Monday, August 29, 2011

Movie Reviews, Blogging Tips, and Giveaway

And not necessarily in that order…

First, I have a short guest post and giveaway over at The Electrical Book Cafe that went live on Saturday – and you could win a copy of CassaStar!

For blogging tips, I have the honor of appearing at The Ramblings of Amy today, giving you my best guess as to what works.

Before you go, two quick movie reviews and a question!

Fright Night
This remake takes the story and makes it its own without insulting the original material. It retains the charm and camp, with a few surprises. I very much liked the new Peter Vincent – he was incredibly different and very funny. Wish he’d had more screen time. While it’s a fine movie and a good remake, I’ve seen it all before. The original was so fresh in 1985 and it’s still superior.

Unknown
It wasn’t a bad movie, but it starts off with a couple scenarios I just don’t buy – which means I didn’t buy most of the film. Leaving the briefcase (Neeson’s character just wouldn't do it), jumping into the cab without telling his wife, Jones as Neeson’s wife in the first place… Ganz’s character is supposed to help Neeson, but he never actually does that, and Langella’s role was small and a waste. Forgettable overall.

Be sure to visit The Electrical Book Cafe to win a book and The Ramblings of Amy for blogging tips!

Which leads to my parting question – what would you offer as a blogging tip?

Oh, and did anyone else see the naked guy on the Weather Channel Saturday? His parents must be so proud...

109 comments:

Ting Kubby said...

Agreed the original fright night is a classic, i will still check the remake though.

Ricky said...

Not sure about the new Fright Night but might give it a chance. Unknown was rubbish, I knew the "twist" as the trailer gave it away!

Anne Gallagher said...

I'm sorry I missed the naked guy. heheheh

I'd offer this as a blogging tip -- always spellcheck your posts before you hit publish. There's nothing worse than a writer who can't spell.

I'm back!!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ting, the remake is good.

Ricky, that's a fair assessment of Unknown!

Anne, glad you are back!

Talli Roland said...

I'm headed over to Amy's!

Anne, hehe! I'm the worst for typos.

Will Burke said...

I'm sorry that Liam Neeson was in such a bust. I've got a soft spot for my favorite Jedi.
Anne & Tali: I think that poor spelling is an epidemis with writers. Ask around, 'cause I've heard over and over, and when I tease poor spellers that "they must be writers," they're either confused, or thinking I'm being ironicly insulting.

Isis Rushdan said...

I had the exact same issues with Unknown, especially Jones being his wife in the first place. Come on.

Still need to check out Fright Night. Happy to see a + review.

Rusty Webb said...

Fright Night was fantastic all those years ago when it came out. I've been reluctant to see the new one because I don't know how I could not be upset if I didn't like it. I think I'll wait to see it.

A blogging tip from me: don't follow any of my advice.

GigglesandGuns said...

I'm not big on remakes if I liked the originals Probably won't be checking these out.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

My husband mentioned the Weather Channel guy...I must have been out running errands. Thanks for the reviews!

Journaling Woman said...

I like your honesty in your reviews. Your kind, but honest.

Ciara said...

Great stuff. I stopped at both blogs. :) Have a great day, Alex.

Christine Rains said...

A naked guy on the Weather Channel? Dang, I missed it. I want to see Fright Night particularly for David Tennant. Another one I must wait until DVD for. I have The Warrior's Way from Netflix now. Hopefully that will be worth the wait.

Jemi Fraser said...

I've been hearing about this naked guy, but he didn't show up on the Canadian weather channel! :)

Yesterday I tried visiting the cafe, but blogger wouldn't let me comment - I'll try again.

My blogging tip would be to have fun with it :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Will, once in a while one slips past me, but I really try to avoid the typos.

Isis, she could've been his daughter!

Rusty, they did a good job with the movie, but it's still not the original.

Elizabeth, I saw it live! It was all over YouTube until they yanked it.

