Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Zenkaikon 2013 Day 3

From the positive reinforcement I got the previous night as Joey, decided to end out the weekend with him. I'll be trying to make his shirt one more time, but if it fails again for the fourth time, I'm going to have to move on and not waste any more time on it when there are other characters I'd like to do.
Only attended one panel/show on Sunday since I was too busy packing then chatting with friends made this weekend and artists from the Artists Alley to randomly choose panels to attend. I did make an effort to see the Eien Strife concert, it was amazing, possible video from that coming soon to my Youtube channel.
Linkstorm time. I picked up a lot of business cards this weekend, here's the links that you can check out their work.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Zenkaikon 2013 Day 2

Saturday morning dawns, and what kind of Saturday would it be without cartoons? I donned my Max outfit again to check out 'Saturday Morning (and beyond) Cartoons of the 80's and 90's.' Panel was hosted by Kevin Bolk, artist, and was hilarious and entertaining. I don't want to spoil his panel for you to see in the future, but even if I did you should check out his panels and comics, he's very entertaining. Some of my favorites included the Super Mario Super Show, The Legend of Zelda, Fox's Peter Pan and the Pirates, and Pirates of Dark Water.
After the panel tried to get a few more pics but it didn't quite work out so I changed into plainclothes which got me a lot of compliments. I decided to wear my shirt with this design.
The artist is Karen Hallion, and I love her work. You should see some of the prints she has on sale in her Etsy shop, just beautiful.

After taking more pictures of people, went to 'Eien Strife's Stories of Adventuring' panel. Going to share a video from their Youtube channel that they showed, but seriously, go check them out, they have the songs from their album on the channel that you can listen to before buying the cd. 
The panel was comprised of q/a sessions between videos and songs. They sang some popular songs like Still Alive, the Pokemon Theme song, and one of theirs, Follow the Star. Ended out the panel with everyone there getting in a victory pose up front.

Next up was the 'Webcomics 101' panel. Hosted by T. Campbell, Scott Kurtz, Jessi and Matt, creator of Not so Magical Girl, and the creator of Friday Nights. The panel was very informative, mostly q/a, but I took lots of notes if I feel the need to go that direction in the future. You never know. 
There were a few hours between it and the next panel I promised to go to, so I decided to get changed and end the night out as Joey Wheeler.
Not going to go in depth on the last two panels of Saturday, went to 'How to Burlesque' followed by 'Beyond the Tentacle with +2 Comedy.' I'm still trying to figure out why I went to the Burlesque panel, it's not something I would normally go to, but I thought that after the conversations I had Friday night, it was time to do something crazy and out of my comfort zone. Especially since it was highly unlikely anyone would be getting undressed, I felt more comfortable deciding to sit through this. Most of it was a q/a with talking about how they got into this business, followed by a demonstration and basic dance that everyone had to get up and do. And before anyone asks, yes I danced, it wasn't any worse than anything that's happened at RHPS, and no, I'm not ever going to be going down that path, so don't worry about praying for me or things like that. 
The +2 panel was next. Now, I feel the need to put a little disclaimer here. I don't watch 'adult videos' I'm not into that kind of thing, but I said I'd go and had no previous obligations that I thought were at different times. No offense to anyone who does watch that kind of thing, I just don't feel like it's worth my time when there are so many other things clamoring for it. That being said, the videos and topics did make me a tiny bit uncomfortable with it being in a large crowd, but Noah and Will from +2 Comedy were funny and I was glad I went to that panel since I probably wouldn't have bought the dvd otherwise. Watching the dvd tomorrow before work, more on that later.

Zenkaikon Day 1 Part 2

Home again, on to updates! Friday was a fun day full of meeting new people, reconnecting with old acquaintances, and having fun attending a few panels.
So Friday I decided to wear the Mighty Max outfit.
Where's a portal when you need one?

For reference, here's part of the first episode. Love that show.

Not many people recognized me which turned out to be a good thing since it gave me the chance to take lots of pictures and just chat with people. I also decided to see random panels when I had the time, which turned out to be one of the best decisions of the weekend.
Pictures on flickr can be found here at Reitein700 Zenkaikon 2013
On a whim I chose to go see 'Eien Strife's Video Game Challenges' panel.

