My friend let me borrow his Wacom tablet to try my hand at digital art. I feel like I'm relearning how to draw. I'll probably post the first thing I think is good on here.
2 months agoNukularGear
I saw two movies since Cars 3. I saw War for the Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man Homecoming. I really enjoyed both of them but didn't feel like a Geiger Counter was right. Spider-Man I saw a little late (all the other movies I've written about had been opening weekend at least) and I hadn't even seen Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, so writing on War wouldn't have been in good taste.
3 months agoNukularGear
Long Story Short:
Cars 3 is a pretty good kids movie. It's a lot better than Cars 2 and it certainly feels like a lot of heart and soul went into it.
Long Story Long
Cars 3 makes use of a lot of tight close ups to help give that sense of speed. Lightning's return in this third installment yes, that's purposely a FFXIII reference feels like a return to form for the franchise. None of the comedy was blatantly forced, and the movie flowed very naturally.
Cars 3 mainly focuses on how Lightning is going to fit into the next generation of racers, and Pixar did a very good job with the designs of the newer cars. There're very clear visual differences between Lightning's generation and the next generation of racers. The newer cars have more hard angles compared to Lightning's smooth curves throughout. I'm not 100% on the aerodynamic edge these angles give, but at least these make the newer cars visually distinct.
Not sure what to say here. It's a Cars movie, and they sound like racecars. There's honestly not too much to critique. I do think the first movie had a more memorable soundtrack, though.
Pixar did what they usually do and had a bit of mature themes put into this children's movie. A lot of the writing focused it on Lightning McQueen as an aging athlete, mainly with him being unable to compete with the younger generation. I honestly feel that they hammered this in a little too well, with racers saying their grandparents told them about Lightning as a rookie and another main character (Cruz Ramirez) growing up watching Lightning's races. I mean we get it: Lightning's too old for this shit.
This next section dives into spoilers, so don't say you weren't warned.
Lightning goes on to pass the torch to Cruz Ramirez (why this character's name is 2 last names, I don't know). Cruz was initially introduced to be McQueen's young new trainer to help him get back into the game and beat Jackson Storm, the up-and-coming rookie.
I'm honestly glad Pixar didn't get super heavy with this. Unless for some reason you're overly emotionally invested in this franchise, it won't make you cry, unlike Inside Out or Toy Story 3.
Again, pairing off 2 actors for this because only 2 actors really shined to me: Owen Wilson and Cristela Alonzo.
Owen Wilson reprised his role as Lightning McQueen. He does a great job as both a confident experienced Lightning, and a defeated unsure McQueen. His voice work really shines as Lightning grows desperate to find that magic bullet to help him compete with these new racers.
Cristela Alonzo plays Cruz Ramirez. She really pulls off the peppy fitness instructor she's initially presented as. As the movie progresses, however, we get to see her character reveal her motivations, and then develop into the racer she dreamt of being. Alonzo does a splendid job portraying this new character at both her high and low points.
Honestly, I'm not a huge fan of this franchise. It's kind of hard for me to pull anything that stood out as particularly good. The movie itself wasn't bad by any means, but I can't really pull anything uniquely good about this movie. I guess the racing close ups and the drifting looked pretty cool, and Pixar's constantly upping the production values on their movies. There's a bit less Mater in this, for which I'm glad.
The movie lacks subtlety. I know it's a kid's movie, but do you really have to drive in the point that Doc Hudson's dead or that Lightning McQueen is getting old every 5 minutes? I get that people's attention spans have gone down the drain, but c'mon.
Final Verdict: 7/10
4 months agoNukularGear
I recognize Transformers is garbage from a writing standpoint, but I sometimes enjoy having a complete mental shutdown and watching robots punch/shoot each other. Also, spoilers if it matters to you. Don't read past "Long Story Short" if you care. Just skip down to the end if you want a number score.
Long Story Short
It's a Transformers movie. Not exactly a cinematic master piece and definitely deserving below a 50% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Long Story Long
Here's probably more effort than I should put into a review of a Michael Bay movie.
