Archive for December 2017

LEGO Architecture – LEGO® House   Leave a comment

My last video for 2017.

Even though this is officially part of the LEGO Architecture line, the set is sold exclusively by surrounding stores in Billund, Denmark starting in 2017 commemorating the opening of the LEGO House in September.

Construction started in 2014. The building officially opened in September 28th, 2017. The building functions as part public art piece, tourist attraction, LEGO store, cafe, and with roughly 20,000 square feet set aside for open space.

21037 – LEGO Architecture – LEGO® House

From the very beginning, the ambition with LEGO® House was to create a unique and inspiring, hands-on and minds-on experience, where LEGO fans of all ages could learn all
about the company and the endless play possibilities offered by LEGO bricks.

It was quickly agreed that the right location would be in the center of Billund. This is where the LEGO story started almost 90 years ago and the town still serves as the global
headquarters of the LEGO Group. Then came the task of finding a partner who could design a distinctive building that would become an integral part of the LEGO House experience.

The idea for the LEGO® House was to create “a cloud of interlocking LEGO bricks… a literal manifestation of the infinite possibilities of the LEGO brick.” 21 white bricks would be stacked on top of each other and be crowned by the Keystone, which would be inspired by the classic eight-knob LEGO brick.

These huge bricks will not only form internal spaces for LEGO House activities, but also create a covered public square and a series of interconnected terraces and playgrounds for people to investigate and enjoy. In this way, the LEGO House will be enjoyed both by fans who came to experience the LEGO story and by local citizens and visitors to the town of Billund.

I’m done.


Movies I’ve Seen This Year (2017)   Leave a comment

Here are all the movies I’ve seen this year.

