Mini Movie Reviews 12/15/19

Morning!

This time of year is always bonkers for me. The weather, too, especially as it swings from cold to warm and back again. Then there’s squeezing in the holidays while trying to juggle all the year-end accounting projects before the close in January. Since the company is now public again, the amount of requirements for auditors and reporting goes way up!

I hope you guys are having a better time of it! 😛

Mini Movie Reviews

Knives OutKnives Out – This film was a lot more fun than I expected. It’s a classic Agatha Christie setup, but then it takes a left turn in an unexpected direction. Secrets, machinations, lies, a ton of details pulling every which way. Even when you think you know what happened, it turns out it wasn’t that way at all. Great performances, good twists and turns. There was something odd on the way close-ups were filmed, which made the actors and actresses look off, but this could have been intentional.

Rating: 3.75 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!) 

 

Jumanji: The Next LevelJumanji: The Next Level – Hubby had been chomping at the bit to see this one. 😛 They did a great job showing some of the reasons Spencer chose to try to fix the game and going back inside. Some new people and characters get introduced as Jumanji gets thrown into a bigger crisis than before. The actors doing the avatars get to reinvent themselves as the people behind them have changed. They did such a great job! Awkwafina did a great Granpa Eddie. ROFL. Some new skills and new weaknesses. The prehistoric ostriches were super cool and scary. Lol.  One extra bit ties the end of the film back to giving homage to the original Jumanji as well as a possible leading to another film! Favorite quote: “You are the worst Bravestone ever!” 😛 

Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again.)

Have a great week!

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 9/15/19

Morning!

Dropped off the planet again. Seems to be more often than not anymore. Apologies! 

I could bore you with the weird health issues or the insanity at work with the horrible software we now have to work in, but I won’t. 😛 Let’s look at something more fun. 🙂 

News – Edits on “Alien Redemption” are moving forward! I don’t know if the publisher will work it all in before the end of the year, but I am hopeful! So keep your fingers crossed! 

Also, for anyone up in the Oklahoma area, there are activities on Nov 2-3, 2019. I won’t be signing up but thought it would be worth passing then info. It’s the Tulsa Pop Culture Expo 2019! (They were super nice to reach out and send me info, so I figured I’d help them in return. :))

Tulsa Pop Culture Expo

Yakuza O

Yakuza 0 - Substory Producer

One of the crazy things about the game is the substories. The main storyline is super serious, but everything else? Not so much. Lol. In this one, I’ve been helping out as a “producer” for a difficult director. They even dressed me for the part. Well, the guy behind Kazuma is the real Producer. The clothes are an exact match. lol.

Yakuza 0 - Dom substory

Another bizarre substory. Helping a dom learn how to talk the talk. (She was too polite and her customers weren’t feeling it. ROFL.)

Yakuza 0 - Kappa Statue

So adorable! Look at the cute kappa statue! Awwww!

Yakuza 0 - Maharajah Disco

Maharajah Disco. There’s one of these in both cities in the game. The dancing mini-game is HARD! (At least to my uncoordinated fingers.) 😛

Yakuza 0 - Kazuma does Saturday Night Fever

Like the substories, all the mini-games take things to farce levels. They have the guys to Saturday Night Fever struts before we do the dancing. The disparity between the main story line and everything else is extreme, but also a lot of fun. 

Yakuza 0 - Disco Fever!

See what I mean? (Oh, and during Karaoke, it goes super crazy. No pics as I am pushing arrow keys like mad! lol)

Yakuza 0 - swank Hotel lobby

Swank hotel/office lobby. I’m about to go see a mysterious benefactor.

Yakuza 0 - kid substory

A lot of the substories end up having to do with kids. Some of the stories are too adorable.

Yakuza 0 - the meeting

Kazuma has such awesome facial expressions! Lol. 

Yakuza 0 - Oda

This is Oda. Right-hand man to Tachibana, the mysterious benefactor. He wants to test my mettle. 😛

May your week be fruitful and calm! 

 

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 6/30/19

Morning! I’m running late!

Yakuza 0

Yakuza 0 - Title Screen

The Yakuza 0 title screen. 

Yakuza 0 - mysterious man's suite

Kiryu is helped out by a mysterious man. This is his swanky pad. 

Yakuza 0 - Pachinko

Outside a Pachinko arcade. No Sousa marching music though. 😛

Yakuza 0 - convenience store

One of several convenience stores in the area.  One of the few places you can buy food to take with you to up your health after a fight. At restaurants, you have to eat it there, unless your health is full, in which case you can’t eat at all. 

