Series that came, I saw and dismissed or continued watching.

Hello my lovely and very patient hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course.

Life has been crazy these past few weeks. Got some bad news, making exciting new plans, am extremely busy with studying, working, knitting and everything.

Ok, first things first. I started a 10 week course to prep myself for the Cambridge CPE exam. Whoop, whoop. And in order to fulfil my homework duties, I need to watch lots and lots of TV without subtitles, or with English subtitles, I need to read English books, newspapers, articles etc. I need to talk a lot with English people and I need to listen to podcasts / radio shows. So basically nothing changes at the moment ;)

Although you will be getting a bit more blog posts compared to the last two months.

The winter season of the TV shows is slowly coming towards an end and I’ve been trying to find new shows I can watch. And guess what, not everything was as good as I suspected.

What I did watch and dismissed:

  • Helix
  • Misfits
  • From Dusk Till Dawn

What I did watch and stuck to it:

  • Believe
  • Game of Thrones
  • Musketeers
  • Star Crossed
  • The 100
  • Continuum
  • The After

helix-posterLet’s start with Helix. Synopsis according to IMDB: A team of scientists are thrust into a potentially life-or-death situation in this thriller, which begins with the group being deployed to the Arctic to secretly investigate what could be a disease outbreak. It sounded promising, a virus let loose in an underground facility in the middle of freaking nowhere, surrounded by lots and lots of snow and ice. Ok, it sounds like a lot of other ‘disaster / virus’ movies, but I like those a lot.

The thing is, Helix is made by the syfy channel and whereas it works brilliantly for Warehouse 13, it doesn’t work, in my opinion, for Helix. It has that whole, bad b-movie feeling towards it and basically, it sucks. But if you’re into that kinda thing, go ahead. I don’t mind. But the acting is bad, the special effects seem even worse and I wonder how the script-writers are getting paid for this.

Ok, moving on. Misfits. Synopsis according to IMDB: A group of young offenders doing community service get struck by lightning during a storm, and begin to misfitsdevelop superpowers. A nice American whovian pointed this serious out for me. And although I love British series, this isn’t my style. It reminds me to much of bad Dutch television, filled with swearing, violence, nudity and sex. And although I don’t mind any of those things, I mean I watch Game of Thrones after all, it seems kinda cheesy and sorry, I did try it, but I just don’t like it. Although people assured me season 2 gets better, I pulled the plug, halfway season 1.

from-dusk-till-dawn-tv-series-posterNext one on the list, From Dusk Till Dawn. Synopsis according to IMDB: A Texas Ranger is in hot pursuit of the infamous Gecko brothers. Oh, I love the movies, although progressing into movie number 2, 3 and four, the quality dwindles a lot. But it has that nice over the top vampire movie feeling, which I think is great for some stories. And at least it’s better than twilight, right? But the series, nope. They are trying too hard to remake the episodes into the movie. And even though I’m saying episodes, I just watched the first, found it horrible and not interesting enough to stick around for another one.

Ok, now onwards to the list of series I did watch and continue watching at the moment, if it doesn’t interfere with homework duties. Believe. The synopsis according to BELIEVE-TV-Series-600x337IMDB: A relationship forms between a gifted young girl and a man sprung from prison who has been tasked with protecting her from the evil elements that hunt her power. Oh I love it; you should also check the review Den of Geek did for this series. It has that wonderful supernatural feeling, but still pretty much down to earth and mixed in with some drama. And luckily, no freaking romance! Check it out for yourself.

game of thronesGame of Thrones. Synopsis according to IMDB: Seven noble families fight for control of the mythical land of Westeros .Seriously; do I need to say more? I’m still in the process of reading the books, but my hunger for the series doesn’t keep me back from actually watching it before reading about it. I’ve been following the series since the beginning. And thanks to social media, you practically need to watch it the minute it’s on US TV thanks to all the spoilers. Oh and everybody dies.

The Musketeers. Synopsis according to IMDB: Set on the streets of 17th century Paris, series gives a contemporary take on the classic story about a group of highly trained soldiers TV Musketeers 1and bodyguards assigned to protect King and country. I love British TV / drama. A well know story, hot men in leather, Peter Capaldi as an evil bishop or something. Those floppy hats and women who can kick ass. Sign me up for season two please.

kinopoisk.ruStar-Crossed. Synopsis according to IMDB: About an epic romance between a human girl and an alien boy when he and others of his kind are integrated into a suburban high school 10 years after they landed on Earth and were consigned to an internment camp. It sounded promising, but it feels like the CW channel is taking one central story, boy meets girl, they fall in love, they can’t be together but are sneaking around, throw in a different background story and we have a new series. I like it, enough to keep on watching, but I can’t shake the feeling they are trying to teach the target audience, teenage girls, sneaky ways of a society that deals with racism. I like the whole alien race and stuff, but it sometimes feels as if the writers didn’t pay enough attention towards it. Let’s just see how the series is progressing.

