Monday, January 5, 2015

The Hobbit and Ragnarok Movie Reviews, Movie Inspiration with Stephanie Faris, Top Films of 2014, Blogger Issues, and Ninja News

Welcome to 2015! I enjoyed my holiday break (so did Mini-Alex) but it’s good to be back. 


To kick off the first post of the year with some movie inspiration, please welcome the talented and beautiful Stephanie Faris!

Inspired by the Movies

I used to write romance. My specialty was the fun romantic comedies that were popular in the 90s and early 00s but seem to have fallen out of favor in recent years. Except one place. Hallmark’s cheesy movies.

I have to admit, I’m a sucker for those movies. Before Christmas, I discovered a wealth of Hallmark movies on YouTube and indulged in day-long marathons while I worked. I realized something as I was enjoying one sweet romance after another: romantic comedy heroines have quite a bit in common with the young girls in my middle grade novels. They’re spunky, idealistic, and they want to make a difference in the world.

Some writers are inspired to write by the latest superhero blockbuster or dystopian teen angst story, but not me. I’m inspired by idealistic women who have their flaws but always mean well. Think Meg Ryan in just about every movie she did in the 90s. Or Kate Hudson in her romantic comedies of the early 00s. We fall in love with them because they aren’t perfect. We fall in love with them because we can relate.

So if you cringe every time Hallmark advertises its 25 Days of Christmas or you’re thankful every day Julia Roberts and Jennifer Aniston are now too old to play quirky young women, you might not like 25 Roses. Although my main character Mia does have a bit of Robin Hood in her—giving chocolate roses to the kids in her school who never receive them on Valentine’s Day. Everyone loves Robin Hood, right?

Find Stephanie at her Blog, Twitter, and Website
25 Roses comes out January 6 – find it on Amazon

Ninja News

This Wednesday, we invite all Insecure Writer’s Support Group members (Bloggers and Facebook members) to post an introduction of yourself. Include it with your regular IWSG post (please keep it to one hundred words or less) or post it Wednesday when prompted at the Facebook IWSG.

Dragon of the Stars is on two new lists at Goodreads - Can’t Wait Sci-Fi and Fantasy of 2015 and Excellent Space Opera. So if you’re looking forward to it or you’ve read and enjoyed it, please hop over and vote. Thanks!


You might not know this, but Trisha @ Words and Stuff is a singer and you can hear her on Rotting Apples’ new album, The Falling Sound.

New Books

Fight the Greek Bite by Pat Hatt

Across the Ages by RaShelle Workman

Shallow Waters by Rebecca Bradley
Her first - congratulations, Rebecca!
Grudge by JL Campbell




Blogger

Recent changes with Blogger have resulted in a new annoying feature–the I Am Not A Robot button. It appears you can now turn off Captcha (check–many of you still have it on) but that button is always there. I’m not a fan of the embedded comment box (because I have to keep scrolling up and down, answering comments) but it’s the only one without that annoying button.

And speaking of comments–did you know that once you hit two hundred, that’s all that appears on the page? You have to either show the next batch (with a pop-up comment box) or Show More (with embedded) to see the rest. So your comments on my last post weren’t eaten–they were just hidden.

Movie Reviews

The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies
The movie wasn’t necessary, but I’m happy with any chance to return to Peter Jackson’s vision of Middle Earth! No, this will not be an unbiased review. I loved the first five Middle Earth films, and I loved this one.
The movie showcases what Jackson does best. The one battle encompasses most of the movie and it’s spectacular. Plus we are so invested in the characters at this point and really care what happens to them.
It’s a bittersweet ending for several reasons, including the fact it’s the last venture into Middle Earth.
Highly recommended!

Ragnarok
This Finnish film is what I’d call a hidden gem. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, but it’s done really well.
Set against the backdrop of Viking mythology, the film begins with a quest that that takes a turn for the worse.
The scenery and cinematography are stunning. The acting is solid and the special effects are also very good, especially considering the tiny budget.
A ‘Watch Now’ on NetFlix, with subtitles.
Recommended.


My Favorite Movies of 2014

There were some excellent films last year, especially in the superhero category. Here are my top favorite movies of 2014 and their grosses:


1 – Guardians of the Galaxy (Currently $773 million dollars worldwide)
2 – Captain America: The Winter Soldier ($714 million worldwide)
3 – X-Men: Days of Future Past ($746 million worldwide)
4 – Edge of Tomorrow ($369 million worldwide)
5 – The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (Currently $723 million worldwide)
6 – Godzilla ($525 million worldwide)
7 – Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ($708 million worldwide)

Sadly, Guardians was not the highest grossing film of 2014. For reasons unknown, Transformers: Age of Extinction made $1.087 billion dollars worldwide. Go figure!

What were your favorite films?

Did everyone have a good Christmas and New Year’s? What movies inspire you? Picking up some new books? Annoyed with Blogger? Have you seen the last Hobbit film or Ragnarok? And what were your favorite films of 2014?

152 comments:

Ray Rousell said...

Not heard of Ragnorak, but I'll be looking out for that one, that's right up my street!!! I'm ashamed to say I've only seen 1 of your top 2014 10, I blame the Mrs, she's not a Sci-Fi fan and I can't go to the cinema on my own, can I???
Have a great 2015 Alex!!!!

L.G. Keltner said...

