Posted in Built, Papa, Reviews, Star Wars

Review : Bandai Yoda 1:6 and 1:12

As usual, this model is a great project to do and you will be amazed at how simple and detailed the final result is.

I have only 2 littles issues with this kit:

  • first of all, the shoulders of the 1:6 Yoda are a bit weird. I know it is difficult to do this kind of articulated figures (we can only see how many action figures look funny when you try to lift their arms or fold their legs, but…
  • the 1:12 version is so great, I would have liked it to be 1:6 too!!!

The kit itself is very fast to make, and painting/weathering gives it a great realistic feeling.

The result is a nice display piece that is sure to amaze!

you can get the kit here : Amazon.com

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Posted in doctor who, Reviews

Jodie Whittaker is the new Doctor!!

This week started on a huge piece of news: Jodie Whittaker has been chosen to be the new Doctor!!! 


A new doctor is, as always, a big announcement: “Doctor Who” has been running for almost 55 years (with a break in the 80-90’s) and is followed by an immense fandom, including us, of course.


As far as I can remember, the new Doctors have never made the unanimity in the fandom, so imagine the shock when it was revealed that the next time lord would be a woman! The whovian community is basically split into 2 right now.

On one side, those who disapprove:

  • The Role of the Doctor can’t be given to a woman : imagine they do the same with James Bond?
  • This will ruin the show
  • “No way I will watch from now on”
  • The dynamic doctor-companion will suffer
  • And after all, why change when it has been working for more than 50 years with a male as the lead?
  • This is political correctness gone wrong
  • And I even read: “little boys who are fans of the show will be disturbed”

On the other side, those who welcome this change:

  • Jodie was wonderful in Broadchurch
  • This gives the chance to millions of little girls to identify with a strong hero
  • It was always said that the Doctor could regenerate to another gender (see Missy, for example)
  • “You haven’t even seen an episode, how can you know she is not fitted to the role?”
  • And the always popular: “you are just a male chauvinist pig!”

The fun thing is that, both camps are composed of males and females. If you can easily imagine that the guys would “fight for one of their own”, the ladies’ position is a bit more difficult to analyse. I would risk a wild guess and say that either they are attached to tradition/established things, or they see the Doctor as a kind of Father figure/sex symbol that is removed from them.

Having said that, I think that Jodie Whittaker is a welcome breath of fresh air. I’ve never seen her in Broadchurch, but she has been highly praised for her natural acting, sense of humour and she seems very capable of giving a new life to the character.

The morning after the announcement (due to the time difference we learned about the New Doctor around midnight), Reggie told me “boy or girl, as long as the design of the sonic screwdriver is good, I have no problem!”. I was happy he was so accepting! 

So, will it be weird to see a character we have known as a male for ages turn into a female? Yes, most probably at first. Then we will get over it. It’s not like we didn’t know he could regenerate into a woman: when Matt Smith regenerated, he touched his long-ish hair and exclaimed “I’m a girl!”. The Master already regenerated into Missy. And this Timelord general also regenerated into a woman. It was just a matter of time before the Doctor himself would.


And, will we still feel connected to the character? Believe it or not, yes. We have a connection when we watch Princess Leia strangle Jabba. We have a connection when we see Rey fighting Kylo Ren, or when Jyn Erso grabs the plans of the Death Star…

So, let’s celebrate the new Doctor. I’m sure she will be wonderful. And, to be honest, I’m happy we got to see, in our lifetime, a first, à revolutionary change in one of our Favourite series.

Posted in Alex, kids words, Mommy, Olie, Papa, Reggie, Reviews

Review : Guardians of the Galaxy – Vol. 2

Yesterday night, we were lucky enough to be invited by Disney and G&B Comics (https://www.facebook.com/GnBcomic/) to a preview of GotG2!



It was a really good evening, and we all had a fantastic time. On the way back home, we had this discussion, and we discovered that we had mixed feelings about the movie :

SPOILERS ALERT!!!! If you haven’t see the movie yet, look away!

What did you generally think of the movie?

