Exciting August Movie Fun You Won't Want to Miss!

  • August 01, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

With today being August 1st, we thought we'd take a look at a couple of the movies slated to be released in August that look to be a lot of fun.

 

 

The Expendables 2

This action adventure film starring a whole plethora of action hero favorites (Sylvester Stallone, Dolph Lundgren, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Chuck Norris & Liam Hemsworth) is set to hit the theatres August 17, 2012.  Just the casting alone leaves one wide-eyed at the possibilities for all kinds of high-speed mayhem and lots of insane exploding pyrotechnics.  Not a moving to doze through, this film promises to be a bona-fide testosterone-fest for those who love action--with a noble cause at its root, of course. 

The Expendables, a group of elite and talented mercenaries, have been reunited to take on another mission set up by the quite mysterious Mr. Church.  This job should have been a fairly routine one for this rogue bunch, but when one of their own men is murdered, this sets the scene for a plot of revenge and ultimate payback.  In spite of the best-laid plans, the Expendables find themselves deep in enemy territory and perhaps are even in way in over their heads.  For action and adventure that just won’t quit, plus a cast of characters that is fully capable of blowing your mind, don’t miss The Expendables 2!

Easy Costume Idea:  Want to re-create one of these action filled looks for your Halloween costume, but don’t know where to start?  Try some of our military law enforcement gear as a base for your costume look or use a dark color t-shirt and cargo pants.  Add lots of accessories--bullet belts, plastic knives, martial arts implements and perhaps even our “Che Beret with Hair” which will add some interesting military-inspired panache to your ultimate tough guy look! 

 

 

The Odd Life Of Timothy Green

It looks like Disney may have done it again.  The Odd Life of Timothy Green hits theatres on August 15, 2012 and from what we’ve seen, this movie is sure to be a sentimental favorite for families as well as kids of all ages.  The plot surrounds a young couple living in a small town, Cindy and Jim Green, who suddenly must face the heartbreaking reality that they are incapable of ever bearing their own children.  One night in an effort to assuage some of their grief, the couple writes down all the qualities of their dream son and buries the slips of paper in a box placed deep in the ground.  To their surprise and utter amazement, from the box of buried dreams, grows a child with some pretty amazing qualities and characteristics. 

Easy Costume Idea: Feeling creative and want to create a Timothy Green look of your very own?  This original look can easily be captured by using a flesh colored body suit and attaching silk leaves and other green foliage, all which are easily obtained from your local craft store.  Try on the body suit and using a water-soluble marker lightly dot the suit in a pattern where you want your foliage to “grow”.  You can buy leafy vines and drape them around the body suit, or plan to attach individual leaves in various locations. Take the body suit off after you have it marked with the locations you want to apply the greenery.  Using hot glue, (or alternatively, you can sew the leaves on the suit), attach the leaves and/or vines to the body suit.  Use your imagination and have fun with the look.  Make your Timothy as “green” as you like! 

Don’t miss these fun and fabulous films and keep them in mind as inspiration for some truly amazing costume ideas


Top 8 Superhero Qualities (And Why We Wish We Had Them!)

  • July 30, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Flying:  Aside from being a really amazing way to travel hither and yon, having the ability to fly would have some distinctly cool possibilities.  No more sitting in traffic or being at the mercy of public transportation, or ever having to deal with those annoying airline schedules.  Flying skills not only would be uber-cool, but they would also offer lots of transportation flexibility.  All practicalities aside, soaring through the sky like a big ol’ bird just sounds like the epitome of fun.  Our favorite frequent flyer?  Superman.

Speed:  Superheroes that possess great speed probably use it for different reasons than the average Joe would, such as chasing after bad guys or running away from them as the case may be.  Speed would definitely come in handy however, for the average man on many occasions and in some ways, is almost as cool as flying. You would never again be late for an appointment (this includes hot dates, fellas) and getting to work on time would be a speedy breeze.  Our favorite speedster?  The Flash

Strength:  Strength is a cool as well as handy ability to have as well.  If someone parks their car too close to you and blocks you in--well, just lift their car up and move it out!  More likely as well as practical strength scenarios include moving furniture as well as opening up sticky jars--but in any case, being superhero strong is just downright useful.  Our favorite strong man?  The Hulk.

