Monday, August 13, 2018

The Meg and The Signal Reviews, Animal Movie Trivia, Monday’s Music, and News

Movie Reviews

The Meg

Jonas Taylor encountered something on a rescue mission where lives were lost. Years later, he is called back into action to rescue a submersible – and discovers something even bigger.
Based on a book – which I recently downloaded and began reading – The Meg goes for realistic (but a bit silly) rather than cheesy. And it works for the most part. They create a plausible scenario where a megalodon might still exist and why it might make an appearance.
They create believable characters and focus on the human drama as well as the shark and balance it accordingly. You do feel the deaths of those who don’t make it.
The shark – yes, he is massive. And so is… well, I can’t give away anything else.
If you’re hoping for Sharknado, you’ll be disappointed. It’s like an upscale version of Leviathan or Deep Star Six.
Recommended.

The Signal

From the IMDB: On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare.
This film came out in 2014 and I finally caught it on NetFlix. It stars Brenton Thwaites (Will’s son in latest Pirates movie and will star as Robin in the Titans television series), Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, and Laurence Fishburn. All them are excellent in their roles.
It starts off as a road trip film, but once Nic and the others wake up in a containment site, suspense, mystery, and a little science fiction commence. The movie has a slower pace, which grows faster toward the end. Where are they? What happened? And why aren’t they allowed to leave? It’s a large scale Twilight Zone with just enough weirdness to tell you something is amiss.
If you like quieter films with a lot of tension, you’ll enjoy The Signal.
Recommended.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Hosted by Xmas Dolly

Today’s theme - songs/artists with animals in the title/name. So appropriate!
I’m going with a band I’m hooked on right now – Amorphis. This is The Golden Elk


News

The IWSG Anthology Contest opens for submissions on September 5.
The genre is Young Adult Romance and the theme is Masquerade.
See the site for full details.


The IWSG has partnered with WEP – Write-Edit-Publish and the August WEP Challenge is A Change of Heart.
Post your entry this week!

Movie Trivia

When animals attack!

Name the movie and the animal from the year and stars:

1 - 1999 - Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie
2 - 1977 - Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek
3 - 1998 - Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O'Connor
4 - 1990 - Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, John Goodman
5 - 1999 - Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt
6 - 1984 - Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood
7 - 1997 - Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube

Answers August 27!


Anyone else see The Meg or The Signal? What music moves you today? Participating in WEP or the IWSG Anthology Contest? And do you know any of the trivia?

I’m taking off next week – see you Monday, August 27. And don't forget RiffTrax Live - Krull is on August 23!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Mission Impossible: Fallout Review, Movie Trailers and News, and Tons Happening with the IWSG!

Mission Impossible: Fallout Review

After a botched mission, Ethan and his team must acquire three plutonium cores before a group known as the Apostles get them and detonate nuclear bombs.
And wow! Talk about upping the intense action. You want edge-of-your-seat thrills, this is the film for you. The last thirty minutes will have you gasping. Just when you think all is lost and it’s impossible, it becomes even more impossible.
The stunts are mind blowing. Cruise really did injure himself doing some of his own stunts. The chase involving the motorcycle makes you wonder – did he really just run into that car? The special effects are flawless and you really can’t tell what is a stunt and what involved green screen.
The European settings are beautiful, and when they venture into Asia, it’s even more stunning.
Just about everyone returns for this film, with many familiar faces and a few new ones. Henry Cavill (and his moustache) is a CIA agent who joins them and relative newcomer Vanessa Kirby plays the White Widow.
This series continues to turn in solid films and can keep going for as long as Cruise can pull it off.
Highly recommended!

Movie Trailers and News

Here are some recent movie trailers:

I am so stoked about this one!


Such a great mix of war and horror!


When this was first announced, I had my doubts, as I really enjoyed the original anime. But it’s shaping up to be one amazing movie.


Looks wicked!


JoBlo has a weekly feature – The Best Movie You Never Saw.
Last week, it was Ladyhawke.
I did go see it when the film was released in 1985. (It started a crush on Michelle Pfeiffer that lasted for years.) Sadly the film got lost at the box office.
If you’ve never seen it, you need to check it out.

Ready for some Guardians of the Galaxy bloopers?


Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Another great posting last week! A few people were missing, but it is summer after all.

One member in particular was feeling very down and on the verge of giving up. She really needs some encouragement - Amelia Guilliam.

Don't forget, the IWSG is on Instagram.
Here is the schedule for August:


The IWSG Anthology Contest opens for submissions on September 5.

