Movie Review – Snowpiercer


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(Running super short on time so forgive any typos and crappy grammar!)




Starring: Chris Evans, Jamie Bell, Kang-ho Song, Ed Harris, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Ewen Bremmer, Ah-sung Ko, Alison Pill, Luke Pasqualino, Vlad Ivanov, Adnan Hascovik, and more.


Directed by: Joon-ho Bong Screenplay by: Joon-ho Bong and Kelly Masterson Based on Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand, and Jean-Marc Rochette Cinematography by: Kyung-pyo Hong Music by: Marco Beltrami


Premise: When a fix for global warming goes terribly wrong, the world is plunged into an eternal winter. While all other life is gone, humans have survived thanks to Wilford Industries and its train. But for those in the rear of the train, life is harsh. Despite previous failed attempts to push their way to the front and confronting Wilford and his mighty engine, when two of their children are taken away without explanation, Curtis gives in and those in the back make their move. (Rated R)




1) Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Loved Chris Evans in this. Shows a different side of his abilities. Jamie Bell was full of passion and hero worship. Kang-ho Song was fun with his interested disinterest. John Hurt and Ed Harris – need I say more? Tilda Swinton was a hoot as Mason. And always love to watch Octavia Spencer work. All these people are what made the movie worth watching. If not for them…


2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: Very subtle and well done special effects. Watching the train careening over the tracks and smashing into ice looked very cool. The engine itself was minimalistically cool. Smoke and mirrors. Several of the cars were fantastic and not just in the sharp contrast with what we’d seen of the train before, but the set up. The sushi car was super awesome. 


Lots of neat visuals sprinkled through the film – when they get their first ever look (for some) outside the train; the fight in the car with all the night vision goggle guys; the bizarre school, and more. 


3) Plot/Story – Neutral: If you can ignore all the unrealistic pieces of the film, there are some neat plot beneath it. But many will find it hard. Suspension of disbelief has to reach new heights to swallow parts of this one. 


The science on this is so terribly, terribly bad. The train is supposed to be a self sustaining entity, and has to have successfully been doing so for almost twenty years. But if the sections of the train we get to see as the revolution heads towards the front is any indication, there’s no way it could handle the number of people aboard. They’d been better served to have set this situation up aboard a cruise ship or a facility inside a mountain than on a train. The amount of room they’d need just to reprocess waste materials or grow anywhere near the amount of food or other things they’d need to exist was way beyond what the train could possibly contain. There’s not even enough room to walk or exercise, so the fact these people in the back could even move since they’ve nothing to do but eat and sleep, was a stretch. 


Bad science aside, a lot of the social aspects explored in the film were very interesting. They even set up a several mysteries to entice us along – the mysterious Mr. Wilson, the engine, what could they be possibly doing with the back car kids? Seeing how the different sections are all going a little crazy, each in their own way. Neat stuff.


If they’d only paid a little more attention to the science this could have been so so good! They also thought they ended it on a hopeful note, but they are so very wrong.


4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Some really neat stunts and fight scenes. The way they come up with to break from their compartment into the next car or two over was super cool! And the fight with the guards with the night vision goggles as the new year rings in was mind boggling and well done on so many levels. Nice work!


5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: The look of the cars as they moved from back to front where all little capsules of their own with a different look and feel for every one of them. The spanning shots of the train and the white emptiness, the railroad bridge and the yawning expanse below, lots of neat visuals.


Conclusion: If you can ignore the utterly atrocious science with regards to the train being an actual working self contained eco-system, there is fun to be had. The surprises and reveals toward the end were quite devilish. 


Rating: 3 of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Better on Cable)

PIcture Kaleidoscope 7/23/14


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Half the week is almost over and ArmadilloCon lays in the horizon. Woot!



From PetaPixel - These Beautiful, High-Contrast, Black & White Street Photos Are A Testament To Great Composition by Gannon Burgett. Photography by Mahmoud Merjan.



These Women’s Portraits Make Use of Emotion and Environment by Alyson Wyers. Photography by  Alessio Albi



Fell in love with this one at Alessio Albi’s site – Rebecca. Nice! Lots of gorgeous work! 



Photographer Brings Back The Glory Of Old US Locomotives by Udi Tirosh. Photography by Matthew Malkiewicz




Totally love this one too. Mr. Malkiewicz does incredible work. (I have a friend who LOVES trains. Had to instantly send an email. Heh heh.)



May your day be filled with awesome sights!


MInd Sieve 7/21/14


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Greetings, all!



Fan Fun

Campaign for raising funds to make a long Simon’s Cat Cartoon at Indiegogo. Should be so cute!!!! 


Syfy is doing a TV version of 12 Monkeys! Could be fun!


Sharknado 2 The Second One - official trailer. HAH! Didn’t see the 1st one but this one looks fun. lol.


