Mind Sieve 8/29/16 and more...


Mind Sieve 8/29/16

Morning all!
Trying hard to get back on schedule. The chaos of 2016 continues!




Fan Fun

 

Justice League Official Trailer - Oh this is gonna be fun. And cyborg looks super pimped out! lol. 

 



 







Writing Advice

Do You Share Your Work in Progress? by Jami Gold. Stuff to think about!




Have an awesome week!
    
 


Virtual Tourist - Deus Ex Mankind Divided 8/28/16

Morning!
Started a new game this week. Hubby had bought it back in Jan and it finally came out! Woot! The Deus Ex series is one of my favorites. :)
Main screen for the game. Have not had a chance to look a the other bits. Too pumped to play. :P
Miller, Jensen's commander. Jensen is currently part of TF 29 - a United Nations task force now given jurisdiction all over the world.
Jensen's new look. Grittier, more edges. And a black dye job. :P
The team. Jensen is the only augmented one among them. 
Mission One
First game mission is in Dubai
Destination is that half built hotel in the water. Far off is a large approaching sandstorm. Eek!
Jensen close up. He's about to jump from the plane.
The half built hotel from above.
On his way! No parachute! He has a new toy he can use to land with. So cool!
First look at the actual site. Tons of dead augmented workers from when they were made to go bezerk during the big plot of the last game two years before.
Actual view once you're in control. Gorgeous view!
Inside the hotel. 
Looking forward to all the chaos! Though may have to upgrade the PC. 
    
 


Movie Review - Mechanic: Resurrection

Mechanic: Resurrection


Starring: Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones, Michelle Yeoh, Sam Hazeldine, John Cenatiempo, Toby Eddington, Femi Elufowoju Jr., Anteo Quintavalle, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, and more.
Directed by: Dennis Gansel Screenplay by: Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher Story by: Philip Shelby and Brian Pittman Based Upon Characters Created by: Lewis John Carlino and Rachel Long Cinematography by: Daniel Gottschalk Music by: Mark Isham
Premise: Having faked his own death, Bishop's been leading a normal life down in Rio. But someone from his past has tracked him down and he tries to blackmail him into killing three people. Bishop says no and escapes. Hiding out on a remote island in Thailand, he meets Gina. Someone else being blackmailed by the same man. It's time to make other plans. (Rated R)
Review:
1) Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Jason Statham does what he does well - flawless looking action. He excels at deadpan and brooding expressions mixed with quick glimpses of his inner self. Jessica Alba brings out a little humor and even smiles from the troubled Bishop. She also shows some spunk and isn't just a helpless female. Tommy Lee Jones is a hoot as Max Adams. 
2) Special Effects - Total Thumbs Up: Explosions, grenades, bullets, and more! The fight on the ship put bullet holes everywhere! 
A really neat effect is the effects of a chemical reaction Bishop tests for one of the jobs. Nice!
3) Plot/Story - Neutral: You don't expect a lot of plot from these types of actions films, but there are limits. Though they mention multiple times how important it is for the deaths look "natural", the first one has Bishop propping up the dead man in prayer. Using items to hold him up. Uhm, how would that look like a natural death to anyone? Especially with his drink all splattered on his clothes? And the bruises from a fight? Hello?
Somewhat soured the rest of the film for me. And it's a pity, as they get very creative on the jobs he pulls off! Which in its own way made the trouble worse since the guy is super intelligent and ends up doing a super stupid thing. (Which no one notices?) Ugh.
Crain's motivation wasn't well thought out either. Why wait so long to get revenge? There was no catalyst for it. Also, the whole "Father's Watch" bit didn't work. If Bishop was an orphan and was sold to a group to be trained to fight, they would have never let him keep the watch. I'd half expected it to have a GPS locator in it, so it would have some function, but they let that opportunity pass.
4) Stunts - Total Thumbs Up: All the stunt guys get a major workout on this one. There are a bunch of close quarters fighting and shooting. They looked great! The fight on the big boat was too fun to watch. And wait till the battle in the submarine bay. Sweet!
5) Locations/Cinematography - Total Thumbs Up: The locations for the film were all over the world - Bulgaria, Thailand, Australia, Brazil, and Malaysia. So there are a ton of gorgeous vistas and different architectures used to add flavor to the film. 
The cinematography was very well done - taking full advantage of most of the locations. The guys will definitely enjoy the lovely photography of Jessica Alba swimming in the clear waters in Thailand. :P
Conclusion: If you like tons of action, action, action - the Mechanic: Ressurection delivers. Plot and consistency wise? Not so much. 
Rating: 3 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)
    