The 100, synopsis according to IMDB: Set 97 years after a nuclear war has destroyed civilization, when a spaceship housing humanity’s lone survivors sends 100 The-100-posterjuvenile delinquents back to Earth in hopes of possibly re-populating the planet. Another CW series. I like the idea, 100 kids dumped on earth after it was inhabitable for generations and the only way to let the other people on the spaceship survive was kicking them out. Although I question the whole dumping kids on earth thing. Hasn’t history thought us that we, as a species do everything to protect our offspring? And maybe, living on said spaceship for a couple of generations, something went horrible wrong. Ok and I don’t like the whole drama / love story thing again. But the people (teenage girls / young adults) clearly demand it, and that’s what we get.

continuumContinuum, synopsis according to IMDB:A detective from the year 2077 finds herself trapped in present day Vancouver and searching for ruthless criminals from the future. I missed the first two seasons, so naturally I watched them all in about a weekend, that’s the perk of having short seasons and I fell in love with it. It’s all wibbly wobbly timey wimey stuff, good stories, a brilliant cast and I seriously need to catch up with season 3 as soon as I have some more time, which will be never! Although I do have some questions about the leading lady adapting so quickly towards time-travel and being back in the past, understanding everything.

The after: Synopsis according to IMDB: Eight strangers are thrown together by mysterious forces and must help each other survive in a violent world thatthe after defies explanation. A promising first episode and I love to see more of it, unfortunately, we only have the pilot episode for now, but it got the go ahead to make a full season, so we have to wait a bit, I think until June or July before we can watch some more episodes.

And that concludes my list of newish series, together with the old stuff I’m already watching and looking forward towards Salem, Vikings and Fargo. Have you replaced some series? Are you watching something I should check out? Or are you watching any of the shows I mentioned above? Just let me know.

Love, your own hot cute girly geek, Mendy.

Review: Captain America 2: The Winter Soldier

http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/screencrush.com/files/2014/01/captain-america-2-poster-uk-full.jpgSoooo… Remember my review of Thor 2? I was not very happy with Thor 2. So when people were very enthusiastic over Captain America 2, I was still kind of sceptical. But man, I’ve been rarely so pleasantly surprised by a movie! Captain America 2 is everything Thor 2 wasn’t. And that made it a great movie. So I’m going to tell you how great Captain America 2 is by comparing it to Thor 2, while telling you as little spoilers as possible.

Story

In Thor 2, the plot of the movie is literally told to you in the first scene of the movie. Right from the start, you know who the bad guy is, you know why he’s evil, you know where the movie is going. This leaves no room for story development and the only thing you need to do as a watcher is sit back and enjoy the interaction between characters and the epic battles, without worrying much about plot development. In Captain America 2, you are in the dark about what’s happening for the first hour of the movie, just as the main characters. Your brain is trying to put the puzzle pieces together, and you see the main characters struggling with the same stuff too. This motivates you to stay focused and watch as the story develops, and this makes you surprised as plot twists occur. This makes movies unpredictable.

Supporting Characters

http://cdn.screenrant.com/wp-content/uploads/The-Black-Widow-in-Captain-America-2-3.jpg

In Thor 2, they reduced Jane Foster to an unconscious vessel with no importance to the story whatsoever. They could as well carry an actual vessel with them. Loki was an okay male supporting character, mostly because of the comic relief he brought and well… because he’s Loki. He’s only there for a limited amount of time though, and his presence overshadows the main character (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing). In Captain America there are also a female and a male supporting character, with the female character taking the exact opposite role as Jane Foster. I am of course talking about no one less than Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow. It’s refreshing to see that the supporting female character is not the love interest of the main character. Yes, there definitely is some sexual tension between her and the Cap, but hey, there is sexual tension between her and any man. But the writers succeeded to make her into something more than a sex symbol (because let’s be honest, that was her main purpose in the Avengers). In this movie they gave her a much bigger role than in the Avengers. She still is a mysterious character, but we get to see some of her inner struggles and emotions. In contrast to Jane Foster, Natasha can save her own ass and is a powerful woman. She saves the Cap numerous times and they gave her almost as much screentime as the Captain. I would even go as far as saying she’s not even a supporting character, but the second main character (again with the overshadowing, which is again, not a bad thing). The male supporting character is a new addition to the super hero family. I’m not going to say much about him to avoid spoilers though. His role is much smaller than Black Widow’s, but he’s an awesome newcomer.

