Monday, August 7, 2017

RiffTrax and Worst Movies Ever – Plus The Five Doctors; Box Office and Movie News, #IWSG News, Contests, and Member in Need; and WEP

RiffTrax – Worst Movie Ever

For years, Manos: Hands of Fate was considered one of the worst films ever made. Plan Nine from Outer Space also vied for that title. Both were attacked by RiffTrax with hilarious results.

However, RiffTrax has recently tackled a couple films that just might be worse than either of those movies.

R.O.T.O.R.
Made in the 80’s as a Robocop ripoff, this film wallows in its cheapness and lack of cohesive plot. You really feel sorry for everyone who saw or rented this film, thinking they were getting something cool. Half the props look like cardboard. Plus ROTOR can see into the past with Sensor Recall. What?! This one is inept from start to finish.

Birdemic
Made in 2010, this film is even worse. A vanity project for a computer software salesman who made a fortune and then blew a chunk of it making this crappy movie. There is a ton of padding, namely with boring characters you don’t care about. The dialogue is horrible - worse than bad Japanese monster movie translations. Nothing that happens makes sense. And the birds? They would’ve been bad special effects in the 50’s.


Galaga and Pheonix arcade games had better graphics!

Watch both (at your own risk) and let me know which one you consider the worst movie ever made!

Rifftrax: Live – Doctor Who: The Five Doctors

The next show is August 17, with an encore showing on August 24 – and the guys are tackling Doctor Who.

If you’ve never been to a live show, you need to go. Mike, Bill, and Kevin riff the movie in front of a live theater audience (usually in Nashville) and the broadcast goes out live to theaters across the country. Now, seeing them in person is the best (I managed to do it once) but seeing a live broadcast is almost as good. Plus there’s something magical about being in a theater full of people who ‘get it.’

So, if you’re a RiffTrax or MST3K fan, or a Doctor Who fan, or just someone who likes making fun of movies, don’t miss it!


Box Office and Upcoming Films

An update on some big releases this year in terms of worldwide box office:
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Despicable Me 3, and Wonder Woman are all in the $800 million dollar range.
Although not likely to catch Beauty and the Beast or The Fate of the Furious, both over $1.2 billion dollars.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is still moving up with over $650 million.
And fortunately, Transformers: The Last Knight has stumbled and not even hit $600 million. (The last three Transformers films have all gone over a billion.) Maybe they will finally stop making them…

In my August movie preview, I failed to mention Wind River, starring Jeremy Renner and Kelsey Asbille. It came out August 4 in limited release. An FBI agent teams with a game tracker in a murder investigation that occurred on an American Indian reservation. What caught my attention was the director – Taylor Sheridan wrote the screenplay, and he also wrote the screenplays for Hell and High Water and Sicario, two films I really enjoyed. I’ll have to track down this film somewhere.


You’ll notice I never did review Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. I can sum it up in two words for you – hot mess. Enough said.

As for other notable films coming out this year:

September – The LEGO Ninjago Movie. No, I will not be seeing this one! Despite the Ninjas and Olivia Munn. Those are not my LEGOS. Nor did the first film amuse me.

October – Blade Runner 2049. Wow, does it look sleek!

November – Thor: Ragnarok. Wicked cool – and funny – trailers! Can’t wait to see Hulk and Loki interact. Looks like a great end to the trilogy.


November – Justice League. I have been dreaming of this film since I was a little comic book geek!!!! Joss Whedon is putting finishing touches on it after stepping in for Zack Snyder. (Who could not continue after his child committed suicide, which is very sad.)

Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It will be bittersweet, but looking forward to another great installment.


Insecure Writer’s Support Group

Thanks to every one for another great IWSG post day!
Remember, that is not a day to post and run – it’s a day to visit other writers and offer support.
It’s also not a day to just toss out a guest post – it has to relate to writer insecurity if you do.
Thanks for understanding!

