Ranking the Marvel/DC Movies

Media

I finally started seeing some Marvel/DC movies a little while ago. My first time ever watching these films. I know. How shocking. So I figured you’d be dying to know how I would rank the six films I’ve seen so far. I ranked them from the best to worst. Writing-wise, anyway. I will be definitely seeing more in the future.

Also, if you haven’t seen any of these movies, don’t read any further. A major spoil alert warning has been issued.

1) Thor: The Dark World

If you told me a year ago that I would be ranking a Thor movie first, I wouldn’t have believed you. I would’ve probably said Captain America. Or a Avengers movie. Maybe Wonder Woman. But the writing for this movie is great. The only one so far with the best twists. Its also the most deserving of its near two hour length.

Loki is an amazing character. And the actor does a superb job. The other actors did really well, but Tom Hiddleston took the cake.

One flaw: Jane Foster is as boring as her name. Natalie Portman did her part well; it’s just the writing of the character was bland. Perhaps Foster shined more in the first Thor movie, but definitely not here. And a quick, special shout out to Kat Dennnings who portrayed Darcy, another excellent character.

2) Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Gotta say I love Cap and Natasha as a team. Or as a couple … never mind, I won’t go there.

The actors and the characters have great chemistry. A nice, special friendship was born between them. The characters also grew, which is always nice to see in movies.

There is humor in this movie and it’s not overdone. Best lines are: “Public displays of affection make people very uncomfortable.” (So true, y’all! Don’t do it!) and then my man Falcon’s line, “I made breakfast. If you guys eat that sort of thing.”

Falcon is also a good addition. He became what Bucky would’ve been if he hadn’t tragically died when he fell off a train and down a cliff. Oh wait.

He’s actually alive! Except brainwashed and evil! Poor dude. That’s what you get for being a best friend of a superhero.

I will be honest. I didn’t initially realize in the Bucky reveal that it was … Bucky. And then, it didn’t do much for me afterward. I felt like I didn’t know him well enough. I am very curious though to see what happens to him next. It better end well. Don’t mess this up like you did with Peggy and Cap!

3) Wonder Woman

The deepest superhero movie yet. It’s true. You’re suppose to be gracious and loving to everyone – including the people who you feel especially don’t deserve it. Wonder Woman does stop the point mid sentence. She starts by saying, “It’s not about deserve, it’s about what you believe.”

I’m like, “Yes. And?”

“And I believe in love.”

Close. I’ll give the writers credit for taking it that far. I really do appreciate the point. But the rest of the sentence should be something like this: We love because God loved us first. We are some messed up human beings. We needed to be saved from ourselves. That’s why Jesus came down, took our place on the cross, and rose again. We are undeserving of such a loving act. So we should strive to be like Him. Such as giving out undeserved love and, yes, protection.

Diana and Steve were good characters. I also like the fact the sword wasn’t actually the god-killer. And it adds an interesting element that Diana is related to Ares.

The movie does have a few annoying flaws though. I don’t like it when the writers make what the good guys did as being essentially pointless at the end. Like when Wonder Woman and friends save the entire village and then the next day they are all dead. Let the good guys keep their moment!

Second, what’s with Diana’s mother not telling her what she needs to know about Ares? Diana’s leaving anyway! Give her all the info! Do it! The excuse, “The more she knows, the sooner he’ll find her,” doesn’t really fly at that point anymore. She’s looking for him. I’m pretty sure she’ll find him. The more she knows, the better equipped she’ll be.

Thirdly, the ending of the movie is far too similar to to the first Captain America movie. Just imagine Captain America on the ground and Agent Carter on the plane instead and – boom! – you have nearly the exact same ending.

4) The Avengers

The cast of characters were pretty good. We have a cool, mysterious female character in Natasha. We don’t see much of Hawkeye but what little we see is promising. He and Natasha seem to have a deep understanding of each other. I like how Bruce Banner was done. They picked the perfect actor for the job. He is a very likable character and you feel for him. Captain America strives to do what’s right. Tony … well, he’s a bit annoying. Arrogant, has no respect for authority, and cocky. Maybe I’ll like him more in the other movies but he gives a grating first impression.

People were suddenly cured by being whacked in the head (see the Incredible Hulk, Hawkeye, and scientist man). The battle scenes were too long. It was like the film makers sat down and asked, “How many different ways can we punch an alien?” It gets old.

And the the government nuking NYC? I can assure you that would never happen. It’s terribly illogical. Not only you’ll destroy NYC and its innocent citizens, you’ll affect the surrounding cities. And the nuke won’t close the dumb portal where the aliens are coming from.

I will say this though. The best parts of the movie are better than Wonder Woman’s. And the characters are better here too. This movie somehow clicked more with me than Wonder Woman, even though I wanted to love it so bad. I especially love the scene between Loki and Natasha.

5) Captain America: The First Avenger

I like Captain America a lot. While he doesn’t have a flashy personality like Iron Man, he stands for what’s right. You just do it. Even when it’s hard and no one’s looking.

