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Inktober 2016

And that marks the end of this years Inktober challenge - where the aim was to stay artsy, and do at least one doodle each day of the month. I started twenty days late, but I caught up! Finally. I made it part of the Project 2016 thing too, and took a test drive with my new Wacom Bamboo while I was at it.

The first doodles weren't so easy, but I feel I've improved a lot over the course of the last few weeks, and it was a load of fun. Some doodles were rushed, some are remixes, but most are original, and there are a few I'm really proud about how they turned out.

The art month's over, but maybe there'll be opportunity to sketch up a few more doodles in the months to come, and join in on this again next year. For real. From day 1 to day 31; a new doodle each day.

Inktober's over, but Project 2016 goes on...

Inktober #31

Intkober #31

A little Halloween Special for today. :)

Halloween Carvings II

Haven't had a real Halloween post in ages - the past few years these mentions have been squashed in with the weeklies and other events. I did carve a couple of digital pumpkins for today though, after finding four old ones I hadn't posted yet, so here you go, and

Happy Halloween!

May it be horrorful and terrorful, and may you eat mounds of so much candy that you feel good but not all-too-full and fat on sugar cause that feeling kind of sucks! Or better yet: have some carrots. They're even more fun to chip at with fangs.

Little Devil

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The Rise Of Independent Animation

Here's a pretty interesting documentary/episode on the rise and fall of independent animation, the new rise, the transition from NG to YT to new sources, and a bunch of nostalgia for anyone who (like me) grew up during this time. I recognize everyone who makes an appearance in this episode, which I suppose made it more fun to watch for me than it might be for you, and since NG is still my second home it hits home.

Hopefully it'll provide a few hits for home, too. The traffic to NG has been decreasing over the years, and it sure could use some updrafts.

I am however proud to say I never transitioned away from NG myself. It remains a big hobby though the real world takes me elsewhere. Even though the video above's on YT, I found it via the same place I would have seen it first twelve years ago. I haven't changed my channels since 2004, though they have changed, for better or for worse, though if I chose to go pro I suppose I might not have had as much choice.

Anyway: give the video above a view if any of this seems like your cup of Green Chai, or plan to embark on the road of animation yourself. It might seem like a corroding mountain to those who were around in its heyday, but for all starting out now: it's a new world, full of opportunity and adventure. Flash may be dying, but its legacy lives on.

Die Hard (1988)

Die Hard (1988)

It's a classic!

The first Die Hard movie really was something else, and whatever formula they used to make it still holds today. I wish they could've toned down the focus on interviewers and cops outside the building - the leucocratic aspect of it all, but the action inside the building is as pure as it gets. Professional. Gritty, violent and desperate, but clean. The villain isn't dumb, and maybe it's just dumb luck that John McClane (Bruce Willis) manages to see his fall through, but he makes it look achievable. They don't just shoot all over the place and run around dodging bullets: there's a strategy to the violence. A plan. A purpose. In the end, it's the believable approach to this action-aspect of the movie that sets it apart from so many other blockbusters you'll eventually forget.

Bruce Willis is an authentic tough guy too. Unprepared. Barefoot. Soon bare-chested too, and soon bearing a great many cuts and bruises after being chased up and down through the Nakatomi Plaza - a place where a group of 'terrorists' hold a group of people hostage - one of them his wife. He goes over the edge more than once, and though it's thanks to his heroics and crazy stunts that the police get there in the first place, he pretty much finishes the bad guys by himself. If anything, the police actually make things worse, though Al does provide some much-needed emotional support.

Bruce's limo driver helps out too. Wish that guy would've been in some of the sequels - it could've made for an interesting partnership, and what a cool name he had: Argyle. The way they stumble in on the whole situation is just perfect. It's commendable they manage to put in bits of comedy amidst the action and still keep things serious, not many movies manage that mix.

Overall it's one action fest out of the ordinary, with exquisite locales and a real professional bunch of crooks and criminals. Among the actors you might recognize there's Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson and Alan Rickman (the in-movie villain, who actually died this year - may he RIP). Bruce Willis is the one-man main show though, and he puts on a great performance.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

The Last Heist (2016)

The Last Heist (2016)

This is the story of a bank robbery goes wrong, and when they say it goes wrong... they really mean it goes wrong! Cartel money. Serial killer in the bank. The brother to the bank robber a security guard working in the bank, who also happens to be working for the cartel. One on his team ready to betray him. His driver on cocaine. A detective without a burrito. What? Yeah it gets crazy fast. Though it all starts off with somewhat of a comical undertone, it gets serious fast as well, and the element of surprise is always lurking around the corner. It's a mesh of horror, thriller, and regular action. So many sacrifices... but it's all in the eye of the beholder, isn't it?

The script was fantastic, and the twists not bad. The shooting was unfortunately very fake-looking, and the special effects bad overall, though the blood a gory exception. They make it gritty, and grimy, and turn it into a real thriller after all, but bad special effects and some B-class acting brings it down a bit. Most of the actors weren't half bad, but I feel they could've switched some of them for others. The filming wasn't bad overall, but in the end you still get that B-movie vibe from it. What's the secret; what's the flaw? Too few outsiders and onlookers? Too slow pace? Just a bit more professionalism and it'd really have been on another level. Blockbuster level. As it was: great idea, but unfortunately far from a perfect performance.

 rated 3/5: not bad

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