Monday, August 13, 2018

The Meg and The Signal Reviews, Animal Movie Trivia, Monday’s Music, and News

Movie Reviews

The Meg

Jonas Taylor encountered something on a rescue mission where lives were lost. Years later, he is called back into action to rescue a submersible – and discovers something even bigger.
Based on a book – which I recently downloaded and began reading – The Meg goes for realistic (but a bit silly) rather than cheesy. And it works for the most part. They create a plausible scenario where a megalodon might still exist and why it might make an appearance.
They create believable characters and focus on the human drama as well as the shark and balance it accordingly. You do feel the deaths of those who don’t make it.
The shark – yes, he is massive. And so is… well, I can’t give away anything else.
If you’re hoping for Sharknado, you’ll be disappointed. It’s like an upscale version of Leviathan or Deep Star Six.
Recommended.

The Signal

From the IMDB: On a road trip, Nic and two friends are drawn to an isolated area by a computer genius. When everything suddenly goes dark, Nic regains consciousness - only to find himself in a waking nightmare.
This film came out in 2014 and I finally caught it on NetFlix. It stars Brenton Thwaites (Will’s son in latest Pirates movie and will star as Robin in the Titans television series), Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp, and Laurence Fishburn. All them are excellent in their roles.
It starts off as a road trip film, but once Nic and the others wake up in a containment site, suspense, mystery, and a little science fiction commence. The movie has a slower pace, which grows faster toward the end. Where are they? What happened? And why aren’t they allowed to leave? It’s a large scale Twilight Zone with just enough weirdness to tell you something is amiss.
If you like quieter films with a lot of tension, you’ll enjoy The Signal.
Recommended.

Monday’s Music Moves Me

Hosted by Xmas Dolly

Today’s theme - songs/artists with animals in the title/name. So appropriate!
I’m going with a band I’m hooked on right now – Amorphis. This is The Golden Elk


News

The IWSG Anthology Contest opens for submissions on September 5.
The genre is Young Adult Romance and the theme is Masquerade.
See the site for full details.


The IWSG has partnered with WEP – Write-Edit-Publish and the August WEP Challenge is A Change of Heart.
Post your entry this week!

Movie Trivia

When animals attack!

Name the movie and the animal from the year and stars:

1 - 1999 - Thomas Jane, Saffron Burrows, Samuel L. Jackson, Jacqueline McKenzie
2 - 1977 - Richard Harris, Charlotte Rampling, Will Sampson, Bo Derek
3 - 1998 - Treat Williams, Famke Janssen, Anthony Heald, Kevin J. O'Connor
4 - 1990 - Jeff Daniels, Julian Sands, John Goodman
5 - 1999 - Bridget Fonda, Bill Pullman, Oliver Platt
6 - 1984 - Gregory Harrison, Arkie Whiteley, Bill Kerr, Chris Haywood
7 - 1997 - Jon Voight, Jennifer Lopez, Eric Stoltz, Ice Cube

Answers August 27!


Anyone else see The Meg or The Signal? What music moves you today? Participating in WEP or the IWSG Anthology Contest? And do you know any of the trivia?

I’m taking off next week – see you Monday, August 27. And don't forget RiffTrax Live - Krull is on August 23!

81 comments:

Heather R. Holden said...

I've been noticing a lot of mixed reviews for The Meg on Twitter, so glad to hear you ended up enjoying it!

Shady Del Knight said...

Hi, Alex!

Thanks for reviewing The Meg. I am not very hard to please and eager to see it simply for the grand spectacle. I am currently working my way through the three Cube films (including the prequel) now available on Netflix along with a related film called Circle. All four are interesting albeit chess match paced and I think you might enjoy them. I like the exhilarating prog rock sound of Amorphis.

Have a great week, good buddy Alex!

Pat Hatt said...

The Meg sounds like one to just turn your brain off and enjoy. Never even heard of The Signal, have to add it to the list.