Stamina:  The ability to really hang in and go the distance with any strenuous task is a huge deal.  Superheroes use stamina for things like scaling walls, running as well as fighting; often having to do so for long periods of time.  Our ordinary human existences don’t usually require such great lengths of stamina--but it would definitely come in handy during a 3rd set tennis match or playing a long 18 holes.  Don’t underestimate how useful superhuman stamina could be while chasing after a couple of kids, either.  Our favorite enigma with super stamina?  Spiderman.

Telepathy:  Reading minds could bring with it all sorts of mind-blowing power.  Manipulating and/or reading human thought processes could be the ultimate control mechanism as well as a terrific source of information.  Practical uses of this ability may include being able to read the thoughts of others in order to understand what is really going on in their minds, such as in the case of understanding the opposite sex. Men have been trying to assert this power when it comes to women for years, but mind- reading is tricky business.  Telepathy might clear things up a bit--or you might find it’s just too much darn information altogether. Our favorite superhero telepathic?  Professor X. 

Invisibility:  The ability to make oneself invisible has obvious advantages.  Sneaking into places sight unseen gives superheroes the ability to glean information as well as to sneak up on bad guys and catch them off guard.  For us normal folks, the stealth-like ability to be invisible might come in handy now and then.  Getting pulled over for a speeding ticket?  Bam--go invisible.  Is your boss or spouse on the rampage?  Go invisible.  It’s probably not a quality any of us would like to own permanently--but let’s face it; the ability to temporarily vanish might have some useful benefits.  Our favorite amongst the unseen?  The Invisible Man.

Super Vision:  It’s no fun having to pull out your glasses to read a menu in a restaurant, but imagine being able to see clearly for miles and miles, and to perhaps possess other visual super phenomena such as x-ray or infrared vision!  Being able to see things that no one else can--and do so clearly--could be extremely practical as well as useful.  Seeing through solid objects like walls could make things like seeing what your kids are up to in the next room, really incredibly easy.  Our favorite of the super sighted?  Superman.

Healing ability:  Sickness, injury or being otherwise afflicted is one of the things we all must deal with from time to time.  Having an extremely powerful healing ability allows a superhero to recover from injury quickly so that he is back in action at a very rapid pace.  This accelerated healing power has many potential benefits for the common man. Get shot?  No problem, the wound is gone within moments.   Sick or plagued with an illness?  The body heals itself instantaneously.  No one wants to be hurt or ill.  Having the ability to recover quickly is a superhero quality we likely all wish we had.  Our favorite quick mender?  Wolverine.

No doubt America loves it's superheros. Whether you're a fan of Superman, Spiderman, The Hulk, The Flash or any of the dozen other superheroes ... you'll find the perfect Superhero costume here at Halloween Express.

 


ParaNorman: Can Just Being Norman Stop a Zombie Invasion?

  • July 25, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Who’s Norman?  Norman is your average everyday “normal” kid, with average everyday “normal” kid problems.  Well, sorta.  Norman is a bit of an outsider at school, is definitely not at all popular, he get’s beat up regularly, and definitely is most comfortable being a loner.  These qualities in Norman however, are the most regular and ordinary parts about him.  What really sets Norman apart from all the other kids is his apparent ability to see and communicate with dead people…aka ghosts.  Talking with and seeing ghosts is all part of everyday “Norman” life, but it doesn’t do much to help him fit in with others and only deepens the ever-growing chasm between him and the other kids at Blithe Hollow Middle School.

Toss in a Weird Uncle:  As if things weren’t bad enough for Norman and his very abysmal social life; he also has a very weird and bizarre outcast uncle.  Although some efforts have been made to keep Norman from the truly strange and somewhat crazy Mr. Prenderghast (likely because of the eerie similarities they have personality-wise), Norman does eventually connect with him, only to get some startling information from him.