Yakuza 0 - Kiryu's neighborhood

Kiryu’s neighborhood. He has a one-room apartment on the second floor of the building on the right. 

Yakuza 0 - food displau

A restaurant food display.

Yakuza 0 - mini car races

One of the places Kiryu can play side games. This is for mini car racing! You get a free car, and you can buy or find parts to improve it. One of the few side games I did OK at. Lol. 

Yakuza 0 - 50's hoodlum

One of the substories. Rather hilarious. Love his 50’s Yankee look. 

Yakuza 0 - rebel singing group

These guys are part of a singing group that is very popular with delinquents. They look like delinquents but are far from it. They want me to teach them how to pass as badass, so their fans don’t realize the truth. Lol. (The leader talks tough on second, apologetic the next, hilarious.)

Yakuza 0 - restaurant

One of the restaurants you can buy food. On the minimap, they show as orange. The yellow squares are for places you can buy things, like the convenience store. Purple colored areas are places with games. The Sega Game stores have UFO Catchers! (Something else I’m doing decent on! Yay! Stuffed animals for the win! :P)

Have a great week! And a happy 4th of July!

Virtual Tourist – Yakuza 0 6/16/19

First off, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there!

Happy Father's Day

Mini Movie Review

Men In Black International Men In Black: International – They are back! With more attitude, bigger weapons, and the usual chaos! 😛  The original theme music is back, so the film had a nostalgic vibe to it. There’s even a painting in High T’s office of J and K saving the world. 😛  There’s a recurring theme in the film they pound into you hard – the universe always puts you where you need to be when you need to be there. They stretch this out a bit much! And while some explanations on why things have happened are shown, there are others you have to infer from what’s been presented. (For example: Why H changed so much in 3 years. And no, it’s not the girlfriend. Though if you don’t put it together yourself, it’s gone :P) Cool effects, fast pace, overall a good ride! Rating: 3.5 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Yakuza 0

This is another Japanese console game that has been converted for PC. For the most part, they’ve done a good change over, though I have run into one issue on a keybinding that drove me nuts as it trapped me on a fighting style tutorial. Ugh.

It’s 1988 in Kamurocho, a fictional small town/district in Japan. You’re Kazuma Kiryu, one of two orphan boys who joined the local yakuza when they became of age. Kiryu is a straight shooter, who’s gets set up for murder so the shame can be used against his boss in a tangled political power play. 

In the middle of the serious storyline, there are substories to get involved in and mini-games (karaoke, pocket racers, baseball batting, etc.). Some of those are far from serious. Watching Kyriu pose with his pocket racer and doing his “I win!” bit are hilarious. Geek fun abounds!

Yakuza 0 - Kamurocho District

One of the streets in Kamurocho at night. Loads of clubs and adult entertainment. Following my friend Majima to do some drinking.

Yakuza 0 - club street

The opposite side of the same street. Video stores, pachinko, and more.

Yakuza 0 - Majima and Kyriu

Majima and Kiryu. Both orphans raised at the Sunflower Orphanage. It’s financed by their boss, Kazama, which is why they both decided to join the yakuza. (He did try to dissuade them, but these two are stubborn.) (I love Kyriu’s sideburns!!!!!!!!)

Yakuza 0 - upper floor in Dojima HQ

Look at the gorgeous woodwork! Upper floor on the Dojima HQ. (Dojima is the main Yakuza family in the zone.)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze

Kuze – one of the three top lieutenants in the Dojima family. He’s willing to do anything to get a shot at being captain. A position currently held by Kazama, Kyriu’s boss, who is currently in jail. (That ceiling is rad!)

Yakuza 0 - Kuze's tattoo

Kuze’s Yakuza tattoo – the King of Hell (Underworld). Heh heh.

Yakuza 0 - Kyriu's Yakuza tattoo

Kyriu’s yakuza tattoo – work in progress. He’s currently pretty low in the ranks.

Yakuza 0 - Tachibana Realty head

I really liked this image — the view from a top floor of one of the buildings in Kamurocho. Tachibana of Tachibana Realty is the man reflected in the window. A non-yakuza group who is also vying for control of the “Empty Lot.”

Of course, I forgot to take a shot of the login screen. Fighting skill tree pic is also probably in order. DOH!

Have a great week!

