Friday, January 26, 2018

Snowed in with the Nintendo Labo and the 90th Oscar Nominations

Hey there everyone! Welcome back to the blog! You’re probably wondering where I was last week. Well between getting the flu and getting snowed in I really couldn’t muster a blog last week. Yeah the flu is gone thank goodness and I think we’ve thawed out enough now so I'm back for the second blog of the year!

As much as I love snow this year’s snow really sent a shock through my system, simply enough because of how rare snow is where I live. It’s been about 3 years since the last snow storm that actually stuck to the ground and this one really impacted us. Frozen roads, frozen CARS, we had the works out here and while you readers up north are used to this every winter I guess I and everyone else in my area weren’t prepared for the sudden winter wonderland.

On the other hand the snow looked absolutely gorgeous I can't express how nostalgic and awesome snow is to me and it’s definitely a treat to get some after years of no snow. Sucks that as an adult snow becomes a nuisance but it’ll always have a soft but cold part in my heart.

Here's a photo of our four day winter wonderland below.

My awesome sister has been more consistent with her blog and has already posted a blog in the last week with some incredible photographs of our rare local snow. What's better then snow? My sister taking some stunning photographs of life in the snow. You can check out this blog at:

On to the main topic for today…

Well some of you may already be aware of a certain new series of add-ons from Nintendo for their new console the Nintendo Switch. These add-ons are part of a series Nintendo is dubbing the “Nintendo Labo” series.

What is the Nintendo Labo you ask? Well it's made of a familiar material that every human on earth knows very well, a certain material by the name of cardboard. I kid you not Nintendo’s newest add-on for the Nintendo Switch is cardboard. Not just any cardboard however this new series is a series of cardboard sets that you purchase and build into different and unique add-ons for your Nintendo Switch screen and Joy-Cons such as a piano, a robot and even a fishing pole. Nintendo has a pretty big history of wacky add-ons but this one takes the cake. This cardboard actually interacts with the Nintendo Switch for a variety of games and game modes that while of course being cardboard seems like a pretty cool idea. So to help better explain this new product let’s check out this latest video from Nintendo showcasing this new series of add-ons.

Admittedly I wasn't to sure what to make of this concept at first but on closer inspection it does seem like a pretty innovative idea. Nintendo will be putting out two sets the first being a Variety set which will include, well, a variety of building sets as well as the software for interacting with your cardboard creations. The second is a Robot Set which includes the building materials for a robot suit for playing a game that looks like the finalized project of that Project Giant a Robot game we saw Mr. Miyamoto demoing way back during E3 2015. Funny though considering Nintendo scrapped that project, I guess they reused ideas from that for this Nintendo Labo set.

It seems you’ll be able to differ slightly from the original instructions for some customization as well as decorate your Nintendo Labo with a decorative set sold separately, or you know just use your own art supplies if you got them.

The Nintendo Labo while seeming interesting I'm pondering how sturdy this cardboard really is. Just how easy will it be to mess up the materials? That's a 70-90 dollar risk I'm not sure many will be willing to take, possibly reducing this product to a small niche base. The Variety set is releasing at $69.99 while the Robot set is releasing at $79.99 which seems pricey despite the sets including software. Also will this cardboard be compatible with any of Nintendo’s other releases similar to Amiibo?

I can see problems with this but it's an interesting concept so perhaps it’ll kick off. I don't think i’ll be joining the masses however. These sets will be releasing April 20th, 2018. Read more at Nintendo's official Nintendo Labo website:

So switching over to movies, it’s that time of the year again, Oscar time!

This is the time of year where the best of the best in movies come together to award those movies that made an impact on us all. Now I have to admit the Oscars have gotten a little too political for my liking and I wish they would focus more on the art of film instead of said politics but it's always nice to go over the nomination list and see who made it where.

Like last year I can't cover the whole lot so I’ll be highlighting a few of my favorite categories/movies that have caught my eye and I’ll link the complete list below.

First up is my favorite category, Visual Effects. Special Effects (Effects done in real life) and Visual Effects (Computer generated) are always fun when it comes to movies and this year’s list has a lot of triple A production movies. Star Wars, Guardians of the Galaxy, Kong: Skull Island, War for the Planet of the Apes and Blade Runner 2049 all are in the running for the title of best visual effects this year. Honestly I kind of want Guardians to win, I recently got to watch that movie finally and I was absolutely taken back by the colorful visual effects done in this movie. (I owe you guys a review of that movie.) I know people are probably rooting for Blade Runner but I didnt like the original Blade Runner and I dont think too much of this flick, so Im biased towards Guardians. (Havent seen the other movies on the list, yet.)

Cant have Visual Effects without editing, right? Well I havent seen any of the movies nominated for Film Editing but the movies are of the following: Dunkirk, Baby Driver, The Shape of Water, I Tonya and Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri. Im actually only aware of The Shape of Water and Dunkirk but Im wondering whether The Shape of Water might take the cake, seems like a nicely edited movie but I havent seen it yet.

Animated movies, I adored them as a kid and till this day I still love my animated movies. They allow for so much more imagination then a live action film and if done right animation can be extremely inspiring and beautifully flowing. Well this year’s list is filled with some good animations which are of the following: Boss Baby, The Breadwinner, Coco, Ferdinand and Loving Vincent. Okay so I dont know why Boss Baby is on here, I guess its an okay movie but the rest of these movies are pretty strong competitors. Coco has that Pixar and Disney edge of course but it is one of Pixars most unique movies but the movie Im rooting for is the movie that probably wont even get an eyelash batted at it. Loving Vincent is an incredible film starring Dorota Kobiela, Hugh Welchman and Ivan Mactaggart. What makes this film incredible? Notice the animation? Yes every single frame in this movie is hand painted using oil paints, a favorite medium of Vincent Van Goth who this movie is all about, telling the story of the mans life. This movie is an absolutely masterpiece and so much love and effort put into every little frame. Who would of known oil paintings would make such a beautiful animated film. So yes this is the movie Im rooting for, but I know that Boss Baby (Why?), Coco or Ferdinand are probably going to take this category.

Finally the Best Picture Category, the best of the best of 2017 (According to the Academy) are filling up this list. Call Me By Your Name, Darkest Hour, Dunkirk, Get Out, Lady Bird, Phantom Thread, The Post, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri fill this years list. Ive not actually seen any of these movies but its going to be a tough one this year. Darkest Hour seems like a great film with Gary Oldman (Whos nominated for best Actor) playing Winston Churchill during Englands Darkest Times of the modern age. (Im not sure how they made him look like Winston, but they pulled it off.) Lady Bird is a strong contender as well with its strong story and good acting. Really I cant choose a favorite out of this list as I havent gotten around to seeing any of these movies but well just have to see who takes home the gold when the 90th Academy Awards (Pretty big anniversary might I add) airs Sunday March 4th at 8 eastern/7 central/5 pacific USA time on ABC. (Check your local listings.) Jimmy Kimmel will host and while Im not the biggest Kimmel fan I think hell do alright as long as he doesnt go over the top with the politics and offensive jokes. 

You can check out the full nomination list right here from the official Oscars website:

With that said and done Im going to wrap up for the day, hope you all enjoyed the read. Ill be back next week with the hopes of consistent blogs again. Really sorry about  the lack of blogs for the past two weeks but between getting sick, schedule issues and getting snowed in everything kind of fell apart. Regardless I still love writing this blog for you guys and hope you guys enjoy reading so until next time.

This was ZAK Entertainment.

Never rub another mans rhubarb.