Unfortunately I didn't get to the theater a lot this past year. It's hard to find the time, but I'm hoping I can pull it off more often in 2015. I had a good Christmas. New Years would have been better if my husband hadn't gotten sick, but oh well. He's feeling better now. Glad to see you back!

Elephant's Child said...

Great to see you back - attracting and promoting talent as only you can do. I am very glad that you (and Mini Alex) had an excellent break.

Dixie@dcrelief said...

@Alex - welcome back! Hope to see The Hobbit this month.
@Stephanie - I love Hallmark's cheesy movies too, Meg Ryan, Kate Hudson, and chocolate!
@Trish - "Poppy Seeds" really jams!
@Blogger - it annoys me anyway, and I hate Google plus!

ediFanoB said...

For me your comment on "The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies" hit the bull's eye.
My wife and I enjoyed this bittersweet last visit to Middle Earth.
Voted immediately on the two GOODREADS lists.

Days off between Christmas and New Year have been too short. Beside our back problems my wife and I have had a good time with reading books and playing again one of the video games we love most: SKYRIM
We own a copy of the standard PS3 version. But we wanted also to play the three additional extension. Therefore we bought the SKYRIM Legendary edition for PS3 and it is awesome!

Rhonda Albom said...

Welcome back Alex. Glad you enjoyed your break. I am on wordpress. As for the that new tick box, I prefer it to captcha. As for movies, I can't think of a single new one I really loved in 2014 - I am sure there were plenty of them, but they would be comedies.

Vanessa Morgan said...

Happy New Year, Alex!

Some of my favorite movies of the year were White God, Nightcrawler, The Double, The Guest, Lost River, and It Follows. And my own horror stories are mainly inspired by horror movies from the seventies and eighties.

I'll go to Goodreads to vote now ;-)

Empty Nest Insider said...

Welcome back Alex! Glad you enjoyed your break! I love the idea of Stephanie's character giving out chocolate roses! We recently saw Unbroken and Foxcatcher, and were sadly disappointed. Congrats to all the authors! I'll vote for you tomorrow, Alex! Happy New Year to you, and your wife!

Julie

Francis Lee said...

Happy New Year Alex!

Francis Lee said...

I've seen the list but Godzilla was very poor, the last Hobbit movie was good but 3 movies was marketing greed.

Medeia Sharif said...

I had to put on embedded comments, which I'm not a fan of.

Welcome back!

Grudge is on my Kindle right now and Stephanie's book should arrive tomorrow since I pre-ordered it.

I'll go vote.

rolandclarke.com said...

Happy New Year, Alex and the Ninja Army. The Hobbit is a must for me - having been hooked by all Peter Jackson's Middle Earth films so far... in fact been a Jackson fan since Heavenly Creatures. Ragnarok sounds must see too. Problem though is finding a cinema where wheelchair access is not under the screen. So will be Blue-ray viewing as always,

Zoltán Gecse said...

Happy New Year, Alex!

I have the same feeling with the 3rd Hobbit movie. It was completely unnecessary, but fun and entertaining.

Yolanda Renee said...

Welcome back! Gosh I have a few movies to see, no make that quite a few movies to see. :)

Love the new books and am so looking forward to this New Year!

Huntress said...

So many movies. So little time.
For once, my post for IWSG is ready but an intro looks like a great idea.
Congrats on Dragon! And to Stephanie.

Emma Adams said...

Happy New Year! I really enjoyed the last Hobbit movie, too. I've seen most of the movies on your top list, too - loved Guardians and the newest X-Men film. Hope you had a great holiday break!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Happy New Year! I really want to see The Hobbit. So glad you liked it. And I'll have to check out Ragnarok too.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congrats to Stephanie. I was so happy to get my husband to see the new Hobbit movie and even though the fight scenes were overdone, I loved it!!! I'm a Hobbit Fan! Did you happen to see Smaug on the Colbert Show? It was awesome! I better get to work on my post for IWSG.

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I saw The Hobbit, too! (Rare that I see a movie in the theater.) I agree...good movie. 25 Roses sounds like a fun book...great cover, too. And...Blogger. I used to cringe when they'd do their "updates."

Diane Carlisle said...

I'm a sucker for the old 80s Harlequins so I'm with you on the cheesy note. I like to make fun of my romantic side, somebody has to do it! :)

Congrats on your upcoming release, Stephanie.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ray, go to the theater on your own then. And you will really dig Ragnarok.
Fran, it was greed. But I enjoyed them and didn't care!

Sandra Almazan said...

Welcome back, Alex!

Stephanie, Mia sounds like a great character.

I've joined the IWSG on Facebook, so I'll be posting an introduction on Wednesday.

Li said...

Happy New Year Alex! I saw the Theory Of Everything about Stephen Hawking. I enjoyed it, but being a science geek was a little disappointed that more time was not spent on his groundbreaking work. I also saw the Imitation Game, which I loved. It was the right balance of history and character exploration IMHO. It's about time that more people learned the story of Enigma and the codebreakers of Bletchley, as well as the horrendous choices that "outed" homosexuals faced in that time period.
I also saw the Hobbit - the battle scenes were spectacular.

Stephanie Faris said...

I had SO much fun writing this one. I already miss those Hallmark movies!

I hate captchas, too--in some cases, all we have to do is check the box. In some, you have to enter a number. I'm a fan of the one where we just check the box--it saves us a step. But when we have to check the box AND enter a number, now we just have an extra step!

I'm tweeting this one next--trying to space my tweets out every two hours today to get maximum exposure for everyone.

cleemckenzie said...