There were also so many awesome #IWSGPit stories! Even those who didn’t see a lot of action on their Tweets had a good time.
2300 Tweets and our hashtag was a trending topic – that still blows me away!
The next #IWSGPit will be January 2018, and I am already adding to the list of agents and publishers to contact. We’ll have five times as many tuning in for the next one!

I still need one more co-host for September 6! Please leave a comment if you can co-host that day. You'll get the inside scoop on the IWSG Anthology Contest early...


I also wanted to mention a IWSG member in need. Christopher Votey has been a dedicated member for years and contributed a piece on world building at the IWSG site recently.
He’s also homeless right now. Due to an injury, he cannot work, and he couldn’t stay where he was living past August 1. A friend is trying to help him. Chris is a great guy – if you can. Please stop by and leave a word of encouragement for him.

Don’t forget the IWSG Show us Your Writer Insecurity contest on October 4.

There are some awesome prizes…

I’m looking forward to seeing all of the images!






And guess what’s coming in September…

Write…Edit…Publish

The Write...Edit...Publish team, Denise Covey, Yolanda Renee, Olga Godim and Nilanjana Bose, invite all writers to submit to our August challenge. We welcome flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photo essays or artwork. There is a $10 Amazon Gift Card for the winner, plus topnotch badges for the runners up. Let your creative juices flow for the REUNIONS challenge. Check out the WEP website for more stimulus.




What do you think is the worst film ever made? Going to see RiffTrax and The Five Doctors? What fall movie catches your interest? Participating in either IWSG contest? And have you seen Dunkirk yet? Why not?

I’m going to be gone this weekend, then after than I am taking most of August off. (I’ll poke in now and then though.) Two goals – writing and research more agents and publishers for the next #IWSGPit. Plus gear up for our next annual anthology contest!
Have a great summer.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Insecure Writer’s Support Group #IWSG and Insecurity Contest! Plus Dunkirk Review, August Movie Preview, 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.


My awesome co-hosts today are Christine Rains, Dolarah @ Book Lover, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Yvonne Ventresca, and LG Keltner!

August question - What are your pet peeves when reading/writing/editing?

My answer – too much description! I have an imagination. Let me use it.

#IWSGPit was amazing! Beyond my expectations.
We had about 2300 Tweets and we were a trending topic on Twitter.
Thanks to everyone who participated or spread the word. And big thanks to the IWSG admins who spent the whole day monitoring the feed.
Our next one will be in January, 2018. And my pledge to participating writers – there will be five times the amount of publishers and agents watching the feed.

We need co-hosts for the rest of the year! September 6 is the announcement of the next IWSG Anthology Contest, so co-hosts get the inside scoop a few days early. October 4 will be Show Your Writer Insecurity Day. We also need co-hosts for November 1 and December 6. Let me know in the comments what days you can co-host. Remember – co-hosts have more fun!

Show Us Your Writer Insecurity!

Are you proud to be an insecure writer?

Then show us!

On Wednesday, October 4 (IWSG Day), post a photo of yourself (or your alter ego) with any of the IWSG swag or with the IWSG logo. Then leave a comment that day at either the IWSG website’s post or the IWSG Facebook post directing us to your photo. (All blog, Facebook, Goodreads, and newsletter members welcome, but photo must be posted on a blog or Facebook to qualify.)

The IWSG site admins will visit each one and pick the top three. Why? Because there are cool prizes involved:

Third place – EBook of A Change of Mind and Other Stories by Nick Wilford, eBook of The Remnant by William Michael Davidson, eBook of Cling to God by Lynda R. Young, eBook of Already Home by Heather M. Gardner, and eBook of Dragon of the Stars by Alex. J. Cavanaugh.

Second place – The entire eBook collection of the Totem series by Christine Rains, eBooks of Princess of Las Pulgas by C. Lee McKenzie, audio book of CassaSeries by Alex J. Cavanaugh, eBook of Black and White by Nick Wilford, and your choice eBook from J.L. Campbell.

Grand prize winner - IWSG website interview, IWSG newsletter spotlight, IWSG pinned tweet for one week, C. Lee McKenzie's Featured Follower for the month, the IWSG Goodreads book club eBook for October/November, a short chapter critique, and a pair of IWSG erasers.