Norman is your average everyday “normal” kid, with average everyday “normal” kid problems. 

Zombie Invasion!  An ancient curse cast by a witch is going to create imminent disaster in Norman’s town, as a centuries old spell will cause all the town’s dead to return to life at sundown!  This event suddenly thrusts quiet Norman into the limelight, his special skills and abilities being exactly what’s needed to deal with the approaching zombie invasion!  Suddenly Norman has the opportunity to be the town’s biggest hero of all, but he only has until sunset to do it!  Can the most abnormal freak in town stop this zombie invasion?

Animation Masterpiece.  ParaNorman is a stop-motion animated film.  Each character is created in puppet form and then in order to animate the character; a small movement is made after which a picture is taken.  Another small movement is made, and then another picture is taken.  The process is extremely time-consuming, but this is the way each character is brought to life.  The average animator working on the film was able to create only about 5-8 seconds of film per week!  The zombie-awakening scene alone took well over one year to animate.

ParaNorman hits theatres August 17, just as summer begins to wind down and your Halloween season starts to wind up!  Don’t miss this thrilling animated Paranorman adventure! 


5 Reason Why Batman Might Be The Most Slamming Superhero Of The Summer

  • July 23, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

It’s already been called the year of the sequel.  2012 has been filled with the latest and the greatest of a whole plethora of stories as well as characters--personas that we already know well, understand and have grown to love.  Many of this year’s continuing sagas are focused on our favorite tried and true comic book characters.  Proving that audiences can’t seem to have too much of a good thing, “The Avengers” and “The Amazing Spider-Man” have been bringing audiences in out of the summer heat to enjoy a really cool summer flick.  There is one film, however, that promises to dwarf all the others when it comes to sequels.  This is the mother lode, folks.  Think huge summer blockbuster.  Think “The Dark Knight Rises”.    

We think that Batman is “tres cool” and more likely than not, you do as well.  Boys and girls, this is the summer movie that matters. Here’s our list of 5 reasons why Batman might be the most slamming superhero of the summer, and here’s some reasons why you should definitely plan on seeing “The Dark Knight Rises”.

5.  Batman-He’s Basically a Normal Dude.  A radioactive spider didn’t bite Batman, nor does he have Kryptonian heritage. Granted, his alter ego Bruce Wayne, is a rich bazillionaire playboy, but aside from being completely loaded, he’s more or less just a regular guy.  Knowing this about him makes him seem a little more ordinary and even at times, a bit more vulnerable and definitely human-something we can all relate to.

4.  Alfred.  What can we say about Alfred--except that we all wish we had someone just like him in our lives.  As a child, Bruce Wayne witnesses the murder of his parents, at which time Alfred stepped up and took care of his charge, taking on the parental duties of Mr. Wayne like he was his own son.  Alfred is loyal to Batman and is like a father figure to him in the truest sense and forever is watching out for Batman’s back.  Batman’s dutiful Johnny on the spot is still able to quietly keep him in line, as Alfred always does his job with patience and elegance; his cool accent also doesn’t hurt.  We should all be so lucky. 

3.  Badass Batsuit.  Maybe it’s the mystical all-black theme of his duds, or maybe it’s the new muscularly enhanced Batsuit that is now favored by our caped crusader, but indeed, there is something very sexy about a man that is dressed head to toe, all in black.  Add a cool mask to the mix and you really have something.  Obviously, with Bruce Wayne’s face plastered regularly all over the society pages of Gotham city, the mask is a necessary implement that protects his true identity from being discovered.  At the same time, however, the mask also gives Batman an air of furtive mystery and sexy secrecy.  By donning his Batman costume, mask and cape, Batman easily becomes an elegant enigma.