I'm not sure what exactly made me choose this one, but I'm so extremely glad I did. The group had people from the audience volunteer to come up and play a level in a video game while doing something silly or while something silly was going on/being done to them. It sounds weird to say this, but they were genuinely funny and completely unscripted with jokes they were shooting off between each other and with the audience. They seemed truly interesting and I went and bought their cd shortly after to hear what their music sounded like and loved it. They have videos and pictures on their website, go check them out. http://www.eien-strife.com/ or on their youtube. I then proceeded to go to most of their panels and shows this weekend minus 2 because or previous engagements. More on that later
After more wandering, I headed to Uncle Yo's Stand up Comedy, where he told jokes from his newest album, Ecto-Kitt-Lorean. It was hilarious as always, not sure what else there is to say since I've said so much about him already in several past posts. For those who had heard about an interview, not going up on this blog. I'll maybe link to where it was done for in reality, but not hosted here since it wasn't actually for this blog. I did talk with this one awesome guy while waiting with my 'friend', I wish I knew your name, you gave me some great advice for the future I'll definitely be using for my video tomorrow.
Final panel of the night was 'Avatar the Last Con Panel V:BoomerAang There and Back Again.' saw this group at Zenkaikon last year, and was thrilled to see them back. New material discussed about what might happen in the coming season of The Legend of Korra with concept art, new characters and leaked video. There were also descriptions and demonstrations of the different types of martial arts that inspired the types of bending. I decided to give the trivia a try but tanked. I got the simple math problem right though, so at least I'm not a total failure. Remember what I said about who I sat next to last year? Yeah, this year it was a heckler I had the pleasure of sitting next to. Again, here is where Toph and Aang can be found.
Going through Flickr found a bunch of great photos from these people and more.
Digital Ink

Friday, March 22, 2013

Zenkaikon Day 1

It's shaping up to be an awesome convention this weekend. Connected with friends, acted a fool trying to explain how I felt about something but poorly, and saw some awesome panels. Bad news, no free wifi except in the lobby possibly, so posting from my phone right now. This means hardly any pics or videos until I get back home and can upload, but I will be getting them ready on the laptop, labelled and organized so I can get them out in several posts Sunday night to Monday morning. I'd stretch them out but I'd like to keep all the con posts in order and finished before I go see and post about the movies Monday and Tuesday afternoons. Also, not many videos going up, even if you saw me recording something, only about 10% are maybe going to be uploaded as clips or stills. I was really only taking videos so I could enjoy the panels more in real time. Last year I spent so much time writing about what was happening and didn't really enjoy it.
I'll leave you all with this one pic taken with my phone today.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Updates and news

Just a quick update on everything going on right now. I know Burt Wonderstone just came out, but because of things happening, I'll be seeing it Monday the 25th, and the Croods on Tuesday the 26th. My job has had me working weird hours until after my 'vacation' this weekend. Which brings me to my other news. I'll be going to Zenkaikon this weekend, and being sad reading all the tweets and updates about Pax. Sadness will be contained within the hotel room though, as I'm looking forward to meeting a lot of new people and networking this weekend. I'll be a blonde, this weekened only, dressed as Joey Wheeler, or Max the Cap-Bearer. The days leading up will be full of last minute prep, both for the con and Easter and watching massive amounts of Mighty Max. Yes, I'm one of those people who when dressed as a character, I like getting the lines and way of speaking correct. Also my Joey is going to be abridged Joey, easier for me to do that accent and funnier.
I'm also hoping to be able to go to Otakon this year as well, but if I don't, there will still be the Renn Faire and other small events to go to.
Other news, some interesting things to talk about. I finally got around to watching the BBC's Sherlock, Loved it! I won't be getting The Hobbit when it comes out tomorrow, I'm waiting for the special extended edition like what I have with the LOTR dvd sets. Loved the finale of King of the Nerds. The one I was rooting for the whole time didn't win, but he's still awesome. I'm amazed it took me this long to find this movie, but I just finished watching 'Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel.' I freaking love this movie, Chris O'Dowd is great in it, and will be getting it on dvd very soon and sharing it with all my friends. Not quite sure how to put this in words, between the dialogue, references to other means and stories f time travel, and the need to be thinking about the movie while watching it, it's all just amazing. The thinking part I might have liked the most, where you had to get involved in the movie thinking about the different timelines they cross into and change. It really makes you get invested in the movie, even though it's not really interactive.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Oz the Great and Powerful

Spoiler warning. If you plan on seeing this movie, (and you should, it's awesome!) I'm not whiting out the spoilery parts. Face it, it's a prequel, you should already know how it ends, it really is the journey that makes it fantastic in this case.

