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Team J.A.F.


An Unlikely Sequel

Posted by xccj , in Stories, TV Jun 25 2014 · 109 views

Gosh, I had this excellent idea for a sequel for one of my stories, and now I can't get it out of my head! The stories and characters just keep expanding in my head, allowing me to create new character dynamics while also retaining some of my originals and stuff and I'm kind of really excited for it.

The problem is... the original isn't finished.

And like, this is a story that I've been working on since... well, let's say 2000. The basic premise for it developed back then, and I didn't start typing it out until 2003, and it got expanded upon so much that it was one of my longer in-progress stories ever... until I lost most of it when my laptop was stolen in 2007. In 2009, I started the haunting task of rewriting it (to remove inconsistencies, and generally improve the writing.) I've had periods where I've worked on it ever since, but the last time I typed it up was last summer, and I haven't had time to progress on it since. And I'm only 80% finished with my rewrite of the original, which had only begun to reach the climax. I have the ideas of where I want it to go and the directions I want my characters to develop in, but I just haven't had the time and/or inspiration to sit down and type it out. (Having a job does that to you, I guess.)

TL/DR, I'm nowhere near to finishing this story even though I've been working on it for a long time.

So I should focus my efforts on the original and not the sequel (especially since I haven't worked on ANY of my stories since last summer) BUT instead I find myself jotting down plot points for the sequel. GAH.

In other news, I FINALLY got my LEGO Movie discs in. *grumbles about stupid amazon for delaying my order* And I guess it turns out if you want to watch the blu-ray movie, you need an actual blu-ray player, which my computer is apparently now. I got the EVERYTHING IS AWESOME set, so it also comes with the DVD, so I could watch that, but this DVD doesn't contain any of the special features, which I was looking forward to. (Okay, it does have commentary, but while I generally like watching a movie with commentary [see LotR] I was not overly impressed. The directors pointed out a few interesting bits, but mostly it was the voice actors just messing around.) Don't get me wrong, I'm glad to finally have it on a media where I can go frame-by-frame to catch back-ground things. But still kinda peeved that I can't enjoy the extra features yet. (Oh, or the 3D version, which I guess I need a 3D TV for.) But the young Vitruvius is great. (Yeah, so the cape isn't 100% movie accurate... it's still cool, get over yourselves.)



Dragons II

Posted by xccj , in TV Jun 16 2014 · 84 views

Oh wow.

It was good. Very good. Lots of dragons, lots of good flight (and fight) scenes. Dang, it even got emotional, far more than the original. I mean, it didn't have the same awe inspiring scene like the first flight in the original... but that's a special scene, and they didn't try to replicate the first, but rather make an awesome second. I'm probably going to see it again. Yes indeed.

Not without issues. The music was great, but maybe it's because it's too much of the first? Which isn't bad, 'cause I loved the soundtrack for the original. And (I guess slightly spoilery warning) the movie was very Hiccup-centric, and most of the other kids were reduced to side characters who only got a few laughs each. Besides Astrid, I felt that they got downgraded from the first movie. But I am okay with this because the television series focused a lot on them, and their dragons. I mean, although the animation wasn't as top notch, I was very pleased with the television series, which did a good job at expanding the characters and setting of Berk.

But yeah, it was a good movie, and you should see it. And now I'm torn as to which animated feature is the best this year. I mean, TLM was great, but Dragons II is up there too. (Although if I had to choose between Dragons II and Frozen, I would definitely go with DreamWorks. There is a lyrical song in this movie, but I dunno if its catchy enough for all the kids to start singing.)



