Virtual Tourist – Wolfenstein The New Order 11/12/17

Morning!

Mini Movie ReviewMurder on the Orient Express:

Murder On The Orient Express

I’ve watched the 1974 version of this film numerous times. It too had an all-star cast. This new version is as good if not better than that one! Awesome performances, beautiful vistas, loads to love!

I’m trying something a little different this week. Not actually sharing every last picture I took. I will attempt to be more particular on what I put in here. I always end up with way more than I use. I have a trigger finger with regards to photos. Lol.

 

Wolfenstein The New Order

Once again, there is no question as to whose place we are in. 😛 That is one solid door.

Some famous personas.

A few more…

Loved these! Yeah, I have a thing about fixtures. lol

Still being restored, but this is a beautiful hallway. The indirect lighting is awesome. 🙂

This would be General Deathhead. A very, very nasty man. As I will soon discover. (This painting is also a secret door! Sweet!)

The cool windows and the rays of light. Lovely!

A nice view of the nearby ruins. Too bad so many people are trying to kill me, or I would be more impressed. Lol.

This is where I realized that there is NO WAY kids should play this game. Deathhead is evil, evil, evil. Pictured above is some of his handy work to obtain brains for his automatons. Brrrr.

This is when we realize that running into this room was a terrible mistake. Eek!

Hope you had a good Veterans Day!

Virtual Tourist – Wolfenstein The New Order 10/29/17

Morning, all!

Mini- Movie Review – Geostorm – impressive special effects, bad science, and guys, the software would have been the first thing they should have checked!!!!! 😛

Wolfenstein The New Order

Inside the citadel walls heading towards the big guns

US fighters and the cool German ones. Flying too fast to get a good pic. See the red trails? That’s one of them.

Good view of the hulking behemoth walking the beach and US craft coming to battle it.

Fortress/castle within the citadel walls.

Met up with my unit. We’re about to try to climb the thing from the outside.

Our main target, General Deathhead. Nasty, nasty man. As I will find out later. Ugh!

That’s William Blazkowicz, the person we play. He is one tough SOB.

Going up the wall. Like Batman and Robin! Except it’s way more dangerous. 😛

View climbing up the side of the wall of the fortress/castle. Germans will pop out the windows and fire down on us. Ugh!

This was so unexpected! US bomber crashed into the fortress sight above us! Eek!

 

Have a great day!

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 9/17/17

Sorry, if I seem to have fallen off the face of the planet lately. Life just seems determined not to let me do stuff I need to! Ugh! (Writing? What’s that?)

The movie this week was “American Assassin” – lots of great action and acting. Not sure their radiation treatment was correct for the protagonists, but they took it further than anyone has before. Made for some awesome scenes with the fleet!

Secret World Legends

Some definite ugly buggers are walking about Kingsmouth! Eek!

One of the survivors in the area trying hard to keep the creature population down.

One of the many types of draug. I think most are reconfigured villagers. Ack!

Weird, unearthly fires.

Harbor area. The beaches are all being used as hatching zones. Ugh

Looking back towards the harbor and town from the edge looking in.

The ladies and their tentacles are so eek! lol.

One of the things that hatch at the beach.

The Raven’s Knock – town psychic lives here. Once fake, now real! She’s not excited about it. lol.

One of the bridges in town. A total mess.

I need to remember to lighten the pics before uploading. DOH!

Mostly just wanted to get at least a post done this week! So tired! 😛 (And this is the slow month? Ugh!)

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 8/27/17

 

Morning!

Things eased up a little this week at the day job, but I felt crappy on Friday, so no movie review… Again. So here’s a quick one.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard – (Rated R – mostly for language and graphic violence – so definitely NOT for younger kids). Excellent stunt work and they even had some really fun and fresh ideas in several spots. When the two guys meet for the 1st time face to face – awesome! Then when AAA complains to the bartender at the outside bar, more super awesomeness appears! The movie was a ton of fun, and the soundtrack totally rocked! Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s rating: Pay Full Price to See Again!)

 

Secret World Legends

View at the top of the central tree. A lot of energy and light float around it.

Too weird not to take a picture of. Man of gold? Behind him is a portal leading to another location on Earth.

Other locations on Earth and their portals.

