Archive for the ‘Animated films’ Category

Taiyo Con   3 comments

Ken St. Andre, steampunk tai chi master, passes through the Gates of Steel to enter the World of the Weird.

Ken St. Andre, steampunk tai chi master, passes through the Gates of Steel to enter the World of the Weird.

I love hall costumes. Not enough to really get into that scene myself, although I would be totally willing to wear great costumes that others made for me, but enough to appreciate and enjoy it when the costumed folk surround me. Last week there was an anime con in Mesa, Arizona. I thought about attending but decided to only go on Sunday, and to only go to see the cosplay. I am not much of a fanboy for any particular anime, but at least the costume I wore made me part of the cosplay crowd, and made it really easy to talk to them. I took my camera along and this is what I found.

Pikachu and Ash were there.

Pikachu and Ash were there.

Far future assassin. Awesome weapons and armor. Glad I was not his target.

Far future assassin. Awesome weapons and armor. Glad I was not his target.

Avoiding the old joke about horny ladies, I will say these pretty devil girls seemed very happy not to be in Hell.

Avoiding the old joke about horny ladies, I will say these pretty devil girls seemed very happy not to be in Hell.

A cat may look at a queen, and I looked at this one. I believe Wonderland is getting more psychedelic than Carroll's Wildest Imagination.

A cat may look at a queen, and I looked at this one. I believe Wonderland is getting more psychedelic than Carroll’s Wildest Imagination.

And speaking of queens, here's Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.

And speaking of queens, here’s Marceline, the Vampire Queen from Adventure Time.

I really like the vampiriness of her costume, so I got this closeup to show her teeth. She doesn't have to drink blood--she just eats the color red. Getting her teeth whitened wouldn't hurt, though.

I really like the vampiriness of her costume, so I got this closeup to show her teeth. She doesn’t have to drink blood–she just eats the color red. Getting her teeth whitened wouldn’t hurt, though.

Kill La Kill--a high school frull of killer girls. Our heroine is Ryuko Matoi who wields one half of a giant pair of scissors.

Kill La Kill–a high school frull of killer girls. Our heroine is Ryuko Matoi who wields one half of a giant pair of scissors.

Although cosplayers live to be photographed and complimented, any of them have no idea how to pose. This is the Before I got them to actually do some cosplay.

Although cosplayers live to be photographed and complimented, many of them have no idea how to pose. This is the Before I got them to actually do some cosplay.

and this is after. Don't you agree that they look much better while threatening me with unspeakable evils?

and this is after. All I had to do was suggest they come back to my place with me, and they got much more animated. Don’t you agree that they look much better while threatening me with unspeakable evils?  (Just kidding. What would I do with two beautiful and dangerous young females? The world will never know. grin.)

Sometimes you just want to chill with your friends. Hanging out at Taiyo Con.

Sometimes you just want to chill with your friends. Hanging out at Taiyo Con.

Are these girls wearing the scariest pajamas ever? The humanoid figure you see on their clothing is a titan from Attack on Titan.

Are these girls wearing the scariest pajamas ever? The humanoid figure you see on their clothing is a titan from Attack on Titan.

From the huge to the tiny. When I left the Titanic twins behind, I met this radiantly beautiful fairy.

From the huge to the tiny. When I left the Titanic twins behind, I met this radiantly beautiful fairy.

I asked about the mask. She just likes to wear it. I tried the line from the Princess Bride on her where the Dread Pirate Roberts defends his mask by saying he thinks it is very fashionable, but it went right by her.

I asked about the mask. She just likes to wear it. I tried the line from the Princess Bride on her where the Dread Pirate Roberts defends his mask by saying he thinks it is very fashionable, but it went right by her.

The girl in pink was standing with the girl in black when I took her picture, and wanted to be photographed too. I mentioned (lol) how dangerous they looked, and whispered to Pinky that she was the one who really terrified me. That really made her smile and she said she liked me.

The girl in pink was standing with the girl in black when I took her picture, and wanted to be photographed too. I mentioned (lol) how dangerous they looked, and whispered to Pinky that she was the one who really terrified me. That really made her smile and she said she liked me.