The genre is Young Adult Romance and the theme is Masquerade.

See the site for full details.


We’re excited about the WEP – Write-Edit-Publish and IWSG partnership.

The August WEP Challenge is A Change of Heart.

Visit their site for full details.




And we are changing up some of the themed days in the IWSG Facebook Group.
You can read about it at the IWSG Site.


Have you seen the latest Mission Impossible? Any of those trailers look enticing? Seen Ladyhawke? Entering the IWSG Anthology Contest? (This year you have an extra month to write!) Participating in WEP? And who’s ready to see Jason Statham punch a shark in The Meg this Friday?

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, August Movie Preview, Big IWSG News, and Ninja News

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

The awesome co-hosts for the August 1 posting of the IWSG are Erika Beebe, Sandra Hoover, Lee Lowery, and Susan Gourley!


August 1 question - What pitfalls would you warn other writers to avoid on their publication journey?

Write faster? Or at least don’t be as slow a writer as I am. One book a year seems like a good pace. More if you can swing it, but at least one.

So write fast and get way ahead.

And yes, during my break, I did write! I have over 13,000 words in my new story now.

Today we have a special reveal for the 2018 Annual IWSG Anthology Contest! We are announcing the theme one month early. Here are the details:

Word count: 3500-6000

Genre: Young Adult Romance

Theme:
Masquerade
A Masquerade can be a false show or pretense, someone pretending to be someone they aren't. It can be a ball, a fancy dress party, it can be a mask. Open to interpretation.

Submissions accepted: September 5 - November 4, 2018

How to enter: Send your polished, formatted (Double spaced, no page numbers), previously unpublished story to admin @ insecurewriterssupportgroup.com before the deadline passes. Please include your contact details, your social links, and if you are part of the Blogging, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter IWSG group.

Judging: The IWSG admins will create a shortlist of the best stories. The shortlist will then be sent to our official judges, who will be announced September 5.

Prizes: The winning stories will be edited and published by Freedom Fox Press next year in the IWSG anthology. Authors will receive royalties on books sold, both print and eBook. The top story will have the honor of giving the anthology its title.

So now you have a month’s head start on your submission! Go for it.


IWSG News

The IWSG has also formed an awesome new partnership with WEP – Write-Edit-Publish.
We encourage our members, blogging and Facebook, to join this month’s challenge.

The August WEP Challenge – A Change of Heart
Who hasn’t had one? This one’s easy, right?
A commitment made when a prospect looked attractive, a decision on a course of action, and then regrets and reluctance to follow through. It could be an engagement, a date, a diet plan, a chore someone said they’d do and didn’t follow through. A strip poker-game. Or maybe a gamble with super-high, panic inducing stakes. A break for independence that once made, gives pause for second thoughts. A bolt for the grass-always-greener pasture and then wanting to vault-n-turn right back. Something offered, then withdrawn. Myriad ways to go.


The IWSG Goodreads Book Club’s selection for August/September is The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr

This one is for our memoir writers and anyone who has ever thought of writing a memoir. The discussion will start September 19th and will go to the end of the month, but it will be up indefinitely, so you can hop in whenever you're able.

Book club members have the chance to win a paperback copy of Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell. This is a used copy, but it’s in great condition. One winner will be randomly selected on August 8th, and Chrys Fey will email the winner to get mailing details. All info will be kept private.

To enter, go to this Rafflecopter Form. It’s free to enter, but you have to be a book club member. We will verify this, so join us on Goodreads!

Ninja News 

A new Aquaman trailer is out! Going to be so awesome…

Available now:
Tempting Friendship by Patricia Josephine (Patricia Lynne)
Find it on Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, and Kobo






August Movie Preview

Here are the upcoming theatrical releases for August! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

3 –

Christopher Robin 
A working-class family man, Christopher Robin, encounters his childhood friend Winnie-the-Pooh, who helps him to rediscover the joys of life.
Director: Marc Forster
Stars: Ewan McGregor, Hayley Atwell, Bronte Carmichael, Mark Gatiss
I’m not into toilet humor, but I do like the occasional Pooh joke…


10 –

The Meg
After escaping an attack by what he claims was a 70-foot shark, Jonas Taylor must confront his fears to save those trapped in a sunken submersible.
Director: Jon Turteltaub
Stars: Ruby Rose, Jason Statham, Rainn Wilson, Bingbing Li
I’ll pay eight bucks to watch Jason Statham punch a shark!


17 –

Mile 22
An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.
Director: Peter Berg
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey
It really only serves to set up the sequel, Mile 23...