Alex – It was good! but I found it a bit depressing because both his fathers died, in the same movie, in the span of like…5 minutes.
Olie – One was his father, one was his Dad… For me, I found it was more comedic than the first one. It was taken a bit too far.
Reggie – There was a lot of vulgar language…
GeekMommy – There was not a lot, actually… not so much… I didn’t even hear any “F” word…
A – Yeah : “Trash Panda” was the worst thing I’ve heard…
GeekDaddy – For me, I really fell into the trap of his Dad… Because at first, I knew he was up to no good, but I was like “that is not a villain”, you know? He doesn’t look like a villain, he doesn’t act like a villain, and so I was like “Maybe, after all, he is a good guy”, or at a point in the movie, I thought we wouldn’t have a grand finale where they fight a villain, you know?
A – I was really hoping that the father would teach him how to use his powers, then he would go and fight bad people…
GM – …then the real villain would come and kill the father and he would go and take revenge, like Superman!
R – My favorite part was that Peter Quill says “I will build a 80 foot Pacman statue”… and he did it!

Any surprise about the movie?

GD – Stallone?!
O – yeah, I read that in the next GotG he will be the villain
GM – yeah, Michelle Yeoh and him, I think will be the bad guys…
GD – they are not bad, I mean, they are just thieves…
O – Who is Michelle Yeoh?
A – Mantis…
GD – No : at the end, one of the pirates who came for Yandu’s funeral.
A – oh? The one who hasn’t taken a shower in 2 years?

We were talking about Mantis, what did you think of this new character?

O – She gets a bit on your nerves, sometimes…I find her kind of annoying, she has a really high pitched voice.
GD – I found fun that Drax is always telling her “you are so ugly!”
GM – “You are beautiful…on the inside!”
A and O – Savage!

What was your favorite part?

R – When Groot is a teenager!
GD – yeah, the post-credit scenes were fun. And, you know, Stan Lee, he is in the space Suit and talking to aliens, and he says at one time he was a UPS or Fedex delivery guy.
A – Yes, in of of his cameos. I think in Civil War…
GD – …and there is a Theory that he is The Watcher, an observer of humanity, he is an alien who observes but doesn’t intervene. In that moment, when he was talking about what he was doing previously, I think we got the confirmation of that theory.

GotG is known for their choice of music also…

GM – not so nice, this time!
Everybody – yeah! true!
GM – there are so many songs they could have picked…but…
R – they could have put Guns and Roses or Queen!
GM – there was a lot of good music in the 80’s… Part 1 came out with a lot of nice songs and it became a hit. So, maybe for this one, the right owners of all 80’s songs said “you want use my song, it is this much now!”
A – I found it funny that they have a Zune, you know, the music player…
GD – what is a Zune? I never came across…
A & O – it’s like an Ipod…
GM – no, but they chose a lot of song that are not popular, and that has never been used in any other movie!
GD – …even in the first one : the songs were not super popular to begin with…
GM – no, no, no! I knew most of the songs in the first movie! Very popular!
GD – yeah, there was Jackson5, No mountain high enough…

What are your like/dislikes about this movie?

R – I liked that Howard the duck is inside!
GM – Groot, because he is cute!
A – he has mad dancing skills!
R – I like teenage Groot more than Baby groot!
GD – you can relate more, hahaha! The opening sequence, when Groot is dancing and you see the battle behind was a good, fun intro.
R – but I didnt like the Dad… mostly his kind of “personal museum”, with his ceramic figures (or it looks like very ceramic)…
A – yeah, for that, the CGI was terrible… He has all powers, and he can’t even do realistic mannequins to show what he did?
GD – maybe he wanted them like that…
A – plastic mannequins like you get in the store?… He is a Celestial god!! Half of the planet didn’t look good! It looked like smudged Play-Dough… For the rest of the movie, the CGI is fine, but the planet was too psychedelic…
GM – maybe he had bad tastes…
R – The mannequins reminded me of the Doll-girl in “OZ, the great and Powerful”…Oh! and when you see the face Ego’s planet, it reminded me of Doctor Strange…Dormammu!
GD – well, I think he was a Celestial also, I am not sure…
R – Maybe Ego IS Dormammu?
GM – No, but at the beginning of the movie, they show that Quill is half Celestial, so he is immortal, he has those fantastic powers, and by the end, he is not anymore!
GD – yes, I didn’t understand : if he has it in his DNA, why does he lose his powers when the father dies?
O – it’s the light that gives him powers… without the Light, he is human again…
GD – …But, can’t he create his own light?
A – of course he can, it just takes a long time…
GM – and he would have to kill a lot of people, right?
A – no, they were Ego’s offsprings because he wanted to find one with the same set of powers. He fathered a lot of kids in the millions of years he has been around.

