Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!
I hope you all have a happy and safe New Year! 

2014 was kind of a crazy year, and I can't say I'm sad to see it go.  In retrospect, though, God knew what He was doing and He kept me safe.  I'm going into 2015 with a lot less friends/acquaintances than I went into 2014 with.  While I at first didn't see the reasoning behind why everyone seemed to be moving on and leaving me behind, I now see that God knew what He was doing and was protecting me from bad influences and letting those who didn't really need me anymore go.  I now see why each and every one of those people entered my life and why they left my life, and I'm thankful for all of them, as well as for God showing me the way and helping me through some very long nights.
I'm hoping 2015 is an awesome year and I'm hoping to focus more on God and I hope to trust Him more than I did this year.  After all He's done for me, though, it's hard not to trust Him and know that He's got this.  All of this.  This year, I'm also hoping to publish my first book, but we'll see how that goes. 

I hope you all have a blessed 2015 and I hope to talk to you guys soon!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Movie Review: Big Hero 6

Hey everyone!
Today, I've got a movie review for you: Big Hero 6. 

I'm not going to be posting major details about the plot - you're going to have to see it for yourself!  It's too good to spoil.  However, if you do not want any details about the movie at all, it's kind of obvious that you may not want to read on!

Basic Plot:
Hiro Hamada is a fourteen-year-old genius who graduated high school at the age of thirteen.  He and his older brother Tadashi live with their Aunt Cass, since their parents died when they were young.  Tadashi is in college at SFIT, and makes an inflatable robot that helps and takes care of people - Baymax, your personal healthcare assistant.  Tadashi convinces Hiro to apply for SFIT, and he does. 

After the college goes up in flames in a terrible accident, Hiro, with the help of Tadashi's college friends - GoGo Tomago, Honey Lemon, Wasabi No Ginger, and Fred -, along with Baymax, have to avenge the accident and catch the villain. 

Some Messages Within The Movie: ****POSSIBILITY FOR SPOILERS*****

*Personal loss. 
At one point in the movie, Hiro is depressed.  While yes, Frozen's Elsa was a metaphor for depression, it is flat-out mentioned in the film, and dealt with throughout the movie.  It's not a snap-your-fingers-and-they're-okay-again deal, like what we see in a lot of movies. 
*Team players.
Hiro, at one point, goes against his teammates in a rage, bent on revenge for the villain who burnt down the college instead of justice.  He, with the help of Baymax, eventually understands his mistake and goes back to the team, and they handle the situation correctly. 
*Never give up. 
While Tadashi never gave up on Baymax or Hiro, this message goes deeper than that.  The movie tells you to never give up on your dreams, on other people, or yourself.  I don't know about you guys, but I think this is something everyone needs to think about.  Earlier this year, I really needed this message!

Main Characters:

Honey Lemon
Voiced by Genesis Rodriguez, Honey Lemon is the optimistic of the bunch.  Even if someone's trying to kill them, she's seeing the silver lining to the situation!  She's quite a lot like Tangled's Rapunzel in this sense.  She's the chemist of the group. 
Hiro HamadaVoiced by Ryan Potter, Hiro Hamada is a robotics prodigy, as well as the main character in the story.
Tadashi HamadaVoiced by Daniel Henney, Tadashi Hamada is the older Hamada brother and Hiro's role model.  His entire purpose in life is to help people.
Aunt Cass
Voiced by Maya Rudolph, Aunt Cass is the owner of the Lucky Cat Cafe and the guardian of Tadashi and Hiro.  She's the one that has to run after and control her two genius nephews. 
Wasabi No-Ginger
Voiced by Damon Wayans Jr., Wasabi may be the biggest and beefiest character in the movie, but he's just a giant kitten.  He's hindered by severe OCD tendencies and has to overcome these in the movie.
FredT.J. Miller voices Fred.  He's not a mega genius, but is the mascot for SFIT.  Even if he's a huge nerd and doesn't get into all the science-y stuff that the rest of the characters do, he's just as important as the rest of them.
GoGo TomagoVoiced by Jamie Chung (who is Mulan on Once Upon a Time), GoGo is the snarky mechanics geek of the bunch; a real Clint Eastwood type.  She's a woman of few words, but she gets her point across!
BaymaxVoiced by Scott Adsit, Baymax is the inflatable, huggable robot that is very innocent and childlike.  He's the glue that holds the entire team together.

Marvel OriginsBig Hero 6 is a Marvel comic series that isn't very popular at all.  The names of the characters and some minor plot details are used from the comics in this movie, but that's about where the similarities end; however, I have not found the actual comics yet to really read them - though I would love to!  The comic series Big Hero 6 is virtually a love letter to the Japanese culture. 

SoundtrackThe soundtrack is amazing.  The composer is Henry Jackman, the same composer who worked on Captain America: The Winter Soldier's soundtrack.  If you've read my review for The Winter Soldier, you'll know I'm in love with the soundtrack.  Big Hero 6's soundtrack is just as good!  If you liked Jackman's work in The Winter Soldier, I highly, highly recommend this soundtrack as well!  It's on YouTube if you'd like to check some of them out. 