After Earth


Star Trek:Into Darkness

The Croods

Lone Ranger

Iron Man 3

The Movie

I keep trying to write this post over and over again, trying to find the words to describe this movie even the slightest bit objectively, but I can't, so I am so very sorry. You're getting full on fangirl mode here. I can't help it, I'm thinking about things in the movie, and characters and it's like I'm a little kid again, reading the Oz books for the first time.
Story this time is going to be short, since this is supposedly a direct prequel to The Wizard of Oz, I didn't go in blank slate like usual. The story is basically the Wizard, a circus magician named Oscar Diggs, Oz for short, is running away from a mess he created in his hot air balloon, and accidentally ends up in a tornado. He arrives in Oz, where he meets Theodora. She takes him to the Emerald City, meeting a flying monkey along the way. Oz saves the monkey from the lion about to eat him, and Finley swears a life debt, joining the party. They make it to the palace awaiting him, the wizard of the prophecy, and he meets Evanora, Theodora's sister. Evanora tells him to get the riches he needs to kill the wicked witch who poisoned her own father, the king, to assume the throne before being chased out.
So he sets off on his quest to break the wicked witches wand and restore order. On the way, they rescue a China Girl(not named in the movie or imdb), and though Oz wants her to go the safe path back to the Emerald City, she refuses and adamantly demands to go on with him. They finally find the witch, who turns out to be the good witch Glinda. She tells him the full truth, and we find that Evanora is the real wicked witch. She turns her sister evil by twisting the truth to hurt her feelings enough to eat an enchanted apple that will wither her heart and thereby destroy all emotions. This apple also makes her green and super evil.
From here on, the story is just preparation for the upcoming battle and the battle itself between good and evil.
There are so many good things about this movie, between the references to the books and movie that came before, to the amazing scenery in the background, cameos by Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi? Come on, what's not to love? The only two things I found it lacking in, were the constant attempts on his life, it gets so suspenseful that he's going to die several times, but we all know he's not going to die, at least not in this movie. Second thing, I know it's supposed to focus on the three main witches in the original story and the movie, but I would have very much appreciated some passing comment at least on Locasta, Good Witch of the South. I suppose they just merged her with Glinda, seeing as Glinda kisses Oz on the forehead for protection before going up against the witches in the final battle. I loved that touch.
Final verdict is that this is an amazing movie, and good for anyone no matter their level of Oz fandom, only exception is young children, it does get scary several times and it is rated PG for a reason.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Jack the Giant Slayer

So one of the things you'll start to realize is my focus on story in these thoughts on movies posts. I don't consider myself much of an expert in other fields that reviewers tear apart, but I have done CGI work and video once. It's not that easy and it takes time to create something awesome. Underneath all the pretty-ness though, is a story trying to be told. That's what I try to focus on, since without a good story foundation and dialogue, all the best CGI and effects won't mean much more than keys jangled in front of a toddler's face. With that being said, on to the previews. Changing things to show all the previews in every post now instead of linking to other posts I'd shown them in already.

Iron Man 3
What more needs to be said? Seeing this one opening weekend.

Now You See Me
I want to see this one just to find out what the twist is.

G.I. Joe:Retaliation
Not sure what can be said about this one. 

The Croods
New trailer gives us a bit more info on the movie than before, loving the sloth named belt, so cute.

Now I've said this looks like an interesting movie before, but I had a thought while watching the trailer tonight. Now, Tom Cruise is a man named Jack, and women are screaming his name as he or they are in danger. Anybody else seeing links to Legend that aren't there? I can just see the fanfics now about him being a descendant of Jack and Lily.

Pacific Rim
Tayron's dying to see this one, so I'll be seeing it too and letting you all know if it resembles Evangelion as much as the trailer hints. 

Man of Steel
I'm just saying this now, unless nothing else besides graphic horror comes out the week this does, I'm not going to go see this movie in theaters. I might see it after it comes out on DVD, that's just my opinion.

Time for our feature presentation.
Taking a moment to talk about the pretty things first, before getting to the story. The CGI on the giants was superb, we saw it in 2D, but some parts with giants grabbing the people and getting right up in the camera, I can tell it would have looked awesome in 3D. Just the insane amount of detail that went into this one giant's close-up, where you could see all the pores on his nose, just perfect. The actors....some of them stood out more than others. Nicholas Hoult did an admirable job as a noble minded farm boy who likes rescuing damsels in distress no matter what their position in life and wants to go out and have adventures far away from the life he leads now. He kind of reminds me of a cross between Aladdin and Belle. Isabelle, played by Elanor Tomlinson, is very much like Princess Jasmine, wanting to escape from her gilded cage and upcoming marriage to Roderick, played by Stanley Tucci. Roderick is very much the evil guy here, planning to use the magic seeds he ruthlessly acquired and crown he stole to rule all of the kingdoms. Moving on to Ewan McGregor. Not sure how to explain his character. He's a noble knight who seems to be prepared for everything, but it just seems to me he hams it up like he's knowingly in a bad movie and having the best time of his life. I can't exactly put my finger on it, but he's actually one of my favorite people in the movie for his take on the character. Almost like he's the secondary comic relief after the first one dies. 

