Friday, April 27, 2012

[PERSONAL][GEEK] The Avengers: You'd Probably Want To See It Again (And Again...)

All of a sudden, social networking sites and the Internet are buzzing about "something new in town." But for geeks--at least the geeks I know and are often with--have been WAITING for this for a very long time.

So yes, I've watched Joss Whedon's AWESOMEOMGASDF;;AS attempt at one of Marvel's superhero teams, known as, well, "The Avengers." :)

Be careful, there may be spoilers.

Let's just put this here for a touch of extra awesome.

I have to be honest; prior to watching this film, I simply had a very poor background on this superhero team. I've watched the cartoons "Iron Man," "Captain America," and "The Incredible Hulk" as a child, although I didn't religiously stick to every episode... back then, I found the cartoons too vintage for me. But little did I know that the whole franchise meant a lot to fans and geeks all over the world, who had not only watched the  cartoons, but read and collected the comic books (something which I haven't even done yet! FOR SHAAMMME. SHUN THE NON-BELIEVERRR), and recently, watched the stand-alone films of "Hulk," "Thor," "Iron Man," and "Captain America." And among those films I've mentioned, I've only watched both Iron Man films.

GAH.

So when a friend organized a group screening of the film and invited me to join, I still had no idea what his the hype was all about. :P In fact, he is such a dedicated fan of the superhero team that his username in most of our geek forums is "pinoyavenger." You can check out the Facebook page he's set up for the fandom here. ^_^


Let's make these posters huge now. So everyone can seeeee (and before anyone sues me: this poster is copyright of MARVEL. Look at the logo over there. Look, look.)


Basically, I stepped into the theater not knowing what to expect. I neither had high nor low expectations. Perhaps I had expectations that it'll be fun. And good. Something that the geeks will smile about in the end. There were about 30 of us that filed into the cinemas of opening day (it was April 26 over here!). Pinoyavenger was having the time of his life hosting the geekfold and giving away free buckets of popcorn while we waited for the show to begin. That aside, all I had before I watched the film was a blurb from IMDB.com:

Nick Fury of S.H.I.E.L.D. brings together a team of super humans to form The Avengers to help save the Earth from Loki and his army.

DUHR. That was some special blurb right there. However, that dwindled to almost nothing compared to the posters (which I mostly got from HERE -- I MUST warn you though. The link directs you to a page that will most definitely contain some spoilers):














I'm not going to beat around the bush and mention who plays who, as the cast and crew are all on the IMDB site. All I can say now, though, without giving away spoilers and yet setting a level of expectation is that this is one awesome production.



Sure, it may have a standard plot, with maybe a few tweaks or two: there's the misunderstood emo-ish bad guy with the funny armor. There's this bunch of super heroes learning how to fight as a team. There's an organization that recruits them that may have a shady plot or three. But all these kinks are PETTY and PUNY compared to what the film had to offer its first-time viewers and yep, the franchise's long-time fans.



I'm not speaking from the viewpoint of a hardcore fan--let pinoyavenger indulge you with his wellspring of love for the lore. Rather, I'm speaking from a viewpoint of someone sort of new to the franchise, and yet with a touch of geek as well.

The acting, Alan Silvestri's film score, the script, the one-liners, the action, the explosions, Tony Stark's quips, Iron Man's toys for the big boys, Thor's confusion-conviction-confusion, Dr. Banner's mild-mannered charm, The Hulk's Incredible-ness (haha), the fluid sexiness of the Black Widow, Hawkeye's precision with the bow, Captain America's old-fashioned wisdom in his super blue eyes (wait I don't think the objective part of me is already speaking at this point)... there's just so much to watch out for!



I didn't even bother looking at the ratings in rottontomatoes.com. Go ahead and look at your own risk, but whether it deemed the film a win or a fail, it doesn't really matter--what matters is that you deserve to watch it, with good enough expectations, with that kid in your heart, and that hawk awe in your eye (OH LAWLz~).




At the end of the film, though, we just simply CLAPPED. It was indeed fun. There were indeed smiles on our faces. AND OH YES. Don't up and leave after the initial ending credits. There's a teeny bit more... but if you haven't read the comic books, you will ask questions. :P

Don't grow up just yet. Watch it once, watch it twice. Then collect the tumblers and the mugs and the toys and more toys and of course the comic books and the books and...............