Integration in the Marvel Universe

http://moviefail.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/captainamericathewintersoldier1.jpg

As you might know, I’m a sucker for easter eggs and cameo’s. I love it when I can put small (seemingly unimportant) pieces into the bigger Marvel picture. The only connection Thor 2 had with the rest of the Marvel Universe was a casual mentioning of S.H.I.E.L.D. and a cameo of Captain America. Except for that, it was a stand-alone movie. Again, Captain America 2 is the exact opposite. Although the other ‘main’ super heroes don’t make cameo’s, you can’t see this movie separate from the rest of the Marvel movies. It’s fully integrated. But again, it’s hard to tell more without spoiling.

Bad points?

I’m the annoying kind of person who always has a few bad points, even if the movie was awesome. With Captain America 2, it took me a while to think of those, but I found one. The point I just made about integration, it can also be seen as a bad thing. Or at least an odd thing. Captain America is supposed to be the main character of this movie, but as I said, Black Widow plays an almost equally important role. This movie is so integrated, it’s more important to have seen the Avengers to understand the plot than Captain America 1. This movie is more of a spin-off of the Avenger movies instead of a full fledged Captain America movie.  It’s more like Avengers 1.2 or something. Yes, they pay attention to the Captains personal past, but it seems of secondary importance. The movie seems to be more focused on the internal troubles of S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Captain just happens to be involved. It doesn’t feel like his personal movie to me.That doesn’t make the movies less amazing though. The story is great and, ah well, I think I’ve made my point in the previous sections. It’s just that it’s different from the other ‘personal’ super hero Marvel movies. I personally like that it’s so integrated, but the title can be a little misleading.

Conclusion

Captain America 2 is one of the best Marvel movies so far. I think I maybe even liked it better than part 1. It’s fully integrated in the whole Marvel Universe, there is good storytelling, and character writing is excellent. There is action, there is humour. It’s got the whole package (except maybe romance, but I actually don’t miss that). And hey, Chris Evans is hot. Go see this movie! But remember: you’ll understand it a lot better if you’ve seen Captain America 1 and the Avengers movie first!

Oh yea, to understand the Avengers you have to watch Cap 1, Thor 1, Iron Man 1 and 2… You know what, just watch all of them if you haven’t done that yet!

Hot cute girly geek and Tekira in Paris!

 

Hi my hot cute girly geeks and boy geeks of course.

Sorry for the long absence from writing, as usual, busy. Real life is in the way of my weekly blogging, together with my Etsy shop and work. But I decided a nice update on my latest holiday adventures was a good way to come back to everything.

DSC_0169

And as you can see by the title, I was not alone! Every year my work organizes a trip abroad for everyone who is part of our staff association and this time Paris was on the menu. And because Tekira is one of our interns at work we decided to go together. Yay! Geeky blogger trip to Paris, and boy was it geeky.

I’ll spare you the details of all the touristy stuff we did, it’s Paris and full of touristy stuff you can visit. But we decided to incorporate a bit of geekyness as well. Besides us talking about geeky stuff pretty much 24/7 and the amazing amount of fandom shirts I packed as well as my epic, homemade Tardis bag.

Ok, first stop on our geeky agenda:

DSC_0103

Dernier Bar avant la fin du monde. Or roughly translated: the last bar before the end of the world.

DSC_0107what is it? Well, only the most epic geeky place you’ll find in Paris, 400 m² filled with references to science fiction, fantasy, manga, television series, movies and literature.DSC_0156 A place for all geeks to eat, drink, play games, and generally geek out over everything. If you are a geek in Paris, get your geeky butt down there asap!

DSC_0105

The bar has a well stocked wall filled with games you can freely lend to play with fellow geeks. Everywhere you look it’s geek paradise with popular references to all yourDSC_0108 favourite geek shows, series, comics, movies, like Star Wars, Doctor Who, V for Vendetta and tons of manga and anime stuff I’m not familiar with but had Tekira in a right geeky flailing mode.

