11 July 2014 @ 12:35 pm
Relevant to the AMV posts, if you like Wreck-It Ralph and have seen Full Metal Alchemist this is the best AMV ever!

Last year at Anime Expo i saw this video in the AMV room. It was stated as being "unfinished" but i still thought it was amazing. I eagerly waited for it to become available and was rewarded late last year. I can't remember my first viewing well enough to say what has been changed or improved from the "unfinished" version, but it's definitely still amazing.

I was hoping that it would be part of the AMV contest this year now that it's done. However it seems the creator submitted the "unfinished" version to last year's contest, which disqualified it for participation in this year's contest. Which is really sad, because personally i would have voted for it as best Comedy _and_ best in show. link
11 July 2014 @ 12:25 pm
We went to see Maleficent last week (the day before i headed off to Anime Expo. Very busy week!)

I liked it quite a bit better than i was originally expecting, mainly because my initial impression was that they were going to try and shoehorn a sympathetic version of Maleficent into the original Disney Sleeping Beauty story. Instead they told an entirely new story in which Maleficent is a (mostly) sympathetic character. Although the story is certainly close enough that you could argue that the animated version is the same story after passing through the distortion of hundreds of years as a folk tale.

From what i understand some people who were huge Maleficent fans before this feel like she was cheapened by this movie or something along those lines. Since i wasn't a fan of her in particular before this however i feel that a more realistic character development beats out having her as an unadulterated bad guy.

There's only two little spoilery things i have to say...

Spoilers below here!Collapse )
This is an update to the post i made on monday about the AMV Contest finalists.

Since then i've managed to find YouTube links to almost all of the videos and links for a lot of them. (The later is good if you want to save a copy, but you need to register for the site.)

Full List of AMV Contest Finalists With LinksCollapse )
Current Mood: dorkydorky
07 July 2014 @ 08:39 am
Once again i am up too late before going back to work writing up my impressions of the Anime Expo AMV Contest.

They changed the format again a little this year. The Parody/Trailer category from last year has been removed as a regular category and was now a "bonus genre" consisting of trailers and commercial parodies that were interspersed between the regular categories. However despite not being a "real" category there were still winners.

Edit: Oh yes, one other little new edition, they now do a brief clip of a past winner when introducing each category, it's pretty cool. (/Edit)

Once again i have spoiled myself for some of the videos by going to SakuraCon and participating in the Viewers' Choice Awards voting, which is entirely my own fault.

However i've got to say that this is the first year in quite awhile where i've walked out of the AMV Contest without a song stuck in my head that i feel compelled to go download. And the exact same thing happened at SakuraCon. I'm not sure if i'm just out of synch for this year, or if i suddenly got old in the last 12 months and need to start telling those damn kids and their crazy music to get off my lawn.

So here's the list of AMVs, as best as i can transcribe it from the (awesome) tear-away ballot sheet:

AMV ListCollapse )

And here's a rundown of how i and the majority voted, as well as some opinions about the categories and videos.

(It should be noted that i did not have time to find links for _all_ the AMVs, but i managed to dig them up for almost all of the winners and personal favorites.)

My favorites, the winners, and opinionsCollapse )

So to recap it briefly:
Comedy/Humor: Totally awesome
Upbeat/Dance: Rather disappointing, mainly because it didn't have many song appealing to my preferences. (Probably due to a lack of new generic pop songs this year =)
Drama/Theatric & Romantic/Sentiment: Not really my cup of tea, as is often the case (with Rider4Z's "The Monster in Me" and MinetChan's "Crazy Little Thing" being the two big exceptions.)
Action/Adventure & Fun: Not outstanding but generally acceptable
Trailers/Parody: If the reason for the change to "bonus" content was a belief that the Trailer category wasn't strong enough to stand on its own then i certainly agree with that, but i'm kind of biased against trailer AMVs. I did appreciate having them as an intermission however (though we could have used a little more time with the lights on to fill in the ballots.)

(Cross-posted to G+)
Current Mood: tiredtired
01 July 2014 @ 12:53 pm
So we started Madoka over the weekend, and since it's only 12 episodes long we managed to finish it up monday night.

All i'm going to say outside the spoiler tag is that A: we enjoyed it, and B: i knew it was a subversion of regular magical girls shows so i expected it to go off the rails at some point, but wow, that got dark fast!

Spoilers!Collapse )

Also, for reasons that i can't really articulate, i really want to watch Utena now.
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30 June 2014 @ 12:59 pm
So leaving aside the physics of how the time travel works, having the ability to jump back a day if you get killed is a _great_ survival trait.


Spoilers Below Here!Collapse )
30 June 2014 @ 12:56 pm
We went to see Edge of Tomorrow on friday.

All in all it was pretty awesome. It was, as expected, Groundhog Day combined with an alien invasion. That might seem like an odd combination but they did a pretty good job of it.