LURVE,

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

[Personal][Geek] Con Chronicles: The 5th Philippine Cosplay Convention


So what are these "anime and hobby conventions," and why do people go to such events?

Well, people have their own, various reasons, but one thing's for sure: we go there to dress up and just plain have fun. :P

And what do we mean by "dress up?"

YES, it's called "cosplay." The term "cosplay" has definitions which people debate on and have evolved overtime, but simply put, it's short for "costume play:" wherein a person dresses up as a fictional character from television, films, books, and comic books and ACTS OUT the character. YOU ARE THE CHARACTER. It sounds pretty freaky to the layman, but as we keep on saying amongst ourselves: one may never know the joys of cosplay until he or she tries it... because it's worth trying at least once in your life. ~.^

BUT this entry isn't solely about cosplay. It's about an event called "The Philippine Cosplay Convention," running in its fifth year and was held on March 3, 2012 in Robinson's Place Manila Midtown Atrium. Yes, I know this is a super late post. xD

So we've been teased with this poster weeks before the event:

The event teaser poster taken from Cosplay.ph.


What's cool about PCC is that their IS NO ENTRANCE FEE. This was actually the first time I've attended PCC, but my chaps here seem to have attended for a while now:

Yes, that's 2 girls dressing up as 2 guys... with a hawt schoolgirl teehee

A couple of friends decided to dress up as characters from Kuroshitsuji, also known as "Black Butler" in its English dub. Ayn was Ciel Phantomhive, while Stacy was Grell Sutcliff. Caroline was simply dressed up as a hot schoolgirl (she will deny the "hot" part, but don't believe her xD). I... well, you will see. :P

Since entrance was free, the place was simply packed. However, since the mall was basically open to costumed people especially when they needed refreshment and had to go on food and bathroom breaks, the crowd remained manageable and there was still enough space to breathe. Another plus for this event and the venue. :D

Taken from the 4th floor ^^

Now... let's take a look at some of the cool cosplays we've encountered at the convention:

A ZOIDS MECHA! One complicated costume


Marky, one adorable, talented cosplayer, dressed up as Bon Clay from One Piece


This is also the place where your childhood comes to life.


SHAIDER! Galaxy police

Also, we meet more cosplay friends and acquaintances, like these guys from the famous Tuxedo Team:


The girls were joining the festivities at the venue

I also think that one of the fun parts of being in costume is when you go out and eat and do some of the stuff you do normally... but as the character you're cosplaying. xD Here, Grell is picking on Ciel in the absence of Ciel's butler, Sebastian :P :

Grell!!! BEhAVE! :P


And as for me, well... the usual. :P I'm still on my way of reaching my ideal weight since I gained a LOT, so in the meantime, I've been dressing up as a pirate lass. ^^; For this event, I specifically went as a gypsy pirate princess. Because every little girl wants to be a princess

Who goes there??? >:3


The venue also had booths that sold toys and other cosplay-related goodies. :D It is, after all, a cosplay compendium event. ^^ Of course, I HAD TO take a photo of THIS:

ThunderCats, HOOOOO!!!

At the end of the day, we had tired feet, but were all smiles. :) 10,000,000 photos later (well not really, but all of us were trigger happy as much as we can with our cameras while distracted by so many stuff), we remembered to take a group shot photo of ourselves. xD

With Celeste who came as an ordinary h00man hehe

People who are keen to judge may be inclined to think that we'ere too old for such things, and should just stick to what one calls "reality." We try not to let those kinds of people bust our bubble, since we still try our best to live our lives and all other responsibilities that come with it. :) Cosplay events add more rays of sunshine into our lives, and we relish every minute of it, in spite of what other people may think. ^^;;;

As I said, being in costume and attending such events is worth a try... even at least once in your lifetime.





