Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Ups and Downs of The Avengers Age of Ultron

Spoiler Alert!
And disclaimer: This post was written by not a Marvel comic fan but by a Marvel movie-watching mom.

First off, the plot isn't the easiest to follow. Especially if you're watching this with kids who kept complaining about their cheese popcorn-smeared 3D glasses half the time. So to summarise --just in case you need to explain to said kids later on-- Loki's staff and Tony Stark's scientific meddling spew forth Ultron --a semi-insane synthezoid who's badass talk is just plain awesome. Ultron wants to create order to the world via chaos, which is kinda like Tony Stark's shtick, too. Ultron later builds a body for himself because the robotic skin just wasn't working for him. But later, Tony Stark decides to fit in JARVIS into this body. Thor gets a vision and decides to lend a hand in this science project. And BOOM --The Vision is born.
Still confusing?
Okay, let me just do a run down of our favourite parts of the movie then. Less brain drain there.

1. The Twins
Quicksilver and the Scarlet Witch make their debut and their synergy is just fab. I love the vendetta-fueled rage! And when they turned goody-two-shoes and saved those people in that runaway train incident, it was teamwork for ze win! Woohoo! I am also thankful that Scarlet Witch didn't wear her comic costume and instead went all Stephern King Carrie on us. Creepier and more loveable that way.

2. Back Stories
I love how Scarlet Witch's power manipulated each Avenger into going into depressing dream states. It gave us a peak into Black Widow's assassin training past. Cool!

3. Hawkeye the Family Man
Speaking of back stories, I love how the movie revealed a different side of Hawkeye. He's married with children and lives in a cabin off in the woods, thanks to a Shield Protection Program. Fantastic but it does make us see that these superheroes are human, too.

4. Girlfriend Battle
Another humanising element in the film is when Tony Stark and Thor went about a 'Whose girlfriend is better' debate.

5. Hulk hearts Black Widow
Speaking of girlfriends… Dang! The love between Black Widow and Hulk is so sudden! And it gave my kids a slight shiver since they've seen this sultry fighting machine be a little sweet with Captain America in the Winter Soldier. But then, this twisted love affair was still cute and oddly appropriate since only Black Widow can calm the big green guy. Sure, it ended in heartaches. But hey, that's how all love stories go. Give it time.

6. Hammer Time
Loved how lifting Thor's hammer as a parlour game set up the fact that later on in the movie, it would be easily lifted by The Vision --the only other hero who's as worthy as Thor.

7. Hulk vs The Hulkbuster
This was fun. Heck, all the fight and action sequences were fun!

8. Bully vs Banner
It gave us such a giddy feeling to see Stark being a complete heroic jerk as always --and easily bullying the wimpy sandwich, Banner, to play along with his crazy schemes. Oh, Dr. Banner, you're adorable.

9. Robot Zombies!!!
Did anyone notice how Ultron's robots moved like World War Z's zombies? Utter glee! Zombie lover here. Don't mind me.

The parts that made us raise an eyebrow…

1. Thor's Pool Wading
This part was a little lacklustre and befuddling. Which is kinda sad since this should've aided in the turning point of the story. Then again, I'm not a Marvel comic reader, hence, the reason behind being easily lost. And, this was the part when my boy got cheese on his 3D glasses… so yeah.

2. The birth of the Vision
I dunno. We liked JARVIS better when he was nothing more than a lovely voice in our heads. Now that he has a body --a purple one at that-- the magic just died for us. *sigh*

3. Speaking of deaths…
Ultron and Quicksilver died! Our two favourite characters! Okay, it was a given with Ultron --him being the big baddie and all. But Quicksilver had so much life in him. He had a future! *sniff*

Err… did I ramble? Yeah, I always do.
Ending my blabbering by saying 'watch the Avengers: Age of Ultron in cinemas today'!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Papier Macheniacs: Whippin' Out a Wonka!

Nothing like a good summer vacation to get our hands dirty again. This time on some well-deserved chocolate time.
So how did we make this delectable baby?

