the whole time.
I had conflicting feelings about episode three. Watching it was entertaining and fun, but sitting here now, trying to thing of something to talk about, I don't know. I'm not into remote controlled copters or cars, so the only non reference-y parts of the show I connected with were the drama and nerf gun fighting.
I am looking forward to next week's show with guests Kevin Smith and Jason Mewes. Going to be awesome. Tayron's most likely not looking forward to it since he's not a fan of them, and it's centered around superheroes. You can watch past episodes on the website http://www.tbs.com/shows/king-of-the-nerds/