Tuesday, November 20, 2012

How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular coming soon!

In two weeks (Dec. 6-9), the How To Train Your Dragon Live Spectacular tour stops at the Tacoma Dome in Washington for a massive performance! See some interesting facts below, and watch for the price discount code!

Number of Dragons

  • 13 Dragons
  • 9 Different Species Represented

5 Large Dragons: Dragons Come to Life!

  • Night Fury (Toothless)
    • Height at shoulder 9ft x 28ft long & wingspan of 33ft.
    • Has a full range of facial expressions and emotions.
    • The Toothless boom took 15 months to build with the help of 65 practitioners.
    • There are 16 separate wireless networks used to coordinate/communicate/control everything from Toothless’ eye blink to a flame ball explosion.
  • Deadly Nadder
    • Height at shoulder 13ft x 39ft long & wingspan of 30ft.
    • Shoots smoke to set fire to his enemies!
  • Monstrous Nightmare
    • Height at shoulder 11ft x 50ft long & wingspan of 46ft.
    • Stretches across the sides of the arena from head to tail!
  • Gronckle
    • Height at shoulder 10ft x 25ft long & wingspan of 16ft.
    • Blows smoke rings 100 feet across the floor!
  • Red Death
    • The largest animatronic ever built by Creature Technology Company!
    • Head and neck total length 39ft+, head 16ft wide and 20ft high, tail is 66ft long.
    • It took 12 months with approximately 48 practitioners working on it.
  • Each large dragon contains:
    • 885 feet of hydraulic hose.
    • About 1000 square feet of dragon skin.
    • 430 cubic feet of foam.
    • 20 gallons of paint.
    • 13 kilowatts of power from 18 truck batteries.
    • Half a mile of cabling in each body.
    • 24 microprocessors control movement along with 15 hydraulic rams and 6 hydraulic motors each.
A special offer is being extended to families in Seattle, WA where the show comes to town December 6th -9th.

The special discount code "MOM" entitles the patron to save 25% on Thursday- and Friday-night shows (regular ticket price: $36 - $51).  This ensures the whole family can come out for a memorable night for this not-to-miss event!

Go to www.dreamworksdragonslive.com to purchase tickets and other ticket information.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Life of Pi (film)

Life of Pi, 20th Century Fox, directed by Ang Lee, starring Suraj Sharma.

Synopsis: A young man who survives a disaster at sea is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor ... a fearsome Bengal tiger.


My thoughts: One might watch the trailer and groan at the prospect of another The Black Stallion, but I have good news: this is not the same. Yes, both involve a ship sinking with one human survivor, and both have the survivor interact with animals while waiting for rescue. There is a key difference, though, that expands drastically with the final minutes of the film. In The Black Stallion, the animal is a horse, something humans communicate with around the world. In Life of Pi, the tiger gives us something completely different. A natural enemy, very willing to devour. I'll get to the important meaning later.

As is evident from the dramatic trailer, the cinematography is overwhelmingly beautiful. In all honesty, you don't see the half of it in the trailer. While at first, it didn't seem likely to work in 3D, I've put that view aside. It's the best live-action 3D I've ever seen! One of the best scenes (for the full emotional effect), is seeing the ship go down as if you were right there. In fact, more than one scene were so effective in this way that I was physically breathless. A few times during the film, Pi encounters rough storms, and this is where another beauty comes through. The camera captures the movement of Pi and his boat so well, it boggles me. While other movies have moved from cut to cut in moments, giving the impression of a storm, these cuts last much longer and show a lot more. It's as if filmed on location, with no misguiding.

Something you should know before you watch is that Life of Pi breaks into the topic of religion quite a bit at the beginning. Pi follows several religions. First, Hindu, then Catholicism, and Muslim, all at once. After the incident, it doesn't come up much, apart from a few overtones, but it's important to be aware going in.

This is a film for slightly older audiences (13+) for the reasons of the ship's intense sinking, and for the complicated concepts of the film.

To warn you, this last paragraph is a bit *SPOILER* oriented. Near the end of the movie, Pi tells another story, showing what the tiger represents. Suffice it to say that there is more meaning to this than surviving on an island with a horse and winning a race with him later on. I won't spoil any more, though.

In conclusion, this is a beautiful movie about survival and perseverance, in the midst of harsh, beautiful nature.

My rating: 8 stars

Life of Pi releases in US theaters on Friday, November 21st.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sound of November

This blog is all about stories, and to make it well-rounded, I'd like to share with you more stories, but in another way. Every month, I'd like to bring you a three-dimensional experience: Sight, in the form of eager words. Touch, in the form of pitted pages. And now, Sound, a story in itself, yet perfectly complimenting romping characters and spreading expanses when they appear, furthering the mind's dream. Boasting of many forms, these Sounds will delight the imagination and capture you in their mystery. A mosaic, if you will, simply adorning the writing, which adorns Someone much greater.

The books or the music in which we thought the beauty was located
will betray us if we trust to them; it was not in them, it only came through them,and what came through them was longing. 

These things—the beauty, the memory of our own past—are good images of what we
really desire; but if they are mistaken for the thing itself they turn into dumb idols,breaking the hearts of their worshippers.

For they are not the thing itself; they are only the scent of a flower we have not found, the echo of a tune we have not heard, news from a country we have never yet visited.

~C.S. Lewis

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Mech Mice: Genesis Strike giveaway!

Thanks to the generous Miller Brothers, I have a signed copy of Mech Mice: Genesis Strike to give away! (see my review here) It has already started, and will end on the evening of November 30th. Have at it!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, November 2, 2012

Wreck-it Ralph (film)

Wreck-it Ralph, Disney, November 2.

My thoughts: It's all fun and games at Litwak's Fun Center, until someone gets hurt. While this cliche'd line seems to reflect the simple plot in most movies (while the moral outcome does, too), the setting makes Wreck-it Ralph a wonderful, refreshing, and unique pleasure. Inside a family arcade, all the game characters (both old and new) are real, and travel among the other games when the doors have locked. Ralph, from Fix-it Felix Jr., desperately wished to be a good guy, and be rewarded, so he sets off in search of a medal. By doing this, he sets off a chain of events that puts multiple games at risk, and unveils a hidden threat.

Disney has made this film equally accessible by both parents and children, and I find that wondrous. At times, Vanellope sounded quite mature, and at others, just like a tod. Soon, kids will squeal in excitement when they find a Fix-it Felix Jr. game, along with other last-gen arcade delights. In this way, the film has rendered itself timeless, if only in that small way. Although it doesn't feature many of the games themselves, you are able to see many characters, including retired ones.

Being inside a game world gave the artists a great deal of freedom, but they didn't waste it. At every new turn, another extremely creative point would grab your attention, and I'm sure I missed many (which would enhance a second viewing). Another big enhancement is the 3D atmosphere. I doubted I would ever say this, but I urge you to see this in 3D, or turn around and go home. Because of all the pixel-related artwork, and 3D modeling, it is natural to have such a dimension added on. It's the perfect film to have it for!

Now, for all the extra material surrounding the movie. Similar to Pixar, Disney has included an animated short right before, called "The Paperman". It doesn't feature any voice acting, but it's hilarious, and very well-made. I am sure you'll enjoy it. Second, the end credits are worth watching through, but not because there's an extra scene (there isn't one). It's only worth it for the visuals during the credits themselves, in 3D.

In conclusion, Wreck-it Ralph is family-safe, and highly enjoyable. See it in 3D as soon as you can!

My rating: 9 stars