I've only got two significant complaints about the movie. Number one is that i think the ending was a little too predictable and wrapped things up a little too nicely. (And arguably did so via a minor "cheat".)

Number two is that it starred Tom Cruise. He did a perfectly fine job acting, but i feel bad about giving money and recognition to Scientology. Even at the 2nd or 3rd degree.

(And because apparently there are still a few people out there who don't know that Scientology is seriously bad juju, here's why: "Operation Snow White" and "Operation Freakout" are probably the best known issues.)

Also, on a side note: It's set up right at the beginning that the alien pod crashed in the middle of Germany. You then see a map of the aliens spreading through Europe, colored in red of course, until they've got pretty much everything. And now the Allies (technically the United World something or other i believe, but the UK and US are the primary featured members) are staging an attack out of Britain onto the beaches of Normandy. So it's definitely a blatant WW2 allegory, with the Germans cast as an alien hive mind. I wonder how well the movie is playing in Germany? =P
27 June 2014 @ 08:02 am
I believe i discovered SJ Tucker over a year ago at BayCon. I stumbled across her in the dealer's room and bought a CD or two on spec. *cough* And then i proceeded to forget i had them for about six months until i saw her performing as part of Tricky Pixie at Convolution =P

At which point i had a cascading series of realizations that A: she's awesome, B: hey hasn't Seanan McGuire mentioned her a couple of times before? C: hey wait a second! Don't i have a couple of her CDs somewhere?!?, and D: did i mention that she's awesome?

So i got home and dug up the CDs and listened to them and they were indeed awesome and i added them to my regular rotation of mp3s.

Then a couple weeks ago i wanted to listen to her music at home, and realized i'd somehow never transferred the mp3s from work, and didn't want to rerip the CDs again, so i searched for her on YouTube and found an awesome new song of hers, "Playing D&D":

Along with the original content, the music video also contains a lot of clips from The Gamers: Dorkness Rising, which is an awesome fan movie about RPGs, and i suddenly realized that i had no idea if Avalyn had ever seen it. So i checked, and now she hadn't. So that's what we've been doing over the last week. (The movies aren't that long, but we were only able to watch 30-60 minutes at a time.)

The first movie, "The Gamers" is fairly rough, but it's still fun if you're willing to roll with it.

For the "sequel", "The Gamers: Dorkness Rising", they'd clearly learned a lot and the production values are a lot higher, plus it has a much tighter story.

There's a third Gamers movie, "Hands of Fate", but we have not watched it yet and cannot attest to its quality:

If you like the Gamers movies there's info about more stuff at the Dead Gentlemen website, including links to where you can buy copies :)

And just so it's not all Gamer related stuff, here's another one of my favorite SJ Tucker songs:

And here's a link to her webpage, with the usual "but this stuff" info.

(And i'll try to have more of the "short and simple" stuff next time instead of 45 minute+ movies =)
Current Mood: dorkydorky
23 June 2014 @ 03:26 pm
Just because no one else had done it yet (and because it was so easy that even i could manage it :) i present to you, the #Mopetopus!


Cross-posted from: G+, and also from twitter.
Current Mood: sillysilly
20 June 2014 @ 08:35 am
It's been awhile since the last one, and i've accumulated a couple eclectic links:

First something that's both pretty and awesome, a talented artist decided to start making illustrations for "Rejected Disney Princess", i.e. historic or legendary female princesses and gods and heroines who are very unlikely to be made into a Disney animated movie. The poster-child for this is probably Pasiphae, who is famous for having sex with a bull (under duress from a Greek god, of course) and giving birth to the Minotaur. And less famous for cursing her husband to ejaculate insects, which was news to me. That's some Disney material right there!

This is a cute set of charts on how to pet various animals:

Here's a fun but pretty simple quiz about identifying which books imaginary maps came from. (It's all older famous stuff, if it had been from newer series after i started listening to so many books on audio i might not have done as well =)

Here's a less amusing but still interesting quiz. It supposedly tests how narcissistic you are. I'm not sure if i believe the validity of self-test for something like this (on top of the fact that any quiz you take over the internet is highly suspect of course =) but i got a 5 out of 40. It claims the average is 12 to 15. I'm not sure if that makes me pathological or weird, or if that's just normal for introverts :)

This is a cute (though maybe slightly melancholy as well) little anime short about a girl and her chair:

And last (but definitely not least) OK Go has a new music video out! This seems like one of those ones where the video concept is much more interesting than the song itself is, though perhaps it will grow on me upon repeated viewings/listenings.
Current Mood: sillysilly
20 June 2014 @ 07:59 am
Avalyn and i had plans to go to Disneyland with inkbot and a friend on May the 4th, but we ended up having to cancel that because other stuff came up.

