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 )

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.

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.

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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. :)

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.

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.

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.

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.

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....
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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.

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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!