Friday, July 29, 2011

Thanks, Technology, and August Movie Preview

Thanks to everyone who commented on CassaFire's cover and synopsis HERE! I just found out the release date has been bumped up a bit – February 28, 2012. I have six months to panic…

Today’s Fantastic Friday Writers topic is technology.

It’s a given that science fiction involves technology. Whether set in present day, the future, or a distant galaxy, new devices and gadgets will appear. Some people revel in technology. Some want it simple so the story moves along. Others shy away from it.

It’s no secret I dig computers, tech toys, and gadgets. Heck, I’ve hooked up so many components to the TV, my wife doesn’t even know how to turn it on! But since I work with it every day, I didn’t want to focus on it in my writing. Sure, there are spaceships and teleporters, but I don’t delve into the details. I put in just enough to make it plausible. It’s there, just simple.

Besides, I have no idea how a teleporter works, do you?

Check with my FFW partners Elizabeth, Anastasia, J. D., Deirdre, M. Pax, and Jeffrey, and Charlene for their take on technology.

Time for August movie releases! It’s a quiet month for movies, so I threw in two DVD releases as well. All descriptions courtesy of the IMDB.

2 -
DVD - Rio
Very colorful and fun animated flick. I reviewed it HERE.



5 -

Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Director: Rupert Wyatt
Stars: James Franco, Andy Serkis, Freida Pinto
The Plot: In present day San Francisco, a scientist (Franco) looks for a cure for Alzheimer's disease by experimenting on a chimpanzee named Caesar. The development of animal intelligence brings about a war for supremacy between humans and apes.
Not impressed with the trailer - the CGI apes do not look real. I also don’t buy that there are enough apes in San Francisco to take over the city. This one will need outstanding reviews to get me into the theater.


16 -

DVD - Priest
“Eh” reviews meant I skipped it in the theater, but will catch on NetFlix.



19 -

Conan the Barbarian
Director: Marcus Nispel
Stars: Jason Momoa, Ron Perlman, Rose McGowan
The Plot: Muscle-bound warrior Conan the Cimmerian (Momoa) seeks to avenge the murder of his father and the slaughter of his village.
Conan the Barbarian. Momoa from Stargate:Atlantis. Need I say more? Oh, and it’s rated R - can’t have a PG13 barbarian film! They do it right, this could be the start of an awesome franchise.


Fright Night
Director: Craig Gillespie
Stars: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, David Tennant
The Plot: Teenager Charley Brewster (Yelchin) guesses that his new neighbor Jerry Dandrige (Farrell) is a vampire responsible for a string of recent deaths. When no one he knows believes him, he enlists Peter Vincent (Tennant), the opportunistic host of his favorite TV show, to help him take down Jerry and his guardian.
The first Fright Night was fun. This remake is going to have to do something really awesome to even come close, especially without Roddy McDowall. Again, a wait and see what the critics think…

Cowboys and Aliens this weekend! Who's with me? And what movies catch your interest? Or are you still confused about the technology...?

75 comments:

Enid Wilson said...

I was editing my sci-fi today and have a hard time thinking of some mind blowing futuristic weapons...

Chemical Fusion

Rek said...

I think Rio is the best pick...had enough of vampires and barbarians alike.
I love technology even if its beyond my grasping power, though I strongly suspect that love is not reciprocated.
Enjoy your weekend.

Laura Pauling said...

Just by the cover I wouldn't watch Priest. That looks totally scary! I'd watch Rio though. :)

Amy said...

Great post Alex! I try to keep technology simple in my writing too, though I think I might over explain - in order for it to make sense! lol.

Nice movie releases! I can't wait for Rise of the Apes and Cowboys and Aliens; definitely going to have to convince my fiance to take me to the movies!

Have a great weekend! :)

Arlee Bird said...

Technology? Forget it--I'm very confused. I do wish I had a teleporter though.

I'm down for Cowboys and Aliens, but when it comes to the Netflix. I'm a sucker for the Ape movies so I might give that one a chance.

Lee
Tossing It Out

Jen Daiker said...

I'll just let you go and see Cowboys vs. Aliens... not exactly my cup of tea. However I do plan on seeing Crazy Stupid Love, which is exactly up my alley ;)

I loved Rio... we saw it at the drive-in and it was great. I haven't seen the others... yep, I is kind of slow.

Happy Friday!

Teresa aka Journaling Woman said...

Panic maybe but how cool!

I can lend you my teleporter later if you want to see how it works. :)

There are some movies there I have to see.

Laura Eno said...

A new Conan, huh? I'll have to see that one.
Way to drive someone crazy, Alex. :) This post came up in my reader yesterday but I couldn't get to it! I wonder why?

