Monday, May 21, 2018

Deadpool 2 Review, June Movie Preview, R-Rated Movie Trivia, and More!

Movie Reviews

Deadpool 2
Tragedy strikes and Deadpool searches for his true place in life. While acting as an X-Men (in training) he meets a boy also searching for his purpose and decides he’s going to save him no matter what. Even at the expense of a few limbs or other superheroes...
Hilarious! Just as funny as the first one and maybe even more so. It’s not as refreshing as the first since we know the tone now, but still just as enjoyable, funny, and wrong on so many levels.
This movie has a lot of heart. (Deadpool insists it’s a family film, but it’s rated R for a reason, folks.) One deviation from most superhero films is there is no real villain. (Antagonists, yes!)
Josh Brolin is great as Cable, the killer from the future. And Domino really was lucky. (I’d want her super power.)
Deadpool continues to break the fourth wall with his monologue, poking fun at everything from Hugh Jackman to Canadians.
Stay for the multiple endings and funny Deadpool songs.
If you dug the first one, you’ll love this one. Highly recommended!

Ghost in the Shell
Now on NetFlix, this is the live-action version of the 1995 Japanese anime.
I can sum this film up in one word – dull!
I didn’t care about any of the characters or who lived and who died.
The effects were over the top and a bit weird. There were way too many holograms. It was like an intensified, squeaky-clean Blade Runner.
Skip this snoozefest and check out the original anime instead.




News

And if you want to read more about Deadpool 2, JoBlo’s site has a ton of articles:

Warner Bros. recognizes Green Lantern misfire in light of Deadpool 2 gags
Yes, Deadpool 2 pokes fun at Green Lantern! Warning – there are spoilers in the article.

Director David Leitch on Deadpool 2, more Atomic Blonde & Fast & Furious spinoff

We talk to Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz & more for Deadpool 2

Available now –
Spaceberg by M. Pax
Find it at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo

The WEP – (Write...Edit...Publish) team, consisting of those much-loved bloggers, Denise Covey, Yolanda Renée, Nilanjana Bose and Olga Godim, are open for submissions for their June challenge – UNRAVELED YARN.

Movie Trivia

With Deadpool 2 poised to be the biggest opening ever for an R-rated film, the trivia today is all about R-rated films that made a ton of money. Guess the movies from the clues:

1 – This is the second-highest grossing superhero film behind Deadpool. (At the moment.)
2 – When he said ‘I’ll be back,’ he wasn’t kidding and the movie made over half a billion dollars.
3 – Based on a book, this is the highest-ever grossing horror film.
4 – This is the highest-grossing R film based on faith.
5 – Director Quentin Tarantino’s highest-grossing movie.
6 – This Oscar winner is the highest-grossing war film.
7 – George Miller’s highest-grossing movie.

Answers on June 6!

June Movie Preview

Since I won’t be posting next Monday due to Memorial Day (and my next post after that will be on June 6), here are the upcoming theatrical releases for June! As always, descriptions courtesy of the IMDB. Snark provided by me.

1 –

Upgrade
Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.
Director: Leigh Whannell
Stars: Logan Marshall-Green, Rosco Campbell, Richard Cawthorne, Michael M. Foster
I’m always game for a new science fiction film, but this isn’t much of an upgrade as I’ve seen this theme in a thousand other films.

8 –

Hotel Artemis
Set in riot-torn, near-future Los Angeles, 'Hotel Artemis' follows the Nurse, who runs a secret, members-only emergency room for criminals.
Director: Drew Pearce
Stars: Jodie Foster, Sofia Boutella, Dave Bautista
This is either going to be really crazy good or suck eggs on toast.


Ocean’s 8
Debbie Ocean gathers a crew to attempt an impossible heist at New York City's yearly Met Gala.
Director: Gary Ross
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Anne Hathaway, Olivia Munn
Is this before or after Bullock has her horrible space accident? And why isn’t Galadriel using her magic? (Or is it – why isn’t Hela using her god powers?)

15 –

Incredibles 2
Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) is left to care for Jack-Jack while Helen (Elastigirl) is out saving the world.
Director: Brad Bird
Stars: Samuel L. Jackson, Sophia Bush, Holly Hunter, Jonathan Banks
Now fifty percent more incredible than the first one!