Since Disney decided to do a couple extra "Star Wars Weekends" we decided to reschedule for one of those and went the Saturday before last.

Lots of Disneyland details most people don't care aboutCollapse )

We were out the gate around 11:30, and it was between 11:45 and 12:00 by the time we were leaving the parking structure. So aside from not leaving at the crack of dawn to get there when the park opened we spent about as long there as it was possible to spend.
I forgot to mention in my last post, the opening and ending monologues kind of bothered me. _Especially_ the ending one. The ending one just seemed kind of unnecessary. I suppose they have to go with the assumption that at least some people in the audience haven't seen the first movie and thus might not know that this is Berk, and the people here are friends with the dragons now. But really, is it _that_ hard to figure out?

The ending monologue was the one that really bugged me...

Ending Monologue and Alternate Ending (Spoilers)Collapse )

Worst of all, i suppose now that they've done opening and closing monologues for both of the first two movies, it's now a tradition and they're going to shoehorn in monologues in and any all future movies in the series.
So as mentioned in the previous post, i definitely liked "How To Train Your Dragon 2", however that doesn't mean it was perfect. There were two plot twists that i thought were rather unrealistic. (However the series isn't so tied up in realism that i can't let it slide =)

Spoilers below!

Spoilers CutCollapse )
Current Mood: dorkydorky
We went to see "How To Train Your Dragon 2" last night. I loved the first one but i'm usually suspicious of what seems like unnecessary sequels. So as usual before any movie that i'm worried i might get too excited about i skimmed over several negative reviews. (Skimmed, because too often reviews spoil stuff without sufficient warning.)

I believe the reviews i read claimed the movie had pacing problems at the beginning and was too stereotypical an example of Campbell's hero's journey.

The stereotypical thing might be true, but i'm always a sucker for simple hero's journey stories so i didn't mind. They certainly spent awhile setting up up the story before jumping into the main action, but i would not have termed it as a pacing problem.

So in any case i quite enjoyed the movie and think everyone should go see it, though it wouldn't hurt to skim some negative reviews first :)

(Also, why don't i have any generic dragon userpics?)
13 June 2014 @ 08:39 am
Two weekends ago i was informed that Avalyn's sister, inkbot , had found out about a special Sleepy Hollow "For Your Emmy Consideration" press event on the following monday (June 2nd) at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. The description said it was "first come first served" for seats, but also had an email address to RSVP. They both sent in RSVPs and spent a day or two rather worried that they hadn't gotten a response yet but also unsure if it actually mattered, but finally on sunday they both got confirmations.

InkBot had already asked for half a day off from work for unrelated reasons that turned out to be irrelevant, so she repurposed the afternoon off into showing up at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to get in line for the event, and was actually the first one there. Avalyn and i both left work a little early and joined her there around 5ish.

DetailsCollapse )

So we didn't really have any encounters with "personalities", but we had front row seats, the stars were practically tripping over us at one point, i got two awesome retweets, and InkBot got to see the red carpet photoshoot and then get her picture taken with Tom Mision, plus we got to see the Season 2 clip of course. So all in all it was pretty awesome :)
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13 June 2014 @ 02:21 am
This is my journal. Some posts are public, some are friends only. I'm usually quite happy to add new friends, as long as you're not one of those random people with a week old journal who's trying to accumulate a couple hundred friends for no good reason.

I do have a couple levels of filters to deal with a few topics, mainly to block out stuff that i think might be exceptionally boring or possible offensive to some people. If you're curious just ask and i'll tell you about them.

Also, i have a profile on G+ that i post to a lot. It's mostly just cross-posted stuff from here, but if you want to see it, here it is.
12 June 2014 @ 04:10 pm
I went to the Video Games Live concert at the LA Live Nokia Theatre last night, with Avalyn and neonelephant .

Pre-ShowCollapse )

So to follow in kirinn 's footsteps, i will make a track list with commentary. (Quite a lot of commentary in fact, since i never know when to shut-up.) However there were so many special guests at the E3 event that i definitely couldn't keep track of them all, and especially not all their names. However there's a partial(?) list of the people on the Video Games Live site:
I'll try and use that to reconstruct as much as possible.

Track List (With Commentary)Collapse )

So all and all it was a very awesome concert. It was even better than the previous E3 Video Games Live concert i went to a couple years ago. We'll have to see if they can up the stakes the next time they do it.

Cross-posted to G+
06 June 2014 @ 07:17 am
Oh look! It's a short (kinda, for me at least) and timely (kinda) con report!

Avalyn and i both took friday off of work before Memorial Day weekend so we could actually get up to BayCon for the friday afternoon stuff. We got up at 3-something and headed out the door at 6 am.