The problem with the story, not the characters, was that it was pretty predictable. After Cap becomes Cap, you can accurately guess what happens next and in so we lose some fun in watching the movie. Plus, it played on my pet peeve. Why can’t the good guy keep the girl? It’s predictable and incredibly annoying.

6) Dr. Strange

A positive was it was Inception-ish. Oh and final battle was unusually clever. Everything else was forgettable.

His “mentor” was a lady who seemed to spew off things that either made no sense or were morally wrong. At times, it felt Jedi-ish. Other times, it felt like it wanted to believe in some Eastern religion and have you worship the spirits in the trees. The movie improved when that bald lady was gone. Unfortunately, that was near the end of the movie. Thus, I can’t say I would recommend this movie. Or watch it again. It’s simply not worth my time.

And there you go! My overall rankings so far for the Marvel/DC movies. As I’m sure you’ve guessed, Captain America and the Black Widow are my favorite Avengers so far, followed closely with Bruce and Thor. I like Hawkeye, but I wish I knew his character better. Hey, Marvel, how about giving this man a movie? And I hear a Black Widow movie is finally in the works. Thank you.

Thanks for reading! Which Marvel film do you think I should see next? Let me know!

Carved Hearts

Art, My Life

So I’ve been wanting to learn how to carve wood for a while now. It runs in the family. My grandpa and my great-grandpa did it. Both of them made beautiful things and I wish dearly to learn the craft myself. Before he passed away, my grandpa sent me a couple of small projects with a couple of small items to finish it with. I finished one but not the other one quite yet. And classes cost money. So why not try to learn on your own with the wood lying around nearby?

I was given a handheld jigsaw for Christmas and got some carving tools for my birthday a couple years back. So I decided to make something simple for my parent’s 33rd anniversary: wooden hearts. I also used a wood burning tool to write something on them. I used some wood from a old, rickety bunk bed we use to have lying around. Disclaimer: this is my first time ever carving anything. This is also for the first time I’ve ever woodburned anything. So here are some progress photos.

IMG_20180703_174455706

First thing I did was pencil in the shape of the hearts and the words I wanted on there.

IMG_20180703_174504632

I actually had to remake the smaller heart. If you squint, you can see a small opening in it. Since some of it was hollow, it caused major problems when trying to fine tune the shape of the heart. So I made myself another one.

IMG_20180705_192304535

Now that I have both of them more finely shaped, it’s time to break out those carving tools.

IMG_20180705_192312166

It’s a little better in this one, but definitely needs to be sandpapered.

IMG_20180708_122319883

Now for the woodburning! And FYI, when they say you need to sandpaper the surface of the wood so that it’s super smooth, believe them. The smoother the surface, the better it’ll work.

IMG_20180708_122323817

“Could I have this dance for the rest of my life?” is song by Anne Murray. It’s my mom and dad’s special song.

IMG_20180825_190618875

The finished product!

IMG_20180825_190519187IMG_20180825_190437410

And it even made to the wall of family pictures!

Art-wise, it can definitely use some improvement but for a first time, it’s not too terrible. Especially when you feel like you know almost ziltch about the proper way of doing it.

What do you think? What type of saw should I get next? I only own the jigsaw, and while it’s nice, I’m going to need to get several different types. Do you have any wood-carving tips? Would love to hear any if you guys have some!

Gotta run. Life duties are calling. I’ll be back next week!

Life

Art, My Life

Hey, everyone!

My original idea for this week’s post won’t be done in time. It was to be last week’s too so …. yeah. Maybe it’ll happen this week – if life will have it. So I’m going to talk about my life instead. I know you’re super excited so let’s go.

I started learning a new 3D software yesterday. You know that free one that fellow starving artists love to tell me about. It’s Blender. I have to tell you going from Maya to Blender is a absolute pain. I still use Maya for my demo reel purposes. Creating new animation for the purpose of continual learning and improving my skills.

I’m using Blender to create and rig models so I could make a 3D five minute or so film. There is a reason why Blender is free. While it’ll probably get better as I get use to it, I feel like simple tasks such as rotating objects, moving about in the scene, selecting objects, etc. is unnecessarily hard. If Maya wasn’t so darn expensive, I would ditch this software faster than speeding bullet.

I’m also trying to improve my painting skills. How does one shade properly with paint? It’s so hard. Is there a specific kind of paint that is best for shading? I’m not sure but I’ve got plenty of research to do. How about I share my journey of learning how to paint properly with y’all. Most people share it after they’ve done it. I’ll share it with you as I go along. So fellow new painters, come join me! Leave comments about what you learn, your journey, and anything you can think of!

I’m also trying to teach myself how to carve wood. I can’t afford classes at the moment so YouTube and Google is going to have to be sufficient. I carved a couple of things for my parent’s anniversary – pictures to come – but it was super simple. I have a couple of projects in mind that I’d like to do. I also have a wood burning kit that I’d like to toy around more often. So many new things to learn, so little time.