22 –

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.
Director: J.A. Bayona
Stars: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Ted Levine
The original title was Dinos Take Manhattan, but the Muppets sued them…

29 –

Sicario: Day of the Soldado
The drug war on the US-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.
Director: Stefano Sollima
Stars: Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Isabela Moner, Jeffrey Donovan
This marks three major releases in three months for Josh Brolin, not counting his cameo as a velociraptor in Jurassic World…


Anyone else see Deadpool 2? Or have the misfortune to sit through Ghost in the Shell? Know any of the trivia? And what movies do you want to see in June?
My next post will be June 6 for IWSG post day.
I’ll also be chilling and mostly offline Memorial Day weekend. Everyone enjoy!

Monday, May 14, 2018

James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction, You Rock Awards, Movie News, Trivia Answers, and New Releases

James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction

Mondays on AMC.
This six-episode series is extremely fascinating!
Each show covers a specific area – aliens, space, monsters, dark futures, intelligent machines, and time travel.
James Cameron sit down with some other big names in the business and discusses each one as to how it has impacted science fiction movies today. Interspersed is commentary from dozens of other people, from major actors (Sigourney Weaver, Will Smith, etc.) to musicians, directors, artists, and others who played a part in the movies being discussed.
They discuss Cameron’s films of course, but also focus on the movies from the main guests. In the first episode, he discussed Close Encounters with Steven Spielberg, including its influences, behind the scenes tidbits, and its nods to earlier films and books.
I’m looking forward to episode three which features Guillermo del Toro (monsters) and episode four which features Christopher Nolan (dark futures).
If you are a science fiction geek, you must check it out!

Geek Movie News

No official reviews are allowed yet of Deadpool 2, but JoBlo posted a slew of Tweets from those who saw an early preview last week.
My Favorite:


Want to see Incredibles 2 two days before its release? Want to see it in IMAX? And as a double feature with the first movie?
Go to IMAX movies to see if it’s play in a theater near you on June 13!


The rumors are true!
From JoBlo:
After almost 30 years of waiting, it's time to throw up your horns and bust out your aggressive air guitar, because Keanu Reeves and Alex Winter are set to reprise their roles as Theodore "Ted" Logan and "Bill" S. Preston Esq. for the much-anticipated sequel BILL & TED FACE THE MUSIC! News of a third film in the franchise moving into production emerged from the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, along with the announcement that Dean Parisot (RED 2, FUN WITH DICK AND JANE, GALAXY QUEST) would direct from a script penned by the original creators of the series, Chris Matheson(IMAGINE THAT) and Ed Solomon (MEN IN BLACK).

Grunge posted a list of movie trilogies that will never be completed.
On this list is Hellboy and Tron, plus a few that will surprise you. And a couple you’ll be grateful they quit when they did.

And do note - Black Panther comes out May 15, Tuesday!

New releases:

Both from IWSG Admins!

One out now -
The Raindrop that Wanted to Stop by Pat Hatt
Release number 120 I believe?
Pick it up on Amazon

And one on May 15 -
Some Very Messy Medieval Magic by C. Lee McKenzie

Pete’s stuck in medieval England!

Find it at Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Amazon, and Foyles

You Rock Award

Every year, I give out the You Rock award. This is for special people who have made an impact on me.
Except for last year. For whatever reason, I failed to do the awards. Maybe because I always give them out right after the A to Z Challenge, and last year I didn’t participate.
Which means I have some making up to do!
First, I’d like to honor these fellow and former bloggers who received it in the past: Arlee, Yvonne, RaShelle, Hannah, Jeffrey, Gail, Rusty, Chuck, George, Jeremy, Matthew, Old Kitty, Ella, M Pax, Roland, Melissa, Robyn, Lynda, Michael, Heather, Stephen, Father Dragon Al, the late Tina, Damyanti, Edi, Karen, Elizabeth, Suze, Susan, Pat, Jo, Michelle, Brandon and Bryan, Christine, Truedessa, Rachna Chhabria, Fundy Blue, Hank Kaykuala, JH Moncrieff, Nilanjana Bos, Liza, and Yolanda Renee.

Despite missing last year, I’m going to keep it short and simple, despite the fact I had over a dozen people on the list.