LURVE,




Monday, April 23, 2012

[BEAUTY][ANIMAL WELFARE] April! The Orange Ribbon + Sunscreen review

Well, April is almost done and I haven't really been actively attending to my blog since my first April post on April first (geddit? Ahahaha... b'awww nevermind. ^^;)

I had this plan of reviewing products that are against animal cruelty for this month... and of course, the philosophy is better to start late than never placing the idea at the backburner to simmer till next summer altogether (so many "-er's" thar). So I'll be doing this instead for the entire summer, from here on until June. :)

Why for the summer when I can do reviews on cruelty-free stuff for the entire year? Of course I can do that, and I do plan to remain doing so among a variety of topics after June, but I'd just want my post to be timely. xD April has been dubbed Prevention of Cruelty To Animals Month by OrangeRibbonForAnimals.org; a cause has been circulating around Facebook to spread such awareness all throughout the month of April. I signed up, of course. :) And so sign up if you're all for the cause so they reach their targeted numbers. ^_^

Now, on to the product review!

Photo from their web site


The sun's more potent in this here tropical country in the summer (and while the bit that says that it's because the sun is closest to the earth during the summertime is false, let's leave the science to the scientists haha), so the sunblock and sunscreen craze in local supermarkets, drugstores and department stores has erupted. There are a whole lot of choices out there with different levels of SPF, so pick your poison, put on your hat, and walk down that sunny road.

Whilst I--well, I picked mine own poison through DeVita's Solar Protective Moisturizer with SPF 30+. It's mainly for the face, and it can be use for both day time AND nighttime. While there's already a photo provided above, I'll pitch in some photos of mine (just click on them to enlarge):

The box and the tube



The ingredients list


The cruelty-free label, and all the other good stuff


And this is what it looks like on the back of me hand:

Forgive teh spottled hobbit hand. ERK.


...And all blended out. It leaves a bit of a sheen which disappears after about a minute:




It's quite an understatement if I simply say, "hey, this is a pretty good moisturizer." It's more of: "I can't believe it's sunblock!!!" Because IT DOESN'T FEEL LIKE SUNBLOCK. That's a big plus for this product. Whilst I will list the pros and cons of the product later, I can say right now that it's non-greasy (for real), it absorbs quickly, and it doesn't leave a ghastly white cast on your FACE as most sunblock face creams and lotions do. It's exactly what it says and more: it's a light moisturizer with sunblock properties that really do wonders to your skin.

SO YEA. This stuff helped with the tone and texture of mah skin.

Anya, my kitty's and my mugshot ahehehe

There I am, no makeup, nearly just woken up, but I don't look as horrible as I thought I would without makeup. Of course I still have a bit of marks from acne scars, but THEY ARE FADING as I use this product regularly. At least, they fade faster than they usually do if I just go with my usual skincare routine.


YOSH!!! I think it's Holy Grail-worthy for me!

Now, on with:

LIKES: 



  • Non-greasy and easily absorbed
  • No discernible scent
  • Has relatively high SPF for a moisturizer
  • Has natural ingredients. No parabens and all that icky stuff
  • Cruelty-free
  • Visible improvement on skin tone and texture (I used this day and night for 2 weeks now)
  • Can be used as your normal moisturizer (for both day and night)


DISLIKES:
  • Like sunscreen, it must be applied liberally, so this isn't a "little goes a long way" product
  • Not available locally (as far as I know)
  • Can be quite expensive. It retails for $25.95; that's about Php1,000 more or less for a 2.5oz tube
  • If you're allergic to zinc, this product is a no-no for you; it's active ingredient is ZINC OXIDE

I got mine from Vitacost, where it's being sold for a percent cheaper than its retail price, via my mom who visited from the States some time ago. BUT!! Vitacost and DeVita SkinCare ships internationally, so if you'd like to give this a try, I say, go for it. :D

Rating: 5/5 (despite the dislikes)
Will I repurchase: YEP! I actually have a spare tube of this goodness. haha.
Do I recommend: INDEED. :3

This summer, the wisest words are: HYDRATE REGULARLY AND DON'T FORGET TO PUT ON SUNSCREEN. Yes, even when you're bloody INDOORS. At least something with Spf15 for indoors. 


Have a grrreeaaat summer, ya'll! :D And don't forget to sign up for the orange ribbon cause. 




LURVE,



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