 

Virtual Tourist – Subnautica 5/12/19

Mini Movie Review

Pokemon Detective Pikachu

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokemon Detective Pikachu – This movie was so cute! It was awesome seeing all the pokemon with actual fur, feathers, etc. The story is more complex than expected. There are lots of red herrings to keep the audience guessing. All the weird stuff, like Pikachu being understood by Tim, all have explanations. This was a fun little film. I just wish they’d given Jigglypuff more camera time! Lol.  Rating: 3.75 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price to See Again!)

Subnautica

subnautica - giant sea creaytures

This freaked me out. You could hear moaning through the water, but seeing it was such a surprise!

subnautica - giant creature closeup

There are six or more of them, all different ages. You can tell by looking at the top carapace. This specimen is an older one. He has all sorts of plant life, coral and even some minerals on his shell.

subnautica - the underbelly of the giant beast

A picture of the beast’s underbelly. They are truly fascinating.

subnautica - sunset on an alien world

Sunset on the alien world. There is a lot of beauty here.

subnautica - glowing life form

Glowing life form. Quite beautiful. The fauna and flora changes depending on what zone you find yourself in.

subnautica - glowing plant life

Drooping Stinger – gorgeous but don’t get too close. They pack a bit of a punch. So be careful. (I also got carried away and let my oxygen get too low. Time to panic! lol.)

subnautica - burning Aurora and the moon.

The still burning Aurora and the reddish moon. 

subnautica - dry land

There is more than just water everywhere! Here’s some dry land. Rescue is imminent. A passing spaceship picked up Aurora’s distress signal.

subnatica - signs of aliens

We are not alone! A building of alien origin. Might there be alien lifeforms here as well? 

I did want to wish all the Mom’s out there a fabulous and well deserved “Happy Mother’s Day!”

Happy Mother's Day!

 

Virtual Tourist – Subnautica 5/5/19

Morning!

No mini movie review this week. Still fighting with some unspecified health issues. I’d hoped they would have figured it out by now, but no such luck. Ugh

Subnautica

New game! (For me, anyway.) It’s a survival/exploration game. Most of it is underwater. You can tone down the number of issues for your survival. I skipped needing food and water. Air seemed hard enough to contend with. 😛

The game is also a mystery story as well. Exploring and trying to find other survivors lead you to clues explaining why you are there and the reasons somethings have happened.

Subnautica - Aurora

This is Aurora a ship belonging to the Altera Corporation. For reasons unknown at the beginning, the ship is about to crash on the planet below.

Subnautica - upper hatch of survival pod

This is a pic of the upper hatch of your escape/survival pod. Half the stuff is not working and your PDA has also suffered data damage. (The PDA houses your inventory, schematics, scan data, locations, and other info.)

Subnautica - Aurora's flaming wreckage

The wreck of the Aurora. Until you get some schematics and improve your diving suit, the area is too radioactive to approach.

Subnautica - first person view

This is the underwater area just beneath the escape capsule. Gorgeous graphics! You can see your health bar and oxygen on the left. Keeping track of your oxygen is SUPER important. 🙂

Subnautica - shallow area flora

Coral, fish, and underwater plants. You have a scanner that you use to gather data. It will also let you know if there’s stuff you can make with it or if it is edible, and more.

Subnautica - escape pod

The outside of the escape pod. You can see the moon peeking behind it.

Subnautica - underwater at night

The shallow area is gorgeous at night! A lot of the plants and fish glow in the dark. So beautiful!

Subnautica - red moon

Night view from the surface of the water. Fires from the Aurora are darkening the view of the moon/planet with smoke.

Subnautica - celestial companions

Celestial companions.

Subnautica - sunrise

Sunrise on the planet. Beautiful but it has its dangers as well.

Have a great week!

Virtual Tourist – Tales of Bersaria 4/28/19

Mini Movie Review

Avengers: End Game – First off, be aware this movie is 3 hours long! It won’t feel like it, but your bladder will know. So FYI! lol. There was a lot to like about the film. Tons of emotional fodder and we get to see characters that have been gone for a while. Tons of humorous and serious moments. Some fun mixed character interactions. It’s only in the last half hour or so that the plot becomes forced as there are certain things they want to happen, regardless of the fact there are better alternatives. They also don’t take certain facts into account during least one of the time travel moments.

