Monday, October 17, 2011

Blog Reboot 45% Complete

Well, I haven't posted on here over the summer, and I aim to restart this blog now that I am at college. I will be starting in November, by posting a serial of my NaNoWriMo, which I hope you enjoy. After and during that, I will be restarting my weekly posts, such as Science Friday and Tales of a Minecraft Tourist. I'll sign off now, and see you again next month!

Friday, June 10, 2011

'Spolsions and Stuff: A Movie Review of I Am Number Four (Plus How I Learned to Forgive Micheal Bay A Little.)

I watched I Am Number Four the other day almost against my will. I had heard it described as "Twilight with aliens," so you could probably understand my leeriness. However, I did enjoy the movie, especially since it was not corrupting yet another brilliant fiction character, the alien.

My friend gave me the disc to put in the player, and I hesitated and gave him a skeptical glance. The name MICHEAL BAY was written across it. I have not forgiven Micheal Bay for the atrocity that was Transformers II. (I do realize that was because of the writers' strike, but he still made a mediocre movie from that script.) I almost didn't watch it at that point. I could see it being a vessel for Micheal Bay's explosion fetish. My friend, undeterred, put the disc in and made me watch it. Arms folded and a frown, I sulked on the couch as it began.

My negativity did not last long. It quickly became apparent that this was not a Twilight-clone, and there wasn't an explosion in the first ten minutes. There was hope for this movie still. The movie progressed, and I really enjoyed it. It was quite a well-written story, and was cast very well. Sure, it did focus quite a bit on the love interests of the movie. But the story came first. The aliens, if unoriginal and uncannily humanoid, had a neat back story, and the conflict between the two groups was fascinating and very well choreographed. Also, explosions.

I was surprised at the lack of explosions. There was maybe three big ones, tops, and very few and sporadic smaller ones. Micheal Bay really held back on this movie, and I respect that he can make a good movie without relying on that endless box of TNT he has.

Overall, I give the movie an 8 out of 10, and I almost forgave Micheal Bay for Transformers II. Everybody goes home happy.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Mutants, Cuba, and... Kevin Bacon? A Movie Review of X-Men: First Class

Sorry for the lack of posts, I'm stuck in a bit of a lull between high school and college, and it's taking it's toll.

I went to go see X-Men: First Class this past Saturday. I have not seen X-2, The Final Stand, or Origins: Wolverine. I have always liked mutant movies such as these, I just don't get to watch them enough. I thoroughly enjoyed this movie, and it's excellent acting.

Many were leery of recasting roles that were played by greats such as Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart, and feared that would have a negative impact on this movie. McAvoy and Fassbender brilliantly depicted the friendship, rivalry, and disagreement between Prof. X and Magneto. The acting was astounding, and well-cast.

The storyline was interesting, with a bizarre(for me) twist: the main antagonist was played by Kevin Bacon. He did a brilliant job, but I had never seen this side of Bacon's acting, and I was pleasantly surprised by his role. I hold only one thing against him: He used the power that I had come up with for an upcoming Mutants & Masterminds game, which was both amusing and annoying. The visual effects weren't game-changing, but were very aesthetic and not terribly over-used.

I had no particular qualms against this movie, but is wasn't life-changing. I give it an 8.5 out of 10.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Movie Review: Pirates 4: On Stranger Tides

(I apologize for the lack of posts; after graduating, I became a leading source for unpaid labor. I'm back now. Sorry again!)

I went to see the Pirates movie with two things on my mind: excitement, for I deeply enjoy the PotC movies, especially Johnny Depp's acting, and apprehensiveness, because anything that is a 4th sequel has a tremendous possibility of being very, very bad. Thankfully, and surprisingly, the latter was absolved not 10 minutes into the film, when I realized this was not just a quest for more money. This was a movie worthy of the series.

First of all, I count this movie as Johnny Depp's second best appearance as Jack Sparrow, the first being the first movie. He flawlessly pulls of the madness and genius that embodies Sparrow, and has more than his fair share of lines that personify Jack Sparrow.

The storyline itself eclipses "Dead Man's Chest" and "At World's End". It is imaginative, original, humorous, and tells a great pirate story. In my opinion, World's End dragged a bit, sullied down by all of the relations between characters and was simply made to finish the story. Stranger Tides, however, begins a whole new story, based around Jack Sparrow's adventures. It feels fresh and rejuvenated, ready for more films (two more of which are planned, I have heard).

The music is simply divine. It extrapolates on the themes of the earlier movies, but gives it a new feel, just like the storyline. Spanish influences are relied upon, with a mandolin and Spanish guitar playing the main theme many times. It feels like new music.

The special effects were subtle, not over the top as in World's End. It was mostly background images that were computer generated, and a few effects of Blackbeard that I won't reveal. It shows that a good movie can still be made with out heavily relying on green screen and digital models.

All in all, I give this movie a 9.5 out of 10. It was a great tribute to the series, and was surprisingly good for a 4th sequel. I highly recommend this movie to any Pirates fan.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Science Friday (Two Days Late!): Exoskeleton! Do Want!

Woah. This is the coolest project I have ever seen. Some Japanese students have built a light-weight exoskeleton that extends the ability of the human body, using only aluminum tubing, plastic, and aluminum plates. The level of want that I feel inside right now is unimaginable. Start watching the video about 2 minutes in to see the practical tests; otherwise, begin at the beginning to watch the build process.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Movie Review: Thor

(Sorry about Minecraft and Science Friday; I've been trying to finish up school, and these past few days have been hectic. Things will start to become semi-regular next week)

I went to go see Thor tonight, as a treat to myself for getting my school work done and completing the last day of my high school career. While I thought it was a good movie, I saw a few things that disappointed or irritated me:

  1. The makers of this film took the stereotype of someone suddenly finding themselves in our society and misbehaving in it (a la Enchanted or Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure). This led to some funny lines and situations, but this type of film makes me uneasy and I don't enjoy the as much as other films.
  2. The heavy reliance on comedy. Don't get me wrong, I love a few funny lines in my comic book movies, but this one is a little over the top. Even the action sequences came across as comical at times. 
  3. The lack of depth in the villain. Loki is supposed to be mysterious and chaotic, but he never seems to have a definite goal in mind and feels one-dimensional.
  4. Anti-climatic. I won't go into detail, but many of the big climatic moments seem to deflate rapidly, as if wanting to move the movie along.
While I did have grievances, this movie was great. The parts were cast perfectly, and it did a good job as a precursor to The Avengers, which I think was the main reason for this movie. The special effects were good, and the comedy, though overused, was of good quality. I give this movie a 6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tales of a Minecraft Tourist: Intro

On Thursdays, I'm going to post screenshots of a world that I created for Minecraft specifically for this blog. I will simply be exploring and posting screenshots and thoughts on what I see. Hope you enjoy it!

(as an added note, the world seed I am using for this is the word "Glacier")

Just as a teaser for tomorrow, here's the first thing I saw:
I think I'm in love.