We have some great IWSG swag – pens, mugs, magnets, erasers, etc. Proceeds go to fund the upkeep of the IWSG site.

You have two months to prepare – show us your best insecurity!

Movie Review – Dunkirk

Allied soldiers are surrounded by the German army and trapped on the beach outside of Dunkirk – with little chance of rescue or survival.
An incredible film. This movie is a masterpiece from front to start.
It’s also the most unique way I’ve ever seen a war film – or any film – told. It’s revealed in non-linear fashion, so you have to pay attention. Nolan starts with strong tension and keeps it tense for the whole film.
It’s not a blood and guts war film. There’s also not a lot of talking or exposition. In most instances, the imagery speaks for itself. And wow, will that imagery stick with you.
The special effects and sound effects are incredible. The sound of the planes and the dogfights – almost chilling. Often you weren’t watching – you were part of the action.
The movie is about desperation and survival – and about hope. There are no major heroes. It’s just people doing what they need to stay alive or to do what is right.
And as great as it is as a war film, Dunkirk is even more so a work of art.
Highly recommended!

Ninja News

On August 24th at 2:00 pm EST, Chrys Fey will be participating in a LIVE YouTube interview with Evan Carmichael, an entrepreneur who she'll be interviewing about his book Your One Word and getting some great advice for IWSG members. You'll be able to watch the interview live HERE. You can set a reminder if you click on the link, or you can watch it later. The video will be uploaded in the August 30th IWSG newsletter issue.
We are also sadly saying goodbye to Chrys as an IWSG Admin. Christine Rains is taking over the newsletter next month. However, Chrys will still be partnered with us and running the IWSG Goodreads Book Club. If you haven’t checked it out, you should, as there are Q&A sessions with the authors of the books being read. Chrys will continue to rock the club!

Get Sliding on the Edge by C. Lee McKenzie for free and with new cover art!
Find it on Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble

Available now!
Character Astrology Profiles by Christopher D. Votey
This is the first of four that use Astrology and MBTI to map out possible characters from early life to retirement, to help inspire writers on how to create a more complicated character.
Find it on Amazon

Patricia Stoltey is giving away five advance review copies August 1st-15th of her December release from Five Star, the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead on Goodreads.




August Movie Preview

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

4 –

The Dark Tower
The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O'Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. With the fate of the worlds at stake, good and evil will collide in the ultimate battle as only Roland can defend the Tower from the Man in Black
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Stars: Katheryn Winnick, Matthew McConaughey, Idris Elba, Jackie Earle Haley
All of King’s stories in a blender! Dig the cast and hope it’s great.

11 –

Annabelle: Creation
Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker's possessed creation, Annabelle.
Director: David F. Sandberg
Stars: Stephanie Sigman, Miranda Otto, Talitha Bateman, Alicia Vela-Bailey
Loved The Conjuring, but you my dear are no Conjuring…

18 –

The Hitman’s Bodyguard
The world's top bodyguard gets a new client, a hit man who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time.
Director: Patrick Hughes
Stars: Gary Oldman, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, Salma Hayek
Take every generic 80’s buddy film, mix in a blender, and serve…


What are your pet peeves? Did you participate in #IWSGPit? Ready to show your writer insecurity? Have you seen Dunkirk? Any movie strike your fancy in August?
Be sure to let me know if you can co-host the IWSG!

Monday, July 17, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes and The Void Movie Reviews, #IWSGPit and IWSG Anthology, Monday’s Music, New Releases, and Ninja News

Want to know the steps for an author when it comes to audio book creation? Then visit Sandra Ulbrich Almazan today for my take on how it all goes down!