Congrats on being on those lists! And congrats to all the authors with new books launching. Stephanie is talented and so pretty. Is that fair, I ask?

I almost got to see the new Hobbit, then came down with the flu! Rats. Happy New Year.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

LG, sorry your husband was sick.

Dixie - what you said!

Edi, thanks. And Skyrim is an awesome game.

Vanessa, thanks!

Medeia, thanks, and don't like the embedded.

Roland, been a fan of his since Dead Alive.

Cathrina, I missed that!

Sandra, awesome.

Stephanie, happy to host you today!

Hart Johnson said...

Congrats on making your lists--went and voted--won't be long before you move to the next page up, methinks... I don't feel like I see enough movies to have opinions on favorites, but Ragnarok does look like something I'd like to see.

Kathryn McKendry said...

Happy New Year! I loved the Guardians of the Galaxy. Congrats to Stephanie, Mia sounds like a fun character!

Stephanie Faris said...

Thank you to everyone--Clee's and Alex's comment about my looks made me smile. I haven't been called pretty in quite a while (a hazard of being in your 40s, I guess!), so I'm smiling quite a bit this morning!!!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I didn't see any of those movies. Did see UNBROKEN and enjoyed it. My husband and I have been re-watching Game of Thrones and loving it. :)

Julie Flanders said...

Glad you and mini-Alex both had a great break and holiday. The new captcha thing is too annoying for words. I also dislike embedded comments but for now I am using them again to get rid of that.
Congrats to Stephanie and all the authors with new releases! Trisha has such a great voice.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

So glad you enjoyed Ragnarok. I thought it was a pretty fun creature feature as well.

Peter Jackson ended The Hobbit with a bang! The battles were all spectacular!

Great list, I must say. Godzilla is the only one from your picks that didn't make my top 10 of 2014. It will most likely end up in my top 20 though.

M.J. Fifield said...

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain America. I think those might have been the only movies I saw this year. Except for the last Hobbit movie. I haven't loved the Hobbit movies as much as LOTR, but I was happy to revisit middle earth.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hart, thanks!

Stephanie, you don't look like you are in your forties.

Julie, maybe they'll fix it.

George, Ragnarok was enjoyable and the final Hobbit film epic!

MJ, I'm going to miss Middle Earth...

Karen Walker said...

My fave movie was Imitation Game, altho' I didn't see it till yesterday. I hate the blogger captcha thingie. Like Stephanie, I love romantic comedies, but they hardly inspire me. Haven't seen a movie in a long time that did. Glad you had a lovely break, Alex.

Jo said...

Not many of us have to worry about more than 200 comments. I bought the first Hobbit movie last week. The Desolation of Smaug. Have watched part of it. Not sure about it. Can't stand subtitles so don't think I will be seeing Ragnarok.

Bob R Milne said...

Oh, no . . . not the dreaded about-yourself bio. As if baring our IWSG souls weren't enough. LOL

Good thing I had to draft one for a guest spot I did last week.

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

I've seen the new robot button. How sad you can't turn it off, but it's not horrible until once you click it you get the captcha on top of it.

Who knew after 200 you go to another "batch".

Congrats Stephanie and all the authors.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

I never have that problem with 200 comments -- never gotten to that point! However this explains why I've seen so many Captchas on blogs that didn't used to have them. I knew Blogger must have re-set things, and I do suspect most bloggers don't know it's on. Great post from Stephanie! I think all MCs should have their flaws and make mistakes, but it seems to be the one thing beta readers (and even editors) pick on. But mistakes make us human and make our characters more realistic.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Meg Ryan did some great movies. I loved When Harry met Sally.

I loved the last Hobbit film. Martin Freeman was a perfect Bilbo.

Christine Rains said...

Great guest post. Congrats to Stephanie! And happy new year to you, Alex. I saw Ragnarok on Netflix just this past weekend. Now I'll put it on the to watch list. My big movie event over Christmas was Big Hero 6. Loved it! And yup, I'm annoyed with Blogger.

DAVID WALSTON said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Ragnarok sounds like it is right up my alley, subtitles and all...
I plan to make a comeback this Wed with my IWSG post.

Beth Ellyn Summer said...

welcome back, Alex! Hope your holidays were amazing. And Stephanie you are not alone. You already know all about my obsession with cheesy tween movies, ha. The higher the cheese factor, the more I'm probably going to love the movie!

Leovi Leovi said...

Spectacular The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies!
Happy 2015 !!

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I've been trying since Catcha came out to stick it in my template code with no success. Though there are other codes that didn't work either, so maybe it's my blog. I'm not sure. But at this stage I don't want to risk starting over. Happy New Year, Alex. Thanks for all the movie news.

Shell Flower said...

I agree with Stephanie that those quirky romantic comedies are awesome, even though a bit cheesy. I basically write that kind of girl, too. 25 Roses sounds like my kind of book. I loved Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, too. Glad you had a great holiday. Mine was pretty good, too, though I only took a couple days off. Ready to rock 2015!

Suzanne Sapsed said...

I only saw GotG from your list, but loved it. I'll catch the Hobbit - all 3 - once they're on DVD, going to the cinema's expensive over here so I've got to really want to see it! x

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Bob, thanks for the really good laugh this morning!!

Holly, and comments max out at five thousand, not that I've ever hit THAT number!

Christine, you'll enjoy Ragnarok.