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Enid, watch some cool science fiction movies - you'll get ideas.

Rek, that's why I tone down the tech in my writing. Most people aren't into it.

Lee, you find a teleporter, let me know. Beats driving to work.

Teresa, please do!

Laura, sorry - I entered the wrong date.

Nebular said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nebular said...

Technology is such a huge part of my life, I can't imagine what the world would be without it :)

I loved Rio! For me, it's the best animated flick of 2011 so far.

Judging from the trailers Rise of the Planet of the Apes has a pretty serious tone to it and probably won't be as cheesy as Tim Burton's version.

I actually enjoyed Priest quite a lot. The action and the visuals were stellar.

Not sure if you know it, but Conan the Barbarian was filmed in my country so I'm quite excited about it. :)

Fright Night looks okay...

Budd said...

I think I am being forced to go see smurfs next month.

Lydia K said...

I have yet to see Rio, but I hear it's really good. Thanks for the DVD rundown!

Rusty Webb said...

I love technology too. I was weaned on authors like Larry Niven and Arthur C Clark, those guys were often filling their novels with engineers trying to solve a mystery so that techno-babble was just part of the story. As a result I tend to get caught up in that stuff when I write. It can be refreshing for me to read something now where I don't have to learn the engineering details of a space trash can or a space spoon.

That said, I still do want to know how stuff works - I guess I'm a bit contradictory when it comes to that.

I'm looking forward to Conan.

Talli Roland said...

I've never heard of Cowboys and Aliens! Sigh! Off to check out your cover and blurb!

Charmaine Clancy said...

I don't even care about how the tele porter works, I still think it sounds safer than aeroplanes!

Plausible is enough for me :)

Wagging Tales - Blog for Writers

L.G.Smith said...

Technology? I'm lucky I can figure out how to upload photos onto Blogger.

Cowboys and Aliens has me strangely fascinated. I've enjoyed the previews. I hope it doesn't fall flat.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

George, that's cool! I'll pay attention to the scenery then.

Budd, I am so sorry - reviewers say it's awful.

Rusty, and lucky for me you have moments where you don't need high tech!

Charmaine, me neither!

Aleta said...

Oh my gosh, you sound like my husband. I call him the Gadget Guy. But he met his match... my Dad is an even bigger Gadget Guy! Boys and their toys. hehe...

Cowboys and Aliens! Woot! Hopefully will catch the matinee this weekend to see it! Ever since the trailer, we've been eager to see it.

I'm still interested in seeing "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" - only because it's a childhood thing :)

Karen Walker said...

Definitely want to see Cowboys and Aliens. Also still want to see Tree of Life. Can't get there till next weekend, though. Hope it's still showing.
Karen

julie fedderson said...

My kids loved Rio and the colors were just amazing. My guilty pleasure will be Conan because I'm a sucker for barbarians and broad swords. And I loved Stargate Atlantis. Jason Momoa can make a fight scene look like poetry.

Stephen Tremp said...

Been waiting a long time for Cowboys vs. Aliens! Not sure how the writers and all are going to pull it off. I'm excited and ready to go!

Laila Knight said...

Either you posted this really early or I'm late.

Congrats on the date bump up. How exciting!

I'll bet that by not focusing on the gadgets in your writing you target a wider range of readers. I do have something similar to a teleporter in my MC, but it's not exactly a gadget.

Rio looks funny. All the new animated movies they've come out with are just terrific. It's amazing how far cartoons have come. I won't be able to get anyone to watch it with me though. Planet of the Apes? Is this supposed to be part 2 of the remake...or is it another remake? Priest looks interesting. I watched the preview on Netflix. Wait, they remade Conan...without Arnold, and Fright Night? I'll say something for you, you really like your movies. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Aleta, we boys do like our tech toys! Yeah, Cowboys and Aliens had me hooked the moment I saw the trailer.

Julie, Stargate Atlantis was an awesome show! I'm looking forward to Conan.

Laila, I found a huge audience with women, probably because I didn't dump a bunch of technology into my book. And the Apes movie is a reboot - yes, yet another one.

Christopher Hudson said...

Of course I know how a teleporter works ... Jim tells Scotty to '... beam us up', Scotty throws the switch and that's it. Anything else you need help with?

Mary Aalgaard said...

Collin Farrel's doing a vampire movie? Anyway, I'm finally going to Capt. America with my boys as soon as I get them home from camp!

Ella said...

I just went over and read your interview; Well Done~ Congrats! Panic can wait...