OK, can we focus back on the likes/dislikes?

A – I liked most of it…
O – I loved the Easter Eggs, like Howard the Duck, Stan Lee, and at the end, the “Lobster guy”
everyone – Le “Lobster guy”?????
O – isn’t he a lobster?
A – he has scales…
O – ok, the snake guy… he had the same powers as Doctor Strange…
GM – I find this movie is so “family oriented” : sibling rivalry, father and son, brother-brother… It’s like “the Young and the Restless” with super powers…!
O – yeah, for Guardians of the Galaxy, you expect to have action and they save the galaxy…
GD – there was action, and they did save the galaxy!
O – yes, but while trying to solve their family’s problems…
GM – yes, only towards the end, then they saved Earth!
O – it was more like a Korean Drama… Hahaha
GM – no, but there is action too! but they make it out like any other “normal movie” about sibling rivalry, expect they take it to the next level thanks to their superpowers…

So, in conclusion?

A fun movie, that goes well in the Marvel Universe, some good moments, but certainly not as unforgettable as the first one!

Posted in Papa, Reggie, Reviews, Weird Objects

Weird Objects : The Pee-pee boy

following the creation of our Youtube Channel, everyone decided to bring their own brick to the building : Alex helps with the costumes and props, Olie is the technician behind the camera, etc…

Reggie came to me the other day with a proposal : “I want to make a segment about weird objects!”

He therefore found his first object, and wrote this episode all by himself!

Posted in Reviews

Review: Split (2017)

Spoilers alert… go away if you haven’t seen this movie yet!!!We had seen the trailer for Split when we watched another movie last year, and we were all interested right away. The way trailers are done these days, we knew it was about a kidnapping by a multiple-personality-disorder patient (don’t you hate these spoiler trailers??), but GeekMommy being an unconditional fan of James McAvoy, we had to see this movie.


The movie doesn’t waste time in introductions, but you understand right away that Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy) doesn’t really play well with others, and that she is something of an outsider among her classmates (it seems to be a miracle that she was invited to a birthday party in the first place). And Bam! The kidnapper arrives, make everybody unconscious and bring them in his lair.


As the story unfolds, you understand that some personalities have taken control of the life/behaviour of Kevin (McAvoy), and that they believe in “The Beast”, a terrible mythological being, who will need a snack (made of 3 “impure” virgins) as soon as he arrives. 

What we discover is that the multiple personality disorder gives the patient the opportunity to really be whatever he wants (also changing his body shape and strength, his medical conditions and, generally, physical attribute as well as mental ones), and therefore this can only send chills down our spine because we realise that, if McAvoy wants to be The Beast, there will be no way to stop him.


And, sure enough, far from the stiffness of an X-men’s Charles Xavier, he does just that: he IS whoever he wants to be. His performance is fantastic. A 9years-old boy, an OCD henchman, a delicate-but-firm headmistress, an artsy-goody-goody young man… every character inside his head comes to life with vibrant and convincing details: the way his hand closes the shawl around his neck, the way his eyes linger on a tiny detail. A superb job that keeps you on the edge of your seat for the next hour and a half.

His psychiatrist helps us understand how he thinks, and provides elements to unfold the story without being completely lost by this carnival of characters.


Of course, The Beast is real and gives us a heart-pounding finale, where you really wonder who, if any, will make it alive out of this basement of horror.

It turns out that the only thing that The Beast respects is people’s suffering, and that Casey’s self mutilation after her childhood abuse was the key to unlock The Beast’s mercy.

Anya Taylor-Joy is excellent in her role too, as a young, broken teenager, locked up not only in a madman’s basement, but in her own fortress of solitude.

Finally, after all these emotions, M. Night Shyamalan gives us what is maybe the most subtle yet powerful twist of the movie. Once everything has been done and said, when the news are reporting what could be a simple (although spectacular) incident, customers at a diner are reminiscing similar events from a few years ago, involving a weird, crazy villain in a wheelchair. What was his name again?

“Mr Glass…”

The answer, uttered without hesitation by an unexpected Bruce Willis, completely transforms the movie we have just watched. It is not a psychological thriller, like we have been led to believe for the past hour and a half! This is happening in the same universe as “Unbreakable”, and therefore, we have just witnessed, not the downfall of a man in his own dark psyche, but the birth of a new Super villain. We were not in Psycho, we were in a dark, twisted version of X-men origins
All in all, a fantastic movie: good story, excellent actors, compelling storytelling.

