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Friday, December 13, 2013

"The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug"

First things first: I held off on watching the Godzilla trailer when it debuted online because I wanted to see it huge on the IMAX screen first.

Boy, that was worth the wait.  It's fantastic.  The use of György Ligeti's Requiem from 2001 was perfect.  I can't wait for my son to see it this weekend.

Now, The Hobbit.

My wife's deep into Benedict Cumberbatch so she's more happy to see the film than she normally would be.  After I told her I was seeing it at the midnight preview, she sent this text:

Elsewhere, the Tolkien geeks are up in arms about it.  I saw one call it "The Desecration of Smaug" on Reddit.  Give me a break.

Simply put, it is action-packed, fun and thrilling.  Yes, there are some serious deviations from the source material, particularly in the last third, but people should get over it.

Go see it.

Now, for an in-depth addressing of some of those criticisms, I will do so after the JUMP.

SPOILERS, of course.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Giving Thanks ... and Discounts

Thanksgiving is one week away and I'm saying "Thanks" to you guys by creating coupon codes for my books.

On the scifi side of things:
My time-travel action novel Displaced ... it's like LOST, but more concise and with a solid ending.

Use coupon code KA74K when you go to this page and the book will be FREE.

My post-post-apocalyptic teen road trip zombie novel, Diary of a Second Life.  Despite that brief description, it's actually very serious and, oddly, one of my most personal works to date.

Use coupon code MA83A when you go to this page and the book will be FREE.

As always, my Lords of Kobol series is FREE.  The original trilogy of books still gets great reviews everywhere it's available.  You can get a run down of all the different sites to download it HERE.  (Smashwords, iTunes, B&N, Sony, etc.)

Oh, Book Five?  Yeah, I'm ... uh.  Still working on that.  Slowly.


Now, on the sexier side of things:

The Red Kick, the story of a costumed hero who works as a stripper to get info on the bad guys in town.  Lots of fun.  Turned out far better than it had any reason to.

Use coupon code PE68N when you go to this page and you'll get a dollar off the price.

Sexcalation, the semi-autobiographical story of a married couple that decides to ... "have fun" with another married couple.

Use coupon code PP57Z when you go to this page and you'll get a dollar off the price.

That's about it for now.  I'm working on a rather short book that will be able for download sometime in December ... more on that later.

Thanks again!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Why You Should Rethink Buying 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Look.  I've been a Star Trek fan for all of my 38 years.  It pains me to even suggest this ... but I might not be buying Star Trek Into Darkness when it comes out.

It has nothing to do with "John Harrison," the action-over-substance argument or any of that biz.  It's all about Paramount, Bad Robot and how they decided to treat their customers.

See that?  That's a fancy set, complete with a QMx replica.  I really wanted that phaser.  The whole thing costs about $80.

I preordered that months ago.  Over the weekend, I cancelled the order.

Why?  Because the Blu-ray it comes with doesn't have all of the features that it should.  Sounds petty, perhaps, but to a videophile and completist, it's damn near a sin.

You see, they produced hours of bonus content for the video release including all the requisite behind-the-scenes stuff and an immersive commentary.

What you get on that phaser set's Blu-ray is the same thing you'd get if you just bought the plain movie straight out: about thirty minutes worth of features.  No commentary.  Still missing about an hour or more of other features.

See that?  It's a near-priceless set.  The "Meteor Edition" they're calling it.  You have to enter to win that piece of space rock shaped to look like an insignia because they only made one.  What special features come on its Blu-ray discs?  The same as on the plain-Jane release.

So where did the commentary and the other stuff go?  Retailer exclusives.

No, that's the Walmart edition.  It's a plain-Jane movie set with a Hot Wheels Vengeance model.  Nice, but we know the other stuff is out there.

Ah, Target.  Target, in the US, gets about 45 minutes of the missing bonus materials, in addition to the original plain-Jane's 30 minutes.  No commentary.  And still missing about forty-odd minutes of stuff.

Oh, great.  Best Buy has the other features.  Joy.  Even worse, the extra extras don't come on a bonus disc.  No, no.  Best Buy wants to force you to use their crappy streaming service, CinemaNow.