The.  Graphics.  The CG in this movie is simply stunning.  A+ animation.  Not many flaws, and they obviously took their time with creating the film.  

The storyline is excellent.  There aren't too many plot holes that I can find - if any - and that is a very, very good thing. 

Overall: I would give the movie a 9.5/10.  I'm docking half of a point because of some suggestiveness in the beginning of the movie whilst Baymax is talking to Hiro about puberty - in which, Hiro cuts him off at a very convenient moment, and I feel like they could've left that out, but overall, the movie is amazing.  It has a very good storyline and very deep, heartfelt messages.  You'll laugh, you'll cry - a lot - and you'll likely fall in love with the movie and want to see it over and over again. 
Plus, there is an after-credits scene with Stan Lee.  It's worth it.  It's worth sitting through the credits. 
Have any of you seen Big Hero 6 yet?  Are you planning on seeing it in theaters? What are your thoughts about the movie? 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Review: The Making of Beauty and the Beast

Hey guys!  Before I get into today's review, I just wanted to thank you all for your patience and willingness to keep up with the blog.  Never thought I'd get over 9600 views and 13 followers on this blog! You guys are all amazing, and I'm so thankful for each and every one of you. 
This review's for "The Making of Beauty and the Beast".  I apologize ahead of time, Blogger's being a jerk and uploading photos sideways.  Again.  *facepalm* But anyway. 

The book, of course, is much like the "Art of" books, like Brave, Tangled, and Frozen's, only a little shorter.  There's a neat little section in the margin of one page, shown above, that describes Belle's "warpaint", or where blush, shading, etc. would be placed. 

The book also includes plenty of concept art, like the amazing concept of Beast shown here.  I apologize for the glare, the pages are shiny and..yeah. 

The side margins on the book also include a lot of information about some of the artists that worked on the movie.  The margin above is about Glen Keane, of course.  (Oh boy, these sideways pictures are really getting on my nerves..I'm so sorry guys!)

It also has a lot of information about the architecture in the film, especially about the castle.  There's actually a bit of a floorplan shown!  It's very neat. 

It has a table of contents, which shows how the book is divided into a prologue and two parts: "From Legend to Film" and "The Elements of Animation." 

In the back of the book, a glossary of animation terms is printed.  It'd helpful for if you don't quite understand what some term is! 

And finally, here's just a fun little picture of Belle with her "Making Of" book.  I couldn't resist, because...she's a girl with her nose stuck in a book, reading about the girl with her nose stuck in a book.

Overall, I'd give the book 4.5 / 5 stars.  I'd like to see a bit of a thicker book, for the price, but it's still very informative and I really enjoyed it.  Any fan of Beauty and the Beast would likely enjoy it!   

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Hey guys!
I'm so sorry for leaving this for 22 days.  Ugh.  I didn't expect to be going to play practices for my church youth group almost every single day this month.  But the play is over with, and I've never been prouder of my church's youth group.  We all did so well this year, despite several little hiccups with planning this year's Christmas play :D 
Anyway, with that over with, I'll hopefully be posting more.  I have so many ideas and reviews to post about..just not the time. 
But without further ado, I hope you guys all have a very merry and blessed Christmas, and don't forget that Jesus is the reason for the season! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast book review

Hey guys! 
I've got a review for you all today - a review of the book "Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast" by Bob Thomas. 
A note here: I am SO sorry that almost all of these are sideways.  Blogger decided to load them up the wrong way and it's just plain not wanting to work today, so bear with me.  Sorry!

This book is very informative.  Now, if you're interested in any of the other Art of books, or Disney history, you'll most likely enjoy this book.  It includes information on the origins of Walt Disney's company, and about most of (if not all of) the animated features up to "Beauty and the Beast". 

Side note here: this is kind of a 2-in-1 deal here.  It also includes a second book, "The Making of Beauty and the Beast", also by Bob Thomas.  If I would have known this pre-purchase, I wouldn't have bought that book separately (review to come. :P) So in other words, don't pay $11 for The Making of Beauty and the Beast *AND* $5 for Art of Animation: From Mickey Mouse to Beauty and the Beast when you could just get both for $5. 
Moving on.

The book is divided into several sections...

And includes a lot of interesting information on all of the movies Walt was involved in, especially Snow White.

Part of the table of contents. 
This book seriously has a wealth of information - I couldn't put it down!  It's not like it's riveting and full of action or anything, but I just find it really interesting xD

The side margins of the book has a lot of photos of the workers at the company, as well as captions.  The information in these are also kind of neat! 
The book also includes quite a bit of neat concept art, even including a two-page spread of the movie Fantasia

If you're interested in Disney history, this book would probably be an excellent thing to look into.  I bought it from used for about $5, so it's definitely a decent price for such a good book!

I will be posting the review for The Making of Beauty and the Beast book after this, and then will be posting reviews for the Big Hero 6 Junior Novelization, probably The Hunger Games trilogy (and the first two movies, I suppose), a movie review for Big Hero 6 (*muffled screaming* it was amazing), annnd probably a few other things I just can't think of right now :P