David! We welcome you back.

Suzanne, set aside a Saturday and enjoy all the Hobbit films at once.

Susan said...

Okay, I definitely want to check out Stephanie's book! I am so out of touch with movies. Was LEGO movie a 2014 release? Since I still have young-ish kiddos, those are the features I usually watch. In fact, I went to Night at the Museum 3 with my ten-year-old this past weekend. The popcorn was good.

Chris Fries said...

Happy New Year, Alex!

@Stephanie -- it sounds like a wonderful story and I wish you tremendous success, but I must confess I'm not your target demographic. ;)

Re: Blogger -- I prefer the "Not a robot" one-click to ANY captcha, and it's better than the "whoops, I wasn't logged in so Blogger ate my comment" annoyance. But I doubt I'll have to worry about the over-200 comment thing on my blog anytime soon.

I'm afraid I haven't yet seen most of the movies you have on your list, but most are on my ever-growing "to be viewed" list.

I hope your 2015 is fabulous!

mail4rosey said...

Happy New Year to you! Happy to 'meet' Stephanie (and yep, I love Robin Hood).

I didn't see the blockbuster movies last year, with very few exceptions. I'd like to see some of them still though, even though it'll be on DVD. I did like Peabody...and Maleficent (be kind, I'm just telling you the truth here). :)

Andrew Leon said...

Battle was horrible. I lost count of the amount of stupid in it even before Smaug was dead.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

52 Roses sounds like my kind of story. Congratulations, Stephanie. Also congrats to all the other new novels out. I haven't seen any of the new movies. I know, I'm a sad case. I've been watching old movies on TV. Happy New Year to all.

Julie Dao said...

I hope you had a great holiday season, Alex! I love Stephanie's guest post: I too am inspired by the "regular" characters, the everyday people we can must relate to. I'm glad you also enjoyed the latest Hobbit movie. I had a BLAST. I'm not sure why so many people have complained about it and panned it, because any trip to Middle Earth is just fine in my books. Sad that there won't be another next year, but there's still hope for the Silmarillion... maybe?

T. Drecker said...

We covered SO many teen romance movies this Christmas thanks to my daughter, so 25 Roses will fit right in the flow. Congrats, Stephanie! Ragnorak sounds good. Have to put that one on my list.

Pat Hatt said...

Yeah stupid arse comments and that stupid arse button is a pain. But it does beat captcha. Knew the thing about the 200 comments, been there. It was funny as people posted 5 comments trying to get it to work lol. I enjoyed some of the cheesy romance movies of the 90's, the ones that were funny. The whiny tear jerker crap, never haha Your top 3 are sure my top 3 for the year to.

Charles Gramlich said...

I was wondering about the "robot" button. irritating.

jmcchesneywrite said...

Sadly, I wasn't able to see a lot of movies this year with the little one at home, but I do agree that I have no idea how Transformers made that much money. I did see that one and kinda wish I had saved the time to watch a different movie. I have eyed Ragnarok, so I'm glad that you say it is pretty good. I'll have to check that one out.

Hope you had a great Holiday Season and looking forward to a great 2015!

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I hadn't heard of Ragnarok so thanks for the recommendation. Good to be reconnecting with you after our blogger breaks, and thanks for the "heads up" on the IWSG thing. I'm already working on my post for Wednesday.

A Beer For The Shower said...

I don't mind scrolling if it means I don't have to ask people if they're robots. That just seems so rude. "You can come into my home, but first prove you aren't a machine impersonating a human. After this I'm going to administer the Turing test."

I loved seeing your top list of movies, because I either loved them or want to see them. With that said, reading that Transformers made $1 billion crushed my soul a little and I have to go cry now.

Annalisa Crawford said...

I saw the top 2 movies of 2014. I don't get out much, but I obviously have good taste when I do... or, at least, I have kids :-)

Great post from Stephanie. I have a secret rom-com addiction, but I hide it well!

Holy Ghost Writer said...

That robot thing is a dumb idea. It is sad when giant robots and Mark "acts the same in everything" Whalberg is the highest grossing film.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations to Stephanie on the release of her book. I have to admit, I watched the Hallmark channel continuously during November and December enjoying all their movies. Congrats to all the others with new books too!

Chrys Fey said...

I've always had an embedded comment box, so these changes don't impact my blog. But when I'm commenting on other blogs I am annoyed by the"I'm not a robot" button. It's quicker to do than the captcha though, but it's a bigger pain when you have to do both!

Congratulations to Stephanie!

I feel so pathetic...I haven't seen a single movie on that list. :\

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm not a chick flick person, and I never watch them voluntarily, but I must admit some of those movies are fun to watch. And a number of the silents I've most enjoyed are what would probably be considered romantic comedies in the modern era, like Clara Bow's It. Not everything is meant to be super-deep and serious.

John Wiswell said...

When you say that this movie is what Jackson does best, do you feel like he was close to his best in Hobbit 1? Because I found the action so shallow and fake in that, far below his Lord of the Rings films. It'd be a useful baseline for me to know if his action improves or whether I should stay away.

Karen Lange said...

It's nice to see Stephanie here! Enjoyed reading her post. Blogger - well, what can you say - they like to make our lives interesting. I am not a super fan of imbedded comments either, but it seems the better option these days. Happy New Year!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, that movie did come out in 2014. And we almost went to see Museum.

Rosie, I still have to watch Maleficent.

Julie - exactly!! Agree a hundred percent.

