Friday, November 14, 2014

The Bigness of Big Hero 6

Not one to shy away from death and despair, Disney returns with another movie about loss and coping… dressed up in ultra-nerd robotic warfare!

Yeah, yeah, I'm talking about Big Hero 6.

An animated action flick that boasts of tech genius in Bot Fights, nerd labs, and… you know, massive microbot attacks on the sweet city of San Fransokyo. (note: my boys want to move to San Fransokyo ASAP, by the way)

Now, if you'll only look at Big Hero 6 on the surface, you'll probably shrug and say, "Oh! So it's like the cartoon version of Kickass?"

Yes and No.

Yes, because these kids did make superheroes out of themselves, with costumes and weaponry to boot, eventually making the world a better place and all that.
No, because if you look deeper, the storyline will tug at your heartstrings BIG time.

Aaaand… SPOILER ALERT, ON!

Hiro's whole young life is riddled with losing people he loves. He's lost his parents. Then lost his big brother. And when he finally found a friend in an inflatable nurse (no, it's not what you think) named Baymax, he goes off and sacrifices himself to save Hiro, too.
When the world seems to eat at you like that, you get angry. You want revenge.
The cool thing is how Hiro's feelings are mirrored by the enemy, too. Kabuki Mask is also out on a rampage to avenge the death of his own daughter.
Ah, the irony of it all.

Ah, but I have said too much. Bottomline is that when you watch this movie, after marvelling at the awesome science behind the gadgets and gears, look beyond the lasers and smoke and see real people experiencing real emotions. And see how they cope and live again.

And if there's anyone who can tell you a thing or two about survival --whether it's from being typecast as a bad building wrecker in a video game or from being dubbed a freakish queen with freeze-inducing hands-- it's Disney.

So it you want to go big on flash and feels for this week's family movie, catch Big Hero 6.
And do hug the huge Baymax balloon man figure at the gate. You know you want to.


*Images from Hitfix.com.

Friday, October 31, 2014

A Little Meh on the Mutant Mayhem.

From Planet Scream to Fright Fest to Takotown.
We've been going to the Nickelodeon Halloween event since 2011. It's become our favourite holiday mecca. So this year's Nickelodeon Mutant Mayhem, we took the same ghastly expedition dressed in our usual brand of intense party gear.

Kenji as Doc Emmet Brown from Back to the Future.
Miro as Hunk from Resident Evil.
If you've read my earlier Halloween event reviews, you'd know that our standard for bar none spookfest is Nickelodeon Planet Scream.
And… it still is.

Onto my Mutant Mayhem personal review then!

It surprised us how this year's party space was made so much smaller than before. There were also smaller sponsor booths, and less booth games. This time around, the games happened on stage which isn't really that friendly for kids who are stage-shy. The result was most of the kids just lounging around the empty corners of the venue since there was really nothing much to do on the grounds. The audience area was a bit cramped, too.
The Trick or Treat lines were still crazy-long. But kids still line up for their sweets like their lives depended on it. So it's kinda heartbreaking that the loot was less than expected.

Oh! And the biggest crime… unlighted backdrop! (cue thunder and lightning) Lol! Okay, okay, I was unfair there. There was another lighted backdrop somewhere. But it would've been cooler if both backdrops were lit.

For us, the highpoint of Mutant Mayhem is the mascot floor show. Nickelodeon has the best dance numbers, I swear! And the most energetic mascots who just go with that crazy choreography like they aren't lugging pounds and pounds of foam.
From Turtle to Sponge to Star, two thumbs up all the way!

Unfortunately, the mascots weren't enough to pull our rating on this Halloween event any higher. :( In fact, less than two hours into the mayhem and we decided to call it quits. To be fair, the excitement may have started as soon as we left. Hence, this review being more personal than anything.

Thanks though, Nick! See you… next year?

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Papier Macheniacs: OFF Halloween masks, on!