2. The Batmobile.  We hate the idea that wheels could define any man, but let’s get real here.  Batman’s car-ha, if you can even describe it in such rudimentary terms, is the ultimate boy toy.  The latest Batman ride is sort of like a flying Lamborghini; what guy wouldn’t want to take a spin in that?  Look for some pretty nifty Batpod’s, too.  A lot of vehicular madness in this flick that is a true fan feast for anyone who digs toys with wheels. The Bat cave, where he keeps his toys, ain’t a bad thing, either.  Batman might have invented the notion of the man cave; he’s certainly set the bar high where that territory is concerned.

1.  Bad Guys.  We Mean it, Really Bad Guys.  The latest nemesis creating all sorts of chaos for Batman is Bane, a terrorist-like freak who will stop at nothing to advance his truly evil agenda.  That is sort of the point though, isn’t it?  We want our superheroes to have to save the world and up until now Batman has always delivered.  Has Batman finally met his match?   Of course, we can’t forget the ever-present Catwoman; the sexy, purring beauty, doing what conniving women always seem to do; that is, use her feminine wiles to confuse the issues and muddy the waters.  How will Catwoman toy with Batman this time?  With this femme feline around, you just gotta believe that big trouble is a-brewin’. 

The Dark Knight Rises--now in theatres near you. Don’t miss it.


Be Yourself: Comic Con 2012 Brings Colorful Characters to San Diego

  • July 17, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell
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It was not exactly a normal weekend in San Diego. Walking past twin Superman’s and a Storm Trooper in the Gaslight District may be assumed to be no big deal in California unless you actually live here. Isn’t this just an every day occurrence on an average day in the Golden State? This is, after all, Southern California, not too far south of Hollywood where new realities are dreamed up on a daily basis. San Diego is even closer to Disneyland which on this weekend might have actually only been the second happiest place on earth. In spite of what the average Joe may assume about California, even the locals were taken aback by what was lurking on nearly every street corner during the past 4 days. When Comic-Con comes to town, along with it’s kaleidoscope of colorful merchandise, characters, and events, it’s time to batten down the hatches, folks. There’s some serious fun to be had; let the geek-fest begin! From the outside, it looks as though Halloween came really early. More Comic-Con attendee’s were dressed up than ever before and some of the get ups were pretty elaborate, likely taking hours to makeup and assemble. Now considered the perfect excuse to dress up as pretty much any character you like, Comic-Con had its humble beginnings back in 1970 as an annual fan convention that catered mostly to Comic Book fans. Comic Con now has morphed into a multi-genre, multi-faceted 4-day giant event that although still has roots in comics, has branched out to include many more areas of focus such as science fiction, fantasy, film, television, horror, animation, anime, manga, toys, collectibles, video games--well, almost anything goes at Comic Con. Many upcoming big movies were being promoted at Comic Con this year, such as “The Expendables 2”, “The Hobbit”, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2”, as well as an exciting sneak peak at the upcoming “Iron Man 3”. Many more television shows were being featured, such as “Game of Thrones”, “The Walking Dead,” and “The Big Bang Theory”. Just about every movie and tv themed costume character were there. A couple of hot new shows coming out in the future were also being touted. “Revolution”, a futuristic dramatic sci fi show will be out on NBC this fall, and a video game based sci fi thriller, “Defiance”, is set to come out sometime next year. Even if you were unable to score tickets to attend the convention itself, there was still plenty of action all around town for those who were looking for a good time. Rob Zombie held an event called “Dawn of the Con” at the local Petco Park where attendees could be seen trying to avoid and dodge attacking Zombies. Some of the bigger gaming companies had areas set up where gamer geeks could unite and find a space to get their game on. Disney and HGTV set up a large electric garden, a huge promotional turn-on featuring the new movie “Frankenweenie”, which will be released in early October. DC Comics had a local art show featuring both superheroes and super villains. MAC cosmetics were nearby promoting their “Archie” cosmetics line. Comic Con isn’t just for comic book fans, any more folks. Whether you are looking for collectibles, new toys, movies, games, memorabilia, comics or perhaps just want an excuse to dress up as something completely crazy, Comic Con offers a forum for all sorts of artistic expression or you could even call it a giant get-together for geeks and nerds everywhere. This is one of those times however, where it is indeed, quite hip to be square. If you are a bit of a nerd at heart, it’s perfectly all right to come to Comic Con and just be yourself. Nerdery is fully embraced here. And if you are still wondering what you should wear, well--if you can dream it--be it. Trust us, you’ll fit right in.