Drive Up: With Explodey BitsCollapse )

We were back on the road around noon, and got to BayCon right before 1:30

BayCon Day 1: Kaffeklatsch, Parties, Filk, and an early nightCollapse )

BayCon Day 2: Panels, Parties, "Masquerade", Slave Auction, and Eye of ArgonCollapse )

BayCon Day 3: Panels, Burlesque, and lack of partiesCollapse )

We got up relatively early Monday morning, and decided it was a good time to head back down to LA. There were a couple panels in the morning or early afternoon that we were interested in, and i was definitely interested in the second David Weber kaffeeklatsch at 2, but we decided we really didn't want to be getting home as late as sticking around for those things would entail.

So after checking out of the hotel and stopping to get gas, we were on the road by ten. We stopped by the Fruity House (Case de Fruta) on the way back, around 11 or so, and had brunch. And bought some jam. And some wine. And about a pound of chocolate. And then continued the drive home.

The drive back was thankfully _much_ less eventful, and we got home just before 5pm, and spent the evening decompressing and watching a little Sailor Moon. (Because it just got added to Hulu, and i discovered that Avalyn has never seen any Magical Girl anime before.)

So overall BayCon still seems to be on the decline. After the death or potential death of so many parties i was actually considering skipping it next year... until i found out the guest of honor is going to be seanan_mcguire :) So i guess BayCon gets one more chance to try and pull things together.
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22 May 2014 @ 01:02 pm
I haven't posted in forever! (Though i have been tweeting slightly more than usual for me.)

Also, i'm going to be busy at BayCon over the weekend, so here's a quick post!

What's been going on in my life lately?

Let's see, went to Alumni weekend a couple weeks back and hung out with a bunch of old friends. There were actually three different groups of people i knew there. People from around my year, people from around my sister's year that i used to work with, and several of the babies that i currently work with :)

Went to see the Lindsey Stirling concert, which was awesome. (Though Club Nokia has some architectural oddities that pose serious problems for it as a concert venue.) We also went to see Lindsey Stirling at her CD release day event at B&N, which was also very awesome. Since i was the first person in line _and_ i have a B&N card, i got "special" wristbands that guaranteed us seats in the front couple roles. Since we got to the event itself slightly late we "only" got the center of the second row. So we were about 9 feet away from her instead of 6 feet away :)

Went to see a showing of Tron at an old fancy movie theatre. The movie was very cool. Sadly we were in a hurry to go elsewhere afterward so we didn't get to hang out with all the geeky people in the lobby, where they'd set up a whole bunch of old arcade games. We found out later that at the same time that was going on Jeff Bridges was actually at a Big Lebowski event somewhere else in town. Boo!

Spent some time helping Avalyn's sister take care of some feral cats (though nowhere near as much time as Avalyn has.)

Spent a lot of time playing Marvel Puzzle Quest. (Which is fun, but i wouldn't recommend for anyone new. They've made it a lot harder to get started than it was in the early days.)

Hmm, and i don't think i mentioned that i went to SakuraCon. Uh, i went to SakuraCon! Saw lots of AMVs, bought lots of shirts and some art. The AMV selection wasn't quite as good as some other years/events, so hopefully that means the AX AMVs will be awesome :) (At least i seem to remember that last year the SakuraCon ones were great while the AX ones were meh.)

I'm probably forgetting some stuff, but that's most of what i've been up to for the past month :)
25 April 2014 @ 01:12 pm
It's been a busy week (for reasons that i may go into later) so this isn't quite as well edited as i'd like, but at least i got it done :)

Someone put together a "Periodic Table of Storytelling", in which all the elements are replaced with TVTropes. The atomic weight is represented by how often the trope is references within the TVTropes website. There are some sample "molecules" for various series and movies.

Someone matched Disney characters with Myers-Briggs personality test results:

Sadly i don't remember exactly what my type is. I-something-something-something? I'm sure i've posted about it before if i go far enough back in the LJ archives. Here's a suggested site for recalculating though, which i'll hopefully get around to at some point:

Someone wrote a book titled "The Knowledge: How To Rebuild Our World From Scratch". It's supposedly a "brief" guide on all the basic techniques you'd need to rebuild civilization. As someone who's fond of "Giving Radio to the Romans" and other such books this sounds like an awesome book.

And now some videos!

In a riff on the "let's assume a spherical cow" thing, someone put together a collection of videos about why it would suck for animals if they were actually round. It's both amusing and kind of sad.
ROLLIN` SAFARI - what if animals were round?

Here's a short little video about a tiny person living in a tiny clockwork planet.

And here's a trailer for a film about a wizard getting trapped in modern day earth while on a quest for something or other. At first it seemed like kind of a simple and overused concept for a movie, but then i found out it's going to be a short film. One with a runtime of 11 minutes. And now i'm wondering if there's anything interesting in the film that hasn't already been shown in the trailer.
The Portal - Trailer