1 - Deep Blue Sea
2 - Orca
3 - Deep Rising
4 - Arachnophobia
5 - Lake Placid
6- umm
7- Anaconda

nashvillecats2 said...

Good reviews and music Alex, all set for the week now.

Yvonne.

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

The Signal sounds interesting...I'll put it on my watchlist.

The Meg is sort of oddly-named, isn't it? At first glance, I thought they were talking about a woman, not a Megalodon. :) Still, it sounds good...thanks for the review!

Chemist Ken said...

I finally convinced the wife to see Jurassic World this weekend before it left the theaters. Don't think there's any chance I can get her to go see The Meg. Sigh...

Cathy Kennedy said...

Alex,

"The Meg" sounds interesting but I have to admit anything that has to do with the ocean especially under it then I get a bit anxious. Sure, I've watched a few films with this theme and every time I'm gasping for breath and afraid to be eaten by a shark. In recent months, we saw the first Sharknado and that was totally unbelievable and silly. I don't think I'm willing to set through the sequels. "The Signal" is a bit intriguing. I will check it out on Netflix.

It was great having you on the dance floor. Amorphis is new-to-me. I like the name of the song "The Golden Elk". We have elk in the Smoky's and it's always a pleasure to see them up close. Unfortunately, this band is a bit too heavy metal for me and the vocals sound evil. It's hard to get into stuff like this but I appreciate the introduction all the same.

Have a blessed and boogietastic week, my friend!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Watched a couple of things this weekend, but nothing all that exciting. One movie that started out cute and quirky took some really weird turns.

Adding The Meg to my To Watch list!

Oh, #7 is Anaconda! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Heather, I also didn't go in with big expectations.

Shady, I've only seen the first one so I'll have to check out the others.

Pat, you got six right.

Elizabeth, I guess they just named it after the book.

Cathy, I'm just careful that the lyrics aren't evil.

Madeline, you got it.

Sandra Almazan said...

My son saw Sharknado over the weekend and found it so bad he fell asleep during it. Good to hear that The Meg is more realistic.

Suzanne Furness said...

I saw Meg over the weekend and enjoyed it. One of those movies where you kind of know what's going to happen but good all the same.

DMS said...

I thought Meg was more along the lines of Sharknado. From your review it doesn't sound like it. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. :)
~Jess

Patricia Stoltey said...

Have a great week off, Alex.

Stacy McKitrick said...

I just started reading The Meg this weekend. I'm intrigued.
I do NOT know any of those animal attack movies. But I know many of the actors (which is rare), so I'm guessing I haven't watched any of the flicks. Which isn't much of a surprise since Hubby isn't fond of those types of movies.
Enjoy your time off!!

Birgit said...

The Big shark made me laugh but I will see it..once on TV. I am not sure about the other one. As for the trivia..1,3,6-no clue. 2-Orca-Killer Whale. 4. Fly Away Home-Geese. 5. Lake Placid-crocodile. 7. Anaconda-Big Ass Snake and I am not talking about J-Lo's butt.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sandra, those movies are on completely different levels.

Birgit, you got three right and bonus points for making me laugh!

Nilanjana Bose said...

Both the films sound interesting. Looking forward to the WEP+IWSG postings on Wed.

Marie Moody said...

Whoa! I'm not sure what they call this kind of music, but I was really likin' the tune until that one gruff voice came on and was screamin' something! Personally, I think it sounds like the theme to a scary movie... or something that would be played on that program, "The Supernatural" (love love love that show). Thank you for playin' along with us. Hmmm the more I listen to it the more I like it, but I gave it the benefit of the doubt and listened to the whole thing. Normally hearing something like that I would've changed channels. Not bad... not bad at all! Thanks for the introduction! Yep, definitely should be a theme to a movie!

Andrew Leon said...

