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Saturday, June 28th, 2014
8:20 pm - Why HTTYD2 bugs me
HTTYD2 is, for the most part, a good movie. But somehow I wasn't quite happy with it, and I think I've pinned down why...Collapse )

current mood: overthinking things (again)

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Sunday, June 8th, 2014
9:27 pm - HTTYD2
So, HTTYD2 is out, and it is amazing. So glad I managed to stay spoiler-free before watching it. Dodging trailers is hard though - had to listen to loud music to drown it out when I went to see other films recently... Having gone back and watched the trailer now AFTER the movie, that was a very good idea.

I also recently finished the TV series, which was... less amazing. In hindsight, I think I would have rathered sticking to just watching the movies. '­¬' And I still really wish I could have seen the original movie at the cinema. Maybe the Astor will show it sometime.

Random thoughts on the movie. SPOILERS AHOY.Collapse )

And just when I thought it was safe to read things without getting spoiled, I read an article where the director was talking about how the third movie is going to end. Vaguely, but enough to have me thinking and twisting it about until I get to see it. Which is going to be YEARS. ARGH.

spoilers and theorisingCollapse )

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Sunday, June 24th, 2012
8:03 pm - Avatar: Legend of Korra
So I watched the finale of Avatar: Legend of Korra and I wasn't really happy with it. (This is becoming a very disappointing trend in story-things I was looking forward to this year. Didn't like the end of Journey, didn't like Brave... the HTTYD TV series had better not follow this pattern.)

Not to say that the entire series is bad - mostly I've been pretty excited over it. Loved the characters and plot overall, but I get the feeling they had all these great ideas for setting up the plot, but struggled with figuring out how to end it.

there were two things that particularly bothered me...Collapse )

But yeah... I still enjoyed the show overall - though not as much as the original series - it's just strange that the ending felt so anticlimactic. Hopefully the second season will be better.

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Sunday, June 17th, 2012
2:58 pm - Movie thoughts: "Brave"
I saw the new Pixar film "Brave" yesterday, and I didn't like it.

I'd only seen one trailer, ages ago, and hadn't gone looking for any other information. It looked pretty, it was Disney/Pixar, of course I was going to go see it. I'd rather go in with no expectations.

cut for spoilersCollapse )

I went looking for trailers after seeing the movie, and found this Japanese one - seriously, I want to see this movie. Where did it go?

Finally, I must say that the accompanying short film "La Luna" is ever so sweet. :)

current mood: hmmm...

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Thursday, April 12th, 2012
12:44 am - Cosplay prop - ICO Queen's Sword (part 1)
So I'm making my first venture into cosplay prop/weapon making... and why start with something simple when you can jump right in at the awesome end and make an elaborately shaped five-and-a-half-foot sword?

progress thus far...Collapse )

I'll try to keep this updated. And maybe get around to posting photos from the actual cosplay photoshoot this time.

current mood: creative

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Sunday, March 4th, 2012
12:34 am - HTTYD arena show!
After months of waiting, I finally got to see How To Train Your Dragon: Arena Spectacular this afternoon and it was... interesting. The dragons were really amazing, and the visual effects were great. On the other hand, the story was clumsily done, and the acting didn't work well on the huge stage.

Unfortunately there were some serious technical issues - though not so bad as last night's intended premiere, which got cancelled altogether! But the intermission lasted almost an hour, and the performance had to be halted three times during the second act - the last one leaving the actors standing around awkwardly on stage. Definitely some part of Toothless's flying rig wasn't working - to the point that they actually couldn't use it for the finale - though I don't know if that was their only problem. I hope they get everything sorted soon though. The poor tech crew must be insanely stressed!

On the bright side, we were offered free tickets to a second show to make up for it!


Merchandise-wise, I got a nice blue t-shirt with a curled silhouette of Toothless on it, and also a cup with a figurine of Toothless clinging to the edge of it. It'd be pretty annoying as a drinking cup, really, but it's going to be an awesome pencil holder. :)


Overall, it was pretty good as a visual presentation; I just wish I didn't spend so much of it cringing at the scriptwriting. :( I think it's worse because I know-and-love the film so much, but on the other hand I think you'd be a bit lost with following the plot if you weren't familiar with the film. Difficult balancing act, I guess.

Will be interested to see it again and see if that changes my opinion of it... and maybe watch the film again in the meanwhile. :)


Crossposted (with a great deal more detail) to train_dragon.