Spacer Guy
A fellow Star Trek fanatic, Spacer Guy has been with me for years. He knows so much about Trek, which allows me to geek out right along with him. But he’s also been so supportive and always willing to help a buddy out. I feel privileged to know his real name! Spacer Guy, you rock!

Elsie Amata
Do not let the title of her blog deter you! Doesn’t matter if you’ve never dealt with sex addiction. Elsie is about being real. She’s about baring your soul. You will come away changed. And she has a really great sense of humor. Elsie, I really admire you. You rock!

L. Diane Wolfe
This one has been a long time coming, but I’ve held off for professional reasons. (She’s the senior editor and owner of my publisher’s company.) But had it not been for that yes and her faith in my first book, I never would’ve embarked on this journey. Plus she knows so much about book marketing, which she shares often on her blog. Diane, a million thanks, and you rock!

Natalie Aguirre
Many years ago, a blogging friend asked me about helping her find other writers and growing her blog. Now Natalie’s Literary Rambles has twice the followers I do, and I couldn’t be happier for her! She focuses on middle grade/young adult authors and agents, but she was ever so gracious to let me visit her blog when CassaStorm was released. Natalie, I’ve watched so much happen in your life as if I was right there with you. In spirit, I was. You rock!

Sandra Cox
It’s been so long, I’m not sure how I met Sandra. Probably during a Challenge. She keeps it light and upbeat and very real. We’ve never met although I think we only live a few hours apart, but I know we’d get along just great if we did. Her themed posts will make you smile. And she always checks back with you. Sandra, you rock!

C. Lee McKenzie 
Lee’s been a long time author friend and joined the IWSG Admin team last year, handling publicity relations. Watching her in action behind the scenes – Lee is ambitious and not afraid to try! She’s so professional and together and I really admire that. Lee, I appreciate you as a friend, a fellow author, and a damned good IWSG admin! You rock.



Trivia Answers

Name the television series from the author and lead actor:
1 – Author Laura Ingalls Wilder, starring Michael Landon – Little House on the Prairie
2 – Author Craig Johnson, starring Robert Taylor - Longmire
3 - Authors Richard Hooker & W. C. Heinz and starring Alan Alda - M*A*S*H
4 – Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch - Sherlock
5 - Author Stephen King, starring Mike Vogel – Under the Dome
6 - Author James S. A. Corey and starring Thomas Jane – The Expanse


Have you seen James Cameron’s Story of Science Fiction? Ready for Incredibles 2 or another Bill and Ted movie? Picking up Pat or Lee’s new book? Get any of the trivia correct? And are you following those rocking bloggers?

I will be offline on Friday. I’m taking a personal day, sleeping in, then spending the day with my wife which will include seeing Deadpool 2. It will feel so wrong and yet I will laugh so hard…

Monday, May 7, 2018

Reviews – Frankenstein Chronicles, The Terror, Legion, Resident Evil. Plus Ant-Man Trailer, TV Trivia, and Other Movie News.

Shows and Movie Reviews

The Frankenstein Chronicles
Inspector John Marlott investigates a series of crimes in 19th Century London, which may have been committed by a scientist intent on re-animating the dead.
Starring Sean Bean, Richie Campbell, Tom Ward, and Ryan Sampson.
This is a favorite time period of mine. Add in a dash of horror and Sean Bean and I was intrigued.
I’m only a few episodes in, but it’s incredibly intriguing. The story line has shot in new directions since the beginning, with many subplots that all twist around Marlott and his investigation.
It’s also great to see Sean Bean in anything. He’s a good actor. His character is very complex and with a troubled past. He’s flawed, but you can root for him.
Two seasons of six episodes each, this UK series is short but packs a punch.
Highly recommended.

The Terror
The crew of a Royal Naval expedition searching for the Arctic's treacherous Northwest Passage discovers instead a monstrous predator.
Starring Jared Harris, Tobias Menzies, and Ciarán Hinds.
Based on Dan Simmons’ novel, The Terror.
I read The Terror several years ago. And it was officially the last time I slogged through a book I wasn’t enjoying. At almost eight hundred pages, it really needed to be shortened to half that.
The show manages to avoid all of that. It’s also not depressing despite its dark subject matter.
The budget was obviously hefty as it’s a great looking show.
There are a lot of plot threads that really add to the story and the tension. Not so much that you’ll get lost though.
I’m almost at the end of this one – definitely recommended.