Everything I'm seeing about The Meg says it's big-budget trash. I'm going to skip it, even as a rental.
The Signal sounds potentially interesting, though.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex - I've not seen those movies ... did go to Winnie the Pooh though - very English and loved it! I am looking forward to seeing how WEP+IWSG progress should be so helpful to one and all - cheers Hilary

Liz A. said...

The Meg is a creature feature, so hard pass. (I was forced to watch one as a kid. Something with a giant ant. I've been negative on the genre since.) And since your trivia is all creature features, I don't know a-one.

I hope you enjoy your week off.

Cherie Reich said...

I really want to see The Meg, but I haven't found anyone brave enough to go with me yet. LOL!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Marie, they are an excellent band. Yes, heavy, but so incredibly talented. Glad you listened to the whole thing.

Hilary, I bet it was cute.

Sherry Ellis said...

Meg is on the list to see. Sounds like you enjoyed it. Thanks for the review. (And thanks for signing up for my blog hop and for helping set up the Linky list!)

Mary Burris said...

Thanks for playing along with us at #4M today. I hadn't heard of the band you chose - but after listening I have to admit that I don't hate them :) (That's code for They were pretty alright in my book!) That's a song I could get lost in, and that is not always a bad thing.

~Mary
Jingle Jangle Jungle

Mark Noce said...

Cool:) I probably wouldn't have gone for the shark film, but now that you've explained the basics, I might go for it:)

Carrie-Anne said...

I'm looking forward to this year's IWSG contest. I'll tell my two writing groups about it.

Truedessa said...

Happy Monday Alex! I have not seen either of these movies but, after reading your reviews I might.

What music currently moves me? I am currently listening to ‘The Record Company’ it has a blues infused feel.

Talk about synchronicity I watched some Shark movie last night. I think it was Deep Blue Sea 2.

Have a great week!

Arlee Bird said...

I'm totally stumped on the trivia. The way I forget movies I might as well not even spend time watching them. I guess the ones that I remember favorably make the watching more worthwhile.

Arlee Bird
Tossing It Out

Ray Rousell said...

Looking forward to seeing Meg, not heard of The Signal, but it's sounds pretty cool.

Susan Kane said...

We saw The Meg yesterday, and your review was spot on. The interaction between the characters held it all together. Also Jason Statham in a towel and wet suit also kept one's attention.

Movies: Lake Placid and Hair, the rest of titles are on the tip of my tongue.

J E Oneil said...

I remember seeing The Signal when browsing Netflix. I'm still not sure whether I want to watch it.

I was only able to get the last movie in the Trivia. Guess I'm not big on giant-animal-attacks movies.

Elephant's Child said...

I am amazed at the bad press that sharks get. More people are killed by bees each year than sharks ever manage.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sherry, you're welcome! Signed up for the tour as well.

Mary, that's awesome.

Carrie-Anne - great!

Truedessa, I've seen that one.

Susan, you got one right!

Tonja Drecker said...

We'll be skipping The Meg - I'm not a huge shark movie fan. Enjoy your week off!

Rhonda Albom said...

Meg sounds interesting, but we are headed overseas for a few months so it will be out of theatres before we are back. As for your movies, I only know two of them (one for sure). I am hoping you are going somewhere wonderful also. Enjoy your week off.

Helena said...

Obviously there are a whole lotta shark fans out there since The Meg looks like it's going to be a huge hit. Thanks for breaking down the basic story; and if you recommend it I might just go spend a silly afternoon watching it.

Chrys Fey said...

I was worried The Meg would be cheesy or not look/be realistic. Glad that's not the case.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, staying home - and writing!

Helena, it's good fun.

Chrys, silly but not cheesy or unrealistic.

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

I like the Twilight Zone so might watch The Signal. Haven't heard of it. Thanks.

JeriWB said...

I guess I'd have to say Pink's music moves me since I listen to it all the dang time. I mostly just like how she's a really authentic person.

Cathy Keisha said...

Never heard of the band but it ROCKS! Love it.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

There's a lot to Amorphous - kinda hard rock, techno, mystical, magical...I don't know music but I understand why you like it.

