Monday, October 15, 2018

Chinese Movies, Write…Edit…Publish – Voodoo, Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review, Con Photos, and More!

Chinese Movies by Sherry Ellis

Thanks for having me as a guest! My new book obviously has something to do with China. Since movies are a big thing here, I thought I’d post about Chinese movies. This required that I put on my thinking cap. What actor makes me think of China? After about ten seconds, I came up with one: Jackie Chan! Martial arts expert. Perfect for the Captain Ninja’s blog. I’ve selected two movies to tell you about. One for the adults. One for the kids.

Kung Fu Yoga was released on January 27, 2017. Jackie Chan plays the role of an archeology professor named Jack. (I suppose it was easy for Jackie to remember his character’s name!) Jack and his team are on a quest to find a lost Indian treasure. Unfortunately, the bad guys are after it, too. It’s a race around the world to beat the bad guys and save an ancient culture.

This is a typical Jackie Chan movie. Full of martial arts action and slapstick comedy. Perfect for Jackie Chan enthusiasts.

Monkey King: Hero is Back was first released on July 10, 2015. Jackie Chan is the voice of the Monkey King. The film won numerous awards including the 2015 Golden Dragon Award for Best Animated Film and Best Director. It was the highest grossing animated film in China until it was surpassed by Zootopia and Kung Fu Panda.

Here’s what it’s about: The all-powerful Monkey King roamed freely between Heaven and Earth. But he ticked off some gods. Not a good thing! The angry gods locked him up in an ice cage deep in the mountains where he stayed for 500 years. He’d probably still be there if it hadn’t been for the monster who attacked a nearby village. A child flees the village and goes into the mountains where he stumbles upon the furry beast. The boy releases the Monkey King, who saves the village from the scary monster.

Kids will like this film for the cool animation. Parents will probably chuckle at some of the humor. A good movie for the whole family.

Have you seen either of these movies? Do you like Jackie Chan films?

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Sherry Ellis’ BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.

The author is offering a tour-wide international giveaway featuring five autographed copies of her book. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA by Sherry Ellis
Squirt doesn't believe Bubba can dig a hole to China. But when the hole swallows them, the kids find themselves in Xi'an, China, surrounded by Terracotta Warriors…
Available at: Amazon US, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, BAM, iTunes, and Kobo

For more on Sherry and her writing, you can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, blog, website, and Amazon

GIVEAWAY DETAILS: This tour-wide giveaway is for five (5) autographed copies of BUBBA AND SQUIRT’S BIG DIG TO CHINA. The giveaway is open internationally. To enter, go HERE

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Sherry on her month-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out.


Sicario: Day of the Soldado Review

The drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border has escalated as the cartels have begun trafficking terrorists across the US border. To fight the war, federal agent Matt Graver re-teams with the mercurial Alejandro.
The movie was good although not as good as the first one. It missed having Emily Blunt in it.
The premise was to stop terrorists from coming across the Mexican border by starting a Cartel war. That gets a bit lost along the way during the kidnapping and attempted return of a Cartel’s daughter. That issue’s never resolved, but maybe that was the point of the film.
Josh Brolin’s character is just ruthless. Benicio Del Toro’s character meanwhile becomes more human along the way.
The cinematography is amazing and it’s well-shot and directed. The music is outstanding, setting a dark mood so effectively.
A good action thriller – recommended.

Write...Edit...Publish

The IWSG has partnered with Write…Edit…Publish!

This month’s challenge - Déjà vu or Voodoo. And I have an entry! It even rhymes...


A blogger buddy sent Mini-Alex to me.

But what if he’s more than he seems to be?


A voodoo doll with an evil spell.

Throw him outside and it's flowers I smell.

Put him in the oven and I smell like roast duck.

If Pat Hatt’s Cat buries him, I'm really out of luck.



Stick him in the dryer and I begin to tumble.

Hit him with a hammer and I begin to crumble.

Carve him like a turkey and I get cut.

Oh how can I break out of this terrible rut?

So I gave Mini-Alex to my wife and she watches him so.

And if she accidentally sits on him, it's not a bad way to go!





More Con Photos and Stuff

My publisher sent some more con photos last month and I just kept forgetting to post them.




Just a couple weeks left to submit to the IWSG Anthology Contest.
Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme.
Entry is free, just need to be a member of the IWSG on some level.
See the site for details.

New Release!
Ashes Burn, Seasons 1-7 by Tyrean Martinson
Want a chance to read and review it?
And get the book for free?
See Tyrean’s site for details.
And help spread the word!





Movie Trivia Answers:
He won an Oscar for his role in City Slickers - Jack Palance
Who played Doc Brown in Back to the Future? Christopher Lloyd



Have you seen those Chinese movies? (Or ever wanted to dig to China?) Seen Sicario: Day of the Soldado? Think Mini-Alex is a voodoo doll? (Or are you still stunned that I managed a rhyme?) Ever been to a comic con? And are you entering the IWSG Anthology Contest?