DSC_0106

You can eat, although the menu for dining isn’t that great, think more along the lines of snacks, they do have stuff on the menu like triforce chips, dark side cookies, a ‘hello sweetie dessert’ shhh, spoilers (yes I ordered one, and no it didn’t turn magically into a glass of champagne). DSC_0115

DSC_0110And if you love alcohol, the drinks menus is even more spectacular. What about Captain Picard’s Earl Grey (Computer-tea-earl grey-hot), tenth’s health potion (justDSC_0109 brilliant!), the serenity, bad wolf, 42, Lannister, a Tardis, green dragon and many, many more.

The cupcakes come in gaming theme’s, the staff is brilliant and after some hard questioning say they have the best job in the world.

DSC_0152

And I got jumped by a 10th Doctor female cosplayers who geeked-out over my tardis bag in rapid French. After I calmed her down she continued in English and we quickly bonded over cosplay, Tardisses and the Doctor. It was brilliant. Safe to say we ended up there both Friday and Saturday night.

Our second geeky stop was Museé d’Orsay… ok, how can a museum be geeky. Hello, Vincent van Gogh, Doctor Who, epic fangirling anyone?!

The enormous line in front of the museum didn’t hold us back, so we waited like good little fangirls in line and met up with an American family of whovians, again, they spotted my bag. DSC_0122DSC_0123Americans are crazy, but I almost adopted this cute family and it was fun to see that wherever you come from, your dad will always embarrass you in front of strangers. Well done whovian dad.

We got to see some brilliant paintings by Van Gogh and (shhh don’t tell) I was a bit naughty by taking some pictures. Seem familiar???

DSC_0125

And of course we found the only English bookstore in Paris for our little geeky hearts to enjoy, it isn’t Waterstones but WHSmith does have a nice Sherlock selection and I found a lovely Doctor Who mug for my collection.DSC_0087

Although when I went to pay for it, something strange happened and we ran as fast as we could out of there.

DSC_0096DSC_0098

Oh and a visit to Paris wouldn’t be complete without visiting Shakespeare and Company where I finally found a copy of Good Omens, which I have been looking for, for ages!

DSC_0133

We did learn on our last night there was an exhibition about Marvel, but unfortunately running out of time and money we didn’t have time to visit. But if you find yourself in Paris before the 31st of August go check it out: http://artludique.com/marvel2.html

And I did spot some random cool Ninja Turtles posters near the Montmartre.

DSC_0170

And after three days in Paris it was time to go home. We had an epic weekend in Paris and I might return some day, but first London!!!

Love, your own hot cute girly geek Mendy and Geeky sidekick Tekira.

Cosplay tips!

Writing my cosplay blog of a few weeks ago, a lot of issues came to mind where I have struggled with or where I’ve seen others struggle with. So here are some tips I can give to aspiring or beginning cosplayers. Some of them are based on my personal opinion on cosplaying (or how cosplaying should be), so feel free to disagree with me! It’s just some simple stuff you can do (or shouldn’t do!) to make you cosplay a little better ;)

Also, click on the picture to go to the original location :)

Wigs

There are wigs in all kinds of colors and styles!

Wigs are expensive, but whether you like it or not, it’s the best option. I’ve experienced myself that you can never get your hair the exact same way as the character you’re cosplaying, and it just looks better than your own hair. Unless your own hair is by chance perfect for what you’re cosplaying or your hair doesn’t really matter for the outfit. I’ve seen people doing a perfect cosplay, but they didn’t bother to get their hair in the right model or color. It just looks so unfinished! Also, buy quality wigs, not cheap ones from party stores. They suck. You can buy wigs on most websites where they sell cosplay and on amazon. Also, make sure all your hair is properly tucked away under your wig!

Make-up

When it comes to make-up, I usually believe in the rule ‘less is more’. In cosplay, that rule doesn’t count! Anime and manga characters have eyes that really stand out. I even encourage male cosplayers to try on some eye make-up. You can google tutorials if you’re not good with make-up (like me!).

Glasses

I wear glasses myself, but most anime characters don’t. Now my eyesight is still pretty good, so I can manage without glasses for a day (I still wear them during AMV-compo’s and such, or I can’t see the stage very well). But if you can’t: Please wear contacts! I personally hate contacts, so I’m happy I don’t have to wear them (yet). But honestly, if you’re cosplaying a character who doesn’t wear glasses, don’t wear glasses! It just doesn’t look right and unfinished. Also, you can do awesome things with colored contacts!

Originality

If you’re going to cosplay as Hatsune Miku, you’re not going to be the only one.