Pat, it's funny when people keep trying to comment.

Chesney, sorry you saw it...

Brandon and Bryan, go cry in your beers...

Holy Ghost, it is sad.

John, the action definitely improves. Epic battle sequences.

Al Penwasser said...

I've only seen 4 of the 7 movies. I have some work to do.
200 comments? I should be so lucky.

Anne O'Leary said...

I've Ragnorak on the Netflix and I might give that one a go as it's the type of thing I like. I understand why some people like the Hobbit movies, but I won't watch them. If he had named them "Films by Peter Jackson, loosely based on the books by JRR Tolkien" I would. But I can't financially support something I find unethical.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Okay.
Here is the first one of 2015.
Ready?

ALEX!!!!!

:)

Happy New Year! Guardians was my favorite film. We watched it like 5 times since Christmas and the soundtrack is permanently stuck in my head.

Luckily, I got an Amazon GC so I can actually peruse the books you post about and pick a few to own for a change! YEAH!

I've got to go ditch that unlucky penny!

Later!
Heather

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I'm hating Blogger of late. I have the embedded comment box (I think). Do you get the Capcha thingy on mine, do you remember? I wanted to see The Hobbit movie, but I let my daughter decide instead and she chose Into the Woods. It was good, though. I will see the Hobbit on my own. :)

Dean K Miller said...

Nice to have you and Mini Alex back. Peaks and valleys for the holiday season this year, but looking forward to more peaks than valleys in 2015. Picked up a couple of new books and enjoyed them. Aaack! still haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy yet!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Best of luck to Stephanie and all the rest :)

Guardians wasn't number one? Transformers was? Ick. I slept through Transformers. There are times in life when a 90 minute nap is worth more than the story on the screen.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Shoot. I think my comment disappeared. I went to the final Hobbit movie with the Biker Chef and two of my boys. They liked it. A bit too much fighting for me, but they said, "What did you expect with a title like Battle of Five Armies." Good point. Happy New Year! See you on Wed. with IWSG.
Play off the Page

Karen M. Peterson said...

I'm glad I switched over to Disqus. It's actually a pretty good commenting system and keeps me from those pesky meddlesome Blogger changes.

Donna K. Weaver said...

I have the captcha turned off on mine, but I've noticed that irritating question come up on blogs that also didn't have it on before. I hope it hasn't suddenly shown up.

Hubby and I are still waiting to see the last Hobbit movie. Maybe this week.

Jenni Enzor said...

I really enjoyed Stephanie's guest post. I love all the old rom-coms, so 25 Roses sounds great! Glad you had a good break, Alex! Looking forward to ISWG this week.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

The only time I had 200 comments was the post where I promised free money to first 200 commenters!

At least Blogger is free, right?

A movie that is one long battle didn't appeal to me, but I will watch it on DVD, I know it looked better on the big screen though!

My favorite movie was WINTER SOLDIER because it surprised me in a good way. I thought EDGE OF TOMORROW was better than its reviews described. It deserved a bigger box office but perhaps Tom Cruise's adoration of Scientology hurt it.

What do you think of Scarlet Johansson getting the lead role in DreamWorks' GHOST IN THE SHELL?

S.K. Anthony said...

Congrats, Stephanie! Hey, I'm pretty sure I'll enjoy 25 Roses, I enjoy the cute romance stuff now and then ;)

Alex, great list of movies! Except I haven't watched the last Hobbit yet . . . but I can't wait! I did notice the "robot" message on some blogs but hadn't realized I didn't get it on my blog because I have mine embedded, I thought it was an option to opt in. Ah well. It's the little changes that can be annoying. Either way, glad you found the way around it. Happy new year!!! :D

Cherie Reich said...

Happy New Year! Congrats to Stephanie! Her book looks adorable.

I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, probably my favorite 2014 movie. I also enjoyed How to Train Your Dragon 2, Divergent, The Hunger Games Mockingjay Part I, and The Hobbit Part 3. It was really sad to see The Hobbit end and knowing there will be no more Middle Earth movies for a while.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I am annoyed with blogger. I think I'll change my comments like you did.
I think Transformers movies do really well outside the USA. I haven't seen Godzilla yet but I would have added The Lego Movie to your list.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I saw Wild last week. It was extremely well done, Alex, more moving than I expected. Reese Witherspoon deserves an Oscar. I never before liked her acting.

Glad you had a great break, my friend. xo

Clarissa Draper said...

Oh man, I haven't seen any of those movies. I'm so behind. Welcome back, Alex!

Murees Dupé said...

Happy New Year! May 2015 be a fantastic year for you and your family. I liked the Hobbit, but the end upset me. Though the special effects and fighting was cool, I just didn't like how it ended (with regards to the dwarves.)

Sarah Foster said...

I had noticed the "I'm not a robot" thing on Blogger--so annoying! Glad you enjoyed your break!

Birgit said...

Happy New Year! I am glad you had a nice time off and can't believe it is 2015! I must see the Hobbit as i love all the films. For being a major film freak I have not seen any films in the theatre which is sad to say. The evenings, after work, i am so tired and the weekend-I get busy during the day. I have to make the time! Glad that Stephanie was showcased here-way to go!! I had a great time off and Christmas is always so beautiful.

Suzanne Furness said...

Glad you had a nice break, Happy New Year, Alex. Slowly trying to ease myself back online at the moment. Hopefully I will have my post ready for IWSG on Wednesday. Trying to concentrate on working on my ms at the minute so time is squeezed!

farawayeyes said...

