Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Big and Buffed TMNT 2014!

SPOLER ALERT!

They're green. They look human. They're ridiculously ripped. In ripped clothing.
OHMYGOD, IT'S THE INCREDIBLE HULK IN A HALF SHELL!

Oh, wait… were you expecting something like this?
To avoid further shell shock, let's do a rundown of the changes Paramount's 2014 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has to offer, shall we?


THE TURTLES
The new character design is about the most glaring a change this reboot did. The Turtles' faces were very human. Make them flesh-colored and deprived of shell and they can easily blend in with mankind. The WWF-intense work out-celluloid-pumped mankind.The muscles on these teenagers were insane! Specially Raphael who jumped from the hot-headed member to the group's ultimate bruiser… in a frakkin' do-rag, yeah!

BACK STORY
I LOVE the origin change! April O'Neil plays a bigger role in the lives of Splinter and the Turtles as their original pet owner and saviour during the lab fire, Not just a random over-eager reporter. Crossing the Turtles' paths and past with Shredder and Saks was awesome! How Ninjutsu got introduced to the Teenagers was cool, too. And showing them in their preteens… was insane.

SPLINTER AND SHREDDER
The sewer rat sensei had an upgrade in his fighting skills and drama skills. Thank you for making full use of his tail in the battlefield. Shredder had an upgrade, too. He was a samurai robot. With flying knives that boomerang right back at will. I guess it's okay. It reminded me of The Transformers. Then again, Megan Fox did, too.
Both martial arts masters engaged in hand-to-hand combat --which to me was the best, heart-wrenching fight sequence in the film.

THE FOOT CLAN
Ok, this change completely infuriated me. The Foot is a formidable force of Japanese Warriors! They are NOT a gang of ski-masked, gun-toting hooligans! UGH! I felt so deprived of my youth just then. It made me want to break stuff. I overate popcorn instead.

There were some pretty cool nostalgic bits made specifically for the oldies in the audience. So you know the flick still gave the original cartoon due respect despite the massive alterations made.

MIKEY'S JET-POWERED SKATEBOARD
Still there. So happy. Just like pizza.

VERNE FENWICK
Yes, please! If they had thrown in Casey again, I would've retched. Hockey stick vigilante Jones never really did it for me. I mean, the grit belongs to the Turtles. So he can just step back and wait for his own movie.
Whoa… harsh.

MANHOLE
Of course!

THE VAN! THE VAN! THE VAN!
HOLY SHITAKE! I was NOT expecting that! So you can just imagine how much I utterly geeked out when the ammo-loaded party van from the '80s cartoon rolled in! *still hyperventilating*

Of course, the movie had its ups and downs. Here's our grocery list:

DOWNS
THE EVIL PLOT
Spreading a deadly chemical from atop the highest building has been done in Spiderman. Making the antidote a business venture has been done in Mission Impossible.

"WE'RE BULLETPROOF!"
I don't even know what to make of that. So I'll just pretend it didn't happen.

MEGAN
Semi-downside. There was an attempt to de-sexify Megan Fox a tad to make her fit better into the April O'Neil mold. Uh, no. The cinema-going, hormonal teens still saw The Transformers' Megan Fox. You can't just shake that sultry off.

UPS
ACTION!
This flick was loaded with it! It oozed Michael Bay! But the best to note was the car chase/shell toboggan scene on a snow-capped mountain. The fight scene choreography was, likewise, a sight to behold. It wasn't Rurouni Kenshin, but hey, I'm not complaining

GRIT!
The Turtles were made to look dirty and scaly and moist *cringe* --which is actually very realistic when living in a sewer. The tattered Indian-esque manner of clothing and accessory was cool, too. It gives you that 'living underground hippie-style' vibe.

TECHNOLOGY!
Donnie's toys were severely amped! Glad the movie kept the reptilian genius up with the times.

ELEVATOR BEATBOXING!
The. Best. Part. Ever.