Posted in doctor who, Reviews

Review: Doctor Who “Choose the Future”

Some of my best memories as a kid reader (and most probably one of the reasons why I avidly devour books up to this day), came from a series of French books titled “you are the Hero”.

The idea was simple enough: you read the first chapter and, at the end, you are given a choice (“will you turn Left or right? Do you chose to follow that stranger or continue your way?”) that lead you to different chapters, opening different possibilities for the adventure, guaranteeing a new experience (and therefore a new story) with each reading.

It was a very pleasant surprise to find that a new series of books (in English, this time) reprised this wonderful concept with one of our Favourite character: The Doctor! Can a hero be more fitting to this than him? You can start the story again, and change your actions, which will change the whole adventure! Basically: “Time travel, Baby!!”


The first book, Terror Moon, features the doctor landing in a space station on a distant moon, to find that most of the crew was killed by a Monster on the loose. The rest is up to you. I tried reading it a few times, and the possible stories range from a spaceship-filled epic in space to a breathtaking chase in London with the help of the agents of U.N.I.T…

Night Of The Kraken brings you to a desolated Victorian-era British moor, populated by a spaceship’s spare parts smuggler, a giant baby squid and/or even zombies!!!

Following the 12th Doctor, that fans have very well accepted and loved, in his unmistakable sarcastic and grumpy-but-soft-centered style, these settings are sure to be crowd pleasers.

The kids have red them several times, picturing vividly these tailor-made episodes (thanks to the fantastic descriptions made by the authors) and enjoying them tremendously, until the books appeared to have been well handled already…

Chapters are short, which is good for the slow readers (yes, we have a dyslexic young whovian at home, and this kind of things count!), and we can’t wait for the next books!

In Singapore, you can find these books here.

Good reading!

 

Posted in Reviews

Review : Arrival

Arrival has been in theaters for a while already, so I think I can do a full review, including spoilers. If you haven’t see this movie yet, please look away!
There are “feel good” movies that make you happy and all fuzzy inside, and you leave the cinema with a smile on your face. Arrival is not one of those. There is a gravitas, a weight, a darkness in this movie that will stay with you long after the last image.

I saw the trailer a couple of months ago and I thought “Yeah! Science fiction! Amy Adams, Hawkeye and a big ass spaceship, this would be fun!”. I was envisioning a kind of “Independance Day” adventure, with the twist that linguistic was the ultimate savior of Humanity. Wrong, Wrong and super wrong.

Imagine my shock when the movie starts : Louise (Amy Adams) has loved and lost her child. No director in their right mind has ever introduce a character like that. From now on, Louise was, for me, the inconsolable mother who had to witness the death of her cute, funny, adorable little girl. In the first minute of the movie, every parental fiber in my being was already crying for Louise. The gray and dull environment (when she wakes up and go to the university) let me think that the was still grieving her daughter, and that the melancholy of her character was a result of this terrible loss.

But, well, the father is nowhere to be seen, there was no aging effect to help us place this event in time, and basically, more questions than answers… (I understood later that this misdirection was skillfully intentional…). Louise seems to carry her sad burden through all the events that followed : the arrival of the ET, her “recruitment”process by the army, and her own arrival on the site. Meeting Ian (Renner) doesn’t even seem to cheer her up…

Then, comes the encounter with the Aliens. To be honest, the “fish tank” full of smoke, the tentacles and weird noises/voices reminded me of the 3rd season of Torchwood, where Peter Capaldi (who was not yet the 12th Doctor) tries to discuss/negotiate with children-demanding aliens (if you haven’t seen it, please go ahead, it was excellent). But once again : misdirection! Because, the aliens don’t seem to request any human beings, their language is visual, not sound based, and, amazingly, they only seem to be here to chit-chat about the weather… The more Louise discuss (or is able to discuss) with them, the more she has flashes, of what I thought was memories.

And that’s when it happens. The magic. The result of all this misdirection. You now know why the magician turned his back to show you an empty hat : it was to better get the rabbit from the box that has been on the stage all along, but that you didn’t even pay attention to! “The language is the weapon”. Oh My! Billions of Blistering Barnacles! How could I be so blind???? it was under my nose this whole time! Like the circular shapes they communicate with, the language of the aliens shaped the brain of those who “speak” it in a way that they can SEE the time in full circle, 360 degrees!!!! The loss of her daughter was not in her past, but in her future!!!

