Easter Monday was a rainy day in Canada. As a result my kids were suffering from boredom. So we checked the local theater schedule. They convinced me and my wife to take them to The Croods. As the kids chose the movie, I wasn’t expecting too much from it and I certainly wasn’t expecting to write a review about it. However, the movie ended up being a nice trip to an amazing fantasy world, so I thought I’d share my thoughts about it.
Some technical specifications that may have affected my viewing experience: My kids barely understand English so we watched version with the French translation. I will not review anything related to the voice acting. As my dear wife cannot support a 3D movie without being sick, we chose the 2D version of the movie. So I cannot say a word about the 3d effects in the movie. Finally, I ended up eating quite a bit of popcorn on account of having had a light dinner earlier in the evening.
As far as the story goes, I was expecting some kind of hybrid between Brave and Ice Age. We have all seen this: a teenage girl gets rebellious in a prehistoric landscape, sprinkled with action and jokes, nothing new under the sun. But I was pleasantly surprised. This is mostly a story about fatherhood. Yeah, there’s a rebellious girl and a love story, but that is secondary. The main story is really about a father who would do anything to protect his family and has to let his big girl grow up. But enough about the plot, All you need to know is that it was interesting enough, fun enough, and touching enough to be a decent family movie. My kids liked it and I wasn’t bothered by it during the viewing.
What is interesting in this movie, from a fantasy stand point, is the world they created for it, especially the fauna. Most of the species you could see in the movie are some kind of hybrid between two or more modern day species. Mix an elephant with a mouse or an elephant with a giraffe. Combine a leopard with a bear and an owl. That’s just a small sample of the incredible animals the caveman family encounters on their trip. It’s where this movie shines. Instead of dragging us into another world of silly talking dinosaurs; it creates an original and exotic world that stands on its own. It is what amazed my inner child and surprised me more than once. These inclusions give the movie a unique artistic signature and literally steal the show by the end.
Finally, I would recommend the The Croods as a family movie outing, kids will be happy and, what proud parent would not do this for his offspring? Especially if it involves eating popcorn.
After two unsuccessful attempts to attend it earlier this summer, I finally went to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition in Montreal.
This exposition is presented as a exploration of what forges a person’s identity and uses the different characters of Star Wars to represent this. It’s divided into sections that explore these factors, and in each section, you build your character by responding to questions relative to your character’s identity. The first choice you make is the species of your character. From there you choose genes, parents, a culture, mentors, friends, events, an occupation, a personality, and values. From these choices you build an identity, and this experience is meant to give visitors some insight into how identity is formed. I was very skeptical about this part of the exposition. If it were about some historic figures, instead of the fictional Star Wars universe, it might have been more interesting to me. Maybe if George Lucas had a Ph.D in Psychology and had made sure his characters were built to reflect the latest scientific research on the subject of identity, I could have better understood the connection. So, while some others visitors around me seemed to enjoy the character identity building, I wasn’t really interested in that part of the exhibition. I did design my own hero and I watched most of the videos on the subjects which were scattered all over the exhibition, but I skipped some in the end. It was not that boring and I would probably have watched all of them if I had had more time. However, there were so many other things I wanted to see. Anyway, it was a good decision, because after two hours of exhaustive examinations of the other areas the clerks had to kick me out of the showroom because they were closing.
So, the quest to identity yourself as a Star Wars character is not why you should visit this exposition. The real reason to go is to see the impressive collection of original artifacts. Being in the same room with all these objects is something a Star Wars fan should not miss.
First, you can see at least one costume for each of the main characters. The Jedi Knight outfits are a bit redundant, but Amidala’s dress is beautiful. The real treasures are the Stormtroopers, Bobba Fett, C-3P0, and Darth Vader. All are worth a lengthy examination. And Chewbacca! You have to stand in front of his fur costume how realize how tall and impressive he is!
I was also quite impressed by the various artworks. They are meant show the progression of the characters identity when they were designed. My favorite was one showing Han Solo as a bearded lightsaber wielder. How awesome it would have been if Han had sliced first!
Additionally, there are many other props, like the ominous Meson Taloscope (Midi-chlorian analyzer), a carbonite frozen Han Solo, and Anakin’s full size pod-racer. But the things I found the most impressive were the starships and the starfighter models. The details on those! I would still be staring at them and discovering new features, if I hadn’t eventually been kicked out.
I really enjoyed my visit to the Star Wars Identities Exhibition and recommend it to every Star Wars fan. I will probably forget about all the identities theories, but will forever remember leaning toward an incredibly detailed Imperial Star Destroyer.
You may check out some of the photos I took during my visit. bitmask also visited the exposition last April, and you can see his photos here. If you want to see the exhibition with your own eyes, the show will be in Montreal until September 16, 2012. It will be in Edmonton, Canada, from October 27, 2012, to April 1, 2013. Note that this exposition is quite popular and I had to buy my tickets a day in advance to finally see it.
It’s simple, each question you ask about The Legend of Korra between Monday April 16, 2012 at 16:00 UTC and Monday April 30, 2012 at 3:00 UTC will get you one entry into a random drawing to win a sci-fi/fantasy item of your choice from your local Amazon (under $50).
To be eligible, the question must:
- be tagged the-legend-of-korra
- not be closed or deleted (read the site FAQ to see what is on topic and acceptable)
Others details, along with the list of our past Topic of the Week Contest winners, could be found here .
So don’t be shy, we want you to ask a question now!
Just a couple of weeks ago, I didn’t know anything about Doctor Who. But I was intrigued by this series. So when I had an occasion to get the Series 6 on Blu-Ray, I jumped on it.
But where to start? Would I have to watch 5 full seasons before enjoying Series 6 like it’s suggested here ?
The task seemed too big for me. But Scifi.Stackexchange saves the day again! Someone asked “Which episodes of the new doctor who series are required viewing before starting series six?”. After reading the only answer of this question, I decided to go with Silence in the Library and Forest of the Dead from series 4, and then watch the complete series 5.
Those 2 episodes from series 4 are a wonderful introduction to this universe. It get just enough mystery to urge you to continue. I feel the show suffers from a little slow down in the first episodes of Series 5, and the transition to the new Doctor is a bit rough and confusing. But once I got through this and watched 2 or 3 episodes, I was completely hooked. The way characters are introduced makes me feel really concerned about what happens to them. Amy, the last Centurion, and River are strong, engaging characters I care about. At the end of each episode I just cannot leave them there without watching another.
Before I noticed it, I had watched all the episodes up to the season 6 finale. And now I think I will go back to Series 1 to see what I have missed.
In retrospect, my main concern as a newcomer to Doctor Who was about being lost in the middle of a universe I cannot understand because there are too many unexplained things going on. I could assure you I did not feel like that. If you want to introduce yourself to Doctor Who, and don’t want to start to the beginning, I suggest you do as I did, there will be time to go back if you enjoy the show.