Have a great week.

Loni Townsend said...

I think my husband would really like Amorphis. I'll have to pass the band along to him. I like the music, but the vocals just aren't quite there for me. My sis-in-law, a big shark fan, has The Meg on her to-watch list.

Patricia Lynne said...

The Meg isn't my kind of movie, but I saw a hilarious picture of the movie poster. They removed the shark and put Meg Griffen from Family Guy in it's place. Laughed my butt off.

Sandra Cox said...

Haven't seen either movie.

Mary Kirkland said...

I'm looking forward to seeing The Meg. I'll be waiting until it's out On Demand though.

Cathrina Constantine said...

Hi, Alex, enjoy your week off!

1. The Deep Blue Sea - shark
2. Orca - Whale
5. Lake Placid - some kind of crocodile
7. Anaconda- snake- I remember this movie because I despise snakes of any kind.

kaykuala said...

So many comments on Meg and some having them on their wish list also. Will certainly keep a look out for it, Alex!

Hank

J.H. Moncrieff said...

The Signal sounds really creepy! I do like a slow build sometimes. Must add it to my list.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cathy, awesome!

Loni, hope he likes it.

Patricia, that is funny!

Cathrina, all four correct.

Christine Rains said...

Hmm, The Meg might be a good one to see at the drive-in if it isn't so cheesy. I've been listening to Lindsey Stirling lately. The only problem is that her videos are thrilling, and I'm apt to watch them instead of working as I just listen to the music!

Jo said...

Those both sound like good movies. I was hearing about the megaladon on TV the other day. Twice as big as the Great White apparently. Not something I would wish to meet.

Sandra Cox said...

Good choice for the anthology contest.
Have a great one, Alex.

Erika Beebe said...

WOW! You've really intrigued me with your reviews. Both look really great and sound great. I'm thinking about the anthology again this year since YA is my focus. Now...if I can plan my crisis effectively :) Have a great week off.

Spacer Guy said...

Shark movies have that dramatic sense of danger. I'm getting vibes someones not coming back. Can't wait for The signal to deliver some awesome twilight zone murder mystery and suspense.

Michele Truhlik said...

Hey Alex,
So nice to see you joining the Monday's Music Moves Me gang! A very pleasant surprise.
Your post features a movie that I can't wait to see. "Meg" looks fantastic and I'm so glad to know it's not a Sharknado flick. Your review makes me even more eager to see it.
The other movie I haven't heard of but it sounds good so I'll seek it out.

As for your music selection: I never heard of the band and as soon as it started, I was really digging it. And then that death growl screaming came on and I thought "Oh No! This just ruined it for me!" I hate that kind of screaming in music. But thankfully that wasn't a major part of the song. The rest of it musically appealed to me. Thanks for the introduction.

I'm hoping you'll be a regular with the 4M crew. I usually do every Monday but some months are busier than others and during those months, I'll usually do the themes and skip the freebie weeks if I need to. But Freebies are cool: that's how I was able to present my entire Kaleiodoscope of Color Songs series. It's a fun bunch.

And thanks for coming by my place. Was good to see you!

Michele at Angels Bark

mail4rosey said...

It's hard to find music to move me. I just watched an Amy Winehouse show. She had a few songs that could move me...nothing instant, but I can see how she was her own unique talent and definitely Jazz.

Joanne said...

I am back from PA and catching up. Can't say I'll see The Meg. I'm sticking with Jaws for now. Not much news since I've been at my Dad's - the land that time forgot. More to say next time. Have a good weekend!

Elizabeth said...

You are the second person to mention that there's a bit of humor in The Meg. That actually makes me want to see it more, because I like when movies break up the suspense a little bit.

Sandra Cox said...

Enjoy your time away:)

Magic Love Crow said...