The other side of one of the portals. Hello, New England!

We’ve arrived at Kingsmouth Town. The glowing area is a spawn point.

This fellow fills you on what is going on around here. It isn’t good. Major paranormal stuff is going down!

The Sheriff – one of the few survivors in town after the fog rolled in. They’ve fortified the police station until more substantial help comes.

View of Kingsmouth Bay. Zombies and worse roaming everywhere.

The view when looking to the left of the bay.

Hope your Sunday is productive and restful!

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 8/13/17

This month has been super crazy so far. Quarter End last month and now implementing system changes and new processes. Dealing with the fallout as we find stuff that didn’t work right. I am so tired! lol. AnimeFest is next weekend as well. Whee!

The movie this week was – The Dark Tower. While I enjoyed the film and the special effects were fab, so much was lost by them shoving everything into a two-hour movie. The flavor of Roland’s world and the intertwined and twisted mess that has worked for years to bring all this about is not there. While I like Jake, I so wanted to see Susannah Dean! lol. (Hubby has not read the series and he did enjoy the movie.

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

I am so in love with how they do this city. The mix of old and new.

Isn’t that a gorgeous building?

Then you find this kind of cool futuristic architecture. So awesome.

My little helper. Super paranoid computer geek. 😛 Once was a criminal.

Back to the bombed out train station. Trying to get some evidence before it is destroyed in a cover up.

I loved the 3D hologram/modeling. He’s trying to reconstruct the bomb mechanism.

Psychiatrist assigned to check out the people at HQ. It’s hard to tell if she’s legit or not. Or maybe a little of both.

Hidden dance club. All of the customers are high as kites. If they have implants, they might also soon be dead! The new drug has some serious side effects for the augmented.

More Awesome architecture!

This advertisement was so unexpected and yet so awesome and scary! lol. This is an entrance to one of the train stations. I can so see a pharmaceutical company paying to do this for ad space. lol.

Hope you have a great Sunday!

Virtual Tourist – Secret World Legends 7/30/17

Morning!

Haven’t been able to do movie reviews the last few weeks. Just too darn busy! Figured I’d do a few quickies for the ones I have seen recently, then get on with the virtual tourist. 😛

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets – 95% gorgeous and quirky, 5% giant plot holes. 🙁

Dunkirk – decent film but could have been great! Not once did it look like 400,000 people on the beach or thousands of small boats. With CGI anymore, there was no excuse. Time issues as well. And the added noise to the soundtrack? Horrible! No blood either. Like war movies in the 40’s. Weird and disappointing. 🙁

Atomic Blonde – Awesome fight scenes. The plot was contrived, and even hubby left feeling blah about it when it was over. Said it was only worth matinee. 🙁

 

Secret World Legends

Since my screenshots of the character screen wouldn’t take, I found a different way to take a selfie. Bwahahahaha!

My poor unsuspecting character in the game. 😛

Dragon Cabal’s leader is the child sitting in the chair. The lady next to him is his mouthpiece.

Entrance building to get to the portal to Agartha.

The little floating square that looks like a honeycomb is very important. You will find them all over the place, many in hard to spot locations. They give you lore and legends which will help with your personal museum of the bizarre. Since you were given your powers by a bee, this seemed apt. 🙂

A closeup view of the portal itself.

Behind me, you can see where I just came from. Now I am in Agartha. A different dimension with a giant life tree.

Guardians of the tree – so steampunk. Love it! The gentleman with them introduces us to the place.

A higher view of the zone. The little lit round objects boost you up to the central tree area or take you to other portals out.

A really neat place, no?

This players jetpack is a movement boost item you can buy. Weird looking!

Inside the central tree trunk.

Hope your weekend has been fruitful and fun!

 

Movie Review – Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man: Homecoming

Spider-man Homecoming

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Jon Favreau, Jacob Batalon, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and more.

