Mind Sieve 3/27/17

Not expecting to get far, but better something that nothing. No? 🙂

Work is still insane! I’m so behind on so many things at work and for writing. Wheee!

Wonder Woman – Official Origin Trailer – I’m really looking forward to this!

Justice League Official Trailer 1 – Looks awesome! Brand new trailer. Sweet!

Middle Earth: Shadow of War – I thought it was a movie trailer, but it’s a game trailer. Still, darn impressive video!

The Handmaid’s Tale Official Trailer – oh my! This looks good! And disturbing!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 Trailers 1 – 3 – though it seems more like 5. But the first two at least are NEW! So excited for this! 🙂 And Kurt Russel! Nice! (Nathan Fillion, too! Though he’s not in the previews :))

Okay, I better stop. Have a great week!

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Makind Divided 3/26/17

Mornings!

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Super creepy fortune teller machine at the magic shop. Futuristic but still as disturbing as these things sometimes look. lol.

Inside the lobby of Palisade Bank. Not a money bank, but a data bank. A really neat place!

This is a moving/undulating ceiling in the bank. So cool!

So posh! Like a canyon wall with a waterfall.

Neat turbine/motor system in the basement.

In the sewers. Poison gas all over the place!

An old station that’s been closed. Possibly from two years ago when the augmented went mad.

Sneaking around at a regular train station. Love the neat visual effect of the ceiling tiles.

The name of the restaurant was too funny. Love the look, though! And I’d eat there.

This was rather disturbing. No?

Hope you have a great Sunday! Next weekend

Next weekend, ChibiChains and I will be at Fan Expo 2017!  Mark Hamill! Tim Curry! Vampire Diaries guys! And I probably won’t see any of them. Heh. But will try to share cool costume pics through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest. 🙂

Movie Review – Power Rangers

Power Rangers

Power Rangers

Starring: Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G., Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston, Bill Hader, Cody Kearsley, and more.

Directed by:  Dean Israelite Screenplay by: John Gatins Story by: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney, and Kieran Mulroney Cinematography by: Matthew J. Lloyd Music by: Brian Tyler

Premise: Five teenagers end up in the same place when one of them uncovers a hidden artifact near an old mine. Veritable strangers to one another, they unite as they try to escape the area. Finding themselves unharmed after an accident, they get back together to try to figure out what has happened to them. That’s when they discover an old evil is about to destroy their town, their country, their planet. Unless they can figure out how to tap the powers they never asked for. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Dacre Montgomery does a nice job as Jason. His insecurity, avoidance, and hidden anger as he deals with his accident and the repercussions of his prank gone wrong were well done. Naomi Scott showed some talent as Kimberly. Her pain and the hidden aspects of her secret, and her need to be better, coming across well. RJ Cyler did a great job as Billy. Socially awkward, but super smart, he ends up becoming the heart of the group. Ludi Lin as Zack was a two-sided coin of crazy and deep grief. Becky G. as Trini was a lot of fun, as her character found herself drawn into the group despite herself. Elizabeth Banks does evil Rita with flair and fun.

Though all the Rangers do appear to struggle with the acting during the big combat sequence. Robot fighting angst is probably not a class in acting school. 😛

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: It was the special effects I saw in the previews that made me want to see the film. 🙂 There were lots of neat and cool effects throughout the movie.

The beginning of the film is set in a prehistoric era and looked impressive. The battlefield, the alien rangers, and red ranger’s solution were pretty spiffy.

Our introduction to Jason went places he and the audience weren’t expecting. The crash and the view from inside the truck were pretty amazing. He’s lucky to be alive! lol. (The few bits of shaky cam luckily did not linger long!)

The Wall was one of the coolest effects in the film. I loved the spaceship and Alpha 5. Cooler still was how they got to the ship in the first place.

The morphing was pretty cool as well. Rita’s change and the making of her scepter/lance looked awesome. Goldar was fabulous! He was so fluid! The sequence where Rita reconstitutes him is pretty darn cool. Yay big budgets! lol.

3) Plot/Story – Thumbs Up: Sentai series have been super popular in Japan. Some say the first five-member team originated with the anime series Kagaku Ninjatai Gatchaman in the 70’s. Saban took some of the more popular live-action sentai series from the 80’s, spliced in American’s for the non-costumed parts and Saban’s Power Rangers were born! While I have enjoyed several sentai series, the Americanized versions never did much for me. But on seeing the previews for this film, I got interested in seeing what they’d do with a feature film. The fact it looked like they did backstories on the characters also intrigued me.

