Monday, March 12, 2018

Ayreon Universe, Judas Priest Firepower, Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge, Animated Movie Trivia, New Releases, and More!

Some music, movies, and books news and reviews for you today - plus a little movie trivia! And today I'm at the IWSG site with an article on lessons I learned from really bad movies.


Ayreon - Universe

Ayreon Universe is Ayreon live in concert for the first time ever, organized and arranged by Arjen A. Lucassen and Joost van den Broek. The Ayreon Universe set list features selected songs from all Ayreon albums plus a selection of Star One songs.

Vocalists include Floor Jansen – Nightwish, Damian Wilson – Threshold, Hansi Kürsch - Blind Guardian, Tommy Karevik – Kamelot, Anneke van Giersbergen - The Gentle Storm, Marco Hietala – Nightwish, Jonas Renkse – Katatonia, Mike Mills – Toehider, Marcela Bovio - Stream of Passion, Robert Soeterboek - Star One, John Jaycee Cuijpers - Praying Mantis, Edward Reekers – Kayak, Maggy Luyten – Nightmare, Lisette van den Berg - Scarlet Stories, and Jay van Feggelen and Irene Jansen - Ayreon

This concert is available in many different boxed sets (audio, video, t-shirts, signed, etc.) and comes out on March 30. I will definitely be picking up the pack with all of the CDs, DVDs, and Blu-Rays!

And just to whet your appetite:

Judas Priest – Firepower review

The metal gods are back with their umpteenth latest album!
First of all, it’s so refreshing to see people rocking out who are much older than me.
Secondly, don’t think these are a bunch of has-beens churning out crap for a quick buck. One thing I’ve always admired about this band is that they put their heart into doing the best they can. They are absolutely a fan-centered band.
I’m pleased to report this is an excellent album. It’s probably their best since Painkiller. While there isn’t a signature track, every song is solid without a dud in the bunch.
If you’re a fan of the band or old-school metal, you won’t be disappointed. Halford’s vocals sound amazing and relatively young Richie Faulkner tears it up on the guitar.
Highly recommended!


Some news from JoBlo:

Aerial footage of the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge theme park.

The latest addition to the Disney theme park arena is the upcoming Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge attraction, which will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Star Wars. The park is still under construction and won’t be open until 2019, but you can take a look at the foundations and sheer scope of the park in this new video released by Disney. Here, there is some aerial drone footage of the park, showing off the massive soon-to-be-completed structures.

Watch Tommy Wiseau (from The Room) get inserted into a bunch of disaster movies.

The video posted by Screen Junkies arrives just a few days before THE DISASTER ARTIST, a film based on Wiseau's unique experiences while making "the Citizen Kane of bad movies," THE ROOM, makes its Blu-Ray and DVD debut. When making the parody video, Screen Junkies invited Wiseau to stand in front of a green screen while reacting to each of the films selected. Once Tommy was done being Tommy, the outlet cut it all together to hilarious effect.

Denis Villeneuve plans to remake Dune.

Over the years, Frank Herbert's "Dune" has proven to be a notoriously difficult project to adapt. As the novel is quite dense, it's been almost impossible to whittle down the story in order to get it to fit into a single film, but it seems that Denis Villeneuve may have found a way around that. The BLADE RUNNER 2049 director will be the next to tackle DUNE, and he offered a quick update (via The Playlist) while speaking to a packed house in Montreal’s Place des Arts’ Théâtre Maisonneuve for the Rendez-Vous du Cinema Quebecois this week.
Dune will probably take two years to make. The goal is to make two films, maybe more.


Available March 15 –

Blue Sludge Blues by Shannon Lawrence
A collection of frights, from the psychological to the monstrous. These tales are a reminder of how much we have to fear…
Find it at Amazon, Amazon UK, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

Last Call by Tara Watson
Newly-single attorney Gwen Cooper’s list of things that make her happy is pretty simple:
1. her teenage sons
2. her stilettos
3. finally taking control of her own life
Find it on Amazon

Available March 16 –

The Thick of Things by J.L. Campbell
When love takes you by storm, hang on for the ride of your life.
Find it on Amazon

Computer Animated Movie Trivia

Since Coco just came out on DVD, let’s do a little movie trivia on computer animated films. Name the movie from the actors and year.