Now, some movie reviewers will tell you that TMNT 2014 was way too kiddie and too fantastic to create enough depth and substance. Dude, they're teenagers. They're mutants. They're ninjas. And to top it off, they're turtles. Drop the depth and have fun!

Cowabunga yourselves to cinemas now!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Groot and the Guardians of the Galaxy

Let me begin by admitting that Guardians of the Galaxy was never really in our masterlist of movies to watch this year. Hence, the late movie review. When we saw the trailer back then, we were just "Oh ok. That looks fun.", and that was it. But then, as soon as the movie came out-- and days after that, I might add-- my Facebook page was flooded with status updates bearing the intriguing words, "I am Groot." It was freaky. Later on, peer pressure settled in when my boys got "I am Groot.' fever from their classmates. So, moving forward, we found ourselves in the movie house lining up for Guardians of the Galaxy.
And here is what we think.

First off, two words: Zoe. Saldana.
Woman, you fight so fine! And your boots will invade my dreams forever.

Moving on, the characterisation of the film's heroic misfits was spot-on. I love how bad they all were. But bad in a hilarious way. I also dig how all of them have family issues, and eventually finding family in one another. It was done subtly so as to avoid the danger of cheesiness, and I thought that was cool.

The 'super weapon in the hands of a power-hungry maniac' plot isn't new. It's been the formula for Marvel since like forever. But it's the fact that this time, criminals are the ones out to save the day that made this movie worthwhile. It's a good twist. Although on the overall, the story wasn't something entirely out of the box.

The action was the bomb though! My kids loved the fight scenes, aerial battles, explosions, fighter ships, and the weaonry (they want me to buy them a Ravager's Whistle Dart… le sigh).  They enjoyed Rocket Racoon's genius and cunning. They liked Starlord's helmet, Gamora's hand-to-hand combat skills, Drax's tattoos and deadpan humour, and Groot… for having a heart, fireflies in his branches, and for being reborn as a dancing sunflower.

My husband and I, on the other hand, geeked out on the make-up and costumes. Drax's tattoos sincerely rock!

The downsides are few. For one, the number of characters thrown into this film was just insane! Geez. I got dizzy with all the enemy hierarchy there. It was hard to keep up with the planet jumps and character names, unless you've read the comics… which we didn't.

Another mind-boggling thing thrown in was the big news that Peter Quill's father wasn't at all human. It wasn't even explained. It felt like an afterthought the writers cooked up upon realising that Peter Quill should've died after touching the weapon, but didn't. But, like I said, we didn't read the comics. So there.

I did like it that the flick employed big-named stars in its line up. Although I'm still wondering why Vin Diesel had to be casted as Groot. He wasn't really there, and I doubt if he's the only one who can say the line, "I am Groot" so perfectly. Ah, one of life's mysteries.

Guardians of the Galaxy is still showing in cinemas. If you're coming in late to the "I am Groot." bandwagon (like we are), then I suggest you get with the program and watch the movie, ASAP.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Papier Macheniacs Goes To War!

World War 1 has exploded on our work table!
A gas mask, a portable oxygen tank, complete with air hoses. FUN!

And it all began with (you guessed it) a paper plate. And, paper cups. And a mad amount of tape.

The straps are made out of folded newspaper.

And then, paper mache'd to authentic image and likeness. If I do say so myself. :P

Painting! We used the Multipurpose Black paint for this one and the coverage was fantastic. It stunk for a while but nothing a little airing out can't fix.

The green lens is standard Yema cellophane wrapper.

The oxygen tank is any kind of can we had our hands on.

Standard black washing machine hose for the breathing tubes.

Just a little finishing touches after that and we're done!

And THAT'S how you go to war! Just make sure the enemy isn't using water guns. Lol! Have fun making your own with paper mache.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Transformers Age of Extinction: FTW and WTF

One word to describe Transformers: Age of Exrinction: LONG.
Personally, the editing didn't do it for me. I'm not a huge fan of storytelling done in chunks. It makes me forget what happened in the other subplot until we get back to it so many minutes later. That's just me. I need a more exciting back-to-back kind of storytelling.