Monday, October 8, 2018

Venom Review; IWSG, WEP, and Special Course; Extended Aquaman Trailer; New Releases; and Movie Trivia

Venom Review

Tom Hardy’s character acquires a symbiote from space while snooping around an eccentric billionaire’s science lab. He and Venom become one.
I had a lot of fun watching this one. The action shots are a bit of a throwback, and the film is a mix of superhero, science fiction, horror, monster, thriller, and action. Add some humor and a dash of romance and you have quite the blender movie.
Now I’ve never read the Venom comics, so I don’t know how close it stuck to the source material. I will say the villain was a bit two-dimensional and could’ve used a bit more empathy and fleshing out.
Hardy, however, was great in the role. He pulled off the physical humor well and it will remind you a little of Bruce Campbell in Evil Dead II. It’s Hardy’s performance that sells the story and he was brilliant.
The relationship between Hardy’s character and Venom was great and rather funny. Again, credit to Hardy for pulling it off. The story played the human element right, giving the relationships just enough screen time.
And all head chomping by Venom is done off-screen.
It’s not a great film but it’s definitely a fun way to pass the time. Recommended.

Extended Aquaman Trailer

Over five minutes of awesomeness!



IWSG

Thanks to everyone who participated last week, including the awesome co-hosts and admins.

Speaking of co-hosts we need some!!! We need two more for November 7. Plus if you can co-host on January 2 (the day we announce the winners of the IWSG Anthology Contest), that would be great.
Co-hosts just have to visit twenty blogs in their given range.
Leave a comment here or email me if you want to volunteer. It’s more fun on the host side…


We have a date for the next #IWSGPit Twitter pitch – January 15, 2019!

Visit the IWSG site for details.

You don’t want to miss it.


Don’t forget that the IWSG has partnered with Write…Edit…Publish!
This month’s challenge - Déjà vu or Voodoo.
Add your name to the list, write your story, post on your blog or Facebook, and visit others.
And there are prizes!
Full details at the WEP site regarding genre, length, etc.
Déjà vu or Voodoo – do you?



Here are the propts for the IWSG Instagram the next two months:



IWSG member Christopher Votey has created a cool course and program and IWSG members get a discount!
My course is Digital Notes Organizer – Making Your Personal Encyclopedia. The first part will teach you how to put a wiki on your computer that is 100% private and secure and can be integrated with Dropbox for backup purposes and being able to share with others.
The second part of the course teaches you how to use wiki software, great for your installation and for being able to edit any online wiki (ie, Wikipedia, Wikia).
My course is $49.99, but I want to do something special for all of those who’ve show support for this site. When you check out, enter the following codes:
IWSG80 – Get Course for $9.99 (10 Available)
IWSG50 – Get Course for $24.99 (20 Available)
IWSG25 – Get Course for $36.99 (50 Available)
Get the full details at Christopher’s site and take advantage of his generosity!


Finally, this is the last month to submit to the IWSG Anthology Contest.
Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme.
Entry is free, just need to be a member of the IWSG on some level.
See the site for details.
Don’t miss this opportunity to be in a royalty-paying anthology!



New Releases

Elements of Untethered Realms
A supernatural compilation of the anthologies Twisted Earths , Mayhem in the Air , Ghosts of Fire , and Spirits in the Water . These forty thrilling tales feature authors Angela Brown, Jeff Chapman, Cathrina Constantine, Julie Flanders, River Fairchild, Gwen Gardner, Misha/M. Gerrick, Meradeth Houston, Graeme Ing, Simon Kewin, M. Pax, Christine Rains, Cherie Reich, and Catherine Stine.
Find it on Amazon, iTunes, and Barnes and Noble

The Alien and the Teacher by Susan Kelley (Gourley)
Gwen is exhilarated to be part of Earth’s first space colony until a handsome alien with his own agenda makes contact.
Now available on Amazon

Raven’s Sight, Willow Harbor #8 by Juliana Haygert
Sometimes in order to let go of the past, we have to fight for our future…
Get it from these retailors



 




Movie Trivia



Anyone else see Venom? Excited for Aquaman? Can you co-host? Participating in WEP or the anthology contest? Picking up some new books? And do you know the trivia?

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, October Movie Preview, Bleach Movie Review, and Last Man Standing

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

The awesome co-hosts today are Dolorah @ Book Lover, Christopher D. Votey, Tanya Miranda, and Chemist Ken!


Today’s question - How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

I’m not sure any life events have really affected my writing. Unless you count the success of my first book leading me to write more! Movies I saw and books I read as a kid affected what I write though. As a science fiction geek, I get to geek out with my writing.

Have life events affected your writing?


Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open for submissions!
Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme.
See the site for details.
You have one month! (And please don’t wait until the last minute…)


Movie Review – Bleach

Ichigo Kurosaki is a High School student, living in Karakura town. He is able to see ghosts, as well as hollows. Later, he meets up with Rukia Kuchiki, a Death God or Soul Reaper
Based on manga and anime, I’ve never seen the source material. It wasn’t terribly original, but it had good special effects and action scenes.
One thing I did appreciate was that it was restrained and not stupid and over the top. Often Japanese anime is just plain goofy, but this film kept the goofiness in check.
It also wasn’t bogged down or too convoluted, which meant the story was easy to follow.
It was fun to watch and certainly worth a NetFlix rental.

Last Man Standing



Despite its popularity, ABC cancelled this show.
But it’s back again on Fox.
The premier last week got kick ass ratings.
Plus the first five minutes poked fun at ABC big time. Hilarious and classic.
Way to go, Tim Allen!






October Movie Preview

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

5 –

Venom
When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego "Venom" to save his life.
Director: Ruben Fleischer
Stars: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Woody Harrelson, Jenny Slate
Chews off people’s heads and eats their brains while maintaining a PG13 rating?

12 –

First Man
A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.
Director: Damien Chazelle
Stars: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler
Leaving out the American flag and all that, it’s been revised so other countries will feel good about their space programs.

19 –

Halloween
Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago.
Director: David Gordon Green
Stars: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney
Feel free to blame the first Halloween for every derivative slasher film ever made. Including this one…

26 –

Hunter Killer 
An untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.
Director: Donovan Marsh
Stars: Ethan Baird, Jacob Scipio, Dempsey Bovell, Corey Johnson
He’s a hunter. He’s a killer. Can these two wacky roommates get along in the age of modern sub-thermo nuclear war? This fall on ABC!


And the answers to last week’s movie trivia:
This 70’s movie was originally called Watch the Skies - Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Who starred in Tremors and The Player? Fred Ward


Have life events affected what you write? Entering the anthology contest? Have you watched Bleach? Watching Last Man Standing now that it’s back? And what movies catch your eye for October?

Monday, September 24, 2018

America’s Got Talent, Ocean’s Eight Movie Review, Movie Trivia and News, IWSG, New Releases, and More!

With the hurricane zapping us for a couple days and our power flickering, I opted not to create a post for last week.
We are fine – just some branches down – but my area and a good portion of the state were hit hard by either rain/winds or flooding.
Please continue to pray for those affected by Hurricane Florence.

America’s Got Talent

Those of you who watch the show know the season ended last week and magician Shin Lim won the million dollars and a headlining act in Vegas.

I used to watch American Idol, but this show has such a great variety. Where else can you see magicians, comedians, singers, dancers, stunts, and more in one place?

This year, I had no idea who would win. I was surprised Courtney Hadwin didn’t win or finish higher than sixth. (And there is quite the stink online about that as she was the favorite to win it all.) But I’ll admit, my pick was Shin Lim. He did card tricks that still blow my mind. (The dude changed a six of hearts to a nine of hearts in front of our eyes!) So I was fine with how it all went down. All of those acts have long careers ahead of them.

Who was your favorite to win?

Ocean’s Eight Review

We had another movie picked out to watch this weekend (Mandy) but decided to go for something light instead.
We almost went to see this in the theater when it came out early in the summer.
Sandra Bullock plays Danny Ocean’s sister and the moment she gets out of prison, she starts planning a heist.
The cast is good and there’s even a scene with Reuben (Elliott Gould).
The movie is good and the heist slick, but that might be its one downfall. It’s a little too slick. You never get the feeling that something is going to go wrong. The tension isn’t very high.
The actresses do have fun thought and it was worth the rental.



Movie News

From JoBlo - the Predator is desperate for acting gigs in Late Late Show sketch:


JoBlo also had an article about the Birds of Prey movie.
Margot Robbie will soon be reprising her SUICIDE SQUAD role of Harley Quinn for BIRDS OF PREY, an upcoming Warner Bros. film which will see the giggling sociopath joining forces with the likes of Black Canary, Huntress, Renee Montoya, and Cassandra Cain. Robbie, who is producing the film as well as starring in it, has said that she pitched Warner Bros. the project as "R-rated girl gang film including Harley, because I was like, ‘Harley needs friends.’ Harley loves interacting with people, so don’t ever make her do a standalone film. She’s got to be with other people, it should be a girl gang.”
They are considering several actresses to star with Robbie: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Jurnee Smolett-Bell, and Janelle Monae for Black canary; Elizabeth Winstead, Cristin Milioti, and Margaret Qualley for Huntress; and Justina Machado and Roberta Colindrez for Renee Montoya. Cathy Yan is supposed to direct.