War for the Planet of the Apes Review

An army of humans led by the Colonel threatens the survival of the apes, setting Caesar on a path to avenge his kind.
First word – exhausting. Emotionally draining on every level. You will be put through the wringer watching this film.
However, the film is brilliant. So moving, so compelling. It’s a slow, purposeful pace, powerful in its intent. So many incredible moments along the journey. And such a terrible, tragic journey, but change one thing and it would’ve been worse. The apes are more human than the humans.
The special effects in this film are the best I have ever seen – bar none. You believe the apes are real. Minutes into the film, they are no longer CGI. And they aren’t – the expressions, the eyes – so real and amazing. You really see Andy Serkis as Caesar. He so deserves an Oscar nomination for this film. All of the apes – so incredibly real. Props go to all of the human actors behind the voices and the actual actions.
The cinematography is incredible. Again, Oscar worthy.
There are several nods to the original films, including a mute girl who takes the name Nova and Caesar’s youngest son, Cornelius.
Critics are calling it a great end to a trilogy. They could keep going with the stories if they wanted. But after seeing it, I understand why they are calling it that.
If you’ve seen the other two films, you cannot miss this haunting and powerful chapter in the series.
Highly recommended.

The Void Review

After delivering a patient to a closing hospital, a police officer and the small staff start experiencing strange things involving hooded figures and more.
This is a throwback to classic 80’s horror films. There is very little CGI – it’s all realtime monster effects.
The filmmakers were also obviously fans of both early John Carpenter films and of H.P. Lovecraft. There are strong elements from both creators here.
The film has issues. But give the writing and directorial team credit for trying to make a respectable horror film in 2017. (Not a lot out there right now.) The director could’ve phoned it in, but he tried to do something of quality.
It’s gory, weird, and ramps up the tension level. The cinematography is also great.
If you are into gory creature features, especially with a throwback vibe, this is the film to watch.
Recommended

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Hosted by Marie at Xmas Dolly.

I am the Spotlight Dancer today and I choose the theme European Favorites!

First up is Katatonia with Serein from their album The Fall of Hearts. This band began life as a screaming prog band but when the lead singer could no longer do it, the entire band changed their style to produce this beautiful album. They hail from Sweden.

Next is Harken with Earthrise from their album Affinity. They hail from London.


New Releases

Pat Hatt has three new Tarsier Man tales!

Tarsier Man: Thugs and Love Bugs
Find it on Amazon

Tarsier Man: Buyers and Liars
Find it on Amazon

Tarsier Man: A Plot By Polka Dot
Find it on Amazon

Young Seasons by Sandra Ulbrich Almazan
Find it on Amazon


Ninja News

The Cherished Blogfest is this October!

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit is open for submissions until the end of July!
What have you found that makes a profit?
What have you found that doesn’t?
Please share your experience! Guidelines here.
Deadline is July 31 – what are you waiting for?

The IWSG’s first Twitter pitch party, #IWSGPit, is July 27! We have a great list of publishers and agents who will be watching the hashtag with many more checking in.
If you have something ready to submit, you don’t want to miss this.


Have you seen War or The Void yet? What music moves you today? Participating in #IWSGPit or contributing to the anthology? Have some fun stuff planned for the remainder of summer?

Don’t forget to visit Sandra Ulbrich Almazan.

I’ll be offline next week but I will be on Twitter, especially Thursday, July 27 - #IWSGPit day! Good luck to all those who are Tweeting pitches.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Spiderman: Homecoming Review, Princess Breeze, Upcoming Super Hero Films, IWSG News & New Admin, and New Releases

Spiderman: Homecoming Movie Review

A couple months after his involvement with the Avengers, Peter tries to find his place in life as both high school student and superhero while battling The Vulture and his gang of alien artifact weapons dealers.
In a nutshell, incredibly entertaining!
This is the first film to capture the essence of the real Spiderman from the comics. He’s a loveable, dorky, awkward teen trying to work out his new powers.
The action set pieces are really good, even the small ones.
Tom Holland is great as the lead. He’s the perfect gangly teen.
Michael Keaton is a decent villain, although the villain isn’t the strongest part of the film. He does come with a wicked twist though.
Peter Parker’s best friend is hilarious!
The love story was really toned down and I appreciated that. It was more like infatuation and what awkward teen love is really like.
It’s not my favorite but it’s a worthy piece of the Marvel puzzle that you can watch over and over again.
Highly recommended!