I saw Fright Night and Conan when they were first released, so tempted to see the redo. Besides it is Momoa...I watched Stargate: Atlantis.
Hubby is dying to see the Ape movie...I'm on the fence. I still
didn't make it to Super 8, but daughter has a dental appt next week... If I spy a theater that still is featuring it...I'm so there! Happy Friday~

Sangu said...

Yeah I don't precisely buy the Rise of the Planet of the Apes trailer either but I thought it looked rather good anyway and I might give it a go! I think there are one too many 'of's in that title, though.

Donea Lee said...

Cowboys and Aliens looks AWESOME! I think that's a must see on the big screen. I'm going to try really hard to make it.

Love Jason Momoa (of course!), but the 1st Conan wasn't my favorite. I'm iffy on this.

Fright Night, however, is one of my all-time favorite vampire movies. I had such a crush on Chris Sarandon...that's one sexy vamp! Farrell, on the other hand...I just don't see it. Guess we'll see! :)

Christine Rains said...

I loved the first Fright Night. This new one has David Tennant, so that's a step in the right direction. I'd love to see Cowboys and Aliens. Can't wait to hear what you think about it. All my entertainment time and budget is going to be spent at Gen Con next week!

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Oh, well, you are right there! I guess science fiction tech can be ranged along the lings of fantasy--not everything needs to sound logically sound, right?

I know how the teleporter works! It disburses your ionic energy through space and time and safely moves you to another spot in space in time--like a fax! :P

Click here for my Darkspell giveaway--entries a no brainer. Hurry, ends July 31!

Libby said...

I wonder how this Fright Night will compare to the last one. :)

Donna K. Weaver said...

Already have my tickets for Cowboys & Aliens. I hope it's as fun as it looks.

Hart Johnson said...

Congrats on the moved up release date! That's great!

Technology in books is actually my biggest hesitancy on sci-fi--I don't have a knack or a frame of reference and I don't give a darned HOW things work. What they DO however, can be pretty cool, so if the focus is on a what instead of how, I am fine (I also have a higher tolerance for medical technlogy)

And I thought the Planet of the Apes one looked pretty good, but then I've always seen the franchise as on the campy side.

Mark Noce said...

How exciting to have your date set for Feb! I'm sure it'll keep you busy, but congrats nonetheless:)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chrisopher, but of course!

Mary, you will enjoy it!

Thank you, Ella. Yeah, Momoa was great in Stargate. And find Super 8 - still the best movie this summer.

Donea, it's a must on the big screen. And I liked the first Fright Night, so really not sure about the remake.

Christine, I bet!

Elizabeth, clever girl!

Thanks, Hart! And that's why I didn't go tech for mine. I didn't want to scare anyone.

Mark, panic hasn't sunk in yet, but it will. Thanks!

Wendy. Blog Author said...

Hey Alex, To be honest with you, I don't remember reading a science fiction book but two months ago I bout the hitchhicker trilogy which is actually a boxset of five little books. What do you think of that for an intro? I absolutely love gadgets but haven't progressed to the obssession stage as yet.

Summer Ross said...

I'm really interested in seeing The priest, mainly because I like the main actor.

Jemi Fraser said...

I never explain how my gadgets work in my steampunk either - it's good enough that they do :)

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I know how to turn on my computer and the TV and can do minor trouble shoots. It's like a car engine. I make sure the routine work gets done but if something hinky happens, I'm lost.
Jason Momoa was great in Game of Thrones also.

Nancy Thompson said...

Oooh, I'll watch anything with Colin Farrell! Thanks for heads up.

Have a great weekend, Alex!

M Pax said...

I don't explain all my tech either ... only if it becomes necessary. Sometimes I throw in a line or two for geeks like my husband, at his insistance. He ususally writes those lines, too. lol I like inventing the gadgetry and what it does though -- giving my world limits thru the tech, so my audience will understand what the parameters are when trouble comes up.

Carol Kilgore said...

Can't wait to hear what you say about Cowboys and Aliens. It totally turned me off at the beginning, but now I want to see it - if it's decent.

Charles Gramlich said...

The teleporter in my head works pretty well.

Come At Me Bro said...

This is great!

Melissa Bradley said...

Tech is something that I love and am afraid of. I don't have many toys and refuse to text anyone. Yet, I love being connected to so many awesome people out there.

I definitely want to see Conan and Fright Night-David Tennant from Dr. Who is playing Roddy MacDowell's role. I, too want to see Cowboys and Aliens. It looks fantastic.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Wendy, it will hit one day soon...

Good for you, Jemi!

Mary, you have found the right balance.

Carol, just saw it - it's great!

Melissa, I don't text! Wait, that's because I don't even own a cell phone.

nutschell said...