I Watched Frozen Last Night

Posted by xccj , in TV Apr 19 2014 · 251 views

And stayed up too late watching it cause I had to be in to work today, gut jeeze traffic was mucked up and made my evening commute 2.5 hours so I had to stay up late to watch it anyway.
Anyways, my thoughts below, and some spoilers, I guess? Reader beware.
So I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. I like the socially awkward princess; Disney needs more of them. I mean, I'm all for confident female leads and stuff, but there was a more realistic feel of Anne compared to others. (Or maybe I just never cared much for princess movies in the 90s... I was perhaps not the target audience either.) I do like how they criticized the "love at first sight" thing because I was all "CLICHE" when it first appeared but approved of it afterwards for debunking it. Anyway, the animation was good, some of the action scenes were fun (but nothing too over the top... and somehow the magic snow monsters don't qualify as over the top for me. Meh) The music was okay... but besides the main one, most of the songs are forgettable. (To be fair, the only Disney movie where I've enjoyed pretty much all the songs was Aladdin.) Still, this was a fun movie to watch and I can see why it got so much praise.
But also, goodness, it does have a strong X Men vibe to it. I've heard the comparison a couple of times before, so I was expecting it, but it was really quite there.
Also, SPOILER, everybody dies in the end. By freezing. Thus why it's called "Frozen." Kinda gruesome for a Disney film.


Lego Movie Round II

Posted by xccj , in TV Feb 24 2014 · 127 views
Bad Cop, Your Car Is A and 1 more...
I saw it in 2D this time, and honestly, I think it might have been better.  Some of Wyldstyle's scenes where she's jumping around seemed too fast and jarring when I saw it in 3D, and they seemed more natural or something this time around.  I swear, 3D just never works for me; maybe my brain just can't process that extra dimension.
I took the time to enjoy some more details, and spotted some more figs and models.  I saw Johnny Thunder a second time too!

Also, I bought the soundtrack and have been listening to it quite a lot.  Not all the tracks are exactly like they are in the movie... there's some extensions and cuts and stuff, but the basic themes are the same.  And OMG Benny's theme is awesome even if it's short; I'm thinking of making it my ringtone!

Way too excited about the idea of getting this on DVD and replaying it over and over again!  (I watched the heck out of my HTTYD DVD, and the Lego Movie has so much more rewatch potential.)


The LEGO Movie: Characters

Posted by xccj , in TV, Review Feb 12 2014 · 140 views

Hey guys so yesterday I finally saw The LEGO Movie!
Everybody: We’ve already seen it!
Okay, so much for just bragging.  Anyway, I was planning to do a short review of how well the various sets were incorporated in the movie, since previous movie tie ins (Iron Man III) were pretty bad.  But there were so many Lego Movie sets that some would surely get more screen time than others.  Except. . . well, Brickset already posted an article on that.  So instead here’s a not-exactly-comprehensive list of all the characters who appeared.  Wow, that turned out to be quite long. . .  Oh, and in case it wasn’t obvious, SPOILERS!

Anyway, it was indeed a good movie.  Although if you were like me and watched each and every trailer, than the first half of the movie was kind of. . . reruns.  (I did the same thing when The Legend Reborn came out. . . only that time the previews covered all the good parts.  At least the second half of this movie was relatively unspoiled.)  I did feel that there were some pacing issues in the beginning, but again that might’ve just been because of what I just mentioned.  :shrugs:
I also bought the soundtrack (technically before I’d even seen the movie, although I didn’t listen to the full thing before I saw it.)  It’s good, and I have bits of it stuck in my head, which is surprisingly not the “Everything is Awesome” song.
I do want to see it again, and I probably will.  (Maybe a matinee 2D showing. . . I’m not sure 3D was really worth it.)  And I will for sure by it when it comes out on DVD.  Heck, maybe even preorder it and get whatever fig it comes with, since I never do that otherwise.  But yeah, great movie, go see it if you haven’t already.


Spoiler: Smaug Eats Everybody

Posted by xccj , in TV, Review Dec 15 2013 · 175 views
andthengoestobed, withafulltummy
Wow, Hobbit II AKA Desolation of Smaug was amazing. Like, really good. Sure, it wasn't exactly like the book... but it was better.
One thing I can say that's spoiler free was that the IMAX 3D showing was good and almost worth the money. (Almost... it was very pricy!) Since they filmed at a higher rate than normal, the movements were supposed to be more "natural" but last year I found them rather jerky and bothersome, and at points in detracted from the movie in general. But maybe that's just me, because most 3D has never impressed me much either when I can thoroughly enjoy the same movie in 2D. But last year I watched Hobbit I in SD, and so this year I can say that the quality improved with the IMAX 3D.