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Tuesday, January 25th, 2011
4:17 am - can't sleep
My sleeping pattern is so messed up at the moment. Been staying up too late too many nights - well, being on holidays that's okay, but with back-to-work looming I was trying to get up / go to bed earlier. Then I went and accidentally slept in until 1:00 in the afternoon yesterday/Monday/most-recent-waking-up and now I've just spent 2½ hours in bed failing to get to sleep because I've only been up for half a 'day'. So I gave up, and decided I'm just staying up and going to bed really early tomorrow - well, technically today (it is officially Tuesday right now) but it sure doesn't feel like it. They'll blur together at some point.

current mood: awake (kind of)

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Monday, December 27th, 2010
10:48 pm - Golden Sun: Dark Dawn
After many years of waiting, I have now played and finished Golden Sun: Dark Dawn. I enjoyed it overall, though it took a while to "feel" like a GS game and I don't think I like it as much as the original games. (Warning: lots of grumbling ahead!)

I don't think the party system was implemented very well. GS2 had the eight-member party as well, but that was after spending a long time with all of them as seperate four-member parties, and they'd all had a lot of character development so you knew them all well. In GS3 most of the additional characters joined you at a weaker level than your established party - with the main exception of Amiti, who basically took over Rief's role as a useful fourth member and story-important character within a few hours of Rief joining in the first place. (I really liked Rief but there's simply no need for a dedicated healer when Karis has party-healing spells AND has decent physical attack as well.) Sveta was useful too but I tended to swap her out for Karis again; Eoleo was not quite strong enough to swap out Tyrell for him; and Himi just got no character development whatsoever (having joined, at a plot level, right before the finale), and again, just wasn't useful enough other than during the final boss battle.

The final boss was WAY overpowered compared to anything encountered before it - all the other bosses and even the shadow monsters were pretty easy to defeat, and suddenly I'm being completely thrashed by something that gets four attacks each round, most of them high-damage party attacks. I spent most of my time just keeping my party not-dead. It took me AN HOUR AND A HALF to defeat it. @_@

Also, they brought in too much new mythology/history and geography. How come nobody in the original GS games ever mentioned all this Jenei business, and how did we explore all of Angara and miss the Great Wall of Ei-Jei and so many other ancient-but-not-there-thirty-years ago features? I guess they were trying to make it more interesting than just revisiting the same places, but it seemed too out-of-place, not just an extension of the world that was already there. I think that was why it took a while for the game to feel like Golden Sun. Also, there was too much "magic is actually ancient technology" stuff going on. I don't like it when they do that.

And just one more minor gripe - I wish they'd kept the 2D sprite artwork. The GBA games had such gorgeous detailed sprites, but this was pretty average 3D.

Anyway, it looks like I have a Golden Sun 4 to look forward to... but I think I'll go replay GS2 in the meanwhile.

current mood: geeky

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Monday, November 1st, 2010
11:31 pm - Game rambling: Professor Layton and the Lost Future -- *WARNING: FANGIRL*
So I've been obsessively hooked on Professor Layton and the Lost Future for the past week or so - bought it on Sunday and had reached twenty hours of gameplay (and the end of the story) by Friday night. @_@ And then browsing fanart/cosplay/MOVIE (it's awesome) all weekend. It's become my newest favourite thing to fangirl over.

So, thoughts!
and spoilers, of course...Collapse )

ARGH NEED NEXT GAME NOW. But judging by the release dates so far, it'll probably be about a year's wait. =(


Aside of the main games, there's ALSO the upcoming crossover game with Phoenix Wright - I'm still thinking of it with equal amounts of "awesome!" and "what the heck?" because I really can't decide whether the games fit together well or not. BUT STILL. IS GOING TO BE EPIC. And I guess they're kind of similar though, in that they're both probably best known for being 'quirky' games and yet once you actually get deep into them they get surprisingly serious.


And of course I'm planning to cosplay at some point... actually I've been planning it since playing the earlier games, but now I REALLY want to do it - I'm trying to decide between Luke or Flora. Anyone want to team up?

Also, must do fanart....

current mood: fangirling

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Thursday, September 23rd, 2010
12:46 am - Avatar movie / Beauty and the Beast
Yesterday me and Kristy headed to the cinemas for a movie marathon! Well, two movies. Plus dinner. We were there for six hours anyway.

---

So I finally got to see Avatar: The Last Airbender, and was pleasantly surprised to discover that it wasn't the utterly excruciating mess all the reviews had made it out to be. (I do wonder how I'd feel about it if I hadn't gone in expecting it to be terrrible, though...)

That said, they rushed through so much plot, and yet wasted time on irrelevant bits. Lengthy explanation of the spirit world - why? It's not important and we don't even see it.
As for the "Earthbender prison camp" sequence... if your budget won't let you do something without illogical setting downgrades, DON'T DO IT.

Also, what was with the text-scroll opening? Really weird choice. Personally I was hoping for something to the effect of an animated scroll - kind of like Okami's artstyle - telling the legend. Shyamalan even did something similar in Lady in the Water. It would have been brilliant.

cut for spoilersCollapse )

I know I've been mostly complaining, but there were little details that I really liked, and of course the scenery and costumes were amazing, and overall I left the cinema in a positive mood. I wouldn't choose to watch it again, but I wouldn't mind watching it again.