Thanks for the reviews Alex! I haven't seen either one. Have a great time away!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Not sure if we'll see Meg or not. We like the Jurassic Park flicks, so maybe. The Signal sounds more up my alley, though. We finally saw the new Mission Impossible movie this week, and really enjoyed it. It's on the long side, but thee's so much action, it never lost our interest. My hubby didn't even doze off!

Music? At the moment, I'm listening to Endless Ocean. It's a merging of classical music with the sounds of the surf. Very soothing.

Mary Montague Sikes said...

I haven't seen either one.
Enjoy your vacation week!

bookworm said...

The Golden Elk song - music, nice. Singing, not so much. There is this style of screaming like singing that you find in some hard rock, for example, which, to me, is like nails on a chalkboard (with few exceptions). My husband likes that style - me, nope. Without the singing, I would have enjoyed that song. As they say, each to their own.......

J Lenni Dorner said...

I've heard mixed reviews on The Meg.
Just added The Signal to my watchlist.
Hope your summer is going well!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jo, three to four times as big!

Erika, hope you go for it.

Michele, I will be back with a music selection on August 27.

Susan, they are always long but never boring.

Lori L MacLaughlin said...

To say the Meg is massive is the understatement of the year. Just, wow. It's funny but the beginning of the Golden Elk reminded me in a weird way of the music in Hotel California. I haven't seen any of the trivia movies. (I had to look them up to see what they were.) A little too much horror for me. I wouldn't watch #4 if you paid me, being of the same persuasion. Hope you're having a good week off!

Stacy Uncorked said...

Thanks for the musical introduction, Alex! While not my typical forte, it grew on me. ;) Have a great week off, and thanks for the dance!

Raimey Gallant said...

I haven't seen either of those ones, but I'm wondering if you've heard anything about The Hungover Games. It's on Netflix in Canada; not sure if you get it. I found it on Prime but haven't checked it out yet. It's supposed to be a parody of The Hunger Games, I think.

Raimey Gallant said...

Did my comment show up?

Jemi Fraser said...

The Meg sounds intriguing if only to compare it to Jaws for tension and fear! :)

Huntress said...

Wow. Okay I thought the Meg was a spaceship movie. Clearly I need to poke my head out of the rabbit hole more often.

mshatch said...

I know none of the trivia (shame on me!) but thanks for the review of The Signal. I'll be watching that :)

Toi Thomas said...

It's cool that the Meg is more serious than it looks.

I may check out The Signal.

This is what I get for being late with my blog comments. It's funny that this song is called The Golden Elk when I'm working on a short story about a golden stag. This isn't my preferred genre, but I like the sound of this song.

I may actually have a story to submit for the anthology this time around, but YA is a struggle and I'm always adding in fantasy elements.

Cool trivia, the only one I'll need to look up is the 1984 one. Don't know who these people are. Not sure why, but the 1997 one made be chuckle.

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

I love that picture of The Meg that you posted. That shark cage seen is both silly and terrifying. I gotta hand it to Statham though...he pulled it off without it being cheesy. Additionally, his character was a fearless alpha-male. There's no way I'd be caught in any of those situations. Nope, I'd be off the water.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Lori, I am!

Raimey, I'll have to look for it.

Toi, that's wild. And hope you do submit to the anthology!

Kim Lajevardi said...

I'm big into my music at the moment--kind of using it to take the edge off some personal stuff as of late--but it's not specific songs that I turn to. I have playlists with a mix of so many genres. It's the familiarity of my favorites which soothes me. Enjoy your week off!

Pat Tillett said...

I will probably see both The Meg and The Signal. Thanks for the info Alex. In fact, I may see if I can dig up The Signal on NetFlix tonight.

mail4rosey said...

I haven't seen the movies. All kinds of music moves me. I'm a music lover from way back!

Lynda Dietz said...

Both movies you've recommended sound good! I'll have to catch the one on Netflix first.

I like the song! Especially the change-up in the middle, and the guitar riffs are catchy. I'll have to look up Amporphis to see what else they have.