1 – Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, 2002
2 – Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, 2012
3 - Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, Cameron Diaz, John Lithgow, 2001
4 - Johnny Depp, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin, Ned Beatty, 2011
5 - Woody Allen, Sharon Stone, Gene Hackman, Sylvester Stallone, 1998
6 - Patton Oswalt, Brad Garrett, Ian Holm, Lou Romano, 2007
7 - Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, 2016
8 – Bruce Willis, Gary Shandling, Steve Carell, William Shatner, 2006

Answers on March 26!

Impressed by the Ayeron concert footage? Fan of Judas Priest? Ready to explore the new area of Star Wars at Disney World? Think Dune needs another remake? Picking up any new books this week? And can you guess the trivia?

I will be visiting family the third full week of March and won’t be online. However, I will have a really unique post March 19 at the IWSG site on lessons learned from really bad movies.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Insecure Writer’s Support Group #IWSG, March Movie Preview, Radius Review, and New Releases

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 for the March 7 posting of the IWSG are Mary Aalgaard, Bish Denham, Jennifer Hawes, Diane Burton, and Gwen Gardner!

Today’s optional question - How do you celebrate when you achieve a writing goal/ finish a story?

I celebrate by taking a day off from writing! I usually don’t do anything really special, but I do relax and do something non-writing related.
Like watch a movie.
I watch a lot of movies…

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime - and IWSG Anthology comes out May 1!

Pre order at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo
Find on Goodreads

Plus there is a Facebook-Tick Tock Mystery and a Tick Tock Mystery blog - check them out!

Radius Movie Review

A man wakes after a car crash with no memory and soon discovers anyone who gets within fifty feet of him dies instantly.
It got great reviews and I was curious – how could they maintain a whole film if no one could get near him? The movie handles that well with a woman who was also in the car crash with him and has no memory or identity on her. The film focuses on the two trying to figure out what is happening and who they really are.
This science fiction thriller definitely has you guessing. The two characters start to have flashbacks from their lives before the crash, increasing the mystery. And of course some of the problems stem from a lack of full disclosure. (Why don’t people talk to each other?) It’s a quiet film that moves at a good pace and makes you think.
You may or may not guess the truth before the end reveal. (My wife made a wild guess halfway through and was actually right!)

New Releases

Clowders by Vanessa Morgan
When Aidan, Jess and their five-year-old daughter, Eleonore, move from America to Clervaux, it seems as if they've arrived in paradise. It soon becomes clear, though, that the inhabitants' adoration of their cats is unhealthy. …
Find it at Amazon, Amazon UK, and Amazon FR

Corners by Corrina Austin
Everyone needs their own special corner...
Find it at iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Amazon, Nook, Amazon CA, and Goodreads
Plus there is a book trailer on YouTube

March Movie Preview

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

9 –

A Wrinkle in Time
After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.
Director: Ava DuVernay
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Chris Pine, Bellamy Young, Reese Witherspoon
Bad buzz could put a wrinkle in this film’s profit.

The Hurricane Heist
Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.
Director: Rob Cohen
Stars: Toby Kebbell, Maggie Grace, Ryan Kwanten, Ralph Ineson
The trailer makes Sharknado look pretty by comparison.

16 –

Tomb Raider
Lara Croft, the fiercely independent daughter of a missing adventurer, must push herself beyond her limits when she finds herself on the island where her father disappeared.
Director: Roar Uthaug
Stars: Alicia Vikander, Hannah John-Kamen, Walton Goggins, Kristin Scott Thomas
Will this finally be the film that breaks the video game to movie curse?

23 –

Pacific Rim Uprising
Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.
Director: Steven S. DeKnight
Stars: Scott Eastwood, Adria Arjona, Tian Jing, Charlie Day
Sad that Guillermo del Toro isn’t directing but happy giant robots and monsters will continue to beat the crap out of each other.


Ready Player One
When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Letitia Wright, Hannah John-Kamen, Olivia Cooke, Mckenna Grace
Hope it rocks, but even a sub-par Spielberg film is better than most of what’s out there.

How do you celebrate after hitting a writing goal? Excited about Tick Tock? Have you seen Radius? New books you want now? And what movies do you want to see this month?