Mind you; I didn’t go in thinking it would be anything but fun, action, and fluff. And I wasn’t wrong. But they did try to add some depth and let us get to know the characters bit by bit. The slow melding of the group was decently done.

Major kudos for showing us the alien who were the original power rangers and even having an alien language. And though drawn together, we still saw friction in the characters as they struggle to make sense of what they’ve been dumped into and whether they want any part of it. Also, points for proving that cars can’t always outrun the train. 😛

I do wish they’d done more with Rita Repulsa. Elizabeth Banks seemed to have had too much fun playing her. lol.

There’s a bit in the end for the fans, some hint of things to come. I am sure there were probably a lot of bits having to do with former Power Ranger series, but they were lost on me. Other than a few obvious ones from the sentai genre in general – like tons of disposable minions and major fights always happening at quarries. 😛

Still, from what I saw, I think fans of the original US shows will be pleased with how the movie came out.

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Between the first car crash and then the van crash, the stunt guys were giving their all! The training fights and later the powered fights were pretty decent. They multi-vehicle fights weren’t as good. They should have let the stunt team help with those. 😛

Conclusion: Fun fluff film with neat special effects. Fans of the Power Rangers and Japanese sentai shows should find a lot to like. The fact they take the time to introduce the team members will go a long way to making the experience more fulfilling for those new to this genre of film.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Virtual Tourist – Dishonored 2 3/12/17

Morning! Hope you’re having a great day so far!

Dishonored 2

Neat horsehead!

I do love that sky!

Lovely floor! I do so love details!

Butterflies!

That is one odd looking baby gator.  Look at that tail!

A flashback scene as I approach a healing center on a separate small island.

And here is the reality. Neat how they did them in different art styles, no?

Electric carriage. It’s a weird contraption. Only seats one, maybe two people.

View back towards the city from the island. A better look at the rail system for the carriage.

Lovely and a little creepy all at once. Love it!

Have a good one!

Movie Review – Kong: Skull Island

Kong: Skull Island

Kong Skull Island

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, Brie Larson, John C. Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Will Brittain, Miyavi, and more.

Directed by: Jordan Vogt-Roberts Screenplay by: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, and Derek Connolly Story by: John Gatins Cinematography by: Larry Fong Music by: Henry Jackman

Premise: In 1973, just as the Vietnam War ended, a researcher convinces a senator to allow his team to go with a survey group to a newly discovered island. The helicopter squad assigned to take them there gets a nasty surprise when they drop seismic testing bombs in the jungle. The destruction brings forth a creature worse than any enemy they’ve fought before. Getting off the island will be much harder than getting in. (Rated PG-13)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of great performances from the cast! Tom Hiddleston is a man stuck between worlds as James Conrad. Samuel L. Jackson plays Preston Packard – an Ahab looking for his white whale (aka giant gorilla) nemesis. Brie Larson was both spunky and full of feeling as photographer Mason Weaver. John C. Reilly was a hoot as Hank Marlow.

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Saw this in 3D but wish we’d been able to see it in IMAX 3D. Some truly phenomenal backgrounds mixed with special effects. The giant auroras around the island at night were amazing.

The outside view of the perpetual storm around Skull Island was very reminiscent of “Star Trek the Motion Picture.” Once they go inside the cloud, the “wow” factor went way up. The entire ride was amazing! Fabulous images with the off colored lightining~!

Kong looked great. The scars from previous fights were a great touch. They did a terrific job with all the creatures – the dangerous and the non-dangerous ones. 🙂

There are tons of explosions, machine guns, gas, rifle fire, napalm, and more. The scenes when the group first meets Kong were fabulous. You do not willingly mess with a giant gorilla, people!

3) Story – Thumbs Up: The entire film seemed to be not only a giant monster movie but one paying homage to all sorts of other films. Think “Apocalypse Now” meets “Moby Dick” with a dash of “Enemy Mine” and “African Queen.” They even throw in bits from the Millenium Falcon’s hyperdrive malfunction and the storm around Voyager from Star Trek. In-jokes abound!

The big theme of the film is soul consuming obsession. Bill Randa’s obsession got them to the island, Packard’s is what almost gets all of them killed. The hubris of man knows no bounds. It’s your fault if you start blowing things up, and the locals take steps to show you they aren’t happy about it. Duh! And you should never assume monsters are stupid! (These sure weren’t!) Not if you want to survive or make your sacrifice mean anything. 😛

Lots of light moments, which help diffuse some of the tension. It was used well to show the bonds between and the differences of some of the characters. They spent the time to let us get to know them a little, which is ideal for making the audience care about them and not wanting them to getting killed. Plenty of faceless ones to get ground up, though, so expect a high body count.