I will say, Michael Bay knows how to make parts of a movie look good. He puts the shot before logic and coherence. Like in Age of Extinction, there were a bunch of cuts to different times of day even though events were occurring simultaneously and in the same area.
Some characters got redesigned. Galvatron has returned to being Megatron, and, personally, I think he looks pretty cool, though the curved point of his sword kind of seems weird to me. Also, Megatron brings together a crew of captured Decepticons that end up getting shitty Suicide Squad character cards. It felt disgustingly out of place and had more cheese than a Kraft factory, if you ask me.
The knights certainly were a nice change of pace from bright colorful cars. They followed a similar palette to that of the Dinobots in Age of Extinction. The armor designs gave off more of a warrior design rather than that of just a motley crew of Autobots/Decepticons. The non-knight Transformers look, well, like if you could design yourself as a robot or something. They look more like civilians I guess. The knights, on the other hand, reminded me a lot of the Old Knights from Dark Souls 2. They exuded a certain level of power and nobility that you only really got from Optimus and maybe Sentinel in this franchise. Plus the 12 of them combine into a dragon!
The main villain, Quintessa (played by Gemma Chan), had a visually interesting design, though she looked a bit too smooth and elegant compared to the Transformers we've seen in this movie franchise thus far.
Also Drift is red now.
Sound design was fine. Space scenes had muffled audio if there was any. The only real complaint I had was that I think some of the sounds were mixed up. Some of the human firearms sounded like the Transformer weapons.
Quick synopsis: King Arthur was real and Merlin's magic was summoning Transformers. Transformers are still all listed as bad guys and a global task force has been set up to launch Cybertronian genocide using assault rifles and knock off Gekkos from Metal Gear Solid. Cybertron is being brought back into Earth to be revived.
Well the plot jumped around so much it was really incoherent. It'd jump from Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg) to Optimus Prime to the military to Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins). Honestly it was a load of nonsense that needed to cut out a subplot or two. Also, a disgustingly ham fisted romance was forced between Cade and Vivian (Laura Haddock).
The plot also grazes over all the manufactured Decepticons from Age of Extinction, but Bumblebee now has the same kind of transform ability? I mean it looked cool, but there should've at least been a throwaway line as to what happened. Speaking of Decepticons, there are apparently new ones that aren't manufactured, but were captured. This is sort of explained as the movie states Transformers are just crash landing everywhere on Earth. Doesn't explain what happened to all the manufactured ones, but whatever.
I'll only really talk about two actors again (I might just do that for all of these I do). Today we're talking about Isabella Moner (playing "Izabella" good job creative team) and Anthony Hopkins (playing Sir Edmund Burton).
Isabella Moner does a solid job at acting. She's only 16 and this is the first work I've seen her in. She has solid emotionally delivery, and she gives off the amount of sass and disrespect you'd imagine an orphaned 14 year old would have.
Anthony Hopkins certainly is the best old white guy this franchise has used. His presence on screen makes things so much better. He did a comparatively amazing job being a semi-crazy last surviving member of a secret society.
The only "Misc. Good" I'm going to put here that isn't Transformers fan stuff is that the product placement was definitely turned down... Or it was so saturating my mind tuned it completely out. Another thing I liked was the alternate history stuff. This was a lot better than all the other opening alternate history nonsense.
OH HOW COULD I FORGET: THEY TURNED THE EXPLOSIONS DOWN. Each movie progressed and got more and more explode-y. The drop in explosions was very nice.
-There was more Grimlock! Still not enough, but there was more!
-Combiners! There were two sets of combiners (Decepticon and Knight), and both were pretty awesome, though they definitely didn't get enough screen time.
-Megatron's design. I really like his whole look in this and that he transforms into a jet.
What is there to complain about that hasn't already been complained about with this franchise?
Poor pacing? I'm sure it can be said about all of them. Too much screen noise (i.e. explosions and gunfire)? Wasn't too bad with this one. Product placement? It felt like a lot less.