 


Movie Review - Kubo and the Two Strings

Kubo and the Two Strings



Starring: Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Rooney Mara, Brenda Vaccaro, and more.
Directed by: Travis Knight Screenplay by: Marc Haimes and Chris Butler Story by: Shannon Tindle and Marc Haimes Cinematography by: Frank Passingham Music by: Dario Marianelli
Premise: Kubo enjoys telling stories. It lets him connect to others and also to his ailing mother. In her lucid moments, she's warned him time and again never to be out after dark. That those who took his eye as a baby will be able to find him and take his other eye as well. Despite his intentions to do as he's been told, Kubo doesn't make it back in time one day. His mother's otherworldly sisters catch his scent. Now he has no choice but to run and try to find the fabled mystic armor pieces in his stories to save try to himself. (Rated PG)
Review:
1) Voice Acting - Total Thumbs Up: Art Parkinson is adorable as Kubo. His emotions come across very well. Charlize Theron as the reserved Monkey was also a lot of fun. Matthew McConaughey does a great job as the cursed samurai Beetle. Brenda Vaccaro and George Takei add a nice, amusing backdrop for Kubo's normal days at the village. 
2) Artwork/Animation - Total Thumbs Up: Laika does amazing stop motion films. "Kubo and the Two Strings" is another fine addition to their gorgeous repertoire of work. The use of paper and moving origami was inspired. A neat new tactile and visual realm to explore. Gorgeous! 
Amazing visuals appear throughout the film. The giant waves at the beginning were amazing. And though he is but a bit of paper, the origami samurai is totally awesome. It adds a neat non-verbal character to the mix. (All the stories told via moving origami were so cool!)
Loved how Hanzo looked like Toshiro Mifune. (The Moon King looks like Peter Cushing! Nice choice! heh heh)
3) Plot/Story - Neutral: As amazing as the stop motion animation is, the plot overall was a major letdown. They do a lot of build up on the importance and power of the sword and armor. But when they get them, the three objects are actually pretty useless. Yet these pieces were supposedly the main driving force for two sets of events! As powerless as the objects turned out to be, the importance placed on them made no sense. :( 
Some of Monkey's attitudes don't jyve later when we find out one of the reveals. Also, though the Japanese believe in spirits and magic, it seemed out of place that the villagers didn't make more of Kubo's super unusual skills. (Aside from loving his storytelling that is.)
Old Japanese stories are usually tragic. This one definitely continues the trend as well, but then they try to cheat and fool the audience into a supposed "happy ending". But it isn't... *sigh*
Several themes are explored - the meaning of humanity, of family, treasuring the little things, light and darkness, ying and yang. There are a few minor surprises. One of which made some of the earlier sections of the film not make sense. Oh well...
4) Music - Total Thumbs Up: Dario Marianelli's score was lovely. Lots of string music with a marked oriental feel. Nice!
Conclusion: Kubo and the Two Strings is an amazing piece of animation. Unfortunately, the story itself wasn't of the same caliber. Gorgeous work though.
Rating: 3 out of 5 (Hubby's Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission) 

    
 

Picture Kaleidoscope 8/10/16

Have not done one of these in quite a while. Apologies!
Life has been way too "interesting". Eek!
Skies around here have been fabulous the last couple of months. See for yourselves! :)

Great contrast between the clouds, no? :)
Full of hash marks - Heavenly tick tack toe? :P
Like the heavens were splitting in half - or a dimensional rift? :P
And what about these pastels? Also love how it splits the sky.
Some neat striation. :)
Sunset!
The sun is melting! Melting!
Can you see the cloud UFO? :P
Loved the cool colors and how the clouds are spread out. Looks almost like a painting. :)
Have a fab Wednesday!
    
 

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