I’d like to be original with my cosplay, but that’s a choice everyone has to make for him- or herself of course. But don’t be surprised if you find at least 10 other Hatsune Miku’s or 20 other Akatsuki members if you’re cosplaying as one of those. Recent hit anime will always be cosplayed a lot (right now, that’s Attack on Titan). The advantage of cosplaying popular characters is that you are likely to be recognized by others and store bought cosplay is easier to find on the web. The downside is that you’re not standing out as much and you’re likely to find someone else who’s doing it better, which isn’t good for your self-confidence. The downside of cosplaying an unknown character is of course that most people probably won’t recognize you. The trick is to find a good balance. But don’t let anyone stop you from cosplaying the characters you like! If you really want to cosplay as a certain character, f*ck everyone else! Also, an easy way to make a popular characters more original is to genderbend it or to give your own original twist to it.

The weather

This is some amazing cosplay! But how long until you drop?

A lot of female characters in anime and manga don’t wear much clothing, and if you’re comfortable showing skin, I’d say, go for it! But keep the current season in mind! I’ve seen girls in bikini waiting in line outside for an hour while it was snowing. You don’t want that. There are conventions which are partially outside so check that before you choose your cosplay. Same counts for summer of course: you don’t want to cosplay as a fully armored Gundam when it’s 35 degrees Celsius outside.

Comfort

Is this a cosplayer or a stripper?

The most impressive cosplay is usually the most uncomfortable cosplay. Think about heavy armors and huge wings. Try to think about how long you want to wear the cosplay and how long you can bear to wear it. You want to have fun at the convention itself too after all. Even small things such as high heels or ill-fitted shoes can ruin your day. Also, don’t show more skin than you’re comfortable with! There aren’t much things more embarrassing than a nipple-slip and people can see it if you’re not comfortable with how much you’re showing. Things can be easily solved with skin-colored underclothing! And if you’re comfortable with showing skin, try to make your cosplay not too slutty. People appreciate it when you’re staying true to the character, so don’t make it more naked than it is. You’re a cosplayer, not a booth-babe. There are other ways to make a character look sexy!

Bra’s

A lot of cosplay outfits have open shoulders. Make sure your straps aren’t visible! You can choose for a strapless bra, transparent straps or maybe skin-colored straps. If you wear cosplay with an open back, try if you can sew cups into to cosplay outfit itself.

Have fun!

The most important thing about cosplay is to have fun. So what if you’re cosplaying a slutty version of Hatsune Miku with your regular hair and glasses on, and there are walking 1000 clones of you around. As long as you have fun, it doesn’t matter! There will always be people who bash your outfit and you’ll always find someone who does your character better than you. Don’t let that get you down. The only thing that counts, is that you have a great day!

Alternative Cinema Festival: 5 movie reviews

Once every 3 months, our cinema has an alternative cinema festival, where they show five alternative movies which haven’t been released in cinema’s yet in the Netherlands. This time they showed Her, Ain’t them bodies Saints, August: Osage County, Grand Budapest Hotel, and The Keeper of Lost Causes.

 Her

IMBD abstract (very light spoilers):

Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) is a lonely man in the final stages of his divorce. When he’s not working as a letter writer, his down time is spent playing video games and occasionally hanging out with friends. He decides to purchase the new OS1, which is advertised as the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system, “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness,” the ad states. Theodore quickly finds himself drawn in with Samantha, the voice behind his OS1 (Scarlett Johansson). As they start spending time together they grow closer and closer and eventually find themselves in love. Having fallen in love with his OS, Theodore finds himself dealing with feelings of both great joy and doubt. As an OS, Samantha has powerful intelligence that she uses to help Theodore in ways others hadn’t, but how does she help him deal with his inner conflict of being in love with an OS?

My opinion

This movie has 5 Oscar Nominations and I understand why. The genre of this movie can best be described as a comical drama (or dramatic comedy). I struggled with to fully gasp this genre until I saw this movie. It shows us a bizarre but maybe realistic image of the future and it’s interesting to see how both Theodore and Samantha each have their own problems and struggles with a relationship between an human and an OS. This movie is a must-see if you are a person who can laugh because of the bizarreness of situations, even if they’re sad. Or maybe just because you want to hear Scarlett Johanssons voice being sexy.

Ain’t them Bodies Saints

IMDB abstract (no spoilers)

The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met.