It would've been cool if Megatron's crew was the set of combiners they show later on. Revenge of the Fallen showed off combiners with the Constructicons and Devastator, but it would've been so cool for them to have pulled out the Combaticons and Bruticus (they brought in Onslought, but I'm 99% sure he died immediately.). Alternatively, they could've put in the Stunticons and Menasor, but in the cartoon Megatron could barely control them, though Michael Bay and his writing team haven't shown any care for source material.
It fucking sequel baits at the end.They say that Earth is Unicron and after Bumblebee kills Quintessa, she shows up again saying she knows how to kill him, but it's clear she wants to wake him up.
Final Verdict: 2/10
4 months agoNukularGear
I Played D&D for the First Time
That about sums it up, honestly. I'm playing a Human Pyromancer with a Drunken Pirate background. Her name is Ayse (pronounced "ice") and she's Chaotic Neutral. I've been having a lot of fun with it and it's certainly gotten my creative juices flowing.
4 months agoNukularGear
Long Story Short
It's a step in the right direction for the DCEU. It's definitely not terrible. I'd recommend watching it.
Long Story Long
So here's a more in depth review. Wonder Woman is a solid movie. I honestly like this more than every other DCEU movie (Man of Steel was just okay in my opinion).
Stylistically, Wonder Woman performed very well. Set dressing was superb, as was the costuming (shout out to Anna Lynch-Robinson and Lindy Hemming respectively). Both of the main settings (Themyscira and WWI Europe) were excellently crafted and really took me to the movie's world. The writers and actors also did a fairly solid job at recreating the mannerisms and speaking patterns of mythological Greece and WWI London. Wonder Woman also does a great job evoking mood with the changes in lighting. The Themysciran lighting is beautifully bright, helping solidify the isolated island as a veritable paradise locked outside time. When it shifts to WWI Europe, the lighting changes as the movie progresses, showing Diana's growing understanding of reality, as the world cannot be saved as simply as she believes it can be.
I really liked the soundtrack. It felt very fitting to Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman. I do have one criticism of the sound design, however and it's in that Wonder Woman only has her ears ring from an explosion once. I understand that if they used this every time, movies with multiple explosions would be worse to watch, but usually its the first time the protagonist is hit with a major explosion that the ears ringing effect happens. In this case, it was the second time. It's a very minor gripe, but it's a gripe nonetheless.
I thought that the writing of the movie was done fairly well. It's a lot more lighthearted and innocent compared to the overly serious writing of Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad. Diana's dialogue did a very good job at conveying how isolated Themyscira really is. Most of the characters' dialogue didn't feel forced at all and didn't have too much cheese. The exception to this, however, is Chris Pine's Steve Trevor. I felt that Steve's dialogue had a bit too much sarcasm. It's good that the character is there, but I think it was a bit much.
The overall plot was all well and good. It's rather straightforward and doesn't really have anything that will confuse you.
I'm only really going to talk about 2 actors here, and they're the 2 top billed actors in this movie: Gal Gadot and Chris Pine.
In my opinion, Gal Gadot did a wonderful job as Wonder Woman. She did a really good job at portraying Diana's naievity, innocence, and hopefulness. Gal does an excellent job showing Diana as she learns what she is truly capable of. Assuming she did some of her own fight sequences (even if it was only 25% of them), Gal did a solid job with fight choreography.
Chris Pine's Steve Trevor brought a decent amount of lightheartedness to the DCEU. I welcome the light in the rather dark and excessively brooding universe Zack Snyder has been pushing. I feel that it's kind of overcompensating, though. Something that didn't sit right with me throughout the movie (though it's a very minor detail) was Chris Pine's accent (or lack thereof). Steve Trevor opens with saying he's British, yet he's the only British person without an accent of any kind.
The lasso was amazingly done. I've always thought it was really comic book-y in that it wouldn't translate well into live action. In Batman v Superman, we only really saw it as an indestructible rope to hold Doomsday. In Wonder Woman, we can see it actually be really cool. Here's hoping for the Thanos-Copter in Infinity War.