(SPOILERS!!!!!) – Quill getting bushwhacked on the dead planet. They totally ignore the group of bad guys who show up on the planet when he’s there. An unconscious Quill would mean a Dead Quill (by alien rats or by bad guys!). Plus the two picking up this rock would have been ambushed just like Quill. (These guys were acting separately from Thanos’ other peeps.) Doctor Strange/Iron Man – Strange wields power, and like the Ancient One, uses the Eye of Agamotto. So would he not be better able to survive or shield himself when using the five Infinity Stones? Yet that avenue is never pursued in any way. Cap’s decision at the end – while for me it was a squee moment, on further thought there’s no way he could pull it off. Would someone of his moral fiber be able to not fight crime or injustice when he could make a difference? All for selfish gain? I think not. (Plus this also gives the finger to Bucky! He gets left behind!) Also, while the moment with Falcon was very moving, but if you’re not acquainted with the comics, it seems strange, especially since he’s not done any leadership before this or has been shown to have powers of his own.

I was disturbed by the fact they held a funeral/vigil for Tony, but they did nothing for Natasha! Why did they not do both together? They knew all the same people. Why would they shut her out like that? She doesn’t get her own movie and now no sendoff either? Come on!

I was able to ignore some of this stuff way better than hubby. Just be warned! Super build up and awesomeness for convenient letdowns. Rating: 3.5 out of 5. (Hubby’s Rating: Better for Matinee. (Yeah, he was not happy! lol)

Tales of Berseria

Tales of Berseria - Inn

Some really nice details! I believe this is an Inn at Loegres.

Tales of Berseria - winter in town

A super cold winter. Not that Velvet feels it.

Tales of Berseria - crystal caves

Crystal caves. What are those exorcists up to?

Tales of Berseria - jungle type caves

Moss filled caves, almost jungle like. The goal is near.

Tales of Berseria - coast

Gorgeous coastal view! Look at that sky!

Tales of Berseria - locks

One of the many ways the Abbey is restricting the populace. Giant lock system restricting trading by ship.

Tales of Berseria - Airfried's Ship

The pirate ship Captained by Airfried. He’s currently missing, captured by the Abbey. Velvet and her companions have joined them as they have similar paths and goals.

Tales of Berseria - ships coming to port

Heading to port. Really love this ship!

Tales of Berseria - calm seas

View from port out to the open sea. Calming, isn’t it? 🙂

Tales of Berseria - church

I will say the Abbey does have some impressive churches.

Hope you have a great weekend! Till next time. 🙂

Virtual Tourist – GRIS 3/10/19

Well, between the health stuff, company merger, and daylight’s savings time, my plans today were put in peril. But I will persevere!

Mini Movie Review

Captain Marvel – Depending on who you are and how deep you are in comic book fandom will make a HUGE difference on what you’ll think about this film. It’s a popcorn flick, entertaining with a lot of cute moments. As long as you don’t look below the surface, it’s enjoyable. Seeing a young Coulson totally did it for me. 😛 I thought Brie Larson did a great job. There’s been a lot of flack about her not being able to act, but I didn’t see that. If anything, I have to give her kudos for not just acting with words and expressions but her whole body. Carol Danvers’ confident and easy attitude screams from the character just by how she walks down a corridor after the first escape.

While the errors regarding canon are many and various, some of the other problems were just lazy. For example, the Skrull Talos spoke like some punk out of the ’80s and ’90s when, if you take into account the timeline as presented, he had not yet spent much if any time on Earth. (If he had, there would have been several critical bits of information he would have already known about and therefore made the movie moot!). Another big one was with regards to the Kree. All Kree have blue skin, and all the movies and TV shows have presented them that way. The only exception is sometimes some have patches of pure white skin (which makes them looked down on). Rather than try to come up with a plausible reason to tell Carol why her skin was different, they just turned half the Kree population Caucasian. Lazy.

If you can ignore stuff like that, you should enjoy the film. It had a nice pace, cool effects, excellent combat sequences, and Goose. I did love that they let the Skrulls have their super funky chins. Rating: 3.25 out of 4 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Full Price of Admission.)

Virtual Tourist – GRIS

GRIS - flower gardens

The gardens are a wonderful area. It is also where you pick up the ability to SING!

GRIS - the power to sing

Singing affects things and is also visual. The rings you see here are from her voice. It also makes flowers bloom!

GRIS - garden

Love the luscious colors.

GRIS - fog

The unknown. Look a the gorgeous pastels!

GRIS - garden hallway

An underwater hallway in the gardens. You can’t sing as a fish.