DVD. Yep. That chocolate bar is an old DVD box. The sleeve is a pizza box. And the golden ticket is a couple of folds of newspaper.

It's a pretty simple project so we decided to kick the challenge up a notch by making 2D work of the Wonka logo. Tiny newspaper rolls, glue, a pair of tweezers, and a pair of shaky hands did the trick.

After that, it was paper mache time.

And then the ultimate joy-joy that is painting time. We don't get to work with gold a lot so my boys had a field day painting this ticket. Let me tell you though that the lettering was hard. I was never good with writing. And my boys took after me. *sigh*

I have to brag that the embossed lettering on Wonka was pretty boss though. Hehe. We sculpt better than write. Ugh.

So there you have it! Our tribute to Willy Wonka's awesomeness that's good enough to eat.

But, please. Don't.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Papier Macheniacs: AAARRRGGGHHH!!!

The coolest pirate this side of the animatronic world gets a paper make-over, thanks to us Papier Macheniacs!

I'm not gonna mince words. This project was a tough one. But with available materials around, and the impeccable drive my kids have, we made our very own Five Nights At Freddy's FOXY THE PIRATE in just a month! Yes… a month. Trial and error left and right. *sigh*

The biggest hurdle was figuring out the foundation for the mask. After trying out a balloon, a pre-made mask, and some clay, we ended up with out comfort zone --the old reliable paper plate. Lots of paper plates. The muzzle alone --the most difficult to shape-- took three paper plates.

The flippy fur on the sides of his face were also paper plates.

The ears, though, were Pringles plastic lids. Heee… I'm pretty proud of that little stab at resourcefulness there. :P

Lots of squeezing time needed because this Foxy mask is huge. It can easily snap out of form if you don't clamp it to permanent shape. This happens during the first layer of the paper mache process, by the way. The glue holds the form. That and some Gatorade bottles.

Before we knew it, THE FOX IS HOME!

Our mask has three parts: The main head, the jaw, and the hand hook. The hook is made out of a Pringles container and a clothes hanger.

The jaw is then attached to the main head using a couple of folder fasteners.

Whew! Best project we've done to date! Foxy, you killed us… but it was so worth it. Now, go grab them scallywags and drag 'em to the Pirate's Cove. Aaaarggghh!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

We found a hit in HOME!

"Oh no! My hands are in the air! Like I just do not care!"

Honestly, this is the line that sold me into watching HOME by Dreamworks.
While my kids had no idea why I found that line incredibly hilarious, they did want to watch the movie for one very simple reason: Alien Invasion!

Going in, I was a little worried because alien invasion isn't like the most original plot idea ever. Neither is human girl befriending cute alien. But alien turned fugitive due to misspent email IS! I love how the whole tension of the movie was in figuring out Oh's password. Real life struggles, people! Haha!

But the real driving force of HOME... is family. And that's why I love this film to bits.
I like how the alien Boov invaders looked nice and sweet and yet they have no concept of caring for one another because the concept of family was alien to them. In the end, they came out as the unwitting bad guys in the story and that's a lovely twist.
I love how Tip, the main character voiced by Rihanna, had the non-stop guts to find her mom in a planet that was already infested with aliens. That's how tight their family bond was.
And I love the plot twist that the baddie Boov destroyer, alien Gorg --who later on came out to be simply misunderstood-- was just doing the massacre that he does to save the next generation of his family.
The running theme was just so tight that I wanna take the next flight out and hug the creative genius who thought of it!

Aside from the solid jokes and antics thrown around in almost every scene (which my kids totally ate up), there were also poignant parts in the movie that made me almost tear up. Yep. True story. I guess that's how strong my heart goes out to family, too.

And then… the soundtrack. Great, GREAT selection there. If they have a HOME Soundtrack CD, we are so there.

Overall, HOME is a lovely movie that's both fun and heartfelt. I'm realising now that animated movies make me cry more than live action movies. Wow.

Anyhoo, I didn't put up a Spoiler Alert on this one because we watched the movie on its last day. So if you had the wonderful privilege to watch HOME like we did… group hug!