  • January 2017
    • Underworld: Blood War – Underwhelming. So so sequel to Underworld: Awakening. Selene now has new powers. Makes her faster and stronger than the mutated werewolves. Would watch again because Kate Beckinsale.
    • Burnt (2015) – Bradley Cooper is an American version of Gordon Ramsay making a comeback in the culinary world.
    • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter – Or is it? Humanity’s last stand, again, against zombies.
  • February 2017
    • Hidden Figures (2016) – Finally got to watch it this year. About the early days of NASA, the space race, and the black women who pioneered the field. Great cast and acting.
    • Jiro Dreams of Sushi (2011) – It’s a food documentary on the greatest sushi chef ever.
    • Crimson Peak (2015) – Missed it the first time around. It’s not really scary. Just artsy horror with campy plot.
    • John Wick: Chapter 2 – Over the top killing. I liked the first film for showing that people really do run out of bullets in a gunfight. They upped the kill count this time. Sequel might have more.
    • Don Jon (2013) – Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a porn-obsessed Italian-American Catholic who prefers porn than girlfriends. Has a convincing Jersey Shore accent.
  • March 2017
    • Logan – Wolverine’s swan song. One of the best movies to watch this year.
    • Kong: Skull Island – Kong is back to jumpstart Legendary Entertainment’s Monsterverse shared cinematic universe (Godzilla, King Kong, Mothra, etc.)
    • Kung Fury (2015) – This 30-minute homage to everything 80s backed by a successful Kickstarter campaign and David Hasselhoff did not disappoint.
    • TMNT: Out of the Shadows (2016) – Michael Bay gets a lot of flack for dumbing down beloved kids’ franchises, but this sequel follows the comic/cartoons more than original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret of Ooze sequel. Definitely made for kids, but I liked it growing up watching the original cartoons in the early 90s
    • Beauty and the Beast (2017) – This live action remake was great. Emma Watson played a wonderful Belle. The inside jokes probably glossed over most people’s heads (snowing in summer?), but not me.
    • Train to Busan (2016) – Korean zombie/outbreak movie set on a train on route to Busan. Some sad moments.
  • April 2017
    • Fate of the Furious – The eighth installment to the series, Vin Diesel turns against his comrades… his FAMILY. If you’re not a fan of the series, you can try to figure out if Diesel or The Rock were in the same room filming scenes throughout the entire movie or with green screen. Have fun.
    • Astro Boy (2009) – I missed a lot of movies sometime in college and the dreadful 2-3 years after. You’re never too old to watch kids movie. Some sad scenes. Not Disney/Pixar sad, but sad.
    • Kubo and the Two Strings (2016) – The only other stop motion movie I like is the Nightmare Before Christmas. Kubo and the Two Strings blends practical stop motion with computer graphics seamlessly. They also upped the frame rate for the stop motion scenes compared to other movies. Great story. Recommended.
  • May 2017
    • Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016) – raunchy comedy loosely based on a true story of two rich dudes who went on TV to find wedding dates for their sister’s wedding.
    • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol 2 – The sequel focused on character building, relationships, and some background story. I can’t wait for Infinity War.
    • Finding Dory (2016) – This is how sequels should be done. We get some background on Dory’s past and still cry about it.
    • The Man Who Knew Infinity (2016) – Based on the true story of a mathematical genius who taught himself math and just understood mathematical concepts that scholars in his day could not prove. I truly believe some people are touched by a higher power.
    • The Bank Job (2008) – Jason Statham for some reason does not play his usual ass-kicking self in this based on a true story bank heist that uncovered blackmail material for/from the rich and famous in Europe. I liked it.
    • Alien: Covenant – I already knew this was going to a sequel to Prometheus, but this time they tell us the true origin of the xenomorphs.
    • Chef (2014) – Chef ruins career. Buys a food truck and travels by doing what he loves. Great feel good movie. Plus good cooking scenes. Did I mention this is a movie about food?
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Sometimes a franchise needs to end on a high note. While this wasn’t it, it’s probably the last movie. You can only act drunk and come out unscathed in chase scenes so many times before it gets boring.
  • June 2017
    • Wonder Woman – This sets the bar for a DC comic movie. It actually sends the wrong message to kids that future DC movies will be good.
    • The Accountant (2016) – Ben Affleck is the accountant. He’s in the autism spectrum and high-functioning. Also kicks ass and does crazy stuff in the background.
    • Cars 2 (2011) – This is how sequels should not be done. Of all the Pixar sequels, this is my least favorite.
    • The Ninth Gate (1999) – early Johnny Depp movie where he finds a book supposedly owned by Satan and opens the ninth gate to hell. Suspense. Thriller.
  • July 2017
    • The Boss (2016) – Melissa McCarthy is the boss. If you’ve seen her other movies, then this should be similar.
    • Despicable Me 3 – Gru has a brother and he must fight a villain who’s stuck in the 80s mindset. Fun movie.
    • Spider-Man: Homecoming – The third reboot of the Spider-Man franchise in theaters, this did not disappoint. I’m just biased because it connects Spider-Man to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • Fifty Shades of Black (2016) – I rarely see parody movies in theaters anymore. This is why I don’t.
    • Riddick (2013) – A movie that only fans of Pitch Black, and Chronicles of Riddick would like. The movie was made for next to nothing and made money. A fourth sequel has been greenlit.
    • Jack Reacher: Never Go Back (2016) – Tom Cruise is back as Jack Reacher. There’s a conspiracy and he must save the day.
  • August 2017
    • The Dark Tower – Based on the Stephen King series, I could best describe it a darker version of the Chronicles of Narnia. This movie is meant to be a teen sci-fi type of movie.
    • Snowden (2016) – An exaggerated dramatization of the events that made Snowden leak government secrets with special guest, Snowden.