Legion
Legion, based on the Marvel Comics by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz, is the story of David Haller (Dan Stevens), a troubled young man who may be more than human.
The second season is in full swing right now. The first season redefined creative, crazy, bold television making.
This season has taken crazy to a whole new level.
I really have no idea where it’s going. I can’t see any possible conclusion that will bring us back from the edge of madness. (Or kill everyone in the world. David is just that powerful of a mutant.)
If you’re looking for a show unlike anything else out there, you have to check out Legion. It redefines super hero television series. (I can’t watch The Flash or any of those shows anymore – they fall so short.)
Highly recommended.

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Alice returns to where the nightmare began: The Hive in Raccoon City, where the Umbrella Corporation is gathering its forces for a final strike against the only remaining survivors of the apocalypse.
Starring Milla Jovovich and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.
The last movie was okay at best, despite how much money it made at the box office. This one was better. The final chapter? Probably not, but it did bring the story line full circle.
The story is simple. Nothing complex, deep, or meaningful. (After six movies, were you expecting more?) But it’s well executed and self-contained. You don’t need to see the other films to know what is going on.
And Mila can still kick butt.
The zombies created by the Umbrella Corporation’s virus are still there, although they take a back seat in the story. Lots of fights, explosions, and other gory moments. A fitting end to the series, if it is indeed the end.
Fans of the series will dig it. Otherwise, recommended to those who like their zombie movies in the style of Road Warrior.

Movie News

Want a bit more to chew on after Avengers: Infinity War?
Some cool articles from JoBlo:
Joe Russo confirms Soul Stone theory in Avengers: Infinity War
Top 10 Plot Theories and Titles for Avengers 4

Also from JoBlo:
Vin Diesel confirms Justin Lin is directing Fast & Furious 9 and 10. 
The ninth movie is set for release on April 10th, 2020.
Diesel confirmed this while promoting the opening of the new Fast & Furious: Supercharged ride at the Universal Orlando Resort. I’ll see the movies but not sure about Supercharged.

Monty Python musical Spamalot getting movie adaptation.
According to JoBlo:
MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL is one of the most beloved comedy classics of all time and one that remains as endlessly quotable as it is timeless. As much of a classic as the movie is, the Broadway musical based on the movie, SPAMALOT, has achieved its own level of acclaim and notoriety. Now, it’s time for the stage romp to make its own way to the silver screen, and now 20th Century Fox is fast-tracking a film version into development.

And for those of you who haven’t seen the latest trailer for Ant-Man and the Wasp – oh yeah, it looks awesome!


Ninja News

We need one more co-host for the June 6 posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! If you can help that day (or later in the summer) please leave a comment. Thanks!

Don’t forget that Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime is now out!

Learn more about the book and the authors at the Tick Tock Mystery Blog.

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

Available now:

Supervillain!: An Unofficial And Unauthorised Guide To The World Of Dr. Horrible’s Sing-A-Long Blog by David Black

An episode guide for Joss Whedon's Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog.

Find it on Amazon




I saw this on Twitter last Friday and it made me chuckle:

Trivia

Books to television series – name the book/show based on the author and the star:

1 – Author Laura Ingalls Wilder, starring Michael Landon
2 – Author Craig Johnson, starring Robert Taylor
3 – Authors Richard Hooker & W. C. Heinz and starring Alan Alda
4 - Author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and starring Benedict Cumberbatch
5 – Author Stephen King, starring Mike Vogel
6 – Author James S. A. Corey and starring Thomas Jane

Answers next Monday!

Are you watching any of those shows? Have any other Infinity War theories? Riding Supercharged? Excited about the next Ant-Man movie? Picked up Tick Tock? Know any of the trivia answers?
And who can co-host next month?

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, Tick Tock Release, Infinity War Review, May Movie Preview, and More Reviews

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 May 2 posting of the IWSG are E.M.A. Timar, J. Q. Rose, C.Lee McKenzie, and Raimey Gallant!


Today’s optional question - It’s spring! Does this season inspire you to write more than others, or not?