Anyway, those are some of my views, and it’s late at night and all, so I’m just gonna post this and check for errors later.  In short, you should see this movie.  I’m sure if you’re a strict Tolkien fan, you’ll be disappointed that it doesn’t follow the book exactly.  But honestly, parts of the Hobbit were boring IMO, and I’m very impressed with how the second movie remained things.
You should go see it anyway.  Right now.  GIVE PETER JACKSON ALL YOUR MONEYS!


Best Scene From Korra?

Posted by xccj , in TV Nov 16 2013 · 129 views

This one:
Posted Image
Okay, maybe not the best, but most sig-worthy.  Epic finale and stuff.  Glad they let Bolin stop being a stuck up movie(er) star and actually start being cool again!



Posted by xccj , in TV Jul 30 2013 · 210 views

I saw the movie this weekend, and I really enjoyed it.
To start this out, let me say that I’m a big X-Men fan.  Well, as far as the television series are concerned, since I’m not quite as into comic books.  But the previous movies have been… okay at best.  Not super impressed with them compared to the Avengers and such.
But honestly, I don’t like Wolverine.  In general, his character is just too gruff or whatever; he’s always angry and violent and doesn’t seem like the most likeable protagonist.  I don’t dislike him per say, but he’s not my favorite X-Men.  (It’s kinda like how I don’t like the hothead Tahu compared to any of the other Toa Mata.)  This is just personal preferences, of course.
But, if I limit myself to Logan-based stories, I have to say that my favorite arcs with him are the ones set in Japan.  (And not to mention that the Wolverine Anime, canon or not, was REALLY good.)  So when I heard there was a new Wolverine movie coming out and that it was set in Japan, it caught my interest.  (And then I just randomly happened to notice that it was opening this weekend, so I was like kay let’s try for a matinee.)
So, um, spoilers??

Um... so that was a bit of rambling.  Overall, I liked this movie for the action and characters (and appreciated the Japanese themes that were included with both) and the story was good enough for a comic-book movie.  So now I’m rooting for Wolverine?  Eh, guess so.


I Should Probably Go To Sleep Now

Posted by xccj , in News, TV Jan 17 2013 · 145 views

But I have Internet access again!  Yay, so excited!
I need to do a big write up on my trip down and my experiences here and stuff, with pictures and everything.  But just haven't had the time!  Okay, so I did blow an hour catching up on some shows when I came home to Internet... but I could be doing that for hours, so I'm just impressed that I've limited myself!
Next big step: buying some furniture.
Also, I watched Legend of Chima tonight.



The Hobbit, In Brief

Posted by xccj , in Thoughts, TV Dec 14 2012 · 170 views

Honestly, there's so much I could say about the Hobbit, both good and bad.  But I'm really not in the mood to write all about it, so I'll keep it short.
It does a good job of keeping the feel from the LotR movies, but it also seems to be lacking some of the majesty.  This may just be because it's the first; after all, Fellowship was arguably the worst of the three LotR movies.  (And it was still pretty good.)  The same here.
It's also different because they're including so much.  In LotRs, they had to take out so much stuff just to fit it into the 3 movies, but the Hobbit is one book being spread out over three movies, so they have room to add in new stuff.  On one hand, I can appreciate it and I always love seeing more of Middle Earth.  On the other hand... c'mon, drawing the Hobbit out into three movies?  Now we have to wait even longer for it to conclude!
One thing that bugged me; it was shot in 48 FPS (Frames Per Second) instead of the standard 24.  But while others claimed it felt more realistic, it seemed too jumpy and quick in places for me.  Not the plot movement or whatever; the physical movements on the screen just felt off!  Like everything was in fast forward.  It cut down on the enjoyability for me anyway.  :(
But all the same... I like the bits of plot they added in from the books.  The characters seem far more real now, especially the dwarves, who I never really connected with in the Book.  And Gandalf war arguably cooler in this movie than the previous LotR ones.  And there was lots of epic scenery of Middle Earth New Zealand to enjoy.  So if you haven't already, go see it.  (But I'm not sure if I would recommend a midnight showing again... waaaaaaaay too crowded.  It would've probably been more fun to go with friends, but since I have none... year, should've just waited a day.)

July 2014

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