    • Keeping Up with the Joneses (2016) – They probably made this movie as an excuse to see Gal Gadot half-naked in sexy lingerie and make out with Isla Fisher. The Joneses are Mr. and Mrs. Smith in the movie.
    • The Hitman’s Bodyguard – A buddy-cop/crime movie with Deadpool and Nick Fury.
    • The Secret Life of Pets (2016) – It’s a 3D animated movie on what pets do when humans are not around.
    • Sing (2016) – Anthropomorphic animals compete in an America’s Got Talent style competition created to save an old theater.
    • How to Be Single (2016) -A fun romantic comedy with Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Alison Brie, and Leslie Mann.
  • September 2017
    • IT (2017) – Based on the Stephen King novel and a remake of the TV movie of the same name in 1990, a demonic clown terrorizes children in this small Maine town. They must band together to solve the mystery behind the disappearances and whatever “IT” is.
    • The Time Traveler’s Wife (2009) – Eric Bana has a medical condition where he randomly jumps through time. From his family’s perspective, he’s living his life out of order. It’s a romantic science fiction drama.
    • Kingsman: The Golden Circle – The first movie was based on an graphic novel of the same name and that movie ended where the source ended. So I was surprised with this one. This time they have the Statesmen with them. Kind of the same plot.
    • Outlander (2008) – It’s supposed to be a sci-fi version of Beowulf. A mysterious alien crash lands in ancient Europe, bringing with it an alien monster attacking people. He befriends the natives and lives with them.
    • American Made – Based on the true story of the US Government’s involvement with drug-trafficking in South America and how one man made it happen, exporting the drugs to the US and as an informant to the government.
  • October 2017
    • Why Him (2016) – James Franco and Heisenberg. It’s a romantic cringe comedy.
    • Master of Drunken Fist: Beggar So (2016) – Another origin story of the birth of the Drunken Fist. It’s hong kong martial arts.
    • Blade Runner 2049 – The long awaited sequel that kept its slow-burn pacing, sounds, and style. And because it kept all of that, you hardly see any minorities in the movie. Woman are used mainly as props in the story. It’s a dystopian Los Angeles.
    • The Layover – Didn’t see it in theaters, but someone uploaded it on YouTube so I watched it for free. Best friends and roommates go on vacation and try to win over some dude on the plane they both like. Spoiler alert: hilarity ensues. It’s meh.
    • The Foreigner – Jackie Chan in a serious role you rarely get to see in his films. Based on the book (The Chinaman), a man seeks justice for the death of his daughter from a bombing orchestrated by a terrorist organization with links to the government.
    • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot (2016) – Tina Fey plays a journalist who takes an onsite assignment during the early days of the Middle East occupation of US troops. Based on a true story. Comedy-Drama.
    • Fifty Shades Darker – There are better porn than this movie that you can watch for free. The outrageous plot and cringe-worthy dialogue is worth it, though.
  • November 2017
    • Thor: Ragnarok – After the success of Deadpool and The Guardians of the Galaxy, the third Thor sequel completely retooled what they were gonna do with the series and turned it into an ensemble cast movie with lots of comedy. It just works. Great sequel.
    • Split – Didn’t see this one in theaters, but they’re showing it now on premium cable. James McAvoy has 20+ personalities. Several of which are in a cult of sorts who thinks that damaged people are the pure and believes in another entity with superhuman strength and powers. It has direct ties to Unbreakable (2000).
    • No Escape (2015) – In this day and age, these types of movies are polarizing in portraying what could happen to white people in foreign countries if they overstep their boundaries and, pretty much, promoting xenophobia.
    • Get Out – A social-thriller. A social-commentary. A “documentary.” This movie shows what many people think as harmless statements, actions, attitudes towards black people to be anything but.
    • The LEGO Batman Movie – Batman from The LEGO Movie in his own movie in LEGO form. What more could you want?
    • The Great Wall (2016) – What was intended as China’s way of breaking into the US film industry, The Great Wall was marred by political correctness and misplaced outrage. I wrote about it here: Is it Whitewashing?
    • A United Kingdom (2016) – Based on the true story of Botswana’s prince taking a white English woman for a wife, causing political and regional turmoil in South Africa and Great Britain. It’s a great movie.
  • December 2017
    • Saban’s Power Rangers – Didn’t see it in theaters and it was a good decision. This whole making-everything-dark trope of remaking movies is getting old. Goldar looked much better in the original series. The goldar here is just liquid gold clumping together. The Green Ranger became Rita Repulsa. The Mastodon zord has 8 legs. What the hell?!?!
    • Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi – Some fans love it. Some hate it. Critics love it. I love it. It was an hour too long, though. Snoke is a Porg.
    • Jane Wants A Boyfriend (2015) – An aspiring theater actor wants to control everything around her, including finding a boyfriend for her sister, Jane, who has Asperger’s. I like the cast. Also have a crush on Louisa Krause, but that’s beside the point.
    • Bright – Lord of the Rings meets Training Day. This Netflix movie was generally panned by critics, but if you’re a millennial like me who consumes all sorts of entertainment, especially the supernatural/sci-fi/fantasy kind, you’ll enjoy this movie. A sequel is in the works.
    • Coco – Disney Pixar’s last entry for the year, Coco follows a young boy who wants to know more about his roots. He is swept away into the world of the dead, during the Day of the Dead, and must find a way back into the living world so he doesn’t stay dead. I call this the Mexican Spirited Away, but it’s really not. Pixar never disappoints. I cried like a baby. The best movie I’ve seen all year. I highly recommend it.
    • The Boss Baby – Now available on Netflix, it’s a 3D animated kids movie. Lighthearted and fun.
    • The Revengers Squad – It’s a Filipino movie. I shouldn’t have watched. It’s corny and was really a waste of time. I should have watched Jumanji.
    • Office Christmas Party (2016) – This was a nice palate cleanser to end the year. Watching it on HBO.