"The Dark Knight Rises" - What You Need To Know

  • July 16, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

Drum roll please.  You’ve likely been waiting for the release of The Dark Knight Rises for a long time.  It’s been eight years since the last installment with Bruce Wayne and crew; the latest and purportedly final chapter in the Batman trilogy will roar like a Batpod into theatres July 20, 2012.  The Dark Knight Rises promises to bring Batman out of his self-imposed reclusion with a theme of redemption.  Still dealing with his own personal issues from his childhood, Bruce Wayne must now face some of the pain he still feels from his early days, as well as the blame he feels for the death of D.A. Harvey Dent.  Director Christopher Nolan has stated that this Batman adventure film will end, rather than expand on the series, so expect to have many of the loose ends left open in prior films to finally be tied up, and other questions left hanging, finally answered. 

Who’s Back/Who’s Not/Who’s New!  Returning to reprise their roles from prior Batman flicks are veterans Christian Bale as the Caped Crusader himself, Michael Caine as Alfred, Gary Oldman as Jim Gordon and Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox.  Nestor Carbonell will also be replaying the role of the Mayor Anthony Garcia.  The character of Robin will not be brought back as Christian Bale was noted to say he would refuse to replay his role as Bruce Wayne if his Boy Wonder sidekick were around to steal part of his dark thunder.  New players being added to the final Batman chapter are: Tom Hardy as the villain Bane, along with Anne Hathaway now purring her way around as the new version of Catwoman.  Marion Cotillard will be playing the somewhat mysterious role of Miranda Tate and if you listen to the pre-movie rumor mill, you might be suspect that there is a secret identity involved in her character.

Rumor Has It!  Lots of rumors circle around the release of any big blockbuster film; The Dark Knight Rises is no exception.  Although we can’t confirm or deny any of the scuttlebutt, things to consider as you count down the days until Friday are:  Is Batman up for the task of tackling the new villain Bane--or has Batman finally met his match?  Who is this Bane--and more importantly, is he working for someone else? If so who? Is it possible that the League of Shadows is involved or even Ra’s al Ghul? Plus ... we hear there's some awesome new Batman costumes too!

What We Do Know!  There is a lot of secrecy revolving around the plot of The Dark Knight Rises.  Apparently there was no written screenplay and the actors were just verbally given their lines while on set so that nothing would leak out!  The anticipation is killing us of course, but there are a few things that we do know for sure. Out of respect for Heath Ledger, there will be no mention or references to The Joker whatsoever in this film.  Bane, the new terrorist-like, classic movie monster aka villain, has a clear-cut, evil mission.  The Catwoman’s role (friend or foe?) is unclear.  Bruce Wayne may have some vulnerability that is at issue and Bane will ultimately challenge Batman clearly both physically and mentally. In some of the previews, Bruce Wayne is seen walking with a cane, and we also see Bane once looming over the Dark Knight, inviting as well as inciting him to die.

You will not want to miss this epic superhero thriller that is very likely to make history.  Run, don’t walk to a theatre near you, July 20, 2012.  

“There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.  You and your friends better batten down the hatches, because when it hits, you’re all gonna wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.”  Selena Kyle


The Art of Airbrushing

  • July 09, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

When you think of airbrushing, you might immediately think of the controversial practice of its use in fashion photography, as airbrushing has been used extensively to retouch a model’s imperfections as well as to enhance bodily assets photographically.  The truth is, airbrushing has many widespread uses and you might be surprised by the amazing results that can be obtained when you add some air to atomize paint!

The earliest form of airbrushing can likely be traced back thousands of years to the most ancient men.  Experts have evidence that hollowed out bones were filled with paint and artists of long ago created paintings by blowing on the end of the bone, introducing air to the paint and creating a rudimentary airbrush effect.  The first official patent on a more legitimate airbrush occurred much later, in about 1876, when Francis Edgar Stanley created and patented his first basic airbrush.