Appleseed Alpha Official Trailer 1 - CGI of the anime/manga series – sweet!


Crimson Skies Official Trailer - Woot! Dragon apocalypse!!!!


The Prince Official Trailer - Oooh!



Writing Advice


From Jami Gold - Building a Character ARC Starts From the End. Great stuff!


Why You Should Act As Your Own Author-Publisher (At Least Once) from Chuck (NSFW) Wendig. Pay close attention to #6 though! There really are no shortcuts. If you’re new to writing, you must never assume you actually have a clue – because in the beginning, most of us really don’t! :P


Out of time. Stay healthy!

Virtual Tourist – TERA 7/20/14


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Morning all!

Running late. Been fighting a cold and it tricked me this morning. For shame!




Crecentia/Lumbertown areas

(I think)



Like totally friendly decor here, right?



Portable campfires to regen health, mps, and stamina. 



Totally cute!



Yeah, totally friendly area. For sure! NOT



Such cool architecture!



Teleport portal. These guys do use antlers in all their decorating! Hee hee!



Cutest bag guys ever!



All sorts of interesting stuff.



Doesn’t he look cool?



Latest armor of the moment.




Hubby’s. Too cute



This thing was so creepy looking! 



The rows of eyes. Eek!



Bunny in a rock. 



Baby dragon!!!!!



Isn’t that a glorious sky?


Gave a great day!

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/16/14


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Feeling a little under the weather today. Ugh.



Some unusual cloud formations for Texas recently. The weird cotton pattern is not what you normally see here.



Sometimes I really wish you could pan back. This made for a cool giant sized wing. :)



Fighting the wind to take a pic of the bud. Wind kept winning as it wouldn’t let the image focus. lol.



Took this on the way in this morning. More cotton looking clouds.



But I did something because instead of one pic, I heard the phone do multiple.



Hadn’t touched the main button, so no idea what happened. But it does show how fast the clouds are moving.



Giant cotton balls! They look even more defined here at work. 


Have a great day!

Mind Sieve 7/14/14


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Happy Monday!

(Yes, I realize that may be an oxymoron, but to survive me must fool ourselves where we can. :P)


Fan Fun

Exodus: Gods and Kings Official Trailer #1 - This should be cool. Haven’t had Egyptian stuff in a while. Sweet! 


Unbroken Official Olympics Trailer - will be a definite tear jerker.


Ping Pong Summer Trailer - comedy set in 1985 – might be cute. :P


The Identical Trailer - what’s truly funny about this is that though it is not Elvis Presley, it’s definitely treated as if it were. Which is super cool and creepy since Elvis seemingly had a twin that died at birth! So you could look at this almost as a what if. Go Seth Green!


Author Platform/Social Media

From Facebook for Business - New Direct Response Features: Multi-Product Ads and Enhanced Custom Audiences from your Website - man, I really, really need a clone. So little time…


How to Schedule and Edit Facebook Posts Using Facebook - from Ravi Shukle at the Social Media Examiner. Ooooh, schedule ability! Nice! 


Writing Advice


Want More Conflict in Your Novel? Go DM & Balance the Party by Kristen Lamb. Hah! Using ye old D&D alignment rules to help figure out characters. Heh. Being a gamer does have some advantages. Nice. (Though a few of the alignment examples I could argue with. But this is a subjective thing. Heh.)


Sycophants and Stockholm Syndrome: More Publishing Rhetoric, YAY by Chuck Wendig. 


See ya!


Virtual Tourist – TERA 7/13/14


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Morning, all!





Some kind of light thing. The rose will glow. Really rather cool.



NPC with a cool outfit



I would definitely live in this tree house!






Why, yes, she’d love to kill any of us. 



Horns in all their decorating! Really looks cool, doesn’t it?



Summoning device of some sort.



Back in the more civilized zone.



The sky is so awesome here!



Town folk.



That is one BIG statue




Isn’t the cottage just too cute?



Newest set of armor for hubby. Isn’t it cute?



This is mine. Heh heh. 



Have an awesome Sunday!

Movie Review – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes


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Dawn of the Planet of the Apes





Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Toby Kebbell, Keri Russell, Gary Oldman, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Kirk Acevedo, Nick Thurston, Terry Notary, Karin Konoval, Judy Greer, Jon Eyez, Enrique Murciano, Larramie Doc Shaw, and more.