Journaling, except for SyFy movies, I hate to bash.

Christine, Tennant was the best part of the movie.

Jemi, that's the best advice!

salarsenッ said...

I am thrilled to hear that Fright Night wasn't a disaster. I was a huge fan of the original, back when I was...yeah, let's leave it at that. :) Now I'll have to go see it.

Laura said...

hmm ... blogging tip... a week in blogland = more like a month real time, so make sure you do the rounds at least once a week as things move so fast...
Lxxx

Old Kitty said...

Sorry, but did I read naked guy? Weather channel? Naked guy?

Guy? Naked? Naked guy?

Off I go! Take care
x

Tonja said...

Wow - two guest posts in one day! I can't watch scary movies anymore - I overdosed on horror movies in the 80's.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Again good film reviews, I feel robbed of not seeing that naked man Alex.

Have a good day.
Yvonne.

Karen Lange said...

Blogging tip? Good question. I'd say be consistent and be real, and visit others' blogs. You reap what you sow. Sorry, more than one tip...:P

Thanks for the links. Happy Monday!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

I loved the first Fright Night. Chris Sarandon was a sexy vampire.

L'Aussie said...

Naked guy on the Weather Channel? You guys sure take your weather seriously! D

DL Hammons said...

I didn't want to like the FRIGHT NIGHT remake because I love the original so much...but I did like it. It left quite a few logic holes open, but I admired the way they adapted Charlie's character.

L.G.Smith said...

Haven't jumped over to the other posts yet, but I would say one of the best blogging tips is to enjoy interacting with the people who visit your blog. Take the time to get to know who they are. It's about making friends.

Matthew MacNish said...

I love that you spend your time watching skippable movies so we don't have to! Thanks, Alex.

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

are you planning on seeing Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark? I really want to see it since i love movies with actual monsters.
Also, we ended up seeing Planet of the Apes this weekend and really enjoyed it. Any issues i had were based purely on biological issues they took liberties with (regarding the chimps) but i was quite aware that was me just being a bio nerd

iZombie said...

fright night was that one movie that had charm, humor, style... not that weren't more... this is the one i remember and for me to support the remake-ish would be wrong. though i have heard mixed feelings, so i will wait until it hits cinemax.

Dafeenah said...

Naked guy on the weather channel? Now that is fright night. I never saw the movie but your review has intrigued me I just might have to watch it this weekend. My blogging tip: ask someone who knows what they are doing (anyone but me) for blogging tips lol

julie fedderson said...

I had these intensely intelligent things to say about blogging tips and then someone said naked. . .
Be yourself. It worked in kindergarten, and it still works. I like to see someone's personality through their blog.

Rhonda @Laugh Quotes said...

I don't think we get the weather channel, so I missed the naked guy.

I am off to see Amy now.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks for the review of Unknown - was going to watch that - now I won't waste my time. Blogging tip - hmm, be kind and respectful and keep up your visits to other blogs.
Karen

Carol Kilgore said...

You're everywhere :) I heard about the naked guy but didn't see him. Darn! I liked Unknown.

Summer Ross said...

I don't watch the news or keep up with it usually. So no to the naked guy. I have yet to see either of these two movies. However I did take a date night with my guy out to Captain America and was very much unimpressed.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Salarsen, yeah, I'm not saying when either...

Kitty, you might still be able to find it online, but most of the YouTube videos have been yanked.

Yvonne, and I wish I hadn't seen him!

Karen, more tips are better than none.

DL, it was better than I expected,

LG, exactly!

Matthew, my public service to you!

Sarah, not sure if I'll see it or not.

Jeremy, they respected the original and created a good movie.

Dafeenah, I'm sure that's not true.

Julie, good tip and sorry the naked thing distracted you.

Karen, sorry, I was unimpressed with Unknown. Should've been better.

A.M. Swan said...