Storytime. I'm going to write about some of the important-ish plot points and story lines as well as favorite lines, then do a bit of analyzing.
So the movie opens up with Jack, then his father reading to him, the story of the Giants up the beanstalk that happened hundreds of year ago. About how some mages enchanted seeds to climb up to heaven. Though instead of finding heaven they find giants that go on a rampage, and ravage the countryside. The king at the time, Eric, killed a giant and melted down his magic heart into a crown, which somehow gives him control over giants. He forces them to go back to their world in the sky before chopping down the beanstalk connecting the worlds. The story at this point switches back and forth between Jack and Isabelle as they are told this same story in different places, Jack's father telling him he can be a hero like the stories, and Isabelle's mother telling her she's the descendant of the Great King Eric, and she can be great too.
Skip forward to 10 years later, Jack's Father is dead and his uncle forces him to sell their horse and cart so they have money to fix the house and live. Going into town Jack wanders into a play happening about the Legend of the Beanstalk we heard before. (Warwick Davis the the narrator in the play. awesome!) His path crosses with Isabelle's for the first time as men harass her, so he comes to her rescue being the nice guy he is. Guards show up and he realizes she's royalty and continues on to sell his horse. Meanwhile, a monk steals the seeds from Roderick and gives them to Jack since Jack will be able to get out of the city and to the Abbey much easier than the monk. When Jack gets back to the farmhouse he lives in with his uncle, we get cuts back and forth between him and the princess, both being lectured on their place in life and what they should and should not do.
Hilarious line here, While trying to question the monk on where the seeds are, Roderick's sidekick Wicke kills him. When Roderick asks if anything was said, Wicke replies with 'No, he wouldn't spill the beans.' All of this guy's lines ate hilarious as he's meant to be the main comic relief.
So Isabelle runs away again to advance the plot and finds herself at Jack's house. They dance around the fact that they both know who she is for a bit before the beanstalk comes up through the house and carries it up to the world above. Jack isn't in the house like in all the stories however, he fell out and wake up the next morning surrounded by the king's army. A small rescue party is formed with Jack, Elmont, Roderick, Wicke and a handful of guards you know are going to die on their journey to show how hard and treacherous it is. The main characters finally get to the main keep where the giants are keeping Isabelle captive. The giants start fighting amongst themselves to get to see who eats the princess when Roderick saunters in, wearing the crown. He reveals his plan to the giants on ruling the world, and Isabelle is transferred to the kitchen to be cooked for supper along with Elmont.
Our heroes escape from the keep, Jack and Isabelle start down the beanstalk while Elmont stays behind to kill Roderick and take the crown to keep the giants from following them. 
(here there be spoilers. scroll down if you want to skip and read my final thoughts, highlight if you want to know how the story ends.)
The first part of his plan works, but General Fallon, the two headed giant voiced by Bill Nighy, gets to the crown first and wears it like a ring to rule the giants and go invade the earth below. 
While all of this is happening above, King Brahmwell gives the order to cut the stalk down to protect his people. Our heroes narrowly escape dying, and all is well with the world. Until Fallon finds the pouch of seeds Roderick took from Jack earlier, and plants them to grow down and invades the countryside. Jack, finally reunited with his horse, sees the giants coming and warns everyone shortly before the attack. They make it to the castle and fight against Fallon one last time before defeating him, and talking the crown to send the giants away once more. The movie comes full circle with Jack telling their children about how they won against the giants. 
The best part of the movie though has to be this ending scene, where the story of the Giants is told and retold like a game of whisper down the alley, with parts being changed and forgotten until it resembles the story we all know today. The visual behind this is the crown being gilded and reshaped and altered to suit each king's vanity, until it comes to be the crown jewels, now on display with schoolchildren taking a tour.
Now that you know the story, what are my thoughts on it? Well, most of it was predictable and Disney-like, but that doesn't necessarily make it bad. The story was fully realized and well written, I don't feel like I wasted my money seeing it. All in all, it's a great movie to see with your family and I would recommend it to anyone into fairytale movies. It reminds me a bit of the Syfy original shows Tin Man and Alice. Very similar even though it takes place in the past and connects the real world with fantasy.