Cowboys and Aliens looks like an interesting film, but couldn't they do a better job with the title?!
nutschell
www.thewritingnut.com

Gabrielle Evelyn said...

Looking forward to the Fright Night.



karen millen sales

tfwalsh said...

Oh I can't wait for Fright Night... the original was quite funny. Am curious to see what this will be like. Conan the barbarian looks good - loved the original flick.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nutschell, that's the name of the comic it's based on.

Life 101 said...

Dang you stay busy. My wife and I don't go to the movie's that often and I don't know why. We love going.
We did just see the Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts movie recently.
I hit kind of close to home with the job thang even though I did have some say in how mine went down :)

Good blog.

Jai Joshi said...

I've been in lust with Jason Momoa since Game of Thrones so I can't wait to watch Conan the Barbarian.

As for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, it was bound to be terrible. Even James Franco was cussing it and he's the star.

Jai

Helen Ginger said...

I want to go see Cowboys and Aliens, but I'm the only one in my family who does. Humbug.

Don't think of it as six months to Panic. It's six months to Prepare and Promote.

Tessa Conte said...

Hey Alex,

out of that choice there I've only seen priest and it had some definite echos of other movies (I think they borrowed the bikes from the Tron set...). It's ok (but then I love Paul Bettany so I'm prejudiced), but not brilliant. Kinda like Legion that way...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Life, I haven't seen that one. We're just movie junkies in our house.

Jai, that is never a good sign. I've thought Momoa was cool since Stargate Atlantis.

Helen, I will try to maintain that attitude.

Tessa, they had to do something with those extra prop pieces, right?

Julie Musil said...

Alex, my iPhone is more than I can handle! Give me any more technology, and I'll implode.

I agree with you about Rio. I took my 11 year olds to see it and was surprised.

And your cover is AWESOME! Holy cow, your release date will be here before you know it.

Clarissa Draper said...

I think I know how a transporter works because I've seen it on TV. I saw it happen a lot on Star Trek. ;) Hope you have fun at the movies.

ali said...

I agree on the Plante ... I really think they needed to spare no expense with the CGI but they really seem to have failed on that one.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Julie, thanks - and yes it will be here sooner than I'm ready.

Clarissa - clever girl!

Ali, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way.

Katherines Corner said...

Looking forward to the rise of the planet of the apes. Will have to wait for the dvd though. But still very excited. Lets make sure your new book is on the book list at Katherines Corner in Feb sweet friend. hugs!!

Chris Phillips said...

I have the same problem with Planet of the Apes. I don't care how big the San Fransisco Zoo is.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Jason Momoa is gonna be a sexy Conan!

SharleneT said...

Gotta have technology! Don't really want the nuts and bolts in my stories but I can skip through it so that those who love it can get their techno fix... 8-) Just saw Cowboys & Aliens and loved it. Read both good and bad reviews and decided it's a personal thing. I went to be entertained and was 100%. Not every movie has to have deep messages, etc. Go see it. It's great fun.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Katherine, I appreciate that!

Chris, my thoughts exactly! Good to hear from you.

Sharlene, glad you enjoyed it! I thought it was great. Posting my review tomorrow.

Cheeseboy said...

I like James Franco, but I do have to question his recent choices in roles.

li said...

Well, at least it wasn't scheduled on a leap day. :-)
As for tech, I had to have my son come and "fix" the sound system. All because I pressed the wrong button on my remote.

Andrew said...

Alex -- You ever hear of Tech TV, Revision 3, or Twit.tv???
As a technology freak myself, I love em all (even though Tech TV folded years ago).

In fact, I'm listening to a podcast on www.twit.tv right now. Check it out!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Li, you sound like my wife!

Andrew of course I remember Tech TV. I'm a certified G4 geek now.

Empty Nest Insider said...

Cowboys and Aliens and The Planet Of The Apes movie are both supposed to be huge summer blockbusters. I'm anxious to know what you thought of C & A. Congrats on your new release date! Julie

Madeleine said...

Great comments you make. I agree with you about the planet of the apes one. :O)

Ellie Garratt said...

I can't wait for Cowboys and Aliens! It's going to be amazing.

What you said about saying just enough to make technology plausible is spot on in my opinion. Anything more is information overload.

Ellie Garratt

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks Empty Nest - posted my review today.

Ellie, that's how I see it - overload.

Pat Tillett said...

I'm finding that I'm going to movies less and less and just watching them at home. I'll probably see all of these but Rio and I may be forced by children to see it as well!
Thanks Alex!

Ty said...

Conan and Fright Night look like a lot of fun!