Though I am not a Colin Farrel (sp?) fan, I think he might make a good vampire - so I may see Fright Night - though it can't be as campy as the original. Blogging tips? I don't know, but I need some. While twitter seems to agree with me, I am lacking in the blog followers, so I'll be checking back to find out more. Though interracting with and following others is a good start of course

Lola Sharp said...

I loved the original Fright Night...and I was prepared to hate the new one, but went to see it because, well, Colin Farrell. And...I liked it. But, yanno, Colin Farrell. :D

Have a wonderful week,
Lola

Doralynn Kennedy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Doralynn Kennedy said...

Fortunately, I missed the naked guy... hopefully he wasn't my son. I watched Unknown, but didn't even remember what movie it was until you described it, so I guess it was forgettable. Though at the time I enjoyed it. I watched all of it. I can't say that about everything I check out from Netflix.

Blogging tips? The thing that helped me most was soaking up what successful bloggers were doing - like you and Clarissa Draper. And deciding I could do this. I had such a huge mental block to get over. If I can chip mine down to where it's manageable, then others can too. Another tip would be to break things down into manageable chunks. Write the post when you have time... on something that interests you... and then schedule it for when you want it to appear. That way, it will still post even if you aren't there to post it on time.

Laila Knight said...

I haven't seen the New Fright Night yet but am looking forward to it. I liked Unknown...the ending caught me by surprise. What? There was a naked guy on the weather channel? And I missed it? :)

Clarissa Draper said...

Cool stuff. I actually liked the tip you gave the other day about the blog roll. I'll check out your others.

Suze said...

Heading over to the Ramblings of Amy to hear what you have to say, ace blogger.

msmariah said...

I really enjoyed Fright Night. It was a lot of fun to watch. I was surprised at how much I liked it. The original of course is still the best.

I haven't seen Unknown yet. I don't really care for January Jones.

Amy said...

Great movie reviews Alex, I have to agree with you about both of them!

Thank you for being a guest on my blog today! :)

Copyboy said...

I have a sneaking suspicion this movie season is going to be meh.

Sarah Pearson said...

I haven't seen the original Fright Night so I'm really looking forward to the remake, and not just for David Tennant.

I was very disappointed with Unknown, plot holes you could drive a bus through, a twist that was obvious early on and a main character that was pretty much a rehash of that other film Liam Neeson is in when he has to rescue his daughter (I'm sorry, I forget the name).

My only blogging tip is to follow others - but make sure you enjoy what they write. Don't follow them for the sake of getting them to look at your blog.

Tara said...

I'm here to scoop up links to your blogfest and Support Group. :-) They'll be on my sidebar soon. Good luck with both!

Charles Gramlich said...

Glad to hear the new Fright Night is good. I'll probably watch it

Leovi said...

I've seen "UNKNOWN" and you're absolutely right, there are some inconsistencies that cloud the picture. Admittedly, Liam Neeson is a great actor.

Wendy Tyler Ryan said...

Haven't seen Fright Night yet.

Unknown had the right idea, they just didn't quite deliver.

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, that makes me sad. I like an excuse to watch Neeson and you didn't give me one *sigh*

Kids might like Fright Night--they both like scary. I sometimes do... campy is good, but it's not a genre I go looking for.

Mark Noce said...

Hmm, thanks for the tips on the movies. I like Liam Neesom, but his last few films have been strike-outs for me, thanks:)

Nicki Elson said...

Dang, I missed Naked guy. Yeah, I didn't really get why anyone felt a need to remake Fright Night---what's there to improve on?

Michael Offutt said...

Fright Night was so good. I saw it this weekend.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

AM, that's the best way to start. And Farrell was a convincing vampire.

Doralynn, I think you've caught on well. And I preschedule all of my posts, just in case.

Laila, there was!

MsMariah, the original still has it beat.

Thank YOU, Amy!

Copyboy, I just prepared the Spetember movie preview post - it's lame, trust me!

Sarah, you mean Taken? Yeah, the characters were similar.