I’m done.

Posted December 29, 2017 by StupidSystemus in Movies

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LEGO Architecture – Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (2017)   1 comment

They remade the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum set from 2009. this time with more parts and about 3 times as big.

In June 1943, Frank Lloyd Wright was asked by Hilla Rebay, the art advisor to Solomon R. Guggenheim, to design a new building to house Guggenheim’s four-year-old Museum of Non-Objective Painting.

The project would evolve into a complex struggle pitting the architect against his clients, city officials, the art world and public opinion. It would take over 15 years, 700 sketches and seven complete sets of working drawings before Wright’s vision would be realized and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum would open its doors for the first time in 1959. By then both Guggenheim and Wright had died.

The location of the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue between 88th and 89th Streets is not accidental. Its proximity to Central Park was key; as close to nature as one can get in New York, the park affords relief from the noise and congestion of the city.

Nature not only provided the museum with a respite from New York’s distractions, but also lent it inspiration. The Guggenheim Museum is an embodiment of Frank Lloyd Wright’s attempts to utilize organic forms in architecture.

But even as it embraced nature, Wright’s design also expresses his unique take on modernist architecture’s rigid geometry. The building is a symphony of triangles, ovals, arcs, circles and squares.

Wright dispensed with the conventional approach to museum design, which led visitors through a series of interconnected rooms. Instead, he whisked people to the top of the building via elevator and led them downward at a leisurely pace on the gentle slope of a continuous ramp. The open rotunda afforded viewers the unique possibility of seeing several bays of work on different levels simultaneously.

The building itself has often been called the most important piece of art in the Guggenheim collection.

I’m done.

Outlook on Job/Health Security   Leave a comment

Besides summer jobs in high school and college, I officially joined the workforce when Obama was sworn in as President in 2009.

Pay was alright for an entry level job. Not as much as the average salary people in my major were making, but it was something to get my foot in the door, start accumulating experience. Health insurance was alright. High deductible unlike my mom’s insurance at her job, which covered and paid for everything.

Lots of changes have been made since then: overtime pay, work permits for foreign nationals, Affordable Care Act, etc.

Within a year of the new administration, all of these have been demolished. Reduced budget. Removed. Repealed. At least about to be.

Tom Brokaw on NBC used to run a segment called “The Fleecing of America.” It was a series of segments “exposing cases of waste and fraud that victimize individuals or the general public.” Most of them were done behind doors. I didn’t think we’d see a national example currently in progress out in the open.

This affects everyone in the middle class. This includes everyone who thinks they are part of the 1% but are really in the middle class.

How do we change this besides a full blown coup or revolution? Informed voting seems to be out the window. The GOP appeals to the disenfranchised, presenting themselves as their savior, propagating class, religion, and racial warfare, and screws them over anyway. The Democrats, too, are mobilizing their efforts, appealing to social change, presenting themselves as the voice of reason, and an implied air of superiority as the intellectual.

How do you reach everyone, turning them into informed voters, without alienating and/or belittling their way of life? When education, now a luxury controlled by greedy corporations and institutions, is an informed people still possible?

I’m done.

Posted December 4, 2017 by StupidSystemus in Musings, Rant