My opinion

Well, that is a short abstract. You know why? There is nothing more to tell about this movie. A guy and a girl commit crimes, he gets caught, she gives birth while he is in prison. She manages to have some kind of a normal life with her daughter, but he escapes and want to be reunited with his girlfriend and daughter. There is some shooting, that’s it. Characters show no emotions whatsoever and nothing is explained about the inner thoughts, motivations or back stories of the characters. Don’t go see this movie unless you like long movies where noting happens. Also, I don’t understand the title (but maybe that’s because English isn’t my native language).

August: Osage County

IMDB abstract (no spoilers)

A look at the lives of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose paths have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them.

My opinion

I really enjoyed this movie. The catch-line of this movie should be ‘it’s funny because it’s sad’. This family gives the word dysfunctional a deeper meaning, although I’m afraid that there really exist families like this. This movie has a star cast of, among others, Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, and, dumdumdum… Benedict Cumberbatch! I was really surprised to see him here because I didn’t check the movies before going to the festival. I only know him as Sherlock, so it was nice to see him in a totally opposite role (a shy, unsure, and maybe slightly mentally disabled man). Anyway, go see this movie if you like Benedict Cumberbatch, go see this movie if you like good movies. From now on, whenever I am irritated because some of my family members, I will remember this movie and think it always can be worse.

Grand Budapest Hotel

IMDB Abstract (no spoilers)

GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL recounts the adventures of Gustave H, a legendary concierge at a famous European hotel between the wars, and Zero Moustafa, the lobby boy who becomes his most trusted friend. The story involves the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune — all against the back-drop of a suddenly and dramatically changing Continent.

My opinion

Before this movie started, we were told we are normally not allowed to make recordings, but with this movie, we were extra not allowed to make them. Because we got the honor of seeing a world premiere of Grand Budapest Hotel, and they were only allowed to show us if they extra warned us and checked with night vision goggles during the movie. With this announcement, expectations were raised, and they were double met.

This is by far the best movie of the day and the other movies set the bar high already. The movie starts with a flashback in a flashback in a flashback and that sets the type of humor for the rest of the movie. The type of storytelling and humoristic logic used makes me think of the first part of Life of Pi. There is also a hint of dark humor that reminds me of Tim Burton movies, but the overall setting is a chaotic and cheerful. The background and scenery in this movie is beautiful, but really you should just go see by yourself when it is in cinema’s.

Some deeper thoughts: The story takes place in a non-existent Eastern European country called Zubrowka in a village called (if I remember correctly) Lebensbad. Although, the architecture of the hotel and the fact that they mention hot water springs strongly remembers me of Carlsbad, a spa village I once visited in the Czech Republic. So I wonder if Lebensbad is based on Carlsbad.

The Keeper of the Lost Causes (Kvinden i buret)

IMDB Abstract

The Keeper Of Lost Causes tells the story of chief detective Carl Mørck and his assistant Assad who become involved in a five-year-old case concerning the mystery of politician Merete Lynggaard’s disappearance – a journey that takes them deep into the undercurrent of abuse and malice that lurks beneath the polished surface of Scandinavia.

My opinion

A Danish movie to close the day. This movie made me wonder what the requirements for alternative cinema are. I have the feeling that if this movie wasn’t Danish spoken but English, it would’ve been a mainstream movie. Now I usually don’t like crime mystery movies, but I kinda liked this one. The plot was exiting and I really wanted to know how it ended. But compared to other movies of the same genre, I would say this one is mediocre. There are some much used tropes (good cop-bad cop, rogue agents, rooky agent-experienced agent, among others), which makes the story predictable. You can clearly see that this movie is based on a book, because certain plot elements are inserted  but have absolute no added value at all (like the step-son of the main character). So, you can go watch the movie if you’re a fan of the genre, otherwise, you’ll miss nothing if you stay home.

My 2-year anniversary of a cosplayer: an overview

With my third Tsunacon (see my previous blog) it is also my second anniversary as a cosplayer! Time for an overview. I cannot call myself a ‘pro’ cosplayer though, since I cannot make clothes myself. I just do what I can with clothes that I can buy in stores. But maybe, if you are an aspiring cosplayer with no clothes-making skills, money, or time like me, you can find some inspiration from this blog!

Tsunacon 2012 (February)

My first convention! If course I wanted to cosplay, and it was not very difficult to decide what I would do: Makise Kurisu from Steins;Gate. Steins;Gate was the hit anime of the summer of 2011, and it’s still one of my favourites. The main characters didn’t wear really difficult clothing, and by pure chance I already owned a black hotpants, a white shirt and the right shoes. The only things I needed to buy were tights, a red tie, a white belt and a labcoat. That turned out to be more difficult that I thought, but I managed to find everything in time! My boyfriend cosplayed as Okabe Rintarou, so we were a set (which is always good for photographs). In retrospect, I should’ve gotten a red wig, but at that time I figured that it was good enough if I just dyed my hair red. Tsunacon 2012 was an amazing experience nonetheless. People wanted to make pictures of me, like I was the character itself, and that’s the biggest compliment you can get as a cosplayer I think. The whole day was filled with new and amazing experiences!