But that intro was totally unfair of me. There ARE undeniable goodies in this movie as well. So allow me to do this properly and lay it down for you in FTWs and WTFs.

FTW!

THE PREMISE IS GOLD! Human dissing the alien robots who have protected their helpless organic asses for 3 movies now. That premise is so realistic, so selfish, so human.

GOOD INVENTOR VS. BAD INVENTOR. Goody-two-shoes Yeager had the biceps, but evil-man-who-grows-a-conscience Joshua had the humour. We like him.

THE ACTION WAS SOLID! I've always liked how these gargantuan robots battle it out in the city. I love how they crush buildings and cars. BAM! BOOM! POW!

BUMBLEBEE'S A TEENAGER. I like the attitude they've given Bumblebee this time around. He was hotheaded, rebellious, cool. He wasn't Witwicky's pet puppy.

GALVATRON! He's Megatron ver. 2. I thought that was awesome. Specially that part where he spewed a one-liner during battle when the humans never programmed him to. In your face, scientists!


WTF!

MEDIEVAL MAKEOVER. Optimus Prime had one. So he'd look better when he lifts the sword. Yeah. But we do like his emotional makeover! He was vengeful when betrayed. Which is again, a very real reaction. Dude, he shot and killed a man! Woot!

ROBOT FACE. The new robots Lockdown, Crosshairs, and Drift have faces. Like real, human, almost expressive faces… in metal. It's creepy. Hound even had a beard, and smoked a cigar. Creepy.

THAT EDITING THING. (please see above)

DINO-DUPED. Okay, this is my biggest beef. The poster, the trailer, the banners gave us the promise of Dinobots. Being as old as the original Transformers animation itself, this is huge for me. So when Grimlock and the gang came in 2 hours into the movie and had only 15 minutes of screen time, I was seriously, SERIOUSLY heartbroken.
And, geez, Prime! You do not ride Grimlock! Metal against metal… UGH! THE CHAFING!

Oh, and there's also the new LONG-LEGGED LEADING LADY who can 'grab my stick' because 'she has the best hands in the business'. Ay caramba! Your choice if she's a FTW or a WTF. Our house is divided.

That said, this is still an entertaining ride and I do recommend you hit it on 3D. It's insane how Transformers: Age of Extinction roadblocked all the cinemas in the metro! So if you miss it, that will be… just weird.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

How Do I Love How To Train Your Dragon 2

This movie in one word: Brilliant.
But I may be a bit biased here. I love dragons. Please read my Maleficent entry for proof.

Dreamworks' How To Train Your Dragon 2 takes on a more mature, more emotional note in this sequel. The story was super tight, with the underlying theme of 'Rising against the odds' perfectly played out in David vs Goliath fashion 'til the very end of the film.

There was Hiccup vs. The War.
That's the plot trigger. Hiccup embarks on a peacekeeping talk with a guy named Drago who wears dragon skin as a fashion statement and screams bloody murder to control dragons. Come on! Who would want to chat with a guy like that?! But Hiccup was never one to listen to reason, and so the story goes on.

There was Valka vs. Berk vs. Herself vs. Her Past vs. Bad Dude.
Hiccup's mom has issues. What keeps her going is her life-long mission to protect dragons, which makes her abandon her family in the process. Okay, so now we know what her priorities are. It's like the modern day working mom choosing her career over her loved ones. But, heck, she's the Dragon Master! If I had a job as cool as hers, I'd rock the family tree.

There was Toothless vs. The Alpha.
Have I told you I loved dragons? Toothless just pushed that adoration a hundred knots higher! That part where the minute Night Fury challenged the Alpha Dragon whose like as huge as a couple of Mount Everests was just… just… intense! *swoon… slow clap… sniff*
(Yes, animated films make me more emotional than live action films. Sue me.)