Thank you, Tara!

Charles, they did some unique twists.

Leovi, he is, so hopefully his next movie is better.

Nicki, absolutely nothing!

Christa said...

The best blogging tip I've ever gotten is be consistent with blogging and commenting on other's blogs:)

David Powers King said...

Hi, Alex! Thanks for visiting my blog!

I remember seeing your book at CONduit, I think. And now there's another coming? Exciting!

I gave you a Shout-Out today! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

Thanks for the reviews!

Blog about what interests you, and don't worry about deviating from time to time from a set subject.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Christa, that's what I try to do.

David, thanks! Really, you saw my book there?

Kelly said...

I was wondering about the Fright Night remake... I can't remember if I saw the original! Probably not as I was too young for it then if it was R.
You do a fine job with your blog, going over to see your tips!

M Pax said...

Glad you got through Irene OK, Alex.

A tip ... Be yourself, be generous and do some posts which appeal to your future / current readers. Don't be clic-y.

GYPSYWOMAN said...

ok, first things first - first, i have this thing for liam - always have had - before anyone else even knew who he was let alone how to correctly pronounce his beautiful name - let me just say, if he's in it, it's great [for me]! ;) there's no "unknown" there for me - ok - so now my digressing is done on liam - and langella? fabulous too but hate to see him in wasted roles not doing him justice and he's had a few of those but i watch for him, for his persona, and not necessarily the film's version of him or any other actor - anyway - in terms of fright night - fantastic first take - now for this take - thanks for the clip on both -

on blogging - tips or whatever - i've not tips really - i can just say that the ones i enjoy most are those that ring of the creator's SELF - of the meat of them - i'm not personally interested in how many flushes their toilet makes a day so subject matter in most cases is of interest to me - now, that's just me -

and of the silly boy who had to expose himself - i blinked and missed - hohummmmmmm -

M.J. Fifield said...

I agree that Unknown was definitely a forgettable film. I prefer Liam in the movie Taken.

I missed the naked guy on the Weather Channel. After all the time I've spent watch TWC lately, I can't believe it.

Christina Williams said...

I'm so glad I read your review and everyone's comments before I wasted my time seeing Unknown. And what is this about a naked weatherman? I missed that! Darn it!
And blogging tips...oh boy, well I give a LOT at The Blog Entourage so to narrow it down is hard. Most of all bloggers should write about what they love and write authentically.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Kelly!

Mary, as in, don't just hang out with the popular kids?

Gypsy, I promise never to talk about my toilet here!

MJ, he was on live mid-Saturday afternoon. They were reporting from Virginia Beach I think.

Christina, that's when I found my groove - when I started talking about what I enjoy.

Pam said...

Enjoyed your post over at The Electrical Book Cafe. Enjoyed your perspectives on writing the books.
And thanks for the movie reviews. A remake is always a risk in my opinion--rarely do they excel over (or even come close to matching) the original.
Pam at www.2encourage.blogspot.com

Marlena Cassidy said...

I figured out Unknown halfway through the film and hated January Jones in it. Her face just screamed 'I have a secret!'

I liked Fright Night a bit better, just saw it last night. The music was fun, and even if Charlie reminded me of someone I detest, he was pretty cool. The 3D sucked though.

Powdered Toast Man said...

Blogging tip #68: Attract attention to yourself by being naked on the news.

Jules said...

DANG! Missed the naked guy but I saw the girl who threw the mike and the camera man and screamed, "I'm outta here!"

OBX is like remapped!
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Caledonia Lass said...

Fright Night was awesome campy fun. I love that movie. :D
I'll be heading over to those two blogs in a moment!
As for blogging tips? Well, if you want people to follow you, you have to have your "follow" button on the sidebar and easily accessible. I absolutely hate having to look for it. That's just me.

Lydia K said...

I saw the clip. It was so funny that the reporter had no idea.