So where's the enhanced commentary?

Swell.  That's an iTunes exclusive.  Oh, and look.  It even shifts to IMAX ratios during the appropriate scenes ... UNLIKE the Blu-ray.

"But Blu-ray can't do that, right?" - Wrong.  Warner did it for The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises.

"But that enhanced commentary ... they stop the movie and zoom in and do all kinds of things they don't do on normal commentaries.  Surely they can't do that on a Blu-ray." - Wrong.  Warner (again) has done it before with something they call "Maximum Movie Mode."  It's like a branching DVD to the Nth degree.


Why are my panties in such a bunch over this?  Because I'm a loyal, paying customer.  That's why.

Instead of doling out these features to retailers to make them feel special, they should have accumulated them to make me, the guy with the money, feel special.  This is a major release with a built-in audience and we've come to expect discs full of content, especially after 1) the great 2009 Star Trek Blu-ray release and 2) hearing that JJ and crew were making hours more of bonuses for the Blu-ray.

Look, when it comes to Blu-ray releases, I'm an easy lay.  You put everything in one special edition set and I'll pay whatever I have to for it.  $30?  Done.  $40?  I'll hesitate for a moment and then buy it.  But you're, instead, spreading everything I want out so that I'd have to buy it three times, spending upwards of $70, being triple-dipped in the process?  Never mind the fact that the presentation we're getting on the medium for the best presentation (the Blu-ray disc) is lacking in that presentation (no IMAX shifting; no commentary; streaming extras).

It's ridiculous.

You might be saying to yourself that streaming is where it's at ... but it's not.  Certainly not right now.

The numbers tell us that the rental market (remember Blockbuster?) has moved to streaming.  The physical home video market, though, is still doing well.  Couple that with my desire to have the movie to watch when I want to watch it and in the best possible quality ...

Streaming, currently, can't give me 1080p all the time.  My cable company's speeds change depending on my neighbors' usage.  Netflix sometimes pulls titles out of rotation.  I can't rely on streaming to watch the movies I want and in the best way.  And when it comes to special features, I don't want to have to search YouTube for them and see them in less-than-perfect quality.

As a videophile and as a fan of the movie you want me to spend money on, it makes no sense whatsoever to hold back on features and to not present them in the best possible manner.  On this point, Paramount has failed utterly.

(Pics and some details from TrekCore and Digital Bits.)

Digital Bits' Bill Hunt participated in a podcast and it was discussed at length.  There's a download of the podcast and a text transcript available here.  In that podcast, he notes that he has spoken to folks at Paramount and they, A) were surprised by the backlash and, B) now know they have a problem.

Hopefully we can get a full, high-quality release sometime soon.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

'Adventure Time' at Dragon Con 2013

That's my boy, James, cosplaying as Finn and meeting the voices behind the title characters, John DiMaggio and Jeremy Shada. They were as nice and funny in person as you could ever hope.

Great story about the Sunday morning Adventure Time panel ...

They asked people to line up for questions, kids first, and James said, "I have one."  I asked what it was about and he said, "The King Worm."

Now, I'm old enough to remember Shatner's famous "Get a Life" speech on SNL and the simple reality that the actors on a show don't necessarily have all the answers on the show's mythology.  But I said he could go ask anyway.

I wish I had been recording.

Here's his question, paraphrased: "In one old episode, it ended with Finn and Jake being hypnotized by King Worm.  Then, in a new episode, a few seasons later, they were in a dream and they fought their way out and killed the King Worm because he was hypnotizing them.  Does this mean all of the episodes before weren't real?"

There were a few audible "whoas" in the audience and Jeremy and John slowly looked at each other.  John said, "I'm leaving," stood up and started to walk off stage.  Jeremy said, "Kids ask the best questions."  The audience applauded.

I'm an idiot for not videoing this.

John said, "Wow," a few times before saying, "I don't know."

Someone in the audience piped up and said, "Pen says no."  (I have no reason to doubt him, but I didn't find an official word on the subject.)

After that, John relayed his theory that the whole show is really the imagination of a dying child in a hospital whose only comfort is his dog.  (Yikes.)

Then James was congratulated for stumping the panel and he got more applause.