Directed by: Jon Watts Screenplay by: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, and Erik Sommers Based on the Comic Book by: Stan Lee and Steve Ditko Cinematography by: Salvatore Totino Music by: Michael Giacchino

Premise: After getting a new suit and helping out during the Civil War, Peter is dying to help again. Unfortunately, he’s not getting any callbacks. But he makes do by going out every night and helping people where he can. But after tangling with a group of robbers using alien technology, he’s told to stay out of it. But Peter can’t let it go. (Rated  PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Tom Holland does a nice job as Peter Parker. Michael Keaton did a fresh and cold spin on Adrian Toomes to great effect.  (His talk on the way to the prom and his picking up on things was almost creepy!) Robert Downey Jr. and Jon Favreau brought some lovely additional dimensions to the story. Nice work by all parties.

Additional kudos to Jacob Batalon. He was adorable as Peter’s friend. He brought a lot to the film as well.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The special effects department was kept very busy in the movie. They came up with some neat human and alien technology hybrids – vulture’s gear is a prime example. Toomes looked creepy in the mask and glowing green eyes. Brrr.

Tony’s Spider-man suit was fab! More gadgets and gizmos than James Bond. Wait till you see all the awesome ways Tony has given him to use his web thrower. The suit is just too cool!

The cutter machine at the bank, the shock puncher, and the phase gadgets were excellent. If Toomes had been a little less messed up in the head, he could have helped bring some super amazing advances to the world.

The ferry scene and the Washington Monument scenes were great. The destruction at the bank and the deli were well done, and we even get bus wars! The group looked to have had a lot of fun with the Stark plane as well. There were some terrific bits in that sequence. Tons of neat stuff for out viewing pleasure.

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: They started the movie right – with a mutated version of the cartoon theme song! Booyah! It got me right in the mood. 🙂 Then the beginning sequence (shaky cam, but not for long – yay!) where we see Peter picked up and taken to join Tony and the others in Civil War.  Priceless!

With six people credited for the screenplay, I was amazed it came out so good. Toomes motivation wasn’t well grounded but wasn’t bad enough to be jarring. No way he didn’t make a ton of cash from his illegal sales. You’d think he would have saved some. 😛

Tons and tons and tons of adorable moments. (Guy in a chair!) The introduction of the Captain America tapes was a genius idea! This is especially so because they take the gag all the way to the end of the credits! (So stay until he shows! :P) I laughed myself silly at the last one. 😛 The comments from teachers and others in different parts of the movie were also rather humorous and came up when you least expected them.

I was a little puzzled that they decided to make Peter fifteen years old. That seemed a little young. Plus he didn’t look fifteen. Seventeen would have been much more believable, and he would have still had all the same problems. 😛 Spidey is super tough, so his getting knocked out by a small tap at one point seemed a little convenient, but it was a minor nitpick.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real stunt work gave the audience all sorts of fun to enjoy.

5) Music – Total Thumbs Up: Like I mentioned before – Michael Giacchino had me at the groovy version of the original 1967 Spiderman cartoon’s theme music. Some snazzy tracks and great action tracks. It added to the enjoyment of the film.

Conclusion: This Spider-man reboot is well worth seeing. All the small and fun moments truly make it a delicious film. Great effects and cool gadgets are ‘frosting on the cake’. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Movie Review – The Mummy

The Mummy

The Mummy

Starring: Tom Cruise, Russell Crowe, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella, Jake Johnson, Courtney B. Vance, Marwan Kenzari, Simon Atherton, and more.

Directed by: Alex Kurtzman Screenplay by: David Koepp, Christopher McQuarrie, and Dylan Kussman Screen Story by: Jon Spaihts, Alex Kurtzman, and Jenny Lumet Cinematography by: Ben Seresin Music by: Brian Tyler

Premise: A relic hunter stumbles onto a hidden chamber in Iraq. Rushed for time, he inadvertently loosens an imprisoned force. A woman with a mission she’s been trying to complete for five thousand years. Nick is the one she’s decided will replace the receptacle for Set stolen from her so many years ago. No one better stand in her way. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: While we have some great acting powerhouses in this film, there is so much action,  little time is left for actual acting. Still, Tom Cruise does a nice job as Nick – relic hunter, thief, adventurer. Annabelle Wallis as Jenny got the biggest range to play with as she dealt with her feelings, her attractions, and her job. She did it well. Sofia Boutella made a nice sultry mummy. Jake Johnson was a ton of fun as Nick’s sidekick Chris Vail. Russell Crowe’s character was a rather big surprise once the two men meet and introductions are made. (He could still take some lessons from James Nesbitt’s superb performance of the same character though. 🙂 )

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: There was a ton to love about the special effects in this film. Watching the credits, they used a ton of different companies. They come up with some superb images.

