Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Iron Man – Speed Racer

Miles and I started The Movie Club. There are only two members and we intend to keep it that way. Every week, we will see a new movie. If there are none in the theater we’re even slightly interested in, we’ll rent. Miles was voted in as President, but the VP can overrule any decisions – as well as overthrow the President. Any “review” I do of the movies shouldn’t be much of a spoiler. Certainly not of important things. But if you want to see the movies first and make up your mind, you may want to skip my reviews until then.

Iron Man ticket stub Last week, we saw Iron Man. I will be the first to admit that I was skeptical. The trailer looked decent, but I knew nothing of the Iron Man / Tony Stark character, nor cared about him. I only went because my husband wanted to. It was amazing. Robert Downing, Jr. (and his humor) really made Tony Stark likable and made you want to root for him. I think if he had been more conceded or arrogant, I wouldn’t like him as a superhero – but maybe that’s the kind of guy Stark was in the comics. I’m not sure. The seamless integration of photo realistic effects was really quite impressive. The computer in his helmet (and home) was believable as an intelligent type of technology, as well as the robotic “characters” in Stark’s shop. The story was not only believable, they made it applicable to current culture and events – even though the story was conceived a few decades ago. The interaction between Pepper and Tony was entertaining and well executed. Gwenyth Paltrow did a great job walking the line between being enchanted by Stark’s charm and putting him in his place. So not only were the effects amazing and believable, so was the story. And the music. It fit in so perfectly, you wouldn’t even know, until you heard it, that the Iron Man theme didn’t actually play until the credits. And then there’s a little extra for those who are respectful enough to read the credits. All in all, it’s in my top two superhero movies released to date. Maybe number one, but that decision is too close to call.

Speed Racer ticket stub Tonight we saw Speed Racer on DLP. I was also skeptical of this movie. Mostly because I was afraid I’d have seizures from all the fast-moving colors. Let me just say that I knew in the first thirty seconds that I was disappointed. The extreme contrast between the brightly colored animation and the low-lit practical shots was just as disturbing as looking at a poorly super-imposed image. The shadows on the actors’ faces didn’t make sense and really looked flat when composited in with the effects. The parts where the style looked decent were when no practical shots were used – mostly when there was a wide-angle shot or very fast motion blurs. If the whole movie had been done with the effects, I maybe would have liked it. Maybe it would have even been forward-thinking. Either the technology isn’t up to speed enough to pull off this style, they didn’t put enough time and thought into executing it, or this style will never make it in the movie world. The only scene I enjoyed in this movie was when Speed Racer was sitting in the locker room at the beginning of the movie. There, and only there, did I feel that the “look” worked. And I don’t think there were any effects on those shots. One positive result of the movie is that Matthew Fox was in it as Racer X and seeing him sent my mind off to distant and beautiful lands of LOST theories and wonderment of the upcoming finale episodes. *ahhh*

All of this being said, I don’t know much about Speed Racer the character or show, and so maybe this style makes sense for keeping in line with it. But I know enough about anime to know that it probably doesn’t keep in line with it. And if it does, I still didn’t like the style. I did, however, enjoy reading Miles’s twitters about the movie. See them here. Also, the DLP might have been good but it’s hard to tell with a movie you can’t enjoy.

I hear Tony Stark will be making an appearance in The Hulk this summer, with Edward Norton, and you can bet your bottoms The Movie Club will be in attendance. A sequel to Iron Man has been announced for a release date of April 30, 2010.

I give Iron Man a 5 out of 5 stars and Speed Racer a 2.5 out of 5 stars.

Ahh, to be 21 again…

Photo of Megaphone and CampersHere’s a list of “firsts” that happened when I was 21.