Poignant to death, the film shattered my heart when Toothless accidentally kills Stoick with his laser blast brought on by mind control. Seriously mangled my heart there. Hiccup finally has his family together and then this happens. Aaaah… my poor, poor heart...

But the high point for me was the mutiny of dragons in the end. Nothing rocks my joes quite like a scaly, fiery uprising. And when Toothless was hailed the new Alpha, man, goosebumps! I got more giddy about that sequence than Hiccup being crowned the new Chief of Berk. (I like dragons more than I do humans. Sue me.) 


How To Train Your Dragon 2 is still showing in cinemas. If you have an almost unreasonable adoration for dragons like me, better catch this bit on 3D. Flying, fire-breathing dragons looks awesome in 3D! Yeah.

PS. Personal cringe moment for me: Hiccup looks weird as an adult. Puberty wasn't kind to him. :)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

JOLIEFICENT!

There is no denying Angelina Jolie was made for this role. The way she did Disney's iconic dragon sorceress was just beyond awesome. And I'm a huge animated Maleficent fan so that's saying something. I'm also big on villains taking the limelight for a change so this Maleficent back story is much appreciated.
Now, a rundown of the movie's goodies and baddies!

High Points:
1. I like the whole Human vs. Magical Creatures war. Okay, Shrek did that first, but the fight scene here was way cooler.
2. That shrill, blood-curdling scream when Maleficent lost her wings. That sound will stay in my nightmares forever.
3. LOVE THE MENTAL BREAKDOWN! The dramatic transition from good fairy to evil sorceress was beautiful! From Maleficent herself to the landscape eeriefication. 
4. True love does not exist as the plot trigger was harsh but realistic. 
5. In your face, Philip! I'm not big on Prince Charming… ever. So I loved the way he was ditched here. You don't save the day this time, mister. Mwahaha!
6. Wardrobe! Maleficent sported a series of fantabulous capes all throughout the movie. Props to you, stylist!

Ultimate High Points: 
1. GREEN FLAAAME!!!
2. The way Angelina said the curse was EXACTLY the way the animated version said it. "…on her sixteenth buuuth-day!"  The nostalgic hit there was pretty intense!

Low Points:
1. The three fairy godmothers aka the magical world's version of The Three Stooges. I just thought they tried too hard to be funny. Oh well.
2. The real True Love was between Aurora and Maleficent… which we also saw in Frozen's siblings Anna and Elsa. It's not exactly that original as a plot twist, but it did pull heartstrings so I'm letting it slide, somewhat.
3. Aurora is crowned the new queen of the moors? Huh? Say what?

Ultimate Low Point:
1. Maleficent didn't transform into a dragon. DUUUDE! That's the whole magic of Maleficent --her turning into a frikkin badass dragon! AND YOU STOLE IT FROM MEEEE!!! The glorious makeover was given to Maleficent's shape-shifting pet crow. *sniff* 

That said, did we like the movie? I'm giving it 5 super shiny stars. If you're as ancient as I am, it's a brand new take on a sentimental ride. If you're as young as my sons… well, let's just say my 10-year old boy is super crushing on Maleficent right now.

The Magnificent Maleficent. On cinemas. Watch her! 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Papier Macheniacs: TF2 Metal Jaw

The Team Fortress 2 Metal Jaw (also seen on Heavy and Engineer) is one of our easier mask-making projects. First of all, it doesn't require the whole face. The details were simple enough. And the paint job was pretty much a free-for-all.

Our version, naturally, started with a paper plate --folded and taped with a bunch of newspapers and coins. The coins were for the rivets. Genius, huh? :P

The dents and breaks on the surface were fun to make during paper mach stage. The imperfection of this piece brings out a lot of your creativity.

And then, you just let loose on painting it. Miro decided on a post-battle Metal Jaw, hence, the rust and blood stains. The boy really went to town with realism here. Proud mom moment. *sniff*

Make your own paper mache TF2 Metal Jaw. Because… Just because.