GRIS - flip zone

The bush is made of water, so I can swim in it. The yellow line flips the gravity. Gliding past the top drops you up to the floor/ceiling of the other side. Lol.

GRIS - moonlit garden

I love the colors, the implied textures, even the depths.

GRIS - final song

A half inverted area and major singing spot.

GRIS - meeting the self

The star path to the meeting the tortured self.

GRIS - a tomb

It is just darn pretty!

Hope you’ve been staying warm out there. Winter is still trying to hang on, but it is a losing battle. 😛

Virtual Tourist – Witcher 3 2/17/19

My apologies for anyone who went/is at ConDFW looking for ChibiChains and myself and did not find us there. Unfortunately, I’m still having the issues that cropped up after surgery in November. I’d hoped the last set of meds would let me go to the con, but alas, it was not to be.

I can go out for a bit, but sitting up straight for 8+ hours and the driving itself would have taken too much out of me. I’d thought about doing it anyway, but my family talked me out of it.

I can’t wait for them to figure out what is causing the mess and they get rid of it!

Witcher 3

Witcher 3 - Elven guardian

One of the comic book style sections. Citri and her Elven protector.

Witcher 3 - following Swallows trail

Geralt and one of his sorceress friends, following Citri’s trail. They are about to enter deeper into a set of caves used by her elven protector.

Witcher 3 - message from the elf

Pre-recorded message for Citri from the mysterious elf.

Witcher 3 - dead end?

The pictures of the Swallow are the crumbs to follow. This one, however, appeared to be a dead end.

Witcher 3 - elven portal

In reality, it was a magic portal. (And yes, that is one ugly piece of armor Geralt is wearing. lol.)

Witcher 3 - elemental guardian

The elf left some security measures in place. The earth elemental on the floor was cool looking and nasty!

Witcher 3 - a member of the Wild Hunt

I brightened the image as much as I could. This is one of the members of the Wild Hunt. One of the elves searching for Citri for her elder blood.

Witcher 3 - magic chamber

Magic flames. Nothing bad could happen here. Right? 😛

Witcher 3 - the end of the elf cave

Exit from the mysterious elf’s cave. Citri was not there, but we learned a thing or two.

Witcher 3 - Geralt

He sure is pretty! 😛

Hope you had a good weekend!

ConDFW 2019 Programming

Greetings, all!

Next weekend the 2019 conventions begin! First up is ConDFW – Feb 15-17, 2019.

ConDFW 2019

Final programming schedule came out – so I wanted to share what panels I’ll be in. 🙂

Friday

Programming 2, 4 PM

It Was A Dark and Stormy Night Panelists: Julie Barrett (M), Michael Baldwin, Patricia Ferguson, Gloria Oliver, T. M. Hunter

Whether a classic noir or modern day mystery, the weather must usually need to be accounted for. If it rained, footsteps could be lost or found. If it snowed, evidence could be missed. Our panelists debate the weather and how it affects shots ringing out. Saturday

Saturday

Programming 4, 1 PM

The mARTian Collaboration Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White

They say if you ask a committee to design a horse, you’ll get a camel. Come see what happens when we team up artists and ask them to design a Martian, alien, or whatever the audience demands!

Programming 4, 4 PM

Fandom Pictionary Panelists: Melia Dawn, Brad Foster, Frances May, Gloria Oliver, Mel White Play

Pictionary or just watch as our artists compete. Come and see our artists face off against each other. Pictionary has never been this much fun!

Sunday

Programming 2, 1 PM

What is Taboo in History? Panelists: Chris Donahue (M), Charlaine Harris, Melanie Fletcher, Gloria Oliver, Frances May

When we look back at history, there are always parts that are not for the squeamish. There are issues that are controversial, and then there are issues that just aren’t talked about in polite society. Where are the lines? Are there any lines? Why are you crossing any lines? Our panelists discuss these ideas and others. Warning: May get political and/or heated. Please keep all prejudices at the door.

Main Programming, 3 PM

Blending Steampunk Panelists: Tex Thompson (M), Larry Atchley Jr., Gloria Oliver

Using two or more genres together can make something really pop in the imagination. Whether it’s combining with Japanese culture in Jay Kristoff’s Lotus War series or combining with WWI era noir with Larry Correia’s Grimnoir series, blending steampunk with another genre can be very effective. Our panelists debate this and other topics.

Won’t you come and join the fun?