I am particularly annoyed with blogger on a number of issues, but complaining won't change a thing.

Interesting guest post. I too enjoyed the older romantic comedies, today so many of the newer movies classified as ROM/COM just seem stupid.

Also interesting to see that Transformers beat out Guardians, YIKES!

The Happy Whisk said...

Wow, do I see added reply here? Very cool. And it's fun on many blogs where people chit chat and ask questions.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

Nice post by Stephanie about 25 Roses. Love those Hallmark stories. Good luck, Stephanie. Happy New Year!

Southpaw HR Sinclair said...

Alex, so many Blogger bogs that didn't have captcha before have it now. Did Google switch it back on for people? How rude!

Angela Brown said...

Oh dear, I better check to see if I have that "Prove you are not a robot" action going on with the comments. Sheesh!
There are some great new releases and novels coming out. And your movie list is awesome. So many of them I have to see once they get on DVD/Blue Ray because I just didn't push myself to the movies like I should have. Although, I did make it to see Big Hero Six with my Chipmunk and LOVED that movie to bits.

Maurice Mitchell said...

My wife swears by Hallmark movies which is cool. Weird about the comments limit but the Captcha doesn't bother me since I usually visit on my phone.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Besides everyone having the flu twice this Christmas, we had a pretty good vacation. I've already bought five books to start out the New Year right. The Winter Soldier and The Giver were my personal faves. Hope you had a great Christmas! See you on Wednesday.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heather! You are way ahead of me on Guardians viewings.

Teresa, no Capcha on yours.

Elizabeth, that was one of them.

Roland, Edge deserved more. And Johansson will look great in the outfit!

Cherie, it was really sad to see it end...

Susan, 77% of its take was outside the USA.

Murees, sad to see some died.

Whisk, comes with embedded. Sorry, I won't use it much though.

Holly, they did!

Angela, that's great.

Maurice, good to know.

J E Oneil said...

I hate that stupid CAPTCHA thing (it won't let me comment some times). Thanks for the tip about it. I had no idea it was on my blog--ugh! This is absolutely awful. I shut off all those word verification things and let anonymous users post because I wanted to avoid this.

How on earth is that dumb Transformers movie the highest grossing movie of 2014?

Carol Kilgore said...

You are the only person I know who has to worry about more than 200 comments!
Stephanie, I loved your post.
Glad you had a great holiday, Alex.

G. B. Miller said...

I actually like the embedded comment box, simply because I can answer each comment individually, unlike before when I used to get lost/skipped people when I was trying to properly respond.

Father Nature's Corner

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats to Stephanie and everyone else who's in Ninja News. Lots of familiar faces.

Patricia Lynne said...

Happy new year, Alex! hope 2015 rocks for us all. =D

The Happy Whisk said...

Alex - when I see the, I am not a robot, I don't fill in the code. I just write my comment and publish. I never write in the code, and all the comments have published.

Hope this helps.

Cindy said...

I love the Lord of the Rings series, but for some reason The Hobbit just isn't that great for me. As for the Hallmark channel...I was stunned by the amount of commercials. Captain America is one of my favorite super heroes.

Have a great new year!

Liz A. said...

I noticed that the Captcha was on on blogs I knew it was turned off on (a couple of mine as well). So, I started to ignore them, and surprise, my comments still posted. Now I just ignore the stupid little box, and it seems like my comments are posting. Perhaps they're getting eaten after I leave?

Helena said...

I have missed way too many movies in the last year, so one more 2015 resolution is to go see a couple a month. But I'll still never be the flick expert you are--and yes, Guardians of the Galaxy was lots of fun, just like you promised. But Transformers? I can't even watch five minutes of them when they're on TV and free.

Stephanie sounds like a sweet, wise writer, so I'll check out her books and the other writers' too--so many good stories to read.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

JE, I have no idea...

GB, I like to answer in groups and not pad my comments. Besides, I'd get almost four hundred that way!

Whisk, good to know!

Liz, I need to test that.

Helena, I won't watch it.

Nicole said...

Guardians was robbed! Great news about Dragon of the Stars, and I'm with Stephanie on enjoying Meg Ryan/Kate Hudson girly movies every now and then. :)

The Happy Whisk said...

Sure thing. I never check the box, fill out the code or any of that. I ignore it 100% and all my comments post just fine.

Good luck.

Kirsten said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year, Alex!
And huge congrats to Rebecca Bradley. :)
With all the success Peter Jackson has had with his depiction of Middle Earth, dare I hope he might revisit there once more? After all, the Silmarillion has lots of cinematic potential, IMO!
I'm glad we can start the countdown to Dragon of the Stars. :)

Tammy Theriault said...

Love Stephanie!! And great covers. The captcha I'm just gonna ignore. I know peeps want to reply and can take a second more to do so. 😉

Botanist said...

I enjoyed the last of The Hobbit movies this weekend. Great visual and emotional feast, but the Tolkien admirer in me is still on the shelf about the major departures from the book.

Stephen Tremp said...

Okay just added Ragnarok to my list on Netflix. I'll start it tomorrow as wifey is at work and kids are at school. Checking it out on IMBd now.

Rocky still inspires me. Now its in my head and I have to watch it this week. Might as well just buy the darn movie.

Arlee Bird said...

