Feb 9, 2016

Salem Ice Sculptures

This past weekend was the Salem's So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Festival. It's an annual event in downtown Salem to draw people out and promote local businesses. There are shop discounts, ice sculptures around town, and other small events. If you're really interested, you can get the brochure here.

This year there were 23 sculptures. We had just gotten about 6" of snow on Friday so that helped set a more wintry mood for viewing ice art. It also made for some slushy and slippery walking. It was too cold to go and visit all 23 sculptures but I did manage to see quite a few.

Pro tip if you ever visit an ice sculpture festival: get there early. Not because they might melt, (well, ok, they could) but because the longer the sculptures are out there, they lose their transparency. Not that they still aren't impressive, it's just that I saw pictures of them from earlier in the day and they look really nice when clear. That, and some of them have images inside that you can't really see when they get cloudy.

I have no idea what is supposed to be inside this one, but it still has some great detail.

The sculptures are sponsored by local businesses and are usually related to the business in some way. This one of anime character Totoro is in front of Harrison's Comics & Collectibles, one of the best comic shops in the area.

This mermaid was in front of Maria's Sweet Somethings, which if you couldn't guess, is a candy/ice cream shop. We stopped in to warm up and found they had a chocolate fountain setup with assorted treats to sample.

I'm not sure if Mr. Potter here was a victim of melting or an unwatched child but he did have a wand at one point.

This is the outside of one of the main sponsors, Rockafella's restaurant. They had an actual ice bar outside with a four foot high wall. They had a couple of portable cast iron fire pits to help keep warm.

PEM is the Peabody Essex Museum, which I should really visit someday! I'm always curious how they get things inside the sculptures like this.

The final photo I'm showing off is of R2-D2 and BB-8! This one was located outside of Flying Saucer Pizza. They have all sorts of sci-fi posters and images on the wall.

There are a few more pics over on my Flickr page if you're interested.

Feb 1, 2016

Monthly Movie Recap - January 2015

Hey folks, we're keeping the Monthly Movie Recap going in 2016. If you saw anything you think is worth seeing, let me know in the comments. This will probably be the only post this week because I write on the weekends and just got LEGO: Avengers so that's where 
my time is going!

As always, clicking on a movie link will take you to Amazon where you can order it (or anything else) and drop a few coins in the coffers.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
A little late to the party on this one but damn what a ride! What it might lack in deep characters or intriguing plot it more than makes up for in hi-octane action and a beautifully shot, post apocalyptic setting. I'd love a sequel but where do you go from here?

Cool: Pretty much non-stop action; the post apocalyptic world I wanted in the originals.
Lame: The Raimi-esque camera speed up during fight scenes
Rating: 8/10

Branded (2012, Netflix)
Recently for some reason I was trying to recall the movie I saw the trailer for that looked like a They Live rehash. Then I found this on Netflix and started watching it. I didn't think I had the right movie for quite some time. The beginning is completely different from what I was expecting!

Cool: There's some great social commentary in here about advertising
Lame: The creatures look too cartoony to take them seriously
Rating: 6/10

Regular Show: The Movie (2015)
I wasn't sure if they'd be able to pull off making a normally 15 minute show into a full length movie, but they do with the same amount of crazy and feels that will hit you "right there". If you haven't seen the show, this isn't the best place to start but if you're a fan, this is a must see!

Rating: 8/10

Minions (2015)
I've been warming up to the Minions with each successive movie and a starring vehicle is exactly what they need at this point. Even though they mostly speak gibberish, they can definitely carry a movie on their own.

Cool: Minions through the ages. The super-villain convention. The end tying it to the previous movies.
Lame: Something about he antagonist, Scarlet Overkill, I just didn't really like.

Rating: 8/10

Creature Feature: 60 Years of the Gill-Man (2015)
I stumbled on this by someone posting about it on Facebook. It's only available from TCM online. This doc looks at how the Creature came to be with short bits on every movie. A good part of it is dedicated to conventions, the fans, and a couple of Creature super collectors.

Cool: You get to see a ton of Creature collectibles. The extras include an episode of the Abbott & Costello show where the first introduce the Creature.
Lame: I ponied up for the BluRay but the source doesn't look HD.

Rating: 8/10, a must for monster fans!

Machete Kills (2013)
I love these grindhouse movies because they know exactly what they are and don't try to be anything more than crazy, over the top fun. For the first 2/3 of the movie, Machete goes Bond and by the end it's full-on sci-fi!

Cool: I like the movie but the final third where it starts to go sci-fi is awesome! The trailer for Machete Kills Again...In Space has me really wanting that movie made!
Lame: I know the FX are done cheaply on purpose but sometimes it's not helping the movie some times.

Rating: 7/10

LEGO DC Super Heroes: Justice League: Attack of the Legion of Doom! (2015)
And the award for longest title goes to...
Another fun LEGO super hero outing! Definitely better than the Bizarro League. I think parents and kids will both enjoy it, especially if the parents are fans of the Super Friends.

Cool: Black Manta! And the Legion of Doom, even the HQ! Great voice cast including Mark Hamill voicing The Trickster and Tony Todd as Darkseid.
Lame: Ok, I know Aquaman gets the short end of the super stick but why put Black Manta in here without him?

Rating: 7/10

*Star Wars The Force Awakens (2015)
Third viewing! If you've only seen it once and you're not sure how you feel about it, see it again. It's easier to digest when you've already taken it all in already.

Month Total
 New: 7  Rewatch:1

Year Total
 New: 7  Rewatch: 1

Jan 28, 2016

Funko Smuggler's Bounty - Resistance

Last week, both Loot Crate and Smuggler's Bounty arrived on the same day! I already posted the Loot Crate, so here's the latest Smuggler's Bounty box from Funko.

This is only the second Smuggler's Bounty but it seems like they're going to keep changing up the character on the box to fit with the theme.

Here are a BB-8 patch and Poe pin. Poe pin! C'mon everyone, say it with me a few times. Poe pin, Poe pin, Poe pin. One of these days I should probably translate the Aurebesh writing on these. As big of a Star Wars geek that I am, I can't read this.

I'm still not sold on these Pop! mugs. They look fun but I don't think I'd ever actually use it. I do like the fact that they put a red handle on it to match 3P0's red arm. I'm not a big fan of the red arm but I guess it shows how strapped for resources the Resistance is. I also didn't think the costume looked great in the new movie, it looked more like a plastic molded Halloween costume than metal.

You're guaranteed at least one exclusive Pop vinyl in each Bounty box. After getting Han last time, it's cool to get Chewie. But what makes him exclusive? He's flocked!

If you're wondering what flocked means, here's a close up. He's kind of fuzzy.

Best bros foreva!

Finally, here is an exclusive Pop shirt. Just like last time, it's a great design that I'd love to wear but will never be able to because it's not made for someone that grew up with the original movies and doesn't wear skinny jeans.

This box was okay for me. I love Chewie but don't really care about the mug or shirt (because I can't wear it). I'll probably cancel my subscription at some point and only get the ones where the theme sounds like it will be good. The next one is slated to be Cantina themed so I'm still along for the ride. Really hoping for a band member Pop!


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