War Horse

Today we went to see the new movie War Horse, based on a book by the same name, and directed by Steven Spielberg. I already had expectations for it because the novel was my favorite book when I was in fourth and fifth grade.

Quick synopsis: Young Albert enlists to service in WWI after his beloved horse, Joey, is sold to the cavalry. Albert’s hopeful journey takes him out of England and across Europe as the war rages on.  (IMDb)

Altogether, the best way I can think to describe it is it’s exactly what it sounds like. “War Horse”– it’s like Modern Warfare x Black Beauty. The first five minutes could probably have been taken directly from any other “story about a horse and kid” movie. (Kid sees horse in pain, hides, men try to relax horse, BAM, horse gives birth, new baby stands and nickers, kid smiles, timeskip five years or so, horse runs with mom around paddock while kid watches, sighing ominously.)

Then it lags in the introduction, making everything blatantly obvious and setting up the whole movie in a Disney fashion. I was kind of surprised, seeing as some of the biggest names in the industry worked on this movie. They couldn’t have been a bit creative?

Within a few seconds, it manages to transform from your typical feel-good Disney to an all-out brutal war movie. While there’s no blood, or anything particularly graphic, there’s definitely a lot of death. You get aerial views of battlefields, soliders dying left and right, and then switch until you’re riding along with Joey and Topthorn, watching their riders slaughter the opposition.

The movie transitions between the two–sweet to unsettling–rather quickly.

Almost all my favorite parts of the book were put into the movie, and nothing was added that didn’t keep the spirit of the novel. While the mood of the movie felt different, and I cried in different places in each, overall I’m pleased with Spielberg’s adaption. I think the conclusion to the movie was a lot more satisfying than the book, even if it was more open-ended.

I’d recommend seeing the movie, especially if you A) like Black Beauty, Sebiscuit, Secretariat, Flicka, Dreamer, etc, and B) don’t mind some pretty brutal war scenes.

And for goodness’ sake, READ THE BOOK! It’s a kids’ book, shouldn’t take you longer than an hour. But I still tear up thinking about certain parts. Compare it to Where the Red Fern Grows in that respect.

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Winter Lights

Our neighborhood is filled with lights, and tonight my dad and I went out to take some pictures. Mainly we wanted to experiment with the tripod, since we haven’t used it with the Rebel before. I’m not sure how great the pictures turned out, but considering we didn’t get arrested for taking pictures in front of peoples’ houses in the dead of night, I’d say it was a success.

Peacock Christmas lights… original, and colorful.

And its more generic counterpart, the deer.

Practicing “bokeh” (a technique that purposely unfocuses the subject for aesthetic quality), on a nativity scene.

And my two favorites from the night (’cause I’m weird). We put the lense on its slowest setting, to where every shot took about twenty seconds. Then I danced around until it made these:

They look a lot better if you click to zoom (:

Can you believe that there’s only three more days of 2011 after today?! And then next year’s the apocalypse…. Darn. Time flies when Mayans get bored of making calendars.

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Happy Birthday, Rin and Len!

Today marks the anniversary of the release of two of the most popular Vocaloids, Rin and Len Kagamine. They were released by Crypton in 2007 as part of the Vocaloid 2 series, following the success of virtual pop star Miku Hatsune.

Of course, because the software takes the guise of two twin teenagers, today’s their “birthday” in the fan community. It’s pretty exciting 🙂 They’re my favorite Japanese Vocaloids, so I thought I’d take a bit of time to celebrate.

Here’s some WIP fanart I’ve been working on (I thought I’d have it finished in time for their birthday, but today was really busy :P)

And here are some of my favorite songs by the twins.

Their most popular song, a tune about love. This is from one of their concerts in Tokyo (the projections are CGI and displayed on a giant screen. The music is live).

A song about moving on and staying strong when love doesn’t work out like you want it to:

A cute (read: LLAMA’D ADORABLE) song about a gentleman trying to please his “princess”.

