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Monday, February 16, 2015

Movie Review: Jupiter Ascending

Jupiter Ascending was one of those movies I did my chair dance for when I saw the very first trailer in theaters, and unlike with most movies, I also squealed like a little girl just about every time the previews came on TV. I don't think I had ever been so excited for a movie until this one. I know, I'm a giant dork. But if you're a regular that's probably why you're reading this review in the first place. :p If you're not a regular, fear not. This will be more than just fangirling.

Knowing how much I wanted to see this movie in theaters, my wonderful husband gave me $20 for my birthday back in December, assuring me that we would be seeing it. I grew more & more excited as the time to see it grew near, & finally, on Valentines Day weekend, we went to see it. I thought I might die of a heart attack resulting from the epic-ness of the movie, but I tried to stay calm, & here I am, alive. LOL, obviously we loved it, but of course as others have said, it's not the best movie ever made. But although the plot is slightly lacking, the visual experience totally makes up for it.

Andy & Lana Wachowski have wowed us before with brilliant films like V For Vendetta & Cloud Atlas, & of course the epic & mind-bending Matrix films. While I loved those films & their intensity, I also loved Jupiter Ascending, but in a different way.

So many people are bashing this movie, saying it's not good because it's not as intense & brilliant as the Wachowskis other films. But Jupiter Ascending is much more of a "blockbuster movie" & I believe it's geared more toward the younger generation, so if you look at the film like that, without expecting it to get too deep & without comparing it to other films, it IS a good movie.

The best thing about Jupiter Ascending is by far the visual effects. I was completely mesmerized for about 90% of the film. I'm not exaggerating when I say it's probably THE most beautiful film I have ever seen. The elaborate worlds & costumes are only part of it. Usually fight scenes tend to bore me after a minute or two, but with this movie I was so enthralled by the artistry of each laser & angle & explosion that most fight scenes sped by, leaving me breathless in awe.

Of course, there were some downsides of the film, & one of those downsides was that some of those fight scenes, while gorgeous, could have been cut to make room for more back-story. Sure, there was enough back-story to get a glimpse of what was going on, but it just sort of felt like an info-dump every time that back-story was mentioned. This could have been remedied with a couple flashbacks (which they obviously had the means of doing, since the film was by no means lacking in the visual department). Another downside was the repetition of certain elements, such as Jupiter falling from a building & Caine showing up out of nowhere just in time to catch her before she hit the ground. Once was cool, but after three times, it felt a little bit unbelievable. I mean come on, nobody's THAT perfect.

Obviously I'm not a fan of Channing Tatum, but while his character was hard to believe at times, & could have also used some more in depth back-story, Tatum actually did a good job in this film. & I have to agree with my mother in law, who said that the wolf look did him some good. & some of the ladies will probably enjoy the fact that he spends half the movie without a shirt. But the main thing is that while I was worried Tatum would ruin the film for me, & although I personally would have cast someone else to play his role, he still carried it well, capturing the tortured & heroic wolf-splice almost perfectly.

Of course, Mila Kunis was the star of the show. I knew I would love her as Jupiter, because she's great in everything I've seen her in (still waiting for a "Book of Eli" sequel with her character in the lead, BTW). She did a great job at encompassing the versatility & diversity required of her by the role, morphing from a helpless & tired modern woman to a strong willed & powerful force to be reckoned with. I don't know if they are planning a sequel or not, but I hope they are because I would love to see where her character goes later (not to mention some more of those glorious special effects).

The rest of the cast also did an amazing job, & you really got the feeling that Eddie Redmayne & his "partners in crime" had lived thousands of years, through make-up but also through their facial expressions & voices & stance. Again, I would have liked to see some more back-story on these characters, as well as some more about the splices, but I honestly can't think of one bad performance in the cast.

While the plot left me wanting more (especially back-story), & a few scenes were a little predictable, this film is a must-see in theaters, for the visual experience alone. So I hope you see it in theaters while you can, & I hope you're holding your breath & gripping the arm of your chair in awe, like I was. Bottom line, don't expect to be wowed by the plot or a glorious twist ending, but do expect to be wowed by the visual aspects of this movie. In fact, brace for it. ;)

2 shots of me geeking out over the poster, taken 2 months apart.

Be the lightning,


Monday, February 2, 2015

Frozen Creek Studios

"Hues Of Blue"

Some of you know about the budding photography company my husband and I are trying to get off the ground, but I wanted to have a link everyone could come to and find all the details about it. Plus, we've really been struggling with getting the word out there, so hopefully this will help with that too.

Cincinnati Panorama

Frozen Creek Studios focuses on capturing beautiful still shots (mostly of nature and wildlife), which my talented husband takes himself, as you can see in the collage of BTS shots below. But we're at a bit of a standstill right now, until he can get a new camera. So please donate here if you can, and spread the word.

But FCS is about so much more than just photography. We also do cinematography, video editing, photo editing, graphic art and more. Below is a list of all the services we currently offer (from the FCS Facebook page). It's hard to put a set price on said services, since prices range anywhere from as low as $20 to $100 or more, depending on how much work and time the job entails - but as a general rule, the services are listed in order from cheapest to not as cheap. We will always give discounts for friends and family though, so check them out and please let us know if you have any questions:


8x10 prints now on sale for $15! 
Order 10 prints & get free shipping & a free print of your choice! We have over 200 prints to choose from here.

Photo Restoration:

Old family photos that are water-stained or ripped? We can restore old or damaged photos to look like new.

Graphic Design:

Need a logo for your business? 
Need original art for your website, book cover or album cover? We can create almost anything you can think of. 

Video Editing:

Want to remember a special occasion in a unique & heartwarming way? We can create slideshows of past events, & we can capture future events through video &/or photography & create a slideshow or music video to keep for memories & to give to friends/family. We can also create book trailers, ETC.

Please contact us to discuss pricing and to ask us anything at all. 

We will always respond. :)

-Eric & Kylie
Frozen Creek Studios

There you have it! I know this is a bit different from what I normally post here, but we needed a place to direct customers to, so I donated my blog for the task. I hope you'll check out my husband's beautiful photography HERE and follow FCS on Facebook and Twitter.

By the way, the book trailers are a fairly new development. Of course I've made trailers for my own books and my husband's books (I will let you know when they're up), but it never dawned on me that I could be offering my services to other authors too, until our good friend Stephen Zimmer asked me to make one for his newest book, Heart of a Lion. I had lots of fun putting the trailer together and hope to make more for other authors in the future. Below is the trailer as an example. Enjoy, and feel free to check out the book too!

Future book trailers will be on my website, so be sure to check them out!

I leave you with some before-and-after shots of our photo restoration work.

Stay Frosty,
 Kylie Jude.