And 2019 is shaping up to be an awesome year for science fiction/fantasy movie fans. Look at the list of movies coming out next year:
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
Captive State
Star Wars Episode IX
Avengers (Infinity Wars part two)
X-Men: Dark Phoenix
Shazam!
Spiderman: Far From Home
MIB
Chaos Walking
Ad Astra
Wonder Woman 1984
Joker
Hellboy
Glass
Captain Marvel
Rocketman
Minecraft
The New Mutants
Gemini Man
Masters of the Universe
Terminator (untitled)
Jumanji II
Artemis Fowl
(Fortunately Transformers 7 has been nixed!)

Ninja News

We have a special post today at the IWSG site by editor Lynda Dietz – be sure to check it out!

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open for submissions!

Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme.

See the site for details.




New Releases:

Puddle Bubble Trouble by Pat Hatt
They came in a huddle to play in their puddle, but they found Soap already there with no room to spare.
Find it on Amazon

Sorrow Bringer by Juliana Haygert
The Fire Heart Chronicles Book 3
“I wish magic could blame it on someone else, but it can’t. I am the one that brings sorrow—I am the one that brings death.”
Find it on Amazon


Movie Trivia

Answers from two weeks ago:

Who was in The Dead Zone and Batman Returns? Christopher Walken

What does M*A*S*H stand for? Mobile Army Surgical Hospital

And a couple new ones for you!



Who was your favorite to win AGT? Have you seen Ocean’s Eight? Excited to see any of next year’s geek movie releases? Are you entering the IWSG Anthology Contest? (Get to writing!) And do you know the trivia answers…?

See you next Wednesday for the next posting of the IWSG!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Jack Ryan Series, Omnium Gatherum, Movie News and Trivia, IWSG Anthology Contest, New Releases, and More!

Jack Ryan Review

One thing I love about these pay services creating original content is that they are all trying to one up each other with quality programming. (Of course, paying for them all is a massive bummer.) Amazon has made some compelling programs, but Jack Ryan delivers as must see television.
Truth be told, I’m halfway through and trying to savor each episode. This is high quality (acting, directing, cinematography) film making that is an edge of your seat experience.
I wasn’t sure if I’d like John Krazinski as Ryan, but he does a great job as a CIA analyst thrust into the role of unlikely hero.
I like everything about the series. Even the villains are given a backstory to elevate them well beyond cookie-cutter bad guys.
If you’re on the fence about Amazon Prime, this may well tip you right over.
Highly recommended.

Omnium Gatherum: The Burning Cold Review

It must be very cold in Finland. It’s really the only reason I can think of why so many great musicians and bands come out of this small country (about equal to the size of New Mexico). They must not have anything better to do than sit around, write amazing music, and practice.
Omnium Gatherum is not for all tastes. They have been labeled as a melo death band -melodic death metal. What that means is that they play this incredible, melodic, majestic music over growling, screaming Cookie Monster vocals. If you need clean (singing) vocals, then this is not the band for you, however, the adventurous will find a lot to like on this latest release.
For me, it’s all about the music which incorporates a lot of progressive elements with soaring guitars and intricate keyboard play. This disc simply gets better and better with each listen. This is my favorite OG release and will be in my top ten at year’s end.
Highly recommended!

Writing News

Another great IWSG posting! Everyone had great reasons why they chose their publishing path and seemed to really enjoy the question and the answers of others.

Don’t forget the IWSG Anthology Contest is open for submissions! Young adult romance is the genre and masquerade the theme. See the site for details. You have two months! (Although please don’t wait until the last minute…)



New Releases:

The Twelfth Time: Lyuba and Ivan on the Rocks by Ursula Hartlein (Carrie-Anne Brownian)
A Russian Historical

Earth Shaker (A Fire Heart Chronicles Novella) by Juliana Haygert
Find it on Amazon









Cool Stuff

Jo posted a link to this: Craziest Cars Ever Built.
Some are really cool. I’ll take a Batmobile!

Amanda from Enlightened Digital sent me this cool graphic. Check it out!


Digital and DVD release dates:
September 18 – Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
September 25 – Solo: A Star Wars Story
October 2 – Sicario: Day of the Soldado
October 9 – Skyscraper
October 16 – Ant-Man and the Wasp

Don’t want to miss the next superhero film?
Then check out this listing at JoBlo’s site: Superhero Release Dates


Movie Trivia!

I made these for Twitter, but I kept forgetting to post a new one every day. So I’m going to share some here. Give me your best guess!




Anyone else watching the Jack Ryan series? Fan of Omnium Gatherum? Which crazy car was your favorite? Entering the IWSG Anthology Contest? And can you answer the trivia?
There is a major hurricane headed our direction, so prayers please for everyone in the path of Florence. 
And due to the hurricane and spotty Internet and power, my next post won't be until September 24.