Sure wish Blogger would leave things alone when they are working fine. However I do kind of like answering comments directly though it can get cumbersome when there are a lot of comments.

Don't recall what films I saw from 2014. Let's see...I saw Into the Storm and thought that was fun though not exceptionally deep or all that memorable.

Lee
Tossing It Out

kaykuala said...

The captcha came back again. But this time unlike before is still ok. Before one must go through with it. But this time one can ignore and can still make comments.So it is just an irritation but of no effect. Happy New Year Alex I'm sure you enjoyed your holidays!

Hank

Truedessa said...

Welcome back Alex, I hope you are well rested and ready for new adventures. I have noticed the I am not a robot button I am glad to know it is a blogger feature and not one that bloggers are choosing to have turned on. I have to say the other feature I dislike is that widget that tracks where people are located.

I watched Guardians of the Galaxy over the weekend and let me just say that movie is packed with fun and adventure. I was truly surprised and so glad I rented it, but now I may have to buy my own copy. It is that good. The music added a sense of fun. The other movie I really enjoyed last year was Divergent. I actually bought that one as I was just spellbound by the theme. I think I would be a divergent in that world. (smiling)

I see some wonderful new releases and of course I smiled at the new adventure featuring Truedessa and Captain Pat.

Stephanie, nice to see you featured as I have seen you over at the cat's place. I am a sap for romance movies and I have always been a weeping willow over a good love story.

Alex I see good things coming your way with your new book. Always keep that dragon close.

Liza said...

Can't imagine ever getting to 200 comments! Stephanie Faris sounds like my kind of girl!

Jemi Fraser said...

Stephanie's book sounds awesome!
Got the 2nd hobbit for Christmas and can't wait to see #3 :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kirsten, I hope he visits it again!

Ian, when the studio wanted three movies, you knew there would be some departures to make it stretch that far.

Lee, can you imagine how many I'd have if I answered comments individually?

Truedessa, dragons are special. Don't like that tracking widget either. And wasn't Guardians just amazing?

Jemi, go enjoy!

Debra McKellan said...

So, yay, you can see me. lol My sisters and I still need to see The Hobbit. My younger sister doesn't particularly like them as much as LOTR, and my older sister is one of those, "Hey, I just read this book to watch the movies, and that wasn't in there" kind of people, lol, but I've loved these movies so far! Can't wait to see The Battle.

I like the Robot button better than Captcha, but I'm like one of two people who don't care about the Captcha on people's pages.

I finally saw Guardians, DOFP, and Dawn, and none of them disappointed! They were excellent.

Robyn Campbell said...

I meant to get by here yesterday, Alex. But life's stuff wouldn't let me. Glad you had a great Christmas and really glad you're back. Stephanie's book is adorable. I can't wait to read the entire book. I'm a sucker for books like this.

BLASTED Captcha. ANNOYING. If I was a robot I'd have other robot things to do besides reading blogs. *snicker*

I saw a few movies in 2014. To tell you the truth Alex, it's gotten so expensive we can't see many. I want to go this week. I hope hubby will agree to take us.LOVED The Hobbit. LOVED, LOVED.

So good to see you're back. Thanks for the prayers for Christopher. I'd better get going. Stay safe.

Susanne Drazic said...

Hi, Alex. Welcome back! Glad you and mini Alex enjoyed your Christmas break. CONGRATS to Stephanie on her book. Cute cover.

Kristin Smith said...

Welcome back, Alex! We had a great Christmas, but I'm sad the holidays are over. Now it's back to the routine...

I loved Stephanie's guest post! As a Hallmark movie watcher (especially at Christmas time) I can totally relate! I'm a sucker for those shows and I watched plenty this holiday season!

Great list of favorite movies—I think I saw almost all of them. And I loved Guardians as did my boys.

Bish Denham said...

I missed stopping by yeaterday. So glad you had a nice Christmas! I haven't seen any of the movies. Does that make me some kind of creature living under a rock? :)

Tyrean Martinson said...

Great post by Stepanie - I like those romantic comedies too - where have they gone?
And, Alex - nice rundown on those movies. I loved The Hobbit (I'm a biased Middle Earth fan), and it surprises me that Guardians of the Galaxy didn't do better at the box office too. I've been curious about Ragnorak on Netflix, so now . . . I think I'll actually watch it. :) Thanks for the recommend. I'll just be posting on Wednesdays this month . . . sigh.

lorilmaclaughlin.com said...

Happy New Year! Congrats to Stephanie and all the other authors on their book releases! I love the old Hallmark movies and watched several of them over the holiday. Sometimes you just need a feel-good movie. I did see the Battle of the Five Armies. I love all the Hobbit and LOTR movies. My only complaint with this one was that it ended a little too abruptly for me. I needed a few more scenes of aftermath to give me time to come to terms with what had just happened with the sons of Durin. As it was, I left the theater feeling raw and bleeding. I'm looking forward to watching Guardians and Ragnorak on Netflix. And yes, the "I am not a robot" is very annoying, but then so is the Captcha.

Fundy Blue said...

Welcome back, Alex! And thanks for your interesting post, Stephanie! I've never come close to 200 comments yet; sounds like an awesome problem! LOL! I'm longing to see "The Hobbit" and some other Christmas movies, but I was down and out in December with a bad cold, followed by another health slam yesterday. So I'm hoping for later this week!!! Wishing you both a Happy New Year!

Robin said...