Thanks to Star Trek and Doctor Who, he's got a mind for paradoxes, I guess.

I also bought John's con-exclusive documentary, I Know That Voice ... all about voice actors.  As thrilled as I am to see it, finally, I'm not sure I want to know what Frank Welker really looks like.  Still, I'll watch it soon.  Here's the trailer:

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Killing Time: Kaiju Movie Challenge

I'm still writing ... just not as much as I'd like.  More on that some other time.

MEANWHILE, you're aware of my and my son's affinity for Godzilla and other monster movies, right?  Well, looking ahead to the new Godzilla film (May 16, 2014), we've decided to undertake something massive.

It's the Kaiju Movie Challenge.  By the time the new Godzilla film opens, we aim to have finished watching all 60+ of the films listed here:
  • Gojira (1954)
  • Godzilla Raids Again (1955)
  • Rodan (1956)
  • The Mysterians (1957)
  • Varan (1958)
  • Battle in Outer Space (1958)
  • Mothra (1961)
  • Gorgo (1961)
  • King Kong vs. Godzilla (1962)
  • Gorath (1962)
  • Atragon (1963)
  • Mothra vs. Godzilla (1964)
  • Dogora (1964)
  • Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster (1964)
  • Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)
  • Invasion of the Astro-Monster (1965)
  • Gamera (1965)
  • Ebirah, Horror of the Deep, aka Godzilla vs. The Sea Monster (1966)
  • War of the Gargantuas (1966)
  • Gamera vs. Barugon (1966)
  • The Daimajin Trilogy (1966)
  • Son of Godzilla (1967)
  • King Kong Escapes (1967)
  • Gamera vs. Gyaos (1967)
  • Gappa (1967)
  • The X from Outer Space (1967)
  • Yongary, Monster from the Deep (1967)
  • Destroy All Monsters (1968)
  • Gamera vs. Viras (1968)
  • All Monsters Attack aka Godzilla's Revenge (1969)
  • Latitude Zero (1969)
  • Gamera vs. Guiron (1969)
  • Space Amoeba (1970)
  • Gamera vs. Jiger (1970)
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah aka Godzilla vs. The Smog Monster (1971)
  • Gamera vs. Zigra (1971)
  • Godzilla vs. Gigan aka Godzilla on Monster Island (1972)
  • Godzilla vs. Megalon (1973)
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (1974)
  • Terror of Mechagodzilla (1975)
  • The War in Space (1977)
  • Gamera: Super Monster (1980)
  • Return of Gojira aka Godzilla 1985 (1984)
  • Pulgasari (1985)
  • Godzilla vs. Biollante (1989)
  • Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991)
  • Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992)
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993)
  • Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994)
  • Orochi, the Eight-Headed Dragon (1994)
  • Gamera: Guardian of the Universe (1995)
  • Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1996)
  • Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996)
  • Rebirth of Mothra (1996)
  • Rebirth of Mothra II (1997)
  • Rebirth of Mothra III (1998)
  • Godzilla (US; 1998)
  • Gamera 3: Awakening of Iris (1999)
  • Godzilla 2000 (1999)
  • Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000)
  • Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack (2001)
  • Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002)
  • Godzilla: Tokyo S.O.S. (2003)
  • Godzilla: Final Wars (2004)
  • Garuda (2004)
  • Gamera the Brave (2006)
  • The Host (2006; rated R)
  • The Monster X Strikes Back (2008)
  • Cloverfield (2008)
  • Trollhunter (2010)
  • Monsters (2010; rated R)
  • Pacific Rim (2013)
That's a bunch of movies.  And the list grows as I find out about new ones and ones I just forgot.

At my Tumblr page, my son and I have been posting brief reviews (along with the posters and trailers) for each one.  You can read the ones we've done so far HERE.

Feel free to join us and let us know what you think as you watch along.

Monday, June 17, 2013

'Superman Begins' ... or 'The Clark Knight'

Saw Man of Steel over the weekend and, TL;DR, I loved it.