Aside from the impromptu scares to make you jump, the plot is pretty straight forward. Lots of mayhem, monsters, and fights to keep everyone entertained, though.

SUPER IMPORTANT –  You must sit through ALL the credits! When you see the black screen – do not move! There is more! Wait…for…it! 🙂

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Most of the gags are CGI based, but still look darn cool. The main actors still get whipped around, thrown, attacked, and more so there was plenty of work to go around. 😛

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Filmed in Hawaii, Vietnam, and Australia, we get a ton of fun sites and beautiful photography. Add in some of the cool effects for the aurora or a giant gorilla standing in the middle of signature backgrounds, and you’ve got a visual winner. 🙂

Conclusion: If you like giant monster films, action, explosions, and craziness, wrapped around a simple frame this movie won’t disappoint. Good “just for fun” fodder.

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

 

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 3/5/17

Morning, all!

Dues Ex: Mankind Divided

This picture is of something quite cool. As I was walking away from the station, I heard a conversation. It was the couple standing before the statue asking this guy to take a picture of them with their camera. What a lovely detail!

Super modern park near the data bank. You can see old fashioned buildings in the background. A mishmash of new and old.

Palisade Bank – very futuristic. Lots of imagery showing one thing but meaning something else.

Local gang boss and his underground casino. Not a nice guy. Double crosses his clients.

Customer’s blacklisted from the casino. My buddy is in the upper right. His confiscated goods are something I need.

Inside an expensive and modern apartment building. Love that lamp!

Someone is in dire need of a housekeeper!

Small park inside the apartment building. Nice, no?

Love the funky wallpaper. The weird layered deer head and the hanging ornaments was a little strange!

View from the apartment. You can see one of Palisades’ memory data storage locations. The buildings are quite awesome.

All right! Made it! Hope you have a great Sunday!

Movie Review – Logan

Logan

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E. Grant, Eriq La Salle, and more.

Directed by: James Mangold Story by: James Mangold Screenplay by: Scott Frank, James Mangold, and Michael Green Cinematography by: John Mathieson Music by: Marco Beltrami

Premise: It is the year 2029. Mutants are no longer born, the weird mutation died out. Logan and Xavier are old, and neither are in good health. Everything they’ve lived through seems meaningless now. So when a woman approaches Logan professing to need his help, he’s not interested. He’s got other things to worry about. But she’s not about to let this go. (Rated R)

Review:

1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Hugh Jackman reprises his role as Wolverine. This is an older, more pessimistic Logan. Hugh Jackman does an incredible job. He gives an excellent performance throughout. You feel his aches and pains, he’s so good! 🙂

Patrick Stewart also reprises his role as Charles Xavier. Though ill, Charles still does his best for his remaining student. Patrick brings all the light and comedic moments to the tale. And he does it so very well! Watching the two of them go back and forth was a lot of fun.

Dafne Keen as Laura is a treat. Not only does she have the Wolverine glare down, but she’s also full of little surprises. Boyd Holbrook as Pierce is unexpectedly multifaceted. Though, his prosthetic hand kept trying to steal his spotlight. 😛

2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Lots of nice and subtle special effects in this film. Two of the effects stuck with me.

The first is the awesome work on Logan’s abused body. One look at his face, his shoulders, and arms and you know this is a man who has suffered pain. When you see ooze coming from where his blades previously cut the skin, you know he’s in trouble. And when you see his wounds at the clinic – eek!

The second is Pierce’s mechanical hand. You would swear it was his true appendage. There’s a scene where it’s disconnected from the socket. Then he plugs it back in and twirls a small screwdriver. It is such a seamless move that it sells its reality to the audience, even though it truly isn’t real.

Laura’s blades and Wolverine’s were great. Xavier’s unintended attacks, and the paralysis and other problems it invoked, made for a super cool scene in the city.

Oh and Logan’s limo? Priceless! Though it loses the fight with the fence, it makes up for that by bringing it along and using it as a weapon! Sweet!

3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: When you first realize Wolverine is not well, many fans will be wanting to know why. How could this be? Wolverine is a mutant, and his mutation is regeneration/healing. Oh, it’s not a problem with the plot. There is an answer. And you’ll have to wait for it! But if you’re not paying attention, you might miss it. So when the scientist talks towards the end of the film in the woods, pay attention! It won’t make immediate sense to connect it to Logan and what’s wrong with him, but if you give it some thought, you’ll see that they are. I have to say, the whole idea of it was brilliant! (High fructose corn syrup is the devil! I knew it! Bwahahaha!)