---

The other movie was Beauty and the Beast IN 3D. It was AMAZING and I highly recommend it. Scenic parts like the opening sequence are absolutely stunning, as is the ballroom scene.

I know the movie prettymuch off by heart, since it was one of the videos we watched over and over and over when we were little, so it was really interesting to see it properly in the cinema - with the bigger screen, and the picture not cut down to 4:3 ratio like the video version, there were so many details I'd never noticed before.

I'm really glad I found out the movie was showing - there was an ad in the movies section of the newspaper, which I normally never look at, and I haven't seen it advertised anywhere else!

Anyway, I had a great night out. ^_^ Thanks for sharing it, Kristy!

current mood: geeky

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Sunday, July 18th, 2010
2:24 am - Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3 was made of WIN AND SQUEE AND AWESOME. ♥♥♥

Random elements of awesome:
~ Buzz/Jessie shipping
~ A certain running gag turning into a crucial Chekov's Gun
~ Barbie being surprisingly awesome
~ Totoro cameo!
~ The ending scene spoilerCollapse )
~ Reading through TV Tropes later, someone has suggested that Bonnie is actually Boo from Monsters Inc. I APPROVE VERY MUCHLY OF THIS THEORY. It adds even MORE squee to the very high amount in this movie.

Of course, it's also very much on the sentimental/sad side of growing up and not playing with your toys any more. (And yes I did go home and give mine a hug!) Also surprisingly dark, especially since it still got a G rating - I've seen stuff rated PG for "scary scenes" before, and I would think that parts of TS3 certainly count!

Anyway. Loved it to bits, didn't cry as much as I might have (no tissues needed, though my sleeve was a bit damp!), laughed and squeed a lot. Definitely seeing it again.

current mood: cheerful

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Tuesday, July 13th, 2010
11:35 pm - AVCon... or not.
I'm thinking I might not go to AVCon. I was sort of thinking it a while ago but then I ended up in a cosplay group which is now not happening (not that I'd gotten past the "barely started" stage of my costume anyway - my sewing room is a disaster zone and I'm struggling to get it into a working state)... plus I haven't got flights/accomodation/etc organised and I'm not feeling very enthusiastic about it.

So overall I'm thinking I'll skip AVCon and focus on Manifest. Also that means I can take the Friday off and go to all three days of Manifest - if I'm going to AVCon I'd need to take that Friday off, and Fridays are busy days at the library because the head librarian doesn't work on Fridays. So I wasn't wanting to leave them minus two staff members twice in a month, so I thought I wouldn't take a day off for Manifest.

Okay, so I don't think it's so much "might not go" as "not going".

And I am currently too tired to think of a coherent way of concluding this post, so I am stopping here. Goodnight.

current mood: sleepy

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Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
11:27 pm - fandom ramblings
So, the Avatar movie is out in America, and by the vast majority of reports it is TERRIBLE but the effects were decent... actually nobody can seem to agree whether the effects were good or bad, or whether certain individuals' acting was good or bad. But the script is pretty universally bad, and it was too rushed. I'll still go see it once it comes out over here, but I've lost all enthusiasm to want to watch it on the Internet beforehand...

I guess I expected from the start that it was probably going to be dreadful, but then all the trailers looked awesome and it got my hopes up. Oh well, at least it's still going to be a very PRETTY bad movie. The sets and costumes all look really well done, and the music should be great too. Beyond that... I'll judge it when I see it.

~~~

Just watched Doctor Who from last Sunday - "The Pandorica Opens". (Possibly AKA "Rocks Fall, Everyone Dies".) And, having missed the second half of the Silurian two-parter and not bothered to look for a summary at the time, I'm finally no longer confused as to why Rory had apparently, er, vanished into thin air over the last couple of episodes...

~~~

Also, Fullmetal Alchemist is OVER. ZOMGSQUEE!Collapse ) ^_^

current mood: geeky

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Friday, May 28th, 2010
9:42 pm - Geeky things that are awesome at current
1. AVATAR. Just got the prequel manga; the artbook is on its way; five weeks 'til the movie comes out at last! (Though the Australian release date isn't until SEPTEMBER. Evidently they're waiting for the next school holidays, but still totally unfair...)

2. Have been reading "The Wildkin's Curse" by Kate Forsyth, sequel to "The Starthorn Tree"... I have been waiting YEARS for this book to come out!

3. Imminent end of the Fullmetal Alchemist manga - last month was the climax, and next month will be THE END. I can't wait!

4. ICO and Shadow are getting a PS3 update! Should be very pretty. Still hanging on to my PS2 versions though.

5. A Boy and his Blob is the adorable-est videogame EVER. I don't have a Wii, so I've been playing it at my grandparents' house... will have to go over and play more soon!

current mood: geeky

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Sunday, April 4th, 2010
6:30 pm - Long time, no update.
It's been nearly FOUR MONTHS since I moved out of home. Wow.