The bit of action (avoiding the nuclear war started by a few rogue countries) is only there for decoration : this is not “War of the Worlds”!!! What I thought was an epic science fiction movie with explosions and acts of courage became in one second, the most intimate, personal, human-psyche-analyzing movie I have seen in a long time. And the loss of her child transforms into, not a burden anymore, but a choice. Louise knows she will suffer, she knows what will happen.

Denis Villeneuve has done an excellent job (excellent is too weak : formidable would be more appropriate), and Amy Adams is so just, so true, so moving.

They say the silence following a Mozart’s concerto is still Mozart’s. Well, the silence following Arrival is still Arrival; and if you are like me, the silence will last quite some time, as I was only able to speak again maybe the morning after seeing this movie.

 

Posted in Alex, Gaming, Mommy, Olie, Papa, Reggie, Reviews

Review: Assasin’s Creed

I can’t say I was a real aficionado of the game series: I knew the game, and honestly loved its aesthetics, but I’m not aware of all the details. I had great hopes for the movie though. C’mon: a brotherhood of assassins in stunning costumes, doing parkour among historic monuments… what’s not to like?

So, we went to see Assassin’s Creed. The movie is enjoyable, even if I regret that they don’t explain the Animus technology a bit more. For example, I didn’t understand the technology was in the hands of the Templars, and that the assassins were basically guinea pigs, a tool to retrieve the location of the “Apple of Eden”, because that is not the case in the games. The story deviates also on several points:

Reggie noticed the Animus machine is not the same as the game (where it is just a chair, and that, if we were in Spain, the character should be Altair, not Aguilar.

Olie (who is a real fan of the games) found the fighting scenes really cool and well choreographed, but the “intro”, with the eagle flying, when going to the Animus a bit draggy and useless. In the game, you suddenly become the character, which is better.

We all agree that the movie was aesthetically fantastic:

Reggie thought the parkour and fight scenes were good and that the costumes looked a lot like the second game: elegant and powerful.

For Alex, the décors were excellent: especially during the scene where Cal escapes for the first time and ends up on the ledge of the balcony overseeing Madrid. 

Geek Mommy thought that the fact that they visually stayed very similar to the games for the parkour and fight scenes was a very good point.

Geek Daddy agrees with everybody, but found that the décors of Spain were a bit too dusty, and that the monuments were not as central as they can be in the game. You see a ledge here, a cornice there, but basically, the characters are just jumping in a big dust cloud.

Negative comments are not easy to find though, but they mostly focus on Marion Cotillard’s performance:

Geek Mommy found her acting very monotonous, and Alex thought her dilemma (following her Father’s way or helping the Assasins) was not clear. During the whole movie she acts as if she doesn’t want to become a Templar or that she dislike her Father (who seems more a way to finance her research), but as soon as her Father dies, her only idea seems to get revenge…

We tried to find some Easter Eggs:

  • Reggie says that behind the “new” Animus, we could see the original, game accurate one.

  • When all the ancestors appear to The hero, we can see one character from every game

  • For Olie, the costumes were nice, but most hoods lacked the curve on the forehead, that is so distinctive of all AC’s characters…

In general, a good movie. Reggie gives it 10/10 and Olie a 8/10. Alex liked the fact that the movie keeps all details and logic fitting together : it is a world on its own. Geek Mommy is eagerly waiting for a part 2!

(All pictures are property of 20th Century Fox)

Posted in Reviews, Star Wars

Review “sans spoilers” : Rogue One

Oh. My. Gosh. Where to start?

We were invited to see the Singapore premiere of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. This movie is not good, it is beyond that! In many ways, i preferred it to TFA. More action, more Easter Eggs, and a global feel that this movie is really part of the Star Wars saga. For old fans like me, I think this is the movie we were waiting for. The way it is directed is very modern and current, but everything is linked to the great Original trilogy we love so much. Creatures, décors, space battles : all the ingredients are there!

My only little regret is the use of computer graphics for some characters (as I said, No spoilers, so you will have to see for yourself), as I had the feeling I was watching some scenes from a video game like “Battlefront”… however, the plot and the use of these SFX is done well, the story is still believable, and it is a moment I won’t forget.

Fantastic!