First day of the sem break and we're already getting our hands dirty.
Thanks to a new game my boys are currently addicted to: OFF. For this weekend's project, we're focusing on the game's lead character Zacharie and his masks. A little pre-Halloween special, if you will.

Pretty nifty, eh?
Unlike our usual complicated masks, these babies are fairly easy and quick to make.

All you need are thick cardboards. We used juice-by-the-10s boxes here. Sturdy stuff. We could've just painted the simple details on, but since we don't like things too easy (Haha!), we decided to put a little 2D spin to them with sculpted newspaper.

Then, it's back to the glue-and-tissue combo for some messy mache-ing fun! Remember to curve the masks in a concave shape after the first layer. You'll need that space for your nose. We did 3 layers for the each mask surface but kept the eye parts at only 2 layers because we'll need to punch peep holes through them.

And that's where Dada came in. Yes, we're definitely recruiting him for most of our projects now. :P Using a metal hole puncher with a wide enough diameter, a trusty hammer, and a few expert hits… BAM! We got peep holes! The straps were, of course, concertina folded newspaper which we also paper mache'd.

A splash of pretty conservative paint colours, and… WE'RE DONE!
Can i just say that I am so digging the swirly cheeks detail? :)

These can rock as costumes-in-a-snap for a Halloween Cosplay. It's pretty cheap, too.
So if you're up to going down quick and dirty, it's time to put your OFF game on!


*Zacharie pic from Devianart.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

RiCo: A CORNucopia of Health and Yum.

I was drawn to the RiCo Corn Rice launch event by sheer intrigue. Turning corn into the new rice staple is by far a very ambitious drive. And there's this nagging question: Why would you wanna do that?

With that, the great minds behind RiCo shared one eye-opener after another. With bubbly Host Kara at the helm, President Jebe Gayanelo told us the Corn Story --how the country's corn supply is actually more adequate than rice. How RiCo is made from 100% Philippine-grown corn, thus, opening the country up to self-sufficiency. Nutritionist Lulu imparted info that makes corn more nutritious than rice. It has no cholesterol, it's naturally rich in Beta Carotene and Fiber, and fortified with B Vitamins, Calcium, and Iron. Its low Glycemic Index makes it ideal for diabetics. Brand Manager Kareesa Cristolbal, on the other hand, was quick to tell us the culinary possibilities that go with RiCo, giving you the surefire way to a Yummy, Healthy Life.

So how do you sell a better-than-rice concept to a rice-eating race? RiCo nailed it. The technologically savvy company gives us corn in the image and likeness of rice. It tastes like rice. It even cooks like rice.  There won't be a shock if you choose to transition to a corn rice staple --except that you will be a lot healthier, and that you will be greeted with a daily splash of sunshiny yellow from now on. And that's just fluffy lovely!

Now, to demonstrate the endless culinary possibilities RiCo Corn Rice has to offer, Chef Jessie Sincioco took the wheel. And I have NEVER been more floored with good food.

For starters, we had Mesclun Greens Salad in Raspberry Vinaigrette Dressing with --wait for it-- prawn RiCo corn rice pops! Genius! This is crunchy goodness you wouldn't believe.

Minestrone was served next. The RiCo corn rice thrown into the mix gave us the thickness and the texture that enhanced the soup's flavour. I finished the whole bowl. I regret nothing.

For the main course, we had Pan-fried Codfish Fillet in Pommery Mustard Sauce.

And, Grilled Chicken Breast in Creamy Pepper Sauce.

Each served with RiCo Corn Rice Pilaf and Sauteed French Beans. Now, THIS is RiCo in its full-on glory! The flavours just exploded in my mouth like the Fourth of July. I kid you not.

To end our corn binge, this beauty came.
RiCo Corn Rice Crocant Roll aka Chef Jessie's Corn-of-the-crop Masterpiece. Crunchy making a comeback, YUM just isn't enough to describe this luscious dessert. The painted-on corn details are chocolate and mango syrup.

Take a bow, Chef Jessie! When you said you were going to make firm Corn Rice believers out of us, you weren't kidding. Thank you!