Abunai 2012 (August)

Abunai is one of the largest conventions in the Netherlands and it takes three days. So or course, I wanted three different cosplay outfits. For the first day, I wore a steampunk-ish outfit, not based on any manga, anime or game. I just thought it looked cool (and it did, hehe). I already owned the shoes and the stockings, I bought the suit on a market in Italy for 5 euro’s or somehting, and I ordered the goggles online (I don’t remember where though, I guess it was amazon.uk). This is one of my cheapest outfits. On the picture you can also see I’m getting a little better with make-up. In daily life, I only wear some mascara and eye-shadow, so I asked my sister to learn me how to put on eye-liner :p .

The second day I wore my Makisu cosplay again. For some reason I still didn’t buy a wig and I didn’t feel like dying my hair red again, so I just managed with with my usual hair style. Me and my boyfriend were dressed as a set again, so a lot of people took pictures of us, and we met people who were also cosplaying as characters from Steins;Gate, which is also good for a lot of pictures :)

The third day I did a cosplay of a female form of Death the Kid from Soul Eater. This cosplay didn’t turn out the way I wanted though. I bought a wig at a party-shop and painted white stripes on it. I bought a skirt and a waistcoat, and sewed white stripes on it. But it just all looked better in my head. I think the wig was the biggest problem. I should’ve have bought better quality. But hey, I barely had half a year of cosplay experience at that time!

MGC-Experience 2012 (November)

Recycled my steampunk outfit but added gloves. No pictures.

Tsunacon 2013 (February)

Another failed experiment. I wanted to do a human form of the pokémon Umbreon. I bought a black dress and attached yellow rings to it with double-sided tape. I already owned the gloves and I wore my hair in pigtails to resemble the ears. But it turned to look very amateurish and I was not really happy with the result.

Abunai 2013 (August)

After some failed experiments, it was time for a comeback! For the first day I re-used my steampunk cosplay again, now with better gloves and a difference necklace. I kept my real cosplay for the second and third day: Wii Fit Trainer. Only two months before Abunai, the new Super Smash Brothers for Wii-U and 3DS was announced, with a few new characters, among which were Animal Crossing Villager and Wii Fit Trainer. I got inspiration for this cosplay when I saw two people make a kind of spoof cosplaying them on youtube. I was really excited over the idea of cosplaying Wii Fit Trainer and my boyfriend cosplaying Animal Crossing Villager, because the combination of the two was still very new and original. I even kept it a secret until the last moment because I was afraid that people would ‘steal’ the idea. I already owned a blue tanktop and black pants, and I bought white tights for my legs and white body paint for my face, arms, upper body and belly. Easy cosplay, wouldn’t you think? WRONG! Painting my body every morning was hell (couldn’t have done it without help of my boyfriend)! It took 1.5 hours to get everything an even shade of white! But the result was awesome, and we were the only ones!

Mendy’s B-day (November 2013)

As you guys might know, Mendy had a Doctor Who themed B-day party and she wanted everyone to do Doctor Who cosplay. I’d never watched Doctor Who at that time, so I decided to watch ‘a few’ episodes to get cosplay inspiration. ‘A few’ turned into an obsession and I watched all new seasons in three months. Even so, cosplay inspiration didn’t come until I just googled ‘doctor who cosplay’. But after that, I quickly found it: Tardis cosplay! This is my cheapest but one of my most awesome cosplays! I already owned a Tardis-blue dress, and I made the windows with regular paper and double-sided tape. The only thing I needed to buy was black tape (which I couldn’t find btw, I ended up with black-with-white-dots tape, but it turned out alright). The cosplay turned out great and I even won the first prize at Mendy’s cosplay contest!