  • Rented a House
  • Received 1st place in 2D for my photo in Beadlemania
  • Discovered I didn’t like alcohol, only the fruity stuff in mixed drinks
    • I found out I like juice
  • Became a Mary Kay independent beauty consultant
  • Worked at my favorite place of employment
  • Gained a sister-in-law
  • Later gained a brother-in-law, three sisters-in-law, and parents-in-law
  • Took a summer class – Zoology – and enjoyed it
  • Finished Harry Potter
  • Acted in a traveling children’s show
  • Posed for many more photos than I ever want to for the rest of my life
  • Visited Philly
  • Modeled and animated a 3D character
  • Wrote this letter to Andrew Wilson
  • Began creating monthly wallpapers
  • Was in the top two for a great job and didn’t get it, triggering the beginning of no graphic design openings in a 50 mile radius
  • Gave one of two student speeches at graduation
  • Graduated a semester early, summa cum laude
  • Fell in love with Albie
  • Started a “favorite songs” blog posting excursion and failed to complete it
  • Cheered on my fiance as he applied for and obtained employment with a company I’ve wanted to be a part of
  • Photo of Animal Crackers and Imaginary Friends Took a painting class and decided I mega-loathe it
  • Spent Christmas away from home
  • Got married
    • Died a little
      • I kid!
  • Acted dead
  • Began responding to a new last name
  • Vacationed to the happiest place on earth with the only man on earth that makes me happiest
  • Owned a TV bigger than 27″
  • Thoroughly enjoyed the company of an 18 month old
  • Gained a permanent roommate
  • Was unemployed for over 2 months
  • Detached from the MilesRausch.com blogs
  • Watched an entire Season (and then some) of LOST in less than 48 hours

Wow, I guess I had a lot going on in the past year…!

A Very Magical Honeymoon

Sunday, Day One: Arrival, Hollywood Studios

Bride and GroomMiles and I woke up at 3:00am to get ready and be at the airport by 3:45 for our 5:00am flight. All went well, except for the no sleep thing. After a smooth connection in Minneapolis, we arrived in Orlando at 11:30. We rode Disney’s Magical Express and checked in at Disney’s All-Star Music Resort, where we were able to upgrade to a King-sized bed and fridge. Even better, it was already available so we stopped up in our room and dropped off our carry-ons. Then we were off to the happiest place on Earth!

We ate at 50’s Primetime Cafe at Hollywood Studios and spent more than we wanted, but the chocolate milkshake was worth it. After some Tower of Terroring and Stunt Driver watching and many other things, we realized how early the park closes and would have to return another day to ride the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. We ended the night with supper at the Sci-Fi Drive-In Theater and though I didn’t care for the food there, it was a great atmosphere.

That night, we decided to take maps from all of the parks and plan our days, because we did a lot of unnecessary walking because we didn’t have a plan. That proved to make our vacation even more magical.

Monday, Day Two: Magic Kingdom

Magic Kingdom After breakfast at the hotel, we headed off to Magic Kingdom and waited in a 10 minute line for Space Mountain. Then we get a fast pass for it. Because Monsters, Inc. is one of my favorite movies (my favorite animated movie), we decided to try out the new Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor. After a pretty lame build-up, we came out of there quite impressed with the show. It’s animated and partially improvised, so you can imagine how much we enjoyed it. And if you can’t imagine how an animated show can be partially improvised, you’ll have to visit it yourself. After lunch, snack, dinner, characters, Thunder Roading, Small Worlding and many other -ings, we headed home mildly early. I was asleep by 9:00pm, which may sound dumb on a honeymoon, but it was quite enjoyable and needed.

Tuesday, Day Three: Epcot, Downtown Disney, Animal Kingdom Lodge

We woke up early and headed to Epcot to get a fast pass for Soarin’ (which stopped giving fast passes by noon), stood in line for Test Track, watched a Finding Nemo show and headed to Downtown Disney for a lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Cafe. Miles had sushi and I went the safe route with pasta…and hated it. After shopping a little and getting over some stomach sickness, we headed back to Epcot for Mission: Space and walking around the World. After realizing the next day was Ash Wednesday and we would be fasting and abstaining from meat, we changed our Boma’s reservation to this night.

Boma’s is an African buffet at Animal Kingdom Lodge and very enjoyable. As a picky eater, I didn’t have too high of hopes but both Miles and I really enjoyed our meal there. It was a great ending to Fat Tuesday.

Wednesday, Day Four: Hollywood Studios, Animal Kingdom

AlbieWe arrived at Hollywood Studios at 9:01 (the park opens at 9:00) and made our way to Rockin’ Roller Coaster to finish our time at that park. Everyone else was headed there too. But we still only had a 10 minute wait. We headed to Animal Kingdom (Albie joined us there) and we Mt. Everested, Safaried, Dinosaured, fasted and rained. Came back to the hotel early and ordered cheese pizza and watched our week’s photos in a slideshow. We also walked around the hotel a little and bought hoodies. It was a great relaxing day to end the vacation.