Not all of the dangerous characters and great costumes were worn by women. This guy with his twin swords was posing almost nonstop, often with ladies who liked his killer looks.

Not all of the dangerous characters and great costumes were worn by women. This guy with his twin swords was posing almost nonstop, often with ladies who liked his killer looks.

Deadpool was there. He seemed to be mostly a beast of burden for the girl he was with, but he had the better outfit.  Heh, it would have been great to get him into a faceoff with that furure assassin character or maybe the ninja up above.

Deadpool was there. He seemed to be mostly a beast of burden for the girl he was with, but he had the better outfit. Heh, it would have been great to get him into a faceoff with that furure assassin character or maybe the ninja up above.

Here's another guy with a suit of armor I'd really love to own. Maybe he's supposed to be Riddick, or maybe he just likes the bald look. I kind of like it myself.

Here’s another guy with a suit of armor I’d really love to own. Maybe he’s supposed to be Riddick, or maybe he just likes the bald look. I kind of like it myself.

A lot of the costumes were amazing with great props like the swords, guns, guitars, horns, and such, but I talked to this guy in the LAPD armor from the computer game Fallout with the Pip-Boy. The Pip-Boy 3000 appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It's an electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in the mid-21st century, and acts as the player's HUD in the game. (info courtesy of the Fallout wiki)

A lot of the costumes were amazing with great props like the swords, guns, guitars, horns, and such, but I talked to this guy in the LAPD armor from the computer game Fallout with the Pip-Boy. The Pip-Boy 3000 appears in Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas. It’s an electronic Personal Information Processor (PIP) manufactured by RobCo Industries in the mid-21st century, and acts as the player’s HUD in the game. (info courtesy of the Fallout wiki)

The Lady in Red was a vendor selling elf hats from the Legend of Zelda. I came within an inch of buying one, even though I can't think of any reason for ever wearing it.  Simple but cool.

The Lady in Red was a vendor selling elf hats from the Legend of Zelda. I came within an inch of buying one, even though I can’t think of any reason for ever wearing it. Simple but cool.

The newly-dead don't all lie down and molder. This one was ready to defend herself and had the cutest freckles and engaging smile when caught off-guard.

The newly-dead don’t all lie down and molder. This one was ready to defend herself and had the cutest freckles and engaging smile when caught off-guard.

Short, blonde, female Naruto, but dangerous all the same. I truly love the dangerous ones.

Short, blonde, female Naruto, but dangerous all the same. I truly love the dangerous ones. I showed her this tai chi guard and push posture to get her into action instead of just portrait mode.  Knowing some tai chi has its benefits.

Is that an owlbear I see lurking in the background?

Is that an owlbear I see lurking in the background?

Very handsome wolfman--I didn't ask him to pose, just caught him going about his business.

Very handsome wolfman–I didn’t ask him to pose, just caught him going about his business.

Rushing into the Dealers Room, she stopped to let me take a photo, but she forget to smile. This is what happens to beautiful young anime characters once they get middle-aged and world-weary.

Rushing into the Dealers Room, she stopped to let me take a photo, but she forget to smile. This is what happens to beautiful young anime characters once they get middle-aged and world-weary.

Volunteers make any convention run. These kids were in costume and doing their duty, even tho the need for volunteers was mostly gone by Sunday afternoon. I salute Con volunteers everywhere and thank you for  your time and effort.

Volunteers make any convention run. These kids were in costume and doing their duty, even tho the need for volunteers was mostly gone by Sunday afternoon. I salute Con volunteers everywhere and thank you for your time and effort.

Colorful. Great hair.

Colorful. Great hair. Has a boyfriend.

Storm of the X-Men was blowing in as I was blowing out.

Storm of the X-Men was blowing in as I was blowing out.

Maybe she's hear to apprehend Deadpool. She certainly looks ready for action.

Maybe she’s here.  to apprehend Deadpool. She certainly looks ready for action.