I'm going to hit a few points in particular, the things I didn't like and then address the big criticisms at the end.  If you want to be spoiler free, don't click the JUMP.  I'll be "spoiler lite" at first, but get spoiler heavy at the very end.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Book Five: Chapter One

Sorry I haven't posted much in a while.  I fell into a morass of writer's block.  There were a couple of narrative humps for me to leap in my head before I could carry on.  I believe I have now.

So, if you've read Lords of Kobol Books I - III, here's a bit of the next book in the series.

SPOILERS: Seriously, don't read this unless you've read the trilogy.  You can download it for FREE here.

Chapter One of Book Five: Of Gods and Titans follows the JUMP.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

UPDATED: Spoilery Speculation on 'Star Trek Into Darkness'

Well, I guess it's spoilery if it turns out to be true.

Based on the myriad trailers, TV spots, etc., I have unwittingly assembled a rough cut of the movie in my head.  It's a damned curse.  Even though I've avoided spoilers, I still, somehow, have managed to spoil the film for myself.

Might as well share the misery.

Read on after the JUMP.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Writing Again, Part II: The Problem with BSG

I'm going to get a bit spoilery about my Lords of Kobol books (get them for FREE here), so I'll handle this post after a JUMP.

The basic "problem," if you will, is the Pythian Cycle.  All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.

Details after the JUMP.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Writing Again, Part I: The Prequel Trap

I've started writing Lords of Kobol - Book Five: Of Gods and Titans.  Despite the number in the title, it is a prequel to the trilogy (Books One, Two and Three).

Writing a prequel is not easy.  More often than not, a prequel involves characters and situations the audience is already familiar with, and therefore whatever peril they find themselves in is transitory.  You know they'll get out of the scrape because they have to be an old man in that later movie you're already familiar with.

I still think they get a bad rap.

Technically speaking, my trilogy is a prequel to the TV shows Battlestar Galactica and Caprica.  Thankfully, because it takes place millennia before those shows, my books didn't have to deal with characters everyone knew and loved, and people whose destinies were known.  (There are two characters in my books that appear in the shows, but they don't really count, being outside of time and space and all.)  There was the barest skeleton of events that had to happen (Athena's death, the "Blaze," the Galleon, etc.), but those few details and their couching in a religious context gave me plenty of latitude.

Book Five is different.  It's still a prequel to the TV shows, but it's also a direct prequel to the LoK trilogy.  As such, there will be characters from the earlier books that appear in the new one.  The trick is to make the goings-on interesting enough that you don't care that you already know what happens to Athena or Ares or Zeus.

One way that I'll be helping that along is by minimizing their roles.

Of course, the Olympians play a big role in the story, but they will not be the primary focus.  I will not fall into The Matrix Trap, either.  You know: introduce a bunch of new characters in the sequel who take on disproportionately large roles in the franchise at the expense of the characters you do actually care about.  

Like this guy.

This seems contradictory, but I'm hoping to walk that tightrope successfully.

In the coming weeks, I'll keep posting blogs like these.  Next week, "The Problem with BSG" or maybe "Retconning."  I'll decide later.

Friday, March 22, 2013

So it begins ... again

Got my notes and reference books ready ...

Got a blank page ...

Working on it now ...

Download the original trilogy HERE and be in the know.

Monday, March 11, 2013

SimCity and Middle Earth

Given all the hate being flung SimCity 5's way, I thought I'd reminisce about SimCity 4 and present some of the mods I made way back when.

Yes, that's Middle Earth.  I made the biggest possible map, broke it up into appropriate "city" borders and then manually sculpted the topography to match, as close as possible, Middle Earth as presented in Tolkien's works.

(For a stupid-huge version of the top map, click HERE.)

As you can see, I made buildings, too.  Left, the Argonath on either side of the Anduin; center, the Black Gate of Mordor; right, the Golden Hall of Meduseld (difficult to see, but it is laden with horse motifs).  I just dropped them on the map so I could make screencaps for this post.  That's why the ground around them doesn't match up.

Those are the least interesting buildings I made.  I actually built Isengard, complete with the dark tower Orthanc.  It was huge ... gaping pits rent the ground and smoke spewed into the air, surrounded by orcish machinery.  Taller than that, Barad-dûr, complete with an eye atop the tower that bathed the obsidian structure in a hellish orange glow.  The crowning achievement, however, was my Minas Tirith.  Humongous.  Trebuchets, statues, the fountain, the White Tree, the Tower of Ecthelion, all manner of buildings and gates, the Hallows in the rear abutting the White Mountains ... it was all there.