Thursday, Day Four: Departure

We slept in, had a lovely breakfast, used Disney’s airline check-in and waited for the Magical Express to pick us up and bring us to the airport. The flight to Minneapolis was smooth and uneventful. I got more of HP5 read. Then after sitting on the runway, we went back to the gate to replace an anti-skid part. After determining that it wasn’t fixed, we had to transfer planes by walking across the entire terminal to a new gate. Then we had to wait because other planes were in line on the runway and to get de-iced. In any case, we took off 3.5 hrs later than we were supposed and didn’t get to watch LOST at the time we thought we would along with the rest of the world. But we DVR’d it and watched it when we got home. Excellent.

Clam-mobile We were given buttons when we checked in that said “Just Married” on them and so most of the Disney cast members congratulated us whenever they saw us. We felt special. Even a few Disney guests saw our buttons and congratulated us. And it was fun to see people around us wondering why they were telling them congratulations. We didn’t have the heart to rub it in their faces that the person was talking to us. Some told us Happy Anniversary on accident, but most got it right. It happened so many times in a day and sometimes so nonchalantly that I wondered if they get special rewards for saying it, whether or not we hear them.

My camera is still MIA. It has been since I arrived at the church on the Wedding day. So Miles and I had to share his. Our photo sets of the honeymoon will be exactly the same, but you can see photos here. Along with a few that I … borrowed … from their park Photographers.

Thanks to everyone who chose to put money towards our honeymoon as their wedding gift for us. You’ll get formal thank you’s of course, along with photos of us enjoying your gift. It turns out using that honeymoon registry was the best 2nd best [edit] decision of our lives because it nearly made us financially stress-free. If anyone is considering honeymooning to Disney, we say do it, and use their registry!

Enjoy the photos.

Married!

panoramic-stained-glass After a little over a year of planning, we finally did it. Miles and I got married. And we had a really fun weekend! The rehearsal and dinner were fabulous. I wished I had been more hungry because I had about 4 bites of my steak. Then I sat there and all of the sudden the waiters started bringing out pieces of chocolate pie! I had forgotten we had Christina’s Concoctions make some pies for the dinner and I thought, “YES, that is exactly what I want right now!” We handed out gifts and thank you’s and I think people enjoyed them and I went back and packed up a lot more of my house.

I thought I wouldn’t remember much of “the big day” (mostly because that’s what everyone said) but the only thing I don’t recall is if I shaved when I showered that morning. I did. *phew* I know people thought we were weird for having the reception and dance end so early, but I really didn’t want people waiting around for the reception to start, as many people wouldn’t have a house or hotel room to go to in between the ceremony and reception. It helped me, if no one else, to have no down-time. And we had a lot of fun! It seemed like a lot of others did too. And Marissa and Bryce – we loved your speeches. As for the decorations, the Playhouse seemed to have transformed. If you’ve ever seen it before that night, you definitely know how different it looked. Even the caterer and servers commented on the impact color in there had. My aunt is amazing at what she does. And our hosts/esses did an excellent job of keeping things flowing smoothly. Bryan, Heather, Debra and Jackie – you rock!

loungeWhenever we get the chance, we’ll post the first-dance video. My dad got it on his camera when the DJ requested it as the last song, but it’s mostly our silhouettes and so I am hoping Bob got our facial expressions and stuff. I know that he got the first half the first time and probably the second half the second time (he was in the entry way when we started it that last time and someone went out to get him).

Anyway, we moved me the next day (thanks to all who helped, we really needed you!) And it was a great weekend. I’m still working on putting the apartment together and even though I’ve made a lot of progress, it doesn’t look like it.

The photos are already up and if I didn’t get an email to you with the username and password, let me know and I’ll hook you up. The photos look great and I’m so excited to have them in our home! Thanks to everyone who was there, who played a part in our special day, and who thought of us this weekend. We’re off to Disney World on Sunday and as bloggers, there will probably be a post or two while we’re there. If not – deal with it!

But seriously, there probably will.

Shake it

So our final project for 3D was animating the characters we modeled earlier this semester. I finished early. Not because it was easy, but because I spent a lot of time in there last week at night. People are mad because I’m done because they think it came easy to me and I ran into no problems and theirs is running into all these problems. Well, I ran into the same problems, it’s just I went in two weeks before finals week to work on it, rather than the week before finals week (when everyone else is in the lab). Just because they didn’t see me working several hours on it, doesn’t mean I didn’t. Sorry for the venting. I’m just frustrated with some classmates. My animation isn’t perfect, but with the constraints of the semester, and of the way I created the character, it’s decent.

I used to upload these with Google Video, but it doesn’t really exist anymore. I’m a part of an animation network with MyToons and so I’m trying their embedded player to share the animation with you. I hope it’s a good experience. Turn your sound on.