A Cinderella Tale

Do you ever imagine your book as a movie? That would be fun, wouldn’t it? In thinking what type of movie my latest novel, Princess Breeze, would be like I came up with one of my favorite fairy tales, Cinderella. My story is a Cinderella story with a happy family, instead of a hateful one, like in the fairy tale.

Where Cinderella lived with a wicked stepmother and two stepsisters that were mean to her, Breeze lives with her father, mother, and siblings that love her, even though they may have disagreements at times. What family doesn’t?

In Cinderella’s story, all the young girls in the kingdom received an invitation to a royal ball at the palace. The prince was looking for a bride. But the wicked stepmother would not allow Cinderella to attend the ball. Here, Breeze’s story differs. When she receives an invitation to visit Prince Cam at his home on the tropical island of Isla del Fuego, not only does Breeze go, but her whole family and two best friends go with her. Also, Cam, the boy she met at school a few months earlier, heir to the kingdom, was not looking for a bride. They’re only fourteen.

There is a bad guy, of course, who is determined that he will one day be king of the island, and who is determined to get rid of the prince and Breeze, as well. No fairy godmother saves them. Instead, Breeze and Cam use a legend of the island to help them fight the would-be king.

So, Princess Breeze and Cinderella are both stories of a commoner girl meeting a prince and hopefully living happily ever after. Fairy tales do come true.

As part of the celebration you can enter the tour-wide giveaway (courtesy of the author) for one of two paperback copies of the book (U.S. only) being given away. Please visit the Rafflecopter to enter.

Princess Breeze by Beverly Stowe McClure
For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school and who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye.
Find Princess Breeze at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and 4RV Publishing

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.
Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.
Find Beverly at blog, website, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads

Insecure Writer’s Support Group

The IWSG would like to welcome Christine Rains to the admin team! We are excited to have her on board. Please stop by and welcome her.

Christopher Votey is our guest this week at the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. He has an excellent article on world building, so check it out.

The IWSG Guide to Writing for Profit is open for submissions until the end of the month! What have you found that makes a profit? What have you found that doesn’t? Please share your experience! Guidelines here

The IWSG’s first Twitter pitch party,#IWSGPit, is July 27! We have a great list of publishers and agents who will be watching the hashtag with many more checking in. If you have something ready to submit, you don’t want to miss this.
And if you can help spread the word, we appreciate that as well! You can also retweet the pinned Tweet at our Twitter - @TheIWSG.

New Releases

Hunter's Exiled Lady: Survivors of the Apocalypse # 1 by Susan Kelley/Gourley
In a dystopian future, a fierce, frontier survivor and a cultured, vulnerable city lady battle humanity’s extinction as well as their personal ill-advised attraction and mistrust…
Find it on Amazon

Strangely Funny IV anthology, with a story by C.D. Gallent-King
Edited by Sarah E. Glenn and published by Mystery and Horror, LLC.
Find it on Amazon

Star-Crossed by Megan Morgan






Super Hero News

While the super hero film trend annoys some, this childhood comic book fan is loving it! I was a DC fan, but I’ll take Marvel and whoever else wants to make a good super hero movie. And we do have a lot coming up on the horizon…

November 3 – Thor: Ragnarok
November 17 – Justice League (Yes, I am so stoked for this one!)
February 16, 2018 – Black Panther
April 13 – X-Men: The New Mutants
May 4 – Avengers: Infinity War
June 1 – Deadpool II
June 15 – The Incredibles II
July 6 – Ant-Man and the Wasp
November 2 – X-Men: Dark Phoenix
December 21 – Aquaman

Yes, it’s a super hero fan’s paradise!


Anyone else see Spiderman: Homecoming? Ever imagined your book as a movie? Submitting to the IWSG anthology or participating in #IWSGPit? Picking up some new books? And what super hero film do you want to see most?


And Dragon of the Stars is the current audio book giveaway from my publisher! Re-Tweet THIS TWEET to enter and to spread the news. Thanks!