24 – 

Slender Man
Slender Man tells the story of a tall, thin, horrifying figure with unnaturally long arms and a featureless face, who is reputed to be responsible for the haunting and disappearance of countless children and teens.
Director: Sylvain White
Stars: Joey King, Javier Botet, Annalise Basso, Julia Goldani Telles
Is this the sequel to Thinner?



Everyone have a good July?
What advice would you give? Ready to start writing now for the IWSG Anthology Contest? Joining us for WEP? Excited about Aquaman? (More cool trailers on Monday.) And what movies interest you this month?

Monday, July 9, 2018

Ant-Man and the Wasp Review, Movie and IWSG News, Devil’s Rock Review, and New Releases

Movie Reviews

Ant-Man and the Wasp
Very entertaining!
Two years after the events of Captain America: Civil War, Scott is finishing up his house arrest when a quest to find Hope’s mother (lost in the beginning of the first film) brings the two of them and Hank together again.
It’s light-hearted, funny, and the perfect popcorn movie. It’s breezy and fun – in line with the first Ant-Man film. You never feel anyone is in mortal danger, but that’s all right. It’s not that kind of a film.
There’s no central villain. It’s more of a caper as everyone is after the research lab. (Which conveniently shrinks to a rolling suitcase.)
Scott, Luis, and friends have also started a security system company, which is ironic since they were all once thieves. Luis also had some of the funniest lines again.
One of the strongest aspects is Scott’s relationship with his daughter. It’s very sweet and natural.
As always, stay through the credits for two bonus scenes. (They tie the film in with Infinity War.) Highly recommended!

The Devil’s Rock
From the IMDB: Set in the Channel Islands on the eve of D Day, two Kiwi commandos, sent to destroy German gun emplacements to distract Hitler's forces away from Normandy, discover a Nazi occult plot to unleash demonic forces to win the war.
This New Zealand film came out in 2011 and we caught it on Amazon Prime.
This is a quiet, atmospheric horror film. The giant bunker is dimly lit and strange sounds and screams carry eerily down the corridors. It’s as unnerving as it is gory. (And when it’s gory – wow!)
Basically there are only four people in the film, but they do a fine job of carrying it. You never know who to trust. Sometimes the accent is heavy, so you have to listen close.
If you can handle the gore, this creepy little film is definitely worth a watch.


New Releases

Landscape Love by River Ford (Charity Bradford)
Nathaniel Pierce ran away from home and the painful memories of his past. He's recreated himself in Eureka Springs. No longer a veterinarian, he's Nate the landscaper. When old Lilly Connor dies, the whole town turns to him to watch out for her granddaughter.
Find it on Amazon

Bluebonnet Ballerina by Carol Kilgore
Gracie Hofner returns, and chaos reigns—including a couple of ghosts trying to save their granddaughter.
Find it on Amazon

Movie News

JoBlo reported on Friday that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom had crossed the billion dollar mark worldwide.

An article on JoBlo states that production on Birds of Prey should begin January 2019. Actress Margot Robbie (Harley Quinn) says this Suicide Squad spin-off featuring an all girl gang should be rated R.


July DVD releases:
July 10 - A Quiet Place
July 17 - Rampage
July 24 - Ready Player One



IWSG News

IWSG Co-Hosts!
We need one more co-host for August 1.
We also need co-hosts for September 5 (the day we announce the genre and guidelines for the next IWSG Anthology Contest), October 3, November 7, and December 5.
If you can help any of those days, leave a comment or shoot me an email.
Thanks!

#IWSGPit happens Thursday, July 19!

You don’t want to miss this event.

Visit the IWSG site for the rules, time, and hashtags. The IWSG Admins will be monitoring the feed and encouraging participants.

Good luck to everyone pitching!


Today at the IWSG site we have a special guest - Mary Kole, founder of the award-winning Kid Lit site. She’s discussing editing and more, so check it out.


The next WEP – (Write...Edit...Publish) challenge in August has been announced – Change of Heart.
Sign-ups begin August 1.
How does this tie in with the IWSG? You’ll soon find out…




I will be gone for a few days next week, so I’ve made the decision to take the rest of July off. I’ll pop in now and then, and be active on Twitter, but it’s a chance for me to catch up on some IWSG stuff and work on my story.


Catch the new Ant-Man movie? Ever see The Devil’s Rock? Participating in #IWSGPit? Picking up some DVDs or books? And who can co-host the IWSG?
Have a great July!