When all was said and done (and eaten… and burped…),  bags and bags of RiCo Corn Rice were given away along with great recipes that I am so pumped to try starting tonight. You can get yours here.

Corn Rice. A brilliant idea that's finally found its time through a first in the Philippines, RiCo. Now you can Make Healthy Yummy every way, everyday.

Like RiCo on Facebook, and follow on Instagram and Twitter.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Papier Macheniacs: The Detonator

We're back! And with guns a-blazing!

Just look at this handsome son of a gun!

It's Pyro's The Detonator from Team Fortress 2. Oh, we just had a total blast making this one.

In true Papier Macheniacs tradition, we started the magic with a whole lot of junk. An empty Pringles can, an old Lego RV box, and a tired tissue roll repurposed themselves for this project.

Then, the tissue and glue started the mummification process. We did 4 layers on this bad boy for extra toughness. It is… eherm… a deadly weapon after all.

Now, you're probably wondering why we didn't sculpt this thing whole like we always do all our projects. This time around, we shaped three separate pieces because we're using non-paper materials to hold them all together. Yup, that's a first for us.

We wanted a working ammo chute with a snap-lock mechanism. So we recruited my husband for the job. Cleverly, he used a cupboard hinge and an airsoft bullet to get things clicking. How resourceful is that??? Me and the boys were floored! We vowed to re-use his impeccable services for future projects. Hehe… you're in this now, honey.

Markered! And it looked so cool in black and white.

And then painted to absolute detonating perfection. With medical gauze tape to hold the pieces together, as seen on Steam.

Of course, I can't just end the blogpost there. My boy insisted that a demo of the first-ever Papier Macheniacs fully operational snap-lock mechanism was in order. So…
video
And there you have it. TF2's The Detonator. I bet we just made Pyro so, so proud. *sniff*

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

A Chunky Soft Batch's Guide to Comfort Food

Ah, comfort food. It's that thing you crave for on a gloomy day. That single sinful decadence that will make everything okay.
But not all gloomy days are created equal. Some days are more harrowing. More complicated. And no amount of luscious chocolate cookie is enough to make things better.
Good thing not all comfort foods are created equal either.
Presenting… drum rollMidnight Snacks Chunky Soft Batch Cookies!
Cookies that are made with extreme comfort in mind.

Having had one of the most insane weeks of my life, I just had to get the assorted box. Because I felt I deserved the overflow of goodness. Midnight Snacks seemed to agree. They even threw in an extra cookie.
Now, for my drool-worthy review.

WHITE CHOCOLATE RED VELVET
The cupcake flavour favourite not only made it into a cookie, but it has gone off and married the pristine perfection of white chocolate. A lavish combination that takes you to heaven, sinner or saint.

CINNAMON SMORES
Eating this was nostalgic. It's a camping weekend with a campfire and charred mallows. It's a delightful trip. After all, the key to a comfort food's strength is its ability to take you away, even as you stand still.

DARK CHOCOLATE PRETZEL
Sweet and salty has come out to play. The pretzel takes you back to a crunchy snack time after school. But this time, made more desirable with its brilliant medley with the bittersweet gift of dark chocolate.

BLACK AND WHITE CHOCO CHIP
This is closest thing to a basic cookie. And yet, it's still not as simple. Luscious chunks of chocolate encrust this temptation. It's a concoction that pushes the regular chocolate chip cookie to greater heights.

BUTTER PARMESAN
Butter and Cheese together? Can you even imagine the overload of luscious positivity coming out of this? It's like a never-ending breakfast at a gazebo of an Italian cafe. Taking it creamy. Taking it slow.

Was I too poetic just now? Good food and feeling good does that to me.

If you must find comfort in something you can taste and enjoy, don't hold back. Midnight Snacks Chunky Soft Batch gives you a whole new level of 'feel good' beyond what you expect, above what you believe, and exactly as rich you deserve.
Order now.


*Cookie photos from Midnight Snacks

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!