Ahmanet’s prison and the other chambers attached to it were very cool! The Crusaders’ tomb when they first find it with the tunnel maker and other sections of the place were well done!

Several special effect parts used weird spiders, tons of rats, black birds and other crawling things. They looked great.

When Ahmanet first shows herself, and the transformation after her first feedings, were enthralling. The change on those she fed on also were fantastic. When she has them rise, and the bones and joints pop and snap – creepy!

Cool sand storms, walking and swimming dead, and all the cool bits using mercury. The look and feel of the base beneath London’s Natural  History Museum were great. The all important dagger was a wicked looking thing!

Lots and lots of lovely effects!

3) Plot/Story – Neutral: I go up and down on how I feel about the story. A big part of my issue with it is the presentation. While they didn’t give everything away in the previews, they gave away a lot. So there was little there to give a feeling of discovery or mystery in what was going on.

They also didn’t do themselves any favors by having Henry tell us all about Ahmanet at the very beginning – especially when the information got repeated all over again later as Nick has visions of the past. They could have easily found the Crusaders’ tomb and the wall carvings and left it at that. Thus tantalizing the viewers to discover how the Crusaders and Ahmanet might be related. But no. We got spoonfed the information instead.

A couple of scenes, while cool, didn’t make a lot of sense. Ahmanet wants her new Chosen to willingly submit to the ritual. So, how was giving him nightmares of rats and monsters was supposed to do that? Other images made sense for that, but some others did not.

Also, Nick’s choice in the final room I saw coming ten minutes before he made it. DUH!

There’s tons of action, and they move at breakneck speeds. There’s even a quick wink/homage to Brendan Fraser’s “The Mummy” in the form of the Book of Life showing up at one point. But character development is pushed way back to the background.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: The whole ‘gag’ in the airplane was fantastic! I felt sorry for them all. lol. The fun chase scene in the Iraqi city with bullets and grenades being used all over the place kept the stunt people quite busy and looked great. Lots of good work from the team.

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Tons of great and real places! Waverley Abbey in the UK, London, the Natural History Museum, the Namib Desert in the country of Namibia in Africa. These great locations added lots of visual flavor to the scenes.

6) Costuming/Makeup – Total Thumbs Up: CGI mixed with real makeup gave some great looks to Ahmanet, Henry, and Vail. The writing on Ahmanet’s skin alone was dazzling. When we see her close to filled out but still with gaps in various places on her face and body, it added so much! Some great contrast too between Nick and Vale in the restroom scene.

Conclusion: The Mummy is a wild ride. Great special effects and stunts. A surprise here and there. Yet a little less telling up front would have made the film more mysterious and thus more enticing to the viewers.

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

Mind Sieve 5/29/17

Memorial Day

Let’s remember and give thanks to all those serving in the armed forces who’ve died to keep us safe and our way of life intact.

Fan Fun

Fun music video Hubby shared with me! Fergie – A Little Party Never Killed Nobody (All We Got)

It’s Gonna Be Okay – The Piano Guys w/Sir Cliff Richard. Very upbeat song. They do look like they’re having fun! lol.

Marvel’s The Defenders Trailer – misfit team of awesome! Sweet!

Marvel’s Cloak and Dagger Official Trailer – yes! Loved that comic!

Social Media/Author Platform

3 Simple Mistakes to Avoid if You Want to Make Your Book a Best Seller by Matthew Turner – some popups but not bad. Another post that infers I need a clone. With a full-time job and writing, there’s no time for all this stuff. 🙁

Writing

Be Specific! How to Get to the Point in Everything You Write by Grammarly – some basic but super important items. 🙂

Forget About Being a Good Writer (And Do This Instead) by Jeff Goins. Some helpful insights. 🙂

Movie Review – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Starring: Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem, Geoffrey Rush, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario, Kevin McNally, Golshifteh Farahani, David Wenham, Stephen Graham, and more.