Tsunacon 2014 (February)

I couldn’t get inspiration for cosplay this time and I was seriously considering not doing cosplay at ll. Lucky for me, Mendy had a newly developed knitting addiction and she asked me if I wanted to buy a Zelda themed hat from her. And then inspiration struck me: Knitted Female Link. With barely 2.5 weeks until Tsunacon, I didn’t have time to make an entire Link outfit, but Mendy knitted the hat for me in just one weekend and I managed to knit the gloves and belt within 2 weeks (I did not have knitting experience at all). I bought a green tunic (which perfectly matched the color of the hat!) and ordered elven ears. I already owned the boots, white shirt and tights, so this cosplay was done surprisingly fast. Costs for everything (including shipping) were a little higher that expected though (€75), but together with my improved make-up skills it turned out to be awesome!

My journey as a cosplayer was one with ups and downs. I’m still planning to learn how to really make clothes one day, but right now I just don’t have the time and money. I do plan to make a fully knitted link for Abunai 2014, so I’m going to knit a green tunic before August! I’m planning to make something also Zelda-related for Abunai, but I’m going to keep that a secret because I still have some difficulties with it and I don’t know if it will work out.

Do you guys have any cosplay experience? Share them in the comments!

Tsunacon!

http://www.tsunacon.nl/fileadmin/template/images/logo2012top.png

Tsunacon will always be a little special to me. Not only is it the first con I visited, it also takes place on the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, which happens to be the university I addend to. I was once buying merchandise in the same room where I made an exam two days before, and I’m watching a cosplay competition in the room where I usually go to lectures. I can’t describe the experience in another word but weird. It’s weird to see the boring grey building transform into a place where people cosplay and play games. It’s weird to see those two separate worlds collapse into one. It has a surreal feeling. But it also feels like coming home. Like I’m the one inviting all those other people into my own home.

The M building

This was my third time visiting Tsunacon. Usually, Tsunacon takes place on that one day in February where it suddenly snows again. This year that was not the case (no snow at all this winter in this part of the Netherlands), but both last year and the year before, I had to stand in line for an hour in cosplay while it was snowing before opening. So I decided this year to arrive 1,5 hours after opening, so I didn’t need to stand in line. Brilliant idea. And it only took me two years to think about it.

Triple Links! Left to right: me, Eric van Dongen, and Babette Sonnevelt. Picture taken by Danique Wieling.

But I was not the only one who learned from my experiences. Tsunacon grows and improves every year.  In my first year, ordering food was a disaster (a two-hour line for a miso soup), last year they left the catering to the caterer of the University (which happens to be bad, but Tsunacon couldn’t know that and I only had to wait for 20 minutes this time, so it kinda improved), and this year they sold Japanese food and they also had a bakery, and I only had to wait for 10 minutes. Also, the cosplay competition took place on a stage in stead of a flat floor (which happened last year). So credit for the organization for listening to the complaints and flaws of previous years and improving them.

Kokoro Connect figures

So what did I do while I was there? I visited the dealer room and bought two Kokoro Connect figures, and my boyfriend bought a few Gundam model kits. I also had a €160,- Zelda action figure in my hands, but unfortunately that was one digit too much for my wallet. We had a HAAMC (Holland’s Anime And Manga Club) mini meet and made a group photo, and got in touch with some awesome people. We watched the AMV (Anime Music Video) competition, which was kind of disappointing this year in my opinion (I will do a blog on AMV’s in the future ;) ). We had lunch, took some pics, and watched the cosplay competition.

This year there was a regular cosplay competition and a Capcom cosplay competition. Some memorable contestants from the regular competition: Elsa (Frozen), a lot of League of Legends characters and an amazing Jessica Rabbit. She has BOOBS and she knows it. If I had such a large chest I would probably feel uncomfortable, but she owned it! It fitted the cosplay perfectly and  she got the whole room going crazy. I later heard she got second place. The Capcom cosplay competition was a little disappointing, exept for the first to contestants; two girls in full Monster Hunter Armor with an exceptional arsenal of props (they won). The other contestants were a black dude with  boxing gloves who was supposed the be Balrog from Streetfighter and some dudes in a regular suit who did Ace Attorney cosplay. Meh.

The HAAMC mini-meet. My boyfriend as Hijikata Toshiro (with the mayonaise) and me as Link next to him

The last two years I left at 17/18 o’clock, but since I arrived later than usual I wasn’t tired yet. Which was good, because at 18:30, it was time for playing the Werewolfs of Miller’s Hallow (also organized by HAAMC). After that, the day came to an end and it was really time to go home. I’m already looking forward to the next convention!

Links:

HAAMC fb-page (Dutch): https://www.facebook.com/groups/247452401968471/

HAAMC on My Anime List (Dutch): http://myanimelist.net/forum/?clubid=21349

Tsunacon (Dutch): http://www.tsunacon.nl/