Airbrushing essentially has 3 basic elements to it.  The first component is a trigger, which is what starts the paint to flow through the airbrush itself.  Secondly, there needs to be a feeding system, which continues the process of the paint flowing into the airbrush.  Lastly, at a mix point the paint and the air are combined--and wa-la, this in turn causes the paint to be expelled into tiny little droplets and when applied to a surface, allows it to blend seamlessly and flawlessly, creating a truly amazing effect!

Airbrushing is used today in many different applications.  Murals, art, illustration, photo retouching, hobbies and automotive uses are some of the more common uses of airbrush techniques.  Airbrushing also is a useful way of applying temporary tattoos and of course, is an amazing way to get flawless makeup application!  With today’s HD film techniques as well as digital photography, every little detail can be seen on the screen or through the camera’s lens.  Airbrushing makeup application allows for fantastic foundation coverage with minimal build up and the makeup still maintains a thin, natural texture.  Perfect! 

Special effects makeup techniques for costume use are particularly suited for airbrushing.  Flawless, seamless and easy application can be achieved along with great coverage to boot!  If you are looking to create a more detailed as well as professional result for your best costume looks, airbrushing is something you should definitely check out.  Using an airbrush and a stencil, you can apply paint directly to the skin to create all kinds of amazing and stunning body art, including very beautiful temporary tattoos!  No pain, no discomfort and depending on the products you use, your results will last up to 2 weeks!

Don’t be intimidated; airbrushing was designed in the first place to give incredible results with relative ease.  For stunning effects that are definitely going to get you noticed, check out our complete selection of airbrush supplies.  You will be simply amazed at what you can achieve by mixing a little air and paint! 


Star-Spangled July 4th Random Facts

  • July 02, 2012
  • Jenna Maxwell

The most All-American celebration of the year is here!  It’s time to pull out all your red, white and blue and revel in your patriotism while celebrating Independence Day with your friends and family.  Whether you are enjoying a parade, a picnic, a BBQ, a beach day, or any number of exciting 4th of July activities, you will want to show the love for your country in style.  Here are some random and interesting factoids that may make your 4th a little more interesting while giving you some fodder for conversation this holiday. 

Did You Say Turkey?  Benjamin Franklin had many great ideas but perhaps this wasn’t one of them.  Did you know that ol’ Ben wanted the national bird to be the turkey?  We’re kind of glad he got outvoted on this one.

Population Explosion:  Back in 1776, there were approximately 2.5 million Americans in the entire United States.  Today there are well over 300 million Americans!

Fireworks:  Most of the fireworks used during Fourth of July celebrations are imported from China.  Approximately 200 million dollars worth of fireworks will be imported from China this year along with 3.5 million dollars worth of American Flags.

Speaking of Flags:  Surprisingly the number one consumer of manufactured American Flags is Mexico.

Hot Dog!  American’s on the Fourth of July will consume over 150 million hot dogs.

Delayed Reaction:  July 4th did not become a national holiday until 1870.

The Stars Have It:  The stars on the original American flag were placed in a circle to symbolize the original colonies, all which were considered to be equal to one another.  Obviously that design was eventually outgrown!

Parrrrty!  The first official Fourth of July party was appropriately held at the White House back in 1801. 

Let Freedom Ring:  Congress actually voted for Independence on July the 2nd but because the document known as the Declaration of Independence wasn’t completed until July 4th, the printing date of the document stated July 4th.  This date obviously stuck even though it was just the print date.

Legal Eagle:  It is a felony to kill a bald eagle.  Don’t mess with their nests or eggs, either. 

What took so long?  The original Founding Fathers didn’t actually sign the Declaration of Independence until August 2, 1776. 

That’s A Little Weird:  Did you know that 2 American President’s have died on July 4th?  Both Thomas Jefferson and John Adams said their final adieu on the most patriotic day of the year, July 4th.  Very fitting.