Directed by: Joachim Ronning and Espen Sandberg Screenplay by: Jeff Nathanson Story by: Jeff Nathanson and Terry Rossio Based on Characters Created by: Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Stuart Beattie, and Jay Wolpert

Premise: Will’s son Henry has been trying to find a way to break his father’s curse. He believes Poseidon’s Trident has the power to do so. But to find it, he needs to find Jack Sparrow. But Henry is not the only one looking for Jack. Plus many others also want to get their hands on the Trident. The hunt for the treasure begins. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Johnny Depp once more reprises his unique take on a pirate captain as Captain Jack Sparrow. His crazy expressions, obfuscation, and general “go with the flow” attitude are in high force. Brenton Thwaites is very reminiscent of Orlando Bloom’s Will Turner, which seems apt as he is playing his son Henry. Kaya Scodelario as Carina Smyth is spunky, stubborn, and driven. Javier Bardem does a nice job as Captain Salazar. Geoffrey Rush gets to prove to everyone Captain Barbossa has got it all. Then comes to realize there is an even greater treasure to be had. Loved the expressions as the truth of things finally began to register. 🙂

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Special effects tend to make up large sections of the “Pirate of the Caribbean” movies and “Dead Men Tell No Tales” is no exception. The smoky piecemeal appearance of Salazar’s crew is neat and very haunting. The effect when they touch land even more so.

The whole gag with the bank robbery and running through town was great! Only Jack has this kind of weird luck. Oh, and wait until you see the guillotine gag – hilarious!

Salazar’s ship was fabulous! A literal shark of the seas. I also loved what they did with the masthead later in the film. Too fun! The undead birds and sharks were a nice addition as well. The monkey is still a total ham. 😛

They did save the best to show toward the end. The island holding the last clue to Poseidon’s Trident was gorgeous! The area that unfolds from there was way cool as well. They did all sorts of fun things with water. And the trident itself was lovely. Something more befitting of the sea than the usual trident portrayal.

The Black Pearl’s transformation was also a lot of fun. Especially when the change stalls. Later, the maneuverings with the edge of the water and the anchor looked great!

3) Story – Neutral: I wish those who give the final okay on scripts and changes would remember the devil is in the details. While they carefully kept track of some information, they totally disregarded others, so certain things made no sense. For example: Don’t make a commander who is dead set on killing witches, and will hunt them relentlessly with all the soldiers at his disposal, then turn around and go pay/use one to come do magic! Also, if you have a captain say he only ever kills pirates, don’t have him going around killing non-pirates! (Since Salazar is a Spaniard, adding two words to his statements would have fixed this. Just say “pirates and Inglés,” and he would have been covered to kill all the Brits and pirates he wanted without anyone raising an eyebrow.)

Another bit that seemed weird is that Disney appeared to pull the same thing they did with “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” – they tried to cookie cutter the new film into a clone of the first with bits from the others. What is that about? Girl in distress, a boy about to get killed, Jack in trouble, all looking for a special treasure as they are hunted by the undead. Huh. It’s like they’re afraid to try new plots. 🙁

One thing I did like was the undercurrent themes of obsession, drive, and what we should all truly treasure.  Pay attention to the ship names as well, there are some subtle jokes going on there. 🙂

Another subtle bit was Jack’s descent since the events from years before when he bid his friends goodbye. His luck, his drive, his sense of purpose, all eroded by his inability to help Will. Jack’s final comment as he spies upon events on the hillside at the end said it all – veiled as usual of course.

Do make sure to sit through the credits! One final scene at the very end. 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Much to love in the stunt department. Pratfalls, guillotines, hangings, chases, sword fighting, shark wrangling, and much more. Of particular fun was Jack’s fight/chase scene between two ships jumping from canon to canon. 😛

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Filmed in different parts of Queensland, Australia, there were plenty of gorgeous shots of the bay, the sea, and the sky. The sunrise over the map island and the blood moon are especially lovely. Add in the CGI locations like the Devil’s Triangle and the resting place of Poseidon’s Trident, and you’re in for many visual treats.

Conclusion: Though a fun romp and filled with cool effects, “Dead Men Tell No Tales” felt too much like a retelling of the original “Pirates of the Caribbean.” Some inconsistencies drew away from the fun. Stay through the credits for a final scene at the very end!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)