And that’s all, folks.  I am sure I missed some great costumes, and didn’t go to any panels or see any of the anime stars on hand, but I had a fun hour taking pix and talking to the people in the lobby.  I don’t know if Con promoters and producers would want me to say this or not, but people, hotel lobbies are free. If you can’t afford to pay the high prices of attending today’s many sci-fi, fantasy, media, anime, comics cons, you can still go and hang out in the lobby where you may get a chance to talk to the participants, see great costumes, take some photos, and otherwise enjoy yourself. It is a lot better than staying home and playing computer games all afternoon–though there is nothing wrong with playing computer games, and I play a lot.

Next weekend I will be a gaming guest at DarkCon 2014, and I think I’ll wear my steampunk tai-chi master costume again–at least for one day. I will be doing a panel on Saturday morning with three other more notable game designers than myself (Tom Dowd, John Wick, Todd VanHooser), and I should be running some Tunnels and Trolls for anyone who would really like to play. Bring your characters and your dice and come game with me!  You can learn all about DarkCon here: https://www.facebook.com/events/162229360629080/.  I will be taking pix, and should have another Con report here in a week or ten days.

If you ever indulge in cosplay, or take pix of those who do, why not leave a comment? If you were at Taiyo Con,  you should certainly leave a comment and tell what was best about the Con for you.

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Wreck-It Ralph   1 comment

About ten days ago I went to see Wreck-it Ralph.  I had read a review that made it sound as cutesy as Hotel Transylvania, and that prejudiced me against it, because I saw Hotel, and there were parts of that cartoon that made me gag.  Other parts made me smile, however, so I rated it a C as far as animated movies go.  Everyone else who had seen it said Ralph was great, so I decided to give it a chance.

It turns out to be a pretty good story.  As a cartoon, it does well, all the things that Disney does well.  I have a feeling for misunderstood bad guys.  Every character is an archetype, but their motivations are clear and easily understood.  There’s a message in the movie, and there’s lots of bubblegum music, bright colors, and flashing lights.  What’s not to like?

Well, like some other critics, I kind of gagged on this:

Poor misunderstood racer who just has to win the big race to redeem the world.

And yet, if you forget the annoying kid aspect and cliched storyline, and just let yourself experience the  fun aspects of the Sugar Rush world, it’s great.  I do have the ability, still–Thank the gods!–of being able to turn off my inner curmudgeon/critic.  When that sourpus goes away, even Vannelope Von Schweetz becomes great fun.

I think Disney has a real winner with Wreck-it Ralph.  There’s one really cool concept in the film–Game Central Station, a place where all the characters from various video games can get out of their own games and meet each other on neutral teritory.  It also allows them to enter other games.  I like the idea of characters being able to switch worlds and experience other realities.  I like the idea that there are real personalities, people, and lives in the video games world–by extension in all fictional worlds.

I was in a place like this once, but it was in London and the real world.

It has been a long time since I’ve seen this concept of the wider cartoon/video world inter-acting with our own.  The last time was in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?  And that was 20 years ago! Jeez!  Time flies when you’re having fun.

What most people forget is that Roger Rabbit featured cameo appearances by dozens of other popular cartoon characters. And it interfaced cartoon reality with human reality. Ralph does the same, but with video game reality taking the place of cartoon reality.

Studios go a long way today to make movies into more than just a one-time trip to the cinema.  Every movie is a merchandizing opportunity, and I’m sure there will be Wreck-it Ralph toys available–if only at the Disney stores.  More immediate fun can be had at the website for the movie.

[http://disney.go.com/games/#/games/play3/&content=2009306].

Disney has a website full of games based on their movies and if you go there you can play the games featured in Wreck-it Ralph.  That would be Fix-it Felix, Hero’s Duty, and Sugar Rush.  Wanna be a space marine fighting alien bugs–you can do it.  Wanna be a wacky racer?  Most of us have the urge for speed, and driving games are always a blast.  Even I liked it, and I have no reflexes and came in last every time I tried it.

So, big thumbs up for Wreck-it Ralph, the movie that proves even bad guys can be heroes.  I’m gonna say, get a kid, or be a kid, and see Wreck-it Ralph.  It’s a better movie than Hotel Transylvania and a lot of fun.  I give it a B+ and predict that Wreck-it Ralph and Fix-it Felix will be with us for years to come.

If you saw Ralph, or would like to live in a stump in a dump full of bricks, why not leave a comment?

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