Unfortunately, the PC that housed those greater creations died a few years ago.  If I get some spare cash and time, I might extract the hard drive to see what can be recovered.  Oh well.

As for the big map, here are what the numbers represent:
  1. Grey Havens
  2. The Shire
  3. Bree/Midgewater/Old Forest
  4. Rivendell
  5. Mirkwood
  6. The Lonely Mountain
  7. The Misty Mountains (including the three major peaks)
  8. Lothlórien
  9. Fangorn
  10. Isengard
  11. Rohan, complete with Helm's Deep and Edoras geography
  12. Emyn Muil/Falls of Rauros
  13. Dead Marshes
  14. Gondor, with Pelennor, Pelargir, Ithilien, Osgiliath
  15. Mordor, with Udun, Cirith Ungol, etc.
There are many other details loaded in there, too, like a pool of water by the western gate of Moria where the Watcher lies in wait.

I also loaded in mp3s of the movie soundtracks so that's what I listened to as I played.

My big plan was to mod just about everything.  I'd make low-end houses, mid-range and high-end houses to conform to Hobbit and Middle Earthy appearances, markets, Green Dragon Inns, ditto police stations, schools and so on.  I did make a water wheel that acted as a water pump and a lit-up party tree that served as a power station.  I made a Beacon of Gondor, too (with flames), but I didn't have a purpose for it.

Anyway, time got away from me and I just stopped working on it.

Hmmm.  Ten years ago.  What happened.  Oh, yeah.  My son.

Thanks, kid.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Making a Godzilla Board Game

If kids are crafty, they'll make posters, paper plate costumes ... stuff like that.

My son makes board games.

He makes a new one every other day, it seems.  If we get a package in the mail, he wants the box to make his game.  There are dozens of cardboard board games, scribbled upon with markers, all over our house.  Sometimes he uses Hot Wheels, GeoTrax and other toys.

Of course, he also likes Godzilla.  He had an idea for a game and I was more than happy to help out:

Take a map of Japan, some posterboard, get some gashapon-type figures, some dice and a couple of Monopoly sets.

I got a map of Japan and divided it up:
We called it "Godzilla: Total Destruction!"  After I printed out the sections of the map and got them glued to poster board, my son came up with the better title "Godzilla: Japan S.O.S.!" Oh well.

The number in each space corresponds to the number of buildings there.  We used pieces from Monopoly City and U-Build Monopoly for this.

The basic premise is simple: King Ghidorah and Gigan attack Japan.  Mecha Godzilla is being constructed at a secret base and Godzilla is out at sea.  As the two alien kaiju move into Japan, the Earth Defense Forces and Godzilla move to stop them.

Two players: Aliens versus Earth forces.  Or three players: Earth versus Gigan and Ghidorah on a team OR the Aliens versus Godzilla and Earth forces on a team.  Or four players: Gigan on a team with Ghidorah versus Godzilla on a team with the Earth forces.  (If one player is playing a "team," they move one of their monsters and then the other each turn.)

Goal: for the Aliens, destroy all buildings in Japan; for the Earth forces, kill Ghidorah and Gigan (defeated in battle with another kaiju three times).

Roll a die for movement.  Even means the monster can fly and thus moves two spaces that turn; odd means they walk and they only move one.  Since Godzilla can't fly, he always moves one.  Mecha Godzilla can't start moving until the tenth turn.

Once an alien kaiju moves into a city, roll the four-sided die to see how many buildings it destroys.  The monsters can leave before all the buildings are destroyed, if the player wants.

When Godzilla moves into a city, he accidentally destroys one building (unless there's only one building left, in which case he destroys none).

In the Monopoly games, there are some nuclear power plant pieces, too.  You'll note the two "atomic" symbols on the board.  If a monster destroys the buildings there, they can keep the power plant piece and cash it in for extra dice rolls.  If Godzilla rolls through a space with a nuke plant, grab a die, pick a number and if you roll it, Godzilla goes into meltdown and gets sent back to his start space and has to wait five turns.