It's almost as much a war movie as it is a superhero movie, similar to Captain America: The First Avenger. The war is a major driving force for Diana, but she is definitely not treated as a soldier like Captain America.
So I have one major complaint, but this can be made for most superhero movies nowadays: the third act turns into a big CGI shitshow. Now Wonder Woman isn't the only one on blast here. The rest of the DCEU is also guilty of this, but so are a number of Marvel movies (Iron Man 2, Thor, Avengers, Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Age of Ultron, Antman, Doctor Strange, Guardians Vol. 2).
Final Verdict: 8/10
4 months agoNukularGear
Hey all! A lot has happened since my last journal entry.
I made a game!
Well I did graphics programming for a game for a class. I worked on sound and graphics (drew custom sprites and found sound stuff online). Compared to the other games my classmates made, my group's was the most incomplete, but I feel like it had more character than a lot of the other ones.
I cosplayed for the first time!
So I know I've had a lot of Captain America cosplay plans posted on here, but I still have yet to finish it even though I've had the shield done for like a year. I cosplayed as David from Camp Camp at my school's little Matsuri Festival. I had a good time, but I think only a total of 3 people recognized the character.
Back on the creative saddle
I've been practicing drawing a lot more, and I actually see improvement. I've also been writing more now that I've got the time to work on writing without worrying about procrastinating. I'm also working on some props (one for a friend's birthday. She doesn't cosplay, but I don't really have the money to buy something but I do have leftover foam).
Try, try again
Lastly, I'm trying to transfer out of my school again. Personally, I don't mind the school, but the computer science department here needs a lot of work. Plus, I don't want to live in Bakersfield for the rest of my life and transferring out, I feel, would put my foot in the door living somewhere else.
8 months agoNukularGear
I've been doing better this semester (in my opinion. Maybe my grades aren't exactly outstanding but still). Classes from 8-5 on Mondays and Wednesdays have been surprisingly okay.
I found a helmet from Salvation Army so Captain America is still on the way (I need to get pics of my stuff put up on here ). If I didn't mention it on here before, I made some foam armor that I'm scrapping because it's way too bulky. Also, I've been trying to get into better shape. Not so much for Cap, but because I want to cosplay Sun at one point and my layer of fat protecting my abs needs to go.
Lastly, Happy Valentine's Day, everyone
10 months agoNukularGear
Hey people. So if I never mentioned it before, my school has recently transitioned from the quarter system to the semester system, so technically this has been my first semester of college (it's also my college's first semester). I gotta say, this was a huge mess. Everyone (including the professors) had no idea how to work the semester system. Some professors crammed the 10 weeks of quarter material into the first 10 weeks of the semester (semesters are 15 weeks here). It also doesn't help that the semester system gave most people a false sense of extra time rather than the quarter's "there is no time" feeling. I fell into that. And I got a heavy dose of depression too. Now I'm just trying to limp my way into next semester and hope my grades don't die with finals.
10 months agoNukularGear
It's Been a While (since I said I'm Sorry
It's been about 4 months since I last made a journal entry. I'll start off with updates from the last one.
-My Xbone is back from the doctor working good as new. I also just got live and a few new games (Dark Souls III and Destiny). Feel free to add me. I could use some new Xbox Live buddies
-I still hate Overwatch competitively, though it's more for not being to mess around and getting thrown into losing matches
-I've actually finished both the revolver (it's enormous) and the chest piece (it sits kind of loosely but what can you do)
Not really too much new in my life. Switching over to Modern/EDH as my main Magic the Gathering formats because standard is disgustingly expensive. I became treasurer of my school's IEEE Student Branch (it's an engineering thing), and my school switched to semesters which everyone really hates. Late Happy Thanksgiving people in the states and for those out of the states, happy November 25th
So I'm Mark. I'm from Bakersfield, California. I'm kinda quiet at first, but once you get past that, I might be one of the most open books you'll find. Video games, movies, cartoons, and anime feed a good deal of my interests.
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