Settled in now, though I still haven't got around to having a housewarming party... I had Kristy over though. Very small-scale housewarming I guess.

Haven't actually finished unpacking either - quite a few boxes labelled "misc" that are sitting ignored in the sewing room, which is still a disaster area. This state is unlikely to ever change.

Work is going alright. I've been there two years now...

I should be going into much more detail with this sort of journalling, but I'm terrible at it.

~~~

Still getting lots of bugs around the house - the spiders I was stressing about in my previous entry are in fact brown house spiders and they stopped appearing for a while, but now I've started finding them in the bath again.

On the other hand, I found a most definitely real redback in my KITCHEN. ARGH. Though that was a few months ago and it thankfully seems to have been a once-off.

I've also had a centipede in the loungeroom, loads of millipedes since that big hailstorm the other week, and the biggest ant I've ever seen - kind of bullant-sized, but without the big jaws; more like a bee or wasp body shape. Oh, and I seem to be breeding monster slugs in the compost heap - some of them are HUGE. I wonder where they all hide during the day though...

I found a skink in the garden too, once. Tiny little thing. So amazing!

~~~

Talking of garden... there's not much of it. The back yard's long and skinny and it's mostly bricks with a few small garden beds... I've tried growing tomatoes but they didn't go well at all - only one stalk of flowers out of about 10-15 plants! - apparently it's been a bad year for tomatoes overall though. On the other hand I've suddenly got a whole garden bed of arum shoots - there was one berry stalk there when I first moved in, but it died/got eaten by possums and I kind of forgot about it... but then I discovered the new shoots coming up! So now I've got about fifteen plants there. ^_^

~~~

The hailstorm the other week was pretty terrifying - not least because I've discovered that my front yard floods when it rains heavily! The lawn is actually below the level of the concrete driveway and the drain nearby doesn't work properly, so it all fills up, and there's only one step up from driveway level to my front door... all good in the end, but at the time I was out there with a bucket trying to bail out the water!

Also I later discovered that my downpipe has a leak in it - it runs inside the eaves, so the water got my carpet wet. X_x It only seems to happen in really heavy rain though, at least.

The other almost-disastrous damage from the rain was that the water also got into my outside light and short-circuited it, and when Dad took it apart to fix it we discovered it had caught on fire! But my eaves are made of asbestos (thus fireproof) so it couldn't spread at all - so what's normally a health hazard, ended up preventing one! Yay!

~~~

Off to church soon for our Easter Sunday dinner. Hopefully it will go well. ^_^

current mood: cheerful

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6:28 pm - "Alice in Wonderland" movie
Went and saw "Alice in Wonderland" with Kristy, Christine and others a few weeks ago. Normally I'm a pretty strong book purist, but I make an exception for Alice. The adaptions are all part of the fun of it! So I wasn't annoyed by all the changes... on the other hand, the Cheshire Cat's floatiness irked me, and it drove me up the wall every time they talked about "the Jabberwocky"... although the Jabberwock was pretty awesome in the end (and voiced by Christopher Lee! Who else has the reputation required to voice the Jabberwock?) and I love how they made it look like the original illustration but BETTER. In fact it was probably the only thing I thought of as 'better' instead of just 'different'.

The other thing that disappointed me is that, even with the large focus on "Through the Looking-Glass", the White Knight (my favourite character) wasn't in it. I guess the Hatter kind of took his role, but it would have been nice to see him. Even as a cameo. I don't know, maybe he was in the background at some point in the White Queen's castle and I missed it? If he wasn't, he should have been.

So, overall it was reasonably enjoyable, but I probably wouldn't watch it again.

current mood: cheerful

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Saturday, December 5th, 2009
12:00 am
Bedroom is empty.
Sewing room is empty.
Rumpus room and hallway are relatively empty.
Truck is packed.

This is weird.

current mood: strange

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Friday, December 4th, 2009
3:34 pm
Feeling better now than in my previous posts today. Lunch and chocolate has helped my mood considerably. And we got to close the library at lunchtime (the teacher-librarian is away sick and us non-teachers are 'unfortunately' unable to supervise kids on our own!).

Anyway, my big news this week is that I'm moving into my house tomorrow! We'll be packing the truck tonight and going over there tomorrow. I meant to post about this earlier but I've been busy...

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12:26 pm
I am only making it through today because of the box of chocolates that mercifully arrived as a Christmas present from one of the teachers...

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Saturday, November 14th, 2009
8:25 pm - Change of username
As I mentioned I was thinking about here... I changed my username. Someone's already got "Iscah" on LJ (only one entry made AGES ago, and the owner didn't reply when I tried to contact her) so I went with "Iscah rambles". Because I do.

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