The most epic song in the universe. A combination of Lord of the Rings, Eragon, and The Legend of Zelda, with a story arc that’s begging to become a novel or video game.

And my personal favorite, a song about a corrupt princess with a superiority complex, and her faithful servant, as her kingdom crumbles beneath her. (This is the best song ever ^.^)

Sorry if you’re not into this “Japanese robot” stuff 🙂 Hopefully I can make it up to you in the near future…. with an awesome project or two…. >:D

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Mint Espresso Beans Make One Hyper

…. !! 😀 My parents don’t like me drinking coffee, so I think this was their way of coming to a compromise. I can still fill myself full of caffeine and sugar, but this way I don’t spill it everywhere.

I uploaded more Christmas pictures, and I just wanted to share this one to show you our newest holiday tradition. Last year, I put a burnt waffle on the tree as a joke, and we kept it there all season. This year, we made about six of them and hung them on the tree on purpose. We got compliments all day 🙂

Merry Christmas! And if you follow my on twitter, I sincerely apologize for all the weird talk. My favorite YouTube singer had another livestream tonight, and we’ve been talking about his songs and stuff. (He covered Super Bass, and someone caught it on MP3. ) It was an awesome night, but he posted about it on YouTube (against my suggestion) beforehand, and so the livestream was full to the brim the entire night.

Oh, and my friends and I decided to make a mini music video for Safe and Sound by Taylor Swift, so we went outside and shot some random Hunger Games stuff. We’ll see if that goes anywhere 😉

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Merry Christmas!

I really have nothing original to say– it’s been a beautiful, incredible day, and if I were to try to stop and name my favorite part, I don’t think I could.

Highlights:

-Waking up at 3 a.m. to my little brother jumping up and down on the bed.

-Waking up again at 7 a.m. when we he ran around the room and squealed something about squirrels in his Gir voice. (This is when we actually got up.)

-Seeing the work of Santa. He really knows what I like 🙂 I got a bunch of new clothes, including not one, not two, but THREE vests (^.^), as well as mittens that can morph into fingerless gloves. Plus new headphones for my iPod, a new laptop battery, and software for my graphic tablet. And chocolate-covered mocha beans.

-Packing care packages and heading down to a low-income retirement home for socializing and a service. These elderly people are living pretty roughly, most with little more than the clothes on their back. We had a great time getting to know them and wishing them a Merry Christmas.

-My grandma’s (surprise) birthday party tonight. She, and my best friend’s sister, were both born on Christmas. She totally thought we’d overlooked her 70th birthday, until she watched as all her friends from around the country come through her front door to wish her a happy birthday. It was a great party.

-Getting the coolest piece of jewelry ever. My best friend knows me so well 😀

-And spending time with my family and friends! God bless you all this Christmas!

(My cousin Baylee wishes you all a good night!)

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All is Calm, All is Bright

Merry Christmas Eve, you guys! Hope you and your family have a blessed evening.

Now I’m gonna go break open a gallon of eggnog and take some pictures of our Christmas party 🙂 Happy (early) Birthday, Jesus!

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These Commemorative Posts Feel Stupid

Well, today’s my 350th post. Faith and I always seem to hit our “milestones” at the same time, though, and her posts are always cooler than mine. She has fancy guest speakers come and write awesome poetry, while I just kind of write one paragraph about it and then move on to normal programming.

So here’s her blog, and here’s Kirsten‘s 300th-post commemoration, which is also better than mine.

I was going to do a really neat post or something, but one of my favorite YouTubers ended up doing a livestream, and I got distracted watching it. So instead I’ll give you the trailer for The Legend of Korra (which I just found today, because I’m ignorant), and the first released song for the Hunger Games movie soundtrack, because it’s awesome.

And if you think this post is lame, blame Ashestoashesjc (known as Ashe), because his incredible livestream kept me from blogging. Yeah, it’s all his fault.

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