Fright Night looks great! Too bad I'm too wimpy to see it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I missed the naked guy. Most of my blogging tips I learned from you and a few other blogger friends. Not having the verification letters is huge. I hate doing that when I visit blogs.

Jeffrey Beesler said...

My advice for blogging is just to interact with your audience. Make them feel important and especially appreciated. You'll definitely not regret doing so.

Tara Tyler said...

entry #73 here
went to your guest post and thanks for the reviews =)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pam, thanks! And it's rare a remake is better than the original, although Rise of the Planet of the Apes was better than the original Conquest of the Planet of the Apes.

Marlena, I didn't see it in 3D, although I could tell where it fit in.

PTM - works for some people, doesn't it?

Jules, I missed that! I know, Hatteras is a mess, Duck is underwater...

Mel, lately I'm surprised how many people don't even have one.

Lydia, he didn't, did he? And the guys in the studio played it cool, and you KNOW they had to see that guy.

Jeffrey, no you won't!

Thanks, Tara!

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Blogger tip: Just keep going.
Now to check out those links. Thanks, Alex.

Also, I've just started Cassa Star and, of course, I love it and Byron.
xoRobyn

Stephen Tremp said...

That might have been funny at one time in my life, but watching that knucklehead was disturbing. Just not funny any more. Thanks for the review of Unknown. I like Neeson, but if I'm shelling out good $$$ for a movie ticket and over priced nachos with synthetic cheese, then the movie had better rock!

li said...

Naked guy? You mean it was so windy his clothes got blown off? That's terrible! :-)

Blogging tip: please, oh please, leave a link when you comment or make sure the link to your blog is in your profile. Don't make me hunt you down to return the favor.

The Man-Cave said...

Cool Alex. I have been bouncing back and forth over the fence since I heard about the FN remake. Reviews have been great but I'm still skeptical. I was really worried about the new Peter Vincent, but liked what you had to say. I'll get it on DVD because my money is already spent on Shark Night 3D this weekend!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Robyn, I'm so relieved!!!

Stephen, the young and the stupid! Yeah, Unknown was disappointing.

Lisa, I wish every follower left a comment, because some of those icons don't link to a blog. And no, he was naked on purpose.

Geof, Tennant makes the movie. And besides the gore, he's the reason it's rated R!

Pat Tillett said...

I'm catching up here, so I'll go right to the blogging tips.
1. DON'T USE WORD VERIFICATION.
2. DON'T HAVE ANY MUSIC ON AUTOPLAY
3. USE A "POP-UP" BOX FOR READER COMMENTS.
In other words, make it easy for people to read and comment on blog posts.
Sorry for yelling...

Patricia Stoltey said...

Darn it! The last naked guy I saw (not counting my husband and the actors in the Rome mini-series) was a streaker on the Ball State University campus about 1973.

My blogging tip is to keep posts relatively short, or at least break them up into separate topics so readers can pick and choose what to read in a short amount of time. Like the way you do it, Alex.

Donna K. Weaver said...

Be real. Or to quote Popeye: I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam.

tfwalsh said...

Can't wait till fright knight comes out here in Australia - am dying to see it.

Jo Schaffer said...

If I didn't LOVE Neeson that movie would have sucked.

Empty Nest Insider said...

I haven't seen the naked guy or any of the movies that you mentioned. I need to get out more. Julie

Jamie (Mithril Wisdom) said...

I'm looking forward to Fright Night - the original was one of those 'so bad, its good' deals, so this will be a breath of fresh air. Plus, having Tennant in Roddy McDowell's shoes will be a sight to see :)

Theres just life said...

Alex, I enjoyed your guest post. I agree with you on the first Fright Night is was very fresh and different when it came out. I use to manage a video store and love movies.
And no I don't have TV back here in the woods so I missed the naked guy.

sue said...

Blogging tip - don't cry yourself to sleep if no one comments, you have to start somewhere and it's not going to be at the top. Keep at it, and write the best you possibly can about things that interest you.

