How to Train Your Dragon 2 Review: “This Is Amaaaaazinggg!!!”

Okay, so if I didn’t have my terror toddler of a son, I would probably have missed the first installment of How To Train Your Dragon (HTTYD). Thankfully, I did not. Instead, I was in the prime seat for repeated viewings of the movie whenever my son felt so inclined. (And yet, I still cannot pull a Scottish accent to save my life. Figures.)

Based on the book series by British author Cressida Cowell (with 14 books for the world so far) , How To Train Your Dragon 2, directed by Dean DeBlois and produced by Dreamworks Animation, picks up where the first left off…give or take five years. Dude, if I were a tender preteen girl prone to crushes on fictional characters (No, I’m not speaking from experience. Why do you ask!?), I’d totally fall in love with Hiccup. And Ruffnut can have Eret; it’d be a comedic trove.

While it’s still a toss up why–in higher latitude Berk, in colder, thinner air, on the back of the fastest dragon around–Hiccup designed a mask that covers his mouth but not his eyes, the rest of the details in the movie do quite well. As a sucker for anything flying and fantastical, my foremost enchantment with it is, naturally, the dragons. I mean, c’mon, who hasn’t read Dragonriders of Pern and not imagined it?? To pick a point on the horizon and just go? (I may have a slight problem hiking atop mountains for this reason–the shear desire to fling myself from the pinnacle and soar.) Toothless is adorable, to boot.

I dared to see HTTYD2 in theaters with my hyperactive toddler and still managed to feel touched by the themes and imagery of the movie.  It’s a film clearly meant to connect with a younger audience: it’s filled with bright colors and laughs, but not in a garish way. The discerning adult can easily pick out the heavier tones beneath the humor (ahem, mother abandoned her son for 20 years meets him again in the midst of said son’s father trying to impart chieftain responsibilities to him) . Plus, like the first film, the interplay of relationships between the characters are serious yet uplifting enough to pull you in. They face difficult problems with real-world parallels and make mistakes that cost, too.

(At least, they were for me. I’m not a film critic, just a fan. So if you have a problem with all this rambling, you can eat my FIST. )

Also, the DRAGONS. I did mention those already, right? Oh, and Hiccup, and his gadgets (dragon-smoke-and- fire version of a lightsaber?), and the music, and the story continuation curiosity…. My, my.

So, would I watch it again? *Looks around surreptitiously, then whispers* Yea…and in 3-D. Gasp! No way! Me? 3-D? *Whines* Buuut, it’s DRAGONS…and-and FLYING! Then again, c’mon, let’s be honest, someone’s bound to gift my son this sequel anyway and soon I’ll be watching it daily and quoting it to childless adults and expecting them to laugh with me.

Noooott really a new experience here.

Now, here come the arbitrary ratings (you’re welcome):
Rating: A

ASV Scale of Villainy: E
Hiccup has ingenuity, intuition, and Viking “stubbornness issues” as well as a freakin’ Night Fury that just discovered its upgrades and can resist the massive warmongering Alpha dragon. If his morals were reversed, I think Drago would’ve been Hiccup’s minion, not his enemy.


Space Can Be Sexy

Life is a bitch easy to take for granted. Like painstaking, tedious World of Warcraft dailies, our lives can get pretty stale, and it becomes easy to tunnel-vision on the here and now. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. People are busy, have responsibilities–isn’t the here and now what’s important? Of course. But lest we forget, relative to the rest of the universe, we’re practically invisible.

Leave it to interactive media artist Josh Worth to remind us how little and insignificant our lives are, and how sexy space can be. Worth is the creator of “If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel,” described as “a tediously accurate scale model of the solar system.”

You can view it here. It’s well worth the tedium, methinks.

Josh Worth has worked as a graphic designer, animator, and creative consultant (among other things) for companies such as Sony Pictures, Focus Features, and Marvel Comics (among others). What a stud. You can reach at his official website, or tweet @misterjworth.

Zankyou no Terror Series Premiere

I don’t keep up enough on anime as I used to, but I still make the occasional effort to renew my otaku-status. Recently, I tried to get into Hunter x Hunter but for whatever reason, shounen anime just don’t do it for me anymore. Anyway, this aside is more of a reminder to myself than anything else.

Watanabe Shinichiro, legendary anime director of Cowboy Bebop and Samurai Champloo fame, has a new series coming out today, the ultra-serious Zankyo no Terror (translated “Terror in Resonance”)–an anime that looks to be about two kid-terrorists who bomb Tokyo out of the blue. What ensues is a game of wits between the teenagers and the people intent on stopping them.

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EVO Championship Series 2014

Popular fighting game tournament Evolution Champion Series (EVO) begins its 13th annual event this weekend, running from Friday, July 11 to Sunday, the 13th. The video game tournament, attracting professional gamers from around the world, features events including Street Fighter IV, Tekken, and Killer Instinct, among many others.

This year’s EVO features the return of BlazBlue to the event roster (MUCH to my brother’s approval) after it’s absence in 2013 was sorely felt by fans, while Persona 4 Arena has been dropped.

EVO, which has a reputation of being very well-attended, is open to the public. Free stations are available for play, giving fans the opportunity to bump shoulders with their favorite players, and maybe cop a feel grab some autographs.

EVO is being held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Wow, I wish I had a sister who lived there or something (I actually do)

Watch here.
Official website.

You Won’t: “Three Car Garage”

I was driving home today from my grandmother’s house, when I noticed the gas tank was nearly empty LIKE MY LIFE, so I stopped by the QuikTrip nearby my house to fill ‘er up. As I leaned on the side of my car, taking in the sweet, dank smell of gasoline fumes, my iPod began to play “Three Car Garage” by the band You Won’t. The song was released just over two years ago, and seeing as how I make the frakking 🙂 rules, I’m going to say it’s old enough to qualify for Throwback Thursday.

Continue reading You Won’t: “Three Car Garage”

Born of Boredom, Destined for…Something!

I honestly don’t know why I created this blog, nor can I promise that I’ll be updating it regularly. But maybe–hopefully–it will help me organize my thoughts and improve my waning writing skills (if ever they were present before).


Once upon a time…

Something, something to St. Ives,
Something, something seven wives,
Something, something about cats,
Something, something, was it sacks?
Something, something unrhymed line,
Something, something about kittens,
Something, always sometimes villains.

an alliance of nerds