In other news, my Korean sister-in-law is now officially a American citizen! So cool! It must feel weird; to be born in another country and later in life becoming a citizen of another. But it’s awesome. A party will be thrown for her soon.

Anywho, that’s all I have for now. Toodles for now!

 

 

 

Underdosed Livestream!

Media, My Life

Hey, everybody!

I’m here to invite you to a free livestream of my sister’s, Meghan, short film Underdosed! I worked on this project with her. Helping with story, pre-production and acted a little bit. Meghan wrote this film very well and the acting is superb! It was a joy to work with everybody on this project. During the livestream, we’ll have the composer, the actors, and, of course, Meghan to answer any questions after it’s over. There’ll also be bloopers. 🙂 So I hope y’all will show up, love it, and stick around for everything at the end. It’ll be great!

To go to the Facebook Live Event page:

https://www.facebook.com/events/2028388754143565/

To see the trailer:

 

And to see this incredibly awesome title reveal:

 

Check it all out and let me know what you think!

Designed Chest by Yours Truly

Art

Hey, everyone! I can’t believe it’s been over a week already since I’ve posted! I’m back and here to share another art project I undertook a few months ago.

I bought this perfect shaped, sturdy toy chest from the thrift store. It wasn’t very pretty looking though. It was a pleasant shade of brown, but had a lot of tiny scratches, of which some were deep, all over it. I bought it, thinking that, with some work and a personal touch, it would make a great birthday present for a little brother of mine.

Unfortunately, I did not take a picture before I spray painted it. But here are some progress photos nonetheless!

IMG_20180408_191819083

First up, I washed it with those rags you see to the left. I also have the chest lying  down in such a way so I could spray paint as much of it as I possibly could at once (I only used one can – and not even all of it!). I laid some cardboard underneath it so I wouldn’t get any paint on the driveway. I wasn’t completely successful. There is some outline of a faint, blue paint on the driveway to this very day.

IMG_20180408_191837098

And you simply must have coffee when working on a project. 🙂 Be sure to keep it a safe distance from where you’re spray painting! And it’s best drunk from a Donald Duck sketch mug. 🙂

IMG_20180411_230648590

Once done spray painting the blue, I painted a Jo Sports logo on both sides. Yes, it is remarkably similar to FOX Sports, which is on purpose. I wish I could take credit for it, but my brother Josiah, for whom this chest is for, designed this logo a while back. Which is why it’s Jo Sports. The other side looks a little better, but I won’t bore you with another picture.

IMG_20180413_114854494

And here we have the top of the chest! It is the name of Josiah’s YouTube channel (here I will unashamedly leave link to his cool trick shot video: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUbGjpNjGUc&t=11s)

He also came up with this font. I’m just hand painting on there. I lightly penciled the words on the chest and then painted it white. I then outlined the words with black to give the white a slight more pop to it.

IMG_20180413_124929113

Here you see the front of the chest with the super faint outline of a helmet. I used a white pencil since the blue was actually pretty dark.

IMG_20180413_124936373

Here, if you squint, you can see the outline of the helmet on the chest still. You can also see my reference picture to the left there on my laptop.

IMG_20180413_131136331

Painting in the white part of the helmet!

IMG_20180413_231908944

Josiah created all of the designs of these helmets you will see. I hand painted them all on the chest. I also outlined all of the helmets with black to give it that pop.

IMG_20180414_020246114

All four helmets lined up with one helmet not quite done yet. With the exception of the tornado on the helmet on the far right, I painted in the logos first then painted the surface of the helmet. Usually you’d do it the other way, but I had penciled the logos in and had to see it to get the them right. If I had done the background first, I wouldn’t see the penciled in logos anymore and surely would’ve messed them up.

IMG_20180414_020253397

A closer in pic of the unfinished helmet. As you can see, I’m painting the background now. Touch up will be required for the logo since I will have to make absolutely certain that you cannot see any blue with the helmet.

IMG_20180414_175551043

And the finished product on the front! A quick fun fact: to get the shape of the helmet itself  as consistent as possible, I traced the outline of the helmet of the far right one unto a clear piece of paper. Then I traced the outline of the paper unto the chest for the last three helmets. I had to the flip paper, draw one line on chest, flip paper, draw one line one chest, etc. method. All those years of tracing a picture in a coloring book unto a regular sheet of paper really paid off! 😀

IMG_20180414_175604437

Here you actually see evidence of the black outline around the letters. You can see the O intersecting the J. And the same with the C with the O.

IMG_20180414_175644431

A picture of the front and top of the chest.

IMG_20180414_175745632

And … here’s the last picture!

I was able to get my hands on all of Josiah’s designs without him knowing it, thank goodness. I had fun doing it. I have more art projects mind in the future, but I need more furniture.

I hoped you enjoy the progress pictures! Let me know what you think in the comments below!