Leovi said...

My favorite scary movies are the psychological horror or implied.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, I agree - make it easy to comment!

Thanks, Patricia.

Donna, yams are also good at Thanksgiving.

Jamie, you'll enjoy it. I really liked the first one though.

Theres, sorry you missed him.

Tha's right Sue - there's no crying in blogging.

Sue R (Lauracea) said...

Ha ha, cry yourself to sleep if no-one comments LOL. But you can ALWAYS count on Alex. He's a great supporter :) X

Michael Di Gesu said...

Thanks for the reviews Alex... And we can all certainly use blogging tips. I still don't know how you visit so many in a day.....

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Hi, Alex! A blogging tip? Er, not to post too long of a post and leave comments so that the blogger feels loved. <3 <3 <3 <3

;)


♥.•*¨Elizabeth¨*•.♥
Can Alex save Winter from the darkness that hunts her?
YA Paranormal Romance, Darkspell coming fall of 2011!

Sangu said...

Thanks for the reviews, Alex! Am off to see your other posts now.

I am LOL-ing over this naked Weather Channel guy thing. Must look it up!

p.m.terrell said...

Truly enjoyed your blogs today, Alex! I have a couple of questions - tried to leave them at Amy's site but it wasn't working... How much time do you typically spend on blogging each day? Not only writing/ posting your blog but following up on all the comments PLUS visiting others' blogs? How do you manage to fit it into your schedule? Thanks! Just trying to learn from a pro...

Ciara said...

Alex - I just wanted to let you know that I did a shout out for the Insecure Writer's Support Group today on my blog. I hope it is okay that I used the image. If not, let me know and I'll remove it. :)

Liz Fichera said...

A naked guy on the Weather Channel?! Was that the same guy who was deluged with toxic sluge as he reported by the raging ocean? Jeez...

I think UNKNOWN is in our queue to watch. It seems very similar to the one he was in when he had to rescue his abducted daughter.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Sue!

Michael, Ninja skills.

Elizabeth, I like that!

Sangu, I bet you can still find it somewhere.

Patricia, anywhere from three to five hours. I get to blog from work, which helps!

Ciara, thank you! And anyone can post the image.

Liz, similar in feel.

Elana Johnson said...

I didn't see that guy, but I've heard all about him! Too funny. And I haven't heard about either of these movies! I did like Liam Neeson in that one about his daughter that gets taken. Is it called TAKEN? It might be...

Theres just life said...

Alex, Just checked out Youtube the naked guy is on there. So I have now seen him. The idiot, I hope his parents didn't see that, or worse his grandparents.

Pamela Jo

Monti said...

I've never visited a blog with well over 100 comments! Congratulations.

Monti

NotesAlongTheWay

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Elana, you are correct - Taken.

Pamela, that was my first thought.

Monti, thanks. That seems to be my average these days...

Lynda R Young said...

Ha, Unknown was the movie I refered to in my post last week about the need for plausibility (I hadn't named it, though).

Ella said...

I loved the original Fright Night, so I'm pretty sure it won't live up to my expectations~ Remakes bother me; can't we come up with something new?!

Naked guy on the Weather Channel...I missed that, lol~

I visited Rambling Amy...Congrats!

ali cross said...

I need to do better at responding to comments ON my blog. I always email back/visit their blogs, but ... yeah. I can see how it would feel more friendly if i responded in the comment trail.

I loved how you said that blogging should be fun. ITA with that!

Karen Peterson said...

I kind of wish I'd gone to the free screening of Fright Night when I had the chance. I've heard pretty decent things about it.

Unknown sounds about like I expected.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lynda, it needed some!

Ella, this one was good, just not as fresh.

Karen, bummer you missed it!

TerryLynnJohnson said...

yup, I was pretty disappointed that he left the brief case. I ranted about that for a while. No way.
thanks for the other reviews!