With Black Friday sales, I finally picked up some of the movies I'd missed. Thus far, I've watched the X-Men movie and Edge of Tomorrow. I liked them both. I still don't have/haven't seen Guardians of the Galaxy or the Captain America movie :( Oh well.

Sherry Ellis said...

Nice of you to have Stephanie here! Her book sounds really cute.

Melissa said...

I had a great holiday.
Happy New Year, Alex. :)

Gwen Gardner said...

Stephanie's book sounds cute. Congrats!

I've never hit 200 comments on my blog. But good to know. Hey, it could happen, LOL.

Happy New Year, Alex!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Still fuming about the Hobbit, take no notice - but Mr. Turner is so good I might do something I rarely do and buy the DVD. Happy viewing in 2015.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - you're back on track and on song ... I'll be back down at the cinema now that Christmas has passed .. I do want to see a few .. and now I need to check where they're showing ... I'm off to check out Trisha's recording .. I bet she's a brilliant singer ... and also Steph's book looks amazing ..

Glad you had a good holiday .. and here's to a very successful 2015 ... cheers Hilary

ilima said...

My list would look just like yours except INTERSTELLAR would replace WINTER SOLDIER. Welcome back!

Brian Miller said...

i enjoyed hobbit...i need to check out ragnarok....
ha, my wife is all about hallmark movies...so i had to watch a few
maybe i am numb to them now...as i see them every year...lol...

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Stephanie, I think your book sounds great! I can't wait to read it. :)
Alex, I'm glad you enjoyed the latest Hobbit movie, I've been wanting to see it!

Leovi Leovi said...

Yes, it is a delight to give children chocolate roses!

Michelle Wallace said...

Congrats to all the authors with new releases!
Stephanie's covers are really charming!

Lynda R Young said...

Voted!
Guardians and Edge were probably my two fav movies last year.

Sandra Cox said...

Congrats to Stephanie:)

I still need to see several movies you mentioned including X Men

Lanise Brown said...

Wow. 25 Roses and Grudge look amazing! I'd have to say blogger's been bugging me lately too. I don't know what's going on but things have been a bit wonky. Posts haven't been cooperating and the blogger homepage has been weird... I haven't had issues with comments yet but I hope all of that get straightened out eventually... As for movies, Guardians of the Galaxy, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Edge of Tomorrow, and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies were my favorites of 2014. I actually went to see Guardians three times in theaters, lol.

Scribbles From Jenn said...

Thanks for asking, my Christmas was wonderful and New Year's safe. Yes, I'm frustrated with blogger, but, thanks to you, I think I got rid of my unwanted robot monitor.

Rebecca Bradley said...

Welcome back! It's lovely to see you. Though I know you were still commenting, so I saw you over on my blog :)

Thank you for the shout out. It is much appreciated!

I absolutely LOVED Guardians of the Galaxy. I took my kids to the cinema to see it and bought it my youngest on DVD for Christmas so we watched it Christmas Day afternoon. And it was still great!

As for blogger. pftt! It won't let me comment as a wordpress blogger anymore. I now have to comment as a blogger. So if you click on me you get taken to my Google+ page which is a very long way of getting to my blog. *whispers - you can always switch to wordpress and transport everything you have over.... runs away now* ;)

Deniz Bevan said...

I haven't been able to see The Hobbit, with baby in the house :-)
Hmm, I'd better check about my own captcha settings...

Happy new year!

And congratulations, Stephanie!

Jeff Chapman said...

Thanks for the Hobbit review. Looking forward to buying the last DVD.

Kelly Polark said...

I am surprised that Transformers beat out Guardians! Saw the Hobbit too with my son. Pretty exciting! My son read the Hobbit and is now finishing Lord of the Rings. (I have never read either but am enjoying watching the movies with him!) Congrats on your upcoming book!

Susan Kane said...

2014 was a blur in so many ways, mostly because we were busy with our family, in a good way.
I was dissappointed with Hobbit. I know that it follows the book closely and how it all ended. And Jackson lived up to making the magic world of the Shire and all. I guess I wanted it to go on, with more to come.

Anna Soliveres said...

So many good things packed into one blog...LOVE IT. :) Agree with your list of top movies. Just watched Guardians of the Galaxy again this past weekend. Can't get enough of it!

Toinette Thomas said...

I don't know how I missed this post. Sorry about your Blogger comment issues. I may have to check out Ragnarok; I didn't know about it. I guess I should start watching some moview previews. Happy New Year's to you and yours Alex.

Sandra Cox said...

I pre-ordered my copy:)

Julie Dao said...

I'm so curious about what the Kargrandes are! And I did not know that about the stupid robot/captcha box - I will try skipping it next time! Thanks for the tip!

Cynthia said...

I can't believe it's already A to Z time, Alex! I didn't do last year's, but I've done two consecutive A to Z challenges in years past. I have a theme in mind, but I seriously don't know if I could pull it off by April. I'd rather take my time and do it right than rush it and have things come out messy.

Mary said...

New to your blog! :)

Stephanie, love the sound of your heroine! Esp giving away the roses...

I thought Guardians had intelligent humor!
Loved The Lego Movie!!
Enjoyed One Hundred Foot Journey...
LOVED the Book of Life...
Big Hero 6...
Penguins.....
The Imitation Game was excellent!

No, I didn't remember them all. I went to a website with all 2014 movies!

I don't have Captcha or anything on my blog comments. I have a follower who is visually impaired and she can't comment if I have Captcha or anything like that.