The five black squares are bases for the Earth Defense Force.  We used cheap army guys from a dollar store for them.  They can move one space at a time at the end of the Earth Forces' turn.

If they are in a city when an alien monster attacks, the alien can't destroy the buildings.  Using a twenty-sided die, the EDF player rolls and the alien player rolls.  If the alien rolls higher, the EDF group is destroyed but the monster can't attack the city until the next turn.  If the EDF player rolls the higher number, the monster is delayed.  The EDF cannot kill a monster, but they can stall them until either Godzilla or Mecha Godzilla arrive.  (The EDF does not attack Godzilla.)  At the end of the next turn of the EDF player, the destroyed army can be regenerated at one of the five bases on the board but 1) not if an army is in that space and 2) not if an alien monster is in that space.

When two opposing kaiju occupy the same space, it's battle time.  Each side rolls the twenty-sided die and it's best of three.  If two allied kaiju are in a space with an enemy kaiju, the side with two monsters gets to roll twice and total the rolls (it's still possible for the underdog to win).  It's still best of three in that case.  When a kaiju loses a fight with another kaiju, they have to either go back to their starting space or move four squares out to sea.  Once a kaiju loses three monster battles, they're dead.

I think that's everything.

Have fun!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Kingdom Come ... in a dream

It's no secret that I'm a superhero fan.  The Timmverse of DC animated shows is among the best continuities of fiction ever created.  And I love comic book-based movies, too.  Oddly enough, I've never been a comic book fan.

No, not "oddly."  I'm rather obsessive compulsive about certain things and I'm a completist.  I have to have it all.  Good thing I never got into Pokemon.  I found it nigh impossible to just jump into a comic universe when there's decades of issues and history to delve into first.

There have been exceptions, though.  Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns is one.  Alex Ross' Kingdom Come is another.

OK.  So I had a dream the other night.  My wife, my son and I went to the movies to see the new Superman movie.

But it wasn't Man of Steel.  And it didn't star Henry Cavil.

It was a pretty sweet movie.

No, I don't remember too much of it.  I remember Christopher Reeve flying around and punching other costumed folks.  I remember thinking how awesome it was to see him in the suit again.  Unfortunately, that's about it.

So striking the dream was that I felt I had to represent it visually.  There you go.

I'm not a Photoshop expert by any stretch, but I'm rather proud of that poster.

Here's what Kingdom Come Supes looks like, in case you wondered:

Here's the Man of Steel suit picture, courtesy of IdleHands:

Yes, I had to 'blue' the suit a bit.  I'm particularly happy with the KC symbol on his chest.  If you didn't know, the background of the 'S' is black because he's still mourning the death of SPOILER Lois Lane.

The Christopher Reeve pic comes from the junkyard scene in Superman III:

I did some half-assed aging on him ... enhanced wrinkles, added crow's feet, receded the hairlines, lightened and darkened the hair as needed, etc.  Love the mussed spitcurl so I kept that, despite the slicked back look Superman had for most of Kingdom Come.

It was a cool dream.  It's a shame it's not reality.  Hopefully, DC Animated will one day put out a two-part movie, much like they did for TDKR.

Friday, February 15, 2013

LEGO Kids Fest

Somehow, our home of Richmond, VA is one of seven cities in the US to get a visit by LEGO Kids Fest this year.  Basically, it's like a small LEGO convention with loads of activities for the kids, construction areas, showroom-type spaces, etc.  We spent nearly five hours there and left wiped.

Just to get an idea, here's the Big Brick Pile.  Possibly hundreds of thousands of bricks just piled up in an area for kids to play and build with.  Typically, all the kids just flopped into it as though it were made of leaves.

Some of the coolest things were the statues built entirely of LEGO.  Here you go:

 And check out the detail on Maul:

While I'm on Bilbo, check out Bag End, both the front and the interior:

Lightning McQueen here took more than 2,000 hours to build and weighs about one ton:

(Yes, that's my son.  Not some random kid I was following.  Promise.)

Again, check out the detail on Captain Jack Sparrow:

Huge fun.  If you're lucky enough to be near one, go.