The general plot is straightforward, with several points being obvious in their direction. But then, when you least expect it, you get a little surprise pop up here and there, throwing in some new angle, some new bit of fun.

There are a lot of piled layers to the film as well. Regret, guilt, debts, family, reality vs. fantasy, putting one foot in front of the other out of sheer stubbornness. Living each day for a dream that’s out of reach just to make it through another day.

Tons and tons of touching moments. I did find it ironic how Canada is mentioned as a place of safety when for Logan it had been anything but. 😛 Callisto as a man was also a bit of a surprise. I didn’t read the Laura arc in comics so I can’t make any comments on that, but I did enjoy it! (I’m a sucker for well-done angst.) 😛

4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: This is a film with Wolverine, so a ton of stunts is definitely an expectation, and you won’t be disappointed. Tons of hand to hand combat. Watching Wolverine and Laura go at it together is a sight to behold. And all the people involved in Xavier’s unintended attack were fab!

5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: From the neat hideaway in Mexico to the location of Eden, the farm, and more – they all looked great. The sunset behind the caravan looking for Laura was breathtaking. Some nice view of mountains, tundras, and more. Visually satisfying stuff!

6) Costuming/Makeup – Total Thumbs Up: I enjoyed the care they took with some of the clothing used in the film. Especially with regards to Laura. Mean, tough exterior, yet she showed a softer, girlier side with some of her random choices in eyewear and clothing. It was adorable and added an unexpected layer to her personality. Xavier putting on the hat he buys was such a cute moment!

One the makeup side, all the work on Hugh Jackman was fabulous! It screams out even more so when we meet an unexpected participant. Made for a striking contrast.

Conclusion: Logan was a fun and emotional film. Tons of action and more. Some typical moments but lots of non-typical as well. There’s also a Deadpool intro before the main movie. Disturbing and too funny all at the same time. lol.

Rating: 4 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission)

Mind Sieve 2/27/17

This will probably be a short one. But better short than none? 🙂

Fan Fun

Something About This Biscuit – by Pastor Fred. Very cute! They played it on the radio, so I hunted it down to share with ya’ll. 🙂

 

Avengers: Infinity War First Look (2018) – should be exciting!

 

The Discovery Official Trailer – looks bizarre!

Hope you have a quiet and productive week! I’m hoping for the same! Heh heh

 

Virtual Tourist – Dishonored 2 2/26/17

Greetings, all!

Yep, totally not keeping up with anything this week. 🙁 Did finally close Dec 2016 at work – yay! Now it’s time for all the reports for the auditors and the dreaded Flux. *shiver* Oh and catching up on January close. Why 2017? Why?!

Dishonored 2

Side view from the ship’s deck. I’m about to take my first trip to the mainland.

The captain gives me a few bits of advice as she prepares to drop me off.

Look at those mountains!

The buildings and people have had it rough here.

Delilah has wasted not time in making sure I get hunted down.

The streets are filled with blood. Blood from the whales they slaughter here. Pestilence lurks everywhere.

View back out to the bay from a balcony. Love that sky!

Yeah, she’s wasted no time at all.

Forlorn looking painting, no?

In the first game, there were rats everywhere spreading contagion. Now it’s red flies. This is one of their nests.

Hope you have a great day!

Virtual Tourist – Deus Ex: Mankind Divided 2/19/17

Ugh! Missed posting since I was at ConDFW last weekend and this time it was due to a 14 hour day at work! Boo. Hiss! Hiss!

Anyway….

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

Magic shop! A cool place and also has vital info for one of the sewer adventures. 😛

Here’s a pic of the inside. Notice the magic fortune machine to the right.

The shop owner and former hypnotist.

Entrance to one of the subways. See how it’s a credit card ad? Hee!

Kidnapped and imprisoned paper forger. If you look closely at her shoulder, you’ll see she’s wearing plastic see through sleeves!

You can see them even better here. Almost looks like a mirage. 😛

Statue sitting outside one of the other subway stations. Love the clock tower!

Love that poster! lol. And the super modern look of this station.

This view is looking back at the station from the outside. Better view of the statue too!

No, he’s not dead. Couldn’t figure out a way to talk to him, though, so had to knock him out. The guy on the floor is the master brainwasher of the sewer cult.

Hope your Sunday is peaceful and fruitful!