Directed by: Matt Reeves Written by: Mark Bomback, Rick Jaffa, and Amanda Silver Based on Characters Created by: Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver Based on the Novel by: Pierre Boulle Cinematography by: Michael Seresin Music by: Michael Giacchino 


Premise: Ten years after the events depicted in “Rise of the Planet of the Apes”, Ceasar and the other simians have created a home for themselves in the forest, while humanity has been under siege by a deadly virus strain. Thinking the humans possibly all gone, two apes have an encounter in the forest as a group of humans travelled the woods from a nearby dam. Despite being allowed to return to the city and told not to ever return, Malcolm goes back into the forest to ask permission from Ceasar to fix the dam. What little fuel the humans in the city have is about gone and they’re desperate not to slide back into chaos. But though Ceasar is willing for the two factions to get along, there are others who disagree. (Rated PG-13)




1)  Acting – Total Thumbs Up: Andy Serkis did a phenomenal job as Ceasar. Toby Kebbell was brilliant, his switch from hatefilled ape to comical monkey will totally catch you unawares. Jason Clarke, Keri Russell, Kodi Smit-McPhee and others, really sold the wonder, the fear, and the amazement as they spend time with the apes. 


2) Special Effects – Total Thumbs Up: The CGI in this film is phenomenal. You forget the apes aren’t real. The amount of detail and expressiveness of their features is amazing. They way the apes move, how they land on tree limbs, even making the limb rock from their weight, how they walk and climb, it all looks natural and real. And wait until you see the baby. Wow.


The combat scenes with the humans are as jaw dropping as they were horrifying. The image of Koba on the horse with the rifles and the fire will stick with me for a long time. Really well done. And wait until you see them take the fight above ground. 


Tons of gun play and explosions once things go bad. The bus scene was great. The big tower fight sequence was also very good. And the home the apes made for themselves on the cliff looked very cool and seemed an amalgamation of both ancient Medieval castles and ape habitats.


Totally loved the jungled look of the city as well. The view from Ceasar’s home toward the city looked fabulous.


3) Plot/Story – Total Thumbs Up: The quick intro did much to set the mood and flashed enough information for the audience that they could get to the actual story quickly and with a good grasp of what’s been going on. That they started us with the apes was a good call, letting the audience get a feel for the developing simian culture and the dynamics in play. 


A lot of near misses as the two cultures clash, multiple attempt to reach understanding, and sabotage by those clinging to fear and hatred. Then they build it as high as it can go, only to bring it all crashing down and not in the way you’d expect. 


Family – both simian and human – are central themes in the film and get explored from several angles. So are fear and hatred for its own sake. Koba shows all that apes are more human than they ever suspected. Well done!


A lot of homage is sneaked in too, harking back to the original films – the apes riding horses, and later toting firearms, humans (and apes!) in cages and other iconic images. The fact Ceasar’s son is called Blue Eyes, the name Zira gave the character George Taylor in the 1968 film. So lots of fan fodder to be found.


4) Stunts – Total Thumbs Up: Apes riding horses, humans and apes shooting, cars exploding, simian and human violence. The CGI and real people were meshed seamlessly making the action and stunts even more awesome.


5) Locations/Cinematography – Total Thumbs Up: Some very nice work with the cinematography. From the neat shots of the apes swinging in the trees, to the long shots of the streets filled with simians, humans packed together in a cage of their own making and later one made by apes, even the wide shots of both the human and simian homes – yummy food for the eyes. The moving 360 shot during the heat of combat in the city? Priceless.


Conclusion: “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” not only pays homage to the original films of the 60′s but carves out it’s own permanent wedge in the franchise. Great effects and solid plot totally entertained. 


Rating: 4.25 out of 5 (Hubby’s Rating: Worth Paying Full Price to See Again)

Picture Kaleidoscope 7/9/14


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South Beach Shavings by Chris Miele at  Cool effect!



Tentacle Rock by Chris Miele - lots of lovely landscape and even abstract photos for sale. 



Beautiful and utterly creepy - Mantis Mother by Joe Daniels at



Lizard Lunch by Joe Daniels - lots of underwater photography and closeups of the underwater denizens. 



Dead Horse Point at Night by Mike Taylor at He’s got even lovelier shots at his site. Nice!



Polish Father Captures Touching Portraits of His Family Around Their Rural Home - article by Gannon Burgett – photography by Sebastian Luczywo at PetaPixel. Some really cute portraits. 








Have an awesome day!

Mind Sieve 7/7/14


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Morning! Let’s do this! (WordPress has changed stuff again, so no telling how this will come out, o.O)



Fan Fun

Before I Go To Sleep Trailer - this looks good and super creepy!

St. Vincent Trailer - this looks actually cute!

Dracula Untold Official Trailer - With vampires, don’t worry. Looks fun.

Into The Storm Trailer - like “Twister” on steroids. lol.




Author Platform/Social Media

From Lisa D Jenkins at the Social Media Examiner - Essential Twitter Marketing Resources: A Complete Guide. That is one boatful of resources. Dang! Need a clone!


Writing Advice

The Silver Lining of Bad Reviews by Jami Gold. Some real good advice about reviews. :)


Have a great Monday!


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