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3/2/2015 What the...

Connie and I saw Kingsman yesterday. I didn't hate it, but I won't be buying the Blu-ray either. Honestly, it's a bit hard to form a solid opinion on it. It's like they wanted to make three or four very different style spy movies but couldn't decide which to do so they smashed them all together. The early part is a mostly serious "recruits going through tough training" type of thing. Then it goes into old style James Bond complete with a crazy villain, an odd henchman (well, henchwoman), and a bunch of gadgets (though lacking the sexy Bond girl). Except there's some odd comedy bits mixed it giving it a bit of a Get Smart vibe at the same time. And then there's the fight scenes, which are channeling things like Kill Bill. That part pretty much takes over for the second half, any hint of a serious spy movie is lost, and everything just gets utterly ridiculous. It's such an odd mix of styles that it makes the movie as a whole hard to place.
Kind of hits that confused note on the social/political commentary angle too. On the one hand, there's a violent extended fight scene where the members of an ultra fundamentalist church massacre each other thanks to the villain's rage-enducing mind control technology. Which seems a little like an ultra liberal fantasy. On the other hand, maybe that was the point. The villain seems to be just such a liberal (his master plan involves killing off the majority of the world's population in order to stop global warming), so you could argue that it makes sense that he tests his invention on a Christian group (albeit one of those extremely rare "everyone except us is evil" ones) instead of, say, a terrorist cell.
So yeah. Kingsman isn't a serious secret agent story, it isn't James Bond, it isn't Get Smart, and it isn't Kill Bill, though it has parts that are reminiscent of all of them. It's not a bad movie, but its myriad of styles are so different that they don't mesh especially well, which makes it hard to recommend to a lot of people.


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2/27/2015 A mix

The weekly bonus comic is up! Just vote with the TWC button on the left to see it.

This week has had a number of good points and bad points. I've made some good progress on the script for Aurora's Nightmare, though that's more of a overall thing, some days it went painfully slowly. I also had some fairly frustrating work and business related issues to deal with, though my classes themselves went well. Then there was some computer issues over the past weekend, some good video game progress (I completed the hardest levels in Super Mario 3D World, though it took a few days of trying). And that's nowhere near a complete list. Of course, every week has its good and bad points, though this one has really had a lot of back and forth. Hopefully things will smooth out over the weekend.


2/25/2015 Shave Ice

I've got a little restaurant review for today.

Restaurant Review: Island Vintage Shave Ice
Type: Shave Ice
Location: Kalakaua Ave., By The Royal Hawaiian Mall
To be honest, I'm usually not a big fan of shave ice. Namely due to the syrups, which tend to be little more than sugar, water, and food coloring. Island Vintage, however, is one of the rare places that makes theirs out of real fruit (right down to bits of pulp and the occasional little seed) and the difference is enormous. You pay a little bit of a premium compared to run of the mill shave ice places, but it's worth every penny. Add in organic ice cream, fresh fruit, and other great toppings and you have what could very well be the best shave ice on the island. Naturally, you can make your own combination, but they also have several great signature combinations. The keiki size is good for a normal snack, while the regular is easily big enough for two (unless you're really hungry).
Personally, ice cream is still my top choice for a cool treats but shave ice is pretty great too, at least when you get it at Island Vintage. If you're anywhere near Honolulu, it really is the place to go for shave ice.


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