I don’t believe the season matters much. Either way, I’d rather be inside.

Although... I did work a little bit on my Cassa sequel while on break last month!


The IWSG is proud to announce our third anthology is out now!
Thanks to everyone who entered, judged, and helped promote this book. And thanks to all of the members – bloggers, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads book club. You are the reason for the IWSG and its success.

Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

The clock is ticking...
Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?
Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.
Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 204 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Mystery & Detective (FIC022000) / Crime (FIC050000) / Thrillers (FIC031000)
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Tick Tock links:
Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Goodreads, Tick Tock Mystery Facebook, and Tick Tock Mystery Blog

Movie Reviews

Avengers: Infinity War

What can I say? Wow! This is a superhero film on a massive scale. And not just the cast of characters but the scope of the story and its locations.
This was a very ambitious project, juggling so many characters and storylines, but the Russo brothers pulled it off.
All of the superheroes get screen time, especially the leads with their own movies. (Thor, Dr. Strange, etc.) The Guardians of the Galaxy get the most screen time due to their direct ties with Thanos. Notable absences include Hawkeye and Ant-Man, but everyone else is present.
Thanos is a very complex villain. He’s not out to conquer the world. He just wants to bring balance to the universe in his own twisted way and at whatever cost.
Special effects – well, you know they are awesome. And on a grand scale.
This is a much deeper and darker Marvel film. Parts of it will crush you. There are a lot more surprises and twists, and the storyline isn’t what you’d expect. (Spoiler) Yes, some of the Avengers die, but it’s not who you think.
It is a complete story. However, considering how it ends, it’s a major bummer we have to wait a year for the second half.
Highly recommended! Go get your geek on.

Beyond Skyline
The sequel to Skyline, beginning at just about the same time. Fortunately, it’s an improvement over the original and with a far better ending.
I give the creators credit. It’s low budget, but they went for it anyway, and the special effects are mostly good.
There are three vastly different settings/acts and the movie does feel a little odd as it transitions from one to the next.
The scenes on the alien ship are not for the squeamish though.
I can’t say I liked it, but again, an improvement over the first film, which I thought was awful
Worth a free rental for science fiction/horror fans.

Morgan
She’s an artificially created humanoid and a corporate consultant must decide if the project will continue or if Morgan needs to be terminated.
A small film, it’s well done if not a little cold. A similar theme was explored better and more in depth in Ex Machina.
There are some major names among the co-stars – Michelle Yeoh, Brian Cox, Paul Giamatti, and Jennifer Jason Leigh.
Morgan is played by Anya Taylor-Joy (Split, The Witch), both calculating and dangerous, while Kate Mara as the consultant is even more so. It’s a little difficult to decide who to root for since both leads are distant.
Interesting but not memorable. Worth a free rental.

May Movie Preview

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

18-

Deadpool 2
After surviving a near fatal bovine attack, a disfigured cafeteria chef (Wade Wilson) struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming Mayberry's hottest bartender while also learning to cope with his lost sense of taste. Searching to regain his spice for life, as well as a flux capacitor, Wade must battle ninjas, the yakuza, and a pack of sexually aggressive canines, as he journeys around the world to discover the importance of family, friendship, and flavor - finding a new taste for adventure and earning the coveted coffee mug title of World's Best Lover.
Director: David Leitch
Stars: Morena Baccarin, T.J. Miller, Josh Brolin, Ryan Reynolds
I won’t even attempt snark here – Mr. Deadpool, I bow to your royal snarkness. (And by the way, if you haven’t already guessed, the description is a joke.)

25-

Solo: A Star Wars Story
During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.
Director: Ron Howard
Stars: Emilia Clarke, Alden Ehrenreich, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Donald Glover
I want this to be great, but it could wind up the Jar-Jar Binks of Star Wars films. Dude doesn’t look like Harrison Ford at all!


Are you inspired by spring and did you take time off to write last month? Who is picking up Tick Tock? Who saw Infinity Wars? Or either of the other movies? Are you looking forward to either Deadpool or Solo?

During my break, I was a guest at Thoughts in Progress talking about the IWSG and Tick Tock. Plus be sure to check out the Tick Tock Mystery Blog for other stops on the tour.